Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Back to the Future

 I see this morning in an old 'memories' post from Facebook that on this day in 2017 I had the flu, and I thought Well how about that? On this day in 2022 I also had the flu. Of course, back in 2017 there was no such thing as COVID or its assorted variants. Simpler times, those. 

So is this present flu Omicron? Who knows? Perhaps all flus are now COVID flus. I suppose one could find out if he wanted to drag his poor flu ridden body to a hospital and get a swab test. Maybe. I dunno. Louis had an illness back in early spring of this year and had both a positive and a negative swab, which is something, it seems, that would leave one certain that she is uncertain, or vice versa. 

Better just to isolate, reckon--watch movies, read books, write about having the flu, or at least something that is very like the flu. Very like what I had in 2017, in fact. 

Other than that, the weather is reliably cloudy anyway, and rainy by late afternoon, and downright stormy at night, so not very inviting for outings anyway, even to nearby Sanur. 

Friday, November 18, 2022


 An acquaintance of mine, whom I am proud not to call a friend, posted a photo this morning on Facebook of Indonesian President Widodo helping President Biden after he tripped at a sightseeing tour during the G20 conference in Bali. This photo, as with all other photos of Biden tripping or at least seeming to trip, is meant to convey the idea that Biden cannot possibly be a good president if he trips. Of course, we've all seen this sort of thing before, not only with Biden, but with all recent presidents, gleefully posted by those who don't like them. 

The intended message, however, was lost on me--because what I instantly thought upon seeing this photo was of the many times kind Indonesian folks have helped me along when I lost my footing, or indeed rushed to my aid when I actually fell. Am I stupid because I tripped, suddenly unworthy of respect, surely unable to think clearly? Is Biden?

Well of course not. This sort of foolishness, this posting of photos that are supposed to be somehow compromising, is a game for nitwits. Nitwits who, believe it or not, will someday grow old themselves and likely less sure of foot.  

What must they think of FDR, I wonder, who could not walk at all? 

Oh well he had a disease, they will say. He couldn't help it. 

Right. Biden has a disease too, called old age. And I have a disease, called multiple sclerosis. And Indonesians in general have a character trait called compassion--something that seems woefully lacking in many Americans these days.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Miracles and Mysteries

 I found myself these last couple weeks, as surely many Americans did, on pins and needles over what would result from the midterm elections--partly a feeling of dread, and partly a feeling of hope against hope. I am so encouraged therefore to see what appears to be pretty much a blanket rejection of Trumpism, Trump endorsed election deniers, autocrats, fascists and just basic run-of-the-mill idiots. Perhaps the nation is on the road to regaining its wits and moving forward after this long detour through Looneyville. God willing. 

And perhaps President Biden will finally get his due gratitude for an amazing two years of his first term in office. 


Here on the home away from home front (Bali, that is), I am happy to see the return of Kompas newspaper to the newsstand at Starbucks in Renon--absent ever since the start of COVID these years ago now. I always enjoyed reading Kompas (an Indonesian language newspaper) for the random eerie article that always seemed to be found tucked into the pages, today's example being the story of a family of four found dead in their home in Jakarta. The bodies were discovered after neighbors noted a pervasive unpleasant odor emanating from the home. One neighbor therefore climbed over the locked gate and noted, through a window, a body within the house. The police were called, broke through the gate, then broke through the front door, and discovered four bodies in all, an elderly mother, father, and their two adult children, each in different rooms of the house. It had been reported by neighbors that the family members were rarely seen outside the home during the course of the time they had lived there. Medical examination revealed no sign of foul play. It did reveal however that the people in the house had died at various times over the past two weeks, not all at once. Yet another curious finding was that they had consumed neither food nor drink for an extended period of time, as their stomachs and so on were quite empty. 

A mystery, is it not? With no answer as yet offered. 


At present, I am getting together the money to pay for a 5 year foreign resident permit for Indonesia. In the past, I have always just done a year at a time, but it's quite a pain in the ass actually. Moreover, the five-year permit will be a bit cheaper than the yearly in the long run. The downside is that one has to come up with the full five years payment all at once. But I guess, on a positive note, that I feel pretty sure I will live for another five years. Otherwise it would be a waste of money, right? Not like I could ask for it back were I to expire sooner.