Category: Health

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Drug Culture

Our many attempts to cut the cord finally succeeded when we disconnected AT&T U-verse and switched to wireless Internet and content streaming. Six months in, we’re satisfied with the freedom from channel surfing and the ability to choose what content from which services we want to watch.

Besides streaming, we grab over-the-air-channels using the Antop HD Smart Bar HDTV & FM Amplified Antenna, which I highly recommend. Occasionally, my wife or I will let some broadcast station fill the living room with sound and even entertain the cats. Surprising: How outrageously often commercial breaks fill with pharmaceutical ads. Their number is seemingly endless. I will walk by, roll my eyes, and wonder: Is America really such a drug culture?

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What the Past Means to the Present

Strange sometimes are the things tucked away—and forgotten. Our gas stove is acting oddly, with the clock resetting and occasional, but different, error codes flashing from the control panel. Surely something is in the process of failing; perhaps a fuse or circuit.

Appliances were new when we rented the apartment five years ago, and the owner’s manuals came with them. We stuffed the folder containing each in the cupboard above the range, which is from where I retrieved the lot today. How foolish of me to expect meaningful troubleshooting that reveals what are the codes. Instead, the manufacturer instructs to call for service should one of them appear. Oh yeah? Thanks for nothing.

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Defying COVID-19 Mandates

Today, international news media report that uncharacteristic—and possibly unprecedented—protests are underway across China (See BBC, Guardian, Sky NewsThe Times). Citizens are reportedly taking to the streets because of the government’s zero-SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 policy, which  has brought sweeping, but irregular, lockdowns across some of the country’s regions.

Going on for nearly three years, the restrictions, which include literally locking residents into high-rise apartment buildings as means of combating Coronavirus outbreaks, are as oppressive and severe as the first massive quarantines implemented in late January 2020. While the rest of the world moves to living with an endemic disease, China maintains a pandemic public health policy.

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Emergency at the Golden Arches

As my wife and I crossed El Cajon Blvd at Texas Street, today, we heard an ambulance approaching from behind. Cars pulled over, and I startled, realizing some came uncomfortably close to us—in the crosswalk! The emergency vehicle turned into the McDonald’s parking lot, which was before us. Sound of another siren brought my eyes to a firetruck coming from the other direction.

I decided to stop and mark the moment, from afar. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28m; 9:38 a.m. PST.

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An Oddly Welcoming Warning

What if this wasn’t a Halloween decoration but a declaration to “Keep Out” of the graveyard—that there is no place available for any more, ah, residents. C`mon, who wouldn’t want the Grim Reaper to turn away guests? Put out one of those signs seen at the parking garage when all the spaces are taken.

Someone might argue such could be the situation because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19—meaning the Grim Reaper has an oversupply of recently deceased. Morbid, don’t you think?

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New Poster Child for the Pro-Choice Lobby

As Halloween approaches, decorations proliferate and some become quite elaborate. This caged kid in a tree had me chuckling, earlier today—for elaborate staging and opportunity for me to be snarky. Disclaimer: My sarcasm is sure to offend somebody. If that’s you, please accept my no apology.

Pro-lifers are giddy as a bear slopping honey from a fallen beehive, following the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade. They aren’t too bothered by stings from swarming Pro-choicers, who are losing their minds over the 6-3 decision. Since they are absolutely crazy—uh, crazed—let’s pretend this shrieking girl is their marketing maven—warning about the horror show progeny that you could produce because you can’t legally have a doctor cut it out.

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Wee Bit of Urban Paradise

Keeping to my goal of posting something each day, I share an outtake and humbly ask your understanding. I haven’t felt well most of today—and that is quite unusual for me, being someone blessed with hearty constitution. I suppose that my problem could be SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. But symptoms say otherwise. No fever or other markers manifest.

Please pardon my being brief on this fine Tuesday evening, therefore. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 on Aug. 5, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 6:11 p.m. PDT.

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Homeless Corner No More

Our Smart & Final shopping trips dropped from once or more every seven days to none over several weeks—until today (the store stocks a different, and pricier, cat food that’s not our preferred brand). Look what we missed, although I can say from driving by over the weekend that the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 testing site is a rather recent addition.

I am accustomed to seeing indigent folks hanging out on that corner; uh-oh, somebody won’t be happy about losing their spot. Perhaps the test site is meant to reach the many homeless who are frequent fixtures in that area of San Diego neighborhood North Park (along University Avenue between Mississippi and Texas streets).

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Spidey Steaks

As I write, Preview Night is coming to a close at San Diego Comic-Con, which returns for a full festival following a two-year hiatus in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. The virus overshadows the show nevertheless. Attendees must wear face masks or other protective covering and provide proof of vaccination or negative Coronavirus test within 72 hours.

Interestingly, the popular culture event implemented those rules before recent rise in COVID-19 infections mainly caused by the BA.5 variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts SD County in a high-risk category, although deaths aren’t dramatically rising nor are hospitals overwhelmed. Case fatality rate is 0.64 percent, while most people infected show slight to no symptoms. Hey, just saying.

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Let the Kids Breathe!

Seriously, San Diego Unified School District?  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates are back, starting yesterday. Students are required to muzzle up—uh, wear masks—once more. Because of the time of year, you might ask “Who cares?” Some kids are taking summer classes, then there are the year-round schools like Alice Birney Elementary.

Granted, Omicron BA.5 rapidly spreads. But the virus is unstoppably contagious—and that’s without factoring the science too often ignored by policymakers: Because of its small size, SARS-CoV-2 easily passes through most face coverings, like those that youngsters wear.

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Does Anyone Care Enough to Comply?

While my household has ample supply of masks, including environmental and medical N95s, I have absolutely no plans to cover up should mandates return—and looks like they will; in Los Angeles County, at least, and possibly here in San Diego, too. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention returns both areas to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 high-risk category, which could lead to resuming face-covering requirements.

As of yesterday, according to official public health data that excludes Long Beach and Pasadena, 1,107 people are hospitalized in LA County—up from 606 about thirty days earlier. One-hundred twenty-nine are in intensive care, or about 11 percent of capacity. Daily Coronavirus deaths: Four, which is down from six on June 14. And that’s a health emergency enough to bring back mask mandates?

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Long Haul Trucker

I initially planned to close-crop the Featured Image but instead present it as shot. Both bikes are something of anachronisms in San Diego, where more and more riders mount motorized hybrids. Blame electric rentals or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—both, likely—for dramatic behavioral shift in a short span of about two years.

The Surly is a Long Haul Trucker model that the manufacturer describes as a “long-distance cargo bike ready to go anywhere”. The single saddlebag—pannier, if you prefer—suggests somewhere. The LHT was retired last year, after 17 years of production, which makes me wonder how much the sudden surge in popularity of electric (and some gas-powered) hybrids played into the bike’s end of life.