Monday, June 8 2020
The workplace VPN was working badly today, and I really needed to get a copy of a database .bak file to do what I wanted to do. So I eventually decided to drive to Red Hook, connect my laptop to the workplace intranet, and download it that way. As I was loading up the car, Powerful was returning from having put something in our mailbox. He said that a man in a dark pickup truck had stopped to talk to him on Dug Hill Road, asking if he lived here and, on learning he was just a visitor, said he'd been wanting to talk to me about troubles my dogs had been causing him, though he wouldn't elaborate. The man said he lived in the little house between "That 80s House" (the one always owned by someone who hires Mexicans to care for their lawn) and the larger white house to the north. He claimed he'd tried to communicate with me in recent days by, get this, beeping his horn as he drove slowly past the house. I'd seen this a strange behavior a few times, but I'd never interpreted it as meaning that someone had been trying to reach out to me. To drive past at, say, five miles per hour while beeping the horn once doesn't give any one enough chance to walk out to the road. It seemed like a distinctly passive communication approach, particularly given that he knows where our mailbox is and could've left a message in there. Still, I walked up the road to see if the man was still there, and, on seeing he'd apparently left, I decided he wasn't worth thinking about. Anyone taking such ginger steps at communicating must not have that big of a problem. If the dogs were really causing problems, he'd be calling animal control.
I took the dogs with me on the drive over to Red Hook in the Prius. Arriving at the parking area outside my deserted office, I saw that a smattering of cars belonging to the employees of other businesses in the complex had started using some of the spaces traditionally used by my colleagues. One of the women working at the race car heating solutions factory walked past wearing a mask, and I waved.
It only took a couple minutes to download the 250 megabyte file I'd come to get, which wasn't long enough even to heat up the hot water pot and make myself a cup of kratom tea. I did, however, prepare a bowl of water for the dogs and give them each a bone-shaped peanut-butter-flavored cookie.
On my way out of Red Hook, I made a detour up to the CVS and got a 90-count box of 30 milligram pseudoephedrine pills, since I knew I could get the real thing there. Everyone in the CVS was wearing masks, and transparent shower curtains had been set up to serve a sneeze-guards separating customers from cashiers and pharmacists. Closer to home, I also stopped at the Lowes on 9W to get six inch long quarter-inch-wide galvanized lag bolts for my antenna mast project. (I want one of the mast-clamp bolts to reach well into another piece of deck framing.)
This evening after Gretchen returned home from the bookstore, the three of us humans drove across the Hudson to Rhinebeck (my least-favorite local village) to attend a little socially-distanced outdoor social function being hosted by Daniel and Melanie, two BPI professors who had taught Powerful and were eager to see him now that he's formerly-incarcerated. After a brief taboo hug between Melanie and Powerful, we went directly to their small, well-manicured backyard, constantly hearing the puttering of other neighbors (one of whom had persistent recurring sneeze). Out hosts had put out a spread for us that had been promised to be vegan but which included chunks of actual cheese. All of us had had some relationship with BPI at one time or another, though I had never been connected to it academically. So I expected most of the conversation to be about the program, and perhaps about philosophy (since Powerful had been one of Dan's philosophy students), but mercifully there wasn't as much of either as I'd feared. There were even a few places for me to make contributions to the conversation. I was mature enough to realize that this wasn't about me and that I couldn't really expect to have a good time. Fortunately Dan's taste in beer was similar to mine, and I was able to drink two Sierra Nevada Torpedos over the course of the evening. This eventually meant, however, that I would have to urinate. Amusingly, I saw Powerful noticing me fidgeting in that way people do when they have to piss. The conversation didn't have many openings in it, and it took awhile for me to find a pause long enough to change the subject to my bathroom needs. I offered to piss around the corner behind their garage if they didn't want me Covid-19-ing up their bathroom, but our hosts let me use their bathroom anyway. [REDACTED]
Back at the house, the dogs were all worked up, with Neville in our driveway and Ramona just getting back from across the road. Had they been causing our weakly-communicating neighbor more canine chaos?
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