04 April 2020

Quarantine: last days

Days 12, 13 and 14 have slipped by, mostly taken up with more preparation for launching U3A Port Phillip into the on-line Zoom world.
Annoyingly, both the Guardian and the ABC posted articles about Zoom's security, or lack thereof, with a truly annoying headline in the Guardian saying "Zoom is malware". Just because it doesn't encrypt all the traffic doesn't make it malware. It makes it a risky proposition if you're using it for Board Meetings in a multi-million dollar company, but not if you're transmitting classes to a dozen or so people, which will be of little or no interest to anyone else.
End of rant, but it's made a lot of extra work for me and my team, answering anxious emails and writing pieces called "Keep Calm and Zoom On".
When not on U3A things, we have continued to phone and email friends and rels, and receive same.
Today we decided we were close enough to the end to risk going into the guest wing next door, making all the beds and clearing out the fridge, so it is now ready for guests, if we're ever allowed to have any again.
We have had a succession of birthday gifts for Peter dropped on the doorstep today - oddly enough they all seem to contain food items and a bottle (or two). Just when we were wondering whether the stocks in the house would last until we can safely go visit our wine store. Thanks to all, very welcome.
Tomorrow is Peter's big day, and we're Zooming from 10:00 until 19:00. A marathon. Just as well it's also the end of daylight saving - we may need that extra hour of sleep.
A couple of things to share:
Donald Trump says no one could have expected this:
Yes they could: https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_the_next_outbreak_we_re_not_ready?language=en
And if you don't mind a few expletives, this is very funny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hks6Nq7g6P4

01 April 2020

Quarantine Day 11

Good things about being in quarantine:

  • No one cares what you look like (except possibly from the neck up if you're Zooming)
  • No one knows whether your house is clean
  • No one knows if you stay in bed all morning
  • You never have that sinking feeling that you should be somewhere but you've forgotten where
  • You can't be late
  • You probably won't get the virus (if you haven't already got it)
  • Nice neighbours shop for you
  • You're probably OK so long as you don't put the bag the food came in over your head
  • You have an excuse for writing a boring blog every day
  • Friends keep calling/emailing/texting to see how you are
Bad things:
  • Can't go for a walk
Once the exercise bike arrives, we may never leave home again.

31 March 2020

Quarantine Day 10

Big pluses today:
The weather - absolutely gorgeous autumn day.
First on-line clarinet lesson - now motivated to do more, work harder. Constantly impressed by the IT skills of my teacher - have a look at www.justin-beere.com/claritones to see what a great range of resources he's providing so we can cope better with the lockdown.

Light relief

We get on the Jetstar chat line to organise a refund for a flight to Tasmania in April, booked back in February when life was still normal.
The following line appeared at the top of the screen.
'Hello, my name is Jesus. How can I help you today."
God was obviously on our side.
After Jesus had apparently worked the miracle of restoring the Frequent Flyer points we used, I thanked him, told him to stay well and wash his hands. He responded by wishing me a blessed evening. Must be the real thing.

30 March 2020

Quarantine Day 9

Very quiet.
Jetlag makes an overnight comeback, so we make a late start.
A bit of remote trouble-shooting of others' technology, one more successful than the other.
Another food drop - we are running low on tea and tonic.
Brief chat over the fence to our neighbour - is this allowed? We are the statutory 1.5m apart.
Cops come again, fortunately not while we are outside chatting.
We're still here, and doing the right thing. And quite well, thankyou.

29 March 2020

Quarantine day 8: Sunday is a day of rest

So we are one day into week 2. How was our day?

  • Since we can't go out, we have to give our week some shape, which we did by having a Sunday morning lie-in until about midday. Peter still has jet-lag so is a bit sleep-deprived.
  • I decided to have a Zoom-free day, but there were still the larger-than-usual number of phone calls and emails to deal with.
  • We are getting anxious about lack of exercise. Ordered an exercise bike on-line.
  • I cooked a curry and a pork casserole. Had to invent a recipe for the second one as I discovered I didn't have a couple of ingredients for my usual pork dish. Ate it this evening, and it was pretty good.
  • Have discovered that my clarinet teacher has created a whole website full of resources at www.justin-beere.com/claritones. I didn't really have much excuse for not practising before, but have absolutely none now.
  • Peter's daughter Barb and husband Scott did a drive-by visit. We stood on the front veranda, they stood in the street beyond the parked cars and we chatted at about 8m distance. Good to see them.
  • Still haven't really started on the To Do list, and still owe a couple of phone calls. Unless the coming week is very different from last week, there is not much chance of making any impression on the list before we get out of quarantine. Just as well we're not planning to go anywhere much even after next week.




28 March 2020

Quarantine day 7: still busy

Saturday and I thought things might be a bit quieter. Which they were, but only a bit. Spent some time struggling remotely with my sister-in-law's computer setup to achieve audio in Zoom. It would be so much easier if I could just pop down and see her...
Accomplished my usual Saturday task of completing The Times Listener cryptic crossword. It didn't take long - they need to make them harder now we are all stuck at home.
More emails, and I still owe at least one.
More phone calls, and I still owe at least two.
More work on the project to get U3A Port Phillip delivering courses remotely.
More lawn trimming.
Friends still depositing food parcels, or offering to do so. Thank you all.
Peter and I have started watching The Crown, which everyone else watched last year. Quarantine is giving us a chance to catch up with the rest of the world.
And here's a good take on Zoom: