56 thoughts on “November 6, 2020: The Pennsylvania Polka”

  1. Well... it appears that the rumor regarding further shutdown being announced today was incorrect. I am conflicted on this, as we are seeing a ton of cases in our county. We are doubling down on our preventative measures at the joint, but I pretty much feel like at some time a pause is going to be necessary. I feel like joints like mine who take this seriously, are not contributing to the problem, but unfortunately, there are a lot of joints that are not taking it seriously and are danger zones. We are only judged by the worst of our industry... and that kind of sucks. I am assuming this is not a forbidden zone topic, but moderators feel free to edit or delete if needed.

    1. It's too bad that they can't selectively target the at-risk venues.

      The way I understand it is that if your school is forced to go full distance, no sports. It is my daughter's senior year of Nordic skiing. It's not even possible to get within six feet of someone else. Much different level of risk than wrestling or even being in a classroom.

      1. The numbers are now reaching the threshold for everyone to go full-time distance learning in our district, it is going to be a mess for our boys. The oldest does so much better with in-person learning and needs a lot more social interaction than the youngest. We're fortunate enough to have a teacher taking a leave of absence helping with our youngest, but it is painful watching him take lessons over zoom--he's a squirrel-y kid and just can't stay focused.

        As a family we've eaten on a couple patios since March, but have done a decent amount of take-out tailgating where we set up chairs in the parking lot to eat. The restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment industries really need a huge amount of relief to endure what is going to be a brutal winter. I feel for everyone involved.

      2. We're considering what to do with our churches, too. So far we're doing both in-person and livestreaming, but that may change. Of course, the difference between a church and a school is that no one is legally required to attend church.

          1. Our church has been online only since March and I am fine with that. The unfortunate thing is we just built a huge addition +remodel and it is kind of a bummer not to be able to see it, but a small price to pay for safety. I think it will be online until either a good vaccine or treatment solution is found.

            1. This morning one of my churches (Agar) decided to suspend in-person worship at least through the end of November. The other two will continue for the time being.

              I hope that, where in-person worship is suspended, people are continuing to send in their tithes and offerings. Yes, I know it's a cliche that all the church wants is money. But it is a fact in our world that, for the church to do many of the things it does, money is required.

                  1. And in fairness, there's an extent to which I can understand the reluctance. As you would guess, we have an ag-based economy, and lots of people don't have a consistent, dependable income week-to-week or month-to-month.

    2. I'll say that Mrs. Runner and I have not eaten in a restaurant since Feb/Mar and don't plan to anytime soon; that said, we are getting takeout from our favorite haunts, including the microbrewery near us. My county is not one that has been responsible, and until it is (ie: hell freezes over) or the pandemic is well in hand we'll continue to do takeout. Thanks for doing your part to keep those that eat at your establishment safe.

      1. This is exactly where we are. I mentioned Zoom's comment re: pending closing to Philosofette last night. Aquinas immediately chimed in with, "Wait? You can eat inside at restaurants now?"

        1. I'll say that Mrs. Runner and I have not eaten in a restaurant since Feb/Mar and don't plan to anytime soon

          Same for us - have gotten pizza delivery, Thai/sushi/etc. takeout. Been in for haircuts twice now. Swimming at the club and shopping at Whole Foods both feel relatively safe as they both have taken measures to separate people and suchat.

          The numbers have gone up out here in the last 2 weeks tho. I would imagine the holidays will cause another set of spikes.

          1. We are in a similar boat, minus the swimming and haircuts. We've got some shaggy-looking heads in our household right now.

            We've been picking up and getting delivery from restaurants, but not eating there, and not as often as we did pre-pandemic. Only outdoor dining is allowed here, and even then the places I see put tables far too close together for my comfort.

            We've gotten to where we pick up pizza from our favorite local spot almost once a week.

            1. I was cutting my own hair from Mar-Sep. I could kinda handle the front (not according to my wife) but I could never figure out how to use a mirror and cut the stuff in back, so I did that using the feel of the length of the hair.

              When I finally went in for my first real cut (to NBBW's lady), she started laughing openly when she saw the back of my head.

                1. I got one home-done cut around May, but nothing since. I don't think I've ever had my hair as long as it is right now. I've also been growing out my beard for the first time ever.

                  I figured at this point, why not give it a shot?

                    1. Do it long enough and everyone accepts that as your style. Thank goodness for "generic male hair cut by clippers" being socially acceptable.

                2. Same here, and the one cut was only because of family pictures (I.e., my wife ‘requested’ I get it cut.) it was a strange experience - I wore a mask the entire time, except when he was cleaning up my beard, which had also been left untrimmed since March.
                  We have eaten indoors a half-dozen times or so, but only places that appear to be hewing closely to the guidelines.

  2. RE: epidemiology...what happened here?
    Rules in MN haven't really changed. Was it the schools? Or did the school-going signal that everything else could proceed as well? Was this a collective fatigue and giving-up? Did we get infected by our neighbors to the east, south and west? People are still masking pretty much everywhere...but being privately social and not distanced? These are the questions I spend my day pondering.
    Helluva time to be trying to have a visitation and funeral.

    1. Not having school remote was a disaster. Masking and six feet away are mitigation efforts and not a magic bullet. Our district is now done with its hybrid model and is going to all remote next week. But we had a ton of students and staff infected before we went to remote. On September 18, one week after school started, our county's 14 day per 10,000 people rate of new infections in our county had hit a trough of 16. It is now 58 and exploding.

      Meanwhile, we see in our neighborhood people having parties on their decks. We refuse to participate, but these idiots keep doing it. On Halloween, people down the street (the wife is a SCIENCE TEACHER!!!!!11!!!!) had a bouncy house in the backyard and about 10 elementary students were playing without masks in the backyard while their parents sat in the house.

      We are doomed.

      1. Let me add that there were a lot of counties in Minnesota that had rates of <10 when school started and they went full time. Many of those counties are now surging toward 100. Disaster.

  3. We're really enjoying Queen's Gambit, a Netflix series about an orphan girl chess prodigy.

    NBBW and I decided to not binge-watch it, but rather to spread it out and enjoy it more and watch it together. Unlike Endeavor, where I'm a season ahead of her.

    Seems like more and more, we're watching stuff on Netflix/Prime and less on Comcast, the exception being news/Food Network/HGTV. The Bundesliga signed an exclusive deal with ESPN+, so I can only get that now on my iPhone or laptop, not via Comcast.

          1. 2.5 hours from Scandia to Alexandria - Road Trip!!

            Looking at the menu, I'm thinking Walleye Sandwich or Korean Pork Belly Sandwich. NBBW is thinking Butter Crumb Walleye, or Crafted Juicy Lucy.

            Rosemary Elk Burger looks enticing. Also Pike Corn Dogs.

              1. We will occasionally have a DIPA on tap on one of our rotating feature beer lines. With only 12 lines available it is difficult to keep one on full time.

                Hope you are able to make a trip up! It would be nice to meet you! If you want, you can email me at (our restaurant name at gmail dot com) I will then shoot you my cell phone number. That way you can shoot me a text if you can make the trip and I will make sure I am either working or will drop in and say hi.

                In terms of menu choices, you have already zeroed in on some winners. Saturday, I just spent some time in test kitchen and changed up the recipe on my Korean BBQ marinade and sauce. Even though our Korean BBQ Beef tacos are our most signature dish, I felt our Korean BBQ was a bit heavy on the soy (a bit salty) and did not have any Gochujang in it. The new and improved sauce is less salty, a bit more sweet and the Gochujang adds some depth to the recipe that has taken it to a whole new level of awesomeness!

  4. Anyone ever cooked with the bones from smoked ribs? I kept the bones from the last couple of times I smoked ribs, and stashed them in the freezer. I thought they might make a nice smokey broth, or could be good for flavoring beans or something, but I'm unsure how that would turn out.


    1. Dude! Liquid smoke is a real thing. I had saved up all the ribs from the covid smoking sessions and just made a bunch of liquid smoke. I addthe bones, a couple of baby carrots because what I had on hand, a clove or two of garlic, a star anise, and some green onion bits from the garden to a large pot of water and simmered for 3 hours. I purposely reduced this quite a bit further than I would chicken stock to keep as bone / smoke jelly to add to soups / gumbos / stews once the weather gets "colder". I've also just tossed a couple of the bones into the crock pot when making pulled pork and posole as a flavor enhancer. You can't go wrong. (The only mistake I made was not freezing the pork jelly in ice cube trays to make portioning easier).

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