45 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-27-20

  1. Good morning everyone.
    I’m getting lots of personal e-mails lately.
    When I open it, it’s again some organization wanting money.
    I can’t imagine what would happen if I responded to one of those.

    Off to do the Monday thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning! Lovely frosty Midwest snow up there?! I wouldn’t want to dip my toes in that water! 😊
    We are going to get some much needed moisture today but not much…we will take anything we can get right now…we are dry! Small group is tonight so we may be sliding home on ice..uphill!
    Cheryl for some explicable reason last week one of my email boxes was inundated with scam emails. Someone must have sold that address and one day I must have had 35 scammers coming at me. It all went away in a couple of days…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can unsubscribe, Chas. In CA, at least, it’s against the law to add someone to an email newsletter without their permission.

    Sometimes I can not find the unsubscribe link, so I spam the email.

    That usually works, too.

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  4. I mostly don’t care, Michelle.
    One click and it’s gone.
    But if it’s from a person, I always see who before deleting.
    Yesterday, I got an e-mail from a visitor to our Lions club.
    I hope to see him again tonight.

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  5. My SIL is again doing a polar plunge for Special Olympics. I have plunged from a sauna to very cold water, but none with ice on it. I said, when I donated, that I am not sure I should be encouraging that nonsense. Brrr. Not sure how healthy some of these things are such as running through colored powder etc. Someone should organize a marathon clean-up or charity event that actually accomplishes something while others donate for your time. Although, I am glad for all the charity anyway.

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  6. Good morning. It must be Monday because the garbage truck just went past my house. I did not get the can to the street for two weeks in a row. I can no longer run to get the can to the street when I hear the truck on our street. I like to put it at the curb the night before, but we still have so much going on in our yard and in addition our three cars are parked on the street. We still have so much material out front because they had delivered the wrong size of some of it. I did not want our garbage can out in all that overnight.

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  7. I saw a report on Twitter that some believe Wuhan is the center of a biological warfare lab. There are concerns this new virus spread from there.

    My daughter is following this story closely through the CDC.

    The Twitter story did not come from her.

    Same article reported the US patient—though there are now more than the one— is being treated almost exclusively by robots.

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  8. I got her ready to go to the Adult Center. Where “the men sit at one table and the women at another.”.
    She asked, (always), “Do I look good?” I say, “You are the prettiest one there:”. l Today I said, “Almost as pretty as the woman I married.”

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  9. It’s an early, busy morning for me — off to one of the high schools where a classroom will be surprised by an announcement that they’ll be sent, all expenses paid, to NY. I can’t remember any of the details from Friday’s press release that came in very late in the day, only that my editor sent it to me and asked if I could cover it. I groaned because I already have a noon news conference I have to attend. But I said yes. …. So it’s back-to-back assignments and then 2 stories to write.

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  10. Well I see I addressed my email woes to Cheryl…meant Chas…before my first cup of coffee..have mercy!! 😊
    Concerning emails, my daughter had applied and interviewed for a job with a local ministry in the Springs. She did not get the job (they didn’t bother getting back with her even though they promised they would)…but now she is on their soliciting funds mailing list. She did unsubscribe from their emails (which she never subscribed to in the first place) but she constantly receives their mailings. Their practice of this is hugely disappointing in my view 😞

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  11. That’s exciting, DJ. The students must be thrilled.

    That header shows a lovely effect which looks like ruffles. God’s creative work! Thanks for sharing something I have never seen before, Cheryl.

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  12. Tell us more, Michelle, as you learn more about that. I’d seen they were testing someone at Waco who had been to China. That certainly go my antenna up. And of course with the Atlanta International Airport and CDC around the corner that generates attention. That means the virus is housed only about three miles from where I live!😳😱

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  13. NY trip will be a surprise announcement to the class, being funded by a bank’s community program — it’s to attend some youth biz conference.

    Looks like the photographer on both of my assignments today will be our former photo editor, a casualty of one of the sweeping layoffs a couple years ago (the really dark days) who now picks up freelance work with us and others; he seems to be doing OK, his wife still works for the times (which pays way better than we ever did) and he’s one of those savvy money guys, he invested in Apple stock when the company was just getting started and has made something of a killing with that for their portfolio.

    It’s always nice to see and catch up with him, I think the last assignment I saw him for was a couple months ago now. He lives in town so gets more of the assignments I tend to cover just because he’s close and usually available on short notice. (But we’ve had to really cut back on our freelance budget, guess we went “over” last year and our NY hedge fund owners flipped; but we’re so short handed … sigh.)

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  14. DJ – Sounds like one of those hedge fund owners needs to go undercover on the TV show Undercover Boss with a reporter or two.

    For those unfamiliar with Undercover Boss, a CEO or other top executive from a company will go “undercover”, with their appearance being changed with make-up, wigs, etc. They take a lowly position in one of their locations, with the employees being told that he or she is part of a documentary on people starting second careers.

    The executive gets to see how things are really done, and what problems their employees face, and often learn about the private struggles of the person assigned to train them. (They go to about three different locations, learning different aspects of the business.)

    At the end, the exec meets the people as him/herself, and will tell them about what kinds of changes they will make. Along with that, the employees who were “training” the exec are often given money to pay off their college loans, or pay for further schooling, or take a vacation, or something similar. Some are given promotions. I always have tears in my eyes at the end. 🙂

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  15. Michelle, on the conspiracy theory: Pffft! As I often say to the claim that ‘natural is better’, nature will kill you if given half a chance. I got hit with a really nasty virus while in West Africa – one that had me in unbearable pain from head to toe, a high fever for days, vomiting and watery diarrhea for days, and to top it all off, respiratory symptoms at the same time (I admit that the thought of Ebola went through my mind and I got it several months before the Ebola outbreak began to the south) – a nameless one because there isn’t the infastructure there to study every disease. Nobody could accuse the poorest and smallest country in Africa, where food is still cooked over open fires and water still hand drawn from wells, of being a bioterrorist lab location. Nature is perfectly capable of coming up with all manner of horrible diseases on its own, no lab manipulation required. The earth has been cursed, after all.

    This current coronavirus outbreak was first centred around an exotic meat market, which makes perfect sense, as animals are often the natural reservoir for many human diseases. Anthrax, bubonic plague, equine encephalitis, hantavirus, influenza, Q fever, rabies, all deadly diseases acquired from animals; not to mentions the high probability that hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg, as well as coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS (a coronavirus outbreak that has been ongoing since 2012 but seldom makes headlines although it has caused a high percentage of deaths) are also highly suspected to originate from animal reservoirs.

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  16. I cannot say that I am not entirely unconcerned about the new coronavirus as any new respiratory illness could have potentially deadly consequences for me due to my athsma. But I am not any more concerned than when SARS hit Toronto 17 years ago, infecting 438 people and killing 44 in 5 months. The worst part of that outbreak for most of us was the heavy lockdown on hospitals (we are close enough to Toronto that precautions had to be instituted in the local hospital as well). A dear elderly family friend died alone in the hospital because no one could go to visit (close family members were allowed, after careful screening, to visit, but this elderly friend had no children and their spouse had already passed away). Toronto is again the site of the first case of the new coronavirus in Canada (someone who had been visiting Wuhan) but hopefully, the lessons learned from SARS will be of some use this time around in limiting the spread.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I, on the other hand, would not be at all surprised if it was a loosed biological warfare agent, loosed deliberately or accidentally. Sounds like something several nations could be attempting. but I don’t think it makes any difference. God is still in control.

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  18. Roscuro – I’ve always thought that an asthma attack must be awful. When I had pneumonia, I could not take a deep breath, and often felt like I couldn’t breathe, although I was in fact breathing, just not deeply enough for comfort. That had me thinking even more how scary an asthma attack must be, or how hard it must be for folks, like my friend Mike, who are on oxygen all the time due to COPD.

    When the pneumonia was finally gone, after several weeks, it felt so good to be able to deeply breathe again. I will not take that for granted.

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  19. The header: this is one more from my day hunting for icicles. Not sure that even qualifies as “icicles,” as it’s simply a bunch of masses of ice from the spray. This is the bulkiest ice I found, at the first location I stopped at. I went there first because the water comes under a bridge right before this, flowing calmly (in fact, you can’t even see that it’s flowing; there’s a definite break between the calm water and then water that is visibly moving) and then once it gets past the bridge, it must be going downhill a bit, because it has a portion that isn’t a waterfall, but is definitely fast-moving water. I included a bit of the edge of that water in the frame. But the fast-moving water generates more spray, and is the best place to get “ice” photos. I knew that from watching the mini-waterfall a block from my home, and knew to drive to this spot on the third day of our cold spell when I wanted to go looking for ice.

    Once this fast section is finished, the creek is lined as far as you can see with icicles of more or less the same size and shape. But this big mass was quite interesting, and I got several photos of it.

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  20. wow, what a lot you can learn on this thread. Me? I have been working on a Bible study in the psalms, delightful. Then the phone rang and the recliner foot rest wouldn’t go down, I finally escaped.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. One assignment down, one to go.

    Finally met the downtown la unified media guy I talk with frequently these days, he used to work for the Times and was there for today’s reveal. The classroom surprise went well, lots of gasps, cheers and tears from the students and teacher alike, along with a group hug, and we captured some nice photos of it all. I had to stay after to talk with the students and teacher for the backstory of the class and what it’s all about (it’s an entrepeurer class of sorts, teaches kids, working in teams, to set up their own business from beginning, creating a product or service, to marketing, advertising, etc.) Students are very motivated, teacher was laughing at how they’re always texting her with ideas late at night, on Christmas break, asking if they get into the classroom to work …

    None of the kids have been to NY, or even on an airplane. The school is in a low income area. They’re all so excited, it was fun to see.

    But now it’s on to the waterfront groundbreaking where I was promised a few minutes to talk with the lead developer. Today’s groundbreaking is only for some ancillary pieces — a town square and promenade running along the water — but the full waterfront groundbreaking should happen in March. It’s been a long time coming.

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  22. I don’t know that the virus escaping from a lab is a conspiracy theory; seems only like a possible origin that is (reasonably) being discussed. The cause probably is natural, but with a bio warfare lab in the area where it first appeared, doesn’t seem completely illogical to me to throw that into the list of possible origins.

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  23. DJ, that would have been fun to be able to capture that. Is the trip something they applied for, or did the group choose them without them even knowing it was something that they might get to do?

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  24. The class had applied, but so had many others nationwide — so as a Plan B, the students and teacher were planning to do some fundraisers, sell T-shirts, send out pleas for airline vouchers, etc., so they could cobble together $5,000 to make the trip on their own on a bare bones budget. Teacher said she’d have “figured out” how to feed them all when they were there. 🙂 I need to get the cash worth of this grant from the bank that gave it, though, it’s not included in any of their handout materials.

    Groundbreaking was today for the start of waterfront projects I’ve been covering for 20 years in a way, when you calculate the early community-port discussions. Even with a plan in place, it’s taken what seems like “forever.” Partly that’s due to the complex nature of the project, the fact that it’s right on the water and it’s a public-private development. With all the regulations and negotiations and agencies to deal with, it’s simply just taken longer than anyone had thought.

    The lead developer is a well-known downtown LA guy who restored the historic Wiltern Theater — but his partners are locals, two brothers, and I’ve been talking with them for ages, here and there, after meetings, at places where we’d run into each other, about what always have been high and lofty visions for what this part of LA could someday become. Anyway, one of the brothers especially always laughs when we see each other and reminisce about how long it’s been that we’ve been talking about this … Maybe this time?

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  25. Meanwhile, we dined on a Philly Cheesesteak for the first time at Reading Market. Delicious.

    We spent the afternoon at the Revolutionary War Museum, which was pricey but interesting.

    We were surprised at how impressed we were to see George Washington’s actual tent. Amazing.

    Interview is tomorrow and we fly home around 6. I’ve enjoyed riding the subway. Growing up in LA, the subway is like being on Disneyland’s monorail— a ride!

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  26. The only times I’ve been on a subway were when we took a family vacation (our only one) to the Boston area in 2003. We took the subway several times, and the girls and I thought it was pretty neat. (Hubby was used to it since he grew up in the area.)

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  27. We did take a vacation when Nightingale was two, but Chickadee was eight months away from being born yet. Well, I guess that could count as a family vacation.

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  28. Michelle, the pathology of infectious disease is an interest of mine (if I ever became a doctor, I would specialize in infectious disease pathology), and I have read quite a few books and articles on the subject by pathologists over the years. While there have occasionally been infections as a result of lab accidents over the years, those infections have all been of pre-existing disease (the disease already existed or had existed in nature) of which samples were being kept or studied in the lab, never of a lab created or altered disease. There is no disease that has ever been found to have been created by lab, although rumour has been rife over the years with every deadly new disease that crops up, from AIDS to Ebola.

    Sadly, the rumours of manmade disease can have tragic effect, as the murder of officials and a journalist in Guinea by mob during the 2014 Ebola outbreak demonstrate – similar acts of violence fueled by the same rumours continue to happen in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo, limiting efforts to contain and treat the disease. Many countries in Africa are currently being colonized economically by China, making it quite likely that an outbreak of the coronavirus could occur in them, and the healthcare infastructure in those countries is ill equipped to handle it. Such rumours of manmade manufacture may seem just theoretical in the West, but could have devastating consequences elsewhere.

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  29. I didn’t do well on NYC subways. I was left behind one time (my sightseeing host waved as he rode away, leaving me on the platform wondering what to do next). We figured it out. But the people (and and suppose it was around rush hour) were so (literally) pushy!

    We do have light rail here in LA nowadays and I’ve ridden it on occasion. But it’s very expensive to build and LA, being so spread out and sprawling, makes determining the routes really difficult. The system is basically great — but only if it’s going where you’re going and you can easily access it from the starting point. Otherwise, it’s not too useful for most of us.

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  30. Kizzie, it is awful to not to be able to breathe properly. I am so glad you recovered fully. I have had many bouts of pneumonia over the years, and I often think they permanently change one’s personality – a subtle change perhaps, but felt nonetheless. The worst thing about not being able to breathe properly is the fact that panicking and struggling too hard can actually make things much worse (it is complicated, but basically, hyperventilating can cause your airways to close up further). When I was returning from West Africa after my bad attack, my airways were hypersensitive and painful, and flying at high altitudes has always been a bit of a challenge for me – even with the pressurized cabin, the oxygen levels are still abnormal and those with respiratory or heart diseases notice the change. When we were making the long flight over the Atlantic, teammate who returned with me had to talk me through a session when the feeling of not being able to get a good breath was overwhelming and I started to panic. I had to make the last flight from Chicago to Toronto on my own, and it was such a struggle to keep it together (I was in a great deal of pain by that time, with every breath hurting). I was grateful for the fact it was an international flight, so I could watch movies in order to distract myself from paying attention to every breath.

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  31. I have ridden the Toronto subway a few times. Parking is so expensive in downtown Toronto that if one is going to visit something in downtown Toronto, it is better to park at one of the big malls on the outskirts of the city and take the subway to the downtown. I have yet to experience riding one of Toronto’s streetcars, though I have ridden on the ferry to Toronto Island. Most often, I have traveled through Toronto on the GO train system to get to the city where I attended university or home again.

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  32. U-Bahn in Germany. I suppose that is like a subway. Lots of those in my past. And the trains in Greece. And the buses in Italy. And the train in Scotland. And France. And Switzerland.

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  33. Roscuro – That is interesting what you say about pneumonia causing a change in personality. How did you see that in yourself?

    As for me, I don’t think my personality has changed at all. Maybe I should ask Nightingale if she’s noticed anything.

    I’ve heard that pneumonia is most common in the very young and in the old, but not very common at all among those in between. Did your asthma cause you to be more susceptible to pneumonia?

    Nightingale teased me that I was now officially old. The brat! 😀

    Well, I may not have pneumonia right now, but I am still trying to get over a sinus infection, which has me tired, so I am going to bed soon. I’ll be back tomorrow.

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  34. I’ve ridden the NYC subway countless times. I enjoyed it when it wasn’t rush hour. There is a Metro in St. Louis that is partially underground. We take it when we go to baseball games. Of course, I haven’t been to one in 12 years. But DJ is right, such things are impractical in a place like LA which was built up the age of freeways.

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  35. Kizzie, it is hard to express. I think my perceptions changed. The first time I was hospitalized for pneumonia, I was 11 months old, the second time I was eight, although I had been treated at home for pneumonia nearly every year in between. Both experiences may have contributed to my adolescent struggles with mental health and obsession with losing the things I cared about most, as I did not handle the separation from my mother very well either time. My mother told me that I sobbed in my little oxygen tent when I was a baby, and I remember the second time not being able to sleep, as I was so fearful that my mother wouldn’t come back. I think my early bouts with pneumonia as a child contributed to making me quite risk averse. I was less of an introvert when I was small, outgoing with newcomers by accounts my family have told, and quite athletic, as at five, I could outrun my older sister who was three years older and much taller than I. After my experience at age eight I was terrified of going back to the hospital and would avoid activities that could trigger my asthma.

    The later bouts of pneumonia as an adult made me less risk averse, willing to jump off the cliff just to see how I would land, so to speak. I remember feeling like I was looking at myself from the outside a few times during those later episodes. I actually made the decision to become a nurse in my early twenties while going through a bad bout of pneumonia post influenza. It was truly a life changing decision, and I have never looked back, though I have gotten stalled for a while a few times. That bout in my twenties came after quite a long hiatus of having pneumonia (I had had a couple of bouts in my early teens that were treated at home with antibiotics) and I had been at a standstill as to what to do with my life, as I had been pursuing musical studies up to that point and had reached a dead end, while my twelve year old dream of becoming a missionary doctor had completely died when I realized that my GED was not enough to get into university. It was while sitting, waiting for the X-ray results, that I realized that I could do the nurse’s job, and once I recovered, I began investigating my options to get into nursing school. I had the pneumonia in the early months of the year, and by the end of the year, I had successfully enrolled in the first of my nursing programs.

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  36. DJ, I’d love to see the article, but your newspaper has a paywall and I usually can’t access articles there.

    Re Subways: Chicago has basically three forms of public transportation (not counting taxis), and one can get a transfer from one to another: city buses, and subways and elevated (el) trains. However, subs can become els, and vice versa. I didn’t actually ride subway portions very often, and I didn’t like doing so–for a woman alone to take all those steps down into an area with a lot of panhandlers never really felt comfortable. And even though at that point in my life I hadn’t heard stories about people deliberately pushed onto the tracks, I couldn’t help but think of the possibility, or the possibility of falling, perhaps on an icy or wet day.

    For about a year after I graduated from college, I didn’t own a car, and had to take public transportation to work daily. I had a choice of the subway or the bus, both with a stop an easy walk from my home and, with transfers, an easy walk to work at the other end, so I experimented with various routes. (The subway wasn’t involved at all.) What I determined was that businessmen were far more likely to ride the el train, and the bus had much more of a cross-section of Chicago’s people (poor and rich, various ethnicities, various ages). Although the el felt a bit safer, it also felt more sterile with all those men in suits and briefcases. And I also didn’t like all those steps, especially in the winter. So most of the time I took the bus, occasionally taking the el for a change. After I bought a car, if a lot of snow was predicted I sometimes left my car parked in the parking garage at work and took public transportation for a day or two, and then I think I always took the bus, but by that time I was living in a different home without easy access to the el. (Only the first of the three homes I rented had easy access to the el.) I also had to take the el to O’Hare a few times, which I really didn’t like doing with luggage–sometimes I had a friend give me a ride, but it “imposed” on friends less just to take myself there, even if it did mean going up and down stairs with luggage. When I took the train, I took it from downtown since I couldn’t ride it to or from my home.

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  37. We do have a paywall but everyone gets 5 free articles — if that’s not working, there’s some kind of an ad blocker on your computer or device, most likely.

    Some of our light rail lines run underground, some are elevated overhead, some at street level grade in the middle of a wide thoroughfare. The city where our work space is has a line that begins and ends in the downtown area, it will go all the way to dtLA. I think it was one of the first light rail lines built in the county.

    Of course we used to have red car electric trolleys that crisscrossed all of LA. Those were taken out in favor of buses.

    Some years ago, my mom and I were in Chicago after going to some family gatherings in Illinois — it was very important to her to ride the el, something she’d heard about for years. I guess Chicago was the big city to girls growing up in the Iowa farmlands. She also wanted to visit the Marshall Field’s Department Store. it was considered the fanciest back in the day when she was growing up and she’d ordered something there for my father after they’d gotten married. It was special, apparently, just because it came from that store. She’d never actually “been” there though, until our trip into the city. It was quite the treat for her.

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