Bob’s Your Cat

I’ve learned to keep my iPhone with me at all times, and not just because Donna gets upset when I don’t answer her calls. Twenty minutes ago I heard Mr. B frantically barking at the other end of the house and pulled it out of my pocket in time to snap images of the neighborhood bobcat stopping at the tree outside our home office window.

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Sorry, dude, I moved the bird feeder to another location months ago. If you visited more often you’d have known that.

I thought about dropping by Costco Saturday morning to see how many shoppers have stopped wearing masks, but since Donna was going anyway I asked her to be my eyes and ears. She said everyone, employees and customers alike, was still masking up. This was one day after Costco and other major retailers announced the end of mask requirements for vaccinated shoppers, with no requirement for customers to prove they’ve been vaccinated.

We’re supposed to rely on the honor system when it comes to unmasking. Or, in the words of a prominent doctor interviewed by CNN,

“Now, we’re asked to trust other adults in a situation where there’s every reason not to trust a lot of people right now because there’s so much denialism out there. There’s so many people who don’t wear masks, who don’t get vaccinated.”

If I had to guess, I’d say the masked shoppers and employees Donna saw at Costco yesterday aren’t ready to trust their fellow humans. From the article I linked to above:

“The CDC went from 0 to 100 overnight,” emergency physician and CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen told CNN Saturday. While Wen agrees with the approach of letting fully vaccinated Americans return to normal, she said there should be some kind of verification process in place for that to work.

“The CDC is relying on the honor code, and we’re seeing that the honor code is already not working,” Wen said. “There are already many states and businesses that are essentially just taking their guidance and saying ‘that means that mask mandates and distancing all needs to end.'”

And what that means: “We’ve just made life so much less safe for those who are not vaccinated and for those who are immuno-compromised and may not get the full benefit of the vaccines,” Wen said.

Trust but verify. Didn’t Saint Ronnie say that? You’d think that’d carry some weight with the denialists and anti-vaxxers.

Well. Trusting strangers is one thing; trusting friends is another. I trust my friends. Shortly after Donna came home from Costco, I hosted the monthly Tucson Book Hounds meeting at our house. This is the first time I’ve seen these friends in 15 months. Seven members came over, making eight of us in the living room, all vaccinated, all unmasked. One of our members just had a child and had she been there we would have worn masks, but since she couldn’t come we didn’t have to. So great to see friends again, face to face!

Four other book club members attended by Zoom. I tried to set up Donna’s old Dell laptop in the living room to serve as a Zoom portal. It turned out to be infected with malware (funny, it was working fine the last time Donna used it, about two months ago). Fortunately, Donna also has a Mac laptop and I was able to get it connected just as the first guests arrived. Two of them also brought laptops, so we had three Zoom portals at different locations in the living room, allowing the remote attendees to see all of us who were there in person.

But why am I bragging about that? We’re all Zoom experts these days, no?

As far as the infected Dell laptop goes, I’d just as soon take out the hard drive, smash it with a hammer, and throw the whole works in the trash, but Donna uses a PC-based embroidery digitizing program on that laptop (there isn’t a Mac version she could switch to), so I guess we’ll have to figure out how to disinfect the damn thing.

We had company last week: Donna’s cousin Denise and her friend Rulinda from Sacramento. I was on deck to cook Friday night and Donna had taken a flank steak out of the freezer to thaw. I asked her to pick up some corn on the cob to grill with it. It crossed my mind that we haven’t grilled artichokes in ages and that they’d go well with the steak and corn, but didn’t mention it. A little while later, Donna came home from the store with corn. And artichokes.

Saturday morning, when Donna made the Costco run I mentioned earlier, I stayed home, surfing Facebook and Instagram. I saw an ad for a floating solar-powered water sprinkler and thought how nice it would be to set up a birth bath out front. Donna came home with one.

After 55-plus years together, we’re finishing one another’s thoughts. I guess it’s not surprising, but is it a good thing? I honestly don’t know. I woke up this morning thinking waffles might be good for breakfast. Was it just coincidence Donna had the same thought? I’d better be careful about what I think!

Anyway, the artichokes were a hit. We devoured ours, as did Denise and Rulinda. I’ve already ordered the stand and basin for that bird bath. And the waffles we had this morning were just the thing for a bobcat viewing party.

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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