Friday, July 31, 2020

Covid Scare

Today is my birthday... 

This happened last week, the day after this picture was taken. Luisa wanted to walk by the water. And even though I was feeling a bit under the weather, I went along. Alas, Wednesday morning I wasn't feeling great. 

Let me be clear here. I had a cold. Stuffy/runny nose. Not much in the way of a sore throat. A minor cough, but that cough was more of a clearing out the stuffed up nose than anything else. I knew it was a cold. It felt like a cold. And I'm all better now. 

But Tuesday night the landlady got notified that a friend had tested positive for Covid. A friend that she had just been with. 

She has a group that meets up once a month. They usually go out to dinner. Since the shutdowns, they hadn't been meeting, but as things were opening back up, they figured it was safe. They met at one of the ladies houses. Masks, social distancing, etc. 

The median age of the group would likely be in the 70s range. The lady that tested positive was 86. She had gone to the doctor for an unrelated issue, and the doctor had ordered the test. 

Uh oh. Had we been exposed? 

Landlady frantically tried to find a place where she could get a test with rapid results. (I don't know why she didn't want to make an appointment with one of the city run testing sites. They've been expanding testing, so we totally would have gotten in.) She found an urgent health care facility that was performing tests. 

We scooted on down there. No line. But, the only person who was going to be let in was me. And that was no guarantee. Because I had a cold, I had enough symptoms to go in, but I was told that I'd have to see a doctor who may or may not order the test. 

I wasn't running a fever. I knew I had a cold. I'm pretty certain I would have been turned away test-free. 

So, we left. 

Once the initial panic subsided, we gave it some thought. Landlady had seen her friend 13 days prior. Wouldn't we have been showing symptoms by now? 

Considering how long this has been going on, it's a wonder we've not had a scare like this before. Fingers crossed that we don't again.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Read the Chapter

Because I'm covering the English class, it was decided that we'd read a book. 

(Apologies for the passive voice. It's a bit weird to explain the whole thing, so I'm just going to leave it at that.) 

We started The Outsiders

Because we were sort of changing up class half way through, and because I knew what sort of classes these were, I was expecting a whole lot of not-having-done-the-reading. I mean, I warned them on Thursday that there would be reading, and I told them to look for the assignment on Friday. It wasn't like they didn't have a heads up. 

So, I planned to do some prelim stuff on Tuesday. I could introduce the book. I could give them some information that would help them as they read chapter one. (If we were meeting in person, we would have read it together in class.) 

The first group on Tuesday was as expected. They hadn't done the reading. And what I'd prepared went very well. 

The second group... 

Ronan had done the reading. He had the book in front of him. Massey hadn't read the book for class (as he had missed Thursday and didn't know we'd be reading), but he remembered it from reading it in middle school. He informed us that it was one of his favorite books. 


(There was a third boy in class. He hadn't read the book.) 

I mean, I had questions for the chapter and all, but I had planned on prelim. And keeping the classes at the same pace seemed to be for the best... 

It's kind of fun to have a class discussion of a book that they've read. And Massey lobbied the third boy hard on it being a worthwhile read. 

Now I know to expect them to be ready. This will be fun...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Did Not Attend

Monday morning I got an email from the school's secretary. Massey's mom wanted to know why her son had been marked absent the prior Thursday. 

That was easy. Because he hadn't attended. 

Massey had been attending every class meeting, so the instructional aide and I both noted his absence. We wondered what had happened. 

The secretary replied that the mom insisted that he had been in class, so the secretary referred her to me. 

Basically, the ensuing emails were a back and forth of the mom saying, "Massey was in class," and me replying, "No, he was not". Only relatively polite. She insisted that Massey had to have been in class as she gave him her tablet so he could log in. (Massey currently has no electronics privileges.) 

I double checked with the aide. Was I crazy? Nope, she also remembered him not being there. 

We left it at me discussing it with Massey on Tuesday. 

Massey was in class. I asked him about his attendance on Thursday (after the other students had logged off). He was pretty sure he had been there. 

I asked what we had discussed in class. At that point, he admitted that he must have missed class. His certainty had been shaky at best. 

I mean, it's not like he's on a school campus. He has to log in to different Google Hangouts. He could have gone to the one earlier in the day and missed mine. 

So, in the end, he said he'd tell his mom that he hadn't been there. 

Mistakes do happen. I have been known to mark the student under or above present and the present student absent. So, I don't mind the question, and I will double check. But this time I had it right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Seeing Fluffy Again

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

What if after we pass (whatever your belief is of what that is) we get to talk to our dearly departed pets, and they can talk back?

Monday, July 27, 2020


I keep talking about the project that I don't want to talk about, mostly because I'm not working on anything else at the moment. However, there are a couple projects currently in the planning and acquiring materials phase, so I'll have something more interesting soon. 

I am writing this post on Sunday afternoon. Last night, I had gotten to this point in the experiment...

This is upside down and inside out.

...when I realized that I'm not happy with it. I've been pushing through for a day or two, but last night I owned up to how much I'm forcing this. So, I'm going to frog it. 

Well, not the whole thing... 

I'm just going to frog it back to where I started the decreases. 

The plan is to rip back past where the "seams" start. It's hard to tell in the image, but they're really rather a mess. 

If I had done more planning, I might have figured out a way to knit that neater. This is why I don't design on the needles too much. I end up with things like this. 

Anyway, by the time you read this, that seam will be gone (or very nearly--it might take me a day or two to prep the frogging). 

I'm not a fan of grafting, but I think that will make this whole thing work better. And it'll give me another out if I happen to lose at this round of yarn chicken. (I've made a contingency plan.) 

Hopefully, the yarn I ordered for niece's birthday present (she finally told me what she wanted, and it's not in a color or fiber I have on hand) will have arrived, and I'll have pretty pictures of a tank top to show you.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Rotten Tomatoes 300 Essential Movies

It turns out that teaching online doesn't lead to a whole lot of interesting stories. Sigh. But that's okay. That's what random quiz Fridays are for. 

I went back to the list site (where we tried the Disney challenge) because I rather enjoyed it. Today's challenge: 

Rotten Tomatoes 300 Essential Movies to Watch Now - July 2020 Edition

This has a good mix of recent and classic. Some of these movies I'm very familiar with, but I've never sat down and watched. (For example: Jaws. Really. I mean, allegedly I was with my parents when they saw it, but I have limited memory of it.) 

And there are a couple I'm not sure if I've seen them or not. I've seen clips. I've seen bits here and there. But did I sit down and watch the whole thing through? I didn't count those. 

I got 38% or 113 of the 300. A fair showing. I think there are probably 10 to 15 movies on that list that I do want to see. There's a good 20 that I will never, under any circumstances, subject myself to. (*side eyes The Red Shoes*) 

So, how many have you seen? How many would you like to see?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Wrong (Virtual) Room

I "meet" with my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are broken down into two groups. I meet with the first at 10 AM, the second at 11:30 AM. This is done online via Google Hangouts. 

Once I got access to the class rosters, I created a recurring meeting on Google Calendar and input all the kiddos email addresses. (They have a district assigned email.) Of course, I made a few mistakes along the way, but eventually I had it all set up so all our class meetings were scheduled. 

The day before, I've been sending out the invitation to the meeting. 

There were some technical issues, of course, but things were going pretty well. By Thursday of last week, I felt I had it down. 

10 AM. The meeting went off without a hitch. 

11:30 AM. No one showed. Not even the instructional aide. (She gets invited, too.) And the aide was usually on time... 

As the time ticked to 11:33, I started to wonder... 

I went back into my calendar. Guess who clicked on the link for the 10 AM meeting? Whoops. 

When I finally found the correct link (which I generated and sent out to everyone else), we had two students who hadn't made it to class before. And I was late... 


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Kids are Alright

By week two of the three-and-a-half-week summer school at the alternative education center, the group of 9th/10th graders has remained a steady class of two. But two is better than zero... 

The big issue the first week was getting them logged into the software. And then letting them know that getting 11% correct was not going to get them credit for completing the assignment. (Yes, they can do it over.) 

Then I finally got access to what they were completing online, and class got a whole lot more focused. See, I could actually see what they were doing, and I could actually help where they were stuck. Score!

But as the assignments aren't the sort of things they really need me hovering over them to do, the conversation goes a bit sideways. While Massey keeps his camera off, Ronan lets us see into his bedroom. (No, these are not their real names.) 

Week one, Ronan let us see his gaming setup. (He has a computer, Xbox, the works.) Week two, Ronan had to show off his new toy. 

It was a stereo receiver with an 8-track player and turntable. 

It was totally something my parents would have had in my childhood home. (Well, without the 8-track player. My parents never bought an 8-track player.) I knew exactly what it was when I saw it. 

Ronan had acquired it at a flea market along with a Rolling Stones album. He had the huge headphones that plugged into it. (Which he had half on while in class...) 

At least that's one plus of working from home. They're not tied to music from their phones. They can listen to actual vinyl records. Yay? 

It's kind of weird to see this stuff again, and both me and the instructional aide wondered at how our childhoods are cool again. (Did I mention the class has an aide? She's in the class meetings, too.) 

And Ronan is gaining a working knowledge of classic rock bands like Pink Floyd. So, yeah, the kids are all right...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Month of the Comet

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

You all know about Comet NEOWISE, right? Comets have long appeared in fiction. And when I heard about this one, I remembered a TV show where one sort of appeared. So, I'm stealing my question again... 

What if the comet is actually an observation post for an alien civilization? (I have a feeling they're not going to stop in for a visit this time, though.)

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Tangle

This is my 2900th post. 

Remember my "knitting" picture from last week? 

Since then, I have maybe added an inch to this. (And no, I'm not talking about what it is yet.) 

For the week, that was all of the knitting I did. 

It's not that I didn't have time to knit. It was that my yarn got into the worst tangle... 

Honestly, I should have prepped better. When I pulled the yarn out of my stash, it was a mess. I had three "skeins". One was a full skein, still with it's ball band. One was just a pile of yarn. And one was half skein, half pile. 

I took the pile and wound it into a ball. The full skein was perfectly sorted. 

The half skein, half pile was where I made my fatal mistake. 

I thought about pulling it all out and making a ball. But I wanted to get started knitting. So, I took the pile part and wound it around the skein, (No, I didn't take a picture of this. If I had known...) I figured it was sorted well enough. 

I started knitting. Things went well for what is in the first picture. But about two days after that picture was taken, the half skein got to the portion where I had wound the yarn, and I hit a tangle. 

No problem. I cut the yarn, untangled, and kept going. 

But then the tangle got worse. 

So, instead of continuing on, I figured I'd take a half hour and rewind that yarn into a ball. 

This took me three days. 

(Well, not full days. Three days of knitting time. So, all told, probably ten hours.) 

I felt sure I'd finish the first night, even once I got into hour three. But at about 1 AM, I called it. I had to be up for work (from home, but still). And I thought I'd finish the next night, no problem. 

The second night, I got stuck with this knot. I don't know how it got knotted so bad considering that at no point did I knot the thing. I tugged and shifted and pulled for a good hour, but again, at 1 AM I called it. 

That was when I considered cutting the yarn again. But I didn't think I was that far gone. 

The third night I cut the yarn. After that, I was able to unknot the worst of the tangle with ease. 

Why didn't I cut earlier? I was trying to avoid more ends to wind in at the end. And I didn't think of it. It's funny what obvious solutions don't occur when one is in the thick of doing something. 

So, nothing exciting happened in my knitting last week. I need to make more masks or something, or I'm not going to have anything to write on Mondays for a while.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Don't Be a Jerk

The principal set up a schedule for the kiddos. Each teacher (the school has three) is to meet with the kiddos for an hour a day twice a week online (via Google Hangout). 

The students have been divided into two groups of eight. My days are Tuesday and Thursday. I got the 11th and 12th graders first, then the 9th and 10th graders. 

Of the eight, one showed up in my first group on Tuesday. On Thursday, I again had one show up, but this time it was a different student. (For the 9th and 10th graders, I had the same two show up both days.) 

It turned out Horatio had the same issue as everyone else; he could not get logged into the website where his work was. (Like many students of Mexican descent, he has two last names. Figuring out how that got encoded into his username turned out to be beyond us.) 

But Horatio had other concerns. He wants to get his driver's license. 

We ended up spending most of the time talking about that. 

He's done most of the work already. He explained that he needed to find a driver training course, but they're all expensive. He had wanted to take it at his home school, but the counselor wouldn't assign him the class. 

He was quite angry at the counselor. Apparently, there are issues there. And the way he talked about her... 

I can think of three reasons why the counselor might not have given Horatio the driver's ed class. We went through Horatio's credits to see if he was up to date. He was. So, reason one didn't apply. 

Reason two would be the class was full. Horatio said he had a friend in the class, and according to him, there was room for another student. 

Horatio told me that the teacher liked him, so he couldn't imagine why he'd been denied entry into the class. 

I did not explain, though, what I thought reason three might be. Because, that wasn't going to do any good. So we got to talking about something else. 

See, reason three would be that the counselor didn't put him in the class because she didn't want to. And she might not want to because she wouldn't want to burden that teacher with a difficult student if she could avoid it. 

I have a feeling Horatio and the counselor butted heads when they discussed anything. And as you all know, when you want something from someone, you are nice to them. I have a feeling Horatio was a jerk to the counselor. This was her revenge. 

Of course, I have nothing to base this on. I could be completely wrong. There might be another perfectly reasonable reason why he didn't get the class. 

But, it does illustrate a good lesson. It's best to not be a jerk to the person who assigns your classes. 

Oh, and it turned out there should have been a dash between Horatio's last names when he logged into the website. *facepalm*

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Back to Work

The day I got the sunburn, while waiting in the car, I got a curious email from the sub caller. Would I be interested in a gig? 

I cover middle school, high school, and the continuation high school. I've even covered the adult transition center. But I have never subbed at the alternative education center. 

So... I've only been offered gigs there a couple times. And I've kind of been avoiding it. It has a bad reputation. But then again, so does the continuation high school. 

It shares a campus with the adult transition center, so I know where it is. I've met some of the staff. And considering how everything is closed, I figured why not? What's a day going to hurt? 

I responded with a yes. And then I learned exactly what I was signing up for. 

So, as you know, the schools are closed. (Although they've started talking about when and how they're going to open.) Due to the plague, summer school was cancelled. Except, the alternative education center has a mandatory summer school, so to speak. (Like the continuation high school, the alternative education center has a slightly different schedule.) 

One of their teachers retired at the end of the school year. Because the schools are closed, they aren't hiring new teachers. But, now they have a vacant class... 

The sub caller put me in touch with the principal of the school. He explained that things would likely be virtual. 

And that is how I started working last week. From home. 

More stories to come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ugly Boy

No image for the walk, so instead enjoy some chalk art.

Luisa and I are still taking walks, although not every day. And as summer heats up, our walks are in the evening, when things start to cool down. 

We were maybe ten minutes into our walk when I spotted a tiny dog walking along the sidewalk on the other side of the street. He seemed to have purpose, like he was on a walk with a person. But, there was no person to be seen. 

I looked around, but no one seemed to be in the vicinity except for us. 

So, I pointed him out to Luisa. 

We crossed the street, and Luisa called out to him. He kept strolling along. It took us a good three to four houses before we caught up with him. 

Luckily, he had on a collar. The front read "Ugly Boy". The back had a phone number. 

I dialed the number. I got voicemail. I wasn't surprised. When I get phone calls from an unknown number, I don't answer them either. So, I left a quick message. 

Ugly Boy got away from Luisa (she was holding him by the collar and he slipped away), but I needed that number again. Because while I knew the call would be ignored, I figured a text wouldn't be. 

Once we grabbed the dog again, I texted, "Are you missing a dog?" and then I added where we were.  

Not two minutes later, the phone rang and two ladies emerged from a house two houses in front of us. 

In front of us. 

Ugly Boy was headed home when we waylaid him. 

Ah well. They told us that Ugly Boy has escaped before. Someone left a door open. I just wonder if he's escaped more than they realize, only he then returns. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Timeline Fail

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

The other morning, as I was dozing, I came up with a great "what if?" question. That I now can't recall. Sigh. So, I'll again "borrow" from Twitter... 

What if the time travelers are actually here and have been trying (and trying and trying) to fix this year?

Monday, July 13, 2020

The New Toy

I got a new toy... 

Isn't it cool? What is it, you ask? Ah, something I totally need... 

Okay, so that picture isn't great. I was trying to do these photos only on my phone, but using a mirror... 

It's a light that clips on my phone, or what's called a "selfie light". (If that link doesn't work, search "selfie light" or "ring light" to get something similar.) 

The minute I saw it, I knew I needed one. No, I don't take a lot of selfies, but I do use my phone camera a lot to take pics of what I'm knitting. And usually it's at night, and I want to post them to Instagram. So, I have to find a good light, get everything set up, and hope... 

Nah. No more. 

So now, instead of getting this... 

...when I go to take a picture, I get this... 

...(and I didn't edit the picture). 

I took this during the day. At night it's going to be even nicer. Score! 

(The pictures are of my current on-the-needles project. Which I'm not going to talk about right now. It's kind of an experiment, so I'm not sure if it's going to work like I want. If it goes terribly wrong, I'll rip it all out when done. Also, I'm engaged in a round of yarn chicken, so it might be even more of a disaster.)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Hangman--Landmark Quiz

It's Friday, so it must be quiz day. This week, I'm back to Sporcle. Although, this quiz is a bit different: 

Hangman--Landmark Quiz

The premise is you're to guess a famous landmark. But this is hangman-style. That is, you guess letters until you have enough to guess the landmark. You only have 3 minutes (sorry!). But once you put in enough letters, you should be able to figure it out.

The "How to Play" gives the gist of what to do: 
  • Guess any letter by entering that letter into the box.
  • Each wrongly guessed letter will be marked as an incorrect answer.
  • To make a guess at the hangman answer put an equals sign "=" before your guess. e.g. "=Colosseum"
  • Even if you guess all the correct letters for the answer, you must enter it in full e.g. "=Colosseum" to end the quiz without further penalty.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Games Cheerleaders Play

My big excitement for last week was rearranging my yarn. Seriously. I removed it from a box containment system and put the various skeins in bags... Yeah, I won't bore you with details. That just means that today is a #ThrowbackThursday day. 

The new Blogger makes it harder to go back to older posts. Sigh. So, this isn't as way-back as I could go, but it'll do. It's from May 23, 2014, and it was an interesting day. 

It was a Friday near the end of the school year, and I ended up subbing for the cheerleading coach. She taught science the rest of the day. It was only for 6th period that I had the cheerleaders. All sitting in one classroom. With nothing to do.

(Well, technically, they had a "study hall". But rarely do the students in these types of classes, i.e. student government, the yearbook, the golf team, do anything on days like this.)

I managed to get roll taken, and then I sat back. One girl asked the others if they'd like to play a game.

Days like these I get to be a fly on the wall. They know I'm there, but quickly they forget all about me. And I get to see them in their natural habitat. What sort of game were they going to play?

The girl announced that they were going to play "Going on a Cruise Ship". Each girl got to take two items with her. And if she got the items wrong, she was booted off the ship. Now, the rules of the game were kind of unclear, because one girl said she'd bring her swimsuit but was booted off while another said she'd bring an alligator but could stay.

But that was the point. From playing the game and listening in, the girls had to catch on. (A girl near me explained the situation.) It was a puzzle. And it ticked a couple of the girls off.

(I've done a couple cursory Google searches, but I have been unable to find the games. So, sorry, I can't provide rules.)

Apparently, they played this game at cheer camp last summer. And there were other games, too. After they all figured out the cruise ship rules (or some just gave up).

The next game had to do with a bouncing ball. Not an actual bouncing ball, but a fictional ball that one girl threw to another, but that girl missed it, and it went... That's what they had to guess. Who had the ball? This one they figured out pretty quickly.

Then the first girl took three dry erase markers from the board. She arranged them on the floor in the middle of the group, saying that she was "drawing a picture" of one of the girls. (No vandalism took place.) Then the girls had to guess who she drew.

Now, for me it was hard to follow along as I didn't know the girls' names. I learned a few as they did all of this, but from my vantage point and where the dry erase markers were, it was hard for me to see the full picture. (I could have gotten up. They wouldn't have objected if I sat among them. But I didn't.)

The last game had them looking at the moon (figuratively) and having something with them. Again, no rules. They had to figure it out themselves.

It drove some of them crazy. One girl would think she had it, attempt to do something using the rules as she understood them, and find out that she had it wrong.

I thought it was a great mental exercise. Very educational. Of course, I didn't mention that. They were having too much fun. (Or maybe "fun". You know, the kind that makes you crazy because you want to know how it works. Kind of like magic tricks.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

History's Mysteries

There's a treasure trove of programming on YouTube. Many shows I remember fondly have ended up there. On subbing-free Wednesdays, I'll present a random video that I loved back in the day. Some of these may not have aged all that well. If you have some time, come on and take a trip down memory lane with me.

You think you know history? Maybe not as much as you would think. 

History's Mysteries was a show that aired on the History Channel from 1998 to 2011. (Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they still aired some episodes from time to time.) What was it about? Weird stuff you may not have heard of before. Or, if you were familiar with the topic, you would still learn something new. 

Like, did you know that the Titanic had two sister ships that also had disasters at sea? And did you know that one woman survived all three? "Doomed Sisters of Titanic".

Or, was Marco Polo an explorer, or were the tales of his travels fake? "The True Story of Marco Polo". 

The episodes were an hour with commercials, so on YouTube they're about 45 minutes. Just by doing a cursory search, I'm finding dozens of episodes, most of which I haven't seen. (Now I know what I'm going to be streaming this summer.) 

For today's embedded video, I'm presenting one that blew my mind when I first saw it. It's about Area 51. The thing that dropped my jaw on the floor, which happens towards the end of the show, gave a fascinating reason why there were all sorts of rumors about aliens. I've never looked at reports out of Area 51 without some incredulity since. 

Have you ever seen History's Mysteries before? If you get a chance to watch the video, I'd love to hear your reaction to the bombshell at about 30ish minutes. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Anyone Out There?

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

What if intelligent life in the universe is the exception, not the rule? (Although, lately one would wonder if intelligent life exists at all...)

Monday, July 6, 2020

Special Request

The customer that requested the black and gray lip balm holder had another request. Could I make a lighter holder? 

Well, I could give it a try. 

It took a couple days to figure it out. I won't bore you with the trial and error. I started and ripped out several times before I got a working model... 

However, she wanted it in two colors. So, again I made and remade. But nothing was looking right. I was at the point where I was going to embroider the second color on this, because nothing was working. 

Then I remembered there's a spiral technique... 

And that cracked it for me... 

It was a good thing, as she had then requested (as I was fighting with the above) a tri-color lip balm holder. 

Luckily, the same technique would work on this... 

(Yes, those are the colors she requested. And yes, I know what they mean.) 

Since she requested them at the same time, they were able to be shipped together... 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Doodle a Yankee

I know I have a bad habit of doing quizzes that are U.S.-centric. And while most of the time I do try to combat this, this week I'm not. As tomorrow is the 4th (and we're going to pretend that there's something to celebrate), I thought I should do a 4th of July quiz. So... 

Doodle a Yankee: The July 4th Quiz

It's not timed. Just scroll down and answer. A hint button is even provided. Good luck. 

(International readers, feel free to skip this entirely.)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Modern Problems

It was time for my usual trip to Trader Joe's. I wore the mask from the picture above. 

I have three masks I use regularly. (I have two others that I don't really wear. I like to be able to change things out.) They get washed after each use. 

The edges on this mask have started to fray a bit. I didn't think too much of it. 


I put the mask on in the car. I walked into Trader Joe's, grabbing a cart. I had put a couple things in my cart when an inhale brought with it one of the threads from the edge of the mask. Right into my nostril. 

So, what to do? The point of the mask is to not touch one's face. (Well, among other concerns.) Do I pull the mask away from my face? Reach inside? Step outside? 

In the end, I just suffered through. And I made sure to cut those threads off as soon as I got home. (I don't wear the mask while driving--it's just me in the car--so it was only an in-the-store problem.) 

Ah, the joys of wearing a mask... 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


I don't plan these things. They take me by surprise. 

Last Monday, my roommate had an ophthalmologist appointment. Luisa (my other roommate) had the idea for us all to get out of the house. We'd wait while she had her appointment, and then we'd head to the nearby pier. 

(There are lots of local piers. Roommate's appointment was about 15 miles away, so it took us out of our immediate vicinity.) 

Roommate's appointment took two hours. ??? Apparently, there had been two emergencies while she was there, so she had to wait much longer than expected. 

Luisa and I waited in the car. I brought reading material. I also left the window down. 

I really should have realized sooner that my arm, the one that was in the sun, was burning. But it's been a while since I got burned, and I didn't realize I'd be out in the sun that long. 

I won't subject you to a picture of the sunburn. I have a gel that helps. It has since faded. I swear I won't let it happen again, but I know another time I will be taken by surprise. Sigh. 

But, in case you'd like a view of the ocean... 

We had fish 'n chips outside. It was nice.