Taking Notes for Mid-September

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Top photo of Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA by Tim Forkes

Isn’t every month the hottest month ever recorded? How many records do we need to set before we comprehend, we have a serious problem with global warming? We express more outrage over the wearing of masks than we do the destruction of our planet, much of which can be pinned on us.

Earth is one large molten rock. I am pretty sure man will fry because of its own doing long before this rock we inhabit melts. We need it more than it needs us. At the moment, we are not much more than pesky fleas on a dog.

Let’s imagine we get our act together and soon Europe and the United States become entirely green. How do we respond to countries like China, Russia, India, and Brazil who also have managed to join us as great destroyers of our ozone? We have a world problem that has reached the point where many nations no longer care what we do.

Why is it that I can open a news link on my computer and be told I need to pay a membership fee for access to it but can access the same link for free on my phone?

There is no amount of erasing tweets and web site postings GOP candidates can do that will allow them to reinvent themselves as anyone other than a Trump follower. There are far too many technologically brilliant young people who know how to access someone’s past. And the more a candidate tries to erase their past, the guiltier they look for trying to hide from it.

I have no idea what people see in Twitter. I can handle Facebook and that’s about it when it comes to social media. Instagram and all the countless other forms of social interaction just aren’t for me.

Twenty years have passed since 9/11. An entire generation has lived under the concept that war is the best way to solve our problems. Hopefully, our younger citizens will study history and see the holes in that logic so that we can begin moving forward toward being a more enlightened nation.

We spend too much taxpayer money on ways to respond to problems and not nearly enough on preventing them or nipping them in the bud. We do the same with health care. We spend more on those who are dying than those who have decades ahead of them. It seems so counterproductive. Of course, the average American probably cares more about killing some far-off enemy than they do about their own health.

There doesn’t seem to be any regard for money at colleges when it comes to settling lawsuits. USC has set the bar here with medical lawsuits and admissions lawsuits filed against them. Why is it then they become “cheapskates” and refuse to buy out the contract of a crappy football coach when that amount is peanuts compared to settled suits? Just dump Clay Helton and do what you do best and pass the cost onto the students who pay far more for an education than it can possibly be worth.

Looks Like SC read my article before it was posted. They gave Clay the boot and now have a head start on other schools to find a new head coach. Based on Urban Meyer’s opening game coaching in the NFL, he might want to return to the college game rather than absorb a year or two of beat downs in Jacksonville.

A week before the California recall elections ended saw Larry Elder claiming the election was rigged. I guess we now live in an era where no one ever loses an election; they simply have it stolen from them. I guess the stench of Trump will stick around a while longer.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
(Claudia Gestro)

Was anyone beside me happy to see Aaron Rodgers get his ass handed to him in the season opener against the Saints? Not only that, but Rodgers was also outplayed by a quarterback who was grateful to be playing again after being given up on by his former team. I do not think there is any amount of money that a team can pay Rodgers that will ever make him appreciate what he gets to do for a living at a time when the average wage has not risen for more than a decade. I am hoping Rodgers has another 16 games like last week and gets run out of the NFL.

Is anything happening in baseball?

My mother in-law passed away recently. She was 92 and it was not unexpected. Last night, I learned of the death of someone I used to coach against who was my age. Another COVID death, only from what I learned he was previously vaccinated. At 63, I realize death is something I will be seeing more and more of. It seems it is in our seventh decade that we finally realize we have far less time in front of us than we have behind us.

It seems a day doesn’t go by where I do not read about the death of a musician, actor, or athlete who had a large presence in my life growing up. I think back to all those early post 9/11 solidarity concerts and how many of the artists who performed have since died. Getting older is the most natural process, but at the same time it is the most frustrating one. No matter how much we work to avoid it, the aging process forces us to return to our childhood and become totally dependent on others for our care.

The S.F. Giants were the first team in baseball to clinch a playoff berth The L.A. Dodgers are 2.5 games behind them so it is still undecided who wins the N.L. West Division. Pictured here is Giants OF
Mike Yaztremski (Claudia Gestro)

Caring for the aging is becoming more of a challenge. With most families needing a dual income just to get by, it means more elderly are left alone in nursing homes with no family around to check on them. Bringing them in to live with you results in major home life changes that affect more than just the adults who care for a parent. It changes the life of the children who now have even less time from their already busy parents.

Today, thanks to our constantly stagnant wages and lack of quality jobs for the overly educated, we are seeing a new trend where retirees are now left with children in their 30’s still living at home, some with kids, while also having to care for an aging parent. Four generations living under one roof not because they love to be around one another so much but because no one can live what was once the American dream.

This is a recipe for disaster in this country. It is just one more thing that adds to the frustrations of people which have spilled over to open anger. Unfortunately, that anger comes out in forms of abuse, road rage, and hate crimes but the real cause for it is a government that has failed to provide hope for a dream previous generations enjoyed.

L.A. Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer came over from the Washington National in a trade that included Trea Turner. Both helped the Dodgers clinch a playoff berth (Claudia Gestro)

I often feel like I am running out of ways to abuse, uh, I mean exercise my body. A few months back I stopped road biking despite enjoying some wonderful riding on a recently purchased bike. I did this because my ailing neck was sending me too many signals it was time to take a break. Sure enough, I have little sign of any neck discomfort.

In its place, I turned my aerobic focus back to running on my treadmill and gradually increased the duration and speed of my running workouts. Unfortunately, my left knee has sent me many signals it no longer enjoys running. I considered hitting the local rec department pool and taking up swimming laps. However, I have this thing about not wanting to have to depend on an outside source for my exercise.

In the end, I dusted off my rower and have gradually been adding time and resistance to my workouts and find I am enjoying it. It requires no thought process and does not have me dealing with local traffic. Better yet, since I am strapped into my foot pedals, I know I won’t fall the four inches I sit above the ground.  I just have to select some music to listen to and start rowing. Still, whenever I row, I can’t get the image of a young Tom Selleck as Magnum PI rowing away while looking out at the Pacific Ocean.

Dodgers first baseman/DH Albert Pujols is having a lot of fun as he helps the Dodgers in their quest for another World Series title
(Claudia Gestro)

For 50 years, my schedule was more or less the same. From the age of five to twenty-five, I was a student, and my week was centered around two things, my daily school schedule and life after school let out. This was followed by thirty years as a teacher where my life was centered around my daily school schedule and life after school let out. I’ve always known what day of the week it is because of having maintained the same weekly schedule.

Now that I work part time five days a week, I have suddenly lost track of what day of the week it is. My Monday is now Thursday since I work Thursdays through Mondays. This means my Friday night is Monday evening and my weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday. Knowing what day of the week it is, which is something we learn in kindergarten, has suddenly become about as challenging as learning Russian when I was in seventh and eighth grade.

I am sure I will get the hang of it about the same time I decide to retire for good.  At least when that happens every day will be the weekend for me.

RIP Norm Macdonald.