Could QAnon Really Be The New QVC?

The more I hear about the crazy conspiracy theories of QAnon the more I wonder who benefits from starting this? I find it is no surprise that so many American are so gullible. Look at the powerball and mega millions lotteries. You have a 320,000,000:1 chance of hitting the power ball, yet millions of people put in their two bucks to try and win the lottery.

Now two bucks is not that much to risk, but most people don’t just spend single digits, they bet twenties or hundreds. Many of those people who buy those lottery tickets are missing an important tooth or don’t have enough savings to cover a months bills, yet they still buy lottery tickets without winning much. That’s gullible to me.

The decades long allure of QVC and Home shopping network play on this same group of people. Those who believe a beautiful spokes model convince them that if they purchase this skin cream they will look fifteen years younger, for just four monthly payments of $6.99. The buyers will still be paying for that cream long after it is used up and they still have the same wrinkles. Gullible.

Now I want to know who is selling stuff to the people who believe in conspiracy theories, because I want to follow the money? I don’t see any other reason for people to create these outlandish claims. So is it in the best interests of the folks who sell survival kits, or weapons or protective clothing to get people ginned up about their safety so they buy their products?

So is QAnon the new QVC? Instead of tiny Chinese vases or velvet covered hangers is QAnon actually some big consumer consortium set up to sell survivalist gear? I don’t want to do any deep dive searches on the internet to find out, but I am very interested in following the money because I believe money is behind most everything.


BRRRRR

Based on looking at the weather map today I can bet that if you are reading this it is very cold where you live. Carter texted us a photo this morning of ice on the inside of her kitchen window. This is what happens when you live in a old building in Boston where your one radiator is three rooms away from the kitchen.

I suggested she turn on her oven and open the door since her landlord pays for the gas. Of course you have to be careful about running your oven unattended, but as long as she was in her kitchen it seemed like a safe thing to do rather than freezing to death.

I didn’t bother going outside today. It was just too cold. Ever since an unnamed relative used to throw me and my sisters outside during snow or ice storms I avoid unnecessary cold trips. I don’t mind enjoying a new fallen snow in the bright sunshine because the reflective quality of the sun on the snow makes it very pleasant, but a windy cold gray day is not my cup of tea.

Tonight I went to retrieve my nightgown from the dryer in the garage. Since the cycle finished hours ago the fabric was freezing even though it was dry. I brought it up to my bath room and put the hairdryer in the neck and turned it on high. For about two minutes I blew hot hair into my nightgown before I slipped it on. It was heaven to have the warm, soft material engulf my cold body.

I think I am going to have to pre-warm my nightgown all winter now that I have discovered how good it feels. I hope you are staying warm where you are. Don’t forget all the heating pads, electric blankets and hairdryers you have to keep you toasty.


Baking as Church

Tonight my church had a fun Zoom Bread Baking class with a cool baker named Kendal Vanderslice from Edible Theology. It was short on theology and long on great bread baking knowledge, which was very informative.

We each mixed up a dough with white and wheat flours a little salt, tiny amount of yeast and water. It is a slow, long rise dough so we learned about stretching it and resting it, but we did not bake it. Based on what I learned tonight I hope to have a beautiful loaf to show tomorrow morning. For now I have my dough resting in a bowl on the counter of the kitchen, covered by a damp tea towel.

It was an excellent Zoom class. One of the things I have discovered I love about Zoom is that I am able to have side conversations and not get in trouble for talking in class. I am looking forward to posting my loaf on Instagram along with those of my classmates and see how they all turned out.

I love that getting together to learn to bake bread is something my church plans for us to do to stay connected during this time when we have to be apart. Maybe in the fall we can gather together in the new fabulous kitchen in the fellowship hall and test out our new baking skills. We have such a fun church.


Beautiful Shay

Unlike the rest of us, Shay has not changed her grooming schedule due to the Pandemic. She has not adopted a Pajamas-all-the-time wardrobe. Her feet have not widened thanks to not wearing real shoes. She does not skip daily showers or forgoes washing her hair for three days.

Shay still insists on looking her best for visitors or those she might greet on a walk, even if she tends to ignore most beings she encounters out in public. A jaunty bandanna or her Barbour jacket are required most days. If she wore earrings they would always be diamonds, that’s why we have refused to pierce her ears.

When Shay ventures out for an exploration around our house she demands a special paw washing and drying at the front door because she does not like the feeling of dirt between her toes.

Yesterday was her day of beauty when her Mercedes Metrohound van pulled up to pamper her. She greatly dislikes the hairdryer, but will endure it on low when her face is being dried because she likes the look of a well groomed snout. Shay is the only one in the house who has kept up her grooming regiment, although she doesn’t seem to love us scruffy folks any less.

We humans could take a page out of her book and keep up appearances for the sake of our dignity. She models good behavior for us, if only we would pay attention. I think she will just have to keep at us a little bit longer.


The Extroverts Pandemic Pain

Being an off the charts extrovert during the pandemic means I don’t get a daily high from seeing friends and thus I normally sleep well. Pre-Pandemic if Russ and I went to an evening soirée I would come home totally charged up, me unable to fall asleep and he, as the introvert, practically had to be carried to bed from the car.

Yesterday I had an evening Zoom Program with my non-profit group where I moderated followed up by an unusually long late night call with my college daughter. Those two “peoplely” interactions had all my extrovert juices flowing so I could not fall asleep. I stayed up going down a rabbit hole on Facebook. I was prompted to friend a woman who was in my class at boarding school. I opened her page and found her in a photo with a man who had been a dear friend of mine in Washington, whom I had lost touch with when he broke up with my friend and moved away.

This collision of two of my worlds, late at night, when I should have been sleeping, got me even more worked up and consequently I hardly slept at all. Fast forward to tonight. Running on fumes, I had a very rare Zoom gathering late tonight. My friend Sally Schott had won a Zoom book group meeting with the author Kelly Corrigan, a fabulous writer of memoirs. We had read her book “Tell me more” and she joined Sally and 19 of Sally’s friends to talk with us.

Kelly, also has a success Podcast called Kelly Corrigan Wonders so she is one of those rare authors who can talk and write. Rather than give us a canned speech about her book, she just let us ask her questions, many of which were about her writing process. Since she has written four memoirs I was very interested since writing a daily blog is like writing a memoir in real time.

After our hour with Kelly was done Sally hosted an after party Zoom for the die hards in the group. I had a good two hours of grown female zoom party, like kerosene on my extrovert fire. Gone was my exhaustion from the previous 24 hours. Now I am searching for a crash so that I don’t have two non-sleeping nights in a row.

Somehow I am going to have to find friends who only want to Zoom in the morning so I can put that extrovert energy to good use during day light hours and be able to fall fast asleep at the right time. Hurry sleep, I have needlepoint Zoom early tomorrow morning. I can’t sleep late and I am too old to pull two all nighters in a row.


Succession Planning for Your Non-Profit

I am lucky enough to be on the leadership committee of a group called the Harvard 100. It is a high faulting name of a group that is the opposite of high faulting. The group is made up of Non-Profit leaders, both executive directors and Board chairs from the Research Triangle. We were started by a great Philanthropist Chuck ReCorr who asserted that investing in leadership makes non-profits better. We all have been to non-profit leadership training at Harvard and Chuck has been nurturing this group for the last ten years so that non-profits in the Triangle can work together collaboratively. Today there are over 130 Harvard Grads who are part of our group.

Tonight we had a virtual meeting about Succession Planning for non-profits. We focused on succession for the Executive directors tonight since this a big topic. Bert Armstrong gave a presentation and then we had a case study from one of our members who had a robust succession plan.

The idea of succession planning is important to all organizations. Succession of leaders happens whether you like it, or are prepared or not. There is emergency and/or interim succession if someone gets hit by a bus and there are long planned for retirements and all kinds of things in between.

To me one of the unforgotten reasons for a succession plan is so you can fire a poor leader if you have to. I was on a board where the executive director turned out to be a liar. When I brought this to the attention of the board chair she said she didn’t have time to find a new Executive Director so she wasn’t going to fire her. The truth was we didn’t have a succession plan and the board chair was lazy. I quit that board that day.

Tonight the Harvard 100 announced a grant opportunity for all Non-profits in the triangle to compete for. We have five $5,000 grants to give to organizations that create or update their succession plans. You can go to www.theharvard100.org/content to read about how to apply to win one of these grants. Your organization does not have to be part of the Harvard 100. The slides from today’s presentation, as well as a recording of the meeting should be up on the website if you missed the meeting. If you have questions feel free to contact me.


We Need Vaccine Manufacturing To Increase

From what it sounds like in the news there seems to be shortage of Covid Vaccines which is slowing the process. The delivery of the product does not seem to be an issue and it appears that the states could handle at least double or more product if they had it. So the pinch point is getting the vaccines from the manufacturers.

We have two companies who have approved vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna. Johnson and Johnson may have a vaccine in the middle of February. Today Merck announced they are pulling the plug on their vaccine trials. Merck was not part of project Warp Speed so they may not have been in the projections for vaccinations. But Merck was trying to develop a vaccine. If that was the case, they must have had plans to manufacture a vaccine if they were able to invent it.

Why can’t Biden use the war time production act to have the Pfizer and/or Moderna vaccines manufactured at Merck facilities? There must be a way to build more facilities to produce vaccines.

I am not surprised that the last administration did not have a plan and did not tell the truth on the numbers of vaccines the US government has, but now is the time to change.

Currently the states are alerted on Friday the amount of vaccine they will get the next week, usually by Tuesday night and then they are running out of those shots by Friday. We need a seven days a week supply so states can be giving shots everyday.


Happy Birthday to My Mom Tomorrow

As far as I am concerned Covid Birthdays don’t count. There are no celebrations, no lunches out, no gatherings so you don’t have to count Covid birthdays in your year count. So my Mom is still the same age tomorrow as she is today. It my be her big day, but she is not aging one bit.

That part is true about her anyway. She may be an octogenarian, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. I think my Mom has looked the same for the last thirty years. What is her secret?

It could be the clean air she lives in. Perhaps it is all the art she does. Certainly her life of eating one soft boiled egg for breakfast everyday might have something to do with it. She probably would tell you it’s drinking white wine with ice that keeps her young. Whatever the reason we might never know.

If you know my mother, please send her an email tomorrow or post something on her Facebook or Instagram to wish her a Happy birthday.

I am looking forward to the day when we are all vaccinated from Covid that we can celebrate together. Until then I must wish her virtual best wishes as I want her around for a lot more birthdays.


This Year’s Big Thing

A couple of weeks before Christmas Russ and Carter come to me all concerned about what I am going to do with my time in the next year. This concern always bugs me at the time they do it. They try and make it seem like I am not doing enough to improve the world. Come Christmas Day I usually find out that the whole reason for the awkward conversation is that they are searching for something to give me for Christmas that has to do with my big life plan.

You would think I remember this in mid December, but I don’t. This year, with Covid, I had greater limitations on what my big thing for the year was going to be. I already have my garden ready to go based on last year, but that is a seasonal big thing. Russ and Carter were looking for something more year round, so I threw out I might start working on a cook book. They took right to that idea and encouraged me that it should be my big thing. I wondered why they liked that idea so much.

Then come Christmas and one of my big presents was the promise for all the photography equipment I might need to photograph my recipes. Ah ha! The reason they bug me. Well it turns out I already had most of the equipment I need and so far I have gotten zip. I also have not been working on my cookbook at all.

Yesterday I thought I should get started. It was going to be my big thing after all. I made my homemade English muffins to test my recipe. Today I tried to photograph them. I was all prepared to retouch the pictures, but I think I captured it in the camera.

If I am going to try and create a cookbook I might have to make this a two year project since it is almost February and I have done one recipe.


My Mima and Hank Aaron

My very wonderful grandmother Mima was a genteel southern lady. She wore monogramed linen Doncaster dresses with hose and spectator pumps on the hottest of summer days. She served half a canned pear with a dollop of mayonnaise on a butter lettuce leaf and thought that was all you needed for lunch. And she wrote the most beautiful of thank you notes for the smallest of kindness.

I never once saw her wear a pair of pants or heavens forbid shorts or a bathing suit, despite the pool in her yard. She cut the seatbelts out of her peacock blue Dodge Dart because they wrinkled her clothes. And she wrapped Christmas presents better than Neiman Marcus with little springs of pine cones or an elaborate tassel attached to the ribbons.

To me she was everything feminine with big fluffy powder puffs on her dressing table. There was one thing she loved that was the biggest dichotomy to me, The Atlanta Braves.

Mima would listen to the baseball game on the radio in her car, or watch them on TV. I knew nothing about baseball and really didn’t care, but I can remember sitting with her in her sun porch off the kitchen watching the very boring game on TV, back when the picture wasn’t so good so it was hard to see the ball.

Mima told me the best player in the world was Hank Aaron. I believed her since I believed everything she told me. She loved to watch Hank Aaron because he would actually make home runs, the only exciting part of the game to me. I remember Mima being sad when he retired, but that did not end her devotion to the Braves.

As she aged she lost her eye sight to Macular Degeneration. Somehow, as blind as she was she would still watch the Braves on TV, pulled up close to the screen with her head turned slightly to the side. One of the last times I was with her in 1999, before she passed away, she was watching a Braves game and was worried she blocking my view of the screen as she had to be right up on the TV.

“It’s alright Mima, I don’t need to see.”

“You aren’t missing much. Hank Aaron isn’t playing,” she said.

I hope my Mima gets to welcome Hank Aaron to heaven, because that would be the definition of it for her.


Back to Boring Things To Do

Today was down right boring. No crazy politics to try and comprehend. No crazy people spouting conspiracy theories, no First Ladies dissing their husbands. Just dullness. Boring is good. One problem with boring right now is we have to stay home and be bored. So we need to find ways to entertain ourselves with regular stuff like TV, books and hobbies until the weather gets warm enough to go back outside and garden.

I welcome recommendations for all indoor activities you are enjoying right now. I can recommend the HBO documentary TIGER. It is a two episode show about Tiger Woods’ life takes you from his early childhood and family life up until his 2019 win at the Masters. I have always liked Tiger, but had forgotten a lot of his troubles. This biopic gives you insight into what it was like to be Earl Woods only child and how that formed Tiger. In the end I was profoundly sad. It is worth the three hours to watch this show.

My book group just finished a wonderful book called Shuggie Bain. Although it is listed as fiction it is more or less a memoir of this young man growing up poor in Glasgow, Scotland in the 80’s. The Glaswegian accent and vocabulary take some getting used to, but the heartbreaking story makes learning a new language worth it.

I am back to needlepointing more regularly and highly recommend it as an easy hobby you can pick up this winter. Needlepointing in like coloring with yarn. Learning takes a mere minutes, but can give you a lifetime of joy. I am happy to consult on how you get started if you are new to needlepoint.

So there is the boring life I am so happy to have. No intrigue, no news scrolling. Just sitting around, waiting for my group to be called up for a vaccine.

Shout out what you are doing. We still have a lot of winter ahead of us.


The Sudden Tears

Today was a day long awaited for in our house. The exhaustion of the last four years have taken a physical toll. I planned to spend the whole day taking in the whole inauguration and it did not disappoint.

I watched as the previous occupant slunk out of town early as a spoiled toddler who does not want to share his toys. Nothing thrilled me more than seeing him take his clan with him to southern Florida where property values are dropping fast.

Back at the Capitol it was a joy to see previous Presidents gather to witness the history about to take place. Thankfully Pence is enough of an institutionalist to show up and do his duty. Even Dan Quayle came, now that he is no longer the worst Vice President in history from Indiana.

As Kamala and Joe with their families in tow filled the seats on the stage I was thrilled to see a good representation of what America looks like. When it came time for Kamala to take her oath I stood up to take a photo of her on my TV and as I did I burst into tears. Seeing a woman become Vice President made me more emotional than I had anticipated.

My whole life I had been told that women could be anything. I believed that. I am a product of all girls secondary schools, I have known and worked for great women, I have been in positions of leadership myself, but somehow, having a woman VP brought me great joy. After the last administration where photos from cabinet meetings looked like the old white guys club, Kamala was what I was missing.

Then there was Joe, with his much needed talk of unity in his most sincere folksy way. No gloating, no snideness, just honesty. Just soul cleansing.

But the women of the day stole the show. Lady Gaga was awe inspiring, Jlo beautiful, but the biggest hit of the whole day was the 22 year old Poet Amanda Gorman who recited a poem she wrote just last week after the riots on the Capitol called “The Hill We Climb.” She was the star of the day. She is the one to watch and I am ready to cast a vote for her now in 16 years when she runs for President.

Amanda Gorman gives me hope for the future. Joe and Kamala are who we need today, but Amanda brought tears to my eyes for a second time in an hour. I have seen the future and it is powerful. I have hope and peace that we can be a better America and the youth will lead us.

Then after laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown solider Joe got to work signing 17 executive orders. No balls or parties, no redecorating the White House. Just work on behalf of the American people. As he said in his speech, there is a lot to do. God bless our President and Vice President.


Tiffany’s Plea for Attention

Poor Tiffany Trump, the only child of Donald to have no agency. The three oldest children all have each other, Barron has Melania and that leaves Tiffany all alone. Born before her mother could convince Trump to marry her, Tiffany has had it hard from the start.

Now, as her father is busy contemplating if it is right to preemptively pardon her older siblings for all the crimes he knows they have committed, but have not been charged with yet, Tiffany is desperate for the same sort of attention.

She tried being the more educated of the siblings, being the only one who got a graduate degree. But being a lawyer just puts her at odds with her father so she is yet to take the bar exam so she won’t be bound to turn him in for crimes she might witness just be being at the dinner table.

As her older, more loved half siblings get all attention Tiffany does one last thing to gain her father’s attention and announces her engagement on his last full day in office. Perhaps this makes him even madder at her because now he can’t not have the pleasure of hosting a White House wedding, a spectacle he would have loved. Like her birth, her timing is not ever of his liking. He did get to do the unthinkable and hold a White House funeral for his brother so at least he had that.

As Daddy is in serious debt and will likely be busy with impeachment and other law suits I can only imagine he will not want to throw her a lavish wedding. Her poor sap mother Marla, who only got a million dollars and no alimony in her divorce won’t be able to throw her the kind of wedding daddy threw Princess Ivanka, so once again Tiffany is going to be the afterthought of a child.

Apparently Tiffany and her betrothed are searching for a house in Miami. When will she learn that she is never going to be the apple of her father’s eye and try and not compete with her older half sibs. Perhaps she is holding out hope that they all end up in jail and she will be the last one standing.


MLK Jr. Love Not Hate

On this day of service in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. if we can embrace one thing let it be that we try to love rather than hate. Due to Covid many of us were not able to do the kind of service we might normally do on this day, so instead let’s do something harder than packing food or gathering books, let’s vow to try love one another.

As a Christian, I confess that I find the hardest commandment to be “to love my neighbor as myself.” I don’t think I am alone in this. Not committing murder seems like a walk in the park in comparison.

Christians are not alone in this idea of loving the others. Most religions have a similar tenant. Martin Luther King Jr. preached often on the need for us to love the people who don’t necessarily offer that same curtesy.

I find that I have to really work hard to love people I have major disagreements with. One person who disagrees on politics with me has accused me of hating her. It is a very self centered view to make that jump that my dislike of one political actor means I hate someone who holds a similar view. Although I have told her I don’t hate her that message seems to fall on deaf ears. Apparently I need to try harder to convey that love, while I can still disagree on politics.

As we enter a new era in two days I am hoping that the temperature can be turned down and we can work harder on loving each other. We are all neighbors in this small world and hate does nothing to make the world a better place. Hate usually eats away at the hater more than it hurts the hated. So if only for yourself, try and learn to love. Your own life will be improved.


The Last Grift

As the minutes tick down on 45’s days in DC, so do his last chance at a major grift as President. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he solicited funds from his supporters to supposedly pay for his fight for the election, but now it is reported that he is “selling” pardons. Allegedly various criminals begging for a pardon have been told by a Guliani associate that a pardon will cost $2million. I guess to some big time criminals, like el Chapo, $2 Million is doable.

It will be interesting to see who gets a pardon in the waning hours. If they are rich we should see if any money changed hands.

I feel like the pardon power is something that should be revisited. A president can not pardon someone who was involved in a crime that involved that President, but we should t have a President who was involved in any crimes in the first place.

President’s should not be allowed to pardon their family members or preemptively pardon anyone. It seems like all pardons should have to be approved by more than just the President and they certainly should not be allowed to make money on pardons.

It is no surprise that the team of Rudy and 45 could come up with this last big grift. It is just one more reason the guy needs to be removed from ever running for national office again.


How Much TV Do We Need?

I keep getting messages about joining the new Discovery + TV subscription. It is streaming service for channels like HGTV, Food Network, TLC and lots more. Now I already get these channels on my cable subscription and am perfectly happy to watch whatever shows happen to be playing at the time, just like those of us who grew up with over the air tv have always done.

Do I need to pay $4.99 to stream with commercials or $7.99 without commercials every month to just have the same shows on demand? Apparently there will be some content that will only be on streaming, but if I don’t know about it will I miss it? Probably not.

This got me to considering how many different channels we already subscribe to; Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple, Hulu, Disney, Acorn, HBOMax, YouTube and there might be others I don’t even know about that we are paying for. This and we also have cable with DVR’s and all that entails. How much TV do two middle aged people need?

I probably need to keep a log of what I am watching on which networks and start to whittle down what we purchase. I am hoping that when COVID subsides we won’t be so TV dependent. The TV has just become company replacing real people.

We also have been listening to a lot more podcasts, and audible books as well as reading real books during lock down, which eats into possible TV time. That is a good thing, so if I didn’t have all these choices might I just read more?

I venture I spend at least an hour or two a week just scrolling through channels to decide what I want to watch. One way that time gets cut down is by finding one series and binging on that until I have exhausted it. I particularly like to find a show with at least four seasons and watch nothing but that for a few weeks.

I think the advent of Discovery + has made me decide that I don’t need it, but that I don’t need a lot of what we have. Time to cut back. Covid will end and maybe I can spend time with real people and not the imaginary ones on TV.


Why Get Dressed At All?

Today I had a zoom meeting with a group of women who I regularly get together with. As we were meeting an hour earlier than usual one of them suggested we Zoom in our Pajamas. Since we are all friends it seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do in these abnormal times.

Most of us arrived in our night clothes, which all just happened to be navy and white. We could have been Gladys Night and the Pips, except that we can’t sing or dance in unison. Our gathering talked and laughed for a good hour and a half, happy as clams in our soft clothes.

Before you think of these ladies as types who go about in nothing but yoga pants so how far down the ladder could PJ’s be? In normal times, when we used to meet in person, I would be the only person in jeans and the rest would be in dresses with heels, or a cashmere sweater only available at Neiman Marcus. So a PJ gathering was quite a departure.

It was almost eleven before I attempted to put on real clothes. I am not sure it really mattered. I didn’t have to leave the house. No one was coming over. I had no other Zooms. Russ was busy on his own Zooms all day and Shay would not rat me out. I am not sure I have reached the point of not getting dressed at all, but I can see that day could come.

I am not talking about a sick day, where staying in your bed clothes is not unheard of, or even a snow day where you wouldn’t be going anywhere any way. But I can see the day coming when I might look at my empty calendar and wonder, “Why get dressed at all?”

I am not talking about going naked. That might cause heart failure as I have plenty of mirrors in the house. I could see how my sleeping clothes could just become my new uniform. Goodbye Yoga pants.


Clarity

So to give me a sense of control in my world, I took to washing all my windows. This is a job I hate doing, but I love the results. With 60 windows I had to spread the job out over a few days, but it was what I needed to do as I listened to political wrangling.

When the sparkle and shine of Christmas was put away and the horrid year that was 2020 was in the rear view mirror I was hoping for 2021 to bring forth something hopeful and bright. Fourteen days in and on a day-by-day average 2021 has been worse than 2020, but as we add more days we can lower the average to try and be an overall better than last.

As I sat in my house the past few days with the fog of our political strife hanging all around me I was over taken by my own dirt. Literally, how dirty my windows were. The film of dust and grime that had clung to the panes was all I could see now that there were no decorations to distract my eye.

I knew I only could do the insides so I called for reinforcements to do the outside. Today four tiny men came with many tall ladders and they washed every pane, sill, screen and storm on the outside. They also blew every pine needle and leaf off the roof.

Although nothing changed in the world outside, my view from inside is greatly improved. I can see clearly and without haze. The sun is shining and the sky has been the perfect shade of Carolina blue. It is the dawning of a cleaner day that I need.

I know that these perfect windows will not last. That stormy days and smokey cooking will start to slowly discolor my colorless view. But for today, I have a respite from all the dirt has to throw at me.


Impeachment Part Deux

I watched the house impeachment debate and vote today. It was a kind of cinéma vérité. Whose truth all depended on which party you belonged to.

There were somethings I found outrageous:

The congressman who said, we have not had hearings, we don’t know what happened. Hey Buddy, it happened to you at your house. How do you not know what happened?

The Republicans who said they were worried for their safety. How do you think Black and Brown Americans have felt for the last umpteenth years?

Then there were the chorus of Republicans asking in the name of unity that they not impeach. Yes, now that you have lost control of everything you want unity. When Mitch McConnell was in charge of the Senate he refused to let any bills come to the floor. Where was the call for unity for the last four years.

Things I agreed with where the people who said, if we don’t hold a leader responsible for lying about losing an election, inviting his supporters to come to the Capitol and telling them to March to stop the steal of that election and telling them to fight and then when they break in, and smash up the place you have five people die. I don’t know what you would impeach someone for if not for that. Attempting to over throw your own government, is fairly clear as the number one reason to impeach, if not throw them in jail.

Rahm Emanuel said it best, “if you have a disease it can’t be healed until you get rid of the infection first.” Donald Trump is the infection. As long as he is not held accountable he will continue to poison the country.

I am not saying that if he is found guilty that the divisiveness will end, but perhaps it will give republicans a chance to come back to having more integrity and finding their core values, rather than being dominated by the fringe.

I am tired of the mantra from the Trump side being about the 75 million who voted for him. What about the 80 million who voted for Biden. Biden has done anything but gloat about winning. He is trying to lower the temperature and is concentrating on healing us, literally and figuratively.

The impeachment vote passed with ten republicans crossing over to vote for it. Four republicans did not vote at all, which is the ultimate in cowardly. I think there is a lot more evidence of the attack on the Capitol was an organized, planned assault. If the Senate can wait a bit to have the trial with more reporting from the FBI perhaps it will be easier for republicans to uphold their oath to constitution and find Trump guilty. Susan Collins, do you really think Trump learned his lesson at the last impeachment?

A real long shot is for a group of Republican senators to go to the President and tell him that he is going to be found guilty and get him to resign. He has never admitted guilt to anything so I doubt that would happen. I also don’t thing that would prevent him from running again, so I don’t think that serves us well, including the republicans who are furious that the money spigot has been turned off because of the insurrection.

It has been a really long year already. So far I think 2021 is trying to outdo 2020.


Why Would You Go There?

As the news about insurrection goes on and the President claims he did nothing wrong I begin to feel like I am in some twilight zone. I watch videos of people acting shocked as they get pulled off planes because they are suddenly on no fly lists due to storming the Capital. White upper middle class people, acording to the Philadelphia Inquirer, were many of the ones who went to Washington. They could afford the time and money to travel, so why not go to an insurrection?

Voting for Trump is one thing, but storming the Capitol is another. To the poor idiots who wonder why they can’t ever fly again, you broke the law and ignorance of the law is no defense. You listened to the liar-in-chief when he said to March up to the Capitol and fight like hell. What were you fighting for?

He lost the election. Sixty law suits said he lost fair and square. Did you think you were just marching up there as cry babies about losing. No, you were marching up there to try and over throw the certification of the electoral college votes. So all those selfies you were taking and all that filming you were doing of yourselves illegally inside the Capitol is now evidence. What you poor slubs didn’t even understand is your cell phones tag you as there.

If you can’t ever fly again, or if people stop coming to your business or you get fired it happened because you believed a liar, even though most of you look like you should know the difference between a lie and the truth. Just because someone repeats something over and over again does not make it true.

Hopefully, with some time you will come to understand you were hood winked and Trump is not going to help you. You can have differing political opinions, but if you want to stay out of trouble yourself, try and discern truth from lies.


Get Trump in the Pocketbook

As the wheels of justice move slowly through congress in regards to what to do to Trump for trying to over through a branch of the government there are other ways to make him pay. Literally, make him pay. I think it is time for all of Trumps’s creditors to call in his loans.

He is a very bad loan risk right now. He is going to have trouble making money in the ways most former President’s do. He won’t make a good speaker at your next corporate event. In fact that could be the end of your revenue stream if you hire him. He will have trouble getting a book deal. First he has never been seen reading a book so the idea of writing one is farcical. And if Simon and Schuster dropped Hawley, Trump won’t stand a chance. I think even Create My Cookbook wouldn’t take him.

Speaking of books, whomever was photographing White House Rugs with Melania while the Capitol was being stormed, we have our eye on you. If you publish a book for her we will make sure everyone knows you are aiding and abetting Trump and will not buy any of your other books.

Apparently the PGA and LPGA are not going to have tournaments at any Trump Golf Clubs. It’s a start. How about other vendors who supply his clubs? Who are they? We want to know. Are you still going to do business with him?

Trump Hotels have been on the outs for a while. They have been trying to sell the lease on the old Postoffice property, but who wants anything that was once a Trump Brand. They are tainted forever.

The good people of Palm Beach need to hold Trump to the agreement he made with them when Mar-a-lago was losing money. The agreement was if he turned it into a private club no one could live there more then three weeks a year, one week at a time. Goes for the Donald too. Make him a man without a home. He probably shouldn’t step foot in New York.

So creditors, like Deutsche Bank and Ladder Capital, if you ever want to get your money back you better act fast. It doesn’t bode well for your public imagine that you lent to him in the first place, but if you act fast you might have a chance to white wash your reputation and get your money before there aren’t any assets to cover the loans. He can’t use that PAC money to pay you back. That’s a whole different offense.

And to the American people, the idea that ex-president’s get secret service protection and a million dollars a year in travel money is not in the constitution, it was just a nice parting gift to used Presidents. I think we should let congress know that Trump does not deserve any of these perks as he failed his exit interview for this job. As I used to tell Carter as a toddler, “Why should I reward you for bad behavior.” I am done with having a toddler in chief.


Politics Can Not Take Our Eye Off Covid

As I am staying home per the request of our State Health director because Covid is out of control I find myself glued to my news feed. The photos of much of what I am reading about show people without masks at the Capitol. I am concerned about both the political world and the regular world.

Yes, what is going on in Washington is of dire consequence, it should not overshadow the growing spread of the deadly Corona Virus. If you are a Trump supporter there is one thing that he told you that you absolutely must not believe- Covid 19 is here and it is deadly. He may have survived it with the help of the best Doctors on 24 hour watch of him, but that does not mean you will too. He said after the election it will just go away, because he wanted you to believe it was a hoax. He was fine with playing a game with your life. You don’t have to be.

Wear the damn mask has been my mantra since March. Why would you risk getting and or giving this virus? Chances are the people you would give it to are your loved ones.

Don’t go out to eat. I see photos of people on Facebook eating at restaurants. That is the most dangerous thing you can do. Get take out. Go home, eat it there. I know you might be bored of looking at your four walls, but better than looking at the inside of a casket.

This thing spreads exponentially. We are at the point where there are no more hospital beds if you get it now, you might not get the treatment you need. Why play Russian roulette?

Please take it seriously. A negative test does not mean you won’t pick it up someplace else the next day. We have made it through nine months. What is a few more? Stay vigilant. We need to try and flatten the curve again, out health care workers have been working non-stop for nine months, the least you can do is stay home and not add to their burden.


The Poor Dopes Who Do 45’s Bidding

There were thousands of them. People who took busses, flew, drove their RV’s to Washington all to bow down and lick the boots of the most corrupt President in US history. He had brain washed them. Promised to give you an America that is long gone. He knew he couldn’t do it, but he kept the charade up.

He asked you to give him money for his “fight.” And you did. MillIons and Millions. People who could ill afford to give a supposed rich man money. He asked you to not believe 60 judges who all threw out his law suits about a rigged election, many of those judges Republicans appointed by 45. And you poor dopes believed only 45, a man without a law degree, and not those learned justices.

He asked people to fight for him. To March to the Capitol and take back the election. In fact he said, “Let’s March to the Capitol,” implying that he would March too. Instead he sent his sheep down the street and he went and hid in the White House to watch it all play out on TV. As he did he complained that you “looked like losers.”

These poor fools, fired up by years of tweets, and rallies and false promises. Told to fight for something that was so false, that 45 didn’t really lose the election. But in his own words, he lost “biggly.”

Those fools, too dumb to wear masks, not to protect themselves and others from the worst plague in our history, but from cameras that would identify them. They somehow believed that breaking the law and filming themselves while doing it was just some reality TV show, like 45 used to be one. Some were even so dumb they wore their company ID tags while being photographed.

Even though 45 says you are special, special is the code word for idiot. You thought you were fighting for him and as soon as it appeared that 45 will be held accountable for sending you as his own personal army, rag tag as you were, to over throw the Congress, he disavowed you as thugs who will be prosecuted. Talk about Judas.

You failed to topple the government for him and now he doesn’t know you. You didn’t look classy, no you looked just like people who think the gaudy gold of Trump Tower is classy. You look just like the fools who lost money gambling at a Trump casino, or took a class at Trump University, or any of the other millions of fools who have been fleeced by this charlatan.

He doesn’t love you. He used you and you payed for it, and will continue to pay for it over and over. Many of you have and will lose your jobs because you participated in this disorganized failed attempt to over throw the government. Many of you will and should go to jail. Especially those who wiped feces on the walls of the capital. You are disgusting animals, not patriots.

He and his lowlife children fooled you by calling you patriots. He sent you to the slaughter. Now it is time to recognize how he used you. He used you and you all failed. You are worse off now than before and for what? Loyalty to a man you knows no loyalty to anyone other than himself. Just watch as he denies you to save himself. Judas is what you should call him.


Response to Yesterday’s Blog

Yesterday I wrote a blog titled, “It’s not too late” where I was inviting former and current Trump supporters to give Joe Biden a chance. You can read it if you want the back story to this blog.

Since I have been writing this daily blog, going on nine years, more of my readers are like me than not. Why in the world would you read it if you weren’t. That said, there should be no one who agrees with me on everything. That is a dangerous place for the world to go. Also, I do write about a wide variety of subjects, some serious, some satire, some just food related.

One of my readers who disagrees with me on politics sent me this email yesterday, (When I say e-mail, it was just a title of an e-mail with no body.)

I am not going to out who it was, as many of my readers know this person. I did respond to her by saying, “You are right. I have hatred for Trump, but not you. Please reread the blog with that in mind.”

I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. We all have that right. I have no problem with people expressing their own points of view. Please start a blog. I welcome debate. I want to understand people with differing views. I think one of the big problems with our country is people living in their own silos and not listening or talking to others with differing views. We need compromise, we need understanding.

What I find terribly rich is the idea that “My bullying lecturing is one of the reasons why conservatives voted for Trump.” I certainly don’t have that much influence to cause people to vote for anyone. Who people vote for is their own responsibility.

When I write about Trump it is often to point out or highlight particular things I find distressing. Allowing leaders to lie and make lying seem normal is the worst thing that we can do. I will not stop doing it.

But this Trump Presidency is about to come to an end. Biden has generously held out his hand. What I am asking is for people to try and come to the table to heal the division.

We must have conversations and if you disagree with me or want to explain to me why you think I am blind, please email me and make your points. I can learn too. Calling me names without debate is taking a page out of Trump’s playbook. We all can be better.


It’s Not Too Late

Yesterday was a sad day in America. To me it was sadder than 9/11 & Pearl Harbor Day because it was American’s attacking our democracy, spurned on by a man of such great delusion. I looked back at my blog posts of the last five years and stopped counting when I got to 100 different times I wrote about Trump.

My blogs started in disbelief that anyone would consider the reality TV personality with more bankruptcies and ex-wives than all other Presidents put together as a potential leader. Over the years I have written about his lack of a conscience for separating children from their parents, and then losing track of them all together, of his constant lying, of his totally lack of understanding of any of the Ten Commandments – yet crazed devotion by many blind Christians. His praise of white supremacist as very good people, his adoration for dictators like Kim Jung Un and Putin, his demand for total devotion, the list goes on and on.

I have lost friends because I continued to speak out against him, try and point out his psychosis and the danger he posed. I’ve heard from people they liked how he spoke his mind, or believed in the same things he did. In my heart that told me that those people were either racist or selfish or both, but I did not tell them that. (That does not mean I believe all Trump voters are racist or selfish.) I just continued to point out what I felt were fatal flaws in Trump as the leader of our country.

To me, regardless of your political agenda, your first responsibility is to ensue that we have a sane leader. Clearly, 70 million people did not consider that as a high priority when they voted this year. I am wondering how many people who cast a Trump ballot this year might have had their minds changed after yesterday?

Sometimes people vote for the lesser of two evils. I don’t think that you could consider Trump less evil than anything now. What I am hoping is that finally, after the treasonous acts of this week, both the phone calls to Georgia election officials, which would have been bad enough, but especially the rally to send his most devoted followers to storm the Capital, that some of you who voted for Trump have had a change of heart. I am not saying that you have to say you would have voted for Joe, just that you understand the dangers of having Trump as President.

I am not asking you to change parties, just recognize that compromising your values and making excuses for bad leaders is dangerous. I believe we are more alike than different and want for us to learn how to compromise, but there can be no comprise that Trump is dangerous for America and must be removed.

The best way to heal will be for us to give Joe Biden a chance and try and listen to each other. Then when it comes time to chose leaders of all kinds try and pick people with some sort of integrity, because I think all sides want that in our leaders. It is never too late to be good people.


Allowing Lies to Stand is How We Got Here

Two days ago in my blog StopSupporting Temper Tantrums I wrote, “45 encouraging people to protest with potential harm on January 6th is the worst crime of all. That is tantamount to starting a civil war and I pray it does not happen.” Clearly you all do not want to depend on my prayers to get anything, based on the tragedy that played out at the Capital today.

Let’s call it exactly what it was, a riot of sedition caused by the President. It was not a peaceful protest, but a criminal war on our democracy. The Capital may be the people’s house, but that does not give just any American the right to barge in and tear up the place.

His lips were moving so you know he was lying

Trump should be held accountable for everything that happened today, but that is for tomorrow. Today, I hold everyone who did not call Trump out for every lie he ever told responsible to getting us here. Allowing Trump to control the narrative through lies is how we got where we are.

His election was not stolen. It was the most verified election in history. But every time he said he actually won, he was grooming these criminals who gathered at the capital today.

We have to learn this lesson that we must continually hold people accountable for truth. We have to make sure the record is correct. Facts need to be verified as facts and not fantasy.

Of course good people can have different opinions, but we need to agree on basic things like 2 plus 2 equals 4. Trump’s lack of any form of understanding facts is the basis of his being able to divide our nation.

We no longer should be polite when someone states something so in correct, but it is all our responsibility to call them out and not allow liars to tell the story over and over again until people don’t remember the truth.

Today was the saddest day in American History, even though Georgia came through with electing two unlikely Senators, an African American pastor to John Lewis and and thirty year old Jewish man who had worked for John Lewis. I am sorry that John Lewis did not live to see this, but glad he did not have to witness the storming of the Capital.


Emotional Support

Today American Airlines has banned emotional support animals in the cabin of planes. I guess I am never going to have to endure a peacock or Komodo dragon under the seat next to me. I have always found it absurd that someone could claim a chicken was their emotional support animal, but not as bad as watching people put live chickens in the overheads on flights from Miami to San Juan.

I don’t fly with Shay as I am certain it would make her an emotional wreck. She does not like loud or strange noises so I can only imagine how she would shake and shiver at take off of a plane. If Shay were ever to fly she would need to be allowed her emotional support animal, Russ. If she couldn’t bring him she would need her second best thing, her emotional support king sized bed.

Given that we shouldn’t really be flying, this animal ban will not bring up the ire in that many people. I bet that this bit of news got by most people as our minds are on the Georgia Election, the certification of Biden’s win tomorrow and the impending arrest of people trying to start a civil war in Washington tomorrow.

I just don’t want to be at the airport when the guy with the emotional support rat is told he can’t board with his Willard. I am worried that he might let his rat lose on the airline staff and I could be emotionally scared by seeing that.


Stop Supporting Temper Tantrums

I know many of you hate when I write political posts. Stop reading now. Don’t complain to me about what I write about, for I have warned you this might make you mad. But I am mad and sick and tired of the toddler in the White House and worse yet the sheep who keep enabling him.

I truly believe that the psychological make up of 45 is one that can not accept reality if it is not of his liking. As a bully he has been use to changing reality. Unfortunately for him, he can not change the reality of a fully vetted election. This appears to have pushed him to the edge and he is on the verge of a full blown psychotic break. None of that is new. He is who he is and it will be up to his family to live with him in that state.

What I really object to is the people who surround him who continue to coddle him in his delusions. The phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State was not surprising to me, but the fact that there were two Republican lawyers and Mark meadows in the rooms allowing that to happen makes them complicit in 45’s felony to encourage election fraud.

Then there are the legislators who are willing to stand with 45 in questioning the certification of the electoral college votes. What reality are these people living in. So far none of the Pennsylvania Republican Congress people who were elected at the same time are saying that their elections was fraudulent even though they are saying that 45’s was on the same ballot.

The emperor has no clothes and not only are these people not saying he doesn’t they are stripping down naked and joining the crazy parade.

I understand that people are upset when their candidate loses, but that is what happens in democracy. Someone wins and someone loses. You don’t get to intimidate people, or gather with weapons and threaten people if you don’t like the outcome. Or at least that is the way America was supposed to run.

45 encouraging people to protest with potential harm on January 6th is the worst crime of all. That is tantamount to starting a civil war and I pray it does not happen.

The news reports that upwards of 80% of 45’s supporters believe that the election was stolen from him. Why? Because 45 tells them that without one bit of evidence. Talk about sheep. It is time that we speak out and support Biden and democracy and overwhelm the sheep with truth. No fraud took place. Biden won far and square and no amount of temper tantrums from the spoiled current office holder will change that. Stop enabling that brat because it is bad for America.


Flip Tree Review

Carter left for Boston last night. I purposely put off the un-decorating until after she left. Usually the taking down of the tree is the cause for lots of bad words in our house and some hurt bodies. I bought a new fangled artificial tree from the over priced home of trees Balsalm Hill. They have featured something called a flip tree. The bottom section of the tree which comprises about 70% of the total is permanently attached to the rolling stand. It flips upside down for storage.

Putting up the tree was extremely easy. We flipped it up and plugged in the top two sections which included all the electrical connections for the lights. Then we used the remote control to turn the lights on and off. Compared to my old set-up of seven extension cords, plugged In throughout the room, this was king! We got the led lights, which could be set on all white, (my favorite), or colors and white, (Russ’ favorite) or just colors, minus white or yellow, (no one’s favorite). The remote also had a dimmer so your choice of ambience was unlimited. For that reason alone the tree was worth it.

But I have to admit that the taking down of the tree takes the prize. Let me set the scene for what it used to be like. Russ would put the 12 foot ladder up and go to the top. He would wrap the orange moving straps (things guys who move Refrigerators for a living use to pick them up) around the pole at the top section of the tree with Carter’s help. Then he would throw the straps over his shoulder and Carter and I would pull on the straps, digging them into Russ’ shoulder as he stood at the top of the ladder. Swearing, screaming, and crying would ensue. Eventually we would be able to dislodge the top section, then we had to do it six more times.

Tonight Russ went to the top of the ladder, and with no straps he just pulled the top section off and handed it to me. Then he did it again with the middle section. Then we flipped the tree over. We put everything in the bags provided. Russ and I did have to muscle the biggest section down to the storage room where it was too tall to go very far into the room, but at least it fit.

There was no swearing and Russ did not get strap welts in his shoulders. Carter wasn’t even required. In my next house I am going to build Christmas tree storage room right next to the place I display my tree so I can roll the tree in and out of the room and never have to take it apart and decorate or redecorate it again. It may be hidden behind a moveable bookcase or go by an elevator to a storage room directly below, but it will be easy. I don’t know why all houses aren’t designed around “Where to keep the Christmas tree.”


Last Hours at Home

As the hours waned for the time we had Carter at home she did some little things to make both me and her father happy. For me she created a little spa. We did moisturizing masks, while she had spa music playing on the TV. It was as close to a spa as we could get. I felt pampered and relaxed as we lay back on the giant sofa listening to the tinkling of bells.

After she finished with me she took her ultra moisturized face outdoors to play basketball with her father. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the sun came out so they could enjoy one last game before she left us for Boston.

We have had an enjoyable three weeks home together. Adult children are so fun, why couldn’t they have been like this when they were in middle school?

Despite the surge in Covid, Carter is ready to go “home,” which is what she considers Boston. She starts back to work full time at Bain Capital, but is only doing co-op this semester so she will not be half as over worked as she was last semester. She still is taking one class online because she knows she can handle four, so why not take one?

I hope that the pandemic can slow down, we all get vaccines and Carter can eventually go back to work at the office. I want to take my annual road trip to New England at some point this summer or fall. I think it is going to be a long time before I can see her in person again. For now I am going to cherish this Christmas holiday we had together, as well as my at home spa.

Good luck Carter. We loved having you home.


What Will Children Remember From This Time

Carter and I spent a few hours today looking back at photos from her first trip to Italy when she was nine. We spent two weeks in Tuscany and the memories of that trip were still strong for Carter. She could name restaurants we ate at in Lucca and sights we saw in Florence. She relived the horror of seven mile hikes on the Cinque Terre when it was over 100 degrees out, something she has not forgiven me for and exactly where Russ lost his wedding ring.

When I think back to my childhood the memories that stand out the strongest are those of travel. Going to new and special places are seared in my brain, unlike the humdrum of normal days doing things like going to school. I have big swath or memories of doing yard work, or riding my bike or going to the Riding club and going swimming, but I can’t tell you precisely when I did what and at what age.

Trips are different. I can give you exact details of my sixth grade post Christmas trip to Washington, DC. Our bus from Connecticut stopped at the Cherry Hill mall where we ate lunch at a cafeteria and I got red jello squares. We stayed at a Howard Johnson’s across the street from the Watergate, although I did not know it was the Watergate until two years later when I saw it on the news. That Howard Johnson’s had an indoor pool on the top floor and the chlorine was so thick that your eyes stung when you opened the glass door into the pool area.

During summers my family would take the two day drive to Pawleys Island for our vacation. We would stop for lunch on the first day at a Schraff’s on the Baltimore Washington Parkway. I always got the Chef’s salad with French Dressing. If you asked me what I had for lunch any other day of the year I could not tell you, but on a trip in made a lasting memory.

I am wondering what kids growing up during the pandemic are going to remember. Since there are no trips, or very few, and hardly any special occasions that deem family photos, what might get seared in a child’s memory? Will the Pandemic be one big wash of sameness that gets relegated to “nothing much to recall?”

I suggest that for the next few months parents might want to have a couple “special” days where you do things out of the ordinary. My Dad used to surprise us with “Children’s Day” every once in a while. We never knew it was coming, but he would wake us up and announce the surprise, which started with a trip to the international House of Pancakes for breakfast. That alone could have been the whole surprise and we would have been thrilled as we never went out to eat, let alone for breakfast. Breakfast was just the start as we went off to places like Mystic Seaport or the Car show in NYC.

As Carter and I scrolled through thousands of photos today the happiness of travel was the theme. We won’t be traveling much for a while still, so try and discover exciting things at home you have never done. It is the best we can do to make some good lasting memories during this last slog through the pandemic. It would be terrible to have a whole year of no good things to remember.

Happy New Year to you! Or as I have been saying, Happy Better Year!