Mental Lint

Somehow I seem to have sprained my wrist. It occurred when we were shoving furniture around the other day, waiting for the flooring guy to come and do his flooring thing. This exemplifies one of the more annoying things about being this age and that is that one bruises quicker and heals slower. Being aware of this tends to make one cautious, often more than is necessary. There are days when I must exert some little effort to avoid regarding myself as a fragile flower suited to only the quietest and safest of activities.

Not that I was ever really the daredevil type. I would look at friends who had skied very fast down places where there were signs that said Danger and wonder if I should feel sorry for them, sitting there in the wheelchair with their long-leg casts. Usually I would decide that I would feel sorry that it itched inside the cast, but the broken femur was their problem. For that part they would have to make do with self-pity since I was offering so little of it.

But, you say, you drove motorcycles for all those years. Wasn’t that a risky business? My answer is that it was, but that I wasn’t worried because I never assumed that I would survive a highway crash on those things. When you are piloting a motorcycle, the world is filled with automobile drivers who seem dead set on wiping you from the face of the planet. Either they don’t see you at all, or they do and resent that you are having so much more fun than they are.

Anyway, my wrist hurts today, and probably will for a while. Goes with the territory.


From The New Yorker


I have read everything there is to read about Covid-19 that has been published up until last evening, and have come to these conclusions as the result of my extensive research.

  • I should either go out more or stay at home.
  • I should wear a mask when I am at home or indoors elsewhere, but not when I am outdoors at the park, unless that makes me feel uneasy in which case I should never take my mask off.
  • My immunizations will protect me against infection, but not completely, so I shouldn’t count on them. Or I should, but not too much.
  • Schools should be opened up but students should not be allowed to attend.
  • Tucker Carlson is an idiot and should banished to Elba, where he must wear an ankle bracelet and be barred from using electricity.
  • Instead of reading all this stuff, I would have been better off spending the time binge-watching all of the episodes of Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. This would produce a gelatinous mental state comparable to having had five big-time concussions in rapid succession and I wouldn’t care one solitary fig about Covid at all. Or much else, for that matter.


From the Web


There was an article in Saturday’s NYTimes about hanging your clothing to dry rather than jamming them into the dryer, that cube-shaped energy hog that we have in our laundry room. Once again, Robin is ahead of the curve. She hang-dries most of our clothing, and has been doing so for decades.

Most of the time it was on one of those steel folding racks, and the racks were placed indoors wherever they were least inconvenient, to cut down on painful toe-stubbings and awkward bumps in the night. In pleasant weather they would migrate to the outside of our home, and our wardrobe would be out there in the sunshine for airing and public comment. A recurring problem was that it didn’t take much of a breeze to blow these racks over, they being tall and slim and all.

So finally, after years and years of dragging my feet and nodding “Yes, yes, I’ll get to it any day now” I finally put up a hard-copy clothesline. One that couldn’t be folded up and stored behind a bedroom door. It looks like this, and has been working out quite well, mostly because Robin believes in it.

Not only does it save enormous amounts of energy, but when I occasionally help her hang our things out on a glorious spring day, she will share memories of her own mother doing this year after year and season after season. The process isn’t perfect, of course, because even though you would never ever hang your clothes out in a rain shower, occasionally they do come along before the garments are dry and there you are frantically snatching them off the line and going back to the folder-uppers.

I have my own memories of my mom’s love-hate relationship with clotheslines. Not having a dryer as backup, as we do today, mom would put the clothes out on cold winter days, only to harvest them as frozen oddities a few hours later. And there were times when a harsh wind would rip the lines from their moorings, and down would go everything onto the lawn … everything most often requiring repeat washing.

Of course, Mom was a pre-boomer. Energy supplies were seemingly inexhaustible, Al Gore and global warming hadn’t been born yet, and most importantly of all, she couldn’t afford the alternatives. So fixed clotheslines were it for my family of origin.

It’s not been a bad tradition to revive, actually. Our carbon toe-print is slightly smaller as a result and it allows me to feel sooo self-righteous and superior … you wouldn’t believe how much hubris you can get for so little in this way.


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