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My current state of social distancing


A friend asks me, “How’s your self-quarantine going?”

I reflect on the last year and reply, “My whole life is pretty much a self-quarantine.”

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  • Rob De Witt March 25, 2020, 1:01 PM

    My God, we have more in common than I’d realized. Were you by any chance born at night?
    Theodora Lau, in The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes goes on at some length about the difficulties and complexities of our Zodiac sign, and then drops this one: “Roosters born at night are doubly eccentric.”

    You’ll be happy to know that apparently it’s easier for the female ones….

  • BillH March 25, 2020, 1:15 PM

    “My whole life is pretty much a self-quarantine.” My post-70 years shonuff have been. Planned it that way, and wouldn’t change a thing if I could redo it.

  • jwm March 25, 2020, 3:18 PM

    Much the same here. I’ve been walking alone, and taking the bike out in defiance of Grab’em Gruesome’s orders. Haven’t had to run from the cops yet, but we’ll see.


  • Terry March 25, 2020, 5:29 PM

    If that is Glacier Point in Yosemite, I stood on that same rock when I was in high school. Kind of a dumb thing to do, but I had a new GF with me from the Bay Area. She started to walk/climb out to stand by me and I thought I was going to get her killed. About had a stroke getting her to stop and wait for me to go back to a sane place to view the area.

    I was born and raised in a small town about 45 miles line of sight to the north west. Some years my family spent the entire summer camped in Yosemite. Dad was a pilot and all over the world for months at a time. Very few people visited Yosemite back then. I have some tremendous memories of Yosemite. My second wife and I celebrated our delayed honey moon at the Ahwahnee Hotel on the valley floor. Two year long waiting list, but worth it. All of the water falls were at peak flow. Spectacular! And, she is still, spectacular.

  • Anne March 25, 2020, 6:59 PM

    July 2, 1961. My parents and my BF were camping as we did every summer for years. We were just 17 and I had my asthma a medicine with me. We wanted to hike to the top of half dome, but the park ranger told us no because I was frail. The next morning early 5:30 we got on the trail and started hiking. Plain tennis shoes and one canteen between us. We got to the top and crab crawled on our bellies out to the edge–we had already run out of water. Then I froze. (I hate that looking down heights thing). BF shimmied back and pulled me back by my ankles. But, I didi get to look over the edge. When we got down to the base everyone was talking about Hemingway–he had just killed himself. I had already read all of his work and was a devoted believer–that news hurt cut deep into a young girl’s heart on that day. My legs were already iffy and I remember just sitting down and letting the world spin around me-an incredible sensation of things out of control.

  • Missy March 25, 2020, 8:37 PM

    Self quarantine is akin to a sabbatical. Now, some 10 days in, formerly horribly stuffed closets are cleaned out, bread is baked, and five kinds of soup have been made in ye olde Instant Pot. I miss drinks with pals and the farmer beau who lives a mere 3 miles away, but might as well be in Hong Kong. We now have a case of COVID19 in our very rural township and 40 plus cases in the county. Yikes.

  • rabbit tobacco March 25, 2020, 9:04 PM

    “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
    ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  • ghostsniper March 26, 2020, 4:25 AM

    What pisswilly’s call quarantine we call normal.
    In general, people are an unnecessary pain in the ass.

  • John Venlet March 26, 2020, 5:22 AM

    Any one else notice that the propaganda machines dialed down the we’re all gonna die stories over the pasts few days, with death and dying headlines moved a bit further down the page to make room for the couple trillion dollars, we don’t have, stimulus headlines fight? Additionally, the advertising and marketing execs are furiously beginning to bang out television and intertube ads in attempts to keep the materialistic consumerism machine going (this actually makes more fiscal sense than a government imposed stimulus, by the way)? Not to mention the brand new generic political ads being aired in attempts to lay partisan political blame on individuals for a Chinese virus released across the world.

    Though I think it wise to remain cautious in regards to limiting any potential exposure to the Kung Flu, I’m even more cautious in regards to any exposure to the propaganda being pushed by the MSM.

  • Jack March 26, 2020, 7:10 AM

    It has been a sweet but brief interlude to have had less of The American Pox (Biden, The Communist and pelosi ) headlining the news. It felt, for a short time, like those three antagonistic fuckers didn’t exist at all and except for the blatant sins of the MSM things felt kind of normal.

    But it was only the anesthetic effect of the COVID 19. An illusion. And nothing else.

  • jwm March 26, 2020, 7:30 AM

    It’s going to be clear and cool here in So Cal this morning. The panic buying seems to have abated somewhat although TP is still in short supply. No one has any love for the hoarders who caused the shortage. Myself, I hope… Ah, forget it. The television networks continue their drumbeat of blame, and despair. Curse them to hell. Actually, hell’s too good for ’em.
    I may pick up a parts bike today to cannibalize for my 1961 Schwinn Jaguar MKIV, and another noodle around bike project I’ve been wanting to get to. I’m seeing a lot of parents out walking the neighborhood with their kids. A lot of guys like me are taking solo bike rides, or long solitary walks. I’ll do one or the other today. Hope I can get that Breeze from Offer Up. I’d love to have a good Sturmey Archer 3-speed to replace the worn-out made-in-Austria unit that’s on the bike, now.


  • Anne March 26, 2020, 8:33 AM

    JW: DH has a hardly used Trek Titanium. I bought it for him the first month we were married (September 1982). He rode it about 5 blocks every day for two years and then put it in garage until two years ago. Had the Tex people clean it up, new seat, tires, tape, etc. He took it out for 3 or 4 minutes and came back–his weight, and age are now against him and his beloved Trek and we need to sell it to someone who would care for it. It is traceable by number on the Trek website it is for a shorter person–let me know if you are interested, or if you have any suggestions. The Trek Corporate Headquarters have one in their museum already.

  • jwm March 26, 2020, 9:27 AM

    Thanks, Anne. That was very thoughtful. But my whole fleet is ancient Schwinns, and a couple of twenty year old Dyno’s. A high end road bike would be wasted on me. I see performance bikes out there, (especially the new mountain bikes) and I draw in my breath deep, and go OOOHHH! But then I think, “That thing would take you straight….
    …to the Emergency Room.” and so I just look.
    Joys of post-middle age.


  • James ONeil March 26, 2020, 10:29 AM

    Yep self quarantined. When ever my son comes over he tries hard to stay at least two beers ahead of me.

  • Gagdad Bob March 26, 2020, 11:15 AM

    We could solve a lot more problems than Chinese flu if people could only tolerate being alone with their thoughts for more than five minutes.

  • Tom Hyland March 26, 2020, 11:30 AM

    “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” – British author Susan Ertz 1887-1985

  • Fluella De Vil March 26, 2020, 12:28 PM

    As long as we’re quoting, Gagdad’s paraphrase –
    “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”~Blaise Pascal

  • ghostsniper March 26, 2020, 12:46 PM

    My white whale was confronted about 3 hours ago. It had been hounding my brain for about 6 months. Last fall a wind storm kicked up at night and in the morning there were 2 tall pines crisscrossed over our pool on about a 30 degree angle from the ground. I did a survey and determined they aren’t going anywhere as they were still firmly rooted in the ground. I assured my wife her pool would remain unscathed. Everyday since I sip my mud in the morn and stare out the sliding glass doors at that double whale some 100 yards to the north angled precariously. The temp is in the 60’s today, finally, and it hasn’t rained for a few days but rain is coming tonight. Today is the day.

    I took 2 saws, my 18V Ryobi pole saw and the Stihl gas chain. Where the trees are closest to the ground just happens to be a large stand of blackberry shrubs so I had to eliminate a swathe just to get to the trees and that was the Ryobi’s job. The long handle prevented most of the berry thorns from molesting me but not quite. There was blood. Finally I could get to tree 1 with the Stihl. The trees had rotted greatly over the winter and as the blade touched wood the surface exploded and fragments were everywhere, especially in my eyebrows. While the outside of the tree was soft the interior core was like ironwood. I had to stop myself several times from holding the chain on full throttle and moving it back and forth like a bow saw. “Let the saw do the work!” The tree broke loose but was suspended over the ground by 1 large vine that I kept in place for support. Remember, this thing is out over the pool. I tied a rope to the tree and ran it to another tree about 30′ away and installed a ratchet strap and pulled the severed tree away from the pool. Once in the clear I used the 12′ long Ryobi to cut that last vine. It was under tension and whipped manically when it came loose, and the tree hit the ground. Now on to the 2nd one.

    The 2nd tree was more difficult to get to because it was further down the steep hill. More blackberry’s had to be cut. There was lots of deadfall everwhere and I was concerned about copperheads. The Beretta 9mm was on my belt with 8 rounds of birdshot. It took maybe 20 minutes to get to the tree and I swung the Stihl into action again. I’ve had a few chainsaws in my day but never a Stihl until this one, which I bought about 3 years ago. Man, it’s like a honey badger that just got gang ass raped. Downright evil the way it tore into these trees. It’s a little scary how, with a razor sharp blade, it pulls itself down into the kerf. I’m always covered in saw dust up to my waist when I use this thing.

    So that tree was under the first one I cut down and it had caused it to lean out over the pool. You’d a had to see it to understand. Trees can be weerd. So I didn’t need to use the ratchet strap on it. But both needed to be cut up and taken out of the yard cause in a few weeks I’ll probably have to run the rider around. Cutting both up took about half an hour and then maybe another half to load all of it up in the riders trailer and stack it way over there. Shwew Yeah, I was sweatin. Tomorrow I’ll be sore. It’s good to be sloughing this cabin fever. All too soon winter will be here again so we have to make hay while the sun is shinin’. Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes. Git yor ass outside and git some of that vitamin D all over your ass – the doctor requires it.

  • Casey Klahn March 26, 2020, 1:18 PM

    Friday the rumor came down of our lockdown; Monday it occurred and so it goes. No one ever comes by here, but for some GD reason they’ve found a reason to float by every fukkin day this week. Usually to go past us on the road, and often then to buy meth. Road don’t go. It’s called a seasonal road, turd-for-brains.

    This dark morning, before the sun rose, a vehicle stopped up the road short of my house, about a quarter mile, and switched off the headlights. My amber alert went to amber-plus, and the sidearm went on, and the shotgun came out (this is theoretical, as I haven’t got any firearms – they were lost in a river crossing, see). Since the ChineseVirus event, my new protocol is nobody comes to my door unless I know them, or they are in a uniform. The firearms cabinet, which is a 1950s-era glass door and turned mahogany affair, is not locked. The guns are loaded. Once Upon a Time in the West. Fuck the law; it’s all meant to give me less safety and build up some asshat lawmaker’s liberal cred.

    Everything I just wrote is a complete fiction. Now, to continue my story. It turns out the visitors were coyote hunters – 2 HS boys who I helped last weekend when they got their car stuck in the snow and mud. They returned my snow shovel, and the next day brought us a package of Oreos. I told them that some hunters park along our road and cross an unsigned property to get to the game hunting unit where they wanted to be.

    Day 13 I guess it is since POTUS declared a national emergency. Our isolation is doubled down. I pretty much hate people, except if they prove to be otherwise good individuals.

    While I’m bitching about gun safety laws, I want to get in another dig. Some GOPe legislator in my state actually wrote a smart provision yesterday! He wants to temporarily suspend the plastic bag/ paper bag provisions in the state, to outlaw the carry-it-yourself cloth bags the Greenies have tried to make the custom at supermarkets. Those filthy motherfuckers are carrying bacterial-filled shopping bags into the marketplace, and I have always hated that bullshit with a passion. Greenies are idjits, aren’t they?

    As it now stands, I am doing everything in my power to avoid the supermarket anyway.

    Out here.

  • jwm March 26, 2020, 1:42 PM

    Re: Gagdad Bob & being alone with your thoughts:
    I do it an awful lot. But sometimes it’s not a very nice neighborhood to hang out in. A guy could get beat up something fierce in some of those dark alleyways.


  • Anne March 26, 2020, 10:12 PM

    JWM. “Emergency room”. . . mmm how did you know? I didn’t tell you that when he came back home after that first few minutes it was because he had gone ass over teakettle and had a big gash on his arm. You must be some kind of visionary? :-)A month after his “bicycle event” he was sitting in a conference in Germany amongst the great intellects of ???? Any how one of the men there asked him about the big red scar on his forearm which was healing in a very rough looking way. Without hesitating for a moment DH responded with a very serious face–“shark bite”.
    Wouldn’t dare admit that his young man’s bicycle had thrown him over a curb! Gotta love that guy!

  • anne March 26, 2020, 10:19 PM

    JWM: Keep an eye open for a young man who would like to have such a beauty–needs to be on the less tall scale. Would be happy to see it go to someone who could appreciate what it is. They pay shipping and we are fine. Thank you