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Month: September 2020

Still burning, still pandemic-y, still stuck at home

Well, the not-so-good national news is that the pandemic’s not getting better any more. We passed 200,000 dead, and after another downturn, cases are going back up nationally–not clear about California, though.

US Covid-19 cases from NYT.
California cases from LAT.

The Bobcat fire is still threatening Mt Wilson, as it has been for days now. Latest scary-cam image:

Terrible fire but great composition for a robot camera. . .Mt WIlson west camera on September 21st.

We stood and watched the aerial assault on the fire right before sunset today. We saw a C-130, a MD-80/DC-9, and a DC-10 tanker making runs. The fire has also been spreading north and has burned some communities in Apple Valley, apparently. They’ve also made new evacuations in Big Tujunga Canyon.

Air quality has improved enough the last few days to have the house open for some of the time anyway. We were getting very tired of recirculated, AC air. We are supposed to go to Mammoth thursday but the air quality up there is horrible–well over 300 on the PurpleAirs up there. And all the national forest lands are closed so there’s no real reason to go. Too bad, the change of scenery is nice.

There was a 4.9-ish earthquake down in the Montebello area (very deep) early Saturday. Andrea had just surveyed her mudpot on Friday so we went down Sunday to do that. Finally saw the legendary/horrific Bombay Beach and the Salton Sea, too. It was super hot as well. But again, nice to get out of the house.

in #trumpocalypse news. . .where do i even start? Ruth Bader Ginsberg died last friday, so Moscow Mitch is preparing to confirm whichever christofascist the God King appoints. The “Justice” Department has designated three cities “anarchist jurisdictions” so that federal funds can be cut and DHS stormtroopers can be imposed: Portland, Seattle, and New York. I’m with George Takei:

Seriously! We have Oakland. Compton. Mojave. San Francisco. Marin County. Berkeley, the beating heart of anarcho-syndicalism! What do you have to DO to get branded an “anarchist jurisdiction” by the Trump Crime Ring?” Have a lot of rain?

I wish I had confidence that the Trumpists will be swept out of office. But I don’t. Even if they get a clean sweep, though, the Dems will frak it up. DiFi has already said she won’t expand the courts to undo the christofascist takeover, and that’s the whole game given up before a vote is cast.

Seven months stuck at home. I expect to be here another 7. . . Well, actually, we could be evacuated if the winds pick up from the east. That would be Not Good.

Cali’s Burning Again and Other Stuff

It’s wildfire season again here in Cali and it’s bad, though not quite as deadly as a couple of years ago. More burned acres, less burned people. Closest to us is the Bobcat2 fire, which started east of Mt Wilson over the weekend. We’re under an “evacuation warning,” but so far the wind is blowing away from us. Forecasted Santa Ana winds have so far not appeared. We’re semi-packed for evacuation.

From the East facing Mt Wilson camera on September 7.

Mammoth area hasn’t been spared. An explosive growth fire started near Big Creek, CA, and spread to Mammoth Pool. The National Guard did a helicopter evacuation of more than 200 trapped people.

The Bay Area sky turned orange this morning. Happened in Oregon, too.

Online people are comparing it to the Vegas scene from Blade Runner 2049.

It’s a freaking hellscape.

MEANWHILE, somehow the God-King thought it would be fun to let Bob Woodward tape him over the last few months. Today’s big reveal was that on February 7, he told Woodward that he was downplaying the coronavirus. His hoax speech was two weeks later. I’d be surprised but. . .nah. It’s who he is.

Also he called veterans losers. Again, not a big surprise. But he may win and won’t leave office even if he loses, so there’s that. At least his campaign is running out of money early. They’ve spent $800 million apparently. I’d bet it’s gone into family pockets.

There was a pro-trump boat parade in Texas. It went badly in a very funny way.

And then there’s QAnon, which is exploding. I just can’t with that.

There’s still a pandemic but it’s fallen off the front page again–i guess we can thank the hellscape for that. Cases have been declining for weeks but university reopenings have created new outbreaks. Not clear if/when further “reopening” will happen in California.

California stats, 9 September 2020. From the LA Times.

It’s just been a craptastic year

I’ve been remiss in posting here, not because I’ve got nothing to say but because I’m finding it harder and harder to spend “non-work” time in front of my screens. It’s become almost active resistance on the part of my brain. . .

But anyway, this post is less motivated by the pandemic (which, for a short while, is getting less bad) or by the collapse of American democracy (which is accelerating. We’re fucked. But that’s some other post.)

Last week we were in Mammoth again, came back Saturday. ‘Twas lovely up there, and much cooler than ‘Dena. Did one day of hiking but otherwise it was a working trip as they all are now. Work-life separation went out the window in February and has run far away.

Monday afternoon (1 September) I had a surge of pressure and heat in my left side. I’ve been having GI problems for around 18 months now but no events long-lasting and severe enough to get a fix on. Last trip to urgent care about two months ago (they found nothing) the doc there said to go straight to the ER if it happened again. So around 2 AM tuesday, we zipped off to Huntington Hospital ER.

Totally empty, just staff. I was in a room in 5 minutes, getting ultrasounded within 20, had the answer in an hour: big gall bladder stone, apparently .7 cm. So gallbladder had to go!

Huntington’s rule is two COVID tests before surgery, a quick test and a PCR which takes hours. I assume that they don’t trust the quick test quite enough yet to accept just that, but that requirement delayed surgery until Tuesday afternoon. But within 10 minutes of getting the PCR result they wheeled me off to pre-op. I was back in my room around 5 PM tuesday. Very efficient post-test!

I was released Wednesday afternoon with stern instructions that i was NOT to sit around (or lie around). I must do some walking but no lifting and no strenuous anything for two weeks. At the moment, I have too much pain from the surgery to WANT to do anything strenuous, or even stand up for more than a few minutes. Hopefully this will pass soon.

Observations:
1) Hospital was EMPTY. Seriously, HH felt like a ghost town.
2) Morphine does very little to or for me.
3) Vicodin does nothing at all. Might as well have been prescribed Pez for the pain. Tylenol actually works. So much for the wonder opioid of the 21st century.

Hoping that this will resolve my GI issues overall, but I’m still going to go through with endo/colonoscopy combo as the gallbladder issue doesn’t resolve the bloody stool issue that helped kick all this off last year. Also hoping it resolves my increasing migranes–perhaps wishful thinking, though.