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Covid-19 Journal: Episode 13 - 20 May 2020 - Health Care in the time of Coronavirus

I type this with a banged up left hand. I have 4 stitches in my index finger between the knuckle and first joint and sliced off the tip of my left thumb.

It sounds worse than it is.

One of my self assigned jobs is as chief recycling container manager and on Sunday I saw boxes piling up for Tuesday's recycling and decide the best thing to do was to flatten the boxes in the container. I usually do this by taking a knife to each corner and folding them together into a single flat piece of cardboard and then the all fit in the blue container and all is right withe the world again.

It was a double walled Avon box from the 1990s that did me it.

The corners have double cardboard and the knife held in my right hand slipped and headed for the left.

I knew it was bad but it didn't hurt - yet.

I cursed and headed for the kitchen now bleeding in steady drips.

The Chancellor rushed to the scene and directed me to apply direct pressure - which I was doing already in a large wad of paper tow…

Covid-19 Journal: Episode 12 - 7 May 2020 - Costco insanity

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I've marked on my calendar every Tue-Thu 8-9 AM for "Over 60 time" at Costco. I figure it's a perk of my age and other than being a key demographic for future Covid-19 patient, there aren't a a lot of them.

With that in mind, the Chancellor and I planned our morning walk on the way to Costco and figured we would head over and "pick up a few things" like, for example meat.

We were surprised to see a line on this usually frosty May morning and debated waiting in the car versus standing in line when I decided to just wait in line while she waited in the warm car.

I got in line and a younger looking woman got in line behind me.

Now at this point I should fill you in on the number one think the Chancellor is doing that is making me crazy. Maybe it's the close quarters, maybe it's just too much of one another or maybe it's tinny sound coming from the iPhone speakers that sets me on edge.

She plays dog videos of dog training on her phone speakers l…

Covid-19 Journal: Episode 11 - 26 April 2020 - Disinfectant Kerfuffle

I've been attempting to watch the President's Coronavirus task force briefings in their entirety every day and not get pre-digested sound bites and opinions from the media - be it mainstream, off beat left or right.

I'm sure at this point you've seen at least quick cuts of this Thursday's briefing when following Bill Bryan's report on killing Covid-19 virus by Homeland Security Science and Technology, the President went off script (Transcript here):
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting.  So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it.  And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’…

My First Ramadan

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In this season of Ramadan, I'm reminded of my first Ramadan in May 1988.

My very first "real" job out of college was for a small military contractor based in Colmar, PA as a "Developmental Engineer III". My Office was in located in New Jersey at the Monmouth County airport off Highway 34 where the main attraction was watching those airplanes you see at the beach towing ad banners - get their banners. It was fascinating to watch out the window as the small, slow planes dropped their old banner and dove towards the ground to pick up their new one with a hook. You could kill an hour easily in the summer.

The contract I was hired for was based out the old US Army Fort Monmouth and was "handled" by two Govies whom I'll call Traveler one and Traveler two.
This nick name refers to what seemed to be their entire purpose for being employed by the US Government: Free trips.

When I was hired, my soon-to-be boss said there would be "10-15% travel" w…

Covid-19 Journal: Episode 10 - 21 April 2020 - Fire it up!

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In Michigan, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, a small group of people have emerged protesting the  "closing of the economy" and I recently saw that a friend posted "OPEN THE ECONOMY" to Facebook. It's good that we are starting to at least think about getting back to normal - but the real question is when?

To me, right now feels a bit early. New Covid-19 cases continue to mount, especially here in the Northeast but I'm not sure how much people can stand. 

Even when this is "opened up" are you going to feel comfortable in a large crowd again? If so when? May 30th? June? July?

I think not.

How about business travel? Anyone want to sit in a crowded aircraft middle seat not knowing where the knuckle-head next to you has been or if he or she is an symptomatic carrier?
No, it will be a long, long time before the Economy gets going again and some may end up permanently impacted.

We have tickets to concert that was at the end of May but now has been…

Covid-19 Journal: Episode 9 - 14 April 2020 - Tuesday after Easter Edition

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We have too much food.

There is simply no other way to put it.

I feel like I'm playing Jenga every time I open the 'fridge. Things are stacked on each other and take every opportunity to jump out of the cold onto the floor.

We're 4 meals deep on leftovers but I refuse to throw things out.

This Saturday's Maggiano's run didn't help. Of the Pasta, Salad, Chicken Parm, only the chicken remains. Then there is the ham. Mountains of ham are left from Sunday and I've had it once per day since Easter. This after I cut the 4 pound ham in half and froze the other half.

The former Oldest-son dorm fridge has a cake from Sunday.

I guess I do have the the Emergency Shed 'fridge. Nothing is going to freeze out there in April, right? 

Meanwhile, the house freezer is no better but it has the advantage of being a bottom draw type freezer, nothing can fall out. There is hardly a space to add a thing to the freezer and it reminds me of the great wall my Grandmother'…

Covid-19 Journal: Episode 8 - 11 April 2020 - Holy Saturday

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Food Shopping is becoming harder with every trip.


Shelves are bare, we wait in line and the State is in charge. Somehow the US has become Cold war era Russia almost overnight. If I were you, I'd stock up on blue-jeans and Billy Joel CDs to later trade with party officials for chicken.

This Wednesday we set foot is Costco for the first time since February and it was "different" but the new normal.

We dressed like bank robbers and at least I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible. The Chancellor did her usual disappearing act looking for God-knows-what.

They had no chicken but we bought what seem like an entire pig's worth of pork chops and froze most but cooked two the next night. The other white meat indeed. No TP but they did have paper towels. Everything is marked off in 6 foot increments and the cashier is now in a pope-mobile plexiglass like structure.

We also swung by Wegman's but there was social-distance line that snaked out in front waiting to g…