Posted by on March 26, 2020

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Naw, just kidding, I’m not really installing a bidet, thought the thought did cross my mind yesterday as I passed the paper products aisle at the local Publix.

I guess I should have picked up that last bag of Mesquite charcoal briquettes…

But seriously, if we were all living in tiny houses, I’m sure there would still be toilet paper on the shelves, since there would be no extra space to hoard all that fluffed up paper, I guess, unless tiny house people are starting to build tiny outdoor storage sheds for just such occasions.

I kid about this stuff, but we take this Covid 19 illness quite seriously and thankfully I found two boxes of surgical gloves in our shed (from various projects) and I’ve been wearing them whenever I head out to the public spaces, like Publix, AutoZone, and George’s Music, yesterday’s outing.

The Publix parking lot was about 3/4ths full yesterday, but inside the store it did not seem crowded and there was plenty of room to socially distance oneself. I was the only person at the deli counter, and I went down more than one row completely by myself. Other than the paper aisle, the bread aisle was a bit sparse, however, Pepperidge Farms must have seen this coming and be paying their drivers extra to keep the shelves stocked – thank you PF. Unfortunately, the folks at Scott paper products either have not, or just don’t have enough drivers to supply all our butts.

The AutoZone parking lot was much less crowded and there were more employees in the shop than customers, so I got great assistance for the one thing I needed; CHF 202 power steering fluid, not for my power steering, but to top off the leaking power convertible top system in our 2004 GM/Saab 9-3. Thankfully, I’ve topped up the reservoir enough to have the routine down so that when the time comes, it’s usually just a matter of finding the fluid, but the last time the top acted up, or down as it were, was when we still lived in Greensboro, and all the chemicals I had there went to the hazardous waste drop-off site, before we left that glorious town.

I got out the GM/Saab (fourth day here in Florida) because it still has valid Virginia plates, or plate, on it. Since we were living in North Carolina, I never put the front VA plate on the car. (VA/NC very closely related and a longer story than today’s blog…) Our Alfa Romeo “SUV”, the one we drove down with the dogs, has New Jersey plates on it, and the Governor of Florida has spread the word – hate the Northerners; seems like old times. Not that we’ve been running around northern Florida spraying sputum like a firehose, but there is a lot of confusion here about what to do to guard against coming in contact with the SARS CoV2 virus, and not everyone is behaving well, though some have figured it out.

Like George’s Music shop: they are open with locked doors. George’s is a really great place for rock and roll type bands; stringed instruments of all types, drums, keyboards, etc…, and a place where beach musicians hang out during the day, when they’re not too inebriated to manage a social life – again, just kidding. The musicians at our beaches are top notch and great entertainers. And George’s is a cool place to hang out, but for now that is not happening – if you need something, they are there for you, like for me and needing a six pack of ERNIE BALL Earthwood Extra Light bronze alloy acoustic guitar strings for my carbon fiber Cargo 3/4 size acoustic guitar; probably the best sounding small fully acoustic guitar ever built for the price. I do not remember the last time I put new strings on it, but yesterday while I was picking a John Prine tune or two on the front porch, I realized that the sun, hiding behind clouds, was much brighter than the sounds my 5 year old strings were producing, and it hit me hard, so I called…

The front store guy at George’s picked up on the first ring, and told me that yes, they were open till 6, but the doors are locked, and as long as I needed something, they’d unlock them for me – “can you get here by 6:00?” “Sure,” I said, “after I stop by the Art of the Cigar…”, since I’d already fixed the Saab’s convertible top and could enjoy my once a month cigar as I cruised A1A down to the south end of the beaches, which I did. And that fine young fellow at George’s was 100% true to his word, and let me in to get those strings and in salutation remembered and said, “enjoy that cigar!” I did.

And that was the day of outings, the first time in public since Sunday when we had to get groceries. We don’t call riding our bikes in the afternoon as being in public, since we go, return, and don’t spew sputum across the paths of other bikers and runners as we ride on 1st Street, or Midway, the alley that separates beach front homes from all others in Neptune Beach. Those of us that live a block off the beach never really envied the beach front peeps, till now – you don’t miss your water…

Stay safe and sound… gotta go string my guitar.

Music by: Razbaque Dirge, “Dance of the Planets” presented as recorded under CC license.

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