It’s All Wilderness

We live on a game trail. Took me longer than it should have to figure this out. There’s a clear and heavily used path running in from the woods on our right into and across our yard. In the winter it’s even more obvious, with the deer tracks running through our back terrace and up the side of the valley. Not only deer, though they’re the most obvious ones to have created the trail. We’ve seen woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, and First Reader thinks she may have seen a Fisher. They’re rare, so maybe, maybe not. We also suspect raccoons, though only by other evidence.

So it’s not so unusual to live by a game trail for people out in the boondocks. Thing is, we live in the middle of town. Not that the deer seem to care. They’ve got their business to deal with and just because we’re here doesn’t change that. So we co-exist just fine, thanks, and we’ve been here long enough to identify our regulars. Take the twin boys in the picture, for ex. They were born last season and their mama used to bring them through to graze on the terrace. Took us a while to realize they were bucks until their first nubs showed through. And they’re not fighting, even though rut should be well under way and the one on the right already has his dueling scars.

I like getting to know the neighbors. Yes, I did lose a tomato plant but no worries. They were here first, after all. Besides, we’re all animals on this rock.

Happy Fourth Anyway

Photo by on

Here we are again. Nearly half of one party’s caucus in Congress was either actively involved or complicit in attempting to thwart the will of We the People. Our former alleged president is still pushing the Big Lie. SCOTUS is so enamored of the 1950’s that they’ve decided we should all live there forever, adding Loving vs Virginia and subtracting the 47%+30% Excess Profits corporate tax rate, of course.

We’ll celebrate anyway, and why not. The bastards do not represent who we are and they may win a few battles but the war is ours.

Probably Karma

Playing With Fire

You want to think there’s a reason things happen. This tendency in humans causes a lot of grief, I’ve found. Example, one possible explanation for why my fellow citizens are so likely to fall for idiotic conspiracy theories. It all turns on two mutually exclusive assumption: 1) Either a secret cabal of politicians/Illuminati/People-Who-Are-Not-You are in charge of everything or 2) No one is in charge of anything and chaos reigns. All one has to do is pick your scenario and run with it. A surprising number of folk choose option 1 because it’s a lot less scary to them than option 2.

Drifting from the topic a little, which is karma…maybe. Remember last time I mentioned our cat got skunked? Not only that, two days later the fluffy little idiot went out and got skunked again. He is now under curfew. Come evening, the cat door gets locked. I try to tell him it’s his own fault, but he is quite put out about not being let out.

On top of which Microsoft is pulling an Apple stunt and my perfectly fine and stable computer is now obsolete. So just to spite them I’m doing a build your own with just enough new parts to satisfy the requirements and refusing to buy a new computer. I’m not against an upgrade but I hate being forced into it.

Feels like I’m being punished for something.

Not Getting Back to Normal…Ever

After the CDC revised guidelines on COVID and the fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks inside public spaces, I…still wear the mask. And probably will for the foreseeable future. I’ve seen a couple of arguments for doing so. Which to no one’s shock in our current period of cultural upheaval have absolutely nada to do with whether it is safe to forego the mask, but they are somewhat revealing.

The first goes something like this: I still wear the mask because no one will have any idea who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and I don’t want to make people worry about being near me. Besides, I don’t want anyone to mistake me for one of those Q loons.

Oddly enough the second argument takes the opposite tack but comes to the same conclusion: Well, I wasn’t wearing one, because FREEDOM, but now I’ll start because I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m one of those vaccinated and Gates-chipped sheeple.

Whatever works. I personally plan to keep wearing my mask for reasons more in line with the first than the second, but there’s a good bit more to it. In the 2019-2020 flu season approximately 38 Million (that’s million with an M) caught seasonal flu and about 57000 people died. In the 2020-2021 flu season? Just over 2000 confirmed cases total and maybe 200 deaths. Not to mention, congruent with the flu season, I normally come down with a really nasty sinus infection lasting weeks. Every. Damn. Year.

Except this one.

Cause and effect or mere correlation? Personally I don’t give a rats’ tuchus. Masks work. Some Asian countries already knew this, especially in dense population areas like Tokyo where “social distancing” is not so much frowned on as nearly impossible. Masks are common in public, COVID or no COVID. I think we need to take a lesson.

Besides, this way I don’t have to shave as often. It’s a win-win.

No Empathy, No Normal

I took First Reader off to a nearby town to get her second Moderna vaccination. We’re hoping for mild side effects. The first one left her arm sore for about three days, some temporary lethargy, but otherwise not much. My second was back in March, so in theory I’m good. In practice? I’m thinking Covid-Resistant but not Covid-immune. I expect to be wearing a mask when I’m out and about for the foreseeable future.

It’s not such a big deal for a lot of reasons. It’s inconvenient, but compared to dying with your lungs full of jelly or causing someone else to do so? I’ll wear the mask, thanks. I’ve heard all the reasons for not wearing a mask. With extremely few exceptions, they’re BS of the first water. Worse, they’re selfish, and usually expressed in terms of “I’ll be fine” as if that’s the only thing in the world that matters.  The whole point about living in a civilization is that it’s not “everyone for themselves,” and to do that right, it takes a little bit of empathy.

Empathy is apparently a rare trait among large populations of my fellow Americans these days. Not sure why. Maybe it was always this way and I’m just being naïve, but the fact is undeniable. I remember the recent case of the Fox News Personality who said he’d always been against paid parental leave, thought it was nonsense…until he fathered a child. Suddenly it wasn’t nonsense anymore, but a darn good idea. Which, whether he realized it or not, illustrates a complete lack of empathy.  We’ve all heard the variants: “If it doesn’t happen to me, it doesn’t happen” or “If I don’t need it, no one does.” Whether the problem is an unwillingness to place yourself in someone else’s shoes for a bit, or a lack of capacity to do so, the result is the same. I imagine future dissertations and peer-reviewed research on the subject. Maybe someone will sort it out in the future, but the rest of us must live with the consequences for now.

Or at least try to.