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So, some of you may recognize the title and where it comes from.  It is from Rocky IV and it’s a quote from Ivan Drago after knocking Apollo Creed unconscious of what was supposed to be an exhibition bout.  It is also the subject of today’s corvid-19 blog.  How’s that for gloom and doom?

I recently saw a report that quoted Texas lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick as saying that…  Hold on …  I want to see the video …  From Fox News … Here is exactly what he said, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and your grandchildren?  And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”  I literally just watched his interview on Fox, and that is exactly what he said, so there is no dispute on interpretation.  Is this a fair exchange?  Does it make sense?  One can make the argument that poverty kills millions, whereas Corvid-19 has not come close to other mechanisms of mortality.  I will be honest with you, I think a point can be made to make sure the economy remains intact, in spite of the coronavirus.  I have thought about this, but I have come to one simple conclusion/problem.  Am I willing to take a chance on my survival if it impacts the survival of others?  I am not.

Here is the problem I have with Mr. Patrick’s statement.  Are all senior citizens willing to forego treatment in the event they contract Corvid-19?  Are all senior citizens willing to cut themselves off from the public?  What is the age cutoff?  Eighty percent of deaths have been of people 65 and older.  Does health matter?  Of those that died, those with cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, or high blood pressure were at increased risk.  Everyone above 65 would have to be not only quarantined, but denied health care.  Because honestly, this is the only way it would work.

This is what we told our kids.  If you get the virus, you will probably be fine.  But what if you give it to a friend (who will also probably be fine), but that friend gives it to the grocery store cashier, and that cashier gives it to your 80 year old grandmother?  Is that still fine?  They said no, that is not fine.

It’s one thing to gamble your own survival, but in this case, it is gambling the survival of others, without their permission.  We put it to our kids in another way.  What if someone is in a car accident and the local hospital can’t treat them because they are too busy with Corvid patients?  Our kids also said that would be unacceptable.

Look, this is not easy. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  We can provide support for our neighbors.  We can make sure that those hit hardest by this economic hit have a safety net.  The experts tell us, if we do nothing, the economic hit will be far greater than the economic hit of a few weeks of shelter in place.  If you think about it, how amazing is it that we live in a country where everyone can be fed even during a shelter in place order.  The only reason, and I mean the ONLY reason stores are out of stock is because of hoarding.  We can be better. We have to be better.  I hear that Mr. Patrick is willing to risk his own survival, but in doing so, he is risking the survival of others.  Basically what he is saying, is that if he is sick, the rest of the country should just say, “If he dies, he dies.” (roll credits).  That’s not the American way, that’s the Russian Ivan Drago way.

apollo-creed-and-ivan-drago-1567084535


I like Rocky IV (see above), but Rocky III is highly underrated.  I’m just sayin’…

Post Script:  It was pointed out to me that I have been writing Corvid-19, instead of Covid-19.  I was told by my friend who studies birds.  I began my graduate career studying birds.  I plan on keeping the mistake in the blog.  For those that do not know, a Corvid is short for bird in the Corvidae family.  The family includes crows, ravens, jays, and magpies to name a few.  A very intelligent group of animals, also highly annoying.  They are the a$$holes of the bird world.  Seriously.  I’m just sayin’…

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So, we are learning a lot this week.  We are learning that we love our kids, but we don’t necessarily love being with our kids.  We are learning that our K-12 teachers are severely underrated.  We are learning that despite the fact that our teenagers spend an enormous amount of time on their phones, and as adults we have accused them of not knowing how to be social; kids are missing their social peers.

I was eating lunch at our school’s cafeteria.  I noticed a round table with six male college students.  All of them were staring at their phones.  For at least 30 minutes, I don’t think a single person looked another in the eye.  As a matter of fact, the few times that hey di engage in “face to face” interaction, it was to show their friend something on the phone.  I could not stop watching this interaction and marvel at what I considered the lack of social interaction.  However, during this time of Covid-19, I would have assumed that this generation would be just fine.  Why wouldn’t they be, they don’t interact with their friends anyway.  Guess what?  They are hurting.  They miss their friends.  I find it shocking.  Students everywhere are longing for the days when they can sit next to someone, not talk, and look at their respective phones together.  If they were five years old, you know what we would call this?  Parallel play (roll credits).

So, part of the crazy young spring breakers is stupidity.  The glorious stupid youth, that most of us in a moment of honesty, would love to have back in our lives.  However, the other side of the coin that I would have you consider is the need for social interaction.  The idea of, let me have this last hurrah before you force me to shelter in place.  I kind of get it.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is the absolutely wrong thing to do in this unprecedent time.  But ye who have never wanted to do the absolutely wrong thing at he absolutely wrong time, throw the first shot (tequila shot that is).

So, if you are reading this blog and are under Covid-19 house arrest, remember, this too shall pass.  Enjoy your family.  If you are alone, Facetime someone.  Use all of that technology for good.  And here are my current Netflix recommendations:

  1.  Lost in Space – My kids and I love this series.  I would say it is OK for kids 9 and up.  Second season is a little more serious, so you might want to only consider season one for the younger crowd. Image result for voltron netflix
  2. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts – Good post apocalyptic animation.  Perfect for these times.  I liked it more than my 9 year old daughter, but she liked it as well.  It might take an episode or two to get hooked.
  3. All Hail King Julien – Hilarious.  Season 1 and 2 will have adults and kids cracking up.  It starts to go down hill after season 3.
  4. 100 Humans – This is an acquired taste.  I have no idea if you will like this show, but I loved it.
  5. Voltron – You might be surprised by this one, but I loved it as a kid and I love the Netflix version.  My 9-year-old watched the entire series and I am trying to catch up.

 

 

 

Anyway, I hope you are surviving this social distancing.  Get outside if you can.  Enjoy your time with your kids, if you can.  Find ways to make it fun.  Until next time, wash your hands, keep your distance, don’t hoard, and positive attitude.


As I write this, we are parallel working.  Daughter next to me on laptop.  Nephew on desktop in family room.  Youngest son in room on Chromebook.  Oldest son in his room on his laptop.  What kind of generation will this time create?  Think about it.  With everyone stuck in their houses with the families, it will either create stronger family bonds or weaker ones.  Increased divorce rate?  Increased birth rate?  Time will tell.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, it’s Day 2.  It’s quiet, perhaps too quiet.  I’m safe now, but for how long.  I’m not going to lie, I’m a little scared.  I hear stirring.  I think it’s about to happen.  (creeeeeeek!)  Not yet!  I see it!  It’s awake.  “What’s for breakfast?”  Noooooooooooooo!  The kids are still in the house.  Ugh….

I am not sure if you heard, but there is a virus going around and the kids are home for the foreseeable future.  I have the this morning’s shift before I head to work.  It’s a little crazy out there.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to comfort my department and provide words of wisdom.  I am running out words of wisdom.  At some point, I like many, will want to start acting crazy, but for now, I plan to remain calm.  Don’t panic (roll credits).  It will be alright.

About two weeks ago, my mother-in-law was over to watch the kids, while my wife, my son and I were out of town at hockey tournament.  When I came back she had bought a package of toilet paper from Costco.  At the time, I thought, that is a lot of TP.  Stupid waste of money!  Guess who is stupid now?  I am forever thankful that she made the purchase.  It was not virus related, she bought it because we were running low.  Am I glad she did.  Where would I get toilet paper now if we needed it?  It’s ridiculous!   What’s going on?

Do you realize if everyone behaved normally, we would have everything we needed for everyone?  EVERYONE!! (shout out to The Professional, Natalie Portman’s best movie of her career.  Disagree?  I’ll fight you!)  Show me one announcement of a TP shortage.  One document that states TP production is affected by the Coronavirus.  Nope.  It all because of human panic.  So, don’t panic!

Also, why can’t I get meat at the stores?  Is there a magical meat protection from the virus? People be crazy!  People hoard the weirdest things.  It’s like during threat of snow in North Carolina and all the bread and milk are gone; the two most perishable items in the store.  How does that make any sense?!? So, I have been thinking.  If this was a true zombie apocalypse, what would I hoard?  Here is my top 5 things to hoard list in the event of a zombie apocalypse:

  1.  Rice
  2. Flour
  3. Beans
  4. Seeds
  5. Dog Food

For me rice is easy, especially brown rice.  Rice is easy to store.  Rice last a really long time.  It’s compact, so does not take up much space.  Super easy to cook.  Brown rice has more nutrition than white, so it’s the superior choice.

Flour, similar to rice is easy to store, but not as compact.  However, easy to make edible food with just water.

Beans are highly nutritious and can be stored for a very long time.  Also, easy to prepare.  Seeds of course are for the future and food longevity.  I would probably select seeds of vegetables that grow rather quickly, such as spinach, arugula, green onions and tomatoes (although probably the slowest grower of this group).

And finally, dog food.  We love are dog.  Also great for protection if necessary.  Dog food lasts a really long time if stored probably and can be used for human food consumption in a pinch.


Speaking of zombies.  How do zombies work?  Muscles require ATP or they experience rigor mortis.  What’s producing ATP in a zombie?  Cells are dead.  It’s basic physiology! Oh well, but if there ever is a true zombie apocalypse, we are moving to Montana.  It get cold.  Zombies can’t move through snow well or handle difficult terrain.  Finally, the gun to person ratio is through the roof!  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, it’s your first pandemic?  Hey!  It’s mine too.

I am surprised at the reaction of many to our current situation.  Some are taking it way too seriously, and inciting fear.  Others are not taking it serious enough, and calling all of our preparations a joke.  In response to this, I decided to post something on Facebook, and was surprised at the reactions (positive).  So, I decided to bring my blog out of retirement and post it.  If you have fears or anxiety regarding the coronavirus, perhaps the following words will help.

Image result for don't panic

Facebook Post:

I will try to keep this brief. Don’t panic. However, it is a big deal. Please stop hoarding. Please stop freaking out. Please stop down playing the seriousness of this virus. Please stop inciting fear. I encourage you to focus on one important goal: Slowing the spread of the virus. The issue is not that we are all going to die. The issue is that we don’t want to overrun our healthcare system. More people will get sick. Unfortunately, a percentage will die, but it will be a lot worse if we act business as usual. If we do things correctly, we will look back and say “That was not such a big deal.” Not because it wasn’t a big deal, but because we did things correctly.

Five suggestions you might find helpful. 1. Wash your hands. 2. Social distancing. 3. Decrease travel. 4. Feel sick, stay home (unless told to do otherwise by a medical professional) and avoid immune compromised and elderly. 5. Relax

Bonus: I know many of you like to stir up the pot on Facebook. Not the time. Let’s support one another. Sorry, not so brief.

———————————————————————————————————-

So, that’s what I wrote.  And to my surprise, many found it useful.  I hope you will too.  Perhaps, I will write more often until this thing is all over.  And trust me, one day it will be all over, and hopefully we will look back and say, “That wasn’t so bad.”

 

 

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I am actually not in favor of kneeling during the National Anthem, but it doesn’t make me angry. And I don’t see it as an intended disrespect to our military. My father served in the military. He had a 21 gun salute at his funeral and everything. Funny, I don’t remember the National Anthem at his funeral.

However, I do understand the interpretation of kneeling as disrespectful to the flag and maybe even the country. I am a big fan of respect. If I were to attend a synagogue, I would cover my head if asked to out of respect, although I am not Jewish. If I was asked to remove my shoes in someone’s home, in this country or another, I would remove them out of respect. However, does kneeling during the National Anthem represent an inappropriate form of protest? Are their protest rules? I am going to ignore the purpose of the protest for now (although I would argue it is the only thing that matters) but choose to examine the outrage and treating kneeling as synonymous with disrespect for our country and our military.

If kneeling during the Anthem is disrespectful, what else is disrespectful? Is it disrespectful to talk during the anthem? Can I continue ordering my hot dog or beer? Can I drink my beer during the anthem? Can I answer a text? What if I stand but don’t sing? If I am at work, and someone breaks out and starts singing the National Anthem, do I have to stand? Or is it only official at sporting events? If I am watching the game at home, is it a protest if I don’t actually get off the couch? And again, not to put too fine a point on this, but do I have to stop drinking my beer?

Maybe you just don’t like Colin Kaepernick. Maybe you are jealous of people making millions for playing a game. Although I am always struck how no one seems to mind the billionaire owners for running the games, but I digress. Maybe you don’t like big rich black guys. Of the top 10 highest paid athletes, only 4 or 5 of them are black. Four or five? Is Lewis Hamilton black? Someone get back to me on that. Of the top 25, only two of them are NFL players and they are white quarterbacks. My point is, there are a lot people getting millions of dollars for playing a game, and I’m always struck how the black players, especially black NFL players seem to get the most criticism. Don’t believe me? Look it up. You’d be surprised at how few NFL players are in the top 50. And you’re going to boycott the NFL? Something to think about as you read in utter disagreement and disgust at my words. You know I’m right though.

OK. So, if it isn’t the kneeling, or the blackness, maybe it’s the protest itself.

What am I allowed to protest? How am I allowed to protest it? Apparently there are rules. The rules indicate that I can protest as long I don’t say anything disrespectful to the United States of America. What if I’m protesting America? Well, then, I’m a communist and I should leave this country. Because apparently, unless I think the US is the greatest country in the world, I don’t belong here. I am not exactly sure how this makes sense. There are actually some legitimate reasons to believe that we are not the best country in the world. Here are some facts about this country:

1865 marks the end of over a century of slavery
1890 US massacres hundreds of Sioux Indians, nearly half women and children because they wanted to maintain their Sioux ways and continue to live in peace where they lived for the last several thousand years, still significantly longer than the age of the United States.
1893 United States essentially overthrows the Hawaiian monarchy, eventually annexing it as the 50th state.
1920 Women gain the right to vote after a century of work, including, protests, strikes, and picketing the White House.
1924 Congress gives indigenous people right to citizenship, however, many states blocked their right to vote till 1965 Voting Rights Act. Thousands of native veterans were not allowed to vote upon returning from war.
1954 Segregation deemed unconstitutional, but written as black schools were inferior to white schools (which was not the case).
1964 Civil Rights Act
1968 Martin Luther King Jr assassinated
1995 Oklahoma City bombing, domestic anti government terrorists killing more than 160 people, including a daycare center.
1999-Present marred by US bombings of other countries and war.
2001 World Trade Center Attack
2008 Financial Crisis, the banks let us down.
2008 The United State’s first black president, Barack Obama
Soon after The Tea Party is born to protest the new government.
2015 Same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 US states. Maybe at this point homosexuals can respect the country they live in. Right?
2012-2017 some of the most deadly mass shootings in US history

We currently have a President whose main form of communication is Twitter.

I am not a fan of Trump. I’m not a fan of the kneeling. I believe the reason for the protest is valid. Did the last three sentences cause your brain to explode. What can I say? I’m complex. Although I’m not a fan of the kneeling, I truly don’t believe we would be having this discussion without it. So what do we do? If it were me, I’d stop with the name calling. Stop telling people that they should stand or leave the country. Another history lesson: We’ve been here before. Here’s a phrase you can try, “I don’t agree with this kneeling business, but I would like to know your opinion. Why do you think it is OK?” or, “Let’s have a beer and discuss why you think Kaepernick’s actions have to mean disrespect to our military.” Did I mention I like beer?

Too adult? Well, maybe it’s time we grew up as a country and put on our big boy and girl pants. Because we are seriously behaving like little kids on a playground. Well, you can have your seesaw and swings, I like adult toys. Roll credits.

(Full disclosure, this is where I named the blog and I loooove it!)

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Quick blog:

I am just returning from a meeting with the Dean of my school.  I had to conduct the meeting standing up.  I apologized for half of my body being soaked with water.

Rewind 40 minutes …

I was in my office, working on a GRE Prep class and a manuscript.  It suddenly hit me that I was very hungry.  I headed over to the university cafeteria.  The place looked abandoned.  Was I too early?  Nope, I see two students casually reading at a nearby booth.  Nobody is at the cashier station to pay for entrance.  What is going on?  Then, I notice five workers frantically mopping up a flood of water.  The water is spreading fast.  I see that the cabinent underneath a sink is open and gushing out water.

I ask, “What happened?”  One person replied, “Pipe busted!”  Everyone is clearly frazzled and scrambling to soak up the water.  In my mind, I think, you can mop all day, it ain’t going to help till you get that water turned off.  So, in my calm and helpful tone, “As anyone tried turning the knob?”  I receive five blank stares.  In my mind, “Crap!”

I push up my proverbial sleeves and walk to the sink.  It’s a freakin’ Dells water ride in there (some of you get the reference).  I can’t reach the knob.  “Crap!”  On my side, in the water, body in the water works, I reach the knob, turn it, water flow stops.  I grab a plate, fill it with food, and head to a seat.  And no, I didn’t even attempt to pay for it.  One of the workers said, “Yeah, he eats free today.”  You got that right.

All of my schooling.  I have a PhD and I marvel on how most people can’t do the basic things of life.  Why don’t people know how to do stuff? (roll credits)

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Several weeks ago, I was asked if my kids could participate in a photo shoot for Krispy Kreme donuts.  I of course said yes, because my kids are cute.  The pay was also good, we received 8 coupons for a free dozen donuts.  That’s a lot of donuts!  As we were preparing for the shoot, the photographer informed me that I needed to be there by a certain time.  She insinuated that “I” needed to be there.  Of course I needed to be there, I can’t just leave my minors alone with photographers.  No, meaning that I was going to be in the pictures as well.  Well, that just seemed crazy to me.  My kids are cute, me, not so much, at least not national photo shoot cute.  It turns out the shoot was meant for Father’s Day, hence the request for my presence.  I just assumed they had fake dads for that, but I digress.  I don’t know if Krispy Kreme will actually use the photos taken, but if they do, I will provide a link.

(I began this blog long ago, but never finished it. Since that time, I have discovered that Krispy Kreme did post a pix from that shoot. It was for Father’s Day. They did not post a pix with my daughter, which is ridiculous, as she is the cutest of us.)

Well, if I am going to have my picture taken, and those photos may end up nationally available, I needed to get my head right.  I needed a hair cut, more importantly, I needed a barber shop (roll credits), specifically, a black barber shop.

Now, you may or not be aware, but black folks have different type of hair compared to other races.  Of course, there are races with similar hair challenges, but if we just stick with the ever popular black/white dichotomy, black folks have different hair from white folks.

One day while driving to the grocery store, I thought I saw a black person leave a barber shop.  I thought, cool, a barber near my house.  So, before the photo shoot I stepped into the shop.  It was a very hot day and the blinds of the barber shop were closed.  I could not see into the place, even though I tried really hard.  The last thing I wanted was to enter into an unknown situation and embarrass myself.  (Can you guess what happens next?)

I took a deep breath, open the door and walked in.  A wave of cold air hits my face, both literally and metaphorically.  The white barber and the white customers stopped what they were doing and stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.  This type of event has happened to me before.  I always envision the old Wild West and band players playing their Wild West tunes.  A stranger walks into the bar, and the music stops and everyone in the tavern looks at the incoming man, as if to say, telepathically, in unison, “You don’t belong here.”  The closest I have ever come to this in real life, was at a pizza parlor in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  A bunch of bikers were eating and drinking and I felt so out of place, I ended up leaving.  A friend who was their and stayed, later told me that the group of bikers ended up ordering sodas and laughing a lot.  Never judge a book …

So, the white barber asks me, “Can I help you?”  Luckily for me, I think very quickly.  “Um, I thought you guys would be black.  My bad.”  This story would probably be funnier if I actually said that, but I was having a clever day.  What I actually said was, “I’m sorry.  I think I am in the wrong place.  A friend of mine said he was going to meet me at the barber shop, but I think I have the wrong one.  Because he’s obviously not here.”  The barber than asked a very appropriate question, “What’s the name of the barber shop?” I replied, “That is a very good question.”  No, not really, I said, “I can’t remember.”  The barber preceded to give me directions to a barber just down the road.  And said maybe I’d find my friend there.

I turned on my heels as quickly as I could and headed to the next barber shop.  I don’t THINK I turn red when I blush, but if I do, I was a strawberry in that place.  Once again, the inside of the next barber shop could not be seen, so I took a deep breath and entered.  The cool black breeze wafted over me like Lando Calrissian (come on! that’s funny).  I had found my barber shop.

Now, here is the real punch line to this blog.  White folks were getting their hair cut there.  What!?!  When did this happen?  I remember going to the barber as a kid.  It was like a secret society.  A place where black folks could let their hair down (insert rimshot).  Music in the background.  Barbers asking after your family.  People being loud.  Someone telling a story that someone else thinks is hilarious.  And always the one barber that had nothing to do, because everyone knew he was going to mess your fade up!

Is the opposite true?  Outside of Super Cuts, or Sport Clips (and no matter what they tell you, they do not know how to cut a black person’s hair) are black people going to white barbers?  I think not!  The stealing of black culture stops here!  White folks, you don’t need to be going to black barbers.  You just don’t need it!  You know what?  I blame Trump for this.  That’s right, I said it.

Maybe this is good, maybe it’s not, but it was one of the last places of segregation that I thought everyone was still amazingly OK with, but I guess I was wrong.  Yeah, I know, this blog has taken a weird turn, but it just surprised me is all.  Maybe next time I need a hair cut, I’ll head to that first white barber.  And once again, he’ll ask, “Can I help you?” And I’ll say, “Yeah you can help me.  I got next! ¡Viva la Revolución!”

 

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