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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/joefredthomas
Rated: 13+ · Book · Other · #2229366
Ramblings about the world and myself
I have never really been able to write every day. I probably won't be able to do it now. I would like to write on a more regular basis. This blog is an attempt to develop a more regular writing habit. I can't guarantee an entry every day.
December 5, 2020 at 11:00am
December 5, 2020 at 11:00am

"It takes no prisoners, it has no heart, and it will come for you... if you deny it, it will come for you."

Joe Anderson

Mayor of the City of Liverpool
United Kingdom


The link above is to an article about scepticism about Covid-19 in the Tri-Cities TN/VA region where I live.

We went for the first two or three months here in Carter County Tennessee with daily new confirmed cases under ten. I hoped and prayed that we would stay that way. When I would go grocery shopping, I would see many people without masks in spite of mask mandates. I knew that it was only a matter of time.

Now there are thousands of cases in the three cities and surrounding counties. The positivity rate is over 30%, which is the highest in the state and one of the highest in the country. Johnson City Tennessee is number 7 on a New York Times list of places where new cases are growing the fastest.

A friend who I've known since childhood calls me occasionally. He kept saying "I don't know about this pandemic. I can't see that it's all that bad." He kept that up till his sister, her husband and several of their grandchildren tested positive. He changed his tune quickly after that.

One of our neighbors lost his mother to an overdose recently. He found her in the apartment. I had to go with him to check if she was dead. He's been coming over a good bit. I think he needs somebody to talk to. I was fine with that until he started talking about how he didn't believe that the virus is all that dangerous, and he isn't worried about masks or keeping distance. I went off on him till he left. Now I'm afraid to let him in the house.

My wife has COPD. I have high blood pressure. This thing could kill both of us in a hurry.

I am all for personal freedom to do what you want as long as you don't hurt anybody else. Go right on and drink or smoke or anything else you want. I don't care as long as you don't endanger me or the people I love. This disease is different. If you don't wear a mask or congregate in groups without keeping distance, you are putting my loved ones' lives at risk. It doesn't matter if you aren't doing what you are supposed to in other places. If you act irresponsibly anywhere you help the spread.

I am sick and tired of worrying about people I love just because people do not want to believe the truth and act like decent responsible human beings.
November 26, 2020 at 11:59am
November 26, 2020 at 11:59am
I think about this every year on Thanksgiving. Life is hard. This year has been harder than most.

It is very easy to get caught up in the hardships, and forget, or take for granted, all the good things that the Good Lord blesses us with.

As the year drags on, I become more beaten down by life, and more cynical. I get more ill natured and grouchy. Unfortunately my poor wife has to put up with my sorry sour attitude.

Thanksgiving comes near the end of the year after I have built up months of anger and frustration. It forces me to look for and remember all that I have to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving serves as a mental and emotional reset. It enables me to appreciate all the good things in life again, after the distraction of all the negativity of the preceding year.

Thanksgiving comes at a good time of the year. It comes after the I have accumulated a year's worth of negativity. It comes just before all the other Winter holidays. It allows me to get my head right in order to properly appreciate Christmas and the rest of the holiday season.

If it weren't for Thanksgiving, I would get very little out of Christmas. I would enter the New Year already carrying a year's worth of accumulated anger and frustration. I am very thankful for Thanksgiving.

Mount Mitchell Signature Picture
August 14, 2020 at 4:54pm
August 14, 2020 at 4:54pm
“All the same old cliches,
"Is that a woman or a man?”" Bob Seger

“He’s got a beard, Marge!” George Carlin

The Cowsills: Hair

Five Man Electrical Band: Signs

When my sons were young teenagers, I noticed that their hair was inching its way down over their collars. As I considered myself a proactive, hands on parent, and having some experience in the subject, I realized that it was time to have a talk with them.
I would never be such a hypocrite as to forbid my boys from growing their hair out. I did think it necessary to explain to them about what they were letting themselves in for.

I told them that when a man wears his hair long, he is making a statement, whether or not he means to. Any man who chooses to do this risks negative assumptions, judgement and treatment. Employers police and regular people all look at him differently.

Both of my sons decided to grow their hair. Adam, my oldest son, has his head shaved on both sides with a long Mohawk hanging like a ponytail almost to his belt. Justin, my younger son, has his hair hanging well past his collar, with a set of sideburns and muttonchops that would do General Burnside himself proud.

My seventh grade picture shows a short haired nerdy looking kid with horn rimmed glasses. I got a look at that picture, and knew that wasn’t who I wanted to be. I got a cooler pair of glasses and started to grow my hair. Now I proudly wear my hair over my shoulders and my full beard hangs to the fourth button on my shirt.

My hair and beard have caused me some trouble over the years. In school, one of the teachers used to call me “Miss Thomas”. He was mostly alright, so I think he was joking.

After I became an adult, I had some trouble from the police. Once I was standing at a bus stop in front of a little bar. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by four cops. One of them asked if I was causing trouble in the bar. They kept me from catching the bus, which put me behind on what I needed to do that day. I remember people staring at me from the bus. It was embarrassing. Finally the bartender stuck his head out of the door and yelled “He’s in here!”. Of course, the police knew that it had to be the long haired hippie causing trouble.

I think that the one thing that bothered me the most was when my aunt asked me to cut my hair before going to my mother’s funeral. I didn’t do it. It would have been hypocritical. My mother didn’t mind my hair when she was alive. I am sure that didn’t change.

My hair and beard are very much a part of my identity. I plan to proudly wear it to my grave unless it falls out.

Mount Mitchell Signature Picture

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