America 2021: Taking Note of a Few Things 

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Top photo by Tim Forkes

I recently read an article listing the ten best states in the country to live in. Articles like this are subjective and depend on the criteria used to determine where the best place to live is. Still, it made me think of my present situation and being a lifelong resident of California. Would I be happier if I lived in any of the states listed?

Vermont scored highest followed by Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, Washington, Massachusetts, Nebraska and finally New Jersey. It took me a nano second to eliminate eight of these states basically because the weather there sucks. Perhaps the Midwest has nice summers and springs, but they last about eight minutes. Winter in the northeast and Midwest is a great reminder of what it is like when the planet freezes over. Having to wear 18 layers of clothing to walk out to your mailbox is not the life I want.

This left me with Hawaii and Washington. I have been to Hawaii many times on vacation and admit I love it there. The tropical breeze, warm ocean, and laid-back atmosphere is intoxicating. However, after watching my parents retire to Maui, I realize Hawaii is not a place to grow old and hope for decent medical care.

Jim chooses to stay here in California
(Tim Forkes)

After my father passed away in 2008, my mom was going to finally take care of her bad hip and get it replaced. Her doctor in Maui advised her to go stateside unless she wanted an artificial hip that was state of the art in the 80’s.

This leaves me with just the state of Washington to consider from the list. After some thought, I realized it offers me nothing I do not already have. Yes, Washington has fewer people, less congestion, and cleaner air in general compared to my state. However, here in Ventura County, I have the best of everything California has to offer so for now, I think I will stick around here.

The Hollywood Ripper was just sentenced to death for murdering two women. This means he will see old age before he receives a lethal injection. Anyway, I am guessing women are already lining up to marry him because that’s what seems to happen with nut jobs like this guy.

Maybe I am a bit of an idealist, but I would like to think if I was worth billions of dollars, after making sure my children were taken care of, my focus would be on what I could do to improve this planet. Why is it we make someone like Richard Branson into somebody to look up to when he is busy using his money to find ways to grow wealthier from space tourism? Do we even need space tourism when billions go without clean water, decent food, sufficient healthcare, or suitable housing? For me, Branson is a perfect example of why so many have grown tired of the wealthy.

I have no idea whether Britney Spears can handle her own affairs. I do know her family has not done her any favors. For that matter, few people have done her any favors. Instead, they have used her to their advantage. In this way, she reminds me of a young Mike Tyson.

Over the course of my life, I think I have owned about 12,694 pairs of running shoes. At least it seems that way. For a long time, my original pair of 1979 Nike Tailwind were the best running shoes I ever owned. However, after countless purchases, I have to say my current pair of Brooks Ghost are the best shoes I have ever run in.

You pay more money for brightly colored running shoes. They may draw the attention of other running aficionados as well as old people, but they do not perform any better than the less expensive gray colored models. Save yourself some money unless you enjoy random old people in the checkout line commenting to you about your footwear.

You need good footwear to hike along the Brazos River in Texas (Tim Forkes)

While on the subject of footwear, without a doubt, Copper Fit makes the most comfortable socks I have ever worn. They make my feet feel like a baby wrapped up tight inside a warm blanket. Everything begins with the feet. If they are happy, the rest of you will follow. Try enjoying your day when your feet are uncomfortable.

I still scratch my head over why men just do not understand why they are loathed by so many women. A story will run showing how much weight an actor gained for a role and they are described as dedicated to their craft. At the same time, a day does not pass in which an actress is not fat shamed. If it is okay for Leonardo De Caprio to put on the pounds over the years, why is it a crime when a woman does the same?

Here is something to chew on instead of an extra slice of pizza. FAT KILLS at any age. It ages us faster, it causes more illness, and it costs the public billions of dollars a year in health care. So do eating disorders caused by low self-esteem from being fat shamed. Being healthy is not about our shape nearly as much as it is about the choices we make and the way we treat one another.

The DELTA variant of COVID has really taken off and is having its way with the unvaccinated. If this is not enough to convince more people to become vaccinated, then get ready for whatever the next variant is. If it follows what has unfolded with COVID, it will be worse than previous variants and you can expect it to arrive this winter. Nothing like celebrating the holidays like fighting for your life while gasping for breath.

Speaking of COVID, is there anyone with any interest in the Olympic games?  Already, the USA Men’s basketball team has been hit with an outbreak. There are also reports of a COVID outbreak at the Olympic village and you can bet athletes from around the world will bring it with them when they arrive in Tokyo in full force.

An Olympics without fans, athletes stuck in protocol hell, and other athletes banned for having smoked pot during a large COVID outbreak in the host nation seems stupid.  Of course, if you still believe COVID was manufactured by the liberal media and not any worse than the flu, I suppose you are already sitting on the edge of your couch ready for the opening ceremonies.

At home, in the states, we are now in the dead period of sports. Baseball’s All-Star break came and went and is now back to their boring regular season. The NBA Finals will wrap up soon and we can forget about the league until next April when their playoffs resume. There are not any other sports that captivate any large numbers of the public other than the NFL. Just think, in a few weeks, camps open and we can start salivating over the first ever 17 game season, whether Aaron Rogers reports or stays home, and what the new name of Washington’s football team will be (I am going with Asshats since it represents their owner as well as much of our political leadership).

Finally, I just read where Nike, Asics, and Adidas stores at my nearby outlets all have openings. I could use a few hours of extra work, but I think working at one of those places is like giving a junkie a job working behind the counter of a pharmacy.