It’s been a long time…

Part of the reason I haven’t written is just because it has been such a long time. The barrier to starting again has put pressure on the first thing that I write when I do return. Today I think I’m finally feeling enough pressure to break that barrier and start. There are a few specific things on my mind that I want to get off my mind, so I will start right in.

COVID-19

I see both sides of this thing. On the one hand, the obvious hand, this is killing some people who otherwise would not have died so soon, and that’s a terrible thing. People who think this is nothing, just the flu, or that the whole thing is a hoax are very confused. On the other hand, there is a huge PSYOP underway to destroy economies and systems, including capitalism itself. The ironic thing is that capitalism is what is going to save the world from the first consequence – the deaths. Without capitalism we wouldn’t have vaccines as abundantly as we do, and we wouldn’t have trials already showing successes. It is just a fact that people as a whole need to be motivated externally in order to produce something. Capitalism has its flaws, but to ignore its benefits is ignorance.

More and more it feels like the media is just cooking up ways to try to keep people living in fear that this will never go away, that there are millions of people dying who otherwise would live forever, that there are all kinds of unknown symptoms that keep being discovered, and that we’ll never be able to go back to life as normal. Maybe we will never go back to life exactly as it was, but what they don’t understand is how much interdependence we all have on the systems in place. Mega cities only work because of highly efficient industrialized farming and food production, and so on. Pull the wrong pin out of this system and things will break in unexpected ways causing more deaths than the virus itself. The media seems intent on pulling every pin it can in hopes of finding the one that breaks us. Will this or a future virus break our way of life? Possibly, but if so it won’t be because the virus itself kills off our way of life. We’ll do that to ourselves.

News

Speaking of the media, I get alerts and headlines from a lot of different news sources. In order to be fair, that even includes FOX, though generally I am annoyed by their rhetoric. It helps to have some kind of counterbalance to the media majority which is passionately anti-conservative and willing to leave out facts that do not support their agenda. Of course FOX also leaves out facts that do not support their agenda, but they at least don’t pretend to not have an agenda. However, I have lately turned FOX’s emails and notifications off as well as several others. Their headlines recently changed from being descriptive into sounding like clickbait. Like, and this is not a direct quote: “President Trump started doing this one thing, and it is amazing.” It forces you to click on the notification in order to read something that you really might not care about, just so that they get a few more fractional cents from their advertisers for my time. Well it has backfired, and I’ll probably never be back. Unfortunately for them (FOX), other people are turning them off or will be clicking less, even if they aren’t as aware of it. The tactic works only in the short term as people begin to realize that they are clicking through to things that they really don’t care about.

Not that I don’t care about the tragedy in this example, but the way they came in back-to-back describes this situation perfectly so I took a screenshot. CNN is just trying to report. FOX is trying to get a click:

The media seems to be in a blissful glee during this pandemic. Every shot of fear they can send makes things better for them. 6ft? I saw an article today that it should be 19ft. There was an article over a month ago about how 30 or 60 might not even be enough. Every time they hear of a virus related death from a famous person or related to a famous person, they just can’t wait to tell everyone about it. I could almost see them jumping up and down with joy when Tom Hanks and wife came down with it. It is sick. And here’s 20 ways it could affect your children causing symptoms worse than death! Pah! Ok, it is terrible if it happens to you, but make no mistake that there is a campaign to make you afraid and dependent.

Let’s put this into perspective. 1.25M people die each year of car crashes, yet the vast majority of people still break the speed limit without thinking twice. There is no public campaign to make people follow the law to keep others safe. In fact, there’s generally a lot of apathy about driving safety. How many more people are injured for life by car accidents? Someone can get thrown in jail or kicked out of a store for not wearing a mask, but that same person can put others lives at immediate risk by driving too fast with very little potential for consequence.

The Curse of 2020

It has been a tough year for so many reasons. We’re feeling it in a lot of different ways collectively as people and individually as a family. In addition to the common things we are all facing, my Mom had a recent health concern unrelated to COVID-19 which is concerning. I have a wall in the basement that has started breaking and is being pushed inwards that will likely cost a lot of money to repair. I’ve also been discouraged by how difficult it is to get people to do anything. There is a lot of apathy out there right now, and it is bleeding over into social, religious, and work environments. The unfortunate side effect of this is that it is making me more apathetic to them as well.

In spite of that, my immediate family is stronger than ever. We realized that this home school format really lets our youngest child thrive, so she’s going to homeschool next year. My work is also keeping me very busy, which I can’t complain about when so many people have lost their jobs. Even while we tighten our belts like everyone else, we still realize that we’re very blessed. Things could be so much worse than they are.

Great Lakes Science Center

Dean takes a moment to pose in a space suit.

We spent a few hours today at the Science Center. We keep a family membership because there is always enough new or even old that is interesting or challenging. It is a good way to spend several hours to half a day.

Today we took Signe’s brother and his children with us. We started out making airplanes out of sturdy paper, dowels, and hot glue. One of Signe’s brother’s kids had a record plane when they launched them with rubber bands. At one time the plane was stuck high up in the corner of the wall and a concrete support it went so far. Everyone enjoyed making the airplanes, even if not all of them flew very well.

Each of the kids participated in the egg drop where they spent time constructing a protective structure of their choosing out of various types of materials. The idea was to drop the egg inside the container from at least a 50 foot drop and see if the egg survives. One of the items we had to work with was plastic grocery bags which make rather nice parachutes when attached with yarn to a carriage of some sort. I helped Dean with his project. We suspended a dixie cup with several strands of yarn inside of a larger structure built with straws and coffee filters. To the top we attached a plastic grocery bag. Dean’s idea was that the top coffee filter would be the first parachute and the grocery bag the second one. After dropping the contraption the system worked perfectly. After about a 1/3rd of the way near free-fall on the coffee filter parachute the grocery bag caught the air and opened perfectly. The entire structure hit the ground rather hard, but the yarn holding the suspended egg acted like springs and absorbed the shock of the landing. We were quite proud that the egg did not break, in spite of the fact that we didn’t completely enclose the egg in protective materials like many other people.

Dean is using blocks to create designs and structures by repeating a pattern according to instructions.
Pierce is using mirrors and reflection to create a pattern of several to many repeating shapes based on the angle of the mirrors.

Dean and Pierce both found time to do many other challenging and engaging activities. Their cousins also enjoyed the experience, and everyone came away with many stories to tell. We came home and enjoyed watching the first Home Alone movie. It was a very enjoyable day.