Friday, March 27, 2020

A Crazy Times Weekly Link Round-Up

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.)

As I chatted a bit with a former co-worker, she confirmed things that I'd already observed in almost every aisle of the store. Overtime has been approved, and those of you who have never been in retail have no idea of just how big a sin overtime is usually considered. As soon as a truck comes in, it's unloaded, and the goods are taken out to the salesfloor and stocked. But shelves are being emptied as fast as they're being filled. They're doing their absolute best and should be praised.

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◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄

►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.

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • John Singer Sargent "abhorred" making his lavish portraits, so he took up charcoal to get the job done. (And his charcoal sketches are just as good if not better than his oils.)
  • Greta Thunberg finally met her role model Malala Yousafzai.

►I ♥ Lists◄

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!


  1. I couldn't possibly agree with you more, Cathy, about those $#%&s who are trying to profit from this pandemic. And I do applaud those people who are on the front lines (health care workers, delivery people, and so on). Glad you and Denis are safe - that's what counts. And now, if you'll excuse me, I want to check out that underwater tomb...

  2. Add me to your list of people who try to profit or who complain about two hours. Sigh. People are just tiresome in so many ways. I'm glad that you guys were able to get out and get what you needed. Yes, it might not be exactly what you came in for or your brand or size or whatnot, but I think the stores are doing a wonderful job. I'm happy to say that my daughter doesn't have to worry about her dogs or her husband. He has taken over all the duties because he is home for now and she tells us that she comes home from her hospital shift, showers, eats, and sleeps - and then goes back. Their staffing has been OK so far - lots of contingency plans are made for possibilities. We try not to worry. About all we can do. Take care of yourselves and we'll come out on the other side of this thing - I know we will.

    1. Yes, we will. One of Denis's daughters in the UK is in charge of the operating theatre in the leading "heart hospital" in the country. Naturally, COVID-19 is of primary concern right now. I'm so glad single mother Kelly has family there who can get groceries, etc. for her!

  3. I took advantage of a bit of OT this week and chuckled at your spot on description of how rare it is! I used to wear my sleighbell necklace that Tuesday every year, until it quietly went away. The necklace is a bit much for everyday wear during the holidays!

    1. Many's the time I heard someone get hauled out over the carpet for getting 15 minutes' overtime.

      There were two days of the year I didn't pay attention to dress code: the two hours for this shopping event and Christmas Eve. I dressed HOLIDAY, let me tell you, although my jingle bell earrings weren't worn any other time. I never knew how much I moved my head around until I wore those! LOL

    2. And I still think everyone should be ashamed at causing the death of one of the best holiday shopping events there ever was. I well remember the smiles on so many faces...and so many taking my hand and thanking me over and over again for those two hours. ALL of us looked forward to this.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with your disgust at people who take advantage of others by selling good at exorbitant costs or inventing snake oil "treatments" for COVID-19.
    And I couldn't agree more about what happened to those few hours for people with disabilities to shop. Who could be so selfish as to object to that? That is horrible.
    In NYC some supermarkets have set aside an hour a day for only seniors. Cheers to that!
    Glad you and Denis are safe and well.
    My city is getting overwhelmed with cases and, in another maddening development, health care workers dont' have enough protective equipment. Some are using garbage bags over their clothing and making masks out of plastic.
    Yet on the other side, many people are stepping up to help. Thousands of retired medical personnel have volunteered. Opera company staff are making masks, as is a noted fashion designer. And thousands volunteered to do errands for people who can't go out in my city.
    Meanwhile, I read several links. I love all of those with dogs, kittens, otters. And those about reading crime fiction in a pandemic (yes!), and several book lists.
    I am gobsmacked over that list of British mystery shows at Amazon. I have it and had no idea about this list of programs.
    So now is the big dilemma: Do I read crime fiction or give up all tasks and just watch British mysteries? I am tempted.
    Hope you and Denis continue to do well.

    1. I have my free time divvied up so that I can take advantage of both. In the afternoons after Denis goes to work, I read. In the evenings, I watch British mysteries and knit. Evidently, those mysteries in the evenings have made my needles fly. Normally it takes me forever to finish knitting a big project, but in the past three weeks, I've almost finished an afghan. If everything goes as expected, I should finish it tomorrow night. That's a record for me!

  5. Good for you! The knitting/British mysteries combination seems like an excellent use of time -- and productive.

  6. Here is a favorite clip of swimming otters, holding hands.

  7. Thanks for explaining the tee shirt! And I love it! Thanks, also, for the links. :)

    1. Not everyone lives with their own personal living font of British slang. ;-)

  8. Not everyone does. I'm lucky enough to live next store to a guy from England. When I'm reading a British mystery or other novel, I ask him what slang means. He's glad to oblige.
    He told me I'm "posh" because I read the NY Times!
    However, he and his family flew the coop as soon as this virus hit town and are out in the country somewhere.

    1. I've read that Scotland has let it be known that they don't want those who have second homes to pack up and stampede north to their country. Heaven only knows how many of them would bring this disease with them. (Sounds a bit like what Prince Charles did-- tested positive and then went to Balmoral.)

  9. Ha! True.

    I'm worried because my city is the epicenter of this viral pandemic. People have to go to work on subways and buses. And in many workplaces, protective gear isn't allowed. And there is no paid sick time, like at Amazon. So people have to work while ill.

    Some Amazon workers and Instacart workers went on strike on Monday. And some at Whole Foods are expected to do so today.

    Meanwhile, health care workers are still without the protection they need.

    And I have errands ot do and I'm stuck inside. But I have books and tea, but no snacks.

    1. Woman cannot live by books alone, unfortunately.

      I called to verify my appointment at the lymphedema clinic tomorrow. I'll be asked questions, have my temperature taken, and I'll be given a mask I must wear. The therapists in the clinic must each wear their one mask for a MONTH. This is completely unacceptable.


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