Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Pandemic Journal August 28, 2020

 

Mark@marktrble.com

 


 

Logan here after a very lengthy absence. Things have gotten wild here in Chicago. For a while I thought a quarter of the city was going to be destroyed. I was wrong; I think it’s going to be at least a third. Crime is out of control. And, that’s what wound up with this week’s clusterfuck. All of our rooms are occupied.

There was a drive-by shooting right outside our free clinic. Tommy and Consuelo, a nurse, ran out because an ambulance driver passing by was collateral damage, and there were two dead people, two sick people and a couple of wounded outside. We were overwhelmed. Both Consuelo and Tommy had their masks pulled off in the scuffle, and were infected. Both tested positive.

That’s easy for me and Tommy. He got his own room, and we cleared out the gym and stacked shit nine-feet deep in the dining room so Consuelo would have a place to stay.  Deeann made daily visits, and I had to live in PPE, do all the cooking and cleaning, and no sex for almost three weeks. Skype is wonderful.

Anyway, Consuelo’s unemployed husband stayed with the kids, the stand-by nurse replaced Consuelo, and the clinic was running on fumes. We were all cleared after three weeks. Neither Tommy nor Consuelo ever had anything more than a bad cold. They got off easy. I had to become a short-order cook, and I’d have given my left nut to get Aunt Kamesha to visit until this crap was over. All the other two did was complain about the food and wine. That’s actually whine. They demanded drink service around the clock. I ordered refrigerators for both of them and left them outside their doors. Then I got complaints about how they couldn’t hook up the ice makers. I turned the air-conditioning down. Now they want blankets.

I’ve enjoyed as much pandemic as I can. The new date for doing away with restrictions is October. Yeah!


 

Friday, March 19, 2021

General Update

mark@marktreble.com


I have closed down my management consultancy. I am no longer able to stay awake long enough to get anything done. It is unfortunate, but the only thing certain when you start a business is that eventually you will leave it. This has put a roof over our heads and a food on the table for me and my family for twenty years; before that, I was a management consultant for half of my adult life. It's the most important thing to me after my family, and I'm closing multiple doors with this action.


I will no longer be a management consultant. Likely, I will no longer do either executive coaching or mentoring..Mentoring  young people in how to start and run their own businesses is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I've learned more from my mentees than they have from me.


The firm is likely to carry on for a while; I've been grooming a Canadian fellow to take it over. He may not choose to rely on my brand, which is fine. He needs to establish his own at some point, and no one can do that for him. I'll need to write to a good many people and let them know that I have moved on. I only regret I did not do it sooner.


I'll continue writing. In addition to this blog, I have an online column called One Foot in the Gravy under another name, BillHeath.substack.com. It is free at the moment, and may remain free forever. I've sorely neglected keeping up Logan and Tommy's Pandemic Diary, as well as having done little on Sea Monsters since my last update. I'm still hoping to publish it before summer. Logan's next update is in the works; he's been busy taking care of both Tommy and one of the nurses, both of whom caught Covid19. They're recovering with no complications, but all three of them in the apartment are going nuts.


I've become quite active in Substack. It was established to provide a voice to the voiceless, those who were consistently shut down by Big Tech for failure to be sufficiently zealous in the new religion of Woke, or attempting to publish articles that were less than fawning about Democrats. I was a Democrat most of my life, but understand the ethics of journalism. A journalist cannot be an advocate for one political position and report only news that fits his or her existing biases. I follow two outstanding journalists, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, both with more than twenty years as prize-winning investigative journalists. Their liberal credentials are impeccable, they're both life-long Democrats who have watched our party abandon liberalism in favor of authoritarian intolerance. 


For those of you who have never smoked, you may not be aware that the sharpest critics of smoking are former smokers. Both Taibbi and Greenwald are former Democrats. Do the math.



                                                                                                One Foot in the Gravy

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Update on Sea Monsters

 mark@marktreble.com

 

The new novel is taking shape. Frank and Buzz are ready to board the superyacht MSY Yasmina.  They've already had to defend their cover story when Frank forgot he was supposed to have a boyfriend named Buzz and reverted to type at a cocktail reception. Buzz has already done most of the engineering work necessary to their cover, and the detectives are trying to identify patterns in the deaths, one each on most cruises. Nothing is suggesting itself.

Captain Land has given them strict orders: Do not let your investigation interfere with the charter. They're still not sure how they'll do that because they don't know what they're looking for. Frank has offered to lead an alligators-and-pythons expedition in Florida while the ship is there; Buzz isn't so sure that's a great idea.

Once on board, they will have nothing but work round-the-clock. Romance with guests is strictly forbidden, and with the crew it would blow their cover as a gay couple since both young men are decidedly straight. We'll just have to see.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Pandemic Journal, August 7, 2020

 

Mark@marktrble.com

 

Pandemic Journal August 7, 2020

 

Tommy West on this week. My husband, Logan Matthews, will be back next week. He’s out of town testifying for some state legislature. Actually, he’s with one of the league’s lawyers who’s testifying before some state legislature. Logan’s the legal errand boy, looking up stuff and finding answers for the lawyer.

 

They’re in either Michigan or New York, or maybe New Jersey. One of the states that voted for emergency authorities for the state’s governors. So, the governors make up the rules as they go and there’s nothing for the legislatures to do. They get bored, and hold hearings. Sometimes they run out of ideas for what to investigate, so they’ll make shit up. This one was about racial bias in the NBA against Asians. No joke. Asians are under-represented in the league, but not by much. People forget that Indians and Koreans are Asian, they’re only looking for Japanese and Chinese. Anyway, it’s going well, and so several other state legislatures are holding hearings on the same topic. Logan’s going to be out of town a lot this summer.

 

Hockey, Basketball, Women’s Basketball all playing this week, but everybody is still locked down because of this pandemic. Frankly, I don’t see it. I read the papers about hospitalization, complications and death rates, and if you’re under 50 you’re almost guaranteed not to get real sick or even need to go to the hospital with it. If you’re over 70, you’re almost guaranteed to have a problem. There are exceptions, but you’ve really just got to go with the numbers.

 

I’ve started a new hobby – whittling. You’d think while I was living in the middle of nowhere, with fallen branches and twigs all around me, I’d have started then, not after moving into a high-rise in a big city. Well, you’d be wrong. Hagenbush – Greg Hagenbush – was a new addition, and had begun teaching us to whittle. He was a country boy, unsophisticated, didn’t ever play ball. I figured him for some VIP’s idiot nephew who’d been given a job in the front office counting paperclips.

 

I was only half right. The General Manager’s son had spent the last several months in Arkansas, on a sort of domestic Peace Corps assignment, teaching locals to read. Hagenbush was one of his students, 25 years old; the son was 24. They spent a lot of time together, became close, and the son noticed something strange about his new friend. He could look at complex movements involving a group, whether a basketball team, a football team, a flock of chickens, a huge flock of birds, or a herd of cattle, and describe what they were going to do next. He also did math in his head. Like multiplying two six-digit numbers, or saying what day of the week a date would be a thousand years from now. Scary.

 

Anyway, Hagenbush worked in the front office as a statistician. Not a usual one – I know enough to do most of the basics – but one who could instantly develop complex algorithms involving a level of calculus I’d never achieve, and just knowing the answer. He spends eight hours a day reviewing game tapes. Logan watched some tapes with him, and said that Hagenbush did what he did on the court to call plays, just better. He had moved into the second bedroom in Deeann’s apartment. Antoine was teaching him how basketball worked, so he could describe things in basketball terms.

 

So, we’re learning to whittle. The GM’s son, who I think is named Avery or something, brought in a bunch of wood – sticks, branches, whatever. The first thing we were supposed to make was a fish hook. I took a small piece of wood and a pocket knife and just stared at them. Hagenbush told us to cut away all the parts that didn’t look like a fish hook. Not real helpful. Then he showed us how to use a squared piece of wood to start with the end of the hook in the corner. I did that, and was able to get something that looked like a Goth piercing. Close enough. Then we were supposed to finish almost closing the circle, leaving enough room for a fish to get its lips around the hook (don’t ask about fish lips; Deeann did, and it got pretty ugly). We did that. I was sitting between Avery and Deeann and kept looking at theirs to see if I was doing it right. We had three different shapes going there at one time.

 

By the end of an hour, Hagenbush had made five fish hooks; Avery had made a ring; Deeann had made a unicorn horn, just without the unicorn; I had made something that vaguely resembled a fish hook; and Becca won first place with a perfectly shaped small penis. She spent the rest of the evening sliding it in and out of her mouth while teasing Ralph. Next week we’re supposed to do an animal. I can’t decide between a worm and a clam.


 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Book Launch

 

mark@marktreble.com

 

Spring Break Resort, Book Two of a series “Another pointless college story with lots of egregious sex,” is now live in Amazon.com. As part of its release celebration, Book One, Spring Break Awakening, is on a free special Friday-Sunday.

 The first ten buyers of Spring Break Resort who write an honest review, good or bad, copy it and e-mail it to me, will win a free copy of a Novella, Emgee Adopts a Pet. It's written by a Terrier-Beagle puppy who experiences the world through his sense of smell.