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Patient readers, our site issue seem to have been — crossed fingers — resolved, but they left me behind the eight ball. So here is a Politics-less Water Cooler. More to come soon. –lambert
By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
Arctic Loon, Finnmark, Norway. “Habitat: Large expense of open water on the river.” I think I hear the person doing the recording wading through the water, too.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“You can’t really dust for vomit.” Nigel Tufnel, This is Spinal Tap
“GOP senators led by Graham slam Trump Jan. 6 pardon promise” [The Hill]. “Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said he wouldn’t support granting pardons to people convicted of crimes because of their actions on Jan. 6. ‘If he were elected, he would have a constitutional ability to do it,’ he said of Trump’s promise of pardons. ‘I would disagree with it. I think there was insurrection and I think these folks need to be punished. I was there. This was truly violent. People were injured, people were killed. I have very little mercy for the individuals that were involved in that activity that day,’ Rounds added.” • Interesting.
“Still Waiting for Those Biden U-Turns” (excerpt) [Eunomia]. “There are some important differences between the two administrations, but the striking thing is that Biden has reversed remarkably few of the policies that were specific to the Trump administration. The case for continuity is stronger than the original analysis piece allowed. Consider the example of U.S. sanctions on various countries. All broad sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and North Korea imposed by the Trump administration remain in effect a year and a half after Biden took office, and Biden has been in no hurry to lift any of them.” • On Covid, Biden’s policy is, if anything, worse.
* * *
Democrats feeling their oats:
PELOSI when I asked her if she thinks House Dems will PICK UP seats:
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 14, 2022
“Make the 2022 Election a Referendum on Lockdowns” [The American Conservative]. “s the midterms approach, it is remarkable just how much the pandemic has been scrubbed from public consciousness. One would expect the most important political issue in recent memory to be worthy of greater attention. For two straight years, it was all anyone talked about. During that time, we were told with overweening moral righteousness by Democrats and their media allies that they were justified in shutting down the country, while Republicans were endangering us all with their reckless push to reopen. If that was so, Democrats ought to be running in 2022 on their spectacular pandemic success. They should be shouting their records from the rooftops, reminding us all that they were on the Right Side of History once more.” • Personally, I’d run on squandering Trump’s vaccines, and nasal vaccines (see Inhofe, of all people, yesterday), but I realize that might not play well to the libertarian segments of the Republican base. That said, it’s amazing that Covid isn’t a political issue at all. Just not part of the horserace.
“GOP memo calls for candidates to finish their sentences on messaging” [The Hill]. “The RNC sees education as a bright spot for the party; it warned that delivering a winning message requires more than raging against ‘critical race theory’ and other culture war issues. ‘Focusing on CRT and masks excites the GOP base, but parental rights and quality education drive independents,’ the memo said, also adding: ‘When asked about topics like CRT, Republicans should also talk about issues that move independent voters like kids learning enough of life’s basic skills, emotional and educational development, and parental involvement.'” • Frankly, after the hubbub in Virginia, I expected “education” to be front and center.
* * *
GA: “Warnock, Walker to participate in Georgia Senate debate on Oct. 14” [The Hill]. “The October debate will air on Nexstar’s three TV stations in Georgia. The campaigns wrangled for months over how many and in which debates the candidates would participate. Last month, Walker said he had accepted the WSAV invitation. After weeks of negotiations, Warnock, who had initially accepted three other debates, agreed as well. The Democrat also wants Walker to commit to another debate, either in Macon or the state capital.”
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 14, 2022
Schumer funded Bolduc from the Senate Majority PAC, as part of the Democrat’s 2022 “Pied Piper” strategy (as opposed to teh 2016 “Pied Piper” strategy used by the Clinton campaign, that gave us Trump).
“Calling Trump the F-Word” [Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker]. “Anne Applebaum, a historian of the Gulag, has written an essay for The Atlantic on the psychology of collaborating with authoritarianism, with the Trumpist example in the foreground of her vision. It is never the direct appeal of the fascist or the authoritarian that stirs the collaborator, she points out; Vichy intellectuals no more wanted the Nazis in France than the resisters did. .” • Hmm. I loved Paris to the Moon, although, retrospectively, the fact that the swimming pool for Gopnik’s young son was in the basement of the Ritz was a tip-off….
Democrats en Déshabillé
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
“Voters Don’t Believe You Stand for Things Until You Actually Do Them” [David Atkins, Washington Monthly]. “[A]n unusual thing happened during the summer: Both sides managed to accomplish big things. Conservatives succeeded in their decades-long effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. Shortly afterward, Democrats broke through their internal logjams to enact important policies, from climate change to rebuilding domestic manufacturing to student loan forgiveness and more. They highlighted Donald Trump’s malfeasance surrounding the January 6 insurrection and have increased the salience of the MAGA threat to democracy among much of the American public. Interestingly, it turns out that when both Republicans and Democrats get real substantive things they want, voters are impressed by Democrats and repulsed by Republicans. Back in March, Democrats were trailing by at least four points on the generic congressional ballot, per reputable pollsters. Today, Democrats are leading by four points. While nothing is assured and much can change between now and Election Day, Democrats are increasingly confident in their ability to hold the U.S. Senate and even dare to hope that they might hold on to the House.” • Which would be great, because Pelosi would get another term as Speaker. I never did jump on the bandwagon that the Democrats would be brutally punished in the midterms, even though they richly deserved it. Apparently, scattering crumbs is enough for voters desperate to see govenment function on their behalf, however minimally.
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Fewer Than Half of Americans May Be Christian By 2070, According to New Projections” [The Roys Report]. “If current trends continue, Christians could make up less than half of the population — and as little as a third— in 50 years. Meanwhile, the so-called nones — or the religiously unaffiliated — could make up close to half of the population. And the percentage of Americans who identify as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christian faiths could double. Those are among the major findings of a new report from the Pew Research Center regarding America’s religious future—a future where Christianity, though diminished, persists while non-Christian faiths grow amid rising secularization.”
“Role of scientific advice in covid-19 policy” [BMJ]. “Key message”:
- Governments claimed to be following scientific advice during the pandemic to legitimise decisions
- Advice should be autonomous to ensure that governments do not simply seek advice that aligns with what they want to hear
Transparency is also essential to know who gave the advice and what the government did with it
- The UK’s advice system was not autonomous, being designed to answer questions posed by government with advisers appointed by government
- The system became more transparent as a result of political pressure
“Study co-authored by B.C.’s top doctor says 80 per cent of kids, youth have had COVID-19” [Globe and Mail]. “Filiatrault said one of the most jarring aspects of the study is the authors’ assertion that the levels of infection, combined with vaccination, have resulted in ‘more robust hybrid immunity.’…. Filiatrault said one of the most jarring aspects of the study is the authors’ assertion that the levels of infection, combined with vaccination, have resulted in ‘more robust hybrid immunity.'” • So Henry’s opposition to non-pharmaceutical interventions was, well, eugenic. Bonnie, good job. Commentary:
Letting COVID rip in a rushed attempt to restore economic normalcy was nothing short of a crime against humanity.
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) September 14, 2022
“How Polio Crept Back Into the U.S.” [ProPublica]. “Many question whether the expansion of wastewater testing fueled by the pandemic will last. [Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine], the American Academy of Pediatrics’ infectious diseases committee chair, said the recent polio case is another signal that more disease tracking is critical. ‘Maybe this is a clarion call for us to really start building better surveillance networks,’ she said.” • Why, yes. Yes it is [pounds head on desk].
“Public perception of COVID risk at low point: survey” [The Hill]. “The percentage of respondents who said they sometimes or always wear a mask when outside the home has dropped to 37 percent, down from 71 percent last September and 89 percent in September 2020. Americans reporting they’re at least somewhat concerned about COVID-19 has also dipped, though not quite as steeply: The share is now at 57 percent, down from around 80 percent last September. Of that number, 28 percent are worried about spreading the virus to others and 18 percent are worried about contracting long COVID-19 symptoms. Twelve percent reported being worried about hospitalization and 11 percent about death. Just under half of Americans, or 46 percent, report they “have returned to their pre-COVID lives” — up from 18 percent in January — while 65 percent believe there is little or no risk in doing so.” • That discrepancy between 46 percent “have returned to their pre-COVID lives” while “65 percent believe there is little or no risk in doing so” screams for analysis. If they truly think there’s no risk, why don’t they do it? The headline is more than a little deceptive… And masking is more prevalent than the press would have you believe…
What if… everything were a “personal risk assessment”?
It’s happening. pic.twitter.com/DS2kplnJB2
— ArtvWar (@ArtvWar) September 12, 2022
If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.
Case count for the United States:
Cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the nominal case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~79,500. Today, it’s ~73,400 and 73,400 * 6 = a Biden line at 440,400. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. If you look at the Fauci line, you will see that despite the bleating and yammering about Covid being “over,” we have only just recently reached the (nominal) case level of November 1, 2021, and we are very far from that of July 1, 2021. And the real level is much worse.
Lambert here: The fall in case count looks impressive enough. What the Fauci Line shows, however, is that we have at last achieved the level of the initial peak, when New York was storing the bodies in refrigerator trucks. So the endzone celebrations are, to my mind, premature. Not that anyone will throw a flag. Of course, the real story is in the charts for California and the South. See below.
Regional case count for four weeks:
Data problems, no doubt.
Wastewater data (CDC), September 10:
For grins, September 9:
From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, September 9:
2.8%. Should be a leading indicator, if Walgreen’s customers are an adequate national proxy. Interesting who’s not (especially the grain belt) and who’s not.
NOTE: I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.
Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), September 9:
I suppose that if case counts are indeed level, it’s likely there would be few rapid risers.
Previous Rapid Riser data:
Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), September 14:
Sea of green!
NOTE: Rapid Riser and Hospitalization data are updated Wednesdays and Fridays.
Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].
NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), August 27:
Still no sign of BA.2.75 at Walgreens, despite its success in India and presence in Bay Area wastewater.
NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), August 20 (Nowcast off):
Still no sign of BA.2.75. I looked at all the regions, too.
BA.2.75 in Ontario and Quebec, Canada:
Similar to Ontario, but BA.2.75* seems to be already close to 2% in most recent weeks. To be seen where this is going, but it seems to be the variant most are concerned about for the coming weeks. pic.twitter.com/mAc9nN2Dt4
— Diego Bassani, PhD (@DGBassani) September 10, 2022
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Lambert here: It is interesting that the deaths per 100,000 curve — with its curious recent flattening — has more or less the same shape as the case curve, suggesting that a “Biden Curve” would have more or less the same shape as the case count curve, as opposed to the straight line I am drawing for the current level.
Total: 1,076,343 –
1,076,053 = 290 (290 * 365 = 105,850, which is today’s LivingWith™* number (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, thought they can talk themselves into anything. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). I have added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line.
It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.
It's hilarious to see all these major companies releasing NFT projects that were presumably green-lit during the web3 boom nine months ago but are now already dead in the water. https://t.co/S6jGQpS4b6
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) September 12, 2022
Yeah, where are the web3 bros? It’s gone quiet suddenly.
The Bezzle: “‘Scary easy. Sketchy as hell.’: How startups are pushing Adderall on TikTok” [Vox]. • Ugh, but hard to get excited about TikTok after what Big Pharma and the school systems have alread done.
Tech: “Google’s ‘Rest and Vest’ Days for Senior Employees Are Over, Says the CEO. It’s a Brilliant Idea” [Inc.]. “With looming recessions and inflationary pressures, there’s growing concern of slower growth and fiercer competition. At the conference, Pichai talked about TikTok and other entrants in the Chinese market. Things that they didn’t have to think about two years ago are suddenly becoming real issues for the big guns. There will be a number of solutions put in place to find efficiencies and weather this economic downtown. One of the approaches just may be a concerted effort in uncovering the resters-and-vesters and calling them out. Or getting rid of them altogether.” • If you think Google sucks now, just wait ’til the coders don’t get free lunches and massages any more.
Finance: “SEC fines BNY Mellon, TD, Jefferies on muni bond violations” [Banking Dive]. “NY Mellon, TD and Jefferies have each settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the agency found the banks failed to comply with disclosure requirements concerning municipal bond offerings, the SEC said Tuesday. As part of the settlement, BNY Mellon will pay a $300,000 penalty and nearly $657,000 in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest. TD and Jefferies, meanwhile, will each pay a $100,000 penalty and roughly $53,000 and $43,000, respectively, in disgorgement and interest. The SEC also charged financial services firm Oppenheimer with the same violations on 354 offerings but also filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging the company made deceptive statements. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and a civil money penalty, the SEC said.” • Municipal bonds, eh?
Retail: “Milk, Diapers and Checking Accounts: Banking Comes to Walmart” [Bloomberg]. “A venture that’s majority-backed by Walmart Inc. is poised to emerge from the shadows this month with digital bank accounts meant for the retail giant’s 1.6 million US employees and legions of weekly shoppers. In coming weeks, the company will start offering the accounts to thousands of workers and a small percentage of its online customers as part of an initial beta test of the new service, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
The Bezzle: “How Are My Apes Doing” [Eschaton]. • Starbucks, OMG….
Tech: Kill them with fire (dk):
A food delivery robot forces it’s way across a police crime scene. pic.twitter.com/T5DaET5Q5b
— Film The Police LA (@FilmThePoliceLA) September 13, 2022
Frankly, I’m surprised the cops didn’t whack the robot. If it were human, they might have.
Tech: “Four takeaways from the Twitter whistleblower hearing” [The Hill]. 1. “Twitter lacks framework for protecting user data.” 2. “US regulators’ enforcement not up to par.” 3. “Bipartisan consensus to target tech, but lack of action on bills.” 4. “Calls for Twitter to be restructured.” • We shouldn’t be calling for Twitter management to be restructured, ffs. We should be calling for it to be broken up, as all the platforms should be broken up.
Tech: “Twitter Whistleblower Testifies About Breaches, Vulnerabilities on the Platform” [SFist]. “Zatko previously claimed in media interviews that Twitter executives don’t understand where user data on the platform — which includes IP addresses and the locations from which users tweet — goes when it gets deleted, or if it gets deleted at all. And, per CNN, Zatko testified today that Twitter collects and retains all kinds of data that it doesn’t properly keep track of — and that executives don’t seem to have a clue what data exists, where it is, or how it’s stored.” • Facebook has the same problem. If Silicon Valley’s engineers really don’t know what happens to our data, they’re overpaid. And there must be some theory that would put the executives in jail.
Tech: “Google faces $25.4 billion damages claims in UK, Dutch courts over adtech practices” [Reuters]. “lphabet unit Google (GOOGL.O) will face damages claims for up to 25 billion euros ($25.4 billion) over its digital advertising practices in two suits to be filed in British and Dutch courts in the coming weeks by a law firm on behalf of publishers.” • I like that the claim in the billions. That seems right.
The Fed: “‘They Should Do 100’: Wall Street Debates the Fed’s Next Rate Move” [Bloomberg]. “Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary and the President Emeritus of Harvard University, tweeted that if he was a Fed official, he would pick ‘a 100 basis points move to reinforce credibility.'” • Awesome. That was our theory in Vietnam, too. The “best and the brightest” are still at it….
The Fed: “Inflation’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” [John Authers, Bloomberg]. “All [measures] except the core inflation measure, which rose but remains below its peak from March this year, are at fresh highs for this cycle, and at their highest in decades. A year ago, the fact that these measures remained largely under control was a key point of evidence for those who believed inflation was transitory. Now, they suggest it could be very much more long-lived…. Some commentators have tried to say that the direction of inflation was still downward, and that the market overreacted. I think such a view is simply wrong. From the point of the view of the Fed, this report could scarcely have been worse, and that means it’s bad for everyone…. ‘Expectation is the root of all heartache.’ So the great poet William Shakespeare is supposed to have said — although there’s no evidence that he ever actually did. But it certainly played out in American markets Tuesday, which saw US stocks fall in a broad-based selloff after the CPI announcement. Overconfidence leading into the day created the biggest selloff in more than two years.” • Sloppy factchecking by Bloomberg on that Shakespeare quote; 30 seconds on the Google shows it’s Facebook flotsam. I think the quote Authers is looking for is from the Buddha: “The cause of suffering is desire.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 48 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 40 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 13 at 1:42 PM EDT.
Rapture Index: Closes down one on Civil Rights. “The lack of negative activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.). Finally, climate. I like “maxium,” because it menas a human is reallly doing this.
— Edouard Manet (@artistmanet) September 14, 2022
Accentuate the positive:
This guy from Japan visiting Wisconsin and loving everything about it is everything I want in a Tik Tok pic.twitter.com/LsFqI688bV
— Microplastics Enjoyer (@EclecticHams) September 13, 2022
He’s right, actually.
“Closing the curtain on Norm Macdonald’s comedy” [Spectator World]. “What made his appearances so memorable was the versatility: he mastered every format — the around-the-barn anecdote, the one-liner or the old-school joke. I have heard variations of the moth joke dating back to middle school, but only Macdonald saw the potential to turn it into Russian literature…. A joke should catch people by surprise; it should never pander. ‘Applause is voluntary, but laughter is involuntary,’ Norm recalled in the greatest work of fiction in the aughts, Based on a True Story. He hated lazy comedy that played for ‘clapter,’ but also shock for shock’s sake. That may seem odd for a man who was banned from the state of Iowa in 1997 and took to the Dennis Miller radio show with his ‘virulent anti-Semite’ ventriloquist dummy. (‘My Jewish friend says I should just burn him, but I say two wrongs don’t make a right.’) Anybody can use profanity, but it takes true comedic genius to turn cliché into punchline. Macdonald recognized that plainspoken folk wisdom could surprise in a postmodern age dominated by euphemism and jargon….” • Here is the moth joke (because the setup is both long and grim, I’m going to give the link instead of embedding it, but the punchline is brilliant, a variation of “it’s my nature”).
I say the railroad workers should strike to prove they can:
Wow. SMART-TD, one of the big railroad unions that doesn’t yet have an agreement, polled their members on the proposed settlement.
78% say the union should reject the deal. pic.twitter.com/4jTUjlQ1Jj
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) September 13, 2022
Back in the day, I was thinking along the same lines:
reputation of being progressive, caring about their communities, and most importantly taking
care of their employees. And for a time, I felt that to be true. Unfortunately, over the last several
years things began to shift within the company. The cost of benefits increased, while
— SBWorkersUnited (@SBWorkersUnited) September 14, 2022
My concept was that I would blog — that being my real work — and get my health insurance from Starbucks. For me, fate intervened. I wonder how many Starbucks workers are in a similar situation today.
News of the Wired
Bros being bros:
University of Kentucky fans flipped a car over in Lexington while celebrating the team’s win over the University of Florida on Saturday. No injuries or arrests were reported, according to local news. pic.twitter.com/dvvZlcG2nZ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 13, 2022
But not getting whacked by the cops. Odd!
“Consciousness has no gender” [IAI News]. “Here’s a question I’ve been pitting to friends and family this last month: if tomorrow you woke up without a body, would you be able to guess what gender you are?… But my point is this: if biological sex is not the determining factor of gender, and culture is permanently shifting decade by decade and country by country, what is the determining factor? If there is no objective criterion, and the choice of gender is simply ‘what feels right for the individual’, then there are suddenly as many genders as there are individuals, in fact possibly as many genders as there are people who have ever lived, at any time and in any place. So why bother with gender at all? For, in giving oneself a gender, isn’t one automatically being sexist?” • The hypothetical of waking up without a body seems like the sort of thing a Silicon Valley squillionaire would think. It’s just not possible, and if it were possible, it would be bad (see C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength). So that word “automatically” is doing some very, very heavy lifting.
“The Myopia Generation” [The Atlantic]. Literally, not metaphorically. “We may not know exactly how ogling screens all day and spending so much time indoors are affecting us, or which is doing more damage, but we do know that myopia is a clear consequence of living at odds with our biology. The optometrists I spoke with all said they try to push better vision habits, such as limiting screen time and playing outside. But this only goes so far. Today, taking a phone away from a teenager may be no more practical than feeding a toddler a raw hunter-gatherer diet. So this is where we’ve ended up, for those of us who can even afford it: adding chemicals and putting pieces of plastic in our eyes every day, in hopes of tricking them back to their natural state.” • As the proud wearer of progressive trifocals — if only I could find them — I concur that I should play more outside. So should we all!
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From IM:
IM writes: “More west coast vegetation. This is from Little Qualicum Falls, on Vancouver Island. A deeply cut canyon through a patch of intruded grandiorite. I kind of like the blurred foliage in NE and SW corners, but readers can make up their own minds! No zoom, a cliff in front, no tripod for ultra depth of field, no alternative.”