It's 75 degrees and sunny right now in Burbank, California, and if the world were fair (or, in other words, as I would have it), I'd be on my "California Bicycle" and pedaling merrily along on the Chandler Path or maybe even that long but regularly strange and oftentimes semi-seedy "L.A. River Bike Path" (a big, square-sided concrete canyon with some woodsy islands scattered with trash and tattered tarpaulins and a shallow trickle of water up the middle...see all sorts of exotic waterfowl and unfortunate homeless folks in their natural habitat...)

See, Carol and I were SUPPOSED to be visiting our kids in Cal for Christmas and New Years. And, as you might guess, greatly looking forward to it. Only then, just two-and-a-half days before our planned departure (and well in advance of the recent and highly publicized blizzard and air-travel quagmire), I came down with something. Something really cruddy, in fact. Cough, sneezing, achy, sweaty, congested, taciturn (well, to be honest I'm like that even when I feel decent) followed by a sore throat and a temperature spike up to 101.5--that's well into the boil-over zone for me--that had me shivering under the covers for the better part of a day and a half. Or maybe it was two days.
I felt like shit.

But, ever the optimist, I contacted Southwest and pushed our trip back by three days. Silly boy. Because I was still pretty sick come the Monday and by then Carol had it, too. And the next day, on a whim, she took a Covid test (yes, we've had all our shots and boosters, and if you feel that was a mistake, please go peddle your fish in another market) and, drum roll, please, she tested POSITIVE. So I tested, too--even though I was feeling fairly OK by then--but naturally I tested POSITIVE, too.
What can you do?

So that was a full week ago and, as of about two hours ago, we're still both testing positive. Even though we're both feeling on the downslope side of Miserable Sick. But there was no choice but to shelve the trip for another time and hold up at home for what will surely, in the fullness of time, become one of those holidays we will always remember. And fondly, I think, too.

It helped that the much ballyhooed blizzard and temperature rolled right on through as promised by all the TV anchors, and so Carol and I were trapped--marooned, if you like--at home (see pic below, which captures the essence of the feeling). Sure, there was lots of local family stuff going on. But we couldn't attend. So it was just the two of us. And we rather happily rediscovered, all over again, that we can still coexist and serve as each other's partner, companion, love interest, foil, friend and support system. It's a nice thing to be able to count on.

We've done some semi-fine cooking and eating (let me tell you about my root vegetables and twice-cooked chicken, and Carol can fill you in on the poached salmon and pasta sauce), worked out a bit in our ad-hoc basement gym/rec center, watched entirely too much TV (old B&W mysteries and Christmas movies, just a wee dose but still too much news and politics, the absolutely marvelous British mystery series "Magpie Murders" (double thumbs'-up from both of us) and, last night, waded as best we could through the massive, loud, needy, colorful, thoroughly confusing and totally indecipherable mess that is "Glass Onion." They should have donated the money to charity instead. It's a stinker.

Have also read a bit including a bunch of Hemingway short stories and played some backgammon (I've stopped condescendingly coaching/mentoring Carol now that she's beating me often as not) and I've tried to write as well during the current enforced downtime. But my brain is like a bucket of dead fishing worms at present, and I'm putting in keyboard time without getting much of anything worthwhile done. This will hopefully pass and our Covid shadow will pass and we'll be on the full-tilt rebound.

In the meantime, as Carol has reminded me multiple times every single day, we have so very much to be thankful for. In fact, when you consider the problems, pain, challenges, discomforts, hunger, cold, anguish, uncertainty and deprivations so many people are dealing with this very moment--all over the globe, but especially in Ukraine--our situation doesn't really deserve any "woe is me" tantrums and teeth gnashing.
We're damn lucky to be so fortunate!

So here's a heartfelt wish for "Peace on Earth, Good Will towards our Fellow Man (and Women, of course)" and a pause to remember how truly fortunate we are. Again, see the picture below. It reminds me, all over again, how comfy, cozy and peaceful it is inside.

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: