Saturday, April 18, 2020

Evanston: nonessential; St. Webb, The Geezer Guru

Snow fell heavily yesterday morning.  More than 2” at O’Hare, four times exceeding the old record for the date.  The photo above is in color if there were any.  The temperature now is 51ºF/10.5ºC.  The snow is all gone.  Color has returned to the world.  The sky is blue.  And the forecast for the coming week is almost springlike.

I received emails this morning from among others, Chris in Durban, South Africa, and Pat in Queensland, Australia.  Pat writes, “locked down and loving it.”  This is no surprise.  Pat, who is about my age, can build almost anything: boats, houses, furniture.  He and Dianne got some beautiful tomatoes—he sent a photo and they were—and sun dried some and used the others on home made mouth watering pizza.  He sent photos of the pizza too.

I asked Chris about sailing now in Durban.  He responded that it is banned.  So is the sale of alcohol.  I speculate that authorities are afraid that some will stay home, get drunk and become abusive.  Sale of alcohol here is considered an essential business.  Good.  As is, in some localities, gun sales.

Roger and Laurie are anchored in the Bahamas.  Except for boats carrying freight all inter island traffic is stopped.  There is a curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM every night.  They are allowed to go ashore for 90 minutes a day to obtain supplies and for exercise.

Zane in Auckland, New Zealand, reports that sailing is prohibited there.

In the UK Bill is unable to get to his boat, CALSTAR, in Plymouth.  His annual slip rental ran out March 31 and he was due to move to a new marina.  The move remains on hold.

Markus, the Estonian commercial fisherman, now cycles between being at sea fishing for two weeks, followed by two weeks quarantined with his family.  The boat on which he fishes is based in Finland, so every time he returns home he has to quarantine again.

Hugh’s boat is stuck in Panama until further notice. 

Here in Chicago marinas usually open May 1.  I doubt that will happen.  I know that Jay cannot get to his boat, SHOE STRING, and has been varnishing boat parts in his home workshop.

I could probably get to GANNET, but the marina is closed, the showers and toilets inaccessible, and Mission Bay off limits.

I checked the San Diego Harbor home page and find that San Diego Bay is closed to sailing.  “Water recreation is not considered an essential activity.”  Obviously they have not read the words of a great poet,

the wind that is
blows against my face
an indifferent lover
blows into my skin
enters my fingers
flows through my body
more essential than blood

Bureaucrats are not noted for having soul.

Some of you will know the storied reply of St. Francis who while weeding his garden was asked what he would do if he knew he was going to die that night.  “I would go on tending my garden.”   While not aspiring to sainthood, or even being a Christian, that is pretty much what I am doing.  I wash my hands more frequently than in the past; we have more items delivered; and we have our groceries brought to the car rather than go into the store; but otherwise my life is as usual.  I read some poetry every day and more, I write, I listen to some Bach every day and other music, I workout six days a week.  I watch an hour or two of television with Carol in the evenings.  Presently we are watching a Netflix series, Dirty Money, and the BBC series, Killing Eve.  

Of workouts, it has taken me almost eighty years but I have figured out how to get rich.  From time to time people tell me I have inspired them.  I could now in my old age become The Geezer Guru.  A YouTube channel.  Facebook.  Geezer Guru Twitter.  Instagram. Motivational speeches.  Books.  On how to be old like me.  Vanity. Vanity.  But I am sure there are tens of millions my age and considerable younger who would like to be as healthy.  That my health is probably largely a genetic gift is besides the point.  

As always let's look at the numbers.  78 years old.  6’1”.  153 pounds.  Blood pressure 110/70.  Resting heart rate mid-40s.  Medications taken: 0.   One finds different reports, but the average American over 65 takes between 8 and 15 different medications each year.

This came to me two days ago when I went to 100 push-ups for the second time this month and the third this year.  Some of you may recall a post in late January when I stated that stasis is not possible, that you are either getting stronger or weaker.   Well I am working out harder and getting stronger.  It is almost disgusting.

Of The Geezer Guru, I am sure others are already making fortunes doing this, but to paraphrase the late, great Mohammed Ali, I’m prettier and better with words.

I am not going to become The Geezer Guru—it is a catchy name.  I have enough money and better things to do with my time.  But I smile at the thought.  And you know it would work.


An update.

While many of us can’t, Steve Earley sailed for us.

Thanks, Steve.

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