A Shot in the Arm

I got the COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday, the first of two shots. I have to admit that I’m experiencing some worrisome side effects:

  • Vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of hair

Oh wait. I had all of that before I got vaccinated. Sorry about that.

What I am experiencing post vaccination is a slight soreness in the arm where I got the injection. Otherwise, I’m good to go and very happy to have finally received that shot in the arm.

A Month of Love #6

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.

In May of last year I became a first time grandfather and I love being able to spend time with my grandson. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I usually get to spend only a few hours of face-to-face time a week with him. Still, those few hours are precious.

12 Bloggerz — February 2021

Rory, over at A Guy Called Bloke, has this monthly “thing” he does where he poses 12, oh I don’t know, irreverent questions. Here is what he is asking us this month.

1. How high are your current energy and wellbeing levels as in are you relaxed, chilled, tense or stressed or do you think that despite everything you are doing pretty well and your mental health is balanced?

I am definitely an even keel type of guy. And I’ve been especially mellow since Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President on January 20th. Ask me this question again next week when the impeachment trial of Donald Trump starts in the U.S. Senate, and my answer might be different.

2. Do you perform any ‘refreshing cleanses or routines’ to help you prepare for the day or the week ahead?

I have a steaming hot cup of coffee first thing each morning. Without that, I’d never make it through the day.

3. When was the last time you had a major ‘declutter’ of the house and do you have one planned again?

Last year at this time, right before we moved from San Francisco to the East Bay, we purged a whole bunch of stuff so we didn’t have to lug it from our old place to our new one.

4. Do you have a ‘happy place’ you can go to relax and chill out – if so what or where is it?

On the couch in our family room.

5. What are three of your favorite songs that you listen to when you wish to wind down and let the day pass you by for a while?

I’m probably going to suffer some ridicule for my answer, but it’s New Age music from artists like Yanni, David Lanz, or Enya. Although, my favorite genre of music is 60s and 70s classic rock.

6. Which is more important in your eyes … to be kind or to be nice?

Why can’t you be both kind and nice? It’s nice to be kind and it’s kind to be nice. Unless you happen to encounter a far-right, MAGA-caping wearing, white supremacist, QAnon following, rabid Trump supporter, in which case neither being nice nor kind is called for.

7. When was the last time you experienced a strange and bizarre dream and what was it about and also, what do you think it means/meant?

Almost all of my dreams are strange and bizarre, but by the time I wake up, I can’t remember most of them. Except for my periodic recurring dreams, which you can read about here should you care to.

8. When was the last time you accidentally made yourself jump or you scared yourself?

I don’t typically scare myself or make myself jump, but the other day I was watching TV with my noise-canceling headphones on and my wife snuck up behind me and screamed “Boo!” Yes, that made me jump.

9. If you had the opportunity of looking 10 years into your own future and living there for a day – would you take the journey?

At my age I might not have 10 years into my own future, so no, I wouldn’t want to take that journey.

10. How organic are you and your lifestyle [as in chemical free]?

My wife is a big proponent of organic foods and she makes an effort to buy and cook with organic ingredients. And I’m all for that. Then again, I drink Diet Coke and use Splenda to sweeten my organic coffee.

11. How well do you sleep and how many hours are you able to sleep daily and more importantly, how rested do you feel each and every day upon waking?

I can usually fall asleep pretty quickly. My problem is that I can’t stay asleep. And the problem can be boiled down to one unfortunate malady, “Old Man Syndrome,” or OMS.

OMS is an affliction that usually starts to manifest itself when men enter their sixties and begin to suffer the aches, pains, and indignities that come with age. My OMS occurs virtually every night somewhere between 2 and 5 a.m. That’s when I wake up and have no option but to get out of bed to go pee. It doesn’t matter whether I stop drinking fluids right at dinnertime or continue to imbibe until just before bedtime.

The good news is that most nights, after taking care of business, I can fall asleep almost instantly upon returning to bed. On average, I get about six to seven hours of sleep each night and I generally do feel rested when I wake up.

12. When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and felt immediately better for it?

1978, when I got married. You know: for better or for worse.

SoCS — False Flag

“Colonel, I think we’re looking at a false flag operation,” Captain Charles Reynolds told his superior officer.

“Why do you think that, Charles?” Colonel Bradbury asked. “Do you have definitive evidence?”

“Nothing definitive, sir. Not yet, anyway. But my team is working on it,” Reynolds answered. “As you know, sir, the intent of a false flag attack is to shift the blame elsewhere. There are clear characteristics in the hack that point to Iran, but while the techniques applied in this attack are typically used by Iranians, my team has uncovered some telltale signatures in the code that indicate the Russians may be behind it. They, the Russians, sir, are very good at emulating the techniques, and even languages, used by the groups or countries they are trying to frame, which in this case, is Iran.”

“Yes, Charles, that is what the Russians do,” said Bradbury. “They stage their attacks in such a way that it looks to their victims and to the world that another country is behind the cyber attack. They’re very good and masking who’s actually responsible.”

“Indeed,” Reynolds said. “While there are a number of countries that have engaged in this sort of attack, by far the most prolific practitioner is Russia, using its GRU intelligence service and hackers associated with it.”

“What do you think their aims are, Charles?”

“Best case, sir, it’s just to annoyingly infiltrate our systems in order to demonstrate that they can get at us,” Reynolds said. Then he swallowed hard and said, “Worst case, they can potentially bring about widespread chaos by shutting down all electronic communications and infrastructure systems in the country.”

“Well godammit, Reynolds, we need to take action to prevent something like that from happening,” Bradbury barked. “You need to confirm whether this is, in fact, a Russian false flag attack or if it is actually the Iranians. The President is going to want to strike back at whoever is responsible and that strike has to directed at the right adversary or we’re all going to be in deep shit.”

Captain Reynolds crisply saluted Colonel Bradbury. “Yes sir, right away sir,” Reynolds said, as he spun around and left the colonel’s office.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are asked to use the word “flag” in our post.

FOWC with Fandango — Cathartic

FOWCWelcome to February 6, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “cathartic.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.