Freak Out (not the song)

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Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, lots of people freaked out about HIV/AIDS. They wanted gay men isolated, they wanted quarantine, they wanted no public contact. They wanted to know who every person was that might have come into contact with an infected person (contact tracing). It was/is very hard to contract HIV, and casual contact did not/does not spread it. Most people were not in danger of infection. Still, they panicked.
Now, many people (generally Trump supporters) are blasé about a virus that is infinitely easier to spread, and has a much shorter incubation time. Where HIV might take a 5 to 10 years to kill you, Covid-19 can do it in days or weeks.
From 1987 through 1995, over 41,000 people died of HIV/AIDS in the United States. For much of that time, calls for punitive action by the government against gay men were common.
In the past 8 months or so, Covid-19 has killed over 220,000 Americans.
Trump and his supporters don’t seem to be very concerned.
Reagan’s people laughed when asked about HIV. Trump’s people have said they aren’t going to be able to control the virus. Trump himself said “it is what it is”.
41,000 in 8 years, vs. 220,000 in about as many months.
Difficult to get, vs. very easy to get.
Freak out, vs. “It’s the flu!”
“oh my God, I’m going to get AIDS from the toilet seat!”, vs. “I’m not wearing a damn mask!”
“Ryan White can’t attend school because he’s a hemopheliac and got AIDS from a blood transfusion, and he can’t be near my kids!”, vs. “get those kids back in school!”
Has a large percentage of this country simply gone insane?

Do you know what I did last summer?

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I bought a new car!

Well, almost new. A 2019 Ford Fusion, with 2,600 miles. A “lease return”, whatever that means.

I’m really loving this car. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that I’m still figuring out how to use, but I’m getting there.

Took it on a road trip earlier this month, put 4,100 miles on the car, and couldn’t be happier. It averaged 35 mpg, with sections of the trip hitting 40 mpg. It’s very comfortable to drive, and I’m ready to go on another trip. I just have to decide where. Fires and smoke have limited the choices here in California, but I’ll figure something out. Maybe Oregon and Washington before the rainy season starts. Oh, wait… is there a rainy “season” there? Or do they just call that “a year”?

If you see me on the road, give me a wave. If you’re a HAM radio operator, call me on 146.520 MHz. I might even be listening on CB, on channel 17 or 19 or whatever the highway (trucker) channel is in that area.

Happy motoring!

Still around…

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I’m just checking in. Haven’t posted anything in a while, but I’m still here. Just haven’t been motivated to write anything lately.

Hopefully, that will pass and I’ll get back to a regular posting schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dragon update

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green-dragon It’s been a while, so it’s probably time for a dragon update. As you’ll recall, I introduced you to my (secret, don’t tell anyone) brood back in 2011, and reported on the chaos that erupted when they thought there were going to be rainbow dragons at Pride Visalia 2018.

Well, they’re now nine (going on ten, as they are quick to remind me) and getting near to dragon puberty. The older ones, who fly in from time to time to check on us, assure me it gets easier as they get older, but I’m not sure I believe them.

Over the years, I’ve had to enlarge the basement several times to accommodate the weyr, and if the neighbors ever dig deep on their lots we could be in trouble. So far, so good, though.

The biggest problem, of course, other than the fire-breathing, is letting them out for exercise. It’s problematic, having dragons flying around Visalia late at night. Most adult humans are oblivious, no doubt because they know that dragons aren’t real. They seldom look up at the sky anymore, anyway. Kids, though, are something else. They’re always looking at the sky, and spot the group fairly frequently. Fortunately, when they squeal and yell out, “Mommy! Daddy! Dragons!”, they usually get a distracted “that’s nice, dear”. As more and more kids get a cell phone, which have ever-increasingly sophisticated cameras, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets a decent picture of the group, led by Draco, soaring above town. (He’s quite fond of downtown. If you see a gargoyle sitting on the edge of a downtown building that you don’t remember seeing before, that’s probably him. Ignore him. You’ll feed an already inflated ego if you don’t. I don’t need that. He’s always been the most insufferable of the group, please don’t make it worse! The others tend to hide in trees. They’re still a bit shy in public.) I’m hoping dismissing it as a photoshop will be enough to keep people guessing. After all, we’re still waiting for a definitive photograph of Sasquatch, right?

The voices are still London-boys-after-helium-hits squeaky, although not quite as bad as when they were very small. The sibling rivalry is still there, perhaps not as dire as it once was, but it may be the calm before the puberty storm. They still think they sound wise and venerable, but we won’t tell them that doesn’t really happen until *after* puberty.  Can you imagine them trying to insult each other as their voices crack? It’s going to be difficult to stifle my amusement.

And hormones. Oh dear… dragon hormones. The old ones refuse to tell me what to expect with that, and Google doesn’t seem to know, either. I’m not sure if teen-aged dragons can do eye rolls, but I bet they come up with something just as annoying.

The brood is mostly under control, and they haven’t burned down my house, or ate any of the neighborhood cats (as far as I know). I’m a bit concerned about the availability of Dragon Chow, however. With this Coronavirus thing going on, delivery might be an issue. I’m assured supplies are adequate, and I have plenty for now (they only sell in bulk anyway), so we should be good. Thank goodness dragons are immune to human diseases!

So that’s the update. They are currently back in the basement, sleeping quietly, and no doubt dreaming dragon dreams of valor and adventure. I had to turn off the TV a little while ago, as they fell asleep watching another movie about a dragon who saves the kingdoms of the world from evil.

Sleep well, my little heroes.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

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defcon1

I am at Defcon 1 in the war against Covid-19.

I have cooked myself dinner *two* days in a row.

Things may never be the same.

Still here…

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I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I posted! I’m still around, settling into retirement, and getting used to the new normal. As such, I’ve not been motivated to post any blogs, but I hope that will change soon. In the meantime, be sure you’re registered, and vote!

Best Christmas Ever

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Time for my annual Christmas story. It’s 1971, and 14 year old JimmieJoe gets a Christmas surprise!

Alternating Currents

xmasbike71crop

Time for my annual Christmas story.

Best Christmas Ever – 1971
I wrote this back in 2007, for my personal blog on MySpace.
******
We were telling Christmas stories at work the other day, and I told my “best Christmas ever” story.  After I told it, I thought it might make a good blog, so here it is.

The location: Visalia California, the house on Divisadero Street, just down the block from the junior high I attended (now called a “Middle School” for reasons known only to the bureaucracy of schools).

The year:  1971   8th grade  Jim is 14 and knows Santa’s secret identity.
Top item on the Christmas wish list:  A 10-speed bike.

I had spent MONTHS hinting, suggesting, begging, pleading, and pretty much making a pest of myself asking for a new 10-speed.  Each time it came up, the parents made it clear that they were just too…

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Santa has been hitting the gym…

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0001santa

I hear he’s bought himself a bright red Corvette, and has an adorable little place in Key West for the off season. Rumor also has it that he’s house hunting in Palm Springs, just to change things up now and then!

Happy Holidays!

The new NOH8 picture

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Jim_NOH8_2019

September 28, 2019

Taken at Common Space, Fresno, California

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It’s not Disneyland, is it?

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From the “All That Winning Department”…

Alternating Currents

trump-10272019-world-series

Hey, Donald Trump! You just killed the most wanted terrorist in the Middle East! What are you going to do now?

“I’m going to the World Series!”

You heard what happened then, right?

If he wasn’t one of the biggest scumbags on the planet, I might feel a wee bit sorry for him.

But he is, so I don’t.

Melania seemed like she was having a good time, though.

“Lock him up. Lock him up.”

Batter up!

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