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"Notes" #61

A young COVID expert sent in this response. An expert in the vaccination experience-she is my 11 year old granddaughter Miliah.

Covid-19 took away big things in my life. If you are wondering, "what is Covid-19?" well it's an infectious disease that can kill people. Only if you don't get the vaccine, well not quite you can still get Covid-19 even if you have the vaccine but the vaccine will protect and fight off the Covid-19 if it gets into your body. Anyways, I woke up at 8:00 am this morning, did the usual things that an 11-year-old kid would do like get dressed, eat breakfast, and get ready to leave for school. I got to school at 8:53 am, I walked into the main doors and headed to class. It was normal for the rest of the day until 3:00, the office called me down to get my things and get ready, so I did, when I walked down to the office they told me to sit down and wait, about 5 minutes later my grandma came in and picked me up, we got in the car and drove to my house to pick up my brother and my mom. In 20 minutes something will change about me, it's a good thing and not a bad thing.

Once we got to the Centre we had to go to all these people to check out forms and ask us questions. Once the questions and the forms were filled out we were sat in four chairs, two in front, two in the back. I sat on the ones in the back and my brother and my mom sat on the ones in the front. There were a lot of kids there, some scared, some perfectly fine, I was nervous. There was a lady with a cart coming around with cotton balls a sanitary wipe and Needles (worst part). There was a kid behind me that got his shot, he was perfectly fine and the lady was done with him.

My life is about to change in 25 seconds. The lady got a sanitary wipe out and rubbed my arm, I was nervous and touched the part that she sanitized, with my UNSANITARY HAND!! She had to do it again, 5 more second and it was all about to change, *pinch* There it was over... I was happy! And excited! My brother was next. He was the perfectly fine kid, he did well, and he didn't even know he had been vaccinated. After that we got bubble tea and hotdogs, burgers, and a salad. I can't imagine being not vaccinated!!
And that's my story of getting vaccinated.  Miliah

Thank you Miliah, well said/written.


Christmas is particularly hard the first year or two after you have lost somebody you really cared about. And now let's throw in a pandemic and a lockdown and one's memories of these significant events/dates/moments can leave a person incredibly sad and confused about what their life is now and will be in the future.

I have lost parents, grandparents, teammates, school chums, and friends-- normal losses as one gets up in age. In fact, if I do not see myself in the obituary column it means I will have a good day. But I have never experienced the pain of losing a spouse or a child and I can't even imagine how life changing that would be.

I guess I was thinking of a couple of people who had really crappy holidays this year having lost their spouse during 2020. It got me thinking about loss and the various depths or degrees of loss. We feel a different degree of loss when our pet dies, we lose our job, our sister, mother, spouse, or a child and they all have a significant but different degree of felt loss. We feel badly but not all to the same degree.

The concept of love feels very similar to loss, in that, we love to various depths and degrees. The loss or love for our dog is deep and sincere but not to the same degree as the loss or love for our spouse, parent, child.

(OK, that makes sense but what is your point?)

Is it possible that the higher degree of love we feel for someone or something, the longer it will take to get over the loss of that person or thing?

(Brilliant, but we already know that! That's just common sense)

I know but I said it so succinctly.

(No you didn't)

I really thought this would go somewhere, you know be profound

(But it didn't)

So the concept of love and loss and how they are similar when comparing them to the depth and degree of feeling, and how it impacts on people really isn't all that important?


So it isn't that helpful?

That's right!

                                                                                                         Ok, bye                                                                                                                    

(Dan your an idiot)

Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a centuries old gift-giving day that originated in Britain. Yes, boxes are a big part of Boxing Day traditions. It was a custom on that day for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes," gifts of money or goods in return for reliable service all year. Do you have any trades people who have been especially helpful this year-your postman, fix-it guy, roofer?
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the custom arose because servants, who would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, were allowed to visit their families the next day and employers would give them boxes to take home containing gifts, bonuses and, sometimes, leftover food.
One of the earliest records of these box gifts dates from 1663. In an entry in his diary, English Parliamentarian Samuel Pepys writes that he sent a coach and messenger to his shoemaker to deliver "something to the boys' box against
Christmas" in addition to funds to cover his bill.
Later, during the Victorian era (1837-1901, the period of Queen Victoria's reign), Boxing Day evolved. It became an occasion for church parishioners to deposit donations into a box that was put out for that purpose by the clergyman. The money in the boxes was given to the poor.


Christmas Party

"There was this quiet, old janitor that worked in our office building who was scheduled to retire on Christmas, so our Christmas party kind of included his farewell; we gave gifts to each other, put up a Christmas tree, people brought cakes and pastries, Christmas stuff.

"Then here comes the old janitor and he leaves a fairly big bag of presents under the tree; we're all kind of surprised because no one seemed to interact with him that much, but nonetheless we thanked him and wished him the best and stuff, then he left and presumably set off to the Midwest. The next day, we opened the presents, including his.

"Turns out, the retiring janitor gave everyone in the office a little bottle of sulphuric acid. Everybody got one, even me, I still have it. We don't know where he got them or how much they cost, but apparently, he hated our guts.
"Our new janitor has no idea why everyone is treating him so nicely."


I worked as a maintenance facilities man for a large school and foster home for troubled children. I showed up at the work Christmas party that was hosted by the program's nurse. Social anxiety troubled me a lot back then, so before I even knocked on the door I drank eight nips of vodka.

Within twenty minutes of being there I fell down a full flight of stairs and crashed through their screen door. This happened in front of about twenty coworkers including the program's administration and my immediate supervisors.

After apologizing and slurring profusely I told everybody that my ride was out front to pick me up. I hid in the bushes down the street until my significant other picked me up two hours later.


Retread is a previously shared article which I feel is worth repeating. I put it at the end so it can be ignored if you have read it.

This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won first prize.

As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them.

What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.

If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go, you'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, 'What does this do?' 'You're kidding me!' 'Who would buy that?' Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.  

Finding what I wanted was difficult. 'Love Dolls' come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for 'Lovable Louise.' She was at the bottom of the price scale. 

To call Louise a 'doll' took a huge leap of imagination. 

On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.  

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. 'What the hell is that?' she asked. 

My brother quickly explained, 'It's a doll.'

'Who would play with something like that?'  Granny snapped.

I kept my mouth shut.

'Where are her clothes?' Granny continued.

'Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,' Jay said, to steer her into the dining room.

But Granny was relentless. 'Why doesn't she have any teeth?'

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, 'Hang on Granny, hang on!'

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, 'Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?' I told him she was Jay's friend.

A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the mantel, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. 

My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.

Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.  Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. 

Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

I can't wait until next Christmas. 

Anybody got any more stories like this one they want to share?
                   Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! 
2022 has got to be an improvement over what we are still going through.