I’ve not been very active either writing or reading blogs . . . here’s a bit about why.

First — sadly — Lawrence S. Ford passed away in mid-March (Lawrence Ford Obituary). He was Melisa’s dad and he passed away from complications from an unavoidable surgery. He was 96, and had been declining in health for a number of months before.

Aside from being with him for his last few days,  Melisa and her siblings were — and still are — involved in finalizing his affairs after his passing.

We held a memorial in early April, for which I made one of the boards recounting parts of his early life and the parts of his life he shared with us.

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and still not getting much love (votes). At this point, I don’t know why . . . perhaps our readers don’t want it to see it end and are avoiding reading the stories, hoping that will forestall the end.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, stuff . . . let me begin with WordPress making another change, this time to the Admin menu(s). You can read about it here (LINK). If it’s confusing, basically, they are making it difficult to find and use the Classic Editor again . . . still. Save your version of the link below to create new posts using the classic editor and to still be able to edit posts using the Classic Editor as described in THIS POST<<link. The menu mentioned in Step 5 of that post is now difficult (if not impossible) to get to via the menu options, but the direct link still works:

https://{blogname}.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php

So, for instance, I would replace “{blogname}” with “disperser”. In that menu, you’ll still be able to create posts using the Classic Editor, and edit posts created with the Classic Editor without having to convert them to the Block Editor. 

Note that WP will tell you the Classic Editor has been deprecated (they actually mean defecated on). They don’t tell you you can still use it, but you can.

OK, so what else?

Note: If you are using the WordPress App in Android and reading this with the Reader in Dark Mode, you won’t see much of the post because of a bug in the behavior of the app.

The “W” stories voting block is about 20 hours from closing. As usually happens late in the voting block, we have fairly significant movement by one of the stories.  If you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — now is the time to nudge friends and family into reading it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you) and to cast their votes.

No matter how you come to them or who you vote for, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, snow on Mauna Kae (the Big Island of Hawaiʻi) . . .

Composite of six photos taken in portrait mode.

That shot was taken from Highway 19 just north of the Kawaihae port while heading up to Waimea.

Note: If you are using the WordPress App in Android and reading this with the Reader in Dark Mode, you won’t see much of the post because of a bug in the behavior of the app.

The “W” stories voting block has a little over 48 hours before it ends and the results recorded in the annals of insignificant history.  If you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — now is the time to nudge friends and family into reading it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you) and to cast their votes.

No matter how you come to them or who you vote for, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, photos . . .

These were shot in Central Illinois last July. They are dead now.

I assume I’m not in a unique position, but it feels like it.

On any given day, either directly or indirectly, I get one or both of two kinds of inputs regarding serious topics; an anecdote about something bad, stupid, or illegal said or done by someone on the left and a corresponding anecdote about something bad, stupid, or illegal said or done by someone on the right.

I might chance upon something shared by my Facebook contacts, read a comment on a blog (or a whole blog post), get forwarded an email, or I’m outright asked about said utterances or actions.

What’s frustrating about that?

I’ll tell you . . .

That’s two interesting phrases I’ve heard a lot lately.

Now, people use the term “a lot” to indicate anything from twice to fifty-seven and even beyond.

In my case, it means I watched a crapload (a little-used technical term) of these videos:

Beau of the Fifth Column — by topics

Beau of the Fifth Column — list of videos

Knowing people are too lazy to click on links, here’s one of the videos:

Just a few things and a few thoughts I want to share.

First, THIS link about happiness and mental-well-being. The site is the Happiness Lab and it currently features short episodes on coping with coronavirus Social Distancing and isolation. You can also listen to Season 1 and Season 2 begins on the 27th.

Even more interesting is THIS link . . . it takes you to Yale’s most popular course (over 2M people currently enrolled for the course) which begins today, April 18th.

You can join the course for free — as I did — or pay the $49 entry fee if you want to earn a certificate to add to your resume. I entered for free; just provided my name and email address, and I was registered. There are ten weeks and it looks like there’s about 2-3 hours worth of material per week (just a cursory look, I had, so don’t hold me responsible if that’s not true).

Here’s the bio on the professor (including the links above):

Laurie Santos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. She hosts the popular podcast The Happiness Lab and she teaches the most popular course offered at Yale to date, titled The Science of Well-Being. Laurie is also the director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory and the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. She received her A.B. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard in 2003.

That blurb is from the Sam Harris interview with the lady, featured on his Waking Up app (a meditation app).

Some of what I see (looking at the titles) covers ground I’m already familiar with through reading various articles about cognitive studies and listening to podcasts, and I’ve already incorporated some of what I learned into how I live my life and how I cope with life.

Still, I’m always interested in learning more about how my brain works and controlling it to my benefit.

The class begins today, as I said, and I don’t know if it’s also the last day to register. Keep that in mind if interested in it.

Right, let’s proceed . . .

So, as the pandemic continues, I cross paths with more things that annoy me . . . no, that’s too mild. It’s things that piss me off.

Look, I spend a fair amount of time gently — and sometimes not-so-gently — pointing out to people that being “for” one political party or the other is, frankly, dumb. As is one religious belief over another, or any single ideology over another.

I cannot think of any religious, political, social, ethnic, or racial group that is completely right or completely wrong about things they believe and act on. Typically, they all have some things they get right, some things they get wrong, and some things that make them sound like they are bat-shit crazy. The proportions might change, but there’s always a spectrum.

Hence, it’s difficult for me to respect anyone who completely and totally buys into everything “their” group says. And it’s not just losing respect. 

If you are one of them people who are steeped into the culture of either the Far Right or Far Left, in short order you will cease to exist for me. I mean, I used to give a nod and a wink and let some things slide, but as I get older — and especially now — I have far less patience than I had even last month.

Truthfully, they too will likely lose their patience with me . . . and I can live with that, but then, stay out of my orbit.

What does this have to do with COVID-19, you ask? Good question; let me answer it after this photo.

Yet another grass photo as it came out of the D7500.

It’s been a few months now that I’ve been repeating the standard line of not wearing masks unless caring for someone sick or if you are sick yourself.

However, I’m one of them idiot guys who listen to what people say . . . and what they don’t say . . . and I especially listen to people when they say two things that contradict each other.

And so, I stupidly got into a discussion that seemed to get overly heated way too quickly and for no reason that I could tell.

Well, this post is me discussing things with myself. I mean, how much trouble can I get into?

Yes, COVID-19 is a serious matter. People are suffering on multiple levels and some are even dying.

But, it’s human nature to often laugh in the face of adversity. Some won’t see the humor because they are going through a really tough time and they’re not likely to look for humor. But, maybe they are. I know I would be, but I’m weird like that.

Plus, there are a lot of people who are struggling to cope with situations they’d never thought they’s have to face in their lifetime. Some express their bewilderment and frustration by choosing to laugh at it. I join them with enthusiasm and a hunger for relief from the constant bombardment of terrible news.

I give you . . . my COVIC-19 comic relief in the form of accumulated graphics and videos that made me laugh. We begin with cats; everyone loves cats, right?

One thing . . . I get these from various sources. If you are the owner of any of them and wish for me to remove them, just let me know.  Anyway, on with the show . . .

I’ve been doing something I rarely do. I’ve been sending out group emails.

“About what?” you ask.

What else? . . . COVID-19.

I wrote some stuff about the virus in Part One, but that was a while ago and the situation is about as dynamic as they come.  Now, I say “a while ago” and these days — the two weeks between the last post about COVID-19 and today’s offering — seem more like two months, if not years.