Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017

Today is the feast of the Assumption, a Catholic religious holiday that honors Mary and her life (and after-life). I managed to attend the Assumption Mass at the Basilica on my first weekday off work in a while, while also signing up for uninsured health care at the local Catholic hospital, St. Mary's. I also removed my last vestige of Texas residency by finally switching the Taurus's license plates over to Maine for about $150.

Most Catholic holy days that honor Mary are supposed to be days of peace, but peace is in short supply in this world right now. The white nationalists and nazis are at it again, protesting and causing havoc, most recently with a white nationalist rally turned terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12. Their main protests right now are over the removal of monuments that honor a 150+ year old defeated secessionist movement. Normal countries that survive civil wars would never allow widespread worship and remembrance of the defeated enemy, but this country allowed it. For 152 years. Now that the overwhelming majority of Americans (including most Republicans, despite what the leftists say) want these monuments to the proprietors of enslavement and the end of American unity gone.

The irony is that America is waking up to these mistakes at the same time it is splitting apart again. The battle lines this time aren't over enslavement of Africans (thankfully the Confederate defeat in 1865 ended that), but over the role of government, the value of life of the unborn, and cultural insanity (i.e. the left's political correctness) versus cultural common sense. While the US is at war with itself, one of its most annoying adversaries is threatening nuclear war against it. North Korea has made similar threats before, but President Trump has figured out the status quo isn't working and is threatening to nuke North Korea if they attack the US. Kim the Insane already has the capability to wipe out South Korea, Guam, Hawaii, Southern Alaska, and California. Kim the Insane has already pissed off his Communist Chinese allies (who seem to be more afraid of Trump's actions than Kim the Insane is). I'd guess there probably will be war between Kim the Insane and the US in the near future. Millions of Koreans and Americans could die in such a war, which could easily dwarf the American casualties of the Civil War and World War 2. North Korea would lose, but what happens after Kim the Insane is nuked to Hell is what would could turn this war into global Armageddon. China could attack the US if what's left of Korea unifies into a pro-American government. Russia could get involved. Al Qaeda and Daesh could end up with black market North Korean nukes and start using them on the West. It's a scary new world.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26, 2017

Life is supposedly a long journey. If so, my journey in the last 6 months has been longer, bumpier, and more painful than most journeys have been. Since I last blogged, I spent a disastrous 3 months in Austin, Texas, working for my old warehouse, getting my old job back- and getting paid less and getting run out of the job after 3 months. I was planning on moving from Texas to either Pennsylvania or New Jersey when the warehouse job ended. Instead, I ended up in Maine with 2 job offers. I ended up working in a warehouse for a well-known Maine company, commuting from my current residence in Lewiston to Freeport.

I also got to visit family I haven't seen in years. I got to see my sister and nephew in Western Tennessee (the first time I've been in that state in over 20 years). I got to see my father's eccentric cousin in Franklin. The only relative in Tennessee I didn't get to see was my niece, who was finishing up her final month teaching in Cheatham County and who will be joining other family in Franklin next month while teaching at a better school. As far as I know, my niece has not experienced the horrors in her profession that most of my teacher friends in New York have (i.e. death threats, abusive students, flying metal trash cans, etc).

I next went to Chambersburg. After my uncle Rodger Barnhart's passing in March and my Godmother/Aunt Sally Bowling's recovery from a life threatening infection in April, I had to visit my surviving relatives. Most of them still remembered who I was. But as I've gotten older, they've gotten much older. It's scary thinking of Aunts and Uncles under the age of 80 needing to be in a retirement community. It's disturbing knowing that several of my relatives are battling dementia. I probably could have gotten a warehouse job in Chambersburg, but I had to at least go to the interviews I had waiting for me in Maine on June 12.

The first interview was a bit of a disaster. The second interview went well. And after spending $200 for 3 nights lodging, I was exploring my only affordable non-shelter option in Lewiston on June 13 when both called me and told me I was hired. One wanted me to start that week, the other started on the 26th. I ended up working for both until the 26th and staying with the warehouse job that was closer to Lewiston. Both paid $12 an hour, a record as far as hourly salary for me.

Now I'm getting used to long rural drives, cheaper car insurance, and wondering how much longer a 2001 Ford Taurus approaching 214000 miles can continue to hold on. It managed to get me from San Antonio to Austin to Tennessee to Chambersburg to New York to Maine over the last 7 months. Now I need the car to get to everywhere except Mass (my current residence is a block from Maine's only Catholic Basilica) and the library.