Yogi Berra and March madness

Segregated by Design

Yogi BerraA quick Ask Roger Anything response for my old colleague Walter:

Here’s a baseball question for you, Rog. Someone supposedly asked Yogi Berra if he had been to a favorite restaurant lately. His reply was, “ Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.” Did he really say it?

He did, and repeatedly. But he didn’t say it first.

Per Quote Investigator, a site I recommend; “Berra has stated on multiple occasions that he did make this remark.” But check out a New York newspaper humor column called Sparklets from the December 1907 edition. “Oh, don’t go there on Saturday; it’s so frightfully crowded! Nobody goes there then!”

Yogi Berra was describing a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Or maybe New York City or St. Louis. The key term might be “popular” or “crowded,” depending on Yogi’s recollection at the time.

BTW, I was very angry when the Yankees fired him as manager when the team lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1964 World Series.

Links

Race in US History: 4 Facts Every American Should Know

Segregated by Design, a 17-minute video narrated by Richard Rothstein explaining the concepts of his book about redlining, The Color of Law.

Colorado’s Boebert Slammed for Invoking God After Mass Shooting Then Fundraising Off Their Deaths.

Prison Laborers Are Paid Pennies to Maintain the Prisons They’re Incarcerated In.

Sen. Raphael Warnock: “Politicians Are Trying To Cherry-pick Their Voters”

 The Radicalization of Kevin Greeson – How one man went from attending President Barack Obama’s inauguration to dying in the mob protesting Donald Trump’s election loss during the Capitol insurrection.

What Makes a Good Conspiracy Theory?

Why you can’t compare Covid-19 vaccines.

Krispy Kreme giving away free donuts for showing vaccination cards.

 Our Taxes Subsidize as Much as 74 Cents of Every Dollar Donated by a Billionaire

Is an Intelligent Cancel Culture Discussion Possible?

 Weeping with WandaVision

Yaphet Kotto, Magnetic Actor With A Long And Varied Career, Dies At 81.

 Marvelous Marvin Hagler, middleweight boxing great, dies at 66.

 JEOPARDY guest hosts so far, including Oz

Masked Singer’s The Snail unmasked.

I Am Tola (short story).

The lost tourist, who thought Maine was San Francisco.

Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration.

Now I Know:   A Unique Way to Get Some Jewelry on the Cheap and Long Distance  Love Birds and  A Wales of a Mistake and  A Fishy Way to Get a Free Meal.

Self-Help

The No-BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life and How to Set Healthy Boundaries: 10 Examples + PDF Worksheets.

 How to Deal With Difficult People: 11 Steps.

 Change Your Home to Boost Your Mental Health.

 Eat Healthy on a Budget.

Wash Dishes For Better Brain Health.

Vlogbrothers:  How Will Post Pandemic Behavior Change?

MUSIC

Reworking the ‘Hamilton’ Track to Promote Vaccines. I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot and Not Gonna Delay My Shot! and Parody: Pro-Vax vs Anti-Vax.

Journeys by Linda Robbins Coleman.

Amanda Jones

 Marine Band Showcase.

Coverville 1350: Covers of Bands Born in 1971 and 1351: Alice In Chains Cover Story and Alice in Wonderland.

Sir Eglamore – Kate Rusby

Train In The Distance – Paul Simon.

The Spirituality Of Van Morrison.

In the Mood  – Henhouse Five Plus Two.

Philosophy of the World  – The Shaggs  (full album, 1969). Is this the  WORST  album ever made?

Our first Coronaversary, if you will

ersatz experience

coronaversaryA friend of mine asked me, and his other friends, to share their thoughts on the past COVID year. A Coronaversary, if you will. I gave him my off-the-top thoughts, but I decided I’d expand upon that.

First off, I am grateful that my daughter got to travel to the African American History Museum in DC in February 2020. Then the church play she was in, Once On This Island in early March, took place, by which point congregants were refraining from hugging in favor of waving.

And I’m glad I went to the Pine Hills library and picked up seven Marvel movies the afternoon before the lockdown, though I didn’t actually watch them until months later.

Vigil

My father-in-law, about 75 minutes away, was at home, dying from cancer. Just before March 15, one of my brothers-in-law moved in with his parents. We had regular Zoom meetings. (I use Zoom generically; it was a Google thing, I think.)

Early on, my FIL was chatty and engaging. Soon, though, he was fatigued and slept through much of the gatherings. It was supposed to be for 15 minutes a day, but it was always longer, often considerably so.

These went on until April 22, when my FIL died, then for a few days more. My BIL went back to his family. Someone thought it’d be a good idea to have weekly meetings.

These went on OK, for the most part, until George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day. Then discussions about race, religion, and COVID shutdowns made things… uncomfortable. I alluded to this here. While I’m in regular contact with most of my in-laws, it’s not with one couple, and it ain’t my decision.

School

Starting in mid-March 2020, schools started the arduous task of migrating to remote learning. My wife moved her “office” from the dining room table to the guest room. As a retiree, I had to get used to my wife and daughter being home during the day; my daughter is STILL home. The governor canceled spring break, which was extremely disheartening. 

I’ve noted my loathing of ZOOM school, and my disdain for lost snow days, restated by The Atlantic here.

Fighting COVID

I was appalled by the mixed messaging coming from the White House press conferences. None more so than in early April, when the CDC recommended mask-wearing and 45 said, essentially, “I’m not going to that.” Governors, in TX and FL, among others, were congratulating themselves in May for their success in fighting the virus without closing down. I yelled at the TV, a lot.

The news is rehashing the past year, with projections that we could experience as many as 200,000 dead in the United States. We have 530,000 or so now. In retrospect…

Things I miss

I so want to go to the movies, seeing and hearing people in person reacting to the action on the screen. Virtually all of the films I’ve reviewed in 2021 I saw alone, on TV, or on the computer. [Sigh.]

One of these days, I’ll be overjoyed to sit in an indoor restaurant. Yes, I know I can in Texas right now. [Arrgh!]

More on ZOOM

Theater on ZOOM is not great. It’s a televised play, except it’s too stagey.

ZOOM negates being too busy to go to that second meeting of the evening. You can finish one gathering at 6:20, then go to the loo before meeting #2 at 6:30.

I sort of hate ZOOM. It’s an ersatz experience. I’m almost certainly depressed. I went to a therapist, but it failed because it was on ZOOM instead of in person.

Now, it’s not all bad. I see my sisters, in CA and NC all the time. Watching niece Rebecca Jade perform is a joy. And Bible study actually works well.

Spring is almost here, actual and metaphorically…

Jaquandor’s take.

The year 2020: gaining on you

The man who lies. A lot.

gaining on youAnother chunk of that damn quiz I do around this time of year. My list of those I hold in esteem was long. Unfortunately…

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Derek Chauvin, Kyle Rittenhouse, Gregory, and Travis McMichael
Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas
Brian Kemp, Greg Abbott, Ron DeSantis
Louis DeJoy, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Alex Azar, Andrew Wheeler, Steve Mnuchin, Mark Esper, Chad Wolf, Ken Cuccinelli, Mike Pompeo,
William BarrWilliam Pendley 
Mitch McConnell/Elaine Chao
Mark Meadows, Peter Navarro, Brad Parscale, Roger Stone 

John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Rudy Giuliani, Jared Kushner,
Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump, Melania Trump
Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, Dick Morris, Lou Dobbs, Steve Doocy, Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, Ann Coulter, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Eberle, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Newsmax, OAN
Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik, Louis Gohmert, Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Yoho, Steve Scalise, Steve King, Doug LambornMichael McCaul, Marjorie Taylor GreeneMadison Cawthorn 
Lindsay Graham, Rick Scott, Susan Collins, John Kennedy, Tom Cotton, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, Rand Paul, Thom Tillis, Martha McSally, Josh Hawley 

Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow, Mick Mulvaney, Michael Caputo 
Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Stephen Miller, Jason Miller 
Scott Atlas, Mike Pence, Emily Murphy
Kayleigh McEnany, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sean Spicer
Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell Jr., Paula White
Ghislaine Maxwell

QAnon believers, COVID deniers, Proud Boys, white supremacists, so-called militias

I know there are many others.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Oh, and of course, IMPOTUS, who has undermined every institution he interacts with, including, but certainly not limited to, the election process, international relations, the Justice Department, the intelligence apparatus, the postal service, the Census, the CDC, the EPA… 

Where did most of your money go?

I’m not sure. Quite possibly non-physical stuff: charities and political contributions. We have a line of credit to do work on the house, but we haven’t utilized it yet.

What did you get really excited about?

I’ve ordered some music and books. The opening of the packages, heck the anticipation of getting the mail. Seeing my Census checks get automatically deposited in my checking account. This doesn’t sound really exciting.

OK, we had a few people over, socially distanced on our front porch, starting in August. THAT was a nice change of pace.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Almost certainly sadder. It’s not just COVID and the restrictions thereof. It’s my condition. I actually started to “see” a shrink, remotely. It didn’t “take”, and it might have if I had established a relationship in person beforehand. Ever feel it’s all gaining on you?

In fact, I’m not yet sold on telemedicine. More to the point, none of the things I needed to do – everything from getting scans to having my teeth cleaned – can be done remotely.

Thinner or fatter?

Thinner by at least ten pounds, due almost entirely to riding my bicycle while doing the Census. Not incidentally, I find some people’s tendency to say, “Hey, you’re almost down to” the next round number totally unhelpful.

Richer or poorer?

Arguably richer because I don’t spend very much comparatively. And richer than I was four years ago, yet I didn’t vote GOP.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Watching movies. We have some movie channels, but I find it difficult to sit down and watch them as though I were at the cinema.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Talking/writing about race. It was necessary to engage. It’s important. I remain in utter shock that white people started finally getting it. But I’ve always found the discussion exhausting. Yet I will do it again, most likely. Still, there are a couple of people I haven’t talked with for half a year as a result. That kind of sucks.

How did you spend Christmas?

My wife and I watched church on Facebook as I peered through the window seeing the snow melt away. Zoom meeting with my in-laws. Watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas; too many commercials, NBC, but a great story.

Did you fall in love in 2020?

I HAD to, just to survive.

How many one-night stands?

Even if I were so inclined, which I’m not, it’s not the kind of behavior consistent with a pandemic, now is it?

What was your favorite TV program?

I just can’t get much into watching television, and there are plenty of shows to watch. CBS Sunday Morning, JEOPARDY, 60 Minutes. Maybe in 2021. 

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

This question gets more difficult every year. Let’s just say there is a massive, unprecedented for me, level of increased disdain that I have for at least one person.

Next time, the end of this thing.

Dec. rambling: Overture of Overtures

Beethoven (b. December 1770)

the-wrong-side-of-history
From https://wronghands1.com/2020/11/27/the-wrong-side-of-history/ Wrong Hands.

They Fought for the Country that Detained Their Families:  Japanese American Soldiers in WWII.

The biology of dads.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome.

In The Age Of  Zoom Dysmorphia, Experts Offer Tips To Improve Self-Image.

Interview with Swamp Thing Comic Artist Stephen Bissette.

David Lander, R.I.P. (Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley, and much more).

A New Study About Color Tries to Decode The Brain’s Pantone.

The first Golden Age Panel at Comic-Con in 1993.

Greg Hatcher: Grail Quests – Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, and especially Airplane!

The King Features Syndicate animated cartoon shows of the 1960s.

Now I Know: When Kids Didn’t Trust Santa and Return Doo Sender and The First Female Senator (For a Day) and The Ultimate Toys R Us Kid?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Pringles update.

Drink away  2020.

IMPOTUS

He Rewards Kellyanne Conway, 2 Dozen Others With Prestigious Government Appointments.

Weekly Sift: Pardons and Their Limits.

Lincoln Project: Whispers III.

Comedians Bought DonaldJTrump2024.com Just so They Could Mock Him.

COVID

One traveler’s experience. For Andrew Evans, who had traveled to South Korea for a job, entering the country involved a  mandatory, 14-day quarantine locked alone in a room at a government isolation facility.

“Checking in at New York’s nearly empty JFK included signing legal documents acknowledging that he was voluntarily placing himself in government custody and that he would have to pay for it — a fixed cost of 1.68 million KRW (equivalent to $1,459.99).”

COVID vaccines: calling the shots.

“What better lesson can we learn from the COVID vaccine experience than that the multi-national pharma companies should be publicly owned so that research and development can be directed to meet the health and medical needs of people not the profits of these companies.

“And moreover, then the necessary vaccines can get to the billions in the poorest countries and circumstances rather than to just those countries and people who can afford to pay the prices set by these companies.”

Margaret Keenan, soon to be 91, became the first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Rudy Giuliani potentially exposed hundreds to the virus.

A Nice Holiday Story About A  Killer Virus.

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic.

Having Chemotherapy During COVID-19 Has Given Me So Many Things to Be Grateful For.

MUSIC

Jaquandor’s Daily Dose of Christmas.

Santa Baby – Marzia Plichta and Christoph Drösser.

Bohemian Chanukah – Six13.

Musicians from London’s West End performing Overture of Overtures.

The Revelation – Roosevelt Wardell Trio (album) within a discussion on stuck at home and depression.

Pop Psalms: Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.

Paul McCartney: Who Cares and We All Stand Together and Come On To Me.

What the World Needs Now -Tom Clay, which I wrote about way back in  2006.

Coverville 1336: The Christina Aguilera Cover Story.

Mean Green Mother from Outer Space – Cavin Cornwall.

Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price.

Don’t Fool Around with My Heart – William Roberts, a/k/a Michigan J Frog, from the 1942 movie, The Yanks Are Coming. Plus It Hopped One Night: A Look at One Froggy Evening.

John Lennon: The Last Interview

Roll Over, Beethoven (b. December 1770)

Fidelio, his only opera.

Symphony No. 4  in B-flat major.

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, more familiarly called Für Elise.

Symphony No. 6  in F Major, the Pastoral.

COVID deniers with COVID

Wear a mask in public. Social distancing. This is news?

donald trump wearing corona virus mask face blinded cartoonI’ve been watching the evening news, masochist that I am. More than once in the last few weeks, I’ve seen someone break down crying about the loss of their beloved family member. I’m not made of stone, so I feel a little sad.

Then they weep, “I didn’t know that COVID was REAL!” I bite my lip. In a recent comment on my blog, the blogger fillyjonk wrote, “I find myself irrationally angry at so many of my fellow citizens. ” I tend to agree with her, except for the “irrationally” part. NOW, they believe?

Still, I was STUNNED to read an article in  Vanity Fair this month. What Do You Do When Your COVID Patient Doesn’t Believe In COVID? The online version is quite explicit: “‘It’s the Trump Bubble.'” OMG. “The Right Has Created a Wave of COVID Patients Who Don’t Believe It’s Real.”

Even before getting to the story itself, this description. “A Texas nurse had a patient in a COVID ICU tell her the virus is ‘fake news.’ A California nurse was mocked for wearing a mask. As a new wave of COVID-19 sweeps the country, health care workers are grappling with the consequences of the president’s misinformation machine. ‘This is insane,’ says one. ‘I have never seen anything like it.'”

I am literally holding my hands to my head, fearing that it will somehow explode. COVID deniers with COVID.

Nothing is real

“Gigi Perez, a California–based nurse… told me, ‘The COVID-19 unit I work in has already lost seven nurses in the last three months due to the burnout from managing these types of patients.’ In the last two weeks, Perez said, nine of her fellow health care workers have contracted COVID-19. Workers are ‘beginning to resent the public for not doing their part to help control the pandemic,’ she said.”

And this. “An infectious disease doctor who asked to remain anonymous told me he had never before experienced politics overshadowing science in the medical field. ‘Before [Donald] Trump I never spoke politics in the clinic room,’ he said. ‘There is no doubt that COVID splits into fact-free and factful worlds. This is why we have a raging epidemic.”

In WaPo,  read about a Missouri county health director. Concerning contact tracing, she says, “Probably half of the people we call are skeptical or combative. They refuse to talk. They deny their own positive test results. They hang up. They say they’re going to hire a lawyer. They give you fake people they’ve spent time with and fake numbers.”

While downplaying the pandemic from the beginning, the despicable regime behavior started in earnest on April 3. That’s when IMPOTUS said his experts were “now recommending Americans wear ‘non-medical cloth’ face coverings.” He said “the recommendations… were voluntary and that he would not partake. ‘I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”

And the die was cast. Now, hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges.

White flag

Here’s a story in the Boston Globe.  With COVID-19 victory in sight, America surrenders. “What’s happened to us? A lifetime ago, Americans endured years of Great Depression suffering, then went off to fight World War II or, on the home front, tightened their belts, stretched their rationed food, and planted Victory Gardens.”

But that’s not us. “Yes, this isolated, socially distanced existence is tiresome, particularly in cold weather. But we have salvation, in the form of vaccinations, within sight… Then life will begin to return to normal.”

This past summer, the writer “had a chance to catch up with an old pal from high school who, long a Republican, has become a Fox News conservative. The good news, said my friend, who has a graduate degree, was that if the Democrats won, the big to-do about COVID-19 would end on Nov. 3. Why, I asked? Because, he said, it was all a big hoax to get Joe Biden elected. We joke a lot, so I assumed he was kidding. No.”

So it makes “sense” that when the CDC urges against Thanksgiving travel, it will be largely ignored. In the New York Times, a writer traced his COVID-19 bubble and it’s “enormous.” He was thinking a dozen or two, but it was over 100 people.

And much of the blame for the current explosion of cases must fall on a regime that has announced in October, “We are not going to control the pandemic.” That’s the truth. About four dozen of them have had the virus.

I am SO angry with the regime’s handling of the crisis. Americans are dying unnecessarily. And the buck stops there.