Smoke em’ if ya got em’

Thank you for all the great birthday wishes from the bots and AI geeks and automated gnomes.

Today is not my birthday.

Let me explain.

Somewhere around 30 years ago, I created an email account just for internet purchases. It was obvious that shopping online meant that your email address would be inundated with spam. So the fake address meant I didn’t have to wade through bullshit to find the legit. But it’s also the case that in some types of purchases or transactions a birth date was required. So my fake birthday became 2/2 in the 1940’s.

So today all those foolish marketers and digital well-wishers are wasting their energy on me. Fuck you.

It dawns on me that if I ever go crazy, it’s possible no one will notice. When I’m home, I dance and sing and talk back to NPR and talk to the dog and do all kinds of crazy ass shit. Maybe if I do go crazy, I will start being pious and wearing nice clothes around the house and acting my age. And then people will know something is really up with this guy.

Friday night I had a very nice martini at Strong and Co. and ran into my cousin Mudcat and his wife Deb. Lovely people. The best. We bullshitted a bit but I didn’t stay long because the Jungle Fox was in the car and still wearing the cone. So I didn’t want to leave her long. After my drink I came home and grilled a nice steak with rosemary and mushrooms and roasted garlic butter and had that with a decent Cote du Rhone. 

Saturday Brit and I went to a super cool wood store called Urban Lumber and I bought a 14’ x 20” x 3” live edge Walnut plank which will move to West Virginia and become my bar. It’s satisfying to the soul to know that this hundreds of years old tree that for some reason had to be taken down, will continue to be useful for perhaps another 100 years or more. We were told all the trees they sell are local and taken down by the city due to disease or age, or blown down by the wind or perhaps in some cases merely development. But the trees are then up-cycled to good purposes. In the case of this lucky walnut, my bar at Black Dog Ridge.

And there were two very sweet and beautiful shop dogs who hung out and posed as models to help sell wood.

It was a nice day. Later we met Shannon and Terri at Java-13 for Prosecco and vodka drinks and cold boiled shrimp with sharp cocktail sauce. 

Sunday we woke to rain. Again. 10 of the last 12 days have had rain. The grey and rain are getting old. But we made the best we could. I got the crew moving and we drove to Hocking Hills for a nice little hike to Cedar Falls—after stopping for coffee and snacks at the Coffee Shop there. Marti took her first significant walk sans cone for 3 weeks. Technically she is still on limited duty until Tuesday, but we pushed the boundaries a bit out of love and perhaps a slight bit of carelessness. But mostly out of love.

At MYO we are adding a new board member. I spoke to the guy today. He is German and has been on the board of Little House of Hope for a few years. By bringing our two organizations together, we feel there are some potential advantages in funding and other areas of synergy. LHoH has been essentially operating under the MYO umbrella for many years anyway. 

At Silver Lining, Sue was taken to a family whose toddler was badly burned in a house fire. So she has organized to get him into hospital for treatment. Sue has organized for the family to go to the hospital by taxi a couple of times a day to be with the boy. And for food— as state hospitals mostly do not serve food. But even so, the family must have transport and food and the boy desperately needs good medical care.

It is never ending. The need. All my years in Namibia we have always worked in education. Silver Lining is the first time I have forayed into humanitarian aid. And that just started because of the economic devastation caused by COVID. But I doubt now it will ever end.

You will see photos below of this young man, but also the squalid conditions his family lives in.

In Memphis, the video released documenting the beating and death of Tyre Nichols has brought about the usual response of disgust and thoughts and prayers and calls for change. But we’ve all been down this road several thousand times before. The racism and institutional dysfunction of our police state are too deeply embedded. People fear police, but they fear angering the police even more. So we will turn our heads while nothing changes. Same with gun shootings. Unfair tax laws. Health care mismanagement etc. 

America is realizing what happens when you have an archaic constitution and a flawed election system.

George W. Bush lost the popular vote but was handed the presidency by the Supreme Court who chose not to see what the outcomes were. If Al Gore would have been president we would have immediately turned our attention to climate change and would not have lost those 20 years doing virtually nothing. We also almost certainly would not have started two 20 year wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — two countries that had nothing to do with 9/11. 

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, but Trump became President because the conservative rural areas have a massive advantage in our ridiculous electoral college system. And we see how that turned out. 

So the answer to the question in the headline below is Never. That is our answer. We will never summon the courage to do the right thing in this country. Our DNA is fatally flawed. Our constitution is fatally flawed. So we are led by an ignorant minority who will continue to undermine social and economic progress.

So it goes—as our dear friend Vonnegut might have said. 

I say Fuck it then! Let’s have fun along the way and we’ll fight the fires another day.

In other news, Marti got out in her first bit of snow this morning. We only have about 3 inches but it’s a lot to her. We took a good long walk to town and back this morning around 6:15. She ran and jumped and goofed and just had fun being a puppy. We are getting back to our routine now that she is mostly recovered from her little surgery. 

Ohio snow is a far cry from the multiple feet we would get in Idaho. When we lived on top of the mountain in Pocatello, I would get up at 4 or 5 in the morning several times a week to plow snow. I drove the big Oliver tractor with the blade up and down that mountain for 90 minutes or so and then often had to take a few more passes by 9 or 10.

I do miss the mountains of Idaho, although not those early morning tractor runs.

No other news of note.

Humbly Submitted. 

1 thought on “Smoke em’ if ya got em’

  1. Can’t say enough about the help you give to the disadvantaged; that beautiful boy is a testament to it. Glad Marti is doing better!


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