Categories
Holidays Journal

Journal Entry – 11.15.20

It is 6:52 AM on Sunday November 15th, 2020. It finally feels like the fall in Pacifica. Here on the coast we don’t have the type of foliage that change to beautiful reds, oranges and yellows signifying the arrival of Autumn. No, we have short scrub brush, Monterey pines and Eucalyptus trees. Our weather also only changes slightly instead of going from a hot summer to a very cold winter and all the gradual fluctuations as the transition happens over the months of September through January. For Pacifica, the only change we really experience is a slight drop in temperature and the arrival of rain.

We had our first rain two days ago and the last I remember getting rain was perhaps back in January. It also wasn’t what one would normally think of as raid with big drops coming down from the sky with a noticeable splash as it hits the pavement. No, it was more like the sky was sputtering a very heavy mist which gradually makes everything wet and is blown here and there by a heavy offshore wind. Oh how I miss the approach of an actual thunderstorm of the kind we’d get in Ohio in the summertime. You see nothing but huge black clouds on the horizon which seemed appropriate for the end of the world as described in religious texts. I would think of “The Nothing” from the movie The Never Ending Story” as the it was portrayed by the same type of storm clouds. The temperature would suddenly drop 5 – 10 degrees and then suddenly there was the onslaught of heavy drops of rain shooting down so fast that they would pelt you and leave everyone scurrying for cover.

No, the rain we often get is nothing like that. Unlike a good summer storm which makes people suddenly sprint for cover our rain only encourages a quickening of the pace. Furthermore, here on the coast it is rarely a 100% surety we will have rain. The forecasts are just OK in that if they predict at least a 60% chance of rain a few days in advance we’ll most likely have some precipitation. However, it is all too common that predicted rain always dries up and fails to materialize. It less often but we can actually get rain quite suddenly that wasn’t really predicted.

In any case, the arrival of rain is more than welcome, especially since California has just had the worst fire season in its recorded history. The air was so bad we had to all gather in one room with the air purifier on maximum for weeks at a time. In fact, we left the state for a while fleeing like refugees to Ohio for two weeks.

With the holidays approaching, it is also nice for the weather to actually feel like the holidays from my childhood. The weather around Thanksgiving is supposed to be cool, winter should be cold with snow on the ground. But not here in Pacifica. It will still be 60 degrees and sunny just like always except for when rain clouds decide to blown quickly on through.

Like most events in 2020, this Thanksgiving is going to be quite different due to COVID-19. The infection rate is rapidly increasing at a breathtaking (pun intended) rate due to the absolute and total failure of the Trump Administration to handle it properly. Instead of encouraging people to wear masks they encourage them not to! They want to fire the nations top disease expert! For my descendants reading this in history books wondering how Trump supporters could be so stupid, I tell you I don’t have the answer either and I know many of these people in person. My only thought is that movements come and go and are very hard to predict. I will say that the major cause of this one is people’s inability to synthesize and process all the information coming at them from technology. Technology has rapidly improved, human beings have not. The dumb ones are especially vulnerable and this is easily seen through the window of Facebook. The students with the worst grades in high school are the ones most likely to completely fall for a con-man like Trump. They just don’t have the mental capacity to discern fact from fiction, both fed to them in a mix from their preferred propaganda outlet. It starts out with a position on various issues which is perfectly fine but it has morphed into a cult like following where they have begun worshiping Trump. Most people need to be led, they need to be told what to believe and Trump knows how to do that very effectively. The virus gone by Easter, or it will suddenly disappear? They believe it even though they are thrown out of work and may have a dead relative or acquaintance. Still they follow and believe everything the President says. This is exactly what cults do.

All that aside, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. I love the memories of holidays past, it was always a time of such joy and happiness that I want to recreate for my own kids. I do have to say that I practice some cognitive dissonance when it comes to Thanksgiving though because that story of the Pilgrims sitting down happily with the Native Americans is complete fiction. Instead of a happy story it quickly turns into genocide and is very depressing. This realization also fits perfectly in with our political situation. Thanks to Trump we now have white hate groups screaming that their cultural heritage is being diminished. The whites were always on top, always did great things and no criticism is ever allowed. But the truth is that the white man almost completely erased an entire people off the face of North America. Most people will read the fact and then move along without really considering this. But imagine if they could look into the past and see just one raid of a Native American village, while white men on horses slaughtered not only men but women and children as well. This should drive any human being to tears and great sadness. Unfortunately this is the age of Trump and even though seeing outright murder would hurt the hearts of even his most ardent supporters it is plain to see that it may not do so for much longer. The good ones will turn away from all the hate but his most ardent supporters will continue on the path to evil, when perhaps even murder of those unlike them in image or believe is perfectly justified. It could happen here.

For me, the genocide of Native Americans has affected me deeply. My passion is history, language and really trying to ‘feel’ that history, not just read about a bunch of facts. And here we are in the USA celebrating a “Thankful” day when it is really one of mass murder. So that cognitive dissonance? Well, I like to remember holidays past and present feeling the joy of everyone getting together and being happy. I love the American holidays, they are wonderful. But again, the pretext is to celebrate a story of fiction. You point this out to Trump supporters and just like evil cult members, they get very angry. They don’t practice cognitive dissonance; in their minds they moved to fantasy land long ago and any intrusion of facts are met with outright hostility. So although I still enjoy Thanksgiving immensely I know what occurred and it does affect me very much. So I decided to start contributing to the Native Americans. I received a simple postcard for a Native American college fund and contributed. Well that opened the floodgates to all kinds of Native American charities and so I have a number of options of where to send my contributions. Nothing can right the absolute atrocity of the past but given my intimacy with the past this is something that I need to do. I’m one who in the quiet of a sunset or sunrise will listen for long gone voices on the wind hoping they will whisper something to me. I believe the past, present and future is an illusion, all bound up in ways I cannot understand and only by quieting the mind can I have any hope of hearing the messages.

Changing the subject there are two other things I’d like to write about in this post.

The first is about my morning thought. I find that the best thoughts come to me either in meditation and just after waking up as the last remnants of my dream disappear and I lay there in bed. Now I often write about my thought patterns, or mindset and how I find it amazing that through my own writing I can remember a previous way of thinking. This is very hard to do, and if I were to compare it to computers it is like Windows 10 suddenly glitching only for an instant back to Windows XP then immediately back to Windows 10. My current mindset is Windows 10, but I have fond memories of the way I used to think (used to be!) My thought this morning was around the joy or desire to do some sort of activity. In my childhood I would think I wanted to play with my GI-Joes and that desire would suddenly make me very happy and this elevated happiness would be sustained as I played with my toys. Well, at 43 that doesn’t occur anymore. I am presented with a number of options today but they are all presented as any number of plain slices of bread and I am to chose one. I could: workout, read my book, play a video game, use VR, watch a movie, do yardwork, go to the beach, take a hike etc. Not one option gets me excited. Just like the slices of bread I could choose, all options are bland. And so in recent years it may take me a moment to decide as my mind strives to find an option which will release that elusive joy. The joy never comes and so it is just a matter of picking an activity as none will make me happier than the other. Joy as a motivator has been replaced by a feeling of accomplishment. If I feel as though I’ve accomplished something then perhaps I can get a slight trickle of that feeling of joy and so accomplishing something becomes my motivator.

At 43 joy is dead but the holidays are able to revive it a little as life support would do a dying patient. At the start of Halloween my joy breathes and has opened its eyes which is appreciated even though it isn’t running around jumping up and down with great laughter as it did when I was a kid. Due to COVID this holiday season has a lot less magic to it but what I’m discovering is that through the “spell” of right mindset I can create magic just as powerful to make the holidays just as bright. We will miss the essential ingredient of gathering with many friends and wonderful parties but instead turn to a different ‘spell’ and increase its power by being joyful myself and finding other activities which create memories.

Time to change subject again and this is rather sad.

I’m at the age now where aside from three or four early exceptions death’s gaze is starting to look in our direction. There is a Facebook page for my high school and one of the albums is dedicated to those graduates who have passed away. I learned yesterday that Joe Estep passed away and it was a shock. We were good acquaintances and played on the same sports teams but other than that I didn’t know him well as he was also one grade below me. He was a very good looking kid and I’d say royalty as far as popularity goes. So I thought I’d write one of my memories about him and that was on our way back to school after a baseball game. We both had Cameros although his was the cooler IROC. We were somewhat racing, somewhat harassing each other buy cutting in front of each other or “brake checking.” This was all complete teenager stupidity and something no rational adult what ever do but as a teenager we were laughing and having a ball. I had just brake checked him when he threw a dip (smokeless tobacco) on my car! So then it was war and we did the same to him. The it wasn’t just a used dip but the entire spit cup! For those who weren’t friends such things would have made any driver very mad but we were on great terms and so it became a fun, story of the like you’d find written in a school yearbook.

After high school I never really thought about him again until he popped up on Facebook. It looked like he had a hard time after high school and eventually those hard times were too much to bear. So, I wish you peace Joe wherever you are and hope you find rest in finally being released from all your trials and hardships.

Categories
Journal Politics

Journal Entry – 11.11.20

Today is Veteran’s day which is a time schools and federal agencies are closed but everyone else has to work. However, nobody really wants to work so the day can often be slow.

This year continues to bewilder and looking at the calendar it is quite shocking to see we’re almost at the end of 2020. Everything was going along normally, then in April everything shuts down. Since that time it is as though I’ve been in a daze. So much has changed and the world is a different place now on an even bigger scale than after 9/11. We not only have the pandemic to deal with but also politics and the two are closely related. Since Republicans are unable to wear masks due to absolute stupidity, the country cannot get the virus under control. Now, we’ve had an election where Biden has clearly won but Trump will not concede and looks to be making dictator moves by scaring everyone with his Pentagon firings. I always thought there were adults at the wheel who would ensure everything was OK here in the USA but as it turns out there isn’t. Nobody thought Trump could win and cause the damage he did but here we are. Now, I believe the military wouldn’t intervene in politics like in third world countries yet here we are. Due to Trump’s narcissistic inability to admit defeat he has created a very dangerous situation where anything is possible. I’ve seen news articles but I wonder if they aren’t holding back how dangerous this really is so as not to cause a panic. I wonder if I’ll soon see US military jets streaking across the sky. Too much you ask? I never thought my old friends would support someone who makes fun of the handicapped, supports white supremacist groups and is willing to tear the country apart for his own gain. But here we are.

An entire world can change overnight. We become comfortable in routine, in the familiar and then suddenly it can all be gone.

As for my mindset I’m doing OK but I have not experienced sudden, euphoric joy in a long time. My mind has been even tempered for the most part through the pandemic but thanks to politics there are many dark clouds rolling through. I have to be cognizant of my thoughts and I use mindfulness, meditation and exercise to keep my mind more on the positive side than the negative.

What is really disheartening is the loss of many friends. So many of our Japanese friends here in Pacifica have gone back to Japan. This was five families in our inner circle! These were the people we celebrated birthdays with, had cookouts, and saw each other quite a few times a week. All gone! Well, there are others and we will strengthen other friendships but with the pandemic it is hard to do at the moment.

I also was on the verge of losing old friends due to the election. The Republicans post so many things that are not true that even the very platforms had to start putting labels on their nonsense. Well, I got tired of this and spent two weeks letting my opinions be known. The difference is my opinions are factual, and I’m on the good team. History will show that under Trump the Republicans have dragged the USA as close to fascism as it has ever been. They would ruin all the good America stands for to see their aims achieved, even suspend democracy itself. It is exactly that they are trying to do now.

And so in sharing my opinions I obviously upset some people. But given the hate they support I’m fine with ending some friendships and went ahead and defriended some old acquaintances that never commented or liked my posts except to put a comment in support of Trump on my political posts. Just because I was acquainted with them in the past is no reason to give them a window into my life. Bye bye. And I’m not done. I’ve found it feels very good to get rid of those people. My tolerance absolutely depends on our level of friendship/interaction in the past. If it was relatively light then they quickly find themselves defriended. I don’t like them and I no longer want to hear from them.

As for the pandemic there is talk of a vaccine as we go through yet another huge spike in cases thanks to stupid Republicans. You know, Trump Republicans are like that idiotic family member that you never want to be around but you cannot get rid of either. As for me, I think we’ll see some signs of normality by May. That is still a long way to go but at least we have a little joy to look forward to with the holidays.

We’re fine here in our little seaside village of Pacifica. I wonder and worry for households across America though. Everyone suddenly got terrible trial which is going to rupture so many families. Not only does everyone have to be around each other most of the time but the financial devastation will also cause a lot of divorce. Many children are experiencing very bad environments from which they cannot escape as they could with school. This pandemic kills and maims but the vast majority of damage is going to come in the form of psychological damage, broken homes and a whole year lacking in development for many. And with the way Republicans are spewing out poison a good part of America is learning, and liking, how to hate.

I can only think that with the raw hate and anger of the Republican side America will never again be whole. This divisiveness will continue until there is some type of split, just like social media is now splitting along political lines. I think a civil war will happen eventually, unless political leaders (Republicans) stop accepting that ripping the country apart is OK so long as they retain power.

And that is 2020.

Categories
Politics

Two Days after the Election

I wanted to get another post in for historical purposes as today certainly is momentous. I went to bed on November 3rd very depressed as it looked like Trump had a lock. However, this isn’t a normal election and due to the massive numbers of mail in votes, it now looks like Biden will win!

The USA has never had mail in votes outweigh those that vote at the polls. Trump told his supporters to vote at the polls (as they don’t understand what a pandemic is) while Democrats primarily voted by mail. Well, true to form those that went to the polls in swing states voted mostly Republican and those results are processed faster than mail in votes. It was a Red Mirage because when the mail in votes start to be opened the trend was reversed.

But you can read all about this in the history books.

To the nation, this is a very tense time. However, I’m here in my shed as usual enjoying another lovely day here in Pacifica. There could be a lot of violence once the winner is announced (most likely Biden) and so it is best to avoid cities and areas that heavily support Trump.

Trump and his supporters certainly are acting like they’ve shat the bed and now are running around wildly slinging their filth everywhere. Trump wants to stop counting votes as he is losing and some of his more deranged supporters are showing up demanding access to ballot counting facilities. Not only that but Trump prematurely claimed victory! He also claimed the electoral college votes he didn’t have yet. Newsflash, you cannot just “claim” electoral college votes.

Again, you’ll be able to read all of this in the history books.

For me, I’m headed out to have dinner with a customer here in Pacifica. It is nice here in Pacifica and the threat of a disturbance is very low. I wonder if the announcements will be made tonight and if all the hayseeds in middle America will just explode?

Categories
Politics

Election Day 2020

Today is November 3rd, which is election day here in the USA. I wanted to get a post in to mark this momentous day.

Today decides if the USA will continue down a very dark path under President Trump or if the USA will recover. For any thinking person one simply need read some of the President’s tweets or just take a few quotes on any given week to know that this administration is bereft of all sanity and has caused great damage to the USA. What is inexplicable is how Trump managed to convince so many Americans that he is fit to lead the country. Much of the electorate certainly are “Unpolitical Animals.”

The poison Trump and his supporters have put on the nation is palpable. You can almost feel the tension in the air today. My own mood has been severely affected by this as it is almost impossible to ignore the politics. Open the news and Trump has done or said some outrageous thing or another. It is as though an evil spell has been put over the nation with his supporters never ceasing to cheer his evermore outrageous statements and acts. Trump is a bad person. I’ll never understand how otherwise good and decent people could vote for him.

My only thought is America is well overdue for a demagogue. Americans have never been spoken to like this on the political stage before and some quite like it. He has money (maybe, he doesn’t release taxes) he has a wife bought and paid for and uses insults for anyone who disagrees with him.

I could go on all day about the damage Trump has caused but for that just look up any article or read his Twitter feed and you can see for yourself.

As I mentioned my own mood has been very dark unless I can push politics out of my mind. I have to actively try to ignore it and only then can I feel some real joy. The main issue for me is the hate and divisiveness he has caused. He has emboldened hate groups and that is a clear and real threat to me and my family. I mentioned this to a (now former) friend and he ended up telling me to “quit pretending it was a threat.” It was through his comments I see that most supporters consider themselves very good people, however they vote for a monster. If this was 1930’s Germany, they would be those that do not hate the Jews at all yet still throw their support behind Hitler. That Treaty of Versailles was so unfair to Germany and Hitler is going to clean it up! It is very sad to me to see so many people I formerly considered reasonable people go down such a terrible path.

It should all be apparent in the history books how bad Trump was for the country. But this assumes Trump will lose and history books have the truth written in them. There is no guarantee of this. Trump has shown himself to be the enemy of the truth and his supporters eagerly support this obvious suppression. I’m banking on a Biden win and truth prevailing.

However, so much damage has been done a Biden win isn’t going to just solve everything. The USA is now on a path from which one election may not do much to change. The divisions run deep and I imagine this divide will only widen. Again, this is all the fault of the Republicans and the hate they have spewed over the past 15 years through talk radio and Fox news.

The time is now 10:21 AM and so far there hasn’t been any major catastrophe. There still is a lot of time however and I would be surprised if there wasn’t something substantial that happens.

I did want to mention the pandemic. The cases are spiking making the USA the world’s hot spot and what do Trump and his supporters do? They hold rallies, refuse to wear masks and talk about firing the nations top infectious disease expert. These are morons and I become even more bewildered wondering how such a large amount of people could be so stupid.

As for the environment here, it is a nice 60 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Not unusual for Pacifica. I’ve only heard one vehicle honking its horn and if this wasn’t Pacifica I would imagine it to be a Trump supporter in their truck hoping to intimidate voters.

Well, that is enough for now; I’ll perhaps write more as the day goes on.


It is the afternoon and I’ve had a very hard time concentrating today. This is such an important day that I wanted to take a stand and posted on Facebook. I am against Trump and was full willing to attack the Trump supporters should they comment. They are always such a nasty bunch, so full of hate and spite. I always felt it important to keep politics off my FB page as the purpose is to keep friends. But Trump has been such a nightmare that I’m now willing to lose any friend that supports him.

To my descendants who may read this, I cannot express how strange these times are. The world seems OK, your countrymen seem like reasonable people then all of a sudden everything is upended. It just takes one demagogue with a big enough platform to rile the masses when they were otherwise content. Through constant repetition of certain opinions they have been programmed and it is quite scary. The formula was just to turn news into entertainment and that entertainment into propaganda. Previously those that rarely paid attention to politics are now angry all the time over it. They turn on the TV to be fed political poison which they cannot wean themselves from. Let’s just take one example and the absurdity is clear.

We’re in a pandemic, the COVID cases are higher than anywhere else in the world and over 200,000 have already died. Trump supporters don’t want to wear masks, have rallies and then want to fire the nation’s top infectious disease expert. What is this madness you say? I could not tell you.

So yes, I’m having a hard time concentrating. I could contact some customers but don’t think that is such a good idea given the anxiety we’re all feeling today.

If Trump wins I fear for our entire democracy. Trump has been a nightmare these first four years and I’m sure he will be completely unrestrained the next four if he wins. He’s got the Justice Department under his thumb and all of the Republican Senators and Congressmen bow down to him. How could they not? America has been battered the past four years and it will be unrecognizable if Trump remains president for the next four.

Categories
California Holidays Politics

Halloween – 2020 in review

It is 9:06 AM on October 31st, 2020. The weather is perfect for Halloween: there is no wind, the temperature is cool but not too cold, the fog level is well below Pedro Point and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. I do miss the autumn colors of Ohio at this time of year, in fact I miss having actual seasons.

In Ohio the leaves would have changed color and many fallen by now. The air is brisk with a chill in the morning changing to light sweater temperatures by the afternoon. This is what Ohio residents would call perfect football weather and I have very fond memories of a noon game at the Shoe followed by wonderful revelry on campus afterwards. So long as the Buckeyes won everyone would be happy and we all got along.

Well, that is my memory of it anyway and that memory is 20 years old. This is 2020 and times have changed. I’ve lived in California for over 15 years and I complain about not having actual seasons but have forgotten how depressing winters can be in Ohio. There isn’t even a lot of snow, just gray skies with cold rain that may or may not freeze. Everyone stays indoors for 4 – 5 months and seasonal depression is a real occurrence.

In 2020 fans cannot go to the football games but I’ve read in The Dispatch that many will host “tailgate parties” but in their homes instead of out of the back of their cars. These are the times when we all hate each other due to our political affiliation and this affiliation is now treated as importantly as a sports team if not more-so. This is all the fault of the NEW Republican party which has spewed out hate and poison for over a decade on Fox and talk radio which has resulted in a divisive and hateful President.

This political environment has changed the entire mood of the country. Lingering social issues are coming to a head, there is a pandemic run rampant and natural disasters occurring in many places. This administration has handled all of these just like a child would who throws a tantrum when something doesn’t go their way. There really isn’t anything the President couldn’t do that his fans wouldn’t support. In the beginning it was making fun of the handicapped, then it was putting kids in cages. Now it is inflaming social divisions, insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with them and doing everything they can to remain in power even if that means tampering with our own elections. No need for the Russians, the Republicans know how to tamper all by themselves with trying to hamper the United States Postal Service, limiting voting, asking hate groups to monitor the polls and the President saying that if he doesn’t win then the election was rigged.

What an idiot.

Trump supporters are like a cult, this President really can do anything and they will wildly cheer. I’ve lost one long time friend over this because he is simply too far gone, too brainwashed by Fox news. Even if we could have a reconciliation he would not be able to refrain from talking about Trump and how he cannot understand why I don’t agree. The three reasons we can no longer be friends and I really won’t interact with any Trump supporter is as follows.

  1. “China Virus” – There is a lot of hostility against Asian people in the stupid parts of America these days. Trump supporters I know say they are not racist and I already know that otherwise I would have cut them loose long ago. However, they are like Germans voting for Hitler. Yes, perhaps they don’t have anything against Jews themselves, but they really like some of the things Hitler is doing for the country. That Treaty of Versailles was really unfair and Hitler is fighting back! A bit extreme of an example but follows a similar theme. Today “China virus” and encouraging the racists, tomorrow something worse. If Trump supporters can sink so low so fast I really don’t think there is a limit to how far they can go.
  2. Proud Boys – This is a known hate group and hostile to immigrants. The President asked them to “stand by” during a debate. Let me put this clearly. The President of the USA is asking for assistance if needed from a known hate group.
  3. California on fire – Trump and his administration recently denied federal aid to California to help with the wildfires. Let me put this simply: A part of America had one of the worst natural disasters in its history and the President denied aid because California votes Democratic. Trump relented when he learned that the areas which needed help voted Republican. How absurd is this? Sounds like a good reason for California to leave the Union if you ask me.

These are only three main reasons which have occurred recently. My reasons for detesting Trump and his supporters are long and become longer with each passing week. In normal times this President would have never been elected but again, Fox and talk radio seemed to have cast an evil spell over a large part of America and the bulk of his supporters – middle aged, uneducated white men – are not intelligent enough to rebuff the rantings of a known con man.

And so, as you can see from the anger that comes through my writing my mind, and seemingly that of the entire country is dark, dismal and angry. The constant barrage of anger and hate coming from mainstream and social media is too much. It seeps into our minds and acts like a poison getting stronger and stronger unless we can find the antidote. The antidote is to turn off the news, turn off social media. This is hard to do however with the election coming up and the future of the country at stake! If Biden wins America can recover a little but there is a lot of damage to repair. If Trump wins America continues the downward descent into idiocy and folly.

Well, all empires rise and fall I suppose, I was just hoping I would live to be mostly on the rising side instead of the falling. As for my personal life I have lost a friend over Trump and just need to let it go. Isn’t that amazing? A lifelong friendship suddenly ended due to his support of a demagogue, liar and con-man? I fear he is going to spend the rest of his life becoming angrier by the day as he takes in even more poison from the Fox news channel. Maybe on day the dark cloud will pass and we’ll both look back in amazement at how the spell of national politics could so easily end a friendship. Well, he is on the wrong side and history will show that.

I’ve mentioned this in past posts but we’ve also lost five families who have gone back to Japan. We had a close inner circle bound by Japanese heritage and children the same age. Out of 6 families here in Pacifica five have gone back to Japan. That is also quite amazing to me. We spent the past 8 years together, watching our kids grow up and having plenty of birthday parties, barbecues and celebrations. Then in the space of two years that inner circle is gone. Time marches on and everything changes. Sometimes that change comes slowly and others it all happens at once. 2020 has been a year when everything happens at once.

COVID

I’ve spent most of this year stuck at home. That has been OK with me as we have plenty of space, our own gym and thanks to the internet plenty of entertainment choices. In the beginning we had a lot of projects but as the months rolled by all those projects we never got around to pre-COVID were completed. Now, we’re in a sort of routine and everything is fine but I cannot imagine how difficult this is for other households across the world. I too have stress but have found that exercise and meditation is key to keeping my sanity as well as having some space to get away. I am very thankful for my shed which allows me my own space so I can really concentrate on work and not be interrupted by the normal child interruptions. I would say that I’m in the top 10% of good lock-down setups compared to other households and there are times when I can feel the mental strain of it all. I imagine that a lot of mental illness as well as divorces will come out of this but the magnitude has not been realized yet.

Fires

It wouldn’t be 2020 without the largest fires in the state of California’s history. I’ll never forget having to not only be in lock-down in my house but due to smoke pollution confined to one room with the rest of my family. Along with mental illness and divorce another aspect that hasn’t been fully identified is the smoke damage to everyone’s lungs. I have my own sensor and could see that the pollution was over 150 most days for a month or two. We would quarantine ourselves to one room with the air purifier on high and even then it took hours to get the air down to a healthy range. Once that was accomplished we then had too much CO2 and not enough oxygen in the air! I really do think that cancer rates are going to skyrocket. We in California are all one big experiment in regards to the effects of long term wildfire smoke. I can tell you that at a minimum the prolonged exposure did nothing to improve our health, so what exactly are we all facing here?

In the first half of the year I often would ask myself if things could get any worse. I stopped asking myself that long ago but things continue to get worse! I’ve covered politics, friends leaving, COVID and fires but have left out much of the lesser problems. Now we’ve got the election in a few days and the nation holds its breath as violence is a real possibility. In fact other countries have issued travel warnings for those contemplating coming to America. This has always been a one way street for Americans traveling elsewhere, extremely rare (if ever!) for those coming to the USA. I’m willing to bet the military is on standby although they would keep that very quiet as it would be one more outrageous thing caused by the Trump administration. Silly you say? Well, they wouldn’t be very good military leaders if they didn’t have a plan for the scenario would they? Yes, under Trump America has become a banana republic.

The time is now 10:09 and I’m tired of writing. This is a special holiday and the start of the holiday season! I want to go capture a bit of the magic somehow but I’m tired of writing and my kids still have Japanese school. My options are to workout, read a book, do yard work or study Japanese myself. I’m not sure what I want to do next yet, I’m going to have to think about it.