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Friday, December 31, 2021

What will 2022 bring?

Hope it will be good for you.

New Year's Eve is my wife's birthday. We're layin' low this year.

My best friend of now nearly 48 years. Scary smart, and the nicest person I ever met.

One of our nieces sent her this.

The Crazy Grands have had great fun with Calvin this week. He turns 2 on January 15th. We keep him 3 days a week at our "Paddington Road Greycare Center."

Helping Grandmother with the dishes.
Have a safe New Year's Eve celebration. And a good 2022. An important, consequential year faces us. 


My latest read.
I've got about 6 books in process at the moment. This one jumped the queue yesterday. Long story. Stay tuned...

Monday, December 27, 2021

"We're in a giant universe of forces that are out of our control,

and we're feeling very small."
I could not recommend this documentary more highly. 
The vessel is Infinity, a 120ft hand-built sailing ketch that plies the Pacific Ocean on a never ending voyage of nomadic exploration. In early Feb 2014, during the iciest year on record in the Southern Ocean, Infinity and her crew of 16 left New Zealand on an 8,000 mile pacific crossing to Patagonia, with a stop in Antarctica. Along the way, they battled a hurricane of ice in the Ross Sea, struggled with compounding mechanical and flooding problems, undertook a mission with the radical environmental group Sea Shepherd, tore every sail they had, and unwittingly went further south than any sailing vessel in 2014. This expedition was undertaken with a non-ice-reinforced gypsy boat built by hand in the 1970's, crewed by a band of wandering miscreants, with no permits or insurance and an almost non-existent budget. This is a story about sailing, the camaraderie of a shared struggle and the raw awe inspiring power of the natural world.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas 2021

We hope you all stay safe and well.

Mother of four. Shot in the head from behind while sitting in her patrol car. Terribly sad.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

More than 800,000 US Covid-19 deaths

802,511 as of Dec. 16th, according to Johns Hopkins

We're now losing ~40,000 patients a month. At that rate, we'll hit a million US deaths by May 2022.

We have as yet no firm idea as to how the emergent Omicron variant will play out. Reports thus far indicate that it is more transmissible than its predecessor Delta, but less virulent.
Mask Up
Published by Steven Novella under Science and Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic is not done with us yet. We are still in the middle of the delta surge, and while delta will eventually pass, the omicron variant is right on its heels. In the US we just passed the milestone of 800,000 people dead from COVID with over 50 million cases. More Americans died of COVID in 2021 than in 2020, although in 2021 most deaths were among the unvaccinated. The vaccines remain our best defense against this pandemic, which is why it is tragic that there are still holdouts for tribal or ideological reasons. Regardless, it is extremely likely that we will be dealing with COVID through 2022. It is also likely that COVID is now endemic, and while it may fade down to flu-like proportions, we will also very likely have to deal with it for years to come. COVID is also likely not the last respiratory pandemic we will have to deal with this century.

All of this is why masks are still important. We just have to accept the fact that face masks are now an important part of life. At least for the foreseeable future we will need face masks as a layer of protection in health care settings, large indoor crowds, among vulnerable populations, and for anyone who is symptomatic. Walking around in the public maskless, sneezing and coughing from a “cold” is no longer socially acceptable…
Exigencies at every turn.
We might easily see 825,000 fatalities accrued by New Year's Day. 


Like most of my colleagues, I haven’t arrived at this moment unscathed. I weathered the brutal first wave of the pandemic, often witnessing more COVID deaths during my shifts in New York City than I saw working in an Ebola-treatment center in West Africa in 2014.

When I was vaccinated against COVID a year ago, I was already exhausted. But better times seemed close at hand. Perhaps soon we wouldn’t have to endure wearing full personal protective equipment for hours on end. I was wrong.

After two years of dealing with this virus—working extra shifts, watching families sob on grainy FaceTime calls while their loved ones slipped away—many health-care workers are already in a dark place. With a new wave of COVID upon us, we face this grim truth: You can’t surge a circuit that’s been burned out. For frontline providers, there’s simply no new fuse that can fix the fact that we’re fried.

Many people are holding out hope for the possibility that the Omicron variant may cause less severe disease. But this is little comfort for those worried about our hospitals and the people who work there: A large surge of even a more mild variant will still produce more patients than our already maxed-out system can handle. Moreover, doctors and nurses will themselves get sick…

Click the photo for the Atlantic article link.
My grandson Keenan, his wife KJ, and their son—my great-grandson Kai—are now here from Kansas City for Christmas, staying at my son's place. 
Cousins Kai (now 17 mo) and Calvin (23 mo) yesterday morning. They are really hitting it off.
Gonna be a pretty muted time here. Lotta stuff shutting down in the Baltimore area.
Stay safe.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

December US tornado catastrophe

We lived in Alabama and Tennessee from 1975 through 1992. I've been way too close to a couple of tornadoes. But nothing even close to what just happened. Entire towns turned to rubble reminiscent of war zones.

Words fail...

Friday, December 10, 2021

COVID19 update

It just continues on and on...

We're on pace to lose about 26,000 more people by year's end. We'll have well in excess of 800,000 deaths in the US by January 1st.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Family Values

It's crazy.
This KY GOP Representative thought this appropriate to tweet in the wake of the Oxford High School mass shooting. Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes, on MSNBC, called it a "dick pic."

Tell it.

The civil law tort principle of "inherently dangerous instrumentality" is what finally brought Big Tobacco to regulatory and compensatory damages heel. Habitually used as intended, tobacco products disproportionately sicken or kill those who partake of them. They are inherently dangerous, and, as such—while still not outlawed—they are heavily regulated in reflection of the threat they pose (however inadequately).

A firearm, absent its fitted calibre projectile, is just an expensive piece of pipe. The intended function of the bullet, however, is to damage or destroy that which it impacts—be it a beer bottle or can, a paper target, or an animal or human. There is no other purpose (while the addictive "purpose" of smoking tobacco products, from the customer's perspective, is the ensuing psycho/physiological "relaxation" it accords).
And yes, firearms can be “used safely" (while providing end-user "pleasure"). That is not in dispute. But neither can there be any rational dispute about the purpose of bullets. People who buy them intend to use them to hit things. And the necessary vehicles for doing so are the firearms. Locked and loaded, you get inherently dangerous instrumentalities.
It's not a perfect analogy, and, tobacco products are not protected by the constitution. But it's damn close enough functionally to justify rational firearms restriction (I am not arguing prohibition here). The relative risk associated with the smoking of a single cigarette pales in comparison with that posed by the firing of a single bullet.

Let's get real.


Again, let's get real.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Theranos: Fake it 'til ya break it.

"How DARE you imprison a New Mommie!"

Back when I was covering the Health IT startup space, the Health 2.0 peeps in particular were frustrated that they could never book Elizabeth Holmes for a conference keynote or panel.

Would have been interesting. As is her current trial for fraud.