Yesterday, workers in the New York Times Guild asked you to break your Wordle streak. On Wednesday, Times union members announced a 24-hour digital picket line for Thursday and asked readers not to cross it while they are on their one-day walkout. 1,100 Times employees walked out after unsuccessfully negotiating with Times management for over a year. Chief among their demands is a corporate minimum wage of $65K. While, this may sound like a lot of money, New York last month was named the most expensive city in the world. I know this, because my son, moved to NYC, because LA just was not expensive enough.
News of this job action was not very well disseminated. I first learned of this digital picket line on Thursday morning from Twitter, after I had already perused the paper. I informed Anne when she got up and she shared the news with her sisters. Jay was already halfway through Wordle when she stopped, and Jane had already completed the puzzle before she first heard of the work stoppage. Later, I did miss using my subscription, when I was fixing dinner and could not access the NYT food app. I think that dinner suffered because of this.
Proceeding now, guilt free usage of the Times has returned. This morning, I again read the Times and Anne again played Wordle and the myriad of other Times games that she likes. My somewhat limited hiatus was no great hardship, Anne, and all her fellow Wordle nerds will see lasting consequences. Their Wordle streaks will be reset to zero, which is a real sacrifice, to hear all the wailing and gnashing of teeth going-on about this via Twitter. I think though that the reset Wordle score will become a badge of honor and a sign of solidarity. Going forward, Wordle streaks that exceed this interruption will be viewed askance and become subject to scorn. A few years ago, who could have conceived of these events?
Yesterday, was a day of rest. We unpacked our bags, did some laundry, and paid the bills that had been waiting for our return. This morning, our house is wrapped in fog, an outside fog that matches my interior mental fog that hopefully enough coffee will dispel. There are more things to do today, as we pick up the pieces of our homelife. This day we will do some chores, make some phone calls, and then dive headfirst into the onrushing Christmas season, but first let us revel a little bit here in our recently concluded journeys.
This painting, in the newly reopened Air and Space Museum commemorates Wilbur Wright’s 1909 flight in NYC. Celebrating the achievements of Henry Hudson and Robert Fulton, Wright had agreed that he would make a flight. In exchange, the city would pay him $15K. What worried Wilbur was that his flights would be over water. On the morning of the flight, he had made a modification to the Flyer: Beneath the lower wing, he had slung a bright red canoe, a top-of-the-line Indian Girl canoe made by the Rushton Canoe Company, it featured a sturdy 16′ frame made of northern white cedar, which Rushton claimed was nearly a third lighter than other cedars. In essence, the canoe turned the Flyer into the world’s first floatplane.
Taking off, he arose and flew east. A man in the crowd exclaimed, “I believe he’s off for Philadelphia!” Charlie Taylor, Wright’s crew chief, corrected him: “No, he will round the Statue of Liberty.” And so, he did. Crossing between Ellis and Liberty islands, Wilbur steadily gained altitude, then began a turn to the left, closing the distance to Lady Liberty. At an altitude of 200′, he passed in front of the statue, his wingtips only a few hundred feet from her waist. He then flew back to Governors Island and landed, completing a flight of 20 miles.
Last weekend, Anne and I had a Zoom meeting with the kids. We wanted to pin down their itineraries, for traveling to the cabin this summer. That bit of business finished, we started to share our news. I recounted the goings on here at the cabin, as written in this blog. Maren and Britt shared their respective work-related successes and new opportunities. Dan’s news is the subject of this post. It involved goings on around his and Britt’s apartment, in Bushwick. Around the 4th of July someone blew up their trash can, which was around the back of the building. So, they did not see it happen, but heard the very loud explosion. The trash can was blown apart. The other sketchy thing that occurred involved the corner gas station. This was at a different time than the trash can explosion. Not sure what triggered this event, but the gas station’s fire suppression system was set off. This fire suppression system is a halon-based system. Looking down from their fifth-floor viewpoint, the spreading halon gas can be seen low to the ground, creeping out away from the station. I wouldn’t want to be the man pictured in the middle of it all.