a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: January 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Stuff I Did in January

SUMMARY: Random photos 1st half January 2021

Probably not much different from the December 2020 one. But with more rioting.
(Many but not all photos have been seen on Facebook.)

Life continues as it general has, since April of 2020. Stay at home. Go nowhere. Wear a mask if I go somewhere other than nowhere. Walk with the dog. Stores try mightily to remind people not to be idiots.

New Year's morning selfie in the park behind my house with Mr. I Don't Do Photos.

Startin' the new year with the usual Mr. You Owe Me Something But
You Have to Figure Out  For Yourself What It Is.

Glamour Magazine version of New Year's morning.
At the park near my house.

Evening walk. 
Same location as the "...So, we walked at sunrise..." image in December.

Marie Callender's has sanitized pens 
and they won't take back their empty pie tins until A.P. (after pandemic).

Designed to be disposable, apparently.
Tiny screws requiring a screwdriver size that probably most folks don't have.
Everything comes apart into multiple pieces. 
I can't find replacement batteries in the stores so far.
And not sure I can get things entirely back together the same way anyway
(notice tape holding battery and contact in place?!).
Design companies, c'mon, it should be trivial to replace batteries!
OK, no more long captions.

Braved the nearly empty mall for one quick purchase (not at this store).
Every store had COVID "stand here" spacing decals outside their doors, and inside, too.

Sunset walk. Same place as "Evening Walk" above.

Dusk falls. 
Same place, same evening, 15 minutes later, standing 50 feet northeast.
When ya go so few places, ya gotta take different perspectives.
That's my secret to this glamorous travelogue.

Fast Times at Nowhere High: DayTimer refill pages arrive.
Usually I order in September, not January.
Usually I have things to write in it.
I'm sure any day now--
{fire up uplifting music and break into song}

Sunset from the car. 
The glamor continues.
I try to remember how to drive.
With luxury glamorous turkey feathers.

Remember Mr Fox No.12?
Showed off a beloved Christmas present but has mostly laid low this year.
Don't know why; I don't think foxes can catch COVID-19.

When the going gets tough, with insurrectionists in D.C. spurred on by the outgoing President,
the tough finally give up and go load up on boxes and boxes of crucial supplies because
it's going to be a long 14 days till the 20th and who knows what'll happen then.
At 50% off.

Guard dragon's old mask disintegrated.
Who knew all of this would go on long enough to need a replacement?

On the fridge. Someone's having a good ol' banana time.

Newspaper shows San Francisco city hall lit up red, white, and blue.
D.C. events are on everyone's minds.
I'm trying to be cheery here.

Zorro buried up to his chest, dig dig digging.
He'd better keep an eye on that croc, is all I can say.

Living with this view cemented my resolve to always live where
I can see sunsets and/or sunrises from my home.
Maybe next time without my neighbor's tree smack dab in the middle.
At least *I* have a dogwalk.

And this.

Chance to become a billionaire! 
With gritted teeth, I pry open the NO GAMBLING purse and remove $20.
Yay, I win $5 back! My lucky day!
Cannot pry open that purse again even though no one wins this round.

Sorry, anyone reading, and future me rereading this post,
right now it's all about the horror in the White House
and in the streets with 20,000 armed National Guard and other security forces lining up
and insufficient vaccine for COVID and death rates hitting new records.
But at least they kicked Trump off Twitter.

Now back to our usual warm and friendly blog... 

Phoned in my order. Fortunately I could bypass that line to pick it up.
COVID, no touching, no sitting.

My office develops blue spots! Whaaaaaa???


In the traditional Cultural game of Bitey Face, those who have faces full of hard, sharp pointy objects have a distinct advantage over those who have faces full of soft, blunt fingers.Isn’t it then cheating for the one with hard sharp pointy objects to then bring his front grabbers into play, also?

A 4.2 quake not too far from home will get you *and* the dog to jump.
Gods: Hahahaha made you look!

Look. Nature.

What our friends think we do on our morning walks:
Maintain iron-fisted control over insurrectionist ground squirrels.

What we really do.

Finallee! I iz forced big danger-vans bringz us boxes!
Gud onez, too!

True Confessions: Yes I sometimes go shopping.
Needed one piddly thing from Office Max. Cost: $2. 
To order by mail: add $5 shipping.
To dash into store with my mask
when it's nearly empty during maximum COVID lockdown,
 risking my very life : Priceless
Yes: Price...Less.

Fun with Clouds with Dick and Jane.
See clouds arch.
Arch, clouds, arch.
Arch you glad I'm blogging for you?

Gods conjured a huge windstorm just to give Zorro what he always felt he deserved.
Finders keepers; unknown neighbors weepers?

With that-- and the Inauguration coming up at 9 tomorrow morning--I think I'll call this a good Half Month and save the rest of January for ...  sometime after January.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Stuff I've done in the last month-ish

SUMMARY: Random photos Dec 2020
Compare level of activity and travel and variety to this from May 2016.

In summary: We stayed home, or very close to it.
One difference from 2016: I used my iPhone for almost every photo. So quality is not as good. But, well, at least I got the photos. 
... a lot of photos.
............. Over 3000, and we didn't go anywhere or do anything. But here's a flavor of our lives under COVID and around the holidays.

Found in garage: Signs for club's agility trials from wayayayay back.
A frenzy of downsizing: Will try to give away or recycle.

Over several days, watched an astounding variety of specialized equipment
remove and then repave my street's surface

Shortly after Thanksgiving: Ate pie for breakfast!
(It's healthy of course: Yogurt on top.)

Set up my xmas dogs on my front porch. And one in the window.

Walked. Many times. Sometimes twice a day.
Often at the park near home. With mask of course.
Am not posting photos of all of them (walks or masks). 

Hurried for a sunset walk at Martial Cottle Park near home.

Adored gift made by a friend - in blue and purple!

Ate breakfast with dog audience. Every. Single. Morning.

Trimmed my own bangs for the 2nd time this Pandemic.
You can see that they needed it.
I couldn't see anything.

Dog enjoyed sun thru window in my office.

Walked with Zorro. And mask.
At park near home.

Walked at sunset at Martial Cottle Park near home.
This family is wearing masks. Thank YOU! Family! Me, too.

Sometimes cleaned and filled and hung the hummingbird feeder. 

Added the traditional Christmas tree toppers.
Dragon since forever; Mr. Fox since recently.

Spent most of a day photographing and inventorying my yard decor. 
I apparently have a lot.
Some less rotted than others.
Poor vulture.

Walked at sunset in the park near home.

Removed allllll the magnets from my old fridge.

Friends helped bring in a new fridge
(actually their old one, which was 10 years younger than my quarter-century one)
Soon after, I did put all the magnets back on.

Washed dog beds and mats. And cleaned the washer afterwards.

Sometimes did my physical therapy exercises.
Zorro helped.

Occasionally spot-cleaned the living room carpet 
when I forgot to check the dog's feet for mud.
It's now mid-January; a week or so in December is all it has rained so far this year.
Not good.

Walked at park near  home for sunset.

Took Zorro on all my walks.
Not many successful photos of him.

Walked at park near home. In the rain. With mask and Cynosports hat.
Hat did not keep glasses dry.

Played tug with Squeaky Snake or sometimes
with Poison Dirt Toad.
(Like a Poison Dart Frog, but bigger and harder to shoot people with.)

Debated mightily with sis and Bro-in-law about risk of being in same car for an hour.
Decided to; with masks and open windows,
drove through Fantasy of Lights at park not far from here.

Occasionally shopped. For the necessities. Peppermint bark at Cost Plus.
Plus ubiquitous COVID distancing stickers.

Waited nearly a year, to avoid having strangers breathing in my car.
But finally took it in for its year-overdue service appointment.
Not that it mattered much: I'd driven only about 2500 miles for the entire year
compared to my usual 1000+ miles a month.
Walked the 2 miles home from there so I wouldn't have to risk Uber or Lyft. 
 In a batik mask.

Drove 2 miles to the local donut shop and took home... a face?

Jumped out of my seat when my phone started screaming
about an emergency.
It was this.
Same stuff as we've been seeing since March,
just elevated again because of post-Thanksgiving surge. Ugh.

Stay-at-home doesn't include outdoors, as long as you wear masks and stay at least 6' apart.
So, we walked at sunrise.

Walked even on mornings when frost decked the grass.

Walked down the block to take photos of this place.
Note the giant Raiders Santa.
Bet this family is disappointed that the Raisers left Oakland
and are now hundreds of miles away
in Las Vegas.

Sometimes took photos from my back porch.
Of, say, sunrise and tule fog in the park behind me.

Walked a lot. Mostly behind Zorro.

Rescued this spider from the kitchen sink three times.
Living the dream.

Held Zorro's collar and opened the front door every time he insistently barked a warning.
Often several times a day. Started earlier in the pandemic.
More and more all the time.
It was almost always those devious deliveries--just can't trust 'em in your street
--Amazon and UPS vans most common.

Sometimes, for an exciting change of pace, for our walk
we'd drive to one of the shopping centers within a mile from here.
Zorro is a good citizen: No one within 6 feet.

Occasionally, tried to take nice photos of Zorro. 
Always, too lazy to get out the tripod.

Debated mightily with longtime friend, also an amateur photog,
 about risk of being in same car for an hour.
Decided to; with masks and open windows,
drove around my neighborhood taking pix of people's yard decorations.

Set up tripod and lighting and lures for Zorro's eyes and
everything and worked hard at getting a decent shot of us for this year.

During the whole year, shopped by curbside pickup or delivery
whenever I could get what I needed, but sometimes had to actually go into a store.
Got out as quickly as I could.
Such a joy to be there, though, and look at the shelves 
and the produce! In person!

Went to bed early and stayed in bed late as often as I could.
Shortest days of the year in December, so DARK. And CHILLY.
Warm, heated flannel sheets. SOOOOO nice.
Zorro nursed on one of his many binkies a couple times a day.

Set up all the figurines with dogs that I inherited from my Mom's extensive Village.
First time since she died 4 years ago.
Decorated very little this year.
Good thing I left the tree up from last year.

Had Christmas dinner at separate tables with sis and her husby and their black dog, Abby.
Wore masks except when eating.
Had santizing wipes and hand sanitizer at each table.
About a quarter of the people we'd usually have.
Ditto with the food, but it was good.

Repaired a couple dozen things that have been sitting for a long time, including these fellas.

Slowly started doing crosswords again. For some reason, mostly stopped when COVID-19 started.
Don't know why--I've been home more since March by a megalot.
Started work on the paper's annual giant puzzle on Dec 27. 
(Finished it a week later, after 3 hours of work.)

Had takeout once a week or so--for curbside pickup or delivery.
This was a Taco Bell drive-through. We each got a taco.
Can you see the little blur behind him of his tail wagging?

Drove with same friend to San Francisco, masked & windows lowered, for some Xmas shots.
Macy's Union Square.
The red writing on the tree says "Believe." 
I sure hope I could believe that COVID is close to being behind us. Sigh.

New Year's Eve. We both went shopping.
So many tongue-licking nommy things to see and smell!
Went to bed early and quietly.
Thinking so much of Chip.
And glad at least that he wasn't here for this year--
it was a nightmare of fireworks that even disturbed Zorro for about 20 minutes. Me, too.
Then we went back to sleep, hoping for a brighter 2021.