Just Look At The Clouds

clouds, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherSometimes, I just like to look at the clouds, Modern Philosophers.

I find them to be very compelling.  They can be so beautiful, but also so menacing.  When a storm is on the horizon, the clouds let you know.  If a little warmth is needed, the clouds will part and let the sun do its thing.

It’s almost as if the clouds can sense what I need even before I do.

Lately, I’ve been pausing often on my runs to take pictures of the clouds.  I’ve been noticing them more, and I’m not quite sure what that means.

Maybe I’ve been holed up at The House in the Hill for so long that I welcome any kind of company during my morning exercise.

Perhaps since I have more time on my hands, I’m taking advantage of those moments to better observe the world around me.

Or maybe there are just more clouds.

The sky has been so blue that it’s made the clouds stand out even more.  Some people say that they can see familiar shapes when they look at the clouds, but all I see are interesting patches of white on a gorgeous blue background.

If I’m tired, I might think of them as big, fluffy pillows on a comfy blue bedspread.

The clouds have become a much needed distraction.  There’s always so much on my mind when I run, but lately, I’ve just wanted to clear my head when I’m on the road.

clouds, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo I look at the clouds and try not to think of anything.

I wasn’t going to write for the blog this weekend.  The world is just too hard to understand these days, and it doesn’t feel right to try to come up with a witty way to comment on it.

I’m also not in the mood for anyone to attack me should I share my opinion on any number of controversial topics that I could address.

But I didn’t want to ignore my blog, or worry my loyal readers if I didn’t post something for an extended period.

So I thought I’d blog about clouds.

Yesterday, I sat out on the porch for the longest time and just stared up at the sky.  For some reason, I flashed back to when we’d first moved to California.  J and I went for a walk one night and tried to look at the stars, but we couldn’t see them because of all the smog.

We knew that the stars were there, but not being able to see them gave me, and my runaway writer’s imagination, a moment of panic.

clouds, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherNow, when I’m suffering such a moment of panic, I look to the clouds to calm me.

Those moments of panic seem to creep up on me much more frequently lately.  Luckily, the clouds have always been there for me when I looked skyward for peace.

Maybe more people should look at the clouds.  It couldn’t possibly make anything worse.

Give the clouds a chance, but be patient because change takes time…

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck

humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherThere is no disputing that we live in challenging, stressful, unsettling times, Modern Philosophers.

The Coronavirus has disrupted our lives, made us fear going outside and being around others, and left us with a very uncertain future.

Such a seismic event also merits a change in our personal philosophy.  After all, if we have to make such substantial changes to the way we live, it’s only logical that we should alter the way we think.

I put on my best Deep Thinking toga, went for a long walk (with my mask and while practicing proper social distancing, of course!), and came up with this new philosophy:

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck.

That philosophy not only applies to me, but also to everyone else in the world.  I want to share it with my fellow Earthlings, and proclaim it from the highest rooftops.

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck.

humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherI’m constantly observing human behavior.  That comes naturally to me as a writer as I seek out ways to make my characters more realistic.  It’s also difficult to ignore human behavior when the best and worst of it is thrust into your line of sight on a regular basis.

Let’s face it, this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people.  We all love the inspirational stories that move us to tears, give us hope that we are going to be okay, and renew our faith in mankind.

But then there is the other side of the behavioral coin.  The ugly tales that make us pray extra hard for a higher power to rescue us before we destroy each other.

Yesterday was a particularly rough day.  On several occasions, I was on the receiving end of behaviors that were a contradiction to my new philosophy.  It left me bewildered, upset, and questioning my faith in my fellow humans.

I have tried my best to remain upbeat, but Coronavirus Induced Mood Disorder in people around me tends to get me down and incite my anxieties.

So I implore you all:

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck.

When I returned to The House on the Hill last night after a long, stressful day, I was surprised to find my grill out in the driveway.

The grill had toppled over last winter during a blizzard, and something broke.  As a result, I didn’t use it at all last summer because I’m not very good at fixing things.

humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherMy neighbor fixed it while I was at work, and then planned a barbecue for dinner.

I have been craving a burger for so long, and after the day I had, I wasn’t looking forward to cooking dinner.  So this was exactly what I needed.

We had a socially distanced gathering in the yard and my mood improved exponentially.

What did this unplanned ending to my day exemplify?

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck.

It really is a simple way to live your life, and simple is good right now.  It’s a mantra you can recite when your stress levels are rising, or when a situation arises that you know might present a challenge.

Say it with me now, Modern Philosophers…

Play Nice, Stay Safe, Don’t Suck.

That philosophy is not going to end the pandemic, but it very well might help you to survive the challenging times ahead.

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Wear A Mask In Public, This Is The Way

The Mandalorian, wear a mask, Covid 19, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve just finished watching The Mandalorian, Modern Philosophers.

Not only was it highly entertaining, but it also taught me what to say to people who refuse to wear a mask in public:

This is the way.

For those of you not familiar with the show, the main character is a bounty hunter (just like the more well-known Boba Fett), who never removes his mask in public.

When anyone asks The Mandalorian why he doesn’t take off his mask, he replies:

This is the way. 

Even a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, kick ass bounty hunters understood the importance of wearing a protective mask when out in public.

Of course, for The Mandalorian, the whole “wearing a mask thing” is part of his religion, but it is also there for his protection.

You don’t have to be a religious zealot or a bounty hunter to grasp why it’s necessary to wear a mask in public during a pandemic.

You just have to have common sense, a basic understanding of how a virus spreads, compassion for others, and a notion to abide by the law.

The Mandalorian, wear a mask, Covid 19, humor, Modern PhilosopherBecause as much as you feel that it infringes upon your personal rights, or screws with your impeccable fashion sense, wearing a mask in public is the law right now.

In other words…

This is the way.

I have witnessed far too many situations lately where people are not only out and about in public without a mask, but also arguing about having to put one on when asked.

I’m troubled and confused by this.

I’m not exactly a fan of wearing a mask all day, but I understand why it is necessary.  If it weren’t a requirement of my job, I would still wear one to keep myself and others safe.

I’m no immunologist, so I’m not going to pretend I’m any kind of expert on COVID 19 or viruses.  If the people with “Doctor” in front of their names tell me that wearing a mask in public is the best way to keep from catching the Coronavirus and spreading it to others, then I am going to trust their expertise.

This is the way.

And let me repeat this, because I think it’s important: I listen to people with “Doctor” in front of their names, not “President”, when it comes to things with a scientific bent.

The Mandalorian, wear a mask, Covid 19, humor, Modern PhilosopherPeople have the right to believe they are immune, immortal, or more powerful than the virus that has killed over 80,000 people in this country, but they are selfish if they refuse to even consider the effect that not wearing a mask could have on others.

To put it in terms of The Mandalorian, would you want to be the one who infects poor Baby Yoda because you thought it was too much of a hassle to put on a mask?

A selfish, self-centered prick, do not be.

I went for a run this morning, and it’s a beautiful day in Maine, probably the nicest weather we’ve had since the Coronavirus came to town.  As a result, there were many people also out running and walking.

It freaked me out that not one of them was wearing a mask.

I was the only one with a mask, the Mandalorian of my neighborhood, if you will.

The Mandalorian, wear a mask, Covid 19, humor, Modern PhilosopherI get that you want to enjoy the weather, and I’m all for people trying to stay healthy during this time of sickness and death, but wear a mask!

This is the way.

I haven’t heard any rumors about the Governor sending out bounty hunters to track down anyone in public not wearing a mask, but you never know.

We’re living in strange, challenging times.  Just wear a mask, and maybe we’ll all live happily ever after…


Do you have an issue with wearing a mask in public?  Have you been in a situation where someone was asked to wear a mask and refused?

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Unicorn Rainbow Ice Cream Party

be positive, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherToday’s post was going to be a brutally honest rant about how I’ve lost faith in the federal government and my fellow man because of their response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Modern Philosophers.

Luckily, I realized that the world was already drowning in negativity, and I didn’t want to add to the problem.

So, I’ve decided to go completely in the opposite direction.

Please enjoy this ridiculously positive post.  Hurray for positivity!

You are all invited to my virtual Unicorn Rainbow Ice Cream Party!

Unfortunately, we can’t gather together for this righteous shindig because of the current laws about law gatherings and social distancing, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.

‘Cause there ain’t no party like a virtual COVID-19 party!

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a unicorn.  There are two known herds in Maine, but they reside in the North Woods (about a two high drive from The House on the Hill) and only come out in the Spring.

With the wild weather we’ve had recently (it snowed TWICE in the past week!), the horned horses have been hesitant to make an appearance.  For all we know, they could be social distancing as well.

Unicorns are a wise breed, which explains how they’ve survived this long without ever being captured and sent to a zoo.

rainbows, be positive, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherThere’s never a shortage of rainbows in Maine, though!  If it isn’t snowing, then it’s usually raining, which means the skies are lit up with a little red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet action!

As you know, there’s a pot of gold hidden at the end of every rainbow, so I’m always keen to run off in search of that treasure.  The government can send me all the stimulus checks it wants, but that would never top the financial security I’d have if I could ever get to that pot of gold before the Leprechaun is able to hide it again!

My party is going to have plenty of rainbows, so that means multiple chances for everyone to find that pot of gold.  Assuming, of course, that you forgo the whole virtual aspect of this endeavor, come to Maine, and go off in search of the Leprechaun’s treasure while also practicing proper social distancing.  Keep in mind that you will need to wear a mask since you’d be out in public, as that is the law in Maine.

Even though people constantly fight that fact, it is the current law.

It might even be possible to ride a unicorn to the end of the rainbow, but those beautiful beasts very rarely let anyone hop on for a ride.  Your chances are reduced exponentially if you are from away.  Mainers really have the best and only shot.

Even if you don’t feel like getting in the cardiovascular workout by chasing rainbows, you can just sit back and enjoy their majestic beauty, which definitely beats sprawling out on the couch in the your sweats all day to watch reruns on the TV.

ice cream, be positive, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherAnd it wouldn’t be an awesome party without ice cream!

You could eat so much that you get brain freeze, which would prevent your brain from processing any more stressful or frightening thoughts about the virus, the way our government is handling the crisis, or the ridiculous statements your friends are making about the situation on social media.

There’s nothing ice cream can’t fix, albeit it on an extremely temporary basis, so allow yourself to indulge.  Go back for multiple helpings.  The rainbows will appear brighter and the unicorns will look more mythical once the ice cream lowers your body temperature and slows down the rate at which the blood is flowing through your body.

Now that I think about it, if President Trump threw  a Unicorn Rainbow Ice Cream Party for the entire country, his approval rating would skyrocket and he could finally defeat the Coronavirus once and for all.

Crazy Idea Alert!!!  Maybe I’ll just form the Unicorn Rainbow Ice Cream Party, declare myself the party’s nominee for President, and run in the 2020 election.  My slogan would obviously be: Help America Party Again!

be positive, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherMy hats would have that slogan with a rainbow colored unicorn jumping over an enormous ice cream sundae.  There’s no way I could lose!

So come join me at the party.  There’s so much ice cream, and if no one else joins the festivities, I will eat it all!

RSVP to the Unicorn Rainbow Ice Cream Party in the Comments section…

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A Time Machine For Mom

Mother's Day, time travel, humor, Modern PhilosopherI have a peculiar Mother’s Day tradition, Modern Philosophers.

I like to spend the day in the garage working on my time machine.  I’ve been building it for years, and not making much progress, but I always set aside time on Mother’s Day to try to get it operational.

Let’s face it, now is not the best time for building something so complicated.  Because of the stay at home order, it’s difficult to go out for parts and materials.  I find a lot of what I need at junkyards and garage sales, and those places are not available to me right now.

Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to find someone willing to meet with me to answer my technical questions.  Even if I promise to wear a mask and follow proper social distancing rules, people are not eager to spend time in the company of a stranger to discuss the intricacies of time travel while a pandemic rages.

I’m usually able to get help from Doc Brown, who is the blog’s biggest financial backer, but due to his age and the threat of the Coronavirus, he refuses to spend any time in 2020.

So I am on my own.  A creative type, who was always horrible at Science and has no Engineering skills, trying to build a time machine.  I know it sounds like an impossible task, but if Trump can become President, anything is possible.

Plus, I’m doing it for a great reason.

Mother's Day, time travel, humor, Modern PhilosopherYou’re probably wondering why I always work on my time machine on Mother’s Day.  The answer is simple: My Mom died when I was 3, and I have no memory of her.  I’d like to use my time machine to go back and visit her.

That’s the one photo I have of my Mom and me.  I keep it someplace that allows me to look at it several times over the course of the day.

Every time I see that picture, so many questions pop into my head.  I know so little about the woman looking adoringly at such a tiny version of me.

I thought that the best way to learn about my Mom would be to go directly to the source.  Time travel has always been a fascination of mine, and my quest to get to know my Mom has most likely always been the driving force behind that.

I could sit around on Mother’s Day and be sad that my Mom is not alive, or I could spend it doing something constructive.

I choose the latter because I know that is what would make my Mom proud.

I like to daydream about how impressed she’d be if I showed up one day out of the blue, introduced myself, and showed her the device I built to allow me to spend time with her.

No other Mom has ever been able to brag that her child built a time machine, and when she adds that I created it specifically so that I could visit her, she will be the envy of every mother in the world.

Of course, I’d have to come up with a story for why I was visiting.  I wouldn’t want to upset Mom by telling her that I never got to know her, and grew up with absolutely no memory of her.  I know I’m not supposed to lie to Mom, but in this case, I would put my story telling skills to use because the truth would be far too devastating.

Mother's Day, time travel, humor, Modern PhilosopherI could tell her that her son grows up to be a writer.  I even took a photo of the credits from this week’s episode of The Nite Show just so she could see my name on TV.

If that’s not the power of positive thinking, I don’t know what is!

Well, I’ve got a long day ahead of me, so I’d better wrap this up and head out to the garage.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Humor, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Eternal Winter Of My Discontent

Maine, snow, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhen I woke up this morning, Modern Philosophers, it was snowing.  It was coming down quite hard and already sticking.

At first, I was angry because it’s not supposed to snow in Maine.  The 182 Days of Terror clearly end on April first, and we were now more than a month past that.

Still half asleep, I shook the cobwebs from my brain and came up with the more likely scenario to explain the storm: I had finally finished my time machine, traveled back to early winter, and now had to come up with a plan to save the world from the Coronavirus!

Of course, this troubled me deeply.  How in the world was I going to convince Trump and his cronies that COVID-19 was a true threat, and not some Democratic hoax meant to tank his chances at re-election?

After all, those geniuses have proven time and again that their grasp on reality is very loose, they have little use for facts that don’t align with their way of thinking, and the well-being of the economy takes priority to the well-being of the workers in that economy.

time travel, Maine, snow, humor, Modern PhilosopheWhy didn’t I first use the time machine to go into the future to find rock solid proof that something near and dear to Trump’s heart is ruined by the pandemic?  Then I could bring that with me into the past to persuade him that he needed to act immediately to protect the country from the virus.

Alas, all that fretting was for naught when I finally realized I had not done any time traveling, and that it was really snowing on May 9.

Why should a snowstorm in May surprise me at this point?  I’m looking out the living room window as I type this, and it is snowing even harder now, five hours later.  This is the year when anything awful can and will happen, and the frustrating thing about that is there are still seven months to navigate before Baby New Year comes to save us.

I did vent a little on social media, though, because getting the anger out of my system and sending it off into the internet always helps to lower the stress levels.

One post was: In a quarantine, no one can hear you scream…at Mother Nature.

The other was: I’ve just send an angry letter to Mother Nature demanding a refund for 2020.

Maine, snow, humor, Modern PhilosopheI was pleased that many of my friends commented on those to show their solidarity.  There’s a certain comfort in knowing I’m not the only one being slow driven insane by today’s weather.

I’m not sure if today’s snowstorm is the straw that breaks this camel’s back, but I am certain that I’d have absolutely no problem with winter and the pandemic ending.

At what point does it become kicking the human race while it’s down?  Someone once told me that what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger, but I’m having some trouble with that philosophy at this point in the eternal winter of my discontent.

How about something good happening for a change?  We don’t even have to string together multiple events.  Let’s just put an end to the consecutive shitty days streak, and remind the world what it’s like to feel positive again.

In the meantime, I’ll tinker with the time machine.  If I can get it to work, maybe I’ll go back even further in time and try to change the outcome of the 2016 election because that might be the only way to save the country from the full extent of the virus’ wrath…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Will We Become A Feral Society?

protest, stay at home, humor, Modern PhilosopherSometimes I say something as a joke, Modern Philosophers, but after I give it some thought, I realize that there’s a serious idea protruding from the humor.

The other day, I was texting a friend, and I said something like “I need to practice my conversation skills because I’m afraid that once we’re allowed to socialize again, I’ll discover I’ve become feral from all this isolation.”

Once you stop laughing at my wit, you’ll see that there’s an interesting philosophical dilemma in my comment.

Will we become a feral society after being isolated from each other for so long?

After all, we’re going on two months of being cut off from societal norms and structure.  Who knows what odd habits we’ve developed, or what we’ve forgotten after not being around people for so long.

I’m struggling with the idea of not wearing sweatpants all the time.  I’m also worried that my polite conversation filter might be faulty from lack of use.  What if I simply forget that I’m not supposed to say what’s on my mind all the time?

Then I look at the news, and I fear that it’s already too late.  The Zombies might not have come for us as a result of this virus, but something else has risen up from the pandemic.

protest, stay at home, humor, Modern PhilosopherAngry mobs are defying the stay at home order to march and demand their freedom.  There are protestors screaming at law enforcement offices.  Healthcare workers, armed only with scrubs and face masks, are standing up to armed protestors.

That’s way past the point of not wanting to change out of sweatpants, or forgetting that it’s rude to burp in public.

The other night, I overheard a conversation between two people complaining that they were forced to wear a mask before entering a crowded store.  They cursed, said they had a right to shop however they wanted, and dared the store employee to have them arrested.

That’s the part I don’t get.  I’m not exactly keen on wearing a mask, but I understand that it is about the safety of those around me, and people I can’t even see.  A loved one sitting at home could end up infected because someone wouldn’t wear a mask in public.

I was uneasy about being furloughed from my job, but I understood why it had to happen.  I’m not a huge fan of being cooped up in the house all day, but I comprehend how much higher the death tolls could climb without social distancing and sheltering in place.

JFK, protest, stay at home, humor, Modern PhilosopherI get that this is America, and people have a right to their opinions.  I just also thought that this is America, a place where people understand that the good of the nation needs to come before the individual.

This is a difficult time, and once it ends, we have to continue on with our lives.

I guess I’m worried about what society will look like when we “return to normal”.  Will we be the (somewhat) civilized group we were before the pandemic laid waste to our planet, or will we be like something out of a Mad Max film?

I’m hoping that this frightening glimpse of a feral society is merely one of the lesser known symptoms of the Coronavirus, or that people are simply having an adverse reaction to the ungodly amount of pressure and stress they been subjected to because of the pandemic.

protest, stay at home, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt will be much easier to recover from this challenging time if we emerge from it united, rather than divided.

A civilized society will rise again to greatness, but a feral one is destined to slide down the rabbit hole and emerge at the opening of the first Hunger Games…

Do you worry about the effects that an extended period of isolation will have on society?

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments