One thing I really hope people do take advantage of with all this time of home is to spend some time just shutting down and thinking. I know that will be hard for those of you with kids, but I don’t think people realize how much clatter and clang and just noise they deal with on a daily basis. You don’t always have to have the tv or music on. I sit for long periods of time with nothing but the occasional pitter patter of animal feet. It’s nice.
I sat on the back porch today with Thurston for an hour surveying the back yard, and realized how few people just take the opportunity to just sit and do nothing. It’s very nice, and a great luxury. Not to mention a great “activity” to achieve for social distancing.
And man has that willow tree grown. It’s astounding how much it has grown in such a short time.
This morning I commented that I thought that I might be off.
Alas, I am essential personnel. I have a time sensitive project that must be done. So, trying to get thru it, fast as possible.??
One of my goals is to get a nice bench for the backyard. I don’t have a porch, but I want a bench.
A Ghost to Most
Easy for you to say. You don’t have guys in hardhats setting up vibration monitors in your yard.
Cueing comments about the willow’s proximity to the house, three, two, one…
I love doing nothing. It’s hard to accomplish though with Ohio Dad and Son moping around the house on a very rainy day.
Anyone else scared now and thinking, “Oh. Shit.”?
The willow is coming from inside the house!
Don’t doubt it. Cole knew exactly what trap he was baiting with that line… :D
I’m still on campus at work, helping organize/supervise/work on the wind-down. Not sure how much longer we’ll have. I have a feeling that the County or the city will issue a shutdown order soon, maybe a few days or a week at the absolute longest. This place is like a ghost town now; at a guess, something north of 90% of the normal population is gone, and a bunch of the rest will be leaving today/tomorrow.
@A Ghost to Most: Quiet! They approaching the Tyrannosaur paddock.
@A Ghost to Most: Be grateful for the monitors. Your foundation is important.
A few years ago they tore up the street in front of my house to replace water mains. Took weeks and weeks, and when they repaved, the whole house rattled, like an earthquake.
Are we sure that this post wasn’t …actually written by the willow (pretending to be Cole)?
I finished up work for the rest of the week today in between naps. The Child’s dad will come and take her off my hands tomorrow. I am looking forward to a couple days of quiet, other than planned check-ins with friends and family online. I figure if I make it to Saturday without my symptoms worsening precipitously I should be okay.
i have kids, so when it gets quiet it means something is horribly, horribly wrong.
Mai naem mobile
The Dow is about 80 points away from what it was when Obama left. That’s about a 1% return per year under Trumpov. And oil is at $22/barrel. That should mean a bunch of people who no doubt voted for Trumpov will lose their jobs because of shale and fracking not being competitive with Saudi oil. Guess Prince in Waiting Jared has a really great relationship with Prince in Waiting MBS.
Packing up my office to go home. We are going to work remotely and our hours are reduced. I’m just grateful to be going home. My anxiety has been off the charts. And of course the trees are budding. Do I have a cold, allergies, flu, COVID??!
The one bright spot in all of this is that I won’t spend 10 hours a week commuting and I’ll be able to go for walks in the woods every morning with my pup.
Hubby is working from home today. For lunch, we walked to our downtown, picked up some salmon bowls as takeout, ate out on a patio, and strolled back past the historic houses. The apocalypse isn’t all bad!
I found this to be kind of amusing in a mordant sense:
Europe is mostly shut down. But what’s still open says a lot about a country’s priorities.
@dmsilev: Holy. Shit.
I agree. But my my spouse is one of those people who always needs to have something “on.” She has two public radio stations she goes back and forth between if she’s in the kitchen. If she’s in the living room, it’s the TV.
And half the time it’s just background noise! She’ll be absorbed in whatever she’s doing, but she still wants the sound on.
I notice her mother and aunt are the same way. We were over her aunt’s house one holiday, and her TV was blasting, so that conversation became a confusing jumble. It was obvious her aunt didn’t even know what was on (nobody was watching or listening to it), so I asked if I should turn it off. “No, leave it on!”
Major Major Major Major
At the urging of my editor(ish), I signed up for the Novel-in-a-Day SPECIAL APOCALYPSE EDITION, which looks like it should be fun. My creative output has been zero… granted, this event is a few weeks away, but still, good to have something on the calendar.
Spent a good hour after lunch (and post many Zoom meetings for virtual work) holding my toddler on my lap, reading books, and then just sitting quietly together. No TV, no educational games. Just some lovely moments in one another’s company.
I’ve noticed the diminishing noise around my house for days, but this morning it was so quiet as to be eerie.
Another thing I’ve noticed. I live about 3 blocks from a fire station and less than half a mile from the North Precinct police station. Sirens throughout the day and night have been a fact of life as long as I’ve lived in this house, and is one reason I keep a fan going at night even in winter.
But now, with most of the city shut down and people staying home, there are a lot fewer sirens. Which is really interesting to me: has crime decreased that much? Fires? Traffic accidents would, of course, with hardly anyone on the road. But the rest of it is kind of interesting and I wonder if anyone’s tracking that information.
Here’s how paranoid I’ve gotten: A few days ago I was paying bills, writing checks. After licking a few return envelope seals, my throat felt “scratchy” ! I started worrying the virus had somehow lived on my utility and credit card bills’ return envelopes….
I was looking forward to the quiet, and then the business that rents the ground floor of my apartment building decided to start doing drilling construction (without a permit). Because, hey, why not, seeing as how they can’t be open anyway, amirite?
The business is one of those drink and paint places, and I don’t see how they survive this. I’m bummed, because they’re actually generally pretty good neighbors, the place is fun, and the regular noise level isn’t bad, but yesterday- drilling all day- in a building filled with people who now have to work or school from home- not cool.
I went out yesterday because the battery on my phone no longer holds a charge, and I had saved up gift cards over the past 2 years to put towards a new one, so I had to go in person to a Verizon store (no way to enter in 5 gift cards on an online order). They were allowing 2 customers in at a time, so there was a short line. We were all maintaining social distance, but being very kind and chatty with each other, which NYCers aren’t always when in line. I think, much as NYCers bitch about other people, we are used to be surrounded all the time and, dare I say, are feeling a bit lonely for the company of strangers.
On the bright side, my husband pointed out that this is an honest-to-god example of situational irony, which of course made my Gen-X brain go right to you-know-what.
“Oh the Covid 19, came to our shores.
And the government said, ‘You best stay indoors.’
Take care of each other, show your good heart.
We can all come together if we just stay apart.
Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”
Why yes, yes I do! It IS ironic!
Are you sure that thing isn’t a whomping willow?
I am finding working from home a bit of a challenge. It seems that our IT guys thought I had Cisco AnyConnect installed on my laptop, but it turns out it wasn’t. So that took up several hours trying figure it out how to connect to the VPN on my own and then finally calling the main IT number which referred me to the campus IT guys and waiting for them to get back.
That is to be fixed when I can get to campus, so Friday. Then I had several Zoom meetings and am still waiting for instruction from the VA as to how to handle VA educational benefits, especially their housing stipend, now that they are all attending online and not seat time. Hopefully, we’ll know by tomorrow. Other than answering some emails, I really got nothing productive done. But Koda and Lovey took full advantage of me being home and drove me nuts, either barking or driving me crazy to go out. I have to figure out a better place to work.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Keep us posted when you’re awake.
Needs more fertilizer.
A good thing about willows is that you can take broken branch and stick it in the (wet) ground in a preferred location and it will often root.
I once had great horned owls nest and raise owlets in an old willow that had broken off a few times in storms and regrown and had plenty of deadwood. That was fun. Weird noises at night until they were spotted a week or two later. Shortly after the human spotting, the crows found them, but they wouldn’t budge even when mobbed.
We all warned you about the willow…
Today I encountered one of my neighbors at the cleaned-out-shelves Stop-and-Shop. I had gone to fetch:
What I was able to buy:
We need flour because our baker is on short hours/staff, and instead of their normal 20 varieties per week, they’re making 5. If you want anything but White, Wheat, Dakota 4-seed, Cinnamon, or Sourdough, well, make it yourself.
Everything’s out. People saw the news out of SF and NYC, and went and bought up flour and eggs and OJ. The nearest 6 pack of Bounty Paper Towels is 25 miles away, according to Target.
I caught up with another neighbor after that, and we’re like, “Wait a second, we’re not looking to hoard, here. We’re looking for normal quantities of stuff, at roughly the same time we always need them. WTF?”
Later I went out to MarketBasket, and they had flour and sugar and rolled oats and everything normal, except no ginormous pack of [rice, flour, sugar, etc]. And a sign saying, “look, buy the 5 pound. It’ll be a while until we get a pallet of 25 lb packs again”.
Gin & Tonic
Maybe to you, not to us.
Drunken painting? Does the most sloshed person who can describe their painting win a prize?
Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman)
I’m like that as well because if I didn’t have background noise, my permanent tinnitus would drive me insane.
Mrs Benwrietta and I have been playing guitar a bunch to relax, so maybe we’re not good contemplaters. Gonna take the kids and dog for a walk before it gets dark.
My nephew started working at home on Monday, and is enjoying it.
I’ve been doing it for a while, so for me it is just work. However, I always try to go out for a morning breakfast to relax and prepare for the day. And now I have to re-adjust now that restaurants and coffee shops are now “to go” only.
ETA: The new rule for restaurants came out last night. The owner of the coffee shop I go to let me and one other customer eat there for morning breakfast. Very nice and quiet.
Did she grow up in a large family? I’m the same way and always have been. My siblings also. We had six kids in the house. It was never quiet, not even the middle of the night. Background noise helps me concentrate. My college roommates were appalled at what I needed to study. Preferably a tv in the background, but music would do in a pinch. Graduated magna cum laude, so it worked for me.
“No, leave it on!”
In that situation, I ask if it can be turned down two notches.
My daughter cannot go to sleep without a TV talking at her.
@FlyingToaster: What compound do people live in that they need 25 pounds of rice at once?
A good thing about willows is that you can take broken branch and stick it in the (wet) ground in a preferred location and it will often root.
This is very useful in repairing riparian corridors after a big flood, or in the aftermath of gravel-mining or the cofferdam thing.
Where I planted ours it’s going after the neighbors. Sucks to be them! TBF it got gigantic, fast. The mama willow whence the original cutting came is a quarter of the size.
@mrmoshpotato: My sister in law has 5 boys, so it’s not an unreasonable buy. Once a month. Most families will never need more than 5 lb.
This is Massachusetts. We don’t have that kind of storage space. I buy 5 pound bags and transfer everything to plastic containers in the kitchen.
I’m afraid some morons are putting dry goods in plastic bins on their porches, which will rapidly be bitten through by rats and squirrels. Compounding the Covid-19 epidemic with actual fucking plague.
We’ve been buying gift cards from the small business owners we frequent. A little consumer stimulus.
@mrmoshpotato: Good lord, that’s super common here in socal. So many families eat rice with dinner every day. And the good rice is often only available in 10# or 25# bags.
@Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman): yeah, tinnitus. I’ve had it for about 15 years. I miss silence.
Better Half officiated at a wedding in a park this afternoon. Only he, the bride and groom attended as the wedding party’s other family members canceled. However, the park’s parking lot was packed to overflowing with town folk out to enjoy the beautiful weather (caveat – it doesn’t take much to overflow the lot, we’re in a small town). He reported that two women sitting on a bench high above where he married the happy couple clapped at the end.
Campus is closed effective today, though I started working from home yesterday. The weird thing for me is that it feels like going back to my normal for three years as a full-time student in an online program. Since I don’t have a home office, I work from my bed, and distinguish work time from play time based on which computer I’m using: MacBook for work; 17″ ASUS Windows gaming laptop for play. I make sure to set my alarm, and put actual clothes on even though in Zoom, no one knows if you’re wearing pants, because it helps delineate work/not-work for me. I do take advantage of being home to eat multiple small meals throughout the day. The cats are thrilled that both moms are home all the time; I expect they’ll be “helping” with my Zoom sessions.
I really, really am going to miss Plated, but at least we have the Farm Fresh box every two weeks. My wife did a major shop last Monday and bought our normal 24-mega-roll pack of TP (we’re little old ladies on lots of medication, okay?) and tissues, soap, and detergent. We get cat litter and food delivered, along with our meds (“Thank you for using the Kaiser Permanente mail order pharmacy. This message will now repeat.”) We went to the dispensary last week and stocked up on edibles, so we’re set for a while.
Major Major Major Major
@FlyingToaster: A good lifehack around these parts at least is to go to the Asian grocery stores. They don’t necessarily have big bags of wheat flour, but the shelves are very full.
For many families here, rice is a part of every meal and if there isn’t rice it isn’t a meal.
Sous chef friend who for a while worked as a cook aboard one of the tugboats which tow barges inter-island tried to turn out restaurant quality meals. According to him the most common lament he heard was “Where da rice?”
A sideways look at “enjoying the quiet.”
Police expect crime to decrease as people stay and work at home. Fewer expected burglaries. And with bars closing, fewer people getting into trouble, perhaps.
But in some places there are now 911 calls of people complaining that they can hear their neighbors coughing.
Dude, you just made me mentally dredge up the schmaltziest fucking song known to man. I hate you for this earworm.
Guess I could revert to talking to the stuffed animals I still have from my childhood.
Stupid question: There’s been heavy rain here since lunch time. It must knock any viruses swirling around in the air, but does the rain kill them?
Our neighborhood is much louder than normal on a weekday because of all the kids home from school. This is your typical upscale suburban newish development popular with families because of the good schools so every other house seems like it has school age kids. They are all out playing in their yards and in the mini-parks that the subdivision has scattered about. As well as exploring all the green belt areas. Not a lot of social isolation happening with the youth. Across the greenbelt I can see about 8 HS kids in someone’s backyard around the pool. Sigh. At least my two kids are taking it seriously
I wonder how much cleaner our air is as a result of this. I read somewhere last month that they estimated more lives in China were saved due to the reduction in pollution than were lost to Coronavirus.
Radagast Cole is an … unexpected … development in this season of Coronavirus: The Trumpening.
I’ve never really worked from home before, so this is a switch. It has helped ease the anxiety I felt in the past week and I was relieved that they closed because my boss is a “soldier on, wimp” type who’ll work through colds and flu.
i think the hardest thing for me is going to manage my PTO this year. My job involves international travel and that’s just not going to happen this year and into the next. I also take one trip abroad each year. My father had a stroke last year and is in a nursing home so I’ve been flying home every few months to look in on them. None of that is going to happen. When I go home it will be by car.
I don’t know what I’m going to do on a staycation that’s really a staycation. Taking a day off just to isolate in my condo. Since I can’t go anywhere because there’s nowhere to go, I might just end up giving that back to the company. Let us hope I don’t have to use it in the ICU
Our normally busy avenue is pretty quiet most of the day now. Lot of people out riding bikes and walking… the quiet is nice.
@Kent: Children can have mild or not symptoms but are major carriers.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Or small beagles with 200 dB voices who wake up out of a sound sleep and start baying at the slightest thing going on outside, at unpredictable times, all freaking day.
I’ve decided to keep going with the doggy daycare 2x/week. It’s my only outside activity left. It keeps him entertained and wears off some of that excess energy, and gives me a break from the random ear pain.
So those days at least I do get to experience long periods of quiet.
Of course I know this. What can you do? I’m just reporting what I’m seeing which I expect is multiplied 100,000-times across the country. We don’t technically have a shelter-in-place order here in Vancouver. Just school closures and suggestions for social distancing. So it’s not like they are breaking the law or anything.
Ok then. As a single dude who doesn’t eat much rice, it feels like a year’s supply of rice (that I wouldn’t have space for).
@Major Major Major Major:
thanks for posting this; emailed it to my son who is a writer
@mrmoshpotato: Ha! You get unlimited cocktails and a painting lesson, and if you can focus long enough to do what the instructor tells you, you walk out with a reasonably decent piece of work you made all by yourself. Mind you, the first time I went, I got home (which again, is just upstairs), made it as far as dog’s bed, lay down and slept there for the rest of the night. Not my finest moment.
But I’m very proud of the painting. ;)
Friend (long ago) once worked on for a bit a tugboat on the Mississippi and the rule was a pound of rice per person per day. Plus toppings of course.
@Gravenstone: Would you prefer death metal covers of thrash metal songs stuck in your head?
@Kent: The canals in Venice are noticeably clearer. Water’s almost blue!
Major Major Major Major
Wow that’s a lot of carbs!
@mrmoshpotato: There’s a lot of variations of that. Drink and bowl, drink and play ping-pong, drink and throw axes, …
Is John asking us to tell him the willow tree is too close AGAIN?
That didn’t go down so well as I recall last time.
@Ken: Drink and chainsaw carving?
Sadly, there’s this.
@Cckids:@Kent: The canals in Venice are noticeably clearer. Water’s almost blue!
I spent a decade working for NOAA and I can tell you that most of the pollution monitoring, especially from satellite, is completely automated and constant data streams. So there is going to be a LOT of interesting data coming out of this world-wide social experiment. Especially how fast the earth cleanses itself if we simply stop dumping toxins into our air and water. For example, here is a time-lapse over Italy: https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-covid-19-is-doing-to-our-pollution-levels
I am feeling like today is the calm before the storm. Is it just me, or is anyone else feeling that way?
@geg6: I”m waiting for my bodd to dtop my to see why I can’t access internet from my company laptop.
IT’S TOO FUCKING QUIET IN HERE!
I work for Kaiser here in N. Cal. I work in a hospital but not with patients. I and 20 others are in a windowless locked room (HIPAA don’t you know) banging away at computers all day long. Our leadership today (who does not work in buildings with patients) announced non-essential persons will all be working from home for a while. Essential persons will have to keep working. (Not so) Oddly, leadership is all going to be working from home for a while and those of us who are lower on the totem pole will have to just get over it. Reminds me of royalty and how I USED to think that the French were all wrong about how they carried out their civil war. What I see happening is that one of us will definitely get the virus and bring it in to the rest of us. There’s already one patient in intensive care from it in the building. Then our leadership will really be sucking eggs as they’ll have no one to do the outside referrals for the 2-3 week quarantine period. How these people became upper management escapes me.
@WaterGirl: Don’t make me throw a glass of water in your face.
@mrmoshpotato: The blood donation thread is one over please.
Think about all the fun you’ve ever had in your life.
Be glad you had it.
Believe there will be more someday.
It’s a bright sunny day here in Vancouver. If you live in Hurricane country, this is almost like the days before a hurricane when all is blue skies and calm seas but you know that monster is out there on the ocean just 2 days away. So everyone is madly hording and boarding up their windows.
@kindness: Do you not have the computer/phone capability to work from home? Or do they just not trust to to get the job done?
This is the first time in my life where a shared national sacrifice is required. Everyone of us in someway. It’s going to happen. I’m very aware of how fortunate I am. So far.
@Kent: You don’t suppose… Mother Nature… is trying to tell us something?
It’s occurred to me recently that south-central PA has had an unusually high number of gorgeous days over the past few months (for me, “gorgeous” = sunny, blue skies, temps below 80)–great dog-walking weather. Then I recalled that we’ve only had one snowstorm this winter and that this whole package is presumably the result of climate change. I should still enjoy the gorgeous days, right?
@Heidi Mom: There were gorgeous days even before the climate was changing. The fact there is one now shouldn’t keep you from enjoying it. So get out there and do so!
I got me a fresh quart of chain awhl, so good there. And my favorite power tool is literally a chainsaw on a stick. What could possibly go wrong?
Waldo gets it.
@mrmoshpotato: To me a distinction without a difference – both usually too screamo. I just let youtube roll in the background playing a selection of female Japanese rock acts, mostly. Much better then tormenting myself with 1968 story song schmaltz.
Kent – sorry but the corporate security software here at work won’t allow me to reply to posts for what ever reason. The software needed to do the job is proprietary and none of us have it on our home computers. We could do it if they had 20+ laptops to hand around. They do but all those laptops have gone to upper management. You see what I’m driving at.
@trollhattan: Oh, one of those mini-chainsaw tree trimmers?
@kindness: My boss is trying to arrange a laptop with the needed proprietary software for me so I can work from home while I deal with my current bug – likely just the cold that’s been circulating through our office. Not sure they’ve figured out how I will get said laptop, since I’m not supposed to go on site while symptomatic…
@Kent: I’m heading home with my work computer to start two weeks of work at home. Our Portland metro rare sunny spring (and general quietude everywhere) really takes the edge off.
Where’s this “quiet” you speak of? I think my upstairs neighbors have been running wind sprints across their apartment to burn off some of the excess energy from cabin fever.
@A Ghost to Most: I live in Denver too and my partner especially and actively opposed the I-70 below grade option. I did volunteer work on the failed/abandoned lawsuit vs. the EPA and poured through thousands of pages of documents that made me sick about how this project was inflicted on those least able to be heard. I hope that your fears don’t come true.
@WaterGirl: The number of fatalities is going to explode, I am afraid.
A Ghost to Most
@germy: After watching them lay the pipe across the street, I am confident that they know what they’re doing. Denver Water, not so much.
@Kent: Our neighborhood mini park, from 1961, is called Karona Park. It was full of kids today.
There was someone doing tree cutting earlier. The chainsaw sounded so reassuringly normal somehow.
@Heidi Mom: Yes, it’s weird but we might as well enjoy it. A little snow is good but please never again back-to-back Nor’easters like 2010.
By Dana Jay Bein, a comedian in Cambridge, MA — Coronavirus Rhapsody by DJB
At his website : http://www.danajaybein.com/
On his twitter: Dana Jay Bein (#DJB) @danajaybein
A Ghost to Most
@Sure Lurkalot: We’ll see. I’m good at getting in people’s shit when needed. I told them to give me a straight answer; the hardhat guys said don’t count on it
Whiskey’s for drinking. Water is for fighting over.
@A Ghost to Most:
J R in WV
A giant weather front is approaching us from the SW through Kentucky. When it arrives, we will have our internet connection greatly affected. It will become spotty and slow. News shows will not be streaming.
We may be limited to FM Public Radio !!! Oh Noes!!!! I kid, text will download slowly from time to time.
We have had a boatload of rain lately, way more than average.
So here’s a request for a book and/or computer game recommendation thread.
As I have more time on my hands I’ve been contemplating jumping back on the World of Warcraft hamster wheel.
What are other folks doing?
As in the coronavirus is the earth’s natural immune system response to human infestation?
I’m built for social distancing.
Today I went for a short run, timed to reach a small local grocery store right after it opened, as I was down to one head of garlic and needed to make some beans. Came back, showered, worked all day–and, tbh, feel grateful. I am employed, my organization is providing health care to folks (including testing, when we get tests), and the cold/flu I got a week ago essentially means I’ve been home since last Wednesday. I’ve been meeting w/ my team via zoom the past two days, partly to make sure they’re doing okay. Events cancelled? Good; I hope it helps slow the spread. Restaurants closed? Looking for ways to support the small local ones. Bars closed? Same thing. I know we have to wait two weeks to see what effect our efforts have had/will have.
@Marcopolo: I’ve been playing Fallout76. My wife has been really into WoW Classic, and I hop on occasionally too.
We should have a videogame thread. :)
In Basic Training, winter 1972-73 in Fort Leonard Wood, an epidemic of (IIRC) infectious meningitis was sweeping the trainee units.
Response: “sneeze sheets” on all the bunks — extra sheets rigged to enclose each bunk in a little cloth cubicle. Apparently it made a big difference.
Bring in some old sheets (and some lath if you have it) and extend your cubicle walls to the ceiling to prevent droplet drift over the partition. Or, if you want to make an ironic reference to the post-9/11 anthrax panic, plastic sheeting and duct tape.
@A Ghost to Most: @Yutsano:
Purportedly coined by Twain and IDK if that’s true, but from his era at least. And So Very True Today.
I’m deep into Skyrim, which I’d never played. Vast open world, music I really like, the 2016 re-release is visually stunning. I’ve normally been more into shooters than swords and bows and spells, but I’m starting to adapt.
(Although I have literally thousands of ours of FO4 time in-game, FO76 not for me because I don’t do multiplayer. Didn’t like Outer Worlds much. Destiny 2 more twitch/reflex than I can muster at my advanced age; Metro Exodus too bleak and starved for ammo, Far Cry 5 too redneck)
@schrodingers_cat: I tried to explain it to my extended family as going from Amtrak to a bullet train in pretty short order. At least in terms of number of cases. I don’t pretend to know what fatalities will look like, but I do expect the we will all be shocked by the reality of it.
The hateful 8.
Mother Nature… is trying to tell us something?
Mother Nature: Wet markets are a very very bad idea. Also, I’ve been warning you about indiscriminately feeding powerful antibiotics to livestock in industrial-agriculture close confinement, but you haven’t been listening.
@Marcopolo: World Without End by Jen Follett. Kind of a sequel to Pillars of the Earth- set in the same town of Kingsbridge, ~200 years later, in the 1300s. Long, but very readable. One major plot-theme: the Black Plague, and the struggle of the novel’s protagonists to limit the human and societal destruction. They do better the second time round. Very scary. May leave you thinking, well, things could be worse….
Bad linky. Fix.
@BGinCHI: How’re online NEIU classes going?
@J R in WV: We’ll miss you, but hopefully you will have good connectivity again soon.
As of right now, it’s actually louder at home than it usually would be in my office, since the guy next door has been running his leaf blower about 4 hours a day. My wife, who actually works at home full time, is more annoyed than I am.
But I am taking advantage of working at home to get outside and walk each day, and that’s mostly pretty quiet. It’s the perfect time of year for that, as spring blooms are out, and there’s something new every time, and my neighborhood is wooded and has pretty extensive community-owned parks. A lot of my neighbors seem to be having the same idea; either that, or the retirees (and we have a lot) already were meeting up on the walking paths before COVID-19 came along.
@randy khan: I’ve found that I with everyone home I’m ready to kill my neighbors too! We have two sets of doors to the apartment building and the outer set has broken glass so it’s propped open and the inner set is closed but the inner set SLAMS SO GODDAMNED HARD. So all morning is WHAM WHAMWHAMWHAMWHWMAHWMAWHMA ok. It’s been like this several weeks now – therefore all you assholes KNOW the door slams. Can you just NOT for the poor people in the apartments on either side?
@Avalune: Three weeks in and you may be grateful for the sounds from your neighbors. :-)
@Geminid: Thanks for the rec. I just finished a fantasy trilogy by Miles Cameron: Cold Iron, Dark Forge, and Bright Steel. They aren’t the level of GRRM or Daniel Abraham or Joe Abercrombie but I found them well plotted & written.
I will actually be calling my local Indy bookstore tomorrow to stock up on titles. No decisions yet.
I think I’ll drop MMMM a line and ask for a thread dedicated to books/games. He seems like the right front pager for that.
@joel hanes: Is that the Skyrim stand alone on your PC or the online version? I tried the online version & think about a decade of playing WoW has made it hard for me to get into other online RPGs.
If its the stand alone, I use a Mac & Skyrim wasn’t available for this platform.
@WaterGirl: I’ll definitely know someone’s “out there” anyway.
I mean I was pretty good with the aggressive vacuuming from upstairs…didn’t need the door but…
@Marcopolo: Leto can’t play any other RPGs outside Wow either. Kind of annoying sometimes. :D That’s ok. Just means I have games like Skyrim and Dragon Age and AC Odyssey to myself.
Yep. This will be very interesting.
We could never just tell a country, “shut your economy down so we can see what effect that has on pollution.”
But it is kinda happening, now.
@MisterForkbeard: If I do get back on WoW, it would be for Classic. I started playing in Nov ’04 & all the simplifying, dumbing down changes they made in ensuing years took a lot of the challenge & enjoyment out of the game for me.
Note, my first online RPG was Everquest so playing WoW when it first came out, though a challenge, was cake compared to EQ or Age of Camelot for that matter.
@Marcopolo: As I said earlier, Leto is playing Wow but BFA is so bleh I quit and haven’t in quite some time and nothing I hear out of him and our friend makes me want to play it now. I was just telling Leto today that I wasn’t really particularly excited for Shadowlands which makes me a little sad since I’ve been there from beta. Fortunately, I’m a not monogamous with video games and can enjoy other types.
@Avalune: Well, I have also played my fair share of Crusade Kings & Civ & Europa Universalis. I have those on my computer but I’m not sure I want to have to think quite so hard. So much plotting & worrying about terrain & stuff.
I did look at DragonAge when it came out. I think it was not available for the Mac OS. Dunno if that changed.
@Marcopolo: You know, I’m not sure. I played it for PS and PC when I did. I enjoyed it. I should be brushing up on my Red Dead2 but I’m kind of waiting out Animal Crossing because reasons I don’t understand.
@Avalune: My neighbors in the house next door are LOUD. They do not know how to do anything without being loud. They talk loudly, slam car doors, etc.
They get Tucker all worked up and I say every time, it’s okay it’s just our noisy neighbors. sigh
@WaterGirl: If you haven’t watched this you must:
@Avalune: I had never seen that. I laughed and snorted all the way through.
P.S. That was probably fun to make. Plus, it’s neat to see what you guys look like! :-)
Oh that’s not us? As far as I’m concerned that’s definitely our neighbors …though they look nothing like that. :D
It IS a hilarious video though. I still get a kick out of it.
@Avalune: I knew that wasn’t you, just trying to be funny!
@WaterGirl: whoops lol. I mean I figured but I didn’t want to be taking credit for something just in case!
@Avalune: Notice I did NOT take a stand on whether you were the upstairs or downstairs peeps.
I worked for Apple for twelve years, and I have a big iMac, but I also have a pretty good Windows 10 box because gaming is not one of the Mac’s many virtues. It’s just not a useful platform for the kinds of games I like.
J R in WV
OK, it’s raining now.
I mentioned we had wood frogs in the tiny pond, which was a great harbinger of spring.
Now this evening we have chorus frogs AND tree frogs aka peepers, going while the rain peppers the roof and solarium top. Really great to have the frogs back after several years without due to the pond liner leaking. So nice to have those peeping and chorusey sounds right outside the window~!!~
Chorus frogs make a long sound somewhat like drawing your thumbnail down a comb. Peepers just go peep, peep, peep.
@J R in WV: Thanks for the regular updates from your neck of the woods.
@joel hanes: FO76 works remarkably well as as single-player game, actually – I play it that way most of the time, interacting with other players mostly in events or indirectly when I want to buy something from their shop.
Skyrim is a blast, though. I replay it every few years and recently picked it up on the Switch, where the portability is just fantastic.
J R in WV
Later on we will see still more species of frogs, newts, toads, and bullfrogs towards summertime.
The newts and salamanders are pretty silent. But cute.
The tree is too close to the cat. Or so I’ve heard. Once. Long ago.