Journal Entry – 12.19.20

The time is 5:35 AM. I woke up at 2:30 AM then decided to get out of bed at 3:00 AM. Time always goes very quickly in the first hour or so of the early morning as I complete my chores. This morning I put away the dishes, washed the cups left on the table, made tea, and then thought I would have plenty of time for meditation, writing and VR. Well, passing by my Department 56 Christmas display I noticed the light in my Gin Distillery had gone out yet again.

Department 56 Gin Distillery

The Distillery is always troublesome because it requires a 12V 4W bulb which is very hard to find. Common 120V bulbs will not work. And so after 40 minutes of trying the common bulbs again, scouring the internet for cheaper alternatives to the official replacements, I relented and bought the expensive bulbs. To make matters worse those replacements don’t seem to last very long with the most recent only being 2 weeks. The replacements are $10 on Amazon for a pack of two and again I have no choice.

For the Distillery you cannot even throw away the cord and replace with another where 120V bulbs do work because it is one cord connecting both the light and the water wheel which turns. I learned a few years ago I didn’t need the expensive replacements for my other Department 56 houses, just the Distillery.

So I lost 40 or so minutes doing that. It seems that when I wake up very early my mind immediately goes to what I need to do, then what I might also be able to accomplish. If I continue to lay there my mind wanders to useless thoughts and as is obvious from previous posts my mind is infected with the poison of our current political environment which I refuse to give any space to in this post. This morning I thought I would put my new screensaver on my sons computers. There is a short story here which I’ll relate.

A week or so ago I was having computer problems (post here) and believed it to be hardware malfunctioning. Therefore, I gave serious thought to buying a new computer even though I didn’t want to. My current PC is six years old but still has plenty of power and storage. I don’t need or want to spend the money on a new computer, I just want my current one to function. Well, I ended up giving it a kick and it is working perfectly now. A kick is not the correct way to fix a computer but it gives me hope as if the computer starts acting up again I know it is just a loose connection. The next time I’ll double check all the cords as well as reseat the memory cards and think that should do it.

In trying to figure out the problem I used the “nuclear” refresh option in Windows which deletes everything and does a fresh install. I learned over a decade ago to keep all my files on a separate drive as well as backed up so I can trash as many computers, or Windows OS as I like and still have all my stuff. The refresh turned out to be a positive thing because now my PC is running better than ever. It also encouraged me to try new programs and rethink others. I now am using Microsoft more fully with OneDrive, additional users under my kid’s own Microsoft Accounts in case they want to use my PC for some reason as well as a Microsoft App that connects directly to my phone through WIFI so I can use it as though it were in my hands. It works perfectly unlike previous versions of Samsung SideSwitch which was clunky.

I’ve also made cosmetic changes and again am employing Microsoft’s own daily Bing wallpaper of the day app (here) which gives you new wallpaper everyday and got a new screensaver. Before the refresh the screensaver would never automatically turn on like it should and I could never figure out the problem. With the refresh it works again and after trying a few free versions and almost getting a few viruses I finally paid $20 for the Dream Aquarium screen saver. Good free screensavers (or most software for that matter) is so hard to find these days. They always come with ads, malware, viruses or a bunch of addons you really don’t want. I wanted a good screensaver so went ahead and paid for it. I love good ambiance and a beautiful aquarium screensaver certainly adds to a pleasant environment. Anywho I put it on my kids computers as well since I did pay $20 and should get full use of it.

Well, how about that. Writing about something as unimportant as this morning’s activities has taken seven paragraphs and 30 minutes.

It is Saturday morning and we’re under strict lockdown orders again. It is not as though we’ve exactly been out and about since March and now we’re under the most severe orders to not go anywhere. For the most part I’m perfectly fine with it but I really do not like that we cannot gather with other families. I understand the reason and the reason is many people are stupid and didn’t follow previous rules. We usually spend Christmas and New Year’s alone anyway but it would be nice to see our friends for NYE this year especially since one wife and daughter just came back from a very long stay in Japan AND given the fact we’ve lost so many of our Japanese friends to Japan this year. I’m pretty sure a lot of people aren’t going to be following the orders to not gather this Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The fact that our leadership preaches the restrictions but didn’t follow the rules themselves has really hurt their credibility. Furthermore, half of Americans (Trump supporters) aren’t following the rules anyway and their being encouraged not to do so directly by the President!

So long story short it is hard to demand so great a sacrifice of not seeing our friends on this special occasion when these lockdowns haven’t been effective thanks to Trumpism and the fact that a lot of people are just generally stupid (try public facing customer service, you’ll see!) The reality is COVID is going to burn through the population lockdowns or not and the only hope at this point is the vaccine since many Americans cannot even find it in their hearts to wear a mask. COVID is a thinning of a rather unhealthy herd fed from cola, fast food and instant everything packed with sodium. That is the hard truth.

The virus affects mostly those with “underlying heath issues.” While there are many with serious health issues through no fault of their own, such as the elderly, I’d say “underlying health issues” are PC code words for 80% of people who are overweight, eat poor food, smoke, drink and generally have lived an unhealthy lifestyle. Of course leaders cannot say this because 40% of Americans are obese! This is like when Britain learned in WW1 their citizenry was no longer the fighting fit people who built a world empire. They were out of shape and no match for the Germans in the beginning. Similarly, poor health habits in the USA have lead to an explosion of health issues easily seen by the amount of prescription drugs American citizens take. It is estimated that 66% of Americans take prescription drugs!! That is even a higher amount than those who are obese! Take those two figures and it will shed a bit of truth and clarity to the meaning of “underlying health issues.” When said that way you think of the elderly and maybe 10% or so of Americans. Considering the statistics above it would seem Americans have been in a health pandemic long before COVID but COVID just speeds everything along.

As for me, I care for people and through my experiences have learned to care for all living things. So I do my part and have been mostly quarantined since April except for three trips when the virus looked to be under control. But this order to not gather with friends for the holiday is a tough one to obey.

  1. Newsom and Breed tell everyone else to stay home but don’t heed their own advice. They go gallivanting unmasked at posh restaurants. Their rules are for the masses not those of means.
  2. The President and Trumpers have never followed the rules and so one gathering here or there really isn’t going to make a difference in this fight. Many of us can play by the rules but they won’t.
  3. Mental health is also a concern and if three families have followed the rules and quarantined, stayed home etc the meeting should be safe.
  4. Human beings die, especially when they live unhealthy lifestyles. Strange how everyone is always so quick to support war and killing because of ‘reasons,’ but when the possibility of death just hangs in the air all of a sudden we’re ordered to stay in the house.
  5. I am not afraid of this virus but I am afraid of inadvertently hurting others and so I always wear my mask, always social distance and rarely go out of the house.

But I don’t feel like following the rule to not gather with others for NYE. Leadership has lost their moral high ground over a $300 a plate dinner. The DNA of America is in the individual and not the collective, Trumpers have reminded me of that. And so, I will continue to follow all the rules, but if I break one here or there I will not feel guilty about it.

The time is now 6:51 AM and the day will soon begin. Even though I got out of bed at 3:00 AM my quiet morning time still doesn’t seem long enough.

I look back at what I’ve written and it is too bad my mind isn’t thinking about Christmas magic, joy, peace and all of the things that make this time of year special. I’ll have to try harder.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/