Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Do you miss baseball?  I ask because today would be opening day if everything were right in the world. 

Since the COVID 19 came around and we want to reduce our exposure to the outside world, we ordered some groceries from Amazon Fresh.  It took longer than it ordinarily would, which is understandable, but it worked fine.  The eggs they sent us were brown while most eggs available where we live are white, but again no problem.  Still, with Easter fast approaching, I can’t help wondering how many other colors they have?

One of my Facebook friends asked an important question the other day:  How long does toilet paper last if you freeze it?

Here in the USA, most people use the phrase “social distancing” to express one way of combatting the spread of COVID 19.  In England, the most frequently used phrase is “social isolation.”  How does social isolation even exist?  You can talk to someone who’s standing across the street, but can you be social and isolated at the same time?

The supermarket I patronize isn’t selling roasted chickens since the lock-down.  I find myself wondering if cold cuts are okay.  I know cold cuts are cooked and then refrigerated, but is it safer for me to cook meat after I get it, rather than buying it cooked?  Is the virus more likely to grow on pre-cooked meat?  I don’t ask that as a joke.  I don’t know and I’d like to.

At least the supermarkets near where I live aren’t jammed anymore.  Crowds have disappeared, especially when I go early in the morning.  Most products are available now, at least in limited supply.  But when will toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and paper towels will reappear?

Things I Know

To answer my own question about Democratic presidential primaries, Tulsi Gabbard has suspended her campaign too.

I like Toro lawnmowers.  The one I have now isn’t the only one I’ve ever owned.  But the one I have now has a gas cap with large protuberances around its edges.  These bumps catch on low-lying shrubs and work the gas cap off.  When that happened at the end of last mowing season, I lost the cap.  Mowing season fast approaches.  Did you know that the parts list you can find in the owner’s manual or online for my Toro lawnmower doesn’t contain a list of engine parts?  I didn’t either, but I do now.  In normal times, I would load the mower in my truck and run it over to the mower dealer for a new gas cap.  But these are COVID times.  And the listing for caps on Amazon doesn’t contain enough information to decide which one to buy.  The picture could show whether the cap fits a tank neck with inside or outside threads.  But it doesn’t.  The picture of the cap could show whether it has inside or outside threads and say what size tank neck it fits, but that’s not happening either.   I guess it’s time for some foil and a rubber band.

I scored some toilet paper this morning.  I only bought one pack.  If I hadn’t gotten it, I was going to head over to Home Depot to see if they had any extra-fine sandpaper.

I often listen to the British talk radio station LBC over the internet.  In the pre-dawn hours, today, presenter Steve Allen told the following joke.  I didn’t get all the details, because I was falling asleep so the names and dates may not be completely accurate, but it won’t spoil the story.

On a cool spring evening in June 2047, James was sitting in his favorite chair, reading.  He felt the urge to go to the bathroom, so he did.  When finishing his business, he finally used the last few sheets of toilet paper his grandparents had purchased in 2020.

Knock off the panic buying, people!


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned gatherings of more than 500 people while COVID 19 is running rampant through the countryside.  This blog will not close during the crisis.  I am 100-percent sure that 500 people have never gathered at one time to read this blog.  It would surprise me if 500 people in total have ever read it, let alone at one time.

Schools are closed where I live for the next two weeks.  My college alma mater is closed for the rest of the school year, having switched to on-line instruction.  It’s getting so it’s hard to keep track of what’s closed and what’s opened.  If you want to go to your doctor’s office, you should call first to find out if you are too sick for them to see you.

I understand the need to limit crowds to inhibit spread of this virus, but I miss baseball.  Will Spring continue to develop without baseball to cause warm weather?  I’m a Mets fan.  I’ve long since figured out that the rerun games SNY cable channel runs as “Mets Classics” only show games the Mets won.  Where’s the suspense in that?

I am in the group considered most at risk.  I’m older and have an existing chronic disease:  diabetes.  Still, people’s reaction to COVID 19 is a little ridiculous.  Why do you need to acquire every anti-bacterial wipe?  It’s a virus.  Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, so I wonder whether anti-bacterial wipes do either.

Why do you need every roll of toilet paper?  Diarrhea isn’t the most common symptom.  What’s with the run on bottled water?  Isn’t there at least one tap at your house?  Don’t you have a glass or a cup?  There wouldn’t be shortages if it weren’t for the panic buying.  My wife and daughter inform me it ought to be easy for our nearest supermarket to sanitize its shelves.  There still isn’t a hell of a lot of stuff on any of those shelves to get in the way of cleaning them.

One of my friends told me yesterday that his wife is stuck in Hawaii because of all the restrictions owing to COVID 19.  She’s not sick, and she’s staying with relatives so she’s not incurring a lot of additional expense.  Since those two things are true, I’m having trouble gathering up any sympathy for the nice lady who’s stuck in Hawaii.

In England, they’re thinking of forcing everyone over 70 years of age to self-isolate.  FOR FOUR MONTHS!!!!!!!  If the old people can’t go out, who’s going to go in to take care of them?

Both in England and here in the USA, it’s been suggested that retired doctors and nurses should come out of retirement to help.  If they’re retired, aren’t they likely to be older, and therefore more at risk of dying from this disease?  So, is that really a good idea?

Sirius XM, the satellite radio subscription service now has a channel (121) devoted exclusively to COVID 19.  And it works on your Sirius or XM receiver whether you have a paid-up subscription or not.

I think the best advice comes from a man who died more than 30 years ago, Michael Conrad.  Mr. Conrad was an actor more famous for a character he played in the hit TV show “Hill Street Blues” than for his actual name.  As Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, it was Michael Conrad who reminded us each week to, “Be careful out there.”

Six Degrees

As best anyone can determine, the term “Six degrees of separation” first appeared in an article in Psychology Today magazine.  The concept of everyone being reasonably closely associated with everyone else first appeared in a short story in 1929.  It’s the idea that everyone is separated from knowing everyone else by at most five people.  In other words, I know A, A knows B, etc., until E knows F. Erstwhile presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the race on Super Wednesday (the day after Super Tuesday).  This caused me to reflect that I know someone who once worked for him, so one degree of separation.  Years ago, I knew someone who worked with Bill Gates.  One degree of separation again.  Also, one degree of separation from the Lone Ranger (a since-deceased actor I once knew worked on the radio show opposite Brace Beemer).  And, since I’m one degree of separation from the Lone Ranger, doesn’t that make me three degrees of separation from the Green Hornet?  It is indeed a small world!