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Pam in CT

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Everything posted by Pam in CT

  1. re PS hybrid This is where my district is going as well. Or was, until yesterday's threat to cut off federal funding for special education and lunch programs unless IRL classes are held M-F. With universal masking for all students except the special services preschool (mixed special ed and a small # of mainstream kids) and a very small # of older special ed kids. Our district will stream the full IRL class with the regular teacher to the kids learning at home. The state is also developing a statewide curriculum and hiring state teachers to deliver it, so districts who feel unable to manage online learning can refer students who opt out of IRL classes to that.
  2. re Christian Cooper's response to Amy Cooper's Karen outburst Agreed. He was impressive in the moment - calm, de-escalatory, but firm and continuing to video -- and he's been so consistently ever since, including two days ago following her indictment (which he did not ask for and does not believe will be particularly helpful. He has said in interviews that he's opted not to cooperate with the prosecution.) He clearly believes individuals like her are symptomatic. Not the real problem that really needs to be solved. Focusing on her individual conduct, and making her a martyr in certain circles, does not advance the bigger issue of unequal access by blacks to rule of law. There will be backlash to her prosecution.
  3. Perhaps DT and DeVos will refine yesterday's message. But what the sound bytes sounded like, was compelled return 5 days a week, or lose federal funds for special ed and school lunches. Which is not consistent with the general COVID message that individual states should make state-level decisions consistent with local circumstances (most districts here, for example, were working toward some version of some kids IRL M-W, some kids IRL Tu-Th, the other days online, with all kids having some option for all-online... so as to enable better physical spacing within existing classroom facilities). It's hard to see how compelling schools into a one-size-fits-all model, regardless of where case levels are, what school administrators believe they can manage in terms of spacing with existing physical plant, what teachers believe they can manage in terms of effective education, and what districts believe they can manage in terms of funding, is helpful. Yet yesterday's all-stick-no-carrot sound byte certainly sounded like that was the approach. But as I said, perhaps it will be further refined to allow greater local-level decisionmaking.
  4. re whether or not Amy Cooper's actions were calculated Maybe. But also: maybe not. She issued a "public" (on SM) kinda-sorta apology after the incident, the centerpiece of which is "I am not a racist" and she did not "mean" to act in a racist way. And I actually believe her, even though she did make reference to his race in both her threat to call the police, and then when she did call police. It all happened quickly. She was rattled. (That's not a defense, at all. Just an observation from the video.) *I believe her* when she says she did not intend to draw on the oldest trope in the race book, the black man advancing on the white woman in a secluded location. But that trope was right there in her head, that trope was the first response that hurled -- I believe un-calculatedly, I believe "unintentionally" -- from her lips. And: here's what to my mind is the most important point: that trope is so diffused throughout our society that she knew that it would inform how LE would respond if she dialed. She knew, and he knew, and she knew that he knew, that if she dialed and LIED, in response to a white woman exhibiting "fear" of a black man, LE would hear her first and believe her more. They would not be equal in the eyes of first law enforcement response. She could depend on that. That is why her threat to lie about the circumstances was so credible. Plenty of equally innocent black men have died on that trope. She knew it, he knew it, and we know it to be true. That is structural racism. Was it calculated? Did she intend to weaponize the trope? Meh. I actually believe it just popped out of her (entitled) mouth. Entitled people reach for whatever works. She knew it would work. THAT, to me, is the point. If she were scared... ... she didn't merely stand there and yell. She advanced on him.
  5. Re excuse reason #2: As a fellow roasted-veg lover, I've discovered that just about anything that's great roasted is similarly great grilled (low heat with the cover closed). Once summer rolls around, my in-kitchen cooking dials back to rice and pasta; everything else that needs to be hot gets grilled. re frozen vegetables: Absolutely. Nutrition-wise they've fine, convenience-wise they're awesome, we've always used them for some things (spinach, peas, green beans) and now that I'm super-spreading the food deliveries out we're using more. And if I'm going to, say, puree up cauliflower to hide it in a white sauce it might as well start soft and cooked. My issue with frozen isn't nutrition. It's CRUNCH. I really really really like my broccoli, green beans, stir fried peppers to make a SOUND when I bite into them. I don't "cook" these things so much as "warm them up." And you can't get there if you start with frozen (though I've learned that by broiling frozen brussel sprouts cut side up to near-burnt I can achieve something approximating crunch, and with the addition of a fresh barely-warmed up onion both my husband, who does not share my passion for vegetative crunch, and I can be happy). I really haven't found any way to make any canned vegetable taste and sound the way I want vegetables to taste and sound. And... YES. Frozen peas are fine, and with a bit of fresh mint from the garden, positively delicious. Oh and one final world-rocking vegetative discovery of the last 4 months: there's a form of shrink-wrapped beets that are SHELF STABLE. Amazon or Walmart or whoever will ship (not deliver) them to you and you can keep them in your PANTRY, unrefrigerated for, like, 5 years or something. Broiled to near-burnt near-crispness with a bit of feta sprinkled on top, over fresh salad greens if you have them or sauteed frozen spinach with some garlic if you do not, *chef's kiss.*
  6. On the second video of her arrest that she herself livestreamed, she claims she's a spokesperson for both QAnon and Trump with classified information about masking that she cannot reveal to the arresting officers because they, the officers, don't have clearance. She certainly does look to be suffering from serious mental illness/hallucinations. Whether the QAnon conspiracies were causal to her mask rampage, or her mental health problems caused her to be susceptible to the theories -- could go either way.
  7. Oh, Melissa. I am so sorry. It sucks.
  8. re development of a location app like South Korea is using universally, for contact tracing: I don't think the issue is technology AT ALL - the technology already exists, has been linked for years to commercial applications like FB/WhatsApp/Wayz and god knows what else. That's how Michaels sends us instant coupons the moment we walk in the store and why we get frantic sale alert messages as we walk down mall corridors to the stores a bit further down. "They" -- for profit companies -- already know exactly where we are within literally a few feet (and with a warrant, law enforcement can already subpoena that information). The issue is that we have neither the legal structure nor the societal will to make such tracing information mandatory. And without a mandate, it's self-selecting: the foks who would voluntarily opt in are the same folks who are trying otherwise to comply with public health measures (limiting crowded activities, masking, distancing, cooperating with contact tracers, etc). So like everything else, some cooperation is better than none, but it cannot be sufficient to bring the case numbers DOWN.
  9. Salad with every dinner. For me this is an easy habit, not a discipline I need to push myself to maintain, since my body pretty much longs for it. So much so that because COVID I have literally planted a Victory Garden to ensure ongoing fresh supply, and my husband is right now literally designing a long row of cold frames so I can keep basic essentials going over the winter. So that is 1-3 portions/ day depending on what besides greens I've got to put in it. My husband OTOH doesn't so much care about fresh salad, but did grow up with a green vegetable at every dinner. He's A-OK with various frozen stuff (spinach, green beans, brussel sprouts) and is even OK with canned peas ( puke emoticon ), but in his mind it has to be, specifically and literally, GREEN. So I've had to work hard on wintry vegetables that I love like spaghetti/butternut/acorn squash, beets, roasted carrots & parsnips. But we do have a proper side vegetable with every dinner, so 1 more portion/ day there. One of the kids went vegetarian at age 7, so I've long instituted Meatless Mondays. The stuff in that rotation -- shakshouka, felafel, veg lasagna, mushroom casserole, quiche -- tends to shoehorn in at least 1 more portion/person there, in addition to the nightly Green Veg and salad. Since CoronApocalypse we've also, for simplicity and sanity's sake, done Taco Tuesdays, whose fixings also generate another portion or so. Other than dinner... a lot of fruit, not much veg. Every so often I have a salad for lunch, or hummous & crudities, but much more often it's bread & cheese, or yogurt & fruit. I eat a TON of dairy, which doesn't work for everyone. So I guess it works out to 3-4 portions of veg on an average day, with a bit more in fruit: a little less than optimal, but not bad.
  10. re flag shorts Bit of sidebar here, but I've always been... troubled isn't quite it, but surprised... by the notion, that obviously a great many people do hold, that "wearing" the flag to cover your man parts (or on a beach towel to park your sandy butt, or wipe off your sunscreen, or etc) signifies "patriotism." I mean, First Amendment, rock on, but to my mind it trivializes the meaning of the flag. Literally LOL to the bolded. "Mannerless frat boys" = a rather common term here for a certain very common type who take up far too much space, physical + verbal + in financial and political circles. re Karens - for "the rules" or agin them? This. At the core, Karens are about (white) entitlement. The most recent, very telling Karen is Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the cops on the black birder in Central Park. He was birding; she had let her dog off leash; he asked her to leash her dog. (Except in very contained very well marked very obvious dog runs) the rules are dogs in Central Park have to be on leash. He was asking her to follow the rules. She was outraged, she got furious, she threatened to call the cops and tell them that "a black man is threatening her life"... and then she DID call the cops and reported that she was being "threatened by a black man." There's a lot to unpack in this incident about race. She threatened what she threatened because she knew the threat was powerful: she knew, upfront, that even though her characterization of the circumstances was false, she could depend on LEO believing her white-woman account over his black-man account, she knew that, he knew that, she knew he knew that. She could and did weaponize that mutual knowledge that LE would hear her first and believe her more. Her threat -- to lie to LEO -- was powerful because she could depend on Law and Order!! would support her. They both knew that a single jittery nerve or bad mood on by the LE who happened to take the call, could leave him dead. Law and Order for her; no functional access to Rule of Law for him. That is structural racism. But the origin of the story is: SHE was the one breaking the dog-leash rule... yet SHE felt so entitled to let her beloved pet stretch its legs, she was so infuriated by his request to follow the rule that she lapsed -- instantly, unthinkingly, she's a "good person," I absolutely believe her apology -- to that weaponization of structural racism. That's a Karen. And to @happysmileylady concern about SM shaming of lesser dopey irritations: yes, I do see that wrt to the trivial stuff. We've become very simultaneously very thin-skinned about the trivial stuff; and also very quick to overshare our indignation. Neither serves us well. But the video documentation in the Amy Cooper incident is the only reason it played out as it did: the black man is alive to go birding again, she was yesterday charged with filing a false police report. Without the 8:46 video of George Floyd, there is no way at all that any officers would ever see consequences. So while I do agree that there we're a bit quick to "catch them being irritating" and livestream to Insta... I am ultimately deeply, deeply grateful that the life-endangering incidents are being captured. And Quill wasn't catching them being irritating. She was catching them being constructive, and acknowledging her gratitude for that. There's a significant difference IMO.
  11. Us either, big sigh. If I did anything, it would be the nicely appointed rental in the woods on a lake, with kayaks and hiking nearby. That would be a nice change of pace whose risks I think we could manage. And I would do that, if we could figure a way to have my mother join us. But her independent senior living residence has a (very solid: I appreciate that) protocol in place which would require that she quarantine in her apartment -- not even coming out for her daily walks -- for 14 full days if she were to spend an overnight out of the facility. And she's decided that tradeoff is not worth it to her. So we camped out in an RV once in her residence parking lot so as to have a couple IRL masked visits with her, and we'll do that again. But honestly, unless my mother comes on anything longer term and further flung than that... the amount of effort it would take to organize all the food and all the planning for a nice rental in the woods -- without checking out roadside attractions on the way, without popping into whatever quirky museums or nature centers are at the destination, without tasting local food in local restaurants -- just thinking about it exhausts me. The effort involved in the suddenly-more-constrained logistics of our daily lives is already wearing me down; having to plan and pack for a more constrained set of logistics just doesn't seem worth it. Sigh. We really LOVE to travel.
  12. Right. South Korea has been using a universal smartphone app that tracks every phone's location, so they pretty much HAVE been able to contact trace random passers-by at the grocery store or, as they start to open up, on public transit. *That* could contact-trace protest contact. One of my nephews' (private) universities has been surveying students and parents and have communicated that they are considering requiring all returning students and staff to use such technology as a condition of physical return to campus (all classes will also be available online). For better and for worse, we're a very long way from that society-wide. But it *does* enable much more effective contact tracing which *does* enable re-opening. Everything has tradeoffs.
  13. ? Can you link that article? NYC as a whole has been reporting daily to the JHU COVID19 data set throughout all this, so I'm curious what narrower data set the article was referencing. Agreed that actually *outside on the sand in the sea breeze* is about as good as it gets on the relative-risk scale, though the ancillary bathrooms/ food courts/ restaurants and particularly bars are problematical.
  14. We have a couple of different-sized masks in the Family Mask Basket (all adult, all covering mouth and nose, all fairly fitted, but slight variations in size; with some/not all kind of scooping underneath the chin), and different members have found that different sizes fit our, go figure, different sized faces better than others. I'd just order a few different sizes and figure out what works best for you. A reasonably fitted one should not block your vision.
  15. Here's the indictment. She's (currently -- at the arraignment hearing last week prosecutors left room for the possibility of superseding charges) being charged with "one count of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and two counts of perjury, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison." The indictment includes descriptions of her participating in sexual massages with a 14 yo victim and Epstein -- the suggestion seems to be that she was... training?... the young girl on how to do it properly. SDNY-watchers noted at the hearing that the case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit, rather than the Sex Crimes Unit, as would ordinarily be the case. Dunno why that is, but FWIW.
  16. re why other developed nations are able to reopen safely when we are not: And because other nations took it more seriously from the get-go -- with a public health goal focused on bringing the curves DOWN rather than managing just to the standard of "are we literally out of ICU beds in our specific hospital at this specific moment" -- those nations are now starting to cautiously reopen and manage schools with vastly, vastly lower levels of cases walking around. It's very hard to see how -- even with A+ coherent coordinated leadership, which we definitely do not have -- we can possibly contain at this point.
  17. Back in our Hamilton-obsessed period, when I begrudged any activity that prevented me from playing the soundtrack over and over and over... my eldest made up a Cafe Press baseball hat that read
  18. I 💗💗 genius.com . It is one of my most crucial resources in decoding my nearly-adult kids, particularly the youngest. Also, unrelated, BREAKING NEWS FOLKS THERE ARE ALL OF A SUDDEN LIKE 500 EMOTICONS IN THE WTM EMOTICON STOCK!!!!! 😇 👿 💀 💩 💋 💣 👍 🙏 🐢 🍆
  19. Us too. I'd try to keep your husband truly quarantined, and keep yourself masked and as 6' apart as is feasible with kids. At this point you're managing odds. Not everyone who is exposed gets it; not everyone who gets it transmits it. Hopefully your husband will get a negative test back soon. But particularly given your own asthma, I'd establish as the Family Goal the objective of preventing transmission from him to others in the household, and particularly to YOU. If that means your older kids take on a little more to allow you more distance from the littles, this is the time.
  20. re hints of Les Mis: LMM has said in several interviews that Les Mis is the show that most influenced him as a writer, which so intrigued my kids during our 2=year obsession with Hamilton that upon their beseeching we all trooped out to Mis (which my husband and I had seen, like, 40 years ago or something) to figure out why. And you can see it. Not just the small-character development within epic scale overall story/energy/timing/staging/use of the crowd as a sort of Greek chorus that so propels the narrative that you literally don't need any spoken dialogue, just the movement from song-to-song furthers the story along, though all of that... but also the genius use of musical motifs -- each character gets an associated line laid out once in a whole song and thereafter referenced, by other characters as well as repeated by the original, in other later songs (Hamilton: not throwing away my shot; Burr: wait for it; Eliza: Helpless; it would be enough; Angelika: you will never be satisfied/I hope you're satisfied; Philip's Blow Us All Away) and also how whole songs get re-purposed to different purposes later in the show (Eliza's Helpless comes up again in Mariah's seduction scene; the Battle of Yorktown's Stay Alive returns when Eliza and Alexander are hovering over Philip's bed; Ten Duel Commandments for both Philip's and Alexander's duels; and etc). I appreciated Les Mis a LOT more the second time around, knowing how closely LMM had studied it, than I had the first time through. (Which is how I know my modest talents are derivative appreciation, not original genius, sigh...)
  21. re getting out Framing is all, isn't it? LOL One of my nearly-adult kids is REALLY pitching for us to get one. I posted a week or so ago about our adventures as newborn chicken farmers; DS' idea is to put in a hot tub in a position that enables good viewing of the chicken antics. Better'n teevee! Do report back on how you like it, @school17777 !
  22. Us too. All the Stars Wars, Black Panther, all the animated shorts, and off it goes again.
  23. We just finished it. We were able to see it in the theater and of course that was awesome, but I actually really *liked* the film format -- you can see the facial expressions so much more clearly, and some of the shots (from backstage as King George walked forward, from the ceiling as the Reynolds pamphlets flew up, upwards to particular characters "listening" on the balcony as the upstage characters had a line concerning them) really added. My two favorite songs (Burr's Room Where it Happened, and Eliza's Burn) are both narrative-arc turning point moments, and to see the characters in closeup. And Lin-Manuel at that moment in Quiet Uptown when Eliza finally takes his hand... ((sob)).
  24. @square_25 and other data geeks - ProPublica just put out a nice analysis comparing the effect of more testing on positivity rates. The headline takeaway is, no the increased positivity rates in the emerging hot spots is NOT just a result of increased testing. (No shocker in that conclusion, but they've illustrated the data very effectively.) A sample: eta fixed link
  25. re close-but-not-exact number counts This isn't FL specific, but day-over-day tallies depend on the exact hour you're doing the tallies. I've been running a daily national count over on the Politics board since March 8, and starting around mid-April Nate Silver also starting doing a daily roundup based on the same underlying data set. He does his at 5p and I do mine right before going to bed, more like 11p. And they're always close but they're never exactly the same, because we're each doing day-on-day at slightly different times, while the data is coming in by the hour. So the data catches up in the next cycle, *pattern* holds, and the shape of the graphs are the same, but the exact tallies at any moment in time are slightly different.
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