I walked down to Cal Anderson Park today. It is open again after some 6 months. The illegal shelters and tents have now been removed. Crews have done overdue ground maintenance, building repairs, graffiti removal, and litter pick-up.
When and how to address the multiple other locations with homeless encampments around the city, is still an on-going and intractable challenge, though.
I had the P and the E for a dessert (5,5) in my latest giant crossword puzzle, and so I needed to solve P_E_ _ |_ _ _ _ _ .
Hmm .. might it be PEACH MELBA? I thought ..
.. but then I had to do a lot of legwork to verify that it fit with the cryptic clue.
I only knew about peach melba (peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream – I had to look this up, as well), but nothing of its history.
Galileo started to turn his telescope to the heavens in 1609.
He soon discovered Jupiter’s four biggest moons, and that Saturn had a ‘strange oval surrounding’. Right around that time, there was the Great Conjunction of 1623 – but it is almost certain that Galileo did not see it.
Astronomers and historians have not found the event mentioned anywhere in the records of that time.
Check out this incredible picture posted on Sunday night by J. Rehling on Twitter (@JRehling).
In his Twitter thread notes below, he says that he used a 9.25″ (that means wide) Celestron telescope with a 2350 mm focal length and an ASI 1600 mm monochrome camera, with separate filters for clear, red, green, and blue.
And when is the next super-close pairing of the two planets? March 15, 2080.
It’s winter here in the North, officially.
The city has had plenty of rainy, windy weather yesterday and today (1.58 in. measured in 48 hrs at Seatac Airport’s gauge).
.. and hey! the snowflakes coming down in the mix tonight, formed a thin layer on my back deck.
I’m not traveling anywhere for Christmas this year.
So: no excuse for not putting up a tree.
I retrieved the one I have from the basement, and put up some of my bird figures in it, along with a few other decorations.
I ran into a super-simple recipe for pasta sauce in the New York Times. Canned peeled tomatoes, butter, onion, a pinch or two of salt. That’s it.
The recipe mentioned San Marzano tomatoes. Would these be available on Amazon? I wondered.
Yes .. the original product from Italy! and so I ordered some.
Below is what I did to cook the sauce tonight.
There is a little basil with the tomato in the can.
I used Kerrygold Irish butter and white onion.
The onion is taken out afterwards.
I tossed the sauce with the pasta, and that was it.
No parmesan, so that I could savor the sunny, earthy tomato flavor better.
Well, the rain stopped long enough today for the sky to clear .. and for the tennis courts at Jefferson Park to dry out.
So when the text messages from my tennis group came in asking who could play, I jumped at it. We had 52 °F/ 11 °C, which is still OK to play in. Temperatures down to around 45 °F/ 7 °C are increasingly dicey, and 40 °F/ 4 °C is a hard no for me.
A major winter storm is bringing heavy snow into the Northeast of the country. Here in the Pacific Northwest we just have rain. (There is snow in the mountains, of course, but it’s not cold enough for snow on the city streets, yet.) November’s total came to 5.6 in, somewhat below the average of 6.6 in.
By sunset (4.18 pm), my neighbors’ Christmas lights across the street are already switched on.
Each of these Tuesdays, I sweep up the last bit of the leaves on my front lawn (to put in the yard waste bin for pickup).
P.S. There’s a ‘Biden for President’ sign on the white picket fence on the right.
All 538 electors voted Monday in the Electoral College*, and it’s now official: Joe Biden 306, Trump 232.
*From CBS news: Electors are not necessarily bound by law to vote according to the state’s results, and there were 10 “faithless electors” in 2016. But most states have laws that nullify the votes of “faithless electors,” and the Supreme Court ruled in July that states can punish them. FairVote found that since the founding of the Electoral College, there have been 167 faithless electors.
I ordered another Banana Republic sweater online.
This one fits me very well, and it’s a keeper.
Sweater in fine merino wool, with pockets and hidden full-length zipper. I could choose between grey and black. Grey is neutral and versatile. Black is much more formal and powerful and (to me), just does not go as well with earthy colors.
Here come the vaccines. UPS and FedEx started shipping the first of the initial 3 million doses of vaccine from the Pfizer facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to sites around the United States, today.
Worldwide, dry ice production and making ultra-cold freezers, are being ramped up. I read somewhere that airlines are now allowed 15,000 lbs of dry ice in their cargo, up from 3,000 lbs. The stuff sublimates, which means it evaporates into CO2 gas directly from its solid form. The crew have to keep an eye on the CO2 levels.
Ordinary people will have to be patient. I hope I can roll up my sleeve for my first shot (of two) by say, April.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) grants emergency use authorization for the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.
The pandemic is far from over (more than 3,000 deaths just on Thursday).
Texas attorney general’s ‘lawsuit’ (stunt), to try to overturn the certified election results (certifying Trump is a LOSER) in four battleground states, is smacked down 9-0 by the US Supreme Court. The AGs of seventeen red states, and 2/3 of House Republicans had joined the lawsuit. (Hey Republicans, newsflash for you: the United States is still a democracy. Your attempt at a coup is now dead.)
The Space Needle is lit up in green, in support of the Seattle Sounders, that will take on Columbus Crew in the 2020 Major League Soccer Cup Final on Saturday.
Update Sat 12/13: Sounders lost 0-3 to Columbus. Congrats to Columbus.
I drove down to the Beacon Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library today, to return a very overdue book.
(For some reason the Capitol Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library near me, does not accept books in its book depository).
William Shakespeare (81), became the second person to officially receive the Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine, at University Hospital Coventry, England.
(My apologies to the current day-William Shakespeare that had appeared in the original picture, for replacing his visage with one of The Bard. I could not resist).
In 1593, a year or so before Shakespeare wrote ‘Romeo and Juliet’, a powerful wave of the bubonic plague struck London. Theatres closed for 14 months and some 10,000 Londoners died. People died in all kinds of ways in Shakespeare’s plays, but nobody ever died of the plague. Thoughts of the plague was terrifying, and references to it in plays, almost completely taboo.