RBOC

  • Why are plantain chips so good and banana chips so bad?
  • Remember how I told you guys to try adding cardamom in place of cinnamon in various recipes?  Also try Star Anise in your coffee.
  • One of the big problems with black being a major color in my aesthetic is that I tend to lose my black phone on my black desk, especially when it’s underneath my black wallet.
  • I’m currently having one of those irritating weeks where I have like 4 things that are *almost* done but they’re waiting on one last thing from other people for me to finish my bit.  I want to get them done and off my desk and out of my headspace, but I can’t.  And these are all things where people said they’d get me the thing I needed last or earlier this week but none of them did and there’s no updated when I’m actually going to get it.
  • I also have 8 other projects I could be working on instead (and 4 that I *should* be working on) but I just want to get these other things done which is distracting!
  • If you are exercising during a zoom meeting or presentation, TURN YOUR VIDEO OFF.  Seriously, WTF is wrong with you?  Nobody wants to see you bobbling up and down on your treadmill while someone else is talking.
  • Covid cases in our county vary between red-zone and orange zone.  We still have a few deaths every week.  And there’s just less information being reported and more little * noting that numbers provided by the health department don’t add up.   It’s depressing because this is about the point we were at *last* August right before the students came back and we’d just gotten a mask mandate.  Now we have no mask mandate and our vaccination rate has been stalled out at ~40%.  With the students gone we could be doing so much better.  Since when did “only” 2-4 excess deaths each week from something absolutely preventable seem like everything is now fine?
  • Our health department just decided (a few days after that previous bullet) that it is no longer providing pandemic updates.  We had redzone numbers of cases the previous day.
  • NIU virtual camps have been a HUGE hit with DC2.  C++ with DC1 has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but I guess not everybody has taken a language or two before.
  • I had a huge amount of computer/technology problems this week which reminded me that it’s been a while since I had any and I’m a lot more productive when everything just works!
  • DC1 has been reading the Histories of Herodotus.  Zie keeps telling us about bits and pieces of it.  It really is hilarious– I loved it too when I was about hir age.  It’s crazy about how something so old (well over two thousand years!) can still be so entertaining.  Zie even has a different translation than I did and is enjoying it, so it’s not just the translator taking liberties.  I’m like, I wish we’d made you read Gullivers Travels before this so you could see that they’re from the same tradition.  But alas.
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24 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. mnitabach Says:

    I’m guessing plantain chips are much better than banana chips bcs the former has substantially more starch relative to sugar, which crisps up nicely & gives the chip body & crunch. Banana has less starch relative to sugar & so has less toothsome quality.

  2. Turia Says:

    Herodotus is genuinely wonderful. When I teach him, I always compare him to a grandpa who starts telling a story and then ends up telling seven other stories via digression before he finishes the original one. A good translation of his work should absolutely be entertaining. Thucydides is more ‘worthy’ and serious (and is writing something that we would recognize as history) but I’ll always prefer Herodotus.

    Has DC1 read the Iliad and Odyssey yet? I’m very fond of the translations by Robert Fagles. His Aeneid is great as well. And then there’s so much amazing modern stuff riffing off those three texts (Madeline Miller’s Circe and Ursula K LeGuin’s Lavinia are stand outs, as is Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls). You get so much more out of the modern interpretations when you’ve read the originals.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DC1 has not! Which I’m kind of bemused by because we read the Odyssey in high school (though of course I’d already read it and the Illiad on my own). But I guess there’s like hints of sex in it or something so we can’t have that in a red state with impressionable teenagers who don’t get any sex-ed. Or maybe it’s just too difficult, I don’t know.

      I need to move to a blue state…

      In any case, probably some of it is that zie only has a kindle gutenberg translation and his kindle is slow and cracked. I will add the Fagles translation to hir amazon wishlist.

  3. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I would argue that not all of the deaths are preventable, but most of them likely are. But taking its face value that vaccination reduces mortality in the elderly by 95%… that’s still a 0.5% death rate.

    Our cases are maybe barely edging back down to the three-a-week of last summer, when the public schools refused to open, instead choosing FEBRUARY as a good and rational time. (No.) Though the state overall is down to about 70 cases a day (that have been detected by testing…)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      These aren’t all old people dying either. I would also argue that there are deaths that are undercounted! Especially since our health department doesn’t seem to be able to get other numbers to add up (and sometimes finds literally hundreds of positive cases months after the fact), even ignoring they’re not testing all corpses for covid.

      How does our county still have so many?!? Google shows us as having orange levels yesterday.

  4. delagar Says:

    Re exercising during zoom meetings: one of my colleagues does the dishes and laundry during our zoom faculty meetings. This colleague turns off the camera but does not mute their mic. Ai.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      What is with people?! With muting sometimes it’s an accident and I think it’s ok for the organizer to say please mute if you’re not speaking. I know I’ve thought I was muted (because that usually the default, except when it isn’t) but people at at least one conference have been treated to DC1’s violin lesson before the organizer said something.

      • xykademiqz Says:

        I’ve had it happen a few times; IME, a Zoom host should have the ability to force mute anyone. I’ve had to force mute a colleague a few times, because he sat by an open window and the sounds of his neighbor’s lawnmower and/or street traffic made it impossible to hear anything.

  5. rose Says:

    Guessing you have been writing/calling all elected officials (state and locally) and asking for publication of vaccination %ages and new case loads. Mentioning the national news reports that are saying the overwhelming new cases hospitalized are UNVACCINATED people. Asking for the data by age group so you can assess the danger to young children in your area.
    Probably futile but worth making a campaign about.
    Love the mute button and prefer not showing my face on zoom calls!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The information is still available, it’s just not being pushed out to media anymore so it’s harder to understand and harder to keep track of trends. There’s point in time information and what google has been keeping track of.

  6. Debbie M Says:

    Per https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/6/14/2035243/-Still-more-evidence-that-COVID-19-is-on-its-way-to-becoming-a-predominantly-Republican-disease, ‘…in counties with at least 40% of residents vaccinated, COVID-19 infection rates that were “low” and “going down.” In counties with fewer than 20% of residents vaccinated, “not only are there higher case rates, but the number of cases there also is growing.”

    ‘…If you’re vaccinated, you have very low odds of contracting COVID-19 and very low odds of it becoming severe enough to require emergency medical care. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re either just as likely or more likely to catch COVID-19 right now as you were through much of the rest of the pandemic.’

    So, those who are vaccinated are probably okay, at least until a scary variant comes through.

    I’m lucky in that my horrible red state at least has the Texas Tribune, which tracks our numbers in their fabulously updated site (https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2020/texas-coronavirus-cases-map/). My state still has only 38.2% fully vaccinated. After the mask mandate was lifted (violently, though we are at least still *allowed* to wear masks), hospitalizations continued falling until very recently. Now they are about where they were last June, not great. (Hospitalizations are my favorite number to check because they seem the most reliable: cases rely on testing and the death rate can improve as treatments improve.) But our death rate seems to have leveled out *above* last June’s rate.

    I really thought everything would shoot up when our governor lifted the mask mandates, but am happily wrong (so far, until we invent some scary variants, which apparently we are trying to as hard as possible).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Your governor also made it illegal to provide emergency room capacity numbers to the public! Instead you can only report the much smaller percent of covid patients or something similar.

      • Debbie M Says:

        My governor [expletive] [expletive]. But then you know that. Based on more general data, it looks like our emergency rooms are fine in so many counties that even if things are out of control in some counties, there will at least be somewhere those extra people can go. (At least until any extra nasty variants take over.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        That’s good!

        Except the nasty variants part.

  7. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    Our region was supposedly doing a full reopening plus even parties for reopening yesterday and I did my best to stay well out of it because I’m simply not ready for all that.

    I’ve been fighting a tech problem for a few weeks now too and I’m trying to hold out with interim solutions until (I hope) a more permanent solution arrives this week. Then I can tackle the new computer thing. May things just WORK, please!

  8. First Gen American Says:

    I’ve always had an obnoxiously bright colored phone case because I am constantly misplacing my phone. I highly recommend this life hack.

    We are in a very high % vaccinated state MA and the COVID case numbers are dropping like a rock. It’s so nice to see. New cases on Friday, 76 in our entire state…sure beats when it was 7000-8000 cases per day. Things are really returning to normal here (not just pretending it is) and it’s great.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      3 covid deaths in our county, number of new cases still in the double digits, even with the students gone. Some prominent local politician just got a bad case. Pretending things are back to normal they’re not actually.


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