Be yourself


Before I Built a Wall


The Most Significant Event in Our Lifetime

Can you name me any event in our lifetime which has caused more WORLDWIDE DISRUPTION than COVID-19? I challenge anyone to try.

Whether we like it or not, whether it fits into any of our life-plans or not, whether we even want to acknowledge COVID as a real threat, there has not been a single event in my 70+ years that has affected human life and enterprise on this planet as much as the Coronavirus pandemic. At this moment, COVID is the most significant event in our lifetime.

We arrogant humans like to think of ourselves as the great movers and shakers in our universe. We talk about searching for other forms of “intelligent” life in the universe as if we were the arbiters of what is intelligence. We plunder the planet’s riches as if the mess we leave behind does not matter; as if we had an alternative planet to live on if we despoil this one. We can be bitchy, whiney, petulant children who think we are all grown up and the masters of all we survey. But Momma Nature has thrown us a curve ball and we are all playing the 2020 version of hot potato!

We moan and complain about wanting life to return to normal, but who are we to think we even know what “normal” is. And where do we get off assuming that what we want is what is best for the planet? It might just be that the best thing for Planet Earth is fewer human beings — and she may be in the process of correcting that imbalance as we speak. Or not. But what we think, what we feel, how we think she should go about it are completely irrelevant to Mother Nature. She holds all the important cards and she’ll deal them out as she sees fit.

I’m not one to spread doomsday theories but I do remember some of my history. In the early 20th century there was a lot of tension among nations and no one in their right mind would have predicted that when a Bosnian-Serb named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria that would be the virtual opening shot of WWI. No one would have anticipated that such a nobody could set in motion events that would change the political shape of the world as it was then known, and ultimately be responsible for the wartime deaths of between 9 and 15 MILLION humans.

History doesn’t ask us for permission. When the time is right for a thing to happen, it does. When all the components are sitting in readiness the smallest spark can ignite the fires of change. And change doesn’t care how you spell it. Change doesn’t worry about whether you like it. Change will bulldoze over anything in it’s way when it’s time has arrived and standing in it’s way is only a recipe for extinction.

We humans are accustomed to dealing with other humans. When playing a game — like poker — we think that the really good players can figure out the other players “tell” — those nervous twitches and looks that give away a player’s position. But we aren’t smart enough to know Nature’s tells. We humans have repeatedly stepped in to help Nature out and time after time 100 years after stepping in we have realized that our intervention did not good, and often did more harm that what would have happened had we kept our grubby hands off the situation.

Like all of you I have no idea where COVID will end — or if it will end. There is no logical reason to suggest that COVID will simply disappear. It may mutate, it may come and go, or another disease may replace it, but Nature holds the trump cards and at some point we need to realize we would do well if we paid closer attention to her and less attention to our schemes and get-rich plans.

We live in a society, not in an economy.

We need each other, and our current cultural models no longer hold society above economy. We value wealth, not community. But it is community which is keeping us alive during this pandemic, not the economy. It is people caring for people; helping them out; being concerned; doing what needs doing even if it’s not easy, or not in your or my personal best interest — doing what is needed for the group.

Efforts to raise the self above community have failed — and more will occur and they too will fail. We may be a long time learning that we have no choice but to live and think smarter than we have in the past. Those who resist the lesson will pay the price of infection, possibly death, most certainly great discomfort, and likely continuing side effects from the virus long after their disease symptoms have disappeared. Call it darwinian culling if you must but those of us who refuse to learn will bear the cost of their refusal — and unfortunately so will those who are near and dear to them.

Can you see what’s happening? Look into the future a little. Imagine what the world will be like if we continue to moan and whine about what we have to do to stay safe?

IN a few short months 10 million people have fallen ill. More than half a million of them have perished. In just a few short months. Ignore all the media you want, but ignoring the facts will not bring anyone back to life.

Covid is the most significant event in our life. Let’s treat it like what it is.


Why do we do this?

I’m a reasonably normal guy, but I must be missing some particular gene because I never got the idea behind catcalling women. Even when I was young and when testosterone surged through my loins it never seemed right to treat a woman that way. I guess I was raised to respect women and I never learned (not that it’s a good thing, it isn’t) to suspend respectful behavior just because I’m around a bunch of other men.

Half of the world population are women. What gives men the right to think that such disrespectful behavior is or should be acceptable under any circumstance?

The bigger part of the situation is that I question whether men have any idea how a majority of women feel about being called out. I do know that there’s a male myth that gorgeous women like to be appreciated — and I call it a myth because it’s commonly applied only to women who possess certain observable traits which we aren’t going into here because there are personal tolerances for the various traits. But just because you think a woman likes to be appreciated that does not mean that it’s ok to do it in a crude and disrespectful manner.

Then again, a lot of men have no idea how to respect a woman in any way — and I trust that none of them are followers of my blog. I really hope that as a guy I do not appeal to that audience.

Look at these survey questions. If you are a woman I’m sure the results are no surprise to you. If you are a guy, I would hope you know these things but just in case you don’t I wanted to reprint them here.

I don’t expect my small audience to make a huge difference but I do think we need to talk about things, and move towards something a bit less violent towards women.


Countries planning to welcome Hong Kong citizens with open arms 7/9/20

Diary, Food

Lemon Pound Cake

As much as I don’t bake desserts at home because then I’d have to eat them, I still crave poundcake from time to time. And there is no better flavor on all the earth in my mind than bright and cheery lemon.

So…. here’s something to make your tastebuds tingle.

This is one version of the 1920 Famous Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake Recipe! Some recipes fade over time but this one seems as popular now as it was then.

Pound cake needs to be moist and dense, it needs to cut cleanly, and most of all, the flavor must must be butter! (This is no place for butter substitutes — if you can’t have butter, try another cake.)

10 ingredients


  • 1 Lemon, Zest of


  • 5 Eggs, large


  • 6 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Baking & Spices

  • 3 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Shortening
  • 3 cups Sugar


  • 1 cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Whole milk


  • Ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • Measure ingredients carefully. (Ahem.)
  • For a tender cake, don’t over mix. Mix until ingredients are just incorporated.
  • Bake on your middle oven rack.
  • Start checking at the 55 minute mark, but if the top isn’t even golden brown, don’t open your oven yet. (Opening and closing the oven to check a cake before it’s done causes it to fall.)
  • Grease and flour a bundt pan or tube cake pan. 
  • Cool the cake before removing it from the pan.
  • Gently loosen the sides with a knife, then lift out the center section. Run your knife around the center tube to loosen, and between the bottom of the cake and cake pan to separate.