Curse o’ the Irish

What is it about St. Drinking Day, anyway? Almost every year something wacky goes down on this day at DangerHouse. And I don’t mean NewWifey(tm).

There was the year the dog exploded. There was the year NewWifey(tm) got arrested for driving topless while locked in a set of novelty handcuffs. There was the year I almost burned the house down when I put the corned beef on “Low Simmer”, but it was one of the first times I’d used an electric oven and didn’t realize I’d turned the knob the wrong way. We went out for a motorcycle ride while it cooked, and returned to a crematorium. There was the year I got confused by the calendar and made our entire St. P-Day feast on the wrong day. That’s not nearly everything, but you get the idea. It’s the one day a year I always brace myself for.

I’m glad to report that this year has not broken the streak. St. Patrick’s Day 2020 finds NewWifey(tm) stuck in Virginia (the state, not the girl), unable to get home to help me devour the 4 point-cut corned beef slabs I purchased so we could compare methods. It’s a long story, but…she’s stuck in Virginia. Hopefully she’ll miss any impending travel bans and be able to drive home later this week. But for now, she’s stuck in Virginia (the state).

And of course, coronavirus.

Seriously, what is it about St. Patrick’s Day? A pandemic now? Seriously? “Luck of the Irish”, my Italian ass.

Speaking of coronavirus, Friend O’ This Blog Sally of “Bewitching Kitchen” is not only a way better cook than you, she’s also a way better scientist than you. She and her husband are both microbiologists and virus researchers, and they just collaborated on a coronavirus post that simultaneously scared the living shit out of me and gave me hope that I might actually survive it. The lengths they go to may seem a bit extreme, but they of all people know what we’re up against. So if you’re looking for advice a bit more in-depth than “wash your hands every three minutes and wear a 6-foot wide donut”, you might want to mosey on over there and scare the shit out of yourself as well.

A few more observations concerning these “Bring out yer dead!” times:

1. You know that old aphorism “the more something is forbidden, the more people want it“? It’s true. I have never wanted to pick my nose more in my entire life. And I don’t mean a discreet fingernail scrape just inside the rim, either. I’m talking a 3-digit deep, scratch the back of your eyeball, 5-day spelunking expedition of a pick. I’m ashamed to say I finally gave in to the temptation yesterday. And although everybody in the Walmart stared in horror, I have to admit it was the best social distancing tool I’ve found so far.

Which brings me to….

2. People were told to self-quarantine, but they were not told where. Many seem to have chosen Walmart. On my drive home from work yesterday the roads were deserted, so I said to myself “With everyone staying home, now’s a good time to panic buy!” I pulled into the Walmart lot off Rt.287, and…it was like Christmas Eve! There were no parking spots, sweaty fat people were desperately rushing up and down aisles grabbing any and everything indiscriminately off the shelves, every 10 feet there was a sobbing child who’s parent had just chucked her out of the cart to make room for another case of chitlins, and checkout lines reached all the way to the next town over and their Walmart. I turned around and went home. I live in a forest. I’ll cut down some trees, grind them into pulp, and make my own damn toilet paper.

2. I put a t-shirt on when I got home from work yesterday, and two minutes later my back felt cold. I have apparently been stress eating. Make that stress gorging. I’m hoping when NewWifey(tm) finally manages to straggle back she’ll be able to sew the burst seam together again. And then tell me to eat salads.

3. I need to erase hide all the porn clips on my computer desktop at home. With mandatory quarantines seemingly not far off,  our company is setting up all us announcers with home broadcast studios. When I get home today I have to let an IT wonk connect to my PC and remotely install all our proprietary software so I can get on the air and tell people things they’ve already heard a billion times and are still going to ignore.

4. Working from home pros: up at 4am instead of 3, filling the gas guzzler once a month instead of three times a week, nekkid radio!, PS-4 during commercials, PornHub on an open tab, better food in the company fridge.

5. Working from home cons: sobbing wife sound effects bleeding over mic, no cleaning lady every afternoon, better food in the company fridge (see #2, above), limiting myself to one square of toilet paper per poop. After coffee.

So that’s how the Apocalypse is playing out so far on my end. It’s turned me into a fat slob in a torn shirt, sitting in front of a computer in my basement with a finger jammed up my nose.

Who knew it would take a world pandemic to make me finally feel like a real American?

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Pictures, I got pictures.

It looks like Happy Fun Time Camera activities are on hold for a while. My camera club has cancelled our next two shindigs, one of which was the competition where I just knew I WAS GONNA FINALLY TAKE THAT FIRST PLACE RIBBON. Damn you coronavirus!!

I can still wander around the house and take shots of dust bunnies and commemorative Elvis plates, but who wants to see more of those?

So here are a couple from my archives. This first one is one of the very, very few selfies I’ve ever taken. A couple of months ago my online group held a competition with the theme “kitchens”. Talk about right up my alley. How could I lose? And I didn’t:

Makin' Pasta 1

That was a tough shot to make. I had to press a remote trigger to fire the camera shutter on a 2 second delay, and in that 2 second gap I had to grab the egg shells and drop the yolk into the flour below, hopefully with the yolk in midair when it fired. After about 15 tries I nailed it. But I didn’t use 15 eggs. Buried in that mound of flour was a ramekin, and I dropped the yolk into that. If I missed the shot I just fished the yolk out, re-loaded the empty shell, and tried again. Every 4 or 5 drops the yolk would burst and I’d have to grab a new egg. But by the end I’d only used 3 eggs total – the perfect amount to make pasta! It was the tastiest shoot I ever did. (For the geeks: I had a soft box set up on the floor to my left, pointing up. Without it I only had a key light – the fixture right over my head – and that put everything below my hat brim in dark shadow. I also wore a dark shirt so the yolk would stand out, but I only mention that because I love to brag about how much forethought I have.)

Let’s see. Oh! How about a spider that apparently likes Raisin Bran and scared the shit out of me when I opened the box and saw it:

Spider 2

Any arachnophiles out there who can identify the species? I have no clue, myself. All I know is he was hardly noticeable when covered with milk and sugar.

Sticking with animals, here’s an unhappy calf:

Glaring Calf resize

Don’t worry little buddy, you won’t be angry much longer. You’ll be keeping it veal, real soon.

Finally, a little girl stealing pickled cauliflower:

Warwick Pickle Girl

Welcome to New Jersey.

Ciao!

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38 thoughts on “Curse o’ the Irish

  1. Glad you’re working from home – cities are def the places to avoid. I love the photo of you with the egg, tho to be honest I didn’t notice the egg till you mentioned it, just the colours and the frame – bloody brilliant. OK, off to scare myself by checking out that link… x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NewWifey(tm) is more than a little fond of bellowing “Erin Go Braless!” on this day. I just hope her friends in VA are not startled when she gives a visual demonstration. All the best to you and the pups also, Martha. Dye their Alpo green today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going to share the article in my cooking blog, it is that brilliant. Medical advice in our part of the world is so inadequate, it would be funny, but it is tragic. Population is not prepared mentally, being ready is not running for toilet paper, is to have clear answers what to do in cases A, B and C. No emotions, as they cloud the judgement. I am in high risk group, so I take no risks.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had no idea! That’s very interesting, but also quite scary. I hope you are able to use the information to help keep yourself safe, then, and perhaps others too when you share it. All the best to you, and I hope you check back often to let us know how you’re doing!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am retired biochemist, though with PhD in biochemistry of nutrition, like to be in the know and understand what is going on. We had been following closely two fantastic video channels with scientific medical and epidemiological medical in depth information delivered by amazing professional people from USA and UK. Practical spot on advice is excellent from people surviving quarantine in China and Italy. They are mainly Russians or at least Russian spoken individuals, showing as it is, how situation develops and how they live day by day. Incredible generosity of tome and effort. One girl, without actually being in medical profession, studies all current medical and scientific publications in chinese and sums the conclusions up. It is cutting edge treatment studies. The best source for news in medical research in English is here https://youtu.be/MoisrCTu0SY (in my opinion)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I just watched the latest video (Episode 38), and I’m very impressed. That was presented clearly and thoroughly, in easy to understand terms and in a logical sequence. I’m going to go back and watch the others now. Thank you again for pointing me to that channel!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. There are very informative videos that can be applicable for everyone to make some choices about efficiency of vitamin supplementation, disease progression what to watch for, but most important all the up to date research information.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. This virus is pretty insane.

    I usually stock up on basics, so we have enough TP to do us for a while, and a few months back on a prescient whim I purchased a portable bidet from Amazon. It isn’t as effective as TP, but given the choice of potentially NO toilet paper… It’s a low-tech alternative that’ll work as long as we’ve got water. My 2 cents’ worth.

    Here’s hoping your ability to work from home sticks for a while. When you go back to commuting you’ll realize how much you hate commuting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I toyed with the idea of getting a bidet, but I just know I’ll never see NewWifey(tm) again if I do.

      I’m waiting to see how this “work from home” scheme works out. I can certainly see some advantages (~400 bucks less a month in gas station tithing), but there are a few concerns. For one thing – one big thing – we just can’t get the same $erious mics, processors, or control boards at home that we have at work. Considering how much signal compression a lot of stations use now, I just know audio quality is going to suffer with these consumer units we were issued, good as they are otherwise. Also…did I mention FREE TOILET PAPER?

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      1. You’re correct about the compression mics, but I did this whole routine before. Remote broadcasting isn’t exactly a new idea.

        If/when FrankenWifey gets home, have her build a sound box around your mic. It will make a world of difference. 16-18 inch wooden box (whatever’s just big enough to enclose the mic on all but one side), lined with either the foam from a cheap mattress pad or the cup sides of foam or cardboard egg cartons. Instantly reduces ambient noise by about 99%, and will let your voice shine like a Chinese-knockoff suit. If push comes to shove, a cardboard box with foam glued inside will help too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The sound box is a great idea, and NewWifey(tm) could fashion one in a snap. Trouble is, they had to get us all mics basically overnight, and the only thing they could get were headset mics for gamers. Not too much I can do there…can I?

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          1. Yeah – so you need a soundproof room. Got a walk-in closet? The clothes will go a long way to dampening the ambient noise. If you could do it, tack towels on the ceiling. I’ll assume the floor’s already carpeted, otherwise throw down a rug. Take it from somebody who’s DONE all this stuff before.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. LOL! Boy are YOU over estimating what I have to work with. I can’t move the computer, which is set up in the low ceiling basement. Wood floor, numerous hard reflector surface walls, vinyl tiled ceiling, plus a hard plastic topped desk.

              But that’s all irrelevant, as ambient noise is not what I’m worried about here. I’m worried about the sound quality of a small condensor mic. I need better pickups if I’m going to make this a permanent move. For the moment, as an emergency measure, the company is willing to accept the reduction in audio fidelity. But once we’re allowed back to our studios, the only way I could make an argument for broadasting from home would be to get a Shure/Sennheiser/AKG studio directional mic, a killer sound card, a Sierra-level processor, and a multi-channel mixing board so I could bring up sound from multiple reports and fire them in sequence.

              I need more than ceiling towels 🙂

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              1. Never underestimate the value of ceiling towels 😉 And honestly, elimination of ambient noise can go a long way toward masking the quality of your mic. But if you don’t want to be a perpetual basement dweller, I understand that too. Including the inability to relocate the setup.

                Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, and let Wifey know she can also use any bottle with a hole punched to squirt water. Don’t call it a bidet, call it redneck toilet paper. She’ll be fine with it. If you’ve got enough beer cans you could probably jury-rig those, but they’ll only be one-use and done. And I can’t guarantee they’ll be effective.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LMAO … I have 60 rolls of toilet paper in the house between the 2 bathrooms for a single person. This was my normal shop BEFORE the quarantine and my 3 week ‘vacation’ from working and being paid. Scary spider pic.

    Over-eating … I’m doing it too although it’s more BORED eating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I’m a Virgin…ian, Virginian–I always seem to pause at the most inopportune moments. 😉
    I would offer a friendly welcome to my abode for your dear wifey, but my boss (Director for the local health department I work for) has just quarantined my ass for 2 weeks because I went on a cruise last week (and I’d do it again too!). Point is, apparently I should be treated like the walking plague, so she’s not welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was at Walmart last Friday to pick up a few last minute things before we started our weeks of solitary confinement. The place looked like the post apocalypse! I have never seen so many empty shelves. I was able to get a can of chickpeas and a bag of carrots and not much else, while carefully steering my cart as far away form any pandemic-filled meat sacks that were still in the store. And then while driving home, past a popular restaurant in town, I saw the parking lot was so crowded that there was spill-over parking at the hotel next door and along the road. I have to assume that after ransacking Walmart for supplies to enable isolating themselves at home, every person in town decided to go to the same restaurant. The very next day our county reported it’s first case of the virus. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See? If only they’d bought chickpeas and carrots they’d still be alive today. No. It had to be toilet paper and a sit-down meal. Killers! When will people learn.

      Hey paisan, now that you’re firmly ensconced in your fortress of garbanzos I see you’re finally updating again, huh? Jeez, it took a freakin’ global pandemic? Oh well, I guess there IS a silver lining to every cloud. Good job. Have a carrot.

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