Day 0: Virus

Today was my first day getting ready to work from home and living more inside than out. The Shoe Company has asked us to work from home when we can until April. Also, today, our church was closed. From what I have seen, everything is closing or moving to restricted schedules. I talked to the church folks, and maybe some kind of electronic solution may be found to have church service or at least to connect up. For those who need a church song, the Methodist Anthem: 1000 Tongues. This is the best version I found.

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(The sign at our church)

I was surprised yesterday when my Saturday night trip to Portland to play boardgames was quick. No traffic at all. Beaverton, usually humming on Saturday night with traffic, was not busy. The roadways on my trip home after midnight were shockingly empty of cars. Actually, traffic was so light that we missed our turn and traveled the wrong way on a one-way street in Portland–nobody was on the road, and there is no sign! I then took a wrong way U-turn to get a place to drop off my fellow gamer (I having a car often play Uber for them–no charge). Why not?

Preparing dinner today, my previous load of groceries included two corned-beef briskets. I did not know their size, so I ordered two. They are huge. So we had a boiled dinner today to get in early on St. Patrick’s Day. I started early boiling the brisket. After about four hours, I then use the water to boil potatoes and carrots and bake the brisket. had no red potatoes, so I bought some when I was in Portland a bit early for the game at Zupon’s. They had plenty. Shortages, I believe, will be a bit random.


(no TP!)

Today I prepared my order for Safeway after starting to boil the corned beef. I have purchased groceries online for two weeks. It runs about ten bucks fee plus I give the drivers a 5 buck tip. Susie has a reduced immune system, so I thought it better to get the groceries delivered with minimal handling. Today I discovered that I could get delivery next weekend at best. Well, it was good while it lasted! I got into my Volvo and drove. The Safeway, five minutes away, had little bread, no toilet paper, and plenty of coffee. Very PNW! Other items here and there were out. Dried beans, for example, could not be purchased. Oddly, canned beans were plentiful. Realizing that I could not expect this to get better, I loaded up the cart and bought what may be the end of the no-fat milk supply, two half gallons.

There are no bananas. Corwin and his friend made banana daiquiris–possibly drinking the last banana! I was humming “The Last Banana in Paradise” after a Parrot-Head song: Cheese Burger in Paradise while shopping. Everyone at Safeway, customers and the staff, was friendly and looked a bit worried, and some folks looked like they had never been shopping before. 

The deli counter was happy to keep the social distance high. The butcher was pleased to come out and find some good steaks for me. We agreed that New York Strips marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled was a good idea. I thanked all the Safeway staff I saw for being there. They said they were happy to help us. Here is the PNW we are used to floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and now viruses. We are always polite and happy to see each other. One older man was wearing a mask.

I have dried milk and a quart of pre-beaten eggs, just in case.


(Oddly, Safeway brand 5-seed bread is one of the loaves they still had in stock–which is Susie’s fav)


(Plenty of coffee)

I have Baby-wipes if our week supply, previously delivered, of toilet paper runs out. I have bleach if we need to make our own cleaning supplies. I made Michigan Chili (Mid-West styled chili with beans and very little spice and stewed tomatoes) on Saturday afternoon, and there is chili left, as I planned, for Monday.

Today I baked some scones. My order of a case of scones mixes from King Arthur Flour came in on Saturday. We have Cinnamon Pecan now–I have to cut in 1/2 stick of butter and some milk and an egg for each mix. My friends asked me online if I had enough jam? I have now ordered that online. Soon we will be safe from a being awash in baked good, but without jam! I have some limited supply of jam that should last us.

Here is my inventory picture. Corwin was concerned that my displaying this picture, we would attract raiders. With the deficit of jam, at this time, I believe we are safe.


I have important gaming items ready. The website Roll20, a site to play Dungeons and Dragons and Call of Cthulhu role-playing games (RPG), is advertising itself as a way to safely play games. I have my regular Roll20 twenty game this Monday. We did not know we were leading the way!

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I just started on Call of Cthulhu and bought the content for the RPG. Players get it free if I buy it. So looks like we will be playing some CoC as it is known. So we are ready for RPGs too for the start of lock-down. Anyone for an RPG?

Turning to the sad, more than four hundred people passed today from the virus according to the news. This includes one death here in Oregon. We will remember them with a song: Lift Every Voice.

We will be here until April, at least. See you again soon, online.





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