Our Holiday Card, and by the way, GOOD RIDDANCE to 2020

Well everyone, today is the last day of 2020, and I have to say Thank GOD it is finally coming to a close.  This has been a tough year for virtually everyone*, and for some people it has been just horrific.  Kelly and I have managed to make it through the year without getting COVID (at least as far as we know) and we are both still employed**.  But we did lose one of our beloved fur-kids – our little Thumbelina: the princess; the Khaleesi; the mighty little Emperox of our universe.  We miss her and still often think about her.  

2020 melting onto a dumpster with a fire raging in the foreground. There is a night sky in the background with COVID virus particles falling like snow, one of which is on the moon.
See the blazing dump before us fa la la la la, la la la la.

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RIP Denise Taylor

Some years ago, my Neurologist said to me, “You sing, right?” And the rest, as they say, is history. I’m not sure how many years it has been since that fateful question, but this Plague Year is the first year since then that I’ve not been a part of the When Patients Heal You annual concert. COVID kind of got in the way of that.

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Today in Civil War History

On this day, December 1st, in 1864, a weary column of Federal troops arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, having marched directly from the battlefield of Franklin. In that short but fierce battle, Union troops fighting behind fortifications had succeeded in repulsing several attacks by Confederate troops the previous day, November 30th. Casualties were lopsided: 189 Union dead and just over 1,000 wounded versus some 1,750 dead and at least 3,800 wounded Confederates.

The spectacularly grand but fruitless charges had annihilated much of the experienced leadership of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The rebels lost 14 generals that day: five killed outright, one mortally wounded, seven wounded, and one captured. Somewhere around 55 regimental commanders were killed, wounded or captured as well. By the evening of November 30th/December 1st, there were Confederate regiments commanded by sergeants and brigades commanded by captains.

Much of the battlefield has been developed, sadly, but in recent years more and more of the site has been recovered and returned to what it looked like at the time of the battle. Years ago I did some living history programs at the Carter House there in Franklin.

For more in-depth information, try this book: The Confederacy’s Last Hurrah; Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville by Wiley Sword.

Geoff

Election Day 2020

We have been waiting four long years for this day to arrive. Frankly, I am so nervous about the whole thing that I had trouble sleeping last night (as I knew I would). Good thing I have today and tomorrow off from work.

 

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Today in History – the PTBT. Plus commentary on current events.

Today, October 7th, is the 57th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty, officially known as the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water.

Considering how dangerously close we had gotten to World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis the previous October, this treaty was a long step towards a permanent solution to the dangers of nuclear war. I am old enough to remember the last few times we really had to worry about nuclear war, like back in 1983. That was the year the TV movie “The Day After” came out, and also happened to be the year we had a couple of close calls of which the American public was blissfully unaware.

One of our more interesting Brimfield finds. Although you can find similar Fallout Shelter signs online for sale, I have not seen any others that include the “Capacity” markings.

Continue reading “Today in History – the PTBT. Plus commentary on current events.”

Today in History: The Great New England Hurricane of 1938

Today is the 82nd anniversary of the day the “Long Island Express” came ashore on Long Island, New York.  This is the storm that my grandparents’ generation always talked about when they talked about how bad hurricanes in New England could get.

Pretty damn bad.

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I have to vote for Joe. So do you.

Joe Biden was not my first choice as the Democratic Presidential Nominee. He wasn’t even on the list to be honest. But I will vote for him and Kamala Harris on or before November 3rd with my last breath if necessary. Anyone who is a registered voter in the US who does otherwise is a fool.

There have been a lot of people writing think pieces both before and now after the DNC about how Joe is reaching the “middle of the party” and Kamala is reaching out to the “Black vote” and how that “will heal the party”. I’m also personally seeing a LOT of folks on twitter and elsewhere who are angry. They’re angry that out of a field of Democratic candidates that included LGBTQ and BIPOC candidates for the top of the ticket we ended up with yet another old white guy.

I get that. And yet I’m still going to do whatever I have to in order to make sure that my vote for Biden/Harris is counted for November 3rd. This isn’t quite a hold my nose a vote situation, but it isn’t far off.

Here’s the thing, our country is literally and figuratively on fire right now. We’ve got nearly 200,000 dead of COVID-19, a number that could have been So. Much. Smaller. had we a competent administration in office. And that number, which is likely wildly low thanks to intentional failures of reporting in lots of states, doesn’t including “unrelated” but absolutely caused by COVID deaths such as suicides, domestic violence, overdoses, and the like.

Millions are out of work, the rights of humans all across this country are being stripped away in myriad ways, people are marching in the streets to try and, as I saw someone say the other day, “Legalize Blackness” and yet actual Nazis walk free in this land that fought to bring down the Third Reich. We have white supremacists and Nazis in our highest offices in the government and they’re enriching themselves and their billionaire friends at unprecedented rates all at the cost of the rest of us.

And yet I hear people saying that they won’t vote for Biden/Harris because, “she’s a cop” “he’s a white man” “he wasn’t my top choice” “I would have preferred X” “I can’t vote for someone who put black people in jail” etc, etc.

Here’s the thing. Biden/Harris are not gonna save us, they’re not gonna fix it all. No administration in the history of ever has done that. Not in one term, not in two, not in three.

But another term with Trump will kill us. That’s a fact.

And sitting in a position where you put your personal distaste of Biden or Harris over the good of this nation is a position of extreme privilege. If we expect the Republicans to put country over party then we should expect the same of ourselves, especially right now.

I want ranked choice voting. I want more than 2 parties. I wish it wasn’t this way. But right now, this is how it is. Right now, is not the time to try and make those things happen. Right now we’re voting for our very survival. We’re voting for our lives.

People are dying. If you don’t know someone who has died of or been ill with COVID, just wait. You will. And another 4 years of looting the American public, deaths en mass, and a destroyed government infrastructure is going to be the least of our worries if Trump isn’t beaten in a landslide.

Trump and his cabal are the greatest danger to our country, to each of us individually, and to the world any of us has seen in our lifetime. Every vote for anyone other than Biden/Harris is a vote for Trump. Hold your nose and and do your job as a citizen of this Republic and vote to save it.

Then, let’s get to work on fixing it.

Kelly

 

Civility and the High Road

Maybe it’s the way I’m feeling today, but I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting for my life, my health, and my right to exist as a full and wholly actualized human being with the expectation that I be “civil” or “lady like” to those who oppress me. Those who name me less than.

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A Civil War hero had his statue destroyed last night

It is hard for me to write in general these days, because there is so much going on that depresses me and things just continually seem to get worse.  It constantly feels like things are on the precipice of getting completely out of hand, and our national leadership seems intent on saying and doing things that generally don’t help and sometimes actually make things worse.

I suppose that compared to a deadly global pandemic, economic disaster, and widespread civil unrest across the country, the loss of a single statue in Madison, Wisconsin, is not that big a deal.  But I still can’t help but feel a little affected by the destruction of the statue of Colonel Hans Christian Heg last night.

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Welcome our new family member

After filling out many applications for many different dogs, Kelly and I were finally approved for adoption of a lovely little girl.

Everyone, meet The Baroness Nymeria Frieda von Hopkins-Michael. Her friends call her Nymeria. She is a short-haired dapple red boar mini-dachshund weighing about 8 pounds with startling blue eyes. She came from a rescue called Out of the Woods Rescue.

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Dash and Nymeria enjoy a sunbeam together in our kitchen near the door to the deck.

Like her dearly missed older sister, Thumbelina, she is a puppy mill rescue. Nymeria comes from Pennsylvania, in Amish country. She did not even have a name, just a tag that said “11”.

Nymeria enjoys some time in the big bed.

She was born in September 2016 so she is about 3 1/2 years old. So she is by far the baby of the household now, which is kind of ironic since she has had a litter of puppies every heat since she was able. This poor little girl lived in a rabbit hutch with a wire floor for pretty much her entire life, until she was rescued.

Nymeria working on her tan on the back porch.

Still, she seems to be in pretty good shape considering all she has been through. She has her appointment with our vet scheduled this next weekend, but her foster mom, Chrissy, and the good folks at Out of the Woods did an amazing job with her initial shots, her spay, and her dental in which she lost17 teeth!

They love spending time together. It really was love at first sight.

She is full of energy and has a great sense of curiosity. So far she gets along well with all the other animals. Just this weekend she touched noses with Violet, which was a huge and pleasant surprise. There were cats in her foster hom who she apparently ignored, but Violet was very concerned upon her arrival. But she doesn’t seem interested in chasing them, and so far she has only had a passing interest in them at all.

She and Dash LOVE to play together, and it’s great because now he will be worn out enough to go to bed without much fuss, the way he would after a long day of walking around at Brimfield.

She is named after Nymeria, one of the direwolves from ASOIAF/Game of Thrones, and after Frieda, a character from Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

The good folks at Out of the Woods Rescue sent us home with food, medicine, toys, and so much more. I can’t tell you how thankful we were for their treatment of our still scared but wonderful little girl. If you are so inclined, please celebrate with us by making a donation so they can continue their excellent work.

~Geoff & Kelly