Tag Archives: Coronavirus

(NOT) The Big City

Blacksville, South Carolina

I’ve never been to New York City.  I know it’s a really big city but have no concept of how truly huge it is.  Many of us who live in Charlotte like to think Charlotte is a big city, but it’s it’s just a small town with lots of people. An article in yesterday’s New York Times had a comment that underscored that point for me.

Pete Wells, the Times’ restaurant critic, was writing in “Restaurant Dining Is Back, if You Can Find a Table” about how restaurants responded to being able to open for outdoor seating. He indicated that the new rules went into effect on a Monday, and that by noon on that Tuesday 4100 restaurants had received approval for outdoor dining. 4100 restaurants! North Carolina probably doesn’t have that many restaurants in the entire state if you exclude fast food.  Amazing!

Blacksville, SC is another one of those “along the way” places we passed through.  This old store is across the street from the train station, which now houses the town library and will likely be the subject of another post. 🙂

So Now We Have Covid-19 Waivers

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Yesterday I received an email from our neighborhood HOA which contained a waiver that anyone using the pool or the clubhouse must sign.  They are also supposedly working on some kind of disclaimer to state that the HOA bears no responsibility for anyone who gets sick.  They paid an attorney to create these documents.  Wouldn’t have been easier, less expensive and no less effective to just say, “Hey look, y’all know about this virus thing, right?  It’s up to you to not do stupid stuff and your own responsibility for anything that happens if you do.  Got it?  Good.”

I was reminded of the above photo from our visit to Nova Scotia in 2013.  A simple warning seemed sufficient for the people there.  Canadians aren’t that much smarter than we are, are they?  Maybe they are.

Phase 1: Day 14 – On To Phase II

Out and About: Cardboard for Recycling

Today we start the transition to Phase II of our governor’s reopening plan.  This allows personal care businesses like hair salons to open under certain restrictions, and allows restaurants to resume indoor seating, again with certain restrictions.  Many restaurants will be open at 5:00 today, although a surprising number of them appear to be holding off for a while.  Truthfully, I think this is a good example of allowing businesses and individuals to make their own decision.  Our favorite Italian restaurant, for example, posted on Facebook that the dining room will remain closed for now.  Evidently they feel it is too soon, and they appear to be successful with their carryout program.  We’re not in a rush to be first.  We wish them all well and will be there when we feel it is time.

I’m going to start something different for Phase II but haven’t decided what.  I think I’ll continue to post daily, but want to mix things up a bit.  Maybe some stuff from the archives to show off some of the work I’ve been doing lately on the old files.  We’ll see! 🙂

Phase 1: Day 13 – Out and About

Out and About: Pool Shadows

So we’re proceeding to Phase II on Friday.  Not a big deal for us with one exception: we have appointments for haircuts!  They aren’t until June 2, but that’s OK with us.  Restaurants will be opening back up, but we’re not in a rush.  Maybe in a couple of weeks we’ll venture out to see what things are looking like, what the experience is like.  Probably going to be weird.

In the mean time, it’s supposed to start warming up again and we will hopefully be getting back into the shorts and sandals this weekend.  I do think it’s time to start thinking about heading to the beach…. 🙂

Phase 1: Day 12 – Out and About

Out and About: Abandoned Shopping Carts at the Bus Stop

One of the blogs that I follow is On My Om by Om Malik, a tech journalist, photographer and investor.  While perhaps a bit extreme, he started self-quarantining even before it became widespread.  A comment in a recent post echoes a sentiment I have also been having:

“…the 80-day quarantine has made me ask the two questions that I should have been asking all along: What do I value? And what is worth my time? Those two questions are intertwined.”

Kathy & I have already been asking a similar question when it comes to eating out or “splurging” on “treat foods” like Five Guys (how long has that been?!?): Is it worth it?  As in cost (both caloric and financial) and weight gain.

There have been a lot of rabbit holes during this 2+ month sabbatical, and more and more I find myself questioning whether I am spending my time in the best way I can.  I would add to the quote above a third question: “how will I feel about how I spent my time during this period 5, 10 or even 20 years from now?

 

Phase 1: Day 11 – Out and About

Out and About: Pallets Awaiting Recycling

One of the benefits from this stay-at-home period is that we’ve stopped eating restaurant food, and the positive impact on my weight has been notable.  We started tracking our weight daily over 10 years ago, and every week I’ve been consistently hitting new lows on the scale.  Since our last restaurant meal on March 16 I’ve lost 10 pounds, and I’m down 16 pounds since we returned from our Florida trip.  Kathy has been seeing similar progress.  So I’ve been wearing clothes I haven’t worn in years and starting to fill boxes for Goodwill.  It’s a problem I’m happy to have, as I’m guessing that a lot of people will be having the opposite situation to deal with, on top of whatever other challenges they face.

It looks like we’ve managed to avoid the first tropical storm of 2020, although it is gray and gloomy here today from a different system.  We got our walk in between the drops this morning, but will have to see about tomorrow when the chance of rain is supposed to be higher and the temperature lower.  After seeing 90 this past weekend, tomorrow’s high is forecast to be only 60!

Phase 1: Day 10 – Out and About

Out and About: Discarded Shopping Carts

I’m sitting at my desk this morning listening to my computer shovel data from my old 2TB hard drive to the first of my new 4TB hard drives.  It’s an interesting sound, somewhat reminiscent of the computer sounds of old.  Not quite the KA-CHUNK of the old floppy disk drives, but more than the silence from solid state drives.  I would have preferred solid state drives for the new ones, but the cost of drives that large is prohibitively expensive.  I’d much rather spend that money on photo gear and travel.

Our son and personal computer assistant Kevin helped me install the drives yesterday.  It’s interesting how relatively simple computer hardware can be, as long as everything works when you plug it in.  We learned yesterday – after a few attempts – the importance of first being sure that everything is plugged in!  But we figured it out and everything is working fine today.

Today I am working on getting all my data on to the two new internal drives and two new external drives.  I calculated that my old “backup” drives were at least 10 years old, so I was due for an upgrade/update anyway.  This should give me capacity for a few more years of travel and photography, even with the larger files from an anticipated new camera in the near future.

Phase 1: Day 9 – Out and About

Out and About: Discarded Insecurity Cameras

Kathy & I got out early for our walk this morning in order to beat the “heat.”  I say “heat” in quotations because we are actually – finally – seeing seasonal temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.  Our thermometer actually hit a high of 91 yesterday.  Pretty toasty.

When we get out early we can walk around the parking lot of the Walmart that is outside our neighborhood and stay in the shade most of the way.  The back of the store is often a target-rich photographic environment, which has provided me with content for the next few days.  I’ve never actually been inside the store, but have walked miles around the perimeter of the parking lot.  And taken pictures of their detritus.

These cameras have evidently reached the end of their useful lives, and were piled in an old shopping cart behind the store.  Probably waiting for someone to come and haul them away along with the old shopping carts.

Phase 1: Day 8 – Out and About

Out and About: Bumper Sticker

Kathy & I had an exciting adventure yesterday – we went to Lowe’s!

Even though the hardware stores have stayed open during this time and many of our friends and neighbors have been going regularly, we’ve pretty much avoided going anywhere but the grocery store.  We had some things delivered from Home Depot a month or so ago, but were out of bird seed and needed to pick up some other project stuff that they don’t deliver or charge for.

It was interesting to see the number of people out and about.  People buying plants, paint, lumber and other home improvement stuff.  I haven’t gotten desperate enough to start repainting rooms yet, and hopefully won’t get that far!

We stopped at a Publix supermarket to pick up some cheese that we can’t find at our local store, and it was pretty much a normal Friday there.  Except for an empty toilet paper aisle.  I still can’t figure that out.  How come after all this time they haven’t been able to catch up?  Or are people still panic buying and hoarding the stuff?

It’s going to be in the 80s here today and tomorrow.  Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Phase 1: Day 7 – Out and About

Out and About: Fence and Shadow

I finished a long-time workflow project yesterday.  All of my “picks” in Lightroom have been processed!  That consists of just over 60,000 photos dating back to my first digital camera in 2004.  While 60,000 photos is a tiny collection compared to a lot of photographers, I have been very selective about what I keep.  I’ve probably taken twice that many photos over the years, but I have been systematically deleting the “non-picks” in order to keep the number down.

I know that digital storage is cheap, but just like I’m stingy with my closet space, I tend to be stingy with my “digital closet” as well.  As it is, I’ve just about filled my 2-terabyte hard drive.  Fortunately, later today the FedEx truck will be bringing me 4 new 4-terabyte drives.  That will get me thru a few more years of photos and give me breathing room for an impending camera upgrade.

All this activity is paving the way for a long-overdue update to my website.  I love the layout but the photos need refreshing.  As I work on that project I’ll probably post some highlights from the archives on this blog.  It’s been a fun project, and I have a few thoughts about working on old photos with new software.  Spoiler alert: one of the most interesting but frustrating changes is that the new software allows us to see sensor dust spots better, and the old digital cameras didn’t have dust removal functions built in!  Ugh! 🙂