Clouds of inattention

Before heading upstairs, I found myself in the backyard with the grand dogs. To give them some unneeded privacy, I looked up to the evening sky.

A trip to the tulip farm

Last weekend, we wanted to visit the tulip farm, but even after 2020, we didn’t realize that we’d need reservations. Oops! At least we didn’t drive all the way before discovering that.

Melissa jumped online and made reservations for yesterday afternoon as a do over. After many days of beautiful, sunny weather, yesterday had more typical Oregon springtime weather: gentle, refreshing sprinkles.

The drive was faster than we expected so we showed up a little before our scheduled time. No worries, even though the parking lot looked like most people were showing up for their slotted times. Melissa had Oakley because, well, everyone knows that golden retrievers love tulips. Plus, what a great opportunity to socialize a six-month-old pupper. Lots of people and other doggies wanted to greet Miss Oakley.

We wandered through the mizzle and bloom, taking pictures and being Oakley’s entourage. I wandered over to the steam tractor to watch it work while Melissa and Suzi found hot drinks for all of us.

Mmm… :-)

Orderly transfer of power — 2020*

"Inauguration Day Sunrise," by Geoff Livingston. Creative Commons license.

Every four years, I like to post the official picture of the outgoing and incoming presidents meeting in the oval office. This is a special time for our nation and nearly a religious experience for me. As I wrote more than twelve years ago:

An amazing event is taking place: the orderly, peaceful transfer of power. From President George W. Bush to President-elect Barack Obama. From the Republican party to the Democratic party. Without guns or threat of violence. The political process works.

It’s times like this that I’m proud to be an American.

And yet, this transfer is different. Like many norms, the norms of transfer have been cast aside, but the fact of transfer hasn’t. I can’t post a picture of something that didn’t happen. But, democracy is still strong. America works.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need more than an America that works. We need an America that works for all Americans. To get there, we’re going to have to work together, unite together. As President Biden said earlier today:

My whole soul was in it today. On this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward, reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

President Biden, January 20, 2021

Count me in!

The inauguration

If you like, you can watch C-SPAN’s entire coverage of the inauguration. It’s nearly 9.5 hours! Or, watch the two videos I’ve embedded below. They’re my favorites.

Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, read her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

President Biden gave his inauguration address. I struggled to find sections to excerpt. It’s not that long; I recommend your listening to and/or reading the entire address.

Full text follows…

My Samsung dryer now spins

Idler pulley assembly installed

A couple of days ago my dryer quit working. Thanks to the innerwebs, I was able to debug the issue and get a replacement part on order. Today, the part arrived.

Because my laundry room is so shallow, I had to get behind the dryer, then pull the bottom toward me and tilt the top away so I could see into and work through the access port near the bottom of the dryer. Once I’d done that, removing the old idler pulley arm, installing the new one, and threading the drive belt was easy to do. Because the dryer was tilted, I needed to move the drive belt back into the correct position on the drum.

Many of my home repairs require three trips to the home supply store:

  1. A trip to get the parts I need,
  2. A trip to get the parts I missed because I haven’t done this repair recently (or ever), and
  3. A trip to get the parts to replace those I broke in the repair process.

This time, I needed only the first trip, and it was virtual! Better yet, the only leftover parts were those that I replaced.

Link: ProPublica — What Parler Saw During the Attack on the Capitol

What Parler Saw During the Attack on the Capitol. ProPublica provides a collection of videos from the January 6, 2021, protests/insurrection.

As supporters of President Donald Trump took part in a violent riot at the Capitol, users of the social media service Parler posted videos of themselves and others joining the fray. ProPublica reviewed thousands of videos uploaded publicly to the service that were archived by a programmer before Parler was taken offline by its web host. Below is a collection of more than 500 videos that ProPublica determined were taken during the events of Jan. 6 and were relevant and newsworthy. 

ProPublica

My Samsung dryer doesn’t spin

My dryer just quit working tonight. Its drum doesn’t spin. So, off to YouTube I went for repair advice. I immediately found a couple of helpful videos.

Huh, look at that: the idler pulley is missing! Oh there it is, hiding in the dust bunny in the lower right.

After another online search, I ordered the replacement part. It should arrive in a couple of days. With a little luck I’ll be able to do the repair without having to move the dryer any farther.

In the meantime, I’m going to round up some dust bunnies.

Fun with a Onewheel

My neighbor got a Onewheel Pint for Christmas.1Looks like I’m no longer the “cool parent of the neighborhood” with just downhill longboarding… What a *great* Christmas present! :-) I’ve been looking at Onewheels for years, wishing I could try one out. Yesterday was my lucky day.

She’d set up some orange cones to create a practice slalom course. Back and forth I went, alternating between heel-side and toe-side U-turns at the ends. I zoomed down to the end of the street a couple of times to see what it felt like.

With a little experimentation, I found the tricks that work for longboarding also work for the Onewheel:

  • Keep the board moving to maintain balance; a stationary board wants to squirt out from under you.
  • Relax your entire body to “flow,” filtering out the high-frequency movements that make the board feel twitchy and tire the ankles.2Music would have helped with this.
  • Have fun!

What a blast!


I remember learning to longboard, not that long ago. Before I started, I wondered what provided fore-aft stability, as there’s little resistance in that axis. Keeping your center of gravity positioned between the front and rear axles is the secret as you can shift your weight between your feet.3This makes longboards more stable Also important is moving your arms for dynamic balance and to counter the effect of the weight transfer and rotational inertia from the leg that’s pushing.

With the Onewheel, fore-aft balance4Balance in general, for that matter. is a more interesting question: shifting your weight changes both your speed and direction, but the footpads don’t provide an independent, static opposing force.5Putting more weight on one footpad will drive that footpad to the ground unless the forces (ok, *moments*) are equalized

A Onewheel is “stable” only in motion. Pushing a footpad down tells the Onewheel to accelerate in that direction. Rolling the Onewheel left or right causes it turn in that direction.6I have no idea why. Somehow, the brain is able to intuitively balance, that is, keep the Onewheel “under” the rider’s body, through unconscious changes in weight distribution and ankle movements.7“Under” is within quotes, as accelerations acting only on the Onewheel require the rider’s body to be off-center. As a Onewheel is powered, changes in both speed and direction require positioning the body *not* directly over the Onewheel so the body, when “falling” can accelerate along with the Onewheel as it accelerates back under the body. A downhill longboard, being “powered” by gravity (which also accelerates the rider by the same amount), doesn’t require the rider to get ahead of the longboard for changes in speed, only to one side or the other for changes in direction.

  • 1
    Looks like I’m no longer the “cool parent of the neighborhood” with just downhill longboarding… What a *great* Christmas present! :-)
  • 2
    Music would have helped with this.
  • 3
    This makes longboards more stable
  • 4
    Balance in general, for that matter.
  • 5
    Putting more weight on one footpad will drive that footpad to the ground unless the forces (ok, *moments*) are equalized
  • 6
    I have no idea why.
  • 7
    “Under” is within quotes, as accelerations acting only on the Onewheel require the rider’s body to be off-center. As a Onewheel is powered, changes in both speed and direction require positioning the body *not* directly over the Onewheel so the body, when “falling” can accelerate along with the Onewheel as it accelerates back under the body. A downhill longboard, being “powered” by gravity (which also accelerates the rider by the same amount), doesn’t require the rider to get ahead of the longboard for changes in speed, only to one side or the other for changes in direction.

Underlying conditions

She had underlying conditions.

Thus concludes a recent coronavirus update.

As if it explains her death. As if it’s pertinent.

But it doesn’t and it isn’t.

Instead, it minimizes her death and her life, the loss to her and those who knew and loved her, who planned on spending more time with her. It peddles a story so tragic that, without minimization, could be too much to bear.

Why not one of the following?

  • Although physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other hospital employees risked their lives to provide her care, she didn’t receive the same life-saving treatments the president and his attorney received.
  • She wrote birthday cards to her friends and family without fail.
  • She had planned to visit New Zealand with her husband this past summer but had to cancel the trip due to the global pandemic.
  • She is survived by her husband of 47 years, 3 children, and 8 grandchildren, all of who loved her and are devastated by her premature death.
  • She would still be alive today except for COVID-19.

Context is everything.

Christmas Tree, 2020 edition

As is our tradition, we headed off into the hills to cut down our Christmas tree. The farm we’ve gone to the last few years is closed to U-cut this year, so we tried a different farm. After tramping through acres of too-short trees, we took a look at the trees they’d already cut. So that’s where all the good trees ended up!

We picked one out, had them bale it for us, loaded it up and took it home. A baled tree is so much easier to get on the car and into the house. Wow!

Later in the day, we put on the lights, ribbons, and ornaments. The angel needs a little work. Right now, it’s just a ring of lights around the top sprig.

Suzi put out all the stockings. When we put one up for the kids and dogs1Sorry cats — you don’t seem to make the cut. we have more than will fit on the mantle.

  • 1
    Sorry cats — you don’t seem to make the cut.

Thanksgiving

Being an even-numbered year, this Thanksgiving weekend was supposed to be a Logan family reunion, when we gather together and play games, make puzzles, and go on hikes. We share delicious food and our lives. We talk about what’s happened over the past two years and make predictions for the next couple.

This year, we didn’t meet. And none of us had 2020 in our predictions.

Instead, we stayed with our individual families, still thankful for those in our lives and the good that has happened.

  • My family. You’re the best!
  • My friends. As one said this morning, “You kept me sane this year.” Likewise.
  • Health. It’s been “interesting” but as brother Bob says, “Every day above ground is a good day.” My condolences to those who have lost someone dear.
  • Modern medicine. Had we lived at any time much earlier than now… ’nuff said. And that goes for more than just this year.
  • Pets. Ours are amateur therapy animals. I love a dog or cat flopped hard against me. And the grins that come from both ends of the leash make it easy to ignore the weather.
  • Social media. I’ve enjoyed looking at what my friends and family have posted today. It’s not the same as being there, or even being on the phone/Zoom, but it’s nice.
  • The internet and music. Without these, I don’t think surviving 2020 would have been possible.
  • Voters. I’m thankful for all 154,000,000 or so that participated in our great experiment. I’m hopeful for the coming years. Let’s work together.

This is just a partial list, both in (1) who and what is included and (2) why.

Have you considered why you could be thankful?