At 7.45 am, I joined the social-distanced line of a dozen of so, outside the nondescript little building at the back of Harborview Medical Center— thankful that I was wearing my padded jacket (47 °F/ 8 °C).
By 8.00 am I was in the door. Hey, you and I have the same birthday, said the young woman that checked me in. I filled out a form with a few questions, and then went to one of the 5 stations with a nurse, for my shot. (I got Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, not Moderna’s).
Three weeks to tick by, and then I can get the second shot. It feels good to have the first one.
My personal D-Day in the war against the vaccine is here: I will get my first shot at 8 am on Wednesday morning.
I believe it will be the Moderna vaccine that I’m getting.
The Johnson & Johnson it will not be, with the pause that was announced today by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) here in the US. Of the 120 million or so shots administered in the States, less than 7 million were J&J, and White House officials expressed confidence that the roll-out here in the States will not be negatively impacted.
The unwillingness of people to get the vaccine, the so-called ‘vaccine hesitancy’, is the bigger challenge.
This Scrabble game of me against ‘CPU’ (central processing unit) had an unusual ending: the computer had to pass the last 5 turns. It could not find a way to put even one of its 7 remaining tiles on the board.
I figured out which the final letters on CPU’s rack were: A A I I O O V Y. So yes, not a lot to work with. Even so, CPU still managed to beat me by a wide margin, 420-336. It had built two 7-letter words, GEMLIKE and TERNION, for 50 bonus points each.
Here are the meanings of some of the more unusual words on the board: GI: a lightweight two-piece white garment worn in judo and other martial arts. TERNION: the number three; three things together; a ternary or triplet. JEHADIS: (plural) a person involved in a jihad; an Islamic militant. TOFT: a site for a dwelling and its outbuildings; an entire holding comprising a homestead and additional land. QIS: (plural) the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine. TREMS: (plural) short form of tremolo (arm) on a guitar, a lever attached to the bridge of an electric guitar and used to vary the pitch of a note. IGG: (slang) to ignore or snub (someone); a snub or rebuff. FET: short form (acronym) for field-effect transistor, a transistor in which most current flows in a channel whose effective resistance can be controlled by a transverse electric field. PERVO: (slang) a sexual pervert.
My Sunday afternoon started off with a nice game of doubles tennis, but on the way back I was involved a car accident (no injuries, thankfully), that resulted in major damage to my car. Ouch. It might be time to replace my 14-year old Camry, anyway.
The weather people are promising us sun all week, 65 °F (18 °C) by Wednesday, and 75 °F (24 °C) by Saturday.
Early afternoon, the doorbell rang.
It was Jesús from the lawn services company, inquiring if it’s OK for them to start mowing the lawn again now that spring is here. ‘Of course‘, I said, ‘I was the lookout for you guys, hoping you would start again, soon‘.
UCLA had come too far, defied too many odds in surviving March to reach April, to give in now, no matter the probabilities or the season-long perfection of its nemesis.
– Ben Bolch writing in the Los Angeles Times
Tonight, Gonzaga* played UCLA** in the Final Four of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basket Ball tournament (known as ‘March Madness’).
Gonzaga had everything to lose, as it is aiming to become the first undefeated national champion in men’s basketball since Indiana in 1976.
UCLA went toe-to-toe with them, all through the game tonight, and was only a point behind at halftime, 44 to 45.
At the end of regular time, it was 81 to 81.
So now came overtime. As the clock wound down, the plays were down to the wire. With less than a minute left, Andrew Nembhard scored a 3-pointer, putting Gonzaga up 90-85. At 48 secs left, Jaime Jaquez Jr. knocked in a 3-pointer from the wing for UCLA. Gonzaga 90-88. At 3.3 secs left, the Bruins (UCLA) had gotten the ball back, and Johnny Juzang followed his miss with a putback jumper. Tied 90-90. At 0.8 secs left, Jalen Suggs stopped from 30-some feet away, took aim and shot at the hoop on the far side. As the buzzer sounded, flashing **0:00**, the ball dropped through the net, for the win.
Gonzaga 93-90. Mayhem.
(Gonzaga to play Baylor for the NCAA title on Monday night).
*The Gonzaga Bulldogs are an intercollegiate men’s basketball program representing Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA). The school competes in the West Coast Conference in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
**The UCLA Bruins men’s basketball program represents the University of California, Los Angeles in the sport of men’s basketball as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Established in 1919, the program has won a record 11 NCAA titles.
It was a treacherous day to scroll through Twitter, with all the April Fool’s Day tweets. Google introduced a ‘self-driving’ bicycle, King County Metro was launching an ‘Infinity Bus*’, the Tracks Suit from Sound Transit, and Prince Charles would soon announce that he would ‘pass’ on becoming King (deferring to Prince William instead).
*It offers arrivals and departures at all times, 24/7/365.
Alright .. enough of this, and time to go for a walk, I thought.
We got to 61 °F (16 °C) here in the city today.
Late afternoon I braved the rush-hour traffic on I-5, to get to West Seattle for a little doubles tennis.
It’s now optional to play with a mask — outside or indoors (at Amy Yee Tennis Center). I decided to keep mine on until I get vaccinated.
The governor announced today, that here in Washington State, from April 15th on, everyone 16 & older will qualify for the vaccine.
The State of Minnesota vs. Derek Michael Chauvin case, related to George Floyd’s death while in custody of Chauvin, started on Monday. It will go on for several weeks.
Ex-police officer Chauvin (he was fired) faces three very serious charges:
–Second Degree Murder, Unintentional (up to 40 years in prison if found guilty),
–Third Degree Murder (up to 25 years), and -Second Degree Manslaughter (up to 10 years).
The city of Minneapolis has already settled a wrongful death civil suit with the family of George Floyd for US$27m, the largest such settlement in the state’s history.
Given that, is it still possible that Chauvin can be found ‘Not Guilty’ on all three counts? Well: even under very unfavorable circumstances, police officers have not been indicted, let alone convicted of murder, in the past (see the case of Breonna Taylor).
This could be the landmark case that changes that, though.
‘The effort to move the giant ship was assisted by forces more powerful than any machine rushed to the scene: the moon and the tides’
– the New York Times
Word came on Monday morning that the Ever Given has been freed. It was towed to the Great Bitter Lake for a final inspection. The last thing authorities would want to happen, is for the ship to break down on the way to Port Said at the northern end of the Canal.
“This is a very big ship. This is a very big problem.”
– Richard Meade, the editor in chief of Lloyd’s List, a maritime intelligence publication based in London.
So! that whale of a container ship is still stuck in the Canal.
The dozen or so tugboats and the dredgers have managed to move it by some 100ft, though.
The water level will raise by another 18 inches on Monday, and that might be all that is needed.