Somewhere Gabriel Garcia Márquez is wishing people would actually read his book Love in the Time of Cholera rather than just making up riffs on its name for blog titles.
That said, dibs on One Hundred Years of Solitude.
To be honest, the fact that people are brushing off their old blogs is one of the better things coming out of all of this. Just yesterday (or was it the day before?) I saw that George “Loki” Williams (briefly of Cincinnati, now and forever in New Orleans) fired up his old blog. If you ever had one (or even if you didn’t) get off that book of faces or the tweet machine and give it a try. It’s therapeutic. Or maybe add it in to your mix. There are lots of people I know who I’d read in a heartbeat. That’s a hint, if not a flat-out request. You have the time. By and large, we all have the time.
So I made biscuits this morning. It’s the second time in a couple of days. Carla made up a huge batch of sausage gravy the other day (in no way a bad thing) and after finishing off the last batch I realized we had enough gravy left for another round. What’s notable about these (and why they rated a picture) is that these are the first biscuits I’ve made using something other than White Lily Self-Rising Flour in quite some time. Any of you who bake know that flour is one of those things that’s pretty hard to find right now. The last batch exhausted the last of the White Lily I had, so this batch is using the venerable King Arthur All-Purpose and adding the baking powder myself. I’m very pleased with the results. The texture is a little different owing to the higher protein, but they rose well and were in no way tough. Grating frozen butter into the flour and worked the dough as little as possible did the trick. The next “test” will be some of my cinnamon biscuits. Twice as much butter and 1/4 cup of cinnamon chips. They could probably be classified as scones (since there’s not that much difference between a British scone and an American biscuit anyway. No egg. That’s about it, as best I can tell).
The other thing I’m doing through all of this is coding what I’m informally calling the Events Engine for Hoperatives.com. It’s essentially going to be an interactive calendar for beer events around Cincinnati (and eventually elsewhere). I don’t want to go into too much detail because, quite frankly, talking about it can get tedious pretty quickly. Here’s the proof.
I’ve been working on it for a very long time (essentially full-time since Christmas), but the ball is rolling now. My programming skills had become very rusty over the years and an awful lot has changed since the last time I’d done anything seriously. It’s been as much an exercise in learning two programming frameworks (Laravel and Vue for those scoring at home) as well as trying to make something usable for all concerned.
I recognize the irony of putting a lot of effort into a way to advertise and track the exact kinds of public activities that none of us have any business doing right now. If there’s any gift I have, it’s timing. There’s a reason I like to say that the purpose of my life is to serve as a cautionary tale to others. It occurred to me the other day, though, that there may be some real use for this during this time. Breweries are, for the most part, still making beer (thank the deity of your choice). Buying it can be a bit of a challenge, though. It’s not worth going into a bunch of details here, but I think I’ll be able to roll it out here in a couple of weeks in a limited way so breweries can advertise when and how they’re doing sales. It’s something that changes frequently, so the ability to update it quickly and forget it could be handy. It’s given me a second wind, if nothing else.
The purpose of all of this, of course, is to distract myself from the horror that’s coming:
100,000 deaths. Or more. The next month is going to be more awful than anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. The world is already different. After this there will be no going back. No one will be untouched. Someone I know and love is probably going to die very soon. Maybe more than one someone. And I won’t be unique in that. I’m hunkering down and I hope you are too, but I know everyone can’t.
Get some perspective on what 100,000 people means. Fill up the Rose Bowl. Then kill everyone. You still haven’t hit 100,000 (you’re about 7,500 short). You can go over by about the same amount by killing everyone in either Neyland Stadium in Knoxville or Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Given the shitty job their state governments are doing, they may not even have to leave their respective states to get that done.
(Never let it be said that I ever pass up a chance to point out how profoundly stupid Kentucky can be, but folks here — and I sincerely mean across the entire political spectrum — have stepped the hell up. Except Thomas Massie, Rand Paul, and the Turtle That Grifted, of course. They’re eternal asshats).
That orange motherfucker in the White House is currently keeping himself half-erect by calling himself a “Wartime President.” Here’s a clue Skippy: when your completely fucked-up response to an avoidable crisis gets nearly as many Americans killed as were killed by combat in World War I, you lost the fucking war.
Yeah. I’m angry. I’m always angry.
Wash your hands. Stay inside. Stay alive. That’s your job.
Let me know if I can help. That’s mine.