Fortune Cookie Blog (Protection)

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Ditching the mask, long before the end of the pandemic,
is akin to shucking the prophylactic long before the end
of the act, resuming the action, YET expecting all of the
pregnancy and disease prevention benefits to continue.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Critter Roll Call

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The pandemic down-time has further heightened my appreciation of nature; so much so, I’ve become more attuned to how critters have been paying visits to my neighborhood; especially the after-hours goings on at the time of the full lunar phase. Here’s the brief run-thru; spanning the creatures from large down to small…

Four deer have been habitually making the suburban scene. Personally, I cannot fathom why they’d even opt to wander forth from the more pristine, nearby woods; i.e., just to graze on the chemically toxic lawns. I mean, that crap has got to leave a yucky aftertaste. One would expect their very survival instinct to kick in; Yes? No? Maybe?

Next on the list comes “Spot”, the cat, who I’ve had to shoo away several times; not to worry, my M.O. never involves more than the loud click of my patio door’s lock. While, normally, I’d be more hospitable, I do draw the line when the stalking / aggressive instinct targets the three newborn bunnies, who call my backyard home; the irony being this cat appears to be well fed by the owner. And, btw, I do admire mother rabbit, who doesn’t excessively fuss and interfere; how she fosters her young’uns’ independence.

Of course, I’m not entirely sure if this white furred feline with two major ovoid black patches is named “Spot”, but, obviously, it’d be an apt moniker. Also influencing me was the recollection of Star Trek TNG’s Data choosing that very name for his non-spotted cat.

Several robins have also been in motherhood mode. And they don’t overly-baby their babies, either; even seem to welcome the eventual, empty nest syndrome.

The Tiger Swallowtail butterflies (which have been absent for several years), of late, have been flying by day. Ditto the, by night, flight plans of the countless fireflies; flying in random formation to put on a spectacular light show.

Noticeably absent has been the waddling woodchuck, however, this may merely be a matter of not looking out my window at the right time.

That’s it for now.

So, what about your own sightings? Any critters you’d like to add to this roll call?

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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America’s Return To Normal

Of late, my homeland’s head of state has been scratching his head; wondering: Why do so many (too many) Americans continue to flip off the proven SAFE and EFFECTIVE, absolutely FREE OF COST, Covid-19 vaccines? Why do they so easily rebuff the aired and streamed, slickly crafted / choreographed, smiley faced, Public Service Announcements, which are supposed to sell the BIG PROMISE; namely,… cue the drum roll / rim shot…

AMERICA’S RETURN TO NORMAL

Admittedly, there’s been insufficient time, wherewithal and staffing to comprehensively psychoanalyze the crap out of vaxxing’s paradoxical, flummoxed state of affairs. Ergo, at best, any attempts to do so will be limited to our gut trusting abilities. With all that in mind, let’s try running the following theory up the flagpole to see if it’ll fly…

• Could vaccine hesitancy, in part, be contact traced to the BIG PROMISE, itself?

These days, just WTF does “normal America” stand for? Alas… long exasperated sigh… in part…

• The (so far) too little / too late attempts to rein in climate change; the consequent destructive, deadly, frequently freakish weather patterns. Left unchecked, as early as 2050, such forces could render our world uninhabitable.

• The autocratic, avaricious Trumper Republicans; who only rise and stay in power due to their validating their base’s bigotry and enacting / enforcing illegal voter suppression laws (Jim Crowism, Gerrymandering, etc.)

• A gilded government of, by and for the obscenely wealthy; all at the expense of the middle class which has been rapidly plunging into poverty; the already impoverished class which has been getting their virtual atoms ground into the asphalt.

• An armed to the teeth, gun sick society; inclusive of seething with racism, swaggering with power, judge, jury and executioner cops slaughtering anyone with a melanin content exceeding lily white AND psycho snipers hellbent on shooting up houses of worship, school houses, workplaces, etc.

• The freak show cult, which still believes snowflake / flaccid Donald J. Trump’s flat-out, unsubstantiated lies about widespread voter fraud; namely, his domestic terrorists, who, back on January 6, 2021, on his behalf, had attempted to overturn free, fair elections and, in the process, overthrow the United States of America and forever install DJT’s fascistic régime. Left unchecked, at the mere drop of a red MAGA hat, these traitors will attack again.

Well, folks, a return to normal, SUCH AS THAT, will never serve as the impetus for folks to vaxx up. The need to do so will have to come from within each of us. Granted, long sigh, my parting pep talk will come across as simplistic, even a bit corny, but, the oft paraphrased maxim, “Where there’s life there’s hope” can become decent folks’ rallying anthem.

And speaking of decent folks, even the late Stephen Hawking incorporated that wisdom, thusly…

“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

Hey, even unspoken, such a sentiment did serve as the January 6th phrase that pays.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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What Ails US Goes Beyond Covid-19

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Regrettably, it’s unlikely that my headline’s “US” is United States specific; i.e., it could readily involve the generic pronoun, “us”. And, btw, in British vernacular “US” can also stand for something unserviceable and/or useless.

Whatever connotation may apply, here, do check out the present-day incarnation of the US nation; as aptly diagnosed by the good Doctor (a true visionary)…

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or my grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

“The Demon-Haunted World” • co-authors Carl Sagan / Ann Druyan • ©1995

Wow, it’s as if, a little over one-quarter century ago, Sagan and Druyan had stepped into a time machine to pay a visit to the world as we know it, today.

All of which leads to my parting remarks…

IF you find your society sickened by the virulent “variants”, as Sagan described ’em, above, this American feels your pain and you do have my pity.

IF your people have discovered the cure for such societal ills; if good mental health now rules supreme within your homeland, you do have my congratulations.

Oh, just one more thing… uh… IF the latter IF applies… my heartfelt plea…

IF it’d not be too much trouble, would you please share, with the rest of us / the US, the secret to your success?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Sigh… Sci-Fi?

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Even had this past Wednesday’s numerology not involved all multiples of 7, I still would’ve thanked my lucky stars on 07/14/21: the very day I got my second chance to finally, fully and freely enjoy a far more meaningful, satisfying life.

That’s when the fortuitous, favorable conditions had allowed my 44-year absent, spacefaring friends to pull off a timely, unscheduled return pass thru our inner solar system; to briefly touch down on Earth (on my behalf); to pay me back for my long ago, last minute, mission salvaging sacrifice (on their behalf); to, in essence, repatriate me.

To better understand my now limitless elation, let’s begin where / when it all began; the summer of ’67; during a sweltering, steamy, Michigan heatwave; a couple hours past sundown…

At that pivotal moment, with the June Beetles repeatedly pinging against our patio door’s screen, this newly minted teenager was sitting across the dining room table from my well-versed in astrophysics father; savoring a fizzing, ice cold cola while rehashing the glum current events.

Eventually, my utter exasperation / revulsion re societal injustice, racism, sexism, classism, no-win endless wars, environmental ruin, etc. had culminated with my raw rant’s slew of Qs…

“I wonder what would happen were we to construct a spaceship to get the hell outta here? How tough would it be to get our journey to the stars off the ground? Would governmental mental misfits deny us a secure launch corridor thru American airspace? Or, attempt to appropriate our intellectual and actual property? Even bark out their ‘Blast ‘em out of the sky!’ command to the military?”

Next, in a sudden burst of inspiration, I began thumbnail theorizing; regarding the spacecraft tech capable of materializing wormholes; which in turn, would allow our crew to circumvent the Einsteinian posted speed limit of 299,792 km per second; to, ultimately, circumnavigate the universe.

Seeing how my questions had only been rhetorical; my notions theoretical, about all that was left to do, that night, was rise, yawn, stretch, shrug and wish my Dad pleasant dreams; and then head off to my own dreamland.

Well, by dawn’s early light, I found my father all smiles at the breakfast table as he said…

“Son, I’ve taken to heart virtually everything you spoke of, last night; so much so, I’ve already phoned my network of visionaries to schedule an impromptu meeting. And, seeing how you’ve amply demonstrated your own think-outta-the-box creds, I want you to skip school, today, so you, too, can meet with us.”

Well, my ability to view science in the abstract wound up “wowing” my dad’s associates; so much so, I soon became known as our team’s Abstract Artist (aptly nicknamed “Double A”). Of course, canvas and oils had nothing to do with the type of pictures I was “painting” for them. To cite an apt 21st century aside, I was more attuned to Jean-Luc Picard than Pablo Picasso.

My primary work assignments involved conceptualizing space-worthy hardware and ancillary devices; presenting these notions to my co-workers, who, in turn, would leap ‘em off their drawing boards; fast track ‘em into production; so much so, that it took less than a decade for our fully functional, starship, The Saucer to ace all its preflight tests; to be secreted within its under heavy guard, underground launch bay.

And, such nomenclature was quite fitting, too, considering this vehicle’s uncanny conformity to descriptions found within Sci-Fi literature, TV and films. Indeed, our extraordinary tech, namely, the Wormhole Wave Generator and The Shroud (akin to the Trekian Romulan Cloaking Device.) could’ve been easily, mistakenly deemed to be of “extraterrestrial origin”.

Quite the tale of two vastly disparate space programs, huh? On one hand, NASA was merely setting their Sixties era sites on lunar landings; on the other, our would-be astronauts were boldly training our crosshairs on deep space and whatever else we may encounter.

Naturally, to ensure that our mission would not die of old age and old ideas, our carefully considered crew manifest did boast a diverse, cross section of humanity; namely, the mens sana in corpore sano, intellectually curious, humane, superbly scrupulous young women and men; all committed to hand down, from generation to generation, our principles and scientific / technological expertise.

Our actual launch date was slated for 07/07/77 at 07:07 UTC. However, unbeknownst to us, we had a quisling within our ranks; one whose top priority was to muck up everything by sabotaging The Shroud, which would either totally scrub the launch or force our, in full view, departure from Earth. In other words, to leave us completely vulnerable to military attack.

My father had outed this traitor who, via a landline, was a mere syllable away from outing our launch bay’s actual latitude and longitude to government muckety-mucks. Even tho dad had severed the phone’s wire in the nick of time, that call, if traced, still could’ve afforded them our general vicinity, ergo, we deemed it imperative to deploy a decoy to lead any in hot pursuit entities in the totally opposite direction.

In a heartbeat, I had volunteered to take ‘em all on the proverbial wild goose chase; soon thereafter, spotting the flashing lights of multiple military vehicles and civilian cop cars; all emerging from the dust cloud seen in my rearview mirror. And, while my mission to mislead ‘em had allowed The Saucer to launch precisely on schedule (in full view) I, too, found myself (as expected) in the figurative rearview mirror (of our starship). By the by, our enemies did manage to haphazardly fire off several missiles, but to no avail. Ultimately, our tech had amply proven our brains over brawn superiority.

Over the course of the past forty plus years, I’ve never lost hope that our crew (now a blend of originals and descendants), would return for me; my belief remaining so passionate that I continued to unleash talents worthy of my “Double A” nickname; so much so, that my latest drawing-board-to-reality tech involves the RTC (Real Time Communicator).

The fact that these words are now posted @WordPress is proof that the RTC is now online aboard The Saucer. Ergo, unlike in the past, we’ll manage to regularly stay in touch with our recently assembled, top secret, skeletal, global network; our ground crew, who in turn, will stay connected to you, the worldwide reader.

Oh, how good it feels to say good riddance to the husks of humanity Trumpers who still flat out refuse to mask up / vaccinate during a deadly pandemic; who remain hellbent on overthrowing America / fighting AGAINST freedom; who are DYING to empower fascistic freaks who, in The End, WILL suck the life blood from the masses they oppress.

To wrap this up, I’ve now swapped out our dismal, decaying, devolving society for the glowing, growing alternative reality where I’m at liberty to explore the vast multiverse. Might there exist a deep space / otherworldly solution to our worldy ills? Perhaps even an improptu meeting to mind meld with our omniscient Creator?

Will we / can we, somehow, succeed? Stay tuned for my next update.

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Which End Nears? ~ Quick Limerick 109

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Even pandemic pros can’t say for sure
Determine Corona V’s M.O. du jour
Might each variant, new?
Turn / tighten the screw?
Will Covid vaccines get trounced or endure?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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blogging, liberal limericks, Listener Limerick Challenge, NPR, NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, one quick limerick, Peter Sagal, poetry, political limericks, politics, wait wait don’t tell me, WordPress, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, pandemic, COVID-19, mask making tutorial, vaccines, variants, vaxxing, jabs, Science 101

Maven v. Craven ~ Quick Limerick 108

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Pandemic Science; pure; ethical; analytical
Tackles life and death afflictions; critical
The maven class overrules
Crass craven overlord fools
Knows that medical must trump political

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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A World of Diff ‘tween “The” & “A”!

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After spending 460 days doing his talk show in locked down, pandemic necessitated isolation, Stephen Colbert made his grand re-entrance to NYC’s Ed Sullivan Theatre, last night, to perform before a live and in-person, full audience; all in attendance enjoying (relative) safety; thanks to everybody being fully vaxxed.

To have been an eyewitness to such a momentous occasion certainly did prove there’s a world of diff ‘tween “The” Late Show” and “A” Late Show (the latter rebranding had served as the subtle reminder that not all was (is) well in our homeland / home world).

Such a viewing experience (even from my own living room) proved the much needed mood elevator. So much so, I even managed to beat Mr. Colbert to the punch (punchline) of one of his jokes; namely this news clip enhanced wisecrack…

S.C.: President Biden’s trip abroad will end with his much anticipated showdown, on Wednesday, with Russian President (and cover model for Maritime Murders Monthly) Vladimir Putin. This meeting could be awkward ‘cause earlier this year Biden called Putin a ‘killer’. This weekend Putin was asked about his homicidal tendencies [clip rolls]…

Interviewer: Mr. President, are you a killer?
Putin: (chuckling menacingly) Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles; and from all kinds of areas; under all kinds of pretexts and reasons; at a different caliber and fierceness; and none of it surprises me.

S.C. Punchline: Sooooo… uh… that’s a yes?

CBS Late Show • June 14, 2021

While both predictable Putin and his non-surprising, non-response (tossed word salad) proved a certifiable downer, to have been reminded that I can still think in a humorous vein also did me a world of good.

Analog recording Colbert’s first night back on Broadway, had been well worth the twenty minutes spent [1] hunting down an old (suitable for tape-over) VHS cassette and [2] another five minutes taken to reconfigure the wiring of the hodgepodge of my aged and ailing video gear.

While I’m certain that for Colbert / his entire staff, their reclamation of their Late Show studio / stage has been reward enough, I don’t believe that goes far enough.

Seeing how each and every one of these role models / morale boosters have so valiantly soldiered on throughout the pandemic, at the very least, President Biden should pin medals on these civilians’ uniforms.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Station Axing

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In Have nations; rich in vaxxing
Administrations, regulations are relaxing
Expectations, explorations are waxing
Emancipations, celebrations are maxing

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In Have-Not nations; in need of vaxxing
Perturbations, trepidations are overtaxing
Debilitations, decimations are waxing
Cremations, inhumations are maxing

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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Stay Healthy!

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The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth

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As a lifelong, steadfast, science adherent, over the course of the past sixteen months, my preexisting respect for our world’s pandemic professionals could only intensify. To CliffsNotes what I’ve learned from them:

Whenever / wherever folks impulsively and prematurely let down their guard, the opportunistic coronavirus has rushed in to fully exploit that unfortunate, unforgivable lack of resolve.

For the corroborating, damning evidence, reasonable people need look no further than the alarming worldwide Covid-19 infection and fatality spikes (past and present); in particular, within the United States, India and Brazil.

In other words, what that godforsaken Corona-V and HIS asshole, inbred, variant varmints have taught me is that THEY… NOT HUMANS… are the SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth. Sorry to coin such a phrase, but from the microbial POV, that’s, precisely, how they assess the damned dump. Beyond that, whenever THEY decide time is ripe to collect the rent, we wee mortals can wind up coughing up (our lungs); worst case scenario, wind up paying in full (with our very lives).

Alas, of late, my pandemic expert heroes have begun to (impulsively? prematurely?) minimize their own masking up / social distancing protocols; my word choice, indeed, intentional. To further drive home my point, let’s take a few secs to free associate several synonyms of “minimize”: belittle, downplay, make light of, pooh-pooh, etc.

That’s not too harsh an appraisal, either, seeing how when “The Suits” follow suit / let down their guard, too, they’ll need to rely on the easily exploited “honor system”; one where their hardcore antimasker, antivaxxer “Karen” customers will shamelessly lie about being inoculated; for the express purpose of satisfying their psychotic urges to go maskless.

True, the vaccines are becoming a game changer; playing a significant role in ushering in our return to a more normal life.

However, everything these experts have taught us, tells me that it’s not, yet, time to be letting down our guard. The last thing we need is for yet another variant to rear its ugly head; to get its (literal) choke hold on humanity. What if such a mutation winds up bamboozling the available vaccines, oh, say, one month, one week or even one day from now?

On a more uplifting note, just yesterday, I did manage to breathe a sigh of relief into my pandemic mask when I discovered how my fellow grocery shoppers (store employees, too) were not, yet, buying into shedding their masks; even though the proprietor had impulsively and prematurely torn down his entryway’s “you must mask up to shop here” signage.

Look, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be proven dead wrong. But, how is erring on the side of caution wrong? How does masking up and staying socially distanced harm anyone?

It’s the alternative that could be dead wrong; could even involve the permanent microbial overthrow of society; all “courtesy” of Corona-V and “his” variants; a.k.a. The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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