This was another one from Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, which I really enjoy. I thought it was going to be a quick read, but then I got distracted by the coronavirus (I won’t tell you how many articles I just read while writing this post). Overall, I liked the book, but there were a lot of story lines going on and things got a little confusing at one point.

My rating: 3.5/5


I’ve been following this coronavirus thing ever since it first appeared in the news in January (I have a thing for pandemics, thanks to The Stand), so I’m not at all surprised about the way it’s going right now. It is a little surreal when you start thinking about everything that has been canceled (NBA, NHL, music tours, cruises, air travel, etc.), but this is being done to try to improve the situation, so it’s better than the alternative.

Things are a little nutty at the grocery stores. I was at Giant Eagle last night and they were sold out of quite a few things (water, toilet paper, eggs, hand sanitizer (of course), and bananas of all things). Crazy. It’s not like the stores are going to close. I just don’t want to have to go to them when everyone’s walking around infected. Some guy had his cart double stacked with water. I thought they were going to be doing purchase limits at the store, but apparently not. Luckily, I was able to grab a couple of gallons at Dollar General next door. I’m not even sure why we’d need water, but I always like to have a little bit on hand just in case.

Late last week, it was announced that the Brit Floyd show Jake and I were supposed to go to has been postponed until August, so that’s good. Hopefully things will be better by that point, but who knows.

I had a last hurrah part two today. My friend Carol was available for lunch so we went to TAP 814. I’ve been wanting to go there since it opened and I wasn’t disappointed. I had the Carnivore Flatbread, which was quite tasty (and huge–I brought most of it home).

As for work, the economy really has me concerned. But, there’s not really anything I can do about it. And, it’s not like having an actual job (versus being a business owner) is any more secure. Just ask the travel industry.

the office

Construction at the office was in high gear this week. We’ve been trying to get a contractor to do the stairs for a long time now (I think almost two years), but we can’t ever get anyone to return our calls (or start when they say they’re going to start, or finish a job in a timely manner). I heard good things about A.B. Graffius Contractors, so Brian gave them a call and they’ve been doing some work here this week.

The main thing was the stairs. In order to proceed with the never-ending basement remodel, the stairs needed to be redone. Those are now in and look great! Earlier this year, one of the pieces of flashing came off the parapet wall on the roof. Brian tried to reinstall it but the wood was all rotten, so they are currently uninstalling the flashing, replacing the rotten wood, and reinstalling the flashing. After that, they’re going to coat the roof, which is something that has to be done every 5 years.

We also got a quote for replacing the windows on the main floor. Most of those are in pretty bad shape, but that’s going to need to wait a month or two until I can replenish the coffers.

Since the stairs are in, Brian will be able to get back to work downstairs. He has a couple of things to wrap up and then we’re going to consider hiring out some of the other things that needs to be done down there.

As it turns out A.B. Graffius is a woman-owned company, so maybe that is the key to finding a contractor you can rely on. They have been a pleasure to work with.

of course it broke

I haven’t even had a chance to replace my broken microwave yet and now this–my blender is broken. I shouldn’t complain (but I will anyway), as I’ve had it since the 90s. I guess it’s better than a large appliance dying (though most of those have been replaced at this point).

I looked into getting replacement parts, but it didn’t seem like a good financial idea once I totaled up the cost (I don’t know why the parts were so expensive–perhaps it was due to the age of the blender?)


I had Ralphie’s DNA tested through Wisdom Panel and his results were rather surprising:

  • 25% Australian Shepherd
  • 12.5% Basset Hound
  • 12.5% Bulldog
  • 12.5% Golden Retriever
  • 12.5% Labrador Retriever
  • 12.5% Mastiff
  • 12.5% Siberian Husky

I was guessing German Shepherd/Beagle mix. Maybe with some Collie thrown in. But that wasn’t even close.