106/126/4

It is Sunday, and we made the couch switch with Jopie. John’s old couch looks great in her apartment. The one she had looks good in our family room. Win win!

The Canadian Rockies British Columbia

One hundred six days left until the election. According to nearly every media source, things are going very badly for the incumbent. Gee, that is such a pity. I think if he were to win another term, I’d seriously contemplate moving to Canada. I did a little research on that, and other than being terribly cold most of the year, it’s a nice place, full of nice people who have always welcomed runaways from America. That includes slaves after the Fugitive Slave Act, young men avoiding the draft, and old ladies who can’t bear the thought of another 4 years with that very bad man. So we shall see. I think it is doable.

Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman

Speaking of the Fugitive Slave Act, we watched Harriet last night on HBO. The gal who played Harriet Tubman is called Cynthia Erivo, a British actress. She was great, but I knew I’d seen her somewhere else. I looked her up on IMDB.com and realized she was Holly Gibney in The Outsider on HBO. She was the best thing about that show, which frankly was quite mediocre. The critics found the plot of Harriet predictable, which it decidedly was. But she is a stellar performer, and undoubtedly will have lots more work in the future – in all kinds of roles. Why do I say that? Because Harriet made its budget back and then some – by a factor of 3. That’s what it takes to make more movies that are allegedly aimed at a demographic or an ethnic group. That’s a shame that we have to categorize films that way. Either the writing and acting are good, the sets look genuine and the editing works. Or not. Shouldn’t matter what ethnicity or age the characters are. Or even if they’re real or fictional. A good story is a good story. Nuff on that.

Mexican Beans

We went to Vero last night and had a picnic with Pat & Tom & Bob & Susan. We had a great time, the weather cooperated and it was good to see my friends again. I took Mexican Beans, a recipe I got from Milk Street and everybody – including me – liked the dish. It was a lot of work, but worth it.

Next week I’m going to start getting the materials together to do the spare room. We need it done by the end of the month as Ray & LeeAnn will likely stay with us a few days before they venture north. They sold their North Palm house, so it’s back to Atlanta for them. Hopefully they’ll sell that and do something with the North Carolina house so they can move back down here for good. Ray is my writing buddy, and he’s been great for giving me ideas. I hope I do the same for him.

Drive by Testing – will it continue if there’s no more money?

Over 60,000 cases today, and as usual, we’re number 1 in cases but not in deaths. However, I’ve noticed a trend of few deaths reported on Sundays. So if there’s a big spike tomorrow, it’ll likely be because people who report these stats took Sunday off. God bless ’em – they deserve a day off. But we shouldn’t take a day off from being careful. Kirsten and Craig’s tests both came back negative. That’s good – so far.

My temperature is 97.9° F. My blood oxygen is 94% and my heartbeat is 84 bpm. That’s a bit higher than normal. Have to keep an eye on that.

108/124/2

Did I mention that Kiernan tested negative for the Cvirus? Since my days run together I can never recall which day I found out. So I was counting all those days for nothing. Will that teach me? Nope. Every day is a new adventure.

Not Albert’s God

I finished reading Einstein’s book The World As I See It. Nothing to write home about, as it’s just a collection of his letters and various musings. But it certainly made clear I was right in my assumption about what Einstein was telling Rabbi Marcus. He affirms his belief there is no afterlife, and hints at his position that is reflected in the letter he wrote to the man. Einstein considered himself a deeply religious man, but not in the sense of an anthropomorphic deity with a long white robe and nearly equally long beard. No, he calls it a cosmic religion, where he believes in the power of the logic and order of the universe. I recall another quote that has often been misinterpreted of his: God does not place dice with the universe. This was in response to being questioned about what he thought of quantum mechanics. According to Scientific American, this is what he actually said in a letter to Max Born:

Heresy, Right? Not according to Hawking

Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.

Albert just couldn’t wrap his head around the notion of a probabilistic universe. Hawking certainly could. He said, Not only does God play dice, he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen. Imagine what Newton would have thought of quantum mechanics: his head – the same one allegedly assaulted by a falling apple – would have exploded. Ain’t it always that way? Einstein says so. In another of his essays, he talks about the strength and determination of the early scientists, and how they soldiered on, even when what they were saying went against dogma. I think that was what Einstein believed was the true religion. I have a similar sense about the power and wonder of all things universal, as I wrote a few blog posts ago in response to the writing prompt about gazing at the stars. Imagine that – Einstein and me on the same page. Speaking of the prompt, I wonder if I’ll be invited back to the Palm Beach Gardens writing group on Monday? If I were a betting woman – which I often am – I’d wager not. We shall see. It’d be OK if I wasn’t.

Keep trying y’all – we’ll get there

Another booming day in the Cvirus business: over 74,000 cases. Fauci predicted we’d get to a hundred thousand in the near future, and we appear to want to help him keep his credibility by reaching that benchmark. No end in sight, but what I find most interesting are the patterns that form. I think it must be just the nature of pandemics. The US is number one in the world with 377,000 plus cases. The number two country, Brazil, has about half as many cases as the US. If you look at Florida, the number one county is Miami-Dade, with nearly 78,000 cases. Broward is number two, with about half as many cases as Miami Dade. I suspect if you break it down even further – say by city or even further down to zip code, you’d see the same pattern between #1 and #2. The only grouping that breaks that pattern is the list of states where New York is still #1, but California, Florida and Texas are catching up fast. I think that’s because New York is through with their first round of cases, having shut down long enough to weather the storm. I don’t think the next three states have been nearly as effective with the mask wearing, distancing and shutting down gathering places. According to the modeling, by November 1, New York will have a bit over 35,000 deaths, which is just a few thousand more than they have now. California will have a little over 21,000 and Florida will have a little over 19,000. That means the number of deaths will triple in those two states by November. So again the pattern shows itself, with New York nearly twice either California or Florida. But what happens if the virus returns in the fall? Will we learn anything from the first round? That is the million dollar question – actually, more like the trillion dollar question. It remains to be seen.

Bill Lumberg, Milton’s nemesis. I have that red stapler! Probably already told you that..damn coronabrain!

I think the problem yesterday with my temperature and heartbeat was the start of a urinary tract infection. A couple of days on antibiotics, and things are getting back to normal. My temperature is 98.2° F., my blood oxygen level is 96% and my heartbeat is 74 bpm. All good. Now, if I could just get a decent night’s sleep, that would be greeaaatt, as Lumberg would say. We shall see if it works out that way tonight.

109/123/1

Took food over to the girls yesterday, so that count must begin again. I wore my mask when I went in, but of course Kiernan must provide hugs – it’s in her nature. She swears she’s virus-free, so I must take her at her word. The important thing is they have food to eat, as she’s hit a growth spurt and is getting more and more looking like her Nana Revak (tall and skinny).

Robin is in Charge

Robin says she’s in charge of all billing at her place of employment now, and she is thrilled about that. Now the question is: will they vaue her work enough to give her the pay level they promised beginning in August? If she’s it for their billing, it seems like they would be smart and follow through on their commitment. But I’m not entirely sure smart has anything to do with it. It’s more likely the decrease in patient level may preclude their keeping their promise. We’ll see. I hope they’re smart.

I just finished listening to a webinar with the financial folks at the NY Times and Maggie Haberman about the virus and the Trump White House. I have to say I didn’t really learn anything new. If I were to summarize, there is an expectation that the downward slide for Trump will continue unless there is a major change in our prospects for dealing with the virus. There you have it. Anyone surprised? No, I didn’t think so.

No Afterlife, Sayeth Dr. E

I finished Einstein and the Rabbi, and Naomi Levy did find the original letter from Rabbi Marcus to Einstein. It confirmed my supposition: Marcus was angry with Einstein about the book he wrote The World As I See It. As I mentioned in the last post, Marcus had just lost his son to polio and was overcome with grief. He reads Einstein’s book, and in it, Einstein says the notion of an afterlife is nonsense. We’re just dust. That made Rabbi Marcus angry, and he asks Einstein to reconsider his position on the afterlife. You saw his answer. No change in position at all. In fact, I’d say he affirmed what he’d previously written, and by way of solace, told Marcus that there’s no such thing as ‘reality’ anyway, so why worry? Talk about insensitivity? Einstein was undoubtedly on the autism spectrum, so lack of empathy comes along with that.

It looks comfortable – but is it?

Jopie came over yesterday to try out John’s sofa. It has the reclining feature on both sides, and she found it much more comfortable for her than the one she’d purchased from Ashley Furniture. All have agreed that we should swap with her to preserve her health and physical well being. Depending on the weather this weekend, we’ll try for Sunday afternoon to do the trade, bringing hers over here first and then returning with John’s.

My sleep patterns have gotten messed up again. I woke up at 5:15 this morning, and then went back to sleep about 8 for a couple of hours. That will mess me up tonight for sure. Scullcap will be the answer? One can only hope.

My temperature is 99.0° F. (!) My blood oxygen is 97% and my heartbeat is 87 bpm (!!) No bueno. What is happening here? What it is ain’t exactly clear.

111/122/3

Today was an exciting day: I paid my income tax bill (with a day to spare) and returned my books and CDs to the library. I know, I know – such excitement, how can I contain my enthusiasm? Yeah…

Goodbye, Sitting Bull (or whoever you are)

I did manage to polish up Chapter 1 and write a bit on Chapter 2 of The Reconvening. While doing some research on routes from Oraibi to Colorado Springs, I internetedly stumbled on Navajo Times. There was local politics, local gossip, and coverage of the name change for the Washington Redskins. What I found most poignant were the obituaries. They account for them weekly, and the latest ones were dated July 9th. Included in the obituaries was a father and son death notice, the Dahozys, Wilson Jr. and Jason. Wilson was 70; Jason was 42. Jason died first, because his obituary lists one of his survivors as Wilson. I assume they both died from Covid.

The population of the Navajo Nation is 173,667 – or at least it was before the Cvirus. With 401 deaths thus far, that makes the death rate double the world average. It is apt to think about this in the context of the story I’m writing, of people having to move away from this native area because it can no longer sustain them. The same could be said now of the Navajo Nation. Life was tough before; in the age of the virus it’s likely unsustainable. What will become of these people? God only knows.

Not a Guy I’d Ask for Comfortable Words

Speaking of what will become of people, I’ve begun to read Rabbi Naomi Levy’s book Einstein and the Rabbi. The Rabbi in question was Rabbi Robert Marcus, who volunteered as a chaplain in World War II and saved hundreds of children who managed to survive in Buchenwald Concentration camp. He was doing good work for the Jewish people when his own son died after contracting polio when swimming in a lake in the Catskills. Rabbi Marcus was bereft, and wrote to Einstein, looking for some kind of guidance. This is what Einstein gave him.

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it, but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.”

Now Rabbi Levy is overjoyed at this message to a bereft colleague; I’m not so sure she is grasping what he’s saying. Her interpretation is that all humans are “intimately connected and that we are blind to this truth.” I don’t think that’s what Einstein was saying at all. Here’s my take on it, one sentence or so at a time.

The curvature of the bowl distorts the fish’s perception of reality – poor thing

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space.” OK..each person is a small part of what makes up the whole of their world, discrete in size and given a certain length of time on earth. Then “He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” An optical delusion of his consciousness. Does this sound familiar? Think Stephen Hawking, the goldfish in the bowl and how it perceives itself with respect to the rest of the world? Check that out if it’s unfamiliar. Then “The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion.” Okay, if I free myself from this delusion – that I am something separate from the rest – then what am I? Finally, “Not to nourish it, but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.” Rabbi Levy sees connectedness. I see the opposite – if you don’t feed your perception that you are unique – if you recognize that you are – whatever it is you are – then you have peace of mind. No more responsibility. You’re a goldfish in a bowl. Your insignificance renders you guilt free.

Mileva and the Two Einstein Boys

I don’t find anything spiritual in any of what he said. I think he’s saying there is no picture- or theory-independent concept of reality. Everything depends on your perspective. That borders on nihilism, which got Hawking in a lot of trouble with religiosos. Yet, Einstein says once you get the concept, it is the ‘true religion’. Does that mean you’re free of earthly concerns – like the pain of losing a child? Recall, Einstein abandoned his two children when he left his first wife Mileva for his cousin Elsa. Albert and Mileva also had a child before they were married; the girl either was given away or died of scarlet fever. As such, I think Einstein was probably the last guy I’d ask for solace if I were grieving the loss of a child. His track record wasn’t so good.

Enough about all that – I’ll leave Rabbi Levy to her illusions and go back to research for the trip to Colorado Springs by my intrepid little tribe.

My temperature is 97.9° F. My blood oxygen is 96%. My heartbeat is 67 bpm. I’m good.

112/121/2

Had to start the count over again, as the kids were here on Saturday. Nobody had a fever, but it means renewed risk, nonetheless. It’s just a number, anyway, right?

I was reading a piece in The Atlantic about herd immunity by James Hamblin. In it, he talks about numbers – lots of numbers. Is the level at which we achieve the appropriate R0 reached at 20 percent? Could be. How about 70 percent? Some believe so. What? As usual, the answer is, “It depends.” Naturally!

Small changes one place translate to big movement elsewhere

Obvious next question: what does it depend on? Well, there was lots of talk about differential equations and weather forecasting – how about the butterfly effect from chaos theory? Yeah, OK. But answer the question: what does it depend on? Answer: it DEPENDS ON OUR BEHAVIOUR. Yeah, I know – spelt like the Brits. Guess I’m in a Britty kind of mood tonight.

Note wide open mouth – not good

Yes, Virginia, if you wear your mask and wash your hands and stay out of rowdy bars, you significantly decrease the likelihood that you’ll get the virus. Conversely, brats braying and behaving badly in bars will significantly increase the likelihood that more of ALL OF US will get the virus. Huh? But if I’m good and stay home, won’t that protect me? Sure it will. Do you go to the grocery store? Uh, yeah, but only once a week. Do you send your husband to the restaurant for takeout meals? Uh, yeah, but he doesn’t stay very long and he wears his mask. OK, wonderful. But back to the brats : if they give it to the person checking out my groceries or to the person at Duffy’s handing the bag to Erik, then our chances of getting it go up.

Certainly Can..sometimes an A is not a good thing

There’s another point that the folks talkin’ to Hamblin emphasize: heterogeneity. That means the degree to which we get sick varies, depending on those factors you’ve likely read about. What are the factors? OK, you force me to talk about it. First and foremost: age. Over 80, and you’re toast. 70 to 80, the risk factor drops by 50%. 60 to 70 it drops again. But if I’m 70, do I get to the lower number or the higher number? Well, what about those other factors. Do I have Type A blood? Indeed I do. Well, sorry – that just increased your risk factor. Why blood type? Who the hell knows – something genetic, maybe. But the numbers are there so be aware. By the way: Erik has Type A blood too, and he’s 74. So we’re in the same soup, sadly.

African Americans and Hispanics have higher risk levels, but that may be an environmental/social/economic factor. Nobody knows for sure. But this I do know for sure. When you look at the graph that shows the potential number of deaths from coronavirus between now and November 1, everyone behaving, wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing makes an enormous difference. See for yourself.

Green is universal masks. Red is mandates easing (which they currently are – like Disney opening). The difference is 2.5 times the deaths (around 10k versus 25k). The purple line is the project, expected to be 17,472. We’re currently at 4300, third behind New York and California. According to the California graphic, they’ll end up between 12 and 17,000. If we stay on the current path, we will pass California in our number of deaths. That is sorry news.

So there you have it. Thursday there’s another Scripps webinar about vaccines for influenza and covid. I hope we’re making some progress there. People can only take so much before they do foolish things.

My temperature is 98.1° F. My blood oxygen is 97% and my heartbeat is a sluggish 65 bpm. Must be the Britty thing.

116/117/8

While I was off making spaghetti for the girls, several things changed. Oh, yeah? Like what? Well, first off, Erik & I have been self-distancing longer than the time left between now and the election. Second: the ratio of deaths to cases hit a low of 4.3% and is now climbing again, as I’d predicted a couple of days ago. Now it’s 4.5% with no improvement in sight. That is bad.

Robert Redfield – putty in Trump’s hands

But what are our fearless – make that feckless – leaders saying? Things are improving! We’ve got this under control and it’s just because we’re testing more that there are more cases. Are they stupid or do they think we’re stupid? Maybe both. Or maybe the so-called experts they’ve surrounded themselves with are afraid to tell them the truth about what’s happening. Yes, that’s part of the equation as well.

Great trends, eh? No testing, no school opening – happy days are here again?

Hospital ICUs are getting filled up. Testing sites are closing down because of lack of supplies. It takes weeks to get results because labs are jammed and they’re running out of supplies and staff. School in Palm Beach County will reopen on time – virtually. No going back until there’s a change in the number of cases. But what will that accomplish? You and I both know when the kids go back, more of us elders will get sick from being around them. What is the answer?

It’s so much easier to say that is not the answer than what is. Looking for help from the federal government is a waste of time. Looking for help from the Florida Governor’s office is also a waste of time, as he does whatever his daddy tells him to do (you know who his daddy is: don’t play coy with me, buster). Florida’s numbers are consistently the highest in the country, but those places where Trump had a rally are working hard to catch up with us. Tulsa’s cases are exploding now, possibly due to the rally or maybe it was just their time. Who knows?

I had every intention of helping – ’til they told me about the 4-6 hours in the closed room for training

The point is, everybody is pretty much on their own. If you don’t get it, you won’t have to get tested. So don’t get it. Wear your mask. Don’t hang out with your grandkids (that’s a tough one – sad faces all around, and she will be here starting next week. We’ll have to wear masks in the house now). Wash your hands. Don’t volunteer to be a poll worker like I did. They expected workers to spend 4-6 hours in a closed room for training. Not gonna happen.

Is this the end of the road? Nope. Lots more misery to come. The electrician is coming to install the electrical box for the generator extension cord next week. That should be in plenty of time before the Category Infinity Hurricane hits us in September. Provisions must be secured ahead of time. John’s new jet ski has to find a place to park that will keep it from being pelted by debris. Yes, he got a new jet ski. Hope the kids and he get to try it out soon.

Taxes are due on the 15th. I’m ready to send in that check. Oh boy – yippee!

Anybody got any good news, ’cause I sure as hell don’t. Somebody cheer me up!

my temperature is 97.9° F, my blood oxygen is 97% and my heartbeat is 70 bpm. Mahvelous..

119/114/5

Robin called to say Kiernan has a temperature today. It’s been five days since we were together (see number above) and we definitely didn’t stay 6 feet apart. Robin is taking her to the doctor at 7 to get tested. Keep your fingers crossed that she got an ear infection swimming in the intercoastal on her birthday paddleboard.

The Cavalry has Arrived? Oh my

Today wasn’t very productive, even before I found out about her fever. I’ve started working on The Reconvening, but we aren’t off to a very auspicious start. I haven’t worked out yet how I’m going to label the chapter headings, so I need to do some serious thinking before I wade back in again. I’m clear that it will include a new New Testament but that’s the extent of it. The best thing to do? Just write. It’ll all work out.

Let’s talk about something else for a change. How about the bikers etc. that showed up in Gettysburg on Saturday, ready to fight Antifa flag burning? No antifa..no flag burning. They got riled up for nothing. Another hoax..like Pizzagate. Do these guys feel foolish when they fall for this sort of thing? Who is doing this? I talked with Erik the Younger about it..he says the Chinese, I say maybe the Russians. Anything to get us at one another’s throats. That might have worked in 2016, but a few more high profile hoaxes like this and maybe these guys will figure it out. But looking at the picture, probably not. Gettysburg is hallowed ground, and for this kind of nonsense to go on there hurts my heart. Guys – can’t we all just figure out a way to get along? No? Give it a try – you might like it.

Sorry, Charlie – bad math again

Then there’s that 99% value thrown out by our esteemed president. No, that number is a trifle high. As much as he tries to downplay the Cvirus, it seems like the worse it gets..is that karma again, or just nature saying I’m not done yet? Ridiculous. The numbers won’t get better until we have systems in place to manage this pandemic, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

My temperature is 98.1° F. My blood oxygen is 96% and my heartbeat is 72 bpm. So far I am not showing any symptoms, so we shall see what happens.

120/113/4

Sundays seem to be evolving to be no activity days, other than puzzles and paper reading. I finished my prompt response yesterday, and hadn’t written here yet, so I guess it’s time to start getting it back together again, eh?

Great series that was very factual

There was no new movie on HBO last night, so it was all re-runs and patriotic movies like Pearl Harbor and Sands of Iwo Jima. We watched a multi-part series on The History Channel about George Washington that was pretty good. It wasn’t that I learned a lot from it. It was that they had sufficient real, historical input that it wasn’t the usual hagiographic pap that channel normally offers up. Washington was the right guy in the right place at the right time, who had a knack for knowing when to bend and when to be strict. Clearly his participation in the revolution was either divine providence or bad karma for George III – or maybe both.

It’s As Good as Could be done at the time

But these days, everybody is wanting to criticize the creators of the Constitution for postponing the real reckoning on slavery. OK, yeah, they did that, but what would we have been for the last 233 years without it? Likely either a banana republic, or an amalgamation of different countries like Europe. I think that’s where we’re headed now, with or without that document. Criticizing it is just the first step to trying to change it, then ignoring it and finally doing away with it. There are plenty of examples in history and in other countries where this has occurred. We are well on our way.

Episode 2 was marvelous; we’ll see about the third installment

I am looking forward to watching the third episode of Perry Mason tonight. The series got off to a very slow start, but the second episode was terrific. I love well written, well acted shows that are written for a broad audience. The exception to this rule might have been The King of Staten Island, directed by Judd Apatow. I think I mentioned it in a previous post, and said I liked it. Clearly it was aimed at Pete Davidson’s fan base, Gen Z’ers. I liked it for a whole different set of reasons than they would. First, Judd was smart to include a few very professional actors in the cast: Marisa Tomei as Pete’s mother and Steve Buscemi as a fire fighter (which he was before he became an actor). Buscemi’s presence gave the group a certain gravitas that was needed. And Tomei is so polished yet natural, that you could easy see a mother/son relationship between her and Pete. So kudos to Apatow for taking on a very difficult topic and handling it with great care, while making it entertaining. That doesn’t happen too often. By golly, I think these kid directors are growing up! By the way, he wrote the script too, with another SNL writer and Pete, who is very good at playing himself. Gee, I should hope so, eh?

Including the Staff

Kirsten resigned her job at the correctional facility, a decision I fully supported. They were ludicrous in their requests that she handle cases that had just been transferred in from other facilities that were loaded with Cvirus. There were several articles about prisons in California doing the same thing and spreading infections to many of the inmates. Coincidentally, one of her partner’s co-workers also tested positive for the virus, so everybody is in quarantine for a couple of weeks. When it rains..you know the rest. But I have to say she’s all about figuring out what to do next and being about getting it done. Kudos to my baby girl!

Did I mention that Emily got a job at Duffy’s Sports Grill? If I did, forgive me for being redundant. But here’s another example of one of the kids beginning to grow up. Now she needs to get her learner’s permit and then her license to drive a car. Lucky mom and dad having to put her on their insurance, eh? Kudos to Emily!

Where my garden gnome will end up after a Cat 7 hurricane hits

I hear thunder outside – guess it’s gonna rain again. That’s alright – it cools things off from these very hot days. There’s not much that can be done with the front garden anyway, so we’re just keeping things at bay until cooler weather arrives – or a hurricane to blow the whole thing to Pahokee. Time will tell.

My temperature is 98.6° F. My blood oxygen is 99% and my heartbeat is 70 bpm. No problema aqui.

122/111/2

I’m texting with Robin as I write this. Yesterday she was sounding totally overwhelmed by life after returning to work. She had a half day off today, so maybe she’s had a chance to catch her breath and relax a bit. We can only hope.

Boys & Their Toys? Nope – Girls!

John is buying a new Jet Ski that will be delivered next Tuesday. He has two, but one of them doesn’t run and the other is iffy but still runs. So he wants to gather together with the kids by their apartment and have everyone play with the machines. I volunteered a picnic lunch, but no thanks on jumping on the jet ski for me. Jopie agrees so we’ll cater while they play. Seems like a fair deal to me. They all have a lovely beach on the east side of their apartment complex that is on the intercoastal. It has picnic tables and would be ideal for that kind of activity.

And to Add Insult to Injury? No tartar sauce

Duffy’s Sports Grill is back open again so we ordered take out from there for dinner. The guys said their salmon was good. I ordered fried shrimp and sweet potato fries, but everything but the hush puppies were soggy when they got here. I keep forgetting that bar food doesn’t work as a takeout. It always tastes like it was either made yesterday (like ribs) or it is soggy (like my shrimp). Back to cooking. Need to get back to Aldi’s to get a whole chicken to spatchcock and bake with a chutney sauce. It’s a recipe from Milk Street Cooking, and it looks good. Gotta be better than my soggy fries.

Key word: reconcile, but nothing without violence

I’ve started work on the sequel to the Suffer the Children series. The new series will be titled The Reconvening, as it involves the disparate parts of the country reconvening after the cyberattack and subsequent breakup. My young female character from the previous series carries on and carries the day in the story. It will be very spiritual, much more so than the first series. I’m thinking of being the editor for a new New Testament, since my soon-to-be departed character’s name is Mathew – with one ‘t’. I think it’s going to be quite challenging, but a worthwhile effort. Sequels seldom match the original, so I don’t want that to be the case here. It’s gotta sing and soar.

This little piece of cloth may save your life or the life of someone else if you become infected

54,000 cases of Cvirus today, and Florida has the distinction of having moved into 4th place in terms of #’s of cases. Our death rate is far below that of New York and New Jersey, but at the rate we’re having people afflicted with this illness, in a couple of weeks we should be giving them a run for their money. It is so incredibly stupid that all we have to do is stay a few feet apart from one another and wear a mask. Neither of those things are difficult to accomplish, yet the number of cases – and deaths – keeps on relentlessly. As previously pointed out, the death to case ratio is still slowly dropping, but will it continue to do so after we process all these cases? I doubt it. All these kids are gonna infect their elders and we will see deaths. I just don’t want to be included in that statistic. So I have a feeling we’ll be Zooming with our grandchildren after school starts. If the numbers are this big now, I fear they will be bigger in September. We shall see. Maybe our idiot president is right, and it will magically disappear. I’m expecting a dollar under my pillow from the tooth fairy too. Same likelihood.

My former boss, Dan McIntire, has also become an author in retirement, and quite a good one! He likes James Lee Burke style murder mysteries, so he’s writing one, reclaiming his knowledge of west central Florida politics and dynamics. I’ve read seven chapters out of his total of 26. He’s awfully good at conveying the essence of the area, just as Ray is about the area around Carabelle in the panhandle. I guess they both followed the advice to write about what you know. I certainly didn’t: right now I’m in dry and barren Arizona, ready to take my character on a quest back to Colorado and the Kingdom of Heaven ranch she occupied twenty years – after a cyberattack a lifetime -ago. I love reading others’ writing. I learn from it, and it sharpens my sense of timing and word choices. We shall all carry on! Can’t wait to read more.

My temperature is 98.2° F. My blood oxygen is 97% and my heartbeat is 76 bpm. Still there and still square.

123/110/01

I’m starting the quarantine count over again, as I mentioned yesterday. Kiernan was here for about an hour, and of course I felt compelled to give her lots of squeezes, hugs and kisses. So if she’s a superspreader, some time between 2 days and 2 weeks from now, I’ll get the bug. We can only hope she isn’t.

Where the writing group meets

I got an e-mail from the old Lake Park writing group today. The leader apparently forgot I was there before, and has invited me to join. They won’t be meeting this Saturday because of the 4th of July, but they will pick up again on the 10th. They’ve fixed the issues I had with them before..no more sitting around waiting for the reading to be completed. Now everyone sends their work out ahead of time seeking critique. Also, it’s virtual on Zoom, which is just peachy keen from my perspective. I really don’t fancy being cooped up in a small room at a musty library exchanging aerosol fluids. No, no way.

Robert Johnson

I’m about 2/3 of the way through Balancing Heaven & Earth. It was written by an admirer of the author (one of those “by” and “with” books). What is clear to me is that the guy who’s the ‘with’ really doesn’t grasp what it means to be in touch with cosmic consciousness. I’m not sure I could adequately define it. All you can do is try to describe something that is really indescribable, so you do the best you can. All I know is, I think the guy who is in touch with this consciousness can’t write about it either, so I don’t feel so bad. But here’s the thing: Robert Johnson, the ‘by’ guy, described a dream he had that was so profound in its implications, he was summoned to meet with the man himself, Carl Jung, to discuss it. About ten days ago, I had a dream that was nearly identical, except the person he befriended he called the Buddha and I just said it was some person helping me. But I had this dream before I read the book. I dismissed it as just another wacky product of my imagination, until I read the book. Elaine and I discussed the dream for nearly the full hour today. So there was a whole lot in it that confirms what I already knew: that I am about to embark on a spiritual journey. Why am I talking about this? Because I’m not sure I want to be distracted by joining another writing club. I may attend on the 10th, and then let it slide. Oh hell, there I go again. It’s not possible to control it, so why am I setting aside time when the ‘thing’ comes on its timetable, not mine? I hope that makes a modicum of sense. Clearly I’m trying to figure this all out myself.

My Relief and Protector

Talking with Clemmie, a person dead for 76 years, is just the beginning, step 1 of this journey, the prelims, if you will. Once I crossed that threshold, it prepared me for the next steps, confronting my parents about my childhood. In that scenario, Clemmie was my relief from that confrontation, my protector if you will. But now I’m ready to absorb him into myself and become my own protector.

My temperature is 97.6° F. My blood oxygen is 97% and my heartbeat is 70 bpm. Good goin’.