S2 E22 — Paranoid Rose Review and Traffic-Copped Check Out Lines

Those little changes in routines make Emma the Baroness and me a little more paranoid. Months ago, she bought a box not wanting to spread a persistent cough to the “Three Chick” sipping wine and dinner during their Rose Review on opening night of “The Bachelor.” Now, we have more masks than we’ll ever need to use, right?

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): When you seek achievement and goals, there’s a definite end in mind.  But this thing you’re after now will be an endless cycle of exploring and reinvention.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 22 of the Second Season’s  My Pandemic Year’s Natural Experiment, on April 3rd in the spring of 2020 here in California.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E21Cycles of History Rhyming with Endlessly Disruptive Rhythms?S2 E20Panic, Fertilizer and Least Expected Meaningful Moments; S2 E19What’s Percolating in Our Collective Unconscious?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E22Day 22 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E21Day 21 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E20Day 20 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E19Day 19 of My 1-Year Experiment


We like shopping at Ralph’s grocery store as early shoppers line up on the sidewalk in a queue waiting until for their elders to unhurriedly roam the aisles, stand on footprints six feet apart, and be traffic copped-like choreographed into check out lanes.  

Except for the major change with plastic bags — the heavier duty reuse kind — that the checkers and the baggers don’t touch anymore.  

That change causes the minor major riff in men and women shopping.  Men hunt.  Women graze.  Emma the Baroness hates self-check out machines and would rather wait minutes longer in check out line to save a job.  

Since we’re now bagging our own kill, I’d rather mosey up the “Welcome Valued Shopper” and handle my transaction in seconds.

We’re proud of our safety first protocol.  Did you touch the virus?  

We Purell our hands, our keys, our phones (sorta) the door handles, the trunk latch but not our face mask.  

We stage our grocery bags at the entrance of our garage having Purelled its opener, and the garage refrigerator handle, and the door nob to our house and then wash our hands with hot soapy water Sanjay Gupta style.

We let the bags with nonperishable, non-refrigerator imperatives sit in the garage for 36 hours, just in case.  And then another 24 hours for items we let in neatly lined up against a hallway wall on the brown wood floor that connects our downstairs bathroom to our dining room and into the kitchen.

Uh oh. Now what? 

I slept in until just a smidge after day light.  Trundled down the stairs. Peaked out into the gray.  And couldn’t see it.  Without any filter, paranoid questions flooded my mind:

      • Maybe it was obscured by a bush, or landed under the CR-V resting on the cement.  
      • Was the Orange County paper printing presses halted by the virus?  
      • Or, the paper slinger sidelined by what Trump insists is the China virus?  
      • Couldn’t she, Holiday Mathis, who writes the Holiday Tau, have predicted this? 
      • Or, did she?  Without the print edition, how will we find out?

Fighting to float to the top in my mind, past the road to paranoia, is the offramp to understanding, I remind myself over and over.  

Why is something happening? 

If that, then this!

    • If that’s the reason, then you’ll know exactly what to do about it. 
    • The cause that explains the symptoms.  
    • Marshall McLuhan said something like it’s standing under something, visually.


To me it’s a gap closer.  

It’s what drove Leonardo, if you believe Walter Isaacson, and scientists that Mario Livio explained in, “Why: What Makes Us Curious?”  

Even Michael Connelly, my favorite author since watching Prime TV and then reading his Harry (Hieronymus) Bosch LA detective series fictionalizes curiosity in a non-Bosch story.

His main character (maybe falling under Leo da V’s spell)  should be paying attention to wooing the critical next investor to keep his lab afloat instead of solving a Malibu beach murder. 

In Connelly’s “Chasing the Dime” novel, the pursuit takes him into an impossible, high risk set of circumstances with no way out. 

Until some little thing overlooked shows just a sliver of light which may lead to the daylight at the end of the darkening tunnel. 

With enough venture capital, he’d be back breakthrough-ing in his “Paradoxy-Moron” lab.

Which, is the answer Connelly’s scientist character would have, if he was Steve Zahn, the Fonze, Emma the Baroness or me instead. 

And for those who know me, this is one of the opening standby questions I’d always ask of clients and EMBA students who sought my career and life trajectory advice. 

It’s the topic explored in the opening chapter, “Life on Your Own Terms” in Book One, “On Your Own Terms: Pack More Meaning and Passion into Your Life”. And, thanks for asking, I took my own advice …


“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “If you had all the money you could possibly spend, then would you still be doing this work you’re doing today? If not, what work would you still be willing to do? A job you love won’t feel like a job at all.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Thanks, guys. Your Holiday Tau means the most to me as I push through on this passion project path.  But, will the scenery get better sometime soon?  How long before we’ll be forced to change?  Shouldn’t we take the time to toy with ideas and spin some scenarios?

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Though you may doubt your path, don’t turn back. Forward march. The scenery will get better up ahead. The time to change is when you’re certain. Give yourself the leeway to toy with ideas.” Leo

Hi Coach Kerr.  Correct me if I’m wrong. What your Holiday Tau signals is the setting and the frame of mind you should be in to spin scenarios about what probably will happen, given the rippling effects of unintended consequences and the reactions to those first, second, and third order into other traumatic changes in time to take advantage as they play out?

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:You appreciate easy, delightful hours but you don’t expect every moment to be a smooth adventure. This helps you take on challenges without the stress and drama that comes with thinking things should be different.” Libra

Now, isn’t this the newer story of my life on this path?  Yo G&G I’m talking to you.  Nod if you’re there.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:You can occupy the present without being there. Your internal reality is constantly reaching into the future, back to the past or to the realms where the opinions and stories exist. Bringing yourself to the present moment takes effort.” Virgo

Hey, W&W I like the your Holiday Tau, because the lyrics speak to me much like Leo da V, my muse does when he whispers something that triggers free associations frequently enough to create something new.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: Dreams have been called postcards from another world, an interior landscape where a different language is spoken. The awake and reasonable part of you could crack some of this subconscious code today.  Taurus

However comma here’s the counterpoint to always following Leo da V, the part about a strength over used turns into a weakness.  Thanks Steve for letting me swipe your TauBit of Wisdom.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: What should you do with the thoughts and actions that run at cross-purposes with what you want? Drop them. Decide what to do and then tell yourself that it’s as good as done.” Sagittarius

At first I felt due to circumstances I over curated today’s Holiday Tau, but your’s Smithy is step two to Aoki’s, am I right?

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: It would be easy to blame circumstances for the things you don’t have time for today, but that goes against your sense of responsibility. Instead, you’ll make extra efforts to prioritize what matters to you.” Gemini

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers or one or more of my 35 digital magazines jumped from 1,481 to 1532.




Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip