Monthly Archives: May 2020

Pic of the Day


And Do

Let all your things be done with charity. (KJV) ( 1 Corinthians 16:14 

When people think of the way you express your love, what would they think of? Possibly by faithfully recognizing birthdays, or caring for extended family and taking them under your wing, or ensuring visitors leave with food and providing for their needs. How do you want to be remembered by those you love? Are you creating those moments of love you desire to express to others? 


Pic of the Day


Moment of Zen: Sweet Tea


Pic of the Day


Last Vacation Day

I’m using my last vacation day today. The new fiscal year starts on Monday, June 1, and we have to take our vacation time before then or lose it. I had seven days left at the start of the month, so along with Memorial Day, I have been able to be off work every Monday and Friday of May. Honestly, it didn’t do me much good since there is nowhere to go and nothing to do during the quarantine. I have enjoyed not having to come up with work to document and do on my off days. I sort of wish I could have gone on vacation somewhere or at least gone home to Alabama for a little bit of that time, but that wasn’t in the cards. Besides, Alabama is going crazy right now with reopening, and Central Alabama where my family lives is a bit of a hotspot for the spread of the virus. So, it’s better that I stay home in Vermont.
Therefore, I’ll spend today with Isabella. I can tell she likes me being home, because she always wants to be near me and keep an eye on me. She is a little slow to follow me though. It’s funny, if I’m in a room any length of time, she comes in the room too and takes a nap; when I leave and go into another room, she eventually comes in there about ten minutes later and again goes to sleep. However, she’s a bit of a light sleeper. She literally always has one eye on me if I move. So, she knows when I go into another room, and it seems to be just a delayed reaction when she follows me. Although it could be that she’s just lazy and wants to make sure I’m going to stay in the other room long enough to make it worth her while to follow me. Cats can be such funny little creatures. Yesterday afternoon, she decided a little after two o’clock that it was time for me to quit work, and she laid down so I couldn’t use the mouse for my computer. She can make it hard to work at times, but I had developed a headache anyway, so I took her advice and took a nap for the rest of my workday.


Pic of the Day


Recreation

I think we’ve all seen pictures and videos in the news of events over the past weekend like the beginning of the summer party at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, dubbed the”Zero Ducks Given Pool Party” or crowds at beaches all over the South showing willful disregard for social distancing. Here in Vermont people are mostly following guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks when they can’t social distance.

In Vermont, we’ve had some hot weather the past few days with high temperatures in the 90s, so naturally people want to get out and about. We’ve been warned though not to get into the waters of Lake Champlain or the many quarries, lakes, and rivers around Vermont, not just to continue our social distancing, but because the water temperature has not risen above 50 degrees. The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement reminding everyone that the waters were still too cold to enjoy, and that with temperatures below 50 degrees, hyperthermia sets in within a few minutes.

So as much as I too would like to visit one of the gay beaches in Vermont or go canoeing or better yet tubing down one of Vermont’s lazy rivers, I will stay at home. Truthfully, when the weather warms up, I prefer to take a few days and head up to the Gay Village in Montreal, but that too is out of the question because the border remains closed.

I doubt I will ever understand the people who refuse to wear masks and say stupid things like: “If I get sick, I get sick,” “If it’s my time to die, it’s my time to die,” or “God will protect me.” How does the Ancient Greek proverb go? “God helps those who helps themselves.” There’s a fine line between trust and irresponsibility that I admit is sometimes hard to see, but the truth is these people are being selfish. Wearing masks is more about protecting others than it is about protecting yourself. Remember to always follow the Golden Rule: Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophet. — Matthew 7:12


Pic of the Day


Interesting Times

Sometimes, life is boring, but that’s ok. There is an English expression “May you live in interesting times,” which purports to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. Despite being so common in English as the “Chinese curse, the saying is apocryphal, and no actual Chinese source has ever been produced. The most likely connection to Chinese culture may be deduced from analysis of the late-19th-century speeches of the British statesman Joseph Chamberlain, probably erroneously transmitted and revised through his son Austen Chamberlain.

 

It seems to me that a quarantine during a world-wide pandemic is a bit of both. Being at home more than usual, is in fact often boring. There is only so much Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Star Trek reruns a person can watch. Yet, this pandemic can be considered interesting times. It is most certainly an event of historical proportions, and I suspect, among other things, this pandemic will cause Donald Trump to go down in history as the most self-centered, imbecilic, and ineffectual president in the history of the United States.

 

Sadly, James Buchanan, who was probably America’s first gay president, will continue to be the worst for his ineptitude in preventing the Civil War, but Donald Trump still has at least eight more months in office to beat Buchanan out of his spot. Trump will never make it to the list of best presidents, not even close, but he likes to be the most in everything, so he may just decide he wants to go down as the worst president. Fat chance he’d ever consider himself anything but the best, but he sure does seem to be working hard to be the worst.

 

I also don’t think any revisionist historian will look back and try to reassess Trump as being better than he was portrayed by contemporary historians, who mostly show their dismay when assessing Trump’s presidency. He will not be like Herbert Hoover, who was reviled and utterly defeated in his quest for re-election, yet in the years since Hoover was president, historians have reassessed his tenure in office. What made Hoover so ineffectual during the Great Depression was that he lost the confidence of the people and could not gain it back. With a few exceptions, Hoover did not want the federal government involved in relief efforts; however, many of his policies were also tried by FDR. Roosevelt was never able to bring the United States out of the Depression without involving the country in World War II. It was the industrial-military complex created during the war effort and the fact that most of the unemployed men were drafted into the military that brought the end of the Great Depression. The war eliminated unemployment and rebuilt the economy on a war footing. FDR was seen as a hero, while Hoover was seen as a failure until recently.

 

In my opinion, Trump has done nothing redeeming in his presidency, and I don’t believe he can turn it around before the election. Numerous investigations, an impeachment (that he was saved from conviction because the Republicans in the Senate refused to have a real impeachment trial), an adversarial relationship with the press, narcissism, thousands of lies, total disregard for the rule of law, etc. will go down in history. Yes, there will be some historians on the right who might try to defend him, but history is supposed to be unbiased. And, I believe history will judge him very harshly and with few if any redeeming qualities. He quite possibly is not only doing damage to his reputation but is also damaging the Republican Party as a whole. Republicans will have to reassess their moral standing and take a long hard look at the depths the party has dragged down the Grand Old Party. Hopefully after the November election, it won’t be so grand anymore.

 

So yes, sitting at home can be boring, but no one can deny that we are living in historic and interesting times. By the way, the nearest related Chinese expression to the “curse” quoted abovetranslates as “Better to be a dog in times of tranquility than a human in times of chaos.” For some of us, our homes are tranquil places, but humanity is definitely in chaos.


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Charlie Smith; Single Man, ensorcelled, unreliable narrator, ravenous reader, love child of Jane & Paul Bowles, borne by surrogate, Little Edie Beale, devoted catechumen of Her Grace, Duchess Goldblatt; now living a life of Love & Light, shining from the social-media-free exile of my own personal mirage of Tangier, the Grey Gardens in the Elba of my imagination, here, where I am, going.