2021 Life Logs, Day 14: Celebrations the Covid Way

2021 Life Logs, Day 14: Celebrations the Covid Way
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 47, Low 34 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There is a lot of negative in our lives these days, but it is heartening to know that we can set that aside for short periods and enjoy celebrations in a new way, the Covid way.
Today was friend Terry White’s 80th birthday and the 1 pm celebration was organized by a member of our Dining-in Group. It was a car parade which, when it was first proposed, I thought was a rather silly idea for adults. But I have to admit that it was wonderful. Thank you, Midge, for organizing this. There were about ten cars that arrived in a gathering area, some with helium balloons that I also poo pooed and still do, others with banners, and at the appointed time, we all drove through Olivia and Terry’s u-shaped driveway. They had been alerted to come outside to the driveway and we went through, each car stopping to give birthday wishes to Terry, wearing masks of course.. It only took a few minutes, but you could feel the warmth and friendship that was exchanged. Happy 80th birthday to Terry!

I started my morning by attending a monthly Falmouth Newcomers meeting on Zoom. The speaker today was Terry and Olivia’s daughter, Sheri. She is the Lead Systems Engineer for the Ocean Observatories Initiative at WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). This means that she goes out on the research vessel Neil Armstrong a few times each year to maintain arrays of moorings and autonomous vehicles in the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, and off the coast of New England. These moorings gather scientific data used by my many scientific institutions. It was a really interesting presentation, and the timing was perfect as Sheri was able to wish her dad a happy birthday while giving her presentation. The only other highlight of the day was taking Jonah and Ollie to the skatepark after school. When I went to pick Ollie up today, I took Shadow with me. So when I dropped Ollie off, Sam wanted to know if he could take Shadow for a run—Sam on his skateboard and Shadow pulling. Shadow has had his harness on since Monday’s run without it, so I told Sam to give it a go. All went well. And then Jonah and Ollie wanted to go to the skatepark.
I haven’t been there for a while and I enjoyed watching the boys. Even though the weather was mild, Shadow and I stayed in the car and watched from there. Some of the other parents don’t wear masks, so staying in the car is safer for me.

2021 Life Logs, Day 13: Impeachment Twice

2021 Life Logs, Day 13: Impeachment Twice
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 41, Low 33 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

History was made today when a president of this country was impeached for the second time, the first time this has happened in the history of this nation. The real tragedy is that this second impeachment is for inciting insurrection against his own country. That seems surreal when I write it. I never in my wildest dreams I would see such a lawless US President. But he did incite insurrection right before our very eyes and now needs to pay the price. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the impeachment process and it appears it will have to continue in the Senate after the inauguration of Joe Biden next week. Trump will only be stripped of his right to run for office again if he is found guilty in the Senate. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to see this man be able to even run for dog catcher in the future. So, we have to live through more days of this. It has to be done, but no one knows how it will impact the beginning of the Biden administration. Biden’s cabinet needs to be approved and we so desperately need our new president to focus on this virus and take steps to get things in better control. And that is just number one on a long list of emergency measures that need to be dealt with. Hopefully the Senate can walk and chew gum at the same time, and if they can, here’s hoping we the Democrats don’t encounter obstructionist moves by the Republicans.

I promised myself that I would do nothing today other than watch the impeachment proceedings and I pretty much kept my promise. I did pick Ollie up after school and took him home and I did take Shadow for a long walk and then gave him a bath. That was it for today.

2021 Life Logs, Day 12: Shadow is Fine

2021 Life Logs, Day 12: Shadow is Fine
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 42, Low 27 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last night was long and scary, but Shadow seems to be fine today. Thank you to all who contacted me directly to check on Shadow. The doctor finally called at 1:30 am to say that the x-rays did not show any obstruction in his throat and that the constant hard swallowing and drooling had subsided. I went to pick him up and he was a very happy puppy. The young man that brought him out to me just said, “He certainly is energetic.” Yep. The doctor did see a shadowy area in the esophagus and asked a pathologist to examine the x-rays today. I did get a call saying it was nothing. The doctor thinks Shadow’s problem was a severe attack of esophagitis and she is treating him with ten days of Omeprazole, more commonly known as Prilosec. I can think of at least four things that happened yesterday that might have contributed to this. So maybe it was just a perfect storm and I will avoid those things in the future. Once he threw up his dinner, he continuously kept swallowing hard. I had an attack like this the morning Heather and I flew back from my brother-in-law’s memorial service in the summer of 2019. That was also scary and I was given the same prescription. So Shadow is on the mend and I do hope we can avoid any incidents like this in the future. I certainly don’t want to have another scare like that and I’m not sure I can afford one. The hours at the veterinary hospital were extremely expensive.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and today was extremely busy. I had a 10:15 am chiropractor appointment and was ‘graduated’. Evidently my alignment looks better than it ever has. So I am to keep walking, riding the exercise bike, and doing my morning stretching exercises. It’s working. As soon as I got home, I had to get on Zoom for my monthly book club meeting. This month’s book was News of the World that has been turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks. It comes out on Xfinity On-Demand in a few days and I am anxious to watch it. I cannot imagine Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kidd. As soon as the book club ended, it was time for me to go pick up Ollie. Today was an early release day and he wanted to come do some work at my house. But before heading to the cottage to work, we went to Mahoney’s Garden Center. I wanted Ollie to pick out some house plants for a project at his house and I wanted him to see the koi (Japanese carp) in their indoor water garden. Mark and I used to take him there when he a wee little thing, but I’m not sure how many times he has been there in the past four years. We had a great time at Mahoney’s and then headed to the cottage and attacked the list of twelve things I had for him to do. Among those twelve things, we finally got the kayaks covered with a tarp for the winter and finished getting the bean towers and tomato cages put away. He did all but three things on the list which we will save for our next workday. I then took Ollie home and got back just in time for a public policy discussion group on Zoom. It was a good day, but I am exhausted. So, the plan is to head to bed a little early tonight and vow to spend the day relaxing tomorrow. Or, if not relaxing, at least watching the impeachment proceedings while riding my exercise bike.

2021 Life Logs, Day 11: Great Day Until . . .

2021 Life Logs, Day 11: Great Day Until . . .
Date: Monday, January 11, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Still Cold; High 40, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a great day until about 7:30 pm this evening. Shadow started throwing up and when he stopped, he was still struggling like something was stuck in his throat. I drove the 25 minutes north to the Cape Cod Veterinary Hospital that is open 24 hours a day, parked in triage space #4 (my lucky number), and a nurse came out to get Shadow. Due to Covid restrictions, I had to sit outside in a cold car for an hour and half to wait to hear from the doctor. I had already been told it would be a long wait as there were many emergencies in front of Shadow. When the doctor did call, all she wanted was to get my permission to do x-rays. She suggested I drive back home and wait to hear from her. I waited here two hours and just called to check on my best buddy. The doctor has still not read the x-rays, but at least Shadow is resting, albeit still moving his head as if trying to clear his throat. I am going to get some sleep and wait for the call from the doctor. Hopefully, I can go back to get him tonight. I am a bit of a basket case, but I just have to hope that he will be okay. Whatever else happened today has faded into the great beyond. All I can think about is my Shadow.

2021 Life Logs, Day 10: Unusual Day . . . for me

2021 Life Logs, Day 10: Unusual Day . . . for me
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2021
Weather: Snow Overnight, Partly Sunny Day; High 39, Low 25 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There was a light covering of snow overnight. Actually, when I took Shadow out just before going to bed (around midnight), the snow had started and when we got up at 6:30 am for a bathroom break, the ground was covered with white. But by the time we got up for the second time, it had all but disappeared.

The reason this was an unusual day for me was that I spent much of the day watching football games. Not my usual habit. Just as I had watched the Buffalo Bills play yesterday to link across the miles to my friend Linda, today I watched the Tennessee Titans play to link with my niece Janet in Nashville.
Heather brought Ollie over to watch with me and to play with Shadow. We had an extra-long half-time outside playing with Shadow, but we did finally come back inside to watch the rest of the game. The Titans lost, but Ollie and I had a great afternoon. Then, in honor of my family who are all die-hard Cleveland Browns fans, I watched the Browns-Steelers game tonight. The last time the Browns were in a playoff game was in the mid-nineties and they have not had a great season since. But tonight, they were on fire. During they first quarter they were so far ahead that you would think there would be no way they would lose the game. But with the Cleveland Browns, you don’t want to make an assumption like that. Regardless, I just couldn’t make myself sit and watch the whole game, so I slipped away and watched the first episode of a new Masterpiece Theater series, came back and watched a little football, and then slipped away again to watch some political news. I finally watched the last of the fourth quarter and the Browns did win, 48 to 37. The last time the Cleveland Browns won a playoff game was on New Year’s Day 1995. I know all Cleveland Browns fans are celebrating tonight.

Watching football this weekend has been a welcome break from political news. But nothing can keep me from constantly being frustrated with the current situation. This is the fifth day since the attempted siege of the Capitol. A few people have been arrested, but those in power that incited this attempted coup have not been touched. In my opinion, Donald Trump needs to be removed from office immediately. There are all kinds of reasons why this can’t happen, but regardless, there need to be immediate consequences. I loved an analogy that I heard on NPR today. It was basically that if you have a kid that sticks his hand in the cookie jar and steals a cookie, and is not immediately punished for that, the next thing you know his sister and his brother will be doing the same thing. I think it is going to be an interesting week watching as things play out. My daughter-in-law’s dad, Phil, who lives in England, sent a link to another opinion piece in The Guardian that I want to pass on. It is written by Robert Reich, former US secretary of labor, and in this piece he outlines what he thinks needs to be done in the next week. He is hard liner on this issue and his piece is definitely worth a read. Thanks to Phil for sending the links.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/10/trump-coup-capitol-attack-pence-giuliani-fox-news-twitter-facebook-impeachment?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other
I’ll end tonight on a lighter note. Yesterday I saw photos of my eight-year-old granddaughter posted by her mom on Facebook. Evidently Coco raided Jo’s closet and came out looking like a model. She has style! But today she had an unfortunate encounter with a broken bottle hidden in the lush Puerto Rican undergrowth and had to have 11 stitches on the bottom of her foot. When she came inside after stepping on the broken glass, she simply told her dad that she had a cut on her foot. Justin watched as she walked across the floor leaving bloody footprints and took a closer look. It was long and deep and required stitches. I asked her on the phone if she was brave when she got the stitches and she replied, “Well, yes.” She is a tough one, but like all of my grandchildren, growing up way too fast.

2021 Life Logs, Day 9: World View

2021 Life Logs, Day 9: World View
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Some Frozen Precipitation; High 33, Low 29 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Whether I’m talking to my friend Lynn in New Zealand or hearing from Phil, my daughter-in-law’s father in the UK, their view of what happened in the US Capitol on Wednesday agrees with the title line of an article in The Guardian, “The violence at the Capitol was an attempted coup. Call it that.” Many Americans, including myself, seem reluctant to say the words ‘attempted coup’ . . . probably because we refuse to believe this could happen in the United States of America. But it did. The article Phil sent me from The Guardian US Edition began this way: “On Wednesday, a coup attempt was led by the president of the United States. A rightwing mob attempted the coup in the form of a violent riot that stormed the Capitol building. They disrupted the proceedings that would have completed the recognition of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Those proceedings had been disrupted earlier by elected officials bringing forth bad-faith claims that the election was not legitimate and should instead produce a continuation of Trump’s presidency. This too was a coup attempt, an effort to violate the constitution and override the will of the voters in this election. Inside and outside were two faces of the same thing, and both were fomented by the leaders of the Republican party and by the US president. The mob outside would not exist without the politicians inside. Those insiders will make noises of horror and repudiation, but they own this.” I thought that was the best summary I have read. If you want to read the whole article, it can be found at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/06/trump-mob-storm-capitol-washington-coup-attempt?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other
Today, to help divert my attention away from our political crisis, I watched a football game. My good friend Linda Stuart, now living in Colorado after biking around the world for the past few years, is from Buffalo, NY. And this afternoon the Buffalo Bills were in a playoff game against the Colts. Since Linda and I can’t be together, we watched the game ‘together’ and talked afterwards on the phone. Then tonight I watched a conversation between the Dali Llama, Greta Thunberg, and scientists, focused on our worldwide climate emergency. One of the scientists was a Woodwell Climate Research Center expert on the arctic and Heather had to actually go into work tonight to make sure things went smoothly on their end. The conversation was focused on the effect of climate feedback loops and the “urgency of the emergency” faced by all of humanity. At the end of the conversation and presentations, Greta was asked for an action step recommendation. She responded by saying that her wish is that everyone would take the time to educate themselves about the climate crisis. If you would like to learn more about climate emergency and climate feedback loops, there are five short films that you can watch online. Just go to: feedbackloopsclimate.org. I’ve watched two of them and highly recommend them.