Monday, March 30, 2020

Will the dog in me one day bite me?

Over 35 years ago when I was last an employee, I had a supervisor who many co-workers judged as a difficult person.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t share this judgement.  I got along with him reasonably well; although, at times, it wasn’t easy.  Perhaps the reason was  he treated me decent and different than how he treated others.


I’m not sure but his “different strokes for different folks” way of dealing with co-workers is common human behavior.  Regrettably, I engage in similar behavior and am sure if you’re honest, you do too.

Anyway, he had a certain notoriety and often came up during  work break conversations when he wasn’t present.  The chatter was typically dominated by those who judged they were always on the short end of his different strokes for different folks conduct.

One person among this crowd once said something about him that made me laugh.  He said that “So and so is so darn ornery that his dog regularly bites him.”  I don’t know if this was true that this man’s best friend did bite him or if it was merely a figure of speech to drive home a point.

Over the weekend, I talked to a friend who shared how he was suffering from stir crazy syndrome.  He’s been afflicted with it since being shelter in place homebound due to a Coronavirus Executive Order by our Governor.  I’ve had my stir-crazy moments too, although the work I do is considered “minimum essential” so I’m free to go to work.  Therefore, I’m “legally” more mobile than my friend and others.

Nonetheless, I still have mild stir-crazy moments even though I’m likely busier than my friend.


Is it because the chaotic vibrancy of living life in the fast lane is now an unfamiliar stillness of sorts?

When will it end?  Your guess is as good or bad as mine; as the saying goes, time will tell.

Maybe, yes maybe, this stir-crazy feeling is the result of being tired spending too much time with ourselves.

Maybe, yes maybe, we really don’t like spending too much time with ourselves.  

Maybe, yes maybe, by spending a lot of time with ourselves, we’re getting to know ourselves better.

And maybe, yes maybe, we’re learning there are things about us we really don’t like.  Maybe like my former supervisor who co-workers found difficult to get along with.  

I don’t own a dog, but if I did, would my dog bite me like, supposedly, my former supervisor’s dog did, according to the co-worker’s revelation?

There’s a good chance our stir-crazy symptoms will continue for a while.  We’ll have many opportunities to further explore and discover how well we get along when spending lots of time by ourselves.

Is there something about our behaviors making it unpleasant for others and ourselves to be around us?  

Will the dog in me one day bite me?    

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, March 27, 2020

Create a pandemic

Every which way you turn, look, listen or read; you can’t help but getting another serving of the Coronavirus Pandemic that’s globetrotting around the world scaring the daylights out of most people.

Perhaps the heighted concerns, fears and perceived risks so many have is the result of the way in which the latest and greatest Coronavirus grim reaper news is reported by the media.  Yellow journalism pioneers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, in their fierce competition to outdo each other measured by newspapers sold, figured it out over 120 years ago.  

The modern media continues this yellow journalism legend with the news articles it delivers except now, the measure is the number of times an internet article is clicked by internet surfers rather than the number of newspapers sold on street corners more than one hundred years ago.

Doom and gloom news, written yellow journalism style, often has little or no legitimate research.  Instead, it’s delivered with eye-catching headlines, exaggerations and/or sensationalism because that type of news does a better job of enticing us to read or click.

And, our political leaders oftentimes join the yellow journalism-style club with their announcements.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom is a case in point when he recently said that up to 56 percent of Californians stood to be infected with the Coronavirus in the next two months, unnecessarily scaring the daylight out of a bazillion Californians.  He has made no mention, to my knowledge that up to 80 percent of those who have been confirmed having the Coronavirus experienced the mild symptoms version of it.

Elected official and yellow journalism media tag team effort

Fear has an amazing ability to turn masses of fiercely independent people into sheeple, people who are docile, compliant or easily influenced.  If we become sheeple, our elected leaders who believe more government is better government will race to claim the job of being the sheeple herders, guiding all during this "sheepledemic".

Sheepledemic – Mass panic of epidemic proportions resulting in herd behavior of people like a herd of sheep.  Used to describe mass voluntary acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research.  It's created by a fear-thriving media and political leaders who believe more government that results is control of a nation and world by those in charge is better government.  Good for promoting socialism and communism. 

This Coronavirus brings back memories from eleven years ago when my wife and I visited Mexico City to attend a one-week pro-life conference and retreat.  Much to our surprise, we arrived during week one of the Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009.

Prior to our departure, many people who had visited Mexico City, including my wife who has relatives living there, warned of what would be waiting to greet me when I arrived.  Unbelievable air pollution and traffic congestion is what they told me.  However, “thanks” to the Swine Flu Pandemic, I experienced none.  The Mexico City skies were blue, the air was fresh and jaywalking across a busy Avenida was something I did with ease.

Swine Flu week one 2009 in Mexico City with no traffic

This one-week visit gave me a rare firsthand chance to observe how the government and people of Mexico City, and outlying areas we visited, responded to this escalating pandemic.  The behaviors, sights and sounds I witnessed were not much different than what we’re now experiencing with Coronavirus.  Face masks were worn, churches and businesses were closed, and the people of Mexico City were not out and about living and thriving like their normal.  

For me, a visitor, it was a one-week surreal experience that I vividly remember to this day.

Mexico City mobile medical personnel 
during week one of the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic

Mexico City mariachi business as usual during week
one  of 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic in Mexico City

At the end of the week, I remember collecting my observations and reflecting on what had been my experience.  What emerged was a defining reflection that if you want to control the people, create a pandemic.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The courage to do so

To the best of my recollection, this is my first reflection composed, using my iPhone, from home where I’ve been secluded, and practicing social distancing, since last Tuesday.  Like many, I’m a little stir crazy at the moment having more time on my hands that I know what to do with.

And, like many, I’m following the latest Coronavirus Pandemic news trying to identify and collect my thoughts and feelings.  

Thinking about the economic challenges so many will face is hard to comprehend, even for someone like me with above-average financial literacy.

At this moment, our elected leaders are trying to put together a public safety net of economic solutions for those in economic distress.  What will evolve should help but maybe not enough.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone of means reached into their private pockets, obviously according to their means, and helped someone financially who, because of this terrible crisis, becomes of less than means?

I pray that I’ll have the courage to do so.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Don't pick your nose

Almost eleven years ago, Pierini Fitness composed one, among many, of his favorite middle-age man reflections - Find something else to worry about – after observing many of his clients worrying unnecessarily about the economy at the time and its impact on their personal finances.  His takeaway message to clients from these observations was that all was well, and they’d have to find something else to worry about.

Time would prove that I was correct, although true to the statement, history does repeat itself and at this moment, a nation and a world is worried to death about the Chinese Coronavirus.  It’s understandable because fear is a pastime for so many people who have become comfortable worrying about this and that.  We all have fears because we’re human and Pierini Fitness would never say that he doesn’t suffer from occasional fears, it’s just that, perhaps, he does a better job of co-existing with them and being able to continue marching forward in the life he’s living.

God willing, he’ll continue to be able to do this because, like everyone else, there’s a risk of some degree that this virus could afflict him.

But, to all my fellow middle-age men around the world, I have an important press release that hopefully will provide you with some welcoming comfort.

Pierini Fitness has recently conducted cutting-edge research on the impact fear has on the risk of catching or avoiding the Chinese Coronavirus.  His findings are that fear has no impact so go find something else to worry about.

But do exercise caution in going about living your life to the fullest.  Follow the best practices possible regarding personal hygiene, being careful in meetings and travel, handling food carefully and staying home if you’re feeling sick.  Don’t put your fingers in your mouth and don’t pick your nose.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Busy at work early morning 2-minute office workout

This is the time of year I'm extra busy with work so getting my middle-age man fitness training workouts in is more challenging. 

Knowing that something is better than nothing, this morning I did a quick 2-minute workout at my office where I have a pull-up bar and bar dip unit. First minute was a single set of 14 pull-ups.

Second minute was a single set of 25 bar dips.

Two minutes later, my early morning workout was done; I was ready to begin working.

Viewing the video, I'll admit my bottom range of my pull-ups could have had better extension. I'll do better next time but am satisfied with my 14-rep performance done cold with no warm-up.

Honest disclosure, I had a performance-enhancing beverage before my quick 2-minute workout - a strong homemade cup of Italian Roast coffee with no crème or sugar added, just the way I like it.

Later today, God willing, I'll do 100 burpees for time. This will be my workout for today.

Again, something is better than nothing.

I’ll be busy for the next month so being creative and time efficient with my fitness training is how I’ll get my job done, like this busy at work early morning 2-minute office workout.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 7, 2020

As an older adult

Photo courtesy of the CDC website page about older adults

The recent coronavirus fear pandemic is exacerbated by the media’s constant stream of news coverage.  It seems they’ve discovered the reading public has an insatiable thirst for more news about it.  And, it’s likely that a recent news article posted on the internet will be a clickbait giant.  Where will it all end?

Fortunately, Pierini Fitness is rather busy right now with his work and, by necessity, spends less time surfing the internet for the latest and greatest news. Some news headlines, however, manage to grab his attention.

Like one from last week.  It had a clickbait title, “New CDC guidance says older adults should 'stay at home as much as possible' due to coronavirus”.  Always curious of who is “older”, I succumbed to the clickbait and power-read the article.

It reported that “early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel virus according to the CDC.”  Further into the article, I learn that older people are over 60 years of age.  

Yikes!  My “older people” ship departed five years ago according to the CDC.

This made me curious to learn what else the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) powers to be who are responsible for the health and safety of middle-aged men, and older adults, are saying about us.  Plenty and troubling are what I learned.

Recent content on the CDC website about “older adults” casts a blanket doubt on our health literacy skills.  Specifically, they warn health care professionals the following about the health literacy skills of older adults:

(1)  71 percent of adults older than age 60 have difficulty in using printed material,

(2)  80 percent have difficulty using documents such as forms or charts, and 

(3)  68 percent have difficulty interpreting numbers and doing calculations.

The CDC advises that “we can improve how we communicate with older adults and create materials and messages that match their health literacy skills.”

Who are “we” that are being advised?  Obviously, health care professionals but, undoubtedly, among them are older adult health care professionals.  

Does this mean the warning is also self-directed?  Are older adult health care professionals capable of advising us older adult ordinary average American citizens?  After all, the warning suggests we’re a crowd of bumbling Mr. Magoo-type health illiterates.

What about our President or the cast of characters parading across the country peddling their qualifications and asking for our votes to be our next President?  They’re all septuagenarians and a couple of the candidates will soon enter octogenarian land.

And, what about the head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Ray Redfield Jr.  He’s 68 years “old” and, by golly, an older adult according to the warning his CDC organization is giving us older adults.

Older adult, 68 year old  Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Czar 
They're all card-carrying members of the Geritol Club.  Are they incapable of delivering the leadership necessary to win the war against this coronavirus?

Obviously, this blanket older adult warning fails to delineate how the general literacy and level of education older adults have may impact who is really at risk.  

Who wrote this website content?  Some older adult employee of the CDC?  I doubt it.  

Probably some millennial employee wanting to move up the CDC government bureaucracy ladder and frustrated that an older adult supervisor is getting is his or her way.

Pierini Fitness perceives there’s a new generation of discrimination on the horizon; actually, it’s already arrived, but will grow to new levels unless we middle-aged men of the older adult CDC variety, and all other older adults, call a “spade a spade” to those making such blanket nonsense aging-discrimination statements.

Pierini Fitness has always been proud being a middle-aged man and this CDC nonsense makes him equally proud identifying as an older adult.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum