Silver Linings Everywhere

As has been my morning routine for a lot of years, the first thing I do is get a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, make a quick check of emails for anything important, and get a cup of coffee.  Then I sit down to watch NBC’s Today Show.

For the past few weeks, the Today Show makes me cry twice. In the beginning, it’s all Corona all the time… and I cry tears of sorrow. But as the show goes on, a few bright spots start to shine through. Of late, Harry Smith and Cynthia McFadden have had great stories of how people all over are stepping up in the time of crisis. These make me cry too, but they are tears of joy.

A grandma in Detroit doing what she can to help.

More than anything, this Corona Bastard Virus has shown what WE are made of. The “WE” I’m referring to is the collective American and world-wide spirit. Every day people from all walks of life are “stepping-up” to do whatever they can. Sometimes it’s just the little things that put a smile on a little girl’s face… the grandpa dancing in the street a safe distance away from his granddaughter to make her happy.

Or maybe it’s the firefighters saluting all the medical workers. This time it’s the medical workers that are running to the danger.

And of course, stories abound about people giving money. Athletes and celebrities everywhere are donating… millions. But it’s not just the rich. Piano Bar and lounge entertainers are giving free concerts on Facebook and YouTube. Far more than a lounge entertainer, the next clip is Niel Sedaka doing a Facebook Concert. You may not know who he is unless you are a Baby Boomer. But you are sure to recognize the songs he has written. He has written for and collaborated with performers such as Elton John, and The Capitan & Tennille.

Neil Sedaka is doing these every day on YouTube and FaceBook. If you don’t know who he is, ask your Grand-Dude

People are donating food to medical workers or old folks that need help. One place on an interstate was giving meals to truckers moving goods to grocery stores. There are others just going to work and doing their job. Yet they are the ones that get us our groceries and other essential stuff.

Yesterday I beamed over to the “mainland” to pick-up groceries. I ordered it all online and drove to the grocery store. I parked in the designated spot and opened up the rear doors of the Magic Bus. A person came out wearing a mask and loaded everything in the back. I offered a tip, but the reply was, “I’m just doing my job, and a tip isn’t necessary. Give it to your favorite charity.” I think that’s much more than “just doing their job.”

Hummmm… I think grocery store workers are some of the heroes on the front lines. Even though they try to do everything they can to keep everything clean and disinfected, think of the hundreds or maybe thousands of customers coming into the store. How many of those customers are bringing in Cootie Bugs with them? Well… when you consider many of us are isolating ourselves for safety, anyone working in a grocery store is putting themselves in “harms way”. I just hope they don’t bring it home and give it to their kids.

Then there’s the soccer mom in New Braunfels, Tx. She’s a mother of six, cranking out “COVID-masks” by hand. She’s making 40+ a day… in-between homeschooling and everything else a mom of six has to do while her husband is away at work. OH… what does her husband do? He’s a US Army Officer and works at the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Mom of six making these masks. She said she only hopes to cover the cost of materials.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a difference. There’s a California girl who works at Macy’s. When the Cootie Bugs caused the Macy’s store to close, she was home and out of work. Not one to bemoan her problems, she found a way to help. She volunteered with Project Door Drop. This all while battling Melanoma herself. She just said, “It makes me feel good to help out.”

Volunteering to help at Project Door Drop.
Project Door Drop is a non-profit organization working to bring pre-packaged boxes of food to the elderly and immunocompromised within the City of Lancaster. All food comes directly from the LA Food Bank. One box is estimated to feed 2 people for 1 week.

Feel sad, and feel-good stories abound. Perhaps the one that includes both ends was provided this past weekend on the Today Show by Harry Smith. I think this covers the week better than anything else I’ve come across. In the end, it shows just how good people can be… it shows there is a rainbow on the horizon.

Groundhog Day… all over again.

I’ve watched this video many times. Every time I watch it, I get a little something in my eye. The full story about the guy in Texas tells you more about him, his neighbors and Americans. You really need to watch this. Here’s the link: Ventilator shortage solution by small company in Texas (opens up in a new tab)

The people with stories during this time are almost endless. Yes… this is a hard time, but if you look you can find the silver linings. Mostly these silver linings are in people… what they do and how they are helping each other. I encourage you to post comments with your story, or the story you have learned about.

Journey to the Land of Cootie Bugs

For the past few days I’ve been hunkered-down here on Kokomo Island. I want to avoid the dreaded Cootie Bug until it’s time to fly out to the Great Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride.By hunkered-down I mean I’m hangin’ in my safe-room bunker deep below the earth. This bunker is a cross between a man-cave and the NORAD command center buried deep in the mountains of Colorado. Except NORAD has nothing on this bunker. Mine is deeper into the earth and has much better stuff.

I have big screen TVs hard wired to all the sports channels. Oops… they’re all blank now. That’s okay, I’ve also got live feeds from entertainment venues all across the country. Oops… no live entertainment. That’s okay because I’ve got a tequila pipeline all the way to Jalisco, Mexico. So it’s “party on.”

But… today I had to come out of the safe-room to take care of some stuff I couldn’t put off any more. I had to go to the bank, the post-office and the store. It wasn’t pretty.

The Magic Bus transporter to beam me off Kokomo Island.

After the magic bus transported me off of Kokomo Island, I went to the bank. As I went in, I used my hands to open the door. You know… just the usual way. But then I thought about it and I was sure Cooties must have jumped on my hands when I opened the door.

OH NOOOOOO!!! I’ve got Cooties

I was 7th in line. Everyone in the line kept their distance. They all probably opened the door with their hands so they were certain to have had the Cooties too. Not to worry. I said to myself, “The Cooties are only on your hands, so just don’t touch your face… or any other parts… and you will be ok.”

Have you ever said to yourself, “Don’t touch your face.” As soon as I thought that, my nose started to itch. And I’m sure something was crawling on my cheek. And there was no doubt in my mind that a spider was spinning a web and laying eggs in my hair. Then my ear itched and then my other cheek. Pretty soon was about to leave. I couldn’t stand it. I had to go to the Magic Bus for some anti-Cootie wipes for my hands so I could scratch.

When it itches, but you can’t scratch your face.

But just then, it was my turn at the teller. First I had to put my card in the little machine and then enter my PIN. I hesitated to enter my PIN because I thought of all the people who had been putting Cooties on the keypad. But then since I figured I already had cooties on my hands, more wouldn’t matter… as long as I didn’t touch my face.

Now my face was on fire, but I managed not to touch my face throughout the transaction. The teller had been wearing those baby blue surgical gloves as she helped each customer. So those gloves must have had Cooties too. But, she wasn’t touching her face. I was wondering if her nose itched as much as mine, but I didn’t say anything.

I was getting cash out so the teller dutifully counted the the money. I saw she had it right the first time, and I just wanted to get out of there to wash my hands and scratch my nose. But noooooo.. she proceeded to count it again and again… 3,793 times to be sure the amount was correct. I should have asked her if her nose was starting to itch just for revenge.

Finally she was done. You guessed it… after all that handling, the money was surely covered in Cooties. So I asked the teller to put the bills in an envelope. She did and handed me the Cootie covered envelope with the Cootie covered bills inside. What could I do? I took the envelope.

Now my whole face itched. I ran back to the magic Bus as fast as I could. I used my clicker to unlock the doors. I had Cootie Killer wipes in the car so I ripped one open and cleaned my hands. After I cleaned my hands twice, I wiped down the door handle and the clicker. I put the Cootie infested envelope and money in the glove box. I then cleaned my hands again as well as the whole surface of the Magic Bus. Now I can’t use any of that money until all the Cooties die off… about 17 years from now.

By the time I was done with all that… my nose didn’t itch anymore.

When I got to the Post Office, there was a door and a line there. And the tellers were doing much the same as the one at the bank… handling everyone’s Cootie covered stuff.

I really didn’t need those stamps after all.

But I couldn’t avoid going to the store… I was low on toilet paper. Yep… you guessed it… no TP in the entire Northernmost Caribbean.  So I’ve implemented rationing.

This should hold me for about 73 days

And if that runs out… It’s a good thing I saved all those catalogs from Victoria’s Secret. Don’t scoff at me… I was saving them for an emergency. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Now I’m back in my man-cave – Cootie bug bunker. I flipped on ESPN… no good. I went to FOX Sports… nope. So I went to the emergency recorded material to find tonight’s entertainment.  I made myself a frozen concoction to help me hang on… and a shot of tequila… plopped down in the recliner and began to binge watch seventeen seasons of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Hey… I’m just a guy.

Cootie Bug Update

So far, the Cootie bug hasn’t caused me to change anything for the Great Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride.

You remember the Cooties don’t you. For those too young, tween-age boys and girls would say to each other, “Ewwwwww… you’ve got Cooties.” Of course they were really just flirting with each other, but hadn’t figured out how to do that yet. Sometimes it would be mean, but it was mostly a way of getting attention and saying, “I’m really interested in you, but I don’t know how to show it.”

So, even if you don’t remember cooties, if you are over 14 you know what I mean.

The dreaded Cootie Bug. It was first discovered in the 1940s and plagued tweenaged boys and girls through the years.

This time the Cooties are disrupting travel. As I write this, there have been about 3,200 cases of the Cooties in the United States. Many of those have recovered. So, leadership in various places are shutting down everything… sporting events, large gathering and some travel. That said, I’m pretty sure I haven’t come in contact with those 3,200 people and maybe another 6,000 they were in contact with.

So… I don’t have Cooties. Yes… I’m sure I had them when I was 13, but they were gone by the time I was 16. I am going to hunker down for the next 9 days so I’m sure I don’t have Cooties when I get on the airplane. I’m wearing a hazmat suit on the airplanes.

I should mention that as of today (March 15) the place I’m going, Laos and the Ho Chi Minh Trail, has no reported cases of Cooties. So indeed… if you don’t want to get Cooties, then Laos is the place to be.

All that could change if some government or airline forces me not to go, but until then, I’m still going on the Great Ho CHi Minh Trail Ride in 9 days.