Playing with Fire?

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Humans are creative. We develop tools to enable our abilities. So we can go longer, faster, higher, for examples. But we are also dumb, as evidenced by the epic failures posted on social media. Creativity is a double-edge sword.

Whenever we fail to master the tools for what they are intended for, we are playing with fire. Also known as unintended consequence. When that happens, the power of the tools can amplify our mistakes as well.

To wit, car accidents cause damages beyond what human body alone can inflict. Same applies with motorcycles, bikes.  An erroneous email, text, or tweet can reach more, far and wide, in less time than we can respond.  Or a gun, it can enable or disable just as quickly.

But isn’t that why we have license for? You may ask.

Licence is a socially engineered solution to ensure minimum proficiency. Having a license alone means nothing more than a minimum standard.  Much of the proficiency we acquired (with the tool) is through our experience using it. Without the experience, accidents ensue.

Do you think we are  too clever for our own good?

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Equipment Failure

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Without any warning, the wristband for my running watch broke. Yup. Right in the middle of my run. I heard a thud and turned around. And there was my watch on the pavement. I went back and picked it up. Everything was working except the wristband.

Typically, an equipment failure is one of dreaded nightmares for runners during a race. Mine wasn’t anything near.  I was doing my morning run. And the watch just flew off my left wrist during the arm swing. No injury or anything to worry.

Yes, yes, running gear failures do happen. But they happen very infrequently for me. Thank goodness.  But afterwards a thought came to me: while it’s easy enough to replace the wristband, an even simpler solution would be not wearing a watch at all.

You see, I am not training for any races. No speed works nor interval training. Do I really need a watch for my regular run? Hum. . .  I know my routes quite well. A wristwatch only validates my mental counter for most of the time.

So as a result, I am going watch-less. Yes, and this may give my wrist tan line a chance to fade out. What do you think?

Do you use gadget with your run?

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Not Waiting for Thanksgiving

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Feeling swamped?

You’re not alone. Welcome to the club.

Truth be told – there are more to be thankful than not.

Being alive, sharing in our unique ways, and shaping it,

one soul at a time.

Every day.

Why wait for Thanksgiving?

What about today do you appreciate?

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Week In Review – 14 Aug 2022

Wildfires, storms, and periods of drought are on the rise in intensity and frequency due to global warming. Coincidentally, the US Congress passed a bill that incentivizes alternatives to fossil fuels and investments to combat greenhouse effect.

Other than natural disasters, the trio of Covid pandemic, Ukraine war, and inflation continues to plague the world. Still, live endures, and people move on. For example, US no longer requires quarantine for Covid contact because of its herd immunity reached, subject to no new variant.

Adding spice to our dramas was the FBI search of former President Trump’s residence in Florida. A historical raid that forced many Republican politicians to declare their Trump loyalty. The raid introduced uncertainties into the 2024 presidential elections.

Personally, I watched all these with awe. In spite of the chaos, I maintain my simple approach to life. Stay the course, duck under the shade when it gets too hot, and try not to  let the world passes me by too quickly.

Stay safe & have a nice week.

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No More Quarantine for Covid-19

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday (11 August) that no longer does individual needs to be quarantined after close contact with someone who tests Covid positive.

The reason is “an estimated 95% of Americans age 16 or older have developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, whether due to vaccinations or previous infection.” This sounds like we have achieved herd immunity. Even for children under 16, the expectation is no vaccine will be required as students getting ready to return to schools.

So what happen if one is exposed to someone with Covid-19? CDC recommends wearing mask for 10 days while indoor and in public; and get tested after 5 days. This update is a far cry from the China’s Zero Covid policy and clearly highlights the difference between the two approaches.

Do you think our social contacts will be back to normal with this revised guidance? 

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My Simple Approach to Life

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Retired for 7 years, I plan to stay fit and healthy.

Aging gracefully is now my simple approach to life.

For without health, living becomes difficult,

letting alone be graceful.

How do I do it?

Exercise, nutrition, and good sleep (still working on that last one).

What about you? What is your approach?

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When the World Passed Me By

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An odd thing happened to me recently.  Without warning, the social media app on my cell phone had a “hiccup.” Yes. And how did I find out? Because I was missing happenings with my Saturday running group who uses the App for announcement and coordination.

On a closer look of my phone, there is a break denoted by a double line (like =) in chat history between last Sunday and Thursday. After tapping on the double line, it revealed a message that my old chat history could not be loaded, because my phone “wasn’t connected to a network”.

Now summer thunderstorms are common occurrences here in Washington DC. On occasions, the severe storm knocks out power to my house and my internet connection.  Invariably, the system will reboot and self-connect when the power is restored.

Therefore, I surmise perhaps the App had a hiccup and was not able to re-connect for a few days. The worst part is the App’s message continued “any of messages from 2-3 days ago will be deleted permanently from the server for your privacy.”

My cell phone runs on battery and cellular data when there is no  wifi. How did the hiccup happen I have no idea. Moreover, I will never know what else I had missed or if this will happen again.

Have you experienced similar with your cell phone?


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Loyalty (in Washington)

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Loyalty is a quality, normally.

In the case of the Former President Donald Trump, many of his followers are loyal to a fault. Besides the 6 Jan Capital rioters (65 of them have so far landed in jail), those serving public offices ought to be more prudent, wouldn’t you say?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

After the FBI raided Trump’s residence at the Mar-a-lago yesterday, a slew of Republican politicians came out accusing the agency’s action was politically motivated. Imagine that!  Why that sounded odd, let me count the ways:

First, no one is above the law. Not average people like you and me nor the president (former or present).  Due process is the norm not the exception.

Second, people who live in glass house should not throw stones. Politicians are notoriously political. They should refrain from undermining the Government which they are part of. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

Three, Senators and Representatives are civil servants with salaries paid by the taxpayers. The oath of office they took clearly requires them to uphold the Constitution — it’s their allegiance. Not instead to some individuals.

Four, political opportunists taking side to be on the good grace of Mr. Trump, either wishing his endorsement or, at least, avoiding his wrath, are cowards with no integrity. They deserve Trump.

Nuff said.

Do you agree Mr. Trump knows how to make his followers jump?

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Praise the Shade

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Before making a single stride, I could sense a hot-sweaty run today. You see, the sun was already up and beaming brightly on the ground. Segments of the sidewalk exposed, reflecting off the heat, was contrasted by the cool-shaded ones. At least a10 degrees difference it seemed.

So, I sprayed extra sun protection on the back of my neck and ears while wondering if it would make me sweat more? Did not take me long to find the answer. Sweat was dripping down my eyebrows, traveling along the sides of my nose, and I barely got going.

Did not bother to wipe my sweat off. Because, one, it was helping to cool my body down, and two, why waste energy on such futile effort on a day like today. I just left them alone and my mind wonder. Better occupying the mind with something, anything other than the forsaking heat.

Upon the shades, I would cheat a bit by slowing down to catch a bit more breeze before trudging on. This worked well most of the way.  Except on the return, profuse sweat started to getting into my eyes. I had to pull my shirt up to wipe them off my face. Once that started, it was constant wiping to the end.

Yes, today was a hot one. Temperature was 78-degree Fahrenheit when I began my run  (supposed to get up to 95 later in the day).  Luckily, I had shades along my route.

How are you dealing with the extreme weather?

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It’s About Time

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Finally, the Democrats in the US Senate got their acts together to pass an albeit water-down version of the President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. The bill passed yesterday along the party line (51-50) with VP Harris casting the tiebreaker.

This is a major victory for President Biden and the Democrats. Which may give them a lift in the November Midterm election. What does the bill cover?

According to the Roll Call, “more than $450 billion over 10 years on energy and climate programs and tax breaks, a three-year extension of more generous subsidies for purchasing health insurance on public exchanges, expanded Medicare prescription drug benefits and caps on monthly insulin copays.”

Moreover, it will be “the most consequential climate change bill ever passed by Congress” according to the Reuters. You can’t see me, but I am doing my happy dance. The bill will go to the House this week before the White House for Biden’s signature.

For more details on the bill, click here.

Do you think 8 months was long enough to get this bill passed?

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