The rain doesn't seem to know when to stop here in the Phoenix area, and since I'm being a hermit and staying at home, it doesn't bother me a bit. The rain is falling gently for the most part which means that it's being allowed to soak in the ground instead of flooding roads and buildings.
Last week, Denis and I braved our local Target to get necessary groceries. It was interesting to see which shelves were cleaned out and which weren't. Purchase quantities have been limited on several items, which is good-- especially in the light of my second link in the "Books & Other Interesting Tidbits" section. With my new dietary restrictions, I admit to being a bit worried, but although we didn't get exactly what was on my shopping list, we were pleased with what we did bring home. We shouldn't need to do this again for at least two weeks if not longer, and since Denis and I are both in at least one of the vulnerable groups for COVID-19, that's a good thing. (Something tells me we're also going to be taking advantage of curbside pickup as well as delivery services.)
It makes me wonder how people in critical services working long hours are getting the supplies they need? Not everyone has family members who can take care of this for them. It's also good to see so many businesses making special shopping hours for the elderly and other at-risk people, although those times aren't going to fit in with everyone's lifestyles. However, I know why most places have to schedule these shopping times so early in the day: it's because it's the only possible time businesses can monitor who's shopping-- and also the time they'll garner the fewest complaints from everyone else. And that just made me think of something else that chaps my hide.
On the first Tuesday of December every year, Target used to have a very special shopping event for senior citizens and the disabled. I know that, in the store I worked in, there were a lot of nursing homes that scheduled transportation for their residents to come to enjoy themselves. Most had mobility issues-- many of them quite severe-- and this was just about the only time they could get out and shop when they weren't being elbowed aside by shoppers full of youth and good health. For two hours once a year, they could come in, shop, have free gift wrapping for all their Christmas gifts, eat and drink refreshments, and listen to school children singing carols. Did you notice how, at the beginning of the paragraph, I said "used to"? That's because so many able-bodied people complained about their shopping being curtailed by two hours once a year. Pardon me while I grind my teeth.
All this is somehow leading me to the t-shirt photo in this post. I think this t-shirt should be the required uniform of any self-serving jerk who is trying to make a buck from COVID-19. I refer again to the second link in my "Books & Other Interesting Tidbits" section. This infuriates me! Those of you who are not familiar with (vulgar) British slang may not understand the significance of a big W in front of an anchor, and if you aren't, that stands for "wanker." If you're still a bit puzzled, I'll refer you to its definition according to The Free Dictionary. At least I am also seeing some of the good deeds people are doing during these crazy times. It almost takes my mind off the others who can only see inconvenience or dollar signs.
Now it's time for me to shut up and to dodge the raindrops on my way to the corral. I hope I'm providing a diversion or two with my links. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Which thrillers and crime fiction will keep my teenager hooked?
- Matt Colvin has 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and nowhere to sell them. I've already made my position clear on what I think about people trying to make a buck from the coronavirus in my intro...
- The poison pen letter: the early 20th century's strangest crime wave.
- Neil Armstrong's spacesuit was made by a bra manufacturer.
- It's the right time to read crime novels.
- How the plague ravaged William Shakespeare's world and inspired his work, from Romeo and Juliet to Macbeth.
- The rise of "Zero-Waste" restaurants.
- What it's like to promote a book in the middle of a pandemic.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Recent UK storms unearthed bones from a historic Scottish cemetery, and archaeologists are worried.
- Divers have entered an underwater tomb in the pyramids of the mysterious Black Pharaohs.
- Archaeologists in Russia have uncovered a mysterious 25,000-year-old structure built of the bones of sixty mammoths.
- A newly unearthed Mesoamerican ball court offers insights on the game's origins.
- A graduate student has discovered one of the world's oldest swords in a mislabeled monastery display.
- Pride & Prejudice brought $100,000 in a sale of fine books and manuscripts at Swann.
- Rare US currency that's worth a lot of money now.
- An 1776 continental dollar bought for fifty cents at a flea market sells for $100,000.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- An ultra-rare South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher has been photographed for the very first time.
- The Irish president's Bernese mountain dog barged into a press conference for some belly rubs.
- If you need a smile, here's a video of a kitten sleeping on her back in a potted plant.
- Another video, this time of chatty otters repeatedly nodding off during a good individual combing session with their humans.
- An insect with a "wacky fashion sense" has been named after Lady Gaga.
- A GPS study shows that outdoor cats have an oversized effect on neighborhood wildlife.
- The ecology of disease. (Whenever we say "We're all in this together," nature should always be included.)
- Yes, these cows are being herded by a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix. I love this video!
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson's sprawling Bahamas estate is up for sale.
- After reading Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders, I had to visit Eyam in the Peak District of England, known as "the plague village." Current events have me thinking of it again.
- Step inside Alnwick's Poison Garden, the world's most dangerous garden-- if you dare. (I dared and impressed the docent with my knowledge of some of the plants. Oh! And "Alnwick" is pronounced "Annick" and is the castle where several scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed.)
- A tiny island off the coast of Maine could be a renewable energy model for the rest of the world.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Nineteen of the best Nordic Noir and mystery books by female authors.
- Eight of the best book endings the Off the Shelf Staff has read.
- The most terrifying buildings in literature.
- Eighteen surprising things stolen from libraries.
- 460+ British TV shows you can watch with Amazon Prime Video.
- Six architecturally inspired novels.
- The first lines of ten classic novels, rewritten for social distancing.
- Sixty Scottish TV shows and where to watch them.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Stay healthy! Practice social distancing by curling up with a good book!