A Sticker for a Dummkopf

My Florida absentee ballot went into the mail Tuesday from Cape Girardeau, Mo. 

Several years ago, I complained that we Palm  Beach county absentee voters didn’t get nifty stickers to show we had voted, so I went to the election HQ in Cape and got one of their stickers, which I modified in Photoshop to show my split personality.

I’m not really proficient at shooting selfies, as I’ve noted before. Something I should keep in mind for these low-level shots is to shave my whiskers and trim my nose hairs.

I owe the election supervisor an apology

After I complained about the lack of a sticker, someone pointed out to me that there WAS a sticker in the packet. The round, push-out thing just wasn’t obvious to a dummkopf like me.

Dummkopfs is a word that is common in populations with a large percentage of folks of German heritage. As I recall, Dad used it often, even though he couldn’t speak the language.

So, thank you Wendy Sartory Link, Palm Beach county elections supervisor, for making us absentee folks feel loved.

Now that my ballot is winging its way to be counted, I guess I can officially tune out of the madness of the 2020 Election.

Wake me when it’s over.

 

The Symbol of the Nation

Tattered Flag 10-02-2020

Ripped apart, hanging by a thread

When I went out to the car this evening, I was shocked to see that the flag in front of the house was torn almost in half. I had planned to replace it because one corner had gotten snagged on rosebush thorns and was torn. I had no idea that it rip asunder like that. I knew we had gotten a little wind, but I didn’t think it was strong enough to do that.

I’ll replace it tomorrow if there are any left in town after all the Trump rallies.

I don’t want to belabor the point, but I’m afraid that flag is a symbol of this nation: ripped almost apart, and hanging on by a thread.

My First Grade Flag Drawing

When I was kindergarten age, my morning ritual was to eat breakfast, then head out to put out my tiny American Flag. In the evening or in bad weather, I’d bring it in. One night, we had been out for a drive and got back home after sunset. I was in tears because I had violated the Flag Code.

This first grade drawing is probably why my Art 101 prof at Ohio University said, “It’s a good thing you’re a photographer.” To be honest, the work I handed in to him wasn’t much improved.

Mother’s flag a focal point for “so long” pix

Robin Hirsch, Mother – Mark 10/17/2011

Mother had a Flag she put out almost every good day, and brought it in at night. It was used for many, many family backgrounds. We had two family traditions: we always tried to take a “so long” photo (Mother never said “goodbye, so we scratched it on her casket), and when we left the house to go on a trip, we’d give two toots on the horn.

My frozen Flag

Frozen flag 02-11-2018

When I bought the house after Mother died in 2015, I moved the flag holder to the front of the house, installed dusk to dawn lights and flew an all-weather flag 24/7.

I said that in these times when groups are wrapping themselves in the Flag, I wanted to demonstrate that it was MY Flag, too.

An ice storm in 2018 made it look almost like a painting.

 

Hair Apparent

When I got to thinking about it, I calculated that I hadn’t had a haircut since sometime in February. You can click on the photos to make them larger, but I’m not sure I’d encourage that.

It was already getting serious in May

I took this silhouette going down the basement staircase on May 14, 2020. I bought myself some time (I thought) by wearing a cap everywhere.

St. Louis Shari and Jim Stone

Ten years ago, high school friends Shari Stiver and Jim Stone came to Cape for an impromptu visit. They both returned to Cape last week, my first visitors since the lockdown this spring. Unfortunately, they missed each other by a day.

She was my first girlfriend. Like so many first romances, this one didn’t end well. I think you could use phrases like “crash and burn,” “down in flames” and “train wreck” to describe my reaction to the inevitable breakup. We spoke only when absolutely necessary for the rest of our high school careers and, not at all for the next 40 or so years.

Jim was the one who convinced me that I needed to escape Cape or I’d be a One-Shot Frony forever. I followed him to Ohio University my junior year.

“Can you use the round scissors?”

Shari, who I knew more for her cutting tongue than her tonsorial talents wanted to know why  I hadn’t gone for a haircut.

I explained that I hadn’t peeked in the window to check out my regular barber’s safety protocols, so I wasn’t taking any chances.

She claimed that she was an accomplished hair chopper, and her mother, LaFern Stiver, vouched for her.

Won over, I gave her the OK, but I preferred that she use the safe-to-run-with rounded-end scissors. She demanded that we go shopping for some scarier ones.

‘Taper, taper, taper’

With much trepidation, I allowed myself to be strapped into a chair in the living room, with a towel clipped around my neck. “Wife Lila always says I’m supposed to tell the barber, ‘Taper, taper, taper.’ I don’t know what that means, but I always say it.”

“I do, and I will,” Shari promised, as she started waving the scissors around, eventually causing enough hair to fall on the towel to knit a small kitten.

I hopped onto a Zoom session the other night, and Wife Lila, unprompted, said, “Nice haircut.” Nice to have her approval (or the image was fuzzy).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laziness – The Mother of All Inventions

Paper towel holder made from plunger 05-18-2020

Wife Lila called me in Cape to ask if I had taken my big drill bits on my last trip north. She and Neighbor Bill wanted to make a paper towel holder since she had run out of napkins.

I started to say, “Why not….” when she interrupted and said, “NO. NO, I am NOT going to make one out of a plunger.”

My Frankenstein solution

For background: when I saw how much towel holders cost, I decided to Frankenstein a cheaper solution. Before I gave it much thought, I was walking through Dollar Tree looking for something else.

Suddenly, I saw the solution to my problem. The plunger cost me a buck, and all I had to do was saw off enough of the handle to get it to fit under my cabinet.

Maybe it’s not laziness that’s the mother of all inventions. Cheapness ranks right up there with it.,