Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor

I had some old assemblage “knick knacks” laying around, so I decided to put something timely together.

The Plague Doctor isn’t a Doctor – he has a Master’s in Science!

Its been interesting reading about the Bubonic Plague in Europe and the 1918 Pandemic – but the Plague Doctor really caught my attention.

The Plague Doctor did provide data on who was sick and where

It was especially interesting that Nostradamus was a Plague Doctor who provided sage advice regarding sanitary conditions.

This would be quite the Halloween costume this year . . .

Sadly in about 7 – 10 days we will see a spike in cases due to people or states or local areas that opened back up too early. Darwin Award / Natural Selection will be in charge.

Patience is more a virtue than ever.

The Pandemic Waltz

The KY6R Studio

Big fun in the KY6R Ham Shack and Music Studio. In fact, its perfect for both pass times.

Today I worked on a waltz. I wanted it to be a bit “dirgie”, but not too dark. I think the speed makes it dirgier than if I played it faster – this is where the tempo has a big affect on a song.

I’ve found some comfort in the minor keys, dirges and macabre art. But in all cases, it’s with a grin and shrug, because in the middle of what is a world wide killer pandemic, I’m having fun.

Enjoy Life’s Every Drop!

I’ve got a backlog of music and art projects.

The world has gone full Dada, so as soon as I can get to the back deck, I’ve got several assemblage projects and some photography projects too.

I hope to combine my music and visual art in videos.

Song Writing

A Fantastic Song Writing Book

In the 80’s I met my band mate and singer / song writer and fabulous guitarist Jeff at Blue Bear School of Music at Fort Mason in San Francisco. We were both living there at the time and our band played many SF Dive Bars.

Our song Writing teacher was Bonnie Hayes, and like Pat Pattison, she teaches at the Berklee School in Boston.

A Brilliant and Fun Rhyming Dictionary

I have been crazy inspired lately music and art wise. If I were this on fire back when I was young (and thin) who knows where I could have gone musically.

But never mind that, I am having the time of my life with music and writing new song ideas.

A Few Rays of Hope

Mt. Shasta – Northern California – R. Holoch

I’m speaking for myself and those close to me who have thought a lot about this Covid-19 situation and whom I have had nice chats with. The single thread has been that this Pandemic and Crisis has made us all thought “What is most important in life?”. A secondary thread of discussion has been how inspired people have become to exercise differently – or even more than before, and to be creative more than they were before.

I have only had one day where I had some angst over this crisis – and that is the day we heard how my job would be affected by Covid-19. Yes, my job has been affected significantly by Covid-19, but I still have a job. In fact, even with the changes, something really amazing is happening. We had a Postgres DBA up until the end of the year – and she left and there has no one to pick up her work – so I volunteered. Now, I was an Oracle DBA from 1984 – 2005, so I have it in my blood. Its been so long since I was a DBA – but getting back into it – I found that I love it as much as I did when I wasn’t a burned out Oracle DBA. In fact, since I just completed a full re-design of our Data Warehouse and Data Pipelines, adding this new role makes a ton of sense – and I am sure helped me secure my job for a while longer.

Late last year I reconnected with buddies that I used to be in bands with way back in the 80’s. Like my “Post DXCC Ham Radio” pursuits – I have (finally) learned to love doing my hobbies just because they are fun. I have never been so inspired art and music wise. The last time I had some of this “juju” was in 2008 – during the last Great Recession and when I was in the worst years of a divorce with children. In fact – that was actually a lot worse than what I am experiencing now.

Monitoring the Nextdoor threads and getting Nixle blasts from the local Police and Fire Departments – I am seeing people be a bit more civil and empathetic than before. And of course – I have a new Love of local and state government – even with my anti-politician “bent”.

Finally, I have had in my mind that there will be 3 major developments that will happen at some point in time:

  1. There will be effective treatments available to keep people alive with Covid-19. Many lives will be saved
  2. There will be the level of testing needed so we can all get some level of confidence that its safe to return to society (albeit with masks and distancing)
  3. There will be a vaccine

It seems that 1 + 2 are happening now – I did get an email where I could go get a test at a drive through location. But because my work probably won’t re-open our office perhaps for the rest of this year, I will stay here safe at home and wait this thing out. I am contributing ti the economy but mainly by home delivery.

I am appalled and very angry at our Federal Government. If I didn’t get reamed with high taxes and zero benefits from them – I would ignore the antics of this ass wipe Trump administration. But I feel I’m getting screwed by the Federal Government. To balance that out – I also pay way too high taxes here in California, but on several occasions in recent years – while the state is far from perfect – I have received some tax payer benefits. We have good schools, good jobs, my road was repaved last year and that makes a huge difference, the roads I cycle on have been retrofitted with very cool green painted cycling lanes, and I like my local Police and Fire departments. The local politicians have been very open and out there having Town Halls and doing a really fantastic job of communicating and listening. Our local CERT Team and emergency management teams have been outstanding. Frankly, the SF Bay Area with its fabulous weather, natural beauty and science minded people make this the best place I’ve ever lived – far better than where I grew up in the Northeast.

This Pandemic is still very deadly – I have been saddened by what almost seems like an inordinate number of musicians who have passed away – (John Prine and Dave Greenfield especially), and its a reminder that while we are even starting to get used to this new norm, there is still plenty of danger.

Patience is the best cure for now.


Let’s Not Go Back to Before

I’ve Replaced Going to the Gym with Cycling

In the 90’s and early ‘aughts I was cycling between 100 – 160 miles on average. About 5 times a year I’d add in a metric century ride, or 70-ish miles additionally in a weekend day, doing The Grizzly Peak, Top Hat, Marin Century, Holstein 100 or Healdsburg Harvest rides.

This sort of go back to before is welcome.

I don’t want to go back to crowded subway cars or long car lines as I ride my bike to BART. I love working from home, and I can skip going to the office.

Covid-19: Week 8 in Lock Down

Precision – R. Holoch, 2008

Here we are, two months more or less with a “Shelter in Place” order. As much as I know how horrible this is for business, I also know it won’t last forever and that we will come back from this abyss. A change in leadership will be necessary, an I hope the States and Governors continue to work together like they have – because I do believe that there will be fundamental changes in the USA that will be better than how things were before – if we all let it be that way moving forward.

For whatever reason – I have been super inspired exercise wise and art wise – both music and Assemblage / Photography wise. I am writing multiple song ideas a week and I have more ideas on art and music projects than I can ever remember.

I have all the patience needed – because like anything in life – you have to suck it up, take the pain before things get better. I’ve lived long enough to know that life doesn’t always go the way you’d like it, and I guarantee you – this year has not – and will not go Trump’s way. No matter what he tries to do – he will be very disappointed that Covid-19 and the economy will not cooperate with his wishes and desires. All the bluster he spews will have zero effect – this thing is a giant beast, and he is no match for it.

You can take that to the bank.

The Battle for the Soul of America

Covid-19 Will Test The Soul of America

It’s striking to see people like London Breed, Gavin Newsom, Larry Hogan, Mike Dewine and Getchen Whitmer all working hard to help the front line workers (the Angels) battle Covid-19. There are also many millions (the “common man”) in the USA sacrificing and doing the right thing, and they far, far outweigh the entitled whiners who have no guts and no patience to basically save their own lives and others as well.

The Wise Old Owl

There are many stories about heroes who are getting us through this Pandemic. I do wish we could hear more of these stories – stories that are uplifting rather than about Trump – which is about as interesting as an OJ Simpson White Bronco slow speed chase.

I have to constantly remind myself of some “Karmaic Rules”:

  1. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Bullies have big mouths and are all talk and no action. When they are pressed, they play the victim.
  2. What goes around, comes around
  3. One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch – and there are literally many millions of good people for every bad person

I do think the 2020 Election is going to be America’s last chance to rectify what has been a 3 1/2 year Horror Show. Until Covid-19, it was easy to just laugh at the Schmuck in the White House. I remember his antics way back in the 70’s – but while he was a huge windbag, he was harmless. With Covid-19 – he has turned lethal.

Until November 3rd – when we face the test to save the Soul of America, its useful to remember that if all the good people were to stand up and demand better, we will come out of this perhaps even better than going into it.

We shall see – its all up to US.