Monday, March 30, 2020

Another 2020 in 2020 Update

Waxing Crescent Moon

As the March viral nightmare slowly fades into April (who knows what will happen next - maybe we will all wake up and it will be just a bad dream), I am still clinging to the hope of walking 2,020 miles this year. So far, I am healthy and on schedule. If I stopped to think about it a whole lot, I might reach the conclusion that I am just another self-centered, narcissistic baby boomer like the youngsters contend, but where's the fun in that?

And so I grind. 174  miles in March. 506 miles so far. No days off.

It's not really all that much, but I feel healthy. I wave and smile at every car I see on the road, even as I wonder where the hell they are going in such a hurry. "Gotta get to Target and see if they have TP today!"

COVID-19 has closed the State Parks and National Parks, so my choices are really narrowed to the local Juan Bautista De Anza Trail and my loop hikes on back roads, all of which are getting a little old. I'm trying to be good and stay away from the beaches, but I may not be able to resist if the weather gets better.

Weather forecast for next week: better.

Those boomers are so selfish.

Peace and Love From Six Feet Away,

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Just Stop It

Waxing Crescent Moon

So far I haven't really minded the whole shelter in place, social distancing, wash your hands thing. It's not really so very different from the way I live anyway. I am comfortable in my little work and sleep space. I don't party. And I like to think I am a fairly hygienic individual who rarely stinks.

I have been writing four hours every morning, walking two hours every afternoon, napping and scrubba-dub-dubbing myself and my trailer in the early evening, then kicking back to relax.

What I am missing right now are the NCAA basketball tournaments and the NBA season. Normally I get pretty charged up this time of year and spend many long evenings glued to the tube watching hoops. This year, the only TV that is worth watching is the cable news pandemic coverage or the binge sessions of Criminal Minds, both of which disturb my sleep.

So to placate my tendency to get very pissed off about everything, I have been paying attention to words on TV. I don't mean the content or lack thereof, I just mean the terminology used to convey it. There are words or word combinations that are so overused, misused, abused, and confused as to render them meaningless. Of course, I have compiled a list. And here it is.

Just Stop It - Things Not To Say Any More

Game Changer - when Kareem Abdul Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, came to UCLA from Power Memorial High School in New York, the NCAA decided to change the rules of college basketball to outlaw dunking because he was so dominant they thought nobody else could compete with him.  Well guess what, in his first game at UCLA, Kareem scored 56 points WITHOUT dunking. And oh yeah, he won three consecutive national championships and graduated with honors and a degree in history. Kareem was the only real game changer in my lifetime.

Writ Large - No human with any brains says the word "writ." End of story.

Hot War - All wars are hot. Even the "Cold War" got pretty hot now and (Cuban Missile Crisis) then.

Influencer - Are you kidding me, Instagram sex toy babe slash bearded man-bun barista posing in yoga pants at Hoover Dam?

Pump the Brakes - just stop.

Gut Punch - Shut up and do your ab workouts, wussy.

All Hands On Deck - What is this, a battleship? The only deck most Americans have ever set foot on is the one in their neighbor's backyard. And hands? On the deck? Eww, where's the sanitizer!

Through the Roof - Stop exaggerating. Your insurance won't cover it anyway.

Abundance of Caution - Say what you mean, you're scared witless.

Negative Patient Outcome - Is that anything like "dead as a door nail?"

There are more dumb things on my list, but Criminal Minds is starting, so see ya.

Peace, Love, and Quarantine,

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"Why isn't it perfect? Because why should it be?"

Waning Crescent Moon

The NPR web site featured an informative and inspirational article about the first day of Spring and why it is not exactly the same each year. If you have some extra time, take a look.

Peace, Love, and Human Astronomy,

I like this graphic better than the one in the article because this one attempts to
picture Earth's elliptical orbit (not to scale, of course). It shows that the difference
between winter and summer is not because of Earth's distance from the Sun.
Rather, it is because of the angle of Sunlight due to the tilt of Earth's axis.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Blue Eggs to the Rescue

Waning Crescent Moon

Well, this month has been a real doozy, hasn't it?

Yesterday my county joined all the other San Francisco Bay/Monterey Bay counties to impose official "shelter in place" measures for all residents, but especially for "risk demographic" boomers like myself. I haven't been so upset about my birth date since I drew number twenty-seven in the draft lottery.

The rules say that I am not supposed to leave home except to buy groceries or get my exercise and when I do leave home, I must stay six feet away from other humans. The exercise part is cool - I almost always walk on my own in the countryside anyway as a sort of rolling meditation. Here's picture of where I went today. Ain't it grand?

So the restrictions are not really a hardship for me except for when it's time to stand in the checkout line at the grocery store. I try my best not to look, but I see cooties with boogers crawling all over the people in front of and behind me. And the haggard, boogery teenager with the blue latex gloves ringing me up? Oh God, she is one big boogery cootie - a boogery cootie with bangs (she was cute once, like four days ago, before the plague)- and those gloves, those clammy blue latex gloves she's been wearing all day, handling money and filthy cloth bags from wheezing, degenerate customers with cooties with boogers - guhhh!. Money! Is there anything dirtier than paper money? She touches every single one of my beautiful, fragrant, orange tangelos, rolling them around with her icky stubby digits, asking me what they're called (she once was bright, too), wondering what the price code for tangelos is, calling over the manager to ask him, the manager with no clammy blue latex gloves at all, he touches them, too, bare-fingered, disgusting, and says "4940."

Should I boil them? Can you even eat boiled tangelos? Should I scrub them with 10% Clorox? Soak them in Dawn detergent and then boil them? Throw them out into the parking lot, scream, and drink the Clorox straight?

The shopping thing bothers me. A lot. How will we ever recover from this madness?

I think I will soon  apply to the County Senior Citizen Authority for Meals on Wheels delivery. Free lunch every day but Sunday: a bean burrito, a plastic cup of applesauce, an oatmeal bar, and a roll of Tums. The driver will honk and leave a paper sack on my doorstep. I'll put on some blue latex gloves, grimace, and get my chow on. Wash it all down with a clear, cool glass of filtered water that I got from the refill machine at the grocery store, the refill machine that was crawling with cooties with boogers. This is not a perfect solution, I'll grant you that, but it will reduce the number and hideousness of cooties with boogers in my meal. It will flatten the curve somewhat. A patriotic step in the right direction.

Then I'll curl up with a good book to take my mind off it all.

Hahaha, I'm just kidding, folks, it's not that bad, just joking, just having a little fun, you know, blowing off some steam...

Last night, a really kind farmer lady brought me a dozen eggs because she heard the store was out and she knew how much I like eggs. What a sweetie. They are fresh, she told me, and what's more, they are blue. Not the insides,she assured me, the insides aren't blue, just the shells. I just ate two of them along with a ham, cheese, lettuce, and red pepper whole wheat tortilla wrap. Yummy! Fantastic! Blue eggs to the rescue!

Peace, Love, and Purification,