Yesterday, we undecorated our Christmas tree and took it outside. It now stands in the backyard next to our bird feeders, providing our feathered friends there some additional cover while they feast from our bounty. We packed up all of our decorations and hauled all that stuff back down to the basement until next season. I put away the bicycle X-mas light decoration, but at Anne’s request have left the window lights up for a while yet. Our Christmas is now over, except for all of the chocolate and turkey still left.
First thing that morning Anne’s phone began dinging. She got a pair of texts from the USPS announcing the imminent delivery of the package that we mailed to Dave and Maren last year. Their two-day delivery eventually spanned two-months, but it finally arrived safe and sound. After it arrived, we were treated by a barrage of photos from the appreciative recipients. All’s well that ends well.
I watched My Octopus Teacher last night. This Netflix documentary tells the story of Craig Foster, a South African documentary film maker and his almost year long relationship with a common octopus. Suffering from burnout from work, Foster retreats to the sea, a world where as a child he once enjoyed immensely. The waters off the Cape of Storms are cold, 46 °F, but he snorkels the kelp forests there without a wetsuit. On his first outing, he meets an octopus and then proceeds to visit her everyday after. An octopus only lives for about a year, so Foster estimates that he knew her for about 80% of its life. This movie features exceptional photography and combined with his hypnotic narration, offer a moving story of his relationship with this otherworldly creature.
Last night, remaining news networks called Arizona for Biden. Meghan McCain, widow of Senator John McCain, took this occasion to share a meme, a photo of John with the tagline, “I like people who don’t lose Arizona.” Feel the burn? Following these events, China congratulated Biden on his victory. This leaves pretty much just Putin, Trump and the GOP as holdouts. It has been almost a week since last Saturday, when Joe Biden’s victory was announced. In the interim, we’ve witnessed the hilarious Four Seasons Total Landscaping debacle, but more ominous have been a string of recent administration firings. Leading among those fired officials was Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Combined with rumors of the potential future sackings of both the FBI and CIA directors, these action raise the specter of a coup. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, might have been joking, when he threw fuel on this fire with a promised, “Smooth transition−to a second Trump administration.” It is uncertain if these words and actions are more coup or con, but a little vigilance at this time wouldn’t hurt.
In other news, we had a pleasant Zoom call with Jay and Carl this week. One topic raised was the idea of a joint summer camping trip. They are not willing to go full pup tent like we have and are more inclined towards renting a camper or a trailer. To this end, Anne has found the following possibility via Needless Markup. While it might not be affordable as a second home, if you sold your house you could probably swing it. There would likely be enough money left to buy a truck to pull it too. Get your motor running, head out on the highway…
Finally, I am infuriated with the New York Times. In particular with their Covid coverage. Since the epidemic has begun, they have run a daily graphic that maps the spread of the disease. Each state is color-coded to represent the degree of infection. Additionally, the top offenders are individually listed. Since this summer, Missouri has been in these ranks. Initially, we were number nine out of nine. Later, this list was expanded and although we had relatively improved (i.e. not sunk as fast as our neighbors), we were still on the list at twelve out of twelve. The pandemic has exploded nationwide and it is bad here too. However, not as bad as elsewhere. Lately, we now sit at fifteen out of an even more expanded list of fifteen of the worst offenders. I have gotten so tired of winning.
An autogolpe is a form of putsch or coup d’état where a nation’s leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers not granted under normal circumstances.