Photos: Exploring “New Horizons”

For those of you who are curious how I’m coping with so-called “Quarantine,” don’t worry: I’m exploring “New Horizons.”

Categories: Coronavirus, entertainment, games, Health, photography | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: week 2

Day 7: I bought milk this afternoon. The store wasn’t particularly crowded, and, unlike the Walgreens next door, it was relatively well-stocked (and grocery stockers are getting very good hours lately). I had to laugh that they were short on beer except Corona Extra… and Heineken. What the heck did Heineken do, lol?

I saw a news story when I got back that both ICON Park and FunSpot America (in Orlando and Kissimmee as well as their park in Atlanta) are “closing indefinitely” as of Monday. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld closed last weekend. This means that everything fun in this city is officially closed. The I-Ride Trolley, is still running though (as Publix, CVS and Walgreens are still open)

Day 8: I spent the morning looking at apartment listings online. There are several new units available in both Baltimore and Bethlehem (PA) that are available within my timeframe… but they are not holding “open houses” nor can I schedule a “showing” due to the virus.

I spent the afternoon paying bills (because no-one else is going to) even though they legally cannot shut off my electricity/water service due to the quarantine. I also filled out the Census form online. It took slightly longer than they promised as I accidentally tossed the envelope with the “log-in” information. However, since I am the only person living at this address, it only took me about 10 minutes to complete.

Day 9: Woken up by landscaping crew (who usually work on Wednesdays) a full hour before my alarm went off. Also, “valet trash” is still being offered. Nice to see at least some things remain the same in these uncertain times.

I didn’t particularly want to do it after the disastrous delivery on Thursday, but I bought milk off Instacart (and due to their “minimum purchase” guidelines, I ended up buying a lot of junk too). While they didn’t have the kind of milk I wanted, everything else was in stock and the items arrived an hour ahead of schedule with zero notification from the app of this happening until the driver knocked on my door, but, then again, it did arrive, so I can’t complain…

Day 10: Next week is April 1st. Which means I need to find something fun to do that won’t piss off my followers (like, ahem, last year’s post). It also means I have to prepare one or more “Autis-meme” posts. I have more than enough memes for ten of those posts… but the truth is, I’d only curate them not because I “want” to but because it feels like I HAVE to. However, it is a nice change from constant virus coverage…

Speaking of change, I just received an email notifying me that the complex I’m renting at is going to be run by a different management company. That by itself isn’t necessarily bad news, but experience shows it’s rarely good news either. It’s also pretty strong motivation to keep up the apt search.

Day 11: Quite a lot of activity (and noise) on the sandlot at 8 o’clock this morning, pity it was a full hour before my alarm goes off. However, it will stop suddenly around 10am, and then nothing will happen for the rest of the week.

And I called it, so I went back to bed…which means I laid there uncomfortably staring at the ceiling with my eyes closed for about two hours wondering why: If I was so tired, why I wasn’t asleep? The same thing will happen tonight, but it will be for six hours.

Day 12: I ordered milk (and a few other things to meet minimum purchase price) off Instacart… which was good timing on my part as not only did I get my items in less than 2hrs, but, more importantly, I found out that their workers are planning a “general strike” on Monday for higher pay and actual health benefits – kind of important in times like this.

Also, Disney and LEGOLAND Florida have pushed back their opening dates until midway through the month. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are now closed “until further notice” and have furloughed 90% of their workers (possibly so they qualify for Unemployment benefits).

Day 13: Woke up today feeling like I had a moderate cold, but that seems to have at least partially cleared up since then. I don’t have a fever, so it could be allergies. The point is, I probably don’t have the virus. Even then, it’s not like I’m going anywhere this weekend anyway…

Categories: adventures, disney world, florida, Orlando, apartment hunting, Universal Studios, Autism, SeaWorld Orlando, Advocacy\volunteer, Williamsburg, Health, Orlando Eye, Coronavirus | Leave a comment

Photo: Somber statistics

Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Kissimmee, news, North Florida, Orlando, Sanford, South Florida, Tampa, Winter Haven | Leave a comment

Photo: Awesome news

Categories: announcements, Autism, cartoons\memes, entertainment, Internet\FB, news | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: Week 1

Day 1 – Unaware of the impending “Quarantine” order, I ignored the media hysteria and went grocery shopping. Other than paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, the shelves were well stocked and, contrary to same reports, the store was relatively empty customer wise. Also, because the theme parks are closed, I was able to get across the street to my apartment without dealing with the usual nonstop traffic.

All I bought at the store was milk, bread and a 2-liter of soda (I don’t feel like getting up to check which kind): No coffee, no snacks, or anything else fun. Normally, I’d go back to the store about Thursday for another half-gallon of milk and possibly some more snack rations… but with the new “quarantine” in place, I’ve decided to skip that step and just go on Friday instead (it should give me enough time to go through reserves in my freezer).

Day 2: I had no real problem staying inside today. If it weren’t for the construction crew (like six people, so work continued until around noon) and the groundskeeping crew (which I think is four or five people), I would have slept the entire day.

I had every intention of cooking the leftovers in my freezer, but I broke down and bought Chinese delivery. I feel like both a rebel and a traitor at the same time. Food was really good though…

Day 3: Shortly after noon, I get a notice on my door about my rent renewal (which is a full month early, but at least it gave me a firm move-out date). So, I head downstairs to the leasing office… just to see it “closed due to Coronavirus. For all inquiries, please call…”

Bastards made me put clothes on for nothing… but now I’m too lazy to get undressed again (if that makes sense). However, I did force myself to call the leasing office as directed, and the three-and-a-half-minute call told me two things:

  • My actual renewal date is April 26th and
  • Because of the virus, all scheduled rent increases will be “suspended” for people renewing by the end of June. Something to think about…

Day 4: Forget to set my alarm last night. So, after staring at the ceiling for several hours not sleeping, I was finally woken up by a robocall on my phone at 10:43am (though I was probably half-awake long before then). Normally, the construction crew wakes me up around 8am, but they don’t appear to be working today.

Well, I decided to order tomorrow’s groceries off Instacart today. I got them, but I also got horrible communication with the app and a heap of unnecessary attitude from the delivery driver because of it. I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle of making a full post about it or not… but after having all those heavy bags angrily shoved in my hands, I’m glad I only ordered half of what I wanted.

Day 5: There was some brief activity on the sandlot next door this morning, but it appears to have stopped, presumably for the weekend. Otherwise, there’s not much going on here. I may order a pizza later, but I should be good on groceries for a few more days…

Categories: adventures, Coronavirus, entertainment, florida, Health, Orlando, Williamsburg, writing | Leave a comment

Update: Still a sandlot

It’s been a month of start and stop progress on the former woodlands behind my apartment (they aren’t working today as some of these are from earlier in the week).

It may become yet another 7-11 at some point, but, right now, it’s still a sandlot…

Categories: florida, Orlando, photography, Williamsburg | Leave a comment


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Photos: Shopping in times of Coronavirus

A flu-like virus with no IB elements, but people stock up on toilet paper and not tissues?
Cleaning supplies are gone too.
Bottled water is in decent shape.
Sodas, coffee, chips and snacks are appear to be uneffected by the panic shoppers.
Another aisle that looks relatively normal.
Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Orlando, photography, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Photo: Returning home after a week out

This is what it feels like to come back to my apartment in Orlando after a length of time away.

“Is this REALLY how I live?” 😰

Categories: adventures, cartoons\memes, entertainment, florida, games, humor, Internet\FB, Orlando, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Searching here in Allentown

Looking for the apartments, I never found…


I got hopelessly lost in downtown Allentown trying to get from my morning tour to my afternoon tour (which is why I’m kind of skittish about renting in a much larger city like Philadelphia) and again trying to find the where I was on Google Maps did nothing but zap my battery life (especially since both the topography and the street grid are slightly misleading).

I eventually ended up at my destination in downtown Allentown on the periphery of the property, which was conveniently enough attached to the PP&L Center. However, I couldn’t get in because I don’t have the code, so I called the number on the sign and asked to be let in.

“And you have an appointment,” the man asked with the enthusiasm of a dull rock.
“I would have, but-”
“We don’t have any units available right now.”
“Actually, I’m looking to move in May or Ju-”
“Well, then need to call us IN May,” and hung up on me.

Not to worry, I still have two other apartments to check…oh, cool, an email:

Dear Jonathan:
I just wanted to let you know that we no longer have any 2 bedroom units available within your time frame. We do have 1 bedrooms across our various properties. Please let me know if you want to keep your appointment.

I still have ONE property left in the area… and, naturally, it’s run by the same company.

I’m not about to give up just yet. As the things I want I tend to get… so I walked four blocks in the wrong direction before turning around and reluctantly getting lunch at one of the places outside PP&L Center. Then it was time to press onward.

As I’m trying to get a sense of place, I see a “NOW LEASING” flag wave in my face.

Well that was easy… too easy.

In fact, it was the wrong building entirely (no, they didn’t have any availability either). I tried making a map of how I ended up the opposite side of town with ten minutes to go before my appointment, but even Google Maps couldn’t keep up with my poor sense of direction. Let’s just say if there was a turn to make, I made it.

I did, however, get there… eventually (and entirely by accident). I was twenty minutes late, but I was still there (and she was meeting with someone else when I arrived). Yes, I know that contradicts my previous post.

The building itself is relatively new construction with clean lines, cool grey walls/carpet, and modern fitness center. The apartments themselves were a nice size with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. But none of that matters if none of the units were available.

We head back downstairs. The agent confirms the paperwork, and I leave. This time I’m not about to risk getting lost again, so I have Lyft take me to my hotel. This day wasn’t successful, but as the song goes:

Well, it’s hard to keep an Aspie down, but I’m not leasing here in Allentown…

Categories: adventures, apartment hunting, lehigh valley, Pennsylvania, Rideshare, transportation | Leave a comment

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