Wednesday, June 30, 2021

CoViD-19: Young Continue To Drive Variants | All News Is Climate News | CIF To Coronado: Your Racism Is Unacceptable; Vacates Championship Title | No La Jolla Fireworks |


La Jolla Sea Lions Get 4th of July Reprieve on Technicality (Taken 5.3.21)

I've mentioned before that I'm not really a fan of the Sierra Club trying to suddenly insert themselves in the debate over the sea lion rookery at La Jolla Cove because their statements want to severely limit access and it's one of San Diego's gems. I wouldn't mind rangers or docents or whatever, but the City and the California Coastal Commission, US Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA could all do much better to make sure there are new, clean, and clear signs letting people know what is allowed and what is not. Maybe they could reinstate the Seal Cam and make a new Sea Lion Cam. 

All of this is a side argument for the proposed return of the La Jolla Fireworks at Scripps Park, which would've been right between the seals and the sea lions. I'm happy to say that they won't be happening this year. The City was able to use the excuse that the permit was requested too late (it has to be more than 60 days.) That at least solved the problem for now, but it will come up again. The lawyer pushing for the fireworks said it was never a problem for 35 years, but the reality is that the rookery has only recently become designated as protected and they haven't had fireworks there for the last 4 years. He tried to compare it to Sea World which is completely absurd, because wild animals getting flushed and moms getting separated from their pups can't happen to the animals in captivity, though plenty of us would be just fine if Sea World stopped fireworks altogether, too, if that's what he was fighting for. 

And speaking of Sea World, we were sitting around the house and Nova asked if we wanted to go back. She wanted to take advantage of the pre-holiday low crowds so she could ride the roller coasters and I got to have my moments with the otters, a few dolphins, and a couple of the orcas. 

Today's news was all over the place. Cosby is out of jail which is a travesty, but CIF laid the hammer down on Coronado, with punitive measures and sanctions so deep it feels like they're punishing Coronado for their entire racist history and not just this incident. Serves them right. It's also funny hearing people crying about legislators and liberals influencing the decision and wanting to appeal or sue or whatever. CIF is like, "do whatever you want but we unilaterally get the final word on interscholastic sports in California."

There was also a lot of talk about the heat dome, about Canada's highest temperature ever, the number of people who died of heat-related circumstances, about Biden meeting with western states about wildfires, and about the continued search for bodies in Florida's Surfside condo collapse, about the lack of water, about a project to literally DRIVE salmon from rivers to the ocean because the rivers have dried and every news story had some reporter speculating IF climate change is the cause of whatever catastrophe is unfolding. Let's just go with a big yes. We need to start with the same facts, that all news can be connected to climate change, and go from there. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Masking Up | San Diego County Adopts Budget | Supreme Court Allows Eviction Moratorium To Stand | California Expands Government Travel Restrictions To Anti-LGBTQIA+ States |


Baby Tapir Is Losing Her Spots at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.29.21)

One of Nova's friends from school is on this crazy intense regional soccer club team so the two of them don't often get to hang out, but her team is taking a couple weeks off so her mom asked if we'd take her with us the next time we went to the San Diego Zoo. Obviously we were happy to oblige. I think she thinks we're total dorks, but that's just fine with me. It was nice to let Nova ditch us and go off on her own. 

Meanwhile, Darren and I didn't really cover much territory. We spent a lot of time with the mandrills and tapirs, and the tigers were right up at the glass today, too. The baby okapi was out, which was the first time we've seen him since he was born in February, and then we took the kangaroo bus to Skyfari to meet up with Nova for the parade. 

Tomorrow we'll find out from the County how significant the delta variant is in San Diego and if the two-week doubling rate is true here in San Diego as it is in other parts of the country and the world, though the lag time is a little frustrating because last week when they had reported 16 cases, the onset date was only through May 27. Ideally they'll have a better and more current range. And as far as masks go, I'm gonna just go ahead and keep wearing mine. Dr. Fauci clarified today that the reason the WHO is recommending masks is because globally vaccination rates are super low, below 10% and some places worse than that. He said that the US is in a different position because we have high vaccination, but whenever I look at the groups that aren't getting vaccinated, it's the younger under 30s who aren't and guess who are the people that go to bars and concerts and San Diego Zoo and Sea World?? 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

San Diego Music: Things To Do Tuesday, June 29-Monday, July 5, 2021

Marco Piro Is Now Booking Live Music at Kensington Club (Taken 2.8.2020)

You know how I'm constantly conflicted and do things even when I know they're bad? That's how I feel about 4th of July. I've definitely experienced the holiday in numerous ways, including the last one I can remember when Darren, Nova, and I rode the Rapid bus down to Waterfront Park to see the Big Bay Boom. I guess I'm like a lot of people...I hate fireworks in as much as they're polluting, they terrify our pets and wildlife, and they're a crazy fire hazard in a drought-ridden state, but they're also pretty and bring a certain feeling. I'd be way more down with a drone-show or something, but apparently those can be problematic, too. (Google Bolsa Chica Drone Crash) Point is, there is no point. I didn't dig too hard for events this week, but if I find more, I'll update. I don't know how I'm gonna get the twenty or so venues who haven't updated their websites to get it together, but if you're a venue...get it together or send me your new URL. Tuesday through Monday after the jump. 

CoViD-19: WHO "Wear Masks, Even If Vaccinated." LA Agrees | Breakthroughs Still Rare | San Diego Sues HealthCare Systems | Catholic Church Losing Faithful | Dollar Stores Aren't The Bargain You Thought |

Beluga Whale at Sea World (Taken 6.28.21)

Despite a heat advisory for our region, today was overcast and though a little muggy, wasn't unbearable as in many other parts of the country and the world right now. I can't stop thinking about the famines happening in Madagascar and Tigray region while we're so spoiled here in the US. The World Food Program is barely asking for $80M dollars to save lives while Bezos builds a $500M yacht. It's outrageous and obscene. But I digress. 

After Nova got out of her ensemble group this afternoon, she and Darren agreed to go back to Sea World with me. I'm obsessed. I can't help it. They sucked me in their advertising when I was a kid and I could never repel their advances. Even after Blackfish. Even through their mismanagement over the years, or their abuse of the City Charter, and let's be honest, not paying a decent lease for the acres of property where they operate. But I can't help it.

I've been thinking about why this is and can only come up with the fact that it's because without a park like Sea World, I would never otherwise experience these animals in my lifetime. I can get seasick on a rocking chair, so whale-watching or deep-sea excursions, or an Alaska cruise aren't options for me. I've snorkeled a handful of times in Hawaii and La Jolla but am not super great at that either, so finding San Diego's elusive sea turtles is probably not gonna happen for me, either. That's definitely some variation of privilege to feel like I deserve to see these animals up close, but such is this complicated life. 

So we went and I always forget this, but the weekdays before a holiday are the best days because the tourists are all waiting to blow their loads for the holidays. By Sea World standards, the park was empty. Nova got to ride Electric Eel three times and Manta twice. I sat inside the penguin encounter for 20 minutes by myself before anyone else even came in. I was in the Wild Arctic with a beluga whale coming right up to me at the glass with nobody else around for a solid 10-15 minutes. I was playing with a loggerhead who followed me before anyone else came into the Turtle aquarium. And at the end of the night while we waited for Nova to finish her rollercoaster rides, I was the only one at the orca tanks and one of them, came over and chilled by me for 15 minutes, which I thought was just coincidence until I left to the dolphins and came back and he was in the middle of the pool and when I squeaked at him, he came back over until the fireworks were over. It was magical and I'm a conflicted human in a complicated world. Just trying to find the upsides when sometimes all we can see are the downs. 

Be safe out there. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

CoViD-19: Delta Brings Back Lockdowns | Excessive Heat Warning | Rabid Bat Found At San Diego Zoo Safari Park |

A Hummingbird at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.27.21)

Good news! Bun Bun was back in the yard today. I was a little worried but it was nice to see her cruising in the yard and just outside the fence when it was a little more overcast today, so that was a welcome sight. 

Beyond that, nothing super special to report on today. It was a low-key weekend and sleeping in and naps were involved, and then I dragged the family to the San Diego Zoo for a few hours at night. They're now open until 8pm and have the nightly "Jambo" parade so we've been kinda variating from our usual path to a much more chaotic traversal of the park, using the Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari to zip back and forth around the Zoo. Sometimes I don't know why Darren and Nova agree to come because they look so bored, but maybe it's just enough to get out of the house. 

I did watch the news today and sometimes it is just so painful. One of the local channels interviewed some dietician who was outraged at incentives for vaccines and I wanted to slap the white privilege right off her face. The free McDonalds and Taco Bell isn't about giving someone a cheeseburger or a free taco, it's about meeting people in their communities to get them vaccinated, and if she's too stupid and ignorant to see that, she shouldn't be interviewed as an expert in any way. It's so embarrassing sometimes. Then they had a "pain at the pump" story, lamenting the SURGE in California gas taxes because a new tax of 0.6 cents per gallon goes into effect on July 1. Seriously? Maybe the whole point is that we stop driving so much or estimate that SURGE in fuel prices when you're planning your 4th of July road trips that you shouldn't really be taking in the first place. I also watched Simone Biles' routines and what an incredible athlete, but seeing the unmasked crowd in that gym just made me so uneasy, especially because it was packed with moms and their young kids, kids too young to be vaccinated. 

It's really unbelievable how many parents don't give a shit about their kids masking up anymore, if they ever even did at all. It's as if the whole last 18 months didn't even happen. I guess I'm just glad we're well stocked with masks. (Old Navy is clearing them out if you still need some.) Vaccine progress locally is pretty good, but I'll feel much better when more kids are vaccinated. Currently 165,700 12-19 year olds are vaccinated, and by the best estimates I could find, there are almost 800,000 people in that age group, so there is a long, long way to go. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

CoViD-19: California R-eff Rising | Delta & Gamma Causing Worldwide Surges Among Unvaccinated | Right Wingers Ravaging Democracy |


Bun Bun is Missing.

I posted a pic of Bun Bun because we haven't seen her in a few days. I don't really know how she's survived all this time, to be honest, but with everything so dry, I hope she's just chilling under the studio. 

Today was a wasted day for me. Darren and I were up super late last night in the Speakeasy and then today I decided to use some strawberries to make milkshakes and then we had chili dogs, and how old do I think I am that I thought my body could handle eating like I'm at the San Diego County Fair? I swear sometimes I'm like those old pepto ads. 

Today there continues to be more debate about "fleeting contact" and the increased transmission of the Delta variant and it makes me crazy that the headlines are about the WHO dismissing the claim when in actuality, they're saying it's possible there's just not enough evidence yet. Didn't we learn over the past year that we should err on the side of caution? They should still be urging people to mask up, and the CDC should be doing a much better job of their messaging to the unvaccinated, specifically targeting children and their parents to model safe behavior. I want Nova to go to school full-time in person this fall, but San Diego's tween vaccination rate needs to come way up to relieve my anxiety about it. Truth be told, I'm gonna kick my sister's ass if she doesn't get my niece vaccinated soon. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

CoViD-19: Mass Vax Sites To Close; Other Options For Shots Abound | Chauvin Sentenced | Biden Makes Pride Moves | Thank You, EDD |

Jacaranda Doesn't Like Ficus Sneaking Up On Him (Taken 6.24.21)

I know it's really easy to bash the government and I know some people had a really hard time getting benefits over the course of the past year and a half, whether for EDD, Calfresh, grants, rent relief, or whatever, but I feel like it should be noted when things actually work. I never had the problems others did when signing up for EDD in the first place. I filed, got my award, and subsequently received my payments on time with little fanfare. Those supplemental payments were incredibly helpful and we survived the year. 

I did experience some small complications with EDD when benefits ran out in December and only automatically restarted for some again in January, and when I called in at the time, I had to wait on hold et cetera, et cetera. But when I finally did get through, the person was helpful and flagged another issue, which she wasn't authorized to help on, from the past summer that she recommended I call back in about. I figured I'd get around to it eventually. 

Fast forward to today, and I decided to call around 4pm because if I'm gonna be off the teat I wanted to see if I could get those back weeks that were missed. I got through on my first try, had about a 10 minute hold, and got a super helpful woman on the line. She not only fixed the weird pending week ending 4/10 that lots of people are experiencing, but was able to push through three additional weeks that I wasn't paid last summer. I can't say if it's that more people have been hired and trained, that fewer people are calling (especially right before the weekend) or if it was just dumb luck, but I applaud EDD, at least in my case, for handling my issues. Hopefully I can certify those past weeks a final time and be done with EDD for a very long time. 

Today was a big news day, but the biggest news of the day is that Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years. There was a lot of other stuff, too, but per usual, links are below and I'll just let those speak for themselves. 

I was mostly home today, watching briefings and news, making my EDD call, and impulse-buying a new couch online. We did go to Vons, which I was shocked they have no customer mask policy when everyone is in their with the nose-picking finger-sucking dirty-ass kids who are too young to be vaccinated and not wearing masks, so maybe I'll get back to exclusively late night shopping trips. We also went to the San Diego Zoo, but were really only there a little over an hour...enough time to see just a handful of animals, ride the Skyfari two times, and watch the Jambo parade, which you know I love so much. We'll definitely be back sooner than later.

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

CoViD-19: Delta Will Find The Unvaccinated | Biden Announces Infra Agreement | Gloria Announces SD Infra Plan | Congress To Probe Insurrection |

Meet Jacaranda & Magnolia, 12 Weeks Old (Taken 6.24.21) 

It was such a nice day out today, but Darren and I had agreed that we'd just stay home today instead of running off on my daily mandatory excursion. Instead, he lit up the BBQ and we had a late afternoon feast entirely of his creation and it was amazing. We've also been introducing the kittens to the rest of the animals so we have to be around with the spray bottle when Ficus gets a little too scary to Magnolia and Jacaranda. Honestly, though, it seems like Strawberry is going to be our biggest far she is not happy to have the space invaders around. 

I feel like I got all the ranting out of my system last night. It was a pretty straightforward news day. Biden announced that a bipartisan infrastructure deal has been struck, but I'll believe it when it is signed. General media seems to be catching up to the epidemiologists and their concern about the Delta variant and everyone is still trying to push for vaccines. I continue to text my sister everyday; I don't know why she is lagging on getting my niece vaccinated. Oh, and I didn't link it, but holy shit that building collapse in Florida is crazy! Nobody really sees that as a possibility, but if you think about the rust we get on our cars from being in a coastal adjacent city, even if we live miles from the beach, just think about what all that moisture and salt would do to a building over 40 years. Plus, think about all the mob activity and corruption that was rampant among developers in the 80s, not to mention inspectors who could be bribed. I know it's premature to speculate what happened, but I'm a blogger so I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised...

I hope everyone has a really nice weekend. I don't really have any plans at the moment but that mini-festival lineup in Barrio Logan on Saturday looks pretty sick if you're itching to see live music. I'm just not at the dropping-$120-on-tickets stage of my pandemic, even if I'm finally gainfully employed again. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Deaths Almost "Entirely Preventable" | Delta Variant May Spread With "Fleeting" Contact | Austin Challenges Extremism | (Pala) Mesa Fire | Tortilla Guy Is An Asshole |


I'm Obsessed With The Two-Toed Sloths at Sea World (Taken (6.24.21)

Darren is getting perturbed with me for posting while drinking in the speakeasy, so I'm gonna just post this as is. I get super annoyed at Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding because he loves to self-reference, pull a lot of I-told-you-sos, and then creates threads that reference numerous other threads that he posted so it's easy to get lost in all of it, but this thread is particularly interesting because it is suggesting that the Delta variant can be contracted from "fleeting" contact, and even outdoors. Hold on to your masks, maybe bring back the goggles. I know Australia doesn't have the vaccination rate we do, but we live in a tourism town, so you never know who or what you're interacting with, even fleetingly. My rant on Tortilla guy is below, too. I've gotta go or this guy might fire me from being his drinking partner. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

CoViD-19: Pandemic Dropped US Life Expectancy | Delta Delta Delta | 30th Street Bike Lanes Are Finally Happening!! |Sec Austin Seeks To Eliminate Sexual Assault From Military | Tomorrow: Strawberry Supermoon | Woman With Pet Chimp Has Him Killed For Being A Chimp |


Two-Toed Sloth at Sea World (Taken 6.23.21)

Today was kind of a crazy news day. I feel like I've been reading email all day and yet haven't even made a dent in my inbox, so I decided to break it down into two posts so I can maybe take my self-imposed pressure off of myself. I'll also post about tortilla guy separately because I have a lot to say about it. 

Besides my inbox refilling with 5 emails for every one I read, it was a good day. Darren got Nova from her music ensemble class - which she's totally into, despite first day jitters - brought her home, made us late lunch/early dinner before we decided to go back to Sea World for a couple hours. They hadn't seen the Orca Encounter and I wanted to get outta the house. We didn't stay long because Nova wanted to get to Derby United for the freeskate sess on Wednesdays at 8. 

Now I'm here again trying to get through my inbox and I feel like this sloth...I just wanna lay down and move slowly and mind my business. Another post will come as I work through my stuff. 

Until then, stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Birthday Superspreaders | Delta May Dominate In Weeks | Coronado Coach Fired; CIF Should Come For The Title | Shocking To No One: McConnell Is Anti-American |


Orca at Sea World (Taken 6.22.21)

It's three in the morning and I'm finally wrapping up my night and I just had to pull Tikka in from her catio because it was raining! Hallelujah! It only lasted for a few minutes, but it was a beautiful and welcome sight. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I guess I'm officially off EDD as Casbah finally got their SVOG grant so I guess my pandemic sabbatical is over. I mean, technically I was always WFH anyway, but I may have to step up with more regular, normal, human-adult hours and surrender at least some of my zombie vampire nights.  

This post is kind of a combo of yesterday's news and today's. No surprise that fuckface McConnell blocked discussion on SB1, the Coronado basketball coach was fired last night, which is hopefully a first step and not the only consequence, and I included some links about some small business funds available through San Diego County, new music from Joshua James in support of suicide prevention, and a funny post about the most misspelled words in each state. No surprise "corn teen" was the top misspelling across the country. And we wonder why vaccination rates remain so low in certain parts. And then of course the good news from Monday that an appeals court put that disgusting decision by an activist judge-- that would've overturned the assault weapons ban in California-- on hold. That fight is long from over, but at least the appeal is being considered for real.

In COVID news, you could say the delta variant is going viral (har.har.) as the news channels have really stepped up their pandemic panic porn, a new study used interesting methodology to show a correlation between birthdays and spread of COVID, and I decided to play with some County data on our vaccination numbers which you can see below.   

The news was teasing upcoming changes at Sea World, but after digging, I just think they're going to roll out the calendar for the remaining Electric Ocean experiences that don't kick off until July like Electric Floating Acts, the High Voltage Brass Band, and the always-anticipated iteration of Cirque, which this year is called Cirque Neon World. Hopefully for Nova they'll have news on Tidal Twister, too, which I think has been shut down for over 2 years after people had to be rescued by SDFD in 2019. I gotta say, it was really nice to spend my afternoon there. I just watched the orcas in their pools for like an hour, saw a couple shows, watched the dolphins, and watched one of the sloths (very slowly) eating her dinner. I just kinda go into a trance and ignore the crowds around me and it was kind of awesome. I'll definitely be back soon, keeping my mask handy when gobs of people are drawn to me like a magnet. And I think we might get back into testing since we're all back in the world among unvaxxed a whole lot more than before. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

CoViD-19: Hygiene Theater | San Diego R-eff at 0.99 While Approaching 65% of 12+ Fully Vaccinated |

Casbah: Home Sweet Home (Taken 5.8.21)

Let's talk about hygiene theatre, shall we? In the early days of the pandemic we kinda did some recommended things and flat-out skipped others. I've always run hot, but it was also an excuse to be psychotic about windows open, fans on, ventilating spaces as best as possible or running the air so there's some chance of filtration. 

When packages would come or we'd shop, sometimes we'd leave them in the studio for 2-3 days when we could, but we never got down with wiping groceries. We were always pump soap people but became bar soap people for all the hand-washing we were doing. I've always carried some variation of baby-wipes or sanitizer, so there was nothing really new there except having to buy more when it was hard to find, but there was definitely some stockpiling of masks- disposable ones and we even had a separate mini-laundry basket for putting our cotton reusable ones each day after we used them.   

But there were some things...still are some things that are a bit ridiculous. When I saw restaurants spending hundreds or thousands on plexi partitions when the science was already suggesting airborne transmission, it was definitely facepalm for me, even if it was being suggested or required by different entities. We just continued to avoid indoor spaces as best we could. When restaurants built elaborate tents that were enclosed on all sides, well, I think they completely missed the point. 

But now Nova is in a music ensemble class for three weeks through the Level Up program. Everyone in the program is 14-18, so theoretically they could've just mandated all of them get vaccinated, but I understand it is a little premature for that. SDUSD hopefully spent all that CARES money on HEPA or MERV 13 air systems but it looks like they also got suckered into buying partitions. They could've bought some serious shade structures and durable seating for classes to be outside. Nah. Our poor kid now has three weeks of playing flute WITH A MASK ON. It would be maddening if it wasn't so hilarious and pointless and if Nova hadn't just spent the last 15 months we me being a COVID-crazy person. She'll get through it and I'll get over it but it still totally made me laugh. 

Today I had a busy day. I am officially rehired at the Casbah. I'm trying to learn a brand new ticketing system. I had lunch at Bali first time eating out besides the Casbah for taco nights. I visited Miggs at Fathom Bistro which just reopened this week. And then I went to Sea World alone since I was in the area and because Darren and Nova went to the waterslides at Aquatica after her ensemble class. I'll definitely get another post in tonight when I catch up with all the news. 

Stay safe out there. 

San Diego Music: Things To Do In San Diego: Tuesday, June 22-Monday, June 28, 2021

Balboa Park at Night (Taken 4.5.21)

I'm not exactly back in the routine of doing weekly listings. I'm happy to see a lot of venues are still holding off on live events, but it's also nice to see places that have the outdoor space using it for music. In fact, there are a ton of those little spots that would probably just explode these listings, so if you know'em, by all means enjoy'em. 

If you are a person who decides to go to shows or bars or any place with tight quarters, it is an act of decency to get vaccinated or at the very least, tested before you're out there superspreading some variant or whatever. Both are still free and super easy to get on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary, and they keep dropping more and more incentives for vaccinations. Come July, I don't think it's gonna be as easy, so don't miss your chance while access is so simple. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

CoViD-19: Digital Vax Record | Young Need To Vax Up | US Land Borders Remain Closed For Non-Essential Travel | Mayor Signs San Diego Budget | Tortilla Terrorists | More Catholic Hypocrisy |


Today is World Giraffe Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo Safari Park 5.31.21)

I'm gonna keep it short today because we went to the San Diego Zoo earlier and the night has slipped away from me, and I'm trying to get listings done, too. I have a thing tomorrow so I can't be up all night per usual. 

Today Nova started a music ensemble camp through SDUSD's Level Up Program. I know a lot of people were having problems getting their kids registered, but I would recommend exploring the site and "expressing interest" in classes you want because I think a lot of people signed up for multiple classes that happen at the same time just to make sure they got into anything, and I think as this week shakes out, there could be openings, even if your kid didn't get to start on the first day. Just this morning I was able to sign up for Wildlife Conservation Camp at the Zoo which normally cost a few hundred bucks, so I'm really stoked about that. Hopefully when the time comes, Nova will share my enthusiasm. If not, we could just show up at the Zoo and embarrass her. 

Today's news includes the Tortilla Incident at Coronado High (I hope CIF nails down a DQ and Orange Glen gets to take the W, to be honest,) Catholic Church hypocrisy, and more stuff about the Delta Variant and how it is young people now driving infection, spread, hospitalizations, and deaths, at least in the UK, and many expect the US to follow suit. If you're in that 12-25 year old age group and haven't been vaccinated, GET YOUR DAMN SHOTS already. Us olds want to go to shows and we want to know that we're safe and protected and not gonna get some variant from some dumb kid who thought he was too healthy to get the shot. I know people are afraid of side effects but honestly the biggest side effect I've heard from anyone and felt myself was just being tired. Set aside a day where you can be really hydrated and sleep soundly for 14 hours and you'll be fine. I'll watch your kids for you or whatever you need to make it happen. I assure you, the side effects from COVID are waaaaay worse than anything that will happen with the vaccines. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day 2021| COVID-19: Delta Variant Sweeps UK | Hiker Dies in Palm Canyon | San Diego Vaccines At Mickey D's | Sea Lion Rookery To Remain Open |


Happy Father's Day!! (Taken 4.16.21)

For Father's Day, we all went to my parents' house. I had heard about a BBQ package at Valley Farm in Spring Valley and it seemed like a great idea, so we ordered a few weeks back. I was a little nervous because we didn't really get any kind of confirmation until we got a reminder text yesterday. It included a whole rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, pork ribs, brisket, cole slaw, beans, mac n cheese, potato salad, and King's Hawaiian bread. 

For $100, it was a great deal, though if I were to reorder in the future, I would've doubled the mac n cheese and potato salad. But we were all happy in our meat-sweats and full bellies. It didn't even occur to me to take pictures of the food or my family, so instead you get this one from my sister's birthday a couple months ago. 

I also spent the day catching up with news and email so some of the news and links are from the past several days but still interesting, like the fact that the City of San Diego is not going to take up closing the sea lion rookery in La Jolla. I love the sea lions and I hate the people who get too close and feel the need for selfies and endanger the animals, but I also hate the way the Sierra Club decided to put themselves in charge and demand closure because you attach the word "attraction" to anything and you're talking about limited access and charging. First thing they could start with is new, clear signs around the area instead of the old, broken, missing, or faded ones that exist at the moment. Rangers and lifeguards could do a better job patrolling the area. Closing it off wouldn't be necessary if they did. 

Anyway, it's gonna be another busy week. I'll take another stab at listings this week, so reach out to me if you've got anything coming up. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Papapalooza | CoViD-19 Updates | Get A Digital Vaccine Record|


Kristian with Ziggy, Ozzy, and Jonzi at Balboa Park (Taken 6.19.21)

I'll be spending Father's Day with my dad and the family on Sunday, but today we celebrated Papapalooza at Balboa Park with a gaggle of friends and kids and you wouldn't have known a pandemic was still blasting across the world because everyone was talking and laughing and being close and loving a beautiful day in San Diego. While I didn't specifically ask anyone, I know the vast majority of us got vaccinated as soon as we were eligible, which hopefully means we're carrying some sort of immunity for the kids who cannot yet be. Still, we were all outside and it was a beautiful day. 

I feel like I should say something profound about Juneteenth, but after the barrage of emails I got today about the day, I'm just glad it is being recognized, I'm honestly shocked it passed Congress, but we have a long way to go beyond tokening a day for all the systemic problems that are finally being recognized in our history as things to acknowledge, to work through, and figure out the remedies moving forward that would bring more equity into our society. Least of all things, those of us able and capable need to put pressure on our electeds and vote en masse every election and not just the big ones and support the long-shot candidates that represent our values. 

But honestly, today for me was more about Father's Day. I'll honor my dad who was always an amazing dad who worked and provided for us, took us on trips and vacations that are cemented in happy days of youth. But he'll get the love tomorrow. 

Today, at Papapalooza, I got a little bit misty about so many friends who are dads now. Who grew up with mean dads or shitty dads or abusive dads or absent dads who decided the cycle would not continue on with them. So maybe they're married dads or divorced dads or never had kids of their own but love their wife's children as step-dads, it is so beautiful to see this real generational shift in what dadhood or daddiness means. I'm so proud of the men in my orbit who have stepped up to be amazing dads in all forms, even if some of them didn't have the role models to get them there. 

Also, thanks to my sister for taking Nova for a sleepover. We've got a full Luigi's pizza and a fridge full of beer to get us through the night with the new kittens all to ourselves. We'll probably be asleep by midnight. 

Happy Papapalooza, Happy Juneteenth, and today I'm just gonna stick to the data where it's available. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Nova's Promotion Day | CoViD-19: More Delta In The UK |


Today was Nova's 8th grade promotion, so I was up early to watch her awards ceremony online. She got awards in math and band, perfect attendance, highest honor roll, and the President's Award for maintaining straight As or better throughout her three years of middle school. I'd be happy to take any credit, but especially this year, she was a self-starter and handled her online schooling pretty much entirely on her own, so she gets all the credit here. 

The actual promotion ceremony wasn't until the afternoon and it was long and hot nd the lighting was harsh for photos, but somehow our designated seats were in the only shady part of the entire school lot so I guess lucky us. 

After the promotion, nobody was allowed to hang around or take pictures, so instead we went to our friends' house in La Mesa. Nova has been in school with their daughter since kindergarten and though they're going to different high schools, there one of the few families we really connected with so we hope to keep in touch. I think it was the first time in any house that wasn't our own or my parents', so everyone being fully vaccinated makes a huge difference for sure. 

I was gonna try and blast through any email or news for today, but I think I'm just gonna skip it. I'll get around to it when I get around to it. 

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

CoViD-19: Delta Takes Hold In UK | Cal/OSHA Drops Masks For Vaxxed | Juneteenth Becomes Holiday | Report: SDPD As Bad As You Thought | Smitten With Kittens | EDD Certification Rules Changing | Flex Alert |

Strawberry/Tikka/Monster isn't the baby anymore (Photo from Sep 2020)

Today we went to San Diego Humane Society to participate in the "Become Smitten With A Kitten" event, which is encouraging kitten adoptions with a promotion to get one for just a $25 adoption fee and a second kitten for just $5. We have been promising Nova a new cat but were seeing how Kiwi is doing, but she's still with us and it seemed cruel to attach such an incentive with the demise of my old lady. And as they say, the price was right. 

But it wasn't entirely smooth. We got there around 4 and were told they were so busy, they probably wouldn't be able to accommodate an adoption for us. The COVID restrictions still in place make adoptions contactless, and also mostly by peeking through glass. I got super frustrated and emotional and had to take a breath outside. 

Once I collected myself, as I reentered the lobby a kind woman name Audrey asked if she could help me and I told her we were there to see kittens and as she asked questions, I told her, "the kitten we want is any one we can take home today," to which she responded that she would guarantee that would happen. We met up with Nova and Darren and were let into the kitten room and THERE ARE SO MANY KITTENS! When they said they have 180, the number is just a number, but when you go in and see the few dozen kittens for adoption and know that as soon as you adopt, their spot will be filled with the other kittens waiting in the separate not-public kitten care center across the street. Spay and neuter your pets, people!!

We quickly became smitten with black short hair siblings, a boy and a girl, so we proceeded to do the paperwork and made the adoption. Naturally you're wondering where are the photos??  but the reality is that one of them just recovered from a respiratory infection and the treatment just ended yesterday, so we're keeping them isolated in Nova's room before we can slowly introduce them to the rest of the house. I try to keep the kid's room private, so thus, no photos. I assure you they're super cute but look like every black kitten you've ever seen. They came with the names Bishop and Rook but we're currently in debate about changing them. Nova likes chess and wants to keep the names, I stand firm against someone else having named my pets, so we'll see where we land. Right now we can't really even tell them apart and I've been working all night so didn't really get time with them yet. But I can tell you that I already love them, and you'll get pictures soon. 

Today was historic as Biden signed the bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday. EDD is changing their certification requirements effective July 11, a report on SDPD collected the data to confirm what we already knew: that cops pull over and use more force on people of color at astonishing rates, and Cal/OSHA aligned their mask guidance with the CDC, which the governor authorized immediately with an executive order, and the Flex Alert for electricity conservation has extended to Friday. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Long-Hauler Guidance | More On Delta Variant | Biden Meets Putin | Juneteenth Passes Congress | Newsom On Corden | Jacobs on Tooning Out The News | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


Shaba and Inhlonipho Have Developed A Sweet Bond (San Diego Zoo 6.16.21)

It was a pretty darn good day. I was super productive this morning, it wasn't nearly as hot as expected, and there are so many rad shows the Casbah will be announcing that I'm looking forward to going to shows again, albeit still with some trepidation. 

By afternoon, I dragged Darren to the San Diego Zoo with me for a couple hours, giving the kid some time and space alone before she went to night skate at San Diego Derby United. 

The zoo was almost like pre-pandemic times. The parking lot appeared full, even though we scored the very first spot at the best row by the bus loading zone. Some people were masked and others weren't, so we kept ours handy whenever anyone came in our orbits. A lot of the plastic barricades that gave extra distance from animals and hand railings are gone, and some plexiglass is gone- like on the maned wolf habitat and the extra-plexi on Skyfari- though some remained, like by the red-tailed and swamp monkeys in the Ituri forest. Skyfari is no longer skipping cars, and the buses are running again. In fact, the Kangaroo Bus (where you can jump on and off) wasn't even asking for people's memberships. The elevator is unmanned, but people were pretty cool about still not mixing families in cars, at least when we took it. 

Tourists are definitely isn't often you see a man in wranglers and cowboy boots wandering around these parts...and I actually enjoyed hearing all the accents and foreign languages, albeit from a distance. People were genuinely ecstatic to be there. Well, except for the two or three kids who'd been there all day and were whining, "why can't we just go home already?!?" 

Besides all that, there's this really cute thing happening. A few months back, two young male elephants were relocated to the zoo. The three females are all older and this is their retirement village, but they brought in a 9 and 10 year from Tucson and one from San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The boys seem to be getting along. We actually saw them engaging in some sexual activity a few weeks ago which is apparently normal in the absence of mating females. But twice this week we've gone and Shaba, the older African elephant female has totally taken a shine to Inhlonipho. They're separated by steel wire, but he adores her. She waits for him to eat and then when he's done he comes to her and they caress each other with their trunks, bump tusks, and hug as best that elephants separated by fencing and wire cables can. It's wholesome and beautiful and I could sit and watch them for hours. It definitely warms the heart. 

Which is maybe why I'm in such a good mood. Biden and Putin meeting were the main news, but the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday passed congress, which means it just needs Biden's signature now. We've been trying to find the right time to get Nova a kitten, but were kinda seeing how things are going with 21 year old Kiwi, but she's still hanging on, so we have to just move on it, which was why I was so happy to see the "Smitten With A Kitten" promotion going on at the Humane Society (info below.) We didn't really know what to get her for her 8th grade promotion gift, so this will actually work out spectacularly if we can pull it off. And this afternoon we were catching up with our late night comedy snippets and caught Governor Newsom on The Late Late Show with James Corden and our local Congresswoman Sara Jacobs was on Tooning Out The News. 

People are laughing again.
People are smiling again. 
It's okay to still be cautious while also being hopeful and optimistic and happy again.
I'm warming up to it all.

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Nurses Urge Continued Mask Use | Parents Should "Model Good Behavior" | WHO Addresses Next Pandemic Steps | UC's Require Vax | Busy Biden at US-EU Summit | NIVA Issues Statement on CA Budget |

Today is World Sea Turtle Day (Taken at Sea World 6.13.21)

We ended up running out to Fiesta Island on Tuesday afternoon, but by the time we all got dressed and I finished what I was doing on this site and we loaded up the van and drove out, it was already about 7pm, with sunset to come at 7:58 and the monsoonal pressure and clouds rolling in, it wasn't really even hot anymore. Still, we laid out our mats and watched some water skiers, kept an eye out for flying fish, played with strangers' dogs and splashed in the water for awhile until by the time we got out we were actually cold and grateful that I got new cozy gigantic beach towels. 
I intended to do another post when I got home and I intended to hang out with Darren in the speakeasy, but my eyes just got so heavy and I think I was actually asleep by 10:30 or so, though I can't be sure. The result of that means I've been up since about 4:30am and the news just keeps rolling in. Darren always says, "if you keep watching it, they'll keep making it." 
It's a lot of the same...Biden is in Europe but has still been busy with ambassador and judge nominations, addressing domestic terrorism, while also negotiating world trade agreements and having his meeting with various world leaders, including today's with Putin, which had no deliverables or expectations so I think that's exactly what we got. But I'll wait for Biden's presser. 
In the meantime, this post is mostly just playing catch-up with yesterday...NIVA issued a statement on the California budget passing and kpbs talked about venues reopening. The UC system is going to require vaccines even if they don't get full FDA authorization which was really the only new part of their previous statement. The WHO had a briefing today and it was a public Q&A and I might put some of the video highlights in the next post. And the rest of the articles are just kinda rehashing what we keep talking about over and over, but the KHN article FINALLY addresses why if you have or are around kids, you should keep wearing your mask... “to protect them and to model good behavior." One other thing of note was that Reality Winner was quietly released this week, and I can't help but think it was timed perfectly before Biden met with Putin, who has aggressively been calling out US hypocrisy in advance of the meeting.  
I'm not sure what data will still be provided on a daily basis, but I'll include it in my post tonight. As I said, this was more like a part II from yesterday. 
Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

CoViD-19: California Lets The Tiers Fall | US Crosses 600,000 Deaths | Masks Drop | It Was Never About The Kids | Delta Variants Rise | Music Is Back | How To Travel |

Ficus at Fiesta Island Dog Beach (Taken 7.14.2020)

Several weeks ago when the CDC updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, a hospital or health system or health department put out a nifty little graphic and now it's driving me crazy because I was sure I saved it but for the life of me cannot find it. 
Basically it said at the top, "So you're fully vaccinated. Should you wear a mask?" and underneath it had different circumstances but the main one was "Do you have children ineligible for vaccines? YES, you should set an example as long as they must continue wearing masks, so should you." I wish I could find it because it was one of the few mentions I've even seen about kids in all this reading about vaccinations and reopenings and such. 

It goes to show it has never been about the kids... not the "open schools now" people, not the "let them breathe" people, and not the "but they need sports" people. If it was, it would have been an easy IFTTT situation...if we open, then everyone wears a mask... if we want fun things, then everyone has to follow the guidance...if we want schools open, then we have to be stricter in other sectors like dining and shopping. But we didn't, dragged the whole thing out 15 months, and kids are still gonna be wearing masks through at least the fall so we need to suck it up and be examples if we have children or are going to be around them. Do it for the kids.

As expected, today is a super busy news day, so I'll get a second post in tonight at some point, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the messaging coming from our big attractions as things reopen. That Delta variant is also scary, but I'll get more on that later.  We're headed to the water. 

Stay safe out there. 

San Diego Music- Things To Do In San Diego: Tuesday, June 15-Monday, June 21, 2021

I didn't expect to get back to doing listings so soon, but here we are. I'd highly recommend looking up any event you're actually considering attending as venues are allowed to continue requiring masks, may require vaccination, or may require a negative COVID-19 test within a certain window before the event. My feeling is that most won't, but if you're not vaccinated you're still supposed to wear a mask. If it was my rules, I'd be checking vax cards with IDs, but that's because I'm a control freak and have read too much about the delta variant to be comfortable just yet. My venue page has been partially updated but some of the links are dead or broken, so I'll get around to fixing those as more venues ramp up. I'm no longer doing listings for NBC, so these aren't going to always have every little thing on them, but I know by fall, barring any major variant disasters, we'll be back to full on deep listings. I guess if I missed anything you can reach out on Facebook or whatever.

Be smart and stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: CA Expands Incentives; Moves Beyond The Blueprint | UK Pushes Back Opening | Keep An Eye On That Delta Variant | CDC Mask Guidance Reminder |


Is That A Panda? NO! It's An Aardvark's Knee! (Taken San Diego Zoo 6.15.21)

I was finishing up this post when I got a little pop-up from live video by this news chaser dude. He listens to police scanners, then goes to the scene to film and broadcasts live. I'm not sure if he even sells his footage to news channels, but not really my point. 

He was driving around North Park, just a couple blocks from me, and the cops were looking for a man with a rifle who'd been in an altercation at the 7-11 on Meade and 30th. I don't know if they gave up their search, but they didn't find him. They bust out the police chopper for all kinds of stuff but that didn't warrant a deeper search? 

I guess there really wasn't that much news that I didn't cover in the last post. I was going to watch Governor Newsom's press conference from the morning but it wasn't online, so instead you can just read the press releases where he is expanding the vaccine incentives to include California vacations, which include travel for 4 to specific destinations and $2,000 travel money. The news showed that there was a gathering of some of the people who've put their names on the ballot for the recall and showed stupid Jenner talking about the border crisis. This person who killed someone while driving doesn't vote, doesn't understand basic government, and thinks the state has any control over the international border. And yet the news just has to show her. Kevvie didn't even show up, he must've been so burnt by the Bloomberg article raving about California's economy. 

There has been a lot more talk about the Delta variant, which has now pushed back opening in the UK and is said to be doubling in the US every two weeks, so it will be interesting to see if vaccinations step up before those low-uptake states start seeing even more death or cases among children. Let's hope those of us who are vaccinated can repel it enough to prevent that. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

CoViD-19: As California Reopens, I'm Not Ready | California Has Number 1 U.S. Economy & "Most Fun State" In America | Biden's Euro Tour Continues | Heat Advisory Continues |

The Malayan Tapir is Growing Out of Her Spots & Stripes (Taken 6.14.21)

Tonight Darren and I were walking around the San Diego Zoo, which is now open until 8pm, and I was trying to quell my anxiety. 

I'm. Not. Ready. 

June 15th is upon us and the state is moving "beyond the blueprint" with new mask guidance that aligns with the CDC, and I'm just not ready for it. Or I should say, I'm totally ready for it if my fellow humans had proven over the past year to have any kind of sense of responsibility to their fellow humans. 

I know so many people and businesses who followed every rule or guidance very strictly, so obviously those are not the people I'm worried about. It's the other ones. The "this doesn't make sense" ones. The "this is bullshit" ones. The obviously racist ones who saw COVID-19 disproportionately affecting people of color and the economically poor and thought it couldn't touch them. The "it's just a flu" people. The "99.9% of people survive" people. All of them. I hate all of them. And they're the first to drop the masks (if they even ever wore them in the first place) and they're the least likely to be the ones getting vaccinated. 

And the news doesn't help at all. We're not going back to pre-pandemic normal. That would be in ALL circumstances. The county uses the number 3,347,827 as our entire population. The 12 years and older San Diego County population is 2,802,581. The fully vaccinated population right now is 1,749,978. That means that the not-fully vaccinated is 1,597,849, of which 545,246 are children under 12 who cannot yet get vaccinated. This doesn't even account for tourists and visitors...are we to assume they're vaxxed?

Whereas during peak pandemic, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park felt like the safest places for me to be-- mandatory health screening, universal mask wearing, outdoors, people social distanced-- now it actually feels not safe at parents drop masks, so too do their snot-nosed, coughing, screaming, laughing, grubby handed children. And don't get me started on Sea World. Yes, they're both outdoors, but I truly hope that they keep some of the mitigation strategies as before, though I'll be glad to see the 'hygiene theatre' dropped, like the every-other Skyfari gondola and the overflow screening line that took up three rows of parking. 

I want to trust you, my fellow human, but I just don't know if I can. 

Tonight is going to be a two post night. Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

COVID-19: US Single-Day Deaths Drop Below 175 | Masks For Unvaxxed: That Means Your Children | Biden Busy Abroad | High Costs Of Everything |


Two-Toed Sloth at Sea World (Taken 6.13.21)

We went back to Sea World tonight so today we caught the dolphin and pilot whale show and then Nova went to ride Electric Eel while I visited the turtles and then Darren met back up with me to see the Sea Lion show (with the otter notably absent?) It was just a couple hours but it was nice to get out before the expected crazy weather. It is still really icky though. It's unbelievable how many people are at a place that at every turn is talking about conservation and saving our oceans yet throwing their trash wherever the hell they want. There are pretty much trash cans and recycle bins every 25 feet in the park yet people just leave their whole dinner's worth of trash on the ground, in the stadiums, or in the landscaping. 

I was reading an article earlier today about the drought and this summer in California could be quite terrifying. If you ever want to put yourself in a deep depression, watch any of the numerous documentaries about the West's water wars, how property owners sold their water rights to corporations and then were surprised when they had no water to use. It's going to be another frustrating year when we're asked to conserve or cut water in our home use, but see the well-watered golf courses or water used for fracking throughout the state. A friend lost her house in Scripps Ranch in the early 2000s and I'll never forget what it was like seeing our freeways shut down as that fire took over even in urban areas, jumping the 15 and 163 and the raining ash falling from the sky for days. 

But Sundays aren't for being depressed, so I'll just say we're looking forward to this week as restrictions lift throughout the state. I'll probably get in at least one San Diego Zoo trip, maybe some Fiesta Island swimming, and Nova graduates from 8th grade on Friday. Come to think of it, maybe I should have a cocktail or two to celebrate. Cheers!

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

CoVID-19: San Diego Reaches Goal Of 75% of 12+ Population Partially Vaccinated


Northern Sea Otter at Sea World Wild Arctic (Taken 6.11.21)

As planned, I did absolutely nothing today. I read in my backyard for awhile, caught up on some of my TV shows, and didn't really even open my laptop until late tonight, so I don't have much to talk about today. I will note that after having gone to Sea World yesterday, I want to be 100% clear that I hate their fireworks. When asked about it, Todd Gloria gave a 'both sides' argument about it, but basically said they're legal and permitted and that Sea World does mitigation and cleanup but I think it's pretty gross, especially considering the known noise sensitivity of the very animals under their care. My poor dog tucks her tail and hides next to our bed anytime she hears them and it is heartbreaking. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Community Outbreaks Drop To Just 3 | Governor Plans To Rescind Pandemic EOs | Prepare For Heatwave |

Sea Turtle at Sea World (Taken 6.11.21)

We went to Sea World and it was fun and I'm gonna stop making myself feel bad about it. It is definitely far more theme park than Zoo, people are generally ruder and their kids louder and more spoiled and it all feels kinda icky, but it's also special to me. My 6th grade field trip was there with my first elementary school boyfriend. My high school's prom when I went as a date to a senior my junior year and as class president with one of my favorite people in the world in my senior year. 

It's sentimental to me in a lot of ways. Yes, very, very icky, but it's like shopping at Target, you just have to get tunnel vision and block everyone else out and do what you gotta do. Nova rode Electric Eel and Manta. I explored the Wild Arctic, the penguin encounter, the sharks, the turtles, saw the 2 toed sloths, watched the dolphins for awhile, and then got a face to face with an orca who just came over to me and we locked eyes for a solid 5-10 minutes.

I should note that their summer Electric Ocean promotion started, so they're open later, will have more frequent fireworks, and as summer proceeds, will have live music and shows and stuff. I thought the reservation and limited capacity would work in our favor, but in reality it just means the coaster lines are twice as long while they skip every other row of seats, so hopefully for Nova that eases on Tuesday. Beyond that, we'll be back, I'll drift into my own zones to see the animals, and just try to dodge the mommy militia and the multitudes of mobility scooters and just visit the place at my own pace without agenda. I promised today's data, after the jump. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Another San Diegan Wins $50K; Governor Promises Better Cal/OSHA Guidance | Brexit Threatens Brit Bands | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


Red River Hog and Her New Piglets (Taken 6.10.21)

I forgot to mention that as we were leaving the San Diego Zoo there was a band setting up on the small stage by the entrance and there was some sort of Name That Tune happening in the event pavilion. My blogger ears also overheard a woman who was leaving her shift talking to another woman about her schedule, so putting the two together, I would expect announcements soon for summer festivities-- Nighttime Zoo and Summer Safari-- at both parks. In the meantime, starting today, the San Diego Zoo is open until 8pm and starting July 2nd, will be open until 9pm. And starting June 18, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will be open until 7pm. If I'm being honest, I wish they would maintain a reservation system forever but you already know I'm cranky and don't really like masses of people. 

That said, we're going to try to go to Sea World tonight, while it's still restricted and reservation only, so I'm gonna cut out. I'll do the regular data report later tonight when I get home. I have notes on the Governor's briefing and drawing today and there's still stuff to come from Cal/OSHA, OSHA at the Federal level, CDC, CDPH, and the State itself, so no point in really drawing out the mask thing until we know what we need to know for sure. 

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

CoViD-19: More Transmissible Variants Create Vaccine Urgency | In Impassioned Speech, Governor Newsom Calls Out Activist Judge, Outlines AR-15 Appeal | FIDO Wins Fiesta Island Option B |


Nova and Ficus at Fiesta Island Dog Park (Taken 7.14.2020)

It was quite a newsy day, so if you only pay attention to one thing, it should be my Governor Newsom giving an impassioned speech about the State of California appealing the decision that came down last week where an activist judge said the state's 32 year ban on AR-15s was unconstitutional. I've embedded the video below and while the Governor is not perfect and has had some serious missteps, this is why I've been a fan since I first met him while he was campaigning for Lieutenant Governor and why I'll continue to fight the stupid recall. 

In other stuff, COVID-19 is still out there but *surprise* cases and hospitalizations and deaths continue to nosedive among vaccinated populations while cases and outbreaks are still high and dangerous among the unvaxxed. There was some attempt by Cal/OSHA to clarify last night's late repeal of changes to mask guidance, but it didn't actually clarify anything so all you need to know is that if you're vaccinated, you pretty much don't have to wear a mask as a patron of most businesses, but you still gotta mask up for pretty much all work regardless of vax status or what specifically you do for work. 

We went to the San Diego Zoo today and I was having massive baby fever with the babirusa piglets getting so big, the tapir baby was taking a nap, Amahle the hippo said hi in her way, the red river hog had some sweet little piggies, the swamp monkey baby is super quick and never sits still, and the takin baby is adventuring out on her own by climbing the rock walls of her enclosure. Maybe I'll share pics later but I'm' having a problem with my SD card formatting to write-protected that won't let me turn it off. It's very annoying and I can't figure it out. 

Besides all that, a really amazing thing happened today when the California Coastal Commission approved Option B for the Fiesta Island Dog Park!! This means they won't be building a road extension through it and they won't be building boat storage facilities on it. This is super great news and I can't wait to get in the water again, especially next week when we're supposed to have a record-breaking heat wave. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Cal/OSHA Says Workplaces Must Still Mandate Masks Beyond June 15 (For Now) | Cold War Kids Presale |

(Taken 9.13.2020)

I am no legal scholar, I'm not a politician, and I'm not super smart right now after a night in the Speakeasy, but I was checking my email on a thing (Cold War Kids are playing at Observatory North Park on September 24 and tickets go on presale from 10am-10pm on Thursday with either the password ENCORE or 91X) and I had this email from Cal/OSHA. I'm going to publish it as it was sent, with a couple bold types from me, because there's this crazy thing about the "confusion" between guidelines from the CDC, CDPH (California Dept. of Public Health) and Cal/OSHA, but to me it hasn't really ever been confusing at all: the CDC give guidance for individual people who want to interact with the world. OSHA's job is to concern themselves with the health and safety of workers in all sectors in a very general way. It seems obvious that if I walk into a taco shop, order my food, and wait for 10 or 20 minutes that my situation is far different from the line cook in the back who is preparing my food and everyone else's for 8, 10, or 12 hours on end, elbow to elbow with their coworkers and the airborne grossness of all the customers who walk in all day.

Anyway, I didn't watch this meeting but what I'm reading is that too many employers were saying it was too hard to mandate or pressure vaccinations, and the others were crying about having to get proof of vaccination from their workers, so Cal/OSHA just said, "Fuck it! If it's too hard, we'll make it easy. WORKERS need to continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status." The CDC guidelines, as I understand them, are for individuals making choices about how to navigate the world. They didn't address workers or industries or sectors, and California is saying that we're making it very clear. If you go shopping or to a bar or a restaurant or travel, your exposure is limited. If you are WORKING in those industries, you have far more chances of virus, wildly or breakthrough, and your companies can either be liable or give you the time you need off to get vaccinated. 

It's science but I kinda also think it is a little more stick than carrot and for the rest of us, I am totally okay for it. I guess final note: employers may continue mask regulations; most won't, but it's up to you if you even want any exposure, despite vax status. I don't want my underage unvaccinated nieces carrying a variant to my dad who got J&J and has no real other protection. NBC San Diego interviewed a man who was vaccinated and tested positive with an asymptomatic breakthrough, but is hoping his unvaxxed friend doesn't die after being intubated. Are these really choices? 

Anyway, I'm interested in the media response to the Cal/OSHA thing. It won't be pretty but I'm here for it. Full release after the jump. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Approaches Goal Of Partially Vaccinated | San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Announces Relaxed Regulations Beyond June 15 | Biden Does Europe | Keystone XL Is Dead |

A Hummingbird in the Wild at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 6.9.21)

We spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, partially because I wanted to get it in before restrictions drop next week, but also because our forecasters are saying we'll have record heat next week and that's not exactly a good time to head up to Valley Center. It's always fun to see which animals are active on any given day, so I got the Okapi to come over, got the Turaco to sing, got the Bighorn Sheep to come by the fence to say hi, and rhinos Holly and Mwezi hung around for a long time as we closed the day. 

I am kinda in this weird in-between, where my volume of music-related email is back to pre-pandemic levels on top of the COVID-related stuff and news briefings I get daily, so I'm gonna have to trim the offerings here a little bit. I caught up with some of yesterday's COVID update that was presented to the County Board of Supervisors, and on top of a detailed explanation of why San Diego County and the State of California will likely stay in a State of Emergency through the end of the year (detailed below and not as bad as it sounds) they also went through some info on variants, vaccinations, and that they're going to stop daily updates! So I guess I'll transition as they do. Not sure if the State will keep with daily data or not, but I'll just follow their leads. 

On our way home from the Safari Park, I got an email about the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance plans for what happens after June 15 as I was anticipating all week, and so it's kinda what you would expect-- trams and busses coming back, no health screenings or reservations, masks are merely recommended for unvaccinated, though I'll keep mine around in consideration of how many children and tourists will be swarming San Diego as a summer destination. I would imagine the same will be forthcoming from Sea World, Aquatica, and other hot spots. 

In good news, the Keystone XL is officially dead, Biden is in Europe on a "please like us again" tour, and San Diego is doing really well with vaccinations, though I wish our young influencers were doing a better job influencing the young. The Delta Variant (India) is however, causing real problems in other places, particularly the UK, so this whole thing isn't over. But I'm not gonna dive too much deeper into news because I have a night in the speakeasy calling my name. But if you need comedy/tragedy, you should watch some of the speakers from yesterday's County Supervisors Board Meeting.  

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Moves To Yellow Tier | ProPublica Leaks Taxes of Uber-Rich | Biden Admin Is Anything But Boring, Ends Negotiations With Capito |

Sunset over South Bay Salt Works (Taken 6.8.21)

It feels like it was a crazy news day. The report on January 6th was in the news even though it wasn't able to address the former guy's role and couldn't call it an insurrection, Vice President Harris was in Mexico, Biden is traveling to Europe, ProPublica dropped a report on rich dude's and their income taxes. 

Then in the State, San Diego hit our second week of Yellow Tier so mostly capacities are loosening starting on Wednesday, but masks are still required inside in most circumstances, so keep it in your pocket and don't be a dick about it. 

We didn't do much today...we scheduled my sister to cut Nova's hair so we hung out at my parents' house while that happened and then picked up Jochi Filipino food for dinner while we hung around watching the Padres and catching up with my dad. Something is wrong with his TV or remote where the volume sticks, so now he just has it blaring all the time because he's afraid if he turns it down, he won't be able to turn it back up, so it's kinda like walking into a sports bar while trying to have a chill conversation. It doesn't really work, but it was good news that after we've been pressuring him and my mom, they're finally looking into him taking advantage of his VA benefits. He was in the Navy and then worked for the VA over 30 years before taking early retirement for his disabilities but he should be taking advantage of all the benefits he earned after giving the greater part of his adulthood to the organization. He also expressed desire to get out of the house this summer so we'll be doing research on trying to find ways to make that happen for him. 

Beyond that, we drove by the salt flats at sunset before calling it a night. I'm hoping we can get some San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and Sea World and Aquatica trips in before the floodgates completely reopen. You're still not catching me in a bar or restaurant anytime soon. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Vaccines Worked! Masks Worked! Governor's 'Stringent Response' Worked! | Road Ragers Arrested | Global Shortages and Rising Prices |


My little mandrill friend at San Diego Zoo (6.7.21)

A sucker is born every minute and after emails over and over and over again, I finally gave in and bought Sea World and Aquatica passes for the rest of the year. They had a special to buy one park, get the other free that expired last night. It's not a decision we took lightly. 

I mean, of course there's the whole Blackfish thing and it hurts my heart to see cetaceans in captivity, but I obviously support the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance which means that I appreciate the cost-benefit of animals in captivity for educational purposes, fostering love of animals and nature, and the Species Survival Plan for rare and endangered animals who may otherwise go extinct. 

Still, I feel like I had to do mental gymnastics to justify my purchase even though we've had passes before. Weighing the animals for profit model vs the good Sea World does to provide veterinary care for injured and orphaned animals like seals, sea lions, and sea birds, that I'm supporting the local economy as they're one of San Diego's top 5 employers, and that we have a super mopey teenager who loves rollercoasters and waterslides and who deserves a little fun this summer. 

So when you hear those goddamn fireworks during the summer, you can blame me. It is all a little cringey. But I also love animals so much that I am kind of excited about it, too. Like I LOVE sloths and the ones at the Zoo are ambassador animals so you never get to see them. It's complicated and I'm conflicted but ultimately I'm gonna go and I'm gonna have fun and I can get back to complaining about other stuff. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, this afternoon Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo. I've been spending a lot of time with the mandrills and the elephants lately. I the crazy woman who kinda thinks they know me. We also spent a lot of time in the aviaries which are generally not as crowded as the rest of the zoo. I didn't get to a lot of news today, but Jake Sullivan was great during Jen Psaki's press briefing and Kamala Harris was in Guatemala fielding super awkward questions about corruption with President Giammattei. Also today there were multiple studies once again showing that masks work, that the vaccines are working even better than predicted, and UCLA economists basically debunked every stupid thing Kevvie has been posting when they revealed that the Governor's mitigation strategies not only not only saved lives but are why our economy is coming back so strong. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

CoViD-19: What California Looks Like Beyond The Blueprint June 15 |

San Diego Skyline Taken 6.1.21)

I wanted to repost this post I wrote on April 6th, 2021, when Governor Newsom first announced the June 15th goal of reopening "Beyond The Blueprint." As I mentioned the other day, there seems to be a lot of misreporting that California would go back to pre-pandemic normal- no restrictions on capacity, no masking, no distancing, no testing--and that simply isn't true and it isn't what he said in the first place. I'm seeing the whiners who have inserted themselves into the recall election, particularly our former mayor (who is SO EASY to dunk on, by the way) and the dude who thought it was a good idea to travel the state with a bear saying that the Governor is changing what he initially said or going back on his plan. 

He didn't and he hasn't. 

Now in the time since the announcement, of course, the CDC and Cal/OSHA have both weighed in, but below is exactly what that announcement outlined. The messaging has obviously had some problems, apparently people only understand three word chants which is the antithesis of Governor Gavin Newsom who has never been brief about anything in any briefing ever, but still, just because it was reported wrong doesn't change what he actually conveyed. Check it after the jump. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: San Diego Looking Good; Likely To Move To Yellow Tier on Wednesday | Nesting or Hoarding?| I'm A Psaki Fangirl | LA Has A Peafowl Problem |

A Peacock at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.1.21)

I've been thinking a lot about stuff. Right now, I have too much and it's a problem. My closet is tiny and quite literally cannot hold one more single hanger. It feels like in the before-times, we were obsessed with KonMari living and had worked hard to organize and eliminate stuff we didn't need. When I moved from Kensington to Normal Heights, I probably got rid of about 40% of my things and that hurt. You know those moments where you're looking for a thingamajig or a doohickey and you know you have it somewhere and then can't find it and then realize you must've actually gotten rid of it? Happens to me all the time, even though that move happened nearly a decade ago. 

Then 2020 came and the pandemic hit and being a bit of a hoarder didn't seem like the worst thing in the world. We tried to emphasize using what we had, repurposing or life-hacking what we could, and not spending money outside of absolute essentials as we didn't know how our unemployment or long term situation would look. But the pandemic didn't stop Nova from growing so of course there was still some spending happening. And to be honest, it didn't stop me and Darren from the weight fluctuations of the pandemic either, so we have too much stuff and we're just out of space. 

It's great to see forward movement. We all now have both Pfizer shots. Restrictions are loosening. The Casbah is setting reopening plans. But there's also now different supply issues, so while we're back out indulging a little in what may be unnecessary buying pots for plants, for example...but as we acquire new stuff, we're also still pretty cautious about getting rid of stuff we may need or wish we had down the line. 

So while the pandemic is hopefully winding down, I'm having this anxiety that isn't just about a post-pandemic world and not trusting other people, but also an anxiety that we had over a whole year and there are still projects to do, things to organize, donations to make. We made the studio our 'speakeasy' and cleaned the closet and we organized some stuff, but it feels like a continuous project. I didn't organize my digital world like I thought I would, including photos and videos. 

The good news is when I shared this feeling with Darren and Nova they reminded me of all the things we did accomplish, how much nicer it is to be home, whether inside or on the catio or in the backyard or in the speakeasy; how we were able to get through the near absolute lockdowns of last year, of the ways we passed time together when things were really dire. And they're right, I have to give myself some grace, but I hope I can focus a little more and use what unemployed time I do have left to get things a little more spruced up around here. 

Stay safe out there.