Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Entry 353: Late But... Probably Not Worth the Wait, Honestly

I meant to put something up this weekend, but I got sidetracked by my other blog, which required a post because I got another New York Times crossword puzzle published on Monday.  I'm kinda making a name for myself in Crossworld, which is cool.  (And I've got a bunch more on the way too!)

So I'm home from work today because Lil' S1 threw up like six times yesterday, so he couldn't go to school today.  He's taking a nap now, the length or which will be directly correlated to the length of this post.  It's weird, he's not showing any signs of being sick other than throwing up -- which is a bit like the old joke "Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?" -- but usually when somebody is vomiting there are auxiliary symptoms.  With Lil' S1 there seem to be none, and today he has been acting completely normally.  Maybe he ate something that gave him mild food poisoning, or maybe he caught a very centralized stomach bug -- I don't know.  I just hope it is gone by tomorrow.  One day off with him is actually kinda nice, but two days is starting to push it.  I would definitely struggle as a stay-at-home dad.  It's funny, I asked him what he wanted to do today "museum?  movie?  park?" and what's his response?  "Daddy, can we go to Target?!"  Target happens to be in the same building as our gym, and they have daycare service, so I was actually in favor of this proposal.  Might as well get in a workout if I'm not going to work.

In other news, as you probably know, the final presidential debate is tonight.  I'll very likely watch it -- if only for the finality of it.  It's like when you watch a TV series that you've invested a lot of time in, but it starts to totally go off the rails at the end, but you still feel compelled to watch the finale.  That's how I am with this debate.  Honestly, I doubt it will matter much at all.  I suspect the vast, vast majority of people have decided already and aren't open to having their minds changed this late in the game.  For people who like Hillary and/or hate Trump, this is good news, as she has a commanding lead in the polls and will win handily if all her potential voters turn out.  That's my biggest fear: That would-be Hillary voters overwhelmingly don't turn out, because they never really supported her in the first place, and, when it actually comes down to it, aren't going to be motivated enough by the prospect of her in the White House to endure the slight inconvenience of going to the voting booth.  Another, smaller fear is that there are many people who support Trump but are embarrassed to admit it, so they are lying to pollsters about it, and thus the race is actually much closer than it appears.  My coworker subscribes to this theory, but I think he's a closet Trump supporter, so he could just be projecting his feelings onto everybody else.  My intuition from day one is that Hillary is a heavy favorite, and that's what the models that nailed the last two presidential elections are saying, so that's probably the way it is.

[I'm not with him!  And if you're not either, vote, dammit!]

In other other news, Lil' S2 is getting really cute.  He's nearing maximum cuteness, which happens at some point between one and a half and two and a half.  The problem is that he's only cute about 10% of the time, and the other 90% he's either sleeping or he's fussing.  That kid is cranky.  He just whines about everything -- I mean more than other kids his age, more than his brother at that age.  He's also a bit of a daddy's boy, so I get the brunt of it.  If I'm home and not holding him at that precise moment, he will toddle over to me and tug on my pant legs and whine.  To makes matter worse, the moment I pick him up, his brother will come running over and demand to be picked up as well ("Daddy, I'm tired of walking").  It's nice to be wanted, and people always say you miss it when it's gone, but I don't think I'm going to miss this.

In other ways, however, Lil' S2 is much easier than his brother was at his age.  He's easier to put to bed, and he's much easier to feed.  Lil' S1 has been a finicky eater since we gave him solids.  He just doesn't seem to like eating for some reason.  His brother is the exact opposite.  That kid will mow down whatever you put in front of him.  For breakfast, Lil' S1 will take three bites of an English muffin with cream cheese and then say he's full, while Lil' S2 will eat a piece of bread, a yogurt, half a banana, and some of my oatmeal, and then want a bottle of milk on top of all that.  This could very well be how most kids his age eat, and it just seems like a huge amount to me because I'm used to his brother...

Speaking of which, I hear some rustling upstairs.  I'd better throw some pics on this bad boy and call it an entry.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Entry 352: Can You Actually Grab a Woman *By* the [Kitty]?

It's late Saturday night.  I'm on "Trump hot mic" overload.  Schadenfreude levels are high.  I doubt I'll have a chance to post to this blog tomorrow, so it's a quick comedy ("comedy"?) post tonight.  Here are five Trump jokes that I almost posted on FaceBook before deciding against it because... well, just because.

1.  The thing I realized is that Donald Trump and I just have different taste in women.  He likes blondes ones; I like consenting ones.

2.  I found Trump's new campaign poster:

Okay, I stole that from a FaceBook friend.  But then I commented:
"Trump also once tried to get busy in a Burger King bathroom. He moved on her hard, but she was married."  
C'mon, that's funny.  The Humpty Dance, here's your chance to do the hump...

3.  Can you actually grab a woman *by* the [kitty]?  There's not really much to grab *by* down there.  And if there's one thing worse than somebody who brags about committing sexual assault, it's somebody who brags about committing sexual assault and misuses prepositions.

4.  Trump dismissed what he said as "locker room talk".  And this is true... just ask any of Darren Sharper's ex-teammates.*

5. Make America great again... one stolen vag grab at a time.

Until next time...

*Link provided for non-football fans.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Entry 351: Kinda Late Debate Analysis

Like millions of fellow Americans, I watched Monday night's presidential debate, and I came away feeling... surprisingly satisfied.  I typically don't watch the debates because I personally don't find them particularly useful, and because they always make me feel anxious.  It's like watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm -- you are just waiting in uncomfortable anticipation for somebody to say something embarrassing -- but without any jokes to provide a payoff for your anxiety.  But these are special times, and I was quite curious about what was going to be said, so I tuned in.

And I'm glad I did.  Because I got to watch in real-time Donald Trump get his ass handed to him by a far smarter, far more articulate, far more prepared, and dare I say it -- far more likable -- opponent.  He was totally and utterly objectively outclassed.  It was like watching the neighborhood bully fight a kid who has been doing nothing but practicing mixed martial arts for the past four years.  The bully came out and tried to use his weight and bravado to cow his opponent, but she easily weathered his initial advance, methodically maneuvered him into an advantageous position, and then ruthlessly delivered strikes of her own until the bully was trying to play the victim card and garner sympathy for himself ("She's being mean to me!").

Like I said, it was SO satisfying to watch.  Even if it doesn't swing the election, even if there isn't a pro-Clinton bounce (although there probably will be), it still happened.  We still all watched it.  There is NO way a fair-minded observer can say that Trump did anything other than get destroyed.  And that's very gratifying at the moment.  In November, if Trump somehow manages to win -- which could always happen; that's just the country we live in right now -- Clinton's performance in this debate will be little consolation.  But November is next month, for now, there is no harm in reveling in the epic smackdown we all witnessed on Monday night.

Also, there are two more debates, and it now seems highly unlikely that Trump is going to "win" either of them.  I suppose it's theoretically possibly he could do a much better job, but the other debates will not have the viewing audience the first one did, so they are less likely to move the needle, and Clinton is a tough opponent, anyway.  She has a strategy that if she sticks to it -- and given her preparation and performance in the first debate, I imagine she will -- is virtually indefensible: Troll Trump repeatedly.  No matter what the question she has to frame her answer in a way that subtly (or not so subtly) belittles her opponent.  She did this masterfully in the first debate -- bringing up Trump's "small" $14 million loan from his father, suggesting he isn't as rich as he claims, insinuating he's a racist, insinuating he's a sexist, and, one of my personal favorites, insinuating he's creepy (he likes "hanging around" beauty pageants).

The reason this is such a good strategy is because Trump inevitably takes the bait and gets off message (if he was ever "on" it to begin with) and starts saying stupid, offensive, or just downright incomprehensible things.  He just absolutely cannot help himself.  And even if he could, what's he going to do about it?  Just stand there and let Hillary tear him apart with a barrage of insults without defending himself?  How would that look any better for him?  He would come off as weak and pathetic.  He simply doesn't have the oratory skills or the critical thinking skills to outduel an adroit arguer.  It's why Ted Cruz was dying to get him in a one-on-one debate during the primary.  Cruz knew Trump wouldn't be able to go 90 minutes on his own, absent a stadium full of acolytes who cheer at literally anything he says no matter how offensive or bizarre.

It is widely acknowledged that Trump did much better at the beginning of the debate, and he did, but even if the entire next two debates go like the first part of the last debate, I still don't think Trump "wins."  I think people get bored (how long can you rehash the effectiveness of past trade deals?), and it's a stalemate.  Plus, Clinton knows she's vulnerable on trade and will undoubtedly have a focus-group-tested, polls-tested line of defense ready for another Trump attack on the issue.  The winning target for Trump is so small, and he's such an unsteady shot, I'm not too worried he's actually going to hit the bull's eye.

One thing he might do, one thing he's been posturing to do is bring up Bill Clinton's affairs -- perhaps implying that Hillary was complicit in a cover up of a sexual assault or something like that.  I think this would be foolish.  For one thing, Hillary will absolutely be prepared for anything he has to say about this, and she will absolutely bring up Trump's own infidelities, and, again, given his terrible debate skills, I don't see how he wins this exchange.

Another thing he might do is hint at Bill's past transgressions, and then claim he's too kind to bring them up -- a repeat of what he did in the first debate.  If he does this, if I'm Hillary, I'm calling him out on it.  Here's what I would say:
You know, Donald, this is the second time you've implied you have something terrible to say about me and my family, but you aren't going to say it, because you're too "nice."  Well, you're the same guy who has retweeted vicious memes about me from known white supremacists (*WRONG!*), so spare me the gentleman act.  I'm no damsel in distress.  I've been defending myself against lies from people much tougher than you my entire career, so if you have something you want to say about me or my family, go ahead and say it now to my face and to the American people.
Then if he backs down, I would stare at him like an alpha gorilla, and say, "That's what I thought.  That's what I thought."

If instead he actually tries to say something, he's on the spot; now he actually has to come up with something good -- the moment has been built up and the pressure is on.  If all he has is some fusty, old conspiracy theory that everybody but hardcore Hillary haters tired of two decades ago, which is probably the case, then it will be very easy to parry away.

Also, at the end, I would launch into a heartfelt monologue about how difficult it is to have your personal problems litigated in public, being sure to emphasize that my opponent surely knows first-hand how painful and damaging infidelities can be to a marriage.  I'd say something like this.

Alright, I think this is as good a place as any to end this one.  I have to prepare myself mentally for the vice presidential debate.  Just kidding.  I doubt I will watch it.  What's the point?  Tim Kaine versus Mike Pence: Battle of the old boring white guys!  Monday's presidential debate got ratings that rivaled the Super Bowl; expect the VP debate to be more in line with the Pro Bowl.  That's a funny joke for football fans, by the way.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Entry 350: Guest Post

Something a little different today.  For the first time in six years, I'm posting something not written by me.  It's a funny anecdote by my sister.  I'm quite excited about it, so without further ado, let me introduce you to the one and only My Sister!  Take it away, K...


Thank you to Crocodile DG for allowing me this platform to vent my frustrations anonymously because none of my friends are aware this blog exists, although I often think the whole world should be reading it on a regular basis. Admittedly I might be biased because my brother and I, for all our differences of opinion, and there are quite a few (for example I do not think he’d win a fight with a wolverine) do see eye-to-eye on some issues one of which is my topic: Dumb-Ass Parents With No Common Sense.

My oldest son started middle school this fall. Before that he and my youngest child were both attending a primary school close enough to our house that we are not eligible for bus service. For the past 5 years, or approximately 900 drop-off/pick-ups, it’s been smooth sailing which I now realize is thanks to Mr. W. Until I began dropping my oldest off at the middle school a month ago I had no idea the enormity of the service Mr. W provides at the primary school. Every morning and every afternoon, rain or shine, he is out in front of the building wearing his cargo shorts and fluorescent vest and directing parents in his booming New Zealand accent. I marvel at how he summons the energy, day after day, to repeatedly urge parents to “pull forward, pull forward, keep going. Stop here, please stay in the car, Mom, that’s it. Ok, now move along, move along. Next car please, pull forward, pull forward, keep going. Stop here, stay in the car, Dad, that’s it…” I’ve even wondered if this direction is necessary since we parents are grown ups with (presumably) valid driver’s licenses. Surely we can handle this on our own. But I now understand Mr. W is out there every day because he knows he is the only thing standing between us and chaos. You see, the middle school doesn’t have a Mr. W. There is in fact no one directing drop-off/pick-up and at the middle school; mayhem reigns supreme.

Let me explain the logistics… the front of the middle school is parallel to a busy street. The parking lot runs the length of the school and there is only one entrance/exit. When you enter the lot you stay straight and follow along the curb. The first two-thirds of the curb is red, and “No Stopping” is painted on the pavement every 10 feet. The last third of the curb is yellow and opens up to a wider area directly in front of the main doors that is clearly a loading zone. It is long enough for 5 vehicles to pull into at a time. Seems self-explanatory, right? Pull into the lot, drive along until you get to the designated zone, stop the car, tell your kid to get out, maybe tell him you love him depending on how the morning went, and then pull away from the curb to continue circling through the parking lot until you get back to the entrance/exit. If the loading zone is full you politely wait a moment until someone leaves and then you pull forward as far as possible allowing room for others behind you. I’ve provided a diagram you will want to refer to for this next part:

So on the first day of drop-off I was unsure how it all worked, although I’d been to the school previously for orientation and had an idea of how it should flow. Well, apparently I was one of only a few parents who had this idea because most were utterly lost. Many parents were stopping in the “no stopping” red zone or pulling into the loading zone, but stopping with room for two or more cars in front of them. Because of this the parents stuck behind them were abruptly and with no signaling swerving around the stopped vehicles (the place is swarming with kids, remember) and some were even pulling into parking spots and kicking their precious children out of their cars leaving them to navigate the craziness like pixelated frogs. I managed to drop my kid off in the loading zone and barely escaped with my life. I was shaken, but optimistic it would get better as the days went on and people figured it out. And it has gotten better, sort of. Most parents have figured out how to keep the flow going. But others… well that brings me to this morning.

I turn into the school lot with 3 cars ahead of me, pleased to see there is no one in the loading zone and anticipating a quick in and out. Next thing I know I’m slamming on my brakes possibly giving my child whiplash because the first car in the line (A on the diagram), the car with NO ONE IN FRONT OF HER, has parked. In the red zone. In front of where it says “No Stopping.” Then she GETS OUT OF HER CAR. She opens the back door for her daughter and helps her UNLOAD HER CELLO oblivious to the cars now backing up into the street and blocking traffic. She kisses her daughter good-bye and WATCHES HER CHILD WALK TOWARDS THE BUILDING. She then unhurriedly climbs back into her car and SITS THERE. Since this transaction takes a couple of minutes the car behind Dumb-ass decides to unload her kids and so, of course, the car directly in front of me does the same thing because, why not? So there I am watching kids being unloaded 50 feet away from the EMPTY drop-off zone. I so badly want to fling my door open, march up to Dumb-ass, and shout, “what the FUCK??” that I almost pass out. But I restrain myself and hear a soft honk behind me. I look in the mirror to see a dear friend directly behind me in her SUV smiling and waving. I half-heartedly wave back and then gesture to Dumb-ass with a “get a load of this dumb-ass” look on my face. My friend, of course, gets it because she’s my friend and I feel a little better that we have both witnessed this act of incredible stupidity and can bitch about it later. By now Dumb-ass and her followers have moved so I pull ALL THE WAY forward into the designated drop-off zone (B), tell my kid to get out and I love him (we had a good morning) and prepare to drive away. But first I look into my mirror so I can wave goodbye to my friend and see her … unloading her kid 7 car lengths behind me (C). In the red zone.  On top of  where it says “No Stopping.” Backing up traffic. Like a dumb-ass.

At least she didn’t get out of her car. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Entry 349: ... and Major

After two recent police shootings, there is much civil unrest in Charlotte right now, but ironically (for lack of a better word) that shooting probably was justified (update: or not, see below), while the one in Tulsa almost certainly was not.  But this probably has more to do with the demographics in those respective cities than it does with the merits of the cases.  (The percentage of African Americans in Charlotte is over twice that in Tulsa.)  Also, the officer in Tulsa has been charged with felony manslaughter, while in Charlotte a lot of the protest is about the police department releasing the videos they have of the shooting.  I find this obstinacy by Charlotte P.D. troubling and strange.  It completely flies in the face of the police transparency movement that is supposed to help build trust between law enforcement and residents.  (Although, North Carolina recently passed a bill that will go into effect in a week that makes it illegal to release police footage without a court order.  So North Carolina seems to not really be down with this police "glasnost" concept at all.)  The police chief in Charlotte claims that he’s not releasing the videos, because there is no compelling reason to do so, and that it might further inflame things.  But my thought is – Isn’t thousands of people protesting in the street a compelling reason?  And aren’t things already quite inflamed?

With that said, looking at the evidence dispassionately, I do think the man who was killed in Charlotte, Keith Scott, was in fact holding a gun and refused to let it go when he was shot.  Reading the transcript of the video released by his wife who was recording the incident on her cell phone (I can’t bring myself to actually watch these videos) the police officer -- who it is worth noting is African American -- says the following: “Gun. Gun. Drop the gun. Drop the fucking gun.”  Then later he says several times more to “drop the gun.”  So either (a) Scott actually had a gun; (b) the police office straight-up fabricated it on the spot; (c) the officer confused something else for a gun and the department is now covering it up (they said they recovered the gun on the scene).  In order of likelihood, these go (a), (c), (b) for me.  Although I certainly don’t begrudge people – especially black people – for thinking (c) deserves more weight than I’m giving it.  As we have learned from other tragic incidents, such as the Laquan McDonald shooting in Chicago, the Walter Scott shooting in South Carolina, and the Samuel DuBose shooting in Cincinnati, police officers will lie to cover their asses -- or at least they will "massage" the facts, consciously or subconsciously, to produce a version of events very favorable to themselves and very divergent from reality.
Update: Apparently since I started working on this post, they have released the dashcam footage.  Here is what a friend of mine on Facebook said about it.  I'm going to quote him verbatim and leave it at that since I agree with him.  
(1) No police officer is going to get charged if Mr. Scott had a loaded gun in his hand at the time he was shot by the police--regardless of whether it was pointed at the officers or not. (2) There was no reason for police to engage with Mr. Scott, who was sitting in his car minding his business (and maybe rolling a joint) in the first place--especially after the wife told them he had a TBI. Why would they order him out of the car and force a deadly confrontation? Why not secure a perimeter, take safe cover, and wait it out? Nobody had to get shot or die that day...
I mean, just look at the Tulsa case.  If the video on that didn’t definitively show that the victim, Terence Crutcher, was not a threat when he was shoot, I guarantee the officer would not have been charged.  She could have told her side of the story about being scared and thinking he was going for a weapon – and who would have refuted her?  The other cops on the scene?  (As we've also learned, first and foremost cops protect one other.)  It’s not that she would have been lying necessarily; it’s that her perception of the events would have been a wild distortion of what actually happened, and nobody would have been able to really challenge her on it.  That’s one of the truly insidious things about disputed killings.  Often the only person who can credibly contradict the killer’s narrative is dead.

I read a lot of articles on stuff like this, and then, on occasion, I do something that I know I shouldn’t do, but I do it anyway: I read the comments section.  It's an awful habit of self-flagellation.  If you are ever feeling too optimistic about the current state race relations in our country, read the comments of an article about the shooting of a black man by police.  You are guaranteed to cringe at least twenty times by the third comment.

Once you get past those cringes, though, you do notice the same recurring arguments for justifying the actions of the police officers, no matter what (even in the cases where the officers actually get charged with a crime).  I thought I would list out the most prevalent of these arguments and debunk them in turn.

The victim wasn’t following the officer’s orders.  Had he complied he wouldn’t have been shot.
There are many problems with this argument.  One that I rarely hear mentioned, but is true to my own experience, is that it isn't always easy to follow police instructions.  Once I disobeyed a "no turn on red" sign that I didn't notice, and I got pulled over by two police cars.  The officers had me get out of my car and do a sobriety test.  (I think it was a quasi-drunk driving sting, as it was near the main bar district in a college town at around midnight.)  Although I was sober, I completely failed their field test, because I was having a lot of difficulty following their instructions.  My adrenaline was pumping like crazy, so I was struggling to retain the things they were saying, and then I couldn't tell who was talking exactly because they were shining their lights in my face, and they weren't exactly epitomes of clear communication.  So the whole thing was a mess.  They were about to arrest me, but, of course, they gave me a Breathalyzer, and I only blew a  0.03 (the legal limit is 0.08).  "You are the winner tonight, my friend," said one of the officers before they let me go and drove off.  Yes, I didn't go to jail for a crime I didn't commit -- winning!

It's completely understandable that in an incredibly stressful situation, somebody wouldn't be able to fully process the commands a police officer is shouting at them.  And even if they can, non-compliance is not a capital offense!  In America, we have a process in which people are tried before a jury of their peers for crimes -- even truly heinous crimes.  They aren't executed on the spot.  That's for fascist dictatorships.  (So it's completely unsurprising that most of the "comply or die" crowd support Donald Trump, whose role models of strong leadership are fascist dictators.)

Parents need to teach their kids to respect police!  Yes, sir, no, sir!  Do as they say!  Then this type of thing wouldn't happen.  I know this will never happen to my kids because I taught them how to behave around police officers!  
This is just a different way of phrasing the same argument as above.  And I would be willing to bet that the person who wrote this is white.  Well, I know he is white, because I wrote it.  But I see comments like this all the time, and I bet those commenters are white.  Because from what I've heard from black parents, they do talk to their kids about how to behave around police, and they are still scared to death of them getting shot because they flinch and an officer has an itchy trigger finger.

Also, white parents, I bet your kids aren't as well behaved around police as you think.  I know this because I went to college with a whole lot of white kids, and I'd go to parties where there was pretty much only white people, and the police would show up to break it up, and it was not "yes, sir, no, sir," I assure you.  Kids would run away; kids would talk back; kids would lie; kids would mockingly hug officers; and kids would occasionally challenge officers to mano-y-mano fistfights (this actually happened, more than once).  And what happened?  Well, these kids would sometimes get citations for disorderly conduct or minor in possession or something of the like.  But you know what never happened?  Nobody ever got shot!  I never even saw an officer so much as motion toward his or her weapon.  For some reason, the police officers, despite the obstinacy never viewed us as threats.  Now why would that be?  If we were a bunch of young black kids, doing the exact same thing, it would have been totally the same -- right?

Yeah, but black people commit a far higher percentage of violent crimes than any other race.  So police should profile them.  It's not racism; it's just facts.
Okay, but it's also a fact that a very small percentage of people of any race are going to commit a violent crime at all -- particularly killing a police officer.  So shouldn't the risk assessment be "How much of threat is person going to be to me?" not "How much of threat is this person going to be to me relative to somebody of another race?"  If it's the former, which it should be, then the answer is that a person is almost never going to be a mortal threat to you, because most people, even those who get stopped by police officers aren't killers.

And why are we so quick to lump together "black people" when it comes to crime, anyway?  We don't do this for white people -- or for men.  I mean, men commit a far higher percentage of violent crime than any race does.  But can you imagine if police treated all men the way they treat black men, and women defended it by saying "hey, men are more violent than women!"?  How would that go over?  

The real problem is black on black violence.
No! That's not the real problem because there is no single real problem.  Police brutality toward people of color is a problem; gang violence (which is what I think most people mean when they use the awful term "black of black violence") is a separate problem.  Why are you bringing up the latter when we are discussing the former?  Imagine if we used this logic in other areas:

"We need to stop foreign terrorists from getting into our country!"
"Actually, more Americans kill Americans than foreigners kill Americans.  So that's the real problem!"

"We need to find a cure for cancer!"
"Actually, more people die of heart disease.  So that's the real problem!"

It's nonsensical.

All these people are criticizing the police, but if somebody broke into their house, who would they call?!
I would call the police.  It's their job to protect people.  I would also like it to be part of their job that they not kill so many unarmed black people.  Is that too high a standard for you?

That's all I got.

Until next time...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Entry 348: Some stuff, Both Minor...

I’m not feeling great at the moment.  I was a little sick last week, but nothing too bad, and then Wednesday evening something hit me like a sledge hammer.  I was in that awful state of somehow being too hot and too cold simultaneously.  I’d bundle up in a hoodie only to remove it sweat-soaked ten minutes later.  My fever peaked at 103, which is pretty damn hot.  To make matters worse, something was wrong with my urinary tract.  It constantly felt like I had to pee, but nothing would come out, and then my urethra would burn like hell when it finally did.  (Ten years ago, I might have been worried about an STD; today I can pretty much dismiss that possibility altogether.)  It was quite unpleasant.  To make matters even worse, I had to take care of Lil’ S2.  This was doubly bad in that I felt like shit, and there was little I could do to limit his exposure to my germs.  I'm the only one here to take care of him right now.

But, it’s quite possible that he gave me what he has, so I don’t have worry about getting him resick.  I don’t know.  Both of us seem to be feeling better today (Friday), so that’s good.  I usually go into the office on Thursday, but since I was feeling ill I decided to work from home, so that I wouldn’t infect all my coworkers and so that I could take a nap if need be.  At around 10:30 a.m. I decided to do just that – take a nap – so I laid my head down to doze off for a few minutes and woke up… four hours later!  Apparently I needed more than just a nap.  At that point I figured it best to call it a day and take sick leave.

Lack of sleep is almost certainly a big reason for my ailment.  I just don’t sleep enough.  It’s not something I can easily fix either, because I’m not tired during the times I can sleep – or to put it more accurately, I am tired, but I don't feeling like sleeping.  If I go to bed at 10:30 p.m., I’ll just lie in bed awake.  1:00 a.m. is pretty much the earliest I can go to sleep on a regular basis, and if the kids are waking me up at 5:45 a.m. – well, I’m not Nikola Tesla.  I do my best sleeping between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  That’s just always the way I’ve been.  Even when I had a job that required me to be at work super early (one summer in college, I stocked shoes at a sporting goods store before it opened), I still wouldn’t go to sleep early.  I’d only sleep a few hours at night, and then I would occasionally take a quick nap after work.  (Incidentally, during these naps I would sometimes experience sleep paralysis.  It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever done so – thankfully, as sleep paralysis is absolutely terrifying.)  Then on the weekends I’d sleep in until noon.  That’s a huge problem now: I can’t “catch up” on sleep on the weekend with these damn kids around.  If only I was a deadbeat dad… *sigh*.

Anyway, enough about the woes of being an “owl.”  There are more important things to discuss, like black people getting shot by the police (again and again).  However, I decided to move that to a different post, which will be up very soon (with S and Lil' S1 out of town I have a lot more free time to blog).  I wanted to devote a post specifically to these shootings, and also I wanted to up my entry count.  Once I sell this blog for big money, I'm going to charge by the entry.

Until then...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Entry 347: Cough Syrup is Bullshit, Right?

Lil' S2 came down with something nasty last week.  He's still getting over it.  Actually, I might have been the one to give it to him, as I came down with something about a week ago.  He seems to have gotten it much worse than me, though.  Maybe that's because he's only one -- you know, developing immune system and whatnot.  We took him to the doctor on Thursday -- mainly because Lil' S1 happened to have an appointment anyway, so we made it a two-fer -- and the doc prescribed him some cough medicine.  We've been giving it to him twice daily, as per the instructions, and... he's still coughing.  Is it less than he would be otherwise?  I don't know.  How can you tell?

I think cough syrup probably doesn't work -- at least not in any real way.  However, I'm basing this entirely off my personal, anecdotal experiences -- I have very vivid memories of being a kid hacking all night, taking disgusting cough syrup, and then hacking some more -- so I could be wrong.  I suppose I could research it, but reliable medical information is notoriously difficult to find online.  I need somebody else to research it and report to me their findings.  I listen to this podcast called The Gist, and they have a segment featuring a science-minded journalist named Maria Konnikova called "Is that bullshit?" and I would love to hear an episode on cough syrup.  Maybe I will suggest that to the show via the appropriate social media platform.

Anyway, Lil' S2 is still sick, and it's just he and I for a while.  S took Lil' S1 to Abuja, Nigeria for two weeks.  I'm not making that up.  S's idea of a good time is taking a four year-old to Africa.  She's weird that way.  I was quite nervous about it.  But she insisted that she could handle it and that it was no less safe than going to a big city in the States, so, okay, I trust her.  Plus, she has to go for work no matter what and having him here with us right now would be brutal.  A sick one-year-old and a hyperactive four-year-old, by myself for a fortnight?  No thank you.  I'm feeling pretty good about things now anyway.  Like many people, I get anxious about big events before they happen, but then once they start I calm down immediately.

[According to the Internet, this is Abuja]

It also helps that I went online and got a virtual tour of the daycare facility where Lil' S1 will be staying.  It's really nice, and it came recommended by S's colleague who lives in Abuja and sends his kids there.  So between that and the nice hotel where they are staying, I think they will be fine.  I mean, I don't like that you hear so much about warlords enslaving children and forcing them to become soldiers in Africa, but Africa is a pretty big continent.  If somebody wanted to come visit Washington, D.C., I probably wouldn't stop them under the logic that there are violent drug lords in North America.

In other news...

To follow up on my Colin Kaepernick discussion from last week, you should check out this short video by George Carlin Jesse Ventura.  I completely agree with it -- or at least I agree with 80% of it.  I'm not sure why he had to bring 1930s Germany into the discussion (Godwin's law?).  Putting social pressure on people to stand for the national anthem or mandating kids say the Pledge of Allegiance isn't good, but neither of those things exactly puts us on a road to Nazism.  But that's where I always am with Jesse Ventura -- right at 80%.  I'm totally with him and then he veers off into conspiracy theory land and loses me completely.  Yes!  Exactly!  Right on!  Preach!  Wait... why does this mean 9-11 was an inside job?

Alright that's all I got.  Short entry, but it's a work night.

Until next time...