I’m sinking here…

The events I hoped to participate in earlier this year are all canceled. The forests have burned/are burning/are closed in case they burn, the events I looked forward to are all COVID-canceled, acting classes shut down, even the gig I’d arranged modeling for the community college for extra spending $$$.

It is October and the temperature is still 103 at 5pm. Fires still rage all across the west. My daughter’s wedding is postponed indefinitely, again due to COVID. Don’t get me started on the farce that is electoral politics today. I am in a very bad mood, halfway between angry and depressed.

Fires in the California wine country have destroyed the wine country. Ordinarily a vineyard is a natural firebreak. Rows are spaced apart, plants are well irrigated. Not this year. The fires raged so intensely that the heat caused rows of grape vines to burst into flame. Even in the center of the fields the radiant heat killed the plants and turned grapes to raisins. Some of these fields have vines that date back to a hundred years ago.

Many wineries themselves have gone up in flames. The most heartbreaking is the Castello di Amorosa. It is an accurate reproduction of a medieval French castle, complete with moat and drawbridge.

“Determined to make the Castello authentic in every respect, I used only old, hand-made materials and I built it employing the same methods and materials that would have been used 700-800 years ago,” Sattui said in a statement on the winery’s website. “You can’t fake something like this. You either do it right or people will know it’s not authentic.”

My wife and I visited there some years ago when we were yurt camping at a nearby state park, which I suspect also burned. All contents are lost and the stone building itself is crumbling. There’s a lot of wood in a stone castle.

The nearby 13th-century manor house was saved. As a winery, they may be permanently ruined. I hope they have really good insurance. It isn’t the only historic winery to go up in flames.

Slightly upbeat section follows…

Interestingly, WordPress continues to change its editor. That annoying toolbar that used to appear over the text you just worked on has mysteriously pinned itself to the top of the window and shows up when I click in the block to be edited. It still doesn’t have the option to drag commonly used block types into it to be immediately available. I suppose I must be happy for small favors.

The black + box where you can select a different type of block besides paragraph is doing a slightly better job of remembering what I have previously used. I have used an image block and a separator block in this post so far and they are both still there. The default blocks seem slightly more useful. Another good change.

Anger and bitterness follows…

The f-ing world is drowning in political correctness. I set up an account with Vanguard and moved some retirement funds into it. One of the steps was to select secret questions. One of the questions was “What is your first pet’s name?”

Of course that is the one I picked. There is zero chance I’d ever remember answers to the other questions and I prefer answers I don’t have to write down. The answer I gave was “Lassie.”

The system responded that my answer was unacceptable because it is an ethic slur. Lassie??? You gotta be kidding me! So I went to research this and could find no reference to this being a slur. Lassie is a Scots word for “little girl” that is also used in common English. It is also a common coloquial for the entire rough collie dog breed.

It became the colloquial because of the novel “Lassie Come-Home,” a story of a heroic dog who will not stay separated from the family she loves. A boy who loves the dog desperately in return. A man who decides that love is more important than material well being.

The original Lassie who inspired books and novels and television series was a rough-haired collie mix who saved the life of a sailor.

The book is famous and has spun off many movies and TV series including one as recent as 2005. It is without doubt the most famous dog name in the world. (Ironically usually played by male dogs with a bit of creative hair styling.)

This is the Lassie I grew up with. She was superior to any of the humans around her. I named the very first dog in my life Lassie.

What ever useless twit decided that “Lassie” was an ethnic slur is just part of the uber-politically correct crowd who just gets their jollies by enforcing their own ideas on others.

Don’t think it won’t happen here. Wait until they get their hooks into anime. The genre will be neutered.

Soon the baby boomers will be gone. Many people will be gleeful to be rid of us. They’ll be free to rewrite history books to make us all the villains for everything.