April 22nd, 2020


road trip, depression, covid-19

Delight: two miniature rose blossoms (in full bloom) and a sprig of spearmint on top of already brewed tea leaves. The rose is so strong. I think i will make an extract.

On Monday, Christine and i watched oil prices behave in novel ways, discussing the mechanics that make oil prices go negative, informed from our distinct financial sources. Christine learned how much it costs to have a full tanker ship sit off port for a day, and there was the reminder of how futures contracts work and what happens when the owner of the contract at the due date isn't prepared to receive the commodity. Oil got to -$40 per barrel, went back positive over night and fluctuated in the negatives today.( NYTimes 10 am Tuesday shows West Texas Intermediate at $1.25) I wonder about how much flexibility there is in fractioning the oil into the various components and how easily producers might shift. Say the previous processing had the fraction being (pure fantasy numbers) 40% jet fuel, 15% natural gas, 15% diesel, 20% gasoline, 10% the sludge used by ships. If the demand for natural gas and the sludge stuff is the same (although hearing is decreasing in North America), diesel is 20% less, gas is 50% less, and jetfuel is 90% less -- i wonder if instead of making 40% jet fuel, the amount of jet fuel produced from a barrel of oil could be decreased. Or is it sheer chemistry, and there will be a jet fuel glut produced because the demand for other fractions continues? New term: super contago!

My therapist used the d-word yesterday: i suppose i should have named myself depressed to begin with, but ... well, so it goes.

I went on a road trip with Dad this morning. We pretty much kept to the plan.


Deep River Park and the bridge are nice. Dad thinks it would be a good destination for him to take Mom; i think the drone would be fun to fly there once i am confident i wouldn't loose it. Not sure when that will happen. Huge box elder and black walnuts on the Chatham side of the bridge, with tiles of Chatham rabbits decorating the the masonry posts. The Lee County side had a boring courthouse with tobacco image. Pfft. They had a lovely line of American plane trees, though.

Marion Jasper Jordan Farm looks lovely, but i don't know that there's a good place to photograph the historic register building.

Haughton-McIver House in Gulf is a bed and breakfast. Gulf was ... eh. The country store, www.jrmooreson.com, looked interesting though, and worth a stop in a different time.

Goldston was interesting. The antique store was "Shut." I think i ran across a walking tour - no, it must of been the historic register submission https://files.nc.gov/ncdcr/nr/CH0538.pdf.

The William Alston Rives House is down a public road that REALLY FEELS LIKE A DRIVEWAY. But i will return and photograph the house someday - it's been lovingly preserved and the landscape maintained.

I misplaced Pedlar's Hill. The place i marked as Pedlar's Hill (35.62438, -79.34013, NE corner of the Mark Willet Rd & Campbell Rd intersection) is interesting, but the 1930s post office map has the location at Campbell and Griffin Rd, and was unremarkable today.

I'm not sure i recall, entirely, what i think of Bonlee. There was a feed elevator that was kinda visually interesting.

I was delighted by the Mt Vernon Spring, and was glad to drink from it as i'd forgotten to bring something to drink. It felt like a lovely spot, more than it looked like one -- i was delighted to see Zephyranthes atamasco (rain lily) blooming. The Lane-Gorrell-Rosser Farm would lend itself well to photographs.

I just spent hours hunting down historical record questions: the Chatham county survey isn't online but i can buy it from the county historical society (answering a question about why sites are on the map but i can't find anything about them). I can't figure out where details about state listed and "DOE listed" properties are kept. Dad and i talked about House in the Horeseshoe, built by Philip Alston while on our ramble: turns out it's in Moore County and that Alston isn't particularly related to the Alstons of the Alston-DeGraffenreid house (i have a winding relation to the early DeGraffenreids who settled North Carolina).

All in all, i think it was a good trip and that it was a pleasure for Dad as much as it was for me. Not sure he talked about Mom as much as he wanted, but not for lack of opportunity. It was a vacation for him.

I wish i could advise a sensible way for him to fall back asleep when he wakes at 3 am. Skimming over "sleep hygine" advice, i don't see anything jump out at me as a problem he might address.