CLI – Third Birthday

Once again, the time has come for a special milestone post. Today is the third birthday of this blog🥳🎉. It was three years ago today that I returned to the blogosphere and re-invented my once unnamed blog. So much has happened since the first post was published back in 2018.

To start with, I’m, of course, three years older. I was pushing 46 then, I’m approaching 49 now. We’ve dealt with a president who turned out to be simply bat shit crazy, and now we have one who talks like a doddering idiot. From a narcissistic old fart to a creepy sniffer. Both of them too old, in my opinion, to be running the country. We had a president who many suspect of inciting a riot in an attempt to obstruct and overturn a fair election in which he lost. Trump was already the target of the political left and media’s ire, and his childish rants and immature posts on Twitter and other social media got him completely kicked off. He was banned from every major social media platform in existence. He was deemed a danger to the country and everything he spewed was seen as hate speech. While other politicians talked at a fairly mature level, Trump talked on the level of a 4th grader—who can forget the unforgivable typos of “hamburders” and “covfefe”? Or claiming that the Kansas City Chiefs hailed from Kansas (um, that’s Kansas City, MO, you dumbfuck!). Even a bot that watched hours of Trump speeches spewed out unintelligible garbage.

CORONAVIRUS and HOARDING

Then along came the coronavirus (that thing people call Covid) that turned the population of the country into millions of Chicken Littles, claiming the sky was falling and that the world was ending, causing panic buying of cleaning supplies, sugar, flour, yeast, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Of all things, why toilet paper? To this day a year and a half later, I still don’t get that. The coronavirus is a respiratory disease; what does that have to do with wiping your ass after taking a shit? I’d almost bet money that some people still have a small hoard of toilet paper in their garage or storage unit. I also don’t forget the dude in Tennessee that went and bought over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, to scalp online and make a killing. He got found out, and ended up having to donate it all. What an idiot!

LOCKDOWNS, MASKS and CURFEWS

Due to all the corona infections, many places went into lockdown and quarantine. Restaurants closed, some altogether, others restricted to curbside and take-out. Former 24-hour stores began closing at night, and curfews were enacted. Some states only allowed “essential” travel, i.e., medical and grocery store. I heard of someplace that Walmart was restricted to the grocery aisles, as clothes and electronics were “non-essential”, and that part of the store was roped off. Months later, Walmart still closes at 23:00, but I guess that’s better than when they closed at 20:30.

Masks also became ubiquitous. The United States looked a lot like Beijing on a really smoggy day. Everyone was wearing masks. Most states eventually implemented mask mandates. At the height of the pandemic, you couldn’t dispense anything yourself. Fountain cups and lids were handed to you at the counter, by a gloved person using tongs. Self-serve donut counters were closed off, and condiments were distributed by an employee. Everyone was treated like a small child who can’t do anything for themselves.

COIN SHORTAGE?

Then came the “coin shortage”. Because the US Mint was shut down, coins weren’t being produced. Businesses were limited on coin orders, and many places began to only accept electronic transactions. Others would take cash, but only if you had exact change. And now, in 2021, there seems to be another bullshit coin shortage, this time because the economy is booming too fast for coin production, claims the feds. Personally, I think these coin shortages are artificial and simply a ruse, to get people used to ditching cash for their debit cards. By weaning people from cash, governments can implement a cashless society, whereby all transactions can be traced and tracked. They can’t track a cash purchase, but they can if a card is used. I’m sure it will be initiated in the name of security, “so that criminals can’t buy things clandestinely”. I don’t think cashless is a good thing, simply because the security isn’t there. How many hacks and data breaches have occurred in major retailers, that exposed people’s sensitive information? Imagine how much more risky it would be if everything was electronic? Honestly, I’d rather not deal with that, although if anyone were to steal my identity, about the only thing they could do is raise my credit score. They sure as hell wouldn’t be able to buy anything on installment or get a loan. My credit sucks.

During the corona lockdowns of 2020, something interesting happened, that I’d never seen in my lifetime. First of all, the Las Vegas Strip looked like a ghost town. The casinos were all closed and/or boarded up, and there was no traffic on the normally-gridlocked Strip. The price of gas plummeted, in some places to under $1.00 a gallon. In Wisconsin, some places were at 75¢ a gallon. The price of oil fell through the floor, even reaching negative prices for a short time. I think I saw $–30 (that’s minus thirty dollars) a barrel at one point? Basically that meant that refiners had to pay suppliers to take delivery, because there was such an inventory surplus, as no one was traveling.

CLOSED BORDERS

Speaking of travel, many countries banned tourists from the US, including our neighbors. Ironically, Trump was so adamant about building a wall on the Mexican border, but it was the Mexican government that closed the border to Americans. In fact, the borders are still closed to non-essential travel. They’re only reopening sometime in August. This country might be nicknamed the “land of the free”, but we sure as hell aren’t free to roam, are we?

Things got better, restrictions eased, but now things are apparently going backward. Corona is making a comeback, by way of the so-called Delta variant. Just what we need. More masks, more of all the other bullshit. My work is re-requiring “wellness checks” again…I just hope the fucking masks don’t come back. I’m vaccinated, why would I need a fucking mask? California and southern Nevada are back with the mask mandates indoors for everyone. It’s been so nice to not have to wear the goddamned masks anymore. It was always hot and difficult to breathe while working with a mask, and that was during the winter. With the heat of summer, it would make it unbearable. I am so not a fan of the dumb face masks.

SKYROCKETING GAS PRICES

I just wanted to give a huge, sarcastic thank you to everyone who voted for Sleepy Joe Biden. Since his inauguration, the price of gas in my area has gone up a full $1.50 a gallon. Prior to 20 Jan, most stations charged around $2.29—those same stations now are upwards of $3.80, and still climbing. We haven’t even reached August, and gas is averaging pretty close to $4 right now (ranging from $3.55 – $4.35 for regular unleaded). At the rate things are going, I wouldn’t doubt it if gas hit $5 by Labor Day. Typically, gas decreases after Labor Day, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case this year. Democrats and environmentalists are hell-bent to totally eliminate the use of fossil fuels, claiming it will help with carbon emissions. How can they wean everyone off of gasoline? The easiest way is to make it so damned expensive that no one can buy it. I say screw you Democrats🖕! I happen to like my gasoline-powered cars, thank you very much.

MENTAL HEALTH and FINDING HAPPINESS

Three years ago, I was in a very dark place. I suffered from severe depression, and frequent suicidal thoughts, hated myself, didn’t care about myself and hated everything and everyone. I could not have cared less whether I lived or died. Some would say I shouldn’t talk about it. I say why not? Mental health has always had a stigma attached to it, like only crazy people had problems. It’s starting to get the attention it needs and deserves, but it could be more widely accepted and treated. In the succeeding months since, I consulted a doctor and got on some medication to treat my depression. I’ve found a dose that seems to be working well. Most days I’m fine. On occasion, I find myself regressing to the darkness a little, but those days are the exception now.
Back in May, I was able to see someone I went to high school with 31 years ago. While traveling through town, she stopped by work, and we talked for a while and were able to share what we’d been doing over the last three decades. Before she left for home, we exchanged phone numbers, and we’ve been able to keep in touch ever since. It is because of her that I have found a renewed sense of happiness in my life, and she has given me many words of encouragement. I hope to continue to keep in touch with this special person, and I will always be profoundly thankful for all the advice and the listening ear she provided. She will always have a special place in my heart, as I have begun to re-learn how to love myself and look more toward the positive side of things.

THE FUTURE?

I have been told by several people that, through the things I write, I should pursue writing and write a book. I really appreciate their enthusiasm and faith they have in me. This blog is more of a hobby than anything else, since I don’t always have the time, energy, ambition or creativity to write something all the time. I do enjoy writing, as it gives me an output that I normally would not have otherwise. Being an introvert, I have difficulty expressing myself verbally. Talking on the phone is not my strong suit; unless I know you fairly well, I would much rather text or send an email than actually talk on the phone. A vast majority of my phone conversations last less than a minute, even to my kids. I just wish I had the time to sit down and concentrate on writing something; I also tend to lack the creativity to come up with an interesting story that hasn’t already been written in one way or another.
Previously, I thought of myself as too old to start something new. After all, I’m knocking on the door of 50 years old (in 2022). But then, Colonel Sanders of KFC started selling chicken out of his truck late in life. He was old when the first KFC franchises began. Grandma Moses painted in her 90s. Stan Lee was a huge name in his 90s. Samuel L Jackson and Morgan Freeman didn’t become well-known names until their 40s. I guess I need to start imagining myself having enough money to live comfortably. Someone once told me that in order to become big, you have to think big. Previously, I always brought myself down and constantly practiced self-deprecation. I also became rather proficient at keeping everything to myself, letting all my emotions stew inside me, until, like a pressure cooker, the buildup became too much, and my emotions would get the best of me. I’ve been told that when I internalize too much, the release would be rather ugly. I also do not need the health problems associated with stress and worry.
Looking toward the future, I can see things becoming better for me. I can see changes coming in the not-too-distant future. What those changes will be, we’ll just have to wait and see…

IN CONCLUSION

Three years of blogs, three years of ranting and entertainment. I won’t say everything is perfect—far from it, actually. There have been many ups and downs, kinda like the horses on a merry-go-round. I want to thank all those who have followed me through this adventurous wild ride. I hope there are many more posts to come about. I’m looking forward toward when I publish my 175th post, or even my 200th post. I will be uploading a new post for this coming Sunday, and I hope you’ll continue with me on this adventure throughout the next year. For the time being, I hope you keep yourself from catching the new coronavirus variants. Wash your hands, give people their personal space, and, as I say every post, be safe and be well.

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