You can’t live in Albuquerque, or any part of New Mexico without coming across the apparently ubiquitous green chile. This pepper can be quite spicy, but in general is one of the milder paper plants that I’ve come across. Because of the limited assault on the tongue, this spicy pepper has some subtle, almost sweet, counter notes that are apparently addictive. The most famous growing region for these chilis is around the Hatch area of New Mexico.

That said, this gringo had to learn (as apparently does anyone not familiar with spicy peppers) not to touch my face after chopping chilis. There is something about the oils that get everywhere and have a persistence of presence that is downright undeniable. Especially if they get anywhere near a mucous membrane, or eyes.

Well it’s been decades since I’ve lived in New Mexico – and up until recently it’s been that long since I’ve been around any quantity of fresh chili peppers. I’ve grown a few Anaheim and Jalapeño in the new Growing Love Community Garden over the past two seasons, but never had this problem. This year I’m getting a bumper crop of Portugal Hots (I bought the plants at Bayles Garden Supply). They are not as fleshy as Anaheims but quite spicy

Today is Friday so, for reasons beyond explaining here and now, I chopped a couple of peppers and sprinkled them on a Newman’s Frozen pizza before putting it in the oven. While this sounds so simple – all I needed to do is wash my hands real well at that time, it turned out to be a most painful mistake. Put the pizza in the oven and wash my hands, all I had to do.
No – couldn’t bother to do that.

So it was about 30 minutes later, I had finished all but the last slice of the pizza, when I first experienced the tinge of discomfort. It seems I had wiped the sweat from my brow and in that process had deposited a broad swath of capsicum heat. And that sweat was still in production. I didn’t realize what was happening at first. It was that tingling feeling, and of course I wiped at it and then the feeling got stronger – and that’s when I realized what I had done. By this time sweat had carried heat to my eyes and I’m in the head flushing my face with soap and cold water.

There are still cells on my face that are inflamed, I’m sure – but all in all I survived with that lesson once again fully reinforced.

Wash your hands after chopping Chili!

What I find most aggravating about the AMERICAN reaction to COVID is all the certainty. It’s this, or it’s that. Must be a hoax, just like a fu – we know what to do, no one expected to contain it. It will go away in time. Never before have Americans been encouraged to wear masks (look at the pictures from 1918). Freaking unbelievable.

All Arrogant Ignorance. I understand not trusting experts – I don’t understand trusting Corporate solutions over Social ones. To blame a described and admitted competitor [China] for not preventing a pandemic in our own nation seems so damn infantile.

We are still learning about this virus – more than we should have had to learn. It was possible to contain and eliminate the virus within our borders. Other nations have done so, and many more well on the way to doing so.
But not US.
Instead our POTUS is investing millions on a vaccination, instead of on prevention and Health. And to still read about healthcare workers without protection to help US is disheartening.

We are learning that it infects many human systems with impacts to each of them. Now that we have so many infected, we get to see all the varied manifestations of viral impact. Some of the impacts are long term, and while not lethal (yea the death count is decreasing?), they can be debilitating. Still we have people arguing we should let it go wild and “see what happens,” trusting another hypothetical.

I feel blessed I am able to almost completely self isolate comfortably. I understand many are challenged, especially economically. Other nations are dealing with the same challenges – Socialized medicine and strong social welfare structures (what we call Socailism) are minimizing the impact of COVID there, while we get to be the virus’s playground. The more and longer vectors of viral propagation offer greater possibilities of mutant expressions. Who knows what will happen to US?

I do know we’re already being quarantined throughout the planet. Mexico may pay for a wall to keep US out…

Treating a Novel Virus as just another germ is pure foolishness.

I realized a while ago the I can be quite the selfish and lazy mother fucker.

Now this can cause some consternation – especially as I’m approaching Death.

I mean – do I really want to be on my death bed regretting what a selfish lazy mother fucker I’ve been? Would you?

Though I also realize that at this late stage in my Life – there’s probably not much I can do about it…
I’m pretty set in my ways…

So, I’m getting a little worried about not being happy while I’m dying…

You have to understand – I’ve done a lot of acid.

I had some sort of vision that at the end of my Life
I would have come to some point of existential Bliss and accept the “transition” with grace and dignity

Like Leary…

(I’ve heard stories that it wasn’t all that cheery – but there are not many that really know.)

(there’s more to the joke – I’ll write later – I’m feeling lazy right now….)

I was in the neighborhood of the Brooklyn Bowl last night enjoying the evening and the area until the concert started. I went into Brooklyn Brewery for a beer, but there was a private event. Across the street there is a vintage clothes store, Beacon’s.

Not generally a “shopper,” but I had nothing else to do, so I went inside to check it out. I went to the men’s section and focused on the coats, looking for something exotic like tuxedo tails or something else for dancing in.  I was looking through the rack when I got the impression I was invading someone else’s space. The well groomed guy on around the center rack had what I felt to be a nervous, or uncomfortable vibe, so I excused myself and satisfied there were no tuxes went on my way.

A while later, I was just down the street from the Brooklyn Bowl, standing on the corner having a smoke (my kind). The young hipster looking guy I had seen in Beacon’s was coming across the street, with two shopping bags stuffed with clothes. Seeing as we were in neutral grounds, I complemented him on his scores. He seemed very pleased with himself, but then burst into even more excitement when he started explaining what he was doing when I saw him by the coat rack.  He started raving about the coat that he was looking at when I showed up. I hadn’t seen it – because apparently he was being coy with it, not that I would have noticed. He went on about this fine classic coat I really should consider buying. He said it was too large for him, and he was tight on cash – or he would have bought it himself.

He explained that it was a classic Burberry full length trench coat. On he went about how he used to work at a Burberry store and he met gentlemen that had their coats for 20 years and were still raving about them. That this coat had the full button in lining and was in great condition and was worth over $2000. And on top of that – Beacon’s had a $49 price tag on it.  Now I was not in the market for a trench coat. I owned a London Fog, that my mother bought for me as a congratulations present for my first corporate job, but other than that, a trench coat was not on my radar. Neither have I been particularly flush lately, though $50 would not break my bank.

But the fact that this nice young man had felt so adamant about what a great coat it would be for me, i had to check it out. It wasn’t hard to find as it was the longest coat in the rack – honey colored, and when I pulled it off the pole – it was impossible not to appreciate the great weight of the thing. This was more than a coat – it could be a home. I tried it on, talked to a couple of other customers for reassurance that it fit and looked OK and put my money down

I wrote this is 2013 – it is now 2020 and I think it’s time to retire the Burberry coat…