My Corona! Day 27

img_2447As this unprecedented health event hopefully approaches “curve flattening” – if not it’s true apex – continued uncertainty, a myriad of stressors, and a drastic curtailing of normal life, I am trying to look at some of the positive aspects of Life’s disruption.  This is not always easy, particularly when you wake up each morning wondering if that cough, sneeze, or runny nose means anything.

Just allergies, I think/hope/pray.

The biggest positive is the timing of this COVID-19 crisis in the beginning of Spring.  Here in Southeast Pennsylvania the crocuses are blooming; tulips have already pushed up through the soil and are blooming; and the landscapes are verdant green (assuming of course that you subscribe to Cranky Man’s Lawn’s Program for Lawn Love).  Bought a new lawnmower the weekend before the lockdown hit, and cutting the lawn has been more “fun” than usual!

As this unprecedented health event hopefully approaches “curve flattening” – if not it’s true apex – continued uncertainty, a myriad of stressors, and a drastic curtailing of normal life, I am trying to look at some of the positive aspects of Life’s disruption.  This is not always easy, particularly when you wake up each morning wondering if that cough, sneeze, or runny nose means anything.

I’m hopeful that warmer temperatures and how it entices people outdoors could be a positive effect.  It’s a welcome benefit to spend at least an hour or so each day outdoors when temps and weather permit.

Outdoor exercise is always a benefit when the weather is nice.  Carol and I have been taking semi-regular walks together just to get out and about.  It lifts the spirits a bit and invigorates … important when trying to avoid the potential for anxiety and depression, given the constant media obsession.

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Try a puppy instead of The Media

Here’s a solution for Constant Media Obsession: Turn off the TV. Get off the internet. I don’t even read the newspaper much anymore. Try NOT reading any corona-related stories and see just how quickly you can read a newspaper!

Let’s face it. Ten minutes of COVID-19 coverage and you know all you need to know. There is no (confirmed) cure, no significant flattening of The Curve (yet), no loosening of the isolation standards.

Back to the positives …

  • Although spending a lot of time with family offers opportunity. Spending quality time – even an inordinate amount – with your children can work with a little creativity and ingenuity. Examples abound on social media.
  • Take advantage of your backyard.

Spent early evenings the previous two days (rain today) on our backyard deck and saw more neighbors than you would normally see, even on the most glorious of Spring Saturdays!

  • Working from home?  I have avoided it up to now, actually enjoying my suburban commute to work and the socializing the office provides.  But there are a few extra benefits to working two flights from the bedroom.  And that’s even as I refuse to work in my PJs!
  • Cannot remember the last time I had to buy gas for the car.
  • With everyone under our roof being home all the time and no eat-in restaurants open, home-cooked meals almost every night. (Disadvantage Carol)
  • People are friendlier. Every time we take a walk or step outside, someone is around getting exercise and fresh air; walking the dog; trying to exhaust their pent-up children; doing outdoor chores, etc. And all seem ready with a smile or a wave.
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Sunset over Horsham (PA) this evening

They say hard times make tougher people, truer friends, closer families.

What I think is that these difficult times force us all onto a relatively common level of hardship, challenge, and vulnerability.  It strips down the barriers that tend to keep us apart and prevent  interaction.

Take advantage of that!  But only from a safe distance …

 

Ma-ma-ma My Corona! Day 9

The-Knack-My-Sharona-1581713180As this unprecedented health event continues to progress with its uncertainty, stressors, and a drastic curtailing of normal life, I dedicate My Corona – Day 9 to a nameless fellow coworker. Let’s call him Bob.

Bob – on one of our last days in the office – attempted to poke fun at my role as office DJ by asking me why I wasn’t playing the song “My Corona”. I told him – somewhat indignantly – that the song was The Knack‘s “My Sharona“. Little did I know until I checked that there actually was a parody song called “My Corona”.

I took the liberty of previewing it. And my recommendation is to skip it; but I link it here just in case you are not already depressed enough being sequestered like a petulant 3-year-old in “timeout”. Remember you were warned.

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The following version is a bit better … as in a bit better than being stuck in your house with eight of your offspring all under the age of 6.

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But this extremely short video is by far the best so far …

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My obvious point here is that with all the stress, uncertainty, hyper media coverage,  doom and gloom predictions, etc., etc. … it will be our ability to maintain perspective; use common sense; and maybe laugh a little at our human frailty are our best attributes that might just help in getting through all this.

Keep safe. Be smart. Enjoy the time with those most important to you … despite how “scary” that might be.

 

Did Putin’s Kremlin hack the Oscars?

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Possible origin of Best Movie conspiracy

Mistrust in the motivations and actions of the Russian government has been growing since allegations of Russian hacks against the U.S. election process have been made in the fallout from Hillary Clinton’s come-from-ahead loss to President Donald Trump last November.

And let’s face it, why wouldn’t the Russians want to destabilize or at least create disillusionment and distrust in American institutions???  As recently as the Obama Administration, there was an attempt made to sway the British electorate on the Brexit vote, and the dispatch of a DNC (Democratic National Committee) operatives to Israel in a bid to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yet at some point someone has to draw another red line.  Messing with the Oscars might just be A Bridge Too Far!  It’s not a far leap to suggest the Russkies might be interested in causing Academy Award angst, despite the fact that ratings for last Sundays show came in at an all-time low.

Anyone working in an office where a water cooler might be located, can attest to the confusion, anger, and conspiracy theories bantered about the morning after Warren Beatty looked as if looking for the hidden Punk’d cameras.  At least he collected himself sufficiently to make the best decision – for Warren Beatty – and hand the card to Faye Dunaway, so she would go down in “lone assassin” history.

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Does Warren Beatty appear drugged in this photo?  Was he slipped a mickey by Faye Dunaway?

Come to think of it though, why did Warren Beatty seem to sense the card was wrong??  Was he tipped off by the Kremlin??  Or did Beatty sense DNC-like duplicity in Hollywood???

We need to know!

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you of potential Putin-esque skullduggery, consider gross ticket revenues for the eventual Best Picture winner, Moonlight ($22.2 million), versus faux winner La La Land ($140 million) and Hidden Figures ($152 million).

Talk about ignoring The Popular Vote!!!  There must be an investigation!

Finally, consider these bizarre visuals.

Whatever your impressions of the bollixed Best Picture announcement, you have to consider the somewhat Slavic features of Brian Cullinan, the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant responsible for the Oscar’s  “nuclear football”.  He looks like a Russian general!

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PWC’s Brian Cullinan

 

 

Then consider the striking resemblance Cullinan has to Jason Bourne, renown renegade U.S. spy, whose whereabouts are unknown and loyalties routinely questioned.

 

 

 

 

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CIA operative extraordinaire, Jason Bourne

To further blow your mind, did you know Jason Bourne was actually AT THE OSCARS Sunday night?!?

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Bourne doing an unusually poor job of blending in. Did he slip Kimmel the phony Best Picture envelope as Kimmel tried to pick up one of these ladies?  Were these women Bourne plants?!?

Heck … We needed less circumstantial evidence to realize Hillary Clinton was lying and condemning her to the Ash Heap of History!

Now about that Special Prosecutor …

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The issue of gay marraige put to rest!

There always seems to be a sense of accomplishment whenever we can check an item off society’s bucket list.  And today we find that the subject of gay marriage has finally been resolved thanks to yesterday’s pronouncement that Barbara Bush, Bush43’s daughter, has come out in support of same-sex marriage!  Hooray!

OK … I jest.

You’ll find no dog here in that fight.  I do not have an opinion that leans either way.  I have no problem with civil gay marriage, so long as the states, which have always retained the responsibility of regulating and recording marriage applications, decide – preferably by legislation, perhaps via sustainable judicial review – to recognize the union.  Of course that guarantees several states, most likely those in southern and mid-western regions will never recognize gay marriage on their own.  But that’s fine with me.  The people in those states have every right to decide in that way.  (I won’t get into the ramifications of a potential national constitutional amendment on the issue. )

I also have no problem with gay marriage as a religious observance should particular churches determine that it fits their beliefs.  Again, you can start counting grains of sand at the beach while waiting for the Roman Catholic Church to recognize same-sex marriage, but again – it’s their right.

No, this has nothing to do with gay marriage or even Barbara Bush.  It has everything to do with the notion that anyone should give a crap one way or the other what Barbara Bush thinks, simply because she is Barbara Bush! 

I have had the same reaction to Hollywood types being touted for their views on global warming, the Iraq war, healthcare, etc.  And since MOST Hollywood types tend towards liberal views, let me just say the same applies to those celebrity types on the conservative side of debates.  I do not  – aside from random channel surfing – generally view or listen to talking head opinion shows on either side.

I just never understood the notion, put forth and periodically reinforced by the media, that somehow the opinions and pronouncements of people prominent in the popular culture should carry more weight simply because of their popularity.  It’s not the reporting of celebrity utterances that gets me annoyed.  It’s the weight that the opinion is given in the way it is conveyed.  Do I really have to see it reported as BREAKING NEWS?!?  How long will I have to glimpse it as a news crawl along the bottom edge of the TV screen?    

The opinion means nothing to me.  Why?  Because she has no weight in the fight.

Now had it been Bush43 himself or – better yet – Dick Cheney providing us this nugget of social commentary, more people in this country would – and probably should – sit up a bit straighter and take notice. Not because they know better, they claim no higher ground than anyone else.   But because of their weight with moderate and social conservatives, their roles as policy leaders.  More authoritative? Yes.  But the end of the discussion?  Well, not so fast!

Each of us should be able to make up our own minds; express those opinions as Barbara B did; and promote change if we feel it appropriate based on whatever level of education on the subject we pursue. 

That last part is the sticky wicket.  If enough people made it a point to truly educate themselves on the issues of the day, I imagine touting Barbara B’s opinion on anything important wouldn’t be much of a draw in the media.  But the fact that it does has to give one pause. 

It’s a scary thought.

Nothing personal, Barb.