“These people need to get down to business and clean up the mess in this city,” said Joe Howard, a Black 48-year-old financial trader who lives on Capitol Hill and decried the “disorganized nonsense” of the protest zone. “I understand you want to open up society, you want a fair and equitable society, but just being airheaded about things behind a liberal ideology is not going to achieve that.”
– Gene Johnson reporting from Seattle for the Associated Press
Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkin is stepping down after a tumultuous year of handling the Covid pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone that drew national attention.
Gun violence has become an even worse problem in Seattle in recent months, as it has in many other major cities. And then there are the encampments of homeless people in the city’s parks and on the sidewalks and under freeway overpasses that need urgent attention.
So there is a 15-way race underway for Mayor of Seattle, and Seattleites are electing two candidates in tomorrow’s primary election. The top two will face off in a general election in November.
I for one, and for once, cast my vote for more moderate or conservative (gasp!) candidates— for mayor, as well as for each of the two city council positions that were on my ballot.
I was at Bartell Drugs (pharmacy) today, and hey! saw that they have a nice little set of LEGO offerings on the shelf with toys.
Age 5+ said the box with the blue ‘Sports Car’ inside, and I thought
1. Well, I am 5+, so I qualify :), and
2. More to the point: I own a blue ‘sports car’ and therefore I have to buy the LEGO sports car. LEGO imitates life (and fantasy).
My plan is to build the little model, and then see if I can modify it so that it better resembles my Tesla Model 3.
WA state will follow current CDC guidance and I am asking Washingtonians statewide to consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. This is a recommendation, not a requirement.
– Governor Jay Inslee @GovInslee on Twitter, today
I guess I’m putting my mask back on when I go into stores. (I confess that I was not wearing one tonight for our Wednesday night beers. The Chieftain pub was virtually empty, though).
The experts agree that we’re in for a rough few months here in the US, as the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads among the unvaccinated (and also infects some vaccinated people as well).
I’m watching an interview that Bill Kristol is having with Dr. Ashish Jha (Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health). Dr. Jha explains that there is 1,000x more of the virus in the nose & throat of Delta variant patients vs. others. An infected person with the Delta variant infects on average 6-8 others (it used to be 3-4 others with the Alpha variant).
‘By withdrawing from two Olympic events, Biles joined a growing group of elite athletes who have rejected a long tradition of stoicism’.
– The New York Times @nytimes on Twitter
This afternoon, NBC showed the fateful vault jump of superstar* gymnast Simone Biles (24) again. She did not complete her somersaults and stumbled badly on the landing. This prompted her to withdraw from participating with her team, citing her mental well-being/ bad state of mind. She still watched and supported them. (Biles later explained that she experienced ‘the twisties’: a loss of one’s sense of space and orientation while in the air. It could make for a very bad landing and serious injuries).
I say: give her a break.
Kudos to her teammates that came close to claim the gold for Team USA, but had to settle for silver.
*Here’s reader Lecteur from France, commenting on the NYT article: ‘Obviously Americans have freedom of speech, but perhaps it would be salutary for them to recognize the harmfulness of excessive hype, including applying the Greatest of All Time label, to athletes still performing‘.
From Gretchen Leggitt @g2legit on Instagram: “FOR THERE IS ALWAYS LIGHT, IF ONLY WE’RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SEE IT.” – Amanda Gorman
This is my latest mural in Seattle, WA located just blocks away from the #CHAZ. In 2020, protesters claimed this as an autonomy zone to fight for human rights through art, words, peace and unfortunately some with violence. I do not care to make any comments about this autonomy zone, but I do want to comment on the respect I have for the brave people who have passionately sparked and fought for the 21st century civil rights awaking. @blklivesmatter
I do not endorse violence or destruction. Instead I endorse voices of reason and peace. @amandascgorman was that voice for me when she shared her poem The Hill We Climb with the world. Her words spoke of perseverance, resilience and hope for ALL humans, which inspired this mural.
The city of Seattle had 83 °F (28 °C) today.
It’s been steady as it goes temperature-wise, with no rain. (A smidge of rain fell early Tuesday morning).
We might see 90 °F (32 °C) on Friday, say the forecasters.
These beautiful hollyhock flowers are from 18th Avenue here on Capitol Hill.
Damselflies (Afr. waterjuffer) are similar to dragonflies (Afr. naaldekoker), but they are smaller and have slimmer bodies.
Most species fold the wings along the body when at rest, unlike dragonflies which hold the wings flat and away from the body (for that ‘airplane’ look).
And here comes Team USA!
NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony here in the US, had a heck of a recorded introduction of the team, by actor and tough guy Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. He said that they are truly ‘the best of us‘. Johnson also remarked: ‘Kindness matters. Always.‘
Hey, Team South Africa! I see you.
Love the vellies*.
*Velskoene (“FEL-skoona”) or colloquially vellies (“FELL-ys”), are Southern African walking shoes, made from vegetable-tanned leather or soft rawhide uppers attached to a leather footbed and rubber sole, without tacks or nails (from Wikipedia).
From Wikipedia: Speedy Gonzales is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He is portrayed as “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” with his major traits being the ability to run extremely fast, speaking English with an exaggerated Mexican accent, and also speaking Spanish. He usually wears a yellow sombrero, white shirt and trousers (which was a common traditional outfit worn by men and boys of rural Mexican villages), and a red kerchief, similar to that of some traditional Mexican attires.
Cartoons featuring Speedy Gonzales were removed from the Cartoon Network TV channel in 1999— due to concerns that the little mouse’s sombrero and heavy accent insulted Mexicans. Speedy Gonzales fans were mightily upset, though, and successfully petitioned for his return to Cartoon Network three years later.
The woodpeckers were back this morning. Only a few of the mahonia’s berries remain.
There was a beautiful blue sky and white clouds overhead at 5 this afternoon.
We’ve been lucky thus far this summer here in Seattle: no smoky air from the wildfires.
Every year that summer that rolls by here in the Northern hemisphere now, I think: just let it be over (summer). When is it over (summer)? Of course: then next summer comes.
There’s the mega- forest fires, burning out of control under an extreme drought here on the west of the United States. Flooding in Germany, Belgium & The Netherlands, and now in China. Videos on Twitter tonight of dozens of cars washing away in Zhengzhou; a subway entrance collapsing; people trapped inside a subway train car, the water chest-high (12 people dead in the subway, reports Aljazeera).
skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully.
[Description taken from Wikipedia] Here’s Wile E. Coyote, the cunning, devious and constantly hungry Coyote that repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat the Road Runner.
Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions (sometimes in the manner of Rube Goldberg) to try to catch his prey, which comically backfire, with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion. Many of the items for these contrivances are mail-ordered from a variety of companies that are all named Acme Corporation.
One running gag involves the Coyote trying (in vain) to shield himself with a little parasol against a great falling boulder that is about to crush him. Another running gag involves the Coyote falling from a high cliff. After he goes over the edge, the rest of the scene, shot from a bird’s-eye view, shows him falling into a canyon so deep, that his figure is eventually lost to sight. This is followed, a second or two later, by the rising of a dust cloud from the canyon floor as the Coyote hits.
Here’s the ‘state of the virus’ in the US, summarized by the New York Times: Case numbers are climbing across most of the country as the Delta variant spreads among unvaccinated people. Arkansas, Missouri, Florida and Nevada are experiencing full-fledged outbreaks.
The country remains in far better shape than at almost all previous points of the pandemic. Deaths remain near their lowest levels since spring 2020, and hospitalizations are a fraction of their winter peak.
The vaccination campaign has largely stalled. About 550,000 shots are being administered each day, down from more than 3.3 million at the peak.
The change over the last 14 days: 7-day average of cases is up 3-fold, daily deaths up 75%.
Of these deaths, 99% of the sick were unvaccinated.
[Graphic by the New York Times]
It has been a tough summer for gardens here in the city, with that heat wave at the end of June.
The leaves on the long shoots of my little rose bush got scorched, but a beautiful red rose has bloomed on the lower one, in the shade.
It was time for the Will-o-Watt Wagon (my car’s name on the Tesla app) to get out of the city and take the long road for a trip to Ellensburg today.
I used my car’s standard Autopilot functions extensively for the first time, on today’s drive. Standard Autopilot means letting the car steer, accelerate, and brake within its lane. It was a good learning experience —and definitely a little hair-raising at times, such as trusting the car to stay in the lane on a curve in the road, with vehicles in the lanes next to you, and oncoming traffic as well.
The primary skill to master with standard Autopilot is to allow the car to steer itself, while still having one’s hands on the wheel. If the driver holds the wheel too firmly, the car interprets it as an override, and cancels the Autopilot steering. If, on the other hand, the car cannot detect that the driver is holding the wheel, it issues a message— a series of messages, actually, ending with an alarm and a screen with red hands on the wheel that says ‘Autosteer Unavailable For The Rest Of This Drive’. I managed to avoid ending up in that dog box and state! Success!
P.S. News broke today that Tesla has officially launched its Full Self-Driving subscription package for $199 per month. Full Self-Driving is really ‘Almost Full Self-Driving’, since the driver really still needs to hold the wheel. However, it is a really big step up from standard Autopilot, in that the car will stop, start and navigate by itself. So it will stop at intersections and traffic lights, wait for traffic or the green light, and go by itself, and turn on the turn signal for turns and lane changes where needed.