Quarantined Thoughts Under the Fedora

Well this week I start my 2nd enforced “vacation” from work in the last six months. The 1st one was when I busted my shoulder and was out just over two months. Now thanks to a positive test of a co-worker of dawife a person she worked with closely she along with me and our youngest are in quarantine.


This isn’t just a quarantine, it’s actually a quarantine within a quarantine because my son and I have been told that he have to practice social distancing from my wife as she might already be infected. So we have to stay six feet away from here whenever possible, clean areas she’s in etc…. Fortunately the house is laid out in a “circle” in the house so it’s easy to avoid each other, also there are two bathrooms so she gets the one downstairs and we get upstairs but the big thing is that she has her quilting room that we avoid anyway.

Of course once she’s in a room quilting the problem isn’t getting her into quarantine, the problem is getting her out.


One instant change has been to the Podcast. The sunday podcast usually starts at 12:35 AM to give me a chance to get home from work but as I’m already home DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court will take place at Midnight EST. That means slightly more sleep for me and because everyone in the house is under quarantine I don’t have to worry about waking up people who have to work.


One other advantage is my taxes, I know that they’ve postponed the filing deadline but even before that for the life of me I couldn’t motivate myself to get off my duff and do them. I do them all on paper and have done so for 30 years. This week with the extra time I’ll finally get them finished and even mailed, albeit from the house.


Lucky for my family my oldest has his own apartment so he is able to go shopping for us. This is handy but there is a real danger of leaning on him too much and when you’re already in quarantine it’s easy to be short tempered so one has to avoid making demands from someone who is doing you a favor by running an errand or two while trying to stay safe from us and getting on with their own life and work.


One might get down at the thought of being stuck in a house for two weeks with dawife and son with nothing but a TV and Dynasty baseball for company but consider at least I have a home with some space, family for companionship and another son who can drop stuff off along with the sicktime to use. Imagine being in a tiny NYC apartment with no space, no family to help out and no relief other than unemployment and the government air that’s on the way.

Things could be a lot worse.

Seeing America in this Crisis through my Father’s eyes and liking what I see

Whoever does not see the hand of God in this is blind sir, blind!

Stonewall Jackson 1862

I was reading Sarah Hoyt’s list of predictions when I woke up 1st thing this morning concerning how the reverberations of this crisis will treat us over time, some good some not so good and I thought of my parents and how their lives shaped me.

My parents as depression era people and as children of people who basically had little or nothing but what they grew or produced themselves did not waste, did not splurge (well my Dad would TRY to splurge for mom but it just wasn’t her nature too need or want anything more than to be at home with her children and grand children around her) and had a profound sense of gratitude for all the good life brought because believe me they had plenty of bad to deal with and the most dangerous place to be when near them was as a threat to their family in any form. Any man who purposely put themselves in that spot was taking his life into his hands

They were also quite different in their outlook toward people. Dad was a natural optimist, Mom was a realist. Dad was always willing to take a chance (too willing sometimes). Mom was a person who played everything close to the vest. Dad couldn’t bear to see people in pain or want if he could help. For example when he got a plow for his truck he would disappear for hours because if he knew you needed to be dug out it was unthinkable to him not to do it when he had a plow handy. Mom would make sure the house was taken care of 1st and a nest egg secure before quietly offering her hand. Dad was chivalrous to a fault, no door for a woman was ever left upheld, no kid crying left without a piece of chocolate, no guy down on his luck to be passed by without being given a buck or two, even if it was his last one and no person stranded by the side of the road to be un-towed and if it was a woman with children he’d usually get them towed to a friend who would take care of them either at cost or for nothing. Mom was always unfailingly proper and polite, but minded her own business and never even volunteered advice to a friend unless explicitly asked. Dad was universally loved and when he died, too young at 65 the funeral home was overrun with people to a point I haven’t seen since the death of Mike Romano. Mom was universally respected and her wake despite taking place in 2012 a full quarter century after her husbands took place in her own home in the room she died in with her very large immediate family in attendance along with her children and grandchildren a private person to the very end.

Beyond all of this there was one other trait their shared. In any kind of a crisis either or both of them were the best people to have around. I never saw either fail to rise to the occasion in any crisis personal or public the only difference being that Mom hand, being full blooded Sicilian, would be less visible to others when deployed.

In my youth I saw their best traits minced by many in their generation but as I’ve grown older and seen all of my mothers family die and only one sister and brother-in-law of my father’s still remain those traits have become rare to the point of non-existence. That’s because those traits were built on a culture that had seen death and trouble up close and had handled them so thoroughly that their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren thought that peace, comfort and safety were the norm in society rather than the incredible historical exception made only possible by the genius of America and the efforts of her people.

And having seen the errors that this assumption has caused, particularly over the last twenty years I have been remarkably delighted over the last month with my fellow Americans.

With the exception of a few hoarders and some idiots I’ve seen a nation and a community that has done rather well in showing its best face when the chips are down. From hard working staff at the local grocery stores to the folks at the local diner, worried stiff about being able to make it, to folks carrying on at their place of work with a mask on their face I’ve seen Americans rising to the occasion, bending but not breaking.

Even in the field of politics, with some exceptions which must be expected I’ve seen people willing to lead and to do the hard work in concert with others. I’ve seen folks willing to deal with realities on the ground even when their personal philosophies may contradict with them, sometimes they’ve been forced out of their bubbles by events, sometimes with great reluctance, but on the whole reality has been respected and actions have been done accordingly

Only in media have I seen the bubble, shored up by the efforts and cash of our country’s enemies, resist puncture but with the new media, social platforms even if this bubble hasn’t burst it we have seen it bypassed.

When all of this started it was my opinion that we as a country would get though it. The more I’ve seen of our people over the last month the more I’m convinced that we will not just get though it but will thrive to a degree that we didn’t realize we were still capable of.

Perhaps I see to much of the world through my father’s optimistic eyes rather than my mothers realism or perhaps I’ve taken Eric Idle’s advice to always look at the bright side of life too to heart, but if the last three years had brought back the hope that America’s best years are ahead of us, the last month has turned that hope into a conviction that will require a lot of evidence to the contrary to shake.

God has put us to the test and so far it appears that America has decided it will not be content to squeak by with merely a passing grade. I think my father would be proud and my mother, while showing her best poker face to the world, would be pleasantly surprised.

Corona Virus Side Effects Under the Fedora

Had some interesting Corona Related personal side effects / stories over the last few weeks.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I went to the Market Basket near my house after dropping off my son to work and noticed that they were now offering Romano’s quality Prime steaks. It seems to me that if this was a crisis where panic buying was warranted such items would not be available. I shot a video on the subject that you can see here.


Because of the cancellation of Events in the area my youngest Son was unable to see Letterkenny Live in Boston on Saturday. Because he was free our family as a whole could go out together to celebrate DaWife’s birthday with our traditional “person who had the birthday picks anyplace they want” that night as it was the closest day to her birthday that we were all free and didn’t have dietary restricts based on Lent or other religious vows.

This turned out to be good luck for her because within 48 hours of that visit Massachusetts imposed a ban on eating at restaurants meaning that if we didn’t have the dinner that Saturday there would have been no birthday dinner out for DaWife.

To paraphrase Job, DaPanic giveth the Panic taketh away


Speaking of DaPanic taketh away my Doctor’s appointment for re-evaluation my shoulder was cancelled as the Governor also ordered all schools in Massachusetts to close which means that my Doctor who has small kids on no notice suddenly had no childcare so he had to stay home.

This meant that I won’t get my shoulder re-evaluated for another two weeks (the new appointment came through while writing this) which means my restrictions at work remain in place and that no decisions to continue or cancel rehab will take place. Yesterday Reliant called and said that due to the new restrictions and the desire to limit exposure they will do my appointment by phone. This means no x-ray but I seem to be progressing OK.

It seems to be that if still like this could be handled this way now it likely could have been handled like this before.


While this has been an inconvenience for me it’s has been a disaster for the Restaurant industry. When we went for DaWife’s dinner instead of the customary wait we were seated at once, there were empty tables and we noticed that they by 8:30 PM there was no sign of them being filled. Our server noted that there were very few people on and that her she and others were really being hit. Tipped her as high as I could afford and it’s a good thing too because as of today her tips are going to be exactly zero.

And that was weeks ago, yesterday I went to the local diner which is doing takeout only. They’re a two person business with no waitstaff so one might thing they could weather it. But Tina told me that business is down 90%+ and if it goes on much longer a business that weathered the great ice storm and the Obama years won’t survive.

Can you imagine being a restaurant owner who two weeks ago spent a ton of money of disinfectant to wipe down the tables with last week who now has a bunch of disinfectant and no tables to wipe?


Some people just can’t be pleased. Last week our place closed early when there wasn’t much work and people were groaning that they were worried about their jobs. This week, much to my surprise and most everyone else our place was listed as vital so remained open after the Governor’s order and now people are complaining about that.

About 35% didn’t bother to show the next day. If this keeps up it means that we will likely not have many, if any short weeks since there are less people to go around. Also yesterday I was practically the only person in my department for 7/8th of the day, the nearest body being 50 yards away.

Now that’s what I call social distancing.


Finally a quick reminder. I am now podcasting again. Rather than pre-recorded stuff I’m streaming live on YouTube Mondays at 12:35 AM EST and Fridays at 9:15 AM EST. I’m going to allow call ins on the Friday show using my old Radio show toll free number 888-9-FEDORA. Yeah it will only be my home phone on speaker but we’ll see if it works. If not then it will just be me.

Keeping It Clean

by baldilocks

The place in which I live at present is the first one in my entire life where I have no on-site access to a washer and a dryer. Even when I lived in homeless housing, there were laundry facilities. (Bad part: you had to keep a close eye on your clothes; I lost a beloved pair of jeans to thieves during my blessedly short stint.)

As a result and beginning in 2015, I have perfected the fine art of handwashing my clothes. When I moved here, I had almost no money for weeks afterward, but I had soap, water and the need for clean clothes. So, I adapted and overcame.

Later on, I bought a small scrub bin and whenever I had a little extra money, I’d head over to the laundromat, but that has become a rarer occasion for three reasons: 1) I almost never have any extra money, 2) I discover that my clothes are cleaner when I handwash them, and 3) I have been grossed out more than once by the detergent and fabric softener containers on the machines.

 The reason I’m bringing it up is because various municipalities – including Los Angeles – deem laundromats as essential facilities which must be kept open and I don’t dispute that. What I find ironic, however is this: laundromats seem like a good place for the spread of icky things like the coronavirus.

All I’m saying is that those of you who don’t have machines at home might consider hand-washing your own clothes. Tip: use borax and white vinegar for odor issues. Vinegar also gets rid of mold and mildew – though I can’t find any evidence that has any effect on viruses — and it won’t bleach out colors.

And you don’t have to get near any strangers who are giving you the side-eye in return.

Hand-washing clothes takes time and some extra work, but time is something we all have a little be more of, so there’s that.

By the way, a year or so ago, one of my fans bought me the following. Comes in handy.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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The Silence of LA

Don’t be afraid

by baldilocks

When it’s over, it will be great.

I will miss the quietness, however.

My residential street runs parallel to a nearby busy boulevard and it makes a great short-cut to avoid heavy traffic

But there are no speedbumps on my street and, as a result, drivers fly down it on their way to and from work. There are lots of near misses, if the amount of horn-honking is any indication.  And I’m not a little surprised that there hasn’t been any trading of lead-encased propellants in the five years that I’ve lived here. This is Los Angeles, after all.

However, other than the speeders, my very racially integrated neighborhood is quite peaceful and the near shutdown of the city due to COVID-19 has given it surrealism. It’s almost like living in the country.

No one is in a rush to go to work because so few are even allowed to go. The schools and colleges are shut down.

It’s certain, however, that much work and education is being conducted via digital means and when the shutdown ends, it will be interesting to see how these things will be transformed by the revelation that more stuff gets done when employees and students stay home.

Back to my nearly traffic-free street: I mentioned on Twitter that I had prayed for a long time that drivers would stop speeding down my street and in the last few days it has happened! Of course, I didn’t pray that it would come from a citywide quarantine, but I do know that God is a multitasker. Also, it is far from the first time that He has answered a prayer of mine in a way that I didn’t expect.

The moral of the story is obvious: be careful what you pray for.

However, I will continue to pray for the physical, financial, and spiritual healing of our country. And I’ll wager that it will shock the world in how it comes to pass.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Podcast is Back Live Mon,Fri 12:35 AM EST

And now a shameless capitalism update

It’s been 18 months since I dropped my old podcast which was simply too much work but I’ve decided the time has come to revive it.

So DaTechguy’s Midnight Court is back and streaming LIVE at my youtube Channel Datechguyblog here.

I know the burning question on your minds.

Why now and why on earth do a live Podcast at 12:35 AM twice a week when people are least likely to be watching live? Why not on the weekend?

  1. I’ve noticed that there has been a drop in traffic and subscriptions lately. I need to raise an extra $180 or so a month so if I’m to convince people that we’re worth your time and your TipJar Hits I need to provide content. A live podcast is a great way to do so.
  2. Between my Catholic Radio show for wqph 89.3 FM (Your Prayer Intentions Saturday’s at noon) the face to face tabletop baseball league I’m commissioner of (Alternate Saturday’s at Zeda’s Pizza Fitchburg if you’re interested) The two online baseball leagues I’m currently running (interested in joining go here) writing for the blog, work and actual life with DaWife and family there aren’t a lot of time widows to do this
  3. I work till midnight Sunday-Thurs in a place where few people speak English and nobody talks much politics so when I get home at 12:20 and everyone in the house is asleep I’m just bursting with things to say. So it’s the perfect time to do it since I have to unwind anyways
  4. Frankly I like the challenge of trying to build an audience and there is no more challenging time to try that a time slot like that.

So far we’ve done three, here is the pilot which was kinda rough

Episode 2 Trump as a Kamikaze Scotsman

and Episode 3 on Conventional Wisdom

You’ll note there is no fancy studio or anything else. There’s me on the bed with the laptop camera and a mike. If you want bells and whistles, sound effects a colorful background and the like, you won’t find them on this podcast. (Oh and if you’re wondering where DaWife is ,due to hip problems she’s had to sleep on the recliner as we can’t afford one of those hospital beds. If (hopefully when) that clears up I’ll move to the Podcast to the Kitchen or the Den)

But if you liked the old DaTechguy on DaRadio show and want to hear me on the issue of the day, along with some culture, sports, religion then this is the podcast for you.

Let me know what you think and if you want to help me pull in that extra $180 a month, feel free to kick in.

Why I Stayed in California

by baldilocks

Two reasons: family and church. One reason remains.

I wanted to leave California in 2006, but I didn’t because I couldn’t convince my then 85-year-old great-aunt to sell her home of 50 years and move to New Mexico, where the majority of our family lives.

My aunt passed away in 2012 and it’s easy to place “blame” on a person who isn’t here to give her side of the story, but I’m not the lone person who was trying to convince her to move. Neither of us couldn’t convince my aunt that California was sliding down the tubes, or that it would be tough for one person to take care of her if/when her health begin to fail. It lead to a lot of familial acrimony for a number of years.

In the end, I did take care of my great-aunt – mostly by myself – in her declining years. And yes, it was tough. But I’m glad I did it.

My aunt left her house to me, but she had taken out a reverse mortgage on it, so you can guess what happened. I tried to keep the house for two years, but I couldn’t.

So, when the time came to leave the house – in December 2014 – I had a choice to make: move to NM or stay. But if I stayed, where would I live? That was a question for God to answer, so I asked Him. Right afterward, the pastor at the church I’ve been attending since 2003, made this general plea to the congregation: “I know what’s happening with the economy, especially here in California, but I need you to stay and help this church get the Word out.”

There was my answer.

I knew then – at the beginning of 2015 – that this would involve homelessness. So, I said to God that if He wanted me to stay and be homeless, I had some requests: that I would not be on the street or be hungry, and that I would have a clean, safe, and temperature-controlled place to sleep, shower, and you know the rest.

In my nine months of homelessness during 2015, He held up His end of the bargain and continues to do so.

Should I stay any longer? Here’s the thing: we conservative Californians who stayed let this happen to our state. Others got out early and who can blame them? I wanted to do it, too. But it seems to me now that running away is a two-edged sword. We did nothing and now we will continue to do nothing and are slinking away.

I still want to have the option of leaving here in 2020, but not without putting up a fight. Simply, I want to be able to throw my belongings in my 18-year-old car and bounce on cue, but until I’m able to do that, I don’t want to sit here and just take it while California’s Organized political Left continues to herd the state’s middle-class resisters to its borders.

Also, I really don’t want to leave my church. I could still be a member via the magic of the Internet, but it won’t be the same.

One might say that I didn’t get wound up about California’s plight until it affected me personally, and one might be correct. But that means that it’s time to change. If there are only a few left in California who are willing to speak for me, it is what it is. And I can still speak — and take action — for myself.

Also, as we know, California’s Organized Leftism is spreading to other states, often riding in the car with former Californians as they take their liberal political mindsets to places like Colorado and Texas. It’s like an airborne pestilence.

So, for now, in spite of California Assembly Bill 5, I’m going to continue my regularly-scheduled posting here at DaTechGuy Blog – Tuesdays and Saturdays — until I can’t.

I do have a fund-raising campaign going on Facebook: Prep for Possible CA Exit.

You’ll note that I left open the possibility of staying and I’m doing that because I think that 2020 will be a year of big surprises for the entire country. California may be one of those surprises and if I can be a part of the change in direction for California at least for a few months of the upcoming year, I’m going to do what I can. I’ve been stagnant for too long.

If you’d like to help me be ready for mobility, you can contribute at the Facebook link or below at my Paypal link. But even if I don’t get another dime in this campaign, I’m done sitting around waiting for my beloved home state to fall.

And I know for a fact that God rewards action.

NECESSARY READING: My Vox Problem

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

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Opinions Sought Pro & Con on Shoulder Surgery vs Rehab

And now for a very topical post, at least for me.

As you may or may not know I took a very bad fall at work just before thanksgiving and broke my shoulder. I have been out since that day healing.

After a CAT scan last week I’m informed that in addition to the base fracture a significant amount of the socket is also damaged. I’ve been referred to a 2nd specialist who I will be seeing after the new year to decide on what to do about it and if the best solution is a surgical or a non-surgical path.

While of course until I actually see the Doctor to get his assessment an intelligent decision or opinion can’t be reached it occurs to me that there may be plenty of readers who have had a similar situation who have made the choice I am going to have to face and have been living with the results of said choice.

Naturally both surgery and therapy have their own risk/reward factors on both a long term and a short term scale. A better grasp of said risks/rewards of either decision will be valuable in making the right choice for me & mine.

So I’m asking for your input. If you’ve faced this situation I’d be interested in the pros and cons you’ve experienced with the choice you’ve made. I would be most grateful to any reader willing to volunteer such information. Simply leave it in comments.

The End of My Sojourn in CA May Be Near

See the source image

Now they’re coming for the writers

by baldilocks

I’ve been saying to any who will listen that the goal of California’s Organized Left (OL) is to drive out the middle class. The OL’s dream population will consist of the rich and the servant class, with the latter being composed mostly of illegal aliens.

Here’s more evidence for my theory.

[Assembly Bill 5], which cracks down on companies — like ride-sharing giants Lyft and Uber — that misclassify would-be employees as independent contractors, has been percolating through the California legislative system for nearly a year. It codifies the 2018 Dynamex decision by the State Supreme Court while carving out some exemptions for specific professions.

But the exemption for freelance journalists — which some have only just learned about via their colleagues, press reports, social networks and/or spirited arguments with the bill’s author on Twitter — contains what some say is a potentially career-ending requirement for a writer to remain a freelancer: If a freelance journalist writes for a magazine, newspaper or other entity whose central mission is to disseminate the news, the law says, that journalist is capped at writing 35 “submissions” per year per “putative employer.” At a time when paid freelance stories can be written for a low end of $25 and high end of $1 per word, some meet that cap in a month just to make ends meet. (…)

Many publications that employ California freelancers aren’t based in the state and it’s not clear how AB 5 will affect them. Still, some are choosing to opt out entirely. Indeed, several freelance writers who spoke to THR say that various out-of-state employers — some with offices in California — have already told them they’re cutting ties with California freelancers. (…)

THR has additionally reviewed several job notices in transcription, blogging and SEO writing that have explicitly stated that California freelancers will not be considered.

Emphasis mine.

I write 104 blog posts a year, at minimum, for this site alone. We disseminate news.

A few months back, I got booted from one of my side hustles – transcription – because I live in CA. I didn’t understand why; now the picture is clear.

Ignore the what the OL says justifications are for the law and let me tell you what it really is.

Freelance writers – even itinerant “street artists” like me – are considered part of the middle class by the OL because we all have the potential of upward mobility and, most importantly, we cannot be controlled by an employer.

So, we have to submit, find a more “acceptable” line of work, or get out. It’s that simple.

By the way, you may have noticed that I didn’t factor the homeless into the OL’s desired population. That’s because they are merely a temporary tool to drive out us icky middle class undesirables.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and CA lawmakers enable the many repugnant practices of the chronically homeless, specifically things which can lead to death. Public defecation and opioid usage are chief among these and the OL hopes that these things will thin the herd once its usefulness has ended.

Ingeniously evil form of “ethnic” cleansing, no?

The law goes into effect on January 1. Time to start planning and praying.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar !

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Can you help my Great Niece & her husband who just lost everything in the huge IED fire in Fitchburg that left a bunch of people homeless?

Sunday on my ride home from work just before I reached the fifth street bridge to turn to my house I ran into a bunch of roadblocks from a huge fire that was practically flooding the road.

Continue reading “Can you help my Great Niece & her husband who just lost everything in the huge IED fire in Fitchburg that left a bunch of people homeless?”