Last Quarantine Day

Quarantine is pretty much “medical” theater as applied to the Chinese Wuhan Kung-Flu. Today’s my 10th day pretending to be so ill that my presence is a danger to the larger society outside my Stepford front door. My wife’s 10th quarantine day was yesterday.

Treatment & Symptoms

On 28 December, my doctor told me, “You’re positive and you win the 12 Meds of Covid!” A Z-pack, three or four palliatives, a couple of vitamins. Because I respect my doctor and disliked the nuisance symptoms I was experiencing, I complied with the prescribed medicinal regimen. Biggest hassles? Loose stools and fatigue, some dizziness, and more fatigue.

Edit: Forgot to mention loss of olfactory and taste. Also, a more or less continual metallic taste in my mouth – so, altered sense of taste versus total loss of that sense. You know what bugs me most about that? Coffee tastes lousy. Remember when you were a kid and took the foil from Hostess Ding Dongs and formed them to your teeth to pretend you had braces or metal teeth? That’s the metallic taste I’m talking about.

Quarantine Activiites

Let’s see, what changed? Not much.

We skipped worship service last Sunday. The sermon was available yesterday and I listened to most of it in the evening. If there’d been a video linked to the church app, I’d’ve probably watched it, but I liked that I got to skip the musical part of the service. I like singing as much as the next guy, and I love to hear my wife and son singing, but sometimes the audio presence during congregational singing is overloud.

I fueled up one of the cars and trusted gasoline fumes at the pump to neutralize any weaponized Chinese breath molecules that may have lighted upon surfaces thereat. I forgot to wear a mask. Didn’t talk to anyone closer than seven or eight feet, though.

We loaned one of our cars to a friend who’s two vehicles are unavailable for use. I hope the Trump sticker in the back window doesn’t get him put on some kind of Communist hit list. I left the key fob on the car’s roof with a couple of Wet Ones wipes. Did offer to run the ozone generator in the car or loan it with the car, but our friend didn’t think that was necessary. I again forgot to wear a mask but was at no time closer than 12 feet during our brief conversation.

Been bike riding at midday, sometimes with my son, sometimes alone. I never wear a mask while riding because I want to be able to breathe without restriction. And I don’t really talk to people while riding, anyway.

So what’s really changed?

For the first time in years, I’ve not set any wake-up alarms because I haven’t been going anywhere in the mornings.

It’s been 10 days without a trip to the gym. Because I haven’t been lifting weights and doing much cardio work, I haven’t been as hungry. I’ve lost a little weight and have been also doing intermittent fasting – 16 hours from supper to next meal.

I took two sick days – 29 and 30 December. Last two days of that week were holidays. I’d already arranged to take this week as personal leave. Partial quarantine isn’t how I initially planned to spend the week. And since our son will have to quarantine from school through the 14th, no quiet alone time for me. No, he’s got no diagnosis, but his 20 day asymptomatic quarantine is part of our nation’s medical theater game. So, he’ll be engaged in distance learning.

Three or four days, in the afternoons, I’ve taken naps. Just conked out. That’s been pleasant.

Done a lot of reading, but that’s not really a change.

A Wuhan Kung-Flu Covid Holiday

Dear Communist China and your fellow travelers in the United States,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience not only one of your science projects, but also one of your social experiments. It’s been great. I hope some day soon we are able to provide every Communist Party member and supporter with a similarly memorable experience.

Sincerely,

Christov Tenn

Kung Flu!

My wife thinks she caught the Chinese Coronavirus from a kid she had contact with at work and first exhibited symptoms right around Christmas Day. Her test result, available the following Sunday evening, was positive. I had the “rapid screening” test Monday and found out immediately that I was positive for the virus. My symptoms at that time were slight intestinal malaise and a dry cough. Additional sx since then have been similar to sinus-drainage sore throat with ache at inner ear, gradual loss of smell and, as of this writing, taste. Occasional headaches, some fatigue. Cough has become “productive” – euphemism for phlegmy.

Because I can’t go to the gym in the early a.m., I haven’t been setting an alarm. I’m sleeping later. I’m eating less because I’m less hungry due to lack of meaningful exercise. I’ve had a couple of neighborhood bike rides with my son, but didn’t yesterday and today it’s raining. A little weight loss won’t do me any harm.

A Psalm 148 Christmas

Here’s that sermon note I mentioned in a previous post. I’ll leave it to you to make sense of these notes. Again, they made perfect sense to me when I wrote them and preached from them. Reading over this again today, I think I oversimplified the descent/ascent categories of things created. The great sea creatures of the deep occurring prior to forces of nature strikes me today as interesting. I don’t think I noticed it when I made these notes. Of course Zechariah’s statement connects the psalm to the Christ in 148:14. The last shall be first.

Metaphor

Metaphor

Apparently someone named William Nicholson wrote, “We read to know we’re not alone.” Supposedly the remark is from a play about the life of C.S. Lewis, Shadowlands, and I probably first heard it in the film of the same name.  Then I forgot where I heard it until I looked it up late morning today before writing all this.

About a hundred years ago, when I was a small child living with my younger brother and my mom in a 1920’s cut-rate, smallish Mission Revival style bungalow on 18th Street below Mesa in San Pedro, California in the days before area codes.  That’s when I first began to read – to bend my mind in earnest to read.  

We were my father’s second family (or, who knows, possibly his third or fourth – he was capable of living double and triple lives if it suited him).  Dad came to the door and I crowded beside my mother at the door impulsively the way little kids respond to anything like a telephone bell or a knock on the door.  My dad was excited in a happy way.  He held up a stack of papers for me to examine, pointed to some words about midway down, and asked, “What does that say?”

What he’d pointed to was his name on the title page of his doctoral dissertation.  I couldn’t read his name and tried to sound it out, couldn’t, felt ashamed.  I remember that.  

Dad flipped out and started yelling at my mom, cursing.  The gist of what he said was, “What are they teaching him at that school” – a parochial school where my mom taught to offset tuition.  Dad used profanity.  Mom started crying and pleading with Dad to understand that I’d only recently started 1st Grade (we’d been out of the country during the year I would have been in Kindergarten). 

And I can still recall wondering why it was that I started crying as soon as my mother started crying.  Dad wasn’t angry with me and I didn’t feel sad.  I remember wondering about that strange circumstance and connection and feeling dissatisfied with it.

I read because my father programmed me to read using the trauma method of child training.  I didn’t know that’s what had happened. I was only consciously aware of the strange connection-with-my-mom thing.  I read to make my father happy and keep my mother from crying.

Different

I was a different kind of child – I spoke my first sentence at about nine months.  “Look Mommy, doggy eat eat all up.”  That sentence is recorded in a scrapbook documenting my first year of life.

Years later, during elementary school, I was subjected to an intelligence test.  I have a freakishly high intelligence quotient.  The kind of I.Q. based on actual calculations of the sort that doesn’t factor in leftist fantasies about correcting for whiteness or ‘privilege’. Several standard deviations above the mean, within the standard error of measure.

I wish my dad had come unglued about a math problem because if he had, I’d probably have become a math prodigy of some sort and mind-numbingly rich due to having weaponized human consciousness or something easier like Tesla’s electric-power-out-of-the-air or perpetual motion underwater drives or how to travel faster than the speed of light.  I have worked out some basis for understanding the nature of time and human experience of and function within same.  Etc. But my point is, the ability to read.  The ability to comprehend pretty much anything another human mind can devise and put into words.  Big whoop, right?

Another problem with high intelligence is that you tend to think everyone’s like you, and when they don’t understand what’s obvious to you, or what you think is simple, straightforward communication, it’s damnably frustrating.  It’s easy to become embittered against people who are just being the people they are and genuinely aren’t able to grasp what seems simple to you.  More difficult but right is finding a way to show kindness toward them, and a lot of the time that involves wishing them well from a safe distance.

Watching TV and Reading

When I was young, I had asthma, severe allergies. Those conditions imposed limitations upon my activities.  I remember frequent trips to the local emergency room and “adrenaline shots.”  Additionally, I was sick a lot. The kind of sickness that results in feeling weak and barfing.  I spent a lot of time indoors and home from school due to illness.  

I watched a lot of TV.  I read all the time and also drew pictures pretty much constantly.

I still read and sometimes still draw.  If you look, you can find some of my drawings in various posts on this blog.  

Over the past 10 plus years have watched TV shows by the season on various subscription services.  I watched a couple of seasons of The Pretender TV series.  More than once, I wish I’d been sold to a research institute and raised to fulfill my intellectual potential.  The renowned Karen Horney famously opined that the first evil children perceive is parental indifference and I think she was right.  To this day, I have no idea to what purpose my parents “raised” me.  

Back when I had a Facebook page, in the About section, I described myself as the “product of a Cold War era eugenics experiment that went unreported in the major scientific journals of the day.”   That’s a metaphor, right?  I use metaphor to cope with life as I experience life, to help explain and make tolerable that experience.

Right now, I’m reading a Karen Traviss novel entitled “Going Grey” about the product of military industrial biological experiment that was carried to full term and allowed to live.  Odd it strikes me that someone’s written a novel about something similar to what I in dark good humor wrote about myself.  Or maybe it’s pretty common to feel that way.  Possibly there’re a lot of us who feel we may as well have been grown in a tank. 

Complaining

Because at one point in my life – 25 to 30 years ago – I got tired of hearing myself whine about “I never chose to be born into this family” and “Why should I have to suffer because of (whatever I wanted to believe was someone else’s fault goes here)?”  Because of that, and my complaining was constant enough it broke through to my conscious awareness as an irritant, I found a way to stop it.  I asked God to provide me exactly the circumstances I found so objectionable – parents, family situation, life circumstances.  And I invited the Almighty to join me, to experience all that with me.  

Emotions are Shit

recently heard a preacher declare that worship equals an amalgam of emotion and truth, but I don’t think emotion is necessarily a component of worship.  I think human beings likely apprehend and respond to the majesty and glory of God in a variety of ways.  Worship is transformative and elevating.

Emotions are the byproduct of neurobiological functioning that involves awareness and the ability to know one is having an experience – like feces and urine are material byproduct of the way we, as organisms acquire/process nutrients through feeding and digesting.  We live and experience and produce emotions just like we eat and process nutrients and are left with waste matter.  Emotions are a variety of waste.

Maybe not in every instance are emotions of no value.  Sometimes in the moment we experience an emotion that tells us that something in the circumstances we inhabit is problematic or is okay or is better than okay.  But the emotions we’re left with after an experience versus those we experience in the moment are pretty much shit.  Offload it discretely, clean up, and move on.   

If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re not the only one of your species on this planet regardless of what it feels like to be you.

Computer Problems

The Windows computer – a $380 HP refurb I bought in late 2016 from Woot.com – I’ve used for work-from-home lately and most other tasks requiring computer or online presence since purchase – developed an inability to connect to local network or Internet. Tried multiple fixes with no joy.

Made do with an ancient mid-2013 Macbook Pro upgraded to 16gb RAM and running latest OS resulting in odd instabilities. For two or three weeks now the unstable – strange reboot loops as if the machine is responding to internal stimuli as well as other problems -MBP has been my workstation. A couple of weeks ago, I located a Macbook Pro with 2.9 Ghz i9 six core processor, 32 GB RAM and a 1TB SSD hard drive at Mac of All Trades and bought that. It arrived Monday.

After setting up the new computer and updating the OS to Big Sur, I noticed yesterday morning the OS failed to recognize my administrator password and TouchID as valid although it allowed me to log in to the computer using password for basic use. This problem I discovered after trying without success to get Migration Assistant to work on both laptops.

I tried several fixes, but the one that worked was this:

  1. I erased the Macbook Pro using the Find My feature from the 2013 Macbook Pro.
  2. Using Disk Utilities from the Command-R menu after rebooting the computer post erasure, I again erased (renaming at the same time) the Macbook Pro’s hard drive.
  3. I reinstalled the latest OS – Big Sur.
  4. I again set up the computer using the OS personalization regime.

This time both password and TouchID work for all administrative tasks I’ve needed. On the other hand, at about six hours using home Wi-Fi, Migration Assistant hung up for about another hour at “About One Hour Remaining.” I stopped that process and began using the computer. I will transfer files piecemeal as I have time. So, partial success.

Three Nahum Sermon Notes/Outlines

What Was I Thinking?

About a hundred years ago when I attended a Southern Baptist seminary, I remember thinking, while sitting in James Nogalski’s Old Testament survey class, “What’s the deal with this judgment against Nineveh/Assyria?” Then I remembered the Jonah narrative and reckoned Nahum only made sense in light of Jonah.

I remember asking up about this in class and getting no good response from Dr. Nogalski that I can now recall. The discussion that ensued briefly among my classmates, however, I recall pretty well. Most of those who spoke up simply made the usual thoughtless remarks about all people in all places at all times owing God fealty and worship. True but not sufficient to make sense of Nahum. As if the scribes were incapable of applying their minds and making rational sense as they recorded and organized prophecies and history.

Of course the prophets and the written narratives of their work and utterances have their origins in the mind of God and have value in a standalone sense but they have been organized and exist in history and in the canon of scripture in relationship to one another. However, to leave off thought and query out of a devotionalistic failure to apply mind to the obvious relationships between concepts, events, prophetic statements found in scripture is a kind of false worship and perceptual diminution of the mind and work of God.

So, why would YHWH judge so harshly the people of Nineveh and the nation ruled from that locale any more than any other Gentile nation? Because years before, the people of Nineveh repented and turned to YHWH at the preaching of Jonah. A different relationship had been established by YHWH with the people of Nineveh through preaching of Jonah versus, say, the Cimmerians or the Ethiopians.

What is this stuff?

The first of these is obviously an introductory outline. I don’t know where the other two fell in my series. The one entitled The Problem with the Church @ Nineveh may have been a segue between my series on Jonah and that on Nahum. The third, brief note or outline? Possibly early in the series? Dunno.

About that introductory outline – I remember saying stuff like, “We’ve got a lot material to get through, so let’s get started.” Very inspirational delivery.

I haven’t line by line gone back over these notes. That said, I know everything I wrote made perfect sense to me when I wrote it and made at least okay if maybe complicated sense when I preached from it to the congregation. Whether this will make a lick of sense to anyone reading this blog or have any beneficial effect in the lives of that population, I have no idea.

Some introductory material
Relevant to a discussion of how a congregation Gentile converts to YHWH at Nineveh posed a problem to the religious establishment at Jerusalem
From the series on Nahum

Stolen Election? Probably

Joe Biden: “We have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

Nothing to See Here

The Center for Security Policy published an opinion piece the other day with which I agree – Nothing to See Here. As the United States of America goes full Zimbabwe, I take some comfort in the fact that I’m not alone in perceiving a real problem relative to mainstream media and government unwillingness to address obvious fraud, failure, and conspiracy.

Why Wouldn’t They Cheat?

This article over at Townhall posted several days ago – Why Wouldn’t They Cheat? – outlines clearly what the myriad of useful idiots on the left and their masters think of those of us who will never willingly travel with them. And, importantly, how those mistaken beliefs have driven their electron fraud strategies.

Democrat-Communist Agenda

The Democrat/Communist party has an agenda that includes:

  • Significantly reducing overall employment in order to force as many people as they can to rely upon government handouts to subsist. The Chinese Coronavirus has allowed Democrat governors to force huge numbers of citizens out of work and destroy many small businesses. They’re trying to create a need and then “meet” it. To create a problem and then “solve” it.
  • Paying those cognitively best suited for menial employment to stay home on the basis of a spurious disability in order to create a labor vacuum to draw millions of illegal aliens into this country as a means of fundamentally transforming it into the image of a third-world cesspool or, if that doesn’t take, in order to balkanize the United States of America so that some Democommunist “redeemer” type, like Obama, can preside over its dissolution.
  • While in the mean time forcing the nation to serve as a host to the parasitic “needs” of “less developed” failed nation-states.
  • Whether or not their electoral fraud scheme is ultimately successful doesn’t matter much to them because even if they fail to install their chosen dementia patient in the White House, in the eyes of several million of their useful idiots, they succeed in further dividing the nation and delegitimizing the second Trump administration and the constitutional election process.
  • Obscuring the fact that BLM/Antifa is the moral equivalent of the KKK and other exclusivist, chauvinistic groups that espouse violence to achieve their ends.

And so forth. All of this should be obvious to persons of even average intelligence.

Sermon Notes

Working and Coping

Since about mid-march, I’ve been working from home. There’re some pros and cons, I’ve found, associated with the arrangement. To the good it’s easy to get to the gym every morning, workout, get back to the house and ready for work on time. I’ve been doing gym workouts six or seven days a week since the gym reopened several months ago. Lunchtime bike rides are easy to manage, but usually less than four miles.

My reason for buying that grandmotherly green 2008 Prius has been mooted. I don’t have to drive anywhere, much. Still, the car’s cheap to operate and pleasant if not very interesting to drive.

Working from home becomes a grind. Very little variety relative to daily experience gets old. Going to the gym every day gets old. Riding around Burnt Down Plantation Estates gets old. Wearing a Dickie’s T-shirt, cargo shorts and Keen sandals with socks every day gets old. I have no reason to wear anything else and it would feel stupid to dress differently to stay home.

We’ve still got stuff in boxes in the spare bedroom, sunroom and garage from my mom’s estate. The clutter is annoying and renders whole portions of the house nonfunctional. We’ve rearranged things in the house to incorporate some of Mom’s furniture into our living space. Before Mom died, we’d planned to have some remodeling done, and clearing space for that’s been stuck at the partway mark for months.

Sermon Notes

While clearing out the computer hutch that’s now become Caution-Lady’s craft hutch in the spare bedroom, I found a stack of about six or seven outlines I’d written for a series of sermons I preached a few years ago.

UpdateI found the notes and they are mostly related to my series on Nahum. One’s for a sermon on Psalm 148 – it’s a Christmas message. And there’re a couple of pages of scrawled thoughts about similarities between Jesus and Jonah. Another’s a page of notes for a sermon on the nature of reality that I think’s already posted here.

This is not Hell

I think they’re from a too lengthy series on Jonah, then addressing Nahum because you can’t make sense Nahum without Jonah. All of that was to necessary to understand that Paul’s ministry is that Jonah in reverse. And here lately I think I’ve begun to understand that part of what was wrong with Jonah or Jonah’s “bad” is that he wanted the ministry of Christ – wanted to usurp the role of the Messiah.

If you pay attention while reading the Gospels or if you just read them through times enough to notice – Christ makes mention of Jonah repeatedly and also lives out some of the events of Jonah’s life. For instance, falling asleep in the boat while a storm threatens to overwhelm it and the crew, afraid, awakens Jesus and demands he does something to make it stop. Elvis Costello reckons Heaven is Hell in reverse, but he was mistaken. Theological patterns don’t always occur in binary symmetry.

I’ll see if I can get the notes scanned and posted here this weekend.

Shoulders and Lower Back

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

Saturday was my day for heavy lifting with emphasis on chest, triceps, and shoulders. Many years ago, I damaged my shoulders bench pressing more weight than was reasonable using poor form. I’d probably been drinking or operating out of drunkard’s mindset. Anyway, to this day, I have problems with my shoulders. A couple of bicycle crashes w/in the past two years haven’t helped, either.

For about three or four months, I’ve been trying to rehabilitate my shoulders by first using machines that help out by smoothly guiding movement through a range of motion. Using very light weight to begin with, I’ve increased the number of plates I move. A couple of weeks ago, I added free weights – very light dumbells for bilateral simultaneous use either symmetrically or asymmetrically depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. I remember some exercises from paddling workshops to strengthen rotator cuffs, also some I learned during a couple of physical therapy treatments.

Back in early October, my family and I took a few days off – stayed at a hotel, went to an amusement park, etc. Prior to that short break, I’d been dumbell pressing as much as 75# in each hand. May not sound like much to you, but it took me a while to work up to that. The fitness room in the hotel where we stayed in October had dumbells weighted up to 50#. I used them because an easy workout is better than no workout. When we got home again, though, I had difficulty moving even 60# dumbells.

I still haven’t got back to where I was in terms of weight I’m able to lift under control repeatedly. Back to yesterday – again a lot of pain at one shoulder, difficulty moving the weights and maintaining control of them. I got through the workout using lighter weight on multiple stations for chest. I continued with shoulder and had no difficulty with triceps or core.

Lower Back

Yesterday was my day at the gym for legs – heavy lifting – and core. I did core with medicine ball, neck bridges, some medicine ball twitch reflex stuff for shoulders/chest. Did that also on Saturday.

While moving around a bunch of 45# plates for the leg-press carriage – re-racking them where I got them or where they’re supposed to go – I strained my lower back and oblique muscles. Felt terrible, but I was able to complete my workout. Later, I rode my bike to the worship service our family attends, and I didn’t enjoy the ride out, at all. During the service, my back hurt the entire time. Ride back to the house was okay, though.

This morning when I woke up at 4:00, as I usually do, I decided to go back to bed. Today’s the day I had planned to do heavy lifting for back and biceps. I’ll hit that tomorrow. In the mean time, I’m going to try intermittent fast until noon. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to supper. Fasting usually clears my mind and I could live off my fat for a week, if I had to, anyway. I’m up to 185# by my bathroom scale although some of that increased weight may be muscle.