Carrying Stones – moving a mountain one stone at a time

COVID-19 and the American Idiot

Watching the row of men toting long guns, marching shoulder-to-shoulder toward the capitol, sent a bead of cold sweat rolling down my back to meet the shivers crawling up my spine.

This isn’t the opening of a new novella about the Civil War. It’s my recollection of watching spoiled middle-aged men threaten the government of Michigan because they are temporarily inconvenienced by those who would keep them safe and healthy. The world is in crisis from covid-19.

Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alienation
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay
—Green Day, American Idiot

Watching strangers die while the disillusioned fight for their right to die (and ultimately, for their right to kill others) is difficult, but hearing people I actually know personally who refuse to take the global pandemic seriously; well, it’s painful. You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to know something is wrong, and something is very wrong in America right now. Our nation is sick and those who want to help the nation heal are outnumbered by those who want to get a haircut in a crowded barbershop before busting through a line of diners to hit the buffet.

My wife Julie and I are lucky. We are perfectly matched to prefer each other’s company to the company of others. Both of us work at home and have much of our needs delivered.

On that note, we are thankful for those who deliver mail and goods to our house. We’re thankful for the police and firefighters and garbage collectors and everyone who is essential to keeping things moving. On the flip side, we watch these deluded masses, these protesters, these American idiots, with a growing resentment. Despite their saber-rattling claims of protecting their rights, these are no patriots.

One cannot discuss a void of patriotism without mentioning Donald Trump. He didn’t create the virus, but he ignored it. No amount of gobbledygook and political double-speak can delete his earlier statements and those of his comrades at Fox News. I’m not going to do the digging for you, but there are examples aplenty of their downplaying of the virus. Calling it a hoax and making asinine statements about having only 15 cases in the US, soon to be zero.

The strongest thing Trump did was call for a partial ban on travel focused on China. He then proceeded to invest nothing with the borrowed time. Some businessman, huh?


Here for your entertainment: Green Day!

John Prine

Bridge Concert 10/22/16 Roger Waters “Hello In There” John Prine song – YouTube:
John Prine touched so many lives including mine. So many musicians loved his work and appreciated his muted style. Many covered his work, but this performance by Roger Waters (begrudgingly of Pink Floyd fame) is among my favorites.

They even performed this song together in 2017.

I hate COVID-19. It is taking so many lives from doctors to grocery workers, mothers, fathers, children, and so many great artists.
John. Hello up there. We miss you already.

How I lost control of our bank accounts to a phone scammer

How I lost control of our bank accounts to a phone scammer | The Robservatory:

Do yourself a favor, and don’t be me. I never thought I’d be “that guy” either, as I keep current on scams, look for signs of fishiness on phone calls, etc. Still, they got me, and it was painful—not necessarily in terms of financial loss (we’re out $500 for maybe 60 to 90 days while they investigate), but in terms of time: Time to fix what I did, and even more time spent beating myself up over my stupidity.
Here’s the tl;dr version: Do not ever, as in never ever, give out a verification code over the phone. I know that now. I knew that earlier today. I’ve known that for years. And yet, I did it. What follows is a bit of the nitty-gritty on how I got scammed, what I learned (beyond the above), and some technological things that affected my behavior during the call. Hopefully the sharing of my stupidity will help others avoid the same fate…

Click the link above and read this article. I think it is so important for people to understand how these scams work. Rob is smart and I am thankful he detailed all of the steps that made this phone scam so convincing.
Sorry for your trouble Rob, but thank you for sharing!

Fragile, yet Resilient

Humans are fragile.
Flesh and blood. Walking bags of bones and meat brought to life by a smattering of thoughts—some good, some bad. When we’re hurt, we bleed, and it’s not that hard to hurt us.

If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”. (Act III, scene I).”
—William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

No weapon is necessary to hurt us or even to kill us. Viruses have been hunting humans for millennia and there is a new killer. A virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to COVID-19, the disease brought on by this microorganism far too small to see.
As I understand it, the symptoms are similar to the flu. The lungs fill with fluid until the victim is drowning, gasping for breath until no breath can be taken.
Human beings. Us. We have never encountered this version of illness. The difference with COVID-19 is that over-the-counter medication won’t necessarily get you through it until you’re better. We have zero immunity to this disease. Think polio. Think smallpox and measles. Even consider the annual flu season. Those diseases were beaten back with a vaccine.
As of today, there is no known vaccine for COVID-19. If you get it, you’ve got it. Maybe you will get better, but if you don’t you will die.
The best tool we have to fight this threat is to resist human nature and stay away from each other. Individuals should resist joining up with their tribes, whether they are friends at the bar or the church. Be patient, let scientists work, and they will discover a vaccine. Vaccination will be our revenge on this disease. Some of us will die, but humans will survive.
Humans are resilient.