The PVP Diaries #60

Death seems oddly binary sometimes. You are or you aren’t. There are some or there are none. I don’t think anyone’s paying attention to the body count anymore.

We had guests! Four of my wife’s friends came over last night for a happy hour. It was the official christening of the patio, and they did it right. Lots of snacks and drinks and laughs and normalcy. It was the first time in 3 months that we had a few hours that didn’t feel restricted or confined. Or, as The Boy would say, “detaining.” My God, it was liberating. Except for the notable absence of hugs.

After they all left, we did some cleaning up and settling in, then the two of us headed out for our own bit of quiet time on the patio (we’re still working on a name for it). It’s a peaceful oasis, to be sure. The boy sniffed out the marshmallows that my wife brought out (no s’mores, just the marshmallows), so he floated out and took up his usual position:

We’re in the city, and our neighbors’ houses are stacked close by, but there are a lot of large cedars and maples, as well as some rather lush landscaping that allows us to feel distant and alone when we’re out there.

My iphone and my Surface laptop have stopped shaking hands on photos. I have the icloud app on the laptop, and until a few days ago there were no problems. All the pictures I took on the iphone were automatically sent to the photos app on the laptop. It’s a surprisingly significant inconvenience to have that relationship broken up. Now I have to email pics to myself from the phone, then save, upload, etc. I need to get this hammered out today.

Speaking of pics, here’s the boy’s finished owl pellet project. We pulled together as much of the vole skeleton as the pellet and our patience allowed, then emailed the picture to his science teacher. One more school box officially checked:

He is the only kid left on the block who is still in school. You can imagine this causes some consternation. But I’m taking these last few days pretty lightly, and as is normal, he’s complaining about his detention while actually enjoying an enormously greater amount of free time than he should be allowed right now. I love kids.

We are going on vacation! We’ll be spending 4 or 5 days around the 4th of July in Sandpoint, Idaho. My wife still has a great deal of concern over the Coronavirus, being a natural germophobe, and was reluctant to give this trip the go-ahead. But a couple of her friends that came for happy hour last night have already taken some similar trips with their families, and they did me a great service by reassuring her that it is all very possible to do in a clean and healthy way. I could see her, quite visibly, getting more comfortable with the idea, and last night over roasted marshmallows she started asking me my thoughts on rental houses vs resort lodgings. This morning it is a done deal. My God how we need this.

It’ll be a 5-6 hour drive, but I haven’t had a good road trip in years, so I’m excited. The kids have always done well in the car. We’re meeting friends there – they have twin boys around our son’s age. We really, really like these people. This is going to be fantastic.

Slinging a few episodes of the Plague Diaries from lakeside in Idaho will be a nice change.

Freedom is the fearkiller, Comrade Citizen!

3 thoughts on “The PVP Diaries #60”

  1. Exceptional! On all counts including the vole skeleton. Most impressive. Any idea where the pellet came from? I should say where the owl pellet was found? Curious as to what species of vole it may have been.

    Fun story to pass a long to The Boy. Several species of voles (*Microtus*) are monogamous– mate for life, dad helps bring up the youngins, when one partner dies, the other (I am not making this up) becomes depressed (i.e., brain chemistry changes). Anyway– these pair-boned voles were discovered by a little boy in Illinois, who noticed when he was playing in and around the haystacks on his farm that sometimes when he disturbed a nest he’d find the mom and her pups (babies and little ones), sometimes mom & dad and pups. After a stint in the Air Force during the Korean War— if memory serves he was a fighter pilot– he went on to become a mammalian ecologist. He set to work testing his thoughts that one of the two species was in fact monogamous.

    At this point I won’t bore your son with the details but the original experiments were elegant.

    You may recall some years ago that there was considerable attention even in popular media to the peptide hormone, oxytocin and how it affects behavior in males as well as females. For example, I’ll bet your son was pumping out the oxytocin as he was sitting with his mom. (It was good work, too, until that jerk Insel got a hold of it, but that’s a different story.) It was the little boy, Lowell Getz, playing in the haystacks and being observant that got all of that, and more, started.

    The End


    1. Your comments are an education, Marica. Don’t ever stop.

      This particular one was sent to spam because it had a link, but hopefully that won’t happen in the future.

      What Lowell wants…


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