Monthly Archives: May 2022

what to do if your children’s school is under attack

Truly unbelievable.

What makes this truly egregious is that, instead of going in to rescue the children, the cops instead blocked parents from entering.  If parents had entered might some of them have died?  Yes.  Might fewer children have died?  Also yes.  Any parent would lay down their life for their child and would consider that a good trade.  If the police were too cowardly to enter themselves, they should have let the parents in.

The lesson to learn from this?  If you are a parent, don’t let police block you from entering the school.  Break a window and go inside and save your kid.  In general, listening to figures of authority in crisis situation is dubious.  Remember 9/11 when they told people to stay at their desks?

This reminds me of Virginia Tech when the shooter killed 32 people over the course of an hour.  The doors were chained and the police, who arrived their quickly, just couldn’t find a way to enter.

Let’s review again.  Police arrived at the scene in four minutes but didn’t enter the building for an hour because they exchanged fire with the gunman and had to “fall back.”  Give me a fucking break.

None of this should distract from the real problem here, which is the availability of military weapons to anyone who feels like buying them.  But it makes me pretty frikking mad.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I find the lack of fury interesting.  George Floyd is killed and literally millions of people hit the streets protesting.  A parcel of innocent elementary school kids are murdered in cold blood, police protecting the killer inside from angry parents outside, and there is barely a peep.

The rally in front of City Hall Thursday afternoon to persuade Houston mayor Sylvester Turner to cancel the NRA convention generated a less-than-overwhelming turnout. I counted about a dozen attendees, establishing a roughly two-protesters-to-every-media-photographer ratio.

I guess it’s just not as fun to protest as when work is canceled and the alternative is sitting alone in your house due to quarantine laws.  Not that honestly those protests made that much difference in the end.  I’m reading about the Russian revolution at the moment.  Real change requires revolution, and at least half the time, you end up worse than you were before, possibly with your children starving to death.

cycle update

I tried writing about the massacre in Texas, but there’s really nothing I can say that’s worth saying.  The pictures of the kids in the NYT are absolute heartbreaking.  I cannot even look at them.  I think the only thing you can do is donate to anti-gun organizations.   So rather than talk, that’s what I did.  But it does not feel like enough.  The faces of those kids!  It’s killing me.


I’ve now got Zwift set up in my house, and I’ve been mostly enjoying getting some home cycling in.   I got a direct drive trainer on clearance from Zwift (now sold out) – the Wahoo Kickr Core.  The way it works is that Zwift talks to the trainer via Bluetooth and the trainer adjust the resistance based on the virtual world slope, up or down.  It works pretty well.  It definitely feels way harder to go up hills than down, though I think the effect isn’t quite as pronounced as the real world.

I feel like I don’t have the bike set up perfectly on the trainer.  The gears are not silent, which implies to me that it’s not properly adjust like it is when attached to my back wheel.  This is my only real complaint.  The setup is acceptable, but not awesome.

The virtual worlds in Zwift are quite beautiful.  I have so far only cycled in Watopia, and I’m sure it’ll get old once I’ve seen it all, but for now, it’s novel and fun.  Not as fun as cycling outside, but the absence of traffic and route-finding is a huge win.  For weekday mornings, it’s definitely a better option.

I get really hot cycling indoors and sweat more than I would have thought possible.  Running and cycling outdoors in Seattle’s mostly cool weather, I barely sweat.  This indoor cycling is a different ballgame.  I think I’m going to have to add a fan to my setup ASAP.

I also went for a 25 mile / 1200 ft bike ride over the weekend around the area where I live.  I’m hoping to do a longer ride this weekend.

Cycling fitness, here I come!

I have, however, dropped my evening weight and stretching workouts so I could continue making progress on cross stitch.  There simply isn’t enough time for everything, and something had to go.


So, I really feel that living through one major pandemic in my lifetime should be enough.  For both me and my kids.  Monkeypox is in Seattle.  (Of course it’s in Seattle.)  Of course, no doubt the monkeypox carrier had to test for Covid before he flew in!  What a relief that he did that!

Everyone is saying, “Don’t worry.”  As in, that’s what the experts are saying.  At this point, I trust “experts” about as far as I can throw them.  Constant disease used to be a thing.  Newton, for example, derived his major laws during a 2-year break from college due to a plague outbreak.  Is that the new normal?  Nasty diseases emerging in Africa and China and spreading around the world lickety-split followed by useless life-disrupting countermeasures that don’t actually stop the disease in question?

work and play

I haven’t exercised in something like six days.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday I was legitimately sick and exercise wasn’t really possible.  Tuesday I was still not feeling awesome, so it was very reasonable to skip that day.  Wednesday I definitely could have worked out, and I’m basically back to 100%, or at least 95%, today.  But I didn’t do anything.  To put this in perspective, I often work out twice a day – a run in the morning and then lifting or stretching in the evening.  (I’m not sure if stretching counts as “working out” but since it’s a valuable contributor to my health and fitness, I count it.  Especially since I despise stretching.)

It is amazing how much extra time I have on my hands when I don’t, say, go for a 12 mile run in the morning, as I often did when I was marathon training.  These days, I don’t go that far, but it hasn’t been unusual for me to run 9 miles or so.  Not only does running 9 miles take 90 minutes+, it is also exhausting.  After running nine miles, I need more sleep at night, and if I’m sitting on the couch, I don’t feel like doing much other than resting.  I have felt filled with boundless energy the last few days.  And I have so much time!  I’ve been cross stitching and watching TV, two things I normally don’t do much of.

I haven’t done much crafting in ages.  Really, as an adult, there just isn’t time to have more than one serious hobby.  I think this is true whether you’re working or a SAHM.  Either way, you can probably pick one thing to invest in other than work / childcare and family . . . and that’s it.  Maybe that equation changes when kids are older.  I imagine it does . . . if you resist the urge to use the extra time to work more, which I fully intend.  Anyway, it’s been really nice cross stitching.  Through the years, I generally have some kind of artistic hobby going, if you count music, and I really enjoy it all.  Knitting, quilting, hand sewing, cross stitching, origami, playing the piano.  I’ve missed all that.  The fact is, though, I can’t really do those things and run 40 miles a week.  I have neither the time nor the energy.  I planned to cut back on running this summer anyway, but I planned to bike more, and maybe do some swimming and do a second sprint triathlon.  That will take up any time I save by running less.

I keep telling myself I can sew and knit and quilt when I’m old, whereas I may not be able to run.  This is all true to some degree.  But age brings arthritis and bad vision, both of which are a big problem for fine work.  Furthermore, exercise will continue to be important to my physical and mental health.  The solution, clearly, is to retire and give up on this annoying work nonsense.  Once S goes to school, I’d have tons of time if I wasn’t working!  Kidding.  Kind of.

art of the day

As a work from home aerospace engineer, I think maybe I should have a copy of this one on my wall.

I’m also thinking of printing this one out as well.  It often feels appropriate.

the reign of terror

Here in Seattle, the Covid reign of terror continues.  The girls’ school theoretically lifted their mask mandate a few weeks ago but with a caveat – if anyone in the class tests positive, everyone has to wear a mask for ten days.  If anyone who has contact with multiple classes tests positive (like a teacher or aide), the entire school has to wear a mask for ten days.  What this boils down to is that the girls have had like three days of mask free school.  It just makes me so furious I want to break things.  Effectively, the school still has a mask mandate.

They are also still requiring PCR tests to return to school after illness (of any kind) which means a mandatory two to three day stay home if you keep your kid out for a cold.  Furthermore, they continue insane levels of surveillance testing – anywhere between one and three tests a week, depending on I don’t know what.  Isla will take at least five Covid tests this week alone since she was at home sick and had to take a couple extra tests.  (In addition to the PCR to return, an immediate lateral flow is required so they know whether to impose masks on everyone else at school.)  Isla has taken well over a hundred Covid tests.  Are we approaching two hundred for her?  I don’t know.  What a waste of resources!  My Dad has taken less than five, all but one mandatory before medical procedures / surgeries.  What kind of madness is it to test healthy low risk kids dozens or hundreds of times for a disease that poses little or no risk to them while high risk elderly adults almost never test?

Remember L’s field trip to Mt. Rainier that I had to get the extra PCR for (despite the daily rapid testing planned)?  Well, that was canceled because someone at the Mt. Rainier Ins.titute apparently got Covid.  I don’t know if the school canceled it or the institute did.  Either way, L didn’t get to go.

Meanwhile, outside of school, half the kids, including the ones we choose to hang out with, don’t wear masks and socialize freely and do sports and dance and have sleepovers and pass illnesses back and forth at will.  Everyone in our family has the same cold I’m sure that L’s best friend’s family are also struck down with.  (Ironically it originated with one of the little siblings; I’m pretty sure B has a crush on the boy from that family in her class.)  The Covid theater at school just becomes increasingly absurd.

And yes, I blame the Democrats for encouraging this nonsense.  Much as the overturning of Roe v Wade infuriates, alarms and honestly even frightens me, the Democrats nonsense is affecting our family negatively every single day.  To avoid Covid lunacy, we’ve changed so many aspects of our daily lives – changed the pool we go to (so I could get in the pool and be in the same lane as my non-swimming daughter), pulled L from the ballet school she was attending (to avoid virtual classes), applied to different schools (didn’t get in sadly), childcare decisions and on and on.  (Childcare here for the under 5s is completely and wildly unreliable due to covid closures.  I have a friend – a nurse! – who went to weekend part-time work because it became too difficult to manage canceling shifts due to daycare Covid closures.  Our governor also put out guidance advising eliminating all drop-in childcare – since you can’t have cohorts, and thus have different groups of kids mixing, which makes backup childcare even harder.)

summer riding

I cannot believe this baby formula shortage situation.  I looked on Amazon, and you basically cannot buy Similac powdered baby formula.  You can buy the premade stuff.  But, for example, with Saoirse, we had to make formula with extra calories, which was a different mix than the standard premade.  I remember being stressed during the early Covid days when Saoirse was still taking some formula, so I stocked up with a 3 month supply, which I later gave away.  Not having formula is an absolute crisis.  It should be the number one priority for Biden and co.  What can matter more than having adequate food available for newborns and infants?

I’ve had brutal allergies over the last year, maybe two.  Honestly, I can’t remember when it started.  It’s just a continuous cycle of sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, etc.  It’s interesting because I’ve had very few colds during the same period, thanks to all the Covid precautions.  I’m not sure which is worse, honestly.

In any case, the my kids’ colds finally caught up with me.  So now, I have allergies and a cold.  They both get tested for The Virus three times a week for school, so probably just a cold, but ug.  I was really hoping to get a good bike ride in this weekend.  It’s supposed to rain both days, and I just can’t see riding 25 miles in the rain with a cold.  I got Zwift set up last weekend, and I’m moderately happy with it.  I got a direct drive trainer, and I’m not sure I have it adjusted quite right, and I feel like my gears are kind of noisy.  It’s hard to explain.  In any case, I got a good workout in Thursday with a ten mile ride.  Perhaps I’ll do an indoor ride this weekend if I’m not feeling well and call it good.

I have some cycling goals for the summer, but since we’re heading to Smith Mountain Lake for August where I won’t have a bike and I want to focus on spending time with family, my goals have a deadline of the end of July.  We’re having really lousy weather this year, which is making it harder to get out and ride.

I did get a ride in last weekend – 18.5 miles, 820 feet of elevation gain.  It’s a good start.