Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Leap in Time II

We have arrived at yet another February 29th. And that means it’s time for my second quad-annual reflection on the recent ongoings here in the Outhouse and the world at large! At least this time I don’t have to describe the brief history of how Leap Day came into being – you can check out the premier post on that from way back in 2016. A Leap In Time

So let’s get started and find out what’s going on in 2020!

This year’s summer Olympics is being hosted by Tokyo, Japan. People are hoping that the games can help the ongoing rebound from the massive earthquake that hit the country way back in 2011. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since that disaster. This time around on the disease front, we are talking about Coronavirus, and how it’s starting to make its way into the US from China, and at this point across the world. This could be the first real pandemic we have faced since the Flu outbreak in the 1900's.

We are also taking about the upcoming presidential election of course. We have survived four years of President Donald J. Trump. New this year is the unsurprising Impeachment Trial – it just took this long to finally catch him doing something that could (purely along partisan lines of course) bring this about. In a complete reversal of the 2016 election, however, the Democrats are the ones with dozens of candidates vying for the primary nomination while Trump is still the Republican Golden Ticket. And Bernie Sanders is once again in the running! I ended up writing in Bernie four years ago after the Democrats railroaded him in favor of making a Glass Ceiling the most important thing about the campaign. Unfortunately, lessons are not learned by American Politicians.

Brexit is here. The United Kingdom has now officially left the European Union. Only time will tell what the future will bring on this front. There have been more school shootings and more children murdered in the US as a result and the endless debate about gun control carries on. In a surprising turn, there has been action to begin to weaken and overturn Roe v. Wade over course of the previous several months. It seems society may finally begin to realize that murdering unborn children should never be a viable option for a lapse in judgement.

The weather continues to be wacky here. Probably one of the mildest winters we have had in a long while with constant fluctuations of temperatures every single week. We get some 60 degree days followed by 30 or 40 degree days and so on and so forth. No snow to speak of this year, however.

On those personal notes, I am still working my retail job, although I am enjoying far less than I did six years ago. Changes to procedures at the corporate level and less than thrilling management at the store level has me seriously considering a change of pace. Hopefully we can finally work our way towards moving a little further west to the Lancaster/Hershey area within the next year or two which will allow me to transfer to another store in that area and begin a search in earnest. The real big change came with Shannon, when the ever present Toys R Us ceased to exist in 2018, forcing her to find a home with a new company. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise as, though it’s still retail, she’s in a much better spot with the new company than she was with the old, even though she’s not a store manager anymore.

Our 5th grader, Erin, is now a full-fledged teenager with all the teen angst, worrying her way through Freshman year at High School. Erin and I will be heading over to jolly ole England in July to celebrate my sister’s wedding, and we look forward to her coming back to the states with some of Jeremy’s family in May. Five and a half year old Abby likewise dreads her days at “School” which is a day care/pre-school we had to get her into despite the financial hit so she can be fully prepared for real school in just a scant six months. It’s sad to read back four years ago about my update with the family pets. At the time, Willy had passed away, but we still had Marley and Flash. Little did we know that Flash was going to leave us not too long after I posted that entry four years ago. At least he had lived a long full life, but it was still one of the toughest things I had to do. Another tough one was the decision to put Marley down back in July. He had been suffering from Addison’s Disease for several years now, but he had gotten sick very suddenly, most likely from eating something he shouldn’t. That coupled with his age and other issues forced us to have to make that tough decision. I still miss that dog a lot. We still have Hershey, though she’s gotten even more ornery over the years. She still has a lot of alley cat in her. Buddy the turtle has since been renamed Shelby and she’s still a turtle!

Our bathroom and kitchen updates from four years ago came out great. Everything still looks good. This year, however, we ended up having to get a new roof. With our street being a wind tunnel, and the age of the previous roof caused some shingles to break and come off, which lead to a big leak in the kitchen whenever we would get a heavy, steady rain. Our new Biscayne Blue shingles really look great, and I am liking the look of the exterior of our house because of it, at least for now.

I have indeed, gotten the clean up and declutter complete in the basement … somewhat. It’s certainly more organized and less cluttered than it was four years ago. Still have a ways to go though, especially if we want to make that move west a reality. I’ve amped up my livestreaming and Extra Life fundraising over the last four years, and am actually making a modicum of money with my content. I hope to continue to build up my audience and dream of perhaps even making content creation a part time, or even full time, occupation. But dreams are still dreams. We’ll see what the next four years brings.

And finally, I dubbed 2016 the Year of Star Wars, so how apropos that 2020 is the Year that Star Wars Ended. At least in terms of the Skywalker saga. Unfortunately, the end came out much worse for the wear than the way it began with Episode 7. The Last Jedi was the movie that broke Star Wars fandom, and Rise of Skywalker has done little to redeem it, despite all the fan service present in the final episode. And no, I haven’t seen it, nor do I have plans to ever watch the movie. It turns out that Rogue One was the best of the bunch. But of course, I already have several blog posts detailing the more of that – so go check them out already!

So here we are, wrapping up another Leap Day post. It’s been an interesting look back. When you think about it, there was a lot more going on than when I initially starting thinking about this blog entry. And it seems that the next four years, if all goes well, will provide even more things to reflect upon. Erin will be planning High School graduation, and Abby will be a 3rd Grader. Perhaps, the third episode of this series will be written on another new computer (I upgraded last March, but still have that laptop I wrote the first piece on sitting next to me) in my office space in a new house. Only time will tell.