I haven’t been writing much because, well, who’s going to play the Freecell? Right? How do you get all of the cards in the proper piles if you’re writing?
That’s one thing I've done: won a fuck-ton of free cell games. That’s what I have to show for the pandemic so far. All of the time spent home alone for the past year and a half when I could have been creating, or cleaning, or Making Good Use of My Time, I don’t. I stare at the abyss, which is very close, and play another round of Freecell.
But I’d like to write more, I really would.
Yesterday, I went on a walk with a dear friend and all of our dogs. The dogs ran off to find the river, duh. But access to the river in that location was a steep unstable sandy slope, and we know about steep slopes. It’s easy to go down, hard to get back, exactly like the abyss, which is why we try to keep a safe distance.
We could hear the dogs splashing and playing, and then the two younger spry dogs scampered back to us but my beautiful middle-aged girl with arthritis was stuck, and I had to go down the slope and push her a little bit by the haunches, and pull her a bit by the scruff of the neck.
- Heat pumps. Really? You attach a box-shaped thing to your house and suddenly, without pipes or ducts, your house is heated and cooled and your bills go down and you save the planet. Does that even make sense? I might be a heat-pump denier. And no one really understands them. Ask anyone.
- Mining for bitcoin. I’ve had brief moments of clarity where I get it, why and how vast networks of computers are mining for block chains, which are just series of numbers (why don't they call them that?) that translate into wealth. If you think about this for very long, it just seems ridiculous. I may also be a bitcoin denier.
- Money laundering. I understand the concept: someone has illegally obtained money, and they need to bring it into the normal banking system without drawing attention. But I get fuzzy on the details of how it works and when I really try to act it out with my fisher price toys and a tiny suitcase full of fake cash, I am unable to do so.
Anyway, back to our walk. Here was this woman who seemed to know a lot of stuff about snakes and goats, so I asked if it was appropriate to ask my questions. The two people I was with both looked at me like I was a little bit off, but I’m used to that and forged ahead.
“Do either of you know how money laundering works?”
And, like a tiny miracle, the woman who knew about goat’s eyes and live snake birth was prepared for my question as if she had been standing there with a little power point in her pocket, ready to explain money laundering to random passersby. “Yes. It takes three steps. First, you actually put the money in the wash so it looks a little older. Then, put it into a business…. (this is the part where I always get confused because really, how do you get the money back?
Here’s how it goes when I act it out: The little fisher price guy with blue overalls, the one doing the crimes, has a miniature satchel full of drug money. We’ll call that the suitcase money. (By the way, feel free to act this out at home. There’s no shame in that.). He buys a restaurant with regular money because he can’t use the suitcase money. His main problem in life, besides that there are a bunch of shady people trying to kill him, is that spending the suitcase money could land him in jail. But now he can spend suitcase money on the restaurant. So, if you’re playing along at home, take your blue overalls guy and have him hand a few thousand dollars from the satchel to the guy wearing the chef’s hat. Chef hat guy will redesign the menu and boss the people in the kitchen around. Now, overalls guy is out the regular money that he bought the restaurant with, plus the suitcase money he gave to chef’s hat guy.
the Health Department, and so on. This is where I start thinking it would be easier to just do the regular job that the overalls guy is supposed to do.