gurgling fountains dither with independence day inoculation

Here in Santa Barbara, we’re experiencing a very strange Independence Day. To begin with, we’re still stuck in the middle of March.

“No fireworks?” I asked.

“Nope! And the beaches are closed.”
nazy july 4th


“The bars too. And gyms, nail salons..”

“March will never end!” I exclaimed. “How is our toilet paper supply?”

Although we’ve been careful, recent increases in corona virus cases: nationally, state-wide and locally, are worrisome. And, although we wear masks, shun gatherings, limit who we see, avoid indoor venues, wash hands and remain physically distant, we..

“… realize that we’re dealing with a virus,” I noted.

“The country is not dealing with it in a very smart way,” Nazy replied.

“I concur.”

another July 4 nazy photo

It is astonishing that even though no vaccine has been discovered, large portions of the country have, nevertheless, been inoculated against common sense. Moreover, everyone residing in (or working out of) the White House has developed an immune reaction that makes it impossible to learn from the experiences of others.

Cabin fever is, of course, running rampant. It’s impossible (or stupid) to do a lot of the things we like to do. So..

“… luckily we have time to do things we don’t like to do,” Nazy interjected.

“Luckily?” I replied.

“Like cleaning the garage, Dan.”


“And you can clean the outdoor patio and
the fountain.”
Auriane standing July 3 2020

“Whoopee.” I replied, graciously.

The fountain has been problematic. Although we got a great deal on the device, the delivery man left it at the bottom of our (very) steep driveway. We ended up paying a couple of gardeners to bring it up the driveway, over the fence and onto the patio. (It is not
lightweight.) Then we had to find an electrician to install adequate power — away from the house. Once put in place, we noticed that the outdoor floor was not quite level. This necessitated a bit of clever shimming. In springtime, our neighbor’s tree discharges golf-ball sized (inedible) ‘fruit’ as well leaf droppings that rapidly decay in fountain water. The normal off-shore breeze from the, conveniently placed, Pacific Ocean often overpowers gravity preventing water from falling straight down. Misdirected water can’t be recirculated, so low water and fountain malfunction follows. In spite of all of this, decades of marriage primed me to make the only appropriate response to Nazy’s ‘suggestion’.

“I’d love to clean the fountain, my dear!”

I’m continuing to read and talk with (the lovely) Leandra via Zoom video conferencing. It’s not as good as ‘being there’. However, even though she is very young, Leandra has a great attention span and is engaging and involved throughout the call. The first book we read was ‘Cat in the Hat’. Leandra has that one memorized, so I’ve moved further afield.

“Do you think she would like ‘
The Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics’? I asked Darius.

“I don’t think that
you would like that book, Dad.” Darius replied, accurately.

I shared some science videos — an astronaut demonstrating sleeping bags and use of a rocket engine to light candles on a birthday cake. I also saw Leandra’s sister, Auriane, who is one year old…

“… she’s standing up!” I exclaimed.

“Yep,” Darius replied.

“Can she walk yet?”


“Good luck,” I countered, well aware that there is nothing on the planet that is faster, or more dangerous, than a baby that has just learned to walk.

A photo that appeared in last week’s edition (on-line version) of The Weekly Letter garnered many comments. I want to set the record straight: It is not my hat — but the family is ‘big’ on hats as you’ll see while you peruse the photos in this issue.

photos TWL lined up July 5 2020

The USA has historically relied rugged individuality. As a result, some shun mask wearing because it interferes with their ‘freedom’. The preamble to the US Constitution says that the USA is established (among other things) to ‘promote the general welfare’. The country would be well-served if citizenry was as concerned about others as they are about their own ‘freedom’.

“But, Dan,” Nazy said, “The
‘president’ isn’t ‘on-board’.”

he president is off-planet,” I thought. “He’s living in fantasyland, Nazy. No country has done worse with this virus than the United States. We dithered, we frittered, we opened too soon, we ignored science, we …”

“Someone told me that you, Dan, are repeating ‘fake news’ because ‘the mainstream media’ are liars.”

Those probably get their ‘news’ from Fox — the official government propaganda arm,” I thought. “No one needs to rely on media to realize that the ‘president’ is a miserable, total, abject, uninformed failure. All you have to do is listen to him talk. He’s incoherent. He’s out of touch. He’s …”

Leandra and Dan for TWL July 5

“… injecting clorox and a lame duck?”

“One can only pray. And Vote. It just amazes me how administration supporters can spot and magnify a decades-old, microscopic speck of possible corruption on an opponent, but somehow fail to discern the giant elephant turd that is stuck to Trump’s head.”

“I don’t think you’re a fan, Dan.”

But, while we’re on the subject of hats — Arrow, following in the sainted footsteps of his grandfather and grandmother, is strongly attached to his hat.

Arrow at beach with hat June 2020

For last week's letter, please click here

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