TNET 38 – Brooklyn 99

Previous thread.

Thanks to the wisdom of YouTube algorithm, I found out about the show Brooklyn 99 recently, and I have been watching it a lot. As far as LGBTQ representation in media goes, this is the best I have ever seen and I highly recommend it as the ultimate “woke” show. It shows that it is possble to make humor involving LGBTQ people without them being the butt of the jokes.

Open thread, talk whatever you want, just don’t be an a-hole.


  1. chigau (違う) says

    I ♥ Brooklyn 99. I recently binge-watched all the older seasons and am now watching episode by episode.
    It is very strange.

  2. StevoR says

    ^ The Problem With Africa’s Borders by the rather informative Atlas Pro channel which has quite a few other good videos in my view.


    So. Just literally just now seen this too :

    Cooped up at home? You can help scientists spot penguins from space or seek out new galaxies.
    By Meghan Bartels 5 hours ago

    There are at least two bright spots in these strange times: Telescopes are still studying distant galaxies and penguins are still pooping across Antarctica. In both cases, if you’re looking for new ways to pass the time while you stay home, you can help out scientists studying these phenomena.

    Citizen science is nothing new, but it’s a particularly appealing option as the spreading coronavirus prompts containment measures around the world. So if you’d like to take your mind off current events for a while, consider chipping in on a research project.

    Hopefully interesting and useful for folks here.

  3. lochaber says

    I’ve heard good things about this show, and I think it’s done by the same people that also did Parks and Rec and The Good Place, both of which I’ve enjoyed.

    I canceled all my streaming services some time back due to lack of time, but now with this pandemic, I’m getting caught up on all the various youtube channels I like, and am likely to burn through my public library’s monthly streaming allocation this week. Once I do that, I’ll probably try Hulu(I think it’s on there?)…

  4. StevoR says

    @ Previous thread # 86 voyager : voyager says
    (March 23, 2020 at 8:57 pm)

    I sent you an email message last week, but I haven’t heard back. Did you receive it? I might not have your current email, so if you didn’t get it, would you please let me know. My address is (it’s always on the sidebar)
    Thanks ;)

    Apologies. I haven’t seen it yet and only just seen that. I will look & check now.

  5. says

    Well, The Powers That Be are now saying that we can wear cotton scarves and bandannas as masks. Guess who has two thumbs and an eclectic collection of bandannas? This girl! I pulled out a selection to launder next wash day. Might as well get some enjoyment out of life, right?

    I finished my paintbrush dolls, and will be photographing them in a bit. I’ll do a post on my blog and will share later.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    I have been experimenting with oven roasting vegetables, with mixed success.
    Basic procedure:
    -- oven at about 350°F
    -- toss veggies in oil and spices
    -- put on cookie-sheet in oven for about 30 minutes
    -- don’t go anywhere, check every 10 minutes (or when you smell burning)

  7. chigau (違う) says

    If you use those coated, non-stick baking sheets and decide they need a good cleaning of the stuff that stuck to them.
    Do not use a spray-on oven cleaner and forget about it overnight.
    The non-stick will not survive.
    I need more cast iron.

  8. says

    Well, I volunteered to help out at the health service. School asked for volunteers as part of our now workload. Can’t hurt my CV and I welcome leaving the house once in a while. Job will be purely administrative, handling data of Corona patients and their contacts.

  9. says

    It helps to have different cooking times in mind. One of our favourites is roasted potatoes and squash, but if you put that into the oven at the same time you get hard potatoes and mushed squash. Also, the non stick sheets clean well in the dishwasher.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    I’m learning about cooking times by doing one thing at a time at 10 minute intervals until done.
    I am the dishwasher.

  11. says

    Giliell, good luck with the job, and thank you for stepping up.

    The pension comes in on the 1st of the month, so I did a big grocery shop this morning. It turns out that Wednesday is the only weekday that Ralph’s doesn’t get deliveries, but I managed to get most of what we needed. Next time Paul is looking for an excuse to go out (tomorrow, probably) I’ll send him.

    The holes in the shelves were interesting, no tp, no Kleenex, no wet wipes, very little canned soup, and of course a complete absence of anything in the disinfectant line. Lots of people wearing masks and gloves. I wonder where they’re finding them, as I haven’t seen any for weeks. I’ve decided to try not to worry about masks for the fam; there’s no firm consensus on whether non-health-care people should use them, I got out all the bandannas, and I’m already scared enough. I’ll deal with that when there’s an actual decree.

    Take care, all of you. It’s a scary world out there.

  12. says

    Went shopping this morning and the gaps in the shelves is telling. People really are weird, what they hoard weeks into the panic. No shortage of fresh food though, we will dine well as usual. Our habit of buying staples in bulk is serving us well.

    What’s more concerning is the lack of Partner’s asthma puffers, minimum 5 days before any arrive at the chemist. Hope her old one lasts that long. I should have got her to order an extra one weeks ago.

  13. says

    Well, we’ll go shopping on Saturday. I must say that switching to once a week has been a bit of a challenge because the dreaded question is always “what should I make for dinner?”. But we have a freezer and a second fridge and this is no problem.
    We’ll go to the wholesale store on Saturday. You need to be some kind of business owner for that and we got a card from my brother in law. I guess they won’t look too closely at that and kick us out because my husband is not his own brother, because right now they must be the only grocery store that is losing business since the restaurants are all closed.
    Guess what my in laws (who keep doing all their shopping themselves, because) asked for. Right, toilet paper. I don’t know what they’re doing with it.
    I mean, we usually say “toilet paper” when there’s 4-5 rolls left, because then we forget it again and hen we finally remember it’s a close call. Sometime in February Mr said “toilet paper” and I remembered the first time and bought some. And then at the start of March before everybody started hoarding I thought “well, maybe have one packet extra” and we still haven’t opened that one and we’re at home all day now and we’re four people and I really don’t know.

  14. says

    I am due for shopping tomorrow, the two weeks since the last shopping trip went by surprisingly quickly. I am curious whether there will be any toilet paper since we do not have a hoard. I also need to buy denatured alcohol for my workshop, but that I am sure will be completely sold out.

    Today I have prepared the grooves for potatoes and I have hidden my lilac and elder wood into the shade so it does not dry too quickly. My right forefinger starts to act up a little bit again. I take that as a sign that I am still not 100% OK and need to take things slowly.

    Tomorrow I will be planting the taters with my father and maybe some trees in the coppice will get planted too. I have more work to do than I am physically capable of doing without hurting myself.

    The weather forecast is grim. No rain for the whole of April. I am really glad that I have hoarded some 5-6 tonnes of rainwater in February when it was raining and not freezing -- I was expecting this and at least for the drought, I am as prepared as I can be.

  15. Nightjar says

    I went to the nearest agricultural supply store today after asking around family and neighbours what they needed. Got lots of cabbage, lettuce, tomato, courgette, cucumber and bell pepper plants, felt like I needed to explain that I’m not planting all of that, it’s for several of their usual clients that are too old to go shopping now. There was a line at the door because they are only allowing one person in at a time, and everyone was keeping their distance.

    My father has been doing the grocery shopping lately since I started with cold symptoms, he says there are still no gaps in the shelves and everyone keeps their distance at all times and respects the instructions fixed at the door. I had already noticed this the last time I went to the supermarket, there are no gaps in the shelves, none whatsoever. I’m positively surprised.

    I think I’m about to lose a great-aunt to covid-19. She’s still waiting for the test results but she’s in the hospital already with respiratory problems. 89 years and bronchitis, if it’s covid-19 I don’t think she will make it.

  16. Nightjar says

    Thanks, Giliell. She was in a nursing home and now her daughter is feeling guilty that she didn’t bring her home when the outbreak was just starting in the country. I got the impression that some family members guilt-tripped her but she didn’t tell me who. I kind of have an idea, it takes a special kind of asshole to do that. I tried to convince her that bringing her home would likely not have made much of a difference, she could get infected anyway, and it would likely delay getting medical help if she was at home. It’s painful enough that she hasn’t been able to visit her mother for weeks, guilt-tripping her now has to be the definition of evil. I’m now extremely angry.

  17. says

    Well, why didn’t the person guilt tripping her take the old lady in?
    All the best top your great aunt and your cousin.

    And like that, one of my colleagues has informed us that her mother has been taken from the nursing home to the hospital with Covid 19.
    The way this disease makes its way through hospitals and nursing homes is frightening, but that’s what we get for understaffing and underpaying our health care professionals for years. Not to mention the lack of PPE and some asshole countries simply confiscating medical equipment or paying cash at airports.

  18. Jazzlet says

    The weather is worrying here too, mostly far too many bright sunny days when we should be getting lots of showers if not outright down pours. It’s nice now but worrying in what it may mean for the summer’s growth.

    I’m angry right with you, that’s a nasty thing to do to anyone let alone someone who’s so worried. I hope your great aunt recovers, and your cousin believes you not the snake in the family.

    It’s scary, and you are right we are reaping what the Tories, in my case, sowed in the NHS, but the undervaluing and underpaying of other care staff is on most of us.

    We’re ok, in some ways very good -- I actually have less congestion than normal, likely because of the huge reduction in traffic both vehicular and air; I usually have a degree of congestion all the time here which goes away after a few days spent somewhere with clean air so … It’s also noticeably quieter, you get used to the level of noise where you live, and normally I wouldn’t notice individual cars passing or planes coming into land, but there are so few of both that I do notice them. Paul has most of the potatoes in even though he decided to lay them on top of the soil and put soil from the turf stack on to, so he had to dig out all the soil to do that from the turf stack, on top of sieving compost for all of them. All of the shallots and garlic are in, though there’s not as much garlic as we’d ususally grow but we couldn’t get any at all anywhere so we’re growing only what Paul had saved; it’s going in now as we haven’t managed to overwinter garlic, it just rots in the ground whatever soil preparation is done. He’s being driven a little crazy by some of his managers who seem to be under the impression that what they do is of vital importance in this crisis which it really isn’t, they’re just self-important arse-holes.

    I am worried about my SiL, she’s normally a very sociable person but she’s taking the self-isolating to ridiculous extremes, not even prepared to have a short chat at a distance of three or fout metres when I deliver things they need. I think self-isolating is getting to her, she does have problems with anxiety and I suspect she’s got over-focused on keeping them germ free.

  19. springa73 says

    @Nightjar -- I’m sorry to hear about your great aunt’s sickness and the vicious blaming that followed. I hope that she gets better and that your cousin doesn’t believe the false blaming.

    Also sorry to hear that parts of Europe aren’t getting the rain they need. Here it’s been raining almost too much. Unfortunately there’s no way to send vast amounts of fresh water from places with too much of it to places without enough.

    @Jazzlet -- Sorry to hear about your SiL being overly anxious. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder and I am very lucky that my variety of it does not (currently) revolve around fears of disease or contamination. A lot of people who already feel anxious all the time about getting sick or being contaminated in some way must be going through hell now, since the pandemic and advice about frequent washing, distancing, etc., must seem to validate their worst fears. I go to an OCD support group and we’ve had to cancel recent meetings which is sad because for anyone with contamination fears this is probably when they need support the most. Not sure if your SiL has OCD or another anxiety issue, but it’s been something that I’ve been thinking about, even as I know I’m lucky that I don’t currently have contamination fears.

  20. StevoR says

    Quote of the day :

    Nobody thinks “the Market” is best placed to tackle the coronavuirus.

    Nobody thinks governments should step back and let the private sector step in.*

    -- Richard Denniss**, Chief Economist, The Australia Institute.

    * Okay, I’m not saying nobody because I’m sure there’s a handful of horrifically wrong fools out there saying that but he is and there ain’t many of them & they are on the fringes. Not the good fringes either.

    ** Yes, with two “n’s adn two ‘s”es -not just my awful typing this time.

    Socialism (& the public sector) is saving people’s lives here whereas Capitalism would have us risk them & hurt us all. The Market’s “Invisible Hand” isn’t merely invisible; its also infectious, toxic, unwashed and dangerous :

  21. says

    I’m with you at the “being worried about loved ones affected by isolation” side. My BFF is coming completely undone. She’s single and usually that’s not an issue, because we’re all one big family, right? But right now we’re reduced to Whatsapp. Her dad is in a nursing home and doesn’t understand what is happening.
    She wants all of this to stop, for something to happen, for somebody to do something, for the politicians to say something. Now, nobody will ever accuse me of harrowing sympathies for our Ministerpräsident, I couldn’t stand him 25 years ago when he was just the arrogant kid of a local politician and we moved in roughly the same circles, but right now I think he’s communicating the only sensible thing: We don’t know, this will take a long time, we’ll have to see about when and how we change the current regimen.
    But she’s quite fatalistic and thinks that this means he wants to lock us all up for the rest of the year.
    Yeah, I’m worried.

  22. StevoR says

    I have just seen this on fb. I agree & reckon its worth sharing and enjoying (Understatement.) Oh & swearing WARNING if anyone is bothered. :

    “An Open Letter to the President”
    From the Drummer of Mötley Crüe, Tommy Lee

    Dear Fucking Lunatic,

    At your recent press conference -- more a word salad that had a stroke and fell down stairs, you were CLEARLY so out of your depth you needed scuba gear. Within minutes of going off air your minions were backpedaling faster than Cirque De Soliel acrobats… In India a week ago, i couldn’t get past the bit about your being the most popular visitor in the history of fucking india — a country of a BILLION human souls that’s only 3000 years old, give or take.!!! Trust me -- Gandhi pulled CROWDS.. You pulled a cricket stadium and half WALKED out…

    Do you know how fucking insane you sound, you off-brand butt plug? That’s like the geopolitical equivalent of “that stripper really likes me” — only 10,000 times crazier and less self aware.

    You are fucking exhausting. Every day is a natural experiment in determining how long 300 million people can resist coring out their own assholes with an ice auger. Every time I hear a snippet of your Queens-tinged banshee larynx farts, I want to scream!
    We are fucking tired. As bad as we all thought your presidency would be when Putin got you elected, it’s been inestimably worse.

    You called a hostile, nuclear-armed head of state “short and fat.” How the fuck does that help?

    You accused a woman — a former friend, no less — of showing up at your resort bleeding from the face and begging to get in. You, you, YOU — the guy who looks like a Christmas haggis inexplicably brought to life by Frosty’s magic hat — yes, you of all people said that.

    You attempted — with evident fucking glee — to get 24 million people thrown off their health insurance.

    You gave billions away to corporations and the already wealthy while simultaneously telling struggling poor people that you were doing exactly the opposite.

    You endorsed a pedophile, praised brutal dictators, and defended LITERAL FUCKING NAZIS!

    Ninety-nine percent of everything you say is either false, crazy, incoherent, just plain cruel, or a rancid paella of all four.
    Oh, by the way, Puerto Rico is still FUBAR. You got yourself and your family billions in tax breaks for Christmas. What do they get? More paper towels?

    Enough, enough, enough, enough! For the love of God and all that is holy, good, and pure, would you please, finally and forever, shut your feculent KFC-hole until you have something valuable — or even marginally civil — to say?

    You are a fried dick sandwich with a side of schlongs. If chlamydia and gonorrhea had a son, you’d appoint him HHS secretary.

    You are a disgraceful, pustulant hot stew full of casuistry, godawful ideas, unintelligible non sequiturs, and malignant rage.

    You are the perfect circus orangutan diaper from Plato’s World of Forms.

    So fuck you Mr. President. And fuck you forever.

    Oh, and Pence, you oleaginous house ferret. Fuck you, too. You’ll be as useful as a chocolate teapot against a medical crisis you Bible thumping cock socket.”

    Thankyou, classic, epic & spot on to MC.

  23. Jazzlet says

    Thanks, that gave both of us some laughs, and it was a lot of fun to read out loud too.

  24. says

    Aaaand, my great uncle, or however you call your mum’s late cousin’s husband has died. Not of Corona, but of being 82 and chronically ill for ages. No idea if and when and how there will be a funeral.
    He was a complicated person. But he didn’t deserve any of the shit he had to go through the last 10 years, because nobody does.

  25. Nightjar says

    I’m sorry for your loss, Giliell. I know that there are some restrictions for funerals and rules about how many people can attend here, but I don’t know the details of those rules. Hope the family can find a way to grieve in these weird times.

    My great aunt is doing better and tested negative, she was discharged from the hospital already. So that’s a bit of good news.

  26. voyager says

    Hi Everyone,
    Sorry I haven’t been around much. I’ve been battling an inability to concentrate, probably related to depression. All I can focus on is reorganizing cupboards because it helps me feel calm and in control of something. I hope all of you are finding ways to cope during these strange and scary times.

    My condolences. I hope that your family can find a creative way to safely honour your great uncle.

  27. says

    Thanks. I’m really sad about how he had to go. He couldn’t be discharged from hospital, because all the nursing homes are in lockdown and while in hospital the situation got worse and worse. My sister finally got permission to see him off but got stuck in traffic and missed his death by 5 minutes.

  28. Jazzlet says

    My condolences, and your sister missing by such a short time is so sad.

    That is good news about your great aunt.

    I now have two more third cousins-twice-removed making a total of three. One of them was born just as his grandfather (not my side of the family) was diagnosed with COVID-19, sadly he didn’t make it, but did at least get to see pictures of baby Ezra Atticus. Ezra’s father isn’t going to his father’s funeral as he’d have to be away from Ezra and mother for two weeks if he did, he’s understandably distressed about this. His mother was very firm though and told him he mustn’t come, she does have her three other children with her so at least she’s not alone. I hope that makes sense, I know it’s a bit convoluted.

    I am a bit frustrated with my SiL, we’ve said we are happy to get them anything they need several times. I was going to the supermarket on Monday and told her along with a reminder I was very happy to get anything she needed. After further prodding she sent me a list, all of which I was able to get except for a small block of cheddar as there were only big blocks, but I figured a big block would be ok. Turns out they’ve been living on pasta soup, they had no bread or veg at all. Still at least I know I will need to nag her about sending me lists, and say I am going for us too. It really isn’t much extra work to get a shop for them so I’m not sure why she is being so reticent.

  29. voyager says


    Sometimes asking for help feels like admitting failure. Hopefully, as you do it more often it will normalize.

  30. says

    What a mix of wonderful and sad news at the same time. A colleague’s mother is in ICU with Covid 19. I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. She’s one of those cases who got it in a nursing home. It may seem cruel, but I’m glad my grandparents are all dead and gone. I’m worried about Mr’s grandmother, but thankfully she’s still at home.

    As for the shopping: I think many old people see this not as a temporary protection but as an end to their independence and I have no idea how to make them see things different. My in laws are still living their normal life despite both of them being high risk. I offered to do the shopping to several elderly couples in the street but they always say “oh we can manage the shopping ourselves”. Lady, this isn’t about you being able to lift the milk pack, it’s about you not dying of Covid 19.

    Personally I’m currently at the “lethargic” stage. I’m stressed out, especially by all the discussions that basically tell me I should go and die for the good of the economy. A kid who is basically refusing to do any of her schoolwork isn’t helping. I’ll have to kick m own ass to drag me out of this.
    On the “nice” side, it’s good to see how much some people do care. This strange situation really brings out people’s true character. On Wednesday I chatted for quite a while with a woman I met by chance earlier this year. We did a Pokémon Raid together and kept in contact ever since. And now we keep checking in on each other regularly.

  31. says

    I have offered to do the shopping for my neighbor, but she insists on going to do her own shopping daily on foot in the morning. Well, one cannot help those who do not want to be helped.

    I have just canceled my presence on an annual trip with my friends from university at the end of May. I do not like having to do that, because they are my only tether to sanity, but I must do whatever I can to not drag SARS-CoV-2 to our household. I can afford the small financial loss but not the big risk to my parents.

    Apart from that, I am currently doing what I can to re-plant all my bonsai trees. Thigs go well-ish. Besides me being tired all the time, the only problem I have this year is that I cannot buy some supplies, so I have to improvise and use a sub-optimal substrate for the tres. But luckily I am used to having a stockpile of all kinds of things, so even here the situation is not as bad as it could be.

  32. says

    Hugs to all of you.

    I had a phone session with my therapist this morning. I have concluded that while I’m still dealing with the negative self-esteem stuff, it’s been pretty much shoved into a corner by the plague and the election (which is also a plague). So there’s that.

    Emily called the NHS this morning because she has been feeling worse again, and yes, it looks like she does have the coronavirus. She’s self-isolating and taking care of herself, and at least she has National Health, but, ack!

    I’ve decided that anything beyond the basics of housework can just wait, and I’m doing art projects or reading. The shrine to Emily Dickinson is coming along nicely. I make sure there’s food and clean laundry and the bills get paid. Paul and Kitty are welcome to vacuum any time they feel the urge. It feels strangely freeing. I’m a rebel, I am.

  33. Jazzlet says

    I quite understand about being glad your grandparents are gone, I’m glad my father and MiL are gone too for similar reasons. My SiL and BiL are both in their seventies, SiL is vulnerable because of the treatment she takes to keep recurrant breast cancer at bay, and because when she gets a cold it always goes to her chest, but otherwise they are very fit for their age. I’m pretty sure she’s worried about me, whch given my mental health is fair enough, but I am finding being useful is helpful, not to mention that it is interesting seeing the changes happening each time I go out. Today there were far more people wearing masks, a mixture of boughten and home-made, although still fewer than 50%. Most people were being far better about distancing and of those that weren’t most seemed to be distracted rather than careless.

    *hugs* I know how easy it is to settle into lethargy and how dificult it is to rouse out of it one you are there.

    Sorry about your reunion holiday, you are obviously right to have made the decision not to go, but that doesn’t stop it being hard. I wonder if you could all do some regular getting together on-line instead, it’s not as good as in person, but better than nothing. *hugs* to you too.

    I hope the tree re-potting continues to go well-ish and the trees are happy with the substrate you have devised. It would be lovely if you had the time to take some photos of them all for us again.

    Paul and his team at work are getting together for a quiz tonight, which I can atttend if I want, I may well do so if just to put names to faces and the voices I hear floating down from his home office -- it doesn’t have a door so I can hear them all when they conference.
    Otherwise I guess I’m finding the mental health stuff I’m doing (by phone because of COVID-19) hard, we have been doing a timeline and bringing it all up has made me realise that I pretty much have had one shit thing happen after another. Not that there haven’t been good times, but by the time I was twenty one I had lost everyone nearer than my third cousin on my mum’s side of the family, including my mum, then I made a really poor choice of boyfriend, otherwise known as the cheating bastard who gave me chlamydia, that resulted in a lot of abdominal pain along eventually with infertility, so when Paul and I wanted a child we had to go for IVF which didn’t work but may well have exacerbated the abdominal pain problem, that got bad enough for an emergency hospital admission (which might not have happened had any of my GP’s taken the pain serously in the first place), then a hysterectomy, then when I thought I was finally pain free -- I was for four years -- the damn pain came back leading to a series of investigations (twice) and the tentative differential diagnosis of adhesions (twice) which will go on getting worse unil I die, so nothing much to get depressed about there then. And that doesn’t even start on my problems wih my dad and one of my brothers or trying to make friends in new cities and so on. I think part of the point of doing this is to get me to understand that there really are reasonable causes of my depression, but oof it’s a lot to think about.

  34. says

    I was holding up relatively well throughout this winter, but now I am being hit by depression rather hard. A combination of a pandemic with no good outcome anymore, USA making the world shittier for everyone (again, or more accurately -- still) and me being extremely tired from work that seems to be like Sysiphus’s chore takes a toll on my psyche. I tried to take a day off of the heavy work, it did not help at all, I am unable to rest -- I go to sleep dead tired, and wake up just as tired as I was the evening before. And it accumulates over the days, I seem unable to recuperate both physically and mentally.

  35. says

    More hugs for all! Extra for Charly and Giliell and jazzlet! I was just thinking about my MiL, who’s been gone for more than ten years -- she was in assisted living her last few years and we would’ve been frantic. And my parents, of course. Ugh.

    I finished my latest project and am currently feeling so up and hyper it’s a bit scary. Or it might be the coffee I had with lunch. Anyway I posted on my blog -- --
    there are lots of pictures from all angles (with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, never mind, that’s something else) . It can be shared if you like.

    My poor elder daughter probably does have COVID19. She hasn’t been tested, but she has all the symptoms and the NHS doctor thinks it’s likely. She’s improving, but very slowly, and she’s had to set aside all academic work for now. At least she still feels up to going for a short bird walk every morning ( she’s social-distancing). I wish she was home.

  36. Jazzlet says

    I’m sorry you are struggling so, depression is a real bitch *hugs*

    The Emily Dickinson shrine is lovely!

    Sorry about your lass being ill so far from home, it has to be hard for both of you.

  37. voyager says

    It must be hard to be so far away from your daughter. How is she doing today?
    I think your Emily Dickinson shrine is lovely. You let the artist and her poem take the focus, but it’s delightfully embellished.

    That sounds like a lot of grief processing, which is really tiring emotional work. I’m glad that your therapist is doing virtual appointments.

    I’m sorry things are so difficult. I have only folk advice to offer, most of which you probably already know, but I hope the lengthening days of spring are of some help. If this damned coronavirus wasn’t happening I’d tell you to see your Dr. about the depression.

  38. says

    @Anne, I wish your daughter a speedy recovery. Hopefully, if it is COVID19, she at least gains some immunity to it early and can then go on living. Though unless it is absolutely clear that she is clear, she probably should not visit you.

    My sister has made over 500 face masks and she donated most of them to a local hospital. Some hospitals in CZ allow for use of such impromptu masks in the time of shortage for proper ones. Some do not. PPE is still in shortage.

  39. says

    Thanks, Charly. I’m in California and Emily is in Scotland, so she’s not likely to be visiting soon. I’m just glad she’s feeling better.

    Your sister is awesome! I’m not making masks just yet -- I have enough bandanas for us, and I’d rather wait until the local hospitals give out better specs on what they need before I start buying supplies and dig out the sewing machine.

  40. Jazzlet says

    Thank you, it is a lot to process when seen on one timeline. I guess it’s like anyone asked “what’s it like to be …?” you don’t necessarily realise your life was odd in some way until you look at it as a whole. I’m lucky with the psycologist in that we managd to get one face-to-face appointment in before social isolating kicked in, so at least I know what she looks like, which helps a lot.

    Good to hear Emily is feeling much better, I hope she has a really mild bout!


    I had to laugh (hollowly) at Johnson coming out of hospital and thanking all of the staff, but in particular two foreign ICU nurses. Yes, you lot decimated nursing training in this country, and you personally have been responsible for the country becoming a lot less welcoming place to live if you are not English, maybe now you might start to understand that we can not live in isolation from the rest of the world except for your precious trade. I don’t hold out much hope though.

  41. says

    I love the shrine. I hope your Emily keeps on recovering. As Charlie has said, let’s hope that at least she’e over and done with that fucker.
    BTW, I completely forgot to thank you for your wonderful postcard. I’m sorry, my brain is mush.

    Wow, your sister is doing some good. I think I made around 60 so far. My BIL asked for some. Only he felt the need that maybe could they be not pink or with unicorns and I think he should stick to one, because I have some amazing blue unicorn fabric. Toxic masculinity is going to kill people even more because I don’t actually have lot’s of “guy” fabrics…

    Oh well. Now in Germany some self-declared “Academy of Sciences” has made recommendations to end the shutdown. They have more people named “Thomas” than women and virologists combined but I’m sure we should all listen to people who think that we should open primary schools first, but make kids follow distance rules and wear face masks.
    Four weeks ago our various state governments seemed to compete in the most restrictive measures and now I’m afraid they’ll compete in opening up as quickly as possible.
    I told you about my BFF who has troubles with coping? She’s all in favour of “getting back to normal because reasons” now when last week she refused to come here because she could kill us all…
    I always knew that she was not very good at rational thought and logic, but by now she’s taking a really bad turn. I won’t discuss these matters with her anymore because you cannot reach her and it will only lead to hurt.

  42. Oggie: Mathom says

    Giliell: My sympathy.

    Yes, I have been away for quite some time. I have an excuse.

    Back on 25 September, I tripped and fell. at work. and landed on mu shoulder on the carpet. And something in my neck went crack. And within five minutee, I lost feeling and sue of y right han. Turned out I dislocated a disc in my neck. and had to get three vertebrae fuse, And still have limited use of my hand. I hae not been to work since. Luckily, in January,workers comp finally agreed taht yes, the injury happened at work, no, i was not doing anythuing against the rules, and yes the surgery was necessary to save the use -- any use -- of my hand. I still cannot typeat more than ten words a minute, i still cannot use a mouse or trackball (I hate these slide pads (or whatever they are called)). Still a lot of pain where the screws are in the vertebrae, nerve pain down oth arms, still numbness in 4 & 5 of my right hand, but I can cook and play guitar (no picking, just strumming), so I guess it was worth it?

    Wife is recovering from surgery — precancerous and the path report was less than 50 words. Wife is not working her street corner — she is still being paid, but the schools are closed through the end of the year (the school year, not the calendar one). She is also working at the restaurant at a little less than half her hours. So between my workers comp, her school pay, and the restaurant (people are tipping for delivery really really well), we are in good shape. playing lots of scrabble, reading, cooking.

    My granddaughters are grwoing like weeds. From 3lb7oz and 5lb1oz at birth, they are now both poushing 23 pounds. Their development is a little slow, b ut they were low birthweight preemies, so. . . .

    Boy is no longer selling cars. He works for a warehouse (better pay and benefits) and is really enjoying it. The thought of him using a forklift to remove pallets 17 meters up is a liitle unnerving, but he really understands the whole idea behind center of gravity. He even explained it to his supervisor during training.

    I dont know how often i will write in the box here (typing is painfully slow (I think way too fast for my typing spped and am on the next sentence before I am halfway through typing this one (and (oddly) I am committing more tpyos with my left hand (the one tht works) than mhy right)), but i thought i wold check in to let yuou know I am alive.

  43. says

    Oggie, thank you for checking back. Just yesterday I was wondering how you are and thinking that you hae not made yourself heard for a while. Sorry for the injury, I hope the convalescence continues to go well.

  44. Jazzlet says

    Sorry to hear you were hurt Oggie, glad you are getting better and that things are generally ok. Great to hear about the wee lasses too.

  45. says

    Oh, Oggie, I’m so sorry about your injury. But I’m really glad to hear from you, because you’re one of my favourite people here (no offence to my other favourite people). It’s good to hear that the girls are growing. Who cares if they’re a bit slower than others. Those girls are fighters, they had to do so much more than other babies to get to where they are.

  46. says

    Oggie, good to see you, and sorry about your injury. Yay for the grandbabies!

    Giliell, thanks, and I’m glad the card got there safely. I really should do more of the faux postage postcards, it was fun. Too many ideas, not enough time, no energy.

    Everyone, hugs if you want them. Paul’s got cabin fever; I think it’s knowing he can’t/shouldn’t go out just because he’s bored, and he misses his discussion groups. Yesterday he bought two rotisserie chickens instead of the one I asked for, and turned one into soup. It’s going to be in the low 80s today, so I don’t think there will be much demand. Today I had to track down the coffeemaker, which has been in storage for years, because he decided it would be a good idea to make coffee every morning for everybody. Kitty prefers bottled mochas when she can’t go to Coffee Bean or Starbucks, I rarely drink coffee, and when I do it’s usually decaf. He means well.

    Hey, we got stimulated. So far I’ve paid down our credit card balance a bit, stuck some in the credit union account for emergencies, and bought a few more craft supplies from a very small business. We’re also going to donate some to Biden.

  47. StevoR says

    @ Oggie : Congratulations and good to hear (well, read) from you.


    Seen this today :

    (The Guardian You Clap for Me Now: the coronavirus poem on racism and immigration in Britain )

    Reckon it sums things up powerfully, brilliantly & applies far more broadly than just the UK but also here in Oz and otherplaces too.

    Also random news link -- One small owl, one fragile step towards survival :

    Researchers say one of the world’s rarest owl species has a chance at survival after a breakthrough discovery on a remote Australian island. For the first time in almost a decade, a pair of Norfolk Island morepork owl chicks have been located. Rohan Clarke, an avian ecologist from Monash University, said the chicks represented the future of the species, given there were less than 50 individuals left on Earth.

    Also have we just possibly imaged Proxima C, the second planet thought to exist around what is currently*our nearest very nearest star? Phil Plait’s title here gives a clue -- could be just noise but also perhaps could be :

    In much more disappointing astronomical news; it seems the potentially promising comet that could have been an unaided eye spectacle has now broken apart and almost certainly won’t be that :

    Damn. Fuck you 2020, fuck you. (& I thought last year was bad. Sigh.) :-(

    * Currently because if Proxima Centauri does indeed orbit Alpha Centuari A & B as I gather it does -- there were doubts raised and, think, resolved on that point -- then on average its going to be the same distance away and sometimes further away than the two main sun-like stars of that system are.

  48. StevoR says

    @ 35. voyager : Likewise and respect and can so relate. The world right now is just .. (insert string of expletives) but it is also still worth fighting for and still has so much that is good and amazing and full of wonder and potential and sources of hope in it. I keep trying to find and look to the good as well and it is there. Despite it all.

    A few semi-random~ish things :

    We have fish in Death Valley that get their name from their playfullness and can survive incredible extremes of temperature and salinity and more in their tiny, oddly familiar seaside-like cuteness :

    We have Colbert interviewing an astronaut -- Jessica Meir -- on the International Space Station (3 of her compauions whom have just returned safely and probly wish they were still orbiting us all..) :

    Oh and we now have experts telling us we -- almost certainly -- can’t get COVID 19 from farts :

    (Hope you can hear that last one via the Coronacast with Dr Swan. Basically someone asked and he answered..)

  49. StevoR says

    PS. Try the transcript button at the bottom there if the audio is only for Oz maybe? Hopefully it might work?

    If not then let me know & I can cut’n’paste it.

  50. says

    Thank you. Good to see, you, it’s been a while and I’ve started wondering

    Sigh. Last night my father in law came to pick up some books and then asked for help with his computer. “The internet doesn’t work”. I told him that I can’t do anything standing in my doorway, but I’m happy to coach him if he’s at home and sends me screenshots. Well, he’ll ask the guy who already helped him again.
    To cut a long story short, he had some acquaintance over in their flat without any urgent need and he even paid the guy 120 bucks even though he did not fix the problem…
    Some people are beyond help, but why do i have to be related to them?

    Yay. Our washing machine is not broken. We don’t know why it didn’t work, but we took all the plumbing off thinking that maybe something was clogged but didn’t find anything but apparently it did the trick.

  51. springa73 says

    It’s been a while since I checked in -- my health is fine, but the disease counts in my area are still rising at a high rate, so I think it will be quite a while until “back to normal”, if, indeed, people can ever go back to how it was before. An old college friend and roommate of mine was diagnosed with Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t need to be hospitalized and is recovering. He did post, though, that he had never coughed so hard in his life, even when he had whooping cough as a child.

    My other friends and relatives are doing all right. The best news is that I have a new little niece, who was born on April 1! That makes 4 nieces and 2 nephews between my 2 brothers and SILs.

    Weird weather -- after a very mild winter, it’s gotten chilly in April and we actually got a couple of inches of spring snow last night, though the majority of it has already melted by now.

    I’m sorry to hear about your accident, Oggie. Charly, I hope that your depression has gotten better. I hope that everyone stays healthy and reasonably sane under these conditions.

  52. chigau (違う) says

    Timing is everything.
    After 12 days they finally fixed the heat in my apartment building.
    It’s +15°C outside.

  53. says

    How’s everyone holding up? I’ve been giving Paul the grocery errands because he’s got worse cabin fever, and I’m having trouble finding the energy to get dressed let alone go out. Depression sucks. I might take a turn tomorrow, if Target has the thing I need, though.

    What is wrong with people? There are astroturf demonstrations all over Orange County today, not to mention the rest of California. I am deeply ashamed of my state.

  54. says

    Tragically I have nothing to complain about. The local government’s restrictions are not onerous yet have helped stop the daily virus spread to nearly zero. The sun is shining, work still rolls in sporadically and the weather is perfect for bike rides in the country. Living in a quiet, boring place has its advantages for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy noisy crowded spaces anyway.

  55. says

    How’s everyone holding up?

    I miss my work and my pupils. Friday I talked to one of my kids via Whatsapp and I almost cried. I know how much of the hard work we all put in the last years is being lost, I am also afraid of idiot politicians opening things up quickly again and thereby wasting our one chance to get this under control quickly.
    The kids miss their friends and school and there’s only so much time you can spend on video games and jumping on the trampoline. I dread when next week the holidays are over and i have to at least to try and make #1 do some work.

  56. StevoR says

    @ ^ Giliell : That sucks. Hope it gets resolved and maturtityand learning ensues. :-(

    & @ 65. Giliell : Thanks. Appreciated. Am okay, just world gets really infuriating and depressing and need some days offline sometimes.


    This from one of my fave youtube channels (potholer54) FWIW :

    WARNING : COVID 19 & Trump references / topic.

  57. Oggie: Mathom says

    This is also National Park Week in the US. Of course, all the National Parks are closed. Which means the wildlife can actually act like wildlife.

    I made paella the other day. came out really good. I think I used a tad too muck saffron but I love the flavour.

    I am reading, cooking, playing scrabble, building a British 1930s tank (Vickers Mk IIa). I hope all are staying sane inside this insanity.

  58. Jazzlet says

    I love the flavour of saffron too, can you use too much?

    That is really serious, I’m stumped.

    I have cleared out all of my houseplants that were afflicted with root aphids, the plants and soil are under water in an old dustbin and will remain there for at least year, then go on the compost heap -- it’s how we deal with perennial roots and it works for them, hopefully it will work for root aphids. I don’t think they’ll survive that, but if any do they’ll be obvious against the black of the bin. The pots have all gone through the dishwasher on it’s hottest setting. I need to scrub down the two window sills and surrounds with soap, allow to dry then spray with pesticide, allow to dry then wash down again -- these are seriously persistent little fuckers.Then I may restock if I can get the Streptocarpus I want. And if I ever see a root aphid again the affected plant will be straight out and the ones either side will be put in isolation.

    Just heard another of my friends has breast cancer, I guess it’s one of those things that’s bound to happen as we all age, but it’s still worrying. At least of the others only one has died, and she refused some of the chemotherapy offered as she found it too hard going, then went off an did some seriously wacky woo treatments that seemed to result in her feeling just as bad. I know the latest friend will take the science based route. It is a little odd getting news like that in the present circumsances, intellectually I know that other diseases won’t stop happening just because we’re in the middle -- maybe -- of a pandemic, but emotionally I’m outraged.

  59. says

    Oh well
    We just had a long video call on reopening the school for grades 9 and 10 next week and this is going to be fun. Not.
    I’ll basically sit in a hallway all day, which does give me time to mark work kids did already but no time to prepare new stuff.
    Currently we’re sewing masks so all our students will have at least two washable masks.
    The whole republic is supposed to make masks but neither elastic nor fabric are to be had. OK, you can always cut up old stuff for fabric, but I#m so delighted by the powers of the free market…

    The ordinary bad shit sadly isn’t giving us a break.

  60. Oggie: Mathom says


    I love the flavour of saffron too, can you use too much?</blockquote.

    saffron is mile and rich. And can overwhelm other flavours in a mild dish.

    Wife and I had to go to the stores yesterday. Mostly fresh fruit, veggies, some frozen veggies, grits, normal stuff.

    Now, in the past, I have made references to my sartorial style (or lack thereof). So I dressed normally (for me, anyway): a pair of bullhide cowboy boots (brown), a pair of blue jeans, my brown felt cowboy hat, my brown wool vest, and I wore my creamy orange plaid flannel shirt. When we got to the store, Wife handed me a bandanna to wear in lieu of a mask (our state has mandatory masking in effect for all stores etc). As we walked in (as Wife told me later), the constable we passed laughed as went by. Inside the store, a little boy, about age five, looked up at me and then said to his mother, "Mommy, look how old Woody is. He doesn't look that old in the movie."

    I thought about my dress. Crap. Through absolutely no planning on my part, purely through serendipitous irony, I have become Woody from Toy Story. In my defense, though, I do not tuck my jeans into my boots, I do not have an empty holster on my hip, nor do I have “Ancy” written on the sole of my boot.

    I blame Corona.

    Er, the virus, not the beer.

  61. says

    @Jazzlet, lets hope for the best outcome to those bad news :-(. Shit doesn’t stop happening just because even bigger shit is happening already.

    I am fucking livid, and it is a relatively small thing that has completely set me off today. I bought a spray-on glue in order to fasten abrasives to a flat stone. It worked exactly as expected and hoped for, with one little exception -- the nozzle got clogged up in seconds, then the glue started to leak around it instead through it and when I tried to clean it, it glued to my finger, detached from the can and in my frantic haste trying to clean the glue from my fingers, I mislaid it and I did not find it again. So 20 € down the drain, now I have a can of glue that is of no use.
    Fucking bad design of ordinary things pisses me off each and every time it happens. Do the manufacturers bother to test their products at all nowadays?.

  62. says

    That’s hilarious, thank you!

    I feel you. Especially about mislaying things. Yesterday I searched my craft room twice looking for the wide elastic that I know I haven’t used up yet.I didn’t find it. I gave up and used something else. Later I needed the white bias tape that I know I had in my hands several times hunting for the elastic.
    Searching everything half an hour again for the bias tape finally produced it, but guess who found the elastic (exactly where it should have been and where I looked several times.)

  63. lumipuna says


    The whole republic is supposed to make masks but neither elastic nor fabric are to be had. OK, you can always cut up old stuff for fabric, but I#m so delighted by the powers of the free market…

    Turns out the supply of elastic isn’t sufficiently elastic in response to demand.


  64. Jazzlet says

    Happy May Day!

    We’ve actually been having proper spring weather, a mix of sun and showers, though the hail yesterday was a bit out of order. Still it definitely rained enough last night that we dont need to water the garden.

  65. StevoR says

    Incidentally, we have a numbat project working to save them here :

    Plus we have we the and wonderfully named Whibley Wattle (Acacia whibleyana)

    Oh and things learnt today, we have actual other trees and a whole ecosystem growing in the canopy of the giant Redwood / Sequoias plus thousands of kilometres from melting icebergs and more :

    One day, I gotta climb one of those. See that for myself if only I can. Would so love to do. Am so not fit enough now, sigh. Free climbing challenge taken by anyone?

  66. StevoR says

    Sadly, comet ATLAS has disintegrated and won’t be a spectacle (2020 damn you..!! ;-/ )

    Happily the Hubble Space telescpe has imaged it and phil ZLiat discusses that and has thepictures here :

    Styill hoping we get a great unaided eye comet soon or Eta Carinae detonates or another bright nearby supernova erupts for us soon please here. As long as its not too close. (Also I’d miss Betleguese or Antares if they go.)

  67. StevoR says

    ^ Yeah Alpha Orionis has a lot of variant spellings. Nah, that’s not one of them, well, not till now that I know of. D’oh. Mea culpa. Sorry.

  68. Jazzlet says

    Oh it was the first “normal” weather in a while, we had an unseasonably dry and sunny April, likely to be another “hottest since records began” :-( Our great leaders keep reminding us that we must stay distanced despite the lovely weather, while the papers discuss how much harder it is for people to stay indoors when the sun shines and how this is yet another area of social exclusion as the middle classes enjoy their gardens and the less well off suffer in cramped living conditions with little access to green space.

  69. says

    Still it definitely rained enough last night that we don’t need to water the garden.

    Here as well, a few days of rain on and off, so the ground had time to actually soak it up.

    Do you know those days when your “failure” rate approaches 100%?
    I think I’m having one.
    Yesterday I spent a lot of time cleaning my office/craft room, so I could finally put the two sewing machines side by side, one for embroidery and the old Bernina I inherited for sewing.
    Yesterday I sewed a couple of masks for the little one (though my heart is breaking a little. She has to return to school and she won’t be allowed to actually play or meaningfully interact with her friends) and the old machine worked perfectly. Purred like a kitten. Last night I started to make another pest mask for myself (just for the fun of it) and after one seam it started to act up. After half a day of “doctoring” around I found out it just didn’t like the black thread. I changed the thread, it sewed fine for a couple of seams, then the needle stopped moving. Nothing blocked, motor does run, just no needle. I guess there’s some transmission that does no longer function.
    So I rearranged the sewing table, changed my other machine back to sewing, did the outer parts partially, switched back to embroidery, noticed that I made two right side pieces. It#s not that bad, because I need lining anyway and it’s simple black cotton, but it means I need to switch back again to sewing…

  70. says

    I don’t know if I’m a good wife or a bad one -- this time of year, Paul usually goes on what I call his Manly Man Vision Quest overnight trip. He drives for several hours to the mountains or the desert or whatever and either finds a cheap motel room or car-camps. Obviously that’s out this year, so he’s been moping around.

    He’s been trying to figure out a good day trip, and of course everything that isn’t too hot is closed. I suggested he pack a picnic and a mask and drive someplace and just sit. Which he did; I was up at 5 AM making his tea and checking traffic (and feeding the cat). So, am I good for making him happy, or bad for encouraging him to go out? Probably both. Who else is tired and fed up with being the family comforter? I know I am. Hugs to all of you.

    At least Kitty’s happy. Her classes are more or less working out online, she sleeps in and spends most of her time sitting on her bed drawing and playing Animal Crossing. She’s very good about helping around the house, but then she and Emily always have been.

  71. says

    Giliell, that sounds horribly frustrating! Hugs, and I hope the one machine keeps on working until you can get the other repaired.

    I have a tale to tell, too -- yesterday, I wanted to try to patina a metal bead for a project. I finally got the Novacan I’d ordered, but it turns out it’s made from nitric acid and selenium compounds and I’m just not feeling up to that much toxic. Since the bead looked like it might be brass, I decided to get out my liver of sulphur set-up instead. It wasn’t where I’d stored it in Paul’s workroom.

    So I asked Paul if he’d moved my stuff. He didn’t think he had, but he came and looked. We looked and looked, and the more we looked, the more it wasn’t there. Eventually I found my mortar and pestle and my Pyrex custard cups in the wrong place, but I never found the tin of liver of sulphur crystals. I did, however, find a whole unopened box of nitrile gloves meant for painting.

    Anyway, just as I was thinking of calling Brea Bead Works and then driving over there for a curbside pickup, I looked up. There on a shelf above my eye level was a bottle of liver of sulphur gel. Apparently I’d bought it and forgotten all about it. So I tried that instead. It’s slower (and didn’t work out on the metal bead anyway) but that’s a good thing, I guess. I never did find the tin.

  72. says

    Paul’s home from his day trip. He drove to Indio (which is in Riverside county, out in the desert), found a Denny’s that had curbside service, found a park where he could sit and eat, and generally had a pretty good time.

  73. says


    So, am I good for making him happy, or bad for encouraging him to go out? Probably both.

    AFAIK the risk of either spreading or contracting Covid 19 by sitting outside is negligible. Going for walks and such has never been banned in Germany and we’re doing pretty well.
    Covid 19 will stay with us for some time and we will have to find out what we can do safely and how we can do things safely. Science is finding out more things every day (and some stupid politicians here think it#s a weakness when scientists say one thing this week and another thing next week because obviously basing their opinion in reality is an unknown concept to some politicians).
    I admit that I was naive and thought that we’d close everything down for a few weeks and then this would be over, but it’s not, and it won’t be, and we will have to find a way to live with it that is neither “nobody leaves the house” nor “people die in the thousands.

    Who else is tired and fed up with being the family comforter? I know I am. Hugs to all of you.

    Yep. Mr is generally good, but I think that many men were raised to outsource their emotional care to their mothers and wives.

    Speaking of it, my in laws both have appointments with the hairdresser next week. Mr told them that while you don’t die of uncut hair or outgrown roots, you do die of Covid 19 and hung up.
    Just yesterday morning I said to him that even if restaurants and such opened again under strict rules you couldn’t go there because they’d be packed with people who thought all of this to be overblown anyway and who therefore probably have a good chance of having caught Covid 19 because they thought the rules were stupid. And look who’s coming along to prove me right…

  74. Jazzlet says

    I agree that what your Paul did sounds pretty safe, it’s even within the UK Governments guidelines. Though if you tried it round here you’d probably be stopped by Derbyshire Constabluary who are interpreting the rules very oddly and seem to have an abundance of officers who enjoy throwing their weight around. That said we are not in Derbyshire, it’s just that a lot of the places we might go to walk are, but there are also plenty of more local ones so we do fine.

    Oh yes, I know all about being the family comforter and the ructions caused when one declines that role; I have five brothers, after my mother died when I was twenty most of them assumed I would take on that role for them, even though most of them were older than me. I did try, but it was too much, and when I withdrew the more active support from the most demanding one there were a lot of very tense discussions; it paid off in the long run, but it was bloody hard work getting there. That being said I’m not so good about expressing my need for comforting from my Paul, though I’ve got better over the years.

    As far as I know my family and friends are being very sensible, but it won’t necessarily help if some idiot infects the people helping the particularly vulnerable ones.

    I have started knitting a sock, a first for me, it is for Paul and at the moment it looks way too small, though according to the pattern it should fit, and I did a tension square so it really ought to, we’ll see.

    Ok this is really silly but … At some point after my father retired he stopped trimming his beard and eyebrows for a while, he did eventually start having it done for him, but before that point he developed dramaticly bushy eyebrows, Gandalf had nothing on my dad. One swept up a good third of the way up his forehead, the other down all the way over his left eye. I usually trim mine, but over the years I have wondered, “would mine be like his if I let them grow?”, so that is what I have been doing in lockdown. I have pale brown eyebrows so it’s not obvious to anyone else yet, indeed I asked Paul today, and even knowing there were long hairs he couldn’t see the half inch ones until close enough to kiss me, so I’m continuing the experiment for the time being safe in the knowledge no one I meet while shopping will notice. In so far as there is a trend I think my right eyebrow hairs are going up, my left ones straight out, and in case anyone asks, no there will be no photographs!

  75. says

    Thanks, Giliell and Jazzlet.

    It’s interesting here in California, for some weird value of interesting. The last two grocery stores I’ve been in have notices up that face coverings are required, and they’ve converted all the aisles to one-way and marked 6 feet of waiting space in front of the registers, but there’s still that jerk who has to block the aisle while playing with his phone, or refuses to stay far enough away. And of course we have those AstroTurf demonstrations, like the rest of the US. It’s so embarrassing to be a USAnian these days.

    We’re all having a quiet day today. I finished the start-of-month household maintenance stuff and made a batch of my sort of Japanese refrigerator pickles, half cucumber half daikon this time. I think I finally have the ratio of sugar to rice vinegar about right. Paul and Kitty think so.

  76. voyager says

    Hi everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I hope those of you suffering from depression are finding some benefit from the longer days and warmer temperatures. Two of my favourite trails are closed, but we have no other restrictions on being out and about.

    I hope your pain and function will begin to improve quickly. It is good to hear that your granddaughters are doing well.

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s breast cancer. I hope the pandemic doesn’t affect her access to treatment.

  77. Oggie: Mathom says


    What you just described is pretty close to what Wife and I have been doing about once a week. I’ve also been walking in the park while Wife works.


    I talked with my neurosurgeon on the phone. He thinks (and I agree (no professional knowledge on my part, just feels right)) that my chronic neck pain will fade very slowly but will most likely never disappear. As for the neuropathy still extant in my right hand and upper left arm, that is, at this point, most likely permanent. I’ll take the pain if I can use my right hand.

    I made curried chicken last night. came out really good. Used zucchini and yellow squash in it and it tasted wonderful. Good way to stretch two chicken breasts to four adults.

    The girls are starting to pull themselves up. Both are up around twenty-five pounds. I use them to exercise. I lay on my back and do baby presses. THey love it.

  78. Oggie: Mathom says

    Sorry. Feeding granddaughters/

    I am going to put in for a disability retirement-- no way can I do what a park ranger does anymore. Of course, the people I need to deal with are in Philadelphia. And that office is closed until further notice. Oh, well.

  79. Jazzlet says

    Thank you, and no the pandemic won’t affect her treatment, they don’t mess around with breast cancer. I believe that some of the initial appointments have happened somewhere other than the normal shared consulting suite, a new build for something else that has been turned over to cancer care for the moment as it is completely clean, but other than that tretment will go ahead as normal.

    Sorry to hear there is permanent damage, and likely permanent pain, I sympathise. Smiling at baby presses.

  80. says

    @Oggie, That sucks, permanent nerve damage and all that. Hopefully the bad will be the least it can be and perhaps even less.

  81. chigau (違う) says

    Lots of sympathy.
    Have you ever thought about writing a book?
    All those fire stories, train stories, ranger stories …

  82. Oggie: Mathom says

    Jazzlet, Charly and chigau:

    Thanks for the sympathy. It is what it is.

    I’m working on the outline plot for a science fiction book. No idea if it will go anywhere.

  83. chigau (違う) says

    I have made popcorn and am about to watch Ben-Hur.
    1959 of course.
    212 minutes.

  84. chigau (違う) says

    Almost 2 hours in and I am doubting the historical accuracy of this film.
    rum is not helping

  85. says

    I feel with you, more or less literally since my disc herniation. There’s not just the pain, but also the memory of pain, which is at times worse.

    Sure they be.

    Well, I’m part time back in school again and part time still in home office. Tomorrow I#ll have a lazy day since I worked my ass off the rest of the week.
    I think I’ll write some anecdotes from the home teaching front…

  86. Jazzlet says

    I was in the garden earlier and smelled my neighbour’s lilac which is in full bloom, it reminded me of Caine, who loved them.

  87. says

    Me: “My kids d don’t play violent video games. My kids play Animal Crossing with cute animals, planting trees and shit.”
    My kids: Let’s play in party mode so we can hunt each other across the island with the axe!

  88. says

    How’re you all doing? Giliell, your kids sound like fun. Everyone needs to whack imaginary opponents with an axe once in a while!

    I finished the first half of my online class, see pics of shiny bottle necklaces here:

    It’s Mother’s Day in the US. Paul snuck out late last night with a flashlight and collected a huge bouquet of flowers from our garden, and Emily sent me greetings via email (she’s feeling much better). Kitty has finals this week, so she’ll be doing something later. I walked to the grocery store and back, yay, I got some exercise.

  89. says

    I love the bottle charms. I think you’re giving me ideas, since I still have quite a lot of them.

    How’m I doing? Not so good. I think we’re losing. Not against the virus, but against stupidity and selfishness. In Germany we’re repeating those scenes with angry protesters, minus the guns. Of course a potentially infectious mob not wearing masks chasing the police off one of Berlin’s main squares is not a big deal because the mob is right wing and we all know that right wingers never want to destroy what our society is fundamentally based on, i.e. private ownership.
    And even people who are not right wing anti-semitic conspiracy theorists have decided that Corona is over because they are bored. Yesterday when Mr an I went for our little walk the Sunday morning jogging group was out again in full force, standing next to each other in the little car park, passing beer and champagne around. Now, there’s good reason to doubt the risk assessment capabilities of people who think that doing sports and then drinking alcohol before driving home is a good thing. Altogether we’re seeing rising numbers again. The R-value has soared above 1 again and since this takes about a week to catch up with the actual infections, we might see this rise more and more again. Only there won’t be a second “lockdown” (and let’s face it, the measures were pretty soft here compared to Italy or France) because that would mean people would have to admit they made a mistake, especially a bunch of dudes at the heads of federal states admitting that Merkel was right and we all know that this won’t happen. All we can try to do is to keep ourselves safe.

    It was Mothers Day here as well. I’ve always hated this day with a vengeance already and this years did nothing to soften my feelings. On the bright side the kids were not subjected to the lessons from the cult of true motherhood at school, on the other hand everybody and their dog was bent on thanking all us triple overworked Corona Mums with no actual plans to do anything. The ministry for women created a completely inappropriate video where some fake kid thanks mummy for cooking her favourite meal, spaghetti, which she makes almost every day! So even in their cheapshit mothers day video they managed to shame women.

  90. Jazzlet says


    It’s bad here too, the Government’s new slogan for easing us out of lockdown is “Stay Alert”, to which the pretty universal response is “how the fuck can you be alert for something you can’t even see?”. And yes they are easing us out of lockdown despite still not having enough testing happening or the people necessary to do contact tracing of new infections, despite there being c3920 new cases yesterday and over 200 deaths, they are expecting “more” people to go back to work on Wednesday. The Government have finally devolved management of testing and contact tracing to Local Authority public health staff, but at the same time having previously told cash strapped LA’s to “spend what it takes” to keep services going they are now saying “well of course that wasn’t a blank cheque with absolutely no indiction of what that means. I’m going to stop there as I really need to walk away from this crap for a while.

  91. says

    I literally want to curl up into a small ball and cry. Not only has late frost damaged many of my outdoor trees -- they might recover, or they might not, it remains to be seen -- but my only two cypress trees have suddenly both died and I have no clue why. Maybe I forgot to water them, but I do not think I did. I could not find any root damage whatsoever. They were grown from seeds that I brought home from my USA trip twenty years ago.

  92. StevoR says

    @ ^ Charly : Sorry to read that. That’s awful and hoping your outdoor trees do survive. Plants can be remarkably tough. No sign of anything eating / affecting the foliage or trunk or ..? Cyprusses (at leats here) are usually very tough and very long lived so that does seem odd.

    @ 116 Jazzlet : Reminds me of the meme I saw earlier today noting :

    “What else was opened too ealry? Jurassic Park.”

    @ Anne, Cranky Cat Lady : FWIW, I’m doing okay albet its cold here -- well for Adelaide anyhow. Currently at 10.30 pm local time, it is 7 degrees (“feels like” 4 degrees) Celsius outside with a crisp clear night. Been busy and dont even ask about the politics (or latest Pell developments) but surviving and the good news is our local bushcare group is resuming sessions tomorrow so I’m going to get some more good nature therapy soon.


    Hopefully something to help against the COVID Conspiracists here :

    Don’t blame it on the pangolins, don’t blame it on the Chiropterans (bats), Blame it on the boog ..virus and people responding to it’s natural evolution badly here. Of course, when it comes to catching virii / viruses blaming things on the boogie might just be disgustingly accurate .. ;-)

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    I love the sunset astronomical artwork here :

    Although, saying this planet -- Kepler 1649c -- is “eerily similar to earth” as another article headlined it is going wa-ay too far. However, this is still a fascinating discovery and a potentially, big emphasis on that “potentially”, habitable world deserving of much closer study if we can. Note that there’s a lot of caveats with many uncertainties applying here as always especially given its red dwarf star which means its going to be likely tidally locked and quite probably fired and had its atmosphere blown away by intense, regular flares.

    Also astronomically speaking, we’re learning the music of Delta Scuiti variable stars :

    that sometimes have nice chords althouigh others are cat-on-piano cacaphonies.

  93. lumipuna says

    After seven months, winter keeps trying weakly to make it. This week we had a little snow on the ground twice, though it melted immediately.

    Here’s a brief video of nesting white-tailed eagles, a species that once nearly went extinct in Finland and is now making a nice comeback.

    This is the first nesting couple in Helsinki, just a few km from the city centre. The video was shot by amateur photographer Tatu Pärssinen, from something like half a km away at sunrise. That’s why the air seems to be trembling, and the city buildings in the background seem to be deceptively close.

  94. StevoR says

    Classic photo here of a Flattened Musk turtle, Sternortherus depressus :

    Something about its posture and expression here just seems to sum things up so well these days.

    Plus video of the same endangered species in action in the wild here :

    On a much more serious note and hopefully interesting and useful is this :

    Informative and well worth watching in full, well-researched, fact based video debunking the conspiracy theories about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID 19 / the coronavirus with a couple of cameos by some particularly toxic & dishonest Aussie polemical propaganda sources. (Bolt and the Murdoch rag ‘The Austra-lying’* plus Daily Telegraph with Sharri Markdson’s China-phobic polemic hit piece.)

    BTW. Was it here that there was meant to be a specific thread for COVID 19 material and comments? Has it to have fallen into disuse if so? Worth posting that last link there too or not?

    * Not its official name but more accurate.

  95. says

    Sometimes, Mr puzzles me. Remember when we put up the first row of stones last week? We anchored every other one with concrete. On Saturday morning he says: “I’ll have to drill a hole into the concrete so in winter the water can run out and not freeze in the stone.” and I was a bit puzzled. Sure, we’d anchored them with steel, but I also put a piece of plastic piping in for drainage. I asked him what he thought they were for and he said “no idea”. So for a whole day he dutifully cut and handed me plastic pipes, never asking what they were actually good for and then he didn’t even connect them with “drainage” when he noticed that yes, you should have some way for the water to run out….

  96. Oggie: Mathom says


    Keep in mind that if he has to drill holes through the concrete that means power tools. And possibly a trip to the hardware store for the right drill bit. I am a husband — any excuse to use a power tool is acceptable. Honest.


    I am discovering all sorts of new things. I have given up cigars (not easy, especially with the amount of free time I have) and now my taste buds are starting to wake up. Everything tastes different. And most of it is good.

    Tonight is Boy’s 30th birthday so I will be grilling tenderloins.
    I made egg rolls and fried wontons and wonton soup a couple of nights ago. I have made bread a couple of times and it has been okay — the flour is too light.

    On Saturday, we celebrated the twin’s first birthday. Wife and I got them some really cool retro toys: the Fisher Price cash register and Fisher Price station wagon (now made totally out of plastic, no wood anymore :( but they already love the car). The girls are starting to pull themselves up and are very mobile. They love listening to me play guitar — I am the okayist guitar player around!

    I am reading a history of the Spanish conquest of the Incas which dates from the late 1960s. I have two more — one from the 1990s and one from 2018. I like historiography — how the story changes based on new information and, even more, changes in how we perceive cultural differences.

    Wife and I are playing lots of Scrabble (did you know GRAZIERS is a Scrabble word? I managed to send it across two triple word scores with the Z on a double letter — 203 points!) and trying to eat better. Wife is still working four days a week at the restaurant. The ones who stayed home were able to collect and ended up making more than Wife with her reduced hours.

    Still working on one model tank. To keep the moldings simple, they use four tiny parts where one small part would have worked. Which helps my hand with the fine motor skills but means that the suspension (tank suspension on many British tanks is really complex and annoying) is a slog.

    A neighbor had a sign in his yard claiming that face masks kill. Also, another sign says that Covid19 tests spread the disease. Asshole. He hates Trump, though — a relative of his owned a company that did some contract work at a Trump Casino in New Jersey back in the day and Trump paid him 10% of the contract agreement and told them if they didn’t take it they got nothing and could sue. Bankrupted his cousin. And his company. And put five people out of work.

    Anyway, that’s my life right now. If anything actually happens, I’ll let you know.

  97. voyager says

    I’m so sorry about your trees, especially the cypress’. I have a Japanese maple that I grew from a seed and I would be heartbroken to lose it. I hope your remaining trees can recover.

    Happy belated birthday to the twins. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been a year since they were born.