7-17-20, assorted thoughts

New grandson Jessamine is flourishing at two months. He’s a 16 pound chunk.

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If you miss travel, here’s a live webcam from Venice with views from all over that unique city. Gorgeous views, and not too crowded (no surprise there). I have great memories of our time in Venice.

140,000 US deaths attributed to COVID so far. And soooo many people still rant on about “you can’t make me wear a mask, I have rights…”. It’s sad. We really are living in an idiocracy.

I spent some time this week debating with folks on NextDoor/Fallbrook about mask wearing and politics. What really stood out was the extreme polarization and the personal attacks on those with different views. I finally gave up – I just don’t see any way to meet in the middle with folks who consider liberals “demons” and “un-American”. Or who think that Trump is our greatest President. The tribal sickness (fear and hatred of “the other”) runs very deep these days, and I have no idea how to change that. We’ve pretty much fractured America into two irreconcilable tribes.

I finally finished the new raised bed herb garden, pictured above. Turned out to be more of a project than I expected. Had to reinstall a new hose riser and connect to the irrigation system. I actually enjoy the PVC work, but it’s all below ground and now very tough on my knees. But now the fun part – go buy some herbs and stick them in the dirt.

There’s a whole lotta talk about having college sports this fall, but I just don’t see it happening. My bet is that there will be nothing to bet on for football or basketball season.

My weekly writers’ group is finally reconvening via Zoom next week. I think the big problem was that our ringleader/mentor Dave Putnam is not a fan of video conferencing. But he’s coming around. I’ll be grateful for some opportunity to learn again and share some work.

Well hell. Turns out that according to the government, most of us are worth more dead than alive. Go figure.

I love Scientific American, always have. I love understanding how things work and why. They just published a fascinating interactive bit on what we now know about SARS-CoV-2. Beautiful (scary) illustrations and clear explanations. And the complexity of the molecular and cellular-level interactions (adaptive warfare, really) is astonishing. It makes me wonder again about life itself – was it created, evolved or engineered? There’s so much complexity at every level.