Taking Note of a Few Things

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So much has been made about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the academy awards because Chris made a joke about Will’s wife. All this back and forth about whether Will did what any man would have done misses a major point. Instead of the comedian being Chris Rock, what if it were Amy Schumer, Lisa Lampenelli, or the late Joan Rivers? I’m thinking Will responds differently.

Chris did the right thing by not pressing charges.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is investigating the incident is a worse insult than what Rock said about Jada Pinkett-Smith. Where were their investigations of Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and Kevin Spacey to name just a few?  There’s only a few hundred more actors, directors, producers, and company execs who have done much worse.

I can injure myself in more strange ways even at my current age. Most recently, I injured my left foot by tying my shoes. That is not a typo.

It’s called Lace Bite. It all happened when I tied a pair of shoes too tight. We’ve all had the sore feeling along the top of the foot that comes from doing so. Mine came on while walking Peanut so I just stuck it out for fifteen minutes. By that afternoon, the entire top of my foot from my ankle to the toes was in misery. It remained that way for several days as I replaced my shoes with slippers. Ten days later and I can finally wear shoes, but the stiffness and soreness remain.

I’ve suffered my share of gruesome injuries and I must tell you; lace bite will make you scream in agony while at the same time feel too embarrassed to go see a foot specialist.

Sadly, I now know why Bruce Willis films have stunk so much the last few years. I recently commented on his poor films he has made the past few years. We now know he has been suffering from Aphasia and has been described as a shadow of his former self by people who recently have worked with him.

Unfortunately, no one had the decency to step in sooner. It seems he may have been “handled” to the point where it looks like he was used as a source of income for his team of managers. It’s not like Willis needed another $2 million dollars for one or two days’ work nearly as much as those dependent on him.

Bruce was a cash cow to those who worked for him. I have seen this firsthand once before with a well-known artist. The lengths people will go to cover for someone with star power because of a problem they suffer from to profit will shock you.

If I was a betting man, I would bet Chris Rock won’t be making any jokes about Bruce Willis anytime soon.

The start of the MLB season is a reminder there is about a two-week period where not much is happening in the sports world. By mid-April, sports fans will be more interested in the upcoming NFL draft and NBA postseason to care about what takes place on the baseball diamond.

The Dodgers picked up 1b Freddie Freeman. Fans can hardly wait to see him at Dodger Stadium
(Claudia Gestro)

Rudy Giuliani’s son is running for Governor of New York. All that race needs is another Cuomo to make it complete.

Hat’s off to Jim Harbaugh. The current head football coach at Michigan decided to do a solid for his onetime 49er quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and gave him a chance to show off what he can do in front of pro scouts at Michigan’s pro day. I have never been a fan of Harbaugh the coach, but he has at least provided Kaepernick with a much deserved and long overdue chance to remind the NFL that he can help a lot of quarterback needy teams.

I am back to job hunting again after my boss informed me today the store where I work at is being closed. He offered me more money to move to a store about twenty minutes away, but I decided to decline his offer.

For the past seven weeks, I have been making edible fruit arrangements and delivering them to businesses, homes, funerals, schools, and apartment buildings. Most days it was just me and a friend of mine who I worked with at the motel. Now she will have to return to her more grueling motel job, which she was smart enough to keep on her off days, while I start job hunting all over.

Since retiring from teaching, I have held a variety of jobs. I began at a pet crematorium, which was filled with endless interesting customers. Then it was three jobs at one time working for the senior center, YMCA, and a small charter school. From there, it was onto the motel where I never knew what I would encounter inside any room I entered. And now a small store where when I was not working in a kitchen creating arrangements, I was delivering them with my car’s AC set on full blast to keep them cool.

Thanks to driving around with the AC on full, I have worn a lot of long underwear the past seven weeks.

I am not buying the BS being sold by Rick Caruso. Anytime a billionaire decides to run for office, he or she has their personal profit margins as their primary motive and could care less about the wellbeing of citizens. Los Angeles can do better than electing him as mayor.

I’m also not buying Hope Solo’s BS she is releasing after her recent DWI arrest. She has reality TV written all over her. It’s just a matter of time.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is promising to rid the city of their homeless encampments within two weeks. I am guessing his plan does not include suddenly creating affordable housing or better paying jobs.

The last time I was in New York City, I got up before sunrise and went for a run in Central Park. Between my hotel and the park, the streets were filled with garbage trucks, so I had to run on the sidewalk. Store owners were already up and hosing off their entrances of the urine and feces left by homeless people the night before.

I understand many homeless people have mental health and drug issues. Some choose life on the street for reasons I do not get. However, many are homeless because our government consistently sides with bailing out corporations and fails to make them pay taxes at near the rate they paid 50 years ago while letting the average hard-working American take it on the chin.

It’s no coincidence since the wealthy have paid less in taxes and thrived off bailouts and loopholes, the middle class has all but disappeared. We might still be an economic power, but we are no longer the example of being a nation where anyone can work hard and enjoy a decent life.

The pictures from Bucha, Ukraine, of bodies bound and shot in the back of the head and others found buried in shallow graves ought to be proof enough to convict Vladimir Putin of war crimes. Then again, so were the photos that we saw from Syria. When the level of sanctions we have placed on Russia fails to stop a madman, we have two choices; stop him ourselves or continue to do nothing.

Screenshot of destruction in Ukraine
( https://youtu.be/cZYIH0Xmeg8 )

Doing nothing won’t help Democrats when the midterms roll around.

We should not expect help or even the blessing from China for us to step in and stop Putin. Xi has written the book on practicing genocide without facing consequences from our government.

We think Jews were the only victims of genocide, but the truth is, it is a far more common practice than we realize.

Does anyone else find the results of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament a joke? Kansas wins the title while they are under investigation by the FBI. Their head coach has five level 1 violations he is being investigated for. It is already assumed he will be suspended by the NCAA next year and the university will receive a ban from next year’s, and probably more, tournaments.

Kansas head coach, Bill Self, won’t get fired. He’s won two NCAA titles for Kansas so he will most likely be defended in court by the University’s attorneys.

Self is one of the few coaches left in the NCAA who have won more than one title. One of the other coaches with two titles is Rick Pitino, a guy whose programs are dirtier than the gym socks his players wear to practice.

Team Lebron failed to make the NBA playoffs. Twenty of the league’s 30 teams get in every year and the Lakers could not find a way. James’ crew of fading old stars and G-league level young guys were nothing short of awful.

It was nice while it lasted. I am talking about the end of the drought. Just last December, when the Sierra snowpack received 200 percent of normal snowfall and lower elevations got their share of a good dumping of rain, people thought the drought was magically over. Turns out, it was Mother Nature playing a joke. Since that time, there has been next to nothing in terms of rain or snow. Worse, California residents did not heed Governor Newsom’s plea to reduce water use so now we are facing increasing water rates, more fines for failing to follow watering guidelines, and of course, more drought.

LeBron James isn’t happy with his team’ performance this season
(Claudia Gestro)

California has run out of solutions to keep the state running. Leaders have run out of new taxes to hit residents with, and voters are not about to pass any propositions on the ballot that will cost us more out of pocket. The middle class can no longer afford to be homeowners and the rich seem unwilling to do their share. All that’s left is increasing our monthly rates for services like weather, electricity, and trash. How long before we are charged for things like parking our cars when we shop for groceries?

We already know what happens when you follow the right’s idea of tax breaks for the rich so they can invest more into programs and projects that provide jobs for the middle class. The wealthy hoard their money, and the average Joe takes it on the chin. California is proving why the left’s thinking of greater liberalism fails the people. Without a middle-minded set of influencers in government, the rich will only get richer.

Pot was not the answer. How high did you have to be to think legalizing pot was going to solve Californians’ problems? All it did was drive out the small-time growers and replace them with large investors who turned it into another of their money-making schemes.

Maybe it works as a medication or maybe it doesn’t,
but it sure makes us feel good! (Tim Forkes)

When I began my teaching career, the lottery was going to save education. It did nothing for it, but it sure made a great way to convince voters it would. Indian gaming casinos were supposed to help the state with their insatiable need for more money and it still hasn’t helped us.

The problem is our elected leaders have zero regard for the public’s money. It doesn’t matter what state you live in or what your politics are. People see money from the state as their way to spend unwisely. We assume the people in charge of financial decisions with the public’s money are sound spenders with their own money. Before ANYONE is allowed to hold a job where they spend a dime of the public’s money, they should have to prove their own personal finances are sound.

Conservatism and liberalism are dangerous to the future of this nation under their current formats.

Moderation is healthy across the board. Exercise, food, alcohol, and just about everything else is healthy for us in moderation. We know this. Why then would anyone think extremism in the form of the far right or far left is healthy? Without moderate leaders who are open-minded enough to listen to and work with people on both sides of the political spectrum, nothing healthy is accomplished for citizens. Now that moderates are being driven out of politics at all levels, we are left with choosing between two cults.

If moderates are dead in both parties, we need to find a way to fund the movement for a more middle minded political party. Unfortunately, the wealthy are not inclined to do this, and average citizens lack both the money and time needed to ensure a middle ground in our political system.  As a result, we should get used to living in a constant state of political crisis.

I think the best system for our nation involves three or more political parties. One advantage of parliamentary democracy is it almost always depends on cooperation between two or more political parties to form a ruling majority. Unfortunately, it’s also the reason why coalition governments end up collapsing.

There are more coalitions within the Democratic Party which is healthier if they can work through their issues and remain united. The GOP has gone all in on Trumpism and the extremist approach to politics they rely on. Democrats rely on getting out the vote while the GOP works to suppress it. That should tell you which party is for the people, and which is for only a select group.

*Tiger Woods is going to tee it up at the Master’s and for once I will follow the first two rounds of a golf tournament. If he advances to the weekend, I will have interest in it as well. I have a feeling TV viewership will do the same. Without Tiger Woods playing, golf is a niche sport.

I was in Trader Joe’s the other morning when the clerk asked me if I was a golfer. I told her I wasn’t and asked her why and she said, “You just look like a golfer.” I replied, “Is that your way of telling me I look rich?” I was wearing a five-dollar pair of pants I picked up at Goodwill.

Yesterday, I was checking in at the pain clinic when the woman at the front desk went on a bit too loud and too long about how good I looked. She said, “You look like you lost some weight and have really been working out.”  I thanked her and told I had not been doing anything different. Then while I waited to see my doctor, I wondered, “Just how bad did I look before to make her think I looked so much better?”

No more lace bite. This morning I decided to break in a new pair of running shoes and by accident, I found the solution to not just my lace bite, but also my OCD issue with tying my shoes. I can’t wear a pair of shoes if both shoes are not tied equally tight. Consequently, as a kid, I learned to just cinch them up as tight as I could and tie them up. However, shoes that are too tight are a problem for running long distances. As you rack up the miles, your feet swell and if the shoes are tied too tight, they turn numb. And, as I stated earlier, tight lacing can result in lace bite which might sound funny, but take it from me, it’s not. Today, I learned I’ve been lacing my shoes wrong all my life. I am an under lacer. I pull my shoestrings through the lace holes from the underside which allows me to pull up hard when I tie them. My new shoes were already laced, and I noticed they were over laced, laced downward through each hole. By doing this, I found I could only pull the laces a small amount. The result was a more consistent feeling that was not too loose and not too tight. Who knew the solution to my issue was such a cinch?

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  • The Masters finished on Sunday (April 10). Scottie Scheffler won. Tiger Woods finished #47.