Hi everyone!  All 17 of you!

(If you really like this blog, incidentally, and not just “like” it, please feel free to share with friends and loved ones.  Why shouldn’t they also benefit from some fun reading?  Maybe they don’t read?  So what? They will like the pictures. Admit it. Sometimes you just look at the pictures.)

It’s almost the 4th of July, which is a good holiday for us, but of course things right now are a little odd so some of us aren’t feeling the love.  But hey, if the prospect of a third-world fascist military parade gets you down, at least we have Megan Rapinoe and the US Women’s Soccer team to rekindle our national pride.

As Ms. Rapinoe said, slightly tongue in cheek: “you can’t win a championship without gays!”  Funny because it’s true.  I like her.  Here’s hoping she scores a hat-trick on Sunday.  Or is that just hockey?  If there’s a different term for scoring 3 goals in soccer, please IM me.

Oops.  My political leanings are showing.  Broke the “no politics” blog rule.  Oh well.

This is nice, but essentially it’s a natural concrete rock formation on the beach in Malibu, with holes in it big enough to walk through. So what? What is it with people and pictures of holes in rocks? Sheesh. That’s Kiki’s foot through the hole on the far right, BTW

Anyway, if you’re struggling with loving the ol’ US right now, that’s okay.  We all struggle at times, at least if we are actually thinking about stuff.  But if you need to fake it till you make it, let’s go back to a little TV show called “Hogan’s Heroes.”

I mentioned Hogan’s Heroes not long ago for the way it was able to make fun of the Nazis so soon after WWII and get away with it (by having Jewish actors playing the Nazis, mostly), but there is one episode and one tiny scene, with one tiny joke that comes to mind at times like these.

Carter is out on a mission and he almost gets caught, escaping at the last minute, losing a button from his uniform in the process.  This button, with “US” boldly stamped into the metal, provides the clue that the Gestapo can use to find the culprit, and if they figure out it’s one of the boys from Stalag 13, the whole operation is screwed.

Major Hochstetter (I’m writing these names from memory, which is disturbing on a certain level) is in Col. Klink’s office.  He and Klink are discussing the button.

Klink passes the button to Sgt. Schultz, God love him, who examines it closely for a moment, then smiles and says: “Isn’t that nice, ‘us’!”  Yes, the dummkopf thinks it’s the word “us.”

Hogan's Heroes
Schultz (John Banner)  in action. Photo © 1967 CBS Photo Archive

Maybe he’s no dummkopf.  When you’re getting down about the ol’ U.S., just remember, U.S. also spells “us,” which is all of us, which, as Sgt. Schultz reminds us, is nice.

I had no specific topic and was going to simply share some observations from the last week that I remembered to write down (most of these useless thoughts are lost to the wind), but as it turns out, this seems to be turning into a blog about diversity and inclusion.  So let us continue.

There’s a lot of talk about immigration and racism and all, and that’s WAY too political to get into here in specifics and policy, but most of the people I know and talk to are very pro-inclusion and diversity.  Let’s face it, we’re all different, some more than others. Why should this be a threat?

Just take genetics and Darwinian theories of evolution (what little I know, which is what they forced us to learn in bio), and a few studies (that I’ve heard about but not actually read), and we see, undeniably, that the more diverse the gene pool, the less incidence of hereditary illness.

Therefore, scientifically, diversity is good.  The more commingled the gene pool gets, the healthier we are as a species, because many genetic illnesses require both parents to have the normally recessive disease gene, and that’s much less likely to happen when the parents are from different races or ethnicities.   And as this continues, the recessive gene eventually dies off! So there’s that little tidbit. 

I just needed a suitable image here. Thank you wikinut, whatever that is. https://img.wikinut.com/img/1bsqr7m8p_drse29/jpeg/0/Darwinian-Theory.jpeg

Out here in California, we’re all in on the diversity, except some of those people away from the coast who might as well be in Iowa (no offense to Iowa, nice place, and Radar O’Reilly is from there).  But still, it surprised me the other day when I called my physical therapist and the usual recorded thing comes on.

First, it says “if this is a medical emergency, hang up and dial 911,” to which I think, what kind of moron calls a physical therapist when they’re having a heart attack?”  But that’s not the point.

Next it said, “for instructions in Spanish, press 1, for English, press 2.”  So I pressed 2, but then I realized that perhaps for the first time ever in my experience, Spanish was the first choice!  This was cool.  I’m like, look at us, California, getting with the program!

But then I think, wait, if “1” is the choice for Spanish, what happens if someone calls the number and doesn’t speak English? The instructions start in English, so how will a Spanish-only speaker know what to do? This bothers me.  Surely, someone needs to do something about this, and fast.

The next thought I had that is diversity-related is about ordering Chinese food, or any of the myriad Asian foods, for that matter.  This is also diversity, no?  I mean, we have Asian restaurants up the wazoo out here, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Pilipino, Himilayan (not kidding), Nepalese (is that any different from Himilayan? Just wondering), Mexican… wait, wrong continent.  New York also, everywhere you look, in all 5 boroughs! Foods of many lands!

This sign, aside from being racist, is also a bad sign, as is this restaurant’s mediocre Yelp rating. Photo ©2019 by me

And whenever a new Chinese restaurant opens, what do they do? They mail, or put on your doorstep, their menu, with specials and all that.  You know, lunch includes soup, rice, fortune cookie, etc. Sometimes a coupon for a free eggroll (eggrolls are usually a bad sign, incidentally as they don’t seem to exist in China), or whatnot.

We got a new menu in the mail the other day and I looked it over quickly and immediately threw it out. Well, recycled it.  It didn’t meet my standards for ordering from a new place.

What is that criteria, you ask?  Shrimp.  More precisely, shrimp prices.

Whether you eat shrimp or not, just open the menu the shrimp section and see how much a shrimp dish is, be it kung pao or with broccoli, whatever.  (Not General Tso’s, that’s chicken. ) If the shrimp is less than $12.99, do not order from this restaurant.

Yes, that’s right, another insect photo. I like taking pics of bugs. Not like I’m special in this regard, a lot of people do, and these cameras in phones these days are amazing. Still, I think bugs like me. Let me hold onto my illusions.

Good shrimp is not cheap.  Not-so-good shrimp is. In order to charge, say, $8.99 for a shrimp dish, they gotta pay like 5 dollars a pound for that shrimp.  No thank you.  And if they use cheap shrimp, they use cheap everything else.  This is my theory.  Sure, it costs more, but it’s worth not getting food poisoning or something.  Although I am now thinking of calling my new band Cheap Shrimp.  Has a nice ring to it.

Smoking in Bed” has a nice ring to it, and it has a lot more words. 129,529, to be exact.  That’s a crap-load of words. The New Testament has 783,137 words, for Christ’s sake.  The Torah clocks in at about 677,800, but that’s up for debate.  The fun part is that all of those words are on one continuous sheet of parchment.  That’s pretty special.

My point is, if you have Kindle, you can get my novel, all 414 pages of it, for $.99. Yes, less than one dollar.  What a deal for you!  Sadly, that works out to about $0.0007762 per word for me.  And I thought this could make me rich.  I could charge a lot more for it if it were on parchment, let alone one continuous sheet thereof.

Happy 4th everyone! Drive safely and leave the fireworks to the professionals!


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