Tuesday, September 29, 2020

cheating at drawing

I'm a bit of a lazy artist. I've done plenty of drawing from looking at the object I was drawing and I've done plenty of tracing and copying in my art work for the etched glass once I had accumulated a large library of flowers and such. The small scale compositions were always done freehand but when it came to the full size drawings and the detail I would shuffle through my library of flowers and birds and other things that I used a lot and would transfer the appropriate thing into the full size drawing. When I was starting out I relied on the kid's section of the library, various design and coloring books from the art supply store, and pictures from magazines. Later I would take pictures of what I wanted, print them out, slip it into a clear plastic sleeve and convert the photo to a line drawing using a fine tipped sharpie and then print out the line drawing. I have four binders of line drawings of various flowers and leaves and birds and other critters that I've accumulated over the years. I use this technique in my wax model making too. All the botanica erotica pieces started out with a line drawing from a photograph and then I converted that into a three dimensional sculpture.

The first colored pencil drawings I did in 2018 when I was trying to jumpstart my motivation and do a drawing a day I drew the old fashioned way directly into the sketchbook. Of the four I've done so far during the pandemic when I had time and the desire to do a drawing, I only drew the first, the amaryllis bud, the other three I traced and transferred from photographs like this:

print the photograph

slip it in a plastic sleeve and make a line drawing

print the image on the plastic sleeve

flip it over and use the side of a pencil to scribble graphite behind the drawing

position the drawing, graphite side down, and then trace, transferring the drawing onto the page in the sketchbook and start coloring it in.

Being lazy is easy but now and then I draw for real just to make sure I can still do it. The new drawing from another one of Linda Sue's photographs, 

I drew from scratch and it came out pretty damn good.

I always amaze myself. Once I was happy with the drawing I transferred it to the sketchbook and have just started to color it in, the first basic layer that I will build up on. So that's what I've been working on.

Not today though. I didn't roll out of bed til 8:30 this morning and worked out in the yard after breakfast pruning an althea, getting out the gone by zinnias and some weeds, til about 12:30 and then did a grocery shop and washed the piled up dishes and generally cleaned up the kitchen, worked on this post. Now it's time to feed the dog though I could take a little nap right about now even though I won't.

At the grocery store, we can only bring our own bags if we sack our groceries ourselves but I read elsewhere that people were having them just put the groceries back in the cart unbagged and then transferring to their own bags at the car. Instead of my own bags, I put three cardboard boxes in the trunk and at the check-out I told the guy to please do not put my stuff in plastic bags but to just put it all back in the cart. When I finished unloading onto the conveyor belt I looked up and the guy was starting to put my stuff in plastic bags. No, no I told him, no bags, just put the stuff back in the cart. It worked out pretty well. It didn't really take me any longer to transfer the stuff into those boxes than to unload a cart with a jillion plastic bags. Now if I had just remembered to take my mesh produce bags with me I could have got out of there without a single plastic bag!

(Have I mentioned how much I hate the new blogger?)

Saturday, September 26, 2020

the days, they just blend together

I wish I had something profound or meaningful or even interesting to write about but since I'm avoiding all things Trumpian, truth to tell, one day is pretty much like the one before it and the one that will come after it. I'm not an early riser and it's usually about 8 before I drag my butt out of bed and take my thyroid med on an empty stomach and drink a small glass of water first thing, then my yoga routine, then my two cups of coffee while I visit blogland or write a post and then finally go fix breakfast at 10. This is how every day starts unless I have something to do for which I need to leave the house early.

One of which is that I've started volunteering at SHARE here on Thursday mornings, the only day they are open right now, and I try to get there between 8:30 and 9. SHARE is an organization that provides food and clothing and in some cases monetary aid to the needy so I go and help fill the baskets of food depending on how many in the family and help restock the shelves to be ready for the next week. It's a church sponsored organization and the other people there are religious. The lady in charge finally had me fill out a form, basic information I imagine to do a background check though she didn't say so as two of the other volunteers are my neighbors. The last line was what church or organization did I represent if any. I wrote in 'humanity'.

We've been having some cooler weather since Beta blew through, or didn't blow as the case may be. It has dried up enough to get some weeding done which I did yesterday until I ran out of shade. It's still hot in the sun and getting warmer but the weather liars prognosticators are promising us more cool weather next week, even down in the 50s! We'll see. There are several tasks I've been putting off for cooler weather...cleaning out/up the garage, also the barn, also the shop...all three in desperate need. Still need to continue moving cast glass stuff into the new studio room and set it up. Not to mention all the fall yard tasks. Speaking of which you may or may not have noticed I haven't been writing about pecans which I usually do starting in July when the trees start shedding immature nuts. There's been very little of that and while we had the best crop we've had in years last year, I don't think we're going to get any this year. I'm not seeing any nuts up in my three trees and the few that have dropped are rotten inside. My neighbors' trees however are producing so maybe I can beg some of their excess crop.

The hummingbirds continue to ignore the feeders for the most part. I see them more often among the flowers that are blooming. The rain from Beta has produced a new round of rain lilies and oxblood lilies, even two of the bulbs I have yet to get planted have bloomed! 

And speaking of blooming flowers, Sabine at Interim Arrangements posted a picture of one of every flower blooming in her garden a couple of posts back which I really liked so I've done it too. Here's what's blooming today sans one other that I forgot, a yellow walking iris.

I've finally decided where I'm going to plant the oxblood lilies I dug up out of the ditch over a year ago! I created this space in front of the buddha and I'm going to plant them there.

Still haven't started a new drawing but at least I know what it is I'm going to draw when I get around to it. Mostly I wonder what to do with these drawings. Leave them in my sketchbook and let them accumulate or try and frame them for possible sale. Which reminds me, I have to get my images and bio/artspeak blurb sent in to be uploaded to the Height's Artisan Market website for the online sale. I don't actually expect to sell anything but it's good exposure. I also have a new idea for the gallery page on my website which will take a couple of days to build. Now that it's too hot to work outside comfortably perhaps I'll work on that today.

Or I may try and finish the book I'm reading.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

tropical storm BETA, voting, and my dying iMac

Sunday and Monday...days spent helping my sister at her old house doing the final repairs, touch-ups, and cleaning now that the estate sale is done and the unsold stuff hauled away to become someone else's problem or delight. Now our attention shifts to the outdoors and the last of the yard stuff and plants still to be dug up, the shed to be tidied but not til it dries out some from...

Tropical Storm Beta made landfall Monday night at Matagorda. Matagorda is a straight shot hour drive down Hwy 60 from Wharton. It rained for a couple of hours Monday afternoon and when it stopped we did our storm prep getting in the yard furniture and taking down all the wind chimes and yard art. It started up again early evening and did not stop on top of the 2 1/2” we got on Sunday. The only saving grace was that it was not torrential though sometimes heavy. Still the low spot on the west side back by the slab continued to accumulate water which slowly expanded into the low spot on the north side but I wasn't worried about that because that's the part of the house on pier and beam. As I checked out the window on the west side about every 15 minutes I was glad to see that, so far, the water had not gotten high enough to breach the dirt I had been mounding up along the slab. One last check after dark with the lights before I went to bed telling myself that I WAS NOT going to check during the night no matter how many times I woke up since there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it anyway except just deal with it and every time I did wake up it was still raining. It had stopped though by the time I woke up Tuesday morning to a little standing water in the low spot. I checked my rain gauge which tops out at 7” and it was full so I texted my neighbor at the other end of the street to see what their bigger rain gauge showed which was 6.1” so I'm thinking maybe my rain gauge isn't all that accurate except that I checked the markings on the side with a ruler and they are accurate. Guess I'll have to get a second one for a different part of the yard and see how they compare.

Tuesday was mostly without rain but some drizzle off and on so as it turned out TS Beta sort of fizzled out with no high wind here at all though a big dead branch did fall out of one of the oak trees yesterday late morning.

it has impaled the ground so solidly that it doesn't even wobble

here's the rest of it

flowers of a different sort

About the only thing I accomplished yesterday was going to the grocery store where the idiots were out, at least more than usual. I saw one guy without a mask at all (required in the grocery store) selfishly possibly spreading virus as he went and more than the usual number of shoppers with the mask below their noses. Go ahead on, I grumbled to myself, the virus loves your nose way more than it loves your mouth. I give those people a wide berth. The only other thing I accomplished was getting to the vet and getting flea treatment for the dog and cat.

I've been dithering about getting a mail-in ballot since I'm in the age group where it's allowed for voting as opposed to in person. There's a chat group on FB for Wharton so I posted a query if anyone knew if there would be a drop box for mail-in ballots. The chiropractor here I've gone to a couple of times just lost a client after he posted a snarky reply...yeah, Nov. 3 at your polling place. Well, thanks Mr. Obvious. What is it with Republicans? Are they all assholes or just the ones that comment on posts cause I'm seeing a trend here. Someone else commented that mail-in ballots had to be postmarked so I looked up election rules here in Texas. So, yeah, no drop boxes allowed in Texas but you can hand your ballot in in person to the county election office where you have to show a valid ID and sign off that you voted. That office is here in Wharton since this is the county seat. 

The news is so bad that I can't even look at it, can't even read Heather Cox Richardson's newsletters. We're all counting on the election to save this country while Trump, Barr, and McConnell are doing everything they can to suppress the vote and stack the Supreme Court to contest and declare the election null and void and install Trump again. I'm really scared.

Well, I think my iMac is in the last stages of it's long life. It's at least a decade old, older I think but don't remember exactly what year we bought it and for some time now it will get really hot to the touch in the upper left corner and yesterday and today as well it wouldn't even come on until I unplugged it and then plugged it back in (the magic cure for everything computer related it seems) and yesterday it spontaneously quit twice. Not a good sign

Wet and soggy today. Think I'll start on a new drawing.

PS. I still hate the new blogger. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

week 26 and week 27


Well, the big news is, of course, Bob Woodward's book and revelation that Trump knew in January how bad, how devastating, the virus is and would be and PURPOSELY chose to downplay it, ignore it, lie about it over and over, refusing to marshal the country to fight it because he didn't want to create a panic (and he was perfectly content for blue states to suffer). Of course, he has had no problem creating panics over immigration or muslims or our cities allowing people to exercise their 1st amendment rights protesting police brutality and instigating violence against fellow Americans. The truth of the matter is he didn't want to create a panic in the stock market because he thinks that is crucial for his re-election.


Astra-Zeneca temporarily halted the global trials for their vaccine after a volunteer suffered some illness while they tried to determine if it was a side effect of the vaccine. I believe I read later that they have reinstated the trial. 


HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo, has been interfering with the CDC's virus reports demanding to see the reports before they were made public and demanding they be watered down so as not to undermine Trump's 'optimistic' messages (lies) about the virus even wanting to go so far as to retroactively change already published reports and holding back other reports. As if that's not enough, he berated CDC scientists and accused them of creating 'hit job' reports to undermine Trump for political reasons. 


The CDC on Friday reversed their testing guidance issued in August, no doubt because of pressure from Trump who wants less testing and therefore a lower case count, that people without symptoms did not need to get tested. The new guidance recommends that anyone with no symptoms but who have been in contact with an infected person should get tested. 


And today, the CDC retracted guidance it had published also on Friday concerning how the virus spreads through the air after the WHO questioned the statement. The CDC says it is updating it's recommendation regarding airborne transmission and that a draft version had been published in error. 


Schools that have been opening in-person classes are experiencing increased infections among children and teachers.


The motorcycle rally in Sturgis SD in August is responsible for over 260,000 new cases of covid-19 but that didn't stop 125,000 bikers from convening in Missouri for another rally this past weekend.


Anti-maskers continue to barge their way into stores that require masks just so they can make a scene and harangue customers and employees alike.


A perfectly healthy 21 year old male suffered a heart attack. When he was tested for the virus in the hospital it came back positive.


Europe is experiencing a rise in infections.


Current US statistics as of today 9/21/20, 21:50 GMT: cases – 7,035,917; deaths – 204,386. My state, (red, so fuck you Trump) Texas, is, still today, #2 after California for the total number of coronavirus cases then Florida, then New York so of the top 4 states with the most infections, two are blue states for a total of 1,273,194 and two are red states for a total of 1,412,553. Let me repeat that, of the top four states, the red states have the most infections. So, once again, fuck you Trump and your lying bullshit about how if we didn't count the blue states we'd have so few cases, almost none.


My (red) county has now jumped up to 1,340 cases and 50 deaths.

Friday, September 18, 2020

good news, bad news, and a finished drawing

The good news is, I woke up this morning feeling well. The afib is settling down and I went 38 hours with only a blip here and there, had a minor flare up last night but it quit sometime after I went to bed. So far so good today. I think part of the problem besides too much attention to bad news is that I was dehydrated from working out in the heat and sweating profusely and not drinking enough water to make up for it.

The other good news is that the owner of the python found her. She was in the garage the whole time. A major sigh of relief went up from the neighborhood.

The estate sale at Pam's old house is ongoing, tomorrow being the last day with everything 50% off, then everything that is left will be hauled off and we can get in there to finishing making repairs before the house officially goes on the market next week.

It finally happened, no more access to the legacy version of blogger but it seems two of my three biggest complaints about the new version have been remedied. I tried a test post, copied and pasted two paragraphs into the the new post form and while it did double space the paragraphs, I was able to just delete the second one and it let me drag and drop an image from my desktop instead of have to go through the 6 or 7 steps to post a picture. My third issue was the 'labels' where previously they showed a cloud of all the labels and you could just click on the one you wanted. Now, they don't show any at all but when you type a letter, all the labels that include that letter show up and you have to scroll through them to find the one you want. Still very cumbersome. The rest is just having to get used to the new arrangement of tools. So here's my first post using the new version (which I still don't like).

I'd have more to
rage write about if I was allowing myself to get immersed in all things Trump and the destruction of our democracy and it is just snowballing, the more desperate he gets the crazier he and Barr get with Barr musing about charging the governor of Oregon with sedition for allowing the protests there and Trump's attitude that it's only the incompetent blue states that have made our death toll so high (just to be clear, red state Texas is #3 in total deaths, more than California now, falling behind only New York and New Jersey and nearly twice as many cases as New York and second only to California, red state Florida being third), and all the revelations coming out about the actions of his appointees, people quitting left and right and coming forward with the goods. But I'm not going there.

So I spent the day finishing the drawing of the lotus bud.

Here's the photo Linda took.


Well, the dog is reminding me it's her dinner time.

Just back from walking the dog to devastating news. We are truly fucked now. RBG has died and you know McConnell has already broken out the champagne.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

flowers, frogs, and other miscellania

Well, dammit, I completely forgot about the night blooming cereus and every single flower opened Monday night. I bet it was a sight to see and fragrant. Oh well, next time.

Other things in bloom...cuphea 'bat face', the last coral butterfly ginger, the bridal bouquet plumeria continues to bloom it's little heart out, and the yellow angel trumpet, and while I was out there taking pictures there were two frittilaries and a queen butterfly but the queen was very shy and would not let me take her picture.

I caught a glimpse of movement through the window in the back door and went out to investigate. A little tree frog had leapt onto one of the leaves of the walking iris

and then a few minutes later leapt back onto the screen on a window.

And then last night at dinner I noticed there was a green tree frog in the house snugged into the corner of the dining area

so I scooped him up 

and took him outside.

Wednesday morning I was outside in the little backyard and there was a very loud explosion and the power went off on our street. It brought all the neighbors out. The transformer blew or the fuse or whatever it is that explodes with a loud bang so there should be a dead squirrel somewhere underneath it or in the general vicinity depending on how far it flew. Power was back on in about an hour and a half.

So this happened...apparently someone in this small town keeps a 9' python as a pet and it escaped on Monday! She had just eaten, claims the owner, so small pets and small children should be safe...for about a week. Still hasn't been found and the neighbors are not happy.

I've been staying off social media for the most part, just quick scans passing over anything political, looking to see if any really cool art has been posted or other non-political interesting stuff. The afib is starting to settle down I think. I've gone 30 hours so far without an episode, just an occasional blip here and there.

My neighbor at the other end of the street has his three hummingbird feeders out and he says in the mornings there's about 30 of them swarming around them so I put mine out Tuesday evening. Nada. I have seen one that comes and investigates and then flies off. Someone told me that if you have a lot of flowers in the yard they will go to those and not the feeders. Which is smart because I imagine nectar has more nutritional value than sugar water.

I finally started a new drawing Tuesday. It's from a photo taken by Shoreacres on her blog Lagniappe. She takes the most amazing photos of our native wildlife. 

I meant to publish this yesterday but Tuesday night I ate something that didn't like me and was up just about all night with pains and gas and a monster afib episode that finally settled down around 5 AM but the intestinal distress continued all day Wednesday and I spent most the day in bed and it continued last night as well. It's better this morning, the cramping is about over but my guts feel like someone pounded on me so I imagine I'll be spending a good part of today in bed as well.

Monday, September 14, 2020

flowers and yard work and website maintenance

That little cool front is just a memory now but I did get out there Saturday and hauled the full garden cart over to the burn pile and dumped it and then got distracted from my intended chore of hacking off the top part of the three banana trees with the machete that toppled over. The distraction was pulling the cowpea out of and off the pink desert willow trumpet flower shrubby thing that I thought was supposed to be a vine when I bought it but isn't very viney. Instead it sends out long woody branches that arch up and over.

the 'after' picture

Anyway I got the cowpea out which filled up the garden cart again and put it on the burn pile and then I tackled the banana trees. Don't get overheated, Marc tells me as I'm pulling the once again full cart to the barn. No worries, I'm done outside for today.

However, I spent about 3 hours over at the shop yard today cutting down tall weedy trash and virginia creeper and native passion flower vine that rarely blooms but covers everything like kudzu so Marc could get to those areas while he was mowing and I managed to excavate two of my tomato cages that have been there since spring of 2019 (there's 10 more under that mound) but it is heavily overcast today and a nice breeze would come up now and then.

my old garden site with the raised beds, this is why I'm abandoning it for a new location

I spent the rest of Saturday finishing up the 'recent work' page on my website and getting it all uploaded. Then I have to refresh the page to see if I have any broken links and how many and then trying to figure out where the problem lies. Usually it's because the tags don't match, for instance...an image might be named 'picture.jpeg' but on the coded page it's 'picture.jpg' so either I have to change the tag on the image or on the coded page and then upload the new version. The whole thing was complicated by the fact that my desktop wouldn't refresh to the new version, just wanted to load the cached version over and over. Fine! I'll look at it on my phone which refreshed to the new version so I could see where the broken parts were but wouldn't refresh again. Fine! Be that way. Got my iPad which refreshed and I saw what was fixed and what was still broken and then it wouldn't do it again. I double checked everything one more time, desktop still wouldn't give me the new page even though I closed the window and waited a while. Finally I went and got Marc's phone and lo and behold, it refreshed and all the broken links were fixed. Sunday I added three more items. Now I just have two more pages to update...the archive gallery page and the news and events page.

I've been better about my home yoga routine lately and I've weaned myself off the news and all things Trump over the weekend and intend to be Trump and all other bad news free all week. Hopefully I'll get some creative stuff done this week like finish putting the new studio room together over at the shop or working on another drawing or watercolor or maybe even starting on a new model. It hasn't been as hot lately, low 90s as opposed to high 90s but still too hot to work outside for long.

Garden report - my night blooming cereus has/had 13 buds on it. I say 'had' because 3 of them opened last night. I knew they would and still I missed them. I remembered about midnight but I was already in bed.

five more buds in this picture

This bromeliad is sending up it's late summer blooms

and the periwinkles I planted around the birdbath have not done well. All the pink ones died and all but two of the red and white ones are struggling. It's been a pretty brutal summer. I'll dig up any survivors and plant them elsewhere when I'm ready to put pansies in there for the winter.

I have some more garden pictures but I'll save those for the next post.

Friday, September 11, 2020

the continuing corruption of our government and destruction of our democracy

I'm testy today. Was testy yesterday. It's all feeling like too much. Every day a new revelation of the horror that is Trump and none of it is enough for his supporters to abandon him. He knew in January how bad the virus is, was going to be, and he purposely did nothing and lied about it for 6 months, is still lying about it, because, he says, he didn't want to create panic. People dying in droves was apparently just fine with him as long as the stock market didn't crash. Because that's the only panic he didn't want to create since he sees the stock market as crucial to his re-election to a job he doesn't like and didn't want in the first place.

And if that's not enough Barr and his corrupt DOJ is now going to defend Trump in the defamation lawsuit brought by the woman who accuses him of rape, a case that could be settled immediately if Trump would just give over a sample of his DNA, which anyone would do if they were innocent. So now us taxpayers are paying for Trump's defense in a case where he is obviously guilty.

And if that's not enough, there is a new whistleblower complaint from Brian Murphy, former Acting Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis, accusing DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf of twice telling him to withhold reporting on potential Russian threats to the election because it made Trump look bad and to focus on threats from China and Iran instead on orders from the White House national security advisor Robert O'Brian. Murphy was also told to downplay the domestic threat posed by white supremacists and focus on leftist movements like antifa and to modify intelligence assessments to make sure they aligned with Trump's public statements. When Murphy refused to do so he was demoted. Let me repeat that...Murphy was ordered to stop investigating Russia and to lie in intelligence reports.

All this and still Republicans won't denounce him. No wonder my afib has been acting up. The past week, week and a half, it's been very active, every day or day and a half, episodes that last half a day, not intense but after 6 hours I just want to sit on the couch. So I had my check-up with the electrophysiologist today, it had been 6 months since the last one. I had to call from the parking lot to let them know I was there and they would call me back when they had a room ready for me but I was able to go right up, the waiting room was empty. The nurse took my temperature then took me to the room where she took my blood pressure, a little high she said, yeah, I know, I could feel it going up on the drive in I told her. Then she did an ekg which was good. Then the doctor came in and I told him about the uptick in episodes and he said that if it keeps up we may have to do the ablation, which I really don't want to do, I said, to which he replied, nobody does. I told him I thought it was probably stress from paying too much attention to the horrible news and that I was trying to address that. I've also been thinking about the procedure more, I told him, but not until sometime next year. He stressed once again that the condition was not life threatening, just a quality of life issue and to come back in 3 months. If the current episodes settle down during that time, good, if not, we'll talk more seriously about the procedure.

That little cool front did make it down here after all. Not as cool as predicted but it was 68˚ yesterday morning, and this morning, at 8 AM and low humidity. So I took advantage of it yesterday and got the trimmer out and got it started by myself yay and trimmed the house yard til I ran out of gas, refueled and trimmed over at the shop yard around Pam's house and the gate and the rose bush and the banana trees and yellow bells til I ran out of gas. My right arm is really sore today.

So, what else, I've been working on my website again this week tackling the recent work gallery page which is so out of date. After the first day I was so confused trying to remember which folders all the changed files and images were in so I finally created two new folders, one for images and one for pages, to put all the changed things in until I get them uploaded.

Three happy making things in the yard...the rangoon creeper is continuing to bloom profusely on both sides of the fence,

the oxblood lilies are shooting up, yesterday there was just one,

and my little redbud tree in a pot, which nearly died this summer because I wasn't watering it enough and needs to be root pruned and repotted with fresh soil, sprouted new growth after I dragged it into the shade under the magnolia tree. I had noticed one day that the leaves were all limp and shriveling and so I gave it a good watering but by the next day or so all but 3 leaves had turned irrevocably brown, dead. That's when I moved it into the shade. I'll repot it this fall but I won't prune it back til spring just in case the branches are still alive. It's about 7' tall and is at least 20 years old, could be older, I just don't remember what year I got it as a freebie when it was about 4” tall during one of the many Trees For Houston giveaways.

I'm amazed that it's still alive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

labor on Labor Day weekend

Saturday, was a very busy day. It's Monday evening now so I have to try and cast back and remember why it was a busy day. We decided to sell the four chairs from our old dining room table. I bought those chairs from an unfinished furniture store when the kids were still in elementary school, I think, making them over 30 years old. I sanded those fuckers down and stained them and we had used them ever since until I bought the new table and chairs at an estate sale. My granddaughter Jade claimed the table and chairs and then returned the chairs forthwith because they are really uncomfortable, she says. So since we have 8 chairs (6 with the new table and two 'closet' chairs, you know the chairs that masquerade as a closet, for clothes too dirty to be hung up or put away, clean enough to wear a few more times) we decided to see if we could sell them at the 'estate' sale so I loaded those in the back of the truck along with the mini-fridge and a queen size bed frame that got abandoned here by our grandson and a spiral library staircase for the upper shelves that belonged to my father that I did not want but ended up with after he died and took them over to Pam's old house where the ladies conducting the sale were doing what they do, unpack and set up and price. Her two daughters and one son-in-law were here and she borrowed another truck from a friend so two trucks we got the buffet for home and white chest for the new room in the shop I was taking and backyard furniture and stuff. Did I mention I was soaked when I came in? That I stripped down naked and waited til I cooled off enough to take a shower? That evening I went over to my daughters house to do the dog and cat thing while they were gone for the weekend.

Sunday morning the same thing. Dog and cat thing. My sister and her daughter, here for a week from New Mexico, got the garage at the old house empty. One more thing to mark off the list.

Monday, Pam and daughter went and got one truckload of plants in pots. I joined them with my truck for two more truckloads of plants. Still at least another truckload or two of plants and yard stuff. Stopped a little after 11 AM. 

Did I mention I was soaked when I came in? That I stripped naked and stood there til I cooled off enough to take a shower? Our friend Gene whose studio we stored for three years had cabin fever and so brought out the three section steel sink he was giving us that he didn't have room for and we had a nice visit. After our late lunch I went out to my daughter's house and visited and appropriated 7 spindles from their bundle so Rocky could finish the last handrail of the little porch on Pam's new house.

I noticed a 'maker's tag' on the inside of one of the doors of the buffet, or sideboard as the company called it, I got from Pam...Summers guaranteed hand-made furniture. 

I looked them up. They have a FB page. English company which closed in 1950, the year I was born. The son and granddaughter live in the US. I sent them pictures and he says this piece was probably late 1930s.

We got 3/4” of rain on Sunday, at Pam's old house 2 1/2”, accompanied with thunder and lightning. Not enough to lift the burn ban which is a shame because a very large limb fell off the native pecan at the back edge of the property sometime Sunday or Sunday night. Too bad it didn't land on the bitch's container and fall onto her property. It probably did hit her container but it fell our way onto the end of one of the flower beds which is mostly daylilies and salvias so I don't think it damaged anything but it's going to be a bitch to cut up and haul away. The big end must be 10" in diameter.

All that work wore me out I guess because I didn't wake up til almost 9 this (Tuesday) morning.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

week 24 and week 25

Trump's new pandemic doctor with zero experience in epidemiology is pushing the 'herd immunity' concept. Herd immunity is just another word for 'survival of the fittest'. So what that means is let everyone get sick, let the weak die, and the strong survive. The only problem with this though is that just because you don't die doesn't mean your health won't be compromised as a result and neither is there any proof of long lasting immunity if you contract and recover from covid-19. This is the approach Sweden pursued to disastrous results with a higher per capita death rate than the US.


Turns out covid-19 really likes your nose. A study published by Cell (a cell press journal) reports that the nasal regions are far more susceptible to covid-19 infections than the mouth and exhales from the nose also contain more infectious particles. From the nose it moves into the lower respiratory tract via respiration. So if you don't cover your nose when wearing a mask you aren't really protecting yourself or anyone else. 


MSN reports the CDC has notified all 50 states to begin preparing for distribution of a covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers and other high risk groups by late October or early November as Dr. Fauci and the head of the FDA Dr. Hahn have reported that a vaccine might be available before the completion of clinical trials if the data is overwhelmingly positive. Public health officials all agree that agencies at all levels of government should prepare in advance for what will be a huge task of vaccinating the American public but they also have concerns about how fast these vaccines are being rushed for approval and how much politics plays into it to get them released before election day in November as opposed to concern for the safety of the vaccine and the public health. The two vaccines being rushed both utilize gene slicing of RNA. I personally will not take any vaccine produced by this method, especially ones rushed through clinical trials and testing. They have no idea what the long term implications are of changing a person's RNA and those changes will be inherited down the line. 


Here's the link to the NYT vaccine tracker again. 


Several drug makers working on vaccines are coming together and signing a pledge not to seek government approval of any vaccine candidate without having undergone stringent safety and scientific protocols that prove them to be safe. “We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines that may ultimately be approved and adherence to the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which they are evaluated,” the draft statement says.” This appears to be in reaction to Trump's political pressure and promises to have a vaccine by October. 


Trump has declined to allow the US to join an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a covid-19 vaccine, insuring that everyone no matter where they live will have access to it no matter which country first succeeds in developing one, because it is connected to the WHO, the organization that Trump has withdrawn the US from because they don't support Trump's misinformation about the virus. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX. Trump, as usual, prefers to go it alone to reap whatever profits he can from it which leaves America at the risk of not getting a vaccine until the US develops one. 


From Medium, researchers utilized a supercomputer to crunch data on more than 40,000 genes from 17,000 genetic samples in an effort to better understand Covid-19. Once researchers analyzed the results they found “The computer had revealed a new theory about how Covid-19 impacts the body: the bradykinin hypothesis. The hypothesis provides a model that explains many aspects of Covid-19, including some of its most bizarre symptoms. It also suggests 10-plus potential treatments, many of which are already FDA approved.” A few excerpts follow but I recommend everyone read the entire article. 

According to the team’s findings, a Covid-19 infection generally begins when the virus enters the body through ACE2 receptors in the nose, (The receptors, which the virus is known to target, are abundant there.) The virus then proceeds through the body, entering cells in other places where ACE2 is also present: the intestines, kidneys, and heart. This likely accounts for at least some of the disease’s cardiac and GI symptoms...Covid-19 isn’t content to simply infect cells that already express lots of ACE2 receptors. Instead, it actively hijacks the body’s own systems, tricking it into upregulating ACE2 receptors in places where they’re usually expressed at low or medium levels, including the lungs...it causes the body’s mechanisms for regulating (the chemical) bradykinin to go haywire...The end result, the researchers say, is to release a bradykinin storm — a massive, runaway buildup of bradykinin in the body. According to the bradykinin hypothesis, it’s this storm that is ultimately responsible for many of Covid-19’s deadly effects."


Texas is still second in total number of cases with more deaths than California which has the most number of cases.


Current US statistics as of today 9/6/20, 14:58 GMT: cases – 6,434,526, deaths – 192,886