Monthly Archives: April 2021

Will (Covid) Wonder (Cure)s Never Cease?

Just when you thought it was almost safe to return to normal. Many people, or at least those that don’t believe that the vaccines are poisonous or contain microchips, have been vaccinated. More people vaccinated means we’re closer to herd immunity. (Have you heard about immunity? No I mean herd immunity. Etc.)

Many times I’ve thought of devious ways to get rich, but usually as the plot for a story. Other people are more direct and actually reap the benefits (if they can be called that). Recently, a Florida family was busted for–ready for this–selling 28,000 bottles of “Miracle Mineral Solution” to treat virtually every known disease, which was actually bleach. [Link]

Okay, fair is fair, it wasn’t the off-the-shelf bleach we use in the laundry. I was closer to the type of bleach they use for industrial water treatment. But, hey, it was handmade in their very own backyard shed. I assume the chlorine dioxide solution, was manufactured under strict quality control and sterile conditions. My hat’s off to them–it’s hard to maintain such high standards in a backyard shed.

They marketed their miracle solution through a non-religious church. I’m still trying to figure that part out. In any case, they took in more than $1 million from sales of the stuff.

Drinking bleach to cure COVID and other diseases. You have to wonder where they got that idea.

Shhh! They’re Listening!

Blogging is the only social media in which I engage. Why? As far as I can tell, neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Jeff Bezos follow my blog.

I’m sure that they’re fine people who would be interesting neighbors. Imagine a neighborhood block party with Bezos showing up in an Amazon truck loaded with goodies for everyone. Heck, he might even do a Blue Origin spaceship flyby for entertainment.

On the other hand, it’s creepy knowing that their companies seem to watch every single thing we do. If they made a movie about their data gathering, it could be called, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Last Week, and Last Night When You Closed the Blinds and Turned Off the Lights in Your Bedroom. It’s, like I said, creepy.

I don’t have any big secrets. The biggest secrets I have are the ones I keep from myself, like, “Where did I leave my car keys?” or “Why did I just walk into this room?” Nevertheless, if someday I did have a secret (like suddenly realizing that I was wearing one black sock and one Navy blue one), I don’t want Jeff and Mark blabbing it all over the internet.

The best way I can explain my aversion is to compare social media sites to the 81 year-old Homeowners’ Association President named Karen. She’s constantly peering through her window on the lookout for serious violations of the deed restrictions and covenants–things like having the wrong color curtains or a non-standard garbage can. She never sleeps, lest a violation occur, strapping on her night-vision goggles promptly at sunset to make sure standards are maintained under any circumstances.

It makes you wonder what juicy tidbits Jeff and Mark know about HER?

Another Side of History

The Road to Freedom Tour Guide App

Today’s blog is inspired by The Virginian Pilot, April 18, 2021. “New Virginia Travel Map and App Offer a Tour into the Black Experience During the Civil War Era,” by Denise M. Watson

Virginia has a lot of history tied to the Civil War and has faced harsh and not unwarranted criticism over monuments to those honoring the Confederacy. The state of Virginia, along with Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have had “Civil War Trails” for many years. They make for an interesting trip that I recommend, even if you make a side trip to a few sites while traveling through the area.

We all know (or most of us, at least) that there are at least two sides to every story. Those in the South who subscribe to the theory of The Lost Cause are only comfortable with the honoring of those who wore the Confederate uniform. There needs to be a counterpoint to the tales of Lee, Jackson, Pickett.

Over the last few years, the Civil War Trail has added sites that are significant to African American History. Eighty-eight sites are highlighted as “The Road to Freedom” tour, which you can access as a phone app, online app, or printed map. The timing is coincidental with current events but is nevertheless long over due. The African American side of the story is a more compelling, if not yet polished, story than the one that reflects the traditional White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant viewpoint.

A small example–Mary Peake taught enslaved people in violation of the laws of the time. One place she taught was under a large oak tree, under which she read the Emancipation Proclamation. The tree, known for many years as the Emancipation Oak is still alive and at the entrance to what it is now Hampton University. You have the chance to stand under that very tree, but probably never heard about it before.

At Fort Monroe, another site where Mary Peake taught, enslaved people sought freedom. General Benjamin Butler made a decision. We do not know if it was shrewd or just dumb luck. Southerners demanded their “property” be returned. He decided that if slaves were property, they were contraband and would not be returned. This started the first of many freedmen’s camps.

Although it’s not (yet) on the Road to Freedom Trail, there is a cemetery near my home, which is identified as “Unknown and Known Afro-Union Soldiers*.” Not quite the cachet that accompanies most military sited. Although overlooked for many years, these men were veterans, having worn the cloth of our country. They went into harm’s way, with the risk of death–either in battle or if they were captured.

Unknown & Known Afro-Union Civil War Soldiers Memorial Grave Site with American Flags

There’s more to history than what you were taught in high school. Check out https://www.battlefields.org/visit/mobile-apps/road-to-freedom-tour-guide

We Interrupt Breaking News for the Cicadapocolypse

Yes, I believe that the media–in its quest to sell more advertising–deals in sensationalism. Really! Yes, I do!

With a slight cooling in politics, there’s no way that what’s happening in Washington, DC will interest people enough to actually ask their doctor about the latest drug being pushed by Big Pharma. Do the people with the most disposable income really care about the latest coupling-decoupling of twenty-something celebrities?

Does anyone really care about which celebrity came out as gay or bi or whatever? If they’re a good actor or a good musician, people are more interested in what they do on the stage or in the studio rather than in the bedroom.

But there is ONE story that has been repeated in news cycle after news cycle:

  • The Cicada Invasion is coming!
  • Soon, there will be Cicadas everywhere!
  • There are going to be Cicadas all over the place!
  • Get ready for the Cicadas!
  • Look out! A Cicada invasion is on the way!
  • Get ready for the Cicadapocolypse?
Look out! A cicada invasion is on the way! | Local News ...

When Cicadas emerge, they mate, lay eggs, and die. They can’t eat–they lack a mouth, The large quantity of their eggs may cause a twig to fall, but that’s about the most damage they can cause. Like politicians, they are noisy. Unlike politicians, they are essentially harmless.

120 – 140 – 150 – 200 – Bye

I’ve honestly been trying to write, but there’s so much going on that just drives me crazy and physically affects me, that I haven’t completed a blog in a while. Sorry. The spirit is willing, but my flesh is 70 years old.

I purchased one of those wrist blood pressure cuffs and wear it while I write. It’s distracting and awkward, but nevertheless helpful. As Bettlegeuse says, “Besides, this whole dead thing-it’s creepy!”

While I’m writing, I keep one eye on the meter, but since it’s on the inside of my wrist, I have to stop typing and roll my arm, to see it. Then it deflates. For the next reading, it has to reinflate and we go through the whole cycle again. To top it off, it never gives me a reading exactly when I want one.

So I do the best I can do. So here goes!

I’ve been watching the news about the Chauvin trial, Representative Gaetz, and the Trump Organization . . . .

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Bluestone Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor ...

Oops. I gotta quit. Sorry.

A Nickel’s Worth of Free Business Advice*

Businesses today have some practices that make me scratch my head.

Let’s start with pharmaceuticals. When a drug’s patent allows for generics to be manufactured and sold, chemists try to reverse engineer the name-brand drug. They then try to formulate a generic drug that is sorta kinda like the original. They then test the drug for safety using young, healthy individuals.

But who will actually need the product? Old people with chronic illnesses. Unless the young test participants start dropping like flies, the generic drug is presumed safe for the intended customers. If it doesn’t work for older patients . . . . well, that’s the way it goes.

Incidentally, who can afford name-brand drugs once there’s a generic available? I’m not sure, but you could probably fit them all into a single phone booth–if we still had phone booths.

On a similar note, I bought a new alarm clock. My adult children don’t use alarm clocks–they use their cell phones. They don’t wear wristwatches because they use their cell phones. They don’t use Daytimers because–you know where I’m going with this.

On the other hand, I use my cell phone to make telephone calls, text messages, and to check the Internet. I know, it’s weird, but it’s common among those of us who are old enough to no longer worry about having a date for Saturday night.

Since I don’t use my cellphone as a clock, I need a clock-clock to wake me up in the morning.

The clock I picked out has a number of nice features. It sets the time automatically using WWVB signals from the National Bureau of Standards in Fort Collins, Colorado. I can place my cell phone, which I don’t use as an alarm clock, on the top to charge it. The display is muted but visible.

However, there are a few steps to set it up for the first time. There is an instruction booklet that came with the clock. There are just two problems:

  • The directions are written in that ubiquitous hybrid of Chinese and English that is a bit confusing for those of us who grew up with English as a primary language.
  • The directions are also printed in a teeny-tiny font for which I need both reading glasses and a Super Trouper theatrical spotlight to see.

The free advice? Think about who will use your product when you manufacture and package it.

*With apologies to Back to the Future‘s Mr. Strickland.

It’s Up to YOU!

Donald Trump asked his supporters to help him pay for an election recount. Unbeknown to many who donated, the form had a box pre-checked for the donation to be repeated.

Matt Gaetz has been accused of possible improprieties with an underage girl. He’s asking his supporters to send money to pay for his defense.

I confess. I, too, have transgressions and need your help.

I’m mortified, but it’s true.

In third grade the dog didn’t eat my geography project. Actually, the dog had died earlier that year and we had not yet picked a replacement, so there wasn’t a dog even remotely available, much yet involved. I made it all up because I had totally forgotten that the project had been assigned three weeks earlier, but it’s not my fault. What third grade boy can remember anything for three weeks?

Therefore, I’m asking everyone to fund my therapy to help me move on. I’ve been carrying this guilt around with me for over 60 years, so the psychological damage to my self image is immense.

Please leave your donation in a brown paper bag in non-sequentially numbered small denomination bills on my front porch.

Remember when you had to sell band candy or girl scout cookies? You asked everybody you knew to help out. Now’s the time to go and ask them again. My therapist says I need to go to the Bebe Rebozo Clinic in Bimini for extended therapy.

It’s YOUR responsibility–don’t let me down.

Picture Imperfect

I’ve commented before on the internet and how people today can be devastated if they don’t meet the standards of physical perfection that they see posted by others, especially celebrities.

I was right—it’s all phony. The supposedly ultra-attractive celebrities don’t look good enough, either.

Note this article by Mark Gray:

Kardashians threaten legal action over unedited bikini pic of Khloe: Report [1]

What could this image possibly show to create such an uproar? Was she committing a felony? Maybe she’s a werewolf and was in the midst of changing. Maybe she’s a he (well it does run in the family). I’ll let the author of the article explain:    

“The Kardashian family reportedly called in their lawyers after a private photo of Khloe Kardashian started floating around the Internet over the weekend. Soon, the photo began disappearing from the web and social media.

“The image, supposedly posted to Khloe’s grandmother’s Instagram, showed the reality TV star in an animal-print bikini. Gone, however, was the heavy editing and filters that the Kardashians are believed to often use before posting photos of themselves to social media.

“Page Six reported that the Kardashian family threatened legal action if the image wasn’t taken down. “

So, even the infamous Khardashians are not picture perfect without computerized magic—and this is after a professional makeup artist and a lighting expert had already done their thing to make her look as good as possible.


[1] https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/celebrity/kardashians-threaten-legal-action-over-unedited-bikini-pic-of-khloe-report/ar-BB1fkADM?li=BBnb7Kz

Holy Thursday

I may not express my thoughts today very well–they’re beyond my ability to understand or describe.

Holy Thursday, when Jesus shared supper with His apostles. Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with him, but Jesus ended up praying alone. Judas betrayed Jesus. His friends were not there when He needed them.

Some prefer to call today Maundy Thursday, which refers to Jesus’ washing the apostles’ feet and the Gospel according to John focuses on this rather than Jesus’ blessing of the bread and wine. It was a monumental expression of love. No one, not even a slave, could be compelled to wash anothers’ feet, yet Jesus did–showing humility even though He was the very Son of God.

I have to love and identify with good old Peter. He first refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus’ explained its importance, asked to be washed all over. Jesus had to explain why that was not necessary or appropriate. Peter, the bull in the china shop, echoes my shortcomings and inspires me to have faith. His clumsiness was always due to his overwhelming love for Jesus.

This day reminds us that we do not and cannot understand the mind of God. Knowing that God is inexplicable is comforting to me. My God is the one, living, and true God–incomprehensible and more powerful than I could ever imagine and so loving that He sent His only begotten Son for me and you.