Coffee heat rising


i wanna get off!

Seriously… Don’t you feel like we’ve gone through the Looking Glass and come out on the other side?

Fires and smoke consuming Canada and the East Coast. War rages on in Eastern Europe. A living former president of the United States is indicted for a felony. A former prime minister of Great Britain stalks off the job. And Apple brings us a technology that blends reality and fantasy into one weird world.

Not that the world wasn’t already weird enough….

  • Boris Johnson, yes, quits as the UK’s prime minister — a little too much indiscretion about the partying.
  • Mark Zuckerberg brings us a fancy new headset that blends reality with fantasy. And why not? Who can tell the difference, as it is?
  • The former President of the United States is indicted for a felony that he signed into law.
  • Same Pretend President is found to have boxloads of state secrets hidden in his shower.
  • Canada is burning down.
  • The smoke from Canada is asphyxiating the northeastern U.S.
  • Chat GPT is scaring the bedoodles out of the guy who developed it.
  • A logjam of cargo ships is already piling up off the West Coast: more to come.
  • There’s such a thing as “revenge travel” these days.
  • AI is charging up the road like a demented buffalo.
  • A new prescription treatment for Alzheimer’s is coming up the pike. Let’s hope it works! 😀 It’ll be just about on time for the likes of me. Unfortunately, it appears to have a high incidence of untoward side effects. Plus to get it, you have to have a biweekly IV infusion — doesn’t that sound like fun!


Ahhh, the Gnus of the Day.

I refuse to pay for TV. Profoundly, indeed, did I resent our Civic Fathers taking free, off-the-air television away from us. I could see paying for cable if there were something worth watching, or if something that runs regularly were worth paying for. But, alas…unless you’re a sports fan, there really isn’t much of anything that, IMHO, is worth plunking down a monthly fee.

Seriously: if you have the Internet (which most of us do), you can import just about all the televised drivel you can stand to contemplate, right on your computer. Ad-free. I use a big iMac to follow the news and the very few PBS shows still worth watching. Why pay extra for that stuff?


Meanwhile, closer to home:

I’ve been too sick to pay the bills, what with this li’l covid adventure. Most of them autopay. But a couple don’t, because I don’t much trust this or that vendor. Cox, alas, is one of them. Just realized I probably didn’t pay the recent Cox bill, because I’ve been too distracted to notice which bills were what.

So tomorrow I’ll have to get on the phone and pay that by charging it up on the AMEX card.



One of covid’s interesting effects is to render your brain nonfunctional. Thus: never did hit “publish” on this post. Never did pay the phone bill.

Still seem to be online, though. First thing after dawn (it’s about 3 a.m. now), the phone predicament will have to be dealt with.

Coughing coughing coughing coughing. Every BARK BARK BARK rips into the spavined back and the sore hip.

Gotta try to get back to sleep!

The State of the…Whatever-We’ve-Got-Here…

Today’s Quora post:

What are your thoughts on Dr. Fauci telling reporters that America might still be battling smallpox and polio if today’s kind of misinformation existed back then?

Forward to the Past…

Military hospital during the Spanish Flu epidemic. My uncle died in one of these places.

Sometimes it feels like the 21st century is carrying us backward, not forward along the current of time. The covid plague is itself a gigantic throwback to the past, reminding us of the 1918 flu epidemic, of the recurrent waves of Black Plague, of smallpox and tetanus, of typhoid and cholera, all of which were commonplace before Louis Pasteur brought us vaccines and sanitation. Since the contagion arose, I’ve taken up a time-consuming habit of my mother’s, something she was taught to do by way of keeping her family healthy.

I grew up in a God-forsaken American camp in Saudi Arabia. In those days, the Third World was seriously the Third World, and the U.S. hadn’t been “First World” long enough for any such concepts to have taken root in the psyches of my parents and grandparents. The company — Aramco — coached all the women on sanitation practices to protect their families’ health. (Married women were not allowed to work for the company; single women came out as teachers or nurses, but if they married someone they had to quit their jobs.)

(Yes, Virginia, that WAS life in the 1950s!)

My mother had been taught that every single piece of produce had to be washed — thoroughly! — in soap and water. This was because most of the produce sold through the commissary was grown in the Middle East, where at the time agricultural fields were commonly fertilized with human waste. Amoebic dysentery was endemic…and believe me, that was an ailment you did not want to catch.

So that’s exactly what she did: every apple, every orange, every green bean, every whatEVERedible was washed manually. Lettuce and cabbage were soaked in a sinkful of dilute Clorox and then rinsed thoroughly before going into the refrigerator. We couldn’t have strawberries or raspberries or the like, because they couldn’t be sanitized in any rational way. Even a melon had be washed with soap and water: a blade slicing into an unclean melon would smear any pathogens on the skin across the melon’s flesh.

And y’know what? Washing every single piece of produce before it comes into the kitchen is THE biggest PITA that came down the pike. It’s nicely exacerbated by having to squirt every cardboard or plastic package and every tin can with disinfectant and rub it down before it can be busted open. Ugh!

It makes shopping powerfully aversive.

I think of my mother having to do that for every shopping trip over TEN YEARS…that’s how long we lived in the godforsaken place. Good grief.

No wonder she had one (count it, 1) shopping day per week!

That’s about what I’m doing, too: limiting the shopping trips to as few junkets/month as possible.

We thought it was oh! so wonderful when we came back to the states and didn’t feel that every bite of produce had to be thoroughly washed with strong soap or detergent and dipped in Clorox. One might rinse it off, but one didn’t feel that every apple and orange and can of soup had to be sanitized.

That was back when America was a “first-world country” because it was one of the only countries in the world that had a USDA and regulations that inflicted some control over the sanitation of groceries sold in stores.

No so, anymore. These days much of our food comes in from countries where farmers can’t read the (English-language) safety instructions on the toxic insecticides and some still fertilize crops with horse manure and human manure. Really, if you were at all fastidious (or in the know about imported produce), you’d dunk all your produce in a sudsy bath of Dawn detergent and water, covid-19 or no covid-19.

Between that and the plague that has brought us a contagion much like the pre-20th-century epidemics of smallpox, typhus, typhoid, cholera, influenza, tetanus, bubonic plague, yellow fever, and — yeah: influenza, it feels like we’re moving backward in time.

Back to the future. God help us.