Coronavirus Diaries 31

A couple of very interesting articles regarding COVID 19 and from

The first, written by Christina Maxouris, is a cautionary warning regarding the state of the states with regard to COVID 19 numbers, which are now looking as if they are starting to rise:

Some US states report concerning Covid-19 case increases — and one warns the surge is already here

I’m not going to get into the full rundown of the article but I will sum it up this way: Who didn’t see this coming?

I mean, seriously?

The problem, as I see it, is that there are just too many… man, I don’t want to be insulting here… short-sighted (how’s that for being somewhat nice about it?) people out there who think that the worst is over and now’s the time to get back to the old ways.

Mind you, I suspect a large number of these individuals -especially the politicians of one certain party- never felt there was a need for masks or social distancing to begin with and now that the numbers have gone down -coincidental with the rise of vaccinations- they are chomping at the bit to do away with any and all those pesky preventative measures.

I was in Jacksonville, Florida over the weekend, where we began the move of my daughter and the Mayor there declared all businesses could now operate without masks.

I was bewildered by the statement and find it damn concerning to walk around the area and notice a few -thankfully not that many- people walking around others without masks.

But we went to the Riverwalk, a downtown arts/food market on Saturday and it was very concerning to see people in a large -though, I would add, not huge– groups walking around not wearing masks.

On Sunday, when we left to return home, we stopped by this Breakfast/Biscuit place and ordered some food to go. As we sat down to wait for our order, a largish family (it seemed to be a grandfather/mother, a mother, and two kids) walk into the place and the older ones are not wearing any masks. Mind you, they’re older and also all three of them (the grandfather, grandmother, and mother) were also somewhat overweight, making them much more in the danger zone regarding COVID 19 than the two 20 year old or thereabout youngsters with them.

Those two youngsters were the only ones of the group wearing masks.


On a more personal note, as of this morning I’ve now had both of my shots and, in another two weeks, should have the full benefit of the vaccine.

I hope everyone out there is doing all they can to get theirs. The supplies are obviously becoming greater and greater and more states are now allowing virtually everyone who wants it to get a vaccine.

Do it.

But please, stay safe.


The second article I wanted to point out, also on and written by Jim Parrott and Laurie Goodman, concerns something that will become a very big issue soon enough, mortgages and rents.

The article:

We can’t suspend evictions and foreclosures forever

Basically, because the economy essentially went into the shitter with the rise of COVID 19, Congress as well as localities instituted a slowdown/freeze on evictions in many places because people -many of whom through no fault of their own and the economic problems- simply didn’t have the money to pay for either their mortgages or rents and there was the very real fear that a massive amount of people might be homeless.

Naturally, in the middle of a freaking pandemic the last thing we need is to have a ton of families and children displaces so the freeze was enacted.

However, as we seem to be approaching the end of the worst of the Pandemic (provided the possible next surge isn’t that horrific), there will come a time when the freezes will have to be lifted. Further, there will likely be a need to create some kind of funds that people may borrow from at low interest so that they can pay any back rent and mortgages.

It’s a fascinating topic, at least to me, because I’ve dealt with both sides of the issue in my life, both with owing rent and mortgages to dealing with tenants at properties my family owns.

Its a delicate balance, as I mentioned. You don’t want people to be thrown out due to the economic hardship of a pandemic. But on the other side, the people who own the properties have to have the rents paid so they may continue to provide services and care for the building(s) they operate. While its sometimes tempting to lump all building owners as unsavory because of some, the reality is that there is a tremendous amount of work on that end as well, and they do deserve to be able to get the rents from their tenants so they can pay for the various services they provide.

I’ll be real curious to see how this all plays out in the coming months.


So here we are, on the cusp of entering into April. The rate of the vaccines per day is moving at a sizzling pace, rising to nearly 3 million or so per day.

While I don’t often like to get too political, in these days its hard not to be and so: I think the Biden administration is doing a terrific job with the vaccinations. Check out this chart, taken from’s vaccine administration tracking site:

Note that the chart essentially begins in the later part of December and, come January, the line is going up and up and up in terms of vaccinations.

I’m not going to totally badmouth the Trump administration for the low number of vaccines early on, but the fact is that he had such a “I don’t care” attitude about the vaccine process that I can’t help but wonder what this chart would have looked like had he somehow gotten re-elected.

Frankly, that thought chills me.

On the other hand, the Biden administration’s laser like focus on getting more and more vaccines out there is showing in this chart. At this point about 15 percent of the population has been injected at least once. I hope in the next few months this chart will really start to take off.

I can’t wait to get back to some semblance of normalcy, but we have to be prudent about it and not jump the gun.

Let’s see how things go…

That ship in the Suez…

…has been “unstuck”!

From, here’s your latest information on the unsticking of the Evergreen, a very large -like the size of the Empire State Building- cargo ship which somehow managed to ram itself across the Suez Canal and therefore all other cargo ships couldn’t pass through. This created quite a large problems, given how important the canal is for trade, and not to mention there were other stuck cargo ships behind it with live animal cargo which were (and I suppose still are) in danger of perishing.

Anyway, from

The ship stuck in the Suez canal has been fully dislodged

I suppose that qualifies as some good news, no?

A handout picture released by the Suez Canal Authority on March 29, 2021, shows tugboats pulling the Panama-flagged MV 'Ever Given' container ship lodged sideways impeding traffic across Egypt's Suez Canal waterway.

Jessica Walter (1941-2021)

A couple of days ago came the very sad news of the passing of actor George Segal and yesterday came the equally sad news of the passing of another great actor, Jessica Walter.

Jessica Walter dead: Veteran actor starred on 'Arrested Development' -  Chicago Sun-Times

Jessica Walter’s been around for a very long time, her first roles on television appearing in the early 1960’s, and has an incredible number of roles over her career, the most recent of which were the acerbic Lucille Bluth, the matriarch of the Bluth household in the hilarious series Arrested Development, and as the voice of Mallory Archer in the equally hilarious cartoon series Archer. The later role, quite frankly, was an extension of the Lucille Bluth role and featured an equally acerbic and borderline alcoholic character whose self-interest is as pathological as it is laugh out loud funny.

But her roles weren’t all comedic, and she made an especially chilling spurned one-night stand in Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, the 1971 film Play Misty For Me. The film was essentially reworked/remade in the film Fatal Attraction

She left behind a very long list of roles and had a very healthy career.

She will very much be missed.

Fascinating stuff…

Over on I found the following article by Oscar Holland which focuses on…

Rare images by one of history’s earliest photographers up for sale

The photographs, taken by early photographer William Henry Fox Talbot, are from… hold on to your hats here… the 1840s!

They were taken in and around England and Scotland and are both outdoor images as well as indoor/portrait pieces.

To me, this is one of the most fascinating presented in the article is this one:

William Henry Fox Talbot photography archive heads to auction - CNN Style

The photograph is, again according to the article, of Nicolaas Henneman sitting next to an unidentified man holding a basket. Henneman was the assistant and valet of Mr. Talbot.

Going through Google, there are plenty of photographs presented there by Mr. Talbot. I imagine they’re of a similar time frame…

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography – Carnegie Museum  of Art

Incredible to think we’re looking at images of people from nearly 200 years ago…!

Anyway, check out the link and/or do a Google search of William Henry Fox Talbot and check out his photographs!

George Segal (1934-2021)

Sad news came out yesterday of the passing of actor George Segal.

He isn’t one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but he’s had quite the career in both film and TV, the latest work being in the TV comedy series The Goldbergs.

What intrigued me about Mr. Segal is that he seemed so comfortable in both comedies and dramas.

He was terrific in “serious” roles such as King Rat, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and The Terminal Man.

But he was also great in comedies such as The Hot Rock opposite Robert Redford…

…as well as the original Fun With Dick and Jane, opposite Jane Fonda…

As well as the wonderful comedy The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox, opposite Goldie Hawn…

A very talented man who left behind a very long, and fascinating, career worth of enjoyable work.

He will be missed!

Guns… guns… guns

Some are noting -ironically- that things are indeed getting back to “normal” in the US vis a vis the pandemic because we’ve now had not one, but two mass shootings/killings, one in Atlanta, Georgia and the other in Colorado.

In both cases, the gunman appears to be a deeply disturbed individual -not surprising at all, given the extreme actions- and both are in custody.

I’ve never understood the allure of guns.

I mean, I’ve fired guns at targets and found it a fun enough activity. I’ve never had any interest in hunting. I may sound damn naive but though I love meat, I’m uncomfortable with how we get it and what we do to livestock. I really wish we’d come up with satisfactory alternative foods!

The point is: I’m far from a gun fan. I truly don’t understand some people’s seeming love for guns and others’ knee-jerk negative reaction to any gun regulation.

We regulate cars. People have to have a license and insurance to have a vehicle and drive it. If a person is found to be improperly using their vehicle, they may get a ticket/fine and in more extreme cases, have their license revoked.

Why can’t something similar be done with guns? And why is it such a touchy topic to even consider this?

Understand: I’m not saying we should remove all guns from all people. To begin with, that’s pretty much an impossibility. Further, if you like guns and have them -even collect them- or are a hunter who provides for their family and practice proper safety and care, there’s absolutely no reason to take your guns away from you.


It’s time -past time, really- to start introducing gun legislation that, at the very least, treats guns not unlike vehicles.

Baby steps and naive thinking, I suppose, but perhaps one day we won’t have to read about these massacres any more.

Serves ’em Right…

Over on there’s a fascinating story by James Tapper about a construction company that wanted to get rid of an old Tavern for their new construction. They decided the best way to do this -without the proper permits, I imagine!- was to simply tear it down, pay the fine for doing so, and then get on with their construction.

Only, things didn’t quite work out for them…

Rising from the rubble: London pub rebuilt brick by brick after illegal bulldozing

Yep, according to the article (and I don’t mean to spoil everything within it) the clever folks seeing the work of the construction company had a feeling they might just try to illegally demolish the pub and took extensive measurements and photographs and when the construction company did the deed, these were presented to the city’s council and the construction company was ordered to rebuild the pub which, six years later, they’ve done and its about to be re-opened.

I have to say, I do feel to some extent for the construction company.

Mind you, what they did was slimy as hell and they got their come-uppance for trying to skirt the rules/laws regarding both demolition and construction.

But I also know that it can be frustrating at times dealing with older buildings.

Where I live, in South Florida, there is precious little construction that one would call “classic”. Because Florida was developed mostly in the 20th Century and many of the older buildings were torn apart in the various hurricanes that have hit the area, we do have one prominent form of architecture I really love in Miami Beach: Art Deco.

There are beautiful Art Deco Hotels/Buildings in the area and I love them to death.

But I also know that inside the building, the rooms themselves may be pretty inadequate for modern tenants.

Miami Beach has instituted some common sense laws regarding working with these buildings. Sometimes they allow construction companies permission to demolish the body of a building, for example, while requiring them to keep the Art Deco features, like the front facade and lobby, both of which may carry the Art Deco look but the rest does not.

It’s a tricky balance and the pub in this story was originally built in the 1920’s, which doesn’t make it one of the oldest structures in London, I’m certain. However, if the city wants it kept as is and has designated it historic, the construction company has no one to blame for this costly -I’m certain!- work they were forced to do but themselves.

Radius (2017) A Mildly Belated Review

In spite of the Coronavirus and the fact that I’m at home more than out nowadays, its tough to carve out the free time to watch films and, frankly, it frustrates me to no end having so many other things to do and not have that free time for myself.

Now and again I’ll go over the “sales” over on VUDU and check out which films I can get digitally for very low prices. I suppose its the digital/web equivalent of searching through the $5 bins of DVDs from yesteryear.

Anyway, a week or two ago I spotted the film Radius (2017) among those on sale and I had never heard of it.

At all.

However, VUDU is clever in that when you hover your pointer over any movie you see its ratings and Radius, I saw when my pointer was over it, had a very high 93% positive rating.

That, along with the bargain basement price it was available at and its intriguing premise, were enough to make me purchase the film.

Here’s Radius’ trailer:

So intrigued I was with the film’s positive rating and some of the critical reactions I read about it that I made myself some time to *gasp* actually sit down and watch it yesterday, which I did.

And I must say, I’m very impressed.

To begin, Radius is an extremely low budget film. I say this without the intention of being snarky or demeaning, but the film features a car crash -an element central to the movie’s plot- and the folks who made the film couldn’t show us said car crash and instead had to use camera tricks to simulate a crash happening by showing the car’s passengers reactions.

This is not a bad thing, mind you, only that I point this out because if there are any glaring faults I found in this film, they are a result of the film’s very low budget.

The plot, as much as I’m willing to reveal, involves Liam (Diego Klattenhoff, perhaps best known nowadays for his role in the long running TV show The Blacklist) awakening from a car crash. He’s bloodied and confused and finds himself in a very rural area.

He is all alone and walks down the road, following signs to a small (very small!) town and shortly before arriving there a car drives near him, he waves it down, and the car moves to stop for him… but goes on, very slowly, nearly running him down before its momentum is stopped.

Liam, unsure what is happening, approaches the car and finds the female driver within is dead and her eyes are a milky white.

What follows is the mystery of what is happening around Liam and, eventually, how he comes to know another person, Jane (Charlotte Sullivan), who we will find is also intricately involved in the mystery surrounding Liam.

If you noticed -and I don’t see how you couldn’t!- I’m not giving away many details at all.

This is a unique film whose story -and the many mysteries surrounding it- unfolds in an extremely satisfying manner. You think you have a grasp of what’s going on only to get another piece of the puzzle which takes you in another direction, then another, then another.

It all leads up to a shattering climax which reveals everything, and makes you re-examine everything as well.

This is not a perfect film and I suspect it would have benefitted from a little more budget, though not necessarily so they could show the initial car crash. I feel like the movie’s climax could have used a little more *umph*, that they were a little more restrained than they needed to be.

But these are incredibly small quibbles for what is truly a miracle of sorts: An extremely low budget film that presents a rock solid script filled with unfolding mysteries that not only keep your attention but truly take you on a trip into the unknown.

Highly recommended.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

We are only two days away from the March 18th debut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a movie I don’t think I need spend too much time explaining (though I will a little later on), and I find it curious that the average of early reviews by the professional film critics -111 of them at this moment- gives the film a very healthy 77% positive rating…

Rotten Tomatoes – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Now, having noted this high rating average, there is a chance that as more reviews arrive, this average will drop… though its certainly also possible we might see it rise as well.

What intrigues me is that unlike the previous two Snyder directed DC movies, Man of Steel (56% positive among professional film critics) and especially Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (28% positive among professional film critics), so far this movie seems to be trending quite positively and those who like it really do like it.

I’ve noted before I’m a fan of Batman v Superman, though I would quickly add -and have done so ad nauseum– that the version I like is the Extended/Director’s cut versus the theatrical cut which, while I didn’t hate, was revealed to be pretty butchered when the extended cut came out.

I found plenty of people, though, who had a visceral hate against the film and Mr. Snyder’s “take” on these various beloved DC characters. In part I was certain this was because they hadn’t bothered with the Extended Cut, but in truth I felt the two films were still close enough that those who hated the film in its cut up version may like the Extended Cut a little more -it is much more coherent- but if you didn’t like the story to begin with, you won’t like it told a little better.

Nonetheless, I was certain BvS was a film that over time and once the harsh emotions died down a little, people might come back to reassess and realize there’s more there than meets the proverbial eye.

Well, then came its sequel, Justice League, and the tragedy of Zack Snyder’s daughter committing suicide which led to him leaving the film before it was done.

Mr. Snyder finished the principle photography and reportedly had a assembly cut of the film shown to producers and was in the process of getting the special effects done when he left. Joss Whedon came in and Warner Brothers reported (falsely) that all he was doing was some “reshoots” to finish off the film. Alas, it turned out he essentially re-did the film and that was what was released in 2017.

I nonetheless thought the film was “OK” but not necessarily great while many other Snyder fans, those who loved Man of Steel and BvS, wanted to see what Snyder did versus what Whedon released.

Remarkably, the Snyder fan base started many petitions to have the so-called “Snyder Cut” of the film be released.

There were those who snorted there was no Snyder Cut, that the film was simply bits and pieces in some unassembled state (which goes against the fact that an assembled cut of the material done was indeed shown to the Warner Brothers producers). There were others that snorted the Snyder fans were idiots to think there was some complete version of the film sitting in the Warner Brothers vaults.

Truthfully, I don’t recall anyone who wanted the Snyder Cut released say the film was somehow completed when Snyder left, but… well… whatever.

With the HBO Max streaming service needing some kind of big hit, the folks at Warner Brothers looked around and realized they had themselves just that… provided they front the money to truly finish off the film.

Zack Snyder, of course, was willing to go along but this time around, he wanted to have control over the final cut and its release. He agreed to do the project and -incredibly!- did so without being paid. Mind you, I strongly suspect he’ll receive some kind of compensation based on how many views the film has, but nonetheless… this is something!

So now we’re at the end of things and the imminent release of the film and I wonder if my prediction that people would come around to BvS, and thus Snyder’s take on the DC characters, is somewhat coming true with this more positive view of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

I haven’t seen the film, so I truly have no idea.

But I will.

Maybe not on the 18th and maybe not until it is available on regular home media, but I’ll give it a look.

Who knows?

In spite of all the tragedy involved, perhaps this movie will prove to be a terrific addition to the Superhero movie genre.

UPDATE: It is now March 18th, the date of the release of ZSJL, and out of curiosity I checked out the latest ratings for the film over at and….

The average rating from critics remains at 77% positive though we now have 142 reviews. This represents 31 more reviews from when I originally posted above.

I don’t know how many more critic reviews are going to pop up. Generally, popular films such as Avengers: Endgame wind up with quite a few critical reactions. That film sits with 538 reviews while the original Justice League (the Joss Whedon theatrical cut released in 2017) has 400 reviews.

Given this number, I’m expecting now that ZSJL is formally released there will be more critical reactions and it wouldn’t shock me if the ratings go down.

Wonder Woman 1984 began with a high positive rating but over time the average of the film’s critical ratings slipped. At this moment and with 423 ratings, that movie sits among critics at a mediocre 59% positive. Worth noting that audience reactions are far more positive and lie at 78%. I have yet to see the film so I can’t really say whether I personally feel that rating is accurate… for me!

Anyway, just a matter of curiosity to me.

When I get the chance, I’ll check out ZSJL and see if the film was worth the fuss… and the wait!

Yaphet Kotto (1939-2021)

Sad news to read today about the passing of actor Yaphet Kotto.

He had a very long career, his first appearance on IMDb being in 1964, but will most likely be remembered for two really big roles, that of Kananga, the suave main villain who meets a particularly gruesome end in the first Roger Moore James Bond film Live and Let Die

Dr Kananga (@KanangaSanMon) | Twitter

And, of course, Parker, who along with Ripley was one of the more charismatic members of the crew of the Nostromo in Alien

Alien - Parker | Alien 1979, Alien character, Alien

This, of course, were but two roles in a very long career, which also included roles in The Running Man opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Midnight Run, and the wonderful TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Not very long ago I also got to see him in one of his earlier very big theatrical roles, in the brutal 1972 crime film Across 110th Street (you can read my review here) which no doubt must have led to his getting the villainous role in Live and Let Die, as a few of the African American actors in that movie wound up in the Bond film.

What a wonderful, fascinating talent. His roles were varied and interesting and, truthfully for me, he will be missed.