January 20 2021

Been sleeping more the last several days. Just been more on edge and irritable than usual. I usually leave my apartment only to pick up mail or do laundry, at least for the last week. We haven’t gotten much snow the last few weeks. Looks bleak and dead outside of my window with the gray skies and no snow.

I still keep in contact with family on an almost daily basis. My parents are getting their covid vaccines tomorrow. Then they’ll get their second round within a couple weeks. They are looking forward to being able to get out more and socialize in person. They’ve been doing zoom calls for everything for family gatherings to church services since this whole mess started.

I have been listening to audiobooks and watching history channels on youtube. Currently working on some Isaac Asimov right now. Haven’t been watching much for sports lately. Seems kind of extravagant to be watching ballgames when thousands of people are dying everyday in a worldwide pandemic. It’s just not the same watching games with really limited crowds. Looking forward to the Olympics this summer. I have no doubt Japan will be a great host. Hopefully we can get crowds back at events like baseball games and outdoor concerts by the end of summer.

I’m still amazed that several vaccines were able to get developed in only one year. Goes to show what can be accomplished when the stakes are high, funding is abundant, and the best minds in the world are focused on one single issue. Even though covid has infected and killed millions of people, I am hopeful that we can solve even bigger problems coming in the upcoming decades. If we can develop several vaccines for covid in only one year, maybe we can build colonies on Mars and reverse climate change. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we as a civilization are focused.

January 11 2021

Been pretty quiet the last few days. The highlight of my day was washing several loads of laundry and having a large Amazon delivery. Spent some of my stimulus money on clothing. I was needing some new shirts and pants. It’s been cloudy and damp for the last several days. It got just warm enough during the days to melt the ice and then it would refreeze after sunset.

Been cooking more complex meals lately. Made some alfredo pasta a couple nights ago. Made a few batches of creamy potato soup. I haven’t tried any baking yet. I’m probably going to grill some bratwursts in a day or two.

Chatted with a few neighbors while I was doing laundry this afternoon. I don’t get out as much as I used to. Found out one of my neighbors had hip surgery a couple weeks ago. As far as I know, we haven’t had any cases of covid in my complex lately. Last I heard, nine million doses of vaccine have been given here in the U.S. One of my college friends is a high school teacher and he’s supposed to be getting his any day now. I think the first priorities were health care workers and elderly people in nursing homes, at least in my country. I heard that California is getting it real bad. The number of new cases per day is actually going down in my state. I haven’t had it, at least not that I know of. I’ve had two cousins catch covid in addition to three of my friends. My friend out in Denver said she’s had at least a dozen clients catch it already.

I’m not sure when I’ll be getting my vaccine. As I’m not healthcare, first responder, elderly, police, or military, I’m not a high priority. Hopefully I can get mine in the spring or early summer. But I’ve taken precautions for almost a year. What’s a few more months at this point?

Mid Winter and Mental Illness

Bend spending most of my time at home. I still drop in on a few neighbors every two or three days. We check in on each other. Been damp and cold the last several days. We’ve avoided the major snows some places got this week. Just been good days to curl up on my recliner, make some potato soup, and listen to audiobooks. Currently four hours into The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. I’ve found that I’m now able to absorb information better if I hear it than if I read it. But if I can both read and hear it, it’s almost permanent now.

I admit I don’t write as often as I used to. But as I don’t go out nearly as much, I have less to report. Between the pandemic taking it’s toll and people being upset about many other things, it’s probably best I limit my social interactions for the time being.

As far as I know, I don’t have any neighbors in my complex with covid right now. One of my friends in here had to have a stress test for her heart issues the day I’m writing this. I hope they find out exactly what is going on. I’ve had a couple cousins and at least three friends who’ve already had it. I hope I can avoid it. I’m afraid it would really mess with my mental illness. And the fact I’m overweight would make it only worse.

Right now as I look out my window it’s overcast with light snow. No wind so it’s one of those almost Christmas card type of scenes. It’s quite beautiful. Helps take my mind off the pandemic, social problems, and my own issues.

Things I Need To Appreciate Before They Are Gone Forever

Taking a detour for this post. Reflecting on all the change that happened in 2020 has me thinking about the major changes that will be coming just in my lifetime, let alone those who are still children. I’ve seen a lot of changes already in my 40 years. Some I don’t miss, like the smell of cigarette smoke everywhere, massive amounts of air pollution everywhere, bigotry and sexism being socially acceptable by most people, etc. Some I do miss, like my grandparents, seeing my cousins and friends almost every day, and healthy knees. But here is an informal list of things I’m going to miss when they are gone. Many of these could be gone in my lifetime.

Things I Need To Appreciate More Before They Are Gone Forever

My hearing

The internet being as wide open as the frontier

Privacy

My dollars being worth something

Inexpensive chocolate

Cool coastal cities like Venice and New Orleans

My niece and nephews as children

Getting to chat up delivery men before they get replaced by drones

High paying manufacturing jobs

USA being the only superpower in the world

Human Truck Drivers

Movies like Gattaca being science fiction

Amazon being both a rain forest and an online shop

Living World War 2 veterans

Living Vietnam War veterans (namely my father and my uncle)

Cheap cryptocurrencies

Cheap silver and copper coins

Humanity living only on Earth

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean

Undeveloped Antarctica

Orbital Space Garbage not being an issue

Bioterrorism and Cyberwar being science fiction

Peace between major world powers

Easy access to drinking water

High paying white collar jobs before AI takes them over

California before The Big One hits

Social Media being free

Helium

Shopping Malls

More people being employed than unemployed

People having children before they can start modifying their kids’ genetics

Inexpensive Coffee

Humans driving cars being a normal thing

Coral Reefs

African Elephants

Polar Bears

Lions and Tigers outside of zoos and game preserves

Heavy Metal Music

Old School Hip Hop Music

Musicians like Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and Paul McCartney

Actors like Kevin Costner and Daniel Day Lewis

More humans than robots

January 2 2021

Another holiday season has come and gone. I saw my parents a couple days before Christmas. Had Christmas dinner with them. First time I saw them since June. We still have lots of snow on the ground so I don’t get out much these days. Been content to stay home, listen to audiobooks, and play computer games.

Been sleeping more lately. I have more or less kept to myself between Christmas and New Year’s. Been feeling kind of irritable and short tempered the last few days. So I’m reducing my caffeine and trying to sleep more. I also make a point of avoiding rude and angry people. I think the pandemic is getting to most people I know. It’s gotten to me sometimes even if I try not to take it out on others. Two of my cousins had covid this fall. There have been a few thousand cases in my hometown with a few dozen deaths. So it is here even several hours outside of major cities. Granted we haven’t had the protests or looting that some places have. If I wasn’t concerned about covid I probably would get out and about more often. But as I am mentally ill and overweight I already have two conditions that would make covid worse than normal for me. I still have some face masks, a bottle of hand sanitizer, plenty of soap, and enough food supplies and meds I can stay bunkered down for weeks if needed.

I guess the highlights of my week are when my neighbors and I drop in on each other just to check in. My neighbor across the hall is kind enough to pick up my mail and help me out a couple times a week. In exchange I will usually give him some face masks or some quarters. We have a soda pop machine on ground floor that has the coldest soda pop I ever had. It’s worth the 75 cents a can to get a frigid Diet Coke. Our laundry machines still take quarters too. My mom gave me a bunch of quarters for Christmas. Saves me a trip to my bank. I also enjoy Thursday afternoons when my cleaning lady arrives. She gives the place a good scrub down every week and she indulges my need for chatting. I’m glad she at least tolerates my eccentric sense of humor.

Overall I’ve done okay during this pandemic. Sure I get lonely sometimes. But that’s why I have a cell phone and my facebook account. But, since I sold my car back in 2019 I’m able to save some money as I don’t have to buy gas or change oil. Once I found I could get my groceries delivered and get amazon delivery, usually within two to three days even in my rural town, I no longer had much of a need for a car except for emergencies. My drivers’ license is due to be renewed this summer. I’ll probably keep it updated just for emergency purposes. I tend to get sensory overload with my mental illness. And I felt that made me unreliable as a regular driver. Since I can already get most things delivered to my house, I really don’t need a car. Even my small town now has a few Uber and Door Dash drivers. As I can stay home with fewer problems, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick so far. Hopefully only a few more months until I can get the vaccine.