Armageddon, version 2

Nuclear fallout shelter in Kose

I remembered and dug up the source of the quote in yesterday’s
post.

It’s from Farnham’s Freehold by Robert
A. Heinlein.

The bomb has just hit, and the family in the fallout shelter
is evaluating damage. The patriarch says, ” “We seem to be
in fair shape, except for water. There are some
plastic jugs of water but we need to salvage the tank water; we may
have to drink it. With
Halazone tablets. Joe, we need utensils of any sort, and everybody
bail. Keep it as clean
as you can.” He added, “When Joe can spare you, Karen, scrounge some
breakfast. We’ve
got to eat, even if this is Armageddon.”

And the daughter replies, “And Armageddon sick of it.”

Armageddon

Armageddon (N.Roerich)

I keep thinking of a joke from some book I read as a teenager,
or maybe even before that.

There’s a minor crisis, and one character says, “This is
Armageddon,”, and another character replies, “And Armageddon tired
of it.”

I have a vague idea it might have been a Young Adult novel, or
a nursing novel or something, and the second character was the
life-of-the-party type.

Rescued the tennis court

Last Monday, the City of Cambridge issued a number of
restrictions,
including this about parks:

The City of Cambridge’s playgrounds (areas with play
structures of any kind) are closed, effective March 16, until
further notice. Parks, fields, and courts, with the exception of
playground areas, will remain open for passive use. No
congregating, group activities or game playing is allowed. Please
maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people while enjoying
these spaces.

[locked tennis court]
I was surprised the next day when I went to the park across the
street
and found that the tennis court was locked. I kept
muttering to myself about this — there is a playground in that
park. I had seen a family on Sunday where the mother was freaking
out because the 10-year-old son wanted to play on the swings
without putting his gloves on. I suspect that family will be
pretty crabby for a while whatever restrictions are or aren’t
imposed, but I could see a reason for the playground
restriction.

But the tennis court doesn’t have any equipment that users
would normally touch. There is a rule in tennis that if you touch
the net, you lose the point. There are tennis nets with a crank
for adjusting the height, but this one would need a wrench.

So on Wednessday I wrote an email to the Department of Public Works:

I’m writing to protest the closing of the tennis court at Green-Rose
Park. The policy
states: Parks, fields, and courts, with the exception of playground
areas, will remain open for passive use.

I’m not sure what “passive use” means in this context, but I don’t see
that tennis players are usually in violation of current social
distancing guidelines. The net on that court is not adjustable
without bringing equipment, so I don’t see that it’s more of a public
health concern than a basketball net would be.

I think whoever locked the gates misunderstood the stated policy of
your department, and the mistake should be corrected.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

On Friday morning, I got a reply:

The tennis courts were mistakenly locked. We will get someone out to
unlock them as soon as we can. We have limited crews available right
now, but they have been instructed to unlock when they are able to get
there.

And on Friday afternoon, there were people playing tennis.

This may not seem like much, but I felt the world was a little
bit better of a place because of something I did.

Spring is Sprung

img_20200316_153026

Lots of indications. Pictured is the first dandelion. There
are other flowers that we planted on purpose, but the dandelion
decided to grow and bloom on its own.

My bedroom windows have a northeast exposure, so half the year
they don’t get direct sunlight. Yesterday was the first day I
woke up to sunlight streaming in my window. I intended to take a
picture, but didn’t think of it until later in the day. And this
morning it was too cloudy to tell whether there was direct
sun.

Maia’s new dog license arrived. In Cambridge they expire on
April 1, so the new license is a harbinger of Spring.

The birds are making, “Goody, Goody, here’s a nesting site!”
noises. This means I have to remember to renew the duct tape over
the vent for the bathroom fan, and play the bathroom vuvuzela very
loudly at frequent intervals. Otherwise they decide that’s a good
nesting site, and when the babies start moving around, they can go
in the wrong direction.

I’ll be posting every day while the plague restrictions are in
force. I do this from time to time when I’m feeling depressed or
unproductive. See 59th-year and
circa63 for
previous examples.