The Flight of February

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Just wonderful, I’m a day behind on my blog post. You probably weren’t aware that I have self-imposed deadlines. Well, now you know. I fired myself today and subsequently filed for unemployment benefits from myself. The cycle continues…

February was a typically fast month, brimming with particular news items, some good, some bad, and some uneventful. Lady Gaga’s dogs were stolen and then returned. Stop the press. Okay, I get it. Her dog walker was shot, and the entire ordeal was terrible and senseless, but it was also very bizarre. Who steals dogs? I didn’t know that was a thing. I hope they find the bastards and throw the book at them. In fact, I won’t be satisfied until I see a judge, preferably in a large cowboy hat, throw a thick, heavy book at the culprits in the courtroom. Hardcover editions of War and Peace, The Stand, or Infinite Jest would do nicely. That’s Texas justice… in Los Angeles.

Tiger Woods was badly injured after crashing his SUV down a hill in LA as well. It was all over the news, amid prayers and concern for the world’s greatest golfer. Not much is known about the cause of the crash, but news sources speculate that he might have fallen asleep at the wheel or something. This man has been through some rough patches but always seems to bounce back. There’s hope for us all. In other celebrity news, America’s favorite feline Garfield turns 42. Break out the lasagna!

The month rolled on with usual fanfare. We had Groundhog Day, Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Ash Wednesday for Catholics, and Black History Month. It’s a good thing I have my calendar handy, or I’d be completely lost. My productive output reached half the capacity of what was planned. Now I must report my fledgling numbers to the Department of Personal Goals and face the wrath of their unaccountable bureaucrats. If you think that’s bad, just wait until you deal with the Department of Fun & Recreation. They’re surprisingly unpleasant.

The big question on everyone’s mind involved Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s native son. As the tradition goes, he saw his shadow on February 2nd, dooming us to another six weeks of winter, which should be wrapping up by now. I can never remember the rules. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it means a longer winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, after being whispered sweet nothings into his ear by a bunch of top hat wearing weirdos, we’re in for an early spring. If he sees his shadow within the vicinity of Bill Murray, standing around with a news crew, the end is nigh.

Valentine’s Day is a beloved holiday that tends to piss people off for various reasons. I’ve witnessed a noticeable trend in disaffected youths toward celebrating not celebrating the festivities of February 14th. I understand that you don’t want to entertain a corporate greeting card holiday, but someone has to buy these cards. A lot of people work on them! I’ve been single more times than not during Valentine’s Day. I recall bagging groceries as a teenager at the local Winn Dixie. They played Valentine’s commercials and love songs over the intercom nonstop, reminding every companionless loser of their current state. Having a girlfriend for any teenage boy was perhaps the biggest deal in high school. It’s all we thought about. Self pity was the name of the game, along with self-centeredness, self-absorption, and self-worship. And we were also jaded and we knew everything.

In space news, NASA’s Mars rover went off without a hitch. It’s hard to comprehend the monumental achievement of sending a remote piece of machinery roughly thirty-five million miles away to a distant planet. We’ve all seen Mars depicted in films like Total Recall, The Martian, Mission to Mars, Red Planet, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but this time it was for real. The Perseverance rover launched on July 30, 2020 and successfully landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. I think I was grocery shopping on that day. Percy joined four other NASA rovers on Mars previously launched, including Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity. My own personal rover, Lil’ Walken, named after legendary actor Christopher Walken, failed to launch, and I promptly quick astrophysics and engineering for good.

Scientists speculate that a clique may have formed between the other rovers who have been on Mars for a while. Such a bond could prove resistant to outsiders, leaving Perseverance with a lot of work in establishing trust and acceptance. Otherwise, we’re looking at an all out rover war. These rovers kind of look like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, which would be an appropriate reboot to the franchise, if Hollywood is interested. Short Circuit on Mars has a nice ring to it. Through the years, the Mars rovers, including the latest one, have been tasked with recording the environment, collecting rock and soil samples, testing oxygen production, and seeking evidence of extraterrestrial life.

I think it’s fairly obvious that aliens exist. One even keyed my Volkswagen Jetta in 2007. Unsolved Mysteries and Inside Edition refused to run the story, citing lack of evidence, so I took it to Hard Copy and then was pushed to A Current Affair to little success. I ended up on Lou Dobbs Tonight (when he was on CNN) in an unaired segment on “illegal aliens.” I promptly quit television appearances for good.

Celebrity deaths came fast throughout the month, which always seems to happen at the beginning of the year. I still remember David Bowie, Tom Petty, Prince, and James Gandolfini. I miss Robin Williams too. So far, we’ve lost Rush Limbaugh from lung cancer at 70, Larry King at 87, Christopher Plummer at 91, Cicely Tyson at 96, Cloris Leachmen at 94, baseball great Hank Aaron at 86, and Hal Holbrook at 95. Sadly, Dustin Diamond, Screech from TV’s Saved by the Bell, passed away without warning from Stage IV cancer at 44 years old. That’s insane. I was a big fan of Hal Holbrook and his performances in Creepshow (1982) and John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980), among other notable roles. Christopher Plummer was just a legendary actor all around. I’ll never forget Cloris Leachmen’s Oscar-winning moment in The Last Picture Show (1971). Seeing the movie for the first time a decade ago, her performance left me speechless.

Rush Limbaugh was a radio trailblazer who changed broadcasting, ultimately breaking up the media monopolies of the late-eighties and early-nineties. He remained at the top of his field for over thirty years with six hundred radio stations and an audience of over fifty million. Such a feat is amazing in any media enterprise. He championed liberty and the greatness of America, an education that’s sorely lacking in our culture today. Yes, he was a conservative firebrand who deconstructed liberal ideology. So what? His detractors know nothing about him or his legacy, so they cherry-pick obscure quotes and wage ad hominem attacks. Those who hate him missed out. They could have learned something.

A deep freeze swept across the south and northeast, particularly affecting Texas. The frigid cold crippled power grids across Texas, leaving over four million without power and running water. The crises lasted for about a week, as first responders and volunteers came from all over to help a state in need. It was also a good time as any to donate to charities. In depressing COVID news, the U.S. has reached over 500,000 deaths attributed to the stupid virus that has changed our world. Mass vaccinations continue in states all across the country, which is encouraging in itself. Like space exploration, we also have seemingly failed to comprehend the incredible achievement in developing a vaccine for a new strain of a deadly, highly contagious virus in less than a year. I still think that’s a pretty big deal. Will it bring solace to the roughly forty percent of small businesses that have closed forever from the lockdowns? Probably not. But it is a step in the right direction.

Speaking of directions, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been getting on my nerves lately. Who does this nerd think he is? I know that he’s a multi-billionaire who revolutionized technology, but I saw him on TV the other day saying how we all are going to have to change a lot of things in order to save the planet. And he wasn’t asking, he was telling us. Mr. Gates, I’ll offer you a proposition. The next time I need some help with my computer, I’ll look into your shady foundation. Until then, get off my back. I’m not drinking poop water or eating bugs or whatever harebrained schemes you and your globalist friends have in store for us. Maybe I won’t have a choice when they take over, but the point is, I’m not digging your scene. I even read your book Business @ the Speed of Thought back in the early 2000s and found it quite interesting. You’re a very rich man, and you probably want to do good things, but I just don’t trust you. It’s that simple. And do something about that haircut.

I shouldn’t really be talking about haircuts, when I’ve sported the same chop top for about twenty years now. My sides are turning gray, and there’s little I can do about it. I guess I’m lucky to have hair at all. I’m fortunate to have a lot of things. Entering my forties, signs of mortality are more evident than ever. Our friends and family grow older, loved ones pass on, along with people we admire. It’s a never ending cycle. If you’re reading this, just know that I appreciate you. March brings with it spring and the air of rebirth and rejuvenation in April. It also brings Daylight Savings Time and St. Patrick’s Day. I can’t wait to drink some green beer. Here’s to a productive and fulfilling month to you and yours. In the meantime, I’ll be following Perseverance’s Twitter feed for updates.

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