April 6, 2020

The Wheels of the State Go Round and Round

The wife has her phone set up to get notified every time an email arrives. I think she forgot to turn it down because it dinged often and loudly all night long, especially around five AM. After the third or fourth random “Ding” I got up for the day. So it goes.

The governor announced a few weeks ago unemployment benefits have been extended another 13 weeks. Last week was my last normal payment. I tried all week to find out what to do, but of course the phone lines are closed, there is no email, and the website doesn’t offer guidance.

I tried to file a weekly voucher or file a new claim yesterday, but neither option is available to me because the system thinks I’m done with my benefit. That’s a long-winded way of reporting I won’t get any money this week. I’m not sure how I am to tell the State I’m still unemployed.

Me and a million other Hoosiers.

We won’t starve. We have enough food to last a few weeks and the utilities won’t shut us off. Internet  and TV, I’m not sure, but I have a week or two to figure that out. The wife got some fresh bread and some milk yesterday at the store so I think we have stuff covered until the State can get it’s act together.

Sadly, the DWD was one department at the State that embodied the worst of stereotypical political bureaucracy. They made the BMV look like customer service all-stars before this Corona virus crisis. They never answered a call, promising to get back to you in 24-48 hours. When they did call you back their general response was to “read the handbook”.

Once, when I called about a problem the conversation devolved to “where did you read that?” and demanding I cite page and paragraph from the handbook. When I did she told me it didn’t say that. I verified my edition and asked my question again. She said the handbook was wrong and she would get with management. I never got my question answered because all the clerk could focus on was the handbook did not match her idea of how things should work.

Things will work out. The wheels of government turn slowly, but they do turn.

If all else fails, I have been sitting around snacking. I’m getting fattened up. The wife can cut me up into a nice rump roast for Easter.

April 5, 2020

Baseball is unwatchable when there are no games

Palm Sunday greetings. We mark the saddest and happiest week in Christendom.

I won’t bother to bore you with the minutiae of my daily life today.

Politics seems to focus on the pandemic. Trump tries to be positive, Democrats complain. Trump tries to offer warnings, Democrats complain. Can we just admit we haven’t seen anything like this in about a century and try to get through it without investigations and finger pointing? There will be plenty of time for that in the aftermath. Sadly, politicians always default to asshole. All of them. There are no party lines.

If you are one of those snowflakes sitting around all sadz and crying in fear over this Wuhan Flu (I saw you on the news) get a grip. Listen to some Green Onions by Booker T and relax.

Here, this is why you showed up today:

Diamond Head 2014  I hiked to the top of that thing.

Taken on our anniversary trip back when life was good. We moved into our new house in 2013. Went on the wife’s dream vacation to Hawaii in May of 2014. Then a mere two months later everything went to crap as the company was sold. I lost my job. Things have grown progressively worse in the intervening years. I have not found a job as good or high-paying since. So it goes. There have been a lot of good things in that time frame too. In fact, great things. That’s why sitting around all weepy serves no purpose.

I convinced myself many years ago that if you focus on everything that is wrong in life, you miss out on the good. Nothing has shown that philosophy to be wrong.

April 4, 2020

What did you do during the Great Chopstick Fever, Grandpa?

I think it is Saturday. The calendar pages are starting blur in a progression of boredom. I wake up, medicate, coffee, blog. Then I mosey downstairs for breakfast. I watch something. Many somethings. Go for a walk. Or not. Lunch. Shoot the shit with the wife. Try unsuccessfully to get in her pants. Read. Pass time. Sit on back patio. Sit on front porch. Talk to the grandgirls on FaceTime. Supper. Sit on couch and watch tv. Rinse and repeat. Yet by some miracle I’m less stressed and happier than I have been in months.

I broke the monotony yesterday with a stogie on the back patio. The wife and I played a few hands of rummy while she baked a cake after dinner.

Today I’m going to smoke a pork butt. The sweet smell of meaty smoky goodness will torment the neighbors and leave them salivating in jealousy. I think I will make some macaroni salad and baked beans as accomplices.

I finished Tim Dorsey’s latest novel. I started a Travis McGee adventure. I’m still in the middle of rereading a Bruce Catton Civil War history. I’m almost through The Sopranos. I don’t know what series I’ll binge next.

Hang tough blog neighbors. We shall get through this.

April 3, 2020

Lockdown Log — Day Whatever

The neighbor and I chatted one day last week separated by the street. It was warm and sunny and we agreed being stuck at home was much better with nice weather.

I have changed my position on the matter. It is much easier to be confined when it is dreary, wet, and cold outside.

Yesterday was a perfect spring day, sunny, warm, no wind. The wife and I sat on the porch and watched one of our neighbors play baseball in the cul-de-sac with his son. That brought back memories. Oh, and I silently noticed the kid needs to raise his back elbow if he wants to hit the ball. The wife picked up take out from our favorite Mexican joint. I think she is getting sick of my cooking.

Another nice day is on tap for today. Temperatures are expected to move into the seventies next week, a reminder the air conditioning remains unfixed. I guess I know where my stimulus check will be spent.

Nothing new on the job front. The current economic situation has put hiring on hold pretty much everywhere. I had a conversation with a recruiter earlier this week about an opportunity. The pay was what I made in the early 1990s. I could swallow that, but a relocation to a far more expensive city would be required. Convincing the wife to move would be an almost impossible task anyway, doing it at a 40% pay cut is not worth pursuing.

So it goes.

April 2, 2020

Musical Interlude


Let’s take a music break today. Get your hippie on.

April 1, 2020

stir crazy

i play chess with a friend from Prague. 

He is my Czech mate. 

I got a new universal remote. My first thought was “this changes everything”.

I’ll be here all week. And next. And the next...

March 31, 2020

Kung Flu log for date 87.15.64

We ventured out to pick up some groceries yesterday afternoon. The store was fairly well stocked, but there were still some empty shelves. I think it was the first time either of us had been out for a week, besides strolling the neighborhood sidewalks for vitamin sunshine and exercise. Came home and scrubbed my hands and repeated after storing the groceries.

The boy seems better when we spoke yesterday. Breathing was almost back to normal. His cough was still bad, but better. Thank you for your prayers.

Days are blending together. There is little distinction between a Saturday and a Tuesday. The girls don’t come. We don’t hang out with our friends on a Saturday evening. I tried to find a virtual euchre game but it didn’t work out. As the current TV season wraps up things are going to get even more boring. I guess I will develop a love for yard work. I have enough of it to do.

Life continues on. We are alive. So far we are reasonably healthy. That is enough.
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