Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: Covid

Prices And War: A Podcast Roundup

Sorry, my dear reader, but this is going to start out as a bit of a downer of a podcast roundup, but I have to be honest about what I’m exploring. Life is not all happy joy and flowers and entertaining novels.

Yesterday’s trip into the city was sprinkled with reminders that things are not right in the world. The first of which is that I’ve tried for three days in a row to get my hair cut in town and have run into “supply chain” and “lack of staff” issues.

prices and war
Minor, I know, but really Target?
A hard to remove sticker right in the middle of the title?

I filled up my truck with gas and paid a dollar more than I did last week, and last week’s prices were already higher than I have ever paid for gas in my life. You would think people would be slowing down and conserving gas on the highway, but no. Impatience and frustration was up. Once again, a woman passed me and another truck going uphill toward a blind crest, while crossing the double yellow line. Life apparently don’t mean much.

Some of it I understand. With gas this high, those (most of us) that commute to another town for work are finding it almost a waste of time to keep working, another reason for the “lack of staff” in certain places. We’re becoming more frightened for our future than we already have been.

I was able to eat lunch out with a friend INSIDE my favorite restaurant, so that’s a positive. But the prices were higher, understandably, and the menu was slightly limited. Not terrible but a sign none the less.

I noticed the local hospital billboard on the highway has lost its medical masked character. And Target and Kohl’s had no signs about having to be masked at all. I can’t help but feel like covid is being downplayed and set aside a bit, like maybe we’ll all forget what’s been going on and focus elsewhere. Hysteria and fear will just fade away. A cross between “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

I went into the city to see about getting some new sheets and a blanket for my guest room. My son is coming with his new girlfriend, and I want the room to look a little spruced up, even though I haven’t been able to paint it yet. Have I mentioned that paint now costs twice what it used to ten years ago and is going up still? I found a blanket on clearance for $35 (last one and it was $120…really?). And some sheets for $50. I remember paying $40 for REALLY nice, higher end sheets twenty years ago. That’s another story.

I am hyperaware of my ability to consider purchasing things I may need in the next few years before the prices go higher. I know we are lucky to work from home, so the price of gas is only having an effect on my leisure activities…for now.

There’s stress here, and I knowing I don’t have it nearly as badly as others doesn’t help. I have lived in earthquake country all my life, and I know the ground is always slowing shifting. Small earthquakes are said to keep the equilibrium, but right now…I don’t know. I feel like there’s pressure building up to a larger quake, and that scares me because what comes after isn’t predictable.

Do you hear the Lion King music?

That all being said, I do have a bright side to my thoughts. Life has always been unpredictable. Wars always rage on all over the planet. Sickness and death come to all of us. Things get complicated and then easy again.

The end of the world is not coming. The story keeps being told.

Podcast roundup! Remember? Here they are!

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Biden Bans Russian Oil. Are We Committing Economic Suicide Over Ukraine?

Things I didn’t even consider.

Quillette Podcast: Jacob Mchangama on His New Book, “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media”

This, once again, made me add a book to my TBR list. Did he just compare Luther to Rogan? Yes, he did.

Book: “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media” by Jacob Mchangama

The Intelligence from The Economist: War Stories: The View from Russia

A point of view we all need to remember. There are more than two sides. Two governments in conflict. The rest of the world’s nations and their governments vying for position. And then there is us, the people affected by such bullshit.

Conversations With Coleman: Covid: The Conversation We’ve Been Waiting For with Dr. Zubin Damania

Always an interesting take with Coleman. I love this podcast. The conversation can be maddening slow at times, but it always gets somewhere I never thought it would go. Dr. Zubin Damania is one of those rare people that can completely disagree with you but still make you feel like he understands your point of view and wants to come to some kind of working agreement for all of us. I highly recommend his website and YouTube channel, linked to his name above.

Me going for a walk in the wind!

I’m still reading Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger and loving it. I think it will be added to my list of books I would make everyone read in my own universe. It’s uplifting and positive environmental discussion. Not, “Everything is fine, life as usual,” but “Hey things are looking up and here’s why and how we might do better!”

Thanks for reading even on one of my downer days!

I Need “Play Random” Button

Yes, you guessed it! Another sweet Podcast Roundup! I’ll admit this week’s selection was too quickly thrown into the playlist from podcasts I listen to FAR too regularly. I was struggling with time constraints yesterday. It makes me wish there was a “play random” button on my podcast player.

Let’s see here…meditation, lyme disease, Covid, and the state of humanity. Three hours of listening and I found nothing that made me squeal with delight. I suppose they can’t all be winners, right?

“Michelle, why are you sharing these if they didn’t inspire you? Why bother us with it?”

Well, my friend, for two reasons. The first being documentation! This is a record of the journey and wrong turns and false starts are part of the big picture. The second is because maybe they are what YOU need to hear right now. Who knows? So I throw it out there, see if it sticks!

Practicing Human – Is Desire Bad?

Is desire bad? Is wanting bad? Depends on what you mean by bad, I suppose. My take is that there are skillful and unskillful wants and desires. I desire the cookie, but I know it won’t lead me to the better health I’m working on. Then again, it’s really not the desire that is the problem, it’s the attachment to the outcome of that desire. I may want a thing, and strive toward it, but let go of ever getting there.

Quillette – New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat on His Hellish Experience with Lyme Disease

Here’s a thing I didn’t know. Doctors look askance at Lyme disease sufferers. What’s up with that? And it turns out that not everyone suffers the same way: short, curable illness for most, long-term chronic illness for others. Humans are so strange. How does a doctor diagnose it? Different ways. How do they treat it? Different ways for different people. It’s a crapshoot, like everything else. Irritates me. This guy wrote a book about his illness, and it sounds like something I might want to read in the future.

The Intelligence from The Economist – Hope for the crest: an Omicron wave hits India

I’m hesitant to post anything about Covid, but here’s this one. Listen in, make your judgments, decide for yourself. Unlike everyone else, I’m not going to tell you what to think, vote for a law or mandate, or otherwise make you do something to protect me.

Cato Daily Podcast – Rationality: What it is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters

I didn’t realize that this was another talk from Steven Pinker. I already heard him speak several times and I read his book, Rationality. Great stuff.

Rationally Speaking – Humanity on the precipice (Toby Ord)

Hmm…I liked this and then I didn’t. I think sitting around worrying ourselves crazy over global climate change and whether AI will destroy us is a waste of time. The individual has no control over these things. But then, if we don’t, who will? I just don’t know.

I do enjoy thinking on the future of AI. It’s fascinating, but I’m more in the camp of, if they end up smarter than us and take over, so be it. Evolution is a thing. He did say something that caught my attention and I have been thinking on it ever since. Frankenstein. Man creates a being, it scares him, he shuns it, the being hates its creator and tries to destroy it. Age old story that applies to AI as well.

EconTalk – Gregory Zuckerman on the Crazy Race to Create the COVID Vaccine

Yep, another Covid podcast. This one is about a book the guy wrote about the companies that created the vaccine. I listen to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of articles, watch a lot of videos about Covid and the response to it. I have a lot of opinions, but I typically keep them to myself in public (online). I’m not sure that’s all too healthy, and I have my reservations about that, but what can I do but sit back and watch for now?

That’s all I had time to listen to this week. I skipped the ends of a couple of these. I’d heard Steven Pinker before and I got bored with Rationally Speaking.

My podcast list is getting boring, people. If you have one you love, please share it in the comments. I’ve been running into that new-age problem of only finding new things that are related to things I’m already listening to. I’m in stuck in a feedback loop! Throw me a rope!

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