December 8th, 2020

blackhat

(procrastination, observe, chatham, health, covid-19)

I have been struggling with to do lists.

This morning i saw a bright satellite in conjunction with Castor and Pollux cruising through the early dawn sky. It was as bright as Castor and Pollux (between magnitudes 1 and 2). SL-24 DEB was the best match for track and time, a Russian object of unknown categorization, with a maximum brightness of 3.4. The track ran closer to Castor and Pollux than the prediction draws -- but it's the best match. I may write to http://www.satobs.org/seesat/seesatindex.html

Except, pfft, to do list.

I'm not sure why the steps project has frozen up for me. I am the block right now.

I took Friday off and frittered it away: 50% of my reason for taking it off was to deal with finding a carpenter, etc. Admittedly the frittering included lots of shopping for gifts, including trying to figure out appropriate books to help get my freshman nephew using Jupyter notebooks. Which -- it seems like it's going to be so easy with Anaconda, the scientific python package. Install that great huge thing (i should probably bring it over on a thumb drive giving their satellite connection), and i won't have to coach him on the command line if you doesn't want to. I trust that if this is a direction he should go, the limitations of notebooks will soon push him there. The gaol is to give him a playground that will inspire.

I'd already picked out a pastry chef book for my niece who is far more inspired in that direction.

Another fritter trigger is that both Christine and i are moping around with small coughs and malaise. No fever, good oxygen saturation: presuming it's not COVID-19. Nonetheless, i am not going to my parents. We have tried to ask the woman who comes twice a week to add the COVID tracker to her phone: she's not interested. She's "Double masking" in public, whatever that means. She takes cash only and has made negative noises about vaccines. We teeter at the edge of being done with her. She's cisgender, white, presumably hetero due to ex-husband in history: i tend to suspect we are of different political outlooks. All this OK without a pandemic, but handling cash was suspect early on. She was pretty confident in her essential worker status and chafed against the spring shut down even though we kept paying her (cash, sigh). We gave her Thanksgiving off (paid), partly due to worry about the surging rates. She comes today. We'll open windows.

I joined Christine & Carrie for a walk Friday night to the nearby dirt road that goes to the Zen center and we encountered a woman walking her English shepherd (related to border collie) off leash and training the dog. We were happy to be a teachable moment for Harlan, and i was happy when Carrie demonstrated her lack of interest in treats: part of the challenge in training her. In trying to explain where we lived, Christine finally said, "We're the house with the Black Lives Matter sign." Our interlocutor immediately went to the fact that the Zen Center probably wouldn't want to put a BLM sign at the road because of vandalism concerns: just being "Zen" was triggering enough, apparently, for the leap of "Not Christian, therefore Satanist." On one hand i was assured that Christine's and my wariness in decision making was not an outlier. And we were glad to say that we haven't had any particular trouble: the trash rate seems the same, perhaps more sign adjacent now instead of sprinkled down the frontage. She gossiped a little about the reactionary barber on the corner, of whom we'd heard from my father, and who had a 2016 Trump sign up for years and a Thank Jesus yard signs up as long as we have been here.
This is also posted at https://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/834277.html .