a touch of Blair Witch Project
Saturday, May 30 2020
The Spelling Bee panagram today was "artfully," which made for another rather dismal game for our three-person Saturday morning coffee. Gretchen had made herb-infused biscuits and a thick herbal cream to spread on them. I would've eaten a dozen of those, but then there wouldn't've been enough for Powerful. This is the first time I've ever lived in a household where I'm not the hungriest person (unless you count my childhood home, though even then I was often hungrier than my brother due to the fact that I would save my lunch money for non-food expenses).
It was a beautiful cool sunny day, and in the late morning, Gretchen thought we should park the Subaru (our least-used car) at the bus turnaround to discourage ammosexuals, since they might interpret a car parked there as someone possibly hiking down-range.
At around noon, Gretchen's friend Marissa arrived. This was the blonde Marissa with two kids and a lawyer-husband who lives in a nice big multi-story unit on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Some weeks ago, they'd fled Manhattan to an expensive temporary rental near Monticello (in Sullivan County). This was in keeping with a pattern among those who could afford to do in New York City; in the neighborhoods adjacent to Central Park, half the people have left. Today, though, only Marissa visited; after weeks being cooped up with her children, she was craving some adult interaction. Marissa very much wanted to do the social distancing thing, and even wore a mask while talking to Gretchen out in the garden. Later, though, on the east deck, she had to take it off in order to eat those herby biscuits Gretchen had made. Much of talk concerned coronavirus in the prison system. The most astounding thing I learned as that Powerful knows of 11 prisoners who have died from it, which (given its lethality) suggests he knows 110 people who have the disease. They're not all in one prison, since people are shuffled around in the New York State prison system. But to think that 110 people in one person's prison social network would be sick from the disease suggests it is extremely pervasive.
While Gretchen, Powerful, and Marissa went on a long walk in the forest that would take them past the abandoned go-cart tracks, I finally got cracking on the chore of routing the wire to the master guestroom's air-conditioning split from where the power emerges from the outside wall near the outside units of two other splits over 30 feet away. The original plan had been to bury the power cable, but when that proved impossible, I'd gone and bought a bunch of conduit. Today it was a straight-forward job of pulling the wire through all the boxes and conduit and attaching the conduit to the wall. But such work tends to be repetitive and annoying; getting sixty feet of wire (the original length of the run) to go through a 90-degree angle box requires scunching it through a few inches at a time, over and over, until it's all through. At some point I realized I'd mismatched the south-running conduit with where I'd intended to run the west-running conduit, meaning I needed two 90-degree elbows, though I only had one. So I decided to drive to Herzog's, since random inefficient drives in an electric car are easy to justify.
Despite the presence of the Subaru at the bus turnaround, I'd heard some shooting that must've been coming from there. And indeed, as I drove past this afternoon, there were a number of vehicles at the bus turnaround. My Subaru had forced some of the vehicles to park on the shoulder on the other side of Dug Hill Road. I recognized a few of the vehicles from last Sunday. These were the assholes whose convoy included a BMW and an Audi.
I was dismayed to see a number of people even at the Herzog's not wearing masks. We'll definitely be getting another spike of cases here in a few weeks, but based on what I'm seeing, it will be bigger than what I'd been thinking. The pro-viral death cult in this country makes the disease impossible to fight.
Back at the house, I eventually finished the conduit project, though it took so long that the YouTube feed I'd been listening to had run out of coronavirus stories and had moved on to diabetes. Ten percent of Americans have it, including, I'm told, my mother.
The gunfire continued, growing steadily louder and more unrelenting. So as Marissa was leaving (in her huge leased BMW with leather seats), Gretchen drove down to the bus turnaround with a bunch of leaflets and leafletted all the cars down there (except our Subaru, of course). There were four or five of them, and one was just arriving. Amazingly, unlike yesterday, this seemed to do the trick, and the gunfire quickly died away and we ended up having a peaceful evening.
After all the cooking Gretchen had been doing, she couldn't be bothered to make a full-on gourmet meal, so she got a couple frozen vegan pizzas out of the refrigerator and I fired up a mess of toppings (onions, mushrooms, and various faux meats).
As dusk deepened, I coasted a bike down to the bus turnaround with the goal of simply moving the Subaru from one side of the parking area to the other. It was unvandalized despite its vegan and Bernie Sanders bumperstickers, which felt like a modest victory. I sudddenly had the idea of making things a little Blair-Witch-Project creepy and proceeded to make a long line of pinecones (there must've been about 100) laying side-by-side across the path. I then added a line of rocks on one side of the pinecones and a stick on the other. Then I found a flat rock which I placed on the road-side of this arrangement. And on top of it, I put many dozens of spent shell casings from all the target practicing that has been happening. Between the weird witchy structure and the pile of casings, I was hoping to send the messsage "creepy nature is watching you and know what you're doing." I could see it being difficult for someone with even modest superstitions to step over that threshold to go abuse the calm.
Today's arrangement of parked ammosexual vehicles at the bus turnaround, photographed as I returned from Herzog's. The Silverado on the right furthest away has Ohio license plates.
An especially large millipede on the walkway in front of the house. Click to enlarge.
A male pileated woodpecker in a tree about 30 feet northeast of the greenhouse. This is probably the same male who raised a chick in that hole I photographed so extensively a year ago. I think his nest this year is not far from here, but on the other side of Dug Hill Road.
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