Flashback: “Live Is Life” by Opus

One of those songs that pops into my head every now and then. If you watched the Winter Olympics over the years – this always seemed to be used at the hockey games.

It was a minor hit here in the US, going to #32 on the Billboard charts at one point in 1986.

Predictable Patterns

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

I’ve really tried to make it a habit of watching less TV news these days as ever before. Having worked in media in my 20’s in the 1990’s probably makes me more jaded than most of you – but yesterday I noticed instances where the news goes on in predictable patterns, maybe meant as a psychological ploy to keep you watching.

Yesterday as I type this was the first attempt by SpaceX to launch two Americans into orbit from American soil – which only failed due to bad weather at Cape Canaveral. As soon as the astronauts got suited up and headed to the pad, it got all kinds of media attention. This is one of those cases where if something is done in space for the first time – or the first time in a long time, it gets plenty of media attention. Once we get to the fifth, tenth, or twentieth such mission – the media gets bored, and only a tragedy such as what happened to Challenger or Columbia brings media attention back unless some new wrinkle is thrown in.

I also couldn’t help but notice that the amount of time SpaceX had to launch the vehicle (it had to be launched the very second the “window” opened) wasn’t mentioned at all – so the weather at launch time has to be perfect, and the ship must be ready to fly at that one given moment. There will likely be several other launch attempts, so I guess the MSM wants to build up drama not mentioning that the actual launch has slimmer odds of happening on each effort than in other manned endeavours in American history.

Then, there’s the sad case of what’s happening in Minneapolis right now and the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of four of Minneapolis’s finest, all of whom having since been fired. It’s downright tragic these events have happened over the past 30 years in my adult life – but we never get around to asking a simple question: why does it keep happening? Why do these events always escalate in a similar pattern?

I’m sure a major network could have ran footage from the racial unrest from St. Louis of a few years ago (or any other recent incident, for that matter) and presented it, saying this was from Minneapolis last night – and gotten away with doing so. The incidents all look the same, and the people all eventually take to the streets, using the same phrases – such as “no justice, no peace” and so on.

Much like the shootings that have gripped our country – there is a pattern there. But if you note the pattern, you are labeled something with an I-S-T on the end. All I ask is: why is that so, and why do we not question such predictability?

The Time Is Finally Here

We never should have abandoned launching spaceships from American soil.

The last such launch was Atlantis’s liftoff on July 8, 2011 – about five months before I began this blog. On that flight was Douglas Hurley – one of a crew of four on that last shuttle flight. Nearly nine years later, Hurley joins Robert Behnken on the 326th manned spaceflight in Earth’s history. It will be the first manned launch of something other than the ill-fated Space Shuttle since 1975 when the last Apollo mission took place.

Forgive my strong opinion – but it’s about time we stopped hitchhiking with the Russians. The shuttles were dangerous birds, as evidenced by the Challenger and Columbia tragedies of 1986 and 2003, respectively. Who knows if we ever get back to the Moon (we should) or to Mars – but it’s worth it to make the attempt. And with all the terrible news that came out with COVID – America needs a good triumph that can bring the country together.

This could be such one moment.

Man Behind The Mask

I finally got around to getting a haircut yesterday. I was going to get one in March, honestly – but then world events and whatever it is you want to call this event happened. Florida hasn’t gone through all the trevail that some other states have – so hair salons have now been open for almost two weeks.

As are most things in our current normal, getting a haircut isn’t as easy as it once was. I had to call the Walmart hair salon in the morning to set up the noon appointment – which could be done beforehand, but is now a requirement. There are no benches to sit on nearby the area, and the front gate is closed and guarded. You can’t pay by cash for now – all transactions have to be done by the plastic of a credit or debit card.

You also have to wear a surgical mask while getting your hair trimmed. Prior to yesterday, I couldn’t tell you the last time I wore such a mask – if ever. After the haircut, I kept the mask on and continued shopping, and I seem to fit in with the 75 percent or so also wearing masks at Wally World.

Let’s just say it was different. I’m keeping the mask around with plans to wash it the next time I do laundry. The way things go – who knows, I may need it.

Time Warping The Virus

As crazy as it sounds, recently I had dream – what if the COVID virus (or something like it) hitting us now in 2020 somehow managed to hit us in, say 1985?

Actually, this dream would (at least in my theory) be a nightmare. If this virus (or if something like it) hit in 1985 – we would not have had a “contingency infrastructure” to survive it. Again, this is just my pedestrian insight tackling a very hypothetical question.

We probably would have been looking at the 2020 worst-case scenario of 1 out of every 100 people in this country dying. Would we have known in 1985, for example, to socially distance from each other – and on top of that, would that have worked out as well in the 80’s as it did in 2020? But again, how can you call 90,000 people dying from COVID so far (if the numbers are accurate) a success?

On the other hand, I don’t think the matter would have been constantly politicized had it happened in President Reagan’s era. In my vision – the Democrats and the GOP would crunch the numbers, figured our we were screwed, and worked together for us. Much like now, the economic impacts would probably have been quite severe – leading to significant change to keep the country going, if possible.

Maybe we would have gotten stipends from the government as played out in 2020 with the $1,200 checks that were doled out – but in 1985, where would we have spent that money to keep the economy flowing? Either the businesses would have stayed or remained closed, gone out of business – or some combination therein.

Yep, a scary scenario to look at, I know. Almost a blessing it happened now in comparison.

America’s Green Flag

Photo by Bob Ward on Pexels.com

It’s now the week before Memorial Day – and the media is telling that more than 90,000 have died from the COVID virus that has plagued the world these last few months.

The good news is that there are signs of life emerging. Between the UFC, golf, and a NASCAR race in Darlington, South Carolina, there were some honest to goodness sports to watch for a change. Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR event – an actual event, no computer simulation – but no fans allowed to attend. If you missed the race yesterday, no problem – there will be another televised race from there Wednesday night as stock car racing’s biggest circuit tries to give everyone the seat time lost over the past ten weeks.

Personally, I think it’s a good idea to keep some resemblance of sports going – World War II didn’t stop baseball from continuing on, albeit with the best players joining the war effort. There’s an ongoing fight and debate as to what to reopen and when, but I have to tell you – I root for America and the America of old to return. While it’s always best to be safe while doing so, safety is up to all of us individually. When we ask government to intercede in those efforts, they overstep their authority.

Nancy Offers Us Crumbs

I’m starting to think that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hates America – as if her recent antics (such as tearing up President Trump’s State Of The Union speech back in February) left us any doubt.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives made a proposal for yet another stimulus package – this one would add another $3-trillion to the national debt that future generations will have to pay off. What should get every American wound up is that in the legislation – if it ever passes, which is no certainty – there’s another $1,200 stimulus check.

Democrats were pushing a higher figure, delivered more frequently than one time at some point ahead in the future vaguely being mentioned. There were proposals of $2,000 a month for several months on the drawing board, and another proposal talked about of giving us $5,000. Instead, the Dems settled on a second one-time payment, obscured in a bill that is otherwise loaded with unpassable “pork” projects that have no chance at passing.

I knew the bill was going to be rather impossible to pass – you know how? On Monday afternoon past at a recent President Trump press conference, the media finally asked a question about a second stimulus check. To my way of thinking, they will use this as a political weapon against POTUS – saying somehow that he doesn’t want to help the American people (there’s that phrase again that I loathe). In fact, it was Pelosi and her retinue that neutered a bill that would have given us more.

Oh by the way, it’s an election year – during a time of emergency that appears to be fading, for now. Instead of rising to the challenge, it seems the inmates still have a foothold on running the asylum, and that’s the real tragedy here.

The Return To Normalcy

There’s something in the air in my surroundings – and for once it’s not that long “C” word. I believe that “something” is that ongoing belief and hope that life is returning to normal.

Here in Florida, we’ve entered a new phase in the process in getting life back to normal by the end of the month – hair salons are reopening. The haircut I needed before the virus hit, well that’s now going to happen sooner rather than later – as opposed to “later rather than sooner” we’ve been living under as of late.

Another sign of events changing hit me a little after 7:00 this morning – though I was already awake when it happened. A few houses away, there was the loud banging of a house roof being worked on, as is the case in my neighborhood here and there during normal course of events. My housing complex hires a team to fix the house roofs once per ten years – and now they have been deemed ready to resume their work.

The only matter left to resolve is if we (oh I hate this phrase, but I have to use it here: the American people) get any more stimulus money on top of the $1,200 most of us have already gotten. With Congress and the President locked in a figurative mortal combat – don’t expect an answer anytime in the near future, or at least I’m not. I would just wish that if we’re not getting any more money that such a declaration should be made – so we can figure out what to do with the windfall (or lack of same) we have.

There are always going to be risks that this goes sour again, but I think we have to make the best of what we have for the time being.