Posts Tagged ‘social distancing’

Doing time

April 1, 2020

Miss Mia knows how to be jailin’.

In his loosely autobiographical novel “Homeboy,” ex-con Seth Morgan had a character offer some advice for a new fish worried about doing time.

“The time does itself,” schooled Smoothbore. “You jist got to live with it.”

A few pages closer to the penitentiary, the narrator elaborated:

Jailin’ was an art form and lifestyle both. The style was walkin’ slow, drinkin’ plenty of water, and doin’ your own time; the art was lightin’ cigarets from wall sockets, playin’ the dozens, cuttin’ up dream jackpots, and slowin’ your metabolism to a crawl, sleepin’ twenty hours a day. Forget the streets you won’t see for years. Lettin’ your heart beat the bricks with your body behind bars was hard time. Acceptin’ the jailhouse as the only reality was easy time. Jailin’.

Staying at home, social distancing — these aren’t jailin’, but they’re not exactly freedom, either. Sure, the cell is a little bigger, the guards a little less visible, and the food better. Still, you’d rather be out on the street.

But listen to Smoothbore. Let the time do itself. Live with it.

With any luck at all, you have a short stretch and an agreeable cellmate. You know — someone who doesn’t mind doing the laundry while you stretch out on your bunk and listen to the latest thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: The bargain-basement broadcasting continues. I used the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic,recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. Once again the background music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the Mac and iOS versions of GarageBand. Other sonic adornments come from the iMovie and GarageBand sound libraries.

All hope abandon, ye who exit here!

March 25, 2020

Happy trails or highway to hell?

What’s a safe social distance?

I’ve been discussing this with a few folks away from the blog, and consensus is proving elusive.

So let’s discuss it here.

First, some ground rules: Mind your tone. Respect others’ opinions, even when you disagree. Cite authoritative reports to support your arguments, with links, when possible. That should about cover it.

Keep in mind that this is my little shop here and I’ll run it as I please. Bad behavior will not be tolerated, and I’ll decide what’s bad.

Now then: We’ll start with me, because see previous paragraph.

I may be an unusual case study. I’ve been working from home since 1991, and am presently recovering from a broken ankle, so my contact with the general public has been and continues to be limited.

Herself and Herself the Elder get some analog FaceTime through a closed window.

We haven’t been to a grocery in a week and probably have at least another week’s worth of pretty good eatin’ on hand. I decided against physical therapy for the ankle because that’s just one more point of contact. We have indoor (or backyard) exercise routines we can use to minimize loss of fitness and alleviate boredom. And we haven’t had a dog to walk since Mister Boo shoved off.

That said … since breaking the ankle during a trail run on Feb. 21, I have taken four walks around the ’hood. Herself has done a couple-three runs since becoming a home-worker on March 16. And we have cycled to the Dark Tower four times to resupply Herself the Elder, who has been on a no-shit lockdown for longer than any of yis, because her assisted-living home is full of at-risk elders. No one gets in; no one gets out. Deliveries and pickups are made at the porch.

Now, I consider this fairly reasonable behavior. If I were 100 percent, I might consider longer recreational road rides, but I would be concerned about injury, because clearly I have trouble staying upright on two feet. The hospital doesn’t need to see my dumb ass right now. Trail rides would be right out, because (a) I’m not 100 percent; (2) riding trails poses an even greater risk of injury, and (III) some sections are too narrow and spiky for minimal social distancing.

As for running? Hee, and also haw, etc.

However, I deem the cycling to and from the Dark Tower to be of comparatively low risk. The side streets we use are mostly wide, with light traffic, so social distancing no es una problema, as we say south of the border. And since I’m not exactly crushing it these days, our speeds are low.

But even this may seem like too much personal and societal risk for some of you. So I’m tossing it out there for discussion — what are you doing to help keep yourself and others healthy, physically and mentally?

Going viral

March 24, 2020

The Menaul trailhead, shot from a social distance.

Beyond hoarding beans, buttwipe and bullets, people don’t seem to be taking The Bug seriously in these parts.

Or they didn’t on Sunday, anyway.

When Herself and I bicycled over to the Dark Tower to deliver some vino to Herself the Elder, we passed three trailhead parking lots that were jam-packed and overflowing onto neighboring streets.

Call me crazy, but this seemed like antisocial distancing to me, on a par with slow dancing in a burning building, the New Mexican equivalent of sunburned bro-brahs wearing bikini babes like earbuds during spring break in Florida.

Maybe the authorities were watching, too. Maybe our crowds were not out of the ordinary.

Because come Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham went on TV to lay down the law. Or the advisory, anyway.

The nut graf? Keep your distance, preferably behind closed doors.

“There are a lot of people out and about,” she said. “This creates risk. This creates exposure.”

The Piedra Lisa trailhead, which looked like the drop-off lane at an elementary school.

I created a few exposures myself with the old iPhone camera, and here they are, all shot from a proper social distance, if only to avoid an ass-kicking (“Hey, man, whatchoo taking pictures of, huh? You work for my old lady?”).

And when I got back to El Rancho Pendejo I created another podcast.

Yes, yes, yes — it’s a socially distant, viral episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

 

 

 

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: I recorded this episode with an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic straight to the MacBook Pro, using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was in GarageBand. The background music is “Buddy,” an iMovie jingle. The other sound effects were liberated from the GarageBand loops library. And those musical references? The musicologists among you will be familiar with “Highway to Hell” (AC/DC); “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin); “Happy Trails” (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans); “Get It While You Can” (Janis Joplin); “The Last Waltz” (The Band); and “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” (Johnny Cash). These are not necessarily the folks who wrote the music, but the ones who came to mind as I was writing the podcast.

It’s a coverup!

March 23, 2020

Antisocial distancing

March 21, 2020

The outside is still there. We’re just not making as much use of it lately.

No child likes homework. And damn few adults like working from home full time, once they’ve given it a whirl.

Oh, sure, some of us are cut out for it. Truth be told, without the option to work remotely, some of us wouldn’t be remotely employable.

So as you noobs open your laptops on the kitchen counter, launch Skype, and settle into The New Normal, remember the Old Abnormal. We’re still here, in our three-day beards, unbrushed teeth, and soiled yoga pants, taking regular meetings with the voices in our heads.

We pioneered this shit. Homesteaded it, you might say. And we like it.

So, welcome to orientation.

First, the bad news: The voices in your head are not the ones you’re used to hearing around the water cooler in the office.

The good news? You can tell them to shut the fuck up and they won’t rat you out to HR.

Yes, it’s another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: It’s another bargain-basement broadcast. I used the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. The intro music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the iOS version of GarageBand on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Angry shouting and background music (the latter by Doug Maxwell/Media Right Productions) is courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library. Cash register by kiddpark at Freesound.org. Herself was voiced either by Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, or Rosario Dawson, I can’t decide.

The cat’s meow

March 18, 2020

The rest interval.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla is enjoying this whole social-distancing thing.

Suddenly she has two people to feed her; two people to empty the litter box; and two people to play “Chase Me Chase Me.”

This last is a pursuit through the house to the master bath, where the pursuer must sit on the toilet while Miss Mia slaloms between his/her calves and around both sides of the toilet, scent-marking the corners of the surrounding walls and periodically standing on her hind legs to bump her head into an outstretched palm like a particularly gregarious prairie dog.

Afterward there will be a short snort from the water dish followed by a snooze on the back of the couch.

Then, and only then, are we released to set about our own little bits of business. Like waiting for the feddle gummint to send us a G of our own money and then dispatch crews of space-suited carpenters to nail our doors and windows shut so we can’t leave home to spend it.