The pandemic finally hit home for me and my family. In her last semester of college, face-to-face classes at GRCC have been canceled into April, the campus labs have been closed, and as a result, Lady Ronn, no longer has a job. Which I’m sure will in a small way impact our financial situation, the amount of spending that we do, and as a result a small prick into the area economy. You can almost see the ripple effect going from local to state to federal to the world. Will this be the event that tips the balance and topples everything into a global depression? Let’s hope not.

The wife went shopping yesterday and got pulled into the hoarding panic that seems to be gripping so many of you. She had intended to just pick up the usual things, but seeing the empty shelves and the carts piled high tipped her into the, “I better get it now or it won’t be available” mentality. And she ended up coming home with far more stuff than the two of us have any need for. I’m not going to lie, I was annoyed.

I don’t deny that this is something that we’ve not seen in my lifetime. Or at least the reaction to it is something that we’ve not seen. I don’t think we yet know how serious this will be, and won’t know until after it’s over. Caution is warranted but this verges on panic and hysteria.

I have seen estimates that say as much as 70% of the population will contract this virus, but at this point there’s only 12 recorded cases in all of Michigan. And while I admit the lethality of this virus seems to be greater than that of the flu… it’s not a death sentence.

The advice seems pretty consistent. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Apply social distancing whenever possible. Probably, don’t lick the sneeze guard at the buffet or try to tongue kiss everyone you meet. Use a little common sense.

There seems to be some expectation, or possibly just a desire for a break from work, that everything should close down and that we should all lock ourselves in our homes. I get it. I too would like to not have to go to work. But, that seems like it will just make things worse, differently.

I mean, the government seems pretty worried about the effects on the economy so we should all probably keep working.

Who exactly has the luxury of staying home during this covid-19 pandemic? I would guess that, in the vast majority, it’s those in the upper 50% of the workforce. Anybody making less than $15 or $20 an hour probably doesn’t have the luxury of taking 2-weeks or a month out of work, and certainly won’t be getting paid for it.

Just like during cold and flu season, most people don’t have the luxury of staying home if they have a slight fever and a cough. They’ve got bills to pay and responsibilities to take care of. So, whether it be at a restaurant, the gas station, the grocery store, or the pharmacy these people are going to go to work.

In this group, I include pretty much everyone that is in the service industry. My work has made no mention of us taking any time off, because building maintenance doesn’t care whether or not people are sick, things just need to get fixed. I’m just traveling around West Michigan like a carrier vector.

It’s certainly hope that this is all being overblown but, again, we won’t know until it’s all over and we look back on the numbers. I feel pretty confident that this is not a modern day black plague.

Take care of yourself. Stay healthy. Pay attention to what the WHO and CDC are advising. We’ll get through this. Later.

Third time is the charm, right? Let’s hope so, because this is my third attempt at giving you a blog post tonight.

I wrote a post about my new custom guitar picks from Amazon, and then accidentally deleted it into oblivion. Frustrated, I wrote a post about writing the previous post and accidentally deleting it. Then I accidentally closed that window and deleted that post. Doubly frustrated, I went and played guitar.

I’m trying again.

This time I’m just going to share with you a list I found on the world wide web. I present to you the top 10 fears that hold people back in life. I kinda feel like this is an obvious list and I’m not sold on the order, but it was put together by a psychotherapist, so it may be legit. And anyway, the more you know, the more you know. Am I right?

Let’s do this countdown style.

I present to you the top 10 fears that hold people back in life, according to a psychotherapist.

#10. Fear of the Loss of Freedom

#9. Fear of Inadequacy

#8. Fear of Being Judged

#7. Fear of Getting Hurt

#6. Fear of Something Bad Happening

#5. Fear of Uncertainty

#4. Fear of Rejection

#3. Fear of Failure

#2. Fear of Loneliness

And the #1 fear that holds people back in life… Fear of Change

Life is full of relationships and careers, sickness and discomfort, oh, and death. Death is a thing as well. All of which will conspire to keep you in your comfort zone, cuddled up with your security blanket, safe and sound. But that will just leave you with a small life. Remember when you were young and it was all, “go big or go home.” And now you’re settling for letting your fears dictate the life you’re living. Bah. Enough of that nonsense.

See that list up there. Everybody has those same fears. The trick is to not move to the back seat and let your fears drive the car of life. I have read that a lot of people will work so hard to prevent themselves from ever feeling anxious that they actually develop depression. The effort of making themselves stay comfortable backfire. What they end up with is boring, safe lives that are void of risk and excitement. You need a risk and excitement, and as a byproduct, anxiety in order to feel fully alive. In order to survive.

I’m not telling you to go wrestle alligators, invest in your cousin’s crazy “insects are livestock” plan, or quit your job to become a cover model. I’m just saying that it’s good to put yourself outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. Try new things. Maybe talk to someone new. Have new experiences that are not presented to you on your living room screen.

A certain amount of this fear can be healthy, but it becomes a problem when it holds you back in life. For many people, the fear of the loss of freedom becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Amy Morin

Fear is a natural part of life. Embrace the fear.

I found the list on Inc., you can read it here if you’re so inclined.

The Latin adverb sic used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”. That is not what is going on here.

Monday morning, my neighbor mentioned that his daughter was home sick and that there were a lot of kids out of school for 3-4 days. Tuesday evening my throat was sore and my glands were a bit swollen. Wednesday, yeah, I’m sick, but not so bad that I can’t work through it and sleep when I get home. Which I did. Today. Well, today started out pretty well with the help of some DayQuil, but by 11:00 am I was decided on going home. I’m not dying, but I am most definitely sick. I’m just thankful that this is happening before Christmas and not during.

I had my flu shot, so I’m pretty confident that this isn’t the flu. And based on consultation with the best medical experts available on Google Images; It’s just a cold.

I have 3 of 5 on the COLD list and just 1 of 5 on the FLU list, that one being a headache. Which I assume is because my sinuses feel like they’ve swollen to fill my entire head. Hot tea and sleep, along with a steady stream of cold medicine, is the plan for the rest of the evening.

Friday morning we left for our family vacation with the youngest son suffering from the lingering symptoms of a typical summer cold: sore throat, runny nose, yadda, yadda, yadda. He survived the trip and once the tissues were cleared out of the car, we were none-the-worse-for-wear. He kept up with the festivities and I didn’t hear a complaint from him.

Maybe it was the all night drive or it was just my turn in the cue, but he seems to have passed it to me and no one else. We’re a week back and I’ve heard no reports of anyone else being sick. And I have most definitely been sick with a classic summer cold.

It crept up on me Tuesday afternoon, feeling like a ball of mucus growing in the back of my throat throughout the later half of the day. In keeping with my usual routine, I dosed up with some vitamins and put myself to bed. This usually lets me head this sort of thing off before it gets out of control. Liquids, sleep, and cold medicine. I took some Mucinex and slept through the night, took some DayQuil, and headed off to work.

Rinse and repeat through Friday.

I made it through the week without having to take any more time off and managed to get all my end-of-month work done, but I haven’t gotten much of anything else done. To make matters worse, by Friday night getting to sleep was very difficult. I was overly rested but still hacking up mucus and taking the decongestants. This are much improved today, but what is the deal with food? Why does eating stimulate mucus production? It kinda sucks.

It must be going around, though. I heard from a bunch of people last week about others suffering from the same sort of thing. So wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, and if you can, stay home when you’re sick. That’s my advice for you. Later.

trying to get comfortable

My wife left me on Thursday and I spent the last few days in a bad way.

Well, I imagine that grabbed your attention. Not to worry. Nothing crazy has transpired. Lady Ronn will be back on Monday or Tuesday, I should probably know which, but I have husband ears and such matters require little more than a nod or simple acknowledgement. They don’t require actual listening. She is off visiting her mother, and seeing a concert. Whatever. I’ve been left alone to fend for myself, the pets, and the plants at a time when I don’t want to do any of those things.

I’ve been ill, sick, possibly transforming into a being of pure energy. Not summer cold sick. No. This is more like something entered my system, dissolved my internal organs and discharged them at regular 30-minute intervals using a high pressure sulfur gas. It seems to be over now, but it was not great. I did not love it. But, I made it through without suffer to badly from dehydration.

Saturday, I did very little, but I did take the four boxes of game books and infuse them into my office space. This involved relocating a lot of stuff. It feels a little to crowded and cluttered for my comfort, but most everything is still there and the boxes are gone.

Here’s a gallery of my office. Some of the thumbnails are cropped and all the thumbnails link to larger pictures.

Today, I’m feeling much better. Just in time for work on Monday. I mowed the lawn, did the laundry, took out the trash, and all the usual weekend nonsense was condensed into one day. No progress was made on projects this weekend.

Couldn’t get into see my doctor today, but I did talk to a nurse who had me go to the urgent care. The doctor there says that what I’ve got is a stye and that the body will take care of it on its own. And then he followed that up with a prescription, not to be used unless my eye starts to have a yellow or green discharge. Thanks, doc.

For the record, if I have a green discharge coming from my eye… I’m going back to the doctor. But, at this point, it is definitely better than it has been.

The plan for saturday is to get up early and do my homework assignment and then get back to working on the basement wall unit.

something like this

I didn’t pick up the plywood for the backing on those tall units, but I can definitely get the shelf pin holes drilled and make the shelves. We’ll see what happens. Later.

Do you remember this post from September, Eye Issue? Well, if not I won’t be surprised. My right eyelid is all jacked up again. It started last night after I left the warehouse, so maybe I’ve just got some grit stuck in there. Whatever the case, I’m not loving it. I called the doctor’s office twice today, but the hold time was longer than my patience.

that was then: 09-19-2017
this is now: 04-11-2019

It’s not the eye itself, but is most definitely the eyelid. A little red, a little swollen, a little sore, and the best, most annoying part is that the swelling changes the angle of my eyelashes so that they are pointing down. It’s like looking through a curtain.

It can’t be too obvious, because I’ve only had everyone I’ve met today ask me what’s wrong with my eye. If it’s not looking better tomorrow morning I’m going to have to see the doctor… I don’t want to go all weekend like this. Later.

Week nine in healthy living is all about alcohol and tobacco and this weeks discussion board question was, What do you think the “legal” drinking age should be?

Why? What community problems would arise by lowering drinking age? What is one health problem associated with alcohol or tobacco….Explain!


I think the “legal” drinking age should be the age of majority, which in most states is 18. My reasoning is simple, if you are an adult in the eyes of the state you should have full and free access to all the benefits of being an adult. If as a society we agree on the age at which an individual is considered an adult, then we need to respect that adult’s decision to decide if they will drink. This might result in some bad decision making, by 18-20-year old’s (but these are the same problems we have with 21-25-year old’s already) and these young people are already drinking. But as we already punish them as adults, we should allow them to make decisions as adults. This comes back to parents raising their children to be responsible adults.

One of the health problems associated with alcohol that I am intimately familiar with is its interaction with gout. Gout is a form of acute arthritis. It is, in my experience, primarily a dietary issue, as I seem to be able to regulate it effectively through watching my diet. Alcohol is a big cause of gout flare ups and men who drink beer are twice as likely as those who don’t to develop gout.

I’ve put on a lot of weight as I’ve gotten older and it’s mostly a problem of diet. Too much soda. Too much fast food. I had horrible teeth as a child. I wore braces for four years. So I’ve had my share of body image issues. I still have them, only I’m older now and I mostly don’t care. So anyway, body image, that’s this weeks subject in Healthy Living. Here’s the question for the weekly discussion board and my post in response.

Discuss how our culture, family and friends can have a negative impact on our body image?

We have all probably seen or heard someone being judged or talked about in regards to a persons appearance.

How did this make you feel?


Body Image

Culture determines what is normal, usually through some sort of ideal. If we fall to far outside our cultural norm we are judged unfit or undesirable. Family is often times our harshest critics, in their efforts to make us fit the cultural norm they often cause emotional harm by making us self-conscious of our appearance. Friends, schoolmates, and even coworkers can also be inconsiderate ore even cruel when it comes to judging our appearance. It all creates a devaluing of the self that no one should have to cope with, particularly in the most difficult years of life before you’ve truly found your way. Body image is a powerful motivator in life, but it is not always one that is positive. It can lead to pride or anger, entitlement or shame, and can have lifelong effects even after change has occurred.

It is always an uncomfortable feeling when faced with those brazen enough to broadcast their prejudice and ridicule of others. There is always that one person who feels it is their right to voice their opinion, wanted or not, no matter how cruel or callus it may be. Whether that be through humiliation, taunts, or insults, the inclination I have most often is to shake my head and think, what gives you the right to judge these others? Unfortunately, I very rarely say anything. We all have something that makes us uncomfortable and self-conscious. And there is always that one asshat who thinks it’s funny or clever or necessary to point it out, usually in an unkind manner. Even when it is not malicious, perhaps we should all think not twice, but three times, before we voice such sentiment. Let’s all try to make others happy, and not bathe in our own vitriol.

How would you react if you found out your grade in a health and fitness class was going to be affected by your body composition as measured by your BMI?

Are parents to blame when children are overweight?

Should parents be charged with negligence in caring for their children (if a child is over weight or obese)?


If I found out during the class that my grade was going to be affected by my BMI I would be quite upset. If I learned this information going into the class, I would be less upset. There is a lot of unknown qualifiers in that first sentence. Is my grade going to be based on a comparison to my beginning vs end BMI for the class?

Will the grade be based on my results or some other criteria for healthy BMI. These are things I would need to know in order to gauge my reaction to such an announcement.

Parents are most definitely responsible for their children’s health. And as such, an overweight child is the result of the parenting that child receives. Parents buy, make, and serve the food in the house. Parents should ensure that their children are getting enough physical activity and moderate the diet of their children. As to charging parents for negligence for raising an overweight child, while I would love to say that is a ridiculous idea. But we live in a world where I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to see such legislation. Children live the lives their parents live, they always have. The habits of the parents become the habits of the children. Why not just take such an idea to its logical conclusion and charge everyone with negligence for not living a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps we should regulate what can be sold in stores and how much of those items each person can buy. I could go on, but let me suffice to say that I do not agree with any such idea.

Well, the 2-week supply of antibiootics for my leg has run out and things seem better, but still not quite right. I sent this picture to my doctor with the question, “Should I make another appointment?”

mccarrick_leg
after a 2-week run of antibiotics

Apparently, not quite yet. The next step is going to be a prescription steroid cream to try for a week. We’ll see how that works.
At this point, that whole area is still ‘dented’ and intermittently the whole calf flushes red. The cat bit me in April. I just want it to heal up and go away.