May 8, 2020

Last Saturday morning we did our usual new normal, taking our time getting out of bed, dicking around on our phones and hanging out with Dash the dog who jumped up on the bed with Sailor the dog still passed out in the other room until those early morning hours passed where a couple months ago I’d zoom off for the coffee and breakfast then hit the feed store for dog stuff, or go to the hardware store for house repairs, or go to the swap meets and estate sales, or take stuff to the dump, or take the boys up the hill to hike around.. there are a lot of things I’m not doing these days.

And zooming has an enhanced meaning it didn’t have before.

Laying in bed I checked East Bay Nursery’s website and saw they were open Saturday, limited hours. Bird yes? Yes!

We did need basil in the garden. So after the usual masks, multiple pairs of gloves, bandanna and eye wear and after washing the yellow acacia pollen off Jenny’s black Kia, I made my way to Berkeley to see what they had to offer.

The freeway is 75 MPH to keep from being mowed into by 85 MPH folks. San Pablo Avenue was relatively still but there were a few people on bikes and walking around. The breakfast places were all closed as far as I could tell however the 7–11 in Emeryville was still hopping.

I got a space in front of EB Nursery when I spotted a dude who was moving unusually expeditiously loading little trees into his Prius. I’d never seen that before. A person who knew I was waiting with my blinker on to take his space, giving me the nod a couple times, letting me know he was working to give me his space. Odd that. I gave him a thumbs up as he finally got into the drivers seat and waved goodbye so I could pull in.

I walked around the front to find out where the entrance was because the usual points of entry had COVID no entry signs on them. Turned out there was one entrance, only ten people allowed in at a time and the line was people waiting six feet apart that stretched through the parking lot and down the side street. I wanted basil. Jenny wanted basil. I didn’t have any basil seeds, so no basil at the Birdsnest family. I got in line. Because Basil. and because why not, I’ve got the mask and all the other shit to keep COVID off me.

I hung out waiting 35 minutes in the wonderful beautiful sun texting with Bird and sending her pictures of the line, and texting with my brother in law who was sharing his particular YouTube experts on what’s really going on with all this NWO and real intent, taking pictures of the plants growing just off the sidewalk where I waited. Nice hearty plants. I assume if you live next to a nursery you’re going to have some pretty cool plants in your yard. Now long lines of us can appreciate them.

Note to reopen now snowflake conniption “Patriots”, when California reopens there will be lines because … health crisis.. and you all will cry about the health rules and “This Mask is a Mind Control Device” and you will eventually become infected and if you don’t die, someone you infect might. The Spanish Flu is my guide to all this. A return to normal without health contingency will result in the very same people who are screaming for their freedom right now dying in the second wave. And they’ll be suing open businesses where they got sick, out of existence by lawyers who advertise between Fox News segments.

It took 35 minutes to get to the entrance of the nursery where you stand behind the floor 6 foot marker and wait to be summoned for entry. A cart arrives and the staff washes it with a spray bottle. There are masks all around, you aren’t getting in if you aren’t wearing a mask, like some Medical themed Halloween Party. Then when your time comes it’s a small moment of triumph to take the cart and go into the nursery where maybe 10 other people are going up and down the aisles marked, NO MORE THAN TWO AT A TIME, and you can develop a short moment of shade from panic buying to try to keep your shit together with the mask and gloves and will this be the lat time you make it here, and just get what is reasonable — even it if isn’t reasonable. Good people in that position think, I can share that plant or set of twenty seed packets I got with someone else. If you have the cash. A lot of people don’t right now.

I found everything I was looking for, and the staff dude brought the six bags of soil I bought to my car and we took turns putting bags in the back of the Kia.

Earlier last week we Zoomed with Jenny’s family and our niece is turning 21 this weekend. We were going to celebrate with her at a bar in LA after Jennybird’s show. Lily said yea, its not going to be memorable at all, this turning 21, but I said hey, you’re turning 21 during a global pandemic. what’s more memorable than that? The family ended up partying late into the night on zoom in the back yard long after I took myself to bed.

Sirius XM has brought back the Christmas Channel because “We all need a little comfort right now’ so it’s Christmas in May for me right now between all the other channels of Apple Music and Twitch and friends DJing live. Apple Music, free for three months, — have to remember to cancel that — has put me on a path to listening to all the albums from my youth. I feel so fortunate to be one of the people who still have a job because I was already working from home and carrying on over the internets. And the Bird is almost at a place where her show might hang in a gallery in Los Angeles not too far past her opening date.

They’re calling the weight some of us are gaining during Shelter in Place the COVID-15.

This week’s troll containment initiative during the California Governor briefings trying to neuter intellectually inside the muck of comment sections the anti-vax, shared sacrifice is tyranny, Operation Gridlock “protestor”, don’t wear a mask, herd immunity, Bill Gates and Newsom are working to implement socialism trolls included comments from myself such as: “Shelter in Place rules being relaxed doesn’t mean COVID is gone. It just means there are enough hospital beds for you and those you infect.” “The Governor has been concerned about small businesses from the beginning. The Health priorities come first, now that we’ve followed those, businesses can start reopening. Had we not done this, deaths would be exponentially higher and small businesses would have zero hope of doing well. Conspiracy theories aren’t real, they only serve to make you feel safer. Science is leading us.” and to the trolls who wrote Newscum wants to use “TRAICING” sic to track us and take away our civli liberties, after explaining that contact tracing already exists for contagious diseases, “If you wear a mask, socially distance and don’t get infected, you won’t get a visit from the contact tracers.”

My lunch hour adrenaline rush. But I’ve got people now who appreciate the push back. Anything to calm people down and not let the trolls overwhelm the good people of California and destroy our progress.

Here’s a great article about what’s going on in social media right now. If you aren’t an idiot, you should read it.

Cognitive Bias is a thing. It’s how advertisers sell you everything. It is your mind trying to always be in a place of control to remain comfortable or find the easiest way around difficult or boring challenges in our path and your mind does this without you realizing what it’s doing. That is why we are so malleable when we don’t understand just how baked in our yearning for some kind of control and stability over our little trot on this planet is. This bias has many mechanisms to help you think you’ve found the right way through. Think “Jumping on the Bandwagon”.. that’s one of them. It is a beautiful little vulnerability built into our brains that we all share but it can be easily exploited. And oh boy is it exploited.

Want to be a good parent? Buy this and your kids will totally be the best ever. Want to feel successful? Buy this thing and other people will be in awe. Want to feel like you’re spiritual and you know exactly what happens when your corporeal shell expires? Here’s a religion for you. Feeling a little long in the tooth and afraid? Oh my do we have all the cures for that. Feeling a little insecure? Buy this.

Want a non scientific reality where the randomness of a deadly virus has been introduced into the human realm and is wreaking havoc on your somewhat comfortable existence and rather than follow science, you want an escape? We’ve got some conspiracy theories to make it all digestible and easy to direct your fear onto anything other than the science and the realization that we are just bugs susceptible to mass extinction just like all other living things on the planet. Hold onto these bits of made up shit. It’ll make the fear easier to deal with. And please, once you believe, spread it like, well… a virus. Make it go viral, if you will. The more hosts the better.

Saturday night I convinced Jenny to let me go and get us sushi at the place in the Dimond, Nama. I know John, the guy who owns Nama and I want to give him cash for sushi. It’s a good deal and we’ve been doing it for years. John’s a good guy. Don’t want him going out of business and it’d been seven weeks.

I went into Farmer Joe’s first to get saki and cheese. Every grocery store visit is an ordeal now. The lines in, the lines to the cash register, the marveling at bare sections of shelves. Then I went to Nama and called John through the window and placed my order. after some chit chat and questions about how he’s doing. He’s open 3–4 hours a day now and he told me they’re doing ok actually. No restaurant inside to clean, no wait staff.. just him and the sushi chef. And there was a line, more customers than I ever saw at Nama on a Saturday night. A grubHub driver sat smoking cigarettes in his car talking on his phone. After I ordered the OPD ghetto bird circled over the block. Some masked guy walked up, ordered and told me there was a drive by up Lincoln.

There’s something about this pandemic that’s making me notice the things above, the moon, stars and planets, planes spewing contrails coming from the airport, low flying crows and pigeons.. the OPD and PG&E helicopters omnipresent over the city these days.

We stood there watching the helicopter circling overhead, then OPD SUVs with sirens squawking pulled off 580 and headed towards Lincoln. The Chinese restaurant I’d usually go to get my 10$ special when getting Bird her sushi across the street was closed and the moon was rising as the sun set. The usual homeless guys were nowhere to be seen and masked patrons shuffled out of Farmer Joe’s to Purell and shed their PPE once they got into their cars. The bars were closed. No one walked along Fruitvale and ambulances pulled off 580 driving towards Lincoln. The guy standing six feet away who told me about the drive by said through his white and blue mask, “funny.. the cops usually don’t show up before the ambulances.”

Yea it’s all weird right now.

John came to the window and gave me my bags of sushi and ramen. I bid him a hearty good night and drove home. Bird and I had a fine sushi meal at home out back. Best sushi meal in a long time.

Silvia Stephenson
Except today is Saturday. 🤣

John Mosbaugh
Last Saturday 🙂 you of all people know how long it takes me to get things online. Tomorrow and Sunday Timeline boss 🙂

John Mosbaugh
been a busy week out here.

Jason Bellenger
Elsewhere in the world there are people who trust the guidance being offered by the leaders they’ve elected, and so far their prospects are looking more hopeful than America’s.
Maybe Americans have been being nurtured into idiocy methodically and mechanically over half a century (see Nixon/Ailes, Reagan/Murdoch, Gingrich) in the ancient Greek sense of the word? A sustained, long term applied pressure to divide and conquer, and thereby continue or expand subjegation by exploitative moneyed interests.
Aw heck, sorry about the rant John but I’ll let it stand.
How Freedom Became Free-dumb in America

John Mosbaugh
OMG America is so screwed right now. A majority of us know it. We just need to vote in November to try and right our ship.

John Mosbaugh
But I’ll add to this that absent of any coherent federal leadership, states are stepping up and forming coalitions to deal with this in the absence of anything other than the dictator wannabee jackass blathering and incompetence on the federal level.

Jason Bellenger
Here’s hoping every single American gets to vote by mail this cycle, and that the world’s cleverest mathematicians come up with a provably tamper-proof way to secure online voting for the next round.

John Mosbaugh
This is our moment to defeat fascism. I really hope we can do it. For our sake and for the world.

Lainie Monsef
The price we’ve paid for the 10 weeks of doing nothing (thanks moron-in-chief) must be continually pounded into the all thick heads out there. Praying that the Biden campaign will do that.

Cory Mervis
I love your writing. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into your day and mind. Xoxo to u and Bird.

Trudi Howe
Your writing (posts) are always so interesting and fabulous. Truth be told I did not get through the whole thing (I will later) .. but The beginning reminds me of my dad!! 💕 Thanks for that! He was a work aholic by the way! 🤣 I REALLY wish I would have inherited that trait!!!!

Josh Keppel
I love these so much!!!

Isabel Samaras
This is such a great record John, it’s a personal view of a collective experience ❤️

Fred Rinne
Jesus! I just saw an article on “resistance” to state gov oppression from the Placer County Bd ofSupervisors (one of the lower IQ govt entities) saying “Open Up/get out of our way” this is NOT an emergency”- sitting ducks for a damn virus.

Gabrielle Kuzsel
Yay that Nama is hanging in there! I want sushi now…

Danielle Fay
Can you write science fiction please 🙂



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