Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We are always living history, but now more so

The audiobook I'm listening to, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, by John M. Barry, just spent a chapter on how Woodrow Wilson's contraction of the 1918-1919 pandemic influenza in Paris had terrible effects on the post-World War I talks with Britain and France. Where he'd been set to remove himself from the negotiations, he instead came back from the illness, probably too soon, and gave in to all of France's demands, the very ones that set up the rise of Adolph Hitler and WWII. Since that time we have made connexions between influenza and neurological and disposition changes.

The next chapter is discussing the resurgence of flu the next fall, and how it finally faded over the next few years. But millions had died, many children were orphaned. For many, the effects were lingering, some for a year or more. But through so much of the pandemic, it was downplayed due to the war effort. 'It was only influenza', ignoring the virulence of this strain.

It's also talking about the lack of writing about the pandemic at the time, and how that was like the mediaeval accounts that lack much of any study of the Black Plague. It reminds me that we are living through history. We need to take pictures of grocery stores with their lines. We need to write our stories. I started this blog in 2001 shortly after the attacks on September 11th. It's waxed and waned over the year, but this reminds me that this is an opportunity to put down what we do and how we feel.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

So yesterday was actually pretty productive

and I'm on track for today as well. Yesterday I:

  1. Went to two pharmacies and got medication for my roommate and myself.
  2. Got some groceries while I was at the second to try to combine runs.
  3. 'Read' for two chapters (but it was an audiobook, so I listened for about an hour, really), The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, about the 1918 flu pandemic.
  4. Listened to music and perused Facebook, which probably shouldn't count as productivity, but I was up and that's what matters.
  5. Organized about 60 Kindle books into categories so it isn't a terrible mess.
  6. Composed a complete yet eloquent rant on Facebook concerning those who were outside of our Capitol building while the governor was announcing deaths in a huddled mass shouting for him to reopen the state and end the COVID-19 restrictions.
  7. Re-watched and sang to 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog', which made me feel quite a bit better after that. :)
Today I woke up at 7 am because I'd set my alarm to early as I had not done my normal task of washing the percolator and its basket so my roommate could make coffee this morning. I wanted to make sure I was up before him, as when he gets up to make coffee he is usually so out of it and if the pot and basket are clean, he is too out of it to do himself. It's one of those little things I do for him each night, I just forgot to yesterday.  For those who don't understand, you try using a percolator rather than a Keurig and see how you do when you're half-awake.

So after I got that taken care of (three hours before he woke up!) I:
  1. Called T-mobile to finally get my hotspot fixed, as  I knew I'd need it where I am now, away from the Wi-Fi, and it hasn't worked in months.  Apparently, there was no problem with my plan, the data, the laptop, or actual connexion.  It was connecting, just not giving me Internet.  So we went through various settings and two operators, each of whom had to call me back periodically, and I had to factory reset my phone, but it is now working.  If it hadn't, I still have my phone under insurance and they were willing to replace it. I feel good about my service; they were very helpful.  Now I just need to restore some of the stuff that was backed up and re-download some applications and I'll be good to go.  My music and everything was all on an SD card, so I didn't actually 'lose' anything.
  2. I've taken my car to the shop to get the front brakes fixed.  They've needed it for a while.  My mechanic, Kenny @ Mitch's Auto, runs a small shop and I know their business has really been impacted by all this.  So I thought I'd get them fixed while I was off rather than taking it to a chain.  They've always been really great about fixing my car and not overcharging or anything like that.  I'd highly recommend them.  They're on Industry Road near the Circle in Lexington.
Other plans today: 
  • I have to go back to our small independent pharmacy as my roommate was asleep when I picked up what was ready yesterday, but he had a few other things he needed.  But that's just a drive-through sort of thing.
  • I'm going to take some things to my storage unit.  I have my winter clothes packed up (in one, not two totes this year), and I have a few other things that are sitting in my room right now otherwise.
  • Reading some more. I'll listen to more of the Barry book, maybe while I'm waiting for the car to be finished.
  • Re-install things on my phone.
  • Do some more reading as far as my Kindle goes now that it's ready to go.
  • Straighten up my room a little.
  • Launder my masks and the clothes I have on right now and from yesterday that I went out in.
  • Take some pots and put them in the shed until I'm ready to use them so they don't wind up being blown around like the other day when a couple were in the yard
I wish I was in a good place for gardening.  The soil in the yard at roommate's house really needs to be worked and amended.  I thought about getting a hanging plant yesterday when I got groceries from Kroger, but it's cool right now and we've been under frost warnings.  I'll look next time I make a trip out to the store.  But container gardening is about our only hope right now, as neither of us has much to spare in terms of getting what's needed to improve the soil.  I do have a big tub at the storage unit that might work for a tomato plant later once the frost is not an option.  I just need to drill a few holes in it, although a co-worker has my drill at the moment.

Okay, I think I'll go ahead and post this and switch over to working on the phone.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020



Found on Facebook

Good information embedded in the humour

Another one...

it does help if you can understand a Scottish accent, unlike my roommate, who gets about every three words, mainly the first and last of a phrases

This is hilarious


Starting the second round of staying at home for a week. Things I'd like to do differently:
  1. Work on my mental health. Work sent out something from our EAP about a service/app called Whil with all sorts of educational resources for mindfulness, anxiety calming, meditation, and stress release. I went ahead and signed up at work (as it required the work e-mail) and now I'm set. My goal is to spend an hour a day on these. They include video and audio programmes, and it's free with our EAP up to June.
  2. Try to actually read. Again, an hour a day is my goal, whether it's an audiobook, e-book, or physical book.
  3. Finish 'Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' with my friend on Netflix.
  4. Survive my bread cravings from Pesach/Passover since I can't get something and bring it home until Thursday after sunset.
  5. Do almost no travelling out of the house, with some planning. Today I do have to go out to two pharmacies, one of which is Kroger, so I'll try to do a grocery run in and out at the same time.
  6. Do some writing, whether it's on my blog or other things. Something to keep me from being on Facebook all day and feeling that I accomplished something.
  7. Get my brakes fixed, as my mechanic is only open on weekdays and I'm off. Also, I'd be supporting a local small business.
That's a start, anyway. I'm off through Tuesday before I return to work this time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

It was nice

to watch the first episode of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix today.  It took me right back to the magic of the original movie. :)

Day One

of my week off.  I managed to get everything taken care of that I could in that week I was still working so my backup will hopefully only have to deal with add-on surgeries (we're only doing fractures and casts at the moment) or urgent offsites (the University of Kentucky, our main imaging partner, is scheduling non-urgent scans in July as of yesterday).

I tried to get up at a reasonably early time for someone who had really nothing to do today, although I did reset my alarm so it wouldn't start at 5 am.  I tried for 7 am but instead wound up getting up about 9:30.  I got ready and went out to Kroger for a prescription I had waiting for me and finally managed to score a package of paper towels while I was at it, then came home and since then I have mostly been looking at the news, or Facebook, or listening to music, or downloading audiobooks and looking at books to read.  So today is my preparatory day for the rest of the week.

So far I haven't been very bored, although both the food in the refrigerator and my bed are calling to me, so maybe a little. I have discovered that my roommate binge-watches 'Dark Shadows' on Hulu at the moment to wake up and meet the day.

Last night the kitten was inconsolable because his toys were all missing except a ball with a bell in it that really held no interest for him.  I had the intuition to move a marble-top washstand in the living room and voilà! we found his hoard of toys, including the butterfly with the crinkly leaves he adores but I had never actually seen because he hid it the day he got it. Now I've got both cats on my bed and I'm listening to Bastille in my room facing the window with the orchids and a blooming redbud tree outside.

I put a little laundry away, but today was about relaxing after working a week and a half out in the world while most people have been off or working from home.  Our hospital is screening everyone with a temperature check before they come into the building--patient, visitor, staff--and distributing homemade masks that are primarily to help you remember not to touch your face and keep out any droplets.  It won't protect from the virus such as the ones the first responders and ERs have (the lucky ones, anyway), but it'll keep us from pulling any from other places that may need them more.  Our team approach is reducing exposure.  I haven't been able to eat with my lunch bunch all week--my boss directed us to eat lunch in our offices and keep the doors shut.  The only time I go to any other place in the hospital is to go to the bathroom, get a drink, check the mail in the mailroom, check my offsite folder (which I can see through our department door, so I don't have to go in unless there is one) or, in yesterday's case, I filled in at the sign-in desk for a half an hour so someone could go to lunch.  I had to stamp passes the parents had for parking, so I was very cognizant not to touch my face and then washed my hands really well when I was done.  I also wiped down the whole office with disinfectant before I left for the day, as someone else from upstairs might use it while I'm gone.  Of course, when I come back next week I'll do that all again.

I think I will lie down just a bit.  Governor Beshear is going to give his update at 5 pm, so I want to be up by then.  The updates have become known outside of Kentucky, and people are creating memes and videos of him.  There's a fund set up to help with the COVID-19 fallout in Kentucky and someone created quotes on t-shirts with 100% of proceeds going to that fund.

This evening I may go for a walk (by myself).  I have some new shoes that (unlike the walking shoes and Mary Janes I had) are completely level and not worn down from my natural walk, which is on the outside of my feet.  My Mary Janes, which were three years old, were so worn down they were at a 0-45 degree angle and my foot was rolling over every time I walked, so I had to throw them away.  They were in such bad shape there was no reason to try to donate them.  The walking shoes were getting there, too, as they're five years old.  So it was beyond time.  I only have a pair of sandals (which also need replacing) and a pair of house shoes, as I'm pretty utilitarian when it comes to shoes and keep them to a bare minimum.  So these are work shoes but look like a sneaker.  They are from New Balance, and they come in an extra-wide size and don't press badly on my feet (which is bad when you have diabetes), but they also have a steel toe, anti-static protection, and skid-resistant shoes, which probably isn't bad since I'm accident-prone.  So I'm trying to break them in before I go back to work. I wore them to the pharmacy today, and like I said, may go for a walk in a little while.  They're a little heavier than normal due to the steel toe, so I had to be careful not to put the accelerator down too far when driving. Talk about a lead foot. :)

Okay, that's all for now.  Hope you are having a wonderful socially-distant week.  Hopefully, you are staying at home unless you're an essential worker or needing to go out for supplies.