Happy Halloween In Advance

Fall is in full swing, at least for the vibrant colors. Temperature-wise, the area around Philly has been more like late-spring and early-summer, not that I’m complaining. A cold front is passing through now, which will reset the climate to more like it’s suppose to be at this time of year, with lows overnight in the 40s (4.5C), and daytime highs in the 50s (10C) to low 60s (15.5C).

Someone on Twitter made a comment regarding a National Weather Service (Mt. Holly, NJ) post about their warm forecast, asking, “Is it normal to be this warm in October?” NWS didn’t respond, which got me to thinking about it.

Since I started following baseball in the ’60s it has been common. We called it “Indian Summer,” which usually occurred right around the World Series. As a kid, I loved it, basking and playing ball outside under a blazing sun as if it were summer again, while diving into big piles of leaves which were makeshift bases in an empty field. Ah, the good, old days!

By the way, the Dodgers made it to the Fall Classic against Tampa Bay. I’ll not say any more about it in order not to jinx the former Brooklyn Bums.

Rain is predicted for today and Monday, which will most likely knock a good portion of foliage off the trees and wash away the brilliant shades of reds, yellows, orange and greens, with more on the ground to rake into piles for children to jump into and annoy their dads or older brothers who worked so hard to gather them together. Do youngsters still do that these days?

As I was gallivanting around on Saturday, I noticed scores of people outside were raking, making their lawns, sidewalks and curbsides look spiffy; when after tomorrow, they’ll have to do it all over again. The joys of the season.

Halloween is just around the corner, which was another joyful moment for this blogster as a youth. Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic—week 33 for me—has put a crimp in that tradition. At least it would prompt stubborn people to wear masks for a day.

While at the supermarket last week, I bought two jumbo packs of my favorite candy in case neighbors stop by with their kids. Normally very few trick-or-treat here anyway, and I end up eating all the leftovers myself, hence the choice. I’ve been dying to open them up and sample a few, but they’d all be gone by the 31st if I did.

Election Day is a little over a week away here in the States. I’m so fed up with politics, as I am sure you are too. Today I received a phone call while pulling into a parking space outside my flat, from a polling volunteer, originating at one of my party’s headquarters and presumably he was about to ask if I planned to vote on November 3rd, whom I was going to vote for and how I was going to do it.

“Look,” I said before he was able to get into his spiel. “You are about the twentieth person who has called me about this. Don’t you people take notes or make records?”

“Ah, sorry, but we use an automated system, giving us numbers of registered voters to call.”

“Then I suppose there’s no way of being put onto a ‘Don’t Call Me List,’ because I’m tired of being hounded multiple times when once should be enough.” Before he could respond I told him how I planned to vote, which is in person, and whom I was voting for. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, my choice for the presidential part of this forthcoming general election is pretty obvious. He thanked me for my time. “You’re welcome,” I said. “Now don’t call me again.”

If they did take notes or keep records, I would be probably listed as a big grouch.

As an update to my last tirade—yeah, yeah, I know I skipped a week—Joe the mechanic ordered the speaker and door-handle cover from the Mini dealer, who said it would take about two weeks to get, since it comes from Germany. I’m hoping to have it installed sometime during this week.

Lastly, Rie Waits and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween in advance with our latest duet:

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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Never-Ending Struggle

Used Door Handle Trim and Tweeter Cover from eBay

As an update to last week’s entry, the Cooper was fixed late-Tuesday afternoon, all except for the interior door handle’s trim, which also covers the adjacent Harmen Kardon sound system’s tweeter. Why’s that? The mechanic damaged it when removing the door panel to fix the power window. He said he would glue it back together and for me to return on Thursday to finish the repair. At least I had the car again.

See that? As I said many times before, there’s always something. Went back on Thursday and Joe said the damaged part of the trim was still tacky. He wanted to wait until Friday to be sure the glue had set. Sounded a bit fishy to me, like he had forgotten to repair it, but perhaps not.

I waited until Saturday. Joe placed the glued trim into the retaining slots and the covering broke apart again. So much for that idea, he said he would order a new one from the dealer and call me when he got it.

No biggie, it is what it is. I searched the Internet for a replacement at various outlets, and discovered the pricing for the trim and covering was $91.68 at the high end, $86.00 at mid-range, $69.01 for the least expensive, and $49.99 for a used part. Seems like a lot of money for a small, plastic assembly.

Who knows what the dealer charges for that? I would guess it’s at the high side of the aforementioned prices. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when Joe finds out the cost as he orders the part. I’ll give him a call on Monday to see what he says. It’s his dime this time.

October 11th starts week 31 of my pandemic pandemonium. I felt a cold coming on earlier last week. Had a sore throat, slight headache, a cough, congestion and felt feverish. Still had my sense of smell and taste, however. Took my temperature on the past several days since the onset. I didn’t have a reading over 98.2° F, which is a few decimal points below normal; although, standard for me is around 97°, so maybe I did have a slight fever on Monday when the symptoms began. Feeling better now. Wednesday through today the thermometer read no more than 97.5°, so I’m not paranoid about it anymore. After all, this is the start of the flu season.

During the forthcoming week, I’m going to get a flu shot, maybe. The last time I got one was when I was 18. It knocked me for a loop, having spent a few days in bed afterwards, feeling like I was going to die. Never got one again. Now it’s like damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Should I take a chance? I’ll let you know how things turn out in my next tirade.

The Phillies choked and didn’t make the playoffs this year. Hung up my cap in the black-hole closet until spring training next year, replacing it with a Yankees’ hat which landed next to the Phillies cap on Friday night after NY ended their season during the American League divisional playoff, losing to Tampa Bay. It was another heartbreaking season for this baseball fan. Guess now I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers to win the NLCS against Atlanta. I don’t like Houston or Tampa Bay, so I’m hoping LA will be the World Series’ champs.

Time to start wearing my Eagles’ hat. Hopefully I won’t jinx them too.

October 10, 2020

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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It Is What It Is

PA Inspection Stickers

At the end of the day, it is what it is, which are two of the most overused phrases in our vernacular today. My gut feeling is that we should hit the ground running and remain on the same page while thinking out of the box, to add some others.

My big gut feeling tells me to get all my ducks in a row, give 110%, synergize and get the ball rolling. Content is king. Just sayin’! Go ahead and push the envelope. Become world-class at whatever you’re attempting, even if you have too much on your plate. All of this is a no-brainer, capisce?

The Cooper’s state-inspection stickers expired on September 30th. Following tradition, I waited until October 1st (this past Thursday) to bring it in to get inspected, giving me an extra month next time when it’s due. The power window’s function on the passenger side bit the dust recently. Attempting to save some money induced me to buy a control mechanism from Amazon dirt-cheaply after consulting the proprietor of my neighborhood repair shop, asking him if he would install it for me. Joe, not his real name, said he would when I bring it in to him for inspection.

“It is what it is,” Joe said while explaining how long it took to install the necessary components and what a pain in the neck it was. He handed me the bill which was reasonable to me. The total, in addition to the Amazon parts, cost me one-fourth the amount of what the Mini dealer would have charged. I was a happy camper.

The next day, Friday, I decided to take a ride to Lake Luxembourg for checking on the bald eagles. It’s always wonderful to see new inspection stickers displayed on the car’s windshield, all shiny in the noonday sun. Once there, I began to put the big lens on the camera and opened the car’s passenger window to get a clear shot in case the eagles flew by.

A popping, banging, and grinding sound occurred just as the glass reached the bottom of the tracks. The window was cocked, giving me a sinking feeling that I was screwed. I attempted to close it. The pane went up but remained tilted in the tracks and not shutting completely.

Ironically, the Mini dealer that had been servicing my car had sent an e-mail earlier, advising not to buy aftermarket parts, and how it’s always best to purchase any replacements from them to insure quality and expert installations. Thanks for rubbing it in. It was like they knew. You get what you pay for.

I hung around for a bit, taking a few photos, stopping at the farm market to get some fresh fruit and vegetables before heading back to the repair shop for finding out what the hell had happened to my window.

Joe took me in and removed the door panel to investigate. The cable system that raises and lowers the glass had kinked and malfunctioned, jumping off the roller and trolley assemblies that attached to the pane. He attempted to fix it but the assembly was shot, and wouldn’t hold up the window in its closed position any longer.

We decided it was best for me to leave the car there overnight, and Joe would attempt to get another assembly in the morning. His helper gave me a ride home. This morning Joe called and said his aftermarket distributor couldn’t get the parts until next Friday, prompting him to call the Mini dealer, which can have the components on Monday afternoon, which leaves me stranded until Tuesday.

My life sucks! There’s always something. Just when I think that everything’s under control, pop, bang, boom, sizzle. Oh, well, it is what it is. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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The Lost Year

Courtesy of calendardiy.com, which is a day off, incidentally.

Who’d ever have thought at the end of 2019 that the forthcoming year would be truly dystopian? Not me, certainly. I imagined it would be like all the others pertaining to my having bad luck and getting no respect, but never as it has turned out.

My favorite cartoonist, Stephan Pastis, had it figured out though, as portrayed in his premonition on December 29th, posted on Twitter:

A presently worn-out meme, which originated on Social Media after strange developments began to occur during this present year, has gone viral on the Internet. Events like murder hornets found in the U.S. with stings that can kill, and their voracious appetites for tearing off the heads of honeybees; cases of bubonic plague turning up in Colorado and California, water in the Houston area possibly contaminated with a deadly brain-eating microbe besides the horrific COVID-19 pandemic, prompt individuals to post regularly that they didn’t expect to find any of those anomalies on their 2020 bingo card.

Some have even called it ” 2020 Apocalypse Bingo.”

Courtesy of knowyourmeme.com

As an aside, if you have an ad-blocker installed on your browser, almost all the preceding links have that annoying popup window which won’t allow you to read anything until the website is whitelisted. Don’t you hate when that happens? It’s like running with a spoon in your mouth, tripping, and having it pierce your palate while ultimately stabbing your brain after falling down upon the utensil. Mothers always warn their kids about that.

To me, 2020 will be remembered as “The Lost Year,” or the year that people lost their jobs, their savings accounts, houses, intimate contact with family, friends and associates, losing the ability to shop in stores without wearing a mask, loss of seeing people’s smiles behind those masks; a year without concerts or large public gatherings, visiting Canada or taking a leisurely flight to Europe, if anyone has the money to do that. More importantly, over 200,000 people lost their lives in the United States to COVID-19 so far this year.

September 27th starts week 29 of my self-imposed isolation and overcaution, remaining socially distanced from mostly everyone, covering my mouth and nostrils religiously with one of the 20 washable masks I’ve accumulated thus far, whenever I can’t remain at least 6 feet away from others.

And still the pandemic rages on. Without a viable vaccine available soon, I’m figuring at minimum another 6 months of uncertainty and paranoia about catching the novo coronavirus will prevail, at least for this hypochondriac. Every little sniffle, cough, or sore throat has me taking my temperature, worrying about to whom I may have gotten too close and possibly caught the dreaded disease.

It’s not a fun way to live, constantly washing and having the cleanest hands in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I carry a little refillable squeeze bottle, containing hand sanitizer in my camera’s ditty bag that’s always close by. I’ve got tan lines on my face from wearing a mask habitually in the sunshine. Oh, how I look forward to when life may get back to near-normal; yet I doubt things will ever be the same as they were.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support, allowing me another rant and rave. I even spared you my thoughts about the present political situation in America, with election day a little over a month away. I will say that if you’re an American and registered to cast a ballot, please do so and vote your conscience on November 3rd. Hopefully you’re staying well while keeping your sanity in check during these trying times.

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Happy Autumnal Equinox In Advance!

The dead body was still warm. Seething maggots waited to devour it, attempting already to fill the corpse’s void with their appointed morality, utter contempt and blatant hypocrisy.

The preceding would make a great lead-in for a horror story, a vampiric metaphor of present-day affairs, don’t you think? Let’s put that on the back burner and wait for how everything pans out. No disrespect for the dearly departed is intended, just a little hyperbole.

My furnace came on overnight last Tuesday for the first time since this past spring. It activated Saturday morning as well, which really felt like autumn with afternoon temps in the low- to mid-60s °F (15-18°C). Took out one of my hoodies and wore it twice so far. I’m loving it.

Our brutal summers as of late have turned me off to what was once my favorite season. Now it’s thirdly preferred, ahead of winter. Spring and fall are first and second respectively.

I’m looking forward to autumn’s foliage with its brilliant bursts of color, coming from Mother Nature’s palette as she paints a splendorous landscape. It’s a perfect time for practicing my photography, and an excuse for getting out to exercise these lazy bones.

While visiting one of my photographic haunts recently, I carried a camera with the big lens attached. My ditty bag with smaller camera lenses, attachments, filters, cleaners, spare batteries, etc., was slung over my shoulder. An unmasked man walked over and asked if I was taking pictures.

Now how does one not reply to that question with a wiseass answer? I bit my tongue beforehand, reached in my ditty bag for my mask, put it on and said, “Yes, I am.”

“What are you photographing?” he said.

“Birds, butterflies, scenery, boats, the Delaware River, whatever moves or strikes my fancy.” I also mentioned the peregrine falcons who live atop the nearby bridge, crossing the river.

He then took out his smartphone and started to scroll through what I presumed were his pictures. “I took a great shot from the bridge,” he said.

“Terrific, have a great day.” I walked away, not wanting to get close to this mask-less guy or touch his phone, never mind look at all his photos.

“Wait, I want to show you this picture.”

I acted like I didn’t hear him and continued down the path.

Why is it that everyone wants to show me their smartphone pictures immediately upon asking me if I’m taking pictures or what am I photographing, which is a common occurrence? Very seldom do they ever ask to see my photos, not that I want to show them anyway with the pandemic and social-distancing recommendations, especially for those not wearing masks.

Most of the times they’ll tell me all about some other photographer they know who takes fantastic pictures and posts them on Facebook. Once in a blue moon they’ll ask if I have a website on which I post my photos. For the record, it’s Pinterest primarily. Some of my photos are posted on Flickr, which I don’t use much. Then, of course, there’s Twitter, not to mention YouTube. If you’re a regular reader of my rants, you know my feelings about Facebook. Also there’s an Instagram account that I stopped using almost entirely.

While I’m telling them all the locations, they get the familiar glazing over their eyeballs, like that of a deer’s staring into a car’s headlights at night, particularly after I say my moniker is Mike Slickster. I get no respect, I tell ya! Well, so much for another tirade. Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued support.

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The Fedora From Fender

Yikes, not another selfie!

As promised in the last entry, I posted a photo of the fedora from Fender—shown above—bought during their end-of-summer sale. Also, that’s one of two t-shirts I purchased for $6.00 apiece. The one shown in last week’s post cost $5. Couldn’t pass up the savings. Concert t-shirts are at least $35.00 each or more.

I’ve got a Fender guitar, similar in color to the one on the t-shirt; but mine’s a Telecaster, not what appears here to be a Jazzmaster with Tele pickups and bridge saddle. It’s cool-looking nonetheless.

Week 27 of the pandemic is now upon us, and nothing has seemed to change other than the steadily rising cases of COVID-19 infections and resulting deaths in the U.S. It reminds me of when the Vietnam War was raging, and every day we’d watch the news to see what the latest casualty count was.

We lost Toots Hibbert yesterday, a forefather of reggae. He was the frontman in Toots and the Maytals, formed in 1961. Toots died of complications from COVID-19. He was 77.

Fender sends me e-mails daily as to what their peddling. That’s how I knew about the end-of-summer sale. I got a tremendous deal once on a set of seven harmonicas in various keys, complete with a case. Don’t remember what they cost, but I’m thinking about $35.00. It was around Christmastime in 2016, so I got them as a present for myself. The current price on their website is $69.99. It pays to be on their e-mailing list.

The other day, one of Fender’s promotions was for new, road-worn guitars that look like they are several years old and well-played with paint rubbed off and blemishes, all for basically the same price as a brand-spanking new one with a high-gloss finish and nary a scratch. The latter is how I like to keep my instruments and freak out whenever they get a ding in the body by my accidentally knocking into a table, chair, microphone stand, or something.

Why would someone pay a premium price for a used-looking piece of merchandise? Seems silly to me. Guess the ones who buy products that way want to look like they’re aficionados. That’s like when someone wears a starched scarf so it sticks out straight behind them, making them appear as if they’re moving fast while standing still.

The same applies for new jeans that look worn, have holes in the knees and elsewhere. And the worse part about it is they cost more than those that are new and look spotless. Go figure!

Another query that’s crossed my mind is how did the name Bill become a derivative of William? Could it be from their not wanting to be called a Willie? “Will” would make more sense. I have a friend named that and has said he would flip out when someone called him Willie. Another friend has a dog named Willie, but the pooch doesn’t seem to mind. His tail wags whenever he’s called that.

So much for another diatribe. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support. Rie and I are still working on our duet, so I won’t be posting it as mentioned in last week’s rant. Stay tuned for the gem though. In it’s place, I’d like to pay tribute to Toots Hibbert, with one of his greatest hits called “54-46 Was My Number.”

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Peace, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll!

A New T-shirt From Fender

Today, one has to be careful about what they post on the Internet, for nothing is temporary, even if the comments or illustrations are deleted by the poster. Archival websites capture everything and provide dirt on everyone who may have made the mistake of uttering something that’s not politically correct, which can be readily found by someone who wants to bring an adversary down.

In Net-speak, the present-day term used is to “Cancel” the S.O.B. Many politicians, public officials, celebrities, business owners, corporate fat cats (see previous tirade), job-seekers, and Social-Media influencers have found that out the hard way, having their careers or popularity shrivel up before their eyes after being called out for a derogatory posting made twenty years ago. I canceled my account on Facebook long ago. It’s too cliquish there like it was in high school.

As for me, I don’t give a shit anymore. I’m retired, so I don’t have to worry about a prospective employer finding my blog or tweets on Twitter, and determining my tirades are against their beliefs or company policies. That is unless Trump crushes Social Security, if he’s re-elected, and I’ll have to go back to work. The incumbent has already stated he would abolish the payroll-tax contributions in his second term, the sole support of the system.

The majority of denizens on Social Media are in their teens, twenties, thirties and forties; and the youngsters believe that Social Security will be insolvent by the time they retire anyway; so they don’t give a shit what happens to it. What a sad state of affairs us Boomers are facing.

What brought on the topic of this cacophony? See the two photos that follow:

Note the intricate scratches on the Cooper’s rear bumper, made evidently by someone’s house or ignition key..

People suck! I don’t mind saying that either. I’m tired of all this political correctness. For whatever reason, which is beyond me, someone took their time engraving those marks in my car’s bumper. Notice how intricate they are. Some are even joined together to make new lines, sort of like a spider web. It had to have taken them several minutes for doing that. They must really hate me! Wish I would’ve caught them and given the perpetrators even more reasons for their vengeance. It was probably in the dead of night.

I’m guessing it was someone who came home late and couldn’t find a parking space in the lot. I might have been parked in a spot near their apartment because all of the ones near my flat were occupied. These relatively new residents here feel they’re entitled to a space near their abode. I’ve overheard some of them say so. It’s never been that way since I’ve been living here, having to fend for myself when the lot was filled with cars and having to park out on the street; and that’s been going on for twenty-five years.

Never once have I considered keying a vehicle parked in a filled row of spaces near my digs when the entire lot was full. Well, maybe I thought of it the time I couldn’t find a parking space even out in the street and had to park in the clubhouse’s lot—which is about a 1/2-mile away—but didn’t do so.

By the way, a reflection of my new Phillies’ hat (Go Phils!) and new sneakers appear in the above shots. I bought a few t-shirts and a fedora from Fender. They had an end-of-summer sale and I couldn’t pass up the savings. Was wearing one of the shirts which didn’t show up in the above photos, part of which is the lead-in pic to this week’s tirade; so allow me to post the following selfie to get it out of my system:

Peace, Love and Rock and Roll!

No more selfies until next week’s entry, when I’ll post a picture of my new Fender Fedora, which I’ll wear on occasion when not sporting my Phillies’, Eagles’ or Yankees’ caps. Also, Rie Waits and I are in the process of putting together a new cover tune, which I hope to post here next week as well.

In the meantime, I’ll end this rant with something I did three years ago. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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Fat Cats and Politicians

Don’t Let It Get Away

Week twenty-five of the pandemic is upon us. That’s roughly over six months with no clear end in sight. Can’t believe we’ve gone this far so fast; or should that be fastly? The latter’s an actual adverb. So is bigly, by the way. My spell-check keeps trying to tell me they’re not; but, according to Merriam-Webster, they are.

To make matters worse, the presidential-election year in the U.S. is steam-rolling in high gear, or, shall we say, rail-roading full steam ahead. That’s a lot of hot air to be sure. Both of the major political parties’ conventions are now behind us, leaving a trail of bullshit in its wake. I like to think of all the droppings as the politicians’ and their sycophants’ “piles of excrement,” which can either be used as manure to grow and make things better, or lay our way of life to waste. You be the judge.

The most important thing for us as American citizens to do in November is vote for the candidate of our choice, one who cares about the little guy and not just the fat cats. Unfortunately, with the pandemic still in full swing and the death count continuing to mount, voting safely is on a lot of people’s minds.

The U.S Postal Service is seemingly getting screwed with in an attempt to either slow down the mail, or lessen the confidence one holds in the reliability of the system, which will be responsible for delivering millions of write-in votes from people afraid of catching the COVID-19 virus while in public.

I plan on voting in person at my polling place, having done so during the past primary election in June and am still alive to tell the tale. Just wear that mask when doing so, bring your own pen, and be sure to either wash your hands or use hand-sanitizer afterwards before picking your nose, wiping your eyes or eating something later.

My advice for the candidates: instead of mudslinging, tell us what you are going to do to make this country and its peoples’ situation better, not what the opposing candidate isn’t going to do. Our nation’s economy is presently in shambles. Violence is running rampant in our streets. Law enforcement is losing credibility. We need solid leadership and not a country run like a reality-TV show. That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

OK, enough about politics. Aren’t you sick of it all? That’s all we see, hear, and read anymore; so allow me to complain about a non-political topic until my 500-word essay is completed.

Bought a 1/2-gallon of orange juice last week. I normally drink an 8-oz. glass daily, for which the container lasts for 8 days. The bottle was almost empty after 6 days, making me look at the label to see how many ounces of OJ were listed. The sneaky manufacturer had shrunk the container to 1.6 qt., which converts to 51.2 oz., as opposed to 64 oz. for the full 1/2-gallon size.

However the price remained the same even though over a serving and a half were removed. I wonder how many people have noticed it? That’s one more way corporational fat cats are screwing us. Instead of trying to fool us, be upfront and honest. Go ahead, raise the price instead of being unscrupulous. With the turmoil in our economy nowadays, we’ll understand your plight to remain solvent.

So much for another tirade. I hope this rant finds you well. Thanks for your continued support.

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A Whole Lot About Nothing

Here it is coming into week 23 of my writing about the pandemic. I’ll spare the details, but one way to disperse a crowd of unmasked, non-socially distanced people is to start coughing or sneezing. It’s amazing how fast they begin to spread out. They say you can’t sneeze with your eyelids open, otherwise your eyeballs will pop out. Have you ever tried that? Not an easy chore, but I’ve done it as the following photo confirms:

Like my new Phillies’ cap? BTW, don’t ever try to sneeze with your eyelids open!

Sorry for the corny joke, but this time it was an excuse to show off my new Phillies’ cap that I bought last week. Nice and bright, isn’t it? My old one has become faded like a dad’s hat. From my sweating during the past few summers, an off-color ring surrounds it, and the “P” became tainted and tattered.

I’ll still wear the older one on occasions, like if the Phils make it to the playoffs and the World Series this season, to show I haven’t just jumped onto the bandwagon.

Ran out of peanut butter, which is my morning staple on toast. It gives me a shot of protein along with a daily 8-oz. cup of OJ and 16 ounces of coffee. That’s part of my rigid diet. I’m down from 245 pounds (111 kilos/17 stones-7 pounds) to 205 pounds (93 kilos/14 stones-9 pounds) with 5 more to go, and then maybe some more. Ideally, I should weigh about 185 pounds (84 kilos/13 stones-3 pounds), but I’ll never make it. I like my TastyKakes and Entenmanns’ pastries, and other goodies too much to give them up entirely.

Wonder if the U.S. will ever convert to the metric system like the rest of the world? Definitely not until Trump’s out of office at least. Even afterward, I doubt it. It would cost too much to retool our machinery to the metric standard. What about the UK with their system of weight? Ever wonder how they arrived at 1 stone is the equivalent of 14 pounds?

To me a stone should weigh less than a pound, and the flatter the better for skipping it atop water. A rock seems to be a better estimate of 14 pounds, but even that is a bit too much. Can’t use “boulder,” because 1 weighs about 100 pounds at minimum, which would have put me close to 2½ boulders before starting my latest diet’s regimen.

Back to peanut butter, on Friday after visiting Lake Luxembourg to check on my bald-eagle buddies, I stopped off at a farm market nearby to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, along with some other needed items. Crunchy peanut butter is my favorite, but I had to settle for creamy since that’s all they sold.

I’ve noticed most convenient stores, like Wawas and 7-11s, only offer creamy style too. Why is that? Am I in the minority for liking whole peanuts in my peanut butter, thus, for economical reasons, they don’t carry it? I could understand if people didn’t have teeth to chew the nuts before swallowing, but not many folks are toothless anymore. Dentures have come down in price considerably for those without. It wouldn’t be the first time for me to be in the minority from liking something, such as my proclivity for anchovies.

Not a biggie, I’ll just have to wait until I make my dreaded monthly trip to the supermarket to get a large jar of the crunchy type.

Well, this journal entry was like an old Seinfeld episode: a whole lot about nothing. So ends this week’s tirade. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

Incidentally, Rie Waits and I have just finished a new duet, which this time only got one like on Twitter; and that was from Rie, who has a private account which doesn’t show up as her when she likes things. Anyhow, here it is for your enjoyment or torment, whichever comes first:

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Blah, Blah, Blah

Excuse for posting a selfie, taken with my new Webcam on July 31st.

Spent the last couple of days indoors, laying low and avoiding the continuation of a heat wave that was suppose to disappear as we started this new month of August. In the Philadelphia region, we sweated through 21 days of 90 degrees F (32.2 C) or more during July, which tied the record set for as many days in 2012, 2011. 1995, 1988, and 1952.

Thank goodness for air-conditioning. Decided to put together a new cover tune, which, believe it or not, burned as many calories as my usual treks for bird-watching, nature and wildlife photography.

I went outside on Saturday with intentions of hiking around at one of my favorite haunts, but opted instead to pick up a few things at the market before heading back and turning on the AC at home. The heat and humidity was just too much for me. Autumn and cooler temps seem so far off. A little over a month and a half is left of another summer’s blazing inferno.

Keeping on my Fitbit, which is a constant companion of mine while gallivanting about, I kept track of my caloric expenditure and equivalent steps taken for the rest of the day after deciding to put together my latest musical endeavor. It’s unbelievable the amount of exercise one gets by making a recording, especially if playing all the various instruments and parts involved. Before calling it a night, I had burned almost 250 calories, accumulated over 4,500 steps, or well over 2 miles.

Kept the Fitbit off on Sunday while finishing the cover, but I’m betting at least the same amount of energy or even more was expended, since I spent about an hour on the electronic drum set, comparable to a treadmill, I’m assuming.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. As a disclaimer, this song is by no means my endorsement of doing illicit drugs. It was just a fun tune to put together:

I posted the new cover song on Twitter to see if any response develops. Got two likes again, same as the last time. Better than none, I always say. Seems people don’t realize the work that’s put into one of these gems, all for two likes on Social Media. Glad I enjoy doing this for the fun of it. I’d be in the poorhouse if I relied on cash generated from click-throughs.

Tropical Storm Isaias is forecasted to pass through like a nor’easter, scooting up the East Coast during the next couple of days. Might end up making another cover tune while holed up inside to pester my followers. It really bothers me why they don’t give some credit for the effort put forth.

Oh, well, so much for woe is me. Nobody wants to read about gloom and doom; although, they love listening to it when the topic is sung by The Rolling Stones with some really cool visuals:

Maybe I’ll start making videos for my covers with the new Webcam.

Week 21 of my abundance of caution for the COVID-19 pandemic is upon me. Still bringing a mask everywhere. Wore it while visiting Lardner’s Point in Philadelphia the other day during the last over-90 degree day of July. A group of teens were skateboarding up and down the K&T Trail, whizzing past, looking at me like I was a zombie for wearing it. I don’t really care about how I appear. I’m not taking any chances in my old age.

Some hope is on the horizon. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the only competent federal-government source of pandemic-related information, predicts a viable COVID-19 vaccine will be available at the end of 2020 or early-2021. I’ll be jumping for joy if it materializes. That’s when I’ll stop wearing those ugly masks.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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