My son and I took a short break from planting our native and heirloom vegetable garden and digging a second tadpole pond and made Coronavirus Helmets, which are an essential piece of equipment these days. The Coronavirus Helmet featured in this post is mine. I have more about Henry’s helmet later in this post.
As I write, there is almost as much proof that these helmets repel Coronavirus as there is proof that malaria meds work for Coronavirus -at least not any better than any number of existing pharmaceuticals that were designed for viruses and not a protozoa like malaria.
That is why I feel like I have contributed as much in the fight against the pandemic as Donald Trump has.
More actually. I spent much of February warning friends and relatives of the coming catastrophe and encouraging them to buy groceries and make other preparations as soon as possible.
What did the President do in February? He repeatedly claimed everything was under control and played golf.
My apologies to anyone who is offended by that comment, but you might want to give me a pass for several reasons:
My ex-wife is from NYC, and I was aware of all the deeply disturbing things that local people knew about Trump BEFORE he entered politics, including assessments by deeply conservative bankers and tradesmen who hated Hillary Clinton with a passion. Most anyone who worked with Trump described him as a crook and cheat with too many ties to the wrong sort of Russians.
Like any experienced manufacturing engineer, I had a complete safety plan for my employees to work solo shifts wearing N95 masks I purchased well in advance of the crisis, having dealt with outbreaks of flu and stomach virus in production lines before. My criticism of Donald Trump’s lack of a timely response is from professional experience.
The mosaic business is merely one of my activities, and I spent the past year looking into developing an aptameric alternative to protein-based drugs such as Humira. My masters thesis involved microbiology and the University of Georgia patented it.-Joe Moorman, MS, engineer
How does a guy who has 8 part-time employees outperform the President of the United States? And how did I do it when my decisions were only based on basic information accessible to anyone who follows international news?
I don’t often use words like doddamn and futhermucker when I speak to my momma on the phone, but I did when I called her and explained why she needed to stop watching Fox News.
Second Tadpole Pond
Here is the second tadpole pond I am digging and lining with a reinforced concrete I am making from hydraulic cement and pea gravel.
I reinforced the liner using old wire fencing that was torn down next to the warehouse and steel rods recycled from old steel filing shelves we bought from a medical records office that was moving to digital.
I want my son to learn the clever, frugal ways of my father’s tribe. My son might not get to meet his sharecropper ancestors, but I am going to do my best to make sure I show him as much as possible of what they taught me.
Here is the first tadpole pond:
And here are the tiny baby tree frogs that are born there in the summer:
Unfinished Coronavirus Helmet
I finished my helmet, but Henry hasn’t finished his yet. Henry’s squad has been doing team Fortnite competitions, and he is obsessed with Fortnite like most boys, and so he spends more time on the screen than I would allow if not sharing the parenting with his mother.
Still, I would allow some online team gaming each day because my son is playing with friends over headphones and getting a ton of interaction with a circle kids his age that he selected based on their ability to work cooperatively and not be a jerk like most of the people in online combat games. Also, my son certainly wouldn’t be getting that level of social interaction and entertainment without the online team gaming, not with the current quarantine.
I also have to be honest and admit that my favorite activity as a kid was running off with other boys my own age and playing hide and seek and war in the woods with dirt clods or rotten turnips, and so Henry wanting to play an online version of that with a bunch of other rowdy 5th-grade boys is completely understandable.
Uphill Both Ways
Unlike my son, I didn’t get to play with other kids my age very often because I lived out in the country and my father would put me to work anytime I wasn’t reading.
My father grew up in a large extended family that worked as tenant farmers and itinerant millrights as a small tribe, and so he understood that kids needed to learn how to be adults by working alongside adults for a few hours a day to put it mildly. He had a Mississippi Delta understanding of the amount of labor a person should be expected to do in a day.
The extended family’s collective dirt-floor welding shop was less than 50 yards from the bedroom I slept in, as was our one-acre vegetable garden that always needed weeding or hoeing or picking and could produce more than a bushel of tomatoes or peas or cucumbers on a summer day. Keep in mind that all the aunts and uncles and cousins that lived in the mobile homes and houses around us had their own gardens. That was just the one my mother and I worked for our canning and freezing.
Anyway, anytime I tell my son anything about growing up, it always sounds like “I walked to school ten miles in the snow, uphill both ways.”
But at his age, I was carrying a five-gallon bucket full of water to the trough in the chicken coop every morning before school. And I regularly did things like hoe a garden for hours at a time or scale and clean 75 or 80 bream (fish).
As an employer of young people, I can tell you that America would be a much better place if more kids knew what it was like to haul a five-gallon bucket of fish guts and heads to a place out in the soybean field where they could rot far enough away from the house for the smell to be bearable.
I can’t relate to these people who are complaining online about having to entertain their bored quarantined kids.
You’re the one that raised them with the expectation to be entertained by something constantly.
If you didn’t teach them to value their free time by giving them daily household chores, on behalf of every employer in America, I ask you this: Why are you raising your kids to be people that even you don’t enjoy living with? Why are you raising the horrible roommates and spouses of the future?
Like most all kids before modern parenting, I was pretty good at entertaining myself, and I wouldn’t have never dreamed of complaining to an adult that I was bored because they would have instantly put me to work on a chore. My cousins and I hid from adults and kept as low a profile as possible,
My father in particular was someone I took care to avoid. As I said, he would put me to work whenever I wasn’t reading, but the only non-library books in our house were the scriptures, a couple of Richard Scary children’s books, and a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
I remember lying to my father with no shame, saying unbelievable shit like, “Teacher says we got to read all of these, but I’m only on the Lysistrata-Mitochondria one, and I got 13 more to go.”
I was afraid if he knew I was only reading stuff selectively out of interest, he would have put me to work, and he certainly would have if he knew that part of the time was spent watching Gilligan’s Island reruns and enjoying the simple pleasures of not operating a belt sander or some other power tool that made a lot of noise and dust.