Love Fades

We have been married for 40 years and over time, the spark has faded, leading to a decreased romantic attraction between us.  We still love each other, but time has a way of tearing things apart and it has taken a toll on our marriage.  We are companions for life, but we don’t make passionate love anymore.  I am satisfied with my life, and I don’t want to meet any new people, or flirt with anyone, and I could never think about dating someone else.  We hold hands and hug each other and there may be an occasional kiss exchanged between us but being with the same person every day removes the mystery of the unknown, which takes away the excitement for intimacy.  There are many things that I don’t do anymore that I did when I was young, and it is just not possible to maintain the emotional excitement of romance that I once felt for being in love.

I took her on a cruise this spring to the Caribbean and we visited a very romantic island, but the whole time I was there, I was worried about getting Covid.  The other day she complained that don’t bring her flowers anymore and I guess she has a point, but have you seen the cost of roses lately?  She said that we hardly talk to each other, and she wanted me to sing love songs to her like I used to.  I remember there was a time when I came home from work and I walked through the door, that I couldn’t wait to make love with her, and I used to hate to leave her.  Now in the rare occasions that we do make love, when I am done, I just turn out the light and roll over and go to sleep.  It used to be so natural for us to talk about everything all night long and share all our thoughts with each other.  The other day I saw this work of art, so I purchased it for her, hoping this would keep her from saying that I don’t bring her flowers anymore.  I realize that it would have been better if the artist used my arms in the artwork instead of a female’s arms, but mine are all hairy and these look a lot better.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #145, where the Image credit comes from Marti Alonso @ Unsplash.

Working on a Rap Song

I didn’t understand what my great nephew was singing about in his Hip-Hop videos, so I decided to write him some lyrics for a new song which I titled ‘Zoomers’.  In case you didn’t know Zoomers are the people classified as being Generation Z, the successors of the Millennials and they precede the Alpha Generation.  It is not perfect, but I gave it my best try, however I am not sure what my great nephew thinks about my lyrics.

Endless fun every day
Good at eat, sleep and play
We be rebellious, unconventional searching for identity
Screaming out obscenity looking for amenity
Gen Z’ers new kids in town
We don’t take it laying down
We get up from the knockdown
Give you a beat down
Surprisingly brilliant, original creative intellect
Never checked, often wrecked, no respect
Survivors of the pandemic
Prophetic, energetic, sympathetic, non-hallucinogenic
Never without social media children of the internet
Student debt, no sweat, take what we get, gonna jet
Netflix, Prime and TicTok
Zip lock, pop top, never stop
Always had a cell phone
Clone, drone making Joan moan
Suffering from FOMO
Anime Hashimoto, no show, don’t know

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #143, where the Image credit comes from Google.

Fluid Physics

When water is splashed out of a glass, it can achieve liftoff, just like an airplane.  The splashing is dependent on the amount of water and the speed it has or momentum when it leaves the glass, but since you won’t get a splash in a vacuum, the surrounding atmosphere has a lot to do with it.  There’s some complex science behind a simple water splash, and the origin of what causes water to splash still remains a big mystery.  Scientists think that they’re coming closer to understanding what happens during a splash at the microscopic level.  The flow of fluids is one of the most complex, beautiful, and amazing things in physics.  Slow motion pictures of drops landing on water or of two fluids mixing can be simply gorgeous.  Even more amazing, the basic physics of fluid flow, or fluid dynamics was worked out way back in the 19th century.  Those equations still hold riches that are being uncovered today.  Fluid flow has many aspects which are usually defined with opposite pairs, like steady and unsteady flow, uniform and non-uniform flow, laminar and turbulent flow, compressible or incompressible, viscous or non-viscous, rotational or irrotational and it often lies between the extremes.

Water that is flung out of a glass should take a round shape due the equal amount of atmospheric pressure exerted by the air from all directions on it, but there are other external factors to consider like gravity, velocity, viscosity, temperature which all come into play.  The momentum of the water droplets will compete with their surface tension, and as the momentum tries to force the drop to spread out at a speed governed by the mass of fluid and the speed at which the drops are traveling, the surface tension will try to pull the droplets back together, resisting the spreading motion.  Hence, droplets will rapidly expand to some radius where the forces are in balance.  Surface tension is a kind of elasticity in water, which makes the surface of a liquid act like a flexible membrane and some people refer to this as a skin, because it holds droplets of water together.  Water will always try to form into the smallest shape possible, which is a sphere.  Water molecules inside of the drops will cling to each other because of cohesion, but the outside water molecules that are in contact with the air will create the surface tension that holds them together.  When water is flung into the air from a glass, the pockets of air will have to move out of the way and moving air will speed up any time it encounters an obstacle, so air pressure and viscosity will also affect the shape of a splash.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #140, where the Image credit goes to Avis @ Pexels.

The Good Little Boy

Kevin is a very observant boy who is curious about everything, and he loves to learn from reading books.  He was surprised by what he just read and he shouted at his mom telling her, “I know everything about babies and they don’t come from storks.  There are still a few things that I am still not clear on, but from what I just figured out, I have enough information to tell all the other fourth graders about conception.  Not only are the storks just folklore, but God doesn’t make babies either, as people make babies.”  Cynthia told her son that they needed to talk.  Cynthia said, “Remember last year when you found out that there isn’t any Santa Claus and I told you not to tell your friends about this, because it would spoil their fun, well this is sort of like the same thing.  Your friends will all learn in time at their own pace and just because you are a little bit smarter than some of your other classmates, that doesn’t make you responsible for teaching them certain things.”

Kevin said that he understood and he promised not to tell anyone about this.  Cynthia said, “It is amazing how smart you are, because I didn’t learn any of this, till I was in the sixth grade and it wasn’t until as recently as 1875 when human conception was figured out by Oskar Hertwig when he discovered that fertilization needed a sperm and an egg.  Before that people did not know, they may have assumed that a baby has only one father, as it has only one mother.  They did not know why babies resemble their parents, and sometimes one parent more than the other.  Humans have really come a long way and I will be more than happy to explain anything to you that you don’t understand yet.”  Kevin said that the one thing he wasn’t sure about was when he read that the baby grows in a special place inside the woman called the womb or the uterus.  Cynthia said, “That is part of the female reproductive system, but I don’t think that you are old enough to learn about this yet.”

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #139, where the Image credit goes to Ben White @ Unsplash.

Two Missing Boys

The parents contacted the police when their sons didn’t come home last night.  Bobby Smith and Timmy Jones were best friends for their whole lives, and they loved being out on the water whenever they got a chance.  The Smith’s and the Jones’ both filed a missing person’s report, hoping that someone could go out and search for their boys.  They told the police that the boys were last seen in a red motorboat that was anchored near a quay.  The police officer was not familiar with the meaning of the word quay, so they told him that it is like a wharf, and then they showed him a picture of the boat where it was docked.  The police officer looked over the picture and he asked if that was a coconut floating in front of the boat.  Mr. Smith got mad and said, “I guess that you haven’t you ever seen a mooring buoy before, as this is a floating device that connects to the anchor and marks the place where the boat is moored.”  The officer said that he just moved to Key West and that he has not spent much time on the water before.  Then he said that he could call the Coast Guard and have them keep an eye out for the boys.

Bobby’s sister Judy Smith spoke up and told everyone that she heard the boys talking about going to Cuba for a concert.  Mr. Jones said that the boys wouldn’t be stupid enough to do anything like that and the little boat would be able to hold enough gas to get them there.  Judy said that the boys told her that there may be some sunken treasure around here and that it is possible they are out looking for that, as they showed her a map.  Mr. Jones told Judy that the boys were probably just teasing her, and he was pretty sure that they went out fishing, but he is worried that something might have happened to the boat.  He said that the boat was equipped with a Very High Frequency (VHF) Marine Radio just in case something happened while it was out at sea, but since they have not heard a word from the boys, he feels that may have broken down also.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #138, where the Image credit goes to Saffu @ Unsplash.

Dead People Inside

I look at cemeteries as being a huge waste of space, good land that that could be used for a golf course or possibly a park.  I hardly ever visit any of my dead relatives as I feel that I can remember them just fine without having to look at a grave inside of a cemetery.  I think it is sad that they have to install fences around graveyards to keep the dead people from escaping, sorry as I couldn’t resist the old joke of people needing to die to get in.  Historical and religious traditions state that our bones should be buried in the ground at a certain depth, so that animals won’t disturb the graves, but worms will still get into rotting corpses.  A lot of raw materials go into burials, formaldehyde replaces your blood in the embalming process, wood is needed for the coffins, and either marble, slate, or granite is used for the headstones, so besides having to buy the gravesite, this incurs a lot of expense.

The average person will need at least $7,000 to cover the costs of a funeral and if the cemetery is maintained, then you will get annual bills for that.  These costs should cover transportation from the hospital mortuary, embalming, casket, the viewing at the funeral parlor, transport to the cemetery, burial costs incurred for digging the hole, other service fees, and other necessary preparations that may pop up.  You will need to pay for the tombstone to get engraved so it says, “Here lies so and so and may they rest in peace.”  What else does a dead body have to do other than rest?   It is a little less expensive to get cremated and then your remains will sit in an urn gathering dust, unless your ashes are disbursed someplace.  I am planning on donating my body to science, but I am not sure if anyone would actually want it.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #137, where the Image credit goes to Keith Hardy @ Unsplash.

Anguish

Caroline’s mom was an anti-vaxxer and she just passed away from Covid-19 complications.  Caroline told her mother Alice all the time to wear her mask and get vaccinated, but Alice didn’t want anyone to infringe on her freedom.  Alice was always flouting anti-vaccine rhetoric and disseminating misinformation.  Alice believed in QAnon and she became a big part of the vaccine-resistance movement, by creating a black hole of lies intended to suck others into her way of thinking.  Distrust became her business and she utilized that to inspire fear and brainwash her followers.  Many people found her anti-lockdown posts very compelling, and they stopped wearing masks and refused to get vaccinated, allowing this virus to mutate and become more dangerous.  Caroline sobbed and streaks of mascara ran down her cheeks.  She wore a black hoodie to her mom’s funeral, so she could hide her face in shame, as it was hard for her to feel any compassion for anyone who advocated against use of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Caroline placed her hands on her head, thinking that maybe Alice had gotten her just deserves.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #136, where the Image credit goes to Muhammed Hassan @ Unsplash.

Long and Winding Road

I decided to take this long and winding road which will lead me to her door.  I have been on this road before, and I can remember that wild and windy night when the rain washed it away.  That was the night that she threw me out, and legally the house was still mine for the duration of the lease, and a lot of the stuff inside is at least partially mine.  I think that her behavior was a bit excessive, but I know she will never appologize.  You will never know how many times I cried after losing her and the many times that I tried to get her back into my life.  I wish that I could take it all back, as we were arguing about household chores and she asked me to get up, so she could vacuum by the couch, and I was watching my show on TV.  I told her that she should be doing this while I am at work, not when I am trying to relax.  She complained about her back hurting, and she asked if I could help her with the dishes, as she felt it wasn’t right for me to just leave my dirty dishes in the sink for her to clean up like she was my personnel slave.  I wondered why she always had to blame me, as some of this was clearly her fault.

I walked out and left her standing here a long, long time ago, but this road always leads me back to her door.  I know that we are meant to be together, but I am not sure what is waiting for me at the end of this long and winding road.  The uncertainty of not knowing how my journey will end is difficult for me and I imagine that she will be there waiting with open arms, but I also envision her in the arms of another man, which would be very disappointing.  This road only goes to one place, but my heart is leading me in many different directions, due to these unforeseen circumstances of our separation, and my love being rejected.  I did my share of chores, cutting the grass and taking out the garbage and 99 percent of our arguments were over stupid stuff, but a man has to be a man and I knew that I had to put my foot down, even after I got kicked to the curb.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #135.

In a Dark Place

A school shooting ended the life of his only child, shattering his life forever.  The shooter marched through the building, shooting at random students and teachers, killing 15 and injuring 22 other people before ending his own life.  He couldn’t process how someone could do something that was so horrible, and this evil thing continued to haunt him.  His nightmares persisted about the deadly rampage and how this was so unfair to his daughter, who had her whole life ahead of her.  The shooting garnered massive media attention and this was becoming all too common place, and nobody was doing anything about it.  The school principal, the mayor and the governor all gave their condolences and said that their prayers were with the students that died and those that were injured in this tragedy.

No parent should ever have to lose a child and when it happens for no apparent reason, that brings more grief and pain.  He felt responsible for protecting her and he had no idea how he was going to carry on with his life, now that the most precious thing he had was taken away from him.  His wife passed away from cancer two years ago and he was still devasted from this event.  He understood that some people find ways of living with the loss, while others struggle to find meaning in their life, but he was sick of everything.  He punched the mirror on the wall, and it shattered into pieces, making him see how broken he had become.  He held up a piece of the broken mirror and he didn’t recognize his own reflection, as he was clearly in a dark place now.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #134.

Meteor Showers

Tiny streaks of light flash silently across the sky creating a spectacular show.  Space is far from empty and as the Earth orbits around the Sun, it encounters fields of debris, which it routinely plows through at about the same time each year.  Interplanetary space is filled with hundreds of tons of meteors per day, but most of them are no larger than a grain of sand.  Nearly all of them burn in Earth’s upper atmosphere, slamming into the air with so much energy that the debris vaporizes on contact.  Earth’s gravity tugs at any space rocks that are nearby.  They get pulled into the upper atmosphere, and they often leave a smoke trail behind, which can last from a few seconds to many minutes.  As a meteoroid hurtles through the vacuum of space, there’s nothing to slow the extraterrestrial rock down, but when they leave the emptiness of space and encounter drag from the air, they become extremely hot.  This friction releases an enormous amount of heat, igniting the meteor, resulting in a fiery blaze that can display a range of colors.

An asteroid can range from 33 feet (10 meters) across like the size of a boulder to 329 miles (530 kilometers) in diameter.  An asteroid is a large rocky body in space, that orbits around the Sun, and when a piece of it breaks off, it is called a meteoroid.  Meteors start out as a meteoroid in the sky, and when they fall to Earth, they are termed a meteor, or sometimes a shooting star, because of the flashing light.  When a meteor survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it is then called a meteorite.  They are all the same thing and basically their name changes due to their location.  Our Earth has made 4.6 billion trips around the Sun, and it is a wonder that it keeps on vacuuming up debris that is in its orbital path.  Things were much worse during the heavy bombardment period just after the Sun and its planets formed, as so much junk rained down on Earth that heat from the persistent energy of impacts rendered Earth’s atmosphere hot and our crust molten.  Most of the solar system’s asteroids exist in the main asteroid belt, a roughly flat zone between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.  It’s very rare for a meteor to survive and crash into the ground, but each month on the average, one basketball-sized meteor falls to Earth’s surface.  Scientists think that an asteroid would have to be about 60 miles (96 km) wide to completely and utterly wipe out life on our planet.

Every named meteor shower has a radiant, which is a point in the sky from which all the meteors appear to come.  The name of the shower in most cases indicates the constellation from which the meteors appear.  Sporadic meteors are not named, and those random meteors are not associated with a particular shower, as they are the indiscriminate debris or waste that was left over from the creation of the solar system, or they are ancient, dispersed debris that is not recognizable today as shower meteors.  The dates for the named meteor showers will vary from year to year due to the leap year cycle.  These showers occur in both the northern and southern hemispheres.  Generally, showers whose radiants have positive declinations are best seen from the northern hemisphere, and those with negative declinations are best observed from the southern hemisphere.  Declination is the vertical angular distance between the center of a celestial body and the celestial equator.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #133.