COVID-19 Hunker-down Log

Hunkering down.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43908.64

Dog poop scooped today. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Lunch. Safeway Steakhouse Chili with shredded cheese and Fritos.

Toilet Paper & Paper Towel inventory. 30 day supply.

Weed inventory. 90 day supply.

Camera batteries. Charged

Televisions. Every one of them working.

No first-responder activity to report.

We’re in good shape here.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43909.38

Rain this morning. Expected to turn to winter blizzard with up to 938 inches of snow by noon today. Patio furniture cushions relocated to safe area.

Snow blower gassed up and ready to dig out of deep snow.

Dog poop scooped. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Leftover Chinese delivery stored in refrigerator for this evening’s meal. Most of the wantons and shrimp rolls already consumed.

Turned the furnace down a bit this morning. The televisions seem to provide enough ambient heat to keep the house and garage warm.

Watching the stock markets, wondering if we should sell everything before the stock markets reach absolute zero.

Logged 7.9 hours of hand washing and looking out the window yesterday.

Laundry is accumulating at a reduced pace.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 29 days supply

Weed inventory. 83 days supply.

Camera batteries. Still charged.

No first-responder activity to report, but it was touch and go there for a while last night.

Still in good shape here.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43910.30

I over-estimated the amount of snowfall we’d receive during yesterday’s winter storm. We only got about 4-5 inches.

Trudy and Lisa are off to the grocery to take advantage of the “senior hours” at King Soopers. Results pending.

Couldn’t scoop the dog poop due to snow. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 28 day supply, more inventory possible pending “senior hour” at King Soopers.

Weed Inventory. 80 day supply.

Laundry status. No new accumulations.

Camera Batteries. Charged

Chinese left-overs fully consumed.

The last 24 hours have been relatively quiet. We did see a few people walking dogs in the neighborhood. None wearing hazmat suits. No body carts or mass burials noticed.

No first-responder activity to report.

All is well here in hunker-down town.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43911.28

Resupplied at the local grocery utilizing “senior hours.” Millenials lined up outside the door under the impression that 30 is the new 60. Able to resupply most everything needed.

No dog poop scooping, too much snow. I’m certain we’ll have no problem finding the dogs little gifts once the snow is melted.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Resupplied. 30+ days of inventory now on the shelf.

Good news inventory. Nothing to report there.

Weed inventory. Holding steady at 80 day supply.

Laundry status. Accumulation is still at a reduced rate. Maybe next week we’ll see if we can fire up the washing machine. It’s been idle for a while.

Two family members are now unemployed. Three family members are overseas and trying to find a way home. Nobody infected that I’m aware of.

Local pharmacy closed so now all prescriptions require a 20 mile round trip drive to retrieve. So much for staying home. At least there is less traffic.

Camera batteries are still charged.

The new snack of choice is Nachos.

No first responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues. Thank goodness for porch swings and coffee.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43912.30

Spring-like weather creeping into the front range, enough snow melted to possibly use the hot-tub. May try it this evening.

Trudy has recalculated the toilet paper usage utilizing a “toilet paper” calculator she found online. She has determined that our 30 day supply is actually closer to 29.6 days, based on the online calculator. Toilet paper restrictions have now been enacted.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 30 days (rounded)

Still no dog poop scooping. Snow partially melted, which invites hidden landmines when going after the visible deposits. We’ll wait until the snow is gone.

Laundry status. I actually did two loads yesterday. Nice to have another set of clean sweats to wear for 10 days without washing. It also gave me a chance to sit in the laundry room naked for an hour and a half.

Good news inventory. Nothing significant to report there. I have noticed that anytime a politician speaks on television, the stock market drops another 800 points.

Retrieved prescriptions from new consolidated pharmacy. It’s encouraging to know that now I can drive 20 miles to spend 45 minutes in a small room crowded with angry sick people waiting to retrieve medications that will keep me healthy. It looks like the theory of social distancing doesn’t apply to medical situations.

Trudy, Lisa and Randy drove 100 miles yesterday to order hamburgers to eat in the parking lot of the restaurant. Eating out is good for the mental aspect of having to hunker down.

Spoke with my best friend on the telephone yesterday to see what was going on. Nothing to report. His family is hunkered down too.

Camera batteries still charged.

Weed inventory. Down to a 79 day supply.

Running low on Nachos. Going to have to switch to cat food. Should be no problem as we don’t have cats to compete with for edible resources, and thank goodness we don’t have to clean cat litter boxes. I now see that cats are beneficial to a certain degree.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43913.32

More improvement in the weather. It’s nice to hunker down with better weather. Won’t have to huddle up on the porch wearing our parkas. We’ve switched to hoodies. To take advantage of the warmer temperatures, we rearranged the cars in the driveway. It looks like we’ve actually been using them now.

Laundry status. Day 2 of wearing clean sweats. Estimated time of next clothing change, 8 days.

Dog poop scooping. The snow has melted on most of the lawn. Today may be the day for cleanup. I never imagined that the prospect of scooping poop would be something I’d actually be looking forward to doing. Times have changed.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 28 days supply. The usage rate should be going down as two of the inhabitants here will be returning to their home for hunkering-down later today.

Camera batteries. 98% charged. I’m now keeping a camera on the kitchen table to record the wide variety of hunkering down activity on the back porch and yard. This should enhance the visual pleasure of my daily log.

Good news inventory. I’m thinking that “good news” is an archaic phrase now. If there is any good news, it’s probably the fact that now when you turn on a television you get total network coverage of talking heads telling us for the millionth time to wash our hands instead of Donald Trump saying stupid shit all the time. Not that Trump isn’t getting air time but he no longer seems to be the primary topic of conversation. Now, that may qualify as good news. Who would have thought that constant coverage of a global pandemic is better news than Donald Trump? We live in interesting times.

Weed inventory. 78 days supply. It’s getting a little dry though.

Was looking for new movies on Cable television, there was one called “Watched” I kept trying to find but every time I’d load it up, it wasn’t the one I thought it was. Still searching for that movie.

On the snack food front. We’ve noticed that what we thought was canned cat food is actually Hormel chicken spread. Yuck. That’s been tossed.

We took mom out for a drive in the mountains yesterday. Went through the Wendys drive through in Conifer and enjoyed another fine hamburger in the front seat of the car. Just like old times. It’s the simple things in life that make it worthwhile. Wendys is still consistent. Any hamburger you get from them still looks like an elephant sat on it. Strange though, I saw no evidence of elephants anywhere near the restaurant. They must do that before they ship them to the stores.

I’ve noticed that the birds are ignoring the “stay at home” orders by the Governor.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43914.24

The Denver mayor enacted more restrictions to businesses and the public yesterday, only to do an about face regarding liquor and marijuana stores, allowing them to stay open. Seems he realized in short order that people who self medicate via alcohol and pot while hunkering down are less likely to cause an insurrection. I’ve kinda known this all along. We don’t actually live in Denver, but it is across the street from us and the weed store is in Denver on the other side of the imaginary line.

Our guests Lisa and Randy have returned to their home in Red Feathers. We are now experiencing empty nest syndrome. Good luck to both of you.

Dog poop scooping. Completed. It looks like we have foxes hanging out in the area. Some of those poops out there weren’t from our dogs.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 27 day supply.

Camera batteries. 95% charged. Out of boredom, I’ve been snapping a shot here and there.

Good news inventory. What’s that?

Weed inventory. 77 day supply.

Laundry status. Day 3 of the 10 day cycle. Nothing to report.

Son-in-law and grandkids due to arrive today from South Africa. That was quite an adventure for them and we are all very happily anticipating their safe arrival.

Gassed up all three vehicles. Gas prices at a record low, so better to do it now than later.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43915.43

Jefferson County, Colorado has just issued a “stay at home” order, effective Thursday morning at 8AM. No travel except to conduct essential activities such as food shopping, picking up medicine and outdoor exercise away from crowds. That’s pretty much what we’ve been doing for the past 3 years anyway, so no skin off our back here. Retirement is a permanent state of hunkering down.

Son-in-law and grandchildren made it back to their home from South Africa. A happy ending to a potentially disastrous situation.

Gransdon Noah just celebrated his 8th birthday in hunker-down fashion. See today’s accompanying photo.

Spent 30 minutes this morning calculating the time-line for the demise of humanity. I give us until mid-May to have the answer to that question.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 26 day supply.

Dog food resupplied. Consumption rate hasn’t been calculated but we got two big-ass bags of it.

Weed inventory. 76 day supply. Rolling papers getting low.

Laundry status. Day 4 of 10 day cycle wearing clean sweats. I don’t smell like the dogs yet.

Good news inventory. Nothing to report.

Back to Nachos as the snack of choice.

Camera battery at 95% charged.

Dog poop scooping. Back to normal activity here, nothing notable to report.

Been working on stock photographs. I’m 5 images short of 4,000 in the active catalog. The goal for 2020 was to reach 4,000 so I’m calling my efforts a success.

Almost caught up with “Fastest Cars in the Dirty South” television show episodes.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43916.35

The Governor of Colorado has put a statewide “stay at home” order in effect. I guess that means we have to hunker harder now.

The dogs are actively guarding the perimeter, just about anything that moves gets barked at. When they aren’t barking, they are either pooping on the lawn or they are mooching for food. It’s a way of life for them.

We’re enjoying the reduced traffic on the road near the house. Normally, there’s a constant drone of cars coming from the road. For the first time in memory, the loudest thing outside is the sound of birds chirping.

Good news inventory. The reports I’ve been reading have the air pollution clearing up as a result of the world wide travel restrictions. I can now sit hunkered down on my porch and breath better.

Camera battery. Still at 95%

Dog poop scooping. Back to normal routine. Nothing to report.

Weed inventory. 75 day supply.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 25 day supply.

Laundry status. Day 5 of the 10 day cycle. I’m not attracting insects yet.

Nobody unaccounted for in the family.

Almost caught up on all the recorded television shows. I used to live in Chicago. I never knew that it was such a popular place for television series. Wednesday night appears to be dedicated to Chicago disasters. Yawn. We have our own disasters here and they don’t get resolved at the end of the hour.

Stock photography update. Despite the world being on lock-down, my stock photo sales are quite robust at the moment. Go figure.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering added.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43917.37

The report from Red Feather Lakes is that the moose are ignoring social distancing and travel restrictions. Two moose strolled by the neighbors place last night on their way to our place to look for what-ever it is moose look for.

The wife and I went to “senior hour” at the local King Soopers grocery this morning at 7 am. There was a line outside the store of about 50 people. The parking lot was pretty much empty. The store looked fairly empty too. We abandoned “senior hour” at the great funnel of death and went to Safeway instead, where they weren’t doing “senior hour” and the parking lot and store was empty. Got pretty much everything we needed and without having to wait in line for the funnel of death. There’s a restriction on paper products, thus we had to choose between paper towels or toilet paper. We chose toilet paper, just to buffer the supplies. Otherwise, it was fairly stress free, if not a little slow checking out. I intend to be slow checking out until I have to check out, so fine by me.

Good news inventory. Zilch

Dog poop scooping. All normal there

Weed inventory. 74 day supply

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. 30+ day supply

Camera battery. 94% Backup batteries are charged.

Laundry status. I abandoned the 6 days worn clean clothes, took a shower and now I’m back to 0 day old clean clothes. Mostly because I had to go out in public and didn’t want to appear homeless.

The traffic near the house has dropped to a monumentally low level. I hear about 1 car every two minutes. Looks like the local drag racers are taking time off too. Nice to have a conversation without having a drag race as a backdrop.

There is an unconfirmed report that one family member in Kentucky may have the virus. We’re awaiting to hear about the test results. We’re beaming all our good vibes in her direction and keeping our fingers crossed.

Most spare time is spent watching television, editing photos and listening to classical music. Classical music keeps the mind clear of negative thinking, at least mine anyway.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 hunker-down log. Stardate 43918.28

Another snow yesterday into late last night. Two to three inches. From the department of redundancy department, the local news weather forecasters seem to always feel compelled to explain that “March is our snowiest month of the year” every time they talk about snow in the month of March here in Colorado. I think we’ve got that part figured out. I think they need something new and repetitive to say, it’s getting pretty stale. Fortunately, March is just about over and when we get to April, they can tell us that “April is the second snowiest month of the year” every time they forecast snow.

Combating boredom. I’ve been keeping a running tally of virus reports and statistics in a spreadsheet to see if I can better understand the overall effect on the population and economy. I’ve always been heavy into statistics, this gives me a great way to put my fears and emotions into numerical format. Mostly, it keeps things real, as there are no social interactions to distract me from delving into my compulsive need to quantify everything. Based on my calculations, we’re all screwed at least through mid-May. I could be full of shit though.

More boredom. I’ve also decided to keep doing this “Hunker-down Log” until normalcy returns, whenever that may be. Maybe some day turn it into a book or something. That way future generations can look back and see what it was like at the start of the 2nd Great Depression. It’s a good way to write each day.

Good news inventory. It’s still getting difficult to find any good news. Congress passed the stimulus bill. I don’t know how much that’s really going to make things better in the long run, but short term if offers some financial relief. If the tv and cable news networks wanted to give us something more positive and upbeat, the best thing I could think of would be to cut off coverage of anything Donald Trump says. Now that would be good news.

Dog poop scooping. I managed to get the yard cleaned up prior to the snow hitting. That should keep the melt-off presents down to a minimum.

Weed inventory. 73 day supply

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. We have plenty of both. Not hording anything though. We just set a base supply level and try to maintain that level. If there is a toilet paper shortage in Washington DC, it’s not because we have 10 extra rolls sitting in the closet.

Camera battery. 94% Not taking a lot of photos. Mostly playing with the toys and trying to get something to use with this log.

Laundry status. I put on clean sweats the other day. I have a bunch of sweat shirts that I rotate through as my upper coverage of choice. Last night when taking off my most recently washed shirt, I noticed something bunched up in the arms of the shirt. Closer examination revealed two dryer fabric softener sheets stuck inside the arms. I’d been walking around for a couple of days like that. I was wondering what happened to those sheets when I took the clothes out of the dryer the other day.

The last report from Kentucky has the family member feeling pretty darn bad but no COVID-19 test result. Still sending our love and hope for a speedy and complete recovery from the “unknown” illness. A friend reported that one of his neighbors has died from complications of having the virus.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43919.37

The snow has moved through. Yesterday was a sunny day, a bit on the chilly side with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees mid-day. Lots of porch time, lots of coffee.

Combating boredom. I spent part of the day working out how I want to continue writing this log file. I’ve decided to move the publishing platform to my WordPress blog rather than Facebook. By doing so, I am exposing the log to a much wider audience. If that’s good or bad I have no idea, I’ll eventually find out.

Good news inventory. It’s getting worse, not better I’m afraid. New York and the Northeast US is getting hit pretty hard right now. In the most densely populated areas, the virus is spreading rapidly. We still have a dozen or so remote counties here in Colorado that are not reporting infections or deaths. I wonder how long that will last. I’ve read that the number of infections across the country is roughly doubling every 3 days. I’ve also noticed that the death rate is creeping up to what is presently about 1.73% of infections. I read that it’s expected to level out at about 3%. That means for every 100 people infected, 3 will not make it. I’ll avoid further speculation, but until there are enough medical supplies in the right places and until there is a viable inoculation in place, it will continue to get worse. Since neither are in place at the moment, it’s like being in a Tsunami that is going to cover the world. What’s going to save you from it is your life raft. Trudy and I have the best life raft we can afford and so long as we stick to the game plan, we’ll ride it out.

Dog poop scooping. The snow is melted so we’re looking good.

Weed inventory. 72 day supply. We’re pretty much at a normal consumption rate here. Sitting around stoned all the time isn’t as entertaining as it was as a younger man. It’s not so much of an escape as it is a calming effect and I think we’ve found our “calm zone.”

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Plenty on hand. There’s a dark humor to this public rush to hoard supplies. I mean, c’mon, how many times a day does the average person have to wipe their butt?

Camera battery. 93%. I’m still keeping the camera on the kitchen table and at the ready. The real decision is what type of photos to take in order to document this. I’m still working on that.

Laundry status. Not accumulating at a rapid pace. Sweats are good for about 3-4 days. We’re saving a little money on laundry soap, that much is certain.

Still no word from Kentucky on the family member suspected of contracting the virus. The family member suffering from illness is self-quarantined and fighting through it, waiting patiently for the test results. If it takes this long to get an answer, it’s not a good situation. That means that testing is far behind the curve on this.

First-responder activity. Yep, we had a first responder event yesterday. Not virus related though. We were visited by a Denver police officer investigating a report of an explosion in a nearby neighborhood. While watching television yesterday afternoon, what sounded like an aerial bomb went off within a quarter of a mile from the house. It turns out to be a bunch of mindless kids having a party at their home while the parents were away and setting off a fireworks mortar round in the yard for shits and grins. Like, nobody would notice that. It scared the hell out of Trudy, the dogs and our neighbor. My guess is the kids are joking about it today, something to the effect of the humor of frightening old ladies and being too loud. Anyone with any sense knows that frightening old ladies isn’t normally going to win you any brownie points with the police or your neighbors. No injuries reported.

The unintended side effect of the police visit was we let someone into the house. We’ve enacted a protocol here that simply stated means, nobody comes in the house. We have a 93 year old and two other people over the age of 60 living here, so we are at higher risk of disaster if the virus makes it through the door. The cop was pretty good though, we all kept a little distance from each other and we wiped down everything he touched while here. If I’m not dead in two weeks, I’ll know it was okay.

We watched the 2017 movie “Unlocked” last night on cable. Very eerily on subject concerning epidemics. The movie is about terrorists planning to expose the country to a deadly viral epidemic. At one point in the movie they talked about how unprepared the government was to deal with this type of situation. So, when Donald Trump says “who could have known”, you can pretty much point to this and realize that everyone should have known as it was common knowledge and in the public discourse back in 2016 and 2017 when the movie was written and produced. This possibility hasn’t been a secret by any stretch of the imagination. Only someone who wasn’t paying attention wouldn’t have known. Good to know that our government isn’t paying attention to anything. You’re on your own folks.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43920.39

Sunday (yesterday) was quiet here in Denver. Spent most of the day moving between the couch and back deck. Naps are becoming a staple activity. There’s not much else we can do at the moment. It’s a waiting game. Waiting for things to get worse, and they will, as the spread of the virus is not stoppable right now. Imaginary lines on a map, the National Guard, talking heads, none of it will change what is going to happen. Nobody is immune. The virus is going to sweep across the world and the tide of plague is just beginning to rise. Best to get one’s shit wired tight and hang on. Mother Earth is checking in and the cull has started.

Combating boredom. I played with a few photo editing software packages yesterday. Nothing too exciting. The software I’ve been using is doing the job and I’ve yet to find anything that compels me to want to change. It’s just something to do. There isn’t much in the way of new photos to edit anyway. Mostly shots in the yard trying to capture the mood of the moment.

Good news inventory. Bupkis.

Dog poop scooping. Nothing of interest here.

Weed inventory. 71 days. Great for nap preparation.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Normal draw-down. Same number of butts, same number of hands.

Camera battery. 92% Got a few photos in yesterday.

Laundry status. Doing fine. I washed clothes last weekend and I’ve hardly dented them.

No reports of any additional friends or family being infected by the virus.

I’ve been watching the reports coming out the the Northeast US. Seems the New Yorkers are fleeing the confines of the city and flooding into the neighboring states. Thus all the talk about state level quarantines and such. Not impressed with the hatred a lot of people are showing towards people who just want to stay alive. A simplistic mindset, people don’t realize that everyone is in line for this. It’s just a question of when it’s your turn. I’m surprised to not hear talk of building walls along the New York border. The nation is going through a grief process.  Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. There used to only be 5 stages of grief. We’ve added two more so we can prolong the agony. Personally, I think I’m in the bargaining stage, maybe the depression stage. Who knows? What difference does it make? The bottom line is that all of us here are fully aware that we are elderly and more susceptible to succumbing to the virus. Trudy’s mom has the added benefit of knowing that she has two strong people guarding over her. Me and Trudy just have one another and that could be totally different in a matter of two weeks. Infected today, dead in two weeks. It’s a possibility.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43921.22

Combating boredom. I’ve been cycling through my collection of baseball caps on a nearly daily basis. There’s a pile of them on top of the camera cabinet. Some haven’t been used in over 10 years. I think I prefer the “Dad” hats, which are basically the style of caps that were popular in the 1990’s. It’s okay though. I’m a dad and I lived through the 90’s.

Good news inventory. California doctors are “cautiously hopeful.” Wow, that’s it.

Dog poop scooping. It’s become a way of life. Trudy and I get a little daily exercise with the encouragement of the dogs bowels. 10 minutes of walking in circles and staring at the ground. Day after day after day. Looking for the golden turd.

Weed inventory. 70 days.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Still wiping everything we touch, and still touching everything we wipe. Riveting.

Camera battery. 85%. Did you know the camera battery will slowly drain down even if you don’t turn the camera on. Did take some photos yesterday, which used a little more battery than usual. Watching the battery drain is something akin to watching paint dry. Simple pleasures.

Laundry status. Did a load of clothes and a load of towels yesterday. Don’t want things accumulating in the laundry room and smelling like rot or anything.

Still no positive test result from the family member. The assumption at this point is she was fortunate and didn’t contract the virus, however, the poor health condition is still worrisome. None of us are getting younger and we don’t need no other medical stuff sneaking around and coming in through the back door.

I decided a week or two back that I would have my future medical prescriptions sent to me through the mail. It’s probably a better idea than driving 30 miles to stand in a room full of sick people to pick them up. We’ll see how that works out. I’m awaiting my first shipment. Maybe today, or tomorrow.

I’ve noticed that over the last week or so, the website has been loading erratically. Not sure if it’s a WordPress problem or a problem with the hosting service. Of course, getting an answer from the hosting service isn’t going to do me much good. As far as GoDaddy is concerned, everything is working fine. But it’s not. Could just be the Internet in general getting clogged up with millions of hunkered down people reading my blog. Naaaaa. There’s something else going on. When my hosting contract expires, I think I’ll find a new service.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43922.40

Combating boredom. For my family, the biggest challenge of this pandemic has been mental. Financially, we’re doing okay. Being retired, our income is fixed and we aren’t relying on having to work a 9-5 job in order to pay the bills. All that business was planned for and put in place well before all this began. The uncertainty of the well being of our other family members weighs heavily on us, though there really isn’t much we can do to change things.

We lost our Internet service for a few hours last night. We ended up going to bed around 9:30, which is fairly normal for us anyway. I got a text message from Comcast alerting me the it was restored sometime around midnight-thirty. Heard the binging of the message notification but by that time we were cashed in. Upon waking this morning, everything seemed to be back to normal.

Good news inventory. Sporadic reports from around the world that the “curve” may be flattening in some areas hit by the pandemic. Very encouraging information coming out of Iceland, where it appears that the government there had a good jump on dealing with this matter. Not going to be much help to those of us at the mercy of a bunch of greedy politicians who think that old people need to sacrifice their lives to protect the economy. My guess is that none of these nitwits in the current crop of leadership will be part of the new future that is sure to come. Nobody is going to want the people who led us into deeper water to be in charge of cleaning up the mess. The virus itself isn’t the fault of the government, but the lack of preparation and cohesive plan to deal with it is. I don’t bet on horses that get stuck in the gate. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want the A-Team leading the charge into the future. Con men aren’t going to fix anything.

Additional good news. The family member who may have contracted the virus has tested negative. Her health issue was a result of a long standing thing she has been dealing with, but at least the virus isn’t going to swoop down on her and take her from us. Not this time.

Dog poop scooping. Scooping right along. Not seeing much fox activity in the yard these past few days.

Weed inventory. 69 days. At least we are mellow in the evenings and sleeping well.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Normal rate of consumption. Trudy is putting together a supply run for today. Don’t need much, but best not to let things dwindle too much. the supply chain could get disrupted to a greater degree as this thing progresses.

Camera battery. 80%. Been watching the birds who seem to be enjoying themselves in the yard. With all the trees, we have them nesting in just about every corner of the yard. The bird bath is a happy gathering point for all of them and it’s perfectly situated for me to photograph the little lovelies as they take turns sharing the wealth amongst themselves.

Laundry status. I think I left my last load of laundry in the dryer. Probably all wrinkled up now. I’ll look later.

Still no sign of the mail-order prescriptions, but the situation isn’t critical at the moment.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43923.31

Combating boredom. Trudy has taken to fabricating make-shift masks out of coffee filters. Don’t wear masks. Yeah, wear masks. No, don’t wear masks. The message keeps changing.

Comcast is definitely experiencing some type of problem with the internet service here. The 5gb link seems to be coming and going throughout the day. I resorted to connecting through my iPhone configured as a hot spot. We have backup plans.

Good news inventory. Wilmbledon officially canceled.

Hot-tub status. Up and running. Chemical levels perfect, water temperature perfect. No wind. Temperature outside around 50 degrees. We soaked for a good hour last night.

Dog poop scooping. Up to date. Afterwards, I fertilized the lawn. The grass is getting greener each day. All the better for hunkering down.

Weed inventory. 65 days. We indulged ourselves in the hot-tub last night.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Holding steady at a normal consumption rate.

Camera battery. 80% Not much in the way of photos yesterday.

Laundry status. My last load is still in the dryer. I’m too lazy to go fold them.

Still no sign of the mail-order prescriptions. Probably lost in the mail.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43926.40

I’ve spent the past 3 days staring at the bedroom ceiling fan. A sudden onset of kidney stones has thrown me a curve ball. Spent 6 hours in the urgent care facility on Friday. IV, CAT scan and pain medications were the treatment. I think I was the only person in the facility who didn’t have a mask to wear. Can’t find them anywhere and the medical facility wasn’t giving them out. Other than the nurses and the doctor attending to me, I wasn’t around anyone. The medical staff was well suited up though. I probably won’t die. Thankfully I avoided having to go to the hospital, which would not have been a optimal situation.

Good news inventory. Well, I’m feeling a little better. This stuff comes and goes.

Everything else seems of minor importance right now. Hopefully future log entries will be a little more robust as I come out of my physical funk.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and a bit wobbly here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43927.21

Combating boredom. We’ve been on a tv binge watching a new car show (well, new to us) on Netflix. Car Masters: Rust To Riches. A welcome change from the typical presentations of Texas rednecks building pickup trucks.

Trudy has been putting her engineering background to work designing home-made safety masks for when we have to leave the bubble. Her latest creation is turning flower-sack towels into masks, which as she proudly proclaims, make a great face covering. Seeing how we have a bunch of unused towels (I buy them to keep in the camera bag for wiping off dirty/wet camera gear), why not go with it. Not like we’re running to Walmart to by safety masks or anything else that gets horded.

A nice stretch of Spring weather may be in store for us this week. I can use a little warmth and sunshine right now. Knowing our luck, a major snow storm will probably pop up unannounced and dump 8 inches of snow on us instead.

Dog poop scooped. Trudy has picked up the slack from me goofing off in the fetal position over the past few days.

Laundry is up to date. Fetal positions don’t generate a ton of laundry.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Doing okay I suppose. I haven’t been using much. A side effect of living in the fetal position.

Camera battery. I haven’t picked up a camera in several days, so I imagine I should slap that puppy in the charger and top off the charge. That type of action would result in a “Combating boredom” log entry.

The mail order prescriptions did arrive. They sent me a three month supply, which is mighty nice of them. Now I don’t have to drive half way across town to the busy pharmacy and wait in the crowded room full of sick people to get the meds that keep me from getting sick.

Good news inventory. The good news is that I have’t watched more then 2 minutes of news over the past several days. I’m thinking there isn’t much to go around anyway, so why bother with it.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and a bit less wobbly here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43928.23

Combating boredom. Recharged the camera battery.

Dog poop. The scooping continues. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. I would add that our dogs are quite cooperative about the matter, depositing their excrement in the same general area of the yard most of the time. Makes scooping much easier, but, we still have to patrol the others parts of the yard in case they forget where the official poop zone is.

Laundry. Fresh sweats. I’ll smell like fabric softener for a brief period of time.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Normal consumption rates have resumed.

Camera battery. See the “combating boredom” entry above.

Good news inventory. Lots of reports in the press of the “curve” beginning to flatten. I’m guessing there will be additional reports of “spikes” in the curve after everyone clamors for reducing restrictions to travel and group gatherings. Here’s my take. If one hasn’t contracted the virus by this time, they could end up being a data point in one of the future “spikes” when one ignorantly thinks that they’ve done enough hunkering and decide to go expose themselves, their family and their neighbors to another round of disease and death. There’s still no known cure for the disease and politicians aren’t going to give us meaningful or useful advice based on their own distorted reality of trying to keep corporate profits at a maximum while implementing spin mitigation in the press. The virus could care less how stupid we are. Sorry, had to throw in my soapbox on that one, but hey… stupid is as stupid does. Don’t let a stupid person convince you to be stupid too. That would qualify you as a stupid person.

Enjoying the benefit of having a hot-tub. It’s our little oasis of tropical pleasure and relaxation. And it gives us an additional 10 square feet to roam in the yard. All the better for hunkering down.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43929.22

Combating boredom. We spent most of the day on Monday sitting on the porch and enjoying time with each other, our dogs and the nature that surrounds us on a beautiful, yet sad spring day.

Dog poop. The yard is being kept as clean as ever. I wish we could clean the accumulations occurring elsewhere but that problem will be left for time to resolve.

Laundry. Monday was laundry day. We have lots of clean, nice smelling things to stare at now.

Toilet paper / paper towel inventory. Doing great. Comforting to know that we aren’t over-wiping.

Good news inventory. I’m contemplating dropping this from the log. It seems rather pointless right now.

Happy thought inventory. I’m contemplating adding this to the log. It seems to be the best alternative to retiring good news from our daily lives.

Today’s happy thoughts will be knowing that I got to watch the full moon rise above the spruce trees last night and that I can still hear a John Prine song when I get to feeling sorry for myself.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and a little sad here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43930.28

Combating boredom. Pleasant spring days are helping us cope with the restrictive environment. Most of our idle time is spent sitting on the back porch sipping our beverage or kicking around in the yard with the dogs. The porch sitting also allows me to comfortably position myself with a great vantage point for watching and photographing birds. Occasionally we are visited by a bird species that isn’t normally hanging around the yard and a little patience and perseverance can pay off with an interesting photograph. Think I’ll keep doing the bird watching thing. It’s better than television.

Yesterday we were distracted by what we first thought to be a large black bird soaring in the sky above us. It didn’t take long for us to realize that what we were observing wasn’t a bird. It was a big hunk of tattered black plastic, perhaps a grill cover or industrial trash bag. It was just swirling around in the wind a hundred or so feet off the ground, wafting with the air currents, moving in a southerly direction. It reminded me of some type of movie scene where people are evading a tornado in their vehicle and a cow flies by the windshield with a total look of distress and confusion on its face. Mooooooooooo. A moment of levity in bizarro world. I’m curious to know if anyone else saw it. Maybe report it to the police or TV news as a UFO or something. Who knows? As it glided over the yard, I managed to get a few photos of it with my bird watching camera. WTF.

Laundry. I’ve found it easier to not put clothes away after I wash them. I can sit the basket of freshly folded clothes on the bedroom floor next to my side of the bed and just sift through that when I need something clean to wear. My working selection of clean garments at arms length, just waiting for me to decide when the right time is to reach in there and grab something that smells better.

Toilet paper / paper towel inventory. We haven’t stocked up in a while and we are about half way through our supply. At some point, we’ll have to put on our bio-hazard suits and venture outside of the bubble to find more, knowing in the back of our minds that we’ll have to risk death to do so. Some deranged slobberer may be lurking beyond the culdesac, just waiting to drool on our face or something.

Happy thought inventory. We’re pragmatic people here. Happy thoughts tend to coagulate around doing things we’re accustomed to doing, only slightly modified. For example, Trudy now has a routine where the grand-kids Facetime her in the early evening and read their books to her. Since we can’t hang out with them or have them over for a visit, it’s the next best thing. I normally stay in the background but I always have an uncontrollable urge to poke my head into the camera’s view and make a funny face at them. Sometimes they notice, sometimes they don’t.

Here’s a little trivia for those who are reading my daily blog. I’ve received a few comments regarding my use of “Stardates”, which the more intellectual amongst the readership has recognized as sorta Star Treckish. It’s certainly intentional, though I’m not certain that the original Stardate in Star Trek was actually based on a factual system, my stardate is based on a factual system. I use a spreadsheet to calculate my stardates. I simply enter the current date and time in a spreadsheet cell and convert it to a number format. Voila! I have the stardate for each entry.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43931.31

Combating boredom. Continuing with the back porch activity while the weather holds up. I’ve started capturing 4k video clips of life in the back yard. Once I have enough material, I’ll probably start producing short videos to append to my daily journal of the American nightmare.

Trudy and I ordered replacement iPads yesterday. They should be here today. We bought our old iPads back in 2013 and they are stuck at 16 gigs of memory with batteries that are failing. We ordered his and her basic 128 gig models with cases and also grabbed an AV adapter so we can connect them to a HD Television, which should come in handy once we get the cabin in Red Feathers opened. Lots of streaming options to choose from, best to have the hardware that will take advantage of it.

Laundry. All caught up. I smell clean and fresh and the food stains on my sweatshirts are now hardly noticable.

Toilet paper / paper towel inventory. Still hanging in there. We know though, at some point we’ll have to get more. Probably on our next supply run next week, if there is anything on the shelves.

Weed inventory. Normal draw-down rate. It helps with the anxiety and boredom and general body aches of a more sequestered lifestyle. Not like we’re laying around stoned all the time though. Mostly used at night after dinner to erase the memories of having to listen to Donald Trump saying stupid shit. Marijuana may be a cure for political bullshit.

Happy thought inventory. Today’s happy thought is knowing that everyone in my family is as healthy as they can be with no reports of infection by this virus. It’s drawn us together as a family, even if we can’t visit each other in person. The occasional phone pinging tweet-fests on group messaging provide a welcome reminder that we all love and care about one another.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43932.36

Combating boredom. I’ve been slowly grabbing video bits from our lively back yard. The critters aren’t overly concerned with the current state of human affairs, but they have been loosening up a bit with how close and how long they’ll tolerate our presence in what they think is their world. I’ve been setting up a tripod with the iPhone mounted on it, next to the bird bath. I have a remote trigger for turning the recording on/off. It’s kinda like fishing. Wait for the birds to start appearing at the bird bath and just hit the button when there is action. I’m looking to expanding this to using the Nikon D500, but I’ve found the native applications from Nikon leave a lot to be desired. Still researching my options and once I get a good handle on it, I’ll probably be purchasing some additional hardware to broaden my ability in this regard. Today’s pic is a 4k video I grabbed yesterday that illustrates the concept. iPhone 4k video at 60p isn’t too bad at all for what I’m doing.

As expected, the iPads we ordered weren’t delivered yesterday. I thought the one day delivery was a little optimistic. Late in the day, Apple sent me an email telling me they would be here on Monday. With everything that’s going on in the world, it wouldn’t surprise or disappoint me if it took even longer than that. Supply chains are fairly disrupted at the moment.

Strange awkward moments walking the dogs yesterday. The Governor of Colorado has asked that everyone going out in public wear a protective mask. Trudy and I have ours, home made from flour sack towels, held on with scrunchies. Functional but not very stylish. We wear them when we leave the property. While out on the normal neighborhood route, we encountered a few people getting their outside time in. Nobody was wearing a mask (except us.) Not like we were bumping in to each other though, everyone was keeping to their side of the street. The others would look at us, notice our masks and then turn their heads away as if to acknowledge they weren’t taking the mask thing very seriously. I’d just wave and say hello. It’s not my job to explain staying alive to others. But, this does highlight a fairly common behavioral pattern I’ve been seeing on my brief outings into areas where other people will be found. A lot of people aren’t really taking this seriously. Not just in the neighborhood but everywhere. We’re old, not in the best possible health and I’m not going to blow off the fact that we aren’t even half way in to this pandemic and the truth is if the virus hasn’t hit you yet, you can still get it later. It’s not going anywhere. It’s just looking for another person to leap to from the one it’s in. Until herd immunity levels are at the point where the virus can’t sustain growth, nobody is safe from catching it or transmitting it. Let your guard down once and you could die. On the surface that all sounds a little melodramatic, but the fact is close to 19,000 people in the country have died and a half million and growing have already contracted the virus. Right now, if you contract the virus, there’s a 3.7% chance that you won’t survive it. Place one hundred M&M’s in a bowl and offer them to somebody. Tell them they can have all they like but 4 of those M&M’s will kill you if you eat them. Help yourself, but choose carefully.

I’ll pass on the M&M’s.

Household supplies. We’re doing well here. About half way through our buffer, we’ll make another supply run sometime next week. Wearing our masks.

Weed inventory. Still holding strong. Made a good dent in it this past week, but there’s plenty left to satiate our desire to make the most of it while we sit sequestered in our little boat, bobbing around in the bay of life.

Happy thought inventory. Happy thoughts revolve mostly around thinking about the better days ahead. There will be better days, I’m sure of it. Right now we’re at sea and can’t get off the ship. Learn to sail and you can get through it. Until those better days arrive, best not to fuck up.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43933.22

Combating boredom. Our week long flirtation with spring has ended. A winter storm has forced us to abandon our leisurely days on the deck we’ll be sheltering inside for the next few days while the cold and snow tightens its grip on Colorado. April is always a hit and miss month here. I recall my days working at the newspaper and we always calculated April 19th as the average last day of snow here in Denver. Of course calculations and reality don’t always agree with one another.

I’ve been playing with the video conferencing app ZOOM. My daughter is organizing a family ZOOM for Easter Sunday and we played with it a little bit on Saturday afternoon. Kinda cool, we had four generations of my family on a video conference call yesterday. The actual event will occur later today and I’m looking forward to seeing my family gathered together in the ether.

Supply status. Still plenty of food and supplies for day-to-day life, but time rolls by and the shelves are thinning out. Will probably have to get out to the grocery in the next day or so to restock.

Happy thought inventory. Family, family, family. I worry about everyone and know that we’ll get through this business and come out strong on the other side. Trudy and I keep a brave face and our attention focused on solutions, not problems. We have a good plan and we’re sticking to it.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43934.29

Combating boredom. Hunkering-down is far more tolerable when you have a snow storm blanketing your town. Here in Colorado, we normally hunker-down in these storms anyway, so knowing that it’s a typical spring day here in the foothills we can just pretend that everything is normal at the moment. Rationalizing ones situation is also part of the equation.

Supply status. Trudy made a supply run yesterday. We are in pretty good shape but needed to top off a few things. As usual, the shelves were empty of toilet paper and paper towels, but we’ve got enough to last us for a while. Still, keeping the nacho supplies plentiful is a priority. As is regular food and stuff. We’re eating good in the neighborhood right now. When the famine begins, we’ll reevaluate.

Camera battery. I recharged all the camera batteries. Not much else to do. Besides, watching those little yellow lights blink on the charger is now qualifying as excitement.

Laundry status. We’ve been saving a ton of money on laundry detergent. We only wash clothes when the dogs begin avoiding us because we smell too bad.

Happy thought inventory. With all the snow, we’re pretending it’s New Years and that everything is normal with the world. We have a bright future ahead of us.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43935.46

Combating boredom. Our iPads arrived yesterday. New toys to play with while we hunker down. The cases and other accessories are due to arrive today. That will give us even more fun things to do while we sit on the couch and watch the snow melt.

It’s trash day. We aren’t generating as much garbage as normal. I suppose that’s good. I always forget that Tuesday is trash day. Today’s photo is from the sidewalk. Mid-April, 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Huge icicles on the house and pickup truck. That’s the pickup truck that hasn’t been moved in a month.

Supply status. Trudy still needs to make a run to Sams Club for bulk supplies. Normally we have 30,000 zip-lock bags in the cupboard, but for some reason we seem to be out of them.

Weed inventory. Been doing good. Probably a little over half left from the first of March when all this stuff began.

Laundry status. Fresh sweats today, and a shower. I smell like roses and chocolate cake.

Happy thought inventory. Looking forward to getting my wireless tethering kit for the camera gear. By the time it gets here in a week or two, we should be thawed out and the birds dancing on the lawn.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43936.29

Combating boredom. iPad shipment #2 of 2 arrived yesterday. Two iPad covers and an HDMI adapter. The adapter works great, we can hook up the iPhone or iPad to any HD TV with an HDMI connector on it. Apple did ship us the wrong iPad covers though. They sent us covers for an iPad Pro, which I promptly boxed up and took to the FedX drop box. Ordered two, much cheaper and better fitting covers from Amazon. Not the end of the world, not yet anyway.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

Happy thought inventory. The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you. Dear Prudence, won’t you come out and play.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43937.35

Combating boredom. Winter has returned to us in Colorado. Yesterday the weather was nice and most of the previous snow had melted off by sunset. By early this morning, a second round of winter storms had moved into the area and we now have about 4 inches of snow and counting. The snow is expected to stay with us until early tomorrow morning.

Normally, we’d be hunkered down during these winter storms, so in all honesty, not much has effectively changed in our activity level. The drawback is that we end up watching television and by default inundated with a constant stream of murder, death, grief and sorrow.

I’ve become a bit of a techno-geek again. I have my trusty iPhone and iPad, Trudy has hers, and we sit on the couch with the television babbling in the background, punching the touch screens with our fingers until we have achieved our requisite finger swipes across the smudged screens. I think I’ve checked the shipping status on our Amazon orders at least 4 times a day for the past week. Excitement abounds.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

Happy thought inventory. This current snow storm has a good chance of being our last significant snow of the season. The laws of physics eventually take effect and the upcoming weather forecast is indicative of that. The next scheduled round of moisture is looking like rain rather than snow. The trees are budding just a bit, the grass is turning greener, the birds are gathering and the back yard will soon be alive and blooming with life. I have a spot picked out on the porch that allows me to watch the yard for critters to photograph. The dogs are happy. The wife is happy. The mother-in-law is happy. I’m happy. All we really have to do is not be stupid and we’ll be fine.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43938.27

Combating boredom. Yesterday’s winter storm moved through, dropping temps into the teens and dumping at least another 5 inches of snow on us. To celebrate the occasion, I wobbled into the back yard wearing my house shoes with camera in hand to get a measurement. Yep. 5 inches of snow, that’s what it looks like. March and April are my least favorite months here in Denver. They always tease you with brief showings of springtime weather and then slap you down with a good winter storm.

Happy thought inventory. The highlight of the day was listening to the grandkids read their books to Trudy via Facetime on the iPad. Can’t spend any time with the little rascals but they do look forward to their evening book sessions via video feed. Ava tells me that she’ll show me how to use the iPad the next time she sees me.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43939.32

Combating boredom. The winter storm that moved through on Thursday has broke and we are in another melt off. We set a record low at 13 degrees Fahrenheit, but it looks like it’s going to be warming up again and with that comes a renewed positive attitude. Trudy and I spent some time in the hot tub last night, contemplating our fate, revisiting happier days and enjoying any sign of things that remind us that we are still alive and can stay that way for the duration.

Happy thought inventory. More hot tub time, less TV news. That’s the ticket.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43940.55

Combating boredom. It being Sunday and all, I decided to do something useful and clean out the plastic container cabinet. It was getting bad too. None of the plastic food container lids were anywhere near their container and we were down to using only a few of them as the lids for everything had been pushed to the back of the cabinet. Still a work in progress.

Happy thought inventory. I got a text this morning that our iPad covers will be delivered today. Wooo Hooo.

Supply status. We be good. Well, mostly. I think we will still have to venture out to the grocery to pick up a few things we’ve run out of. We have our masks and know the best time to go to avoid the hordes of virus carrying nomads.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. I’ll be doing a couple of loads later this afternoon. After I finish with the plastic containers.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43941.33

Combating boredom. The snow has melted off but I’m afraid the extreme cold blast we received has dampened the sprouting of spring here in Denver. The trees and bushes were just about to pop when we entered an artic freeze and most of the buds that were budding got frozen. That will set things back a few days while the plants regroup and try again in a few days.

I’ve seen stories on the news feeds about people having Coronavirus dreams. Well, Trudy and I both have been having them. Funny how our memory of exactly what the dreams were about tend to fade quickly, but I wrote it down so I have a basic recollection. One dream had me walking into the back yard to find a old friend digging up my yard. He was wearing a mask and there were big piles of dirt everywhere. I’m not sure why he was digging up the yard though, but it was looking a little ominous. Another dream found me sitting at an outdoor restaurant ordering breakfast. The restaurant was busy. Nobody was wearing a mask or exercising social distancing. Suddenly out of nowhere, a herd of people came walking in, all wearing masks and we who were already seated suddenly realized we were going to die. Trudy tells me her dream last night was of people banging on our front door wanting her blood. Some kind of hold-over from her wanting to give blood plasma to Children’s Hospital. She’s always one to do her part to help others. I recon the dream demons got wind of it.

Happy thought inventory. Another text from Amazon this morning. My wireless camera tethering kit is out for delivery this morning. That will give me something new to play with while I hunker down.

Supply status. Trudy is off to pick up supplies today.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. I got lazy yesterday and didn’t do laundry. Today’s the day. Maybe a shower for myself too.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43942.34

Combating boredom. My Case Air wireless tethering system arrived yesterday. This device gives me the capability to wirelessly control my DSLR’s for shooting video and stills via the iPad or iPhone. Today’s photo of a house finch at one of our birdbaths was taken using the device connected to the Nikon D500. It’s a little cheesy quality wise, but it does work and now I can spend more time playing with the cameras in the back yard.

Happy thought inventory. So long as Donald Trump’s face isn’t on my television, I’m pretty happy.

Supply status. Fresh load of stuff from the grocery yesterday. Trudy was explaining that her trip out into zombie land was fairly quiet. The stores were well stocked and not crowded. She did have one dullard lady who wasn’t keeping a safe distance at the checkout nor wearing her mask. The cashier barked at her (not Trudy) to put some space between herself and Trudy. Trudy gave her a little business too. The rule is stay at least 6 feet away and wear a friggn mask. Yeah, dullard is the correct word. We live in a world full of dullards. Try to not let them kill you.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. Laundry done. Shower done.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43943.29

Combating boredom. More of the same, except we can now spend more of our time outside enjoying the cleaner air and gathering birds. Nice weather has a way of renewing the soul.

I managed to break out the lawn mower and cut the grass in the back yard. If you stand back about 15 yards and look at the yard, it’s looking pretty good. It’s not there yet but at least the larger clumps have been evened out and the lawn is returning to summer glory. Nothing more exciting these days than watching the grass grow.

Continuing to play with the new camera toy. My first real attempt to do lazy man photography paid off. I got a nice video of a house finch playing in the bird bath. We’ll continue playing with that today.

Happy thought inventory. I’ve been tracking my stock photography sales, which oddly enough don’t appear to have dropped too much over the past couple of months. As a matter of fact, my totals for the year are actually well above this same point last year. A few extra bucks for the business.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43944.25

Combating boredom. More of the same, what else would one expect? Working with the backyard photos and video, it’s slow going. My goal is to get something useful each day.

The weather has been quite spring-like these past few days. Trudy’s mother is able to get outside and sit on the porch for some fresh air and sunshine. She’s in her 90’s so there isn’t much socializing for her beyond these walls. Still, one of our primary goals is to help her stay comfortable and happy. I think we’re doing a good job. Everyone is doing their thing, getting along just fine, no stress, no conflict, no worries about what tomorrow will bring.

I’ll admit that I’ve been reading the news a little more than normal. Not watching much of it on television mind you, just reading. I’ve always been a bit of a historian so my reading tends to look for information of historical significance rather than paying much attention to the endless stream of “talking heads” and “experts” on television. The thing that keeps getting my attention are the reports of the mounting deaths in retirement homes. Elderly people are at the mercy of strangers and families who have decided to discard them. I hate to say it, but I’m unimpressed with the general mentality of Americans. A large portion of our society is intelligent and thoughtful, but the noise coming from the fringes drowns out the good.

Enough of that.

Happy thought inventory. Running short on that today it would appear. I’ll try to discard some some of the pessimism once the sun is up and shining on my scruffy face.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43945.43

Combating boredom. Still working the backyard birds. I was on the porch this morning at 5am, the first hints of light coming from the east. All of the birds started chirping at the same time from every direction. I grabbed a second cup of coffee with a smile on my face.

Happy thought inventory. I just ordered two cases of Lysol and several blacklights from Amazon, before there is a run on them. Don’t want to be left out of Trump’s miracle cure for COVID-19. Does anyone know the best way to huff Lysol? Should I do it under the blacklights? Maybe play Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and smoke some banana peels while I’m at it. (It’s a joke, don’t do it people.)

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43946.21

Combating boredom. The photographs are a bit stagnant in the back yard these days. The birds that are living in the area have their routine. The people living in the house have our routine. It’s pretty much the same thing day over day. I’ve found that the mid-day naps have become a staple of passing time. The occasional weird dream is enough to keep the variety interesting. I used to keep a notepad next to the bed so I could write my dreams down as soon as I woke up. Not doing that these days, I’m too lazy.

Lets see, I’ve backed up the computer, I’ve backed up the laptop, I’ve backed up the iPhone, I’ve baked up the iPad, I’ve backed up the backups. Everything is backed up. Whewww, that was adventurous.

I have a Sony PlayStation 4 sitting in the living room. I turned it on the other day and realized that video games are less exciting than backing up the computer. I suppose it used to be fun pretending to be in an apocalyptic world of people wearing gas masks and killing everything that moved. These days, it seems like a cruel reminder that life can be stranger than fiction. At least the controllers are now charged up.

Happy thought inventory. I’ve been watching the NFL Draft in the evenings. It’s a good distraction from the nonsense in the news. Not as though I expect for there to be a NFL football season this year. I can’t see 70,000 people crowding into stadiums across the country to cheer for their favorite teams and then go home to infect the neighborhood with an incurable disease.

As for baseball. I think we can forget about that. Oh, I have a baseball game for the play station. Maybe I can beam myself back in time and try to make the 2014 Colorado Rockies a winning season.

So far, the most entertaining events of the day are hearing the birds chirping at sunrise and the nightly book reading facetimes from the grandkids with Trudy.

Still, the spirits are holding up and we’re just cruising through this knowing that we’ll get by and be just fine so long as we stick to the plan and adapt to the situation.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43947.30

Combating boredom. We’ve established a fairly sustainable routine here in Hunker Down Land. I spend much of each day sitting on the back porch with camera in hand, watching for birds to land in the garden area or bird bath. It’s quite like old man fishing at the lake. Throw the line out, wait for a nibble, set the hook and real it it. Only no fish guts. I catch my limit every day and all I have to do is keep the ice in my beverage from melting.

The weather today will be quite nice it appears, so I’ll be doing more old man fishing with the camera.

Happy though inventory. We received a drive-by howdy from the grand-kids yesterday afternoon. A welcome visit from Trudy’s son & wife, they pulled up in front of the house and we got to spend a few minutes talking and visiting from 50 feet away. Better than an iPad Facetime. The grand-kids appear to have grown an inch or two since the last time we saw them.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43948.30

Combating boredom. My 2020 bird photographic catalog is growing rapidly. Almost to the point that I’ll have to begin breaking it up into smaller catalogs. Lightroom doesn’t do well with catalogs of 10,000 or so images and now I’m up to 8,500 images. The first order of business will be to start culling the images down to what is really usable. This action will give me a more reasonable photo count, but seeing how this hunkering down is probably going to be going on for a while, the problem will continue until I find a more efficient method of collecting far too many photographs. I’m a photographic pack rat. Maybe break it up by bird species or by month.

Minor household repairs are beginning to surface. Since I’m not driving to home depot to get sick and die, we’ve ordered a new kitchen ceiling light fixture and kitchen sink faucet for home delivery. I’ll have a couple of days to effect these repairs, which of course will help combat the boredom.

As I sit on the back porch with my photographic arsenal at my disposal, I’ve been looking around the yard for more abstract photos I can use for the journal. It takes a while to get into a full abstract frame of mind though. I’m kinda center brained, meaning I can work logically or abstractly about equally well, but it’s not like there’s a button I can push that will switch modes. It requires a little time living on the other side of the fence before my mojo gets going.

Happy thought inventory. Trying to keep my mind off of the ever growing dilapidation of the social state we are living in at the moment. It’s all bigger than we are, so best to focus on the things that you can control and put the things you can’t control out of your windshield. When something needs addressing, it will make itself apparent. Overall, assessing our situation here in Denver, we have it better than most folks I suppose. Money isn’t a problem, we have plenty of food and stuff, everyone’s health is as good as it’s going to be for now. What more could we expect? We’re prepared to ride it out for however long it takes.

Self assurance is a good thing. Rationalization is even better.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43949.26

Combating boredom. A productive day on Monday. With the return of nice weather comes the return of yard work. We removed a few dead shrubs from the perimeter. Easy-peasy, just wrap a nylon rope around their base and tie the other end to the back of the lawn tractor. We also fired up the house air conditioning system as the temps were creeping upwards of 80 degrees. Looks like more of summer-like weather is scheduled for the remainder of the week.

Happy thought inventory. If I keep the television time to a minimum, the happy thoughts stay maximized. Nothing on television alters reality, only the perception. I don’t need a daily dose of President Trump to remind me of what I already know.

We received our custom made face masks from a family member in Maryland. By the time we venture out with more frequency, we’ll have a nice selection to choose from.

The best part of the day is the morning bird concert. The local birds are really starting to become active starting around 5:30 am. 360 degrees of bird song, drowning the silence. What a way to begin the day.

I’m also starting to see new bird species showing up in the yard. Flickers and Grackles have been showing up with more frequency. Not too big on either though. The Flickers are woodpeckers and have a tendency to hammer on the metal vents on the roof. The noise reverberates throughout the house. But, they are pretty birds. As for the Grackles. They can just plain go away. Obnoxious and screechy birds. None of the other birds like them either.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43950.46

Combating boredom. Yard work. That’s the ticket.

Happy thought inventory. Iced tea after working in the yard. Squirrels on the fence. Birds in the garden. Nice soak in the hot tub after sundown. Squeezing my girl till she squeaks.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43951.24

Combating boredom. Yesterday was yardwork day. We picked up a new blue spruce tree and some fresh soil for the garden. I mowed the lawn and trimmed the edges. Golly, it was almost like a normal spring day. The body isn’t in great shape, so I’m paying for the physical labor this morning. Stiff back, dirt under my fingernails. I love it. We will finish up that project today most likely.

Brew some more iced tea momma.

Happy thought inventory. We were discussing getting the cabin open for the year. Normally we’d be planning our efforts in Red Feathers for mid to late May. This year, we don’t know when we’ll be heading up into the mountains. The village isn’t very populated and the info we have is that the locals up there aren’t all that excited about having a bunch of flat-landers inundating the town bringing in disease and such. They are pretty well hunkered down up there and seem to be doing well, if not going a little stir crazy from the isolation. We are in no hurry this year. We shall get it going when the time is right. There isn’t much public infrastructure to support an increase in medical traffic. Catching fish isn’t a big priority. We’re better off sitting this out here in the big city suburbs where we have everything we need to survive.

And that is the happy thought today. We do have everything we need to survive. We miss our friends but we shall reunite again.

Supply status. We be good.

Weed inventory. We be good. Starting to get a little low. Will probably have to make a run in the next couple of weeks.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43952.31

Combating boredom. Yard work continues. We’ve completed the planting of the new blue spruce tree. Freshly mowed lawn. Flower garden cleaned up and de-weeded. Seeds planted for later transplant into the garden. Daily photographs of the neighborhood birds. Keeping a positive mindset is easier if you stay busy.

Happy thought inventory. We’ve fired up the grill and have been enjoying the typical summer cooking on the deck. Burgers, brats, pasta salad, iced tea, that type of stuff. Comfort food, American style. Nothing overly healthy.

Supply status. It’s about time for another supply run. Trudy normally handles this task. Every trip to the grocery results in some new anecdote of dumbasses wandering around in public with no regard for the situation upon us. There are a lot of people out there who seem to be in complete denial that we are in the middle of a pandemic. We quite literally avoid them like the plague.

Weed inventory. Enough to get us through another week or two.

Laundry status. We be good.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43953.22

Combating boredom. More of the same here in Denver. Our daily routine is fairly established. When one is self quarantined, there isn’t much in the way of a social life, but lets be honest, we didn’t really have a robust social life prior to the pandemic.

I download photos from the day before, pick the best shots and then format the chip again for the next day’s gatherings. When it’s all said and done, I’ll have a bunch of new stock photos of tweet-birds and then I’ll move on.

Evenings, mainly after dinner, we try to find something interesting on television that doesn’t involve news. There are way too many people flapping their gums about this or that, so why bother listening to that stuff. We know what we have to do and we will do it. Dying for someone isn’t on our agenda, sorry.

Happy thought inventory. The trees are sprouting leaves now. The deep freeze we had a week or two back postponed spring for a while, but I think we’ll be nice and green here by the end of next week.

Supply status. Trudy made a supply run yesterday. We’re well stocked and the stores weren’t too much of a hassle for her.

Weed inventory. Enough to get us through another week or two.

Laundry status. Probably going to need to do a few loads this weekend.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43954.28

Combating boredom. The day to day routine here hasn’t altered much over the past couple of months. My day normally begins before sunrise. My sleep pattern is in some strange state of existence. I’m normally in bed by 9 pm and generally wake up around 4:30 am. Grab some coffee, let the dogs out to do their duty, go sit on the deck and watch the day begin. Yesterday morning we had a rather large gathering of crows in one of the cottonwood trees a few houses away. I think the people living over there are feeding the birds and the crows being crows will eventually figure out it’s a good place to scrounge. Ominous or interesting? I think it’s more interesting as I’ve never been one to be superstitious or anything like that. I recall many years ago, I had a recorded crow call on my computer to announce my incoming emails. A Chinese lady working for me would hear that crow call emanating from my office and freak out from time to time. She was superstitious and to her it was a bad sign or something. To me, it made perfect sense. I took it off though, so as not to make her too nervous.

We’ve begun preparation for our summer bee garden. I’ve planted some seeds to transplant later. We’ve cleaned out the flower boxes in front of the house. The common knowledge here is that you don’t plant anything until Mother’s Day, as we can still get freezing temps and even snow this late in the year. The other general rule is that no matter when you plant flowers, the day after will be cold and snowy.

Happy thought inventory. Staying in good shape mentally even though we’ve restricted our activity. Yeah, it would be nice to have a more robust social life, but quite honestly, we are enjoying the manufactured isolation to a certain degree.

We had a scare the other day with one of the family members was reporting the onset of illness. High temp, headache, cough. Could be, maybe, maybe not. The next day, everything seemed fine and we’re pretty sure it was just a anomaly. Good to know everyone in the family is reporting well at the moment.

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. I think today is my turn in the laundry room. We’ll see how motivated I am later.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43955.38

Combating boredom. A fairly relaxing weekend spent mostly chilling in the yard, grilling on the grill, and goofing off around the house. Nothing seems overly immediate and we kind of like it. The current state of mind is we’ll get to it after later.

We did shuffle the vehicles around and I topped off the oil in the Subaru. Been driving the Explorer for the past month, we’ve only used a half tank of gas and most of that has been to go to the grocery or pick up some type of necessary items at home depot or wherever. We do wear our masks when we go out. That seems to be the exception rather than the rule out there in virus land. No slackers here on that account.

Happy thought inventory. Just enjoying the nice weather and relaxing on the porch. The leaves are popping out on the trees and shrubs and it’s beginning to look like winter is in the rear view mirror. We even have tulips, which normally bloom a little earlier and then get wiped out by a snow storm. We have been limiting our intake of television news to just the local news broadcasts and maybe 30 minutes of nightly news. Keeps the noise to a minimum and keeps the local issues in front of us. We’ve been watching Netflix more as of late. We seldom tune in to Netflix, but the main cable channels are more or less reruns now.

Tonight, I think we’ll have pizza for dinner. Haven’t had a lot of pizza since this pandemic started, but every now and again, it’s a welcome change of pace.

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. Turns out I wasn’t motivated to do laundry yesterday. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. No rush, nothing is stinking yet.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43956.35

Combating boredom. We activated the lawn sprinkler system yesterday. A tedious process of turning valves off and on, trying to remember which ones are drains and which are feed lines. All the heads seemed to have survived the winter, though a few needed adjusting. By the time we were finished, I was soaking wet from head to toe.

I took the day off from photographs. I’ve got enough house finch photos to last a while. A few other species are starting to arrive but haven’t been brave enough to get close to us. That will change as the weather continues warming and they discover the readily available fresh water we have in the garden. Patience is a virtue.

Happy thought inventory. Another day in the hunkered down life completed. We’re hanging in there. Happy to be alive and looking forward to having all this behind us someday. Just keep it simple.

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. Waiting for the laundry room to be available.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43957.42

Combating boredom. Tuesday was a busy day for us. Our hot-tub has been running well but it developed a leaky diverter valve a month or two ago and we were sorta just waiting for it to fail. While checking the chemistry yesterday, it failed. The top knob and diverter assembly came shooting off the pipe and into the air, along with a long hard fountain of water. After staring at it in awe for a few moments, I managed to make it to the circuit breaker panel and shut off the power.

Turns out the threads on the diverter valve cap had broken so there was no way for it to withstand the water pressure. A quick call to my local spa repair guy and he had an old cap in his junk box so we drove over to his house and retrieved it. Worked perfectly. We had the hot tub back up and running good as new within a couple of hours.

With the hot-tub repaired, Trudy and I spent a couple of hours soaking last night just after dark. A relaxing way to end the day.

Happy thought inventory. Today, I plan to scrounge through the garage and look for the tools I need to refinish our back yard wooden deck. I should have everything but one never knows. Tools have a way of vanishing over time and it’s been about 5 years since I refinished the wood section. First order of business is to find the power washer, orbital sander and the scraping tools. Start cleaning up the flaking and peeling finish, at our own pace.

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. Waiting for the laundry room to be available. Maybe today.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43958.31

Combating boredom. Wednesday was a down day for me. I’ve been suffering a bit from a flare up of my kidney stones, only this time it’s the other (right) side kidney from last month. Not as severe as before, but enough to bring you down a notch or two. I’ll be glad when this passes.

Been gathering the tools for refinishing the deck. I broke out the power washer and gave it a good cleaning and test run. It’s working great and I have all the tools I need (I think) to get started on resurfacing the deck. We’ll start with getting the woodwork scraped off and then sanded to smoothness.

Last night was a full moon, a super-moon, the last of the year I understand. Whipped out the D500 and super-telephoto lens for a few shots. The moonrise is in a perfect location for viewing from my backyard deck. Last night’s sky was fairly clear, the air pollution much less now that vehicle traffic has been cut to about 1/3 of what it normally would be. With all the suffering the world has been going through these past couple of months, at least the planet is getting a brief break from stupid human activity.

Happy thought inventory. Still staying positive about things. We had a family member out of work due to the pandemic but it looks like he will be going back on Friday, so that takes a load off our mind to a certain degree, and probably takes an even bigger load off his mind. We can only hope that he stays safe and protects himself from contracting the virus.

Supply status. Trudy is planning a visit to the local grocery for today.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. Today is the day.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43959.41

Combating boredom. Yesterday was fairly boring, no questions asked. I’ve been accumulating a few video clips, so today you get to see a brief excerpt.

Happy thought inventory. Feeling better today after fighting off the last bout of kidney stones. I’m looking forward to staying on the sunny side of life, if those darn kidneys will allow it.

Trudy made a cake last night. I’m not supposed to eat too much sugar, but sometimes you just gotta say “screw that.” It’s hard to turn down a fresh slice of warm cake. I’ll try not to pig out on it.

Supply status. Trudy made a run to Sam’s Club yesterday. No crowd, everyone behaving themselves. Fresh batch of Nacho supplies are in the cupboard. Munch munch.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. I had to wait my turn yesterday. That falls under the you snooze, you loose rule. Laundry is running as I type this.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43960.27

Combating boredom. So few things, so much time. Here we are, two months into the hunker-down era and the pace of life has been less than hectic. Good thing? Bad Thing? It is what it is.

Most of my productive time is spent tinkering in the yard. I do have a couple of unfinished projects. There is a new overhead kitchen light fixture on order, it’s been shipped and will probably be here early next week. Replacing the old florescent ceiling fixture with a new LED box. It doesn’t look too difficult, but it will require me to work overhead, which can sometimes be a bit of a pain, literally, in my bum shoulder. I think I can manage it though.

First on the list, and probably today, I need to replace the faucet on the kitchen sink. The existing faucet works okay, but the little stop thingy inside the cold water knob doesn’t stop so the knob spins 360 degrees. Non sequitur! The new faucet arrived a couple of days ago and it’s sitting on the kitchen counter to remind me (and the wife) that it needs to be installed. Hope to have that task done by noon, mind and motivation provided.

Hope to get started on scraping off the redwood deck. Start high, work my way down to the horizontal surface. When I played with the power washer the other day I noticed that there is quite a bit of old stain flaking off in rather large chunks. The scraping is going to be intensive, I’m sure.

Happy thought inventory. With the world spiraling towards a global depression and people dying like flies, I’m pleased that my stock photos are selling as well as ever. I think stock photography may be a depression proof business. Not sure why but I’ll take it. Free money from my view of the road, as it’s all from work done in years past. All I have to do is deposit the cash and then figure out some way to blow it.

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly cut grass. It smells like, suburbia.

Supply status. Freshly stocked.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. Two loads done and folded. Now all I have to do is fetch it from the laundry room and stash it in the bedroom.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43961.25

Combating boredom. The kitchen sink faucet replacement went as planned yesterday. Thirty minutes of grueling work twisting a crescent wrench and sponging up water dribbles beneath the sink. Once completed, I took a nap.

More photos of tweet-birds. The birds are becoming more habituated to our presence and have begun staying at the bird bath for longer stretches of time. This of course allows me to get even more photos of them from 15 feet away. We now have blue jays hanging out along the perimeter in the blue spruce trees. One came in close to investigate the water situation but was too skittish to get any closer than 30 feet, and then only for a few seconds.

Happy thought inventory. Today is Mother’s Day, so we’ll be sharing our good wishes and celebrating our mothers.

Supply status. No worries.

Weed inventory. No worries.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43962.30

Combating boredom. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, which you probably know by k. After two months of self-quarantine here in Denver, we took advantage of the nice weather. The kids (Trudy’s and mine) came by the house for a drive-by Happy Mother’s Day. All done following safety guidelines and such. We also had a visit from Trudy’s sister to say hello to Trudy’s mom, who hasn’t had much outdoor activity these past two months. We ordered some delivery pizza and social distanced in the back yard. Better than Facetime. The dogs were happy to see someone other than the usual suspects through the front door.

Happy thought inventory. The weather report calls for rain today. Normally, one doesn’t celebrate these things but when the region is in the beginning stages of a drought, rain is something to look forward to seeing. With all this hunkering down, the thought of watching a rain shower from the dry comfort of a covered porch is a welcome change of pace. I’m sure the garden and lawn will appreciate it.

Supply status. No worries.

Weed inventory. No worries.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43963.43

Combating boredom. Cooler and rainy here the past two days. It may be breaking up and warming up later today. Trudy is going to pick up some garden flowers which we’ll plant in the front yard planters. The bee garden in the back yard is showing signs of life, but it isn’t quite up to standards yet. At least we’ll have something to do for the next couple of days.

The new overhead LED kitchen light has shipped and may be here today. I’ll probably have that installed by the end of the week. Where’s my multi-meter?

Happy thought inventory. Today, I’m just happy that nobody in the family, near and far has reported getting hit with the Coronavirus thing.

Supply status. No worries.

Weed inventory. No worries.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43964,27

Combating boredom. Making the best of a bad situation. It is the time of year that we get our lawn and garden looking fresh and pretty. It’s mostly for our own enjoyment and it does provide us with something to concentrate on and involve ourselves with. We cleaned up the front yard planter yesterday, pulling out the old dead plants, weeds and odd clumps of whatever it is that had found its way in to the area. We also planted and transplanted a few new flowers. Overall, it’s looking pretty good. By this time next month, it should be looking like the botanic gardens.

I have a good collection of cameras and lenses gathering on the kitchen table. All for the purposes of documenting the hunker-down era here in our isolated corner of suburban Denver. There’s nothing exceptionally exciting about it, but it does give purpose and meaning and something to do to wile away the repeating day to day life.

I’m reminded of a period in my childhood when I was about 12 years old. Our family was struggling financially, though it was never really in the front of my mind. We moved to a farm to live with our grandparents. It was a spartan lifestyle. Heating the house was done using coal stoves. Water was drawn from a well. Food was subsistence, we ate a lot of rabbits and fish along with the few fresh vegetables we grew on the farm Uprooted from my life in suburbia to live in a mostly poor and intellectually limited part of the state, with no friends and no observable prospects of bettering my situation. This was a formative period in my psychological development, I can now say. I learned to do without, I learned to entertain myself, I learned to appreciate what was and to stop whining about what wasn’t. It didn’t last forever though. Today I draw on those youthful years and understand what it was our family went through and what I went through and realize that the only way out is the future and what you make of it. My time in the military also helped me grow up and understand that I was the architect of my own future and anything I got out of life was going to be up to me and not somebody coming to my rescue.

As it turns out, I’ve been prepared for this business all along. I just never thought I’d have to pull those old ghosts from the closet and have a one on one discussion with them to remind me of where I came from.

Happy thought inventory. The garden is putting a smile on our face and keeping us thinking positive. I’ve contemplated everything under the sun and have concluded that we’re doing the best we can and sticking to the plan is our best chance of coming out intact on the other end. There comes a time when one accepts reality and deals with it to their best ability. We’re there. The stages of grief. I don’t have to worry about a job or young kids, it’s just my wife, my mother-in-law and myself. We were prepared and we are holding the line.

You can be happy too. If you’re struggling emotionally or financially or both or even if you aren’t. The future is coming and you can either be part of it or you can give up. Don’t give up, because if you do, you lose.

Enough philosophical BS for one day.

Supply status. No worries.

Weed inventory. No worries.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43965.20

Combating boredom. It’s a start. Flowers have been planted at the front entrance. I’ve still got some work to do. Weeding, trimming, watering, mowing.

We put this three tiered walkway planter in a few years ago after removing a bunch of scruffy evergreen shrubs. The basic idea was to give people who came to our house a reason to smile and to give us a reason to smile when we went to the front door.

Happy thought inventory. All I ever wanted out of this life was to find happiness. I found it and I’m not letting go. Right now, my happiness is gardening and taking photos of birds.

Over the years, I’ve been stupid, I’ve been lazy, I’ve been difficult, I’ve been a workaholic, I’ve made mistakes, but, I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never tried to ruin anyone’s life, I have a good moral compass, I’m reliable, I treat people with respect, I accept those who are different from me, I’ve let go of the things I can’t change, I’ve let go of my regrets, I’ve let go of the people who’ve brought depression and caos into my life. I’ve embraced the simple things in my life and that is how I found my own personal happiness. If you’ve found happiness in your life hang on to it like it’s gold. If you’re still looking for it, just find the nearest rainbow and work your way to the end, it may be there. If it’s not, try the other end. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey that matters.

Supply status. No worries.

Weed inventory. No worries.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43966.27

Combating boredom. The big event yesterday, if it can be called that, was a flyover by a group of private pilots in their show and stunt planes. We’ve had a couple of these flyovers this past month. Invariably, it ends up being on a day with heavy clouds and/or rain, so we’ve only heard the jets from a distance. Yesterday, they were visible and flew quite close to the house. Of course, I was unprepared, unloading groceries in the garage when the first droning of the prop aircraft formations made it to our part of the sky. I dropped the bags of groceries and ran to the back yard with the camera and managed to squeeze off a few shots. Woopie! Airshows are better, but it’s still nice to see, as the pilots were all flying for charity donations to help fight the pandemic.

Happy thought inventory. Keeping a positive mental outlook about this situation is a hit and miss proposition, depending on the amount of news shoveled into one’s face and ears when trying to watch a rerun of Texas rednecks building another 2,000 horsepower pickup truck.

Supply status. Freshly restocked.

Weed inventory. Finally getting low now. I’ll make a run for a fresh stash later today. The weed store is about 2 miles from here. Last time I looked, they were open for business.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43967.28

Combating boredom. A nice steady rain on Friday was a welcome relief from the dry conditions that have been upon us for the past few weeks. We spent much of the day sitting on the deck and playing with the video functions of our iPhones and laughing at the resulting goofy videos we were making. I may find use for some of it in a future, longer video compilation of the hunkering down days.

I’ve added some extra chum to the garden. A humming bird, breed unknown at this time, has been frequenting the garden the past few days. Trudy picked up a humming bird feeder and I’ve mounted it on an elevated plant holder in the garden. It hasn’t returned to examine it, but I’m certain it will and I’ll be ready when it does. Nothing more intriguing than photos of a humming bird at a back yard feeder. These are the things photographers do when they aren’t out bushwhacking through the mountains, looking for wild and exotic beasts to capture in photos.

I ordered a new back-lit computer keyboard. The light in my office isn’t bright, as I like a low key ambiance to the room when I’m editing photos. The problem is that the lettering on my old keyboard is beginning to wear off. Now, I learned to type in high school, a skill that has served me well throughout my life, but I don’t have the muscle memory to type like a fortune 500 executive assistant. On a good day, I can rip out about 40 words per minute. On a bad day, I can’t see the keyboard and have to brighten up the room in order to make sure of what’s going on with the plastic input device. The new keyboard should arrive next week and I’m sure I’ll be placing it into service shortly after tearing it from it’s shipping box. I paid more for the shipping than the actual keyboard costs. I’m a cheap-skate. When this one fizzles out, I’ll buy another cheap piece of plastic junk to wear to a nub.

Happy thought inventory. For a few moments this morning I was in distress. Upon powering up my Nikon D500, I was getting a “memory card” alert telling me that my SD card was defective. It’s a fairly new Sandisk 128 gb extreme pro card, so I was quite displeased with the idea of losing one of my main line chips. I took the card to the office to see if I could recover any lost images and low and behold, it turned out to be the write protect tab in the wrong position. I was able to format the card and test it out. It’s fine. I don’t have to order replacements, I didn’t lose any photographs and my hair stopped falling out immediately. Today’s happy thought, I’m not going to lose all of my hair this week after all. It will continue to slowly disintegrate at a normal old man’s pace, which in my case means it will be gone by the end of the year anyway.

Supply status. Freshly restocked.

Weed inventory. Freshly restocked. Good stuff man.

Laundry status. No worries.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43968.42

Combating boredom. I thought I’d divert from the normal drivel and talk about how I’m taking photos of backyard birds while hunkering down.

I know many of you may already be involved with this business, but I’m sure there’s a soul or two out there who might want to consider it or maybe just understand what’s involved with getting backyard bird photographs. Today, we get a little more hands on with the process.

I’m using two different cameras (not including my iPhone) to get photos documenting the hunker-down log.

The camera on the left is a Nikon D810 with a 70-200mm f/4 VR lens and the camera on the right is the Nikon D500 with a 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens. The two lenses on the table are left to right, the Nikon 18-140mm DX VR, which I use solely on the Nikon D500 camera and the right side lens is a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens, which I use on both cameras. This combination of bodies and lenses allows me to do just about anything I need to do in the yard when it comes to photographing the environment and/or inhabitants.

Most of the tweet-bird photos I’ve been sharing have been taken with the Nikon D500 using the 200-500mm lens. The D500 produces an image file of approximately 21 megapixels and by virtue of the fact it has a APS-C sensor, I am achieving an effective focal length of up to 750mm, making my birds nice and large in the frame with excellent image quality and sharpness.

To get really nice shots of tiny birds, one will need a lens focal length of at least 500mm for those close-up details. You can try working with a tripod if the camera/lens combo is a little too heavy for you. Myself, I shoot hand-held and have not had any trouble getting really crisp details. I did have a good tripod out for a while, but I found it to be more or less unnecessary for working in good light. Additionally, the tripod added more clutter to the work area and actually slowed me down a bit, as it’s less flexible with rapidly acquiring and/or tracking a target. Birds don’t sit still very long and if you fiddle around too much, you miss shots.

For the 200-500mm lens, I never drop my shutter speed slower than 1/1250th of a second. I prefer to use 1/1600th of a second or even faster if the light is good enough.

I set my camera for auto-ISO and use manual settings of the aperture, normally f/5.6, and shutter speed (already mentioned.) The camera then adjusts the exposure by changing ISO only. I’ve found that any shot at ISO 3200 or less is suitable for stock photography, so you’ll not have much trouble getting a nice clean image even in marginal light if you have a modern digital camera.

I have multiple locations in the yard from which to sit and watch birds. All of these locations are generally within 20 feet of where I expect to be seeing the birds land for pictures. I like playing with back-lit shots, where I’m looking directly into the sun, but finding a location that is well lit throughout the day will give you a lot more variety in your compositions.

The birds will normally be very active in the early morning and late in the afternoon, but they come and go all day long, so anytime you go outside, take your camera with you or have it waiting for you when you get there. I’ve missed quite a few shots simply because I was too lazy to make sure I hade my camera available. Most of the time though, I sit at least one camera on the deck table in the shade and shielded from any stray rain showers that may stumble through.

I begin each day with a freshly formatted memory chip and I rotate that chip each day. Yesterday’s photos are in my card reader now and the chip in my camera was formatted when I sat down for my first cup of coffee. Nice simple routine and I don’t have to worry about downloading duplicate files each evening.

Here’s an image I took this morning at sunrise. It’s back-lit and shot using the Nikon D500 with the 200-500mm VR lens. I cropped it only to rotate it and position the bird in the image. The cropped file is roughly 15.1 megapixels, which is enough resolution to make a 24×36 inch print. Functionally speaking, you can crop your images down to about 8 megapixels before you’ll start degrading the point that your prints will need to be 11×14 inches or smaller.

My normal routine is to sit at the table about 15 feet away from the bird bath, have my camera ready and on the table in front of me. The camera is prefocused on a spot on the birdbath where I’d expect to see a bird land. I use that same general approach to every location in the yard where I’m sitting and watching.

The real trick is to catch the bird doing bird behavior. Walking, eating, taking off, landing, drinking water, taking a bath, interacting with another bird. I don’t waste shutter clicks on birds that aren’t facing me. Nobody needs to see a birds butt. I also try to not take the same exact shot over and over again. Always look for another shot from a different perspective. Once you’ve exhausted a position, move to a different position.

I normally start shooting when the camera is focused on the bird and I don’t stop taking photos until the bird flies out of the frame. Be prepared for a lot of bird photos to choose from. I can shoot almost continuously at 10 frames per second for up to 200 photos with the Nikon D500. Every camera is different though. Your mileage may vary.

Happy thought inventory. It’s a beautiful spring day and I’ll be brewing some iced tea for my leisure time on the deck photographing birds today. Maybe some chicken salad for lunch. Trudy has the stuff to make a cake so if I’m lucky I can have a slice of chocolate cake tonight while I’m watching television.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43969.40

Combating boredom. I got my chocolate cake last night as hoped for. Ate it while watching rerun car shows.

Today, we go to Lowes to pick up more flowers, dirt and other necessary yard stuff. Things are greening up nicely here and the flowers give us something to work on that will have a positive effect on our efforts to combat the boredom.

I managed to mow the front lawn yesterday, and trim around the edges. The sprinkler system is doing its job. The grass is filling in nicely and other than the parts of the yard where the nit-wit sprinkler guy tore the lawn up last summer, it’s doing pretty well. I expect the bad areas will eventually fill in.

Happy thought inventory. Looking over my stock photography sales year to date, I’m actually ahead of last year with sales by about 15%. I’ll take it. I’ve been adding tweet-bird photos to the stock catalogs, but they haven’t sold yet. I’m thinking there isn’t a shortage of tweet-bird photos right now. Every photographer and their mother is sitting around doing the same thing as me. But, it keeps me smiling when I find a new, good photo.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43970.69

Combating boredom. We went to Creekside nursery yesterday and purchased a butt-load of flowers to transplant into the garden pots. Same thing every year. We have the decorative flowers, which are the ones we get at the nursery for the planters and to fill in spots in the bee garden. Now the bee garden is mostly perennials that have been growing for years and all we do is weed and feed. By mid-summer, the bumble bees will have taken it over and it’s quite the sight.

Finished up 5 of these big honker planters (today’s photograph) and have them spaced around the deck. They are already attracting bees. The nursery we buy from doesn’t use pesticides on their home grown greenhouse plants, so we aren’t contributing to the demise of the honey bee species, or any other species for that matter.

We are making progress and it has been keeping us occupired.

Happy thought inventory. Been hanging out on the deck, taking naps, grilling on the grill, but one thing I haven’t done today and didn’t do for most of yesterday, is turn the television on. I try to listen to music when I’m in the office working on images or business stuff, but I haven’t even been listening to much music lately either. Most of my music collection is old stuff, I think the last new album I bought was Roger Waters (Old guy from Pink Floyd) and that was a while back. Mom likes to watch America’s Got Talent and from time to time, I catch a few minutes of that as I’m walking around the house. Most of the singers sound pretty much the same, but every now and again I’ll hear something worth stopping and listening too.

I like music. That’s today’s happy thought. I like music, but I don’t like just any music.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43971.64

Combating boredom. I have started work on resurfacing the back yard deck. Not a minor task. I did this about 6 years ago but time and the elements have worn it down substantially, so it’s time to get’r done.

The redwood has held up remarkably well considering the house is about 40 years old. The deck was installed about 30 years ago and it, like me, is showing the cracks, wrinkles and overall wear that living in Colorado can do to something. Not finding any rot, not seeing much in the way of loose timber, so mostly, I’ll just scrape and sand until it’s paintable.

Happy thought inventory. Glad to get this latest job started. The old saying, you can’t get finished unless you get started.

Received my new computer keyboard today. I’m typing this on it now, so it’s working fine. Gotta keep the computer at least half way up to date. The new keyboard is backlit, so I can see it when the lights are low. Now me on the other hand, I’m not backlit and not seeing me when the lights are low may be a blessing.

No television news today, well, as a matter of fact, no television at all today. I do much better when I don’t have to see or hear Donald Trump yacking at me from the big-screen.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43972.68

Combating boredom. Work continues on resurfacing the back deck. I’ve been starting early in the day to keep out of the heat. About half way done with preparing the wood. We went to Home Depot to buy additional necessary supplies and with any luck I’ll have the deck refinished by the end of the month, weather permitting.

My lawn watering programmable controller is all out of whack. Today wasn’t supposed to be a watering day but when I got up at dawn this morning, it was running. Well, stupid me. I left an unused program active and it was defaulted to turn on for 10 minutes per zone. Did a hard reset on everything and reprogrammed the darn thing.

I did get the backyard mowed yesterday.

Happy thought inventory. We still have a little cake left in the kitchen, think I’ll gobble up a piece tonight while I’m watching car shows.

No television today. I like leaving the television off, it’s much more peaceful. The only time I turn it on is to catch a car show, and we are about down to nothing but reruns now, so I expect to have even less tv time moving forward.

Enjoying the early evenings on the porch now that the weather is warmer and the plants are greening up.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43973.58

Combating boredom. Still knee deep in refinishing the deck. More scraping and sanding yesterday and this morning. Almost done with zone 1, which is the busiest part of the deck. I’ll tackle zone 2 near the hot-tub, once I’ve finished zone 1. The body is complaining. The arms feel like rubber. The back feels like I’ve been run over by a bus. The mind is drifting towards the shade with a glass of iced tea. Old age is not for wimps.

Happy thought inventory. Dreaming of my deck being finished, imagining not having to scrape and sand and sit in the hot sun. The happiest thought is that this has been good exercise for a fuzzy old man who is overweight. Oh, to be 30 years old again.

Received the new computer keyboard. It’s spiffy. I can change the back-light between blue, red and green. The primary colors. I’m using blue. Easy to see and not obnoxious.

I’ve finally got the lawn sprinklers behaving properly. Ran like a champ this morning while having my coffee. Doobie doesn’t like them, he won’t come outside while they are running. I now have a new trick. If I don’t want him underfoot while I’m working out back, I just fire off the sprinklers.

I’ve given up haircuts and shaving while hunkering down. I would have done that anyway, unless I have a funeral or wedding to attend. I like the fact that I don’t need to impress anyone, particularly those who don’t impress me. Quid pro quo.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43974.25

Combating boredom. Work continues on refinishing the deck, well, sorta. I’m able to get about 3-4 hours of honest work in each day, but it’s quite a job stripping old finish from the wood. I took most of the day off yesterday to allow the body to recover. My butt, knees and back were complaining. It’s all good though, I’m not really in a rush and want to have a nice result. The big consideration at the moment is the weather. It’s been nice and warm, but windy, these past several days and I’ve taken good advantage of that situation. The weather report is predicting rain on Sunday but next week is looking like it’s going to return to warm and sunny. So, I’ll get my time in today and then wait until next week to finish the prep work and start laying down some stain. Need a couple of dry days for that stain to properly dry, so that’s the ticket. Start painting by Tuesday.

Happy thought inventory. Trudy is heading to the cabin next week to open it for the summer. Once we have it powered up and running, I see more cabin time coming, which means I can get outdoors in the wilderness to start my annual moose hunts for photography. The real fun doesn’t start until July, but there are always moose hanging out near the village this time of year, so that’s a good way to get my mind right and start the new photography season. No major projects slated for the cabin this year, as the pandemic is probably going to require we not bring a bunch of strangers and contractors to the place. It’s in pretty good shape as it is, but I know something will come up. It always does.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43975.31

Combating boredom. While working on refinishing the deck, I found my disc sander was not holding sanding discs very well. I couldn’t get more than a minute or two out of any of the discs before they’d fly off into the air like a frisbee. Typical sign of a worn disc backing pad. I looked up the replacement part and it’s available, but by online ordering only as nobody stocks these things. Well, that won’t work, I need the sander now, not two or three weeks from now. I’ll be heading over to Home Depot to see what they have in the way of new sanders. In typical fashion, my sander is a 6 inch Rigid model and now most of what’s on the market are 5 inch models, which sucks as I have a good stock of 6 inch sanding pads of various coarseness. I reckon I’ll have to buy a new stock of pads too. It’s supposed to be rainy today, so that will give me a down day, which I can use.

Before I started the deck refinishing project, I asked one of the local contractors to come by and quote me the the job. Trudy was worried that I’d kill myself doing all that work by myself so she signed off on spending some of our mad money on hiring someone to do it for me. Okay, I’ll gave it a try.

The guy comes by the house one afternoon with his partner/buddy/helper and looks at my deck. “You have Deckover on your deck, that crap is impossible to get rid of. You want to ruin your deck, put Deckover on it.”

He passed on doing the work.

Deckover is a catch phrase for a synthetic deck stain that is not all that different from pickup truck bedliner coating. It’s thick, water repellant and very scratch resistant. It holds it’s color quite well and until it starts peeling or chipping, it’s zero maintenance. A typical application, if done properly, can last up to 5 years. I’ve resurfaced our deck 4 times over the years using different variations of this product.

Great, So I got to thinking. The deck is made of redwood and was built sometime in the mid-80’s. Yep, it’s old. But nothing is rotting and all the boards are intact and everything is still quite sturdy. It’s just old. Almost as old as the house which was built in 1980. The deck was first stained using Deckover way back in the day and here it is over 30 years later and in really good condition. I’ve seen wooden decks that were stained natural and maintained not last 10 years in the Colorado weather. This deck is old as dirt and still looking pretty good from a structural viewpoint. The only problem is that I have to refinish it about every 5 years. Seems to me that Deckover has preserved this thing pretty well, it’s still structurally sound and rot free. The biggest hassle is stripping it down and sanding it before reapplying a fresh coating. I could hire someone to rip out the old deck and build a new one, but I’m not quite prepared to drop $50,000 on it.

I have a mindset that I want to keep our house as it was originally built in 1980. We don’t have a “modern” open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and all the other design queues of alpine architecture that is so common in Colorado today. My house is more a product of the era it was built in, and it’s only going to be original once. I’m not going to rip out walls, and punch holes in the roof for skylights. It’s a simple two-story suburban home with plenty of square footage. When you look around town, there’s been a big expansion of renovations in the Denver area with the old homes from 100 years ago. People have gobbled these old, run down homes up and rebuilt them to look pretty much like they did when they were originally built. The neighborhoods with these old restored homes look very quaint and harken back to the early 1900’s when this was the style of home being built here.

1980 is only 40 years ago, but at some point in time, these old suburban homes built in that era will have the same appeal. I’d argue that that appeal is strong now as our home value as has most of the other homes in our 40 year old neighborhood are going up in value compared to some of the other neighborhoods and homes in the area. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep our home in “as built” condition for this reason. When we die, we’ll probably still be living here and we’ll be able to leave a very nicely maintained home to someone in the family and it will be worth quite a bit more than other homes that have been modified and modernized. Your home is only original once. Gonna keep it that way.

So the deck stays. As long as it’s sturdy, safe and not a rotten pile of timber, it’s going to look the same way it did in 1985 when it was built. The cost of covering it with Deckover is about $500 every 5 years. A pretty low price to pay when you think about it. Oh, but that manual labor is gonna bite my ass, and 5 years from now, I won’t be any younger.

Happy thought inventory. Oh boy. I get to buy a new sander today. One of the many reasons I love my wife is she’s always onboard with buying power tools. she’s as big a geek about it as I am.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43976.74

Combating boredom. The rain yesterday put a halt to the deck work so I goofed off most of the day. Today, different story as the skies have cleared up, at least to scattered puffy clouds, which is a welcome change of pace.

Got several hours of deck flailing accomplished and while flailing, we had a visit from some of a group of pilots. Three show planes circled the area several times. One aircraft was a P-51 Mustang, there was a P-47 Thunderbolt, and there was the thing in today’s photo, which I have no clue what it is. Turns out, that would be the closest plane to me, so I got this shot of it.

Happy thought inventory. Man, I’m zoned in on the deck right now. I like the feeling. Making progress and it won’t be long until I’m wrapping it up.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. I actually did two loads yesterday while goofing off during the rain.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43977.27

Combating boredom. I am hopeful I’ll be able to start laying down some finish on the deck today. Zone 1 has been fairly well scraped, cleaned and sanded with only a few small areas that need additional sanding. The weather report has predicted temperatures in the upper 70’s for the next several days and no signs of rain.

Trudy is preparing to head to Red Feather Lakes to open up the cabin for the summer. Not exactly sure which day she plans on making the drive, probably Wednesday (tomorrow.) This will be a good trip for her, getting her out for a night or two in a safe environment. Social distancing isn’t a problem in Red Feathers as there aren’t a lot of people there to begin with. That will allow her to hunker down while watching the wildlife that comes through the property. I’ll lay back here in Littleton and try to keep mom and the dogs off the wet deck stain.

Happy thought inventory. We’re doing okay with all this social isolation going on. Been able to find just about anything we need. The restaurants are opening up but we don’t go out to eat very often, maybe 4 or 5 times a year at most. Gas prices are fairly low these days, so we aren’t blowing a lot of money on fuel. I could complain but why? Lots of folks have it worse than we do.

Supply status. Trudy is heading to the store sometime today to stock up on supplies for the house and cabin.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Nice and clean.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43978.33

Combating boredom. Factually speaking, I’m not very bored right now. I’ve had to cancel a few photography trips but where I intended to go will still be there in better times and I intend to stay healthy long enough to get back to where I once belonged, and that’s in my truck with a camera bag and plenty of charged batteries. Until then, I have plenty to occupy my time, even if I have to do it with minimal socialization.

I made noticeable progress on the deck yesterday. Managed to get a first coat of new stain on zone 1 of the deck, and it looks quite good (to me.) I’ve moved everything off the deck to the area we call the “fantail” and to the brick portion directly off the back door. Been keeping it fairly clean but I do have a good collection of tools and junk scattered around out there. That’s the way it goes, a project in progress. I won’t be putting anything away until I’ve finished up, otherwise, I’ll never get finished up.

Happy thought inventory. Mid week and the normal routine is in full swing here. I’m generally awake at 5 am, hit the back porch with a hot cup of coffee and listen to the bird chorus. In the evergreen next to the porch is a mating pair of house finches, and it appears that they’ve produced their first brood of chicks. I don’t bother them but the cheeping and tweeting betrays their presence. I’ve read that house finches normally have between 2-5 chicks per brood, sometimes more. I’ve also read that they can have 2 or even 3 broods per season. I think this first brood is about to or have already fledged. Trudy had to rescue one little bird and put it back in the bush before the dogs got to it. Don’t need no bird killings in the yard. The finches trust us and I’d like to keep it that way. The humming bird feeder is making it’s existence known. We’re seeing a half dozen or so different hummers frequent the garden throughout the day and they are to the point where they sometimes come in at the same time and start fighting with one another over the feeder. Humming birds are feisty little things. I haven’t been lurking with the camera much. It’s still on the kitchen table, but unless there is some crazy good activity, it just sits there waiting. I’ll get back in the photography swing once the deck is finished up.

Supply status. Fresh supplies. For the house and the cabin. Good deal. Tonight I’ll be a Nacho Man while I sit in my comfy chair and watch car show reruns.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Nice and clean.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43979.34

Combating boredom. Today is a day off from refinishing the deck. I completed the resurfacing on zone 1 and only a bit of touch up remains. Today, we let it set up and harden, then back to the scraping and sanding.

Looking pretty good for a 30 year old wooden deck I think.

Later today I’ll mow and trim the grass which will help my aura of laidbackness and get me closer to that Martha Stewart living nirvana. Yeah, right!

Trudy is doing her part. She has the cabin in Red Feathers opened and there were no major issues this year. Rare indeed, as normally we have a busted pipe or a family of wombats living in the closet or something. We upgraded the internet at the cabin. For years, we couldn’t even get a cell signal up there, now we’ll have internet speeds in the remote mountain retreat that we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. What better way to get advertising pushed into your face?

Happy thought inventory. Gonna brew some iced tea and sit on the deck today.

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Nice and clean.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43981.29

Combating boredom. I took the day off from writing (and updating the blog) on Friday and more or less did next to nothing on Friday. You didn’t really miss anything, neither did I.

I did a little work on one of the websites I maintain, and got a little training from my nephew. I have rudimentary web/html skills, enough to make me dangerous. My nephew Justin is in another league and without his help, I’d have been chasing my tail on a problem forever. Nothing like realizing you’re so far behind the curve that it’s best you don’t even try to catch up.

Happy thought inventory. Trudy is due back from Red Feather Lakes where she has been hunkering down and cleaning the cabin for this summer’s use. It will be nice to have her home and to have someone to talk to besides two dogs and the mother-in-law. .

Supply status. Looking good.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Nice and clean.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43982.33

Combating boredom. I’ve been fairly lazy the past few days. I’ll get back on the stick this upcoming week as I still have work to do on the backyard deck. Right now, I’m just enjoying the respite and mustering up the energy to want to chisel, scrape, sand and paint.

The birds are in full tilt boogie mode, but I’ve been ignoring them photographically speaking. Our super mutt Fiona kept me up most of the night the other night, whining and pacing around the house while I was trying to get sleep. It seems she had managed to get another rabbit and had stashed the carcass behind one of the lilac bushes. I knew something was up before going to bed when I tried to get her in the house and she was non-responsive. Normally, she would be the first dog to the door. I scanned the yard with a flashlight, thinking she had found something, but I couldn’t find anything. It wasn’t until I let her out the next morning when she made a bee-line straight to the hidden carcass that I figured it out. The bunny was disposed of, the dog vomit was cleaned up and Fiona is back to her usual self. She’s wiped out about half the rabbit population in the yard this year. She’s a hunter. Doobie on the other hand could care less about it.

Happy thought inventory. I’ve decided that the best way to have happy thoughts is to never watch television news. Of course, I’ve been preaching this concept for some time now, but quite honestly, my little world at the moment is fairly relaxed and stress free, minus the discovery of dead rabbits, and I’m quite enjoying the slow pace of life and lack of responsibility for anything other than changing my underwear.

Supply status. I’m thinking a trip to the grocery will be happening soon.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition.

Laundry status. Nice and clean.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.