A New Roof & Send In The Clowns

A New Roof

As these very skilled craftsmen started to climb up their tarr-stained ladders doing our new roof, I thought about what it must be like to work outdoors with your hands doing hard, backbreaking work. Like me, most of you who receive these blogs have college degrees and work indoors in comfortable offices. “Want some coffee? Of course, no problem. Have to go to the bathroom? Sure, down the hall on the right. Got plans for lunch? Join me for a quick bite at the deli across the street.”

These men do not worry about their stock portfolios or their 401Ks. I doubt they have a union. They may be more susceptible to a layoff during a downturn than we are. They often struggle with English. Healthcare? Good luck. What really grates on me is the lack of respect laborers, electricians, plumbers, iron workers, etc. get in our culture. Yet, when your water heater goes out on a Sunday afternoon, guess who you call? An MBA?

So, as our job got started, I pulled out my video cameras (now days using both my Nikon D7 and my iPhone). Hate to tell you, the iPhone at 1/3 the cost of the Nikon does just as good a job, or better. That’s another story. I hope you enjoy this short video, and especially the interview with Martin Cerna who proudly talks about his two children who are in college and headed for professional careers.

 

 

What follows next is a little humor to lighten the world-wide tragedy we are going through. I want to write a political rant that will melt the page, but will save that for another time.

In brief, though, I just heard that Rand Paul (Republican Senator from Kentucky) has tested positive for the virus. Pardon me for being insensitive and childish, boo-fucking-hoo. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. We have an odd situation where two thirds of  the government (White House and Senate) is run by people who detest government, and do everything they can to bring it to its knees. They try to reduce funding for agencies like FEMA, the CDC, the FDA, and various Public Health agencies. According to Republican Senate members these government agencies are run by the dreaded “deep state unelected bureaucrats” who endlessly suck up our tax money. Hmmm, in times like this though, maybe, just maybe, we need those PhD “unelected bureaucrats” who actually know how to deal with these problems.

But I do have to say, what a pleasure to hear governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Washington State’s Jay Inslee, or California’s Gavin Newsom who are ELECTED bureaucrats who actually know how to run a government, who actually give a shit about the citizens, are not afraid of governmental power, and who trust science and experts instead of the nonexistent God that Mike Pence prays to.

Speaking of religion, it is said that people can believe whatever they want if it doesn’t effect others. Really, what complete bullshit. If you refuse to get your kid immunized before school for “strongly held” religious beliefs, that  puts others in real danger. Here is a pathetic example,

The Rev. Majdi Allawi was asked at a Lebanon airport checkpoint if he had a mask and hand sanitizer. He replied, “Jesus is my protection. He is my sanitizer.” I suggest Rev. Allawi be put into quarantine for two weeks to see how good his Jesus protection works. BTW, if Jesus does protect Rev. Allawi, why doesn’t he protect all of “his children?” For that matter, why did God send the entire world this killer virus? Guess he works in “mysterious ways.”

What is finally bringing down the human race is dumb thinking. Let’s give up the supernatural and put our trust in science and reason!

I’ll stop here.

 

On The Lighter Side

 

 

The c.virus can not live in wine, so I am self-medicating

as I shelter in place (only one glass per day).


From the Talk of Broadway

 

The Pledge

 

Well known as an atheist, Robin Williams had a huge problem with the “under God phrase” in the pledge of allegiance. So he suggested a modification:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

                           and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under

                           Canada and above Mexico, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

 

From the NYT

Since the death toll is highest amoung those of us in the over-sixty category, it has been suggested that we call this plague, the “Boomer Remover.” Hmmm, something to think about.

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “A New Roof & Send In The Clowns

  1. Rick. Good to see your your latest commentary. Totally agree with what is, I believe, a realistic view of the dignity and importance of “The Blue Collar” people. My dad was a Harvard trained Chem Engineer with a Master’s in Business; he talked constantly in the most respectful and admiring way about some of his good friends who were auto mechanics, shipyard workers, machinists, and a projector operator at the Alameda Drive In movie theater. To name a few. And he was rubbing elbows with some highly educated scientists and engineers from around the world while working in the newly arrived 1944 jets and their fuel developments. So he had direct and very positive experiences with both tradesmen and scholar.
    As a hobbyist, he assembled a terrific HiFi system designed and developed by a super brained friend who was responsible for much of the aviation gyro systems and an engine analyzer used by the Pan Am Stratocruisers; point being that his friend( name was Lindbergh (not related to Charles) who, I suspect, was entirely self taught and a blue collar guy, It really hurts the soul to know so many supporters of our decrepit Administration are in that mode. I must believe many of them are so practically minded and can respond only to what, to them, are practical solutions to old classical dilemmas which can be resolved only by time, patience, and compromise; this is not the realm of the practical, “Get It Done” mentality. I believe they get commonly caught up in the constant constraints and interruptions necessary to a Democracy; the frustration is too much and simplistic solutions are disastrously seductive. Being a good old Psych fellow, you may have a more clear picture of this scenario than I! In any case, thanks for what you do!

  2. My son Matt at 17 built some character handling hot tar on roofs. Nothing we had ever done could have
    taught him what he learned, being the kid in a group of serious men. Nothing light about it. Get it done
    right and try not to set yourself or anyone else on fire. Simple, right? Washington DC summer heat
    and humidity and the tar. You can’t bullshit the tar, he said,

    At the end of that summer he decided he wanted to go to school.

  3. You have a knack for taking what might seem mundane and making it fascinating and bringing out the humanity in it. I loved this line – These men do not worry about their stock portfolios or their 401Ks. I doubt they have a union. They may be more susceptible to a layoff during a downturn than we are. They often struggle with English. Healthcare? Good luck. What really grates on me is the lack of respect laborers, electricians, plumbers, iron workers, etc. get in our culture. Yet, when your water heater goes out on a Sunday afternoon, guess who you call? An MBA?
    Thanks Rick for your point-of-view in life.
    Susannah

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