Mask 4 Mask

First, I hope you are all safe and sound. If you are reading this I assume you are at least in a position to be ok. Keep up with the social distancing and if you are going to cover your face, please pay attention.

I’ve been a vocal proponent of people NOT wearing masks from the beginning of the outbreak. The primary reason is they offer little protection to the wearer and most people contaminate or negate any protections given by wearing a mask. More importantly, masks are in such short supply the people who need them most cannot get them. If all the healers are sick and you get sick, who will treat you? I work in public safety and I cannot stress this enough! And, unless you are already required to wear an N95 mask, you most likely will not benefit from wearing one.

Experts and the CDC were against recommending masks for many of the reasons I’m about to go into below. However, because of updated info they have now changed that recommendation. There is one reason for this change. A large percentage of people can have little to no symptoms. These folks can be mass spreaders of the virus without even realizing it.1

  • If you are going to wear a mask or face covering, you are doing so to protect others from you. You are not protecting yourself. It might make you feel better but you shouldn’t let your guard down. Droplets contaminated with the virus can pass right thru a face mask with relative ease. Plus, the longer you wear it, the more moisture builds up, which can inadvertently trap particles right in front of your mouth.
  • The goal is to prevent less particles from spewing into the air potentially infecting others. Combined with social distancing of 6 feet, a mask can be more effective than not wearing one, as long as you remember bullet point one above. The recommendation of 6 feet is based on the relative distance breath particles are expelled when a person coughs. People wearing masks often feel a sense of safety and are less likely to engage in proper social distancing. Please do not fall for this.
  • Do not rush out and try to buy masks if you don’t already have one. You can use a bandanna, scarf, or other dense piece of fabric. You can google “bandanna face mask” for several super quick and easy tips for converting a bandanna to a face mask. These are no more or less effective than the regular masks you see. Most people incorrectly assume clinical staff wear masks for self-protection. No. They wear them to prevent exposing the sick or injured to more potential illnesses.
  • Once on, do not adjust, touch, or otherwise move the mask unless you have just sanitized your hands. That means you don’t pull it down to talk. I see so many people doing this I just want to put head to desk over it.
  • If using fabric or a mask that can be washed, wash it often. The longer you go without changing or sanitizing it the higher the risk to yourself. As mentioned, moisture and particles build up on the mask the longer you wear it.

Please, for the love of crackers, do not rush out and wear N95 masks unless you are trained to properly wear one.2 Every single person I’ve personally seen wearing an N95 in public has contaminated it at least once while observing them. N95 masks (or those rated higher) are the only masks that offer YOU any sense of protection. But just like regular masks, they are only as good as the safeguards you observe.

  • RULE #1 N95 masks should only be touched by clean sanitized hands at all times. There are NO exceptions to this rule! Make sure your face is clean as well.
  • No beard or goatee. A small mustache can be worn but it is not recommended. The mask needs to make a seal on your face and cannot do so with hair on your face. Oh yeah, now I have your attention! lolol
  • If you have never worn an N95 mask please google the instructions on how to properly wear before attempting to do so. Once the mask is on, do not touch it for any reason unless you have thoroughly sanitized your hands. The moment you touch the mask to adjust it, move it, pull it up so you can speak, you have negated any protection it offers you. You might as well take it off. Please also review how to properly sanitize the mask if you plan to reuse it.

You should never wear a mask more than one day unless you have sanitized it. Reusable masks are an extremely high risk vector for exposure. Wash yo damn hands! And if you cover your face I hope my recommendations help. Yes, I know folks want to wear them so they don’t touch their face. Trust me, I know! I constantly touch my face. I’m with you. However, having a false sense of safety doesn’t actually protect you or others.

I leave you with well wishes and safety for you and yours.

  1. The parallels from the latter to HIV transmission is not lost on me here. []
  2. Or if you wear a mask for other health reasons on a regular basis []

Can’t Fix Stupid

I have given up trying to encourage folks to overcome their entitlements and “know better” attitudes. And not just online, I’ve had interactions with friends and distant family alike who “know better” and plan to act accordingly. I can’t fix stupid so after this rant, I’m done.

COVID-19 is a novel1 virus we as a species have never been exposed to before. So unlike a lot of more common variations of Coronaviruses2, we do not have genetic, inherited, or even direct resistance to it. This creates a new risk factor that cannot yet be calculated. More importantly, it is showing a high level mutation factor. There are reports of blood types and certain genetic factors giving you some resistance but not immunity, but even those are still correlative right now.

Many states have implemented shelter-in-place orders. And unlike an order to quarantine under martial law, you can still go out for personal care and the care of those you are directly responsible for. You can walk and get out of the house for fresh air as long as you maintain social distance from anyone not already in your immediate household. You can shop for food and necessities. You can walk your pets. You can go to the bank, gas stations, convenient stores, laundry facilities, etc. You can still order food from restaurants, albeit to-go or delivery in most areas. On top of that, beyond the hoarding, the nation is not experiencing a food shortage.3 You are not in danger of starving, dehydration, or even doing without most day to day necessities. So in essence, you are being asked to inconvenience yourself. How terrible, right? /sarcasm

If you live in an area where you can get tested, great. If you ‘need’ to travel or interact with others who are considered high risk, you should get tested. If you aren’t, then you do not need testing without symptoms. More importantly, the test itself is only as good as your self-isolation. The moment you go out in public, touch surfaces, or interact closely with anyone, your test is no longer relevant. Self-isolation is meant to protect you as much, if not more, people who are at higher risk. Those being the elderly, immune-compromised, cancer patients, advanced cardiac or respiratory illness patients, diabetics, etc. You can have zero symptoms and inadvertently pass the virus onto them. You might not even get sick and still pass it on.

While there is no need to panic, there is good reason to be concerned and take precautions. There is zero reason to hoard or panic buy. There is no need to buy more than 2-3 weeks worth of necessities at a time. And Christ on a cracker, you do NOT need to wear a damn mask unless you are coughing, regardless of exposure! A regular face mask will not protect you in the slightest. An N95 mask is only as good as the seal it makes on you face, which most folks constantly touch and or fuss with. So again, not helpful. More importantly, by buying all the N95 masks, you are depriving the essential service personnel of these much needed items.

This entitlement idea that ‘your freedoms’ are being restricted is nonsense. First of all, “your” freedom is not guaranteed at the expense of everyone else. And you aren’t being enlisted to fight a war, jump on the front lines with police, fire, & medical staff, or even lift a finger. You are being asked to self-isolate by staying at home. You are literally being asked to do nothing. If you are so petty as to not overcome being inconvenienced, then you deserve whatever happens to you IMO.

Yes, you may have to cancel trips, weddings, family gatherings, etc. Yes, you may have to avoid loved ones who do not live in your immediate househould.4 Yes, you might not be able to go to the gym,5 bar, or sporting event. So in essence, you are being inconvenienced. The end.

Listen and live or be foolish, your choice. With the latter. the life you lose may not be your own.

  1. meaning: new []
  2. note, it is one word, not two []
  3. The distribution is being impacted from panic-buyers and hoarders, but there is no shortage. []
  4. If only we had some sort of technology to over come that isolation…like cellphones and video chats! []
  5. oh lawd I am sooo struggling with this one []

Schock-ed!

Oh look, the hypocrite finally came out. Color no one surprised, henny! Seriously, we all knew! How could you NOT know?! He is only coming out now because he is being continually hounded and exposed for the continual liar and hypocrite he is.1 I admit my seething hatred for people like this is hard to control. I have tons of terribly vile and yet appropriate names for him beyond the truthful ones, but I won’t allow myself to go on a personal tirade because I strive to be better than that. Nor will I link directly to his BS non-apology apology statement.

Beside piggy-backing on the self-loathing LCR crowd with his whole straight white male charade, he had to add insult to injury and be one of the most conservative voting members in the house, even beyond LGBTI rights. He bragged every chance he got about how conservative he was.

  • He repeatedly voted against all gay rights.
  • He voted against amendments to include sexual orientation and gender identity as hate crimes.
  • He supported the marriage act.2
  • He aligned himself with the AFA, who hates all of us and wants us criminals or dead.
  • He voted against the repeal of DADT.3

So, no. Your BS letter does not make up for all the horrible things you did. It does not excuse you from being a crook and a liar while you were in office. And it certainly doesn’t make you “one of us” now that you were hounded into finally admitting the truth.

Simply put, until you show some real contrition and make an effort to undue the damage you’ve done, go fuck yourself!

  1. I know, terrible way to end a sentence. []
  2. I don’t think he ever got a chance to vote for it as it didn’t come up again during his tenure from what I remember. []
  3. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell []

For Real

You know it is getting real over COVID-19 fears when Amazon Prime deliveries for same and next day delivery only show available 3 and 4 days later! lol

People are seriously freaking out. I always get a sick tickle over stuff like this because we think we are so civilized as a society. You throw in an unknown and people lose their minds. Don’t get me wrong, you should be concerned and take some precautions, like washing yo damn hands with soap and water often. Don’t run buy a bunch of masks that offer almost no protection.

My work is in hyper drive over it to say the least. The emergency response center is already activated even though we don’t yet have a single documented case in the city. But hey, better safe than sorry, right? *shrug*

I wish people put this much worry in preventing the spread of the flu every year. You know that virus that kills tens of thousands every year since 2010. People barely make an effort to get a vaccine readily available every year but OMG COVID is coming for us all!

Don’t even get me started on the conspiracy theories floating around already. Imma need a drink before I can even attempt to tackle that one.1

  1. A recent survey last week showed roughly 30% of people questioned thought there was a link to the Corona brand beer! []

McA**hole

I usually avoid direct topical stories but these one hits close to home on so many levels. I’m so angry I could break something.

Kansas cop resigns after fake claim that McDonald’s employee wrote ‘pig’ on his cup

This particular story hit home on my feelings. With all the bad press law enforcement officers get these days, this was totally unnecessary. This entitled jerk brought shame to law enforcement everywhere. I firmly wish he had been fired vs being allowed to resign.1 This was a deplorable act that damages the trust we place in those who are supposed to serve and protect us.

It doesn’t help the law enforcement are already heavily marginalized by our sensationalist style media these days. These incidents are rare but because of the way we consume news for outrage, you’d think it was everywhere. Fun facts: There are just under 700,000 law enforcement personnel in the US.2 Of those, the abuse of power complaints are less than 10%.3 Should it be 10%? Of course not, but when we are talking about perception vs reality, it sets a very relevant point. This also does not mention the 60,211 assaults on law enforcement.4 No one ever mentions that part. And yes, people sign up for law enforcement knowing there are inherent dangers. That doesn’t make said dangers any less relevant.

The idea a Chief or high ranking officer would doubt the word of his officer used to be unheard of. I can well understand the Chief’s embarrassment and shock over discovering he needed to fact-check is own officer. (It doesn’t help that all the negative coverage of LE has discouraged many from even considering a job as an officer. I can’t help but wonder how low the bar gets sometimes to get cadets in the door.) This whole incident was just…unnecessary.

The one thing law enforcement in this country needs is citizen involvement. When the powers that be know they are being watched and potentially held accountable, they are less likely to abuse said power. I’m not talking about outrage on social media either. I’m talking about your community. Get involved. Indifference and outrage on social media does absolutely nothing but increase the problem exponentially.

And I’m not some rabid fanboy. Growing up in E. Texas as a little gay boy I discovered more than once what the police thought of the LGBT community back then. I was openly called a queer and fag to my face by police on multiple occasions; including once in a gay bar by the officer paid to staff as extra security. But things change. I now work for a law enforcement agency and have many friends who are cops and they are good people. They don’t go out hoping to shoot someone. They do the job and go home to their families, just like you and I. For every bad cop you hear about there are at least a 100 more you never hear about. Why? Because good news doesn’t generate outrage or ad-clicks. My point here is be outraged by individuals, not whole organizations. If I marginalized everyone based on the news I’d think all pit bulls are killers, all priests molest kids, and all gay spread HIV on purpose. Let us not become the oppressors we fight so hard to overcome.

I’m just so angry over this story today.

  1. He could potentially get a job elsewhere as a cop since he wasn’t fired. []
  2. As of 2018, Statista reports []
  3. USA Today Tarnished Brass article 2019 []
  4. FBI’s Uniform Crime Report 2017 LEOKA report []

Body

flex

Consider this my “Body” issue where I blather on about different aspects of my struggle to stay fit along with random observations. Pretty trivial stuff ahead. You were warned.

I’m just a month away from my 49th year. (One year closer to ancient. hehehe) You can judge for yourself but I think I’m doing pretty good. But, like any guy, especially in the gay world, I always struggle with my size. It doesn’t get me depressed but I’d be lying if I said I don’t worry over it at times. There are days where I just don’t “feel pretty.” But considering my age I’m proud of where I am.

I injured myself a couple times this past year primarily because I was pushing myself too hard in the gym. I’m not a young man anymore and designing workouts that push the limits of my joints just isn’t smart. I’ve restructured my workout regimen to give my joints, tendons, and ligaments a break this next year. My health is important to me as much as ‘looking ‘purdy.‘ I want to continue being able to work out as I age. Realizing it is time to adapt is the first step.

I have noticed more and more guys my age tend not to work out. Not a blanket assumption but an honest observation. From an attraction stand point it makes it a bit hard to be attracted to guys ‘my age‘ when they tend to be outside my spectrum of attraction.1 Luckily, I have a wide range of age and types I’m into. On the flip side, I have apparently landed squarely in the “Daddy” category. I ain’t mad but it tends to be a limiting view.

A guy felt the need to ‘try’ shame me on FB recently because I dared say I didn’t support someone’s choice in an article discussing his transition from a twink to a bear. He deliberately gained a significant amount of weight (fat weight, not muscle). The clear implication was he did it from an insecurity. I didn’t shame the person in the article but commented on how he first commented he was still very healthy while needing to go on blood pressure meds and needing to be monitored by his doctor. That’s not healthy. Anyway, said guy felt the need to come for me because I didn’t glorify it. I don’t feel like we should trade one restrictive stereotypical look for another one and glorify it. If that makes me the bad guy, well I guess I’m the bad guy.

In other news, I’m still on the low carb restriction. I try avoid processed carbs, like pasta and breads. I stick to rice/tators, which I love so not terrible. My only real regret is the pasta. I’ve had a life long love of pasta. I splurge every so often but that is a better choice than a daily meal of processed carbs. I find I do seem to be less tired during the days and keeping my weight at a level I like doesn’t seem to require the mountains worth of cardio I was doing before. Basically, my insulin sensitivity has returned to a better range.

My words of wisdom in regards to your body are simple. Accept yourself, flaws and all. But, if you don’t like your shape, do something about it. Don’t look for excuses not to make an effort. You can accept yourself and strive to be better at the same time. In a world filled with convenience over health, it isn’t always easy. But who said life was easy?

  1. Having a younger very attractive muscle cub for a husband helps. []

Clones

No, not Star Wars. lol I’m curious why so many gay men have an issue with couples that look similar to each other or are “clones.” This is not a new phenomenon but I stumbled across several examples in the last few weeks. Some of the commentary was downright vicious and got my curiosity going.

On some level I guess people assume both are extreme narcissists, so of course they are into clones of themselves. And for some that may be true. Unfortunately, a lot of the couples I see targeted rarely seem to fit the mold. They often have one or two similar features that set it off. I actually rarely see couples where the guys are similar enough to the point of looking like brothers or cousins.

One couple on FB broke up and the side commentary was pretty nasty. The only thing they really seemed to have in common was lots of very dark body hair and beards. This gave them a very similar look but only at a very superficial glance.

On IG, there was a story floating around about a couple that was fighting because one was cheating with another guy. The cheater and the other guy were both naturally smooth looking and had blond hair in a similar style.1 And the queens were just downright vicious with some of the clone comments. I guess in this example it could have been an extension of anger over the cheating.

I like a lot of the physical traits I have in others. While I’ve never dated anyone who would be considered my clone, so what if I did? And science tends to think that people who gravitate toward others with similar physical traits is quite normal. I found no less then 3 different peer reviewed studies on the subject doing a few quick Google searches.2

Do gay guys feel threatened or deprived because they feel a sort of unfairness is involved? Is it jealousy? Why does it seem to invoke such a visceral reaction? Why the hell do you care!? If two people are happy, and they happen to be look-a-likes, then leave them alone or support their happiness. Don’t be a caddy bitch.

  1. Forgetting for a moment, no one wants to see or hear your dirty laundry aired out on social media. []
  2. Notice I said “peer-reviewed”, not someone’s blog rants like mine! heehee []

Follow?

I get so tickled at some of the games people play on social media. If you use Instagram (IG) at all, I’m sure you’ve seen the “follow for follow” or “unfollow = unfollow” comments in profiles.

Bitch, if I unfollow you I don’t really care if you unfollow me. I ain’t following you anymore so why would I care? lol This happens because ‘follows’ have become a bit of a game where scam profiles (or even legit ones) follow a bunch of other accounts in the hopes of quickly gaining followers. Once you follow them, they often unfollow you. Since IG doesn’t display this you technically don’t know they have unfollowed you. Having a lot of followers on IG is like being rich in monopoly money. Why I certainly enjoy when I get new followers, much like my blog, it is not my purpose. I go out of my way to track and block fake accounts.

It all panders to our insecurities and need for approval. Bitch, I tackled those demons years ago. As Bianca would say, “Not today, Satan! Not today!” lol1

I only like to follow folks that interest me in someway. To be frank, I follow a lot of muscle guys for motivation to get my ass in the gym. I typically follow guys that are bigger than me but not huge. I honestly don’t find huge guys attractive or motivational. At some point, you just look gross IMO.2 Of course, like most homos, I follow accounts of guys I’m attracted to as well. So you can see my IG is pretty shallow most days. lolol And I’m ok with that because it serves a purpose without really impacting me in a way I find detrimental. I don’t obsess over guys I consider more attractive. Nor do I put myself down because I haven’t reached a fitness goal that nears perfection. I already know I’ll never reach that level and don’t plan to.3 I use the profiles/pics for motivation to remind me to get my lazy ass to the gym. And yes, the occasional stimulation doesn’t hurt none either. heehee

If you follow me there, you know most of my posts are selfies from the gym, trips, and dogs. That about sums it up. You might get inspired, bored, or neither. That is ok cause I on there for me. I appreciate comments and likes but I don’t go out of my way to capture the ‘perfect selfie’. Most of time, it is very spur of the moment pics.

Besides, does anyone really need hundreds of thousands or even tens of thousands of followers? Who could possibly keep up with that? Not me. I’m get tired just scrolling thru all the bulldog profiles!

  1. Speaking of, going to see her on 11.15.19, can’t wait! []
  2. And don’t go getting triggered. I ain’t “yuck-ing your yum”, I just don’t like it for myself. []
  3. It is way too much damn work for one. []

Chewer

So Daisy is a chewer. When she gets a little worked up, she will chew on practically anything that happens to cross in her path. This by itself wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t actually eat half the shit she chews on.

So far she has destroyed (and eaten part of) a combat boot, a cabinet leg, several shoes, a luggage strap, a couch throw pillow, a Velcro wrapping strap, and who knows what else. The unfortunate downside of said adventures is when she tries to poop all this mess out. Twice now she’s had ‘issues’ with pooping. Lawd, give me ‘strungth’. heehee1

Cooper was never much of a chewer and when he did, he knew what to chew on. He just got it right away. Daisy is a bit less focused so far. She’s still young so I’m sure she’ll grow out of it to a degree. However, most dogs that love to chew, do so well into old age. I hope the apt survives! haha She is just an angel otherwise; so sweet, gentle and just loves cuddles and rubs.

She has adjusted to living with us and is fully bonded. She feels safe when we aren’t there and rarely barks. She roams the block and neighborhood with me like a pro. She has developed a habit of sleeping next to me on the couch. She will drape one leg over mine and lay down to sleep. If she is next to me, her leg is over mine, no exceptions. It is totes adorable. She loves my roommate’s Frenchie, Toby. They get along too well at times. They love to play tug of war with toys and constantly like to play and wrestle. The noise can be a bit much when they get really worked up.

Beyond the chewing, she is very skittish. Bullies can be skittish, especially as pups. However, they tend to grow out of it. I’m not so sure Daisy will. She gets freaked out by strange sounds very easily. Even plastic grocery bags freaked her out at first. (Ironically, Fleet Week didn’t phase her one bit!) Anything close to her that makes a strange sound will set her off. My neighbor put out a skeleton dog as a Halloween decoration and she would not walk past it for a good 5 minutes. She finally figured out it wasn’t alive or going to hurt her. Even though, she still routinely sniffs it to make sure it’s not a threat. lol Some of that will change as she ages but I foresee her being skittish for years to come.

But, all problems aside I love her dearly. She is a sweet girl and just can’t help but love her. She has become part of the family.

  1. Thankfully, we invested it pet insurance for her. []

Meal Prep

So…. I’ve lost a little bit of my gut again. I always seem to get to this point and not much further. hehehe Even though I haven’t had Taco Bell in forever, I still call it my TB gut.

I routinely fluctuate about 15 lbs but after a hard gym routine for the last few months, I’m back to my leaner self. I keep telling myself to keep going but my desire for delicious food often ruins it.

That said, I’m been using a meal delivery service and the meals are healthy. While it is a bit pricey, it has helped my diet significantly. I’ve been thru Freshly, FlexPro, Fresh N’Lean, and now I’m on to Factor 75. Freshly was the best of the group but the meal selection is limited when you order the max 12 meals a week. If they rotated out meals more often I’d still be with them. FlexPro was a bit generic. Not bad, but for the price I felt like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. Fresh N’Lean started out great but then they started putting some sort of vinegar or pickling agent in the veggies for every dish and it just got to be too much. I don’t think they realize when you vacuum seal the food, that flavor seeped into the rest of the meal.1 Factor 75 was recommended by the guy at my Vitamin shoppe. I’m having the same problem with them I had with Freshly but they at least rotate a few different meals more often. I’ll probably rotate back to Freshly eventually. There is no contract so you can switch or cancel anytime you want.

Anyway, the meals have been good for my waistline. I can tell my body is detoxing form all the carbs because I’m constantly craving sweets or pasta these days. I’m one of those guys who can eat fatty foods no problem. I eat carbs and my ass expands exponentially. heehee I blame my Southern roots.

So not bad for a almost 49 year old fella, eh? I mean I could be leaner or bigger but I think I’m doing pretty good. I took off from the gym this past week for our trip and I miss it. Shawn and I were joking recently as he mentioned the same thing. Time to get back at it. Maybe I’ll even get a few baby abs.

Hope springs eternal…

  1. I did tell them when I left but I doubt anything changed. I got the generic response. []