Monday, March 30, 2020

Cactus and Covid-19

It was another beautiful day in the desert.  Jim was up and out early because he needed to see a doctor.  I did not go with him because it's not allowed.  Unless the patient needs assistance going in, spouses are banned from the office.  Between drive time, doctor time and coming home time, it was close to three hours.  So much stuff is closed I was afraid I would not be able to find a restroom if needed, so I stayed home.   The office had a good process, check in at the desk outside, and then stay outside; they come outside and holler your name, or they call you on the phone if you're in your car.  No one was allowed to sit in the waiting room.

Later we went for a longish hike in the desert, with some up hill.  We both had pretty good hiking days.  As promised, here are some cactus.

I'm not sure what this is.  It almost looks like a baby fishhook.  If you look at the longer spines growing out away from the plant, they look like fishhooks.  That little blossom sprouting from his side is so cute it hurts me.

These are called hedge hogs, I have no idea why.  Their flowers practically glow in the sun.

More ocotillo.

Do you listen to podcasts?  I played my first one this morning.  It's done by Dr. John Mandrola, who is a cardiac electrophysiologist in Kentucky.  He touched on a couple of subjects that I find interesting.  The first was the ethics of taking people off ventilators if they're not improving (that translates to old, more than likely) and giving the equipment to someone more likely to survive.  He voiced no opinion on that.  Then he talked about how completely and totally flawed the French "study" on the efficacy of chloroquine and azithromycin is.  Many US doctors are hoarding these drugs for themselves and their families in the absence of any evidence that they work.  People with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis take chloroquine, and they can't get it anymore.  Dr. M's take was those doctors should lose their licenses.  Finally, the question of whether one actually wants a ventilator.  Many people on ventilators develop acute respiratory distress syndrome.  Once you're off the vent, you still have months of rehab, and it's likely that you'll never be the same, having decreased lung function.  It's something to think about, and maybe do that advanced directive you've been putting off.  Give it a listen, it's 13 minutes long.

There is new thinking about how Covid-19 spreads.  There is now the idea that it can spread as an aerosol.  Those are smaller particles than droplets.   The thinking about wearing masks is also changing, as in you should wear a mask if you go into a store even if you are not sick.

I've ordered double fold bias tape and pipe cleaners to make a couple of masks for Jim and me.  The pattern came from here.   I don't like to sew anymore, but we're going to give this a go.  Or we just may tie bandanas around our faces.  Arizona is under a "stay at home" order starting tomorrow, so it's not like we'll be out and about that much.

I don't know how to link to the video directly, so I'm linking to the tweet that has the video.  It's very informative about how far a cough travels vs. an aerosol.  If you're not on twitter, you should be so you can follow Dr. Dena Grayson.  She's smart.

Finally, we have this tweet from Yamiche Alcindor, who covered the president's presser today.

 It's good to have your priorities straight when discussing a pandemic with the public.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Life in Wait State

Today was good.  Jim finished up the staining/varnishing/painting project.  We are now out of project, that may not be so good.  We got a walk in the desert in the afternoon.  It was a new to us trail and I doubt that we'll do it again.  Too narrow, too boring.

This is the neighbor's lemon tree.  It's interesting, most of the fruit is in the interior of the tree, so you have to stick your head in there and brave the thorns.  Lemon trees have vicious thorns. 

The remaining bougainvillea is starting to bloom.  He survived the cold night without wilting of the bracts.  We are happy about that.

The viga poles.  I had to use the flash to lighten the area under the roof.  You can see the light reflecting on the new, shiny varnish.  Jim painted the tops of the supports this morning.  They're not perfect, but they look much better than they did.

The president had another one of his press conferences today.  He insinuated that New York is selling face masks out the back door.  He told Yamiche Alcindor to "be nice, don't be threatening" when she asked him how his comments about not sending supplies to states whose governors he doesn't like would affect distribution.  She quoted him his exact words on Hannity.  He's trying to walk that back, but hey! he's on tape.  Then he started calling ventilators "generators" interchangeably.  He's terrifyingly unqualified for any of this.

Ms. Alcindor later responded:

She's such a treasure. The Hill has coverage of the exchange here.

In other news many of the cactus are showing flower buds, so we may get a good bloom this spring.  Then I can bore you all to death with mass quantities of cacti in bloom.

Friday, March 27, 2020

It's Cold

The weather just sucked today.  The HOA is having all of the roads in the neighborhood sealed.  This consists of spraying hot black goo on the roads to seal the asphalt.  Our day was to have been today.  They had to cancel BECAUSE IT IS TOO COLD.  It's March!  We just put the hat on the new cactus, and threw a flannel blankie over the bougainvillea because it will be cold tonight.  That bougainvillea is just covered in new growth and I'm going to hate it a lot if it's damaged.

Yesterday was warmer, but the clouds were really thick all day.  It actually was ok because we spent the day smearing spar varnish on the viga poles and some of the headers over the gate, garage and a window.  It's tiring, up and down the ladder, move the ladder, paint over your head, and like that.  The western sun pretty much toasts everything.

This was the sunset last night.  It was pretty good.

For some time, Jim and I have wondered who the president would blame when things went to hell in a hand basket.  Originally we thought it would be the vice president, but it's looking as if it will be the Democratic governors.  He's already lit into Washington and New York's governors because they have not been suitably deferential and grateful.  Now he's after the governor of Michigan.  Currently Michigan has the fifth highest death rate in the country, and they're not getting any help from the feds.  They're trying to buy from domestic and international vendors, but with no success.  The president was on Hannity last night and opined that the new governor, the woman, was difficult to work with.  Later in the show, he allowed as how Governor Cuomo is overstating his need for ventilators.  He's just not buying it, his gut tells him that.  He's going to kill us all.

Oddly enough, today he said he activated the Defense Procurement Act to order GM to make ventilators.  What he doesn't seem to grasp is that ventilators are made from a lot of parts that come from pretty much everywhere.  It takes a while to get your supply chain in place.  They also have tens of thousands of lines of code running them.  They're very sophisticated machines, they force air in, they remove CO2.  It's a non trivial task to stand up a factory.  It's going to take more than a few tweets in all caps.  Currently Medtronic makes them in Ireland, and there is a factory in Washington state whose name escapes me.  The time to have begun this effort was in January.  We can't blame the virus on the president, but blame for the crappy response sits squarely on his shoulders.  Here's an interesting article.

The whole situation is just amazing.  The president gets on a podium everyday at 5:30 and tells lies and attacks reporters.  A previously credible scientist, Dr. Birx, is now standing up and downplaying the severity of the virus.  Data modelers send in best (unlikely) case, and probable case forecasts.  Dr. Birx is presenting the best (unlikely) case as gospel.  How do you get people to stay at home when the criticality of this is being undercut everyday?  People are sending Dr. Fauci death threats.

Daniel Dale is live tweeting and fact checking the daily presser.  Once again the great gut over rules science.

And there was also this.

I could go on, but I think I won't.  This is giving me a headache.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Bored Spitless

I miss shopping, I miss leisurely strolling up and down the grocery store aisles to see if there is anything new or interesting.  Generally there is not, but one can always hope.  Now, we are in and out as if we were shoplifting. I also miss strolling through Williams Sonoma.  Next door to them is a West Elm (furniture) that recently opened.  Quelle domage.

We got up at 6:30 in the morning.  That's way too early for us.  By 7:00 we were at Safeway.  It was pretty much a waste of time.  No eggs, no paper products of any sort, limited produce.  There was meat in the meat counter, but nothing that we would buy.  We got some vegetables and other stuff and then left, and went to Fry's.  Fry's was stocked.  Produce looked good and there was a lot of it.  The had eggs, I got two packs of 18 eggs.  There was kleenex, no toilet paper.  We were able to procure 10 pounds of sugar, and 5 pounds of flour.  Safeway has neither.  So, I guess we're going to be shopping at Fry's.  The store drives us nuts because they play the music too loud, and then too frequently break in with exhortations to buy one thing or another.  They're owned by Kroger's, their warehouses must be better.  As we were self checking out, I looked over to the left and saw five packages of toilet paper sitting on the sill of the big front window.  They're the old fashioned really small rolls.  We got two packages.  We contemplated buying all of it, since no one was watching it, but decided that would be too anti-social.

Here it is, in all of its glory.

Now we will discuss lemons.  I'm giving Covid-19 and the administration a rest for a day.

Look at the size difference between our neighbor's lemons and ours.  Ours is the small one.  The big one is some sort of a Meyer lemon.  We don't know what our tree is.

I have a lot of lemons, they're taking up too much space in the refrigerator.  My eggs need space. I bought an citrus reamer on Amazon.  Allegedly it will catch the seeds and pulp, but it does not.  Pouring the juice through the colander removes most of the seeds.

I have enough room in the freezer for one ice tray, so I'm juicing and freezing for the long famine ahead.  No wait, that's the plague.  I just hate to see the lemons falling on the ground and rotting.  The neighbors left abruptly yesterday for Wisconsin.  We didn't know they were gone until we saw all of the blinds pulled.  So, we're harvesting; waste is bad.

Who knows what borosilicate glass is?  It's what Pyrex used to be made of.  It's not anymore, they went to soda-lime glass in 1998.  It's cheaper, it's also not as resilient to thermal shock as borosilicate glass.  The glass can, and sometimes does, explode.  Gizmodo did a very interesting article about exploding Pyrex.

Also interesting is the fact that Ford is using their seat ventilation fans to make respirators for medical people.  Road and Track did an article about it.  They're using drill battery backs to run the fans.  GM is developing the hoods.  That's pretty cool.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cactus and Covid

This is a yard down the street, he's done a very nice job of planting cactus.  Several of them are trichocereus whose blossoms last more than one night, most bloom for not many hours.  Foreground we have a pin cushion cactus in bloom.  Isn't that the cutest thing you have seen? 

This is a volunteer in our side yard.  It's about as big as my thumb.  We don't know what it is.

We had a beautiful day today.  It clouded up late and looked like this.

We did venture out to Trader Joe's today.  We got pasta and dairy products.  For some reason, we forgot to look for eggs.  I have noticed that our thought processes are somewhat disordered these days.  They were holding people outside the door, and letting one in when one went out.  They had tape on the sidewalk and on the store floors keeping people six feet apart.  The woman in front of us was talking in the ear of the man in in front of her.  I would have shoved her back, it was inappropriate behavior under normal circumstances, but even more so now.  You can see her here, less than six feet away, then she moved in.

And then there is this.

Have you read about what the Senate has put in the recovery bill?  As you might expect, it's heavy on help for industries and banks, and not so much for people.  Huffington did a good piece on the subject, which is here.  It's a poorly titled article, but it's worth reading.

Our fearless leader has decided that this should all be over by Easter.  Easter!  He wants to see the churches full of people sitting shoulder to shoulder.

I just can't stand it.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sunsets and Stupid

We had a sunset last night.  It was lovely and unexpected.  Of course, the sun always goes down, but some days in a more spectacular fashion than others.

I do have an interesting factoid.  There is an article in NYT about it.  It's also being discussed on med-twitter.  Multiple ERs are reporting this symptom.

I've been sniffing a Sharpie occasionally to see if I can still smell.  Kidding, just kidding.

From the department of "you can't fix stupid" we have the following.

Dr. Oz was on Fox and Friends this morning.  He was opining about the chloroquine and azithromycin combination.  He personally talked to the French doctor who had treated 36 people, and their viral levels all went down.  OK, that's not what the initial reports said, he did have a control group.  But the study was not double blinded.  Anyway, here's Dr. Oz, on TV touting stuff that no one knows will work, that does have significant toxicity.  Oz plans to do his own clinical trials in the next couple of weeks.  Clinical trials take months, if not years, and sometimes decades.  Not to mention the fact that Dr. Oz is a former cardio-thoracic surgeon, who now hosts a talk show and wouldn't know how to structure a decent trial.  The Surgeon General came on after Dr. Oz and called bullshit on everything he said, but people hear what they want to hear. 

From the same department of stupid we have this.

This came from Fox. Two or three days ago, there was an essay on Medium written by someone who is not an epidemiologist.  Basically his point was the costs of a million people dying was less than the costs of shutting down the economy.  It was astounding to see a couple of doctors I thought were smart retweeting the article.  Apparently Fox picked up on it, talked about it on TV, and now the president is thinking about relaxing all of the restrictions.  I would link to that article, but it has been replaced with this.

Today on twitter there has been a disturbing number of young white men saying things like it's better to keep the economy running, and if some people die in the process, it's sad, but that's the cost of doing business.

Here's an old white guy spouting the same line.

The stupid here is just baked into the marrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Desert More Disgruntlement

Greetings and salutations.  Here are some pretty pictures from the desert to lower our stress levels.  This was yesterday, look at the color of that sky.

The day before was fairly dreary.  This was manipulated a bunch.  You can see the ocotillo blossoms are opening.

That's a black chinned hummingbird sitting in a tree.  That's what we have in this area.  Five miles away, there are Annas.

The blog is my secondary storage, so I remember what happened and when, which is why I keep putting things about Covid-19 up.  Yesterday started out with a pretty grim opener.

A new message in hard-hit areas: Don’t get tested

Health officials in New York, California and other hard-hit parts of the country are restricting coronavirus testing to health-care workers and people who are hospitalized, saying the battle to contain the virus is lost and we are moving into a new phase of the pandemic response.
As cases spike sharply in those places, they are hunkering down for an onslaught and directing scarce resources where they are needed most to save people’s lives. Instead of encouraging broad testing of the public, they’re focused on conserving masks, ventilators, intensive care beds — and on getting still-limited tests to health-care workers and the most vulnerable.
Read more here.

Every youngish person who thinks they won't get sick and they're invulnerable if they do should read this article from propublica.  The gist of the article is the devastating lung failure experienced by a young man, which was predicted for the elderly but not the young.  It's pretty awful and definitely worth a read.  Article can be found here.

And as if things weren't bad enough, the DOJ wants to suspend habeus corpus.
President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice has sent documents to Congress requesting a suspension of the rules for habeas corpus, the right of a person who is arrested and to appear in an expeditious way before a judge to be formally charged.
This would put us firmly in the realm of dictatorship.  It would allow the police to arrest people, put them in jail and leave them there.  It's unlikely that this will get through the House, but to what end would the request even be made?  This is giving me a headache.

And finally, from the doctor-in-chief we got this.  There's no evidence to back up this claim.  There was one tiny trial, that was not double-blinded and used different virus loads as an end point for control vs. not control.  In other words, it was a terrible trial and shouldn't be used as evidence.

Plus there is this.  Both drugs can cause long-QT syndrome and torsade de points and death.  This is not something that should be taken at home.  More here.
MONITOR: Theoretically, concurrent use of two or more drugs that can cause QT interval prolongation may result in additive effects and increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias including torsade de pointes and sudden death. The risk of an individual agent or a combination of these agents causing ventricular arrhythmia in association with QT prolongation is largely unpredictable but may be increased by certain underlying risk factors such as congenital long QT syndrome, cardiac disease, and electrolyte disturbances (e.g., hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia). In addition, the extent of drug-induced QT prolongation is dependent on the particular drug(s) involved and dosage(s) of the drug(s).
I don't know where he gets this stuff.  I don't know why he stands up on that podium and spouts stuff he clearly doesn't understand.  Right now his job is to get more masks and ventilators in to the hospitals, and he doesn't seem to be able to do that.  Neither does the director of FEMA who is basically standing around saying "all is well."

Friday, March 20, 2020

Unwanted Guests

Around 9 this morning I was contemplating taking the geranium and the gerbera daisy out for some sun.  We bring them in at night to keep them from being eaten.  It's fortunate that they're in light weight plastic pots.  Then I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.

The javelinas were back.  The one next to the slider was very interested in the plants.  

Jim went out the front door, and the noise startled them so they left.  

Based on this, one might conclude that there will never be blooming plants in the yard.  Too much wildlife!

Update to post:  This morning we noticed the nose prints on the slider.  The arrows are pointing at them.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Life Under Covid-19

Yesterday was weird.  The optometrist's office called and asked if I could come in that day.  I explained about waiting for contacts and only wanting to go in once.  Then I asked if they were closing the office and she said yes.  So, into the car we ran, and I got an eye exam.  Miracle of miracles, my contacts were there.  The optical department is closed.  One guy is left there handing out boxes of contact lenses.  I think the glasses wearers are out of luck.

Costco is out of dish washing detergent, chicken, rice, potatoes, paper products, canned vegetables, and I don't know what all.  We got one of the last two packs of sliced bread and peanut butter.  I was really surprised that quite a lot of peanut butter was still on the shelves.  It's a long walk to get in the store.  You can't just go in the front door, you walk around the side and then through a gauntlet of shopping carts to reach the entrance.  No one was practicing three foot separation, which is very annoying.   You can't see it in the above photo, but there is a row of carts to the right, fencing off the glasses frames.  I fully understand the decision, Covid-19 is spread by droplets from an infected person's mouth, landing on the other party's face.  It would be terrible to stand behind that counter having people talking at you all day.

There is much in the news today to try one's soul.  The Imperial College of London has put forth the idea that social distancing will have to continue until there is a vaccine.  Constant vigilance will have to be maintained into 2021.  I really hope they're wrong.

Technology Review has a comprehensible article up on the subject.   Their basic thesis is that things will be bad until there is a vaccine.  Without a vaccine we keep having outbreaks.  Either that, or everyone on the planet has to get it and develop immunity.

In other news that's irritating the living snot out of me, other than the administration's complete and total mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation, there is this.

Oil and gas companies want to drill within a half mile of the national parks in Utah.  So much for quiet, dark skies and the beauty of the red rock desert.

The Interior Department has received over 230 nominations for oil and gas leases covering more than 150,000 acres across southern Utah, a push that would bring drilling as close as a half-mile from some of the nation’s most famous protected sites, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
The petitions for the Bureau of Land Management’s September lease sale, some of which come from anonymous potential bidders, could transform a region renowned for its pristine night skies and stunning topography. Some of the parcels are also within 10 miles of Bears Ears National Monument’s current boundaries.

It is beyond me why Utah wants to destroy its cash cow of tourism.  Nobody plans a trip to the Big 5 to see oil derricks and methane gas flares. Article is here.
We can also be annoyed that Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, briefed a bunch of his rich and influential constituents about the coming severity of Covid-19 weeks before the American public was informed.
On Feb. 27, when the United States had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, President Trump was tamping down fears and suggesting that the virus could be seasonal.
"It's going to disappear. One day, it's like a miracle. It will disappear," the president said then, before adding, "it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We'll see what happens."
On that same day, Burr attended a luncheon held at a social club called the Capitol Hill Club. And he delivered a much more alarming message.
"There's one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history," he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."
Article is here.

Update to post:  As if Senator Burr providing information to his wealthy buds wasn't bad enough, he then engaged in insider trading.  The link to that article is here.
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions.
So, we're continuing to stay home as much as possible.  We've instituted the use of cloth napkins to conserve paper napkins.  I ordered handkerchiefs to substitute for tissues for non-nose blowing Kleenex tasks.  Instead of wrapping frozen rolls in three segments of paper towels, we're using one of my beautiful linen napkins from Ebay to wrap them.  Frozen rolls don't do well if you just pitch them in the microwave.  So those are my home making tips for the time of plague.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hiking and Covid-19

Greetings gentle readers.  How goes it where you are?  We are really bored and miss being able to stroll the stores without being on high alert for a cough or a sneeze.  When last we were at Safeway, there was a young man with a cough bad enough to bring him to his knees.  He really did go down to the floor, it was pretty awful.  It happened in produce.

There has been the usual hiking.

Yesterday we had an unusual sky. Winds aloft were very strong.  By the end of the day, winds on the ground were strong.  A system was coming.

Some of the ocotillos are blooming.  Some have chosen to bloom before they leaf out.  Many are leafing and not blooming.  The hummingbirds love them.

This is a Penstemon.   They pop up when there has been rain and it's warm.  One of our neighbor's backyard is very hospitable to them, and he has a lot.  The neighbor next door to him is not attractive to them, although he wishes it would be.  They self seed and grow where they want to.  It's not a great photo, the wind was whipping them around pretty good.

This is a new house in the neighborhood.  Apparently they have a giant motor home and they will be parking it inside.  I'm not fond of their paint treatment.  The house seems to be an afterthought to the two giant garages.

I believe this is a thistle.  Many of them grow along the side of Ajo, but it's too dangerous to stop and get a picture there.  They look really nice in bunches with their large white flowers.

This is the sky out to the south west.  As I sit here, it's getting darker.

I have an eye exam scheduled for Friday, and hopefully the last 90 days of contacts I ordered will be there at the same time.  That gives me six months worth in total.  My corneas are so dry that I must wear contacts, after an hour in glasses the pain is too much; in case you were wondering why I just don't wear my glasses - that's why.  Anyway, I'm hoping the appointment will be available, so that I have another year of valid prescription.  Costco has stopped taking orders for contacts over the phone as of yesterday.  The store does not want the opticians handing things to people.  We used the Costco website last night to order for Jim, Costco needs a better IT department, it's a terrible website. I don't know what's being done for people who do need glasses ordered or adjusted.

Meanwhile, this is what's happening in Tucson.

The article is here.
This morning, after consulting with business stakeholders, the City Attorney, and City Manager, I have made the determination that it is in the best interest of maintaining public health to suspend dine-in services in restaurants and food courts, and transition to delivery/pick-up only services. Bars, gyms, and other specific venues stated in the proclamation where groups of people congregate are directed to be closed through the end of the month.”
The NYT is opining that social distancing is going to last for awhile.  Until there is a vaccine or a treatment, it won't leave the pool of potential hosts and the number of cases will ebb and flow.
No one knows for sure how long social distancing will have to last to reduce the spread to near zero. But if South Korea and China are appropriate exemplars, we’ll need to stay apart now for at least eight weeks, and maybe more. China locked down Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province on Jan. 23. Today, provincial officials are reporting few or no new cases of the virus. Just a few days ago, they closed the last of their 16 makeshift emergency hospitals. Consequently, restrictions are easing. Schools and offices are slowly opening. People are beginning to go out and see other people.
That timeline suggests that your kids are not going back to school on April 1. Nor are you returning to the office or catching a movie anytime soon. Plan for social distancing at least until mid- or late May, and be thankful if it eases off earlier.
The Guardian is reporting that there may be a treatment. The drug inhibits RNA polymerase, an enzyme that makes copies of the Covid-19's RNA.  According to the article it's most effective on people who just got sick, not so much on the really sick people.  It's a start.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Covid-19 Reportage and Cactus

There is not a lot of good news to report.  The virus continues to spread, people continue to die.  It is still not possible to buy toilet paper.  There is one thing that is good.

Since the president declared a national emergency, Fox has changed its reporting.

On Fox News, suddenly a very different tune about the coronavirus  

Hannity said the following on his show.
“Tonight, we are witnessing what will be a massive paradigm shift in the future of disease control and prevention,” he said. “A bold, new precedent is being set, the world will once again benefit greatly from America’s leadership. . . . The federal government, state governments, private businesses, top hospitals all coming together, under the president’s leadership, to stem the tide of the coronavirus.”
The entire article is on WAPO.

This statement from Hannity as regards to the world looking to the president for leadership is just nuts.  The reality is that China already saved themselves. Europe is the current epicenter, and we're next.  In two weeks we're going to be Italy.  Other countries are way ahead of us in regards to testing and logistics.

It's good that Fox has quit the talking points about it's a hoax, another attempt to impeach, blah de blah de blah.  So much of the Fox audience is older, they need to be convinced to stay home, stay away from people, take it seriously.  So that was good.

Italy's rate of new cases appears to be moving off the exponential curve it was on.  Their lock down is working. 

We took our lives in our hands today and went to Costco, where we bought nothing because it's all gone, and to Safeway where we bought canned stuff, more dried beans and dairy products.  We did not get cereal or sweet potatoes which just irritates the living snot out of me.  We're so used to just going to the store for three or four things, but those days are over.  The CDC modelling is suggesting there are 70,000 cases in Tucson.  I was so taking comfort in the much lower number generated by actual testing.

The cactus are starting to bloom.  This is in our neighborhood, I took it yesterday, we should go back and see if there are more open.  It's a red fish hook barrel cactus.  Those spines are amazingly wicked.

This round formation is in the western sky.  Could be a contrail, or it could be a message from an alien.

Hang in there darlings, wash your hands and don't touch your face.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Out in the Desert

Well, out in the desert is where you'll find us for the next few weeks.  The HOA closed the club house.  Now there is no pool, no tennis courts and no meeting rooms.  I'm pretty bummed about the pool, it seems like chlorine and UV should be enough, but nobody asked my opinion.

We're conflicted about riding.  Accidents are always possible when a bike is involved.  I would hate for one of us to break something, and require surgery to fix it.  We're for sure not riding on the road, we're still contemplating the bike trails or the dirt.  It's weirding me out pretty much to be having these internal debates.

This was today.  The skies are washed clean from yesterday's rain and it was just beauteous.  It's always fascinating how cactus and other desert plants can grow out of rocks.  They're tough.

This is not a postcard saquaro.

Jim is coming up the steep trail.  We were both dying on this stretch, it's very steep.

This is what you see after finishing the steep trail once your vision clears.

Since I don't seem to be able to get through a day without talking about Covid-19, I include here an interesting article about how Gunnison, CO was able to escape the Spanish Flu.