RIP Betty White.

When asked in 2016 what she hoped her legacy would be, Betty White simply said, “I want them to still think kindly of me and maybe make them smile”.

Betty White passed on today at age 99. She was less than a month from her 100th birthday.

She’s been on television for nearly as long as the medium has been around. Originally wanting to be a Forest Ranger, Betty White started on radio and made her way to television and the big screen. Her love of animals made its way to all of her mainstream roles. Her comedic timing was impeccable. Her cheerfulness and love for life made us all a little bit better.

I knew this day would come someday and I knew it would make me sad. I was hoping America’s Grandma would live forever. Rest in peace, dear, sweet lady. You’ll always been a golden girl.

Here’s a clip from Match Game, and it’s classic Betty.

Flight Memory.

I was looking around on Youtube and came across this video my friend Nick had posted. I rode right seat with him on his first flight after getting his Private Pilot Certificate back in 2015 and it was a fun little flight. Nick is a great pilot, had to take a break from it for a bit, but got back into it a while back. I think he’s based in the Capital District now.

I like flying with other pilots. It’s a great way to learn technique and it’s just a lot of fun.

New Year’s Eve.

Today is the last day of 2021. In some places in the world it’s already 2022 and they’re celebrating appropriately. I am off from work, having lunch with a friend, and using the day to gather my thoughts for the New Year. Tonight we shall have a small celebration at home. I am looking forward to it. This will be my first experience of the ball dropping at 10:00 PM.

Classy.

My husband made a reservation for dinner to celebrate our anniversary this past Sunday night. We went to a local eatery we’ve never been to, Commoner & Co on the foothills side of Tucson. It was a wonderful experience.

It’s been a long while since I’ve had a martini, so I ordered their house special vodka martini with a bleu cheese stuffed olive and a pickled something. It was delicious. Earl had another of their special cocktails. Called “The Ultraviolet”, it’s gin based with crème de voilette, lemon and thyme with burlesque bitters. We then both had a well sized meal with an appetizer, salad, pasta course, and main dish. It was both delicious and suitably sized so we could safely drive home after our cocktails.

Social distancing and mask requirements were in effect and the safety measure was appreciated. Earl and I decided it’s been way too long since we’ve had a date night like this, and that’s mostly due to the pandemic. Everything is due to the pandemic. With Omicron flying about with wild abandonment, we probably will continue this “we’re not going out very much” trend into 2022.

I’m happy that we were able to spend our 25th anniversary together in this fashion. I look forward to what the New Year brings but more importantly, I look forward to what being together brings.

Why?

A woman in Culpeper County, Virginia sued a hospital when she contracted COVID-19. She demanded the hospital treat her with Ivermectin and the judge ruled the hospital had to comply with her wishes.

She died five days later.

A man in Pennsylvania was in the hospital for COVID-19 and his wife sued the hospital, demanding he be treated with Ivermectin.

He died the next day.

A man in Olathe, Kansas was in the hospital for COVID-19. The family sued the hospital, forcing doctors to treat the ailing man with Ivermectin.

He’s dead.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but Facebook and Twitter should never be a source of medical information. Heck, they shouldn’t even be a source for news. Listen to science, listen to the doctors, and get vaccinated. You don’t have polio because of vaccines. You don’t have mumps and measles because of vaccines.

Wear a mask and get the vaccine. Please.

Round Up.

The few blogs that are left in my blog roll are doing year round up things and I applaud them for this. I actually applaud them for knowing what year it is; ever since the pandemic started it’s just felt like a really long limbo of nothingness.

I’m still getting used to the fact that we don’t live in Chicago, so that happened this past year. We watched a bunch of television and movies at home. We haven’t been in a movie theatre in nearly two years. I don’t really miss the experience but my husband does.

I’ve gained some weight. We’ll generously spread that over the two year pandemic period. I hope to lose some weight soon but then…. chips and popcorn.

I’ve grown a mustache in 2021. It’s not like the “awesome ‘stache” I had a few years ago, it’s a trim little Sully mustache you’d find on a pilot. I love being a pilot.

Mostly I’ve been weary in 2021. Weary of politics, weary of pandemics, weary of rampant stupidity. I’m want to feel cheery.

In 2022 I’ll try harder at finding the cheery.

Cozy.

I think I startled the family a little bit when I mentioned that while I love our home, I don’t find it super cozy yet. I meant no discontent or disrespect by sharing this with the others as I enjoy our home very much. There’s just a coziness or cuddliness of it that I have found yet.

I think this feeling might be a result of living in the desert. Up until the past couple of days I was still wearing shorts on a regular basis. There are no chestnuts roasting on an open fire or mugs of hot cocoa or vats of chili cooking on the counter. It’d be quite warm if we had a fire in the fireplace (though that appears to be changing later this week).

As a northern boy I’m missing key markers in the year to let me know when it’s time to feel warm and snuggly and cuddly. I’m not complaining mind you, I’m just commenting on the change of atmosphere and how I haven’t quite adapted to it yet.

The forecast for the upcoming weekend mentions snow in the mountains and possibly freezing temperatures here. Perhaps that will make the “cuddly” more recognizable.

On the border.

We stopped at Burger King on the American side of the border at Nogales. Many of the locally owned restaurants were closed and we had no plans to cross the border (COVID-19 and all that), so we opted for the Burger King right at the border where they have ample parking ($5.00 please) for folks walking over to the Mexican side.

Because of Omicron we’re back to maintaining plenty of distance and eating where there’s plenty of ventilation. We opted for the drive-thru and then park somewhere to eat in the car route.

After we settled into a parking spot I heard the sweetest sounding meow I’ve heard in a long while; the long haired grey tabby knew how to be sweet to get my attention. I saw no signs of neglect or angst; she appeared to be quite healthy. Against the wishes of my husband, I jumped out and gave her a couple of pieces of my chicken sandwich. She was skiddish and maintained her distance, but was appreciative and thanked me before we left Nogales to head back to Tucson.

She knows how to work her audience.

km.

The majority of road signs featuring distances along Interstate 19 are in metric units. Interstate 19 runs from the U.S.-Mexican border at Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora to just southeast of Tucson at Interstate 10.

Contrary to folklore, the signs are not metric because the road goes to Mexico. Actually, Interstate 19 was built when the United States was to convert to metric during the Carter Administration. That plan was abandoned when Reaganomics swooped in, but the metric signs, including interchange numbers related to their kilometer-post, stayed in place. The signs were last replaced in 1999, again with metric units. In 2010 ADOT started replacing the signs at the northern end of the freeway with customary units, but local opposition to the conversion stalled that project. Businesses in particular didn’t want to see the interchanges renumbered because that would mean changing directions to their business. So, the metric signs still stand and the exit numbers are based on the number of kilometers from the southern end of the freeway.

Because of their age, some signs have been replaced in the last year or two and they use the same exit number and “km” instead of “miles” for distance. When you jump onto I-19 from I-10 in Tucson you’ll see “Interstate 19 uses metric signs”. Speed limits are still in English units (55/65/75).

I love the metric signs on Interstate 19 and I love the old button-copy legend (the letters with the reflectors in them). Arizona and Ohio were the last two states to use this type of lettering on their signs and I’ve always found them to be more professional and sturdier looking.

I remember the optimism surrounding the plans to switch to metric when I was in elementary school. In fact, when we learned units of measure as part of our elementary school education, it was all metric based. New York State was progressive and all that. To this day I have no idea how many quarts are in a pound or how many pints are in a hectare. Don’t even get me started on chains and rods, when I went to college for Civil Engineering, roads were still being designed to metric units. NYSDOT switched back to English units right after I was in college in the late 2000s.

It’s a shame the United States can’t embrace the metric system because of Yankee Doodle Yacky and God Bless America and all that. The metric system makes much more logical sense.

But logical sense has never been a strong point of American society.