Despite the Pandemic

We were walking early enough to observe the nearly full moon.

Some things remain the same…

We have all been forced to adjust to new things, new ways of doing business, new wrinkles in our daily routine, but some things fall into the reliable pattern we are accustomed to. This is not always a good thing, and since my goal with this blog is to entertain, here are the ones I’ve chosen.

Pumpkin Spice – It has returned. Spotted one week ago today, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. Now I know, some of you like the muffins, donuts, coffee blends and craft beers that are ruined enhanced by this particular flavor. Note for the record, I am not counted in your numbers. Pumpkin spice means that, in addition to Bud Light, there will be two or three fewer taps at the bar for me to drink from. Pumpkin Spice means one less type of Dunkin Donut’s Munchkin in my box of twenty. Everything from cereal to baked goods to beer will have a pumpkin spice variety, and since shelf space is finite, something else will be gone. Most likely, something I like will go missing until Thanksgiving.

Pirates – Despite the major league baseball season being cut by almost two-thirds, my team is on a pace to lock up a losing season by the end of August. As of the yesterday, when I wrote this post, they were, in fact, the worst team in baseball. The only team in baseball with fewer wins than the Pirates is the St. Louis Cardinals, but they suspended play after five games due to an outbreak of the Corona virus – still, the Cardinals have a better winning percentage. The Pirates have 20 games left to play in August. If they lose 18 of those games, they will not be able to have a winning season. Somehow, I think they can do it.

Bat Sh*t Crazy Drivers – I’m no longer commuting, and business closings due to the virus has reduced traffic all around, but these classless, clueless, selfish, rude and ridiculous drivers are still out there.

The first driver was on our street. I was coming home, and a woman started to pull out of her driveway ahead of me. She stopped, but then pulled out behind me. The street had parked cars on both sides. It’s a narrow street, the speed limit is 25 MPH and it was trash collection day. I looked ahead and saw that the recycle truck was headed toward me. There was a parked car in front of me, and a parked car on the other side, in front of the recycle truck.

I almost always let drivers who are on-the-clock go ahead of me. Whether we’re at a 4-way stop, or in a parking lot. Even if Maddie and I are walking, I’ll stop at the crosswalk and wave the FedEx guy through. I worked for the Post Office when I was in college, and I remember running a route that was designed by an accountant reading a map.

I stopped so that the recycle truck had a clear, albeit circuitous path. He waved to thank me and pulled out. Just then, the woman behind me pulled around me, drove directly toward the truck, forcing him to slam on his brakes, while she swerved back into my lane.


Thanks for reading. I hope your team wins, unless they’re playing my team, and you find food and drink that makes you happy, even if it’s a pumpkin spice Popsicle. Stay safe, stay well and try to stay sane.

94 comments

  1. I’ve never tried pumpkin spice flavoured anything – thankfully it’s not such a ‘thing’ here in the UK – and to be honest I doubt if I’ll be trying it any time soon :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not Pirates-related, but just read of interesting bit of baseball (and Olympic) trivia…

    Due to its pandemic-related roster depletion, the Marlins called up 30-year-old rookie, and Olympic 2014 Speedskating medalist, Eddie Alvarez. He is the first (non baseball) Olympian to play in Majors since Jim Thorpe, whose last season was 1919.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, good point. I’ll have to look for video of him on the base paths to see. I bet on triples, from second to third, he puts an arm behind his back.

        Also nice to learn that compared to Jim Thorpe, I have:

        *Only seven fewer Major League home runs
        *Only 2 fewer Olympic Gold Medals and
        *Made an NFL All-Time Team zero times, compared to Thorpe’s once.

        I may very well be the World’s Second Greatest Athlete.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. New England certainly loves their pumpkin everything. I like certain pumpkin things a couple of times during the season, but like some other things I won’t mention it seems like the ‘pumpkin season’ starts a little earlier each year. :-) Ask the Editor to give you a pat on the back for the moon shot – good one! You and Maddie will have to walk really early this week. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked that photo. Maddie and I were out early today. I’m going to try to put some siding up before the sun hits the west wall. It’s getting hard to find a good time to work outside.

      I’m guessing Sam Adams Octoberfest is right around the corner. I do like that.

      Like

    1. We don’t have the virus to blame, we are healthy and bad. The Pirates are living proof that, at least in sports, you get what you pay for. Or, you don’t get what you refuse to pay for. Lowest payroll in MLB, dead last in the standings :( St. Louis is out with Covid – otherwise, we’d be dropping three games starting today.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That moon…..😍I have been remiss in giving her my attention. In my defense we have had evening showers nearly every day since hurricane came through. Pumpkin Spice should be an illegal flavor. It’s just not right. But then I don’t like pumpkin pie so….Seriously, though? Pumpkin Pie Spice Cheerios?! The only thing worse would be pumpkin pie spiced chocolate. I would have to file a formal complaint. Lol
    Drivers are so insane right now, not that they weren’t already, but a sense of entitlement apparently translates easily into road rage. On the serious side, things are quite frightening in many ways.
    Sorry about your team. Even though I am mildly interested in sports, it will be weird without the hoopla this year. 😞I can only imagine the crows’ conversation.
    Practicing to be ravens…”Nevermore.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pumpkin spice is spreading like kudzu. It’s in everything. Somebody posted a meme on Facebook last year imagining pumpkin spiced toilet paper. The moon surprised me that morning. I didn’t see it in the bright sky until we were under those trees. I finally got the photo I wanted, with the moon in focus and the trees blurred. It’s so hard to do that with a point & shoot camera, but I got lucky. I am a very defensive driver, but some of the things I see just make me shake my head. As for the Pirates, they wouldn’t have many people in the stands at this point anyway. The owner is just too cheap.

      Take csre, Cheryl. I hope you have a good week.

      Like

  5. I agree with you about Pumpkin Spice, it’s everywhere. And revolting.
    As for the Pirates, I don’t think you’ll be worrying about their record for long. Covid will shut down that season shortly.
    Bat shot crazy drivers? Nothing new there I’m afraid.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With the bars mostly closed or limited in their operation, I’m hoping the breweries don’t make much of this stuff this year. For all we know, it’s what caused the virus to begin with. The Pirates have three days off, as STL is still under lockdown for cooties. Crazy drivers are no surprise, but I’ve driven a lot less this year, so I was caught off guard.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pumpkins belong in pies and jack-o-lanterns, full stop! Why, why why people think it is a good idea to subject the culinary world to this . . . this . . . Sorry, I really dislike pumpkin spice. As for stupid drivers . . . I hope there is a special road in Hell full of pot holes and no exit. Too mean?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan! That moon picture is EXCEPTIONAL! Wow!! I so enjoyed your gallery especially the pictures of your fur-kids. (of course!) As for those drivers …. I’ve noticed here a lack of radar and people are really driving fast. Of course I who have 6 on the floor, love driving fast so when I am the “back door” and go along with traffic. I’m not out on the road a lot and when I am, I mostly travel on the back roads. When I have to used the main roads congestion has been noticed. In closing, so sorry about your Pirates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked that picture, Amy. I have made so many attempts that have fallen short. I was happy with this one. I don’t mind the occasional speeding driver. I’ve done that. I understand, and I usually move over for them. But when you’re on a congested street through a residential neighborhood with kids playing and lots of cars to obstruct your view, keep it slow (I’m sure you do).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I prefer my pumpkin in a pie or a muffin (with chocolate chips, of course), and my Cheerios plain, thankyouverymuch. Do not like pumpkin Oreo’s or coffee and the pumpkin craft beer has never wowed me. Some flavors should simply not be used with such wild abandon.

    Chocolate, on the other hand…

    Have a wonderful Monday, Dan. Hope you are having nice weather while relaxing with Maddie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An extensive search of the No Facilities archive will generate no hits on “bad things about chocolate.” Put it in, on, near anything. And just leave Oreos alone!

      I hope you have a wonderful week, Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ugh… I shuddered about the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. Weird about that one tree, but I was still freaked out about the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, so not many thoughts for the poor tree. Gorgeous shot of the moon — great place to send the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. So nice of the bunny to sit up straight and pose so nicely for you Dan. He’s hoping you have the regular Cheerios. ;) Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a sucker for in-store marketing, Teagan, but I picked up my pace as I walked past those Cheerios. I doubt even the crows would want them. The bunnies give us that “you aren’t going to make me move” look as we approach them. It’s so dry here that, when they find a patch of good grass, they don’t want to leave. Maddie and I switch sides to let them eat in peace.

      Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. No pumpkin spice ‘anything’ will pass these lips. I don’t even like pumpkin pie. Give me original Cheerios, thank you.

    LOVE the moon photo. Really neat. Poor MuMu looks like she was deep in a dream. But Maddie looks very happy and pleased with herself……as it should be!

    Drivers…😡😤😡😤….how did these idiots pass their driving tests? The woman in question probably was racing to the market to grab all of the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios before they disappear off the shelves. After all, they are a “limited edition”!!!

    Please pace yourself putting up the siding. That boiling sun moves in and we think, “I’m almost finished. I can make it.” And then the siding is on the ground and we’re in the ER being treated for heat stroke. And you would not win points with the Editor! 🤗
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I wouldn’t hold it against anyone if they like that flavor, but I think it gets out of hand, especially if it starts in August.

      MuMu was asleep. I tried telling her that she has a fan base who wants to see her. She said something about letting you guys eat cake.

      These drivers are so scary. It would have taken 30 seconds to give the guy a break instead of almost causing an accident. I’m guessing not much is left after a car hits a garbage truck.

      I will be off the wall (literally) before noon. I’ve been off the wall for a long time 😏

      Please take care and stay well.

      Like

  11. There no accounting for taste–I have a friend who each year waits with anticipation for Pumpkin Spice Lattes to appear at Starbucks. I personally think that Pumpkin Spice should be reserved for pumpkin pies, preferably served with a large dollop of whipped cream. As for drivers–I am happy that I am no longer enduring commuter traffic in the Washington DC area thanks to retirement. Driving was refreshingly pleasant during the early months of the pandemic closures, but things are starting to get clogged up again, so I mostly stay at home. I love the final words of your post, Dan–Stay safe, stay well and try to stay sane–all three take a conscious effort these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. I mostly used the Metro when I was in DC, but I had a few harrowing cab rides. I would think your time in Boston would have prepared you 😏 I’m not sure which is worse.

      Your friend can have all the PS lattes there are. I’ll split that pie and whipped cream with you, if there’s any left.

      Like

      1. Interestingly enough, Dan, I have relatively little experience driving in Boston, despite growing up in Medford, a Boston suburb. I went away to a boarding school for three years of high school and did not have a car while I was in college. In the summers I worked mostly at summer camps and did not need a car. Even when I joined the Army, I did not have a car initially and got my first car at age 25. I grew up riding the buses and subway in Boston and was pretty comfortable riding public transportation.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I am with you on the pumpkin spice thing, Dan. The ONLY pumpkin flavor I like is pumpkin pie. No donuts, no coffee, no cookies, no ice cream and definitely no Cheerios! I haven’t watched sports much since my son moved out eons ago. He could watch ESPN Sports Center every time it came on (which seemed like 8 times a day) and every game broadcast. I got burned out. Drivers here are pretty courteous I must say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am 100% in favor of pumpkin pie. Everything else, no! I don’t get to see the Pirates play. I follow them on MLB At Bat (radio) but it’s not exactly soothing to listen to. You’re lucky to have courteous drivers. We have very few, it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan–your moon photo is beautiful!! Really beautiful. You know, I am such a sucker for anything ‘Limited Edition.’ But 1) I don’t eat cereal and 2) pumpkin spice cheerios sounds gross. Krispy Kreme always has a few pumpkin flavored donuts in the fall–gosh, they are so good! Oh, that woman driver. My husband does like you, too, with an approaching car on a crowded street. What is the rush, people?! Was she on her phone….? You must have cleared Maddie’s porch cause that smile on her face is wonderful. Have a good one, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like that photo, Lois. I was happy with it, and I’ve failed at that shot so many times. I really don’t know what this woman’s hurry was about. I waved again at the truck driver. He gave the universal expression for “what the heck is wrong with her?” It’s so easy to be kind to these guys, and I know they appreciate it when it happens.

      The porch is clean.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I hate jerky drivers. Also, not too fond of pumpkin spice anything (except, maybe a candle). What ever they use for the taste (I’m guessing not pumpkin and maybe not spice) ends up tasting like chemicals. I’d love to see a contest where people submit the weirdest thing – verified with pictures – they’ve seen with pumpkin spice added. Now, I need to go check where the Padres rank… they are usually pretty disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be an interesting contest, Janis. I’m used to seeing muffins, donuts, craft beer and even infused vodka. Cheerios were a stretch for me, but I’m sure they’re on the mild side of weird. I’ve never actually tried many of these things, so I’m not familiar with the nature of the “spice” – I love your characterization.

      Like

  15. Hi Dan – can’t stand sweet spices etc … so count me out … also not a breakfast eater. Love the photos – especially the moon one. Glad the storm damage wasn’t worse … also stupid drivers – makes one mad doesn’t it. Take care – and glad Maddie and Mumu look well … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilary. Yeah, I wish they’d leave things alone when it comes to most added flavors. I eat cereal a few days a week, but I prefer the “original” flavors, which I sometimes have to search for. The animals take most of this in stride.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank goodness I have never seen pumpkin spice Cheerios. I think it’s way too early for fall, but I saw Halloween costumes at Costco (first trip there since March, senior hours) yesterday. I did notice quite a lot of American flags along the way, which was nice to see. And the Pirates… sigh! Baseball is hard to get into this year. Stay cool, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you like, I can send you a box. I’m pretty sure they haven’t sold out. The Pirates are a hard team to support, even in a normal year. It’s a lifelong deal for me, no choice really. But it is hard to get into this season.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I call that a driver who has forgotten common courtesy and basically how to drive safely. I think they lost that aspect of life during the extreme shut down when traffic was non-existent or light. With the LA freeways picking up more and more traffic, I come across a number of these types. I think somewhere during this pandemic drivers have forgotten they are not the only ones on the roads and basic human safety and courtesy has not died. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might be right, Kirt. We haven’t had much traffic for five months. It is starting to pick up, and I do see some drivers who seem to feel they own the road. We always had some of that, but with traffic still light enough for them to weave around, they are making the highways a dangerous place to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Can you send me a box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios?! We don’t get that stuff here. Admittedly, Halloween (in the US tradition) is trying to take off here but not to that level. I’ll send you a box of Vegemite Shapes as a swap if you like.

    And, Holy Smokes, your moon photo is amazing! I’ve so often wanted a photo to reflect the amazing moon I can see but it never, ever works out. I am impressed beyond measure.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. People make terrible decisions as too few of them fail to think beforehand, but this keeps me employed, so there’s my silver lining. Doesn’t change how anxious I am when I’m out there among the idiots.
    Also, I do not obsess about pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pie of course, maybe even pumpkin muffins or roll, not coffee or beer or cereal… However, two years ago, I accidentally chose pumpkin yogurt thinking it was peach and um, it was SO tasty that now I look for it every fall. It’s not out yet. Until then, there’s fatty Icelandic yogurt, yessir.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. On a personal level, I feel even if the Corona virus is gone, things won’t be the same ever. Probably, until our pathetic PM goes out of power which won’t be possible until 2024. However, keeping the politics aside a lot has changed. Some products are hard to find on the shelves because of the limited production. The inflation has just the people and the public transport has become as expensive as owning a private vehicle. I’m learning to ride a motorcycle so I can probably buy one to use it locally and also for touring across India with Sarah. We have millions of such bat shit crazy drivers and riders already so that doesn’t bother me at all. In India, when you are on the roads it is given that anything can hit you any time – other bikes, cars, people jaywalking, people crossing the streets, cows, buffaloes, stray dogs, container trucks and the most popular of all – crater-size potholes. It’s like a video game in real time with no life lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes. Riding a motorcycle there sounds like a daunting task. I rode one when I was in Seattle, but I sold it once I realized how much more traffic there was in New England and how crazy the the drivers are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, not really. I know how to ride a scooty (gearless bikes) and I used to ride my brother’s when I was dating Sarah and also after we got married. I never had a license for it, but I rode it for nearly three years. For us, such traffic conditions are normal. These days when I see motorcycle learning videos on YouTube, I find it so different from us in India. I mean you guys have the road signs and all that. We don’t even have those in all the places. You know India is the only country where the definition of freedom is that you actually get all the freedom to do whatever you like. What’s the word for it….yeah.. Banana Republic.

        Liked by 1 person

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