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About Cerberus

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    The Abyssal Inn

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  1. If I have enough leather, I'm going to make one of these and wear it around town: Because everyone feels more comfortable when there's a Plague Doctor present.
  2. Cheese - It may help to try to shift from an anticipatory/anxious state of mind that says "I might not get the things" to a problem-solving state of mind that says "What can I do without those things?" If you feel yourself panicky, go ahead and think, "Okay, if the worst happened and he arrives at my door without hand sanitizer or hand soap: 1) Would I drop dead on the spot? (No.) 2) Would I be mortally wounded? (No.) 3) Would my life change forever? (Highly unlikely.) 4) Would I be inconvenienced? (Possibly.) By the time you get to (4), you have begun to put the situation into proper perspective, and discover that it is a manageable problem because, in fact, it is simply an inconvenience. So, solve the problem - how do you get around the fact that you have no hand sanitizer or hand soap? You find a bar of regular soap. That will do very nicely. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Lacking a bar of soap, two or three drops of your dishwashing liquid will suffice. The goal is sterilized hands, not having a specific sterilizing fluid. Once your hands are clean, you're good to go, just don't run around petting infected tigers - you could end up at No. (2).
  3. The Unfortunate Tyger (With apologies to William Blake) Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! at the zoo, You abhor us, yes, you do - Rightly so you don't admire us: We gave you coronavirus.
  4. In the news today, it seems that an Iowa man just held a horse auction that attracted 600 people, mostly Amish. He sold 150 horses. He wanted to sell his horses so he could move to Ohio. One is uncertain whether Ohio would be considered an upgrade from Iowa, but this is beside the point. Because of the vagueness of Iowa's restrictions, the gathering was not in violation of any order, though the Governor has since decreed that livestock auctions can have no more than 10 participants, 25 if the animals are food animals. All this equivocating! All these exceptions! California has sensibly closed churches, but Florida has decided that churches need to be open, even though data has been showing that high numbers of coronavirus cases are being traced back to church gatherings. And - funerals. See how crafty this virus is? It even sets up the situation for infecting new victims by killing the ones closest to them. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the Governor of one Mexican state has proclaimed that the poor are immune to the virus, and in Japan, Abe Shinzo is refusing to declare a state of emergency, but has prudently announced a plan to issue two (2) cloths masks per household. At the end of the month. #ScrewYourTwoMasks is apparently trending in Japan. In Ecuador, people have begun leaving the bodies of the dead out on the sidewalk for want of any other place to put them. If this goes on, we'll soon see men moving down the streets with carts, shouting "Bring out your dead!" and there won't be anything the least bit funny about it.
  5. www.omniglot.com - Because I have a passion for alphabets. What's best, though, is the section where people who have come up with their own writing systems show off their work. Also, www.jpl.nasa.gov Because space, the final frontier. One of my favorites is no more: beedogs.com. It is no longer operating, but thank God for the Wayback Machine! Visit the glory that was beedogs.com
  6. As I follow the media day by day, it does something that would be difficult for an individual person to achieve without access to the information - it humanizes us. The numbers of infected and dead tic up inexorably, but they're just numbers, just statistics; it's the stories of the people we don't know who have suffered and died or suffered and lost, those who cannot protect themselves, those who battle the infection in spite of fear for their own lives and those of their families - these connect us to the rest of humanity even though we're isolated and behind a screen. Race matters little. The novel coronavirus doesn't care what color we are outside, it just wants our lungs and it's not picky about those. But even more, the media reports of something that surprises and shocks us - the passing of the famous, the rich, the notable in society - from the very same virus that gobbles up the poorest of the poor. So far the virus has taken former senators, famed musicians, noted actors, honored journalists. Until now we had become accustomed to looking for the cause of death of such persons to reveal some seedy under-truth like a drug overdose, but now we see that they simply die like the rest of us. Coronavirus is like a great rolling-pin that flattens out the vertical separation in our society. Yes, it's true that the wealthy have more means to resist than the slum-dwellers of Mumbai of those in the favelas of Rio, or the homeless of Manhattan. They can run, but they can't hide, from this virus. It's here to stay. It isn't going to just vanish; instead, humanity will build a herd immunity until it becomes powerless to harm us - to harm the survivors. A vaccine, in time, will hasten that process. Until that happens, the media will keep on noting the passing of the Great and the Good, like meteors falling to earth, where the rest of us reside.
  7. Today was day 14 of my self-imposed quarantine, in which I left the house exactly once for a commando raid to the grocery store, and three times to the mailbox. The remaining time I have been inside my house, alone with the cat. It has not been any more difficult than usual, because this is largely my life anyway. I have no one to be social with in this godforsaken backward cultural wasteland, and I don't human very well no matter where I go. Obviously, I don't have Covid-19. Sooooo, what does one do when one has finished one's quarantine virus-free? Apparently, start another one to stay that way. It really does kind of feel like the Zombie Apocalypse, because the very air outside feels full of menace, like something vile is lurking around the corner of the house and any minute is going to step out and gnaw on my elbow. Q: What do zombies eat on the Fourth of July? A: Braaiinnzzz... The thing is, even though I'm no more alone than I ever am, the fact that everyone has to be and is talking about how had it is sort of magnifies the pain of it for those of us who endure it 24/7/365. At least, it does for me. My 77-year-old mother called me today to see if I was doing all right. She called me from the car outside McDonald's where she and my 77-year-old dad had just gone to get something to eat. I said, "I'm doing fine, I haven't left the house in a week. GO HOME." It just occurred to me that they could have called this disease gregariitis, because it disproportionately attacks the gregarious, those who can't stay away from each other. Imagine - if the projections of 100,000 American dead are correct, along with the toll across the world, that means the planet stands to lose a disproportionate number of its gregarious extroverts, in such numbers that it could possibly affect the genetic makeup of the species in the long term. Someday, we'll look back on all this and laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Actually, no, we won't, will we?
  8. A guy walks into a bar. He tells the bartender he's barhopping, and orders a drink. Then he leaves, comes back in, and orders the same drink. He does this several times. Finally the bartender says, "Hey, man, I thought you were barhopping." The guy replies, "I am... with OCD it just takes a while."
  9. Julian’s been under a little stress.
  10. That's the kicker of the original joke. My daughter turned it on its head by having the horse then say something serious that undermines the original humor so you can focus on the fact that the horse can talk. I know. Sometimes it's like having a daughter from the Addams Family. She's brilliant, though.
  11. A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, buddy, why the long face?" The horse replies, "My daughter just died of cancer." (This dark humor courtesy of my disturbed daughter, who explained that the joke is that it's a talking horse.)
  12. The thing is, when I visited Galway some years ago, my very first pub luncheon there featured potatoes prepared two different ways - mashed, and half a potato deep-fried. I'll never forget thinking at the time, So it's all true...
  13. This is what happens when you trap people in their homes.
  14. Imagine this pandemic if the result of becoming infected were that you lost your sight, some permanently, some only until they recovered.
  15. Fluent - I’m not sure this image is accomplishing the emotional support goal you intended. My immediate reaction upon seeing it was a sense of vague terror that I couldn’t quite put a finger on. I consulted my daughter, an enthusiastic dog-fancier, and asked her for her instant take on the image. She replied, “Adorable... and... apprehension. There’s something wrong with their faces.” Aha! A clue. As I examined the image more closely, I realized that these little dogs are the sort one might see accompanying a clown - a blank-faced clown with darkened eyes - a killer klown, perhaps, and here they are in numbers, but where, then, are the killer klowns? Standing right... behind... us? Even taken by themselves, their happy-go-hungry faces conjure less a sense of “harmless puffballs” and more a sense of “devourers from the hollow realm”. It’s possible that this is merely an illusion created by the fact that there are six of them together, which appears to violate the First Law of Æsthetic Equilibrium, which states, in part, that there is only so much cuteness that can occupy the same spacetime without causing an emboitment into the next higher dimension. (In theory, this is also where all the killer klowns could have ended up.) So you see, a half-dozen pomeranians could be the emotional equivalent of a powderkeg. Or I could be overthinking it. That happens.
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