Friday, May 29, 2020

hug me, I'm lethal

Across the street, Joe's wife Pat (or anyway I assume it's Pat), has plugged in one of those election lawn signs. It reads, "you are loved." Is that warming? I suppose so. The air is alive with the sounds and sights of what passes for loving kindness. Heaven knows a little relief is warranted as the coastal focus on the corona19 virus shifts away from the coasts and litters the inlands where there is less sex appeal and news organizations are not known for coverage.

A lot of cozy and gushy going on in media and in my neighbor's yard. "You are loved." There are more "heroes" than there are heroes to fill the shoes. Everyone is saying thank you to everyone else. In the midst of a dulling deep freeze, a wisp of warmth. "Courage" is on everyone's lips. "God" lurks and no one asks who might be creating this god.

And now the hard, dull and dulling part kicks in ... the long, slow slog through the unsexy, un-enormous hinterlands of headlines. Everyone's scared to go out and yet petrified of staying in. New York and California have given way to Brazil ... and the United States is stuck with ...?????... Nebraska and Idaho? ... who in the United States even knows where these states are? It's like the Dust Bowl that the coasts ignored because, well, hell, that's out there and it ain't here.

And through it all, Donald Trump is called the "president of the United States." 

In the midst of all this, the presidential election of 2020 edges closer and closer. Where three months ago, that might have been news, now it is hind-tit fodder: Who gives a shit when everyone's wearing a mask and feels pinioned within and without?

A while back, everyone was hoarding toilet paper? I couldn't figure out why then and still can't ... what will hoarded toilet paper do to ease the burden? 

Oh well,  "You are loved."

For some reason, I think Reuters' penchant for printing "recoveries" (a solo act it seems) is important though I'm not sure just why.

Data as of May 29, 2020 6:17 AM (GMT)
Source: Reuters research 

Total COVID-19 cases worldwide
5.82 million
Total COVID-19 deaths worldwide
Total recoveries worldwide
2.35 million
Highest total cases
United States
1,724,074 cases
Highest death toll
United States
101,372 deaths
Full Global Tracker | U.S. Tracker

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

what if it were enough

What if, instead of wishing more had been accomplished or needed to be accomplished and therefore it were desirable to stay alive ... what if what exists is already enough and it were clearly time to simply hang up the towel?

I hitchhiked across the country twice.
That's enough.
I read perhaps 200 books about the Russian Revolution.
That's enough.
I sang in German and learned to kiss a woman's hand.
Isn't that enough?

Is "more" somehow necessary? Why? Isn't this enough? The cup is full, why keep trying to fill it?

cases and recoveries

Reuters tally:
Total COVID-19 cases worldwide
5.50 million
Total COVID-19 deaths worldwide
Total recoveries worldwide
2.16 million
Highest total cases
United States
1,667,468 cases
Highest death toll
United States
98,063 deaths

Monday, May 25, 2020

Sunday, May 24, 2020

finally, netanyahu is in court

men imagine, women clean up the mess

Men imagine.
Women clean up the mess.
If not completely true, it's probably close enough to be called true.

Does it matter?
Probably not.
But there is something that seeks out sound bites and nostrums even as it derides them.

Keep it neat.
Keep it clean.
Is anything ever neat and clean?
No way, José!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hertz, among others, declares bankruptcy

Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, unable to withstand the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled global travel and with it, the heavily indebted 102-year-old car rental company’s business.
The Estero, Florida-based company’s lenders were unwilling to grant it another extension on its auto lease debt payments past a Friday deadline, triggering the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware....
Under a Chapter 11 restructuring, creditors will have to settle for less than full repayment. Its biggest creditors are banks, but the filing lists IBM, Lyft, United and Southwest Airlines as others owed between $6 million and $23 million each.
Hertz isn’t the first struggling company to be pushed into bankruptcy by the coronavirus crisis. The company joins department store chain J.C. Penney, as well as Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and Stage Stores.

welcome to the age of arson

I think we can look forward to a spike in the number of cases of arson.

Arson is not a crime as perfect as Roald Dahl's imagined wife who clubs her husband to death with a frozen leg of lamb and then feeds the cops who come to investigate, but it has many of the hallmarks of that perfection: the best evidence is consumed by the crime itself.

With hard times in the offing if not upon us, arson offers a payoff that is worth something in a time of little to nothing. The federal government is not supporting the small and middle-sized businesses that buttressed its own sometimes smug being, so burning those bricks and mortar establishments and collecting the insurance has a certain symmetrical justizia.

I think, but don't know, that arson (like putting your head in the oven) was a last-ditch weapon of choice during The Depression. The insurance companies pay off because proving anything is damned near impossible and besides, the payoff money all comes from the small a middle-sized businesses that the recent tax break did not benefit.

The only phrase that comes to mind is, "Slicker -'n' - whale - shit."

Lamb, anyone?

friendless in a friendly world

Doesn't that fill out the picture that is U.S. President Donald Trump?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

chicken legs and thunder thighs

Just because they seem to go together by juxtaposition:
My wife once described me as having "chicken legs" -- thin/spindly. The observation was and remains more or less apt.

Tennis-playing women might be described as having "thunder thighs." Nothing derogatory from here ... just seems more or less apt. How would you like getting rapped upside-the-head with a Serena Williams thigh?!

"Not I!" said the chicken man.


Clear blue and yet strangely malevolent, the sky streams east and west, north and south.

Grass and weeds fill the front patch: The guy who used to do my lawn has moved on to a more full-time job. I am glad for him and his family and sad for me .... the weeds gain purchase in the sunshine.


There is no turning on the news without the epidemic being all the news all the time. Newscasters look uniformly frazzled. What can they say but "and...?" It's a lovely sky.

Today is Thursday, I remind myself lest I forget. Wednesdays and Thursdays are my confused times, it seems.

Yesterday, my younger son and I planted impatiens flowers in the front ... a dot of color in a choking, weed-stoked grassland. A dull drum beat and...and...and...and...

News casters ... now stymied in the habit of predicting the future ... no one knows. If we had a president, there would be something to know, perhaps, even if it were wrong. Donald Trump refuses to wear a mask, a precaution most scientists seem to recommend.

Yesterday, I read somewhere that Donald Trump is wending his way towards death, since he has tried so many other poses.

As a footnote, here's Reuters as of May 24, 2020:
Total COVID-19 cases worldwide
5.28 million
Total COVID-19 deaths worldwide
Total recoveries worldwide
1.98 million
Highest total cases
United States
1,626,658 cases
Highest death toll
United States
96,887 deaths

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

ministerial tchotchke

And, in another nod to the epidemic of coronavirus19 and the business acumen it has encouraged, this blast from the past showed up in email today:
Greetings Rev. Adam Eustis Fisher,
Another year, another cheer! That's right, it's now been 13 years since you became an ordained minister! We can't believe it either. Time really does fly when you are having fun, doesn't it? It's been a while since we've been in touch, and we just wanted to check in and see how things are going. Have you been taking full advantage of your status as a legally ordained minister?
2007 was a time when a Zen student who used to come here wanted me to marry him and his sweetie and I needed some status in order to do it. So I sent away for an insta-minister certification. It took about five minutes and voila! Now, of course, they're wondering if I have the full regalia that matched the status ... dingle-dangles of brocade and the like.

How 'bout that for a hoot.


It must have been during the Vietnam police action (1960's) that I first heard and took the temperature of the word "fragging." "Fragging" was the last desperate act of front-line soldiers led by gung-ho officers who were more than willing to shed their troops' blood as they searched for fame on their own behalf.

A newly-minted lieutenant sacked out in a pup tent -- one who had with recklessness sent his men into a danger he declined to join, might suddenly have his tent, sleeping bag and body ripped to shreds by an American soldier's grenade ... enough was enough! Frag the son of a bitch!

The same thing happened in WWII -- glory-seekers taken down by the very troops he had been assigned to lead.

And now, perhaps, is a good time for someone to frag U.S. President Donald Trump, a man bound and determined to shield himself from any and all criticism and simultaneously gather to him the applause he is convinced he deserves ... at the expense of others ... or, more specifically, the country he 'leads' ... and bleeds.

In other times, a farmer might take a mad dog out behind the woodshed and blow its head off. Too much blood and too much mayhem had been committed. It was time to put and end to the charade. Trump came into office vowing to "drain the swamp" of bureaucrats ... and coincidentally create his own swamp of self-serving blamelessness.

A coward.

A moral coward.

A demean-er of country.

Why anyone has failed to frag this man who lies routinely and leaves blood in his wake ... with the lap dogs of press licking up his aimless spittle ... will no one pull the pin on this mad dog?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

other times, other fashions

Of late, a couple of marbles rolling around in my mind:

1. When I was a kid, a "doughnut" was still a "doughnut" until it morphed (kool, dontcha know) into a "donut" (1950's?)

2. Kids were generally issued a new pear of blue jeans at the start of a school year. Rips and tears were often carefully patched and stitched by caring mothers. No one let the rips remain as a statement of status or whatever the rips these days are supposed to stand for. Few, if any, had any more than a single pair of jeans and the ones they had always needed to be washed a couple of times to shrink them down to the size of the wearer. "Levi's" were the only sort of jeans (and they came off the shelf starched to a faretheewell ... almost two sizes too big and the people who wore them seldom had a foreign accent.