RIP Betty White.

When asked in 2016 what she hoped her legacy would be, Betty White simply said, “I want them to still think kindly of me and maybe make them smile”.

Betty White passed on today at age 99. She was less than a month from her 100th birthday.

She’s been on television for nearly as long as the medium has been around. Originally wanting to be a Forest Ranger, Betty White started on radio and made her way to television and the big screen. Her love of animals made its way to all of her mainstream roles. Her comedic timing was impeccable. Her cheerfulness and love for life made us all a little bit better.

I knew this day would come someday and I knew it would make me sad. I was hoping America’s Grandma would live forever. Rest in peace, dear, sweet lady. You’ll always been a golden girl.

Here’s a clip from Match Game, and it’s classic Betty.

Why?

A woman in Culpeper County, Virginia sued a hospital when she contracted COVID-19. She demanded the hospital treat her with Ivermectin and the judge ruled the hospital had to comply with her wishes.

She died five days later.

A man in Pennsylvania was in the hospital for COVID-19 and his wife sued the hospital, demanding he be treated with Ivermectin.

He died the next day.

A man in Olathe, Kansas was in the hospital for COVID-19. The family sued the hospital, forcing doctors to treat the ailing man with Ivermectin.

He’s dead.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but Facebook and Twitter should never be a source of medical information. Heck, they shouldn’t even be a source for news. Listen to science, listen to the doctors, and get vaccinated. You don’t have polio because of vaccines. You don’t have mumps and measles because of vaccines.

Wear a mask and get the vaccine. Please.

Allergy.

So my body has decided it’s allergic to the pool. A month ago or so I went swimming and developed a rash all over the swimmy parts the next day. I had showered after swimming, I don’t have particularly dry skin, but I was itchy and it quickly subsided. I went swimming again and the rash came back. I waited a week, tried again, rash returned. I waited 15 days, went swimming for 30 minutes, showering before and after swimming, and I’m covered in a rash again. I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday and it felt like my skin was on fire.

We’ve made no change whatsoever to the way the pool is maintained. Chris and Mike do an impeccable job of keeping chemicals in balance, bacteria at bay, and the water clear. Our pool looks gorgeous. Everything tests beautifully.

I just break out in a rash after swimming. I spent many summers swimming in the Great Lakes 10 or so miles from a nuclear power plant. No issues. I swam in seaweed, dead fish, and god knows what else. I swim in the cleanest pool I’ve seen in a years and I develop an allergy.

And that’s how life works.

Safety.

I still can’t believe the American trend of politicizing COVID-19, and coping with this deadly disease. The politicization of the pandemic makes absolutely no sense to me, and when people refuse to mask up while screaming “freedom” I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. What in the world does your political beliefs have to do with keeping you and the people around you safe from a deadly, airborne disease?

As expected, when I disembarked in Houston I immediately noticed a drastic decrease in the number of people wearing masks in the airport, in spite of current Federal regulations that require everyone to do so. It’s Texas, and Texas does what Texas does. I don’t know if it’s smart for folks in Texas to ignore the pandemic in the long run; eventually this practice is going to kill off a number of folks that would otherwise vote for that side of the aisle.

I guess I don’t understand why the GOP would want to kill off their constituents by raising a ruckus around the precautions of a preventable disease, but then again, I don’t get the United States in general these days.

I maintained my space, kept my mask in place, and made my way through Houston airport as safely possible. I’ll do the same thing on Sunday for my return trip.

Perhaps those that refuse to wear masks will be at church or something.

Skymall.

Up until a couple of years ago, whenever I jumped on a flight to a faraway destination, I would take delight in perusing through the Skymall catalog found in the seat pocket of every airline seat. It would usually be situated next to a barf bag and the safety instructions card. Occasionally the Skymall catalog was front and center.

The Skymall catalog contained all sorts of oddities, such as a bicycle helmet with laser lights to regrow hair on balding men or blow up neck pillows for those contortionists who felt they could get a good night’s sleep on their flight from Peoria to Lubbock or mirrors that let you try on a mustache like the one pictured above.

Quality, solid offerings for the discerning capitalistic society.

Last week I came to the realization that ads on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter are basically electronic versions of SkyMall. With just a few quick clicks of my mouse and solid records of my last bowel movement, and any other personal information the platform can glean out of my interaction, for a low $599 I can have an Android tablet that lets me take notes and nothing else.

I then further realized that “Shark Tank”, the once popular television show where innovators grovel for funding for their latest get-rich-quick scheme, is really just the king of SkyMall with some extra drama to give the whole experience an edge. For those struggling with the aforementioned bowel movements, the inventors of Squatty Potty groveled for millions of dollars of funding from the queen of QVC, so you can raise your legs to Jesus while taking a dump for only $69.95.

I bet you didn’t see that on your last airline flight.

Thank You For The Music?


Not my photo.

I have always been an ABBA fan. Even before their resurgence and the “Mamma Mia” productions and the like, I have always enjoyed the music of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Anna-Frid (Frida). So one can understand that when it was announced back in 2018 that ABBA had gotten together and recorded a few new tracks, there were many folks that were excited to hear the new these new numbers.

It’s 2021 and they still haven’t been released. Apparently, ABBA wants to accompany these new songs with a road show involving a young ABBA (as we remember them) depicted by holograms in concert. The technology is a little wonky at the moment, then of course there was the worldwide pause for COVID-19, and as things start to resemble whatever normal is, still no word on when the tracks will be released.

Let’s hope it’s soon. The world needs to say Thank You for the Music. Soon.

Self Serve.

I decided we should probably check out the Wal*mart that’s just around the corner from our new home. From the outside it looks like a fairly new location. It’s not overly huge as it has only set of doors instead of two like found on the former “Supercenters”.

I’m not a huge fan of Wal*mart in general, but I am a fan of their use of technology. Anecdotes from employees indicate you can go an entire work shift at the store without ever talking to your supervisor or even another employee. The registers have been expanded to provide guidance on all aspects of the employment experience at Wal*mart and they are supplemented by apps on smartphones and the like. Plus, I’m pretty sure the chain runs on Linux.

Back to our local store. As expected, customer mask use is not as prevalent as seen in other stores in the Tucson area. I was not surprised by this and honestly I’m thankful to be fully vaccinated. The store is rather crowded and the selection of clothing in the Men’s Department was limited. Maybe I’m just the standard size of man in the Tucson population. I was able to find a couple of t-shirts for a decent price and my husband selected a couple of tank tops. We went to the front of the store to head through the checkouts.

This Wal*mart has a total of four checkout lanes. Four. The old Ames store in my hometown in Upstate New York had four registers for the first year of its existence when they realized the shopping population of the village of 2500 or so overwhelmed the number of registers in the store, so they added several more on the ends of the existing checkstands.

Zero of the four registers at this Wal*mart were populated by a store employee. All customers had to checkout through a self-checkout area, which was this large corral of self-service cash register being managed by two employees. Because this full service Wal*mart has groceries in addition to typical discount department store fare, there were carts everywhere, people using motorized buggies trying to navigate through this corral of relatively tightly packed shoppers trying to get through the self checkout process.

I am thankful for my vaccinated state.

Now, I’m torn when it comes to self-serve checkouts. On one hand, I like not having to interact with a cashier and being able to do things myself. On the other hand, I’m not paid by the corporation to do the work, I don’t see a drop in prices or an applied discount for doing the work myself, and I really don’t like the idea of taking a job away from someone trying to make ends meet by working at Wal*mart. I’m fine with self-serve checkouts when there’s a choice. It seems that Wal*mart is taking away the choice. I’m not a fan of that.

Overall I’m pleased that we experienced the Wal*mart closest to our home but I don’t feel the need to go back there again. If we’re in the mood for a Wal*mart experience there’s a Wal*mart Neighborhood Market down the way where we can buy snack food or something.

The Safe Way.

My husband and I will be officially fully vaccinated at the beginning of next week. The entire family in our Desert Compound will be fully vaccinated effective the 19th of this month. I am happy that we’re all getting our shots. It was not an easy feat to accomplish in Chicago; it was easy to accomplish here in Tucson. Apparently we got here at just the right time. There are people here in the city that we look forward to meeting in person.

We stopped at the supermarket after dinner this evening to pick up a few things for meals scheduled for the rest of this week. The Safeway wasn’t particularly busy, but most everyone was wearing a mask, whether they were a shopper or an employee. There was one man flinging packages of hot dogs around the display case that wasn’t wearing a mask. To be honest, he didn’t look too happy to be rearranging packages of hot dogs. I can only assume he leads a miserable life (judging by his expression) and isn’t really concerned about his longevity, therefore no mask. I wouldn’t expect him to have any regard for his neighbors or other people in the stores.

It’s not that hard to wear a mask. I mean, it’s a piece of cloth across your mouth and nose anchored to your face by straps around your ears or head. At no time do I feel deprived of my life, liberty, or my pursuit of happiness. I can still recite the Pledge of Allegiance through the cloth that is providing some protection for those around me. I can still sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” if I so desire.

With so many people opting to not get vaccinated or wear a mask in public the burden of common sense falls onto the folks that care about the society, themselves, and the longevity of the species. Like the folks that completed the group project on time while everyone else in the group goofed off and made fun of the smart people, we’re left with the chore of dragging the idiots through their miserable lives.

I sound cranky about this. I’m frustrated but not cranky. I just figure I’ll out live them and will ultimately have the last laugh.