I love you.

Yesterday I married my best friend. I know it sounds trite and cliche, but in the past four years or so that we have been together you have shown me what love and loyalty really mean. I am a cynical person by nature. Both of us have been hurt and used by those who claimed to love us, but by the healing grace of God, here we are, two broken halves made whole together.

Yes, I want to shout out to the world, which I don’t usually want to do. I am usually private and keep to myself. Forgive me for my enthusiasm😊.

Bruce, my husband, my friend, I love you. I love our little family and the life we’re building.  You give me hope and strength and confidence.

The Blame Game, Personal Responsibility and the Reality of Risk

Durex Extra Safe Latex Condoms

Forever in the history of human society- at least since the Fall- pestilence and contagion have been a constant fear and ever present danger.  Few things are more frightening than an unseen enemy that causes illness and death, especially when some are left unscathed and others die, without providing any understanding why one is afflicted and not the other.

There are a number of communicable diseases that are truly frightening and have high degrees of lethality, such as Ebola, that spread like wildfire, are almost always lethal, and have no known cure. These are diseases for which the most drastic containment measures must be taken because of their severity and potential for lethality.  Thankfully these diseases are generally rare and occur in very isolated outbreaks. Ultimately a disease that is too effective at killing its hosts becomes self-limiting and will hopefully remain both isolated and rare.

There are communicable diseases that can kill given the perfect storm of circumstances.  There are the communicable diseases that are a perennial scourge such as the common cold and the various influenza viruses that seem to elude containment or prevention (despite the barrage of yearly flu vaccines, thousands die from flu every year.)

The reality of communicable disease is that the battle against harmful microbes is an ongoing and often losing battle. A handful of deadly diseases have been eradicated due to vaccines, but new variants on old themes keep bubbling up before a vaccine can be created (think flu vaccines.)  The viruses that cause the common cold keep chugging right along despite the efforts of science to either fashion a vaccine or some other cure for it.  This isn’t to say that the fight to save lives from infectious disease is futile, but to realize that infectious disease will always be part of our reality.

I am not a microbiologist but I do know the common denominator of human life on this earth: no one gets out alive. Everyone is going to die of something.

Most of the verified COVID deaths have been in nursing homes.  Sadly most people in nursing homes have numerous health issues to begin with and are of advanced age.  Many in nursing homes ultimately die from pneumonia or other respiratory issues, which is why what may be a cold or flu that lasts a week or two for a healthy person in their thirties can be lethal for someone in their eighties with a laundry list of health conditions.

Enter the politicization of communicable disease.

It’s disturbing that people have the notion that the government- any government- has the power to protect us from ever getting a disease.  It’s even more disturbing that people on both sides of the political fence are playing the blame game, as if microbes are conservative or liberal.  The common denominator is that personal health is somewhat a matter of personal responsibility, but the spread and the effect of communicable disease is largely open to the uncertainty of chance (i.e. the genetic lottery, physical perils, microbes currently circulating in a particular area, and so on.)

Life has inherent risks.  It’s possible to slip and fall and die in the shower. Should we forbid bathing?  It’s possible to die in a car crash. Should we ban driving?  Should we continue to go on overprotecting our children and making them so risk averse that they come to believe the world owes them a pain-free and completely shielded existence?

Statistically speaking, here are few odds of dying with the causes: Drowning in a Bathtub: 1 in 685,000 (.0023%). Fatally Slipping during a Shower: 1 in 812,232. (.0028%) Being Struck by Lightning: 1 in 576,000 (.0019%). – source: Google Search

In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes – a 2% decline from 2018 (39,404 deaths) and a 4% decline from 2017 (40,231 deaths). About 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in crashes last year – also a 2% decrease over 2018 figures. – source: National Safety Council  (this translates to one in 7,732, assuming the population of the US is 300 million)

The odds don’t care if you are a flaming Marxist or the staunchest Bircher. Death (other than maybe the Clinton hits) is generally not political.

Realistically the odds of dying from COVID vary greatly based on the age and health of the victim, but averaged out (numbers from Google Search as of 7-15-20) one’s likelihood of death by COVID is .0045% A little higher than death by lightning strike, but still a lot lower than death by car accident. Most of us still take to the freeways in cars and don’t think too much of the risk inherent in that though.

I am not a statistician by trade, but age is by far the biggest determining factor regarding who dies from COVID.  If you add in other co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, breathing disorders, or obesity, then the mortality rate skyrockets.  Like pneumonia, COVID generally seems to be a “tipping point” disease.  If someone is already on the threshold of death’s door from age or chronic illness, COVID can definitely be the factor that kicks that person through death’s door.

I don’t mean to sound callous but as a society and a culture we like to believe that we are invincible and will never die.  It is gauche to mention death or <gasp> plan for it, but the hard, cold reality is that everyone is going to die of something. When we become fear stricken over a disease that a.) is going to run its course regardless of all the hysteria, masking and social distancing, b.) is going to kill some people, just as every day someone’s loved ones get killed in car accidents, and c.) shutting down the country and destroying people’s lives has done nothing but compounded the damage.

Perhaps a better choice is to live with the realization that yes, we are all going to die of something. It’s one thing to take reasonable precautions against physical danger and against contagions, but quite another to confine one’s self to a box and fail to live.

The Fine, Lost Art of Percolated Coffee

A few weeks ago I picked up an old percolator at an estate sale. I don’t know if it was curiosity or nostalgia or a bit of both that triggered me to do so, but for $3, what the hell?

Today I finally decided to open it up and see if all the pieces were in it. Miraculously, they were. So I figured I’d hose it out with bleach (because it had likely been sitting for some years) and then run white vinegar through it to get rid of any scale. Either it would work or not.

This percolator is older than I am. If I had to guess it was made some time in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. It’s a fine specimen of a model 1698-2 electric percolator made by the long-defunct Duralux company in Wooster, Ohio.

It works beautifully. I had forgotten how much mellower (and how much more highly caffeinated lol) percolated coffee is compared to automatic drip or even, God love them, Keurig pods.

So I am back in to a love affair with real coffee☕ like my grandmother made with a percolator very much like my bargain estate sale find.

Yes, I know they are a pain in the hiney to clean (though if you use the proper filter, and are careful loading the grounds, it is not much worse than cleaning an automatic drip machine) and the brew time is longer. But dammmm, that was good coffee. I haven’t had percolated coffee in at least 30 years.

Maybe it’s just nostalgia or maybe we just don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.

I had not bothered to buy a new percolator (yes, some manufacturers still make them) because they’re expensive- about $60. But for three bucks, might as well try my luck.

I have to appreciate trinkets like this that have managed to survive their way from a better managed time.

Waking up and smelling the coffee, and not just any coffee. Luscious, rich, mellow, percolated coffee. A beautiful, simple reminder that there were once things that were right with the world.

No Apologies, Stop the Hype, and the One Human Race

american flag

Having been in the automotive industry for 30+ years, I have been conditioned to apologize for a lot of things that were never my fault. I have apologized for missed deadlines due to shippers losing parts, for techs breaking things, for jobs that were found out to be far worse than the initial estimate indicated, and so on.  I know the art of the apology very well, and I am one of those people who apologizes as a sort of knee jerk reaction. You blew up your engine because you thought you were supposed to do oil changes every 50,000 miles instead of 5,000?-  I’m sorry. Weather too hot or too wet?  – I’m sorry. Kid falls and breaks his/her leg? – I’m sorry.  It just rolls off the tongue.

I have found it necessary for my own personal integrity and honor to draw the line on making certain apologies that the Marxist controlled media is trying to shame me into making.

socialism

Here’s the truth, folks.^

I refuse to apologize for being a Christian, and more specifically a confessional Lutheran Christian. I will readily confess and ask forgiveness for my own sins to God and to those I have sinned against, but I will not apologize for my faith in Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone.  Life and hope is found in Christ alone, and if you want to shoot me for that or persecute me for stating that truth, go right ahead. I’ve already outlived my projected lifespan by about 14 years already.

I refuse to apologize for my ethnic heritage and/or the lack of melanin in my skin. My Celtic ancestors were like as not held as slaves at one time or another (see: history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, esp. Scotland, and northern Europe) and/or my Scandinavian ancestors (read: Vikings) may have held people as slaves. Big deal. I have never owned slaves. I have never been a slave (save to the power of sin, as are all humans.)

As Americans we all have the God-given rights that are spelled out in the Constitution. I don’t think it is taught correctly, if at all, any more or we would not be experiencing the rampant Marxist power grabs that some in government are perpetrating.

I am quick to use the word Marxist because Marxism is what is going on. The push toward Marxism in the United States has grown ever since the days of Woodrow Wilson.  The Allies had no stomach for finishing off Stalin after the defeat of Hitler and of Japan, which left the door open to the Cold War and for various forms of socialism, communism and full blown Marxism to take root in the world.

General George Patton was a vocal critic of Stalin and the Soviet Union, and in his eyes the war would not be finished without defeating the USSR as well as the Nazis. His suspicious death in 1945 from complications from a car accident (that he appeared to be recovering from) may indicate that there were some in American government even in the 1940s who at the very least were against the idea of defeating the Soviet Union, and at the worst were advocates of communism themselves.  While no one has proven that Patton was assassinated, his death was not only suspicious but highly advantageous to those in American government who had aligned with Stalin and who didn’t have a problem with his regime. Had Patton lived and gotten his way, perhaps the Cold War could have been avoided, and history would have been far less kind to Marxism.  Then again, if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle.  We can’t change the past, but we need to understand it and learn from it.

deaths communism

The unfortunate realities of forced collectivism- whether the ideology is fascist or Marxist- is that it ignores both human psychology and natural law.

Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying that the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Natural law teaches us that there is always an exchange.  Nothing is free.  Someone has to pay for everything. The problem with socialism is that everyone wants the resources but doesn’t have to do anything to earn them.  What ends up happening is what happens in Orwell’s Animal Farm. Some pigs are always “more equal” than others, and the fewer people who are willing to work means there are fewer resources to be spread among more people.  This gives rise to the powerful oligarchy who has everything, while the average person is kept at their mercy.

I am not going to apologize for being a Christian. I am not going to apologize for being white- and for not buying into the whole race game to begin with, because color and ethnic origin are merely varieties of the same human race, the same species. I am also not going to apologize for being a constitutionalist and a conservative, because the representative republican system (the United States is NOT a pure democracy) the Framers outlined in the Constitution, when it is understood and properly implemented, is a far better system than Karl Marx spewed forth.

Ronald Reagan once said that a communist follows Marx and Lenin, but an anti-communist has read and understands Marx and Lenin.  On the surface their writings sound like utopia on earth, but I challenge any proponent of Marxism to dig into them and truly understand how forced collectivism steals the soul of humanity and leads to death, destruction and suffering on a vast scale.  Read the Communist Manifesto.  Study the history of the 20th century and see how many died at the hands of Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung. This is the way that the Marxists in this country- read: Democratic Party- want it.  They want to ditch the Constitution in favor of a failed system that does not work to preserve their own comfy oligarchy, just like Marx, Lenin and Mao.

I understand I am old, especially considering my history of illnesses, and laundry list of health issues, and that the average lifespan for an autistic person is 37 years (somehow by the grace of God I’ve made it to 51) so if my life is over soon I really don’t care. I do care about the future of the country and I do care about the kind of world my granddaughter will have to live in.  The Great Experiment is not over, unless we allow left wing extremists to sell us a bill of goods.

As a Christian, as a human being, as an American, I pray to God that people will not buy the Marxist hype.  I pray that law and order and decency will prevail, and that we will finally stop judging each other by stupid things like the color of one’s skin. How much is it to ask of people to be peaceful, productive and to contribute to society?

 

Orwell’s 1984 Is Not an Instruction Manual, Mine is a Second Amendment Household, and Deep, Deep Misanthropy

uninvited

I do not entertain solicitors of any kind.

warning sign

I like this cautionary sign a bit better.

I thought that life was weird before. Of course, the 2020 COVID plandemic has to take the prize, not only for governmental overreach, but in displaying the absolute worst that humanity has to offer. Three months later and people are still wearing masks and are scared shitless of each other. The only good thing I see right now is that Costco now has plenty of shit paper for all again.

I am not at all butt hurt for lack of physical contact with others. Not being expected to glad hand and God forbid, hug people, takes a weight off my shoulders. I like working and doing my dealings online as it’s a lot less stressful. I can focus on what I’m doing rather than on all the intricacies of body language, eye contact and tone of voice. It’s easier for me to deal in the single dimension of the written word. In my world, physical contact is pretty much for family (and a very few very close friends) only anyway. I need that t-shirt that says “NOT A HUGGER.” Not because I am afraid of COVID (I am a hell of a lot more afraid of strep, with my disaster of a medical history) but because I don’t want strange people touching me. The only exceptions I would take to that would be the necessary touching that must take place for medical care or hair cutting, and even those points of contact wigged me out long before COVID.

This planned destruction of the economy and attempted coup on President Trump that sparked the hysteria over a disease less lethal than seasonal flu, is much more disquieting than even a paper nightie visit to the gyno. (yet another fringe benefit of having had a total hysterectomy- no cervix, no need for a yearly PAP smear…yay!)

Those of us who have studied history and who understand forced collectivism find it frightening that so many people can think Marxism is the answer to society’s ills. Socialism, fascism, communism, Marxism, Islam- whatever the moniker or the far left or far right ideology behind them- all of the forms of forced collectivism are fatally flawed.

Forced collectivism goes against human nature and the innate drive to survive.

We can see the problem very clearly in the example of the Seattle Autonomous Zone or Deranged Hippie Alliance or whatever they want to call themselves. Nobody wants to work. Everyone seems to perceive their own special snowflake selves as somehow entitled to what they haven’t earned. The phrase that my very Catholic mother loved to drill in to my head when I was a child comes to mind, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” Only these beggars seem a bit picky given their predicament.

supplies

The squatters in Seattle think the rest of the world owes them crap. Nope.

If the squatters in the No Bathing Zone were actually interested in virtuous self sufficient living they might want to look up the Amish. They live (quite successfully may I add) off the grid.  No computers, or paying tax, or enduring the politics and micromanagement inherent to working in the cubby farms for them.

The Amish don’t use modern technology, nor do they tolerate laziness. In their society one must pull his or her own weight. I don’t mind hard work, but I like technology too much to go down that trail. Electricity and flush toilets are pretty high on my list of essential things I am willing to pay for. Doing a hard day’s work without the benefits of air conditioning or the ability to pinch a loaf on my nice comfy toilet and flush it on down, in the air conditioned comfort of my bathroom, would make the hard work somehow not seem worth it.

I don’t owe the descendants of slaves anything either. I never owned slaves. My Celtic ancestors like as not were slaves at one time.  Big deal.  Nobody owes me anything for that either.

Of course in this election year the Democrats (or should I just refer to them as Flaming Marxists, because that’s what they are) are trying to pull out the race card again. It’s a shame that anyone falls for the racism rhetoric anymore.  Anyone who believes that the exaggerated reaction to the death of George Floyd was anything other than a political stunt, I applaud your naïveté.

If the dirty Dems would study history (and they don’t study it with any kind of rational lens,) they would discover that the race riots of 1968 did not do them any political favors. Neither will the race riots of 2020, especially since the motivation behind the 2020 riots is more about scoring big screen TVs from Target and burning things down for the hell of it rather than fighting “systemic racism.”

Why do I call Democrats Flaming Marxists?  For historical accuracy, of course. The KKK was founded by and largely supported by Democrats (flaming crosses ring a bell?) and they seem to espouse and glorify the teachings of Karl Marx. Two of the things Democrats do best are to portray minorities (and to a lesser degree, women) as pitiable victims with no abilities and no capacity for accountability instead of human beings created equal to all other human beings with the same rights and responsibilities, and the other is to put forth the notion that forced collectivism will cure society’s ills.

The truth is that Democrats and today’s snowflake nation refuse to take any personal accountability.  It’s easy to point the finger of blame, but the decline of society can’t be pinned down to one simple cause or explanation.

Neither can over 50 years of the welfare state and the continuous corruption and dumbing down of public education be undone in one presidential term- or in four or five, and that’s assuming we don’t get another Manchurian candidate like Obama foisted upon the nation like a wrecking ball to inflict even more race baiting, chaos, destruction and anarchy.  I don’t carry a whole lot of optimism that the evil Marxist tide first set in motion in the days of LBJ and amplified a million times by Obama can be reversed any time soon, if at all, but I will fight tooth and nail against any form of forced collectivism. I know one old woman can’t do much but I won’t be silent, and I will do what I can.

trump no crybabies

We learn in Scripture,

I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Psalm 146:2-4 (ESV)

The bottom line is we can try to elect and support officials who will do the right things, but at the end of the day God is the only one who is trustworthy.  I have little to no faith in humanity. Never did, and probably never will.

I also have absolutely no trust in the media, either.  1984 was meant to be taken as a cautionary tale, not as an instruction manual. The media lies so much that nothing they say can be trusted.

The Emperor’s New Clothes- and the NWO’s New “Great Plague”

the-emperors-new-clothes-and-more-magical-stories-by-hans-christian-andersen-logo-79231

Most of us learned the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen when we were children. (For those unfamiliar with the story, it is available on Amazon Kindle at a very affordable price.)  The moral of the story is that people (including the emperor himself) were deceived by an out and out lie.  The emperor was supposedly wearing the most lavish and expensive and beautiful clothing- but only the very intelligent and learned would be able to see them.  The ruse went on, with the people as well as the emperor pretending that the emperor was wearing the finest of finery because no one wanted to admit that they weren’t intelligent and enlightened enough to see his “clothes.”  That is, until a child on the emperor’s parade route screams out, “He’s NAKED!”

So what does the naked emperor have to do with the current COVID-19 hysteria?

The moral of the story of course.  The people, as well as their public servants, are letting themselves be held captive to an out and out lie.  Our government does not want to admit that they crashed the economy and put millions of people out of work out of fear of a disease that will be proven to be less lethal than the seasonal flu that hits every year. We accept that the seasonal flu that kills thousands of the ill and frail every year is normal, just like we accept traffic deaths and suicides and the greatest holocaust of our time, the gratuitous killing of millions of unborn human beings in the name of “choice.”

The COVID crisis is a “plandemic,” if I may borrow a new word, put in place by various consortiums of world governments.  I’m not the garden variety conspiracy theorist but the behavior of the American far left (i.e. the Democratic party, which has been overrun with socialists, globalists and Marxists) is anything but in favor of American hegemony or the best interest of individual American citizens.  They are getting progressively more dishonest and progressively more anti-American and anti-Constitution by the moment.

So here’s the globalist far left game plan: Let’s take a disease that is less lethal than seasonal flu and turn it into an excuse for global panic and isolation.  Let’s shut down the economy and show those capitalists that the people really want a nanny state and need a one world government to protect them from all this “evil.” 

It’s a page from Saul Alinsky’s wonderful (insert sarcasm here) tome “Rules for Radicals” – Never let a good crisis go to waste. And if you have to manufacture the crisis, oh, well.  Marxism was never about telling the truth.

This current plandemic doesn’t smell right on many levels.  Why is Walmart “safe” but church isn’t?  If this disease were so horrid and deadly, millions of Walmart shoppers would be dead and dying.

Why are our First, Fourth and Tenth Amendment rights being steamrollered for this?

For those who weren’t taught the Constitution in school (I am showing my advancing age here) the First Amendment violations I speak of are censorship of free speech, forbidding peaceable assembly, and forbidding the freedom to worship.  The Fourth Amendment is violated when shop owners are forbidden to use their skills or property to earn their living- their livelihoods are being effectively seized and shut down by governmental decree. Restaurants and hair dressers will lose their licenses to operate should they try to do business amidst the COVID frenzy. The Tenth Amendment is being violated as states interfere with the First and Fourth Amendment rights, which is beyond their authority to do.  States cannot make laws that violate the Federal Constitution.

There are some who argue that reopening commerce and public spaces will allow this virus to spread.  Funny how states are not demanding antibody testing to support their claims of how deadly COVID is.  There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that suggests that COVID made its rounds through much of the US in January 2020, long before the hype began. It would not be surprising that the demand for antibody testing is being suppressed, for if the truth comes out that the disease was widespread, was minor in almost all cases, and has run its course, the excuse for hobbling the economy and destroying people’s businesses and livelihoods evaporates.

The emperor is naked, folks.  We are killing ourselves and running people into poverty and ruin because nobody in positions of power is willing to admit they were wrong.  The models were skewed from the beginning and based on bogus data. The data is still being falsified, even down to hospitals claiming every death is COVID even if it is a car accident or a beheading, so they can get the extra cash.  And if we blithely go along with the ones who hold the reins of power, we are pretending to see clothes on a naked emperor too.  It’s all about governmental overreach and certain people lining their pockets.  As always, follow the money.

I do have a few side notes I will add to my opinion here. For the past 40+ years, since I had rheumatic fever in 1979, I am extremely vulnerable to strep infections. I have a far greater statistical risk of contracting strep throat, getting rheumatic fever again, and dying from it than I do of dying from COVID.  I have always been a bit hyper aware of keeping my hands washed and keeping away from people who are known to be carrying illness for that reason, but that is just common sense.

I cannot lock myself away in quarantine my entire life, even though contracting any kind of strep infection is a serious and a very real risk for me. I have to go out and live and wander about in the common sea of contagion. And the reality of life is that we all do.

Granted I have some small recourse, if I know I have been exposed to strep at home or work I can get a course of penicillin that should keep the strep at bay.  In the past 40 years I have had to do this about five times.  However, with the heart valve and joint damage I already have, I am very aware that a second round of rheumatic fever can kill me.

The bottom line is that life has risks.  The average person has a greater risk of falling in the shower and dying than dying from COVID. The average person has a far greater risk of dying in a car accident than dying from COVID. But are we banning showering or driving (and for God’s sake, don’t give the Marxists ideas!)?

The COVID crisis has given us a good warning of the dangers of poor hygiene, overcrowding and poor sanitation. Its prevalence in the prison population definitely gives credence to the spread of contagious disease and overcrowding.   Public places have long since been filthy and havens of disease.  Schools are a great example of this. As soon as kids are in school in the fall, the contagious disease and parasite fair begins.  It’s not just schools, though. Public restrooms are not always kept clean, and individual people are absolutely filthy in leaving their trash, urine and feces where they do not belong.

If there could be one good takeaway from COVID, it should be a renewed awareness of personal hygiene and cleanliness in public places as well as the detrimental effects of overcrowding.  Packing office workers into cubby farms in poorly ventilated rooms with no windows is not a hygienic practice- one person gets sick, the whole room gets sick. Some degree of social distancing is a healthy thing all the time.  Ventilation, natural light, and space need to be part of everyone’s work environment as much as possible.

While greater sanitation and less crowding will help reduce the spread of ALL contagious diseases and parasites, COVID is proving out to not be the Great New Plague that the far left wanted.  It certainly has caused certain state and local governments to use the Constitution as toilet paper yet again, but the far left has been working toward undermining our Constitutional rights for years. Yes, we should be more aware of sanitation, hygiene and avoiding overcrowding, but we should have been doing that all along. The response to COVID has been akin to taking a machine gun to kill a fly. The fly goes on blissfully unharmed, but the collateral damage inflicted is catastrophic.

Let’s be aware of contagious disease because it has been and will always be all around us, but let’s also keep ourselves and our environments clean, avoid overcrowding, and get back to work!

Welcome to Zombieland, Losing Our Collective Minds?, but I’m Enjoying the Quiet

1972

Even when I was three years old, I knew the value of stink eye. I hate having my picture taken, and I loathed it even then.  I also knew the value of staying on an escape vehicle when my sadistic sisters were nearby.

I still remember that pant suit.  Grandma made it, and it would have been great had it been made of a soft, light knit instead of a very thick, almost cardboard like, scratchy, hot, hot, hot polyester.  I had total body heat rash at the end of that day. It was August and about a hundred degrees outside. I wonder whose bright idea it was to take pictures that day (there are a ton more of them, especially of my obnoxious older sisters) because it wasn’t my idea.  Avoiding getting my ass kicked- and not sweating to death outside or fleeing flying, stinging insect life- was my idea.

I can still remember the way that old time polyester chafed. The early 1970s are a fashion graveyard for a reason. I remember the shoes too- little black patent Mary Janes with the oh so slick plastic soles, worn with white lace socks with elastic so tight it would cut off the circulation. Try to run…and land square on your face. Both sisters were wearing identical get-ups (isn’t it just adorable to dress your children identically, so it’s harder to identify the ass-kicker from the ass-kickee) but they could run better in those shoes than I could.  Then again, anyone can run better in any shoes than I could have when I was three.  The physical therapy didn’t start until I was four, when my parents finally were resigned to the fact that my motor skills were not going to improve without some kind of intervention.

In this current crisis I freely admit that I don’t miss crowds.  I don’t miss working in a fishbowl where God and everybody is constantly in my grill. I am thankful as hell that I can work from home.  I am enjoying the quiet and the autonomy.  I am still getting things done, although we don’t have the volume we would normally right now.

I would like to think that there will be lessons learned from the stay at home orders, especially regarding personal autonomy, space and work-life balance (things I have never had much of) but I am a cynical person.   I am sure the gropers and huggers are going to expect me to be physically present as soon as possible and they will be right back in my face as soon as they are confident I won’t give them a disease.

As an introvert and a person that isn’t really keen on group groping and huggy-kissy-feely stuff it’s kind of a relief, not having to worry about eye contact and body language and all the other things that vex me about navigating out in the world. The only people I need to be around right now are people who know me and care about me and for who I don’t need to run the scripts. I can blissfully let my guard down.

I will probably have the opposite problem than most other people will have.  It will be hard for me to go back to the constant scrutiny and constant presence of others.  My stress level has actually gone down knowing that I am not as much under the microscope and I don’t have to do nearly as much scripting.  I don’t know how I am going to adjust back when I have to go back to all of that again.

I like my ivory tower very much, thank you.

I think for the first time in a long time I’ve actually had some time to decompress.  I have time to read, study, pray, and just be a bit of a vegetable. The last time I physically had time away from work was in 2009 when I had my hysterectomy, and even then I had to deal with Jerry and his drinking and tirades, and his constant demands for me to go shop, cook and clean against medical advice.   So that wasn’t much of a hiatus either. Begging the Costco employees to load the dog food into the car for me because I wasn’t allowed to lift more than ten pounds, also isn’t my idea of a good time.

By the providence of God I’ve managed to remain somewhat free of respiratory funks this year which is bizarre because almost everyone else around me got that really nasty bug that was circulating, but “tested negative for flu” back in January. Yes it makes me think. I’m usually the first one to get any kind of respiratory funk- especially upper respiratory and sinus infections- even though I get the flu and pneumonia shots.  It makes me think that the Plaquenil I’ve been on for the past six or seven years for arthritis might be doing more than just mitigating my arthritis flares.  Just a thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Apocalypse, Take #354,427 (or so) We’re All Gonna Die!

the-plague

die

Got news for everyone.  The mortality rate is still 100%.  You’re gonna die of something.

The current pestilence- the coronavirus- is more or less a really bad flu.  It isn’t gonna kill most people. Millions of people get the flu every year and several thousand die from it.  That’s every year.  Four thousand or thereabouts die of flu every year just in Ohio.  So much for living in fly over country serving to any advantage.

I have my suspicions, and frankly I believe the dreaded coronavirus already made its rounds around here back in January when about 70% of my coworkers- all the outside sales people who were in one meeting, and all the accounting department- all got a really bad flu that held on for about 3 weeks.  One of the accounting ladies ended up in the ICU for a couple of days, but even she recovered. Yeah, that was a bad flu, and believe it, I had the Lysol spraying madness the whole time these people were wandering in and out in their various states of illness.  By the grace of God somehow I didn’t get it, but I stayed the flying hell away from everyone, even more than I normally do. I’m all about social distancing. You don’t have to tell me twice to put at least 6 to 10 feet between me and other people. I prefer it. Especially when I have Lysol to spray.

But since it’s an election year, let’s take a page from the Marxist handbook (desperate Democrats) and never let a good crisis go to waste.  Let’s attempt to destroy the economy, while blaming it on a particularly bad flu season, and try to sell socialism that way.

It will backfire.  The crisis will end, sooner rather than later, and that’s all I really have to say about that. I hope and pray that all the overreacting will serve as even more fuel to pour on the dumpster fire that is being created by the Democrats and their corrupt enablers.

dumpsterfire-1

Granted I don’t want to see people die.  I particularly loathe respiratory illness because I have chronic sinus issues even when I am well. My biggest fear is strep throat (which could be more lethal to me than any flu because of my history with rheumatic fever.)  So yeah, I wash my hands and use a lot of sanitizer anyway, especially in the winter when I am surrounded by the hacking and coughing multitudes.  I get the flu and pneumonia shots. I don’t like being in crowds or in loud places and avoid them when I can.  I’m not a huggy-feeler either, and I don’t go around fingering people, or kissing on strangers so I have that in my favor.

The bottom line even with precautions taken – and I have a sharp eye for the macabre as it is- is that we are all gonna die of something. 

I’ve already defied the longevity odds for a person with autism.  The average age of death for a person with autism is 37 years. I made it to 51. Yay me!  To be honest though, I remember my doctor telling me once when I was 30 that if I didn’t do a whole lot of things differently I wouldn’t make it to 35. I did change my lifestyle to a certain degree. Now I know why, but still, the fact that even with a boatload of meds that I am still vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen amazes me sometimes.

Part of the abysmal longevity projections for autistics, I am sure, is that we have a horrendously high suicide rate, as well as a plethora of co-morbid conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, various physical and mental illnesses, lack of social support, and the list goes on.

But coming from the perspective of an autistic, I think I can explain why we die very young.  We aren’t made to live in your world.

Of course everyone experiences stress.  But “normal” people don’t experience the stress of trying to live in a world that isn’t made for them.  Autistic people have to adapt to the “normal” world in much the same way as space travelers have to adapt to the unnatural atmosphere of space.

Some of us learn to navigate almost seamlessly- you can’t see the space suit or the oxygen mask- but they’re there.  We script.  We mask. We mirror.  We do what you do and perfect our acting skills…and it takes a ton of energy to hold up the faςade. Over time this takes a toll.  We have hypertension. We have stress headaches. We deal with anxiety 24/7 because we can’t script, mask and mirror forever without stepping away from time to time.

Those of us who can’t learn to navigate are even worse off than those who can. Those of us who are non-verbal and/or who have cognitive or severe physical deficits on top of autism are at the mercy of the medical industry (whose only “care” is the almighty dollar) or even worse, the public educational system whose lack of common sense and dearth of efficacy is only equaled by its lack of care.  So for people like me- you either figure out things and navigate for yourself, and live with an eternal stress meter pegged out on 11, or you’re doomed to a life of marginalized, institutionalized poverty.

No wonder autistic people die young.

And yeah, every single human being out there, whether you’re “normal” or autistic, we’re all gonna die.

Get used to it.

 

 

The Dark Macabre Month of February, Trying Not to Discuss Theology or Politics, and More Ephemera

dead chick

Time and age have done me no favors.  I feel this ancient and just about this dead. Of course it’s February, and February is the suckiest month of the year.

Yes, central Ohio is usually colder in January than in February.  Even so, it is still cold in February, and always dark in February, and that is worse than the cold.

February always reminds me of the quote from Dante’s Inferno: All hope abandon, ye who enter here. I don’t necessarily agree with Dante’s categorizations of hell (the Divine Comedy borrows heavily on Roman Catholic theology and their belief in purgatory- Dante was very much a loyalist and Papist- ) but I have to admire the imagery he evokes.  Especially in Canto 32 (the Ninth Circle of Hell) where he encounters “the bottom of the universe”- in which is housed the very worst of traitors, those who have betrayed family and country.  This is pretty much hell frozen over- a frozen lake in which the heads of the damned are sticking out of the ice.

stepping on sinner's heads

 

This does not look to be a fun time. Then again, in my mind, betrayal is the most cruel pain that one can inflict on another. That’s why I try not to invest much emotional currency in relationships.  My circle is very small for a reason.

Here is an entertaining thought: if Dante’s portrayals of the circles of hell were to be correct, this is where Obama would end up, along with 99% of Hollywood and 99% of the Democratic Party, but I digress.

I have promised not to get stuck on theological or political themes today.  That’s difficult for me to do, but I can troll about for some ephemera.  There are some good ones I found from Marion County in the late 19th to mid 20th century that are fascinating.

sawyer03y

 

The Sawyer Sanitorium is not in the greatest shape, but it is still there today.

sawyer sanitorium today

Most of the really cool architecture that survives in Marion County is not in the greatest of repair.  The weather does it no favors, and the general poverty of the property owners doesn’t help either.  It’s hard to maintain Victorian architecture even if you have plenty of cash.  Poor folk usually have to resort to redneck ingenuity, which is somewhat functional, but usually not aesthetically pleasing.

cigar store.jpg

The cigar store- I can still smell the heady, thick, sweet smell of a hundred years’ worth of tobacco products emanating from this place and everything that was purchased there. I can still see the vintage ads for Newports and Marlboros and the tins of pipe tobacco.  The wooden plank floors were uneven and well worn and stained with the dirt and wear of thousands of pairs of boots and shoes.  The windows were perennially stained with a film of dirt, condensation and the yellow smoker’s haze that clings to glass in places where people smoke. In 1982 it was still socially permissible to smoke in public places, even in restaurants and stores.

Every time I went in there I felt like Orwell’s character Winston (from the book 1984) in the curio store.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, but unlike the store keep Winston encountered, nobody there would have remembered or cared that I was there (even though admission and patronage was supposed to be restricted to those 18 and older) or that I was buying contraband.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have been selling this stuff to a 13 year old kid.

The incarnation of the cigar store in the first pic was many years before I went there to buy risqué literature less the outer covers for $1.35 each. This second pic (below) is more what it looked like when I did my business there.

united cigars

It is still there, however, it is in the process of being renovated and turned into a corner market. I don’t have a current pic of that renovation, and what it will be transformed into remains to be seen.  Even so, feeding my clandestine dirty book habit was probably a better use of my lunch money than buying school food.  The Freshman Building was notorious for not only having cockroaches everywhere, but also for the cafeteria food being burnt on the outside, frozen on the inside. The cook stoves and ovens were probably from 1915 just like the rest of the building.  I don’t think thermostats or temperature controls were a thing pre WWI.

freshman building

Sadly the Freshman Building was torn down in the mid 1980s- 1985 I think.  It was sad.  Especially because I loved the library.  The entire third floor of the east wing. It was a magical place. I can still see the huge oak tables and chairs- nice, heavy, turn of the 20th century, real hand-crafted wooden furniture, well worn hard wood floors and expansive windows facing the east, and rows and rows of well-worn books.  I spent many study halls there, blessedly left alone in my own universe that was condensed to music played through a cheap and somewhat contraband (though the teachers never bothered me about it) battery powered cassette player and headphones, and whatever literature I was currently perusing. That library was a portal to serenity that I have failed to find again anywhere or at any time in my adult life.

I did not love the HVAC in that building though.  It was steam heat, which encouraged the proliferation of the roaches.  Some of the registers would spout off and spray any nearby occupants with boiling water.  Others did not work at all, so one could go from a room 100 degrees or more into another room where one could see one’s breath.  There was no air conditioning to be had, (refrigeration technology being rather non-existent in 1915)  and to make that sad fact even more fun, certain windows would fall out when opened, so opening windows was not always an option.

Even so, there was something about the soul of the place that was comforting but disturbing at the same time.  It was larger than life with its high ceilings and massive windows, (the rooms were designed to take advantage of natural light) and ornate fine craftsmanship that shined through, even though by 1982-3 the building was dirty, poorly maintained and never upgraded.  I am sure the writers of today’s OSHA and building inspection codes would have been appalled by the sheets of ancient lead paint that continually peeled and fell off the ceilings and fixtures.

scioto river bridge

It seems that I’ve gotten old enough that all the places I’d really like to visit again no longer exist, or at least they don’t exist in their previous form.  The library, the cigar store, the old railroad trestle bridge over the Scioto River where I once spent a sunny, warm Good Friday afternoon sitting on the bridge watching the dirty river water flow under the bridge and simply savoring the sun and the breeze and wishing that time would stop forever, are all long gone.

The phrase “mid-life crisis” is not expansive enough to describe the cognitive dissonance that comes about when the things that once were accepted as being permanent and central are revealed to be temporary and transient. Barring some miraculous medical intervention that comes to pass in the very near future, I’ll be fortunate to have maybe another 25 years on this planet.  My life is two thirds of the way over if statistics prove correct- in 1969 the average life expectancy for a white female in the United States was 75.5 years. Considering I was born in a rural, poor part of the country and have a number of medical issues, in practical application, 75.5 years is probably pushing the envelope.

“Midlife” for me- if I take the gracious prognostication of the actuarial chart from 1969- would have been 15 years ago. Sobering shit.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone, I get that, but just knowing that time remaining is a lot less than time elapsed is a little disturbing.

marion night 1958

This was  downtown Marion in 1958- 11 years before I was born.

Marion_Ohio 2018

Sixty years later it’s not as bad as it once was (the 70s through the early 2000s, it was almost completely abandoned and left to crumble) but there is room for improvement. Some of the old late 19th century buildings have been converted into apartment lofts and such.

The lofts are kind of cool in that I love the vintage architecture, the huge windows, and the high ceilings.  I would be concerned about the HVAC challenges involved, and the logistical challenge of living on an upper floor without elevators, with dogs, would not be pleasant.  The view and the ambience could be worth it though.

February will be over eventually.  Until then, memories of a stolen sunny April afternoon sitting on a long gone railroad trestle watching the river go by, or of study halls reading old books and listening to 80s music on cheap cassette tapes in a long ago library will have to do.

 

 

 

 

 

The Outrage of the Morally Bankrupt Molech Worshippers, Useful Idiots, and I Am Neither Surprised Nor Amused

solemani

It’s predictable, yet frightening.  The outrage over the assassination of an Iranian terrorist coming from the Left is not surprising, but downright stupid nonetheless.  These are the same people who endorse, celebrate and take as a twisted sacrament the wholesale murder of unborn children (whose only crime in 99.9% of instances was to have been inconveniently conceived.)  Let that sink in for a moment.

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Of course we forget to our peril that the whole debacle in Iran and in the greater Middle East is Jimmy Carter’s mess that dates back to 1979.  If anything we should remember that negotiating with terrorists only gets you more terrorism.  Obama poured gasoline on the dying embers of that fire- importing unvetted “refugees” from every radical Islamic terrorist nation on the globe and plopping them down in the Midwest- and appeasing the alligators of Iranian terror with planeloads of cash.  Jimmy, in his defense, was probably just a useful idiot being blind to history and too kind hearted for his own good.  Obama, not so much. To call him a cheerleader for radical Islam is mild- his actions have proven him to be at the very least one of their soldiers, if not a flat out traitor.

Trump is not going to tolerate the Islamofascist nonsense.  He sees Islamic terror for what it is- an evil scourge on humanity that makes Hitler’s brand of fascism – Nazism- look like a harmless frat party.   Trump is doing his job as Commander in Chief- taking out known threats to the United States and our interests.  It looks strange, and the Left is offended to see an American president standing his, and our ground, because the Left has become so accustomed to milquetoast appeasers like Carter, both Bushes (to a degree), Clinton and Obama.   They hate Trump 1. because he is right, and 2. because he is not their lap dog.

What most Westerners, and especially the historically illiterate Left don’t realize is that Islam has a long and violent history.  The word “Islam” itself means “submission.”  As in conversion by force- if not to the worship of their false moon-god idol, to at least the submission to their fascist system of government known as sharia law.  Every nation that has been touched by radical Islam has fallen into civil war and brutality.  Think Syria, Somalia, Iran and Iraq, if you need examples from 20th and 21st century history.

Islam in a nutshell, is a form of fascism more invasive and brutal than the Nazis’, because it hides behind a false religion.  Like Nazism, it slips in under the radar in a republic under the guise of “freedom of ideas and/ or religion.”  The unprecedented settling of Muslim invaders in the heart of America was, and is, a trojan horse.  Already, thanks to Obama and to state governors hungry for ill-gotten federal subsidies, there are communities in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio that have become “Little Mogadishus”- hotbeds of Islamic settlements, paid for by taxpayers’ money, financed by working American citizens via the welfare dole. Democrats need votes somehow, and apparently the cemeteries aren’t proving to be fruitful enough.   Non-citizens get away with voting (at least in Ohio) without ID by providing a utility bill- which has no photo, and one does not need to be a citizen to have utilities in one’s name.  There is a reason why the Left vehemently opposes voter ID.  It makes it harder for them to cheat.

When the fascists gain power in numbers, then everyone else’s voices are silenced.  Again, Nazi Germany and how Hitler used a democratic system to defeat itself is a prime example.  Historical illiteracy- and one needs only go back to the 20th century to see this- is incredibly dangerous.

nazi propaganda

Why the Left has sought the alliance of a rabid bedfellow such as Islam is mindboggling.  Islam is no friend to the LBGTQ, XYZ, multiple gender snowflake movement or to the radical environmentalists.  Conservative Christians may oppose gay marriage- but we don’t behead gay people. Conservative Christians may advocate complimentary roles for men and women- but we don’t require women to wear burqas or forbid them from driving or from entering into contracts.  Conservative Christians may not agree with the radical environmental movement, but we know that the imams are not going to forgo halal butchering techniques (which amount to animal cruelty) any time soon.

The same people who scream for “reproductive rights” (i.e. making killing unborn children a twisted sacrament) are the same people who scream in outrage because our Commander in Chief deems it fit to take out a terrorist who is a scourge on the world and is a deep threat to national security.  It’s hard to make up that sort of hypocrisy and lunacy, but it’s alive and well.reproductive-rights-choose-life

The same people who have no problem at all with infanticide or the Islamization of the West, are outraged at a citizen within his second amendment right to shoot a well placed hollow point to the head to stop a killer in his tracks. They will cry and grovel and finance endless appeals to keep evil killers, rapists and molesters- as well as terrorists- alive and well and comfortable with free health care and cable TV- on the taxpayer’s dime, of course.

The irony is that if the radical Islamists get their way the Left will be bereft of all they hold dear…except mindless killing, and exploiting the American taxpayer to do it.  This is what they have in common.