Archive | November 2020

Friday Five (puppy rescued from alligator edition)

We have reached the final Friday in November. This didn’t post in the early morning as usual because I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, and when my husband and I both ate too much, and I took two naps, and I tried to get some serious word count completed for my NaNoWriMo. And then I slept in really late today to make up for getting up early to start cooking.

There are so, so many news stories I bookmarked in a week that in normal years is a slow news week. And I’m just so tired of being outraged that I’m not sharing most of them today. The grifter-in-chief is doing the equivalent of breaking all the windows of the house and setting fire to the house he’s being evicted from and it’s just so painful to contemplate what a sore loser can do. If you’re as tired as I am of this, scroll past all the stories and watch the video entitled “The Kind of Story We Need Right Now: Alligator Puppy Rescue.”

So let’s get to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about crooks, and liars, and other deplorables, five topical videos, and five fun videas (plus notable obituaries and some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Are Your Choices Making the Pandemic Worse? – How does an epidemiologist think through the little decisions each of us make during the coronavirus pandemic? Boston University’s Ellie Murray explains.

Daring Fireball: Facebook Still Ruled by Sociopaths, News at 11.

There has been one successful coup in the United States. It foreshadowed the rise of Donald Trump.

Did American Democracy Really Hold? Maybe Not – Donald Trump didn’t manage to overthrow the electoral system. But he’s drawn a clear road map for breaking it.

It Wasn’t Ideology That Sank House Democrats. It Was Bad Strategy – Poor decisions from the national party left Democratic candidates in swing districts unable to hold their own.

This Week in Crooks, Liars and Other Deplorable People:

Splitting 5 to 4, Supreme Court Backs Religious Challenge to Cuomo’s Virus Shutdown Order – In earlier rulings related to coronavirus restrictions in California and Nevada, the court had taken the opposite approach. But its membership has changed since then. Five deplorable justices on the SCOTUS now…

Jacob Wohl’s Lawyers Want Judge to Sanction Civil Rights Group.

Trump Rushing Rule To Bring Back Firing Squads Among Other Things – Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20.

“Lock the motherfucker up” – This is an actual headline from Detroit Metro Times. The headline isn’t the problem. The real problem is that for more than four years the vast majority of new sites haven’t been willing to be this blunt.

Trump fears Giuliani, other lawyers in Biden vote challenge are ‘fools that are making him look bad’. He’s finally noticing???

In Memoriam:

Bruce Boynton, civil rights pioneer who inspired 1961 Freedom Rides, dies at 83 – “He did something that very few people would have the courage to do. He said no,” Judge Myron Thompson said.

Honestie Hodges, Whose Handcuffing Changed Police Policy, Is Dead at 14 – Honestie’s handcuffing by the police in Grand Rapids, Mich., caused a national uproar and led to a new law enforcement policy on dealing with youths. Honestie died of Covid-19.

David Dinkins, New York’s first Black mayor, dies at 93 – He led the nation’s largest city during a difficult period.

Things I wrote:

Monday Update 11/23/2020: Taking their marbles and going home.

Democracy is under threat from the White House? Must be Tuesday….

This Thanksgiving, don’t participate in the possible murder of grandma.

So we’re supposed to give thanks, right?

Topical Videos!

‘Losing’: Why Trump Lost Every 2020 Election Plot – The Lessons For The U.S.:

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How QAnon Is Taking Over The GOP | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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Trump Rambles on Speakerphone During Fake GOP Voter Fraud Hearing: A Closer Look:

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The Kind of Story We Need Right Now: Alligator Puppy Rescue:

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Stephen Colbert’s Monologue Does As The Monolith Wishes:

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Trailers and Music Videos!

Dashing in December Official Trailer | Premieres 12/13 on Paramount Network:

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The Christmas Setup Trailer:

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Orville Peck – Fancy (Live at the Rodeo) : What a great gothic cover of my second favorite Bobby Gentry song!

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Gay dance duo show what it’s like to come out to your dad in “incredible” performance::

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Sohla’s Best Thanksgiving Leftover Upgrades | NYT Cooking:

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So we’re supposed to give thanks, right?

To all my readers outside the U.S.: Happy Thursday!

My fellow Americans, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you’re having a happy one. The point of this holiday is supposed to be to remember the things in our lives for which we are thankful. For most of my life I have been all over that idea, because I’ve had a pretty good life. Even though ever since puberty, when I first realized that I was gay, I have lived under one existential threat or another, I still could see the many good things and good people in my life. The last four years have represented a far worse series of threats to the life and well-being of everyone who isn’t part of the 1% and/or white, cis, male, straight, conservative, and well-off enough to stockpile assault weapons.

And while the recent election is ousting the wingnut-in-chief, I think it’s a little early to celebrate. Because the angry white nationalists and their allies have been feeling emboldened for the last few years, and now many of them think they’ve been cheated. So the single worst overt threat to the future of the Republic may have been technically beaten, but the war goes on.

Knowing what is hanging over us makes it so easy to get on the anxiety treadmill and just keep running in place.

Which isn’t what today is supposed to be about. For our mental health, it isn’t what we can spend all of our time on.

So, here are things I’m thankful for:

  • my smart, sweet, sexy, super capable, long-suffering husband
  • cocktails (it’s 2020 everywhere, drink when you want!)
  • sci fi books that tell of hopeful futures
  • coffee
  • people who help other people
  • recipe blogs
  • videos about haw to make cocktails
  • people who make art, music, and other creative things
  • the cute birds that visit my bird feeder every day
  • people who take care of us when we’re sick
  • music
  • purple
  • my eccentric, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
  • not having to spend any holidays with (especially) the most infuriating relatives this year
  • audio and video conferencing services that let me spend time with friends despite quarantine
  • podcasts
  • gravy
  • people who work retail
  • music
  • rain
  • people who write fanfic
  • science
  • olives
  • people who love
  • my kind, clever, cheerful, hard-working husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list twice!)
  • online friends
  • cheese
  • playlists
  • pie
  • people who vote
  • radio and wireless technologies
  • people who fill the world with joy
  • kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
  • teddy bears and mousies
  • books
  • people who review and recommend books
  • stuffing
  • have I mentioned my handsome, good-natured, patient, shrewd, funny husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list three times!)?
  • friends who will group text with me while we’re all yelling at the same football game on the TV
  • gin
  • cherries
  • virtual events
  • the many almost magical computing devices that I can now wear on my wrist, carry in my pocket, and otherwise use to bring a wealth of information and possibilities that were barely imaginable when I was a kid
  • all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and clearly the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me

Thank you, each and every one. Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it.

This Thanksgiving, don’t participate in the possible murder of grandma

Don’t be like Casey!

I keep wanting to write about lighthearted stuff, but I keep reading the news about millions of people jamming the airports and how all the testing sites are overloaded with people who think if they test negative it’s safe to get together for the holiday. And it’s just, we’re never going to get this thing under control and the deaths are going to keep piling up, if everyone keeps thinking that it’s okay to take a little risk. You’re not risking your own life! You’re risking the lives of people you love and care about! Of course, if you’re even a sporadic reader of my blog, you already know this. Still, I keep feeling the need to put this out there, hoping it will give one more person the courage to say to their family members pressuring them to get together, “I don’t want to participate in the possible murder of grandma!”

I need to change topics.

How about a bit of a laugh at my expense?

So, last Friday after I updated my NaNoWriMo word count I told myself I could take a break to watch the new episode of Baby Yoda and His Space Dad. Wait. What? You’re telling me that isn’t the title of the show? Are you certain?

Anyway, afterward I didn’t quite feel like writing after all, and the next thing I know I was binge watching season 2 of Umbrella Academy. And I stayed up far too late doing it, which means I slept in later than I meant Saturday, which means that I didn’t get started on finalizing the grocery list until late, and then I had to run to the store later than I meant. And it being the last Saturday before Thanksgiving, the store was quite crowded, and there were all sorts of weird things they were out of.

Three different times as I was trying to maneuver through the crowded store while maintaining social distance, I found myself feeling very judgmental of people with carts overflowing with things that looking like the ingredients of an enormous Thanksgiving feast. And the third time I had that thought, it was as I was putting a can of cranberry sauce into my nearly overflowing cart. And since I was just buying stuff for a Thanksgiving dinner with just my husband and I, maybe I shouldn’t assume other people weren’t also planning just to cook for the immediate family that already lives together, right?

I eventually got into the checkout line and my huge cart of groceries turned into about three dozen smallish plastic bags of groceries. Which took a few minutes to transfer to the car. I got home, carried the first bunch of bags up, told Michael I was there, and went to haul more up. The third or fourth trip down I got to the car just as Michael was pulling a bunch of bags out and saying, “I think that’s everything.” I did a quick check, then locked to car and followed him upstairs.

Saturday night we were hosting our monthly Writers’ Night (virtually), and I had just enough time to put all the groceries away and start dinner cooking before I needed to log into the Discord server.

We had a good meeting. Three of us had things to read and there was a lot of fun talk about Thanksgiving recipes. Then we shut down early as several of us wanted to do more NaNoWriMo writing.

An hour or so later, when I was getting out a fresh can of La Croix, I realized that I didn’t remember putting my prescription away. So I looked around the kitchen, assuming I had left the little brown paper bag with the paperwork and one bottle of pills in it somewhere in there. I couldn’t find it. I double checked in the bathroom to make sure that I hadn’t put it away and simply forget.

No dice.

I search around the kitchen, dining room, living room and so forth for a number of minutes. I check in the fridge because it would be totally in character for me to pull the prescription and a bottle of milk out of a grocery bag at the same time and put them both in the fridge.

I’m starting to panic. This particular medicine only has a $5 co-pay, but the non-insurance prices is about $1200 for a month’s supply. Not something you want to lose. So reluctantly I go tell my husband that I’ve lost the prescription, and he comes out of the computer room and spends a while looking.

Now I am very certain that I saw the pharmacy bag inside one of the plastic bags we carried in from the car, but Michael decides to go check the car. He didn’t find anything. We’re both still looking underneath things and so forth. I gather three older pharmacy bags that I should have recycled weeks ago, carefully shake them before wading them up, and comment that I shouldn’t leave those laying around.

Michael then asks, “Oh? Is it a brown paper bag we’re looking for? I thought it was white…”

This prompts me to go outside to check the car. While I’m peering in the back compartment, feeling around among the reusable grocery bags that we can’t use anymore because of the pandemic, I think that it would be better if I had a flashlight. But I didn’t, so I looked in the dimly lit car for another couple of minutes before going back upstairs.

We’ve looked pretty much every possible place. I woke up my computer and started researching if there is a way to pay the medication cheaper [That answer by the way is, technically yes. With a coupon I found a place I could get a month’s supply for merely $580… which is still prohibitive].

Michael says that he’s going to check the car again. I open my mouth to suggest a flashlight, but he already has one in his hand.

A few minutes later he comes up and cheerfully announces he found it. In face, he found an entire small plastic bag which contains the pharmacy bag plus three other items: two cans of a cold brew coffee latte I like, and a jar of Tillen Farms Fire and Spice Marschino-style Cherries.

He explains even with the flashlight he almost didn’t see it. The bag and fallen behind suff and one of the plastic handles was sticking up with he could see it.

Now, the laugh. Several hours earlier (in the middle of the Writers’ Night call) I had been suddenly struck with the realization that I didn’t remember putting away the Fire and Spice Cherries (a vital ingredient for my official Thanksgiving Cocktail: the Spicy Manhattan), and I had even spend a couple minutes looking at the places where it ought to be.

And even before than, just as I was turning on the oven and firing up Discord, I had been annoyed that I couldn’t find the can of cold brew Double Espresso I had bought because I didn’t feel as if I’d had enough caffeine.

But I didn’t remember either of those missing things once I noticed the prescription wasn’t where I expected it. If I had, I might of realized that we were looking for more than just the one pharmacy bag and its contents from the grocery run.

I had apologized to Michael several times for being the absent-minding misplacer yet again. He countered by saying it was his fault. “I was the one who said Ive got the last of the groceries, after all.”

To circle back to the opening topic:

Why a negative Covid-19 test before Thanksgiving isn’t an all-clear – A negative test isn’t enough to have a safe holiday. Here’s why.

And I’m going to give the last word to Rachel Maddow…

Maddow: We Feared Susan’s Covid Would Kill Her. Your Risks Could Hurt Those You Love Most:

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Democracy is under threat from the White House? Must be Tuesday…

“Here is a picture of a cute puppy to show that not all of my posts are political. And the puppy wants you to know that Trump is a treasonous asshole.”

The Perils of Not Prosecuting Trump – Joe Biden is wary of a legal reckoning against his predecessor, but to let Trump go would be to sanction future corruption.

The state criminal cases are proceeding regardless of what Biden or his Department of Justice decide to do. It infuriates me that we got four years of Bengazhi hearings that never turned up any wrongdoing, but people argue that Congress should just ignore the violations of the emolluments clause of the Constitution, the bribery and corruption, the multiple violations of the Federal Anti-Nepotism Act, the multiple violations of the Hatch Act, ignoring when Russia put bounties on our own soldiers (and then lying and trying to cover up when it was uncovered), withholding medical supplies from states whose governors he was angry with, illegally sending troops into cities whose local government policies annoyed him, the crimes against humanity including children being left to die in cages…

I think at the very least Biden should call for the appointment of an independent counsel to look into some subset of the many treasonous things Trump and his cronies did.

You can’t let such blatant disregard for the law go.

Monday Update 11/23/2020: Taking their marbles and going home

“Parler is the adult version of getting mad at your parents so you move to a tent in the yard... then come back inside for snacks and t remind them you moved out.”

“Parler is the adult version of getting mad at your parents so you move to a tent in the yard… then come back inside for snacks and t remind them you moved out.”

I’m still trying to spend most of my free time working on NaNoWriMo, so here is another short post with lots of links.

Fact-Checked on Facebook and Twitter, Conservatives Switch Their Apps – Since the election, millions have migrated to alternative social media and media sites like Parler, Rumble and Newsmax.

Daring Fireball: Petulant Wingnuts Push Parler.

Daring Fireball: Parler’s Lead Investor Is Rebekah Mercer.

“The Mercers, if you’re not familiar with them, are the money behind Breitbart and other wingnut propaganda efforts.

The whole thing boils down to a “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality. You’re either on board with spreading any and every bit of wingnut propaganda (pre-election: Hunter Biden’s laptop was a major scandal being overlooked by legit new media who were in the bag for Biden; post-election: the election was rigged against Trump, but, somehow, not rigged against House, Senate, and state legislature Republicans) or you’re the enemy.”

Parler says it’s the last place for free speech online. But it’s restricting speech, too – The conservative alternative to Twitter wants to be a place for free speech for all. It turns out, rules still apply.

Here’s is a screenshot of a message from one of the owners of Parler explaining just what kind of fine people are signing up for the service:

And it isn’t just people who think a photo of poop is an effective argument. Related to the article above about the Mercers funding this, it was reported back in January that anyone they identified as not being in the alt-right tank, or anyone who challenged any alt-right arguments, were being banned: As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like.

None of this should surprise anyone who are had extended interactions with the rightwingers who scream about free speech. Because it is clear that their definition of free speech as always been that they get to say whatever they want, and they get to shout down anyone who disagrees with them. Contrariwise, they think censorship is when other people push back on things they say, or when private citizens or private companies choose not to amplifly their opinions or allow them to use our forums for their opinions.

And when I say “our” I am including me. I just love those comments that I sometimes get from people demanded that I approve their comment full of racist and/or homophobic and/or misogynist and/or anti-semitic BS in response to something I posted. It’s my blog, I moderate comments. If you try to leave a comment it tells you that you will be moderated. If you want to spew that hatred on your own blog, go ahead. On your own blog.

If you want to have a good faith, respectful discussion, I can do that. But I’m not going to publish your irrational, counterfactual hate. And that’s all Twitter or Facebook or the others are doing when the (very inconsistently) enforce their rules. The sad thing is that Twitter and Facebook and the like actually bendover backwards to let alt-right wingnuts post their hate and vitriol. But that’s a topic for another day.

Friday Five (delusional states edition)

We have reached the third Friday in November. Our long national nightmare isn’t quite over, but we can see the ending from here.

There are so many fights we still have to win, but I am convinced we can do it. Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance—a day to remember our trans siblings who are no longer with us, and to pledge ourselves to fight for a world where we no longer need to memorialize those who have been taken from us.

So let’s get to the Friday Five. This week I’m not breaking rules, but I’m breaking traditions. This week I bring you: five stories about the transgender day of remembrance, the top five stories of the week, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about sore losers, five stories about haters and other deplorables, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and some things I wrote).

This Week in the Transgender Day of Remembrance:

Deadly year for trans community as Transgender Day of Remembrance marked.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Murdered, Suffocated And Burned Alive: 350 Transgender People Killed In 2020.

Between Two Worlds: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2020.

Faith: It’s time once again to celebrate the diversity of humanity.

Stories of the Week:

PTSD expert explains how America can heal from Trump’s abuse: There need to be ‘consequences for the horrible things that happened’.

Out MSNBC analyst Steve Kornacki makes “Sexiest Men of 2020” list & it is about damn time.

Lil Nas X shut down a failed Republican candidate that came for him on Twitter with just seven words.

‘This isn’t a game’: Michelle Obama urges smooth transition – On Instagram, Obama recounted how she and her husband invited Donald Trump to the White House days after his shock 2016 win.

Trans teen gets pregnant after finding she has ovaries, uterus, cervix .

This Week in the Pandemic:

Was April 7, 2020 the day that sealed the fate of America?

The Coronavirus Has Now Killed 250,000 People in the U.S..

Damage to multiple organs recorded in ‘long Covid’ cases – Exclusive: study of low-risk individuals finds impairments four months after infection.

Everything You Need to Know About Covid-19 Testing Before the Holidays.

This young ER doctor had to tell Covid-19 patients when it was time to say goodbye to their families. Then the virus knocked him down.

This Week in Sore Losers:

Could GOP states ignore voters and send Trump delegates to the Electoral College? – It’s unlikely. Here’s how the byzantine body really works.

President Donald Trump’s election campaign on Wednesday asked a judge to declare him the winner in Pennsylvania, saying the state’s Republican-controlled legislature should select the electors that will cast votes in the U.S. Electoral College system.

‘Just ridiculous’: CNN speaks to Georgia voter the Trump campaign falsely claimed was dead.

‘Karen Was Upset’: Trump Suit Cites Mostly Trivial Complaints By GOP Poll-Watchers .

In abrupt reversal, Michigan’s largest county certifies election results – Allies of President Donald Trump had celebrated the initial deadlock in Wayne County, even though the dispute was highly unlikely to alter the outcome of the election.

This Week in Haters and Other Deplorable People:

Disturbing new details in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer reveal their Plan B was to takeover the Michigan capitol building with 200 combatants, who would stage a week-long series of televised executions of public officials.

Trump makes one last effort to cut Social Security, maximize hurt to the disabled.

Georgia’s secretary of state says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude legal ballots.

Two terrifyingly anti-LGBT+ candidates running for Virginia governor want to make queer people ‘second class’ citizens.

2019 Was The Deadliest Year For Hate Crimes On Record, New FBI Data Shows – The overall number of hate crimes also rose to a 10-year high, even as fewer law enforcement agencies bothered to report their statistics.

In Memoriam:

Seattle Aquarium’s oldest sea otter, Lootas, dies at 23.

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Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 11/15/2020: Sore Losers and Suckers.

And the BS lawsuits continue….

A bit of this, a bit of that, and I think I need more coffee….

Topical Videos!

Michigan Republicans Disgrace The GOP With Failed Attempt To Block Certification Of Election Results:

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Trump & Election Results: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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Trump Bullies Election Officials & Giuliani’s Hair Has A Meltdown | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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President Obama is Scared of Sasha and Roasts Donald Trump:

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Don’t Tell Donald He’s NOT RE-ELECTED TODAY! – Randy Rainbow Parody:

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A bit of this, a bit of that, and I think I need more coffee…

Cup which reads “COFFEE because adulting is hard.”

“Coffee because adulting is hard.”

I don’t live in one of the states that have run out of hospital beds due to the pandemic and is trying to ship COVID patients to neighboring states… yet. But like everywhere else in the U.S. we’ve been experiencing a big surge in cases. So this last Sunday the governor announced a return to earlier restrictions. In door dining is once again not allowed (I still don’t understand why anyone would do that–we’ve been sticking with take out or contactless delivery if we’re not cooking for ourselves). The only restriction that will change my current behavior is that occupancy levels in essential retail businesses is ratcheted down to 25% occupancy. Limits at that level will mean we’ll be back to lining up outside the store and trying to keep 6′ apart in the line.

Which we were on Monday when I went to Costco. I arrived close to opening, I was masked up, had a list, and was hopeful to get through the trip quickly. By the time I got to the front of the line, the guy managing the line said: “I feel like a bouncer at a rock concert!” The woman in front of me said something along the lines of “You’re the guy to know!” and then something else I couldn’t quite make out from 6 feet away and over the sounds of the rain. The guy managing the line then said, “Everyone’s being cool about it, even those that were caught by surprise.”

I got in. The store didn’t seem deserted, but it wasn’t super crowded, either. Most people were being good about trying to observe social distancing. I found the items on my list, got in line, and felt the need to tweet about the fact that I was in line with the only things in my cart being items on our list. The cashier who checked me out opined that the lines outside would vanish completely as soon as word got out that they were out of toilet paper and paper towels.

When I got out of the store it was raining a lot harder than it had been while I was waiting to get in. I particularly noticed that the cardboard boxes my purchases were in were beginning to get noticeably wet in that short time. I quickly loaded the back of the car and closed the tailgate.

As I had been transferring my stuff, another Subaru of similar vintage as ours pulled into the empty spot next to me. I was just turning the cart to roll it to one of the cart return racks when the guy from the other car said, “I’ll take your cart!” He was fumbling to get his mask on.

I replied. “If you want, though it might be awkward in the line.”

He looked at me like I’d grown two extra heads. I shrugged and stepped back to let him take the cart, and he rolled off, grumbling.

I got in the car and before I had taken my masks off my glasses completely fogged over. I started the car and turn up the defrosters. After a minute or two or so I realized that the windshield seemed clear but my glasses were still completely fogged. So I held my glasses in front of one of the defroster vents and waited for everything to clear up so I could drive.

I was just putting the glasses back on when the guy reappeared in the spot between our two cars, empty handed. As he climbed into his car his gaze met mine, and his unhappy expression got more angry (he’d already taken off his mask). He exclaimed, “They’re out of toilet paper!” As if it was my fault, and slammed his door.

I decided to wait another minute, and as I expected he started his vehicle right away and backed out fast.

I drove home at my usual pace. While unloading the goods, I had a little issue with the case of diced tomatoes almost falling apart in my arms as I dashed inside. It was raining really hard. Amongst the bounty I brought home was a 10-pound turkey for Thanksgiving (small enough for just the two of us) and a 10-pound bag of sweet potatoes (there will be several dishes those go into, not just for the holiday). The pantry is also once again well stocked with canned vegetables and related things.

Even though my husband has to go to work each day, I try to limit my trips out of the house. So a trip where I get us enough food to last a couple weeks again if we have to is all right.

On the other hand, I just got a notice from the pharmacy of a refill being ready, and that means over the next week or so most of the rest of my prescriptions will come up. I try to just make one trip for all of them, but sometimes (as happened a couple months ago), when I do that I get a call from the pharmacy saying that they’re going put it back one the shelf if I don’t come get it that day–or assure them that I am coming in soon.

Completely unrelated, I need to finish putting away the Halloween decorations. Should have happened earlier, but, well, time has become a fog.

And the BS lawsuits continue…

“Trump is filling bullshit lawsuits to generate headlines. None of them will flip a single state.”

“Trump is filling bullshit lawsuits to generate headlines. None of them will flip a single state.”

I’m still spending most of my energy on NaNoWriMo, so you get another news link post:

Trump’s election ‘legal challenges’ won’t change 2020 results. Can he win by losing?

‘I have never seen this before’: Legal expert stunned by argument in latest Trump voter fraud lawsuit. And not because it’s brilliant.

Weekend Update 11/15/2020: Sore Losers and Suckers

Taking a short break from NaNoWriMo to share some more news links.

“There have been more Trump aides who have tested positive for coronavirus since the election than documented cases of voter fraud.”

“There have been more Trump aides who have tested positive for coronavirus since the election than documented cases of voter fraud.”

At least 40 in Trump inner circle have contracted Covid – who are the newest cases? – Another cluster was identified this week – and several infected people had attended the White House’s election night party.

More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel.

The Confederate flag and the MAGA brand have something in common — they both represent lost causes that lasted only four years.

Where Trump’s recount fundraising dollars are really going — Money raised to pay for recounts goes to covering campaign debts, funding future political activities and boosting like-minded figure.

Lost causes, from the Confederacy to Trump.

The Lost Cause of the Trumpocracy.

“The Million MAGA March is mostly men because they're not very good at getting women to come.”

“The Million MAGA March is mostly men because they’re not very good at getting women to come.”

‘Million MAGA March’ Falls More Than 900,000 Short of a Full Deck.

Donald Trump’s “Million MAGA March” Draws 5K People In DC.

White supremacists, far-right groups behind most US domestic terror incidents in 2020.

Roy Den Hollander was entrenched in ‘anti-feminist’ male supremacy movement – The suspect in an ambush on a judge’s family was a member of Men Going Their Own Way, who seek to avoid “the negative influence of women entirely.”.

Friday Five (daily double edition)

New York Times front page…

We have reached the second Friday in November. Half of my brain says that surely that can’t be right because it is obciously many, many, many months past that date–while the other half of my brain keeps hoping that it is much earlier in the year.

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but most days I feel as if I am barely hanging on to any semblance of reality by by fingernails. The fragileness of it all ought to have been alleviated by Trump being trounced in the election, but the evil narcissist is still officially president for nearly 70 more days, so no, it hasn’t.

So let’s get to the Friday Five. This week I an breaking a few rules. But since the rules I am breaking don’t imperil the republic, I dont feel guilty about them. So, the week I bring you: the top five stories that have nothing to do with either presidential campaign of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about the possible future of our fragile republic, five stories about the evil forces trying to destroy our republic, five stories about the sore loser, five stories about haters and other deplorables, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Squid-like creature that looked like a giant paperclip lived 200 years.

The Problem with Honey Bees – They’re important for agriculture, but they’re not so good for the environment.

That ‘murder hornet’ nest scientists found and destroyed had nearly 200 queens. They say they got there ‘just in the nick of time’.

Newly discovered primate ‘already facing extinction’.

Two-million-year-old skull of human ‘cousin’ unearthed.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Will Move to States, With Trump Judges to Defend Them.

New ‘blueprint’ lights way for Biden to reverse Trump policies on LGBTQ rights.

Wentworth Miller Says He’s Done With ‘Prison Break’ And Playing Straight Men – The “Legends of Tomorrow” actor, who is gay, said he’s eager to focus on queer representation on-screen moving forward.

Biden-Harris Transition Team Includes Trans Veteran, LGBTQ+ Notables.

Gay man adopts five siblings because family is forever (even if it changes slightly) – A former foster kid, he knew how hard it could be in the system. After all, he was separated from his eight siblings when he entered the system himself.

This Week in the Pandemic:

Everything you need to know about the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. “Many vaccines which require cold storage need to be kept at around 4°C or lower but it has been suggested that the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70°C. This could pose problems for transport and storage of the vaccine.” That is a really big logistical nightmare that very few are talking about… How will a COVID vaccine be distributed once it’s approved by FDA?

Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing. Here’s what it will take to gain control – Experts continue to emphasize the importance of masks, social distancing and other public health measures.

U.S. sets another record with over 153,000 new coronavirus cases as states threaten lockdowns.

‘You Can See The Regret’: ICU Nurse On Patients Who Failed To Take COVID Precautions.

Pelosi, Schumer renew push for $3.4T coronavirus relief bill, teeing up battle with McConnell.

This Week in the Future of Democracy:

Big John Fetterman Can Save the Democratic Party — if the Democrats Let Him – Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor on why Democrats must embrace legal weed, what he thinks about fracking, and why Trump has a clear lane to running in 2024.

What ‘Centrists’ Don’t Understand About Liberalism – Equality is the root of Democratic politics and policies. “Centrist” republicans are just bog-standard republicans who are too dim to realize they are using dog-whistles when they use them.

‘We’re not some demonic cult’: Democrats fume over faulty messaging – Rank-and-file lawmakers are anxious, but major leadership changes are unlikely.

Sen. Angus King Says Republican Silence Is Putting National Defense In Danger.

Tlaib lashes out at centrist Dems over election debacle: ‘I can’t be silent’ – In a scathing memo, progressives say centrists are playing into Republicans “divide-and-conquer racism.”.

This Week in Failing to Prove Election Fraud:

Coalition of election officials, stakeholders says there is ‘no evidence’ votes were compromised.

USPS ‘Whistleblower’ Told Agents Project Veritas Penned His Ballot-Tampering Claim = Audio of Richard Hopkins’ interview with investigators shows him walking back his claim of ballot-tampering and admitting he wasn’t fully aware of what was in the affidavit.

In poll watcher affidavits, Trump campaign offers no evidence of fraud in Detroit ballot-counting.

Single Nevada case shows futility of Trump effort to reverse election result.

Former WA Republican Attorney General: ‘Irresponsible’ to try forcing electoral college to defy state voters.

This Week in Sore Losers:

Donations under $8K to Trump ‘election defense’ instead go to president, RNC.

Team Biden sees Trump’s post-election fight as comedy of errors.

Trump Reportedly Screamed at Rupert Murdoch Over Fox News’ Arizona Call for Biden.

Four Seasons Total Landscaping Is a Perfect Trump Backdrop.

Trump’s temper tantrum shows why we must stop praising those who don’t accept defeat.

This Week in Haters and Other Deplorable People:

Michigan governor kidnap mastermind wanted to execute her on live TV and burn the state capitol: report.

Militia leader Stewart Rhodes says he has men stationed outside of D.C. ready to engage in violence on Trump’s order.

‘Embrace Your Bullsh!t’ – The Top Five Times the Religious Right practically swooned over Donald Trump.

Meet Dean Browning, the politician busted for likely posing as gay, Black, Trump-lover on Twitter.

Democratic Officials Lied About Role in Alex Morse Smear, Internal Report Finds – A Democratic attorney urged students to leak vague allegations against Morse to Politico, the students told an internal party investigator.

In Memoriam:

Legendary Trans Performer Bambi Lake Passes Away at Age 70.

Alex Trebek, Revered Host of ‘Jeopardy!’ for 36 Years, Dies at 80.

Remembering Alex Trebek, The Man With All The Answers.

‘Jeopardy!’ producer talks Alex Trebek’s ‘nice final day’ before his death – “He was coherent. He wasn’t in pain, and the fact that he had a nice final day, I think makes all of us in the ‘Jeopardy!’ family feel much better,” one of the show’s executive producers told TODAY.

Opinion: Alex Trebek left us a tremendous gift.

Tributes Pour Out for Alex Trebek After ‘Jeopardy’ Icon Loses Cancer Battle; Producers Reveal Final Show Date.

A Wake for Alex Trebek – Jeopardy! contestants, past and present, mourn the loss of their legendary host.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 11/7/2020: Biden-Harris for the win.

Sunday Update 11/8/2020: Sore loser.

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You tried to destroy my Republic. Prepare to lose the election!”.

So it ends in a scruffy parking lot between a dildo store and a crematorium.

Random Noun Syndrome, or, if a white-bearded queer can’t laugh at himself, who can?

Dragged kicking and screaming….

Topical Videos!

Republicans Are 0 For 10 In Lawsuits Seeking To Overturn Biden’s Election Win:

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Trump Lost the 2020 Election, So Republicans Are Attacking Democracy: A Closer Look:

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Trump Has Yet To Show Real Evidence Of Fraud, But Getting Him Out Of Office May Be A Bumpy Ride:

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McEnany’s answer stuns Cooper: That’s next level stuff “Soon, as many 282,000 Americans will have died”:

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“Weird Al” Yankovic – I Lost On Jeopardy (Official Video)
This video needs some context. Weird Al wrote this parody just a bit over a year before the first episode of the rebooted Jeopardy hosted by Alex Trebek was recored. The set shown in this music video is based on the way Jeopardy looked during its initial run during the ’60s and ’70s. Art Fleming, who was the host for it’s entire first run until 1979 appears in the video. Don Pardoe, who was the announcer on this and dozens of other NBC show during the 50s, 60s, and 70s has a vocal appearance. Those you not old enough to remember to old version of Jeopardy by recognize Pardo as the man who was the announcer for more than 25 seasons of Saturday Night Live. This Weird Al song is a parody of the pop song “(Our Love’s in) Jeopardy” recorded by the the Greg Kihn band and reached the Top Ten in 1983. Greg Kihn makes a cameo at the very end in an appearance that evokes the official music video of his band’s song. While technically this Weird Al song has nothing to do with the Trebek Era of Jeopardy I still think it is a tribute to the deep cultural impact the show has had on us all:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

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