The list.

You guys. This throw-grandma-from-the-train argument the lunatic fringe is making these days is no surprise to me. I have a select group of Deplorable blogs and Twitter accounts that I follow, and they’ve been saying this since almost the beginning.

A lot of them live in smaller towns — nothing like those crickets chirping in the inky night to make you think you need a lot of guns, and nothing like living elbow-to-elbow with people of all colors, creeds and ethnicities to make you think we could do with a lot fewer (but more of their tasty national dishes). They’re convinced the disease will never make it to wherever they are, and if it does, no biggie. They’ve been treating chest colds with grandma’s secret poultice since they were babies, and it never fails to knock them out in eight to 10 days, tops. They’ll be fine. It’s the Dow they’re worried about. Also their taxes. And so on.

So they’ve been saying two things for a while: 1) Is the death rate really so bad that it’s worth wrecking the economy over? And 2) MAGA!!!!!

For the record: I do not intend to sacrifice myself for anyone’s grandchildren. Until a month ago, I was feeling pretty good about retiring in three to five years, and then doing things. Some people would call it a bucket list, and I guess that’s what it is, but it doesn’t include skydiving. Over the last few days I’ve been mentally adding to it whenever my brain starts to sizzle a little from the ambient stupidity in the air. Here’s what I have so far:

  • See a few more Vermeers. (I’m not in the every-Vermeer-in-the-world camp, but just, y’know, a few more.)
  • Spend a day at the Prado and examine “The Garden of Earthly Delights” from every angle, from as close as I can get, until I’m satisfied. Then maybe go back two days later and see if it has anything else to say to me. It’s Madrid, after all — I won’t get bored.
  • Go to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Hermitage, the Neva, Red Square, and Lenin in his tomb, then home before I get arrested.
  • Rent a big, steady, kind horse and ride through the Irish countryside for half a day, with at least one short gallop and a couple of low fences.
  • Drive the Pacific Coast Highway from end to end, north to south, not too fast, then have dinner in Tijuana.
  • A month in Asia, itinerary TBD.
  • Read way more books. Maybe write one, maybe not.
  • Sell house in Grosse Pointe, buy condo in Detroit.

I think of a couple more every day.

The only thing I can recommend you read today is this, a story about how the Trump morons were handed a report that literally said PANDEMIC PLAYBOOK on the cover, then threw it away. Because they are morons.

Gotta get to work. Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 9:16 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

94 responses to “The list.”

  1. Icarus said on March 27, 2020 at 9:18 am

    drat, I got the last comment new thread alert

    Dorothy @ 11 on previous thread: you know your situation better than any of us but my gut tells me that your husband should take that package. As Mark said, he could likely find supplemental work as a consultant.

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  2. 4dbirds said on March 27, 2020 at 9:27 am

    One of the benefits of my army career was travel. I was stationed in Europe and also spent time in Asia. My bucket list is travel again followed by eating as much local food at every place I visit.

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  3. Sherri said on March 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I’ve set up another zoom meeting for tomorrow, Saturday, at 1 pm PDT. Details for joining here: https://1drv.ms/w/s!Atkosto9G5MXgYk-IzzoT50k_AgeGg

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  4. Jeff Borden said on March 27, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Max Boot, a conservative columnist previously with the WSJ and now scribbling for the Washington Post, has a column today blasting the American right for its hypocrisy on life, a view I’ve held for decades. He notes the frenzy to protect the fetus and the depraved indifference to the deaths of fully formed human beings if it will keep the economy rolling. I’m going to vote against every single Republican for Congressional office for the rest of my life. Fuck those fuckers.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/27/now-we-know-conservative-devotion-life-ends-birth/

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  5. Peter said on March 27, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Sherri, thanks for the heads up!

    What really gets me about the let’s send Grandma to the graveyard crowd is that they most likely have little or no money socked away in the market.

    My dry cleaners is in the same block as a gun shop. Last weekend the line to get into that store went around the block, and they weren’t practicing social distancing, either (not that they would). I had to get a few of them out of the way so I could bring in my dry cleaning, and one guy wondered why I would be going to the dry cleaner when there’s an epidemic, and I said I was thinking the same about them…

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  6. alex said on March 27, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Happy to report feeling better today and the old sniffer is perceiving smells again. Maybe it was just sinus congestion. Love my doctor. She’s an empiricist, not an alarmist.

    Missed a beautiful opportunity to capture a bluebird up close when it landed on the lightning rod ground wire outside my window. By the time I got my phone camera to activate it was gone.

    Helluva time staying focused on work. Especially with all this talk about bucket lists involving travel and sightseeing. Can’t keep myself from daydreaming, if and when my retirement savings ever rebound. I’m afraid to even look at them.

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  7. ROGirl said on March 27, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Tried going to the micro center store, they are considered an essential business. There’s a line of cars from the street, people have to get a number from someone in front of the store, and wait in their cars until they are let in. I couldn’t wait, have to put in my wfh hours.

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  8. Joe Kobiela said on March 27, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Don’t be surprised if the Democratic Party dumps Joe Biden and drafts Cuomo for the nomination.
    Pilot Joe

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  9. alex said on March 27, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Don’t be surprised if God strikes down Trump with syphilis and Ivanka births him a son.

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  10. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    While you’re at the Prado please give some time the Velasquez paintings. The painting with Infantas, spaniels and dwarves is particularly wonderful.
    Joe, just give up.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on March 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Alex,

    I’ve seen more than a few people speculate tRump already has syphilis. If he was willing to do a porn actress without using a condom, it’s pretty clear he isn’t a fan of prophylactics. Dog knows what kind of creepy shit is crawling around inside that orange sack.

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  12. Suzanne said on March 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    We are living in a movie called Pandemic Chernobyl 2020

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1243556939369496576?s=21

    “[Trump is] so attentive to the scientific literature & the details & the data. I think his ability to analyze & integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit” says Dr Birx

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  13. Dorothy said on March 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    So much to smile about in today’s post and the comments! High five to my man Peter for that response to the guy in line for the gun shop; high five to Alex @9; high five to Mary for “Joe, just give up.” I’ll add to that sentiment: “Joe, go f*** yourself.”

    The retirement package was no great shakes – it includes no health insurance. It offered 1 week of severance pay for every year of service, and I think Mike has 9 years. I think he said they’re offering the same thing if they lay you off. He’s pretty sure he’s not going to be among those laid off (famous last words) but at this point, if he IS laid off, I could get him covered for medical insurance where I work. For now we’re just putting it on the back burner and trying not to overthink it.

    Hey Dr. Birx – how about this. “Trump is so good at faking his interest in the scientific literature and details and the data that I think he’s going to win an acting award for being so convincing to us idiots on the Coronavirus team.”

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  14. jcburns said on March 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Here’s Doc Searls, a trusted internet guy at Harvard asserting that Zoom Needs to Clean Up Its Privacy Act. Searls’ site is getting hammered right now, so in case you can’t get to it, his wrap-up is:

    What they’re also saying here is that Zoom is in the advertising business, and in the worst end of it: the one that lives off harvested personal data. […] Here’s the thing: Zoom doesn’t need to be in the advertising business, least of all in the part of it that lives like a vampire off the blood of human data. If Zoom needs more money, it should charge more for its services, or give less away for free. Zoom has an extremely valuable service, which it performs very well—better than anybody else, apparently. It also has a platform with lots of apps with just as absolute an interest in privacy. They should be concerned as well. (Unless, of course, they also want to be in the privacy-violating end of the advertising business.)

    Finally, Zoom really has no serious value if it doesn’t protect personal privacy. That’s why they need to fix this.

    What its current privacy policy says is worse than “You don’t have any privacy here.” It says, “We expose your virtual necks to data vampires who can do what they will with it.”

    Please fix it, Zoom.

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  15. Colleen said on March 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Alex, I too am having trouble concentrating. I make little deals with myself…finish a task, take a break.

    Seems to me my acquaintances who are Trump fans are doubling down on him. That and pulling the “this is no time for politics, we need to come together” crap.

    I was supposed to start with a new therapist today. Needless to say, that’s not happening, but I have a feeling when it does happen, I’m really gonna need it.

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  16. Sherri said on March 27, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Yep, Zoom’s privacy policy sucks. I’m open to better ideas for hosting a meeting. Zoom is the best one I’ve used. I haven’t tried Teams yet, but I’ll be using it in a few weeks for a Planning Commission meeting. I’ve used Gotomeeting in the past and didn’t enjoy it.

    (Historical tidbit: back in the mid-90s, my husband was doing work on remote meetings at Xerox PARC, which led to his startup, PlaceWare. They lost out to WebEx in the end because WebEx went public first and PlaceWare didn’t get out before the market crashed, and so ended up getting bought by Microsoft.)

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  17. Suzanne said on March 27, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Good site for COVID-19 data

    https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

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  18. Joe Kobiela said on March 27, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Well bless your little old heart Dorothy.
    Pilot Joe

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  19. Little Bird said on March 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    I’m in the “he’s had syphilis for a while now” camp. It would explain the dementia.

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  20. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Joe, the question about Cuomo being nominated rather than Biden hit the news about a week ago. Did you expect someone to be shocked? You really need to get a grip.

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  21. ROGirl said on March 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Joe is like those Canadian geese that come flapping in and poop on everything.

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  22. Suzanne said on March 27, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    This is so close to reality, it almost isn’t funny

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JLCauvin/status/1242515702688485376

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  23. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Just watched about 20 minutes of CNN and saw two commercials with Franklin Graham asking people to call an 800 number and pray with him.

    Switched to online news and saw that four people died an a cruise ship off the coast of Florida.
    Also noted that congressman Massie has very stupid hair.

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  24. Deborah said on March 27, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Also at the Prado, a must see, Goya’s famous painting that you see a lot lately in popular culture, Saturn Devouring his Son. It’s been used for years to refer to various Republican politicians. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Devouring_His_Son

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  25. Jeff Borden said on March 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    I’m not sure what it says about me, but the Goyas were my favorites at the Prado.

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  26. ninja3000 said on March 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Nancy, if you’re going to do Madrid, you may as well do Barcelona. Unless you’ve ALREADY done Gaudi…

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  27. beb said on March 27, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    ROgirl@21: +++ up vote.

    Coronavirus aside, Cuomo is a terrible governor.

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  28. Jakash said on March 27, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    For you Zoomsters, Eric Zorn is a believer.

    “I’ve heard and read countless stories of virtual book groups, cocktail parties, memorial services, sewing circles and other gatherings that have arisen in just the last couple of weeks as the expression ‘OK Zoomer’ has trended online.

    One thin silver lining at the edge of the huge dark cloud of the COVID-19 catastrophe may end up being the normalization of video gatherings among those of us who until now have mostly considered the technology a business tool and otherwise avoided it as trendy, unnecessary and suboptimal.”

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/eric-zorn/ct-column-coronavirus-covid-19-video-chat-zoom-skype-zorn-20200326-tkc7fqibdvaz5g3tiwqn4kgt7i-story.html

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  29. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve doing video meetings and video chatting for at least 15 years. I don’t like them. Not even sure why not but I don’t need to see the person I’m talking to.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on March 27, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I hope so, Joe. I would wholeheartedly support Cuomo over Joe Biden. Cuomo is already the de facto President, for the duration of the crisis in New York for sure. Lori Lightfoot in Chicago seems to be a good crisis commander as well. But back to New York…from my house in Ohio to the New York state line is a 4 hour 15 minute drive and just 282 miles. These days it seems like it is inching closer rapidly. Hope not. Detroit is getting bad as well. And some people enjoy work and want to work until they keel over. If you have aspirations like nance has, I’d recommend taking any reasonable parachute ASAP, because we all age differently in time. Believe me, if you wait too long, physical limitations will make you alter those plans. Travel soon becomes a dreadful ordeal, so get the fuck out of that office and hit the skies.

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  31. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Joe, I’ve never actually met Dorothy but judging by what she writes here and elsewhere I know her heart is not little and she is not old.

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  32. Sherri said on March 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Ed Yong has long been one of my go-to science writers, and he has a couple of good articles on the pandemic.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/03/biography-new-coronavirus/608338/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

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  33. Sherri said on March 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Monica Hesse has thoughts about Woody Allen’s new memoir.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/if-youve-run-out-of-toilet-paper-woody-allens-memoir-is-also-made-of-paper/2020/03/27/7ab70f18-6d66-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html

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  34. alex said on March 27, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    The trials and tribulations of parents in their 90s…

    They’ve fucked up more computers than I can count at this point because they click on things they shouldn’t, get frozen out and then just pitch the damned things and buy new ones.

    My mom wanted me to set up an account for them with Kroger for pickup and delivery and I’m trying to walk her through it from my computer because it needs to be on their computer and it’s as if they’re looking at something different entirely. I tell them to scroll down to the location they want and they don’t know how. My mom has to mess with filters without knowing what they are and they end up looking at something differently entirely. Doesn’t help that Kroger’s site defaults to Russelville, AR, and you have to opt to change locations.

    So then my dad tries it and he’s even less computer literate.

    We’ll have to try it another time.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on March 27, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Alex, I’m pretty sure helping your parents with their computer so they can order groceries would count as essential travel. My mom messes hers up all the time too. We tried Shipt with Meijer for when I travel, but it was a disaster. She keeps deleting emails and then getting all upset and feeling stupid. I reassure her that few her age are even trying with computers.

    BTW, my Kroger defaults to Russelville also.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Nancy, I’m a big Vermeer fan, but if you get to the Prado before me, can I suggest:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Meninas

    That’s one I’d like to see as you describe, taking time to soak in multiple angles with care and attention. Ditto Roger van der Weyden’s “Descent” which I use as a cover image often through Holy Week:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Descent_from_the_Cross_(van_der_Weyden)

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  37. LAMary said on March 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    That’s the one I like, Jeff. The mirror, the assortment of people, everything is surreal and wonderful. A drawing teacher of mine loved Velasquez and on his suggestion I looked at more than Las Meninas. The portraits are amazing. The painting of the pope, the one that inspired Francis Bacon, is stunning.

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  38. alex said on March 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Julie, I wonder what’s the difference between signing up with a company like Amazon Prime or Instacart to get your groceries versus signing up with the store itself?

    I want to set them up with something that has the easiest user interface. I set up my own Kroger account just to check it out and I can see that my parents would find it even more befuddling than setting up an account. Don’t know why you can’t set it up to default to one store and keep it there.

    They’re in their 90s. One of these days they won’t be driving (and already shouldn’t be anyway) and they’ll need a service like this.

    My dad was talking about getting a self-driving car. He has no idea that they aren’t self-driving, and I’m sure he wouldn’t be able to figure out the technology anyway.

    My partner’s coming home tonight from working out of town and I made him swear he’d do no more traveling but I might as well have given up my last 7 days of quarantining and start over. Plus it’s going to fuck up my work at home rhythm. I’ve gotten used to the solitude and I need it.

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  39. Deborah said on March 27, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    There are 34 Vermeers or at least attributed to Vermeer. I’ve seen the ones in NYC at the Met and the Frick, the ones in DC at the National Gallery, the ones at the Louvre in Paris, even one in Dublin. There may be a couple more that I’ve seen http://www.essentialvermeer.com/vermeer_painting_part_one.html

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  40. basset said on March 27, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    We have one of those little library shelves down the block, take one, leave one… walked by it tonight and the first book I saw was Dostoevsky. I’m in the wrong neighborhood.

    Box of chalk in there too, with an invitation to take one. Someone took advantage of that and wrote “You Are Loved” facing inward on the pavement at the foot of nearly every driveway. Not us, which is no surprise. Dunno how they found us out.

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  41. Dexter Friend said on March 27, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    We are allowed to drive to stores and are encouraged to walk our dogs. I happen to walk my dog in a county field that was used 19 years ago to dump the soil used to build the water retention flood-avoidance giant 4 ponds. Only hill sledders use it, outside of a few of us doggers and the goddam mudders, those punkass bastards who tear the field up with their shitty trucks. Three days ago a deputy sheriff cruised by slowly, parked off the road, and when I left the parking area, he followed me closely,obviously running my plate, right to my house. Rather unnerving. That’s the third time cops have hassled me in one situation or another there. I am not giving up. My dogs loves it there.

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  42. Jason T. said on March 28, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Dexter @ 41: A couple of Fridays ago — before the pandemic hit Pennsylvania — I made the mistake of picking up a pizza in a local ticket-trap town. I haven’t been through there in years because of its tiny yet ticket happy police force.

    I drive like Creeping Jesus, so I wasn’t especially scared, even when Barney Fife pulled up behind me and started tailing me.

    This MF’er followed me for three miles (I kept track) before putting on his lights and siren. He then waited for backup from another municipality … only to come up to my window and tell me (wait for it) …

    ONE of my two license-plate lights was burned out.

    My pizza was cold when I got home.

    I told this story to a chief in another town and said, “You’ll never guess which municipality,” and he said, “Was it X?” I said, “Got it in one.”

    I’m fairly certain I was targeted because the guy saw the dealer sticker on my car is from another county, figured I wasn’t a local, and decided he’d run my information just in case he could bust me for something.

    But once he did the wants-and-warrants check, he was obligated to show cause, hence: “I’m warning you about an equipment violation.”

    Support your local police? My ass.

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  43. Sherri said on March 28, 2020 at 1:45 am

    So, President Fucking Moron is asking former baseball player and steroids user Alex Rodriguez for his advice on the pandemic. Who knows, he might be more better than Jared Kushner.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on March 28, 2020 at 2:34 am

    I am a night owl, Jason T. About 4 years ago I was in my neighborhood, dog walking, during one of our many crime waves, as garages and houses were being broken into. Local cop pulls to the curb and starts asking me what I know, who I have seen around that might be a criminal who looks like the break and enter type. Of course, hell, I didn’t know a thing. He then hands me his business card, badge imprinted on it, very impressive, with a request to call in any suspicious activity. I finished the dog walk, went home and crawled in bed with Carla Lee and woke her up and told her I had been deputized. Never called in yet, however.

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  45. Dorothy said on March 28, 2020 at 5:23 am

    I’ve never ordered groceries online, but it sounds to me like the faults are lying with Kroger’s website much more so than user error. I’m trying to figure out why you could not have more than one delivery address per computer – which, if you COULD do that, Alex could order groceries on behalf of his folks. Maybe a message to Kroger’s IT department, if possible, could get their attention on this subject? A tweet on the subject might could get their attention? I’m confident their online ordering must be skyrocketing these days.

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  46. Connie said on March 28, 2020 at 6:25 am

    Word locally is if you order today from the Kroger app, available pickup and delivery slots are a couple of days away.

    The only thing we really need is milk and creamer. I have a prescription to pick up, maybe CVS has milk. Our bread is down to pumpernickel and english muffins, which is ok with us.

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  47. alex said on March 28, 2020 at 7:58 am

    I have no doubt that a computer-savvy person could figure out Kroger’s online ordering crap with no problem, but for anyone less experienced it would be a nightmare. About the best my folks can do with a computer is send e-mails and play solitaire. They fall for clickbait and end up thinking they’ve ruined their computers when it takes them to some scam site and won’t let them leave. I remember when they got their first computer my mom used to accuse me of looking at porn on it because porn kept showing up all the time and she assumed it wouldn’t be there unless someone else was inviting it.

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  48. Peter said on March 28, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Dorothy, I hate to be the guy to squash someone’s dreams, but that’s not such a good package. Some years ago my wife’s firm had an early buyout, and it offered full company insurance coverage until 65. Problem was, they only wanted employees over 62 to take advantage of the deal.

    Nancy, we visited western Ireland last year – my inlaws are from there – and I was really impressed. It might be my advanced age, or it might be that portion of Ireland has really improved in the past few years. The place was just so accessible and easy to get around. My only compliant was that my mother in law was from Donegal, and that place is kind of like the UP – it’s a little TOO quiet and empty, and it’s not as lush as the rest of the island.

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  49. Mark P said on March 28, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Connie — Our closest grocery is Walmart so that’s where we shop. We had been using the pickup service for weeks before the virus because it’s so convenient. The last time we did it I had to wait till the next morning to set a time. They won’t let you schedule a pickup more than a day in advance. The funny thing is that when we have gone to the store the pickup is never busy.

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  50. ROGirl said on March 28, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I pulled out my old laptop and lo and behold, it works. Had to update the clock from 2008, and it’s slow, but I can use it instead of just my phone until it’s possible to get a diagnostic on my other one.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on March 28, 2020 at 11:17 am

    The Meijer site for ordering online is also crap. I’m good at navigating websites and I also had a lot of trouble. I hate to say it, Alex, but you might have to make the order yourself, maybe with one of them on the phone with you. Could they give you their card info?

    Speaking of Meijer, hubby went out there when they opened and was shocked at how empty the shelves were. He came home with a third of his list. I told him now he could understand why I felt desperate that first week.

    I’m happy as a clam being at home, but hubby is getting restless.

    Dostoevsky during pandemic? Not for me!

    Doe

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  52. Deborah said on March 28, 2020 at 11:53 am

    In a few minutes I have a zoom condo assoc meeting. I’m going to recommend we put all repairs on hold except for emergencies like a leaky roof or something. I’m sure our handyman would probably appreciate some work right now, but it just seems frivolous when all of this is going on. Hopefully I can figure out how to call-in to zoom again.

    I’ll try to connect up with you all this afternoon on the zoom call, but I may not make since this is our day back in Santa Fe after being in Abiquiu 3 days and we go back tomorrow for 3 more days and I usually have a lot to do.

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  53. basset said on March 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Never could handle Dostoevski even under ideal conditions, I left a WEB Griffin army novel and walked on. Griffin tended to write the same book over and over again with different characters but the first couple of series aren’t bad for recreational brainless escape reading.

    Mrs. B and I plan to visit her ancestral lands in Sweden later this year, trip’s already paid for and we’ll see how this virus situation goes.

    Can’t say, though, that very much of Nancy’s list looks like anything I’d want to do aside from read lots more, although Russia could be interesting. While we’re still able, though, I’d like to see the Goodwood Revival (Mrs. B would enjoy the dress-up part at least), the Cropredy Festival, the Oregon Country Fair, and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, in addition to some nice walks and maybe a little fishing in rural Britain. Renting one of those narrow canal boats and going for a few days’ float would be fun too.

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  54. David C. said on March 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    How does online ordering work for produce? Mary’s really picky about her veggies and I can’t imagine they do anything but grab what’s on top no matter what condition it’s in. That’s the one thing that keeps us from trying it.

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  55. alex said on March 28, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Good God, Big Brother Facebook is on it like brown on shit. We were talking bidets here the other day and now my news feed is full of bidet ads.

    Wanted to do the Zoom meet-up today but my partner just got home after being away for a week. His employer had come up with some spurious bullshit about how he and his co-workers were “essential” employees because they install and maintain pollution control devices in facilities where medical instruments are manufactured (which is true in exactly one instance and not where they were sent in Pennsylvania, which makes parts for locomotives). At least they were working in an empty factory. Another crew dispatched by his employer to Noblesville, Indiana, was turned away and the management was given the dickens for being so stupid. My partner says he’s not going anywhere for the foreseeable future and that his employer has backed down on its demands that people keep working.

    My poor little laptop is getting some rest now that I have two count ’em two ginormous desktop screens and a comfy desk chair. Not sure I can go back to such a small computer after being so spoiled. Not sure I can go back to working in an office likewise. Just finished a big report this morning and I’m sure the boss who assigned it will be pleased to see me working on a Saturday morning, not to mention the quality of the work which I’d rate better than average thanks to having no distractions other than a full fridge. Not sure how work will go now, however, having to give up my solitude. But I love my home office. My smallish den is now my favorite room in the whole house.

    David C, re: produce, those are my very same concerns. I’ve seen how picked over that stuff can be and sometimes most of it doesn’t look like it’s fit for even a boll weevil. Can’t imagine some bitter minimum-wage grunt taking care to get customers the best.

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  56. Mark P said on March 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Our experience with ordering produce has been good. They give you a chance to look at it and reject it but ours has been good. Of course all we have ordered is red bell pepper and avacado, but there are certainly bad examples of those you could see in the store. As I said, we’re doing our shopping at Walmart so ymmv.

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  57. Heather said on March 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Alex, is there a way you could do screen sharing with your parents? Or maybe even that is too complicated to get going.

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  58. LAMary said on March 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve been using Sprouts pickup for months and I frequently use the Costco same day delivery. I also use Amazon Fresh which is part of their 365 Market. My job frequently had me staying a little late and frankly I just could not deal with grocery shopping on my way home. I’ve never had any problem with any of those services although now in the time of the plague “same day” is not reality. Five day, maybe four if you hit the site at the right time. I put together an order and check available times. If there are none I check occasionally to see if something opens up. Other than lots of things being out of stock recently I’ve never had a problem.
    This morning I decided to give Ralph’s a try because the earliest delivery or pickup I could get from any of my usual places was April 4. I have to say Ralph’s site is freaking pain in the ass compared to Sprouts, Costco and Amazon Fresh.
    It kept kicking my choice of store to place 50 miles away. I kept hitting change preferred store and choosing the location about 2 miles away and I would still be booted back to the distant site as soon as I started building my shopping list.
    The reason I am sharing all this is that Ralph’s is part of Kroger. Maybe your parents aren’t that bad, Alex. It’s definitely possible that the huge increase in traffic on the Kroger site is what’s screwing things up. It’s likely it is. I’m not wildly computer savvy but I’m not bad and I’ve been using grocery shopping websites a lot for at least six months. Kroger is the worst.

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  59. alex said on March 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks, LA Mary, but I think the problem is such that I’ll have to take my parents’ order verbally over the phone and enter it into the computer. When I told them to scroll down, they didn’t know what I was talking about. So I told them to turn the wheel on their mouse with their fingers. The mouse, you know that thing in your hand. Now click it on the left side. If nothing is happening, it’s because you need to place the cursor over “Kroger.” The cursor, you know that little arrow thing that moves around when you move the mouse. The mouse is that thing in your hand…

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  60. Sherri said on March 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I used to be a regular user of Amazon Fresh, and have used Instacart. It’s been almost impossible to get a delivery slot here for any grocery delivery service since this hit and I figure there are people who need it worse than I do, so I’ve been going to the grocery.

    Just as I got fully trained to bring my own bags, and even got reusable produce bags to use instead of the plastic bags at the grocery, now we’re back to not using them because of Covid.

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  61. LAMary said on March 28, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I get it, Alex. Just thought I’d share my very unsatisfactory experience with the Kroger website. I finally just built a list for Sprouts, emailed it to my son so he’d have it on his phone, and handed him fifty bucks and a bunch of shopping bags. He’s very good at navigating Sprouts. He tells me how clueless the Instacart people are, like they’ve never grocery shopped before.

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  62. Deborah said on March 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Duh, I just tried getting on the zoom call because I found I had a minute or two, then I realized it’s set for 1pm Pacific time. So I may have a minute or two later when it’s 2 Mountain time, we’ll see.

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  63. Dorothy said on March 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Yes Peter we’re well aware that offer is crap. I doubt he’s going to take it.

    I might join the call in 40 minutes while peeling potatoes and prepping buttermilk chicken. I promise I’m not shooting a homemade cooking tutorial!

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  64. LAMary said on March 28, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Even before the pandemic the Trump administration scared me. I worried about stacking the courts, the monolithic senate, the cultish followers, the racism, sexism, isolationism, and the mysterious choices of world leaders befriended. The constitution is frayed, the elections are hacked. But now the pandemic has shown there is no bottom and there are lots of people who have no problem with that. How can anyone continue to support a leader who denies assistance during a pandemic to states whose governor doesn’t kiss his ass?

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  65. Deborah said on March 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I cut LB’s hair today. I used to do it when she was a little kid so not a complete novice. She hadn’t had her haircut since November and was going to let it grow out some but thought better of it recently. We bought an electric hair clipper when we went to the store here awhile back and I had never used one before, therefore I had a little learning curve. Her hair doesn’t look half bad, I’m sort of proud of myself. I’m letting my hair grow out from my asymmetrical do, so I’m just letting it go until we ever get to the point where we can go to a hair salon again. So many more things to worry about than a haircut but it was actually kind of fun today.

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  66. Brian stouder said on March 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Well said and Hear Hear, LA Mary!
    This era seems to be like living in a B-movie

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  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    B-movie B-roll:

    https://alondoninheritance.com/london-photography/very-different-london/

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  68. Dexter Friend said on March 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    I received a rather stern warning via postcard that I had better-well get my census clicked in or I would be getting a knock on my door soon. I thought I had until like 4-15 . No . I had until Wednesday the 1st. I did the ten minute survey. So if you forgot it, maybe you should do it too. I had my 12-character entry code, but there is a tab to click if you never received one. my 2020 c en s us dot g ov.

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  69. Deborah said on March 28, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Jeff tmmo, the empty London streets are surreal. When I lived there off and on for a year in the late 80s it actually bugged me how crowded the streets were. People constantly bumped in to me always, there were times when I wanted to scream. It was a very stressful time in general for me because the project I was working on was impossible due to the horrible client we had. It took me over a decade to ever want to go back to London again.

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  70. Deborah said on March 28, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Here’s a Debby Downer: how many people are dying alone at home, because they have no one in their lives to help them. Sorry, this wrecks me.

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  71. Mark P said on March 28, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Dexter — This is the first time I have ever not wanted to fill out my census form. I hate the idea of adding population to a state like Georgia. But I’ll do my civic duty.

    I guess everyone has heard that Trump is considering a mandatory quarantine of the Democrats I mean New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It’s so those New Yorkers won’t spread the virus to Florida, and I’m not making that up. Trump said it. Of course there are already more than 4000 cases and 56 deaths in Florida, but when has Trump let reality interfere with an attempt to hurt people who don’t kiss his ass (and there is a lot of ass to kiss, I might add).

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  72. Sherri said on March 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Trump only knows one thing to do about any threat: build a wall!

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  73. Linda said on March 28, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    No prom for you, Nancy:
    https://www.michiganradio.org/post/auto-show-cancelled-tfc-center-be-covid-19-field-hospital

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  74. Suzanne said on March 29, 2020 at 8:44 am

    So in February, we shipped a bunch of medical equipment to China. I did not know this.
    Now our medical people are sick & dying for lack of PPEs.

    https://twitter.com/secpompeo/status/1225836989393534976?s=21

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  75. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2020 at 8:50 am

    And then Mitch digs down deep, swings for the fences, and darned if he doesn’t get some wood on that pitch:

    https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/mitch-albom/2020/03/29/mitch-albom-president-donald-trump-gretchen-whitmer/2933518001/

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    • nancy said on March 29, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Except that it’s knocking on the door of 2,000 words to say the same thing over and over and over? (I am outraged! Outraged, I tell you!) Sure, whatever.

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  76. Deborah said on March 29, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I honestly don’t mind that Pompeo sent PPE and ventilators etc to China, had they been thinking clearly and replenished what they gave away. But they didn’t of course. As Cuomo said if other states that were having low infection numbers would send ventilaters to NY, then later when things cleared up in NY they would send those ventilators to the next hot spots. To do that of course would take massive coordination, which doesn’t exist right now.

    Even if Albom is clumsy in saying it, at least he’s getting it out there. More of that please.

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  77. Brian stouder said on March 29, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I read an interesting article about Penske, which by-the-by notes that Detroit’s Belle Isle race isn’t cancelled yet…! I guess we shall see

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  78. basset said on March 29, 2020 at 11:46 am

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/no-lockdown-here-belaruss-strongman-rejects-coronavirus-risks-he-suggests-saunas-and-vodka/2020/03/27/7aab812c-7025-11ea-a156-0048b62cdb51_story.html

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  79. Suzanne said on March 29, 2020 at 11:55 am

    This is a perfect, foul musical summation of the situation

    https://youtu.be/e0-2XxgHIXk

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  80. ROGirl said on March 29, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Mitch…feh.

    Just got back from a brisk walk through my neighborhood, had to navigate around couples with dogs and/or children, took some steps in the mucky grass. What’s with the teddy bears in the front windows?

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  81. alex said on March 29, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My late (and great) neighbor, Francetta, was an excellent cook, and I had the good fortune to obtain an index card file full of her recipes. Many of these were painstakingly snipped from magazines and newspapers and glued to the cards. Many of them are quite simple, healthful and sound simply divine, so to pass the time we’re going to try some of them.

    The card file had been sitting in my pantry for years and I’m finally getting around to doing something with it.

    So grabbing a few things at the grocery, including coffee and laundry and dish detergent. And looking forward to some good eating.

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  82. Mark P said on March 29, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Alex, your neighbor’s recipe collection sounds like my late mother’s. There are several things she made that I like in preference to all other versions, like BBQ pork. In fact hers is the only BBQ pork I like. But her recipes are gone I know not where. My brother’s widow may have them but we are no longer in communication for some reason.

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  83. Sherri said on March 29, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    The teddy bear in the window thing is a viral Facebook scavenger hunt, the idea being to give the kids something to look for on walks and promote community.

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    • nancy said on March 29, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Yes, everyone’s doing one of those. Another thing that apparently appeared out of nowhere is sidewalk chalk. Never seen it like this, but every day I walk Wendy over messages like WE WILL PERSEVERE, WE GOT THIS, etc. As in everything else, I assume it’s being done to score attention on Instagram, etc.

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  84. LAMary said on March 29, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    When my kids were little we would go on walks and look for birds and listen for their calls. It started when a neighbor lost his African Grey parrot and was offering 500 dollars as a reward. We never found that parrot but we saw lots of other birds including a flock of wild parrots that would cruise through the canyon.

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  85. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Didn’t say it was a home run, just that I appreciated he got some wood on the ball.

    I was curious if they just let him roll on word count, unedited, or if they said “pad away, Mitch, we have a 2000 word hole to fill on that page.”

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  86. Sherri said on March 29, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve said before that it’s not a stable situation thanks to the counter-majoritarian systems in the Electoral College and the Senate, a minority of the population can have the power it does. This pandemic, along with Trump’s handling of the crisis, is going to stress that situation.

    Trump talks about helping out states who are nice to him, and whether intentionally or through incompetence, it appears that states whose governors are friendly with Trump are getting their requests answered more fully. Trump talks about quarantining New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as stupid as that is. He calls Inslee of Washington a snake.

    The problem is, all of those states contribute more in federal taxes than they receive in federal dollars. These are among the states that are supporting all those red minority states with disproportionate power in the Senate and the EC.

    Those red minority Republican controlled states also have destroyed health care infrastructure in their states, because they hated Obamacare so much they refused to take Medicaid expansion, which meant that fewer of their residents are insured, their rural hospitals were already teetering on the brink, and their belief about public health is that only the unworthy get sick.

    But we all know that the virus is there, and people in those red minority states are going to get sick just like they have in Washington, California, and New York. We also know that those states aren’t as well equipped to handle it, and or the resulting economic devastation, and will need massive federal aid.

    There’s a recognition that corporations shouldn’t get bailouts without strings attached. Even Republicans believe that individuals shouldn’t get handouts without strings attached. Why should the states that have been footing the bills continue to foot the bills yet continue to allow disproportionate power to those states that have neglected to tax themselves appropriately to take care of their own residents?

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  87. Jim said on March 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    The teddy bears are based on a children’s book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We%27re_Going_on_a_Bear_Hunt

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  88. David C said on March 29, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    My sidewalk chalk message would be WASF -because we are.

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  89. Dexter Friend said on March 29, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Any of yas see Gov. Cuomo’s homey tale of his continuing the Italian heritage family Sunday dinner at his home post-divorce? He’d go to the speciality store and buy the sauce (gravy), the sausage and the meatballs, the bread, and insist on his kids and all available family to come sit at table for the dinner. He’d try to make it seem “real” by dumping the sauce into a big pot and simmer it all morning to spice up the ambience of the home. Then they sat, at 2:00 PM, and they’d pick and stir with forks at the store-bought food, not really eating the pasta and meat and sauce, and then order Chinese take-out. Tradition…he would not allow it to disappear.

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  90. Deborah said on March 29, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve not seen teddy bears in windows or chalk messages on sidewalks in NM, so far. I haven’t been out and about much, so maybe that’s why. Santa Fe has a lot of old people, not scads of young families.

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  91. basset said on March 29, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    reminds me of the line near the end of “Goodfellas” where Henry goes into the witness protection program and finds that the only Italian food he can locate is more like “egg noodles and ketchup.”

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  92. basset said on March 29, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    John Prine…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/2937334001

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