99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

...99 bottles of beer, you take one down, you pass it around…98 bottles of beer on the wall. (there really is no substitute for the version sung with your cousins LOUDLY from the back seat and the way back seat on a long road trip in a station wagon, windows down, in the 1970’s)

Party like it’s 1999. I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin’
Could’ve sworn it was judgment day The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from the destruction
You know I didn’t even care Say say
Two-thousand-zero-zero party over
Oops out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999

99 Luftballoons. You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got
Set them free at the break of dawn
‘Til one by one they were gone
Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message “something’s out there!”
Floating in the summer sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

This Is Not A Drill I Repeat This Is Not A Drill: Funny Handyman ...

What’s going on here? Oh, right. Yes, we’re down to double digits now!

You are running out of time to REGISTER to vote. To VERIFY you are REGISTERED to vote. To VERIFY your POLLING LOCATION HASN’T CHANGED since the last time you voted (It happens. A lot. Especially if you haven’t voted recently! If you didn’t vote since the last time you could vote for Obama in 2012, for example, your polling place may have moved from a tiny elementary school, to a lovely and airy new college campus building. AND during the pandemic, the powers that be have used COVID-19 as an excuse to close many locations)

MAKE sure you have as much valid identification as you can possibly scrounge up. THIS Election Day is NOT the time to argue that you should or shouldn’t have to show X, or Y, or Z form of ID.

That IS THE GOAL. To DENY you the opportunity to cast your vote. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT. Bring more than you need. Read up on what might be acceptable, and gather it.

You are running out of time TO REQUEST an ABSENTEE BALLOT. To MAKE A VOTING PLAN. Childcare, transportation, the expectation that IF you are planning to vote IN PERSON, that you could be there a LONG TIME. You can NOT plan to squeeze voting in between a meeting and a hair appointment.

(also, here… do you know WHAT signature they “compare” to verify your ABSENTEE ballot is acceptable?? Here in VA, it’s the one on your Drivers License…. and I am here to tell you, I don’t really write my signature exactly that way anymore. So, I WILL be looking carefully at my drivers license to make sure I am ok)

My voting location is in a HBCU (Historically Black College or University). I have registered for ABSENTEE, but if for some reason, I have to vote in person, BECAUSE I vote in a MINORITY DISTRICT I EXPECT there to be lines and confusion and other forms of voter suppression. I HAVE REQUESTED TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3, 2020 as a DAY OFF. If my ballot arrives as I hope, I will be able to just have a day off.

If not, well, you know where you will find me.

If you don’t feel that the USPS is a safe way to MAIL your vote, because maybe the Post Office will bag it up and leave it in a janitors closet until after the postmark is too late??— You can drop it off in PERSON… I can’t tell you WHERE. Come on. You are an adult reading this on the internet. Do some research. Contact YOUR Election commision.

One other really important bit. You ARE part of the problem if you vote THIRD PARTY this time. You dilute the actual vote totals when you protest vote. Vote for your uncle’s poodle in the primary, but in THIS election, the General Election of 2020, it’s not hyperbole to say the future of the COUNTRY as a DEMOCRACY is at stake.

Not having voted for either Trump or Biden will be small solace to you when you find your freedoms disappearing.

THIS ARTICLE ON VOTING is very detailed, long and important. Voting is NOT something you should think about Monday night, November 2nd.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/24/2020-election-disaster-perfect-storm-372778

(You are welcome for the earworms. Which one stuck with you all day??)

#BLM

Yesterday, we visited the Lee Statue which has, for the past three weeks, been the site of protest, and yes, graffiti.   It was quite moving. As I walked around it, with the memory of all the news reports over these last weeks and months and years, I realized that this was a symbol of grief unspoken (or at least, unheard) for too long.

The black community has tried to tell us there is something wrong with our world. Colin Kaepernick tried to do it quietly, respectfully. (I’m Catholic, you spend a good bit of time in church, on your knees. Kneeling is respectful. You kneel to propose, you kneel before a king or queen). But, we told him, NO! You can protest, but not THAT way, either.

So, spray paint it is. Loud, boisterous and sometimes vulgar. There was, first, the anger. Those first few days of protest got the raw emotions out around the country. What are the five stages of grief? It has morphed, now, here, into a place of memorial, and peace, fellowship — free water for anyone who needs it, under a tent, People to discuss issues with at hand, available informally like docents in museums– JUST START TALKING to someone you see, and you can’t help but learn something–and activism (Register to VOTE at one tent while you are here).

Surrounding the statue, every 10 feet or so encircling the base are laminated sheets of paper, with the stories of loss.  There are the names we all know– Trayvon, Amadalu, and so many other voices that were silenced.   We went on a Thursday afternoon. I was thrilled to see such a variety of ages and colors and physical wellness in those who were visiting. There were so many young people, using this as a backdrop for casual portraits, there was a young black man standing halfway up the pedestal, reading poetry he wrote while a friend recorded him.

It was supposed to feel so very sad; to be forced to see all the evidence of death, of police brutality. But it really felt so very positive to have the mom with her two little blond girls, going quietly from photo to photo, reading and learning — saying their names. We have a long way to go, but removing statues of people who fought against this country and lost would be a great first start. 

https://www.rteest42.com/StatebyStateTravelog/Virginia-is-for-Lovers/Lee-Statue-BLM-/ See my entire gallery.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR…

OTHER than being forced by the big, bad government and the fines they impose for non-compliance, WHY do you-

Wear a seatbelt.

Stop at intersections, stop signs, etc.

Drive on the correct side of the road.

Wear a shirt into a supermarket.

Not reach into open cash registers and help yourself to money.

Stop at cash register to pay for things you want.

How inconvenient do you find these restrictions on your id? On your desire to HAVE that candy bar, even if you have no money?

The answers should go something like this:

(Remember, we took away any of the the “it’s the law” or “they made me do it” excuses)

1-Even though I AM A GREAT DRIVER, and have NEVER even been pulled over for a broken tail-light, I have no control over all the other people on the road. I can’t control road conditions or the fact someone else is driving impaired, or sudden brake failure. I wear a seatbelt because it is less inconvenient and costly than a week in the hospital, or someone having to go to my kid’s school and tell them I died in a wreck.

2. I am not the only car on the road. If I want to get to my destination safely, I need to rely on the kindness of strangers who are also looking to the left and the right before driving through where I want to put my vehicle– only one of us can safely occupy that space at a time.

3. What are the lines for anyway? Does it even make a difference, if I want to be closer to the other side of the road? I mean, it’s more comfortable to me, the way my brain works, to be on that side.

4. Who decided is not considered sanitary for the general public to be parading around with their unwashed, uncovered bodies in the produce aisle. Why would someone think it’s not socially acceptable to be letting us all have to bask in the glory of your beer belly, your six pack or your lack of lingerie. Come on, man, freedom!

5. The answer really is not—I don’t feel like working for money or I work harder than I should for less money than you anyway, so I am entitled to helping myself to what I need. I think money a false social construct. But, they say money makes the world go round, so I will just help myself to some of the money in that register while you aren’t looking.

6. I will pay for the candy bar with the money I took in 5, thanks so much, I wanted a SNICKERS a LOT. I get that SOMEONE ELSE will ultimately pay for that candy bar, but I was HANGRY and low on cash…

JUST WEAR A MASK. BE INCONVENIENCED. DO it for other people. Act kind of like you are a part of a society that is reliant on each other. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, (mark 12:31) even.

No one knows if you had COVID-19 that you can’t get it again, or that you are or aren’t contagious.

NO ONE. (your friend the pet groomer’s opinion is no substitute for the entirety of the CDC or WHO)

If you are walking around without a mask, no one is aware that YOU (think) you had it, and therefore YOU THINK you are invincible. They think you are an inconsiderate lout who doesn’t care about other people.

But– IF you are so bulletproof, hie thee to a hospital and volunteer to help COVID-19 patients in any way you can non-medically because they are overworked and stressed–without a mask, of course.