Caturday.

While we are in Palm Springs, the rest of the family is graciously taking care of Truman, making sure he has food and water, a clean litter box, a little bit of recreation time, and most importantly, some kitty treats here and there.

Mike and Chris had a visitor for lunch the other day and shared a photo with us on the family chat. Truman seems happy while his Daddy and Papa are traveling.

Outside.

It’s December. One of the reasons we moved to the desert was so we could enjoy life outside, in comfort, in December.

Road Trip.

We are spending the weekend in Palm Springs. It’s not a super long drive from home; around six hours or so and it’s just up to Phoenix and then across the desert on I-10. Follow the signs for Los Angeles but don’t go all the way.

The drive was uneventful. We had a nice lunch stop at a sports bar in Buckeye (west of Phoenix) and we filled up with gas at the last stop in Arizona before crossing into California, where fuel goes up by around $1 per gallon.

I’m looking forward to the long weekend. I’m sure it’ll still be weird in this pandemic era and I’ll be striving to wear my mask and maintain social distancing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the pandemic is that we can no longer trust our fellow (American) neighbors to do the right thing. Look out for you and your family.

I’ll be happy to enjoy the relaxing time.

Bullet Proof.

Lura Sharp Elementary school, built in 1939 and having originally housed grades K-12 until 1969, still stands today. There have been many upgrades and improvements to the structure over the years. Asbestos has been removed, windows replaced a few times, the light brick has been fixed up, new bushes, an annex in 1956.

It wasn’t until over 70 years later that bullet proof glass and a reinforced safety partitioning of the impressive main lobby took place. The building that once welcomed fresh air from Lake Ontario through side doors propped open now has metal detectors, intercoms, and worried students behind her walls.

These improvements to this well established building are a horrifying commentary on the direction of our society today. Our children should always feel safe within the walls of any school. Our children should always be safe at school. Barricades, fences, bullet proof glass, and metal detectors is not the answer.

Better gun laws are the answer.

Time Flies.

Eight years ago today was my first flying lesson. With instructor Chuck in the right seat, we took off from runway 33 at KRME Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York in a 1966 PA28-140 (or Cherokee 140). The four seat, low wing airplane was my trainer all the way through the following December when I earned my Private Pilot’s Certificate.

My life has never been the same.

100K.

Our 2016 Jeep Cherokee has made it to the 100K club. Purchased right after Earl opted for early retirement from his job in 2016, this car has been on many adventures. It’s been registered in three states, been in all four time CONUS time zones, and at some point I should probably count the number of states it has traversed. It helped with the move from Central New York to Chicago, made 1 1/2 trips from Chicago to Tucson, has been to Florida a few times and has been a joy to drive on its entire journey.

Our plan is to keep the Cherokee for as long as financially practical, while we wait for electric vehicles to get a little more affordable. We have both agreed that our next car will be electric; it’s just a matter of finding the right vehicle for our needs. We’ve also been getting in the habit of planning our trips as if we were already driving an electric car, so we can start getting familiar with the concept of charging stations.

Now, I have a reputation as an Apple fanboy (though I do mix Linux in to this mix quite a bit), but I’ve been reading rumors of an Apple car that is completely autonomous with no steering wheel. No idea if these rumors are true but I don’t have any interest in a vehicle of that design. I’m absolutely interested in a much more ecologically friendly vehicle, and I like the idea of autonomous cars, but I still believe engineers are only solving half of the equation in autonomous vehicles. We need to make our highways smarter in conjunction with developing the AI necessary to drive a car. If we keep designing highways without electronic doodads to help send signals to self driving cars, we have a very long road ahead of us.

It Has Begun.

The decorating of the house has begun. My husband loves decorating for the holidays and I spent the day working with him figuring out where to put the festive decorations. Bringing three households of decorations in this house takes some coordinating but we’re off to a great start. Earl will continue while I’m working this week.

In Sync.

The 1930s school clock in my office was starting to struggle a little bit. It’s been in many rooms, survived many moves, and has made its way across the country from it’s manufacturing home of Springfield, Mass. The clock was just shy of 100 years old and it is stored safely in a carton in the back of my office closet.

I decided to upgrade to a 2000 vintage digital clock. It’s kept in sync with the wireless controller located elsewhere in the house. We have a couple of clocks on this wireless system and this is the only digital clock. The other clocks are solar powered and analog and they work very well.

It’s weird not hearing the minute-by-minute click-click of the early 20th century school clock, but I can still watch time march by in military precision with the counting of the seconds. It gives my office a high tech vibe, which is probably good for a geek like me.