A Journal of the Plague Year (40)


April 25, 2020

The Correct Decanter for Kentucky Bourbon.

Harvard University in the US should really be named Greed U. What a disgrace to the “Ivy League”. With $40 billion in assets in endowments they still wanted to shake down the taxpayers for a handout. Shake Shack, the fast-food chain, after receiving a loan, decided others were more needful and returned the money[here] ….But,

Harvard University is no Shake Shack.

The fast food chain recently received $10M in forgivable loans under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, meant to help small businesses pay employees struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Shake Shack returned the money, CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer explaining, “We’ve decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received last week to the (Small Business Association) so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now.”

It took a jab from President Trump to set the fat cats at Greed U straight:

“Harvard should pay that money back,” Trump said Tuesday during a coronavirus press briefing. “This isn’t meant for one of the richest institutions, far beyond schools, in the world.”
The university is now giving the bailout funds a pass.

Too bad they couldn’t have shown a bit of common decency first. Like Shake Shack. In the private sector.

In local news, the latest deaths in Ottawa are in long-term care facilities.

“To date, we have received confirmation that 51 residents and 28 staff members of Carlingview Manor in Ottawa are confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Rhonda Collins, Revera’s chief medical officer, wrote in a statement posted to Revera’s website. “The residents who have tested positive are in isolation. The staff members who tested positive are self-isolating at home.

It’s a sad state of affairs but one too common across not only Canada but all European countries. But it’s hard to see how any high-density living accommodations can be made safe. Maybe this is a warning for future high-density housing projects in trendy development plans in various cities. Everyone will demand something like UV decontamination of their individual air supplies? But on the brighter side  [see illustration above] ….

VANCOUVER — Rest assured, there’s no shortage of booze in the province, so nobody needs to rush to their local liquor store.
But shoppers are clearly changing the way they buy.
Single beer cans and mickeys aren’t hot sellers at the moment, nor are regular sized bottles of wine. No, lately it’s all about size and quantity.
Sales of cask wine (that’s a fancy way of saying boxed wine) are up 144 per cent. Those big 1.75-litre bottles of vodka, rum and whiskey are being scooped off the shelves 153 per cent faster, and 24 packs of beer 120 per cent.
“So, anything you can buy in a larger volume,” said Viviana Zanocco of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. “Anything that can see people through, so that they don’t have to go out and buy again for a few weeks.”

My thoughts entirely. That’s why I’ve gone to drunk-in-a-box lately [for wine]; the empties are not filling up my office so fast. And for real drinks, for me, it’s bourbon.

Rebel Yell


Me to a friend

My mind has been running on this one for a long time, and now I find I must approach you with my thoughts. The autumn wind, the breeze in the fall, it seemed to exert a powerful influence over every folk singer in the world. It seemed to set them all to driftin’, wanderin’, cutting loose from all ties that had recently been established to seek something else in the distance and in the future. Let me ask you something. The spring rains? Did they tell folk singers to register for summer courses? The first deep snowfall? Was that a sign you needed to get a job? These are just locked down thoughts. Otherwise, I fear you would take me more seriously than they might deserve. Well, got to be a wanderin’. But not really.

My friend to me

Was a time that folksingers were all “Hey Nonny Nonny”, “Jolly Rumbelow” and courtly ballads… the singers were either boosters of the agrarian life or singing tradesmen argung for the particular merits of one’s occupation. Everything was nicely settled and folks voted the straight party ticket. Then, around the time of one of the Jameses – when Popery and famine stalked the land – ordinary entertainments began to pale and people were seized with discontent. The grass appeared to be just that much greener a few counties over and harps were being replaced by the much more portable (and tune-able) lute. Communal singing around open fires morphed into a kind of star system. People demanded personal appearances and the travelling musician became the thing to be. It was the Irish – of course – that started all the rot.
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