Rainy days

The view sans droppings and sans droplets

Then the rain came and washed away the pigeon droppings on our window. This is, of course, a punchline, not the complete story, but from this you can surmise what the story is.

The pigeons are annoyance enough just perching on the window ledge; when one left us this lucky souvenir, it felt like an outrage. The pigeons, not surprisingly, are a frequent subject of my rants against pigeons.

#BlackLivesMatter #BLM #whitepower politics riff


Black folks have come to expect white folks to be racists. This may be why some blacks voted for 45. They sooner trust the guy who sides with white power than those of us who profess brotherhood. It is sad that MLK’s legacy has come to this, but no single racial demographic is obliged to be monochromatic. Nor should we judge when people vote against their interests. Although, of course it makes us wonder and speculate.

There are so many anomalies in the divided states of Amerika that we should focus on exploring why the country supports so many white supremacists. And on ensuring that democracy somehow survives through the next 67days.


Out in the cold

The horror of it! There may be a president who will “listen to the scientists” if we vote out 45. The other guy will have us all wearing masks, like that Debbie Downer, Dr. Fauci. (Useless! The guy is a “disaster.”) Nobody likes masks, they make you look silly. Don’t you hate looking silly?

The scientists are all idiots; they don’t believe in the things that really work like bleach and  hydroxychloroquine. They don’t want a cure cause they’re all in with the WHO and the Chinese.

Nobody likes them; they make you look silly. Don’t you hate looking silly?

Don’t listen to the scientists. They’ll make you do things to protect you from the Chinese disease. Idiots!

And don’t make so much of a bunch of people sitting in the cold and don’t call 45’s rallies for a greater America “super spreader events.” It’s all #fakenews from the liberal media. Nobody died.



December 2020

Emails with built in surveys asking if they offered helpful tips seem a bit too self conscious. Is Duane Reade this insecure? Are their marketers uncertain about how to phrase a simple product description? It’s clear why they would need feedback about an online shopping experience or how well a purchase met expectations. It is not so evident why they need to try to engage at such a preliminary point before the buy and checkout.

On a more personal note of concern: have all those moldy blackberries helped stave off Covid 19 for me? I should probably be asking this of Marie Curie. Or is it Madame Pasteur who knows of these matters?Should have paid more attention in school.

Mme Curie is celebrated locally (across the street from my building complex) in a dead end street named for her, although only the locals know it as there are regrettably no signs in commemoration. There is also no historical explanation, other than admiration for her accomplishments, for the street’s name.

I look forward to casting an early ballot this week. I am not sure that the circumstances will be completely safe. I have become very wary of people and I imagine that no matter how much less crowded the polls will be, there will be others.

#BlackLivesMatter #BLM police politics racism racist riff

Held to account

Police should be held accountable for the lives they take. Unarmed Black men, whose only crime is the color of their skin, lose their lives disproportionately to police bullets.

There can be no justification for this but the police have to be able to explain themselves and their actions. Their actions are not acceptable on any level, but anyone who pulls (and fires) a gun on an unarmed man needs to clarify motives and intentions.

Let’s face it, the cops are not just accountable but actually guilty in these shootings.

When we say “Black Lives Matter” and you counter with All Lives, or Blue Lives, Matter, you are not affirming the humanity of everyone, but rather denying the rights of people of color to voice an objection to being fired upon at random.

“All” when it replaces “Black” in this context is in fact a racist assertion of white power. It is the same power that the cops in Kenosha and too many other parts of the country have asserted and exercised. It is, at its most fundamental, a deplorable fact of life for a large portion or our country’s (non-white) population.

#Facebook politics riff


Photo © Tamara Beck

This is a FB meme I am posting, stolen from a friend of a friend. It bears repeating and so I will.

Just a note for my right leaning friends from my left leaning self as we near voting day:

They say we want to disband police departments (and that we hate the police): we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and unnecessary police brutality and for those who abuse their power to be held accountable.

They say we want to release all prisoners: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and ensure the punishments match the crimes and to deprivatize prisons.

They say we want open borders: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum. We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty to give them the chances we have. We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and that nobody is kept in cages. But we do want proper vetting.

They say we want to take away your guns: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want logical gun control to help prevent mass shootings.

They say we want to wage a war on Christianity and Christian values: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all religions to be able to practice and worship freely.

They say we want to get everything for free: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to work hard and make sure that healthcare and education are affordable for all.

They say we want a war against traditional marriage: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all sexual orientations to be able to love freely, no matter who you love.

They say we want to take away your constitutional rights: we don’t, that’s a lie. We choose to believe science and wear masks and try to prevent the spread of this disease.

They say we hate America: we don’t, that’s a lie. We just recognize our faults and want us to do better, be better.

Stop with the us vs. them. Stop with the straw man arguments. Stop with the fake news. Stop with fox news. Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic. Stop believing the hype. Stop with the division. Just because we want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from you.

Copied from a friend. Feel free to do the same.

#ethics business-and-ethics cautionary tale circus dishonesty integrity opinion politics riff science

Nobody’s in charge

In a variant on the famous Abbott and Costello “who’s on 1st” bit, we are looking at an administration where “nobody’s in charge.” Nobody got elected president in 2016. Nobody now sits in a major administrative position. That’s “who’s on first.”

First, he was a two-bit con– not paying contractors and realtors, defaulting on bank debt. Then he was a 2-bit television “star” who parlayed a book that purported his having business skills into a reality show whose mantra was “You’re fired.” He then went on to establish an eponymous “university” where the spread of knowledge was of margarine caliber. Like Crisco, it was branded but inferior in quality and taste.

As the commander in chief, he presides over the nation’s military, whom he plans to regale with a commencement speech when the prudent thing to do would be to allow the graduating class to shelter and stay safe. As chief executive of our country, he signs executive orders with such frequency that he might be mistaken for a carnie showman. His decisions are seldom responsible, or made from a base of knowledge. He disdains information and facts, science and expertise. The buck stops with him, except when it comes to picking up the check; at that point, he didn’t do it, doesn’t know anything about it, and “never met the guy.”

Isn’t it time we elected a somebody to the highest office in our land? We, the people, aren’t nobodies, and nobody should not be the face of our country, the one representing this great nation. Especially not this know-it-all Nobody!

boredom riff

In our isolation

It turns out that boredom does not make time go slower. This summer of Covid-19 isolation has flown by as if we were having the time of our lives.

Time, although it is very specific, is also very personal.

We say that “time flies when you are having fun,” but we don’t see it taking any shortcuts. Time is how we measure the passage of, well, time. 24 hour days go by quickly or slowly, but either way they tell us another day has passed.

gratitude riff


know the score

The world is a mess and God as he (or she) is advertised by the religious among us is not evident in it. In fact, she has a lot to answer for in a world so off the rails.

Covid-19 is a small part of the damage done. Global warming, global pandemic are just two of the things that are awry.

Children suffer from unspeakable illnesses; adults are tormented; humanity is often challenged.

There are things for which to be grateful, of course, and I, for one, am not unappreciative when I see a sunset, or the day dawn.

Let us now, and always, make room in our hearts for the good that is in our lives. Let us show our faith in ourselves and our fellows and compatriots.

magazine subscriptions

A small detour

Photo © Tamara Beck

A pet peeve is better promoted by long memory and insistance on the “one true way.” As a direct marketer (retired), I have both in my toolkit.

My premise is that marketing requires establishing a relationship with the customer and depending on the goodwill of those to whom we wish to sell our products. Both are well-served by loyalty programs, gifts and tchotchkes.

Yet, magazines depend upon turning over new subscribers year-in and year-out. To bring in new readers, they attract them with more agreeable offers than those available to the existing readership. It seems so unfair!

You’ve gotten copies of a journal you love year in and year out, and, instead of a reward, you are punished with higher prices. Usually, you don’t even qualify for a tote bag as a thank you for re-upping. In short, your favorite weekly is taking you for granted.