Spring

Today is the Spring Solstice the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Here in Socal it’s damp and cloudy. We still managed to get a walk in around the vineyard. Shaded part of the vineyard path shown above.

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I watched St. Whatever’s (I still can’t say their name) defeat another KY team in the tournament yesterday. They’re living the dream, going to the Sweet Sixteen.

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This NPR article brings back the story of the execrable eastern KY county clerk who took it upon herself to decide that gay couples could not get a marriage license, in spite of what the law said. Her moral guide was of course the word of god. From the article:

The legal battle started in 2015 when Davis, in her capacity of a county clerk, defied the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. It’s the landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide

She said distributing marriage licenses to such couples went against her beliefs as a member of the Apostolic Church, arguing that she could not give them a marriage license “under God’s authority.”

I suppose it never occurred to her to quit her job if her religious belief kept her from carrying out her legal duty. Instead she decided to impose her belief on others. I wonder if eastern KY would have supported a Muslim exercising his of her religious beliefs in that same scenario? Hmmm.

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I’m no expert, but this seems bad. “Both of the planet’s poles experience extreme heat, and Antarctica breaks records.” Might be time to buy some property in Alaska. Or Ushuaia.

Life goes on

I let my March sadness post sit there for a couple of days; didn’t feel like writing. Sort of a grave marker for the season. I’m still upset, but the sun did come up the next day and life goes on.

Speaking of life going on, mine has taken an unexpected turn. As I wrote a few days ago, I’ve accepted a client project that will keep me busy full time for a few months. Not what I was planning for 2022, but…it’s something I need to do.

We have some travel planned for 2022, including multiple KY trips (including next week), a Napa trip in June, an Alaska trip in August, my annual NOLA/golf trip in the fall, and the big northern lights / Norway trip late in the year. So this blog will start to resemble a travel blog again.

The first pictures from the Webb space telescope are in, and they’re stunning. In the shot below, the smudges you see around the central star are galaxies never seen before. You can see the familiar spiral shape of many of them. Just imagine, each one of those smudges contain 100 billion (!) stars, and planets orbit around tens of millions of them. The universe is unimaginably big. For me this makes the notion that humankind is the only sentience in the universe silly and naive. We’re not alone, folks. Likewise, the religious notion that a god created the whole universe just for us is egotistic and silly. I wish we could know how many other thinking beings there are out there, but for now we’ll have to enjoy the wonder of the size/scale of it all.

Finally, as a person who enjoys understanding how the universe works (aka physics), this little synopsis is very cool. Nine lines that summarize all of physics.

March sadness

Imagine all the expletives in the world.* Then imagine all those expletives in 24 point bold font, a giant billboard of them. Then imagine those expletives, branded into your skin, one painful letter at a time.

That’s what I think of tonight’s UK loss to St Whatever.

*My wife watched the game with me. She doesn’t have to imagine.

Just say no to naps and green beer

This just in after National Nap Day just a few days ago. Geez, and I was feeling good about taking naps.

Kentucky plays in the first round of March Madness this afternoon. Can’t wait!

BTW, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t go out and celebrate it the way I did in my 20s, but for a lot of folks it’s a big day. Though sadly tainted by green beer.

I’ve committed to doing a project for a client over the next 2-3 months, one that will take a lot of my time. It’s not quite the “unretiring” that happened for a while in 2021 (multiple client projects), but it’s definitely a temporary return to corporate life. There are things about this I’m looking forward to, and things that I’m not – pros and cons.

Codgers

As well-informed as I think I am concerning developments in spaceflight, I just learned of a new company that has successfully launched satellites into low Earth orbit. Astra. I keep wondering if it’s too late for a codger like me to get involved with one of these spaceflight startups…

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March Madness officially starts tomorrow. It should be a great ride, and UK got an excellent draw – a fairly easy path into the Sweet 16 (knock on *all* the wood). I’m excited.

3.1422

It’s Pi Day and National Napping Day. I’m all in for both.

The war in Ukraine continues unabated, throwing a lot of uncertainty into the world for the foreseeable future. I have a lot of trouble seeing what’s really in it for Putin and the Russian ruling class – right now they’re taking a beating militarily, reputation-wise and economically. What’s the endgame that makes all that worth it? Is it simply a wealthy old man’s ego, or…?

As real-world events unfold, I’m reading an absolutely terrifying book about how WW3 breaks out. It involves the US, Russia and China, where China is the aggressor and Russia plays an enabling role against the US. It’s terrifying because the authors are tech and military experts and the scenarios they use to show how things start and escalate are plausible. If you’re a Tom Clancy fan and don’t mind the additional (almost post-COVID) stress of reading about the end of the world via war, read Ghost Fleet. Yikes.

Listless

I find myself uninspired today – can’t summon the enthusiasm to write about or share anything. Last night’s UK loss to TN took all the wind from my sails. And the daylight savings time shift didn’t help.

It’s time to read a book.

A Saturday morning in March

What is it with Russian oligarchs and yachts? I suppose Freud was right after all.

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A possible relative of mine has it right on the oil companies. Windfall profits, indeed.

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Last night’s Cats victory over Vanderbilt was great to watch. Another team victory with players coming off the bench to pick up any slack needed. Pippen Jr. flopped like crazy, but it wasn’t enough. I hope I never have to watch him play again. Today we get to try our luck skill against a strong U of Tennessee team. Go Cats!

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We’re going whale watching today as part of my sister-in-law’s birthday weekend (Happy Birthday, Deeanne!). I hope the whales and dolphins got the message – come on out and play. Weather looks good.

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Proving once again that there is no bottom, my least favorite Senator decides that school children should have to pay up or go hungry. Words fail me.

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The more I read about Ukraine, the more it seems to resemble the United States in terms of their land, their people and their spirit. (OK, our spirit before things got weird and divided here.) Here’s a beautiful picture of Ukraine just before the war, found on Letters From An American.

[Photo by Nadia Povalinska]