Have a Merry (Socially Distant) Christmas, this year

Hearkening back to the time when I was in school, during various history classes, I don’t honestly remember going over the period where the Spanish flu was raging through the country in particular and the world in general.  Certainly, there was some mention of it at some point, either in high school and/or in college, but I don’t recall seeing any pictures of people wearing masks, or at the time didn’t put any import to it had I seen them.  This makes sense, there wasn’t any current correlation to the practice, perhaps it was just something that happened at the time, and it was glossed over in my mind as just another picture of a time in history.  Not like pictures that are rooted in people’s minds of landmark events, like the attack on Pearl Harbor, the first atomic bomb test ‘Trinity‘, and the portrait of the three CSA soldiers outside of Gettysburg.

Battleship Row during 1941 attack
Trinity atomic bomb test, 1945 New Mexico
Three Confederate prisoners, outside Gettysburg, 1863

I wonder if in 60 years when kids are in school (or learning remotely still because of the precedent of what occurred this year) will they be seeing pictures (or holos?) of people in 2020 wearing masks, keeping a distance from one another, and attach any meaning to it all?  Will there be nostalgic shops online that sell overpriced vintage KN95 masks so people can recreate what happened back then, play ‘pandemic’ like they recreate battles of the Civil or Revolutionary Wars nowadays.  Will there be another pandemic in 2120?

Automating the house

Otherwise known as Electric Dreams, 2020.

My wife presented me with an early Christmas present this afternoon.   This is Friday, my new Amazon Echo 8.  I’ve been spending the afternoon and evening setting it up, connecting it to the different sections of the house that are ‘automated’, controlled by either smart light bulbs, or the cameras that monitor the outside and inside of the house, for our protection.  Too, I’ve been able to connect it to my Spotify for music purposes and I’ve been really pleased that it quite seamlessly interacts with it to play Christmas music as well as my other playlists.

I’ve installed it in the kitchen, where I think it’s going to be quite useful.  While it’s not a search engine type device, it does have the ability to access the Internet and seek out recipes, it can access news and sports scores, as well as give me information on things like the stock market, and keep me entertained while I’m cooking, baking, even cleaning the kitchen (yeah, well maybe).

It amuses me that a movie from 1984 so easily predicted what might happen with computers and ‘smart’ devices.  If we allow them to make things easier, we’re going to spend less time making the effort to better ourselves.

But right now, this thing is interesting.  Gonna play with it some more.

T’was the night before….2020 edition

I found this on my bestie’s Facebook page, and it’s definitely worth a repost.

T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.
The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.
They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.
Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.
As the world entered lockdown
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their nerve.
From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.
When summer emerged
The lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.
Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.
It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.
And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?
To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
Who will see it,
No one but me.
But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!
So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.
Christmas is not cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope 📷📷
Let’s keep it going!
Merry Christmas to all, even you ‘ol Ebenezer Scrooge!