Monday, August 17, 2020

Goodbye, Uncle Norm and Voter Suppression in Plain Sight

Our monarch caterpillar chrysalis produced a beautiful butterfly. We set it free in our backyard garden with talk of planting more milkweed next year to attract even more of them. I had hoped to capture video of it as it emerged but I was on the golf course and forgot to check its progress before leaving home.

I was trying to imagine what it must be like for a caterpillar to emerge from its chrysalis where previously it spent its life among the milkweed moving at something less than a snail's pace, to now, able to flitter above the ground, taking in so much more of the world while trading a diet of milkweed for the nectar of flowers.

Our world is so amazing

My uncle Norm passed away last week at the age of 85. He'd been in poor health for years so when he recently contracted the COVID-19 virus he had little chance to overcome it. Norm was always our "cool uncle", several years younger than my other uncles and very active in golf, hunting, softball and other pastimes. 

One lasting memory I have of Norm was from 50+ years ago at my parent's farm in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where we'd spend a few weeks each summer. Norm had a small red and white motorcycle and he was giving rides to each of us kids around the gravel roads near the farm. It was my first time on a motorcycle.

I hadn't spent much time with Norm in the past several decades but I can still hear his voice and picture the way his smile lit up his face. The adjustments ahead won't be easy for my aunt Maria. They had been together for more than 60 years.

Tammy and I made it out to the Landscape Arboretum in Chaska recently. It had been so long since we'd taken the time to stroll the grounds there. Neither of us recalled the walking trails or the outdoor art. We hope to not wait so long before our next visit. Here's a collection of photos I took. 

I was more than happy with the nomination of Kamala Harris this past week to be Joe Biden's running mate. I can't recall a presidential election when I felt any amount of excitement over past VP picks. I said at the time that I think Joe Biden is setting her up for a run for the presidency in 2024—that he has no intention of serving as president for more than 4 years due to his age. His only goal is to stop the madness of the Trump administration with its assault on our norms and total reluctance to lead in any meaningful way in the midst of a pandemic. 

As I write this, Trump is actively and openly trying to sabotage the United States Postal Service to try and prevent any effort to ensure that people who want to vote by mail can do so. We're in the throes of a fucking pandemic! Why is this even a thing? Trump believes that the more people participate in the voting process, the less likely he and Republicans will win. This is voter suppression in plain sight. It's a crazy time in our country. I keep saying that nobody could've scripted any of this a few years ago and expected to be taken seriously. I gave up watching House of Cards on Netflix because it paled in comparison to what's happening in real life. But most disturbing of all is that there are still 41% of eligible voters who support this most imbecilic president. 

Sometimes you need to look for the humor. Last week we received a letter in the mail from the Trump campaign looking for a monetary contribution. The request even came with a stamped envelope! I gave it to Tammy because she loves this sort of thing. She crammed it full of whatever would fit inside it and I took it out to our mailbox. Mess with the cultists while helping the USPS. Win-win!!

My rear-facing GoPro camera has been doing a fine job of doing what I was hoping it would: capture video of dogs giving chase to me. I've started a collection of photos (screenshots, actually) of the pups it captures. Check it out!

It's a beautiful day out there and I intend to take advantage of it. Have a great week!

That's all I've got.

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