Monday, July 27, 2020

Baseball. Mistome.

I've heard some people say that it might take time to get used to watching baseball with no fans in the stands.

Well, you will not have time to get used to it. I have said this to anyone who will listen--the baseball season will not last fifteen games.  It will not last fifteen games because there are enough people who are foolishly irresponsible such that it is inevitable that players will become infected. Once infected, because teams and players are in close proximity, more players will catch the virus.

This morning nine Miami Marlins tested positive. Three games into the season. A number of games were cancelled. Just a matter of time before the league throws in the towel.

I walk every day.  Sometimes long walks. Today was a short one because it was hotter than some saunas in Boston today.  The percentage of people wearing masks whom I pass while walking is less than 50 %.  Today on my short walk around an adjoining park, there were tennis players, playing doubles, near the sign that says singles only.  There were two little league games (there are four fields in the park).  At the larger of the fields where games were ongoing, there were close to fifty parents and kid brothers/sisters sitting on bleachers or horsing around near the dugouts.  Each dugout (genuine dugouts) had fifteen or so kids congregating when one team or the other was up at bat.  I did not see a single parent wearing a mask. I saw one coach wear a mask.  Parents who are supposed to set an example, sitting in the bleachers two feet next to each other-- without masks.  As I walked around the park path I came to the second field. There, parents had set up chairs beyond the fence to watch the kids. Did not see one mask. I attempted to give the stink-eye to all the maskless, but with my mask covering my kisser, they could not get the full measure of my facial scorn.

But that is why major league baseball will be cancelled.  Too many people have borscht in their brains and believe that because they do not have the virus yet, they will not get it.  And of course teenagers are invulnerable, just ask them.  It is not cool to wear a mask. I read that a moniker for responsible individuals is now "mask-holes".  Maybe I got that wrong and the phrase is used for both those who do, and those who do not, wear the masks, depending on what side of the divide you are on.  If your ancestors were from Chelm, then those who wear masks are mask-holes. But, now that I think of it, this is too sophisticated and clever a pun for fools. 

I read that Kentucky polls have Trump leading by 25 points in that state.  Must have a lot of Rhodes Scholars in Kentucky.  That is as red as you can get.  Trump decided the other day that he was going to postpone throwing out the first ball at a baseball game until later in the season because he wanted to concentrate on the virus.  

As my mother would say at her sarcastic Yiddish best, "Mistome" (pronounced mis-TOM-uh).

Yeah, let him concentrate on the virus that he energized.

Baseball is history. Fifteen games tops.  Basketball might make it, because they are in that bubble. Football? Sure, plenty of social distancing in football.

Thursday, July 23, 2020


There is a walking path near where I live which is just drop dead beautiful. I discovered it after living here for three decades and found it by chance.  It runs nearly from my house all the way through Boston along the Charles River. There is a stretch at around where Waltham and Watertown meet that is particularly attractive.  Leafy, meandering, shaded, with the river right along side the walkers or bikers.

Today it was hot. And because there was a prediction of a thunder storm in the evening when I typically walk, I decided to drive to my spot, and then begin walking along the shaded area that I have just described.

I noticed for the second time--the first about two weeks ago--that there is a free COVID testing site very close to where I park. I have not been tested. I feel fine, but every now and again I'd like to know for sure that I am clean.  I approached the attendant and asked her how long it would take to get the tests back.

She said that at this time it takes from 7-10 days.

Now, do you need to be a college professor to know how absolutely absurd that is.  Are we a banana republic or what.  

Okay, so let's say I got tested today, which I did not, and waited ten days and found out I was positive. That would mean that in the interim I had a chance of infecting those people with whom I came into contact. And also I would not be doing whatever one does to attempt to get through the infection.  That's if it was positive.  

However what is more ridickalus (as my grandfather pronounced the word) is what it would mean if I tested negative.  It would mean absolutely nothing.  

It would mean that today I was negative, but in the interim I could have been infected. So, all it would be would be an historical marker. 

"Say, good for you on July 23rd you were negative. Now, who knows."

The good news of course is that we have a sage in the White House who is looking after us all. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Tonight: Wow

Beneath the weather report in the Boston Globe is the horoscope. I often read the weather forecast and, about once a week, I read the horoscope just for fun.

Today mine was a bit startling.

Your physical magnetism will be particularly high today. A passionate yet sometimes stormy relationship is on the horizon.  If already attached, decide carefully what you want to do. But you are promised a genuinely joyful time regarding matters of the heart. Tonight: Wow.

Is that so?  Maybe I should comb what is left of my hair to be prepared for the next 24 hours.  Definitely should change my tee shirt and underwear.  I was actually going to sit in front of the computer all day working on chapters 9-11 of my text revision. But now?

I wonder about the credibility of the horoscoper. I remember once buying a car and while chatting with the salesman he told me that he had written a graduate thesis on astrology.  "Astrology?" I said.  Very soberly he nodded. Then he began to tell me why astrology actually made sense. I was amused but of course not convinced.  The wisdom of my skepticism was supported the next day when I arrived to pick up my car.  He was not there when I got to the show room.  Then, when he arrived, he apologized. He told me that there was some confusion at home; his wife had taken the car when he thought that she was not going to need it because it had not been marked on their calendar, so he had to wait until she returned before he could get a car to drive to the dealership.  I asked why in the world he would need a calendar? Why couldn't he just consult the stars?  I can still see his sneer.

But back to my day's forecast.

I have some doubts. First in terms of my magnetism.  I looked at my mug at about 616 this morning and it did not look particularly magnetic. But I took a gander after I read my horoscope and not so bad either.

"A passionate yet sometimes stormy relationship is on the horizon."   Hmm.  I wonder who it could be. I don't think it is referring to the person still sleeping in the bed.  Should I show it to her when she wakes up? Nah. She will probably snort and ask if there is any coffee left and if I emptied the dishwasher.

"A passionate yet sometimes stormy relationship" eh? I've had a few of those. Who is going to resurface?  Maybe it is someone new?  Probably not. What with social distancing I don't bump into too many people these days, unless you count the postal clerk now and again, and the people I pass during my walks.  None have seemed particularly interested in romance.  So I have to think it is someone from the past.  Maybe I will receive a steamy e-mail today. Then what? According to my horoscope I will have to decide carefully what to do, but regardless, "you are promised a genuinely joyful time".  Zoom sex, maybe.  I don't know. Seems like a reach. But: "Tonight:  Wow." 

Tonight: Wow.

I was thinking of getting a haircut. And I did buy a new shirt on Amazon. 

At least, I'll take a shower and see what happens.

Friday, July 3, 2020


Last night I caught a part of a video clip that was broadcast on CNN.  I must have been dozing when it came on because my first reaction was that I must not have heard it right. Even in this zany Trump world it seemed too bizarre.

It was the governor of South Dakota who was talking about a ceremony/rally combination that was to be held at Mount Rushmore. Trump was going to be there to celebrate or kick off Independence Day celebrations.  That, itself, is not preposterous, particularly compared to the Tulsa nonsense of two weeks back.

But it was what the governor said about the celebration that made me wonder if I had misheard. She said, almost defiantly, there will "be no social distancing."  They would congregate around the monument, cheer on the president, and phooey on this social distancing nonsense.

When I came around to acknowledging that I'd heard it right, a number of thoughts went through my head.

  1. Who could the lunkhead possibly be who lost to this idiot in the race for governor.  If this shit for brains person who proudly--with head up to the shoulders inside the terminus of her very own alimentary canal--could say, "not here, not in my state, we are no cowards here, we are not social distancing"  then who could have been the lunkhead who lost the election.
  2. If the election for governor would be held today, would more people in the state of South Dakota vote for her than another person, no matter how vapid the other opponent might be?  
  3. How could this person possibly think it is wise to PROMOTE no social distancing. South Dakota does not have a wall around it. Currently, it enjoys a low COVID rate, but that could change. Why would the governor encourage the possibility of death and infection?
  4. Could Trump win in November, if there are more people in the state of South Dakota who voted for this nitwit than voted for whoever was the opponent? 
  5. Does she breed? If so, big trouble in 25 years.
It would be great if Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington could somehow turn their backs on Trump and his idiot followers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


After two months away I am back to the blog. The company that hosts the blog, and I were discussing costs related to continuing. It was an amicable exchange and I am glad it has worked out and I am able to write again in this space.

Not much has happened, right. Not.

The world that we knew it before March is still as it was at the end of April. And we have begun to grow accustomed to the abnormal new normal.  No libraries, no broadway shows, no movies, no sports. The only entertainment has been the weekly dark humor provided by the cartoon character who is nominally the leader of the United States.  I have written before that like the limbo song, we have yet to discover how low he can go.  Each time something happens--suggesting that injecting Chlorox or some similar product might be therapeutic, announcing to a rapt group from Chelm congregating in Tulsa that he had urged his people to slow down testing because it was indicating high numbers of illness, to proclaiming as if we were in a bizarro world that the virus is fading away, to ho hum not bothering to blot out a racist chanting white power from his tweet, to the latest outrageous evidence that he stood by while his good pal Putin engineered putting bounties on American soldiers--every incident is topped by the next one.

The economy appears to be recovering, but while I am not an economist, this makes no sense because pretty soon the funny money that is being used to support the legions who are unemployed will have to run out or be worth nothing. The images of Germans carrying wheelbarrows of money to the grocer for bread surface now and again.

I'm keeping busy working on a fourth edition of my text book and that consumes my day, but I wonder about others who have no place to go to work, because their work is not open and it doesn't lend itself to online.

Shout outs to the Lincoln Republicans. I think they are a courageous group and, while I am grateful for the Democrats who have pointed out Trump's outrageous behavior, I find the Lincoln Republicans worthy of greater shout outs.  Some good ads, and necessary ones, pointing out the disparity between what passes for leadership and a solipsistic fool.

I predict, without any joy in it, that there will be no sports this fall.  Sadly I am getting used to the absence.