The Perfect Vision Plague Diaries #19

Notes on the general state of the neighborhood, the family, and the masses in the time of the virus.

Yesterday’s numbers:

  • 3,886 confirmed positive cases (up 198* from yesterday)
  • 258 confirmed deaths (up 14 from yesterday)

14 again? It seems like that number’s come up with suspicious frequency. But I just looked back over things and it only happened once or twice before. There’s been a 5, a 9, an 11, an 8. In other words there’s no need to dust off the tin foil hat just yet. Imagine that – people starting to accuse the government of cooking the numbers. I mean, I’m sure those people are out there already, but they’re like the people who still say “negro.” Alarming in a marginal way, but mostly with the feel of a stationary museum exhibit.

I’m on the porch with my wife right now – a beautiful evening. 7:00pm and looking at this:

Porch Spring

All the bike riding activity happens on the dead end street that’s off to the left of the street sign you can see on the left side of the picture. I can hear the littlest kids yelling and laughing. The light’ll be good for a long time yet.

School started strong this morning, and ended badly. The boy chose story revision for his first task, and it was a big one. He’s enthusiastic but a complete disaster when he really gets going, so it took some serious literary rodeo to corral his stampeding (one-page) novella. After that he just fought me on everything and the day really dragged on. Besides that, I’m tired as hell from a late night and early morning, so I was really looking for one of those neatly greased days that didn’t need much from me. It was not to be.

Later I let the pressure washer earn itself a vacation, scrubbing clean the deck and some very slimy rectangular walkway slabs. There isn’t much as satisfying as watching that jet of water take a few layers of crud off of old stone.

A car just pulled off the road out front and two guys got out to pee in the ivy and ferns. With the weather and the weird plague vibe, a couple of drunks stopping to pee somehow seems fitting, even though Spring break isn’t until next week. I wanted to be bothered by it, but they were definitely more than 6 feet apart, so whatever.

Honestly I’m a little spent for today’s entry. There’s a chance I’ll get up tomorrow in time to add something more meaty. For now, be it known that Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan (Boooo! or yaaaaay! depending on your daily whim) has announced the closure of all of the parks this weekend. I can’t wait to see how many people go anyway, and then read all the angry commenters accusing them of risking all of our lives for their sense of entitlement.  I’m not all-in on believing the closure is necessary, but if it’s what we’re doing, it’s what we’re doing (and no this isn’t me, stupidly and sheepishly agreeing to the removal of another liberty, on the way to looking at the totalitarian state around me and asking “how did we get here”). If you go to the park this weekend you aren’t being rebellious or exercising your individuality and freedom. You’re just being a dick. This isn’t that hard. Unless you’re being abused at home, and the park is one of your only refuges, in which case I really just don’t know what to say.


For reader/commenter Marica (and heck yes, the rest of you, too). There’s no lesson in it, nothing relating to current events. At least not intentionally. Just one of what I’m listening to at this place in the timeline:

We left our shoes under the ground
Tied yellow feathers to our arms
And learned the language of the aching mountain
I went out west to try to build a better version of myself
My iron tools got swallowed up by spirits

Maybe music’ll get regular here.


Your “Homeless in Coronafornia” update for today:

Well, it’s 12 hours later and I don’t have one. These things happen, and frankly I’ve been happy to hear from him pretty much every day for the last few weeks. That’s not exactly the norm. For my own part, I can report a brilliant night’s sleep. I had dreams about being in various long lines. In one I was with my whole family. Underground at a mall or some fun center for families/kids. My dad kept taking advantage of people who weren’t paying attention when the line moved, and cutting in front of them. It embarrassed the hell out of me, and I complained to my mom. But also, he was really making progress. Another part of the dream, or a whole new one, had me in a classic ruck march from the army days – just a long, spread out column of people marching under load. My pack was so heavy that I was staggering at first, but it gradually became easier to bear, until I realized that it had fallen off without my noticing. It was lying near the edge of a pond we were walking past, and when I went to get it I slipped and fell into the water. There were turtles and some of that odd dream stuff that I can’t clearly remember. I was stirring up the mud and it was a jet black cloud in the water. Ink. Maybe Moby Dick’s to blame in some way.

Anyway, great sleep. Out cold by about 9:30, no wake ups until 5:45 AM. That never happens – I’m an awful sleeper. And the coffee was, of course, prepped and ready to go with a push of the button, so Imma go pour that first cup. Enjoy your Friday!

Scrub the mosses, Comrade Citizen!

12 thoughts on “The Perfect Vision Plague Diaries #19”

  1. “… the closure of all of the parks this weekend. ”

    Ah, more pristine campgrounds for the homeless since they are not being hassled in this current malaise.Just imagine all the trash and turds that will accumulate.

    Beach closures next so the homeless can shit in the ocean and work on their tans. Nothing like being among the socially immune.


    1. Interesting note there – plans were in place to use a couple of hotels, notably in Bellevue and I think Kirkland (gasp!) to ease the crowding in homeless shelters. Transportation was planned and everything. Then the West Seattle Bridge closed and anything coming to/from this end of things just got sliced off the end of the loaf. The Fauntleroy YMCA was about to open as free daycare for emergency workers/medical, etc from all around the Seattle area. Bridge closed, plan scrapped. It’s low-grade chaos out here.


  2. I’m partial to these,
    “There is a tree you cannot cut
    He knows your name and all your fears
    You dare not lay an axe to his old branches”

    “Emo and broody” but uplifting in a strange way– must be the beat!


    1. Those are my favorite lines in the song. Thought I’d leave ’em in there for people to find on their own.

      I like for my music to have a little weight to it, and a little madness, I guess. But contained, tidy madness. Because that makes sense.


      1. “Tidy madness.”

        If this were a text exchange, I’d hit the thumbs up button.

        Tidy madness is a real thing, I think. Traces back to Fischer’s landscapes. Local minima & all.

        Cheap Trick’s on offer this evening.


        1. Help! I don’t know Fischer. I googled “Fischer landscape painting” on an assumption, and it turns out there are an awful lot of Fischers who have painted landscapes. Can you point me in the right direction?


          1. Yes I can! But first, I do enjoy blogs like yours & The Perfesser’s. So much stuff about which I know nothing but learn. So I am happy to pay back with Fisher. (Mispelled the first time. Sorry.)

            RA Fisher was a brilliant statistician and secondarily, IMHO, biologist who worked in genetics and evolutionary theory. The gateway popular book to Fisher and his work in biostats and experimental design is, “The Lady Tasting Tea.”

            Well. I see have have made quite a mistake. It was not Fisher. It was Sewell Wright who worked on landscape theory, originally in evolutionary biology but the concept is now far & wide, even in chaos theory.

            The idea is pretty simple. Visualize a landscape– or more accurately, a topology with hills and valley of varying heights and depths. The complicated version describes this space with n dimensions but since it’s hard to visualize that, think 3 or 4 depending on what the subject is. For our purposes, the subject will be Life/Lives. The subject always “wants” to be in a valley because it’s much easier to exist in a valley. It takes far less energy to be in a valley than it does, let’s say, to climb a mountain which takes a lot of energy. The thing is, not all valleys are equal. Some are higher or lower than others. All valleys are “local” minima. But there’s at least one global minima– the lowest possible point of any given whole landscape.

            Some of the Lives are content to stay in their local minima even knowing that lower minima exist (thinking of your bro) because– and here’s the rub– it takes energy to move from one minima to a decidedly different one. There are a lot of hills and mountains to scale.

            You see where I’m going. Tidy madness is the wee bit of disorganization, disruption, random noice that exists in a local minima. It’s not knowing where a notebook is, or a bridge being closed. Tidy madnesses push us to the edge of town and up a knoll but soon enough we slide back down into the same, or a remarkably similar, local minima– “back to normal.” But. Given enough Tidy Madnesses occurring at the same time among a group of Lives… . Just think what happens when the Madnesses are no longer Tidy.

            Anyway– I’ve been thinking about this and your Tidy Madness fit right in. Thanks for letting me prattle on here. Much appreciated. Now that I think about it, since the topic *was* music, I think a lot of the Grateful Dead’s stuff could be understood this way, right? Scarlet Begonias –> Fire on the Mountain.


  3. […] Gerard, commenting on the last post, mentioned the “socially immune.” It reminded me of the army, when the whole “drop and give me 20” thing was called “getting smoked.” Believe me, sometimes those smoke sessions got very creative and lengthy and painful. But one soldier – he was a troublesome Private, disobedient and belligerent. As is the case with so many kids like that, if he respected you he would work his butt off for you and be your best ally in any fight. When I was a forward observer, I loved having him as my RTO in the field. Anyway, he had just been dropped by an NCO for some snide comment or another, and he immediately flopped to the ground like a dead seal. When the NCO asked him, somewhat impolitely, what the hell he was doing, he simply answered, “you can’t smoke a quitter, sergeant.” Truer words… […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s