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Not exactly known for my blogging, lol




Writing this from my lady friend's laptop computer, since she and I have been quarantining together (for the most part) since the pandemic has occurred. The whole situation has been a bit weird for me... almost moved in with her, yet still maintaining my apartment and the public face that we're not in a formal relationship. Welcome to the new normal! That's one reason my flight activities with the squadron are down, limited mostly to Tuesday and occasional Thursday flights. Slowly edging towards moving in with her completely, which I'd like. 

As for life in general for me... I've been designated "essential" in my job as a route salesman at a welding supply/compressed gas distributor, due mainly to my company's supplying many local medical facilities and fabrication companies with compressed gases. Which is fine, I certainly need to work and get a paycheck. But I have yet to see my "stimulous" check and my main business of supplying metal fabrication shops with their welding supplies has taken a huge hit with many closings or steep drops in business. The result being that work hours are limited, yet there's lots of work to do. Doesn't help that we are down one driver (was fired for two at-fault accidents in the last two years, despite over 40 years with the company, a month before Covid hit) and no interviews are allowed to fill the position. 

Of course working comes at a cost. I feel I'm constantly at risk of contracting the virus from customers who are mostly disdainful at best of the virus, efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, and it's implications to the health of others. The thought of becoming infected terrifies me. Not so much for my own well being but for the fact I could be spreading it without even knowing. That's what scares me most. I don't want the weight of being unknowingly responsible for someone else's illness -or death- on my shoulders. I am not Typhoid Mary, and don't want any part of being such a person.

In some ways I'm jealous of the folks who were laid off, or had their jobs eliminated due to being "non-essential". I hear too many stories of folks gouging the system, getting unemployment plus $600 /week from the fed. In many cases that's more than they make normally, so they're getting better paid not to work. WTF?? My taxes go to support even more folks who take no heed of medical precautions and spend their spare time running around without masks having back-yard parties. The whole thing reminds me again that I have my priorities fucked up... I should have learned to game the system better, instead of having a work ethic and follow the rules and laws. In the end, I'm left feeling "expendable", not "essential". 

Thanks for letting me vent a bit, hope this helps me feel better... and you, too, dear reader.



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Fast forward a while. The pandemic is still a thing, with no vaccine yet ready and folks becoming more and more polarized over basic mitigation policies (mandates for masking have caused fist-fights -and worse- on the streets.) The election cycle is in full swing, with uber-polarized folks on both sides. Russia and the U.S. are actively probing each other's defenses with bombers and naval exercises right up to, and occasionally over, each other's recognized borders. Fifty year old nukes are being carefully polished and maintained. Nobody seems to be centrist or willing to negotiate any more. The west coast is in flames, making last year's record fires look like a gentle warm up. 

Yesterday was 9-11. 19 years ago, the world changed for all Americans, for the world as a whole. I can't believe that there are people serving in the armed forces today, fighting the fight that started on that day, who weren't even born when that event occurred. I re-watched videos from that day, felt old seeing how dated they look, but still felt the visceral shock of realization that it wasn't an accident that the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and nearly the White House, were all hit. With hijacked civilian airliners. The pure audacity and evil simplicity (yet deep complexity) of the plan still amazes me. And brings my blood to a boil. I want to hit the bastards who did that even harder than we have. Maybe there's still a use for those carefully maintained nukes. I know that's dumb on many levels, but still... I want the people who accepted the 9-11 attacks as a good idea to bleed. A lot.

In my personal life, my dear friend Meghan has sold her condo, bought a house and invited me to move in. I have. Took me no time to make that decision. I love her. Life is good for me, yet I still find I'm missing something. Can't put my finger on it, but I still need something. Maybe it's simply to be able to live life the way we did before the Pandemic. Rocky is great, I love the little fluff ball with teeth more than ever. 

Haven't heard from my daughter in over a month, which was sort of an experiment on my part. I wanted to see how long it would be before she reached out to me, just to say hi. I get that she's a grown adult with her own life to live, but I do miss my little girl. I'll be calling her this afternoon, just because.

Here's a couple photos of Mankato's own Liberty Place. It's a small corner lot with two large Kasota Stone boulders (stone from a local quarry) representing the Twin Towers. There was a nice remembrance ceremony here yesterday morning, but few people attended. Covid you know... I stopped by later, when the place was empty. It felt cold and lonely, Much the way we all did on the afternoon of 9-11. As the enormity of that day set in. 







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