"Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."

Everything is Awful

09:02 Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Not the least of which, my blogging "practice."

Not sure what happened to September. Well, for much of it, I was getting up at 0500 and doing about 48 minutes on the elliptical, and by the time I got back, showered, walked the dog or to Publix, often both, I didn't feel like coming up here and ranting into the void.

I managed to hurt my back at one point, lifting a cooler with forty pounds of water in it. The free surface effect, as every naval officer who's studied stability and buoyancy will tell you, shifts the center of gravity around, and with it, the effort your back muscles make to try to carry it. I managed to pinch a disk or something, because I had sciatica "that'd make your lumbago look like eye strain!" (Obscure pop-culture allusion, movie quotes, Grumpy Old Men)

I'm happy to report that that's all cleared up now. But I've been off the elliptical for a few weeks. I expect to get back on it at some point next week. Because...

I'll be leaving town tomorrow. My wife's daughter is getting married this weekend in San Diego. Mitzi's been out there for the better part of a month already, and we just had our first anniversary on Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing her again!

In the "trying to make the world a better place" department, I've done a couple days of canvassing with my local democratic club. I volunteered to do my neighborhood, which is a gated community and volunteers often encounter some difficulty with residents in a gated community. Also, I know half of our units are rented, so some of the data the canvassers rely on was likely out of date. Before we went door to door, I sat down with our weekend pool attendant and the residents list and crossed off everyone who'd moved. Saved about a third of the effort each time. When you have to walk up the stairs to the third floor in greater than 90 degrees heat, it makes a difference.

The first time we went through, we suggested people vote by mail and left them the form to request a mail-in ballot. The second time through, we asked them about their plan for voting, and left them a bunch of literature in a plastic bag. I also volunteered a couple of mornings stuffing those bags.

So, we'll see. I'm surprised and disappointed that most of the polling seems so close in Florida. I don't know how much the Kavanaugh debacle has fired up the Republicans, but perhaps it has. Trump is out doing his rallies, which guarantees him media coverage every single time; because God only knows what outrageous thing he's going to say next is, and that's good for ratings, even if it isn't good for the country.

The Kavanaugh thing was a disaster for the country and the Supreme Court, and will likely remain so for the duration of his tenure on the court. I listened to the hearings and couldn't believe what I was hearing. I thought at first, after he began his opening rant, that he was going to withdraw. Then when he announced he wasn't, I thought he was sunk because of his demonstrated lack of "judicial temperament." But no, in this absurd, down-is-up world we're inhabiting at the moment, tribes double down on stupid, and here we are.

Then the UN Climate report came out, which was pretty much what I expected. What was worse, was another report regarding several vulnerable tipping points that may take the whole issue out of our hands and drive the climate to a "Hothouse Earth" scenario regardless of what we do. And what is our leadership doing when confronted with these new reports? Of course, they're doubling down on stupid.

I don't know. All you can do is all you can do.

We just had a record setting heat day yesterday, highest temperature this late in the year ever at 93 degrees. You'd think some people would get a clue. But no. Stupid doubles down.

In an effort to cheer myself up, I bought an old book I enjoyed as a teen but hadn't read since, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. It was interesting to learn that Pat Frank (real name Harry Hart Frank) had started his journalism career in Jacksonville, Florida and that he died, fairly young, in Atlantic Beach, just down the road from here. The "Jacksonville Beaches" are three adjoining beach communities, Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beach, which are all separate entities from the city of Jacksonville itself. I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, which is an unincorporated city just south of Jacksonville Beach. Anyway, reading about global thermonuclear war and surviving its aftereffects was a worthwhile distraction from the relentless stream of bad news.

Well, I've got to run some errands. Go to the bank, drop off some paperwork at the vet where I'm boarding Schatzi, pick up a new suit and probably a couple of other things I've forgotten. Just wanted to drop by and say misery loves company!

Hope you're doing well, whoever you may be.