RU a Groggy Blogger, too?

No yuge surprise, I’ve not been sleeping well ever since Hillary Clinton’s Election Night, 2016 concession speech; ever since Donald J. Trump placed his dainty hand on the Bible to take his Oath of Office; ever since that fake prez began laying waste to the U.S. Constitution, morality, equality, civility, the environment, etc.; ever since Donald’s pandemic has drastically complicated even the simplest of in-public tasks.

However, this post will be more medically than politically oriented.

I’d like to remind everyone that, to stay healthy in mind and body, we must get 8 hours of sleep each night. Not being alert can lead to problems great and small.

Speaking of small, let’s rehash a post, which this groggy blogger had published, all across the WWW, yesterday… a post I believed I had proofread to perfection. Well, after taking a nap, I reread it and was shocked that I had used “their” instead of “there” within the phrase, “Are we their yet?”

Worse yet, I had copied and pasted that very error THREE additional times!

At first, I chuckled and muttered, “OMG how the Hell did I ever miss THAT?

But, then I started to consider the potentially serious side of sleep deficits.

Sure, groggy blogging only damages one’s credibility, but what if you’re a groggy nuclear power plant operator or brain surgeon… or a groggy motorist cruising down a heavily traveled, major thoroughfare?

In other words…

Hey everybody! Get 8 hours of sleep every night!

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s all pause for a moment…

Less than 1 hour ago, humankind learned that 10 Million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed, worldwide. Were everybody tested / evaluated, one wonders how much higher that stat would become.

At virtually the same time, another grim statistic became linked, forevermore, to coronavirus’ unchecked, deadly march across our planet.

In a mere, ½ year, ½ million members of our human family have passed through Earth’s Exit Signs… needlessly so… considering how too damned many leaders could not… or worse yet… chose not to honor, the time-honored science.

Further details are available via the real-time counter, which tops off this website’s homepage.

In consideration of the bedridden and to honor all who’ve perished… let’s all pause for a moment…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bygone Bullies Prepared Me For 2020

My younger self would’ve never believed it possible that, come 2020, I’d actually be able to put a positive spin on being bullied from the 4th grade thru the 9th grade (inclusive)… in other words, for 46% of my K-12 pubic schooling experience.

What I learned from being verbally / physically assaulted… even spat on… had actually given me some firsthand insight into discrimination and brutality issues. And my retreat from that ugly scene had even better prepared me for coping with a pandemic shut down world.

You see, my tormentors had unwittingly taught me what it feels like to be discriminated against. In turn, feeling sorry for myself had actually taught me how to feel empathy for similarly persecuted individuals. So, whenever / wherever I see oppression rearing its ugly head… well… my heart sinks and eyes tear up.

To put a face on wretched discriminatory conduct, we look no further than Donald J. Trump’s insensitive, in-your-face and online bullying… all for the express purpose of devaluing precious human beings based upon their ethnicity, religion, orientation, physical attributes and disabilities. And as if that weren’t bad enough, already, there are also his stunningly childish, vicious, ad hominem verbal attacks.

But let’s dig deeper into to the specifics of my days of yore M.O. to avoid bullies. To put it into pandemic parlance… this involved none other than social distancing / isolating. Other than my parents and only sibling, my only after school contacts with humanity had been listening to my transistor radio in my bedroom. The affable DJs and the recording artists they featured, during their broadcasts, had become akin to my surrogate friends.

By the time my rebellious teen years arrived, I opted to appear so radically different from my oppressors that I grew my hair long. Interestingly enough, my winding up in violation of my school’s stringent grooming protocols, left the assistant principal few options but to suspend me! And this was to punish me HOW? Anyway, in time, long hair styles became my lifelong preference. And that certainly doth work out well when a pandemic shuts down the barber shops.

Granted, about three years into the new millennium, I began entertaining the notion of seeking and experiencing the life I had never had… i.e. to make the most of whatever time I have left… but how doth one quickly kick lifelong, hermitlike habits, such as mine? Of course, the Trumpian Flu soon rendered that Q a moot point.

Ergo, I’ve now come to the realization that that life may never happen… mainly because the powers that be… drawing on the abundance of their density and rapacity… have opted to prematurely re-open our world. And… long sigh… the resurgence of COVID-19 is already underway.

Now, whether or not we’re ordered back into our bunkers, that’s where I’ll be. These days, I won’t even need to rely on radio DJs anymore.

You see, yearning for a career that would jibe with my reclusive lifestyle, I had chosen Communications Arts for my college major… i.e., in hopes the radio station studio might, someday, become my new hide out from a bully saturated world.

And, when that plan didn’t pan out, I set up a modest home studio… where in the months of corona sequestration, yet to come, I’ll be spinning my own LPs / CD’s for an audience of one… moi.

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sánchez Synopsizes / Segues Trekian Tunes

To quote their YouTube posted sentiments…

“Davor Jelacic & Rebeca ‘Becky’ Sánchez are VioDance, a duo of DJ/producer and a classically trained violinist, also multi-instrumentalist. In Spain, where we reside, we record violin covers in our home studio, and shoot music videos to share them on YouTube.” [Read Related Article]

Thanks to Sánchez and Jelacic one of their cover projects has now become our Vid of the Day.

As for my WordPress posted sentiments…

When the best days of one’s homeland can be best seen within life’s rear view mirror and, in the here and now, the views appear both harrowing and hopeless, beaming up to the Star Trek Universe can clear the short-term path to escapism; may even afford one a more enduring sense of deliverance.

Whether or not I’ve aptly described your own homeland’s situation, Ms. Sánchez’s violin driven symphonic score… which synopsizes / segues seven of Star Trek’s small screen theme songs… will restore or reaffirm one’s hope for a stellar future.

As Spock would add: Live long and prosper!

About all I can add is: Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Ain’t Wonderland

 

• Wonder Bread is produced by an established in 1921 bakery, which is indigenous to the North American continent. Each loaded with bleached flour, lily white slice is so devoid of nutrients, flavor and overall character that one has to wonder…

How could such bland bread remain some consumers’ much sought after brand?

• Wonder Bread is also an Americanism. Each stateside statement is used to describe predominantly lily white communities so devoid of racial diversity, that one has to wonder…

How could such tastelessness ever become some inhabitants’ much sought after milieu?

• Wonder Bread also describes the way I recall the early decades of my lifelong hometown… a locale where some of the bygone realtors’ collective attitude had been abundantly bigoted. Why else did our one and only African-American family wind up dwelling right next to the well traveled by freight trains, railroad tracks?

Even as a young boy, I could sense the wrongness of expecting someone to live right next to such unbearable noise. As an adolescent, I finally identified this as racism’s stench. I also realized that, when Wonder Bread communities have few victims to target, some of the locals can and will “think up” new prejudices… albeit not much brain power goes into their “think up” process.

I first became the target of the narrow-minded, when elementary school bullies singled me out as a nine-year-young boy. To this very day, I still have absolutely no inkling as to what I could’ve ever done to trigger their hostility. In fact, in some instances, I did not even know my tormentors’ names! But, none of that mattered to them. From grades 4 thru 9 (inclusive) they did their damnedest to assault me… mostly verbally / sometimes physically. To cite a couple examples…

• Thoughtless Kenny’s mouth incessantly spewed his hateful, hurtful thoughts at me. One morning, he went over to a drinking fountain to, momentarily, water down his message… albeit, not in a good way. Doing an about face, at point blank range, he next punched his bulging cheeks to geyser forth his foul spit / water mixture right in my face.

• In a playground incident, bully Bob roughed me up, held my arms behind my back so his accomplice, James, could punch me in the stomach… so hard that I nearly puked.

Worse yet, no amount of my parents’ written and phoned complaints could ever convince my school’s principal that [1] his raging out of control, unpunished pals were not only denying me my education but also killing my spirit, [2] his always allying with bullies rendered his school no better than an overflowing with discrimination cesspool and [3] left unchecked, his toxic environment could even devolve into something far more grave.

In retrospect, I’ve got to wonder, what would’ve happened had I not skipped school? Had my absence denied my tormentors their chance? “Chance to do what?” you ask? Well let’s just say…

It’s likely a wonder that I lived to tell about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The DIY Pandemic Mechanic

 

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Not a new adage by any means but, against the unattractive backdrop of COVID-19, these very words did serve as my save my own butt, call to action. After all, the alternative would be to go out in public. The consequences might include getting gravely ill and, eventually, dropping dead. Now, on to my story…

“The Problem” arose about ten days ago. Just as I was completing my weekly yard work, years worth of metal fatigue had finally weakened my electric weed whacker’s, built into the handle, connection prongs. On the plus side, I was damned lucky they hadn’t totally broken off and lodged within the extension cord’s outlet.

Essentially, this was a device, with an otherwise perfectly functional motor, which had been rendered utterly useless. Ordinarily, I’d have hopped into my car, headed over to the nearest home improvement store and blown about fifty of my hard-earned dollars to purchase a replacement.

But, seeing how the malfeasance, negligence and ignorance of my homeland’s infantile leader had rendered running life’s simplest errands arduous and perilous, I rapidly scuttled such an undertaking. On the plus side, I may’ve even avoided a much too soon meeting with the undertaker, too.

However, unlike said “leader”, I realized I could avoid COVID-19 by donning my thinking cap and getting down to work.

After all, this involved a repair task that any self-respecting electrician could do in her / his sleep. And, since I do have approximately 30, mid 1970s era, electrical engineering college credits under my belt, I felt qualified to get ‘er done.

True, sans a manufacturer’s schematic diagram, I’d need to pay particularly close attention during disassembly… i.e., mentally map out the details of this device’s inner-workings (e.g., wiring, polarity issues, how the trigger switch interfaced, etc.).

The very fact that I’d need my Allen wrench to remove the handle’s five screws, amply emphasized the manufacturer’s public safety concerns. This was their way of posting a KEEP OUT / NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS WITHIN sign. I mean they certainly did not want DIY’ers getting electrocuted.

My game plan was to [1] sever the wires to the two prongs, remove and discard them, [2] strip off approximately two centimeters of each wire’s insulation, [3] splice on a short segment of similar grade wiring (with a preexisting attached plug) and [4] exit this wire out the old prongs’ preexisting apertures. My having two rolls of different color duct tape certainly did come in handy to address the wire polarity and new insulation issues.

Prior to reassembly I decided to run a test. To protect myself from potential electrocution, I donned a pair of insulating, plastic gloves (just in case I had, somehow, mucked this up). Triggering the motor, in an instant, it roared back to life (with absolutely no sparks flying / tripped circuit breaker). Tightening the five screws to secure the handle’s cover, it was Mission Accomplished!

Granted, I’d NEVER recommend repairs of a technical, potentially DANGEROUS nature to folks with no training. But, success such as mine, does demonstrate how, desperate times don’t necessarily require measures that are all that desperate. It is entirely possible for us to draw upon our own unique (sometimes latent) talents to work the problem… to reassert our DIY / can-do spirit.

Such an attitude will come in handy whenever a “leader’s” go-to-hell-you-are-on-your-own attitude is as good as it gets.

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream and Ginger Ale Floats

 

This past Friday, against the backdrop of the unseasonably cold, May, Michigan wind gusts, my next-door neighbor and I had a brief, impromptu, early a.m. chat. Facing each other, while socially distancing at far more than the recommended two meters, our cordial conversation had taken on necessary, yet, discernibly inappropriate decibels.

I say, “inappropriate” because expressed sorrow, such as hers, should not sound like a shouting match. Her story…

Sadly, one week earlier, on her 77th wedding anniversary, she had become a widow.

Their children and grandchildren had gathered to reminisce… to offer their ice cream / ginger ale float toasts to their guest of honor… the family patriarch… to share cherished memories of his ninety-six-year long roller coaster ride through life… inclusive of this couple’s love story… the wedding between two love-at-first-sight, high school sweethearts… the till-death-do-us part union, which not even the devastation of World War II could tear asunder. And he did honorably serve his country.

It was throughout this celebration of life, that his vital signs gradually, gently faded into oblivion.

Almost immediately, our now two-days-old conversation had focused on how our current world health crisis would not even permit a more traditional gravesite memorial service. Inevitably, we echoed our mutual, low opinion of “the leader” whose negligence would not even permit people to exit our world with all the dignified formalities they are due.

As we talked onward, I wondered, yet, dared not to ask if COVID-19 had complicated his preexisting respiratory issues. It was only while reading his online obituary that I learned that this dread disease had not been a (known) medical complication.

Over the course of these past two days, my thoughts have turned and returned to her family and mine… how… due to five decades’ worth of totally inconsequential differences of opinion… families could physically dwell right next door to each other, yet, remain emotionally world’s apart.

But, it is what it is… or stated more accurately… it is what it was.

You see, it had been seventeen springs ago that I began to sense our families drawing closer together. After all, this couple had taken the time to dress up and show up at my mother’s memorial service… to be there, for me, in my hour of need. Oh, how I wish I could’ve responded in kind and attended the formal memorial service he was… and still is… due.

I don’t know if there are any future plans for such a service, but if it ever does happen…

If there’s still a breath in my body and clear thought in my head, I will be there. Till then?

If pandemic panicked shoppers have not been hoarding ginger ale and ice cream, too, I will soon be adding these float ingredients to my shopping cart.

At the very least, I must offer my belated toast heavenward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sure-Fire “Cure” for Cabin Fever?

As inherently freedom loving social beings, it’s only natural for all of us to miss our pre-pandemic lives. It’s also instinctive to feel hemmed in… experience Cabin Fever… when our concerted efforts to save humanity necessitate our sequestration.

For what it’s worth, I’ve discovered one way to help me adapt to this (hopefully) only-once-in-a-lifetime experience. I don’t know if this will work for you, but… what the hell… here goes…

Interestingly enough, it’s actually been during my (masked and stay centered within my 2 meter bubble) ventures thru my lifelong hometown, where I’ve discovered how rapidly I can forget the liberation of the sunshiny, in full bloom, springtime moment.

All that takes is the first glimpse of my compatriots… their masks which mask non-smiles… the nearly palpable sadness and fear in their eyes… our intoxicated with anxiety, staggering gait as we do our utmost to stay apart.

That’s more than enough to spook me into rushing through my infrequent visits to the post office and grocery store… and more to the point… to scare me into scurrying back home… ASAP.

It’s at that very moment, when I realize that, at this juncture, I’d much rather be inside my home / cocoon / isolation chamber than taking risks within the unpredictable, perilous outside world.

There will be other springs in the years, yet to come, and we can survive to revel in them, anew… if… and ONLY IF… we play it safe now… play by all of the medical experts’ rules.

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy!

 

ADDENDUM: My thanks and kudos to Jon Pumper
for providing the perfect soundtrack for this post…
a.k.a. My Corona Home – (“Kokomo” Parody Song)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’ll NEVER happen?

 

17 springs ago… I officially inherited a bain-marie (a.k.a. double boiler), which, from c1968 onward, had simmered to perfection, many a piping hot, tasty bowlful of oatmeal, cornmeal and cream of wheat for my father, mother, sister and me.

I also inherited the buildup of accumulated minerals, which had lined the bottom section. Each time I’d look at that sickly shade of tan, approximately 2mm / 0.125inch thick layer, I wished I could remove it… yet… without fail… would conclude…

“That’ll NEVER happen!”

Why I warmly welcomed “Ms. Marie” in my kitchen was, mainly, for sentimental reasons. Each time “she” helped me prepare breakfast, there was that sense of continuity / linkage to fond memories of my gathered around the breakfast table family. There was a pragmatic reason, too. This double boiler’s appearance, otherwise, was still presentable.

3 mornings ago… while preparing a new batch of oatmeal, I heard this short series of loud banging noises… and soon afterwards a bunch of clunking sounds. Well, seeing how this odd racket had come towards the end of the preparation cycle, anyway, my suspense was short-lived.

Within seconds of lifting off the top section, I realized my 17 year-old-wish had been granted. That entire eons old, built-up layer had miraculously broken free and into chunks.

Granted… that lower section still doesn’t look brand-shiny-new, but at least its more presentable.

Admittedly… not all of life’s oft complex problems are as insignificant as the cruddy insides of a double boiler.

Even so… I’ve still got to wonder… how many times, in our day-to-day lives, do we hastily, erroneously conclude…

“That’ll NEVER happen?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build The Soundtrack To Survive The Pandemic

In younger days, I discovered a surefire Rx to chase away the blues / blahs / doldrums / emotional storm clouds… whatever ya wanna call ‘em. And no, I’m not talking about OTC meds / controlled substances / illicit street drugs… whatever ya wanna call ‘em.

Of course, lyrically speaking, John Lennon and Paul McCartney euphemistically called ‘em “friends” while Keith Richards and Mick Jagger opted for “little helpers”… but… lest I dig myself too deeply into the pit of digression… allow me to refocus…

What my “drugs” of choice actually involve are musical selections, which contain as many of the following active ingredients as possible: [1] whimsical or meaningful lyrics [2] compelling arrangements, [3] intricate chord progressions, [4] shifting key signatures.

Well… we’re in luck! The Welsh/Brit band Badfinger’s, Carry On Till Tomorrow has all four bases covered. They recorded it back in 1970, under the auspices of producer Sir Paul McCartney, no less! And song composers Tom Evans and Pete Ham’s minor chords, notwithstanding, their guitar driven musical arrangement, interwoven with lyrical rays of hope, drive it all home. Oh, btw, of the Four Stanzas my fave is the 3rd… but more about that in a moment.

Granted, my affinity for Carry On is not without good reason. I first heard it over my staticky FM car radio’s tinny speakers on Friday 11/09/1973, right after my early a.m. spin-out on an icy freeway overpass… one where I had narrowly averted a head-on collision with a semi-tractor-trailer. Winding up with nary a scratch on my body, my Chevy Nova’s body and any of the other motorists’ corporeal or vehicular bodies… well… to this very day… I still believe everyone’s unscathed condition had involved a miracle. I must’ve had an unseen co-pilot tug at my panic frozen hands… just in the nick of time… to steer everyone out of harm’s way. By the by, to date, this has been the closest I’ve ever come to death.

Just as I was drifting back into the slow flow of traffic on this stormy day, Carry On Till Tomorrow was carrying on, against the backdrop of the rising sun, breaking through the overcast and transforming the adjacent, freeway shoulders’ thigh high weeds into golden fields. WOW! In real time and nearly on cue, I was living out the 3rd stanza’s lyrics… check ’em out and try not to ditto my “WOW!”

“Drifting on the wings of freedom, leave this stormy day
And we’ll ride to tomorrow’s golden fields
For my life’s too short for waiting when I see the rising sun
Then I know again that I must carry on”

While the music continued melding with the meteorology, I offered, upward, my undying gratitude for all the tomorrows I was certain that (t)his miracle had just granted me.

My listening to this track, anew, earlier today, has reminded me of my long ago spiritual experience. Carry On Till Tomorrow is far more than a Tom Evans / Pete Ham song title. Even sans the miracle, this composition can stand alone as a motivational selection. I mean, the words “carry on” are right in the song title and get sung nearly 30 times… in just under 5 minutes.

I’ve now, officially, added this anthem to my playlist, which I’ve dubbed: The Soundtrack To Survive the Pandemic. Even if you’re not into tunes originating from this dinosaur’s musical epoch, don’t dismiss the overall concept. I highly recommend that you track down whatever anthems mean the most to you and create your own, unique version of The Soundtrack To Survive the Pandemic. Rallying around such music can be your morale booster. My version certainly is a mood elevator!

Danny McEvoy’s 03/31/2015 following cover will breathe new life into this rock classic, advance composers Tom Evans and Pete Ham’s half century old masterpiece into the new millennium and end this post… save to say…

Stay Safe – Stay Home – Stay Healthy… and Carry On Till Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… et cetera…