Always: the collective folk wisdom

30% chance of rain

cdta_bus_10_downtown_albanyI was taking a bus home from my allergist, the second of two. Someone asked if I were waiting for a particular line, which I was. My CDTA Navigator app said the next bus was coming at 10:04; it was 9:58 at the time.

This person then launched into a tirade. “The buses are always late! They should do something about them!. The buses should come more often!”

The bus rolls up at 10:03, and I got on; there were about six people aboard. Ironically, the other party tried to wheedle their way onto the bus because they had no money for the fare. (N.b.: if they had asked me, I would have paid for them.)

This bugged me, just a little because it’s that unwarranted generalization that the System has failed. In fact, the four buses I took that day were all within four minutes of on-time.

Forecast

It’s like when people say in my presence, “The weather forecast is always wrong.” This is usually followed by “It must be great to get paid for being wrong all of the time.” Occasionally I’ve pushed back against the assertion, but I’ve found that to be not very fruitful. So I generally ignore it.

The accusation is addressed here by a meteorologist. ” Take, for instance, a day with a ’30 percent chance of rain.’ That’s tough to… show in a simple TV 7-day graphic. But it’s possible that a majority of the people stay dry and a small percentage see rain.”

I’ve experienced that quite often. I landed at the Albany airport, where it was sunny and dry. But when I got home, seven miles away, it had clearly rained. Or back in my FantaCo days, it was raining in Albany, but the owner came in from Averill Park, across the river, and he had snow on his roof.

Here’s a geeky article. It states, logically, that the shorter the outlook, say one to three days, the more likelihood, that it’ll be correct.

The COVID vaccine

Kelly noted that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers defended his “alternative” regimen as “immunization” equivalent to being fully vaccinated. But what ticked off the western New Yorker, understandably, is this: “Liberals hated vaccines when 45 was President but as soon as Biden took over they loved them.”

I know lots of liberals who spent months praying – some of them literally – for a vaccine. If it had been available in October 2020 and I were eligible, damn straight I would have gotten inoculated.

Rodgers is in this prism that suggests that liberals like me are always going to dispute whatever good things happened during 45’s term. What I disputed were what 45 seemed to do to minimize his own vaccine accomplishments by touting hydroxychloroquine or other unproven formulations.

Delta variant and other COVID news

Luciferian Globalists

By Harold Jessurun and Aníbal Quiñones, the prominent creators of the popular Pepito comic in Puerto Rico. Instagram had deleted the image on some sites, citing that it violated its Community Guidelines. https://www.latinorebels.com/2020/04/20/pepitocreatorsimage/

The Delta variant doesn’t give a flying #@$% if you’re tired of hearing about COVID-19.

From the  Boston Globe: “This is not the worry-free summer many envisioned as recently as Memorial Day, full of long-awaited travel, family reunions, and evenings in favorite restaurants.

“Since July Fourth, there’s been a steady drumbeat of discouraging COVID-19 news: Infections are climbing across the country. Hospitalizations in several Southern and Western states are spiking, too. Vaccination rates have dwindled. And communities from Cambridge to Los Angeles County are advising or mandating a return to mask-wearing, even for vaccinated people.”

An old friend of one of my sisters has been sending me stuff such as how some doctor says there is no Delta variant of COVID. But the “logic”, alas, fails me. Then she sent me something about the Luciferian Globalists Implementing the New World Order. Er, no.

Speaking of which: In southwest Missouri, the coronavirus Delta variant and “freedom” collide. Our guest pastor made a credible link between American individualism in this crisis and sin.

Right-Wing Vaccine Lies Are Tearing the Country Apart.

My daughter asked me if I’d ever heard of Eric Clapton. Er, yeah. Apparently, he was trending on Twitter because of some reportedly racist thing he said in 1978; IDK why it was notable decades later. But then I came across this article from 2021 noting that he says he won’t play venues that require COVID-19 vaccinations. I find that… disappointing.

Masking up

Someone asked me, “Are you going to watch the Olympics?” And I was surprised that I answered, “I don’t know.” The COVID surge in Japan has taken away some of the luster from the games in my mind. Ken Levine hit on it.

Except for a few restaurant visits, I tend to wear my mask indoors, even though I’m fully vaccinated. So it’s not onerous for me if it’s mandated.

Oh, and it IS required on the local CDTA buses, as it is on most mass transportation. At a bus stop where I was getting on, two potential passengers were arguing about whether masks were required. I butted in and agreed with the one who said yes. Then the bus driver refused to allow the unmasked person on, so the other one declined to get on too. The two were still squabbling as the bus pulled away.

The Department of Justice decided not to probe COVID deaths in state-run nursing homes in four states, including New York. I can’t speak about the other states, but I was hoping for such a probe in my state. It’ll be investigated at the state level, but federal juice has more impact.

Canada to Open to Fully Vaccinated Americans on August 9.

I read that the morally bankrupt Congressman Madison Cawthorn, who lied about a major aspect of his biography, is bloviating that if the GOP retakes the House, it’ll be prosecuting Dr. Fauci to the “full extent” of the law.

“What do you do all day?” you ask

a week’s worth of newspapers

what do i do all daySince I retired at the end of June 2019, people come up me and ask, “What do you do all day?” It varies quite a bit. I decided to take a day when someone asked me that question – Thursday, December 12 – and answer it.

At 6:30 a.m., I’m waiting for a bus, watching a woman parked at the bus stop waiting for another woman and a child. They’re all standing at the corner – making it difficult to see if the bus coming. Then they all go out in front of the car. A guy is walking his whippet (dog). One of the women engages him in conversation. The guy had three whippets, but one died and the other didn’t want to go out.

Another guy with a small dog walks by. He jokes(?) that he ought to whip the two women because they had the child in the street. They were protecting the child from the whippet, they claim.

I take two buses to the Gateway Diner. It only took 11 minutes and I was early, so I circumnavigated the nearby CVS. It was too cold to stand around.

There were 19 of us at the Bible Guys’ breakfast. I talk to one guy, Bob, at length about genealogy. Someone noted that it was a year ago that Charlie Kite announced to the group that he was dying from cancer and that he would not see February; he was correct.

After Philip took me home, I deleted a bunch of emails while listening to the previous day’s news. Then I got all distracted on a genealogical search for my biological paternal grandfather. I’m about 80% sure that I know who it is, based on DNA matches I have on Ancestry.com that I can’t otherwise explain.

I called the Omaha Steaks people about problems with an order, a gift from my BIL. If their automated system offers to call you back, take it. One box was opened within the shrink-wrapped styrofoam. The human being who returned the call emailed me.

I took two buses to Delmar, I assumed to see my podiatrist, Dr. Manzi. But he has sold the business to a married couple. The male doctor treated me. I stopped at Dunkin’ and had one of those Bynd “sausage sandwiches. It’s not exactly the original, but it’s not bad. I take two buses home. En route, I got through a week’s worth of newspapers.

Ah, the kitchen counter needs cleaning. My daughter and my wife get home at roughly the same time, but my wife has a church meeting. We eat some leftovers before she goes. I gather the garbage to go out, and take a bus to choir rehearsal. BTW, I took seven buses today, but because of CDTA’s Navigator card, I only paid for the first three. (An unpaid, unsolicited plug.)

An hour and a half later, I get a ride home from Christy. I check my email and listen to that night’s news. In bed by 10 p.m. You’ll note that I didn’t work on the blog or do insurance stuff or see a movie or actually watch TV. Almost every day is different.

Demisemiseptcentennial or dodransbicentennial?

Rats and cops and drug dealers

175thMy grad school alma mater, UAlbany, is celebrating its 175th anniversary. It was founded in 1844 as the New York State Normal School. It became the Normal College in 1890, the College for Teachers in 1914, and a university in 1962. So 2019 is its demisemiseptcentennial.

WHAT? Demisemiseptcentennial is literally one-half (demi-) x one-half (semi-) x seven (sept-) x 100 years (centennial). Is this a real word? Villanova used it 2017.

According to the Wikipedia, the Latin-based term for 175th anniversary should be dodransbicentennial. It’s from “a whole unit less a quarter,” but I’d never heard that one and I’m even less likely to remember it. My spell checker likes neither of the terms.


There’s a large window behind me where I work in downtown Albany, on the third floor. (Note to self: Water the plant!)

About 4:50 p.m., I hear some male voice yelling. I assume he’s part of an argument. But looking up the street, I see just one guy . He’s carrying some sort of plastic bucket, with stuff, and holding a thin white pole. Even from fifty meters away, I can tell he has holes in the knees of his jeans, and it was cold enough for him to be wearing his dark knit cap.

I tune him out and leave to catch the 5:40 p.m. bus. When I exit the building, the guy is still there. Now I can understand what he was saying: “Rats and cops and drug dealers”, which he repeated every ten seconds, sometimes directed at worried pedestrians.

The #10 Western Avenue bus arrives and folks queue up to enter it. The guy mumbles, “Oh, this will do,” and returns to his litany. He enters, then stands near the front of the bus, saying to nearby customers his message. The driver miraculously ignores him.

Sometimes he adds a few words. “Do you you know it’s rats, and cops and drug dealers?” At least one rider is amused, but others are clearly terrified.

He gets off at the stop near the Washington Avenue branch of the library. At once, I am both relieved that the auditory performance is over, and worried the APL patrons will be subjected to it.

Seeking Deep Peace midst cold, snow, ice

Several boats yanked free by an ice logjam on the Hudson River closed several  bridges.

gaelic blessingSUNDAY: Almost every church in the area was closed, with heavy snow overnight. It was changing over to sleet and freezing rain around 7 a.m., just as I began shoveling for the first time.

Our church, however, was open. At the 8:30 service, the two pastors, their elder daughter, the tenor soloist, the organist and the couple who ushered were present. My wife and I took the bus to church because getting the car out of the parking space was impractical in the time frame.

At the 9:30 choir rehearsal, there were but nine of us and the director, plus the organist. The choir director was impressed that we had that many, and we carried on, with a total of 26 at that service.

My wife and I with our friend Sue went to lunch at Mamoun Restaurant that 1) was open, 2) has very good Mediterranean food, and 3) is only a couple blocks from my church. We thought Sue had been attending the church longer than we had,, but it turned out it was that we all started attending the same year, 2000.

We returned to church for the 3 p.m. funeral of Charlie Kite. Eleven in the choir now. to sing A Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter, subtitled Deep Peace..

The Kite friends and family were out in force, and it was a great event with the church 3/4 full on a lousy day, weatherwise. In-laws, kids, grandkids and old friends all paying tribute. Among other things, we heard how Charlie loved boating.

After the reception, my wife and I went home, and after a change in footwear, started digging out her car around 6:30 p.m. We were tired, but we knew snow emergency called for Monday night, plus the forecast of plummeting temperatures meant that we did it then, it would be too difficult the next day.

MONDAY: An Arctic blast. as it was a federal holiday, I didn’t have to go anywhere, and except removing the snow that the city plows applied in blocking in the car, I never left the house. My daughter’s play rehearsal was wisely canceled.

TUESDAY: Library Foundation meeting, then work. Moderating temperatures.

THURSDAY: Because it was exam week, and my daughter was home alone most of the week, I took the day off, and in the afternoon, went to the movies. It was raining all day, but the temperature began sinking. I took the bus to church.

As I was getting off the bus at Washington and Lark in Albany, some guy sitting in a seat to my right hit me in the arm. It didn’t especially hurt, but I stopped and said to him, “What did you that for?”

The burly white male maybe half my age said: “Just keep going.” I repeated my query. “I’m crazy. You know. I could kill you if I wanted to.”

“No doubt that’s true. But why are you being such an @$$4013?” (I had decided that showing fear to this dude was not in my self-interest.)

I tried to retreat to the rear entrance, but he blocked that.  I went out the front entrance, as he continued to yammer something. I gave a WTH look at the driver and got off. The guy did not follow, fortunately.

Taking the bus home after rehearsal, the problem was black ice, especially stepping from the roadway to the sidewalk. I’m shocked that I did not fall.

FRIDAY: More black ice on the way to the 11 a.m. funeral of Bob Lamar. The choir must have numbered over 30, including a few folks from other FOCUS churches. we sang How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place from the Brahms requiem, in English. I’ve it so often, I pretty much know it by heart.

A full house for the service, despite some roadway chaos in the area. Several boats yanked free by an ice logjam on the Hudson River closed several bridges.

Among the tributes was one by the former bishop of the Albany diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Family, friends and former colleagues spoke, and golf was a repeated theme.

At the reception, I saw my old racquetball competitor, Ward Greer, formerly the head of the Albany United Methodist Society. I was talking to Ken Screven, a retired local news legend when one of the choir members said he has a voice like a Stradivarius, which is true.

I was really touched to note that my blog post about Bob Lamar was included alongside family photos. One of my wife’s colleagues expressed surprise that she would take off from work for the funeral of someone not a family member. Bob was a huge part of our church family for a lot of years.

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