Saturday, October 22, 2022

Tales From the Darkside

A couple of weeks ago I watched a vlog post on YouTube by the Grimmlife Collective.  These vloggers specialize in spooky stuff and horror fiction, so they did an episode on a TV series from 1983 to 1985 called “Tales From the Darkside.”  I was intrigued and looked for somewhere online where I might stream the series.  Alas, I couldn’t find one, so I ordered a pack of DVDs containing all three seasons, and began watching them on my laptop.  

Frankly, I was disappointed.  Most of the stories are pretty lame.  Each episode is only 22 minutes long, not counting time for commercials, and it’s hard to generate much of a plot in so short a time.  Most stories start off interesting but due to time constraints seem to slap on a weird or abrupt ending to finish it.  So in literary terms, there’s no denouement or epiphany.  The endings are usually less than satisfying.   “What?? That’s it??”


Fall Weather in Northern California

I’m sitting here in my backyard, just enjoying the Fall Weather.  I love this time of year.  The world always seems quieter in the Fall.  Big white clouds are drifting by on a blue sky.  Very peaceful.  

Next month I turn 78 years of age.  My wife and I saw our doctor this past week, and were told we are both in disgustingly good health.  That’s good, I suppose, but I don’t fear death.  Both my brothers are gone and I have a small amount of survivor guilt.  It’s hard to communicate with those on the other side.  I look up at the sky and wonder “Where are you?  When you’re dead, do you know you’re dead?  Do you remember life in this realm?”

 I suppose I’ll find the answers sooner or later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Suicide: the Selfish and Cowardly Way Out (Usually)

When I first heard about my niece’s suicide, my emotions were not of sorrow and sadness.  My major emotions were disgust and anger.

Shannon threw away 25 years of life that could have been spent watching her three children grow, marry and have children of their own.  She made herself into a pathetic, tragic figure, losing respect in the process.  In the minds of many family members and friends, she will be forever thought of as someone who had something terribly wrong with her.  That’s not a great way to be remembered.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

My Niece Commits Suicide

My niece Shannon lies comatose in a hospital bed tonight.  Today is her birthday, the last one of her life.  Tomorrow they will cease life support and turn off the machines that keep her heart beating and her lungs respirating.  Less than a week ago she went into the garage of her home in Santa Clara, California, stepped up on a sofa there, wrapped a curtain drawstring around her neck and stepped off.

Minutes later, her husband Dan and eldest daughter found her hanging in the garage.  They quickly cut her down and applied CPR, as did the medical alert team that quickly arrived.  She was taken to the hospital where she was put on life support and tested for vital signs.  After two days the doctors could find no sign of brain activity; she was in a vegetative state.  

Shannon had been experiencing Covid 19 symptoms for several weeks, which started after she was vaccinated against the disease.  She was told by her employers at San Jose State that she could not resume her teaching position until she got the booster shot.  She got it and the symptoms worsened.  She was in constant pain and suffering from anxiety, but her doctors said she wasn’t dying and death was not expected.  

What drove her to commit such a terrible act?  Did the vaccine cause insanity?  I am no doctor and can only speculate.  She leaves behind a husband, a son and two daughters, the youngest of whom will graduate from high school on June 1.  

Shannon is 53 years old today, forever 53.

Update:  She passed away peacefully at 12:13 Pacific time today, Sunday, May 29, 2022.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Reading Charles Bukowski

Lately there has been a few YouTube documentaries on the life and career of author Charles Bukowski.  I found him intriguing so ordered three books of his works.

The first was “Post Office,” his first successful publication.  The common advice to young authors is “write what you know.”  Bukowski worked for the Post Office as both a mailman delivering mail and later as a clerk sorting mail in the office.  His character Chinowski reprises that role in this seemingly autobiographical novel.  The writing is entertaining but there is no plot per se, no denouement, no epiphany.  The same is somewhat true for his novel “Pulp.”  However, the latter shows some interesting flights of fancy.  

In “Pulp" Bukowski is a private detective (named Nick) in Los Angeles.  One of his clients is a beautiful woman called “Lady Death.”  She is the feminine version of the Grim Reaper.  She wants Nick to track down a man named Celine, who in previous decades was a buddy of Ernest Hemingway and his literary entourage in Paris. Everyone of the members of the group have long since died except for Celine, who has fled and hid and escaped death.   

Another client claims he is being harassed by an alien from outer space, and it turns out to be true.  

My biggest gripe about “Pulp” is its ending.  It appears to be a rushed and arbitrary ending just to finish the book and get on to other things.

The third book I bought is a collection of Bukowski’s short stories.  Some are pretty good, like “The Most Beautiful Woman In Town.” Others are crude and pointless, like “The Gut-Wringing Machine.”

If you like a gritty protagonist, a hard drinking, rough looking, cigar smoking and anti-social hero who gets into lots of fights but occasionally gets laid, you’ll like these figments of Bukowski’s imagination.  I do so I’ll keep reading.

Charles Bukowski
1920 - 1994

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Resting and Refreshing

The tax season has ended and I’m home trying to rejuvenate and lose this feeling of fatigue and angst.  It was a brutal tax season. 

The good things for today is that I have a remaining cigar, the company of my dog and cat, and it looks like rain.  I like rain.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Rainy Weather

Today the sky is filled with big dark fluffy clouds, portentous of rain.  I am working on tax returns but this coming Tuesday I will be able to sit on my couch and watch YouTube videos while cuddling with my dog and cat. 

I can hardly wait.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Fear of Death

When I was young, the fear of death bothered me a great deal.  I remember taking my first business course at West Valley Junior College, when classes were still being held on the former campus of Campbell Junior High School, before it moved to a permanent campus in Saratoga, California.  During a break, I stood outside the classroom drinking vending machine coffee.  I was filled with horror and dread at the knowledge that I would someday die, that the world would go on without me.  Traffic would still fill the streets, people would still go to work, students would still attend classes but I wouldn’t be there.  

As the years passed, the dread and horror lessened and now, in old age, they have ceased completely.  So many friends and family members have preceded me in death that I feel somewhat guilty at having survived them.  Why am I still here?  Am I being punished?

A subject that interests me greatly is the near death experience, a common phenomenon among those who have flatlined but still survived.  A common characteristic is that the experiencers have felt enveloped in a bright light and immersed in feelings of great love, i.e., that they feel loved beyond all prior experience.  They meet loved ones who died before, and are even reunited with deceased pets like dogs and cats.  Most do not want to come back but are told they have no choice, that their time is not yet.  

An original researcher into the phenomenon is Raymond Moody, whose book “Life After Life” introduced the subject to millions.  Moody reported that after studying thousands of NDEs since, he finally just accepted it for what it seems, that there is an afterlife and that we survive physical death.

I hope so.  I would like to rejoin departed friends, family and especially my dogs, in another dimension, in a better world than this.  Is it true?  Hope costs nothing and I will find out in not too many more years.  

Saturday, April 09, 2022

One More Week of Tax Season

Only one more week of labor in the tax office.  I will be glad when it’s over.  

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Will Smith’s Nervous Breakdown: the Cure

Will Smith’s pugilistic demonstration at the Academy Awards was really a nervous breakdown.  The man is deeply grieving the end of his marriage, which is not so much an open marriage as an open wound.   For that there is only one cure:  dump the bitch.  Only then can the wound begin to heal.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Will Smith the Cuckold Husband

The Real Reason Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock

Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett, likes to have sex with other men than her husband.  Will Smith says he’s okay with that but his outburst at the Oscars says something else, when he slapped Chris Rock for telling a mild joke about his wife. 

In my opinion, Will Smith is is very chagrined that he is not enough for his wife in bed. He alone cannot satisfy her.  

Smith’s over the top anger at the Oscars was really a frenetic attempt to assert a masculinity that he does not feel, an attempt to prove his macho bonafides to his cheating wife.  

If so, it didn’t work.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

When Life’s Major Goals Are Complete

Life seems most worth living when one has important goals to accomplish.  However, when all those goals are accomplished, what further purpose is one’s life?

Important life goals include:
1.  Getting an education; graduation
2.  Achievement of expertise or professional designation, MD, Attorney, CPA.
3.  Establishment of a career or occupation
4.  Finding a true love, marriage
5.  Buying a home
6.  Having children
7. Retirement
8. Travel

And other specific items for one’s “bucket list.”

Striving for goals makes life worth living.  With no goals a person becomes an object with no purpose.  If you no longer have a purpose, is life worth living? 

Maybe.  If you have a good stash of cigars and a dog, then it might be worthwhile to stick around for a little longer.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Another Death of a Friend: Life Sucks and Then You Die

Questions About Death

When you’re my age your friends and family members die at an increasing rate.  Yes, I know my own departure awaits out there within time and circumstance.  This week I learned a friend since 1969 passed away from cancer, one Danny Bassler.  He was younger than I am and I never thought he would die before me.

When my older brother Ted died on Aptil 5, 2019, Danny observed “He was my best friend.”  Now perhaps they are reunited.

I have so many unanswerable questions about death.  When you’re dead do you know you are dead?  Do all of your memories and personality disappear like smoke in the wind?  Does your essence somehow survive and continue on?

Also, how does your body know when to die?  How does your heart know when to stop beating?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Russian Trolls Infest Gettr

When I first went on Gettr, a social platform similar to Twitter, I feared I would be bored.  Gettr is a conservative site and there would be little in the way of debate.  I was wrong.

Lately there have been a number of Russian supporters there, trashing Ukraine and President Zelensky and even posting official Putin propaganda claiming the Ukrainian leaders are Nazis.  I challenge them whenever I find them.  

Friday, March 11, 2022

Tucker Carlson, Russia’s Advocate on Fox

Tucker continued his strange defense of Russia tonight.  He is aghast that we would impose economic sanctions on a “sovereign country,” i.e., Putin’s Russia.  This, even though that “sovereign country” is invading another sovereign country in a war of conquest and killing people and committing war crimes.  

Tucker is also upset that we have now put sanctions on Russian oil. He’s wrong about that. Those sanctions are necessary but should be offset with a great increase in American oil production to replace Russian oil in the market place.  

Unfortunately no good solution is possible as long as the crazy Democrats control both Congress and the White House.  Somehow we must struggle through until we can change the situation. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Price of Gas Today in SF Bay Area

My weekly fill up this morning cost $85.68.  Regular gas was $6.00 a gallon.

Last week it was $74.58.  The week before that $64.

Tucker Carlson Blows It

I generally like Tucker Carlson and agree with him, but last night was different.  When discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine he really lost credibility with me.  He seemed silly and frivolous and unserious.

Basically, Tucker believes we should do nothing to help the Ukrainians survive Russia’s naked aggression.  Why not?  Because Ukraine “is not our ally” and their fate  has no impact on whether a plumber can afford a vacation in 2022.  Or something like that.

Tucker was at his worst when he made fun of Nancy Pelosi’s calling the Ukraine “Russia’s Sudetenland.”  It was a “Nazi reference,” and that made Tucker laugh hysterically.  But Pelosi’s comparison was spot on.  Both regions were previously owned or controlled by the aggressors who believed they had a right to repossess them.

Last night Tucker acted like a jackass and lost some credibility because of it.  We should do everything within reason to help the Ukrainians even if  it means plumbers have to postpone their planned trips to Yellowstone.  It is the humanitarian thing to do, and Putin is not likely to stop with Ukraine if his aggression is allowed to succeed.  

Monday, March 07, 2022


Ugh.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.  I exult over every Russian tank destroyed, every Russian plane or helicopter that is shot down.  

My far less important issue is the tax season.  I’ll be glad when it’s over.  Five more weeks.  Then maybe I can learn to fly my drone and make videos for YouTube.

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Troubling Times

It is very distressing watching the evil tyrant, Vladimir Putin of Russia, invading the Ukraine, bombing and bombarding civilians and infrastructure and committing war crimes.  This kind of aggression has not been seen in many years.  The Ukrainians continue fighting and bravely resisting the World’s latest conquest minded thug. We can only hope the Ukrainians can continue to survive.

Biden gave a State of the Union address this week, and sitting behind him was airhead Kamala Harris and slippy dentures Nancy Pelosi, the latter who had a stupid and fake smile to express her joy at having an inept moron as president.  Every time Biden made some irrelevant point, the two women would stand up and applaud in transparent political theater.

What can be done to stop Putin’s aggression?  I wish we knew.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Putin’s Tyranny

Russia has invaded the Ukraine, in a wanton act of pure tyranny and aggression.  Just like in the 1930s, bad actors seek the control and dominion of other nations for purely selfish reasons.  They want what others have and mean to take it by force.  

Putin, the leader of Russia, will go down in history as just another thuggish dictator like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln.  There is a nasty impulse in people that makes them want absolute control of others, and they are adamant that their desires are sacrosanct and holy.  This lust for power is the ugliest of human impulses and how to control and contain it is a perpetual problem of those who seek liberty.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Eat a Frog

Mark Twain once advised:  If you have to eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning.  If you have to eat two frogs, eat the biggest one first.

Mark Twain was using a metaphor to describe how to handle unpleasant tasks.  Take care of the worst tasks first and the rest of the day will seem nicer by comparison.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Meandering Thoughts

Lately the weather here in Northern California shows warming tendencies.  Soon my skeletal persimmon tree will break out in green buds that will later erupt into leaves.

I’ll be glad when it’s warm or even hot.  I love sitting at the teak table in our backyard, presiding over our plants and flowers as I puff on a fine cigar.  Maybe then I can finish Mollie  Hemingway’s book “Rigged,” all about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Democrat Kamikaze Attack on Donald Trump

For months now, Federal Prosecutor John Durham has been investigating the Russian collusion hoax and Democrat spying on the Trump campaign and presidency.  This past week he released some of his findings and they paint a picture of Democrat criminality and treachery.   White House computer servers were compromised by paid-off server technicians to both hack into and spy onTrump Organization and White House servers to acquire info that could be used against Trump and lead to his impeachment.  There was an attempt to associate Trump servers with those of a Russian bank, further giving false evidence of a Trump-Russian connection that was broadcast far and wide by the execrable mainstream media.

In short, it was a massive effort to frame and defame Trump for misdeeds that never occurred.  

It was worse than Watergate, an extreme abuse of power, and Hillary Clinton was in on it and may be in danger of prosecution.  She loves pants suits, let’s get her one in bright orange.

The left’s hatred of Donald Trump is both irrational and puzzling.  It has led to fanatical attempts to defame and discredit Trump with an almost kamikaze-like fanaticism.  

Joe Rogan: the Two Major Questions

On one of his podcasts Joe Rogan described the two major questions of mankind:

1.  Is there life after death, and
2.  Are we alone in the Universe?

The answers, as I see them, are yes and no, respectively.

Quote of the Day

“To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master.”
Or put another way, man made God in man’s own image.  

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Biden’s Unfolding Paradise

Inflation hit 8% this week.  It cost $68 to fill up my gas tank, the highest fill up cost in my lifetime.  A year ago I paid about $45.  

Meanwhile Joe Blow may get us into a war with Russia, as the latter is posting thousands of troops on the border of Ukraine.  It appears a Russian invasion is imminent.  

Go Bengals!

I don’t care much who wins tomorrow’s Super Bowl, the Rams or the Bengals, but I favor the Bengals.  Why?  Because they’re the underdog and have never won a Super Bowl.  I’d like to see them do it.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Football, Politics and Mindless Tribalism

Politics and football have something in common:  they both attract true believers who devolve into mindless tribalism.  For example, I’m a 49ers fan and really wanted them to beat the Rams and progress to Super Bowl 56 —but they lost.  Now I have nothing to gain or lose by this; I don’t get any money or rings or any tangible reward.  It’s just a matter of pride, go team!  

Politics also has its mindless tribalists.  Instead of supporting those who make our lives better, we mentally associate with one party or the other because that party is “our tribe.”  Trump helped create the best economy in 50 years, achieved energy independence and border security, helped create 7 million new jobs, end the Korean War and got several Muslim countries to make peace with Israel.  But to many Democrats, that doesn’t matter:  he’s not their tribe and his achievements make their tribe look bad.  So they hate him instead.  How foolish.

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Slow Day at the Office

It’s February First and it’s still early for tax preparation.  So I sit here waiting for my last client of the day.

What would I rather be doing?  Laying in a warm bed, cuddling with my dog and cat and watching TV.  Oh well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Faces In Death: Exploring Cemeteries

Cemeteries can be fascinating places to visit, even when the entombed are just ordinary people, not famous or well known.  The granite and marble tombstones, crypts and statuary are grief frozen in time by those left behind.  

Even for ordinary lives each grave represents a human being with a unique story.  Often their stories can be gleaned from the internet, from Find-A-Grave or from or  

Some video bloggers have learned to put the two together to make YouTube videos that show selected graves and tell the stories of the departed.  Some of the best vids talk about crimes or disasters like fires that killed the entombed.  

My two favorite V-Loggers who do this include “Lamont At Large” (see pic above) and “Faces of the Forgotten.”  The latter enhances his videos with some great drone footage, a feat I hope to duplicate soon.

Check out these vloggers when you have a chance.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Tax Season Has Begun

The tax season for 2021 tax year has begun.  Oh the joy, the exuberance of contributing to the advance of civilization, the perfecting of society!

Yes I’m being sarcastic.  However I did complete two tax returns today.  Be still my beating heart.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Remembering Dwayne Hickman or “Dobie Gillis”

On Sunday, January 9, 2022, Dwayne Hickman, actor of “Dobie Gillis” fame, died.  He was 87 years of age.  

His TV series, “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” was based on the book of the same name, by author Max Schulman.  It featured a high school boy, Dobie, trying to deal with life and survive adolescence.  Since I was 17, the show meant a lot to me, even though it was a comedy.

Dobie was pursued by a nerdy girl named Zelda Gilroy, played by Sheila James, while he pursued a blonde babe, Thalia Meninger, played by Tuesday Weld.  His best buddy was a beatnik named Maynard G. Krebbs, played by Bob Denver, who later starred in another sitcom, Gilligsn’s Island.

I met Dwayne Hickman in a San Jose bookstore over 20 years ago, when he was marketing his autobiography called “Always Dobie.”  I told him how much his show meant to me as a teenager and he was grinning from ear to ear.  He signed my copy of his book and we chatted for a few moments.  He was a nice guy.

God bless Dwayne Hickman and Rest In Peace, “Dobie.”  That’s “Dobie” with a “B.”

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Joe Biden’s False Dichotomies

A false dichotomy is a logical fallacy that posits that you have only two choices when there may be many more choices available.

In his terrible rant this week, Joe Biden kept laying out the two false choices:  you can either be for Bull Connors or Martin Luther King, Civil Rights heroes e.g., Rosa Parks or George Wallace, Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis, etc. His point was that you either support his radical left policies or you support the bad guy, the Bull Connors instead of the Martin Luther Kings.  This is nonsense. 

Although I do in fact prefer the good guys in his first examples, I prefer Jefferson Davis over Abraham Lincoln any day of the week.  Davis was a fine and honorable man who loved and cared for his slaves.  Lincoln detested blacks, whether slave or free and desired deporting all of them out of the country.  Lincoln wanted a bloody war to force states back into a union they no longer wanted.  Jefferson Davis wanted peace, and stated “all we ask is to be let alone.”

Friday, January 14, 2022

Planned Topics for Blog Posts

Here are some of my planned topics for blog posts:
1.  The UFO phenomenon
      Alien abductions, best books on the subject, best evidence, common characteristics of reported cases

2.   Vlogging, making YouTube videos, video editing, best vloggers to check out

3.  Common misconceptions and false stories about the War for Southern Independance.

4.  Flying drones.  Laws, rules, best practices.

5.  The Near Death Experience

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ben Shapiro’s Take on Nov 2020 Election Fraud

I generally like to watch Ben Shapiro on YouTube.  He’s funny and a great analyst of current political events.  Right now, though, I’m annoyed with him because of his unsupported stance on the 2020 election fraud:  he claims it never happened.

Indeed, he claims Trump “lied” about probable election fraud and that’s what motivated the Capitol rioters of January 6, 2021 to assault the Capitol.  He does a great job of making the Democrats’ argument for them.   Maybe Pelosi’s Kangaroo Court should subpoena him to testify. 

Anyway, for the time being I’m too pissed off to watch his show.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Nap Fantasies

Today I am prone to nap fantasies.  That’s when I’m somewhere not at home, am cold and bored.

I’m alone at the tax office, going over tax changes for 2021 tax returns.  It’s overcast and rainy and a bit cold.  So it’s a time for nap fantasies.  Where would be a great but secret place for a nap?  Somewhere I can hide and not be visible to others in the office.  

That might be a secret passageway in the library, a secret wall panel or a secret bunk bed hidden underneath my desk.  Ah, the possibilities are endless.  I’m out of here at 2 PM today.  

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Is America Over?

The Democrats are telling horrendous lies about the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill protest.  The worst was by the Pretender in Chief, Joe Biden, who claimed that “The former president” directed the attack as he watched it on television.  The vacuous Kamala Harris likened Jan 6 to Pearl Harbor and 911.  This, in spite of Trump’s Jan 4 request for protective troops around the Capitol, a request that the Democrats repeatedly refused and rejected.

The sham Jan 6 committee is operating without a bipartisan membership for the first time in American history.  The Dems are vastly false, ruthless and seditious, fanatically dedicated to seizing and preserving power by any and all means necessary.  How can we have a country with such people?
We can’t.  If the midterm elections in November do not result in a crushing defeat of the Democrat seditionists, there will be no point in pretending further that we do.  There will be no point in having elections, passing laws, having meetings of Congress, doing the many tasks and duties of running a federal government.  It will all be a sham.

Perhaps it already is.  In my opinion, the United States of America ended with the fraudulent election of November 2020.  The question now is how to pick up the pieces.

Jan 6: Another Democrat Scam

Today’s the one year anniversary of the Capitol Hill “riot,” when enraged Trump supporters barged into the congressional offices.  It seems they were a bit annoyed over the massive vote fraud that exchanged a highly effective and competent president for a complete fool.  

Since that time the Democrats have done everything possible to make this protest into an “insurrection” and blame it on Trump and Republicans. They’ve flooded Washington with troops and barricades to protect Dem politicians from the non-existent threat.  Everything about the Dems is phony baloney, massive efforts to create false impressions on the public in order to slander Republicans.

The Jan 6 Commission is a Democrat fraud led by Nancy Pelosi to demonize Republicans.  Facing a probable shellacking in the 2022 midterms, the Dems must resort to extreme measures to hold onto their slim majorities in the House and Senate.  So they are subpoenaing Republican politicians to testify, as well as bank records, phone records, whatever it takes to create an impression of massive Republican malfeasance in the mythical insurrection.  Kangaroo Courts anyone?  Expect candlelight vigils tonight to mourn and memorialize this terrible episode in U.S. history!   Boo hoo hoo hoo!

Other examples of Democrat Political Theater include Pelosi’s pathetic demonstration for George Floyd, when Pelosi and several other Democrats kneeled on the floor, heads bowed, with African motif scarves around their necks, for eight minutes in silence, the same time length that Floyd was immobilized by police.

And who can forget Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s phony crying jag for illegal aliens “caged” by Trump?  It was a staged act, as she walked by a chain-length fence that did not enclose any prisoners.

Democrat Theater is the Dems’ last hope as the midterms approach.  Bring back Benny Hill, at least his theater was funny and featured pretty girls.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

American Marxism

After hearing Mark Levin talk about his book “American Marxism,” I ordered the book.

Levin says we are in real danger of losing America to a failed foreign ideology.  I believe him.  

Saturday, January 01, 2022

New Year in New York

I live in California so do not usually watch the New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York’s Times Square.  They are three hours ahead of us on the West Coast.  This year, however, I was able to watch it in real time, using my iPad and an app called EarthCam.   I saw some singers and dancers, but also crowds of young people in glittery top hats and Covid masks, undulating to peppy music while shaking long yellow balloons.  Then as the clock began the final countdown to midnight, the famous Times Square ball began to drop, changing colors as it did so, and everyone shouting Happy New Year and kissing.  

Looking at the spectacle from the warmth of my sofa, I was glad to not be there.  With thousands of people filling the streets, where do you go to the bathroom? Where do you sit down?  How do you vacate Times Square easily?  No thanks.