Sunday, May 31 2020
We'd left the Subaru at the bus turnaround overnight thinking its presence might deter the ammosexuals today. But in the early afternoon, the shooting resumed. So I grabbed the megaphone and went down the Gullies Trail to a spot on the escarpment above (but northwest of) the bus turnaround and did more of the heckling I'd done in the past, though exercising vocal restraint so as to allow my voice to recover. This time, I included a fair amount of "We live here, you don't live here!" In an effort to shame these idiots who had come to our neighborhood to destroy the peace. I'd brought a beer with me and was content to hang out and continue berating the shooters until they left, which apparently they did. Because the last shot I heard from them was answered by my megaphone (as all the others had been). And then there was no further shooting for the rest of the day.
The vent stack on the brownhouse is a very tall structure that uses a hickory tree to support the topmost ten-foot length of four-inch HDPE pipe. That stack came apart a year or so ago and today I set up the ladder and made a few feeble attempts to put it back together. I would've climbed up and done it properly if I hadn't felt so lazy. But instead I turned my attention the brownhouse gutters, which were both jammed to the top with a material that resembled topsoil but was actually the decay products of ten years of leaf falls. I gathered as much of this as I could reached and used it to further mulch a row in the garden (which is already fully mulched with red-colored wood shavings).
As our dinner guests Alex and Celia were arriving from Tivoli, I was putting together a steel fire pit (a large metal bowl with legs, a grate, and a domed mesh to cover it). Meanwhile Gretchen and prepared the usual crackers and dips out on the east deck, where we'd be having dinner with lots of air circulation and social distance. One of Alex & Celia's daughters had just returned from elsewhere and begun living with them, and that was why our dinner party had to be at our house instead of theirs (given that the daughter's coronavirus status was more of a question mark than any of ours'). While it's true that the daughter could've already infected Celia and Alex, we figured it would take a few days for they themselves to become infectious if that were the case.
I'd been drinking all day, occasionally breaking from the booze to drink kratom tea. I'd also eaten a nugget of now three-year-old marijuana, so I was feeling a little lit, particularly as I tried to explain the difference between the DNA in our chromosomes and the RNA that contain the code for coronaviruses (and which they fool our ribosomes into treating as mRNA). My other big contribution to dinner conversation was to suggest that perhaps a large fraction of the burning restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul were not lit by rioters (or extremist agitators on either the right or the left) but were instead insurance fires set by desperate business owners as an easy way out of the pandemic bankruptcy that otherwise awaits them. There are too many burning business for these fires to ever be properly investigated.
At some point Alex gave his opinion on Joe Biden, the presidential candidate, whom Alex considers corrupt and possibly a rapist, summarizing with, "He's the worst possible Democratic candidate." He said that his son and none of his sons friends would be voting for someone like Biden. Supposedly Bernie Sanders was their man and they don't know how lifelong court appointments work.
The dinner was a Mexican meal, with hand-made corn tortillas and all the fixings, including marinaded & fried tempeh, jalapeño peppers, pickled cabbage, pickled onions, radishes, various creams and "cheeses," orange-colored rice, and a number of things I am forgetting. Gretchen also made a beautiful Mexican chocolate cake.
It was a cool evening, and it wasn't long after we ate before we began feeling kind of miserable. Luckily, the new fire pit took almost no time to get raging with some cardboard (its own packaging) and some very dry wood from the living room wood pile, which we haven't drawn from in two weeks. When it started to die down, I'd find a few dry sticks from the adjacent forest, which would result in a hot flame reaching four feet in height and burning for ten or fifteen minutes.
The fire pit tonight. From left: Alex, Celia, Gretchen, and Powerful. The flame is the way it looks after I've put ten or more small dry sticks on the bigger logs burning below.
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