Jolly Monday With Popcorn!

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come on in and take a load off.  For obvious reasons, I shan’t ask how your weekend was, but take heart … Jolly and I spent several hours last night searching the neighborhood (the Internet, that is) in search of things to (hopefully) bring a smile, or maybe even a chuckle!  But first, I attempted to make a strudel, and jolly made popcorn … and of course, there’s bacon for the bacon-lovers and a sprinkled donut & juice box just in case Benjamin happens to drop in, so grab a snack and then we’ll go have a bit of fun.

Oops … forgot the tea …

tea  Monday-tea


popcorn-3Teeny Tiny Critters

Take a look at this adorable hedgehog midget …tiny-1

And these owls …

tuny-2

No, they aren’t real, but I bet you can’t guess what they’re made of!  They are made of stones!  Akie Nakata, is known as the Stone Artist.  She has been drawing adorable animals on stones since 2010 and over time, she has built quite a solid collection.

tiny-3For her, stones are not just materials or canvases that she just draws on. First, on her usual walk along the riverbank, she finds a stone that catches her eye:

popcorn-3“When I find a stone, I feel that stone, too, has found me. Stones have their own intentions and I consider my encounters with them as cues they give me that it’s OK to go ahead and paint what I see on them. So the stones I decide to paint on are not arbitrary, but my significant opposites with whom I have established a connection, who inspire me to work with them.”

tiny-4The artist leaves the shape of the stone untouched. She neither grinds nor smooths them, as she likes to stay true to the stone that inspired her.

“In my encounters with the stones and in my art, I respect my opposites in toto, so I never process stones and would never cut off an edge to alter the shape. The art I want to create is a life newly born in my hands through my dialogue with the stone. I want to paint the life I feel inside the stone. I consider my work completed only when I see that the eyes are now alive and looking back straight at me. To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”

You can see lots more of Ms. Nakata’s work if you head over to Bored Panda.


Elephants are afraid of … WHAT???

Recently, India has been having a problem with elephants wandering onto the railroad tracks and getting themselves … well, smushed.  But, the owners of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), found a solution.  Guess what, it turns out, elephants are afraid of?elephant-beepopcorn-3Yep, you got it … great big ol’ elephants fear little teeny-weeny bees!  So, Northeast Frontier Railway’s Moradabad division installed honey bee sound systems at various points along the railway tracks.  Once an elephant herd is sighted, villagers at once inform the local staff about their presence, the buzzing sound is then played near the tracks to scare them away. “Till now the project has been a success,” said the Divisional Railway Manager. Elephants have been long known to be frightened by the buzzing sound of bees and stings.

Who would have guessed?


A dangerous criminal …

The Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida have been after an elusive criminal since January, and she led them on a merry chase, but finally, on March 19th, they were able to capture her.

unknown-cow

The Pembroke Pines Police Department said the cow was spotted in the area of Sheridan Street and Interstate 75, causing officers to respond and guide the animal toward an enclosed field in Davie.

The property owner agreed to allow the cow to stay until it could be safely moved.

popcorn-4“We wish the cow well on its future adventures,” the department said.

The police department said last week that the cow had been wandering the area since January, and repeated failed capture attempts revealed the animal is “faster than it looks” and is a “talented fence jumper.”


Shall we have a few ‘toons ‘n memes for a laugh or two?

meme-1meme-2meme-3meme-4meme-5meme-6meme-7toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4popcorn-3toon-5toon-6toon-7


popcorn-4And of course, I cannot end a Jolly Monday without a cute animal video!


jollyOkay, folks, that’s a wrap for yet another Monday!  I hope you guys all manage to find some good karma this week, keep your cool, and for Pete’s sake keep safe!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!

YOU’RE FIRED!!!

 

We the People
Sea to Shining Sea
United State

Mr. Donald F. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

29 March 2020

Dear Mr. Trump,

We the People regret to inform you that your services will no longer be needed.  We understood in the beginning, more than three years ago, that you were inexperienced and new to this type of work, and we decided after your first big mistakes that you would need time to grow into the job.  We have given you that time … more than three years of time … but instead of growing into the job, you have become increasingly inept and incompetent.

It would take more than this letter to list all the many mistakes you have made, but let us clarify a few of the worst:

  • Constantly demeaning citizens of this nation who are, technically, your employers. This has included lying about them and name-calling reminiscent of a junior high student.
  • Unprecedented racism and bigotry that is far beneath the dignity of your position and damaging to the continuity of this nation.
  • The terrible things you have allowed to happen to immigrants who came here seeking asylum, seeking to make a better life for their families. You tore their children out of their very arms, threw them in cages, and thus far six of those children have died as a result.  Not only was this in violation of the laws of this country, but it qualifies as international ‘crimes against humanity’.
  • When you were hired, it was made clear to you that you must step away from your own businesses for the duration of your employment with us, but instead, you have used our money to fund your own businesses, with nearly-every-weekend visits to your Florida resort, requiring your staff and Secret Service protection to pay you for the “privilege” of traveling with you.
  • A man is judged by the company he keeps, and to date a number of your companions and associates are in prison, or soon will be. This speaks volumes to us about your character, or rather lack thereof.
  • On at least eight occasions you have directly incited violence, calling on people to attack those who criticized you. In addition, you have made utterly ridiculous videos of yourself that you posted on Twitter … again, something we would expect of a 13-year-old boy, not a public office-holder.
  • One of the most important aspects of your job is honesty and integrity, and you have failed miserably in both. It would take a book to enumerate every instance, but suffice it to say that your employers no longer trust or believe a word you say.
  • Your negligence cost nearly 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico in 2017-2018 after Hurricane Maria. In addition, your bungling and mishandling of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic has already cost thousands of lives and we cannot even begin to estimate what the ultimate death toll will be.  Many of those lives would have been saved if you had not allowed your greed and ego to get in the way of taking appropriate action.
  • Your predecessor implemented some excellent regulations to, along with every other nation on the planet, work toward reversing the damages caused by years of burning carbon-based fossil fuels. Within a matter of weeks after accepting your job, you destroyed almost every one of those regulations and have contributed significantly to the decline of the air we breathe, water we drink, and the safety of the food we eat.  It is almost as if you are willfully attempting to kill your employers.
  • You have acted without dignity or compunction toward our friends and allies, and as a result we no longer have the respect or trust of the very friends who we may someday need to be able to call on for help. Meanwhile, you have cozied up to our enemies and acted without the oversight of Congress, which we mandated when we hired you.

All in all, Mr. Trump, you have been given more than ample time to prove yourself up to the task, and in every single instance, you have failed.  You have abused your power, and devalued the office you hold. As a result of your failures, we are left with a debt of more than $25 trillion and a large number of terrible messes that will take decades to clean up.  Therefore, we are requesting your resignation, effective immediately, to be submitted in writing to We the People in care of The Washington Post.

You will have exactly one week, until Sunday, April 5th, to remove your family and personal belongings from the residence we provided you at the above address.  Your possessions will be closely checked by White House security to ensure that you take only that which belongs to you and your family.  Any damages found after you have left will be billed to you through your attorney.

You will receive one month’s severance pay, but we cannot provide Secret Service protection once you are gone, as we have done for all of your predecessors, as you have bankrupted the country and we simply cannot afford it.

Best wishes for your future endeavours,

We-the-People

Snarky Snippets, Volume _____?

I’ve got just a couple of small snippets to start out your Sunday …


Many things have been put on hold during this time of pandemic crisis.  Though I may disagree with the way in which they were done (no thinking or planning involved), I can’t argue against the need for these measures such as the shuttering of restaurants and pubs, people working from home or in some cases being laid off from their jobs, the closing of schools.  But, the one thing that should never ever have been put on hold are environmental regulations – the few we have left, that is.  There is no logical justification and it will only lead to further decimation of our environment.

From an article in Friday’s issue of The Guardian

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suspended its enforcement of environmental laws during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, signaling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans.

In an extraordinary move that has stunned former EPA officials, the Trump administration said it will not expect compliance with the routine monitoring and reporting of pollution and won’t pursue penalties for breaking these rules.

[…]

There is no end date set for this dropping of enforcement.

Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the EPA, said that coronavirus had made it difficult for businesses to protect workers and the public while adhering to clean air and water rules.

According to an article in Reuter’s, this was triggered by a letter sent to Trump by the American Petroleum Institute, using the current pandemic crisis as an excuse to be relieved of regulatory requirements for the foreseeable future.  Here’s the kicker, though … they claim to need to be free of all regulation “in order to ensure steady fuel supplies”.  But … there is currently a market glut because … nobody is going anywhere, a large portion of businesses are shuttered, and therefore we don’t need anywhere near the amount of fuel we needed just a month ago!  Additionally, it is that time of year when households are using neither heat nor air-conditioning in any large quantity.  They could cut the supply in half and still have a surplus!  There is absolutely no justifiable reason that they need relief from environmental regulations, but all they had to do is ask Trump, and Presto Bingo … they got their wish.

Would someone please explain to me just exactly how in hell the coronavirus makes it difficult for businesses to follow the few provisions that remain in the Clean Water and Air Acts???  NO, this is just a sorry excuse by Trump and his cronies, his partners in crime, to further pander to their friends in the fossil fuel and other industries.  The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts have been in effect since 1963 and 1972 respectively and cannot simply be dissed because Trump and/or Wheeler say so!  THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!

I am not alone in my fury.  Says Cynthia Giles, who was head of EPA enforcement during the Obama administration …

“EPA should never relinquish its right and its obligation to act immediately and decisively when there is threat to public health, no matter what the reason is. I am not aware of any instance when EPA ever relinquished this fundamental authority as it does in this memo. This memo amounts to a nationwide moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and is an abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the public.”

The sooner we become fully reliant on renewable energy sources and are able to tell the oil companies where to put their oil, the happier and healthier we will all be!  It is simply unconscionable that they are attempting to profit from this crisis!


You know those $1,200 checks that are going out to anybody who filed a tax return in 2018?  Well, it is reported that Donald Trump is insisting his signature be the one on the checks.  What an ego trip!  No, wait, this goes well beyond ego … this is the sign of a truly evil megalomaniac.  Fortunately, I will not have to see a check from him, for a) I was not required to file a tax return in 2018, and b) my daughter’s will be direct-deposited into her account, so I won’t have to face the temptation of wanting to rip that check into a thousand pieces.

My recommendation to those of you who can is if you receive a check with Trump’s signature, transfer it to a charity of your choice, such as a local food pantry or homeless shelter, local hospice or whatever suits your fancy.


Remember that a couple of days ago I mentioned the Trump re-election campaign had issued a “cease and desist” order to networks who were running an ad by a PAC called Priorities USA?  Well, at the time, I couldn’t find an embeddable copy of the ad, but I have one now.  Take a look …


And, for just a bit of humour, J.L. Cauvin of New Jersey is a comedian/satirist and he has done a video that … well, you must see if for yourself!  If you close your eyes, you’d swear it was trumpie.


Alright, friends, that’s all I’ve got for now … be back this afternoon!

Saturday Surprise — A Short One

Good Saturday morning, folks, and welcome to the … w-w-weekend!  I won’t ask if you have big plans, for obvious r-r-reasons, but I will try to give you a smile … how’s that?


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I bet you didn’t know that in Northern Canada they hold hair-freezing contests! frozen-hair-2

From Atlas Obscura …

Even in the dark, subarctic winters of the Yukon Territory, hot water flows from the depths of Earth’s crust into Takhini Hot Springs at the toasty temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural hot tub, which attracts hundreds of locals and tourists annually, lies just outside the city of Whitehorse. For most of the year, visitors spend hours relaxing in the mineral-rich and odorless waters, which are privately owned by the company Takhini Hot Pools. But much more is at stake during winter months, when the pools become heated arenas for the world’s only frozen-hairdo competition.

The Hair Freezing Contest is a challenge of both art and science. Participants dunk their heads underwater, emerge into the frigid air, and style their locks into stiff, eye-catching sculptures. Depending on one’s creativity and luck with the elements, the results range from frosty, mop-like tangles to dramatically manicured spikes.

According to co-owner of Takhini Hot Pools Andrew Umbrich …

“All this rising steam collects on your hair and freezes really quickly when it meets the cold air. You can get good results within 15 minutes if it’s cold enough.”

frozen-hair-1

frozen-hair-3frozen-hair-4

Er … um … thanks, but no thanks.  I cannot imagine my head being frozen.  Things contract in the cold, and if my head contracted much more, I’d be a pinhead.  Still, looks cool … literally.


Guess what it is

I bet you can’t guess what this is …stage

Hey, don’t be so quick to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a stage by its finish.  This stage, folks, is going on the auction block on April 10th in an online auction and is expected to fetch as much as $20,000.  Do you know who once played one of their first concerts as The Silver Beats on that stage?  C’mon, some of you die-hard fans must know this one.  Ellen?  David?  Okay, I’ll give you a little hint.  The band consisted of Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Tommy Moore on drums, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison on guitars. Lathom-Hall-ticketIn addition to playing at Lathom Hall, they were also there to audition for local concert promoter Brian Kelly.  They did so well that they were invited back the next Saturday night, but at the last minute they declined and that was it for them and Lathom Hall or any of Kelly’s concert venues for several months.  As their popularity gained traction, eventually Kelly invited them back.

Silver-BeatsOn April 10, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the band’s breakup, California-based Julien’s Auctions will offer a slew of Beatles memorabilia (with live online bidding available), from the handwritten lyrics for “Hey Jude” to corduroy trousers worn by John Lennon himself. While it may not look so illustrious, this set of wooden planks pulled straight out of the floor are in fact witnesses to history, and a marquee item that could fetch as much as $20,000.


Just a few ‘toons and things I found over at Phil’s Phun

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4toon-5


Th-th-that’s all I’ve got for today, friends.  Try to have a p-p-peaceful weekend.

Note to readers:  I apologize for my negligence these past 2-3 days in responding to comments.  Sometimes life throws more at a person than they can field, and one struggles to catch up.  I always operate under the philosophy that if you, my friends and readers, can take your precious time to leave a comment, the least I can do is reply.  I have let that ball drop in recent days.  I promise to do better starting today.  Please forgive my negligence.

Filosofa Is Angry …

Anger can be a good thing, when it motivates and inspires you to do something to change events or circumstances.  If, that is, that which makes you angry is something over which you have at least a modicum of control or influence.  But, when you must simply sit and watch the idiocy around you, anger becomes self-destructive and leads to depression.  I took a break from blogging yesterday, except for my music post, because everything I tried to write was beyond a snarky snippet, was even beyond a rant, but sounded like the ravings of a madman with more expletives than a trucker would use! rantI’m still angry, but I have, hopefully, corralled the worst of it.  Crises bring out the best in some people, the worst in others.  What we see every time we log onto any of the news media are the examples of the very worst of the human species.  And, of course, our own government is making a muckety mess of it all, doing everything exactly wrong, and … we have no control.  It is frustrating, at best, and I won’t say what it is at worst.  So … prepare for a bit of a rant … “Ranty Snippets”?


The bitch …

Gerrity’s Supermarket is a small family-owned chain in northeastern Pennsylvania. Like grocers nationwide, it has been deluged with orders and has struggled to keep basics such as chicken breasts and toilet paper on the shelves. Employees have been working overtime, pausing only for five-second breaks to wipe everything down with disinfectant wipes.

Two days ago, on Wednesday afternoon, a woman entered the store, proceeded to the produce section where she intentionally coughed all over every bit of the produce in the store!!!  ON PURPOSE!!!  Two weeks I tried to buy a damn green pepper and this woman, in a single malicious act, destroyed some $35,000 worth of food … food that we have been struggling to buy!

The store’s co-owner Joe Fasula said that they had no choice but to toss every bit of the produce.

GerritysIt didn’t take long for employees to realize what the woman was doing, and they quickly escorted her out of the store and called police.  Turns out, the woman is known to the local police for having caused problems in the community before.  WHY, in these times of so much grief and trouble, would anybody be so cruel???  But, this isn’t an isolated incident.

  • A New Jersey man was charged with harassment and making terroristic threats after purposely coughing on a Wegmans grocery store employee and saying he had coronavirus.
  • A Carlisle, Pennsylvania man is facing multiple charges after deliberately coughing near an elderly citizen wearing a medical face mask.

There have been hundreds of such reports.  The Carlisle man was 57 years old, and the New Jersey man was 50 … not some teenagers pulling a prank that they thought funny, but full-blown adults!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


First Amendment is still alive, yes?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I understand that for three long years and two long months, Donald Trump has been trampling the U.S. Constitution.  However … we will not allow him to completely remove, destroy, reverse, or otherwise restrict our 1st Amendment rights!!!

The latest …

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent cease-and-desist letters to local television stations on Wednesday, threatening them with legal action and potentially their broadcast licenses if they continue to air an ad from a Democratic group, Priorities USA.  The ad plays audio of Trump downplaying the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic over a chart of the mounting number of cases in the U.S. — now at more than 85,000 — but the Trump campaign objected only to one clip, of Trump saying “this is their new hoax.”

That quote comes from a Feb. 28 rally at which Trump repeatedly called his handling of the epidemic “one of the great jobs” and compared the Democrats “politicizing” of the coronavirus to the Russia investigation and Ukraine scandal.  HE SAID IT!  There’s no denying that it is a fact, it is the truth, it is on tape for all to hear!  The president’s re-election campaign does not have the right to stifle free speech or free press!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


The loons are coming out of the woodwork! 

Rick Wiles is an American far-right conspiracy theorist and non-denominational senior pastor at Flowing Streams Church in Vero Beach, Florida.  Mr. Wiles claims that God is spreading the coronavirus in synagogues because he is “dealing with those who oppose his son, Jesus Christ.” And here is where those epithets really, really want to come out, but I am biting my tongue in the interest of professionalism and of not stepping on any toes.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

While schools and college campuses around the country remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Liberty University is set to allow the return this week of up to 5,000 students. The plan was announced by the private evangelical university’s scandal–plagued president, Jerry Falwell Jr., an ally of President Trump.  Falwell’s ‘University’ is located in Virginia, a state that recently closed all schools for the rest of the school year.  Members of the community are not happy with Mr. Falwell, but he claims their concerns are ‘overblown’.  Nevertheless, the campus is said to resemble a ‘ghost town’.


Say WHAT???

On a final note, before I throw my laptop at the nearest wall, as of midnight tonight, Trump’s overall approval rating has reached an all-time high of 45.3%.  His previous high was reached on February 18th at 44.9%. 538 pollWould somebody PLEASE tell me what this jackass has done that people are approving of???  Since we first heard of the coronavirus back in January, Donald Trump has risked our lives every single bloody damn day by taking every single wrong turn he could take!!!  WHAT THE HELL are people approving of???  Oh … is it that whopping $1,200 check?  Well friends, guess what?  You will pay that back in spades.  Oh yeah … YOU the taxpayer will pay it back.  The United States does not have $2 trillion … it is effectively bankrupt.  It is borrowing that money and the day of reckoning will come.  Remember, the wealthy and corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes, so you, the average taxpayer, will pay that $1,200 back with interestGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


And now, my heart rate has once again traveled into that danger zone, so I shall stop for tonight.  Hope you are all well and safe, my friends.  Stay tuned this afternoon for Part XI of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension.

Good People Doing Good Things — In Times Of Trouble

Wow … I have been writing a lot lately about the dark side of human behaviour in this time of pandemic crisis, but tonight when I pulled up my first resource in search of good people, I realized there is a whole ‘nother side!  Many, many people are doing things to help one another these days.  Some famous people, such as the heads of companies like Lowes and Carnival, and entertainers like Rihanna have done some wonderful things to help others, but for this post I am going only with the everyday people who have stepped up to the plate to help their fellow humans.  I find that I can relate more to the ones who don’t have anything more than you and I, who aren’t billionaires or millionaires, but just people with good hearts.  Now, grab your box of tissues and read on …


Helping seniors ‘stay in touch’ …

Most nursing homes in countries all ‘round the globe have banned visitors, fearing they could bring in the coronavirus and wipe out the entire population of oldsters within a week.  Understandable, but still … imagine you are 80 years old, stuck in a nursing home and nobody comes to visit.  For some, they will not live to see their families ever again. Jill-SarahEnter Jill Ashworth Valadao and Sarah Otis Firth, two young women in Massachusetts who saw a need, rolled up their sleeves and got to work.  Firth was browsing Facebook when she came across a heartbreaking picture of an adult daughter standing outside the window of her mother’s room at a nursing home, holding a white board as her only means of communication.

“I thought these poor people in the nursing homes; they’re so scared and isolated. I wish I could get a bunch of iPads to give to them.”

She talked to her friend Jill about starting a fundraiser together to buy iPads for nursing homes so the residents could use FaceTime to chat with family and friends, and they agreed to see what they could do.  They created the Facebook fundraiser page “FaceTime for Nana” on March 17 with a goal of $300, enough to purchase one iPad.

Four days later, Firth and Valadao had raised nearly $5,000, enough for 16 iPads!  The first three iPads were carefully delivered by Firth and Valadao Friday morning to Autumn Glen’s memory unit in Dartmouth and Alden Court Nursing Care and Royal of Fairhaven Nursing Center in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.Sarah-ipadLater that day Firth got a message from Alden Court activity director Sharon Jensen thanking them on behalf of the residents and staff for the new iPad.

The message read:

“During such a difficult time, these sweet gestures literally make the residents days. Yesterday more than 75 face time calls were made to families at Alden. This process has kept our families connected and reassured that their loved one is safe and content. The residents get a kick out of the technology and share a few laughs/smiles when they see their loved one on the ipad.

Our goal is to find positive things to keep the resident spirits up and this is one of the many good things happening. Today, the residents and the staff will be receiving performances from local young performers donating their time and their talents to present mini concerts for the residents VIA FACE TIME. The Ipad gift was a blessing today. So thank you Sarah for thinking of Alden Court.”

Valadao said she loves to see the positive come out of a negative situation.

“I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Our society needed to slow down and be reminded of what matters. So when you’re feeling angry with the situation stop and look for the good that is coming out of all of this. There’s a lot of good.”

And I think that is a piece of advice that we should all listen to, myself included.


Awesome boss!

Bryan Morin owns a small pizzeria, Federico’s Pizza & Restaurant, in New Jersey.  He does a decent business, but like most small business owners, he isn’t made of money.  When New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered that restaurants close their dining rooms, Bryan headed straight to the bank and took out a $50,000 loan.  No, not to tide him over and not to take a vacation …

Bryan wasn’t even thinking of his own lost revenue, but when he returned to the restaurant, Morin announced to his 20 employees that, at least for the next two months, they would receive their regular paychecks.  Morin says he is hoping that by summer, the bans will be lifted and tourists will return to the Jersey shore, but meanwhile, he’s taking care of his employees. Bryan-Morin

“My father told us a long time ago: You’ve got to take care of your employees first, because without those employees, you don’t have a business at all. I definitely owe them a debt — even if it means I might go into debt.”


Awesome landlord!

Nathan Nichols, of South Portland, Maine, owns a couple of rental properties.  Both properties are rented by hourly and service workers who are currently laid off due to the pandemic crisis.  He posted on Facebook about two weeks ago …

“Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April. I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”

At least one other landlord has committed to doing the same …

Sarah-Chittick

However, he made a follow-up post a few days later to clarify …

“Every so often, however, there is a comment from a landlord who would like to help their tenants, but simply can’t, or from a tenant who wishes their landlord would help them, but doubts they will. To these people, I say: I don’t know your situation and I don’t want to imply that a landlord who isn’t forgoing rent is somehow a bad person.”


Little Free Libraries … housing toilet paper???

Do you guys remember in October 2018 when I wrote about the death of Todd Bol, the man who created Little Free Libraries?  Yeah, I know … I can’t remember yesterday, either.  Anyway, Mr. Bol created a system of tiny little wooden structures where people can exchange books.  It caught on, and now there are some 75,000 Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 88 countries! Todd BolWell, now with many people struggling to pay the rent and buy food, let alone able to find a roll of toilet paper to buy, some of the Little Free Libraries are being partly converted to Little Free Pantries!  Pantries from Vancouver, Canada to Arlington, Massachusetts are now filled with toilet paper, canned goods, books, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.  Said one lady from Minnesota …

“My kids have invested a lot of time into just making sure there’s stuff up there. The experience for them being able to be a part of something that gives back. That’s really cool.”

And lest you are concerned about germs and safety, local pantry caretakers are reminding visitors to wash their hands and sanitize the pantry door handles before handling its contents.

Little-free-pantry-1little-free-pantry-2Little-free-pantry-3Little-free-pantry-4


Well, folks, I came across many stories like these.  They balance out the ones we’ve been hearing about hoarders, and people stealing others’ packages off their doorsteps. I was lucky last week when on two occasions an opportunity to be a good people, albeit in a very small way presented itself, and I have to tell you, it felt good, made me want to find another such opportunity.  How ‘bout we all try to find just one such in the coming week … help someone load their groceries, offer to pick up a few things at the store for a neighbor, even just a kind smile and a “how are you?” to people you pass in the grocery store.  “Social distancing” doesn’t mean we can’t help one another in some small ways.

On Dead Flowers, Fools, and More

I woke this morning to another dark, dreary, rainy day, as they have all been for the past two weeks.  At least my hallway wasn’t flooded by rain being blown under the door, as it was Saturday.  Our neighborhood looks ugly right now … in fact, I woke thinking the whole world looks ugly, so I opened the front door, hoping to brighten my outlook by seeing my 20 or so crocuses that bloomed last week … only to find them … dead. Must have been the torrential downpours and sub-freezing temperatures over the weekend.  And thus starts another week …

dead-flower


They walk among us …

Last night, in a really rotten mood to begin with, I saw a friend’s post on Facebook …

rob nealeigh

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, my fingers hit the keyboard in response.  I thought about it for just about a half-second before hitting ‘send’, and then thought no more about it.  Needless to say, when I logged onto Facebook this morning, I received a pop-up saying that Rob Nealeigh is no longer my friend.  I really didn’t mind, for he is the son of a man I used to work with, and while I greatly respect his father, I don’t know the son very well.  But I am still scratching my head …

“More open and offers itself to the press more than ever before”???  Does it, then, not matter that everything that is said to the press is 95% certain to be a lie? As long as they say something, it matters not whether we can believe it? Transparency???  It will take a decade after Trump leaves office to find all the things they have done that we knew nothing about, all the lies that have hidden reality, all the monies that have been siphoned from the public coffers.  And there’s that meaningless phrase again: “Trump tells it like it is”NO NO NO … Trump lies!  He lies even when there is no reason to lie!  If you asked him the colour of his tie, he would say it is blue when it was really red, just because he is a pathological liar.  Lying and transparency are two entirely different things!

One time, back before the 2016 election, I asked another friend to be more specific when she said, “Trump tells it like it is”.  What, exactly, do you mean by that … what has he said that was “telling it like it is.”  She told me I was just another ‘libtard’ and by the next morning she, too, had unfriended me on Facebook.  There is no answer to that question … it’s a buzz-phrase they’ve been taught to say, and they have no idea what they’re even talking about, yet we are ignorant for trying to pin them down.

And “… they continue to win for the American people”???  What the Sam Hell have they ‘won’???  We are no longer trusted by our allies, we have become the most racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, homophobic nation in the western world, and we are more internally divided than at any time since 1865.  Funny, but if this is winning, I think I’d rather be a loser!

I think I’d like to propose that all who are so blindly enamoured of Trump be made to wear their maga hats when out in public so that we know to stay away from them.  Else we can imprint a Trump tattoo on their foreheads … anything that identifies them, for these are dangerous people!  Yet further proof that our education system is failing miserably.


The headline on the BBC website reads

Trump to Deploy National Guard to Fight Virus

Seriously???  The National Guard can fight and kill the coronavirus?  Hmmmm 🤔.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  I think what is meant is that Trump plans to use the National Guard against us!  We are told that …

“Troops will be used in New York, California and Washington to deliver medical aid and set up medical stations …”

But, do we believe a word Trump says?  No, sadly we cannot.  I think it is only a matter of time before he declares martial law, at least in some areas.  It is a sad state of affairs that we cannot trust our own government, the very people we elected and whose salaries we pay, but … they are not working in our best interest.  Trust?  Nope … not a crumb.  The one thing, the most important thing right now, is that we must guard and protect our November 3rd election.  I sense it is in grave danger.


And about that bill in Congress …

Even in times of crisis, the United States Senate led by the ignoble Mitch McConnell, cannot get their act together and work in a bi-partisan manner.  The Democrats want the emergency stimulus bill, which is worth almost $1.4 trillion, to include more money for state and local governments and hospitals, while Trump’s Republicans are pushing for quick action to reassure financial markets.

Let’s call a spade a spade.  Trump and the Senate Republicans want the bill to shore up: a) the fossil fuel industry; b) the hotel industry; c) the airline industry; and d) the casino industry.  None of which helps We the People in the least.  Cooks, dishwashers, servers, clerks, cashiers, bartenders … hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of them are now without a paycheck.  They can apply for unemployment, but it takes time and will only be between 50% – 67% of their income.  Still, the rent comes due, the electric bill must be paid, groceries must be bought, and the children will outgrow their shoes.

This bill should be … nay, must be … about helping the people … the average people, not the wealthy CEOs who will fare just fine without help — they won’t miss a meal and I guarantee they can pay their mortgage … and even find toilet paper to buy.  It is interesting to note that the bill failed to pass the Senate on Sunday, getting 47 votes and thus falling short of the 60 needed in the 100-member chamber. So, apparently at least 4 republican senators voted against it.  Hmmmm … veddy interesting.


And I end with more macabre humour, the only kind there is these days …toon

Beyond the Pale Snarky Snippets

Today’s fare is a bit beyond Snarky Snippets and more into the territory of full-fledged rants.


Assholes …

You know it’s bad when a republican does something so wrong that even Tucker Carlson calls them on it …

tucker-carlson“[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate …”

No, there was no ‘honest explanation’ for what either Senator Richard Burr or Senator Kelly Loeffler did, for they were operating out of their own self-interest, not … not looking out for their constituents or the people of this nation, as they are paid to do.  Burr, by the way, has a net worth of more than $3 million, and Loeffler, who is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, has a reported net worth of $500 million, though I’m betting that between she and hubby their net worth is in the billions.

On January 24th, these two assholes were briefed by senior government scientists about the seriousness of the coronavirus and its likely impact on the nation.  And then, they moseyed out of the briefing and sold stocks they expected to tank.  Not only that, but Loeffler, who began selling her stock within hours of the briefing, actually turned around then and purchased stock in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and whose share price is one of the few that has risen since the crisis began.

These two jackasses had been given information that was being withheld from the public by Donald Trump, and they used it to gain significant profits, while the rest of us lost a huge chunk of our 401(k)s, which were a pittance anyway, compared to Burr’s and Loeffler’s wealth.  And to add insult to injury … we pay these assholes to work for us!!!

Write your senators and demand the immediate impeachment of these two … they do not deserve the honour of representing the people of the United States, for in truth they have been representing only their own interest.

And while we’re on the topic … I wonder what Trump had his broker dump on the same day?


The story of life according to Donald Trump …

Mike Pence and his wife were both tested for coronavirus, using up two of the often-scarce test kits, even though as Pence said he had “no reason to believe” he was exposed to the virus.  A number of NBA teams and individual players have also been tested, again taking up valuable test kits.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch where most of us live, people are being told that the tests are reserved only for those exhibiting symptoms or already hospitalized.

So, in one of his photo-ops that are misnamed ‘press conferences’, Trump was asked …

“How are non-symptomatic professional athletes getting tests while others are waiting in line and can’t get them? Do the well-connected go to the front of the line?”

Trump seemed as if he would object, but then merely shrugged and said …

“Perhaps that’s the story of life.”

The “story of life”.  Take care of the rich and famous first, and f*ck the rest of us.  And yet, his approval rating has barely dropped from a month ago!  Do the damned evangelicals and others still honestly believe that he is “on their side”, or “for the average person”???  If so, they are more ignorant than we first thought.


Son-of-a-bitch

The same reporter that asked about the coronavirus testing, Peter Alexander of NBC News, asked another question …

“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now, who are scared?”

The question was a perfect opening for Trump to act like a real leader, to say something encouraging to the 330 million people he was elected to represent, but instead …

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say. … I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope, and you’re doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC and Con-cast. I don’t call it Comcast, I call it Con-cast. Let me just say something, that’s really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let’s see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I’ve been right a lot. Let’s see what happens.”wtf

It. Is. Time. For. Him. To. Go.


One might expect that in times like these, our elected officials would be working overtime, making sacrifices, to keep us informed and protect us to the best of their ability.  Instead, this sorry lot of jerks is what we have leading the way.  These people must go now … I don’t think this nation can tolerate this bunch of crooks until next year … they need to be removed now by whatever means is available.  Their lives have no more value than yours or mine … likely less, for they are not honest people, have no integrity and were apparently born without that key component the rest of us have:  a conscience.

Saturday Surprise — Bang

Hello friends!  Whew … been a heck of a week, hasn’t it?  Yeah, me too … and that’s why I figured we ought to start the weekend with a bang …bangThere now … wasn’t that fun?  Oh, okay fine … let’s see if I can do better.


Ducks in their finery …

Normally I am against dressing critters in clothes, but I have to admit that these ducks all decked out in their Easter finery are pretty darn cool.duck-1It’s called the Pied Piper Duck Show and it’s an annual event in Sydney, Australia.  Behatted ducks in pink, green and yellow outfits waddle down the catwalk in the Pied Piper Duck Show at one of Australia’s most famous annual country festivals. The show is a part of the 14-day Sydney Royal Easter Show which is the largest annual event staged in Australia, attracting an average of 900,000 visitors.duck-2Brian Harrington, who runs the duck show, believes his feathered models are just as talented as their human counterparts, and completely under-appreciated. The 60-year old Harrington has run the show for some 30 years and dresses his ducks according to the latest fashion trends for each event. A farmer from New South Wales, Brian Harrington also trains pigs which, this year, reportedly played a chaotic version of musical chairs.duck-3Aside from fashion parades, the Pied Piper Duck Show also showcase Racing Ducks, which have the crowds roaring in laughter as they cheer on their favorite duck. And of course, there are food stalls that offer everything from steak sandwiches, souvlakis, baked potatoes, strawberries, ice-cream, milkshakes, and duck roast too.duck-4duck-5duck-6


Eggs artistry?

In teaching my granddaughter to cook, I have always stressed that cooking is an art, not a science.  These creations are far beyond my food-art ability, though …

food-art-1food-art-2food-art-3food-art-4food-art-5

The woman who created these edible arts is known as Etoni Mama. She is raising three girls—ages 7, 9, and 11—who are lucky enough to eat colorful, cartoon character-inspired meals almost every day. The talented mother who has no prior training in making food is definitely a master of kyaraben, also known as character bento. Kyaraben is a Japanese lunchbox food style that features numerous meals decorated to look like people and various pop culture characters, including plants and animals. While making character bento is not easy, Etoni does it so well that you can’t help but love her meals.

food-art-6food-art-7food-art-9food-art-10food-art-11


This next one is courtesy of Scott Lawlor who send it to me a few days ago …

Sleeping it off …

It is said that the village of  Xishuangbana in Yunnan Province in China was deserted of humans who were largely staying in their homes, when a herd of 14 elephants came into the village looking for food & drink.  Well, the local pubs and saki bars were closed, so the elephants helped themselves to some corn in a field, and to wash it down, they found 30kg of corn whiskey that the farmers must have left out.  Well, here is the end result of that … they fell asleep in a tea garden!

elephants

I am told that the story was mostly made up to fit the picture, but … it’s a fun story anyway.


SaturdayThat’s all I’ve got for today, folks … sorry for such a short one, but I’m all out tonight.  Now go try to have a fun weekend … go for a nice walk in the woods or along the lake, depending where you live, or just around the local high school track!  Take a picnic lunch with you and make a day of it! Those activities are not forbidden … not yet, anyway.  Either way, have a great weekend.

 

Isn’t It Time For Some … Snarky Snippets?

snarky-4Whew … the news cycle these days is nuts.  Much of what’s found on the news is repetitive, but one must sift through it to find the nuggets.  Then, when you find the nuggets, they just make you growl.  Well-meaning friends suggest from time-to-time that I tune out for a few days or even … gasp … a week!  But, I cannot.  I am who I am, and I am very concerned these days about what is happening behind the scenes in Washington, what are they doing that is not being reported because the media is so wrapped up in the coronavirus and the stock market?


Keeping secrets from us …

Predictably, unemployment claims are overwhelming the system in some states where restaurants, bars, indoor malls and entertainment centers have closed down.  In Connecticut, for example, 30,000 claims were filed between Friday evening and Tuesday, compared with a total of 2,500 all last week. This week, Illinois received over 41,000 claims on Monday and Tuesday compared with 4,445 in those two days last year. And in Michigan, 5,419 claims were filed in February’s final week; so far this week, the state is fielding five-and-a-half times as many.  None of this is unexpected.

And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Trump & Co is asking state labor officials to delay releasing the precise number of unemployment claims they are fielding.  Most every month, the employment numbers have been positive, although in recent months they have been tracking below the predictions, but the numbers for March are, needless to say, going to reflect a sharp drop in employment over the course of the month.  We have a right to know just how many jobs have been lost, in part due to the bungling of Trump & Co.  This is not something they should be able to hide from us, as they have so many other things.  Yet another sign that we have a wanna-be dictator in office.  Who will stop him?


Get out of jail free

michael-cohenMichael Cohen … remember him?  He was Trump’s personal attorney and ‘fixer’ who pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate (Trump).  He’s currently serving a three-year sentence at a federal prison camp in Otisville, New York.  A cushy sort of place, with better than average food and other amenities including bocce ball, horseshoes, handball and tennis.

bernie-madoffBernie Madoff … remember him?  He is a former market maker, investment advisor and financier who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to the largest Ponzi scheme in history.  It is estimated that he bilked investors out of some $64.8 billion and his actions were in part responsible for the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  He was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison and is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, North Carolina.

get-out-of-jail-freeThe attorneys for these two men are now pleading for their release from prison, saying it is only a matter of time before the coronavirus strikes the prisons and their clients, such pure, good people, should not be subjected to a life-threatening illness.  It makes me wonder … the notorious #MeToo abuser of women, Harvey Weinstein was just sentenced to 23 years in prison, and just yesterday checked in at Elmira Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.  I wonder if his attorney will plead for his release based on the possibility of coronavirus finding its way into the prison?

If you or I were in prison for so much as being caught with a half-ounce of weed, do you think they would even consider letting us out under these circumstances?  No way, José!


Anything to win …

Now, we all know that Donald Trump will do anything to win … win what?  Anything.  Doesn’t matter what, he just takes pride in being a ‘winner’ and calling out all ‘losers’.  He broke numerous laws, had others break laws for him, in order to ‘win’ the 2016 election which, in truth he did not win, but lost by nearly 3 million votes.  Still, it got him what he wanted … a ticket to four years in the Oval Office.

Tell me … if Trump got his hands, say shortly before election day, on a supply of a vaccine that would prevent coronavirus, and offered it exclusively to U.S. citizens, would it make you appreciative enough that you would vote for him?  No, of course not, but … what about his 40% base?  They might be getting pretty disillusioned these days, many of them losing their jobs, many losing the bulk of their pension plans and 401(k)s due to the current pandemic and related financial meltdown, but … would that vaccine maybe change their minds?  Remember, these are the same people who are okay with migrant children being separated from their parents and put in cages at the southern border.

German pharmaceutical firm CureVac since January has been researching a potential vaccine for countering the novel coronavirus. Over the weekend, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported US President Donald Trump offered CureVac about $1 billion to obtain the vaccine “only for the United States.”

In other words … “I got mine, to hell with everybody else”.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

This, folks, is what Trump’s “America First” policy looks like.  Trump and CureVac both publicly denied that such an offer had been made, but … I think it was.  Why?  First, because … it’s Trump.  But, more prudently, because the world leaders of the G7 took it seriously enough to rebuke Trump in a video summit, telling Trump that new vaccines must not be monopolized and that medical firms must share and coordinate research on coronavirus vaccines rather than provide products exclusively to one country.

German ministers also reacted angrily, saying “Germany is not for sale!”

Another interesting aspect of this is that the chief executive of the German firm CureVac, Daniel Menichella, who attended the March 2nd meeting where Trump is said to have made the offer, is suddenly leaving the company he has headed for two years.  CureVac made the announcement on March 13th.  Curious, don’t you think?

Let’s be very clear here, folks … if a viable vaccine for coronavirus is developed, it must be made available to as many people as possible in every nation where people are suffering from the disease.  And NOT to the wealthy first, but rather to those most at risk first!


I have one more snippet, but it’s late, I’m tired, and I’m at the max of my self-imposed word count, so … expect more snarking and growling this afternoon!  Oh no … wait … this afternoon is Part X of mine and Jeff’s project!  Well, soon you can expect to see more snarkiness from the Queen of Snark! Stay tuned!