Sunny afternoon, lovely day, chatting with my neighbor over the fence today. We are observing the usual distance. He notes that business has never been this slow. He has to postpone everything.

He’s a funeral director.

I considered making a tweet about it, because it is comic in a dark sort of way - and a bit heartening, no? Just a little? But I knew the tweet would bring people who just had to say something along the lines of “Tell your friend to wait” or “so sorry he’s not profiting off Dumpf’s death-march” or other such deft ripostes. The appetite for miserabilism is slakeless.

Note: the following remarks are not intended to minimize the threat or argue against shelter-in-place rules. THERE ARE BAD OUTBREAKS and it's horrible for a lot of people. Rotaria had a friend over today to say goodbye, as she’s being repatriated to Spain, and they sat outside six feet apart and I Cloroxed all the gate handles and disinfected my hands after picking up the glassware, okay? I've been planning for lockdown for a month. I have no intention of making a grocery run at least six days, for fruits and vegetables. STAY HOME and light a candle for a trucker, a waterworks engineer, a healthcare professional, and all the other people who will help us through this.

But find some other profession to thank before you get around to some opinion leaders in the Media, maybe?

  That was the 13th, two weeks ago. It’s still a problem.

But here's today’s Seattle Times:

State officials have been working to find and acquire protective equipment like gloves, gowns, thermometers, hand sanitizer and N95 and other masks, to keep health care workers safe from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

The state this week has been able to acquire 500 ventilators, 1,200 gowns, 500,000 N95 masks and 130,000 surgical masks, according to Kent.

Washington officials also have commitments to receive 13,000 thermometers, at least 2.4 million more N95 masks, 300 ventilators, 2,500 disposable stethoscopes and other gear, she said.

Those items will likely stream into the state in installments in the coming days and weeks, she added.

As the man said, not great, not terrible. But the dire grimness of Kristof's tweet didn't happen - yet - and who knows, maybe his tweet spread awareness and solved the situation! Hurrah! But you read that tweet after one that's equally dire and the next tweet is equally grim and it's all reports and emails and doctors I know, well, the cumulative effect was hideously demoralizing

The lead feature story on the website, with the most display, at the time I visited:

  If somoene had said two weeks ago this would be on the front page of the website, it might have seemed like a great relief.

As for turning out like Italy: this is the Seattle Time's graphic for the state.

Italy - the entire country - had 650 cases on 02/27. Two weeks later, it had 21,000 cases, with 1,441 deaths. Washington - the entire state, not Seattle - has one-tenth the number. The population of Italy is 60 mil+; the population of Washington is seven million. If you want to look at it in terms of percentages, you can say it's "like Italy," but it's clear that the phrase is taken to mean like Italy in terms of numbers. "Like Italy" in the current vocabulary means "thousands of deaths."

My point is this: speculation was being served up as a certainty, and every possible dire datapoint was tweeted and retweeted until there was a maelstrom of despair. It was almost impossible to avoid. We all felt it.

Every time I went to Digg:


Don’t presume to know what I think.

“Within weeks our old lives were gone.” Well, yes. For the duration. And then old lives will reassure themselves entwined with new ideas and ways of living.



Comment on the story:

Even grimmer! Grimtastic! Grim-grim-grimmity grim! Anyone who doesn’t see that this will end in mass death everywhere is an idiot! It’s mere coincidence that the current crisis has nearly confirmed every pre-existing idea I had about things! Why? Because this is a horrible place.


It's hard not to detect a malicious pleasure in the statistic. I told you the 1,000th death would be the Grim Milestone Event, and would, by some, be deployed to have a psychological effect. A nation of 360 million has its 1000th death, and we are the equivalent of a third-world state.

Also, you should totally believe the numbers from China and Russia.



This . . . is all you need to know about a certain type of person.

In the end they're just a vinegar fountain in a monsoon of piss.

Stick to facts. Temper the pessimists not with pollyanna happy-talk, but good news. It's there. And in the end it will literally be what saves us.

Because this is Twitter, I had to do two things: check a branded news org to see if it's true (it is) and check the guy's twitter feed to see if he said anything mildly controversial that would result in people concluding, from all of this, that I am a Science Denier who believes in conspiracy theorie and retweets transphobes.

Are we done for today? Oh, forgot the advice. Everyone in social media has to give advice, and make sure your concerns are calibrated to their standards. Wash your hands. But you knew that. Stay home. But you knew that.

Three more:

1. Mute the Eeyores.

2. Bite down on the leather belt while the sawbones probes around for the bullet.

3. Consider that optimism might be as contagious as the thing we fear, and act accordingly.

Says the guy who did his will this week.


The last time we looked at this building, about four stories were up.

Meanwhile, it seems this is a good time to fix the stuff on the front of the new stadium. Seems a few parts were defective.

A few.

Due to lockdown and cessation of activities, this feature will be on hiatus for The Duration.

From my vast collection of things with almost no monetary value whatsover, I bring you this week's entry.

From this site for Empire Philatelists:

Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika is the name used to describe the postage stamps issued by the East African Posts Administration between 1935 and 1961 for use in the colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika.

The King doesn't look particularly happy this morning.

To my surprise this stamp seems older than the rest of the ones I have, and might be worth something, which means, I am certain, that it is not.

This year it's Bela on the last Friday of the week. Rather then stretch them out over the course of the week, I'll dump them all here in one day. It's like Lance, without the mystery.


The suspense is murder, isn't it

Solution is here.






Yes, the last Friday of the month is Jingle Day! Thrill with us as Anita's singers set the stage for your listening pleasure with the shouts that defined an era - and still define the medium, if you ask me.




Dig that crazy news



Honky tonky news




Thirty-second station ID? Why not sell an ad?




Hey, who's leading the band? Sammy get back here





One of my favorite movie songs, but it's surprisingly easy to mess it up.

I think they messed it up. It's really not a Pink Panther-type tune.






WW2: Don't buy more than you need.

Good advice.



That'll do. See you Monday.



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