My Photo

« What I'm reading and what I'm looking for | Main | I got yer clash of civilizations »

April 12, 2020


It's partly cloudy to sunny here with a temperature of about 80 degrees.

I just got back from a 5.3-mile walk along the streets. Easier to avoid people than walking the bike paths. Besides, there may never be another time in my life that I can walk out in what otherwise would be busy streets.

As an additional exercise, I carried a bag and picked up the various pieces of metal I found along the curbs. This trip I got about one and a quarter pounds per mile.

CharlesWT -- so might one ask what you do with the metal you find?

The reason I ask: you reminded me of something from the old office where I worked for a long time, which I had completely forgotten about. It was a piece of art that one of my colleagues had hung in his window. It grew and grew and finally covered most of a very big window.

It was woven of long (maybe 10-12 inches?) very thin stris of metal that he -- and eventually all of us, his pals -- picked up off the streets of Cambridge.

There was originally a guessing game about what those thin strips of metal were. I will leave it a mystery for now, although maybe other city dwellers will get it pretty quickly.

stris -> strips

all the trees have their leaves now.

i discovered a couple patches of poison ivy growing near the house. going to be tough to kill, i bet. Mrs forbids Roundup and the 'natural' ways aren't great. that's going to be my summer, i bet.

took a nice long drive yesterday, just to get out of the house. i've only used 1/3 of a tank since i filled it up March 13th. i could get used to that.

We're having a bit of spring rain. Which is wonderful, having had all of February without a drop. But by tomorrow we should be in the mid-70s. Springtime!

I confess to an enormous temptation to go for the same kind of drive. So far, I'm being good and staying home.** But I expect I'll break down and drive in a week or two.

** Has anyone else noticed the resemblance of the "stay safe and stay home" ads to the stuff that came out during WW II? Exhorations from movie stars, star athletes, local and state politicians, etc., etc. Everybody (except the President) has ads to that effect on TV and radio. We're all in this together, stay safe, thanks to those (from police to medical personnel to grocery clerks) who are going to work anyway, so the rest of us can stay safe.

I haven't decided what I'll do with it. Aside from the aluminum, brass, and copper, it's near worthless. Although, some of it is useable tools like sockets, spanners, screwdrivers, drill bits, etc.

you can mine platinum on the side of highways.

In getting rid of poison ivy, don't burn it. And, if you do, stay upwind. Poison ivy in the lungs is not a good thing.

Speaking of taking rides, when I was in Illinois, this was the perfect time to go to the east coast of Iowa / west coast of Wisconsin. More ducks and mergansers than you can imagine in the Mississippi River valley.

@wj -- it's funny how we can interpet things in different ways.

Without meaning to be defiant or edgy at all, I have interpreted "stay home" as "don't go near other people." My son lives in his own apartment but in the same building I do. When he brings me groceries, or when we go for walks in or around the barn, we stay 8 or 10 feet from each other, and he wears a mask. I haven't been even that close to anyone else since 3/11 until this power company guy today, and he stayed maybe ten feet away from my car.

I've unconsciously assumed that going for a drive, alone in my car, doesn't violate the "stay home" order. I suppose it could be problematic if my car were to break down and I needed help, but so far so good on that score.

I feel very lucky to have all this space.....

"Anita Shaffer went for a drive around her neighborhood on Sunday and came home with a $200 fine for violating Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order that's meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Shaffer told PennLive that she went for a leisurely drive simply to get out of the house, but ended up getting pulled over by two state police officers as she was returning home. The cops said her taillight was out, but the ticket they ended up issuing to Shaffer says she violated the state's Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955 and 'failed to abide by the order of the governor and secretary of health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease.'"
To Enforce Social Distancing Rules, Cops Fined a Pennsylvania Woman Who Was Driving Alone: Not every apparent violation of a quarantine order is a risk to other people, and not all need to be (or can be) enforced equally.

I've unconsciously assumed that going for a drive, alone in my car, doesn't violate the "stay home" order.

I think I'd make the same assumption. Except that among the early things I'll need to do if I go for a drive is stop for gas. Which I suppose wouldn't be problematic, provided I use gloves (or, more likely, a plastic bag) to handle the pump handle....

A Maine comparison. And this is a lot sterner than what I've seem quoted from the Portland police. (I don't live in Lewiston or Portland.)

"Taking a ride" isn't mentioned. ;-)

Then again, this...

“Gatherings of more than 10 people are also prohibited regardless of where they take place, including in your home.”

...might imply that they're not going to stop people from visiting other people, within limits. And where I live, if you're going to visit other people, you're more likely than not to have to get in your car to do it.

I don't think I'm pushing the envelope too hard. Or often. I could just give an excuse: "I need groceries" -- but on the back roads I've been driving, that would not pass the straight face test. On the other hand, on the back roads I've been driving, I don't see a lot of cops. In fact, I don't see much of anyone.

I think going for a drive here, even if alone and you don't get out of the car, is heavily discouraged if not actually verboten. Although I agree, I can't see the harm.

Out of my back window I can see several bushes of perfect white camellias, a sapling covered in pale pink cherry blossom, and a few burgeoning rambling rose plants which were heavily pruned so should, from around June to September, produce a fine succession of white and pale pink roses. Although I have no access to all of this, I helped plan the planting, and seeing all this florescence gives me a great deal of pleasure.

Geez, if I had known it was such a crime, I wouldn't have confessed online.

I'll be good, I promise!

But more seriously, the list of things people are allowed to go out for, at least in Maine, is so long that I don't see how a "don't drive your car" mentality is enforceable. Besides groceries, take-out food is allowed and is being sold all over the place! (Although not on my back roads....)

Here in Japan, we are looking (or maybe it is just me) at all this with bated breath. Though it seems that if you were to keep to your social circle and you avoided gatherings and followed the distancing requirements, it would be possible to create a semblance of normal life if rapid testing were available. The story about the cops in Penn is so obviously an overreaction on its face that it makes me wonder how many people have the mentality of wanting to be enforcers regardless of logic.

how many people have the mentality of wanting to be enforcers regardless of logic.


Too many?

Also, from CharlesWT's linked article:

(UPDATE: York County District Attorney Dave Sunday has announced his intention to withdraw the citation against Shaffer. "Based on the facts in this one specific case, the fact that she was on her way home, that she was by herself in her car, that she was completely cooperative. I think that prosecution from my office of this may not be in the public interest," Sunday told WSBA Morning News with Gary Sutton.)

We're getting more sunny days than not here, and some deciduous trees are making an effort to wear their spring clothes.

Cherry blossoms have been out for a couple of weeks - UW set up cameras in its Liberal Arts Quad (famous for its cherry blossoms) so people could see the blossoms without leaving home.

i stay at home in that i don't go anywhere where there are any people.

i'm still out running four days a week. i'm in the country and the only people i see are driving past, doing 55, on country roads.

Weeping cherry and the PGM rhodie are in full bloom. Daffodils, scylla, and primroses are up.

Oddly, the bloodroot, which us usually one of the earliest risers, is not yet in bloom.

House finches and goldfinches are pretty close to peak mating color.

Nature has a mind of its own.

russell -- your notes reminded me of how beautiful it can be in the city in the springtime.

Somehow or other I often ended up working in Cambridge the week of Patriot's Day, and it was usually breathtaking. It's always weeks ahead of where we are in central Maine, and there are blossoms (esp. dogwoods!) that you don't see around here at all.

This is a rough climate and landscape, which of course is why I treasure the simple things like spring peepers and lilacs. But it's a great treat to go somewhere where it's lusher sometimes.

I've really been enjoying hearing birds when I walk in the evenings. I can't identify most of them, but I'm noticing them more than usual this year.

Today: two osprey soaring together over the lake, then stopping to hover and look for dinner.

It was woven of long (maybe 10-12 inches?) very thin stris of metal that he -- and eventually all of us, his pals -- picked up off the streets of Cambridge.

I keep finding some kind of saw blade, thin, 8" - 10" long, half-inch wide with teeth along one edge. I haven't figured out what they come out of yet.

We're having a bit of spring rain. Which is wonderful, having had all of February without a drop. But by tomorrow we should be in the mid-70s. Springtime!

About the same here (first rain in weeks last night, there is an official warning level about forest fires). Temperatures got above 20°C repeatedly while still dipping to near zero during the night occasionally. Many plants went to bloom early but got hit by these short but sudden drops. Fruit harvests will be low this year as a result.

@CharlesWT: the strips in my friend's hanging art were the bristles from street-sweeping brushes. He punctuated the weave with other little found objects made of metal.

Once we knew the bristles were out there, we couldn't stop seeing them. They were probably somewhat seasonal -- cleanup after winter, in particular -- but I wasn't there all the time so I didn't pick up on that one way or the other.

Your saw blades -- I dunno! Visions of power company trucks are clouding my mind, but you wouldn't think those workers would be losing their tools at the rate you imply.

Then again, you wouldn't believe the things people have left in our barn basketball court.

The blades I'm finding are sort of like jigsaw blades.

Over the years, I've picked up and dragged all kinds of things out of the streets. Carpet, furniture, appliances, fence posts, lumber, rebar, chunks of concrete, bags of cement, tools, vehicle parts, tires, laptop computers, cellphones, purses, billfolds, 1, 5, 10, 20 dollar bills, coins, credit cards, gift cards, employee ids, student ids, driver's licenses, along with various and sundry chunks of metal.

Strong storms and some tornadoes cut through North Georgia overnight. Somehow my ficus plants were still upright out on the back deck. Pollen first became noticeable in late February, increasing in quantity and variety since then.

The last Saturday in March the time of the season hit me so I took a walk on my 4.5 mile route through the Druid Hills neighborhood. Lots of rich/well-to-do folks, big houses, well kept grounds, etc. But one house in particular has an abundance of flower beds, and for a brief period in the early spring (getting earlier and earlier - thanks, Climate Change!), the tulips come up and do their tulip-y thing.

Unfortunately, just looked at Google Maps and went to street view, and the photo is from December 2018. So you can see their Christmas decorations, but you'll have to use your imagination for the tulips. 797 Springdale Rd., Atlanta, GA.

I spend around two hours a day in the local park / woodland; fortunately it has almost 800 acres and is wild and beautiful. First I take my kid out which is hilarious - doesn't stop talking, even there... and then in the afternoon to go out running or walking on my own - solitude, hooray.

Once in while I nip to the shop, but we order most of the stuff online. My wife has a latent health issue so we have to be careful, but we try to be cool about it, still it sucks.

doesn't stop talking, even there

I had one of those: processed every thought out loud. Sometimes I would say, "You have to go play now, I need to think my own thoughts for a while."


The comments to this entry are closed.