Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Day 3737

It's going to be a very long Spring. They say that new cases of the coronavirus won't begin to peak for another 45 days. Even if infections begin to decrease after that point, it's going to be mid-Summer before life returns to normal. I hope the experts are wrong. I'm not really prepared for toilet paper riots at the grocery store.

So far, nothing has changed for me. The only time I left the house was for my long walk. Janet and I walk Dawn three miles every day and then I continue walking another two miles by myself. Janet has started jogging, since she can't go to the gym anymore. We may be bored, but we're going to be in good shape.

I started writing my Sky and Telescope article today. The first draft is almost done, but the article will need considerable editing before I'm ready to submit it to the magazine. So far, so good. I've got some human interest stories about life at the observatory. There are descriptions of the astronomical targets I viewed through the 36-inch Dall-Kirkham telescope. There are side trips to the Tull Spectrograph and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. I think this will be interesting to other amateur astronomers, but what do I know. I hope the article gets published. Sky and Telescope actually pays for articles.

The house continues to deteriorate. A light fixture in Janet's bathroom quit working today. I can't decide whether to problem is in the wiring or in the switch that controls the light. I just finished paying the electrician for his last visit to the house, but it looks like I'm going to have to call him again. The problem isn't a bad bulb and I'm not all that good with wiring. I took the fixture apart and couldn't find any loose or burned wiring. Anything beyond that and I'm likely to electrocute myself.

My taxes are done. Once again I owe money. It doesn't seem fair that I'm paying more now than I was when I was working. It makes a big difference when you have nothing to deduct. I sure wish I had converted my IRA to a Roth IRA a long time ago. The mandatory distributions all count as earned income. It would have made a lot more sense to pay the taxes upfront when I was making a good income rather than now when I am living on a fixed income.

Dawn becomes more relaxed with every passing day. It is clear that she calls our place home now. Sudden movements still spook her, but that's understandable. After the way she was attacked, I don't think she will ever be completely comfortable approaching strange dogs again. She's certainly got a personality. I've never seen a Dalmatian smile quite as often as Dawn does.

I certainly hope the medical experts are right. Shutting down the entire country is pretty drastic. I've been around a long time and have never seen anything like this. Our collective reaction to 9/11 wasn't nearly this severe. I guess this is a perfect storm. What we have is a fear of financial ruin combined with a fear of dying. That pretty much covers all the bases. A lot of senior citizens are going to lose their savings. A lot of younger people are going to lose their jobs. Some people are going to lose their lives. Any way you look at it, this pandemic is not good.

Luckily, we're not running out of toilet paper and there's enough food in the freezer to last for quite a while. I'm going to take things one day at a time.  What else can you do.

Nick is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day