- Cold Front
- Elizabeth Kummert
- Pacific Sunset
- Ed Notes
- Doctor Fauci
- Bread & Circus
- Supes Agenda
- Good & Crazy
- Tax Relief
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- Panic Not
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- Police Reports
- Yesterday's Catch
- Spirit Animal
- Welcome Mat
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A COLD FRONT will approach the area from the northwest today. Rain will move into the northern part of the area this morning and spread southward through Tuesday, with light mountain snow also expected. (NWS)
ELIZABETH BETTY JUNE (LEASH) KUMMERT
Nov. 17, 1928 - Mar. 10, 2020
Elizabeth Kummert passed away peacefully at Dalistan Care Home in Ukiah on March 10, 2020 at the age of 92. She was born in Santa Rosa, on November 17, 1928 to parents Joe Leash and Hildred (Smith) Leash. Elizabeth attended Ursuline High School in Santa Rosa from 1941-1945, where she was captain of the varsity basketball team. Elizabeth then attended Santa Rosa Junior College from 1945-1947 where she met Jack Kummert while working on her teaching credential. They were married on July 10, 1949. At this time, she was also heavily involved in oil painting as well as color sketch drawings. Elizabeth then went on to teach first grade at St. Rose School in Santa Rosa from 1947 to 1964. When husband Jack was promoted from Assistant Manager at the Santa Rosa Wells Fargo Bank in 1964, The Kummerts moved from Santa Rosa to Ukiah where Jack opened the new Wells Fargo branch there as the Bank's first Manager. In 1965 in Ukiah, Elizabeth filled in for a friend as a Deputy County Clerk, Registrar of Voters, and Commissioner of Marriages for the County of Mendocino, was subsequently hired on full-time, and remained for about 40 years.
Elizabeth enjoyed working in the family vineyard as well as the ranch landscaping and gardening and also crocheted, knitted, and made pies and preserves, participating in the Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show in Boonville, for years.
Elizabeth is survived by her son, Erik Charles Kummert of Lower Lake; sister-in-law Karen Kummert Noland and brother-in-law Mike Noland and niece Denis Noland, all of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and nephews Martin Noland and wife Tracey Noland of Medford, Oregon, and Scott Noland and wife Nicole Noland of Medford, Oregon, nephew Bruce Magowan of San Francisco, nephew Blair Magowan, wife Julie Magowan, and children Ross and Heather Magowan, all of Rancho Cordova. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her sister Jacqueline (Leash) Magowan, Husband Jack Henry Kummert, father Joe Leash and mother Hildred (Smith) Leash, Grandfather Noble Leash, Grandmother Mildred Leash.
Elizabeth requested that no funeral services be held and she will be interred at the Catholic Niche in the reserved place beside Husband Jack Kummert at Russian River District Cemetery, Ukiah. Arrangements are under the direction of Eversole Mortuary, Ukiah CA.
photo by MendocinoSportsPlus
THE WAY it seems to be working out, we're the beneficiaries of a kind of cordon sanitaire that has so far kept the plague to the south of Mendocino County. The virus is centered, as of Sunday, in the Bay Area and decreases with each county north, and even in the Bay Area it hasn't reached the terrible incidence it has in New York.
MILITARY PLANNERS are looking at these “extraordinary circumstances” and are preparing for a range of dire scenarios, including the possibility of widespread domestic violence and the deaths of the country's top politicians. In a report published Sunday, Newsweek revealed that standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready Above-Top Secret contingency plans if “all Constitutional successors be incapacitated” and martial law needs to be imposed across the country.” “We're in new territory,” one anonymous senior military officer told Newsweek.
NEW YORK'S GOVERNOR, Andrew Cuomo on Sunday: "There is a density level in New York City that is wholly inappropriate. You would think there was nothing going on in parts of New York City. You would think it was just a bright sunny Saturday. I don't know what I'm saying that people don't get. I don't know what they're not understanding. This is not life as usual. None of this is life as usual."
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the New York Times that it's a tricky business telling Trump "things he doesn't want to hear. What you need to do is continually talk about what the data are." Which Fauci has done a couple of times during Trump's rambling presentations. (Can't help thinking of Fauci as Geppetto every time he pops up in my viewshed.)
FOR INSTANCE, when Trump went off on a riff about malaria meds as a cure for coronavirus, Fauci quickly asserted that the dear leader was actually trying to say, "The president is talking about hope for people and it's not an unreasonable thing to hope for people."
HANDI-WIPES and other cleansing paper products have fouled Novato’s sewage plant, and wouldn't you have supposed people would know better?
MY FAVORITE Not-Handling-The-Crisis-Well is the obese couple flipping out at a checkout stand because they were only allowed one case of Mountain Dew. And the mysterious woman at Ukiah's Safeway who bought out the store's entire stock of bananas.
THE BIGGEST virus irony of all are the emergency socialist measures to shore up free enterprise. Treasurey Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday it looks like every family is going to get a check for three grand, which won't be enough. Better up it to five, Steve, or there's going to be trouble. Remember Senator Grassley's famous remark that "Any society is only 9 meals away from a revolution." Or a can of Mountain Dew or a banana.
WHEN MILLIONS MORE AMERICANS file unemployment claims this week, it will represent the highest level of unemployment in American history, much greater than during the Great Depression. And Trump has warned that he may throw the entire nation into lockdown for two weeks, shutting all businesses across our unprepared 52 states.
FROM TOM ALLMAN, former Mendo Sheriff: "I have had well over 100 messages regarding Facebook rumors that we will soon be under Martial Law. Please do what you can to stop the scare mongers. Mendocino County is following the guidelines and the National Guard isn’t coming in. People have enough stress right now, without these horrid rumors. Thanks."
ANYWAY, if the Guard were to be called out they would be needed in the major population centers, not the outback. Get used to it, Mendo, we're not high priority.
I WAS STARTLED last Thursday morning during my aerobic tour just before dawn by a man standing motionless on AV Way just past the elementary school on that little rise in the road shaded by trees. I didn't see him until I was about three feet away when I yelled good morning full volume, which he didn't acknowledge but didn't seem to be startled either. No reason for him to be standing there away from driveways, and not a place where anybody would wait for a ride. If you were in one of the cars that passed us, please call me at the ava office. You must have seen him, too, tall white guy, maybe with a backpack. Second time something like that has happened to me on AV Way. The other time someone walked past me so close in the dark he brushed my shoulder, but that was some time ago.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is working to get the White House coronavirus press conferences to go virtual and also trying to keep President Trump’s statements about the pandemic fact-based. Asked about things that “are being said that aren’t true and aren’t factual” in a new interview with Science magazine, Fauci said he tells “the appropriate people” and they speak to Trump, “be careful about this and don’t say that. But I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down. OK, he said it. Let’s try and get it corrected for the next time.” Fauci also gave a “no comment” when asked whether he’d been reprimanded for covering his face when Trump referred to the “deep State Department.” The moment has since gone viral. (Daily Beast)
EARTH TO SUPES: THERE’S A VIRUS GOING AROUND
by Mark Scaramella
READING NEXT TUESDAY’S SUPERVISOR’S AGENDA, we find zero (0) items related to the corona virus crisis, except for an introductory note saying that the meetings will no longer be held in person, nor will the public be allowed to attend in person.
“In order to minimize the risk of exposure during this time of emergency, the public may participate digitally in meetings by sending comments to email@example.com, in lieu of personal attendance. All public comment will be made immediately available to the Supervisors, staff, and the general public as they are received and processed by Clerk of the Board staff, and can be viewed as attachments to this meeting agenda at https://mendocino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx”.
WE ASSUME THAT SOMEONE OVER THERE KNOWS that the Brown Act allows additional items to be put on the agenda without the usual 72 hour notice if they determine that 1) the item is urgent, and 2) the item wasn’t known to the officials until after the regular notice. They have to have a 4/5 vote to add such items.
BUT STILL, you'd have though that somebody would have realized last Thursday when the agenda was posted that a generic corona virus update item should have been included.
OTHERWISE the agenda contains a lot of routine and, in the present context, nearly irrelevant items, like:
• $400k for an abandoned vehicle contract.
• Another (retroactive) $1.5 million for Redwood Community Services for a “whole person care pilot project,” bringing their total for this project to about $3 mil.
• Another $79k for RCS “to Provide Office/Meeting Space for Wellness Coaches and Coordination of Care for Whole Person Care Enrollees.”
• About $100k to the Community Foundation to “Provide Outreach Activities to the Hard-to-Count Populations in Mendocino County for the 2020 Decennial United States Census.”
• $239k for “Virgin Pulse” to Provide a Wellness Program to County Employees and their Eligible Dependents.”
• Acceptance of Informational Report Regarding the Issuance of Emergency Coastal Development Permit EM_2019-0002 (Moore) to Remove Three Trees and One Stump…
• An ominous $50k amendment with Eversole Mortuary to Increase the contract Amount to $100,000 to Provide Mortuary Coroner Services.”
And a few similarly ordinary items.
LET’S HOPE that somebody puts something on the agenda related to the rather obvious issue at hand.
PS. On Sunday, Supervisor Williams posted this note which looks like at least he, for one supervisor, gets it: “Residents in the county must comply with the Health Officer order and the State order. What this means tangibly for us will be discussed soon.”
PPS. Ross Liberty, owner of Factory Pipe in Ukiah which was alluded to at last Friday’s Board of Supes meeting as an essential business, posted on Sunday: “I feel like we’re the only company [in Ukiah] besides bars that actually closed. Mendocino Forest Products, Maverick [maker/seller of champagne closure capsules and related bottling supplies], all the wineries, all the hardware stores, motorcycle shops, breweries, Hoymen Art Studios — all open. I knew we could claim exemption because we manufacture parts that are sold to ‘Essential Services’ and with the Governor’s new order we qualify for exempt status because we’re in the Federal Critical Manufacturing category. But we didn’t. We closed because we’re all in this together and I wanted to be a good corporate citizen but instead I feel like a chump. If the County wants a meaningful Shelter In Place, get rid of the ridiculous exemptions. Make it meaningful or don’t do it. The Governor issued his meaningless order that will close nothing. If that’s what we want to do — fine, Factory Pipe will resume operations Monday. If the exemptions are greatly reduced, we will stay closed.”
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
Twice now over the past week, county officials, replying to the question of offering some property-tax relief to homeowners, have answered that only the state can extend the due date. This is true, but what they are not saying is the county can waive penalties and interest for late payments.
Currently, here in Mendocino County, if you do not pay, in full, your second property-tax installment by April 10, your partial payment will be returned and you are then assessed a 10% penalty (on the entire amount) plus a $20 "cost charge." The county can change this. For instance, they could waive all penalties and charges until some future date, which would essentially extend the due date. Or they could waive penalties/charges if you paid at least half (or a third, or a quarter) of your total amount by the tenth, and then offer a reasonable schedule for paying the remainder. (They could also ask those who are able, to go ahead and pay the full amount on the tenth.)
The point is, the county's hands are not completely tied on this issue. They could help, if they wanted.
BE PREPARED & DON’T PANIC
by Jonah Raskin
By the time I picked the miners lettuce in the meadow it had already flowered and was tougher than it would have been if I had picked it a week earlier, before the sun and warm weather. No, I’ve not become a gatherer and certainly not a hunter. Except for squirrels and wild turkeys there’s not much to stalk and shoot where I live on the outskirts of Cotati, where Sylvia Bracamonte was stabbed to death the other day, maybe connected to the virus, maybe not. It’s often difficult to pinpoint cause and effect, though less so in the immediate crisis than at many other times in the past. The corona virus makes people sick and then kills some of them. Go ahead and point the finger.
I never was a strict cause-and-effect person. No one single thing triggered World War I, the arrival of rock n’ roll big time in the 1950s and 1960s or my last divorce, which really messed with my head. I don’t mean to shun personal responsibility, but as the actor, Alec Baldwin, says in a recent movie, “It’s complicated.”
These days, people are urged not to panic and to get outdoors, relax and enjoy nature. Then thousands of northern Californians all leave their homes on the same day and at about the same time. The parking lots along the Pacific fill up and beaches are so crowded that it’s nearly impossible for people to walk or stand six-feet apart. That’s called unintended consequences. No one thought. Helping a friend or a neighbor could blow up in his or her face if you have the virus and don’t know it.
The unknown produces anxiety, which I’ve always had in abundance. As a kid, I saw and felt disaster at nearly every turn until my dad told me about Chicken Little who thought the sky was falling. My dad also told me about the boy who cried “Wolf” when there was no wolf around and then when he cried, “Wolf” and there really was a wolf no one believed him.
I haven’t been dangerously anxious since the arrival of the coronavirus, probably because I’m taking precautions and because I’m going through the crisis a day at a time with my housemate and our neighbors right next door who are Jacks and Jills of all trades and can create homeopathic remedies, repair toilets and heating systems and make delicious salads with miner’s lettuce.
When I look back at my own life, I can see that I‘ve been really freaked several times in conjunction with travel. In 1965 in Tunisia, the government grounded all planes and didn’t allow travelers to leave the country on scheduled flights. Another time in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, in 1980, the airline company messed with the list of travelers permitted to leave. So no one left until a bright passenger came to the rescue and we all flew to Oaxaca on an old DC-10 that Indiana Jones wouldn’t have been eager to board when traveling to and from civilization. Two Salvadorian friends are stuck right now in Florida because of the virus, but they’re in a big comfortable house with all the modern conveniences and aren’t freaked, at least not yet.
It’s human psychology that’s pushing the panic button, though there are many small things that we can all do to make a big difference, like washing our hands frequently. A friend of mine in San Francisco thinks hand washing is a waste of time and that the whole coronavirus thing is a conspiracy by the government. I hate to say it, but she and other paranoid individuals strike me as enemies of the people.
In France, my French friends tell me that Parisians have to carry ID cards, and show them to the cops, and that they can’t travel more than a two-kilometer radius from home. It might come to that here in the U.S.A., though I hope not. If and when it does, we ought to be psychologically prepared. Oh, also, I just remembered that my dad always said to me “Take it easy, but take it.” I didn’t get it when I was a kid. I do now.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Fields Landing Night Sky
by David Wilson
As long as stargazing is deemed safe in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 virus, I recommend getting out there and looking long and deeply into space. Maybe it will take some of the troubles off your mind, or perhaps shrink them down a little, for we and our whole planet, our entire solar system — the galaxy itself — merely float in an unimaginable vastness with billions of other solar systems and galaxies, like so many single-celled microorganisms in a drop of pond water. Except those single-celled critters under the microscope are a lot larger relative to our planet than our planet is to the rest of space.
Space is large and all around us, but we only see into a part of it each night. In the spring after dark our nighttime view of the galaxy shows us only a thin stretch of the Milky Way, that milky band of stars spanning the sky which gave our galaxy its name. But the night sky is still magnificent with its many stars and constellations to find, Venus bright in the western sky after sunset, the Moon here or there in her many phases, the odd meteor. Where the stars are in the sky after dark depends upon the season, for Earth’s night side faces a different direction into space with each season as we orbit around the sun. We can well imagine that where the planets appear in the sky depends both upon where Earth is in its orbit and where they are in their orbits around the sun.
On March 19, 2020 I went down to Fields Landing to stargaze and make nighttime images with a couple of friends. My efforts produced the accompanying photograph, a panorama looking west across Humboldt Bay from Fields Landing. It comprises five separate, side-by-side vertical frames, which I then put together into the whole. The resulting view is nearly 180º. Such a wide field of view adds a great deal of distortion to the image, with the most occurring near the edges. This can make it difficult to identify specific stars, particularly when the camera captures so many more stars than our naked eyes can see. You can see some of the distortion in the inward leaning of the posts and the angle of Venus’ reflection in the bay.
I have included an annotated version in which I marked the celestial features I could easily identify. There were a few other objects in the view that I couldn’t confidently identify amidst the profusion of stars and/or the distortion of the panorama: the Big Dipper was visible to our naked eyes near the clouds on the right ; Polaris, the North Star, is somewhere between the clouds and the Milky Way; the planet Uranus, which I labeled tentatively, is in that close vicinity, but I’m not positive which point of light it is; the constellation Cassiopeia, a great “W” shape in the Milky Way, is too hard to find with certainty; the constellation Orion is at the far left, but the only part I can identify with any surety is his “sword” hanging down from his belt line (to which my friend refers as Orion’s “celestial package”).
Spectacular as it all was, the best part of the night sky is yet to come: when the summertime position of Earth’s orbit around the sun brings into our view the richest and most visually detailed part of the Milky Way’s band across the nighttime skies immediately after dark. This is the core of our galaxy, a grand galactic structure we can view with our naked eyes. Were you to get up before dawn in the springtime you could find the Milky Way’s core close to the horizon in the southeast. But if you’re like myself and would rather stay up late to see it than get up early, the summer months will be our friends.
The night was alive ninety minutes after sunset on the shore of Humboldt Bay at Field’s Landing. A fishing boat glowed orange on the horizon, ground lights spilled their illuminations across the landscape and onto the clouds, and the stars revealed their constellations. Venus was sinking in the west, bright enough to cast a reflection in the bay. Even a faint hint of Milky Way shone diagonally across the sky. To cap it off, a meteor. March 19, 2020.
The panorama with annotations of easily identifiable celestial objects. The pole with the green light is a channel marker, and the orange point of light on the horizon is a fishing boat. Fields Landing, Humboldt Bay, California. March 19, 2020.
In this crop, note the vertical smudging around Andromeda, a sister spiral galaxy near our own Milky Way galaxy. We see Andromeda as an ellipse from our angle, and the smudge is how my camera picked up the ellipse. All of the stars are streaks due to their motion across the frame during the long exposure. This is a crop from a panorama at Fields Landing, Humboldt County, California on March 19, 2020.
Crop from the panorama showing the meteor, Venus, and the Pleiades star cluster. March 19, 2020.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
On March Friday, March 13, 2020 at about 5:42 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress occurring at a residence in the 10000 block of Branscomb Road in Branscomb. A 54 year-old male homeowner had returned to his residence after cutting wood on his property and discovered three adult male subjects later identified as Winter Costa, 25, of Soquel, Kameron Miller, 24, of Soquel, and Lucas Counts, 21, of Santa Cruz burglarizing his home.
The three subjects fled the residence in a vehicle prior to Deputies arriving on scene. Deputies learned the three listed subjects had ransacked the inside of the residence and had removed a large, locked gun safe from a storage building in the driveway area in front of his residence. During the investigation Deputies discovered the subjects had also vandalized the inside of the residence by damaging an expensive television by writing a threatening statement on it with a marker. The homeowner advised he knew two of the subjects as he had been in a previous dating relationship with one of the subject’s mothers. The homeowner provided information to the Deputies of where the subject’s mother resided. Deputies went to a residence in the 900 block of Branscomb Road in attempt to contact the mother. When the Deputies arrived at the residence they located all three subjects at the residence. Deputies conducted a search of a vehicle parked in front of the residence belonging to one of the subjects and found property taken during the reported burglary. All three subjects were arrested on charges of Burglary, Conspiracy and Felony Vandalism. Winter Costa was arrested for an additional charge of Criminal Threats for leaving the threatening message inside the burglarized residence. All three subjects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail where each was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
ANOTHER WILLITS GENTLEMAN
On Saturday, March 21, 2020 at about 2:40 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a physical fight involving multiple subjects at a residence located in the 1900 block of East Hill Road in Willits. When Deputies arrived on scene they observed two male subjects still actively fighting inside a small travel trailer and had to be separated by the Deputies. Deputies located an adult female, 25, of Willits, with a severe injury to her nose and face. Deputies interviewed the persons at the residence and learned Shannon Henson, 24, of Willits became angry with the adult female for inheriting the property they resided on.
Henson smashed the adult female’s truck windshield by unknown means and then went to his residence located on the same property. The adult female confronted Henson regarding the damage to her vehicle. Henson responded by punching the adult female causing a severe injury to her face. The adult female’s husband and other people at the location intervened to stop Henson from assaulting the adult female further. The adult female was transported via ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment. Deputies discovered Henson was on Mendocino County Probation and he was eventually arrested for Battery with Serious Injury Inflicted, Felony Vandalism, and Violation of Probation. Henson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $35,000 bail.
KITE FINDS THE JAIL
On Thursday, March 19, 2020 at about 11:10 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 21400 block of Locust Street in Willits. When deputies arrived they learned a 39 year-old female and Kite Finds The Feather, 41, of Willits were living together in a romantic relationship.
Reportedly, the pair had an argument in their residence during which Finds The Feather pushed the adult female and she fell onto a hot wood stove causing visible injuries to her right hand and wrist area. Deputies arrested Finds The Feather for domestic violence battery at the conclusion of the scene investigation. Finds The Feather was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 22, 2020
JAVIER MENDEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
MICHAEL MENDEZ, Ukish. Domestic abuse, robbery, false imprisonment, damaging communications device, protective order violation, probation revocation.
THOMMY NACE, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.
CHRISTIAN WALCONCELAREZ, Boonville. Domestic battery.
COMMUNITY & KILLER CATS
by Flynn Washburne
(Before we get rolling here, I’m going to ask that you imagine, before reading the first line of this little time-waster, it coming from the mouth of Dr. Nick Riviera. If you don’t know who that is, YouTube the name and you will find montages of the man saying the line over and over. If you are resistant to technological informational shortcuts or just don’t feel that newspaper articles should require multimedia confunction to effectuate their tone, then envision a voice of infectious, unalloyed cheer, a cheer that could only come from being an insanely optimistic doctor with a degree from the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College and a degree of confidence that could and does only come from a liberally applied regimen of self-prescribed pharmaceuticals when I say…)
However, I am channeling the good doctor not through the application of goofballs but the opposite, the clarity of freedom derived from unshackling myself from the insidious claws of my own intoxicant of choice, methamphetamine.
After eight days of not shovelling a witch's brew of corrosive chemicals into my aging and protesting corpus, I feel a relief not unlike that of waking up from a nightmare in which something terrible and terminal has happened in one's life and realizing it was only a dream. It's the longest I've been clean for quite some time; my sober days of late have been largely of the sleep-for-three-days-so-I-can-piss-clean variety, without any appreciable healing time.
Living like this, the damage appreciates like a boomtime mutual fund until I'm creaking and groaning like a rusty old boiler, senses and sensations numbed, operating at (maybe) half capacity and using what little wiles remain to figure out how to keep my use hidden from the various people charged with helping me to stay clean, And not, I hardly need mention, doing much of a job of it,
And so, as you might suspect, knowing me and my parole officer, I am yet again haunting the halls of yet another facility staffed with professionals in the Sisyphean field of trying to transform knuckleheads like me into taxpaying citizens, i.e., rehab. I'm in a new city and county, Eureka and Humboldt respectively, and while I don't want to slag Mendocino or Ukiah, the best you could say about that latter city in an aesthetic sense is that it is — no offense — drab. Eureka is beautiful, and while this might just be a case of being too far removed from any kind of metropolitan sophistication, I am stunned and enchanted by the architecture and public art. Although the Victorians are what Eureka is (justly) known for, there are also many gorgeous examples of midcentury modern houses, my favorite style. I've only ever lived in two and one I destroyed, but there's something about these houses and the images of shimmering rayon and the sweating martini pitchers they conjure that comforts and satisfies.
I mentioned when last you heard from me about wiping my butt with my last job and the efforts of some very caring and helpful people to keep me on the straight and narrow. But what I didn't reveal was my decision — skirted the issue entirely, if memory serves — to return to my former position of full-time tweaker.
The hours are (really) long and the pay nonexistent, but at least you get to watch porn all day. To boot, somewhere in my subconscious there arose the following thought: Flynn, old sock, you've got this terribly scary and damaging addictive impulse to destroy your life, and while that's all well and good, what you need is another ancillary and complementary addiction to speed up the process. Purely in the interest of efficiency and productivity, you understand. And so I discovered the insanely satisfying practice of, with a snootful of meth, shoving all my money into a beeping, clanging, glittering machine as it reluctantly returned progressively smaller amounts of it until I couldn't afford a handful of beans. Over the last couple of years I have managed, despite drugging it up like there was no tomorrow and trying hard to effectuate that potential reality, to hold on to my possessions, but this habit put paid to that minor accomplishment. When the dust settled I had no car, guitars, or a lot of other treasured and expensive stuff I'd managed to accumulate.
So I'm sitting at home one fine day, minding my own business, puffing on the pipe, when there came a knock on the door. Not the sort of knock that politely inquires "Hello? Anyone home?," but rather the variety that loudly and insistently shouts, "I'M ONLY DOING THIS FOR FORM'S SAKE AND AM COMING IN WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, DAMN WHATEVER MEASURES YOU MAY HAVE EMPLOYED TO PREVENT THAT SORT OF THING." You know, like cops do.
Sure enough, before the pounding had even ceased reverberating, my solitary pursuit was immediately and decisively curtailed by the presence of my parole officer and the repositioning of my hands behind my back, securely fixed in said position by the application of handcuffs. Not a new experience, but as always a decidedly deflating and depressing one.
After a bit of remonstration on his part and pleading on mine, the decision was arrived at, despite some serious opposition from the minority party, to update my status to Locked Up, and it was off again to the lovely Low Gap Hilton for a period of forced R and R. I stayed a week and was directed, upon release, to report post-haste to Clearlake Oaks and the Hilltop Recovery Center, and I meant to — really I did — do that very thing, but somehow managed, en route, to find myself, first, at the home of my preferred procurer of illicit pharma, and next, at Running Creek Casino in Nice. I stayed there for three full days to make absolutely certain my downfall would be utter and complete before returning to Ukiah and the not-so-tender mercies of parole and its embodiment vis-a-vis me, who mystifyingly told me not to face the wall and put my hands behind my back but to return home and wait while a decision was reached regarding my fate.
I did so and was given a week to get clean after which I would be transported to this little jewel of a city on Humboldt Bay and the Humboldt Recovery Center, from which I now address you.
As noted earlier, I am feeling remarkably upbeat and positive, hopeful for the future and fizzing with optimistic and effervescent joie de vivre, but this is by no means my first barbecue and I know it's a temporary condition engineered by my brain and body in a sort of thank-you note for curtailing the barrage of poison I've been subjecting them to. Once the condition of sobriety has accumulated enough hours to become status quo I'll no doubt return to my surly, argumentative, eremitic self, piling on layers of nacreous crust until I'm as salty as an old sea dog and no use to anyone at all, only deigning to participate in the social compact insofar as it might benefit me sexually or financially.
Or will I?
Many — and by many, I mean anyone who has spent more than a few hours in my company — people have suggested that this may just be part of the problem. Some have vociferously insisted that it definitely is and if I don't get my shit together and rejoin the human race I'll wind up living only for the moments when I can shout at children to get the hell off of my lawn. Much as I hate to admit to anyone ever being right about anything in opposition to my own views, I'm considering giving the idea some thought and admitting that other people do, in fact, have the right to exist and voice their opinions.
Years ago, I had a cat named Calliope, a smallish, unremarkable black female, who was a fairly typical example of the species when in the house either alone or with me. She did the normal cat things like lolling in sunbeams, tipping over drinks, interrupting my reading or computing, and sticking her butt in my face, as you'd expect a cat to do. Once any other being entered her purview, however, she turned into a blinding ball of spitting, hissing teeth and claws as she employed the entire feline defensive/aggressive arsenal in eradicating whomever might have the gall to draw breath in her presence.
It wasn't enough that she keep our home clear of interlopers, either — she went outside on daily patrols of the perimeter, attacking with extreme prejudice anyone she happened upon, be they canine, feline, avian, or primate. Calliope had simply come into the world, established a relationship with me and decided that was quite sufficient, thank you. If there was going to be any other business going on in the world it had better be done an undetectable distance from us or there'd be hell to pay. She was my personal spirit animal and I believe that our bond established the template for my current condition of isolationist distaste for the human race.
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the work of Malcolm Gladwell, specifically the book ‘Outliers,’ in which the introduction outlines the tale of a group of Italian immigrants who recreated their old-country community in the hills of Pennsylvania. Somehow these people managed, over the years while becoming Americans, to avoid falling victim to the usual American complaints of obesity, cancer, and heart disease. They were long-lived, happy, and productive, and they did it without spin classes, yoga, macrobiotic cooking, self-help books, or any of the tools Americans currently use to "improve" themselves. Observers were mystified as to the cause of this anomaly and scientists of varying disciplines collected data and puzzled over the situation until it was determined that it was "community," in the sense that everyone in town knew one another, looked out for one another, and shared in one another's problems, successes, and lives, that kept them healthy and happy. I doubt I could convince Calliope of the validity of this worldview, but it gives me something to think about.
If nothing else, I'd like to discard the discussion of drugs entirely for the time being and allow my mind to free-range muse on the sort of topics that used to color my submissions, back when I was in prison. I realize the self-indulgent navel-gazing is becoming tiresome — if it is to me, it surely is to the readership — and I do henceforth commit to the immediate improvement of my space herein.
LIVERPOOL’S JÜRGEN KLOPP SHINES AMID THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
by Dave Zirin
The sports world hasn’t exactly bathed itself in glory since the onset of our latest pandemic. Several sports had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward cancellation. The NFL, to great criticism, kept free agency open and on schedule, which led to finger-pointing between the league and the union. (I, for one, welcomed the distraction.) NASCAR and Ultimate Fighting were very late to see the writing on the wall. The International Olympic Committee is still denying the reality in front of their faces. [Although late Sunday they were reported to be “considering” postponing the Olympics.]
The NBA has also received their share of scorn, as some teams have jumped to the front of the line for Covid-19 testing after several players tested positive, even though most of them were not showing symptoms. It was a demonstration of one set of laws for the rich and famous, and another for us proles. (Although, it certainly hasn’t just been the NBA jumping to the head of the line. As black public figures, they are far easier scapegoats than your typical line-skipping CEO.) To my knowledge, two teams, the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans, have actually refused team-wide testing, arguing that people such as first responders should get first crack. As Andrew Lopez of ESPN tweeted of the Pellies, “Team’s full traveling party has not shown symptoms and team is committed to not having anyone tested in order to allow those who truly need tests to get them first.” This is great, but one can’t help but feel that this should be the bare minimum.
If there is one person in the entire sports world who deserves a tip of the hat, it’s the manager of Liverpool Football Club, Jürgen Klopp. You have probably already seen clips of Klopp (Clips of Klopp could be a show on Quibi). Klopp is the person who yelled at coronavirus-careless fans on March 11, as they were reaching for high-fives, “Put your hands away, you fucking idiots!”
On March 4, he was asked about the coronavirus and said, “What I don’t like in life is that [for] a very serious thing, a football manager’s opinion is important. It’s not important what famous people say. People with knowledge will talk about it and tell people to do this, do that, and everything will be fine, or not. Not football managers.”
But above all else has been a statement issued by Klopp this week to Liverpool fans. It’s beautiful and deserves to be read in full. Before taking it in, please understand that there may not be more loyal supporters on Earth than the “Scousers” who live and breathe for Liverpool, and who were on a toboggan ride toward their first league title in 30 years. The disruption of the season has caused some as much psychological turmoil as the virus itself. (Also, please understand that the last line, “You will never walk alone,” is a reference to the song that Liverpool’s supporters sing before every match. This ritual is the most iconic melding of soccer and verse in the world.)
Printed in full, here is Klopp’s statement:
I don’t think this is a moment where the thoughts of a football manager should be important, but I understand for our supporters they will want to hear from the team and I will front that.
First and foremost, all of us have to do whatever we can to protect one another. In society, I mean. This should be the case all the time in life, but in this moment I think it matters more than ever.
I’ve said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things. Today, football and football matches really aren’t important at all.
Of course, we don’t want to play in front of an empty stadium and we don’t want games or competitions suspended, but if doing so helps one individual stay healthy—just one—we do it no questions asked.
If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.
Today’s decision and announcement is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe. Because of that we support it completely. We have seen members of teams we compete against become ill. This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity. To our rival clubs and individuals who are affected and to those who later will become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
None of us know in this moment what the final outcome will be, but as a team we have to have belief that the authorities make decisions based on sound judgement and morality.
Yes, I am the manager of this team and club and therefore carry a leadership responsibility with regards to our future on the pitch. But I think in the present moment, with so many people around our city, the region, the country and the world facing anxiety and uncertainty, it would be entirely wrong to speak about anything other than advising people to follow expert advice and look after themselves and each other.
The message from the team to our supporters is only about your well-being. Put your health first. Don’t take any risk. Think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them.
Please look after yourselves and look out for each other.
You’ll Never Walk Alone,
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
RE: best ways to grow your own. It depends on your resources and where you reside. If you’re in a big city you can grow some food in containers, or talk to your apartment neighbors and start a community garden, preferably in a protected courtyard to avoid pilfering from outsiders. As for greenhouses, you could start small, start seedlings indoors and move to a cold frame you can easily build yourself. The trend in greenhouses that appeal to me are ones with wide-swinging doors where you drive your tractor through the enclosure and culvitate the land under the enclosure, thus eliminating all the plastic pots and labor-intensive steps of re-potting or planting. The ones with wheels need some form of anchoring. Even though I have tractors, I decided to build raised beds by digging out about 12-18″ of the soil and combining that with peat moss, manure compost, and saw dust. This significantly reduces your carbon footprint by eliminating the energy and pollution from plowing and cultivating. Weeds are easily pulled from this mixture of soil.
Companion planting and French-intensive gardening techniques should also eliminate most of the weeds and allow you to grow a lot of food in a small area. In essence, your beds should provide a canopy to prevent weeds from coming up, and you are constantly replacing the early producers with something else, which should help to extend your growing season into late Fall. Just FYI, keep indoor seedlings away from pets.
If you can still get a dehydrator, get one. I’ve already dried several bags of apples and bananas. They work well for jerky, too.
This where things get real. I called my butcher on Thursday to see if they had any beef. My preparations began two months ago, but I forgot to put some filets in the freezer. BTW, 89.2% of the friends and family I spoke to back in January thought I was crazy. Sorry to digress. So, I get to the butcher shop and started asking some questions. They said the truck they got yesterday is their last one until further notice as the slaughterhouses have been shut down for poultry, beef, and pork. A CNBC guest from the food business was asked if he was confident that they would be able to get product to their customers. He dodged the question. I called a guy an hour from me on March 2nd about laying hens. He had seventy-five. I got so busy getting the raised beds ready I put off calling him back. I called him on Wednesday and he had only six left, which I picked up. Again, I asked some questions. He cannot get any more chickens because the brooder houses have shut down.
The real panic and chaos is coming. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Sardines and vinegar for everyone.
Once the checks start, they won’t stop. Andrew Yang must be pissed. Here comes UBI. Once the hospitals are overwhelmed and bankruptcy chatter begins for healthcare, the sheep will be begging for Medicare-For-All. So easypeezy.
Those of you with doctor friends, ask their opinion. One friend, a top kidney transplant specialist said nearly 100% of the population could be infected because of the lackadaisical attitude of the government and overall population. Another doctor friend wrote an Op-ed last night saying 80% of us will be infected due to the non-chalant attitudes. Both said, it ain’t the regular flu.
My heart goes out to the MILLIONS of people that will be unemployed on Monday. God bless us all and be safe out there.
WHY WE NEED IT
The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the deficiencies in our health care system, where for most people health insurance is provided through their employers.
I have a brother-in-law in the food services industry who has insurance provided through his employer. He has just been laid off, along with the other staff of a large number of restaurants. His health coverage will continue for a month, but after that it is up to him to pay for it.
Even if he and his family are provided with free COVID-19 tests, the rest of his health care will be left uninsured. He has no guarantees of having a job in a month. He and many like him will be left with no good options after that.
If we had “Medicare for All,” or even an established public option, it would be better than the hodgepodge medical coverage we have today. Medicare for All may not have helped prepare us for the coronavirus pandemic we are facing, but it would have spared millions of people from the secondary effects — having no effective health care for the upcoming months.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA
"In the future when sex robots are perfected, the only way to know whether your partner is human or a robot will be to show them a grid of pictures and ask them to check off which ones have a stoplight in them."
The recording of last night's (2020-03-20) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0377
Furthermore, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Until the end of March you can get the Korg Kaossilator musical composition toy as an app for your phone for free. I've tried it. The combination of low tap latency and automatic quantization lets you actually play and record music with it. Experiment, make beats and backgrounds for your barking swear poetry. Use it for a practice band to learn to improvise on clarinet. korg.com/uk/news/2020/0313/
Or do it the old-fashioned way, au naturel. The women's beatbox champion of the world teaches you to beatbox. (15 min.) In tough times, street-corner beatboxing can quickly get you fifteen cents for one meatball, and that is nothing to sneeze at. laughingsquid.com/butterscotch-13-levels-of-beatboxing/
Invisible-but-blacklight-fluorescent powder shows how we spread germs by pawing at everything and grabbing at each other's paws. This reminds me of third grade in Escondido in 1966 or ’67, when they gave us all bottles of red dye pills to take home to teach us to brush our teeth better. A fine idea, but they used too strong a dye. You could brush for ages and not get it off, especially in between teeth and near the gums, and the effect of the first pill and the brushing and brushing and brushing was to make me go, The hell with it, then, except that it tasted like candy, so there went the rest of them. Your tax dollars at work. theawesomer.com/how-to-see-germs-spread/564440/
Speaking of which, look, 500 museums you can tour from your self-quarantine couch: lifehacker.com/you-can-virtually-tour-these-500-museums-and-galleries-1842343589
Can anybody imagine what this country would be like if Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders was elected to be president? They both have dandruff on their shoulders, whiskey on their breath, they both have probably been child molesters at some point during their life and maybe still are. It would be almost horrible if they got in anyway in charge of any politics in this world or in the United States. So sad that people like that even get a chance to run for office.
I'm sorry, but that's the way it is.
God Bless Donald Trump.
PS. That witch Mary Nichols with the Air Resources Board and the Liberal Democrats who support her claim to have a situation to stop things going on in the United States and make a better climate or global warming. They are crazy. They already have Gavin Newsom who runs a dictatorship in California, the worst state in the union.
PPS. Thank you President Trump for doing such a great job with this minor virus thing. Keep going, buddy. Get rid of all the liberals. Kick some ass.
A READER WRITES:
Just watched a little of the Moron’s daily briefing. He is beyond incoherent and about 99% of it was him bragging about himself. Today again he went on and on about how he isn’t taking his $400,000 salary and no one thanks him. All they do is criticize him and how he could have chosen to stay in business and made billions of dollars but he’s so glad he ran for president instead. There is no person on this planet more disgusting than this disgusting self proclaimed genius who is a complete idiot.
What is worse is the horrible job he is doing in this crisis, hovering over everyone in the briefings like he did Hillary in the debates, making movements like he’s a robot, especially when he is speaking. Are we sure he’s not a robot? Passing the buck every chance he can as though the only job that he really needs to do is make sure everyone knows he is a victim of the evil Dems and fighting fake news and preening himself. The $2 trillion package they want to pass, the sickening Repugs that is, that offers nothing whatsoever to the people on the bottom rung who will lose everything. NOTHING! Those dispicables want to take care of the companies and are ignoring what will happen to probably a third of men, women and children of our world. Day after day it is beyond belief who these people REALLY ARE. They sell stock before the market tanks because they have inside information, they make corporations people because the people are irrelevant, they are so frigging selfish and ugly. Throw them all out. How can we have gotten here? I’ve never seen such a despicable body of so called representatives of the people. Throw them all out, left, right and center — all of them. No more term limits. This Democracy STINKS.