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Member since: Thu Oct 10, 2019, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 16,697

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If you could change one event in history,

what would it be and why?

It's the 'what if' of turning points that I 'm thinking of.

I would go to the German Empire in 1888, and save the life of Kaiser Frederick William, son of Wilhem I and father of Wihelm II. Kaiser Frederick was married to Queen Victoria's daughter, also named Victoria. He admired the British parliamentary system and had great plans for political, social, and economic reforms in Germany.

But Fritz died of throat cancer after just 3 months as kaiser. His son, Wilhelm II rejected his parents' reforms and later led his country into the First World War.

If Fritz had lived, WWI might have been avoided. Without WWI there is no WWII, no Nazi regime, and no Holocaust.

My cat denies reality when it doesn't fit her experience.

I like to watch how pets react to new situations and solve problems.

My current cat, Ember, likes the fuzzy little wind-up toy chickens that stores sell in the spring, around Easter. This year I found a variation that looks similar, but is called a palm pet. When you hold it in your palm, it makes little peeps that sound exactly like a bird.

When Ember heard it she ran to the window to see where the bird was. I showed her the toy. She sniffed it, rubbed it, and looked out the window again. Each time it peeped, she jerked her head in a different position in the window, searching for the bird. She is normally very good at identifying the location of sounds. But, in her experience, the sound that the toy made could only come from a bird, and birds are only outside. Therefore, in spite of me holding the toy next to her to see where the peep came from, she continued to seek the source outdoors. She is normally a very clever cat, smarter than some I've had. But she could not believe new evidence before her eyes that conflicted with her previously learned experience.

A previous cat of mine, Leo, used to be fascinated with the cat in the mirror when he was a kitten. But, it didn't act like he expected another cat to act, so he was puzzled. Since he couldn't figure it out, he refused to look in mirrors after that. Turned his head away if I held him to a mirror. Would not let me turn his head to look. His attitude was like, "That does not compute, so I refuse to acknowledge it at all."

Then I realized how often people are like that, too. Indoor cats, with their limited experience of new situations, can be excused for sticking to set patterns of thinking. But what's our excuse as humans?

Thank you, whoever you are, for the hearts.

Just wanted this oppotunity to say thanks.

Stochastic terrorism - I want to hear it at the Senate trial

I could have missed it because I have not watched or heard every minute of the trial. But I believe this is a term that needs to be brought up during this trial and I wonder why it hasn't been. It describes so well what Trump did for four years leading up to Jan 6.

Trump's words leading up to Jan 6 amount to stochastic terrorism. His words and actions need to be identified with that term because that is what he is guilty of.

Who else cries easily over sad movies?

I have always been moved by emotional scenes in movies, but usually just got a lump in my throat, or had my eyes well up a bit.

But now that I'm older, I actually cry, with tears on my cheeks and a runny nose that sends me grabbing for tissues. Do we get more sappy with age?

I have a collection of old movies, some classics, and even though I have seen them before, and know the outcomes, I still cry over them. This includes West Side Story when Maria leans over Tony's dead body, Ghost when Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is saying his last good-bye to Molly (Demi Moore), and Forest Gump when he stands at his dead wife's grave. I even cry when Dobby the elf dies in the first half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I can't even chalk it up to the stress of being cooped up during the pandemic because I noticed this tendency to cry more easily before covid. I thought getting older meant that I was stronger from life experience, but I'm apparently more sentimental than I realized.

Any one else feel more sentimental with age?

NPR and WaPo report that woman shot in DC has died.

I have not found any source that identifies the woman or who shot her, or why. One person interviewed by NPR thought it was DC police who shot the woman as she pushed to enter the Capitol, but did not have confirmation of that.

Pet reactions to holiday celebrations

When I was a teen we had a dog who hid in the garage when July 4th firecrackers went off. But he loved Christmas, knew which pile of gifts was his, and tore into them as the rest of us opened our presents.

Last night, on New Year's Eve, my fearless feline defended the home front from a sky monster.

Somebody several blocks away set off a series of fireworks at midnight. Kitty sat up straight in full alert mode when the ratta tat tat sounds penetrated into my upper floor apartment. I went to a window to watch. Kitty followed, jumped onto the sill next to where I stood and stared at the color shooting into the sky. She stood on all fours, head and neck stretched forward, ears perked up, eyes glaring. I heard a low rumbling sound and saw her chest vibrate. It was not a sweet, contented kitty purr. She was growling a warning to the sky monster not to get any closer.

And it worked. After another minute, the color bursts and noise stopped. Mission accomplished. She jumped off the sill and strutted across the room, but her ears stayed perked up a little longer in case she was needed again.

I slept well, knowing I was protected by a brave guard cat.

Positive covid case in my senior living complex.

I live in a senior housing complex, a multi-storied building. Next door is another multi-storied building of seniors and the complex management office is in that building.

Today the management office informed all of us that there is a positive covid case in their building. Last week I saw several of them returning from a senior shopping outing in a van, part of the services provided by management for seniors who don't drive or have a car any more, or who need assistance getting around. I was in that building to pick up a package that I had ordered online. Since my mailbox is too small for packages, UPS and USPS deliver them to the management office.

The group crowded together at the two small elevators and got onto them in groups. I went home and decided to go back the next day for my package, double-masked and wearing gloves. Now I am so glad that I did. If any one of those shoppers was the positive case, the rest will be sick soon.

I knew this would happen sooner or later. I have dreaded this moment. There are signs in the lobby and in the halls and common laundry rooms on each floor reminding people to wear masks outside of their apartments. Only about 25% actually do.

To get my mail in the lobby, I need to walk the length of my hall, touch elevator buttons twice, and open two different doors, then repeat the same thing going back. Add a third door when I go outside.

I am worried that this will spread quickly through both buildings. I feel trapped for my own safety.

2020 is dying. What epitaph would you give it?

With its passing, perhaps now it is us who can rest in peace.

Merry Christmas to all!

Have a good one wherever you are and whomever you are with.

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