The Snoozeletter @

A Charming Little Story About Covid Snot. 

Even though I had gotten seven (7) Pfizer shots, they apparently weren't enough to protect me against the new Arcturus Subvariant, which I may or may not have smuggled in from Hungary. I didn't test positive until two days after our plane landed on May 19, but as you all know, The Plague was already percolating through my blood long before that. Anyway, most of the top five Coronavirus symptoms were bypassing me: fever, cough, headaches, nausea, diarrhea. But I did have a severe case of the Covid Snot. My airways were producing industrial-strength quantities of mucus/phlegm/slime. In fact, I was slowly being strangled by the Covid Snot. I couldn't swallow any liquids, which meant I wasn't peeing, which meant my body was slowly being forced into a systemic shutdown. So my doctor prescribed Paxlovid, the previously-"free" wonder drug. Now, the price of Paxlovid was due to shoot up to $530 on May 11 (update: not), when the Covid-19 emergency declarations expired, but Uncle Sam over-bought in April, so there were a few "free" doses of Paxlovid still lying around. And I scored one of those "free" doses... but we all know those doses weren't really "free," right? Every U.S. taxpayer bought them. Which means, YOU, dear friends, just saved my life from the dreaded Covid Snot. The End.

PS: Picking up the Paxlovid felt like a scene right out of a John le Carré novel. The clerk said I had to have a discussion with her boss, and surreptitiously motioned me over to the end window. The Pharmacist, a handsome 40-ish sport with a Midlife-Crisis Beard sidled up to the window with a conspiratorial grin and whispered: "We know what YOU'VE got, don't we?!" I had to laugh out loud. Then he showed me how to use the ten blister paks, and said, "After the first one, you're gonna feel a LOT better." Nice energy. I felt better already. Then he discussed his business for a little while: "Strange to see you. We haven't had many Paxlovid customers since the March surge." So I revealed my dirty little secret: "Just got back from Europe. Some Hungarian chick must've snuck it into my luggage." His turn to laugh. I really liked the guy.
Paxlovid 737x267
Facebook Clone Wars. 

ASK AL: "I just got a second Friend Request from one of my Facebook Friends. What should I do?"

AL SEZ: "Compare the new profile with the old one, then report the new profile to Facebook. They respond very quickly, and will usually zap the unauthorized clone in a matter of minutes."

This won't happen a second time, if your Friend changes the Privacy on his/her Friends list from Public to Friends:

Q: Who became a blogger 27 years ago today? 

A: I started hand-coding an online personal journal in early 1996, before the term "blog" was coined (late 1997), and long before automatic blogging software was invented (1999). Between 4/4/1996 and 9/22/2001, regular installments of "The Snoozeletter" appeared in cyberspace, on the now-defunct subdomain. The journal transitioned over to Blogger's content management system in early 2004, at

As you can see, I had a quaint idea of what the navigation links should look like, with the oldest entry on top. ;-)

The Snoozeletter 1996
Zoomiversary #3, 03April2020 - 03April2023. 

The first ZoomFest was among four members of our Westfield [MA] High School track team. We've kept in touch over the years, but the pandemic brought us a lot closer together, in a series of semimonthly Zoom meetings. The group quickly expanded to six, and then ten, regulars, and often included special guests, like our spouses, partners, kids, pets, and even our old coach. The next get-together is this coming Friday, with participants Zooming in from Lakewood Colorado, Mesa Arizona, Philomath Oregon, Suffield Connecticut, Niwot Colorado, Fougères France, San Diego California, Virginia Beach Virginia, and Swampscott Massachusetts. Special thanks to Jim Gusek, who sparked the whole idea, and to COVID-19, for creating this unexpectedly welcome side benefit.
--L-R: Jim Gusek, moi, Patrick Kamins, Michael Rood, Bert Cashman, Robert Grace, Michael Kay, Stephen FitzGerald, Bruce LaPointe, and Bill Walthall. Yearbook portraits underneath!

ZoomFest 946x1200
Back in the day, L-R:
Yearbook 789x337
Founding members of Westfield High's Cross-Country team in the Fall of 1968, L-R:
Al Baird, Coach Reign Rix, Jim Gusek, (Bob Grace), Dan Fountain, Bert Cashman, Mike Rood.
1968 x-country team 960x709
WHS Track, Spring 1969, Row-Column, Front-Back: Bert Cashman 1-1, Bob Grace 1-2,
Mike Kay 2-2, Al Baird 2-9, Bill Walthall 2-10, Steve FitzGerald 2-12, Mike Rood 3-1,
Bruce LaPointe 3-2, Jim Gusek 3-9. (Pat Kamins graduated in 1968.)
1969 track team 1299x646
Glory Days, Friday Night Lights


Citroën & the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel 330x640

André Citroën established his automobile company in 1919, one year after World War I, and promoted it tirelessly. He hired an airplane in 1922 to write 'Citroën' in the Paris skies. Three years later, he rented three sides of the Eiffel Tower and partnered with Fernand Jacopozzi to create a spectacular light show advertising his company, which was based at a factory just along the Seine. This colorful illumination was part of the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts, which had turned Paris into a vast and stylish Art Deco landscape, with major buildings lit up at night. Citroën's vertical billboard (later enshrined in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest ad) debuted on July 4, 1925, incorporating 250,000 bulbs and 370 miles of wiring. The electrically-lit letters were each 92 feet high and were visible for 25 miles.

An eyewitness wrote: "At first the tower is outlined in luminous lines and then a certain number of small stars and five or six bigger ones with the tail of a comet are seen. At the same time, bright flames shooting skyward appear at the top of the tower. As the tails of the comets gradually lengthen to form letters making up the word 'Citroën,' two signs, red and blue in colour, bearing the dates 1889-1925, the former the date of the tower's creation, become luminous, and are almost immediately replaced by the double chevrons which are the Citroën trademark." [0:47 video]

Charles Lindbergh, the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic nonstop, reportedly used the dazzling sign in 1927 to locate Le Bourget Airport, his landing site. The display remained on the iconic landmark until 1934, when the Citroën company went bankrupt (partly due to enormous electic bills) and was taken over by its largest creditor, the Michelin tire company. André Citroën died the following year, at the age of 57.

Other images: A, B, C, D, E, F G.
2023 Oscar-nominated screenplays w/trailers. UPDATE: WINNERS MARKED IN RED!

Original Screenplay
The Banshees of Inisherin by Martin McDonagh

WINNER! Everything Everywhere All at Once - 11/20/22 'Evelyn' shooting draft by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert ("Daniels")
Everything Everywhere All at Once - 12/18/17 'Jackie Chan' draft

The Fabelmans by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner

Tár by Todd Field

Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund

Adapted Screenplay
All Quiet on the Western Front by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell; based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery by Rian Johnson; based on a character created by Rian Johnson

Living by Kazuo Ishiguro; based a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni

Top Gun: Maverick by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks; based on characters created by Jim Cash & Jack Epps, Jr.

WINNER! Women Talking by Sarah Polley; based on a book by Miriam Toews

You'll Never Eat Another Chocolate Bar. 😉 

"Poop Among Essential Aromas Of Chocolate, Scientists Reveal"