Friday, July 31, 2020

The Pandemic Diaries April 10, 2020


The Pandemic Diaries April 10, 2020


It’s Tommy again. Logan forgot to look at the e-mail messages last week, so we’ve got a ton to go through. I printed them and will try to get them up on the screen. This first one is from Carly F. in Albuquerque. There, it’s up on the screen. She wants to know




I think from now on I’ll just read them. Carly, I can’t read this yours out loud. I’ll just say I’m taken, and if Logan and I ever do decide to try a four-way, no animals will be allowed. The next one is from Jorge Q. in New York City. He wants to know what I’m giving Logan for our first anniversary. Well, Jorge, it’s a secret, so I can’t tell you. I will tell you that it will be unwrapped completely, and warm. Very warm. OK, who else do we have? It’s from Poppinseed in Washington, D.C. I know you! Good to hear from you. Yes, folks, it’s that Poppinseed, the man who sat out his first year after graduation rather than play anywhere but Washington. He says his brother came home the day lockdown started in D.C., which is a good thing because Poppinseed can’t leave the apartment except for medical visits and to buy food, and his brother has to help him carry home the groceries. Seems they’ve got the cheerleading squad from an NFL team in the apartment with him and it’s taking lots of groceries.


He attached a picture of his little brother, who’s only six-foot-two standing next to our friend, and looks like a shrimp. He’s got another picture of the living room in the apartment. Ah, I’m gonna need to spend some time in Photoshop pixillating before I can show anybody that photo. We’re doing fine, thanks for asking, and we aren’t bored yet. I’m busier than I was before the lockdown. I’m leading daily exercise sessions for the boys we work with, plus the team, and do at least two massages a day because somebody got bored and stupid. Here’s an example from this past week and a word of warning: don’t try doing pull-ups on your shower bar with your girlfriend upside down holding onto your butt. If he hadn’t lived directly above us, we might never have heard him. As it was, the player – whose name won’t be mentioned – is in the market for a new and less-embarrassed girlfriend.

Last e-mail is from Aunt Kamesha. I promised that we’d explain how two dumb-ass white boys got a black-as-night aunt, and Logan will do that next week. Anyway, she’s wishing us well and wants to know what we want for Christmas. She seems to think that the lockdown is gonna last until then. No chance, it will all be over shortly according to Governor Einstein.


Tree is learning to play the piano during lockdown. There’s a picture of him drawn by building manager’s husband’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage. Probably too much information, hunh? Anyway, he hopes to get good at the piano before the season starts. He’d better hurry.

Supposed to be Tree, except he has a buzzcut and is a bazillion feet tall

Thursday, July 30, 2020


I've had two bouts of cancer, one heart attack, two strokes, one cardiac arrest, bypass surgery, partial complex seizures and a variety of other life-shortening illnesses and events. I was a heavy-smoker for sixty years, haven't smoked in seventeen months, but that's not going to help much. I have Stage Three COPD. There is no cure.

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, type 1, left side, aboout 33 years ago. It rarely strikes nowadays, but when it does it is crippling. I was diagnosed earlier this year with trigeminal neuralgia type 2 on the right side. It has only struck once, and is merely exceedingly painful, not crippling. My neurologist has also diagnosed a migraine-like headache.

In late 2018 I was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, which is incurable. It is a one-way ticket to non-Alzheimer's dementia. I'm still smarter than the average bear, but I have no sense of balance and must use a walker or a wheelchair. I do not leave the house usually. I voluntarily transferred all of my clients to another of the half-dozen former top-tier global management consultant who prefers to work with smaller businesses, and Joan has been a wonder. I did this because my clients don't come to me to help them fix small problems. They come to me with existential questions about their businesses, and I do not know when I will be compromised, nor if I'll recognize it.

My own estimation is that I'll survive until about Thanksgiving 2021. I have no crystal ball, it could be earlier or later. The bottom line is that I'm not a good prospect for life insurance salesmen. I'll do my best to keep you up to date.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Pandemic Diaries, Week three: April 3, 2020


The pandemic diaries Chapter3


April 3, 2010


Logan again here.  We’ve got a new option on the menu at the bottom of your screen. Click on the green MSG button and send us a message. We might even read it. Don’t send pictures unless you’re OK with having them shared with everybody on the call. We’re working on other features, such as voting. You might see Vote Now appear on your screen, and you can select one. For example.


Vote Now

Pick One:

Who is better looking:    Logan      or         Logan

That was easy.


We’re going kind of stir-crazy with being locked up. Governor Einstein (that’s what we call him in mixed company) announced that the lockdown will go on at least until April 15. That doesn’t make any sense. This stuff was supposed to be gone by now, and I don’t believe the April 15 date either. It doesn’t seem to be based on anything solid. The list of things that are allowed and others not allowed can’t possibly be based on science. Why is it safe to have fifteen people in a liquor store but not in a church? If Aunt Kamesha was here she’d give the man a piece of her mind.


Last week we began matching old computer owners to younger students without resources. Schools are trying to do all instruction on line, which can’t work for a student who has no line. The two ride-share companies do the pickup and delivery, and we pay them. Yesterday they delivered 51. Our goal is 500 a week until every child in the city is able to go online.


We had our Friday get-together last week and everybody showed up, including Deanna. Turns out she’s a nurse-practitioner the club hired to keep the players healthy and advise corporate about the pandemic. She talked with all of us at the party and had some sobering news. First, don’t let Mister Jake, Aunt Kamesha, or anybody else in that age range physically attend the wedding. I mean, that’s two months away, and the pandemic will be gone by then. She stared at me and I got the message.



She asked Tommy if he wanted team baseline temps in Celsius or Fahrenheit. He asked her for both so he didn’t have to waste time translating. I think he puts on the dumb-jock act. He said he’d take temps for every training session and make sure she got them. Yes, he knows how to do orthostatics and will add those if she wishes.


Some of the ball players from Dual Carolina University skyped in from a party off-campus. The freshmen were all making fools of themselves, just like we did. They had a game of truth or dare going on, and we finally disconnected. I never did figure out if it was maturity or jealousy on our part. We were all feeling pretty down, what with deaths being reported. Deanna asked if any of us had relatives in nursing homes. Tree has a grandmother in a nursing home, so Deanna got with him and they talked for a while.


I talked with Tree later, and it seems that Deanna is going to contact every long-term care facility with a relative of anyone with the team and track the relatives and their conditions and prognosis. I met with her on Wednesday and offered to sit in on phone calls. My job is to take notes and have legal references handy for when the home tried to excuse something by saying it was required by law. By today she’s arranged for court orders removing two elderly relatives to other places.


Tommy’s calling from the bedroom, and I recognize the tone and what it means. It’s become part of our pre-gathering ritual. A very pleasant part of the ritual. Now, I’m gonna say goodbye before I embarrass myself.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Pandemic Diaries, Chapter Two

The pandemic diaries Chapter2

March 27, 2020

It’s my turn to talk. I’m Tommy West, Logan’s husband, and a big hello to everybody out there. I’m the knucklehead Phys-Ed-teacher-half of the two of us. Pandemic is supposed to be over in another week, but I don’t believe it. I talked with Aunt Kamesha yesterday, she’s a Nurse Practitioner, sorta like a doctor, just easier to talk to. She says this thing is very contagious, and won’t be over in a week or even a month. What a downer. Most people in our home town, Stoneport, don’t believe her. I’m a believer. If she told me the moon was made of green cheese, I’d hitch a ride and take a fork with me. It’s probably delicious.

Anyway, she says that some things are going on that don’t make any sense. The US Government and all the State governments have done a lot of elaborate planning based on some sort of mathematical model that she doesn’t think is right. Now, Aunt Kamesha is a great nurse and an awesome person, but she’s not a math genius. Doesn’t have to be with Logan and Antoine available. Me, I’m good for clearing the table and doing the dishes. Anyway, Aunt Kamesha says that the virus is very contagious and expects people to be catching it well into the summer. She also says that the fatality rate the model uses is a red flag: No other coronavirus has had that kind of fatality, its either been much higher or much lower.

That picture behind me on the desk is me, Logan, Antoine and Aunt Kamesha. You might be wondering how two white good ole’ boys wound up with a black Aunt and a black brother. The easiest answer is to read Logan’s book, Four Seconds on the Clock. You can skip mine, it’s kinda embarrassing how stupid we were as college freshmen.

The whole building is owned by the Minotaurs, and we got this apartment as part of our signing bonus. There’s a bunch of floors, and each floor has four apartments plus a community space. Ever since we all moved in, we’ve tried to get together one night a week. Me, Logan, Antoine and his fiancĂ©, Maia, Tree and Ralph Robles and his girlfriend/partner in crime and love/whatever else, Becca. We were supposed to get together tonight, but I don’t know if that’s allowed. I mean, we’re supposed to stay in, but I don’t know if that means stay in our own apartments or inside the building, or on our floor, or what. We’ve invited the new woman, Deanna, to join us. She’s got some corporate job, and seems nice. Cute, too. Yes, I notice cute women. I’m not quite blind.

Our apartment has a view of the Lake, and it’s pretty empty. Not that it’s usually crowded in March, but there aren’t any sail boats or tour boats out. You know this shit is serious when they close the casinos.

Antoine wants me and Logan to be his groomsmen at the wedding. Mister Jake is going to be his Best Man. I like Mister Jake, but he is a little weird. I mean, why does he have to use the same tea bag three straight days? He’s driving a 2001 Chevy that looks like crap, and doesn’t even subscribe to the newspaper. Woody does. That’s Woodrow Wilson, the famous football player from back in the day when Stoneport was a football school. He’s real forgetful, and Alejandro convinced him to move in with Mister Jake who needed Woody’s help to eat all the food and help with the chores. Actually, Mister Jake is taking care of Woody, and that’s OK. I think Woody, on some level, knows what’s going on. So, Woody subscribes to the paper and Mister Jake reads it. I think he’s just cheap, but he’s been very generous with Maia.

If the pandemic isn’t done in a week, it will be Logan’s turn to talk to you. I suggested we set it up so that people could send message to us during broadcasts. I think we’re gonna do that tomorrow.

Take care and stay healthy.