Circular Logic

The government needs to do something about this COVID virus.

They recommend wearing a mask

That infringes on my rights and freedom.

Are you maintaining social distancing?

That’s another infringement.

Are you staying home?

Heck no! I have the right to go wherever and whenever I want.

Are your kids participating in hybrid or distance learning?

No, I’m paying taxes so my kids belong in school–period.

Will you get a vaccine?

No way. I don’t want to the government injecting something weird into my body.

The government just passed the new stimulus bill.

I don’t have direct checking so if I get it at all, it will take months. The government hasn’t even gotten my unemployment benefits straightened out. I’ll say this again, the government needs to do something about this COVID virus.

Circular logic

The wheels of conspiracy theories operate much faster than the wheels of government.

Do As I Say

Do as I say
not as I do
because I know much better than you

Send me your money
my PAC is the best
more  honest  and trusted than the all of the rest

I love my base
they love me back
No one will listen to your false attacks

What you don't know
can't hurt me I say
ahead of the law I'll continue to stay

From white house to big house
I travel along
Continuing to sing my siren's song

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 22: First Anniversary-What Would You Include?

The traditional 1st-anniversary gift is considered to be paper, while the modern gift is a clock, which commemorates the passage of time over this important first year.

What artifacts would you include on the first anniversary of COVID?

  1. paper mask
  2. shot record of COVID vaccinations
  3. COVID test results, perhaps showing luck or virtue
  4. snips of the changing political and social views on mask wearing
  5. changed work schedule or filing for unemployment benefits
  6. pictures of friends and family that you have not seen for a year
  7. cancelled event tickets
  8. programs for events never attended
  9. invitation to your first post-COVID gathering
  10. take-out menus
  11. 2020/21 calendars showing how empty life was, except maybe for medical appointments and Zoom meetings
  12. diary (see calendar entry)
  13. copies of all of the COVID jokes and toilet paper memes sent around by people desperate for a reason to smile or even laugh
  14. election memorabilia
  15. collection of recipes used this past year
  16. pictures of the garden or other hobbies you took up this year
  17. lessons plans from home schooling
  18. list of lessons learned
  19. changing or morphing political/cultural opinions
  20. new books read or streaming platforms watched

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 21: Work from Home Attire

Outer appearances are very important. The thought appears in ancient Babylonian writings, and Erasmus’s collection of adages (1523) refers to the fact that the statement “Clothes are the man” appeared in Homer and numerous ancient Latin sources. In sixteenth-century England it was usually put as “apparel” rather than “clothes”; Shakespeare’s Polonius pontificates, “The apparel oft proclaims the man” (Hamlet, 1.3). It was a cliché by the nineteenth century.

Where are you in the what to wear from home continuum?

  1. Wear pajamas all day
  2. Look professional from the waist up, but only on Zoom meeting days
  3. Have a complete set of elastic waist pants and coordinated t-shirts
  4. Gave away all of my professional clothes as a 2020 tax write-off
  5. Wish I still had day of the week underwear.
  6. Family stepped in with a need to do laundry intervention
  7. Pigpen is my new hero

Tenacious Sweet Gum Balls

Nothing sweet about
bird beak spikes that cling and trip
unwary humans

Decorative balls
ornamental but painful
when you trip and fall

Corona like spikes
that protect the gumball seeds
from dangers like us

Gumballs awaiting the unwary.

I have become fascinated by the gumballs that continue to swing from the branches in the brisk winter breezes long after the sweet gum leaves have called it a season. They are green and pliant early in the season becoming hardened and brown as they weather on the tree. I have seen them decorate the azaleas, boxwood, dogwoods, and hollies that catch the gum balls that fall from the trees overhead. Once upon the ground, especially if it is frozen, the tenacious little balls will roll your ankle or send you ass-bound in a New York second.

Click here to find out what you can do with these beauties, including:

1. Lay the seed pods around young plants to deter snails and slugs who would rather not tangle with them

2. Put them around plants that you also want to protect from rabbits (press the spikes in the ground a bit so they don’t blow away)

More Sea Stories with Carl Snow

Carl’s biography: A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Carl Snow graduated from the University of Maryland and had a long career in the United States Navy. Carl started out as a Radarman (RD) and advanced to first-class petty officer. He was involved in “ECM” as the Navy called it then, when a new rating was created, Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) and Carl was folded into that, advancing to chief petty officer. Then he applied for a commission as a Warrant Officer and was selected, becoming an Operations Technical Officer. After retirement as a CWO4, he worked as Assistant Editor for The Hook magazine and then as Production Editor for the Topgun Journal at the Navy Fighter Weapons School. When Topgun moved to Fallon, Nevada, Carl remained in San Diego, working as a Technical Writer, researching and writing manufacturing process documents for hi-tech electronics manufacturers.

Carl retired for good in March 2011 and volunteers in the Midway Museum Research Library in San Diego, California.

On Getting Face-time in Thailand

Ah, Pattaya Beach, the first port call coming out of the I.O (Indian Ocean). I don’t think that I am in the picture; my days of “scouting local talent” were far behind me by then. About the only thing I ever got in Pattaya Beach were a pair of ornamental brass dolphins (somewhere in one of the sheds by now) that I had to carry back to the ship by boat. They weighed about 30 pounds when I bought them and I swore they were 200 pounds by the time I got them back to the ship. I went a couple of times for the freshest sea food in the world at a restaurant called Dolph Rijk’s. The fish were unloaded on the beach and carried across the road to the restaurant. Delicious and you could watch the boxing matches across the street while you ate. Once in a while the admiral would host a battle-group party for all the ship’s officers at the Holiday Inn hotel up the beach. These were mandatory, “face-time” events; you’d go and make sure your department head saw you, and maybe do something obnoxious so he’d remember that you were there. Two drinks and about twenty minutes of mingling usually satisfied the face time requirement. An engineering junior officer brought a local girl to one of admiral Brown’s parties. She was dressed in a frilly lace top and long native Thai wrap-around skirt. He twirled her on the dance floor and her skirt unraveled, leaving no doubt that she had no underwear on. They hastily exited the hotel and the general consensus was that it was an intentional, though raunchy, attempt at face time.

On Man Overboard Dummy

The helicopter squadrons (both) ready room was in the area where the F-8 Crusader “mini-museum” is now. The first time we had a man overboard drill after I became ATO (Air Transfer Officer) we had an argument when the helo crew dumped the water-soaked Oscar dummy in the ATO shack. I soon found out that, being a “passenger” in the helo, he belonged to us until we got him back to the forecastle and turned him over to the Boatswain’s Mates. After that, when there was a man overboard drill one of my airmen always met the helo and hustled the dummy down to the forecastle. Live and learn.

On Where do Oscars (Man Overboard Dummy) come from

We could probably find a photo of Oscar in one of the cruise books and send it to the “cushion lady” in the Air Wing Department. They were all home-made by the Boatswain’s Mates, usually by cutting up old kapok life jackets. We may be able to get an active-duty ship to donate one in exchange for attribution in the exhibit.

On Helo Rotor-over

I remember the Wessex coming over. He brought the British admiral to see our admiral and they tied it down on spot three. The pilot was a warrant officer and, since their passenger was staying for lunch it fell to me to entertain him until time to man up for departure. One of the chiefs from HC-1 (Helicopter Combat Support Squadron-1) took the crewman under his wing and I took the pilot down to the dirty shirt locker for lunch. He was taken with the “auto dog.”

Afterward I took him around the ship to see some of the spaces he was interested in. He asked if we’d ever seen a “rotor-over,” which turned out to be the helicopter equivalent of a wing-over in an airplane. He asked if we’d like to see him do one upon take off. I called the Boss on the Mouse when we were manning up and requested permission for the helo to do a rotor-over. He said it was okay, just don’t hit anything. I called for the admiral at the flag mess and escorted him to the helo. The Boss alerted the flight deck crew to watch the helo for some aerobatics.

As soon as he was clear of the deck, he accelerated and made a couple of passes up the starboard side and then after the second pass, he climbed and “rolled” the helicopter then dove aft and crossed the fantail and took off for the admiral’s flagship. I always assumed that the British admiral knew about the maneuver and was okay with it. We were all impressed.

On Will Rogers

Speaking of Will Rogers, I’m reminded of his comment, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” When I was on Enterprise (CVN-65), our CIC Officer, a certain commander Wheeler, apparently not well regarded, was transferring from the ship. Some of the officers in CIC wore tee-shirts that read, “CDR Wheeler never met Will Rogers!”

Snow Reveries

Gently falling snow
muffles sound; shortens distance
Magnifies details.

Flakes limn the branches.
Black and white outlines sharpen
while contours soften.

Tracks abound in snow
tires, squirrel, human, bird, dog.
Each path visible.

Snow still coming down
coating trees, grass and rooftops.
Melting on pavement.

How can tree roots drink
up snow so quickly that it
leaves behind bare ground?

Snowman on fire pit
Do wet logs hide underneath
smoldering in pique?

Snow What!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter. It’s a tradition dating all the way back to 1887. According to Stormfax Almanac, Phil is only 39% accurate with his predictions. Admittedly, it’s tough to get it right for the entire country.

Last Sunday, amidst the falling snow, neighborhood children (with more than a little help from their Dads), created at least two snow men and one small snow child. The creator of the snowman with the scarf actually crawled around through the snow pushing the snow ball that became the snowman’s base. His kids helped patch of the uneven spots in the snowball.

Happy National Kazoo Day-January 28


Founded in 1983 by Chaplin Willard Rahn of the Joyful Noise Kazoo Band, National Kazoo Day celebrates the humble kazoo and all the infectious joy it brings to people of all ages.

Don't blow it out your wazoo
Instead blow it on a kazoo

The kazoo is an American musical instrument that adds a “buzzing” timbral quality to a player’s voice when the player vocalizes into it. It is a type of mirliton (which itself is a membranophone), one of a class of instruments which modifies its player’s voice by way of a vibrating membrane of goldbeater’s skin or material with similar characteristics.

Similar hide-covered vibrating and voice-changing instruments have been used in Africa for hundreds of years, often for ceremonial purposes.

From Kazoo History:

In the mid-18th hundreds the kazoo in its present form started making an impact on the history of the world. A guy by the name of Alabama Vest got the idea for the kazoo in the 1840’s in Macon, Georgia. He teamed up with the German clock manufacturer Thaddeus Von Glegg to construct the first kazoo.

Emil Sorg, who was a travelling salesman, came across a Vest and von Glegg’s kazoo on one of his business trips. He showed great interest in the kazoo and was eager to get the kazoo into mass-production. With this thought in mind Emil Sorg travelled to New York. Here he became partners with Michael McIntyre, who was an iron smith. Together Sorg and McIntyre created the first production of the kazoo in the year 1912. McIntyre had now gained enough knowledge to maintain the production of kazoos all by himself. All he needed was a larger factory.

In 1913 he separated from Emil Sorg and teamed up with Harry Richardson who owned a big metal factory. McIntyre and Richardson launched the first mass-production of the kazoo in 1914. Selling kazoos was a good business. The salesfigures of the popular instrument rose enormously. In 1916 McIntyre and Richardson renamed their partnership and turned it into a company called The Original American Kazoo Company. As other manufacturers of kazoos tried to get in on the sales market the pressure of competition was rising. Therefore it was a feeling of satisfaction and pride when McIntyre succeded to get his product patented in 1923.

The factory itself still exists today and it still produces kazoos. Next to the the original factory a museum has been built to tell the history of the kazoo and to give a detailed description of the manufacturing process.

Power of a Proofreader

From an email

In today’s world:We all need a good laugh.

Did I read that sign right?

—————————— —————————— —————————— –
In a Laundromat:
—————————— —————————— —————————–
In a London department store:
—————————— —————————— ————————-
In an office:
—————————— —————————— —————————— —————————— —————
In an office:
—————————— —————————— —————————— —
Outside a second-hand shop:
—————————— —————————— —————————— —————————— —
Notice in health food shop window:
—————————— —————————— —————————— ————
Spotted in a safari park:
(I sure hope so.)
—————————— —————————— ———
Seen during a conference:
—————————— —————————— ————————–
Notice in a farmer’s field:
—————————— —————————— ——————–
Message on a leaflet:
—————————— —————————— ———————–
On a repair shop door:
Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn’t you say?
—————————— —————————— —————————— —
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife
And Daughter
This one I caught in the SGV Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!!! They put in a correction the next day.
—————————— —————————— —————————— —————————— —————–
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Really? Ya’ think?
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————-
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that’s taking things a bit far!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
No-good-for-nothing’ lazy so-and-so’s!

—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works better than a fair trial!
—————————– —————————— —————————— ———————–
War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————-
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya’ think?!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————-
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ———————
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ——————–
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape? 
—————————— —————————— —————————— ——————–
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ——————–
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Weren’t they fat enough?!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ——————–
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That’s what he gets for eating those beans!
—————————— —————————— —————————— ——————–
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken?
****************************** ****************************** ********************
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!
****************************** ****************************** ****************************** ****
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!
****************************** ****************************** ****************************** *****
And the winner is…
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?

Squirrelly in the Winter–Call Me Kit

They malign me when they call me Gutter Squirrel, ’cause that is the route I used to the take out joint they call the Food Dish. First of all, it is a squirrel feeder or maybe if you’re particular, a squirrel/bird feeder. There is no dish involved. It’s a block of seed or maybe fruit and seed, usually incarcerated in a metal cage.

Call me Kit, ’cause I’m the pathfinder who discovered the route to the Food Dish. Don’t let them tell you it was Hoover, the jumping squirrel. It has to be directly over his head for him to find anything. He can’t even make it home to our drey, unless its still daylight.

Squirrel Drey (home) in the tree

This past fall, the Food Dish, tried to commit suicide by falling off the nail it was on and crashing to the ground. The fat humans tried to blame me, but there are no witnesses. I can neither confirm or deny that I avoided ending up as squirrel tartar for some buzzard by jumping off before that thing hit the ivy. Or maybe it fell off the hook when I was pulling it up closer to the gutter where I was hanging. I’m not admitting anything.

The fat male finally got tired of putting the Food Dish back on that same hook so he moved it to a nail on the porch side of the roof overhang rather than directly under the gutter.

Since I knew the Food Dish location very well, I crawled up on the roof and hung from the gutter a few days in a row, just to make sure I wasn’t the one who had misplaced the Food Dish. No, it was the fat male.

I had to get creative to access the new location. First, I tried hanging from the gutter and swinging over to the cage, but it was too far for even me to stretch. Let’s not discuss the sideways jump from the vertical support–if it weren’t for my squirrel- like reflexes, I’d have ended up as Squirrel Tartar. But you can’t outwit me-my vertical jump would win me a gold medal if there were ever a Rodent Olympics. Now I’m back dining at the Food Dish as often as the fat male condescends to restock it.

Some other, less talented squirrels show up to eat the food that falls from the Food Dish, ’cause even a gourmand such as myself can’t help the seeds from falling away from the brick.

Fitbit and Me

I’ve been a fitbit fan for a few years now–the proud owner of a Fitbit zip (the cheapest and most basic product).

Over the years, I bought and lost several of them because the plastic clip never worked well; they fell out of my pockets too easily. Switching from the dark grey to the bright fuchsia plastic cover made they easier to find under the car seat or on the pavement next to the car .

When they started disappearing from several stores and refurbished ones appeared online for double the $35-$45 price of the new ones, I bought a couple to stockpile. My last zip quit functioning; I was forced to buy a new one to keep my addiction going.

The Inspire 2 was “only” $120. I hated the feel of the plastic band and continued to carry it in my pocket.

As a reclining bike junkie, I like to watch the steps increase on the fitbit app on my computer as I merrily peddled away. Fitbit no longer supports the app on Windows 10. When I was forced to update the firmware on my Inspire, that small pleasure was taken away. I now have to sync my fitbit on my phone, which just happens to be a model that fitbit doesn’t officially support. The sync now lags between what is on the Inspire, what is on the dashboard, and what is on one of the graphs.

I can not directly tie what I miss about the earlier fitbit (devices and ability to sync with the computer) to it’s purchase by Google but I am suspicious. (Does that qualify for a conspiracy theory?

National Dress Up You Pet Day–January 14

Many people dress up their pets for Halloween or adorn them for the family holiday card. Did you also know that this is a day dedicated to dressing up your pet? That day is today!

Pictures of Midway Maddy, USS Midway mascot. Maddy now has her own book. The Ghost and Miss Maddy,

National Dress Up Your Pet Day was founded in 2009 by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist, Colleen Paige.

Please remember to keep your pets safe and comfortable in the pet clothing and costumes that you choose.

Tips for dressing up your pet:

  • If your pet just doesn’t like dressing up, let them sit this holiday out.
  • Be sure it fits. Restricting movement or ability to breathe can cause injury or illness.
  • Many pets like to chew. Avoid loose or dangling pieces which can cause choking hazards.

Happy International Typing Day-January 8, 2020

As a typo queen, aka Typonista, this is a holiday I discovered by chance this morning. It really resonates with me.

Typing Day was created to encourage people to express themselves via written communication and to promote speed, accuracy and efficiency in this type of communication. It is marked with various events and activities.

From the webpage

Typing Day, also referred to as World Typing Day or International Typing Day, is an annual event that originated in Malaysia in 2011. It is held on January 8.

Typing Day was established to commemorate the Malaysian Speed Typing Contest of 2011. It was originally conceived by Team TAC (Type Auto Corrector), a group of young professionals that has designed and developed SecondKey, a tool for automatic correction of typing mistakes in any type-written interface. Team TAC is one of the two main coordinators of Typing Day. The other is Speed Typing Contest Team from JCI Mines.”

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an English-language pangram—a sentence that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet. Owing to its brevity and coherence, it has become widely known. The phrase is commonly used for touch-typing practice, testing typewriters and computer keyboards, displaying examples of fonts, and other applications involving text where the use of all letters in the alphabet is desired.

The qujick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. I just tayped that and left the errors in to demonstrate my lack of typing proficiency.

How is your typing? Did you learn in school or are you self taught?