Death and Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer yesterday. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of people who were giddy about his death. They didn’t like him. They thought he was a terrible person. They were glad he was dead. They made jokes. It was a great day. This is not a defense of Rush Limbaugh. I didn’t like him. I will admit that back in the early 90;s when I spent all day in my car delivering papers in downtown Cincinnati I would sometimes listen to his show. I found that music all day didn’t work for me so I rotated through various talk radio shows until the comedy radio show I liked started. Sometimes I would land on Rush. I didn’t agree with him and spent time yelling at the radio. I stopped listening the day he called homeless people human debris. I know he promoted a lot of terrible views and there is a good reason for people not to like him. My question is – Is it really ever OK to celebrate someone’s death?

I have mixed feelings on this. I think it was generally considered acceptable to celebrate the death of Bin Laden. I think celebrating the death of Hitler was OK. They were terrible people who were behind atrocities and the deaths of a lot of people. Charles Manson? Jeffrey Dahmer? Ted Bundy? I think most people would be OK with celebrating the death of a serial killer. What about other members of the Manson family? People who did bad things but seemed to change once they were no longer under Manson’s influence? Still a celebration? Do we celebrate the death of people who committed other terrible crimes short of murder? Does it depend on the circumstance or how close the crime was to you? Is it really a good thing to celebrate the death of someone because they promoted hateful ideas on the radio? And celebrate publicly? In some cases, seemingly stalk pages online so you can comment on other people’s comments to make sure they know you hated him and are glad he is dead?

I’m not claiming any high ground here. I’m just saying that I am not a fan of seeing post after post of people giddy about the death of anyone. In this case, I also think about the fact that I have family members who post hate filled posts on Facebook. Terrible, racist stuff. I have unfollowed them so I don’t see it and I am embarrassed that they are part of my family. I would hate to see people celebrating if they died because of this. I’m sure there are people in Limbaugh’s family in the same boat. They hated what he said and promoted on air, but he was family and people are saying we should all be glad he is dead. It just doesn’t seem right.

Do you think it is OK to celebrate the death of Rush?

Is it ever OK to celebrate anyone’s death?

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Another Year of Tater

I turned 52 yesterday. Does that mean this is the beginning of year 53 of Tater? I think so?

Last year I wrote a post about being on the other side of 50 and things I wanted to change. I looked at that post this morning and I think I did pretty good even though most of my year was in the midst of a pandemic. Here is a look back at that and then a look forward to Tater at 52.

51 for me is time to find a career where I can be content until my career days are over. – Still a work in progress. Eventually I will go back to a job. I don’t know yet what that job will be.

51 for me is the time to stop letting others steal my joy. – Still a work in progress. I did cut ties with the people that were the biggest issue, but I still let people have way too much control over my joy.

51 for me is the time to cut ties with people and places who don’t respect me and my contributions. – Done! 25 years in a place where I brought innovative programming. leadership and loyalty and got nothing(but a paycheck) in return. 25 years of seeing less qualified people promoted over me. 25 years and they show no concern when I bring major issues to HR. 25 years of being a replaceable, unimportant cog. All over. I am now 2 months removed from a very toxic work environment and life is good.

51 for me is the time to forget the fear of the unknown and take that leap. – I took the leap into the unknown. It’s still scary. I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I’m sure at some point I will admit defeat on the writing and get a job. I just don’t know what that will be.

So, looking forward to Tater at 52. What will that bring?

Hopefully, within the first half of the 52 I will get the vaccine and life will return to something close to normal.

I will do my best to complete whatever my memoir will look like even if I know it will never be published.

I will spend some time trying to find other writing opportunities.

I will find ways to volunteer and give to those less fortunate.

I will figure out what my next step is career-wise Back to libraries? Substitute teacher? Grocery store? Gig work like Door Dash? Substitute teacher seems like a good choice. Some control over schedule, holidays and summers off.

Tater at 52 is a transition year. Transitioning from pandemic to post-pandemic. Transitioning from unemployed to employed. Transitioning to a new way of life. I need to be willing to give myself time and grace.

Here’s hoping for a much better year than the last one.

Happy Pandemic Birthday To Me

It’s my birthday again. Seems to happen every year around this time. Funny how that works. This is my first and hopefully last one in the midst of a pandemic. Last year we were still a month away from everything locking down. My wife’s birthday is four days before mine, so we generally only do one dinner out if we do one at all. Most years we just get our free sandwiches from Firehouse Subs Last year we went to a nice seafood place on the water since she was celebrating a milestone birthday. Two years ago for my 50th we went to a place in DC I’ve always wanted to try. This year will be back to our norm of not doing anything too exciting.

Here is my plan for my pandemic birthday:

I’ve been up for over an hour already. Had coffee. Read the paper. Watched All American.

Read for a bit this morning.

Take the dog for a walk whenever the blinds people show up to install the last of the blinds. i can’t believe my wife scheduled it for my birthday.

Get my free drink from Starbucks for an afternoon treat. Possibly also pick up my free pastry from Panera at the same time.

Find a movie to watch while drinking my Starbucks.

Maybe read some more while waiting for my wife to finish work for the day.

Not sure what dinner will be. Maybe a free Mission BBQ sandwich. Maybe a free Firehouse Subs sandwich. Maybe something at home.

Watch recorded TV shows until I’m too tired to stay awake.

Not a real exciting birthday. Normally the day off would be a good thing, but this year it will seem like every other day. Maybe next year I will throw myself a party.

President’s Day

Today is President’s Day. I started the day by meeting with my cabinet.

President’s Day is not normally a favorite holiday. It is a nice reason to have a random day off in the middle of winter. Apparently, it is also a is day for furniture stores and car dealers to have major sales. I’ve ever understood why it seems the best way to celebrate our past presidents. President’s Day is not a big day unless you are me.

Before I was an unemployed bum I worked at a place with something called birthday leave. It is pretty self explanatory. Birthday leave means you get a day off for your birthday. You can take it within two weeks of your birthday. My birthday is tomorrow(more on that tomorrow. Yes I am that vain) so my birthday always falls somewhere close to President’s Day. That means that i could always plan my birthday leave to get a 4 day weekend. Well, I could until I transferred to the terrible place and the terrible boss had the same birthday. That made things more complicated as I had to negotiate with her for who got what day off and she always wanted to take both her birthday leave on one end of the weekend and a random day off at the other thus blocking me from taking either. Until then, though, President’s Day always meant a 4 day weekend for me. I also have signed up for several restaurant apps and email lists that give me free birthday food, so I would spend the two days off going out for free food. I would go to Panera for the free pastry, get coffee as well, and sit for a while with my book and watch people. Panera reading/people watching was one of my favorite things to do. We would generally go out to eat somewhere over the weekend.

Now, it has lost its luster for a couple of reasons. One, I no longer have a job to get a holiday from. Today is the same as every day has been since mid-December. Tomorrow will be the same as today. I won’t even get a day home alone as no one leaves the house to go places anymore. I will go get my free food over the next few days, but I will be picking things up curbside or via drive thru and then going home. No change of scenery for me.

So, I guess Happy Monday?

What’s Good in Tater Town 2/14/21

Happy Valentine’s Day from icy Maryland. It’s time to find the good from the past week in Tater Town. Let’s see if I can remember the last week.

  1. The Super Bowl was Sunday night. While everyone else seemed to hate everything about it, I enjoyed it.
  2. Free coffee from Dunkin Monday.
  3. I seem to be past my focus issues with reading.
  4. Once I changed focus a little on the writing I had a couple of good writing days.
  5. People still keep reading my dumb little blog.
  6. Free coffee from Wawa Friday.
  7. I got to talk to friends when I picked up movies from the library Friday afternoon.
  8. My daughter came home for the weekend.
  9. Free dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme for my birthday.
  10. Kentucky basketball finally won a game.

That’s the list for this week. Now I enter the week of my first and hopefully last pandemic birthday.

Tater on Love

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I am posting this today since I will be doing my regular What’s Good post tomorrow, This is one of my annoying posts that is just links to other posts. I have put together a collection of my posts I have written that have a love theme. Enjoy.

In Which I Embarrass Myself By Writing About First Love – This one was part of a writing challenge I did and one of the topics was first love. So, here is mine.

Platonic Tater – In which I talk about life in the friend zone

Love in the Time of the Rona – a short post about celebrating our anniversary during lockdown

A Mismatched Pair Meeting the Family – where I talked about the first time I et my wife’s family and I met hers

The Proposal Story my telling of the story of the night I proposed to my wife

One Is The Loneliest Number – not romance, but love adjacent. In which I talk about loneliness.

Those are the ones I an recall. I hope you have a good Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

The Guilty Reader Tag

I found this over on Life and Other Disasters yesterday and decided I would make it my post for today. Generally, I feel no guilt about my reading unless I feel guilty about reading when I could be doing something others would consider more productive. Let’s get to the questions to see if I have guilt elsewhere.

One. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

Books I’ve been given as gifts – no. I would be too afraid I would accidentally give it back to the person who gave it to me. Books I’ve been given at conferences – yes. I have picked up multiple books, ARCS and otherwise at conferences and then used them as gifts.

Two. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

No. I see no reason to lie about having read a book. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I might not remember if I’ve read a book, so I guess it’s possible I might have assumed I read a book when I didn’t.

Three. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

Yes. I still have my brother’s copy of The Punch by John Feinstein. I still haven’t read it. I’m not sure when or if I will ever read it and give it back to him. I should feel bad about it. He doesn’t read a lot and I’ve stolen one of the few books he owns.

Four. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

Not on purpose. I’m very much a “read in order” reader even when it is a series that can be read out of order without really missing anything. I have on occasion read a book and realized at some point that it is not the first book in a series. Just recently I read a book that was a companion book to another one I’d read and realized there was a middle book connecting them that I had missed.

Five. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

If I have I don’t remember doing it. There are times I’ve told someone about a book and, after they confirmed they would never read it, told them how it ended. I would never spoil a book if I thought the person was going to read it.

Six. Have You Ever Dogeared A Book?

I’m sure I’ve done this before. I would never dogear a library book or a book that belongs to someone else. I would never dogear a book I plan to keep on my personal shelves. If I had an old paperback book I was taking on a trip and planned to leave behind I wouldn’t hesitate to do it if I didn’t have a bookmark.

Seven. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

I don’t see a reason I would do this. I guess you would do it to avoid loaning it to someone? I would just be honest and tell the person I don’t loan my books. I have forgotten that I own a book and then bought a second copy only to discover the copy I already own on the shelf when I go to shelve the new copy.

Eight. Have You Ever Skipped A Chapter Or A Section Of A Book?

I definitely did this in school. When reading for pleasure I have skimmed over sections quite often. I’ve never just skipped a section because I would feel like I’ve missed something. The skimming happens a lot on books like Game of Thrones with multiple character viewpoints. I find some characters very boring and skim them when it gets tedious.

Nine. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

I don’t think so. I don’t see why I would, Because others are bad mouthing it? I don’t care enough about what others think to do that. If I’m in book club and everyone else hated the book I wouldn’t lie and say I hated it. I won’t waste any effort to try to plead my case for the book, but I would admit I liked it.

I guess I would say I said yes to 4 of the 9. 3 definites and two kind ofs, so I will stick with 4. Not too bad.

feel free to play along in the comments or in your own post.

The Day Tater Went to Court

Watching the beginning of the impeachment trial last night reminded me of the time I had jury duty and was seated on a jury. It was a long time ago. My 24 year old son was a baby. I’m disappointed I haven’t been called again. Here is my trial story.

When I was called for jury duty I was working almost full time at the jail. When I told them I was called for jury duty they assured me I would be excused because I worked in a jail. I was sure I would have one day at the courthouse and then I would be back at work. It didn’t work out the way we expected.

I reported to the courthouse and for an hour or so I just sat in a room reading a book. My number was called and I went into the courtroom with the other potential jurors. The trial was an attempted murder trial. They started asking all of the questions for voir dire. They didn’t ask about corrections. They did ask if anyone was in law enforcement and one woman raised her hand. She was a US Marshall. They called her forward, asked her some questions, and both attorneys agreed to leave her on the jury. I assume my jail job would not have been worse to them than that.

The basics of the case – the defendant had been in an altercation earlier in the day of the incident. Later that night, he was outside a club and saw the person he fought earlier approaching with several other people. He pulled a gun and fired in their direction hoping to scare them away and hit someone in the leg. He was charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and illegal possession of a firearm. There might have been other charge, but those are the main three I remember.

The trial started and I was struck by how bad both lawyers were. I guess a case like this does not get the local superstar attorneys. The opening statements sounded like me when I did oral reports in high school. The case the state presented was terrible. I don’t recall the specifics because I’m old, but I do know that in my mind they never even proved the guy ever fired the gun. They never even addresses the gun charge at all. There was no evidence or testimony in the case that showed me he did not have the legal right to possess the gun. It was like the prosecution thought we would convict because he said so. The defense attorney was just as bad. While I was thinking “I see no proof this guy ever fired a gun” the defense attorney said he fired the gun, There goes me arguing that point in the jury room The terrible attorneys finished the case and we retired to the jury room for deliberations.

The jury had a nice mx of people. There was 2o something me. The marshal who was maybe early 30’s. A young black man. A couple of older white women. The ret I can’t remember because the four of us were the vital pieces in the room. The two old women immediately started in on questioning why the guy was out that late in the first place. We shut that down quickly. His being out late at night had no bearing on the case. They said he should have just run away. We countered with the fact that he could have been shot in the back. Or maybe there was no place to run. We discussed the fact that there was no evidence that he was illegally possessing the gun so we didn’t couldn’t find him guilty of the crime. We discussed his intent. Was he trying to murder someone? Was he trying to shoot someone or just scare them away? We finally settled on finding him not guilty of attempted murder. We did find him guilty of reckless endangerment since he fired a weapon at a group of people. We went back to the courtroom and the results were read. The judge looked so confused when we said not guilty of the gun charge that the woman reading the decisions tried to start an explanation and he cut her off telling her he just wanted the decisions, not he reasoning. I don’t know what the final result of the sentencing was.

It was an interesting couple of days. I was there long enough to have lunch, dinner and then lunch again. Even though the attorneys were bad, I enjoyed the trial process. The jury arguments were interesting and I was glad there was a good mix of people on the jury. Had it been more people like the older women who wanted to judge him for his lifestyle and not the facts of the case the prosecutor might have gotten his wish that they convict just because the state said to.

I’m always annoyed when people get called for jury duty and try to get out of it. If regular people try to avoid it we might get more juries full of the older people from my jury who have no reason to avoid it. It was interesting. It was better than being at work. I got to eat a good burger at restaurant in Annapolis for lunch. What can you hate about all of that?

A History of Tater on Second Chances

LA over on Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 posted today about second chances. Since I had no real post today and I have written several times on second chances, I thought I would collect them in one post so you can read them at your leisure.

My post on Michael Vick getting a dog.

My post about Sean Spicer at the Emmy’s

My post about Josh Hader’s tweets

My post on Ray Lewis

My post on the difference between Ray Rice and Michael Vick

My post on Manson Family pardons

And a general redemption post

Writer’s Block Tuesday

Today is one of those days when I have multiple ideas bouncing around in my head but can’t seem to put them into writing. I’m hoping as the day goes on I might be able to get at lest one of them into blog form and I can use it for a post tomorrow. I’m hoping that the writer’s block is only a blog writer’s block and that I will be able to accomplish some non-blog writing today If not, I guess today will be an editing day instead of a writing day. I’m happy that I have things to pick up and return to libraries today. I have an excuse to step away from the laptop and leave the house. I also need gas and need to pick up cards for birthday/Valentine’s Day. So, that combined with two library stops should kill an hour or more. Sometimes I have good post ideas while driving.

I think part of my writing issues come from an unsettled feeling after a dream last night. What I recall from the dream was not unsettling at all, but I woke from it feeling that way. I guess I subconsciously remember something bad from the dream. It was weird, but I wouldn’t consider it a bad one.

Now comes the pledge drive portion of the post. My son works for the Audubon Naturalist Society. They are doing a plunge to support Chesapeake Climate Action Network to keep winter cold. Please consider helping him support a worthy cause. Thanks!