It really doesn’t matter if you live in one of those rare areas which has either been not much affected by the spread of SARS-COV2 or had a sensible government which managed to pretty much keep things under control.
There has been much discussion especially in the US about “personal freedom.”
It seems strange to me. I served in the military for 33+ years. The key word there is served. I find it very hard to understand why anyone would choose to risk the health of others just to make a point. I find it on the same level as walking around with a loaded weapon and pointing it at random people….
What each of us does affects those around us.
I know too many who have buried a family member, dead from COVID-19, this year to take anything lightly.
Please stay safe and let us get through the next several months with the least loss of life possible so that all may have a future.
As you can probably guess, the last six weeks have been not a lot of fun. No one here has yet to acquire COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean that other illnesses haven’t intervened. At least I have had enough sense not to make public the bitching, whining and otherwise self-pitying posts that have been written. I am in the process of separating out craft content from general whines and will release what is fit for public consumption over the next couple of weeks.
The kids (ok, none of them are kids, with an age range from 27 to 41, but still, they are my kids) are all well; either working or in school. George, on the other hand developed some issues which landed him back in UCSF for about 9 days early July. Poor guy, he had the cheerful prospect of celebrating his birthday in the hospital. End result of the hospitalization is a guesstimated diagnosis. Follow up treatment is consisting of by eight weeks worth of IV antibiotics here at home. At q12 hours (with total time for each set of infusions added up to about 5 hours) I am getting. a bit sleep deprived. He has more tests this coming week.
Meanwhile, I have been avoiding cleaning and organizing in favor of listening to old favorites on audio, doing a lot of stitching, and spending time with Miriam’s cat in my lap when he gets bored. This, of course, lets me completely avoid doing anything else.
For whatever reason, I screwed up the courage this morning to visit Webadvisor. What is that you say? It is the extremely clunky and difficult to use registration/transcript program that UCHastings uses.
Amazingly enough, this time (as apposed to a month or so ago) it was willing to log me in for the start of an extremely frustrating attempt to located my transcript. Believe it or not – hitting the “transcript” button gets you exactly nothing. No idea why it is there, nor do I remember if it worked in the past. But for now? Meh. Rotating down the list several times – I tried “grades” which led me to the choice of Fall2018, Fall2019,Spring2019. The first was blank. Go figure – I wasn’t a student then. Fall2019 actually gave me a list of the courses I took that first fall. Of course, since the MSL students are not on the same grading system as the law students, I have the explanation for why clicking the GPA button got me no where.
[side note – programers are not stupid, that page could be designed so that it only gives you the options which are applicable to your situation. This means that the person who wrote the specifications was either shortsighted or the school was cheap on funds.]
Checking the Spring2019 showed that my incomplete had vanished and an MSL version of a grade was posted. This means that I am done, Done, DONE!
Now, do you suppose that they will ever mail me my diploma?
Should I add more letters after my name? Perhaps in the British or European style so that the numbers of letters after one’s name exceeds the actual length of the particular name? Having a short name could really help.
My environment is worlds better than living on Bagram Airbase. No matter what aspect I look at: my bed is more comfortable (and not a sleeping bag); I have much better food (Miriam has been cooking dinner); the company is sooo much better (and all related to me); there is a cat.
But the sameness is there…the same things at same time. The circumscribed route which is pretty much inside the house. Bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room. And around.
And going outside the wire? Excuse me, leaving the house. That is fraught with decision making and risk assessment. Where am I going? Why am I going? What route? When will I be back? Should I maximize my route for safety, efficiency, or people avoidance? Priorities…
All of this came up because Miriam needed to “go to work” which apparently has the designated location of her older sister’s second bedroom. Which is in Richmond. (California, not Virginia). Planning takes the route past the local Peet’s so that she can bribe her sister with a latte while drinking her own chai latte.
All of this leads me to not having my own coffee. So I stop on the way back. And the guy at the door looks at me and say – Holly, your order will be up in a minute.
As are most of you, I am spending the majority of my time at home.
If any of you think this is a short term state of affairs, you are sadly mistaken. The positive side of flattening out an epidemic curve is that the medical system doesn’t get overwhelmed. The downside is that, by flattening the curve, the epidemic is prolonged for months. Expect that, with bad luck, we are looking at a minimum of six months and probably more realistically a dozen months before any semblance of normality returns.
At that point, there is going to be little left of the developing world as the health care system there is not robust, to say the least. Similar to the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, we will never have an accurate picture of the number of lives lost in many areas as neither birth nor deaths are accurately recorded. Many areas and countries have a fragile logistical system which is constantly disrupted by conflict, militias, and environmental disasters.
Most of the more developed world will be in severe economic straits with our more vulnerable populations decimated as individuals and families no longer have the ability to pay for shelter, food, clothing or health care. Those countries with good health care systems that cover everyone will fare far better than the US. I honestly expect that Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Finland will come out of this crisis with large portions of their population and economies intact. Australia may be able to do the same. Western and Central Europe will have major challenges as they are so interdependent for food and energy.
At this point in the process, one’s own white cells have pretty effectively been wiped out and the stem cells are s ttling, but haven’t started replacing all those white cells. Means that there is a serious risk of infection (which helps explain at least part of the handful of pills which include anti-virals, antibiotics, and anti fungal agents.)
Anyone who has been through chemotherapy and recovery knows about how wiped out one can get. The rest of us can just use our imaginations while being grateful it is not us at this time. All of which lead me to thinking about past years.
Twenty-one years ago, I was in the Balkans as the Commander of Task Force Med Eagle. Sixteen years ago it was Kuwait as the Command Surgeon for ARCENT-KU. Eight years ago, I had just been retired and was home in Heidelberg. From 2007 on (which is about the past 12 years, I can just look up archives although I wasn’t able to get all the photos transferred from my old German blog host to the current one).
At least I think I did. There are two theories when taking a portion of a test that is multiple choice. One either thinks of it as multiple guess and goes with ones best, first guess. The other is to take on those questions as a serious challenge worthy of one of the three hours of the exam and try to reason them out. Even going back at the end to see if something in another part has cast light on some of the answers.
This time my method fell somewhere in between. This faculty member is reasonable, at least somewhat. Since there was relevant legislation to the essays, he kindly provided the appropriate sections just to make sure that we understood that he was not trying to fake us out on section numbers or content. Of course, this particular bit of legalese was written in 1946 and has a density of about 100gm/word. As I often, remind everyone -I am NOT a lawyer. I have no desire to be a lawyer, to think like them or emulate their behavior. This particular degree is my evil plan to understand, undermine and control….. Oops. Back to Admin Law and today’s three part exam, Multiple choice section, long essay section, two shorter essay sections.
Over, done and hopefully passed. Since I am not on the same grading curve as all the young, bright and beautiful, my goal is simply survival. I have learned a lot this semester, so it was a course worth taking. This leaves me with only one exam to go (take home, 72 hours once the clock starts and upload before Midnight on Tuesday). Means I didn’t have anything I needed to do this evening? Right?
Well, there was this reception for the staff and invited authors, the occasion being the Bay Area Book Festival. George, because of course he has nothing to do with his time… (!), is on the Board. Hence the invite. The good thing? I could get some photos of the sunset toward SF and hang out on the edges of the group. The downside – way too many people jammed into one place for me and the noise level was painful.
There are those out and about who are still denying that the world’s climate is changing. Perhaps they didn’t get the message when watching “Day After Tomorrow” which was released in 2004. Or perhaps missed the news story about Tonga looking for another place for their population when they are swallowed by the sea (their island’s high point being less than 3 meters above sea level)?
It certainly is the case that there is way too much dry land in California, and the Santa Anna winds are worse this year compounded by low humidity and build up of brush and grass. In any case, Paradise California is no more with over 75% of the town burned. Much of Chico has been evacuated, the State College closed for the next couple of weeks and the students sent home.
Even with the fires more than 250 km from here (+75 miles north of Sacramento) the smoke has been rolling steadily into our area. You can smell it, taste it on the air. The sun sits sullenly on the horizon this evening, redder even than I remember from setting suns out on the ocean. Most of the reports so far are about the people, homes and businesses lost. I expect the reports soon about animals, pets, wildlife.
I am hoping that PG&E is not to blame again, but our infrastructure certainly hasn’t kept up with the population growth. I sometimes wonder at the lack of fires from the wire nests that I saw routinely in India and Nepal, in various countries in Africa. But then, with the number of people needing fuel for cooking fires, there was little chance of buildup of branches, grasses and brush. No fuel, fewer chances for fire.
The acreage lost is over 75,000 so far with less than 30% containment.
Our original plan involved us being here for 4-5 days, moving on to BCN and picking up Vision on of the Seas for a frolic around the Med before sailing across the Atlantic. That was what I had planned in May/June of 2017. Made all my reservations this past Feb.
Then I got the wild hair to go back to grad school which stood my plans on their head. It isn’t like I can just disappear for four weeks. I think I have previously mentioned that, unlike other fields, accreditation for legal education in the US requires attendance in class. Yes, that is right – attendance in class is mandatory. I am not sure why. Perhaps it is to justify continuing the system, thought pattern, and attitudes of the current educational trends. One would not want to believe that law could be learned on its own. Oh, wait a minute – it is! At least in California you can still do an apprenticeship (5 years) and sit for the Bar exam. But Law, like Medicine, is a relatively insular educational process that is highly regulated and controlled. Medicine, at least when I studied didn’t require attendance at lecture courses. The knowledge was on you. Labs and clinics were another matter. But I can easily draw a difference between didactic presentations and hands-on training.
The end result is that I have to go back to my ordinary life on Thursday while Carmen gets to float on a boat.
The hotel complex is lovely. Clean, well laid out and welcoming. The staff is more organized that many of the Italian hotels that I have used in the past. Dinner was pasta in the hotel restaurant with a Canadian colleague before we both were hit with time zone wack and needed sleep.
For those of you who know as little about US baseball as I do – Dave Stewart is an Oakland California native, who played from 1978-1995 as a key member of several championship teams, World Series Victories and all around incredible human being. Since retiring from baseball he has tirelessly worked with youth and sports organizations in the Oakland community.
The Friday Night Placard
As part of the 50th Anniversary year celebration, today’s give away was an Action figure. It was also in commemoration of the perfect game that he pitched.
Not only did he throw out the first pitch, he received a standing ovation from the crowd. To top it off, the As managed to win the game.
During the entire time I have been back from Madagascar, the As have been on the road. That might not seem like much, but it actually has been just about a month since I have seen a baseball game live. Admittedly, the entire time they have been on the road, their record actually has been decent. Of, course, that includes their tendency to get behind then bail themselves out in the last one to two innings.
A while back for some reason I went to the ticket office at the Giants Stadium. Wait! I know why – the As are playing over at AT&T Park the weekend of the 13-15th of July. The 14th is the annual RF149 outing to play the Giants. Unfortunately it is the same day George is having his 70th birthday celebration. But I will have other baseball fans in town that weekend. I was purchasing tickets for the 13th and thought – why not? I can go to a day game as well while the As are out of town. Which is why I found myself sitting on a lovely sunny afternoon watching the batters of both the Giants and the Rockies proceed to make the pitchers very unhappy. Or something like that.
This was the view that I wished to enjoy.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten that stairs in the stands are essentially roadways that see a constant stream of fans and vendors. I am used to sitting with a group that makes a once a game run for beer. Or rather, maybe since I know them, it just doesn’t bother me. I also don’t have this problem –
as you can see – anyone heading up or down blocks my view of both the pitcher and the batter, never mind first base. Perhaps if I had chosen a seat in the middle of the road I wouldn’t have had as many people blocking my view.
But, as we were fond of saying in Madagascar – that is really a first world problem, now isn’t it?
doesn’t stand for a favorite and favored four legged (or two winged) creature. It is one of those lovely (not) nuclear medicine imagining studies favored by Oncologists who are looking for tumor activity.
The last time I did one of these was last June. If you really want details – all of them can be found in a fairly decent article on Wiki. It is not any harder on me than anything else – get up early, go to BART, catch bus, arrive at SFVA, get port accessed, get study, get access removed, reverse directions to home.
I will think less than fondly about this at 0500 in the morning when I get dropped off at BART.
But it sounds like a really good excuse for leaving tonight’s baseball game early……
(and the As lost again, stranded too many base runners, couldn’t keep momentum going but almost managed in the bottom of the 9th)
Both at home (where they are almost done blasting out the foundation. I will try to post the “completely hollow” pictures tomorrow and at the game.
It was a fireworks night. George came along, we drove and were able to escape the noise and madness actually rather easily. Unless going with a group that actually wants to see fireworks – it was a much better option than either leaving early before the BART overpass is closed or attempting to catch the shuttle busses which turn out to take longer than just staying for the fireworks. Of course, my decision might be easier if I wasn’t sitting in the bleachers which have to be cleared prior to the fireworks start.
Anyway – there were actually over 30k worth of fans, at least a third of which were rapid Yankees types. With the exception of one complete dick. Aaron Judge tossed a fly ball that he caught into our section of the RF Bleachers. An “adult” looking somewhere in is 30s grabbed it out of the hands of a young kid of about six who was looking just totally stunned with happiness. There was no question in our minds he took it away from the boy. His excuse that he wanted it for his son (aged 2) just didn’t fly. Security attempted to get him to give it back, then they invited him to leave when he refused.
Will, one of our regulars, had caught a ball during batting practice. He dug it out of his bag and gave it to the young man. It wan’t the same, but much better than going home without anything. Another ball tossed up, caught by a Yankees fan was traded for the batting practice ball. The Yankees fan was perfectly fine with the replacement ball for his nephew; it was fair to him that the boy who had actually caught a ball should have one that was thrown.
Yankee fan – terrific kudos. Will – always generous and long standing member of the Right Field Bleacher Die Hards. The As fan who grabbed the ball? Needs to find a moral compass. It is one thing to tussle with your peer group over a ball. And completely something else to steal from a child.
Oh – the As actually won 7-6! And Cassilo managed to actually hold off the Yankees in the top of the ninth.
Would you believe it is raining? Here in California where we never see rain between early in the year and Nov/Dec? When someone yesterday told me the forecast, I had a tough time believing it. To tell you the truth while the rain might be good for the plants and gardens the reality is appalling.
You remember me talking about construction right?
section of foundation yet to be drilled out
support beams and “lincoln log” braces
We have this gaping hole where the lower level/basement used to be. The guys have been good about hauling away dirt and debris on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the local version of dirt which turns out to have a moderate amount of clay has taken to hanging out on the drive way. Wet, it becomes extremely slippery.
Alex and I carefully made our way down it this morning proving that not fun is a more than apt saying. I have more errands to run (post office for packages going on, weaving supplies to drop off, library books to return, socks to exchange, BART pickups x2 plus used books to sell).
I may wind up putting off all but the BART runs till tomorrow….
If you are from a country where the merchants want to charge you $1.50/AU skein for embroidery floss? Why shopping at JoAnn’s of course. There is something fairly pleasing about paying $0.40/US instead. I had made a list of the colors of which I was short. Jill had her list. We had decided that these couple of days were going to be low key, low stress and sight seeing only on this side of the bay.
And so it was that we spent a few pleasant hours both looking for things we really didn’t need, relaxing with cross stitch. Well, mine is relaxing, Jill’s – at 350×350 is a much more challenging fractal…
Jill’s complicated cross stitch
They had dinner with Dani and Alex as we had a business dinner obligation.
Feeling a bit less stupid today (many lectures relating to Epidemiology or science that didn’t feel too futuristic) I enjoyed both morning and afternoon sessions. Plus there was the fun of poster sessions.
Doesn’t mean that a nap was any less welcome or that I didn’t have a quiet evening listening to Graphic Audio’s Eric Carter: Broken Souls. Think gritty Urban Fantasy with a pretty messed up protagonist.
And then there is my traveling stitch project- of which I will photo upload later.
My brain is no longer used to having to concentrate for multiple hours in a row. There were four panels today, each with 4-7 presentations. All were technical, loaded with jargon and data heavy slides. Coffee breaks insuredthat my eyes stayed open, but I am really not sure that I wanted that level of detail.
Tomorrow will be more of the same + posters. Most of those with whom I worked have allretired andthose young researchers and officers seem really young.
Since my internet access is only through my phone, mailing out won’t be possible for a few dats yet.
At the SanAk for a Monday. Classes are in session so platoons are marching here and there while NCOs grab meals on the fly.
I wandered over to the Conference Registration this morning to be greated by a couple of the civilian staff I remeber from previos conferences. Paid my fee which now includes a whopping 38€ for the four nights billeting. Ah, for the old free days when I was active duty. Don’t miss it a bit. Still, when I compare the cost of a hotel room, a private bath is just not worth the difference.
I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to audiobooks, reviewing the program and capturing a goid night’s sleep.
Go out and about in Munich? I could do that. But then I would have to deal with the cold, wet drops falling from the sky to splop on my head. The forcast might have predicted 10%, but the reality isbinary. I will be a comfy cat instead; staying warm and dry thank you very much.