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Depth Charges!

So I’m in the middle of one of my infamous multipart series, this one on my homemade candles, in all their waxy wonder. But, I thought I’d take a quick break for…wait for it…some of the lowest form of explosive-cargos…


Depth charges!



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G**d*mn Little Monsters


We’ve got here a serious outbreak of cicadas. They emerged in the early part of the spring and have been busily doing their impression of a cross cut saw ever since. Martha, understandably, hates them and their endless noise. I’m a little better off. I can screen out the sound most of the time. But not always.


Still, what really bugs me (sorry) about them is not the noise but the metaphor.


I mean, here’s a creature that spends 17 years in the dark, dank, damp underground. Then it comes to the surface for a bare few weeks and screams its brains out in a desperate attempt to get laid. After which, it promptly dies a miserable, meaningless death.


Way too close to the human experience for comfort.


You know?



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Life Of The Party, That's Me.


So one of the things that I find really annoying about getting older is that I can no longer drink like I once did. I discovered liquor late in life (give me a break. I grew up among Mormons and Baptists) and only really developed a taste for whiskey, bourbon, and tequila in my 50s.


But, now, if I try to have more than one drink in an evening…say, a lovely Old Fashioned or a Manhattan…there’s a good chance I’ll spend most of the night being violently ill. I mean, really ill. As in getting on a first name basis with the piping ill. As in doing a slam dance and projectile rumba with Glacier Bay. (It’s a brand of plumbing. You get it at Home Depot. Look it up.)


Which, I suppose, is a good thing. It means I’ll never be an alcoholic. But still…


Jeez…


Couldn’t the Sobriety Faeries have just pointed me at AA or something?


It would be a lot less hard on the internals. Mine…and Glacier Bay’s.



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Dude, stay home...



Speaking of health, I was at a local film festival the other day. You know that one of my hobbies is making little experimental videos and submitting them to festivals. Partly, it’s because I enjoy doing the videos. But, also, after lockdown, I have found that going to the festivals themselves is kind of fun. You get out of the house a bit, you meet new people, and you find new theaters.


Anyway, I was at one such fest the day before yesterday. There was a gentleman there, a bit older than I am, who I spoke to at the Meet & Greet on Friday night. He was a retired insurance executive who had gotten into acting in recent years.


Then, we met again the following day at the theater where the films were being shown. I was seated in the lobby at one of the conference tables and he asked if he could join me. Why not?


I realized that he had a huge soft drink and a mound of paper napkins beside him. He was alternatively drinking the soda and repeatedly blowing his nose. He also mentioned that he’d left the festival early the night before because he’d “felt awful. I don’t know why.”


I stared at him. I’m hoping all he had was hay fever, or a simple cold. But I knew that there was a terribly good chance that he had Covid. And that he had just exposed me to it.


I’m vaccinated, of course. But even so, there is always the possibility of breakthrough infections. Worse, even if you are vaccinated, and even if you’re asymptomatic, you can carry the disease to other people. That means that before I can go see my granddaughter again, I’ll have to get a Covid test, and afterwards worry about whether the test was accurate enough to detect a problem.


I steered the conversation to the pandemic. He said he was vaccinated. I hope he was telling the truth. But he seemed a little suspicious of the shots, and of the disease itself (he was not wearing a mask) even though he told me he knew people who had died of the virus. Then, he wiped his nose again and coughed.


I made an excuse and left the table.


As I went, I tried very hard not to be angry at the little man. He wasn’t being cruel, of course. But he had been amazingly thoughtless. Once he realized he wasn’t feeling well, he should have stayed home. He should have avoided the festival.


Yet, here he was. And I had seen him shaking hands with the filmmakers and festival goers the night before. How many of them, I wondered, were now exposed as well?


But there’s the rub. Evil you can oppose. But criminal carelessness…


That’s a more subtle, and maybe a more toxic matter, entirely.



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Special note: I did get tested and I don't have Covid. Cheer.


Still, I'm remain a bit peeved with the little man who showed up at the festival with a dripping nose, a deep cough, and no mask.


I mean, sheesh.


You know?



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My Dad, late 1940s...


My cousin Dwayne recently came across a number of old photos that his parents…my father’s sister and brother-in-law …had had in their effects. He’s been scanning them and sharing them with the family over the last few days.


Among them are several photos of my Dad, looking very young and very sassy as a sailor, and as a hot shot tween with his beloved Model A Ford, something he got for a pittance and nursed back to health.


It was great seeing those photos of him. And also a little depressing.


I mean, really, over seventy years ago, he was already cooler than I can ever dream of being. And he only got more cool after that. He was charming the hospice nurses right to the end.


In a word, damn.


How come the coolness gene just bounced right over my head like a Pensie Pinkie on steroids?


Makes me grumpy.



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That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.



And, finally, I promised not to get political, but…


I saw that the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington on Sep 18, 2021, was a complete flop. The gathering, which was supposed to show support for the insurrectionists of January 6, came pretty much to nothing. There were, reportedly, more police than demonstrators. In fact, there were more journalists there than demonstrators.


Which is satisfying, to me, because it proves that in some things Karl Marx had it absolutely right.


To wit, history really does repeat. The first time as tragedy…


…the second time as farce.