Icing screw up

I knocked out some pecan cinnamon rolls today from my no knead dough.  I'll freeze them individually and enjoy them one at a time.  They thaw out perfectly in the microwave. 

But I totally screwed up the icing and now have to go buy some more powered sugar.  The problem was I'm trying to make more orange-ish icing.  So I added what zest I could get off the orange I bought for that purpose.  Turned out the orange was a really luscious, juicy one and not very  zesty.  So I added some of the squeezed orange juice which toppled the whole thing.  Now I had runny icing to which I added corn starch and now it tastes like crap.

My idea is to have some of the icing in the refrigerator to ice the thawed out rolls as they come out of the microwave.

All in search of the perfect cinnamon roll experience.

Life is so complicated.

 171 days to inauguration

My Zen exam (a fail)

I was prepping as usual for my morning walk with Zoe and discovered that none of my blue tooth ear buds would work.  I took it as a sign and just decided to take a meditation walk.  Breath in, breath out.  Mile and a half or so.

The morning was nice and the walk was as usual but with fewer people.  So I was cruising blissfully along when I ran into a fellow dog walker with whom I've spoken in the past.  A nice guy and the only other one with a dog, like Zoe, sufficiently trained to be off leash and mind her own business.  In the past we've talked about this and that, nothing significant other than the Covid.  So I was cruising with my breathing meditation and ready to pass a couple of nice phrases with him when he said in the calm, quiet voice of a Zen master speaking in my ear:

"When are you going to put your Trump sign out?  The election is about 90 days and a bunch of us are getting together to do it."

I could hear the laughter of every Zen teacher I've read or listened to or imagined in my head.  

It was a perfect moment.

There is almost no other random event other than being knifed or shot that would have more completely thrown me out of my revelry, have rattled my nice safe meditative walk.  It was a perfect disruptor.

I don't argue well in or verbally.  I'm a writer.  And having discourse with someone already putting a sign in their yard is the supreme waste of time and energy.

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Shopping Day

I made the milk/egg/sour cream run today.  With the full state mask requirements I'm a bit more comfortable.  Only one Herman Cain enthusiast:

I'm too sexy for my mask
I'm too sexy for my mask
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I should so not publish this

Conservative think tank leader says schools should reopen since most Texans dying from COVID-19 are elderly or Hispanic.

Vance Ginn is the chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and clearly a Dan Patrick acolyte.  

He was bragging on the newly corrected Texas death data which shows "Mostly elderly & Hispanics dying"  "Very few kids die".

"Why not #openschools, end universal mandates"  

In other words, we've finally figured out what beats this covid into submission.  We have actually stopped this state from becoming a massive graveyard, are finally on the road to controlling the epidemic here.  Why not stop doing it?

His reasoning appears to be that the population most effected is hispanic and old people and they are expendable.  

OK, that part is predictably self serving and expected of the conservatives in this state.  I hardly even paid it any heed and had I not read the next line, would have not thought much of it.  But, he went on:

“I believe strongly based on my deep faith that every life is precious,” he wrote.

The two most contemptible groups of people in my experience are those who invoke the flag and those who invoke religion.  Every life is precious but for the hispanics and elderly who we don't need (other than my gardener and my maid and the people gathering my food and cleaning my bathrooms and manning my polling stations and redistributing food and clothing for those who need it and volunteering to support abused children .... ).

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Adapt and overcome

I took Zoe to the vet this morning for her twice a year allergy check.  Four years ago we had about given up on her.  She was constantly scratching and had all kinds of infections.  We bathed and brushed and did everything we could think of and were making no progress.  She was so miserable we considered putting her down.

Then took her to a vet specializing in dermatology, got her on Apoquel, among other things, took care of fungus and infections and got her off poultry feed (and on to kangaroo for a long time) and she slowly got better.  Fast forward to today, she is just fine, still on a daily regimen of Apoquel and Zyrtec but she is the picture of health. 

Her vet visit today was, of course, a bit different:

Shade for the cars
Shade for the cars

There were about 20 car coverings each with a sign in the front giving the phone number and the number of the parking place.  So I called in and gave them my number and they came out to pick up Zoe, called when she was done, got the payment over the phone and returned her.

It was nice to have some shade but I'd hate to be responsible for this set up next time there's a strong wind or hail storm.

174 days to inauguration

As close to work as I get

Today is as close to work as I get now days.  I've got two Zoom calls with the kids assigned to me in my role as CASA and I've been putting them off as long as possible.  While I'm fairly good at writing I suck at communication by phone.  Or Zoom.  And the less I do the more I hate it.  Back when I owned my business I talked on the phone a lot and kind of got used to it.  But as much as I like these three kids, talking to them is excruciating.  

My father could pick up a phone and ask the right questions and have a full conversation for an hour with someone who he had never met.  He called me every week or so while I was in school (away at prep school and then college).  He'd track me down and we'd talk.  I'm sure I was awful to talk to and monosyllabic whenever possible but he could somehow ask the right questions and he'd elicit information I had no intention of sharing.

Unfortunately he kept that talent to himself.  I got none of it.  My sleep last night and my morning today have been rather stupidly full of dread.  I've had one of two of the Zoom calls and it was not good.  The boys didn't want to be there, didn't want to talk and I never managed to get them going in a conversation.  Not a huge deal.  The object of the drill is for me to see them and verify their health and safety but it would have been nice to be able to draw them out a little bit.

Ah, well.  I'm earning my money as an unpaid volunteer today.


Just to add to the weirdness... a little boomtown irony

We're in the middle of a building boom around here.  This is the second Texas migration that I've seen since moving here in 2005 (on the cusp of the first migration after the housing bubble pop).

I had a conversation with the guy who takes care of the new house first year warranties and he is fully engaged all day every day.  This community is filling in all the remaining lots at once it seems.  As before, lots of Californians and Floridians and the new next door people will be from Boston.  All to come here and bake in the 100+ degree balmy Texas weather.

And we have not yet begun the Tesla and Amazon compounds soon to be up and running.

I'll be glad when all the lots are full and the construction is done.  Here is the view from our security camera.  I can see three new houses going up at once:

Red arrows point to the three foundations started this week - clouds by Hannah
Red arrows point to the three foundations started this week - clouds by Hannah

Next to the two red arrows is a house recently completed and recently moved in to.  To the right of us is a couple with their baby who are moving down from Boston soon.

This is NOT the land of job and economy lulls.  As in 2006, we're ignoring the recession.

The most interesting part of this is that the red state contingent is pretty much responsible for the boom.  I'll give credit to the capitalist ideal that has resulted in this state being so desirable.

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Vaccine depression

There is not going to be a magic bullet.  The more that our leadership indicates the 'vaccine' will fix everything, the less people are going to take personal responsibility for their own welfare and for the community's welfare.

IF there is a vaccine in the near future, as in sometime very late this year or early next (that is the NEAR future) only about half the people in the U.S. are going to get it so that is still not herd immunity level.  

But everyone is on the 'hey, this will all be over soon' bandwagon.  The real way the Covid will end is when it eventually does morph into a lesser version of itself and that will be a couple of years.

Everything I read bolsters this belief.  We're cleaning out the 'senior' pool of people per Dan Patrick's desires (Patrick went on Fox News on Monday evening to defend comments he made last month where he said he would rather die from the widely spreading coronavirus than see the economy destroyed for his children and grandchildren.....   I’m sorry to say that I was right on this and I’m thankful that now we are now finally beginning to open up Texas and other states because it’s been long overdue).  

Fortunately we do have some compassionate, science driven leadership on the way so we will get better at this but it is going to be a slough through a lot of sound and fury.  Setting the expectation that the vaccine will not magically throw a switch and fix all this makes living day to day a little easier and more realistic.

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