Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Mah Fellow Statisticians ....

Read these and weep ...


21,297 - coronavirus

113,034 seasonal flu

228,095 malaria

249,904  suicides

313,903  traffic

390,908   HIV-AIDS

581,599  alcohol

1, 162, 481  smoking

1,909,804  cancer

2,382,324  hunger

9,913,702  abortion

Source:  Worldometer.info

Monday, March 30, 2020

Alas, O April Birthdays

It was announced that the state of siege that we are all living in is to be cancelled April 30th.

My 80th birthday is Saturday, the 25th.  I'd set up the restaurant - which has an airy latticed patio - was about to create the invitations - "12 noon till the cops come.  Table dancing optional."

Admittedly (and equally selfishly) I spent a few minutes feeling sorry for myself but quickly got over myself to think, "What the hell I'll move it to early in May' while mentally humming to myself, "You caint always git you want you waaant" Rolling Stones.

I wondered who else my fellow April birthdayers there  might be.  A rather distinguished list I must say.

Washington Irving
Maya Angelou
Booker T. Washington,
Billie Holiday
Charlie Chapman
Charlotte Bronte
John Muir
Ella Fitzgerald
and my astrological twin Al Pacino, 4-25-1940.

Sadly they're all dead and well beyond celebrating anything. Except for Pacino and me.  And he has much bigger fish to fry.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Virus Protection for Women Only

Ladies who work at home - wear a bra anyhow!  If you don't, you can stretch Cooper's ligament and wind up with saggy breasts.  Ignore if you are 65 or older or wear a 32AA.

Rip off those false talons you call "nails" or cut your own down to the quick.  Virus can linger under fingernails I have read so why take a chance.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dibs and Dabs

Sadness:  the nearly empty refrigerated box with biscuits and Crescent rolls.  The space for Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunks … empty as a bimbo's head.

Coming soon to your local supermarket - Vons, Walmart, Albertson's Kroger, Whole Foods - are installing sneeze guards between cashier and customer.

Won't You Take a Sea Cruise With Me?
The USNS Mercy, a floating hospital is due to come into the Port of Los Angeles today or tomorrow.  With a top speed of 17.5 knots, it took them a while to get up here from their base in San Diego.

Its to be used this time to cut the local hospitals some slack so that the hospitals can treat more virus patients.  It has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms (very necessary in war time when people tend to get blown up and need being put back together)  They have a 1,000 bed hospital for non-virus patients.  There are radiology departments, pharmacy, optometry, CT scan machines and two Oxygen producing plants on board. With all of this 800 number of patients a day can be seen.

When it does get here and the port number is known, it would make a nice outing to motor stately down, find a good vantage point and eat take-out from Utros west of the old Ports O Call.  They have a spacious patio with tables and umbrellas, too.  All widely spaced out, let me add.   Recommended for those whom the beginning of cabin fever (making gummy bear necklaces, for example - "A Beautiful Necklace That You Can Eat, Too! ) is announcing itself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

An Amusement/New Hobby During Quarantine!

Lets all get fat!  We can't go to the beach, the park, hiking trails - we couldn't hike anyhow - coyotes, but you get the idea.

In addition to all of your favorite snacks, let me whisper what I found in the supermarket canned, ready to bake, biscuits and Crescent Rolls.  Grab a pencil - Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk cookie dough.  All you have to do is preheat the oven to 350, put the slightly smaller than a golf ball rounds on a cookie sheet, two inches apart and bake for 12 or 14 minutes.  There are 12 rounds to make a dozen cookies.

I looked at these dough balls and thought, "Damn!  Those are going to be biiig cookies!"  So I halved them and set the timer.  They all spread out and I had very nearly a single cookie, the size of Nova Scotia.

Next time I make these (and we're going to the store this morning) I will bake per instructions and cut the finished cookies in half.  They are wonderfully chewy yet greasy - the label said something about "made with butter."  They weren't kidding.  

There are 12 golf balls at 160 calories each, but by cutting them in half, you only get 80 calories.  Almost "Diet Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk" cookies so you can eat two of them and not feel guilty.

A funny thought:  How long can this virus last anyhow - it was Made in China.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

On the Inherent Goodness of the Human Race

The ink was barely dry on the You Can No Longer:" list when various groups began signing up to help.

The local Web site - NextDoor.com - covers Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beaches with stuff for sale; coming events; Wanted items (nannies, cleaning people car seats for babies, etc.)

On what had to be the same day, people were asked to keep an eye on elderly neighbors; offer to bring them groceries, bring in the paper, give them a ride to wherever they want to go … very neighborly and useful, too.  Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) writes that they have teamed up with Beach Cities Health District for much of the same thing plus such exotica as making sure smoke batteries are functional.

Personally speaking, a great deal more e-mails back and forth from relatives, friends - all very welcome, you may be sure.

This outpouring of offers to help reminded me of this associated-with- Louis- Armstrong- song:

"What A Wonderful World" performed by Louis Armstrong  Can't you hear his gravelly voice?

I see trees of green
    Red roses, too
I see them bloom
    For me and you
And I think to myself
  What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue
  And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
   The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
    What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow
   So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
   Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
   Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying, 
    I love you

I hear babies cry
   And I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
   Than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
   What a wonderful world.

   Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

            Oh, yeah  (and put some growl into it)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Drag Queens - RuPaul Didn't Invent Them

Before our main library closed for the duration, I ran across "Drag - The Complete Story," by Simon Doonan   This is a hardback; no helpful book flap with the name of the publisher or the price.  237 pages  with many photographs.  I went between a sort of fascinated horror to admiration for the obstacles they hurdled over triumphantly.

Drag didn't come in with Milton Berle and or television itself.   The history section points out that Euripides play "The Bacchae" featured cross dressing.  When King Theseus arrives in Athens, he was mistaken for a girl.

Starting around 3000 BC Egypt was home to Nefertiti Cleopatra.   Mascara,  elaborate gold-encrusted headdresses, long slinky dresses - and that was the men! Cleopatra's attempt to make rug rolling a popular "thing" failed.

The Table of Contents lists the types of drag - Glamour, Art, Butch, Black, Historical, Comedy- Enter Barry Humphreys; Dame Edna;Tyler Perry; "Madea"  here then comes Popstar, Movie and finally Radical.  Which consisted of a full page depiction of Donald Trump.  Quite realistic looking down to the belly.

Drag on ladies!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Trader Joe (aka Joseph Coulombe at 89) is barely dead and the LA Times takes off on him

I have no idea what he did or could have possibly done to offend the Times.  Maybe because TJ's never advertised with them (or anyone else for that matter) because they ran their own Flexible Flyer in house?

Be that as it may have been.  Today's Sunday Food section carries a run down from critic Lucas Kwan Peterson with the headline "The Cold, Hard Truth" which is a listing of 37 frozen dishes at Trader Joe's and what he thought of them.

In fairness I should confess that I have only eaten one of the listed dishes and that was Scallion Pancakes which I liked.  Still got a box up in the freezer- we should get around to eating them, now that I think about it.

The majority of the foods reviewed were Indian and I wonder as he did, why?  I am not knowledgeable  about any of them.

He was also kind enough to include a chart for which foods are Lazy to Less Lazy - prep time and/or other things in the package that have to go in, too, He also rates on this scale -  Tastes Worse to Tastes Better.

Of note to local beach residents - Jon's Supermarket on 191st between Anza and Inglewood - was open yesterday with few-ish cars in the parking lot, carts galore and a nice selection of food.  The meat counter was open, the permanent barbecue purveyor and a long row of hot food for your selection in dinner's side dishes.  Plenty of check-out clerks and all of the customers were friendly-polite.

Fresh vegetables and a lot of them.  Fresh flowers and a good selection of bouquet types.

Yes, brands we don't know, but once upon a time we didn't know all of the foods available at Trader Joe's!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Belated Thoughts on Spring Equinox

Normally it is the 20th of March, but this year it was March 19.  Just a vagary of Mother Nature.

In this period of upheaval we need the promise of Spring like rarely before.  And we could use a smile, too.

After scouring samples -

My winter fat is gone; now I have Spring Rolls.

Maxine, handkerchief in use, wishes us all "Sneezings Greetings!"

A Danish chain of supermarkets has combatted unfettered greed/mindless hoarding - your choice - with this brilliant idea.

Hand sanitizer is the big item over there so the first bottle costs $5.50; the second $134.00

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Supermarket Bouncer

We have one known and there may be others.  Yesterday, after the pressing business of going to take a look at the ocean next door to the Redondo Beach Pier, Richie said, "We need bread; I want to run into Smart & Final, Iris," a restaurant supply chain.  When we got there we found a modest line of people waiting to get in.  He elected to stay because the parking lot wasn't that full; the line wasn't that long. He joined the line which was apparently having a lovely time visiting back and forth.  Everyone was calm, gentle in their demeanor ...I stayed in the car and checked mail; the less people in there, the better.

When he came back out, loaf of bread and a couple of other items, he reported that when it was his turn at the checkout counter, there was a big burly guy standing with the cashier, scrutinizing the items on the conveyor belt.  He wasn't there for quality control, but to check number of items in the cart.  He reminded everyone at the tail of the line that we were allowed two containers of toilet paper; two flats of eggs, two loaves of bread and so on.

He had moved to the door out and when Richie asked the teller about it, she said that some people fight to keep their goods and get all ugly about it so he was there to "discuss it" with them.  She grinned and said, "Quite effective against hoarding."

Given his size (considerable) number of visible tatts and general demeanor, it was easy to believe.

Ah, new problems; new solutions.

In some good news - the IRS has moved back The Dread Income Tax Returns deadline from April 15th to JULY 15 and all over America CPAs and tax firms are dancing maniacally with relief at what must surely be the same as a vacation to them.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Today's Excitements

Thurs.  We're going to drive over to the closed Veteran's Park Senior Center to see if the Thursday Farmer's Market there IS there.  All we need are strawberries and fresh flowers.

Since Thursday Writers can't meet in person, we're preparing to e-mail our documents back and forth and critique in that fashion.

A Comment on WhiteHouseDossier.com  pointed out that suicide rates will probably climb, too.   First I'd ever thought of that side of matters.

Richie's cousin Ruth Ellen wrote from Cape Coral, Florida, that the family restaurant Maria's is complying with new Florida restaurant rules:  50% in-house dining; 50% take out.  Seems practical to me ...Halves the exposure.

Friday - Market closed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Didja Evah?

Small things that have been big deals in some circles...

For one thing (notice I go to the stomach first) I never thought I would be describing "going out to dinner" a McDonald's take-out.  I did check Tin Roof Bistro and they are suggesting doordash.com and I assume a number of our favorites are doing the same or equivalent.     However, a friend tried this door dash thing and they were majorly disappointed.  Cold food loomed large in their complaints voiced as, "So I have to heat it all up again and cook anyhow!"  Caveat emptor.

Our vet e-mailed us their new policy.  Leave your pet in the car, come in and sign up that you are here and give them your cell phone number and go back to the car- when it's your turn, they call you out in the parking lot and one of you (not the whole family) brings the pet in.

Next mail delivery came from my dentist at Manhattan Dental Care.   If you  have a dental appointment, unless it's life-threatning (major infection?) your appointment is cancelled.  Since all I'm scheduled for is new crown installation I'm not concerned.  Unless or until the fake filling falls out.

This morning, my GP's office called to cancel my annual Wellness Physical.  No great loss.

But the thought of a dentist or a doctor calling you to cancel an appointment is a bit startling. Especially since making an appointment can be such a hassle.

Re all of the above, the loss of a MacDonald's looms larger than the dentist or doctor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Ah, Hell - Laugh Anyhow

The Supermarket Saga started innocently enough when Indiana Doug, a cousin, wrote that he had seen two women fighting over toilet paper - "Just pushing and shoving" he hastened to explain when I asked if he'd whipped out his phone and video-d it.  He went on, "One woman already had three in her cart; the other woman and wanted the 4th available (and it was the last in the store.)  Their husbands or significant others, stepped in to intervene and decreed that the woman with none gets it.  Neither woman was happy as their men escorted them from the store.

BoredPanda.com thoughtfully compiled a list of various items left on the shelves because no one wanted them. If any of the following list appeal to you, there should be plenty of them left.

 In no particular order:

frozen Hawaiian pizza
gluten-free white bread
broccoli or cauliflower pizza crust
6 packs of Corona Beer - rumor is they're changing their name - to "Ebola" to avoid the stigma surrounding Corona.
chocolate or buffalo hummus
shrimp ramen
Kraft Mac and Cheese with cauliflower pasta
Frozen peas or carrots
Manhattan Clam Chowder.  East Coasters won't touch it.
Baby Shark cereal
Aquafina or Arrow water
Peeps marshmallow hot tamales - I'd buy  package just to see how well (probably not) hot goes with goo.
Cinnamon raisin bagels
Salt-free potato chips
Peter Pan peanut butter
chicken burrito bowls

Today's boredpanda.com  has a page of corona jokes.  Sample:  Jehovah's Witnesses know that everyone is going to be home.

You could take that in as "Be on your guard"...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Riddle: How Can You Self-jail but Still Go Out?

Stay in your car!  It has all of the familiar germs!   Exception, but it's a once a year thing.  -  taxes at our accountant's this morning  And he works out of his house - no crowds of office workers.

And then:

Drop off books and DVDs at the library drop boxes.
Since we'll be at that end of town, drive up to our ocean viewing spot and take a look at the ocean
Hit the post office drive-up box to mail a bill
Stop at Redondo Tobacco (Winstons for me) and then in the same little mall, quick step over to refill o-t-c med at RiteAid.

And viola!  Very little contact with others.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Let's Move the Virus Hysteria Onto the Sports Pages

"Ob, boy, she's lost it big time," you may be muttering.  Judge for yourself my modest attempt to ramp down some of the hysteria, toilet paper buyouts, "and nary a drop to drink" re the cases of water gone from the shelves.

The media has an ancient saying - "When it bleeds (plane crash; 20 car freeway pile-up) it leads. I.e. is the headline on the front page or the TV news lead.  Thus they are having banner days with the virus.

I'd like to suggest this instead.  It's pretty well known that influenza leads the pack over the years - Black Plague being only one example - in deaths.  It is no different today.  Influenza is still much more prevalent.

What my idea is - Turn Influenza into one team and Coronavirus into another.  Post the daily scores (easily available in dailymail.co.uk) to see which did the most damage that day in the sports pages/

.  Example:

Team Cora  
USA  3,072 cases and 60 deaths.  3,012 DIDN'T die

Team Enza  from January 18 2019 to 2020                  

USA 29 million cases, 280 hospitalized  16,000 deaths
28,984,000  DIDN'T die

If it really took off, bookies at least wouldn't be on the dole.  They're probably all taking various bets right now - France vs. Germany perhaps?  All sorts of side wagers - Manhattan had X cases today.  Counter But Chicago had that big surge on the South Side.

At least it would cut into at least some of the "headline news" which would be wonderful.  

ADD:  Judging by the numbers of shopping carts piled high with 16-pack toilet paper, starting Tuesday it will probably be on the shelves again.  No one could go through the volume I saw leaving the store without running a prison or an orphanage.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Making Nice With Us

The other day I ran a brief list of firms that had contacted us to reassure us that essentially, they were doing everything humanly possible to make sure that you don't get The Virus from them!  Thank you very much!

Hermosa Animal Hospital (ours for 30+ years) writes that after signing in at reception, you can go wait in your car and they will text you to come back in for treatment.  If you elect to stay in Reception, please maintain suitable distances from each other; don't bring everyone in the family with you;  if you use the bathroom, in addition to washing, please also use a hand sanitizer.

Avis, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Marriott Hotels,  Office Max/Office Depot - they merged some time ago.  Nice to have them both on board.

Are you receiving e-mails similar?  If you look at it with a jaded eye (and you may be sure I am) they could be making a pre-emptive strike on future lawsuits...

It occurs to me that we could start a collection of the firms that contact us to reassure us of their devoted care of us, a beloved customer.  Maybe trade'em like baseball cards?  I'll raise you a Marriott; I'll counter with a Ritz-Carlton ...

I must say that this event - quarantines in an American household? - is revealing a great deal of what America is about.  There is a local newspaper called NextDoor.com and it contains things for sale;  or services wanted - recommendations? for a plumber/gardener/electrician/handyman; a really local police report - "Last night coming up our driveway, we were accosted and robbed"  or  "I've noticed a guy sitting right next to my kids playground at (school name) in a (car make and license plate) and I don't like it."

Today I've seen four or five offers of help from others such as "I'm going to Costco; can I pick-up anything for you?"  "I have a pick-up truck - do  you or your neighbors need anything?"  This is really heartening.

Further, while supermarket parking lots and pharmacy parking lots resemble sharks circling for an attack, there is NO pushing or shoving or grabbing of the goods IN those venues.  The South Bay (Torrance, Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo) are not breaking windows in smash and grabs and looting in general.  We are all being veddy,  veddy civilized about it.

And it was raining yesterday when we were at both supermarket and pharmacy.

A report on your experiences to run here would be very much appreciated.  After all, we're all in the same boat.  And it is supposed to rain today.

Richie just got home from CVS - Rx and vitamins; quick bop into Von's for a couple of potatoes (filet mignon for dinner tonight) none to be had; same as yesterday at Ralph's.  Over he went to Trader Joes, did get one or two of the mesh bags with "funny" potatoes, but the frozen goods were all gone.  So were the grab and go sandwiches.  And it was raining.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Has The Virus Affected Your Life? How?

Sheila, in Netanya, Israel, and my sister in North Chicago, both wrote asking this.  Yesterday when I got these queries there wasn't anything.

When I woke up this morning there were a couple of things that do affect everyone in the South Bay Writers Workshop that affect us.  The City of Redondo Beach is closing all of their Senior Citizen gatherings.  Thurs. Writers meets at the Veteran Park Senior Center.  But:  it's only two Thursdays when we can't meet there.

In Hermosa Beach, their Community Center is closed until the end of March.  That takes care of the three days a week we have French classes.  The three of them are now gone.  But:  on the bright side, the late March South Bay Stories Show has been given permission to do the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon  performances on March 28th and 29th respectively.

If this is the worst thing that happens ...these groups are on Easy Street.  I think it is particularly practical to close the city senior centers, particularly those that serve lunches.  Seniors are said to be the most vulnerable.  Live and thrive people!

Closed -
Redondo Beach's Beach Life Festival
Hermosa Beach's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Your vet - if you don't feel good, get someone else to bring your pet in.
My dentist wrote along similar lines except the pet part.

Of note:  bending your elbow, grasping it by the bicep and raising both is an Italian greeting. And a rather rude one, too.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Corona Virus Great PR versus Self-serving Politicians

You may gnash your teeth at this; I certainly did.  The Daily Breeze sent out a breaking news bulletin that the  LA City Council will not be  meeting on their regular weekly schedule - Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday but instead will only gather on March 17th, 24th and 31st.  Just in time to break for Easter/Spring Break.  As if any of them are particularly religious or have worked so hard that the poor darlings need a rest of about three weeks.

If any of these elected council members will be traveling around their districts, offering virus advice or anything at all, it hasn't been mentioned in the press.

So-much for the politicians.

Great PR from -

the Ragin Cajun, 525 PCH, Redondo Beach.  This came from them this morning.  We use the strongest cleaning protocols in our restaurant; all of our employees know to stay home if they don't feel well.  If you don't feel well, but want good food, why not take advantage of our To Go meals from any of a number of our food delivery services?  (Which you could do with a lot of other restaurants. ed.)

Avis rental cars
We pay special attention to the seats, steering wheel, window buttons.  Our facilities, too.  If you have to change your reservation, there will be no charge for the change.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Getting Ready for a Root Canal - Yeah A Bolt of Terror!

Before technology appeared, a root canal really was a reason to quiver in terror.  "Oh it hurt for six weeks!"  "I'll never have another one even if all of my teeth fall out!"

It's not like that (by a long shot) today.  I just had my third and I must have survived because here I am  writing about it.  And I don't have a high pain threshold; I have a Welcome! mat.

For a lot people with a bad experience in the past, the dentist is feared like the bogey man of your childhood.  What's he going to be doing in there?  I don't like the sound of a "root" canal - what's he/she going to do?  Go down to my jawbone and dig around?  I don't like the sound of this ...

I take the stance that if you can find out about what's going to done at the dentists (or pre-surgery, you will feel a hella lot better before they start doing it. Rather belatedly (third root canal) I decided to look into it.

Granted my endodontic dentist explained what she was doing - and why- complete with the x-ray views of why this was being done.  deardoctor.com   When it pops up, ask for step by step root canal.

Very informative.  Comes 2 p.m. today I know what to expect - after the big work Monday, (2 to 5:30 p.m.)  now comes the fitting for a new crown.  Much less time needed for this procedure.

Any road, hope for the best, f--k the rest. Why was the previous treatment so long?  The affected tooth lies very close to the main nerve and thus required more numbing, more time for it to kick in and thus more time for the patient in the chair.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

It Was Bound to Happen

Two days ago Aqueduct Race Track was robbed by two men in anti-virus masks who ambushed the three workers bringing the money from the first and second floors - two unarmed security men and a track employee.

The thieves took them to a vacant room and relieved the guards and worker  of the cash - and their cell phones.

Police reportedly believe it to be an inside job as the robbers knew the time of the nightly money moves as well as their way around the track buildings and floors.

Well-meant advice - if in a casino or an off-track betting shop or a bank - if some masked person comes waltzing in, or approaches you in a casino, turn your back, ignore them and wander "gently" away in a non-threatening manner.. For verisimilitude, you might murmur - so that they can hear you, "Ooh - do you have It - get away, get away from me" and flap your hands around.  This alerts fellow gamblers something is amiss.  And may encourage them to go elsewhere.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Is Miami Crazy or Just the Writers Who Cover It - and Love It!

I recently discovered the works of a Tim Dorsey whose protagonist, Serge A. Storms, is deliberately portrayed as mentally ill, but, hark! he has a very strong sense of justice and his inalienable right to take it.   His partner in crime (literally) is a pot head named (so far solely) Coleman.  .Storms has a very strong sense of justice.  Another weird vigilante and side kick in  Florida which already seems to have its fair share of them.

I'm in the middle of "Naked Came the Florida Man" in which Storm is leading Coleman around on a Florida cemetery tour where Storms practices the old-time hobby of waxing headstones.

I think about John  D. (Dann) McDonald and his Travis McGee - self-described "boat bum" and his sidekick Meyer, the globally well-known economist.    Both were trying to fix Florida - ecologically.  A man 'way ahead of his times.  Sadly he died, age 70, and Florida has continued to commit ecological horrors.

Carl Hiaasen grew up in Fort Lauderdale - others in this group came from such variables as Armonk, NY (Dave Barry.)

A couple of these gentlemen were serial marry-ers.  The late Elmore Leonard , died age 87, three,  Dave Barry - three.

One thing they all, living or not anymore, they were was funny as hell.  Many the columns their typewriters tapped out, driven by the geniuses who wrote them.

If you want crazy to amuse yourself, may I gently encourage you to ready any of the above?

Sunday, March 8, 2020

"And So It Goes" to quote Linda Ellerbee

A rather good example popped into my mind this morning.  Richie and I have the South Bay New Orleans Jazz Club monthly meeting this afternoon and we usually get there around 2 p.m.

In looking at my calendar I saw that tomorrow - Monday - I have a root canal at 2 p.m.

Can I get a mass "And so it goes!" readers?

Meanwhile news of a very clever entrepreneur comes from Across the Pond as Great Britain fondly calls the Atlantic Ocean to the States.

The pride of East Yorks, GB, Eddie Chapman, owns Chapman's Funland Arcade.  He has re-rigged the grope and grab machine for a toy to dispense rolls of toilet paper instead.  Whatever he's charging, I bet he's raking it in.  Well done, mate!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Huh! What Makes You Think You're So Special, Coronavirus?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports tracking "normal" flu for a specific time period in 2018 and 2019 in the USA.

There were 35.5 million people who got the flu (short for influenza)  Of this number, no information apparently available re number of times they got the flu.
Of them 16.5 had or went to medical appointments.
Of that number, 490,000 were hospitalized (average length of stay not given.)
We're winnowing it down - stay with me here - 34,000 died.

Dividing 34,000 by 35.5 million, the calculator said, "0.95 percent died." Going further (as if I'm not 'way over my head anywhere near a number) I think that would be 93.1 people per day for 365 days.

Chicago and Philadelphia shootings may be that many or more.  Perspective is important here.

Friday, March 6, 2020

The South Bay Stories Show is Back!

The South Bay Stories Show in which your correspondent had an on-stage appearance last Spring.  And major panic attacks until the two appearances were over(mercifully only two - for performer and audience  .)

This year's show looks to be as good.  One of the star attractions last year was an elderly stand-up local comic named Chuck McPeak who was wonderfully funny - great sense of timing for an 80-something performer.

The shows are staged for the 2nd Story Theater in the Hermosa Beach Community Center.

Saturday, March 28th and a matinee Sunday, the 29th at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 per person.

We're going to go to the Sunday show because I remember it as the most polished show the group I was in did.  The show runs about an hour and a half, if memory serves and that shortish time provided a lot of entertainment.

Producer Bob Mueller has come up with a proven track record - this year is the 6th straight for this production.  Clearly they're doing many things right.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Doctor is in the House

Major Disclaimer:  I am not nor ever have been in any capacity as a medical doctor, with witch doctoring (bite your tongue; I heard that) nor veterinarian.  In short I am only a foghorn for things that I have done or read about.

Flu season hand washing.  Ever wondered exactly how long you should wash your hands since we are constantly be told to wash our hands, but not how long we're supposed to be scrubbing away.  A real medical doctor told me that they scrub for surgery for 20 seconds so, the doctor sings "Happy Birthday" to him/herself twice.  This morning I read that the chorus for "Stayin' Alive" lasts 24 seconds. And is a lot more fun to sing in my opinion.

GuruMD.com advises that Dayquil and Nyquil are both very good for coughing, fever, and pain.  Something to think about:  The 'Quils are made by Vicks.  Perhaps the Guru is heavily invested in Vicks stock?

Give your pulmonary system a spa treatment - linger in your hot, steamy bathroom and breathe deeply.  Or, perhaps easier and greener - do the same with a cup or mug of hot tea or coffee held right under your nose.  Suck it in.

Do it yourself Neti pot.  If you have an OTC ear cleaning treatment with the long-nosed flusher or flusher for your ears, instead mix a little sea salt in a small basin of water and use the flusher up your nose to flush the sinuses.  

Off on another subject.  Many brides desire a truly unforgettable wedding (for good reasons, not the matron of honor got drunk and fell into the wedding cake) then check around for a llama or alpaca farm and rent one for it.  The price depends on how far the beast has to travel from home; apparently $200 or $300 for one or two of them.

And the last word from a plastic surgeon who stated that for augmented breasts I will 100 percent put in a squeaky toy, too.  "Honkers" anyone?

Stay well and sing loud and proud!  Get those germy hands clean!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

And California Maintains Its Reputation

"What reputation?"  you ask?  Their North American reputation  that California is "The Land of Fruits, Nuts and Flakes."

I've been hearing a lot about "Socialist Independent."  Until I looked it up, I had no idea what this constitutes.  Simply put:  Under Socialism, there is no privately-owned property. Huh?

Socialists believe that the workers should own and profit, NOT the corporations that employ the workers,  but profits used to pay the workers.  I read that and thought, "Well that's what unions do or try to do."

If that wouldn't kill incentive to make something yourself,  I cannot imagine what it would be.  Mercenaries like this writer would quit then and there.  I don't work to feed the indolent.

California will do it without me.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

"Get Out the Vote!" Redondo Didn't Spare the Horses

California is one of the 14 States to hold a Super Tuesday vote which includes both main parties.  So being fairly good citizens, we set off to do just that after our French class.

Our voting spot is the Redondo Beach North Library.  Today as we drew up the parking lot we saw - "What is this?"  A line stretching from the library doors clear across the parking lot - and it is a good-sized parking lot.  This morning it had  no empty spaces.  Fender jostling fender, the cars waited for their owners to return.

The sun was blasting down; I didn't want to hike 1 1/2 blocks in it to park the car,  only to stand around for what looked like a good 45 minutes.   So I suggested we go have lunch and come back.  So  we trundled over to Cali-Mex up the street and had another of their excellent meals in a beautifully Mexican dining room.  Upon leaving, we set off with happy hearts (and full stomachs) to do our civic duty.

The line was longer.  Closer to lunchtime as it was 11 a.m.  He had an Rx to pick-up so we sped off once again. On our return this time, the line was appreciably shorter but not nearly like other elections where may five or six people hung around waiting to vote.  To avoid sunstroke, Richie fished out my old wheelchair from the cargo area as well as one of my hats, a snappy white trimmed in black Panama.  Thus armed I was ready to go.

We speculated … Was it the new electronic voting machines?  People voting on their lunch hours?
To be concluded later on.  Meanwhile the line was moving.  Instead of the greeter having to hunt through an enormous file of names and addresses, she touched a wand to my I.D. (US passport) and up it all popped up.  Then a very nice man (wearing loose black slacks with neon bright alligators printed all over them them (pajama pants?)  and a very mismatched shirt (plaid) assisted me at the actual voting booth.
Insert this large sheet of paper here, then pick your language choice and vote away.  I am a very brief voter (but no less intense) and after my choice of Presidential candidate, I went to Propositions (2) and voted on them and (spat of hands) I was done.  I'd asked him if it had been this well-attended for long? and he told me that the line started when they opened and they hadn't  lost a one.  Everyone stayed the course.  At 12 noon.  I didn't know there were that many voters in Redondo.  God bless them all - and ma'am I hope your baby didn't get sunburned.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Statistically Speaking, We Are NOT Going to Die of Coronavirus

Look at what we've already survived.  Mike, a friend in Colorado, helpfully compiled this list which I pass on to you who may not be feeling any too sanguine about the virus.

1999/2000  Y2K is gonna kill us all
2001  Anthrax is gonna kill us all  - To lazy to keep typing "gonna kill us all" so fill it in mentally.  Thank you
2002  West Nile Virus
2003  SARS
2005  Bird Flu
2006  E.Coli
2008  the bad economy
2009  Swine flu
2010  BP Oil
2011 Obamacare
2012  Mayan "End of the world"
2013  North Korea
2014  Ebola
2915  Disney measles AND ISIS
2016  Zika
2017  Fake news
2018  Migrant caravans
2019  Measles
2020  Corona virus

Cheer up!  We have yet to see what 2021 will bring!  But based on media hysteria, it will be sure to kill us all!  Now - don't you feel better?