Today’s Birthday! Virgo

Virgo Horoscope June 26, 2020: You're heading towards a financial crisis;  check astrology prediction

You can be extremely persuasive and charming (read overbearing and hard to take). You have strong morals, but like everything else, morals have a flip side; so you’re well versed in closets and hush money as a result. You’ve got more dirty little secrets than Jerry Falwell Jr’s burner phone, which is both impressive and tragic. 

Your friends fawn over your magnetism . . until they find you in bed with their spouses, after which they usually lodge an online campaign to destroy you. This is why you’re such a control freak and tend to play things close to the chest by blackmailing them before Google can get to digging its claws into you. Being such a prolific lover comes at a price, and you know how to collect while covering your ass, which means you probably went into the wrong profession. 

A hive of energy, you’re constantly doing someone, something. You’re notorious for taking on several projects at a time, and that doesn’t even include your side hustle peddling opioids to the kids at work. As a result of your mostly nefarious hobbies, you’ve learned from your mistakes and have become expert at pinning the blame on someone else. As far as relationships are concerned, you’re the ultimate pragmatist. So while love is all well and good, you seek a main squeeze with palenty of cheese. 

As true believers go, you’re a pretty damn good tennis player. 

 

On a Sign of the Times

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(The following situation is real, but I changed the names)

I first met Lee in 1972 – probably somewhere between January and April of my freshman year in college. Lee was visiting my dorm neighbor and friend, Rob from his hometown. Lee, a year older than Rob and me, was about to finish his Associate Degree at a community college, so he was looking for a place to continue his education and earn his Bachelor’s Degree. He joined us in September 1972, which would start a long friendship between us.

Upon graduation, he returned to northeast Ohio, and I landed in southwest Ohio – but we stayed in touch. Not many years later, he came to the Cincinnati area looking for a new job. We lived on opposite sides of the metropolitan area, but we stayed in contact by phone with frequent conversations.

Lee is a kind man – not one to get in trouble. Describing him as “straight-laced” may be an understatement – family-man, religious, no alcohol, a non-smoker, empathetic in his way, and willing to help others in his circle. He’s stubborn and opinionated. His voice resonates with confidence and being knowledgeable, which also means he provides ample opportunities to discover that if bullshit was music, he would be a one-man symphony orchestra.

Besides personal character, interest in sports and politics served as a bonding agent. Both of us love baseball and its rich history. Who knows how many trivia questions about the national pastime we’ve bounced off each other – or the countless conversations about recent great plays we saw on ESPN Sportscenter.

On the other hand, we have sports-related differences. Through good times and bad times, I am loyal to my teams – whereas Lee switches allegiances based on his conveniences. He’s also quite the homer. Every autumn he would ask who I wanted to win baseball’s World Series, and I would always answer, the Reds. He would remind me the Reds aren’t in the series, so I would remind him then I didn’t care. In time, he stopped asking.

Sports, politics, and no matter the topic, his opinionated nature allows him to make ridiculous statements. Sharing them here is not the point. Lee makes so many predictions that even one of his family members refers to him as a “Shotgun Nostadamas” who hopes one comes true so he can boast.

Almost 50 years of friendship is odd for us because of our differences. I grew up in a rural area – he, in a metropolitan suburb. I grew up in a multi-national family – he, in a traditional white American family.

I, a traveler – he, a homebody. I, a doer of a variety of entertainment activities and interests outside the home – he, still a homebody. He has two kids – I have none.

I raised a Catholic now a Lutheran – he, a Southern Baptist. I, with a science background and one who understands what science is and how it works – he, a cafeteria scientist who picks and chooses what he believes primarily based on his religious and political views.

We have had our share of good discussions about current events through the years. Politically, sometimes we were on the same side of issues – other times not. There is no question in my mind that every person’s view evolves. When we met in college, we were both Democrats – but of different forms. Today, neither one of us identifies with the Dems, but we are far apart. I, an authentic moderate independent – he, a consumer of the party Kool-Aid and a Trump apologist. I call him a political hack.

I, a believer in the potential of oneness that humanity can be and that the majority of people in the world are good – he, unquestionably the most racist person I know regarding skin color, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation.

Being a reflective type, I will also point the finger at myself for part of the blame for my current feeling. While I would challenge him on sports and political issues, I very seldom challenged him on his prejudices regarding people. Looking back, I regret that choice.

With head-on issues such as President Trump’s actions and divisive nature, George Floyd and social justice, COVID-19’s multitude of impacts, an election year, and more, life today is challenging.

I haven’t talked to Lee in several months and a future conversation is not on my radar. I’ve deleted his name from my Contacts list – but I know his number – and no, I haven’t blocked him.

He texted me recently, but I ignored/did not answer because I saw it as one of his stupid sports statements. But what will I do if he calls or texts again? Time will tell.

The bottom line is simple. Is he a person that I want to associate with these days? Is the situation worth ending a 48-year friendship? For me, the answers are simple because they revolve around the fact that Lee is a science-denying self-proclaimed know-it-all who is a Trump apologist and arrogant bigot. Besides, I have enough divisiveness in my life because we live in challenging times – but challenging times require challenging decisions to do the right thing.

The Silence Of The Spam- Volume #7,659

Hello Dear,

I have contacted you before but you did not respond to me. My name is Lucy Woolf. I attend university and I do part time work as a dressmaker. I lost my father in an auto accident prompting my mother’s death because of it.

My Father, Jacobs Woolf, willed me a large portion of his real estate holdings and income properties valued at £5,700,000 Pounds Sterling. I have yet to place a claim on it but right now things are not good and I’d like to have it. My Father’s stipulation was that I was either 30 years of age or married.

(Allowing my Husband to be in control). I am 26 so only my husband can make a claim on my behalf. I’d like to offer you the opportunity to stand in as my Husband and will share it for your assistance. Your interest will be properly protected.

Thanks.

Lucy Woolf

 

Dear Lucy, 

We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you’ve come to me for counsel or for help. I can’t remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.

Okay, I’ll ditch the Don Corleone preamble- God rest his soul- since you have no blessed idea what I’m referencing. But that’s the point. You’re trying to guilt me into a sick and twisted affair involving dirty money . . . and don’t get me wrong, I find that part of the equation extremely hot. But you don’t even know me, as evidenced by this idea that I would want to get married. Even for fun. Listen, I’m sorry to hear about your father’s untimely death. And not that I’m comparing, but your mother’s death is even more tragic, seeing as how she could’ve been partying in Rio right about now. But I digress . . . 

Your offer leaves me with so many questions and no good answers. If I was in the mood for that shit, I would just watch Fox News. So I gotta ask, was your father a Scientologist? Was your mother’s death ‘prompted’ by maybe . . your father running her over with his car? And do you think maybe your husband is just low key looking for a third in the bedroom? 

These questions may seem unrelated, and that’s because they are. But should you be able to respond to them with deep, dark, and diabolically illuminating answers that impugn their reputations, well . . it would definitely make you more trustworthy in my eyes is what I’m saying. After which I will have a few followup questions to which you must reply over steaks and martinis, with you and your hubcap picking up the tab. 

I must let you know that I will only consider this indecent proposal if I get a third of the silver. In a treasure chest. extracted from the Titanic by John Cameron. And you will borrow from your own share to purchase me a Bengal tiger. These are magnificent creatures whose savage instincts I do not wish to marginalize in the least, so I will also be requesting the services of Kelly Ripa to serve as the official walker. 

Listen, I realize my demands might be construed as unreasonable, but I learned a long time ago never to negotiate with terrorists. Mister Rogers taught me that. So tell that six feet worth of wood paneling that you call a husband to hit the bricks so you can do Rio in your mother’s honor with half the silver. And you’re welcome. 

Tata till tee time! 

Sean Roberts

Heroes Of The Week!- Convention Edition

4 Leadership Lessons from Captain America - AIESEC

Firstly, a big thank you to the beauty from Boucherville and the Cincinnati Kid for their heroic gets over the last couple of Friday episodes. I tried getting Vera Farmiga to fill in for this week, but her husband still won’t let me talk to her. Fucking guy!

So as the ‘Convention Edition’, I have no thoughts to impart on the blue party bash seeing as how I didn’t tune in. The only political story I read this week concerned Cardi B imploring Alexandria Cortez to run for President. Which means Cardi ain’t been paying much attention to what happens when you let a reality television star run the country. And for the record, I was the first to nominate Kamala Harris in this post. If it happened to inspire Joe’s decision, well . . you’re welcome America.

And now here’s the lineup . . .

NBA fires photographer Bill Baptist over offensive meme on Kamala ...

May the ghost of the late, great Glenn Frey forgive me for bogarting his double barreled classic of a line . . but Imma start on the cheating side of town with this first story.

Bill Baptist is a professional shutterbug out of Houston who has worked with the hometown Rockets for more than thirty years. Which is a pretty cool gig when you consider how he’s rubbed elbows with NBA royalty: From Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry and Charles Barkley to Yao Ming, Kenny Smith and Hakeem Olajuwon. Baptist lost his cool club credentials over a recent Facebook post in which he referred to Kamala Harris as a ‘Ho’. After which he apologized (of course) and insisted the post “does not reflect my personal views at all”. This is the first rule of online fight club: Never admit you meant what you meant.

A quick shout out to Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke. The Hall of Fame bound righty ain’t hiding in the sign stealing shadows of his band mates when he can have some fun with it instead. In a recent game against the Giants, he called out the pitch he was throwing, and still dominated. That’s some pretty cool old school if you ask me.

Ohio newlyweds turned their canceled reception into an act of service by donating their reception food to a local women's shelter.

Tyler and Melanie Tapajna of Parma, Ohio had planned on a kick-ass wedding reception replete with DJ, catering and one hundred and fifty of their closest peeps. And then COVID happened. Undeterred, the couple decided to donate the food that would have been served at the reception to Laura’s Home, a local women and children’s shelter.

“It was really either have the big wedding or donate the food,” Melanie Tapajna said. “We were actually kind of excited I think more about donating the food than being stressed during the wedding.”

There’s lots of good feeling takeaways to this story, from the decision to donate the food, to the caterer they used- Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers- to how they showed up in their matrimonial swag to dish up their donation. And hell, I don’t have to condone marriage in order to wish these kids all the best.

And a double edged dagger of dumb to Eric Trump for tweeting about how “terrible” the DNC was. Why the hell was he watching the DNC in the first place? Is Duck Dynasty on hiatus? And not for nothing but the twitterati that went after ET can pipe down too. He’s a putz, we get it. Y’all are giving him exactly what he wanted by spending the night trashing him.

Officer Erika Urrea of the Lodi Police Department in California’s Central Valley, is a YouTube star. Not because she can toss back a dozen hot wings inside a minute or flip a water bottle and nail the landing. Nope, she’s a viral vixen for having fulfilled her job requirements of protecting and serving. In this instance, she was coming to the rescue of a sixty six year old man whose wheelchair had gotten stuck on railroad tracks. Urrea spotted the man and pulled him to safety moments before the train would’ve crushed him. And this morning, she ain’t getting a ticker tape parade. Instead, Urrea will get up and do it all over again. So to her, and to all those heroes in uniform who show up every single day, I say thank you.

Shout out to the San Diego Padres, who will only use cardboard cutouts of friends and family members at their home games. While most clubs are charging a fee for the cutouts- to which most if not all net proceeds go to charity- the Padres are keeping it in the family. I’m always dubious of clubs and leagues that get involved in social matters, because let’s face it, they ain’t got room to be playing pious. Good for the Padres in keeping things simple.

Fifteen year old Joseph Beer has two things going for him: A great last name, and an even greater sense of pride in his community. So it was that while on a walk with his mother, the kid noticed how his neighborhood’s aesthetics were leaving a little to be desired as a result of the lock down; from dirty street signs to overgrown shrubs. Beer got to stepping, scrubbing signs and trimming hedges just about every day. One neighbor was so impressed with his efforts that she set up a Go Fund Me page that has raised almost 1,000 pounds for him thus far. Mister Rogers would be proud.

A giant nea to Mike Lindell, founder and CEO of My Pillow, for going on CNN to spout nonsense about olenandrin as a miracle drug for COVID-19 patients. And an equally giant yea boss! to Anderson Cooper for calling Lindell on his shit. He pointed out how Lindell has a financial stake in the company and compared him to a “snake oil salesman”. Love it, AC.

Perspective is something I talk about often. And man, I’ve summoned it up more times than I care to remember over the past six months as we continue on inside this retrofitted existence as the result of COVID-19. And then I find a story that learns me a lesson, with dance moves to boot.

There’s never been a sense of normalcy for little Blake Sheffer. He was born prematurely and shortly thereafter began experiencing seizures that resulted in him spending too much time in the ICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. When he was just a newborn, his mother Lauren found him laying motionless in his bassinet. He was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), which is a condition that causes him to have an abnormally fast heart rate. As if all of that wasn’t enough, little Blake also has a blood disorder which must be monitored regularly.

In his one year on this earth, the team at Children’s Healthcare has saved his life twice. And this amazing team has become an extension of a little boy’s life in the process. Because in spite of it all, the kid is a social butterfly who loves laughter and music, and dancing too.

When Quanda Riles heard about the little guy, she just had to fill out her dance card and partner up with him. The Environmental Services Technician at Children’s knows adversity first hand, as she suffers from a severe case of glaucoma which will one day take her eyesight. In the now, these two have formed a simpatico whose daily promise involves music and dance moves, and it’s inside the moments they bring to life where we can find perspective. A humbling reminder not to waste time being wistful about the things you miss.

Be thankful for the things you have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes: The Kids Edition

Hello Friday to Marc’s flock. Frank here as a stand-in to your normal host. Well, he asked me and I agreed. Part of the deal was that I follow Dale. Geez – always a tough act to follow.

Art Linkletter had a phrase, “Kids say the darndest things.” They always have and they always will. However, they also do the darndest things. So much so, adults can learn lessons from their actions.

Avi Gupta is 18-year-old and the reigning Jeopardy Teen Tournament Champion. Toss in his passion as a software engineer, he’s off-the-charts smart – plus has a big heart. The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved his design for a low-cost ventilator. If that’s not enough, the plans are Open Source and he has established a charity to make his design available through the world for people in need. No video, but here’s an article.

Daisy Watt (Norwich, England) is 10. Four years ago she did a painting to bring some cheer to her grandparents during their fight with cancer. Mom noticed Daisy’s surprising talent, then asked Daisy if she would like to paint more as a cancer charity. Long story short, “Mini Monet” has raised over $12,000 (US$) for her efforts.

Taran Tien (Clintonville, Ohio) is 10. As the short report notes that the kid is musically talented – but it’s his heart that matters the most. Several times a week, he sets up in his yard for an impromptu concert playing for tips that will go for the International Rescue Committee supporting refugees across the globe.

But low and behold, this is not my first encounter with Taran. Back in March, I saw this report about what he and his sister did for a neighbor. I didn’t put these two together until preparing this post.

Robbie Gray (Palm Coast, Florida) is nine years old. In his brief time alive, he has been hospitalized several times with brain injuries and passed from one foster family to another. A family adopted Robbie two years ago and they discovered Robbie has a soft spot for dogs at the shelter. Not just any dog – but especially old dogs.

Sometimes it’s best to let the kids do the driving. On second thought, a bad idea. But I’ll give and let these kids show the way by riding shotgun to navigate as I drive on the road of goodness.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and More – AKA Heroes – of the Week

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

Marc has asked me to fill in for him this week for the weekly (mostly) heroes post and I humbly accepted.  Was I wrong to change the title this week?  I felt if he trusted me with this, he had to know he might be taking chances, right? Besides, I am fairly certain he knows I would not dare to go too far outside the box (even while I am fairly certain he’d also be totally cool with it if I did – he, himself being cool like that).

So. How to really start this thing properly? Just plunge right in, right?

THE GOOD

canada goose with explosive

This one could have been a mix of good and evil but since we don’t know who did such an evil deed, we shall focus on the beautiful people who came to the rescue.  Who in their right mind would strap a Canada goose with a firecracker, by using tightly wound duct tape, then light it and, leave it?   John DiLeonardo, who happens to be a member of PETA and LION (Long Island Orchestrating for Nature), found the poor bird at Silver Lake Park in Baldwin, N.Y. and surmised that it must have freaked out when the firecracker was lit and run into the water (since the wick was wet). Can you imagine? I can’t.  DiLeonardo brought her to the vet after he removed the firecracker.  Once she was deemed okay, they brought her back to the lake. I hope they catch the ones who did this before they try it again.

THE BAD

Okay, I can’t help it, this doesn’t really belong here because they are not really zeros but are definitely nuisances. I couldn’t help but share this silly story of emus, Carol and Kevin, wreaking havoc at a local pub in Yaraka, Queensland, Australia (population 18) – to which they have since been banned.  Bloody birds figured out how to climb the stairs and go in, steal food right off of people’s plates; and that’s besides pooping at will and reaching over the bar to get what they can.  Did you know that emus run forward but look behind them as they run so they crash into everything? Tourists staying in the nearby trailer park best watch their coffee, the emus will drink the cup dry without spilling a drop. So far all the owners have had to do is cordon off the steps but eventually, the birds will figure out they can pass right under…

THE UGLY

This story is brought to you by none other than Marc himself.  He probably figured I’d be too nice to find some zeros on my own.

Rep. Sean Roberts, an Oklahoma lawmaker, must have been hiding under a rock and missed the importance of what’s going on around him.  He is threatening to rescind the tax break for the Oklahoma City Thunder if players kneel for the national anthem in the NBA’s bubble.  Wake up and smell the coffee, Roberts.  The Black Lives Matter movement has nothing to do with “Marxism” and trying to “destroy nuclear families”, you nimrod.

THE ENTHUSIAST

After that previous story, I had to share this for all you sports fans out there who are so excited to be seeing your favourite sports on TV – even with the canned “fan noise” and cardboard cutout stadium dwellers. Seriously, I need to find out if the players are welcoming the fake that they have been given to encourage them to play.  This guy is happy to see his team score!

THE EXCEPTIONAL

And finally. If this story doesn’t hit you in all the feels, there is something missing in your heart.

What do you do when you are locked up in your Gwinnett County Jail cell and see one of your guards in distress? Watch him die or spring into action?  Terry Lovelace, Walter Whitehead, and Mitchell Smalls sprang into action.  These three men noticed that Deputy Warren Hobbs did not appear to feel well during his rounds. They began to keep their eye on him.  When Smalls saw Hobbs acting like he was gasping for breath then fall to the ground, cracking open his head, he did what he could:  He banged on his cell door to get his fellow inmates to join him in trying to wake him up.  It worked. All 60 banged and yelled his name over and over until Hobbs came to and managed to pull himself up and press the button to open Lovelace’s and Whitehead’s cells. These two rushed out, one using the desk phone the other his radio to call for help.

As Whitehead, “It scared me. I don’t care if it’s a police officer or whoever it was. I will do whatever I can to save a man. I don’t want anyone to die.”

Thanks to their quick action, the Deputy is now home recovering from his heart attack.

And that’s what it means to be a human being.