A Strange Day In Paradise

The opportunity clock woke me up at 7:30 this morning to a gloriously sunny day. Just seeing the brightness of a morning sun makes me jubilant. Temperature wise it was at freezing. Not bad as temperature goes because the wind was gentle. I had planned to accomplish two things: One was to buy a new Christmas tree and the second to do some Christmas shopping with my house mate. Of course the house mate was first in line. We toured Bed Bath and Beyond for bed sheets. I thought that the BBB would be the mecca of bed sheets, and to a degree it was. But their on shelf inventory is paltry compared to that of the internet. After wandering around feeling materials, reading labels, and rejecting colors we opted for the online option as a more favorable experience.

From the BBB I turned the Death Star toward the American Sales show room. Ever since I sold my old Christmas trees during the garage sales I have been thinking that someday I will be buying another tree. Even though I have brainwashed myself into believing that downsizing is the right thing to do. The urge to celebrate Christmas with festive colorful lights and poinsettias continues to grow within me.

American Sales specializes in selling decorative artificial Christmas trees. This year is no different except for one thing, they must have at least two hundred pre-lit artificial trees on display. As with all things product development over the years has improved the designs with myriads of new features to make the trees more desirable. Walking through the showroom was like walking through a forest where every tree is filled with tiny specs of light, white or multi colored, a veritable fairy land. I walked quickly through the tall trees since my goal was to find short small stature trees. At the very end of the showroom was a string of short trees sitting on a high shelf to make them appear taller and to better compete with their taller cousins around them. Seven of them stretched the length of this one aisle, and in the center was the one we chose. It was four and a half feet tall, forty-two inches in diameter, with LED lights that change colors ever so gently and discreetly. In years past the changing lights feature was a rather abrupt and sharp blink on and off, and somewhat aggravating to the viewer. This new feature had mesmerized me within a few seconds and I said yes, this is the one I want. To hell with down sizing, I’ll take this tree to the nursing home with me.

It was five minutes from the time of entry into the showroom to the point of deciding on a tree. I informed the sales agent of our decision and we waited, and waited, and waited for what seemed like an hour. The agent continued to call the stockroom and discuss progress. Evidently, this tree was a popular model and was selling off the floor quickly. The people in the stockroom were having trouble keeping up. After forty-five minutes the sales agent asked if we would like to go the warehouse in a an adjacent town to get it, it would be quicker. Since the warehouse was on the way home I agreed to do so. I paid for the tree before I left and off we drove to Tinley Park.

The building we arrived at was clearly three hundred feet long by three hundred feet wide, and filled to the ceiling with artificial trees all from China. Inside there was a window in a plain white wall behind which sat a young lady waiting for a customer to arrive. I showed her my ticket and she went off to have an assistant fetch the tree. When she returned she informed me to move my car up to the loading dock so the warehouseman could load the box into my car. I did. That is when time time stopped again, and we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, I went back into the building and asked politely if they were ever going to bring me my tree. In the meantime dozens of other customers had been coming and going with their pickups.

Time marched on, and again I inquired. This time the chief warehouseman himself came to give me a progress report. He had looked at all the obvious places this number of product was normally stored but could not find any in stock, but he had three more locations to search. What else could I do but agree and sit down?

As I sat in the cubicle staring at the plain white wall my mind began to wander. I couldn’t believe so many people were out and about on a beautiful day like this and not be paying much attention to COVID-19, myself included. Of course everyone wore a mask and we distanced to the degree possible but it seemed like nobody really gave a crap about getting the virus. The day before when I checked the status of COVID in our county we had recorded over a thousand confirmed cases. Just a week earlier we were at under fifty cases. Boy it shot up fast. That is when the idea light went on above my brain and a new conspiracy theory came into mind. The entire country is suddenly finding itself peaking in cases after having dropped off to nearly nothing over the summer. Why would that happen? It didn’t take but a nano-second for me to conjure up a plausible theory.

China is still reeling from the Trump imposed tariffs on China made goods. What if in retaliation the Chinese decided to unleash another round of COVID within our country? What if the new strain was airborne and easily transported in the air? It could explain why the sudden surge of new cases has crippled our society and cause our governors to panic into a higher level of protection like closing restaurants, bars, non-essential businesses, and limiting the number of people in stores everywhere. If the new strain was airborne it could easily be spread using aircraft, and or people who opened canisters of virus in major population centers.

Thankfully, the warehouse man came to report that he could not locate a single box of the tree I bought. I had the sorry job to now report that the past hour we spent waiting for the tree was for naught. My partner was livid. The sweet thing that she is became a raging ogre of a Hulk like Darth Vader screaming and commanding justice. We drove back to the store. I for one just wanted to get a refund and go to lunch. She however wanted to come home with a trophy, the sample on display. She was ready to fight.

We took the elevator up to the artificial forest and as the door opened there stood our sales agent facing us waiting to get on. She never made it. I calmly explained the situation and asked for the display sample. She told me that while we were gone she had located some more inventory in the in-store stockroom. She walked us over to the display area where lo and behold there were six boxes all with the item number we were seeking. “I’ll have an agent bring this down and load it into your car,” she said. “Thank you” was my reply. Ten minutes later we were on our way to have lunch, but I’m sure China is still leaking virus into our air.

PSA-201202B-For Those Who Survived the Puns

A Normal Thanksgiving Day

NOT! The weather is normal, but the circumstances are totally out of whack. A grey cloudy day, cold, and a little wet, but where are my friends, where is the turkey in the oven and the stuffing next to it? Where is the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, and the pumpkin pie, where are the friends and family? All hunkered down. In compliance with our governor’s mandate to stay at home, celebrate alone, or virtually. How does one pass the gravy over a Zoom meal?

For as long as I can remember, and that is not long these days, Thanksgiving has been at my house or at one of my kids’ houses. It is not to be this year. I am made to feel like I am placing my life in jeopardy by visiting my daughter for dinner. God did not encourage us to have families so we could abandon them during the holidays.

Add to the gloomy day, and the lack of familial fellowship is the gloominess of having lost an excellent series called Home Fires. I got hooked watching this historical drama about a small town in England just as WW 2 begins in Europe. The folks are privy to having an RAF Airbase located right out side their town limits. This soap opera has stories galore to tell. Nearly everyone in the population has some part to play. The number of social issues and taboos is limitless, such as divorce, lesbianism, the call to duty, the declaration of conscientious objection, poor versus rich or class distinction, crooked business men taking advantage of the government spending, cancer, rationing, black markets, spousal abuse, women living without their men, etc. The actors all fit their parts and play them well. So well in fact that I had become one of the residents living next door to the action. This is one story that could well have run for ten or more seasons with many episodes in each and it would not fail to fascinate me. Evidently, I am not enough of an audience to meet the needs of the producers. Sadly, I have just read that the producers learned that the program leaned toward an older audience and have chosen to look at something that’ll lean toward youth. Being an old fart I will agree with their assessment, but not their action.

I switched to a new series being pushed by Amazon labeled The Pack. This mindless non-sense will no doubt run forever without adding a single scintilla of good to the world. It will make dog lovers happy, and since all of us love dogs the program has a chance, but I didn’t finish watching the first episode and will avoid any more.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

201119-PSA-COVID-Snippets

  1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.


2.  I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone.  He asked me what I was wearing.


3.  2019:  Stay away from negative people.  2020:  Stay away from positive people.


4.  The world has turned upside down.  Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!


5.  This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her.  I came into my house & told my cat.  We laughed a lot. 


6.  Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit.  Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.


7.  Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?


8.  This virus has done what no woman has been able to do.  Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home!


9.  I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!


10. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.


11. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard.  I’m getting tired of the Living Room.


12. Appropriate analogy.  “The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now” is like saying “The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now.”


13. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask & asking for money.


14. The spread of COVID-19 is based on 2 things: 
        1.  How dense the population is.         

        2.  How dense the population is.

Pandemic War

The following is my opinion.

One of the greatest accomplishments President Trump can brag about is his action against China. Ever since President Nixon broke the barrier in the 1970’s with his ground breaking visit to China we as a country have been rushing to give everything we own to the Chinese government. All of it was under the guise of getting stuff made cheaper, and giving our companies a leg up in the great Chinese market. During that same time frame, I began working on an automation process for the product my employer produced. My boss (owner) resisted the urge to move equipment and processes to China because he didn’t trust the communists. He felt that giving his product to the Chinese to make was the same as giving them the business. He was absolutely correct. I retired thirty years later after forty years with the company and the boss still felt the same way. By then my team had successfully designed and built automation systems to make our product. We didn’t use much manual labor in the process, at least not enough to warrant sending our sensitive process to China where they would promptly copy it and use it without shame against us.

China has been stealing our technology, processes, and product designs ever since the USA has been sending them products to manufacture. Yes, we get it cheap, but after they copy the product and the process they make it cheaper and sell against us. When I began working at this company we had two competitors world wide. When I left we had seventy. Most of them were from China.

When Trump began speaking about the Chinese rip-off of America I cheered. Finally, someone had the guts to stand up to these thieves and tell us like it is. Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese made goods. The economists all began tearing their hair out proclaiming that we will begin a trade war and lose. The trade war didn’t happen and the Chinese wound up paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the USA. The Chinese took counter actions but they failed and for once the Peoples Republic of China was stymied.

It is my opinion that China wanted to punish the USA for the actions we took against them, and even though China has been building a strong military, they would still lose against the USA. What should they do? Well, how about if they unleash a potent virus from the their germ warfare lab. There is no doubt in my mind that China had a vaccine ready to go at the same time they unleashed the virus. To make it look like an accident they did a controlled infection of their own people, and then let these infected people travel all around the world spreading the virus as a cover for their actions. The result was a pandemic. The pandemic was collateral damage for the real goal which was to disable the USA. They nearly succeeded too.

Trump’s actions to stop all travel from China and later from Europe into the USA was a stop gap measure. Next, he shut down the economy at a great expense to the people of the USA and to the economic health of the country. Had we stayed quarantined another two weeks we may not have recovered as quickly as we did. We may actually have gone bankrupt. China did not expect us to recover. They had controlled the virus in their country by vaccinating the epicenter of the attack. It always seemed strange to me that China was able to recover so quickly and so completely while we struggle with doing so. Of course China does not ask their people to quarantine as we do here, they tell their people what they are to do. China had the manufacturing for masks, and as a result could divert all production to their use while we were rationing personal protective equipment waiting for shipments to come from China. Since they were at war with us they could control how they shipped and what they charged. Eventually, our own manufacturing was re-established and we were able to overcome the shortages.

At this point the USA continues to struggle with resurgences of the virus. The vaccines are nearly ready to begin dispensing and shortly the war will be over. In the meantime, the people of the USA continue to do business with China as though they are equally affected. China was never equally affected, they controlled the release and the spread of the virus in such a way as to benefit China.

What we have now, is a claim by Biden that he will take control of the virus and cure the world. My guess is that he will make a deal with China to stop the release of new viruses in exchange for lifting the tariffs. In so doing he will enslave the USA to China. A deal such as that is the only thing Biden can do to be different from that which Trump has already put into place.

Believe it or not.

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