Are There More Stars Or Viruses?

For Every Star in the Universe There Are 100 million Viruses

This morning I had scheduled myself to attend a pancake breakfast with the Bradley Lions Club. The money generated was to support the families of two Bradley police officers who were shot in the line of duty, one died the other in serious condition. I did not attend. Why? I will try to explain my paranoyia as I go on.

Two days ago my wife’s 28 year old single grandson called to tell his grandma that he has COVID. Grandma nearly fainted and went into hysterics. He is her only family in this country, and she relies on him for way too much. He is more than happy to help her because she also is his only family here in America. She lost her only child, a son, last march in an accident that snuffed him out within an instant. The shock was overwhelming and she is still not over it.

My wife and her grandson being from Europe and living poor believe in practicing naturally healthy lives. Eat right, eat only chemically free food, drink only pure water, and breathe lots of clean fresh air, preferably forest generated. No one in her family believes in polluting the body with nasty things like vaccines. So when she heard her only grandson had COVID she was picturing him in a grave. From what I have heard about Omicron, the COVID variant, it is only a matter of time before everyone in the world has it, even double vaccinated me. One of my greatest fears is that I will bring it home to her and our moderately happy marriage will end. That is why I decided to skip the pancake breakfast this morning.

I shoveled the drive and walkways this afternoon, fed the birds and came in to rest. While resting I felt driven to post something, but what? For reasons unknown I decided to check the responses I get, and one of them was not checked off. I always address responses within a day at the latest. I searched for the response and couldn’t find it after perusing seven pages of posts. Then the brain finally kicked in and told me to work smarter. I looked at my dashboard and found a comment was in moderation. Why, That is another story, but I also learned how to search for the responses. While looking for it I came across the one I am posting to share with you. It is a very intelligently written and thoughtful piece that makes a lot of sense the writer obviously has a gift we call common sense

Her response showed me that I have fallen prey to the hysteria being touted over the airwaves. I have forgotten my own common sense attitude for avoiding COVID. When the thing first began to kill, I chose not to hunker down, but to rather lead a life which would avoid opportunities to catch the thing without becoming an inbound, stagnant-air breathing recluse. So far it is working, knock on wood, but I also believe in vaccinations as part of the protection scheme. Then I reread the comment from dolphin write of the understandingbloghome.wordpress.com, and it all makes sense again.

Remember, there are 340,000,000 million people in the USA, to this point there have been 66,317,293 cases of COVID. That means there are 273, 683,000. people who do not have COVID. True 66 million is a lot of sick people, but 273 million is a four times as many healthy people walking around.

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The following essay is a reply I received to my own Blog-piece titled

A Nation of Too Many Laws

response attributed to:
dolphinwrite
Nov 18, 2020·understandingbloghome.wordpress.com

Controlled by what we can’t see:
When will people get it? A virus is a very tiny organism, in the trillions all around. There are billions of different virus. This one is one amid trillions of germs, bugs, viruses, and like many, is airborne.
If you wear one of those face shields (those clear plastic face guards), airborne viruses are entering you’re lungs as if you didn’t have one. If you’re wearing a face mask, right through the fabric, and certainly any side openings. Pull the mask from your face for a few seconds, no or very little help. And when you go to stores or anywhere else, touch anything, even just by being there, you’re covered with viruses and germs. Wear gloves and touch things, whatever you touched is on the gloves and whatever the gloves then touch transfers (i.e. door knobs, the steering wheel, your face, your shirt, your wallet, your shoe laces, and everything else). The only way to be “safer” is staying indoors, never going out, and using a ventilator. Okay, there might be some reduction, but we heard, from a doctor, they get more sick people coming in who wear masks and stay indoors than by those who don’t worry. Something like 65% with masks versus 35% without.
Why? We have immune systems. Even if a virus is knew, our body fights them. That’s how immune systems work. But we suppose the very real reason most of the people wearing masks and staying home are most of the sick patients is because they don’t go out, exercise, breathe the fresh air, and socialize. They’re often sick with worry. So, by worrying all the time about germs, wearing masks and gloves, washing everything, spraying everything, and stressing out, their immune systems are further compromised. Stress does that. Depression does that. Fear does that.
Which is why I shared a time when a friend and I worked at a zoo, clearing up after the animals, cleaning their cages, raking and shoveling the droppings, washing some animals, caring for sick animals, feeding them, bringing in supplies, chasing rats (or catching) away, cleaning the shops and storage rooms, butchering road kills for the big cats, cleaning up after those big cats ate, and so much more. And never getting sick. We really believe, being around all that strengthened our immune systems. Never, during those years, did we ever take any “sick” pills. Just being outdoors, breathing the fresh air, moving around working, and life was good. It is good. We are not designed to live in fear and worry.
And now we see “they” are going to close up everything. We wonder if it’s even constitutional or legal. More and more people will have to stay home, not socialize, and live in worry and fear, unable to go out and relax. That, in and of itself will lead to more stress and worry, causing increased sickness, and we believe more mob mentality, people frustrated and acting out. Just wait and see if all this continues. It happened before and is still happening.
Everybody, should the elections go one way, will find out what losing all your freedoms is about. When people choose for others to do what they can do on their own, where businesses makes decisions that best fit their company, but instead, rely on government for all their protections, we get socialism leading to communism. Unfortunately, people may need to find out the hard way. But making that decision for outer control and “good feelings” means anarchy then dictatorship right here, but also terrible consequences across the globe. In such a future, millions will die: people in democratic countries, innocent people, and the unborn who we wish have all the opportunities for life we have. But if we allow ourselves to be blinded by rhetoric, propaganda, and cutesy language, then we get what we get. I hope people never have to find out the hard way.

Narcissistic Old Man

With the weather being nasty the past week I have not gotten to the library to pick new books. I was so desperate for something to read I began a search of my book shelves. There in my secretariat, on the lower shelf, I spotted the familiar white cover booklet that I made. It’s been fifteen years since I wrote and bound my vignettes into books. It was time to open the covers and to relive the moments of my childhood that I cherished enough to spend considerable time to record them. I titled the work “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Nineteen Forties and Fifties.” The title is also part of me. My parents who were very European spoke very broken English until the day they died. I also had an older brother named Joe after our father. Brother Joe tragically died at age seven from scarlet fever. My Dad didn’t have a middle name and neither did my brother. To differentiate which Joe was being addressed in conversation Dad was Senior and brother was Junior. Yep, you got it, they didn’t pronounce junior as junior they pronounced it as jun-e-or. A few years after Joe Jun-e-or died I was born, and named after my father. My parents called me Jun-e-or for the remainder of their lives. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me as Jun-e-or. I wasn’t just plain Joe until I left for college.

There are three volumes to this story. Each is a collection of vignettes about my earliest recollections up until college. I suppose I could have continued with additional volumes to cover the years in between volume three and today, but frankly I don’t have that many memorable memories from that period of sixty-seven years. Sad, isn’t it? Finishing the story about those years is a good project for my bucket list.

The book I picked up to re-read was volume three which describes life as a pre-teen, my toys, my hobbies, school, and neighborhood activities. I actually enjoyed reading these short stories again. I kept looking for ways I would improve the writing if I had to, but honestly, except for one story, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it was all about me and my interests it kept me awake, I’m not sure what you or my friends would say. Except I do know what a few of them have said. I have on occasion loaned a single volume out to friends, and they have commented that they enjoyed the nostalgia of reliving in the old neighborhood. They saw the old places and saw themselves in some of the stores and places I described.

I’ll finish reading the remaining two volumes in reverse order. The second book is about my time on the farm with my mother’s father. The strange thing about this work is that I totally left out anything that happened with my brother and sister. It is as though they didn’t exist. That worries me because it implies that I am self centered and narcissistic, and I hate that in other people.

If you are at all interested in reading one of these volumes it is available on Amazon for free. Click on the book icon on the right side of my blog and it will take you right to it.

Accomplishments for 2021

Where do I begin? In January of course. This is not as great as I would like it to be but it is what it is, and I have to live with it. Just making the list has been cathartic. I recommend that all who read this do the same thing at the end of each year.

2021 Accomplishment List

  • Wrapped up a successful winter coat drive, 735 coats collected and donated to ten charities
  • Launched a new sock collection with the District Grammar Schools
  • Began a new Intarsia project “Night Hunter”
  • Moved Lovely into a new job three times
  • Delivered lunch to Silver Cross Hospital Health Care workers
  • Met on ZOOM for the first time
  • Attended 12 OASIS meetings for the Sight Impaired
  • Received Shot # 1 for COVID-19
  • Prepared 100 collection boxes for the sock drive
  • Proposed marriage to Lovely
  • Entered two pieces of art into the Emerging Perspectives art show at Tall Grass
  • Began sorting socks
  • Joined OASIS Board of Directors
  • Drove Lovely to Rolling Meadows and Island Lake twice
  • Attended 10 Lions Board and Member meetings
  • Bought a Marriage License
  • Vaccination #2
  • Picked up socks from Walmart & Meijers
  • Shopped for a wedding dress, and suit
  • Sorted 23,000 pairs of socks into Men’s, Women’s and Children’s
  • Delivered Easter Food baskets with Lions
  • Hiked the trail between Frankfort and Mokena
  • Made funeral arrangements for Freddie
  • Attended Freddie’s funeral
  • Married Lovely
  • Met with the Stray Bar Wine club 6 times
  • Drained and cleaned the pond
  • Visited Holland Michigan Tulip Festival
  • Planted the 2021 Monet Vision ‘Gold Rush’
  • Installed anti bird netting over Lovely’s pickle patch
  • Spent three days at the family farm
  • Launched my Wurst Fest Ticket sale drive via mail.
  • Went to the Lithuanian Embassy in Chicago for Lovely’s birth certificate
  • Spent 8 hours in the ER with major abdominal pain to learn I passed a kidney stone.
  • Went to Ray Bodnar’s funeral mass
  • Took my grand daughter to see ‘Van Gogh Immersed’ in downtown Chicago
  • Drove to Michigan City, IN to get immigration documents signed
  • Attended brother Bill’s 90 bd party
  • Attended Artist’s reception for ‘Into the Light’ with Intarsia piece.
  • Visited Brookfield Zoo
  • Replaced the rear shocks on the Death Star
  • Placed two Intarsia pieces into a local salon for display
  • Marched in the Frankfort Labor Day Parade
  • Bought new hearing aids
  • Started Lovely on a 24 session regimen at the Chiropractor.
  • Applied to get State of Illinois special Medicaid program for Lovely
  • Completed ‘Night Hunter’ and put it on display in our house.
  • Visited Lincoln Park Zoo with Lovely
  • Collected money for Lions Candy Day
  • Walked many miles with Lovely
  • Attended Lion Les Egbert’s funeral mass
  • Hiked Little Red School House White Oak Trail
  • Hiked LRS Black Oak Trail
  • Hosted and cooked for family Thanksgiving
  • Designed a new Christmas Card, and had them printed
  • Sent 160 cards
  • Spent a week at Island Lake cat sitting
  • Launched the 2021 Winter Coat collection
  • Collected money at Jewel for turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Delivered 550 coats to FTFP, SSCC, TL, SA, MM, NLTFP
  • Refinanced the house
  • Hosted and cooked for Family Christmas
  • Attended Boyz Nite out Christmas party with wives.
  • Wrote 182 posts on GrumpaJoesPlace.
  • Read 56 books
  • Watched three hundred movies
  • Stayed on KETO diet for nine months
  • Attended Library Volunteer Night meeting as Lion
  • Spent untold hours gazing into space and wasting time.

Hotline

Another day in Paradise and I’m in a brain freeze. There is no subject on the face of this earth that I want to write about, so I’m writing about not wanting to write. It might be because my opportunity clock alarmed me too early this morning, and I wasn’t quite prepared for taking on an opportunity. The sky was very dark grey and ominous. By the time I finished breakfast it was snowing huge flakes the size of my fist and falling fast. Although the sky was dark the space between the sky and mother earth was a very bright white.

This was a day that was supposed to be easy. One task I had to accomplish was a phone call to the State of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. My Lovely was awarded a Medicaid insurance card under a little known law that Governor J. B.” Pritzker signed into law back in February. Under this law folks without Social Security numbers can apply for Medicaid services. Basically, it came as a letter stating that she qualifies and it contains her name, an RIN (Recipient Identification Number) and her date of birth. The date of birth was shown wrong. Somehow the month and the day were transposed from reality. The month should have been a two, and the day a three, but they had it as the month is three, and the day is a two. All this told me was that anytime she will use this card, the bill will be sent to the State and they will bong the request for payment because her birthday will be different. I needed to get that straightened out.

In the fine print of the letter was a statement “you may be required to enroll in a health plan”, naturally, I wanted to know if she needed to do that. If you want to know if you need a health plan please call the “Health Plan Benefits Hotline.” I dialed and immediately got a voice stating that the call volumes were high and that there were at least 20 people ahead of me and that the time to wait would be twenty minutes, so much for a “Hotline.” I chose to wait . At least they played some decent music to keep me holding, with an occasional break telling me to keep holding because my call was important to them. I paid some bills, and cleared my desk while holding. At the twenty-three minute mark a real live human named Kion (Kee-on) came on. Kion immediately asked for my social, and I had to remind him that the call was about my Lovely and not me, and she didn’t have a social, would her RIN do? A confusing thing about this letter was that I was also approved and awarded an RIN. I made a fatal mistake of asking him why I was included in the award. The next ten minutes was an interrogation about me and my circumstances and nothing about my Lovely. I had to remind him that this was about her and not me. It didn’t matter, he was busy typing away explaining to his computer why I should be removed from Medicaid.

Eventually, the conversation got back to Lovely. I still didn’t have an answer as to whether or not she needed to be enrolled into a medical plan. Kion did not know. He gave me another number for Client Enrollment Services where no doubt I will have another twenty minute wait to get a hotline connection.

Grrrr! The snow was three inches deep by the time I ended the call, and it was time to take Lovely to her doctor’s appointment.

Last Minute Shopping

Like all good men I deferred shopping for Christmas gifts until the last possible moment. Today, I was reminded why I haven’t shopped at a mall in over twenty years. With a new wife in mourning over the loss of her only child going through our first Christmas together, and her first Christmas without him, I thought it might be wise to buy her a little something. This morning I left to go shopping after meeting with a Notary and signing 150 pages of refinancing documents. I figured after that experience shopping would be simple. WRONG!

For once I had some gift ideas in mind and I was determined to fulfill them. I learned while listening to her grandson that Lovely likes a perfume by Givenchy. I searched the internet for where to buy it, Macy’s came up. Luckily there is a Macy’s near us in the town of Orland Park. That also clued me to the fact that this tiny bottle of scented liquid will be costly.

I routed myself via a little known street that goes north and south to the Orland Mall. The main route is fast but there is so much traffic on that road that fast is only a dream. My route was slow and steady, but got me there within twenty minutes. I parked on the East side of the building where there are fewer people entering. That was also a good move because I entered directly into the store and followed my nose to the perfume department. That is when I hit the wall. One would think they were giving the stuff away there were so many people, 99% women, and me. I asked one lady where I could find Givenchy she told me to turn left and head for the wall. I did, no one there knew where Givenchy was. I felt like a cue ball bouncing around as I hit the rubber bumpers from one counter an another. Finally, on the sixth ask, I found a lady who looked at me and said “here,” but we are sold out.” I gave her a dumb stare and decided to be charitable she only works there and she wasn’t responsible for inventory management.

A new scene unfolded as I began searching for a new scent to buy. The clerk sprays a business card with the smell and I was expected to like it or not. On the fourth one, my smeller was totally neutered and it could have been dog excrement and I would have said “yes that is the one.” Well it didn’t actually smell like dog crap so I bought it. The sales clerk bagged it all pretty in tissue paper and stuffed it into an oversize Macy’s bag. I ran from the store into the main mall. Luckily I quickly found the next place I wanted to visit, Victoria’s Secret. Two steps into the store a hot young thing with a bare midriff latched onto me and off we went to the undie department. My lovely was perusing a catalog a few days ago and stopped at an ad offering 5 pairs of undies for under $10, “buy them,” I said. “No, no” she said, they are too expensive. Well, I found a deal at 5 for $35. I never realized that women’s underwear has more styles, designs, and fabrics than Carter has pills. After about fifteen agonizing minutes selecting five of the same thing in different colors I said, “I’ll take them, now what?” The hot thing shoved them into a crude bag and said take them to the next room there’s a line. I did and almost balked. The line was ten people long and social distanced.

When it was my turn I landed at the teller window staffed by a nice young black girl that was very well endowed. She wore a black blouse that exposed her belly and was held together by one button positioned half way between her boobs and her belly button. The two girls bulged out looking for a chance to escape to freedom. I was never so anxious to pay for something and to get the hell out of there.

One thing I noticed is that all the sales girls were made up alike. They wore lots of eye shadow, had eyelashes long enough to sweep the floor, and their nails were catlike but done exquisitely. The crowds were large and buying stuff, not like last Christmas when we were in COVID mode.

I vowed that if I survive until Christmas 2022 that I will again avoid shopping centers, and buy my stuff online.

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