Wantoned Poll Workers!

Michigan Looks for Younger Poll Workers

Hey Chad, how’s it hanging? Want to come hangout with me? Hi, I’m a cute, young and highly desirable poll worker and I really want you, more particularly, I want your vote. I’m available all day, on say the first Tuesday in November? Does this work for you? No appointment is necessary. Please, just drop by my precinct. I would luv for you to stuff my ballot box. Hee-Hee. I don’t know which way you like to swing, Republican, Democrat or even Independent? I’m easy, any of them works for me. I can hardly wait to get you alone in the voting booth. 

I live alone with my Grandma, who I dearly love, but she is really strict. She never lets me go out. She is the one that got me into being an election official. She’s been doing it for centuries. She started dragging me along with her after this one time, this one election, when I, well let’s not go into that. It was really boring hanging out all day with a bunch of old people, while even more old people shuffled-in and shuffled-out all day. I never did much there, but she liked it, because she could keep an eye on me. But see now there is this Covid thing going on and it really does a number on old people. So, I say, Grandma you should stay home this election. I can do the work at the polls for you. I’ll be safe, you’ll be safe and you will know where I am all day, win-win, and she bought it!

Lets party! I got a bunch of my gurls to join me. I put together a great team, all except for this one. She goes to Michigan and wants to get all political. Says like it is our civic duty or something. Please! I tried beating her off, but she’ll be there. Still, I have a great crew working those poles for you. So, let’s get down! You’re not going to leave me hanging are you? Chad, can I count your vote?

—Thanks for the card, Carl!

How to Untangle Your Flag

A Flag and Country at Cross Purposes

First, don’t panic. You and your flag maybe wrapped around the pole, but don’t worry. Everything will be OK. I know that a furled flag can be infuriating, but please don’t lower your standards. That would be tantamount to a surrender and we can’t have any of that. Thank you very much. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good and if these days you find yourself heading into the wind, know this. For many of your fellow citizens this gathering breeze that you now face is a breath of fresh air. Remember, now more than ever, this is their flag too.

Some people might resort to using spinners or if you would spin, but such things only leave me feeling dizzy. Anti-flag wrapping devices just sound divisive and I think that we can all agree that there is already too much divisiveness in politics today. Besides who would want to adopt something that begins with anti-flag? Sounds like it is against the flag to me. I also have a problem with the moniker, flag free. Free from what? This sounds like yet another call for empty flagpoles. See lowering your standard above for how I feel about that. There is nothing sadder than the rhythmic clanging of brass fittings against a bare metal pole. I won’t even comment on—how to hang your flag straight.

For too long now elements of our society have wrapped themselves in the flag. Laying exclusive claim to this common cloth, symbol of the fabric of our society. Aiming at the exclusion of their fellow Americans. This gun-toting clique is giving the flag a bad name. Instead of respecting the flag as a symbol of national unity, of thirteen united colonies and the fifty United States, they are using the flag to divide us, as if it is their flag and not ours. They are wrong. This is our flag, our country and our right to live freely and fairly under it. The flag is a symbol, a symbol that represents us, that stands for all of us. It is a material object representing something abstract. It represents the ideals upon which this nation was founded. It represents the goal of the more perfect union yet to come.

Black Flies Matter

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Don’t forget about his pink eye either. Flies, pink eye and Covid is what Mike Pence brought to the debate and not much else of substance. I mostly remember his run on answers, where he consistently overran his time and continued to speak over the polite remonstrations of the moderator. All the while thumbing his nose at women in general and particularly at the two with whom he shared the stage. Other than these personal tics, I can’t remember a word that was said.

There was no dumpster fire like at last week’s debate and apparently there won’t be any others. After the debate commission, in an abundance of caution, this morning announced that they will move next week’s debate online, Trump cried foul and stomped off with his ball, canceling the debate. He further announced that he will hold one of his super-spreader events instead. What does he care? He already has the Rona and who cares about all of those losers who support him?

I doubt that many people watched last night’s debate. The morbid fascination of last week’s train wreck was lacking this time. There were no monsters in last night’s performance. Say what you want about either of the participants, but they were both too adroit to end up splayed-out on the floor. The only blood spilled was from Pence’s bloody eye. Even our debate bingo game came up short, with no winner. That’s OK, because by now in the race a draw goes to the Democrats. The same could be said for next week’s forfeit too.

Cough-Cough-Wheeze

HIV (120 nm), Influenza Vaccine (100 nm), Lassa (100-130 nm)

We got our flu vaccines. I got the extra-strength variety, but we’re uncertain which one Anne got. Because of differences in our Medicare coverages, she got hers at CVS and I got mine at Walgreens. I was offered the choice between extra-strength and regular, which apparently she wasn’t. CVS might only have had the regular variety. The first place we tried didn’t have any vaccines. Experts are recommending that everyone get the flu vaccine, now more than ever, due of Covid. This year’s flu season will accompany the expected second wave of the Coronavirus. Lately though, our health issues have been overshadowed by those in the news. I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

We’ve all heard by now that Trump has got the Rona. His profligate and devil-may-care attitude towards the pandemic from a policy point-of-view has been mirrored with a similarly reckless approach to his own personal safety and the safety of others around him. His midnight tweet announcing his infection was apparently preceded by days in which he hid this fact, but continued to meet with the public, while spreading the disease. Now, it is all that the Twitterati can talk about. Speculation runs the gamut from he’s faking it, to he is lying on death’s door and everything in-between. Only time will tell and to paraphrase what he said of Ghislaine Maxwell upon her arrest, I wish him well. Too cold? Hey, winter is coming, baby and with it a time for reckoning.

It is somewhat academic now, but I wonder it Trump gets the flu vaccine. I suspect that he doesn’t. It does not appear to be in his nature to get one. Besides, if he did get one it would have been in the news. He is quoted as claiming that since being elected, he gets one, but he claims a lot of things that aren’t true. He also claims that he has never had the flu, but then he claimed that Covid was just like the flu. All of which is either unsubstantiated or untrue or both. So far, about 210,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus, but if you count the number of people who have died this year and compare it to the average, more than 300,000 more Americans have died than normal. In this world, there is a lot more than the Rona out there trying to kill you. Not availing yourself of all of the benefits of modern medicine is a good way to die too.

New WordPress Editor Trials

Buttons Closeup, Nick Cave

Talk about an October surprise! Not Trump’s midnight tweet, but that WordPress has finally crossed the Rubicon and transitioned away from its classic editor, like it has been threatening to. I’ve been using this editor for more than ten years. I had experimented with the new block editor before returning to old reliable. Now I am not sure how to get back to it or even if something like that is still possible. I can still edit paragraphs in the classic manner. For now that will have to do. It took me half-an-hour today, just to post a picture for tomorrow. It could be worst though, I could be the Donald today.

The Twitterati have been in a roiling froth since last night. Not knowing whether it is better that they should show a modicum of respect or just begin dancing on his grave. Either way you go, you’ve got to admit that karma is a bitch. On the bright side for him, no one is still talking about his performance in the last debate, his taxes, his Supreme Court nominee or any of the other tempests that have been hovering over him in recent weeks. Notorious for his lack of mask wearing, Trump is now his own poster child for his failed Coronavirus strategy.

As of writing he is symptomatic, with both a fever and a cough. Melania, who also tested positive remains asymptomatic. His aid Hope Hicks, who might have spread it to them is in worse shape, with a high fever, cough and has lost her sense of smell. In truth on one knows where or when he contracted the disease. Facts that would be good to know for its treatment. Unlike Melania and Hicks, Trump is in a high ricks category, being both old and obese. He could have contracted the disease before his debate with Joe Biden. By now, the entire Whitehouse has been exposed. In the cramp quarters of the West Wing, where no one wears masks, the only safe guard in place is rapid testing, but only for those who are meeting with the President. They could all have it by now.

Going forward, Trump will have to suspend all of his in-person campaigning for quite a while. Even remote campaigning could prove problematic, where a telltale cough would have massive reverberations. His campaign going dark a month out from the election is a disaster for him and a boon for Biden. Already behind in the polls, unable to capture a reset from the last debate and now having the entire election focused on the one subject that he would least desire, Trump is in deep kimchee. To paraphrase the man, people are saying that something like this couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

There! I’ve survived writing a post with the new block editor. It wasn’t easy, but I got it done. I shouldn’t complain too much, because I can already see that it does offer a few advantages over the old editor and since its main disadvantage is my familiarity with it that is something that could be overcome in time.

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Because it’s going to be a bumpy ride… Really, the quote is ‘bumpy night’, but ride sounds better. This morning, I got not one, not two, but three spam calls from the ‘United States’ warning me that because of account irregularities, my “social number” will be suspended. I can only assume that they were referring to my Facebook account number, an account that I no longer use. After three tries, since they were too stupid to spoof their own phone number, I blocked it.

In the mail, Anne received a solicitation for her very own Joe Biden listening device. Good for those debates that don’t involve a screaming idiot. Reading it, she decided that the ad was really meant for me. Do you listen to the radio or TV too loud? Huh? Do you struggle to understand women? What? All my life. Or the high-pitched voices of children? Since they were born. What did you say?

Yesterday, we were walking by the De Mun Kaldi’s coffee shop, when Anne noticed a women with some hand-painted coffee sacks. These were the big 150 lbs. burlap kind that coffee is shipped bulk in. Turns out that they were being sold there as a charity thing, for $10 a piece. We bought two and plan on hanging them in our kitchen. We have just the wall for them. In the morning, we will not only be able to smell the coffee, but we’ll get to see it too.

Anne did her election judge training yesterday afternoon. Normally, she has to go to the election commission’s headquarters to do this, but in these Covid times, her training was conducted online via Zoom. I hunkered down in the next room, while Anne and her class learned about all of the new pandemic procedures, poll pads and all things elections. It went on and on for hours. Sometime in the middle of it though, I heard a woman screaming. One of her online classmates was dealing with a home intruder. Class stopped and everyone was ready to spring to her assistance, but what could they do? She had asked that no one should call the cops, but it was already too late for that. I hope she is OK.

Later, we watched the debate together. I had prepared bingo cards, to help us weather the storm, but I wasn’t expecting the tempest that we got. Anne soon won our game, and after that we were left with little for our defense. Dana Bash (CNN) summed up the evening the most succinctly, “It was a shit show.” The terrible toddler Trump was out-of-control. The moderator Chris Wallace couldn’t do a thing with him. Joe Biden was left with having to endure his ninety minute tantrum alone. In the end, Trump called upon the terrorist organization Proud Boys and his other Alt-right stooges to disrupt the coming election and ensure his victory. And I thought that the dangers of Covid would be the worse thing that Anne had to face, while working the polls on Election Day.