SL 834

I’m fascinated/worried by the shifting demographics in the country and its impact on Congress. I can’t believe that New York lost a vote in Congress, because of 89 folks.

From the New York Times: “The modern royal family, experts said, has defined itself and justified its taxpayer support largely through its public works.” And Prince Charles is taking a larger public role. Which is pretty much what I said here a week ago.

More on my anglophilia from a photo shot of the Cambridges — I now want to get an argyle sweater. I haven’t wanted one since 1983.

India. My god.

We’re getting ready to put some Hardie Plank on our house. I’ll do a post on this process at some point. I know that Split Level houses aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but with its multiple levels, it’s been great since the pandemic — everybody has their own zones and space.

Cooking: Chicken Chili — 1. brown two green peppers, one large onion, four cloves of garlic. Dump in a big pot. 2. brown two pounds of ground chicken. Dump in big pot. 3. Add 1-1/2 cans of crushed tomatoes, two cups of chicken broth, 1/4 cup of high quality chili powder, two squirts of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of cumin, some dried oregano, cayenne, salt. 4. cook for 40 minutes. 5. Add two cans of black beans, one can of pink beans, and 1-1/2 cups of frozen corn. Cook until everything is hot. Adjust spices. 6. Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, jalapeños, and/or chopped onion. Leftovers – on top hot dogs or sweet potato chunks.

Picture: This is our house. Minus the overgrown front shrubs. It was built in 1958, so it needs some TLC.

31 thoughts on “SL 834

  1. Is that wisteria over your garage? Gardening friends have warned against wisteria. I love its appearance and smell, but they are emphatic. It’s not as bad as bamboo or kudzu, but still…

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  2. We had some discussion in a previous thread about prioritizing US vaccine help.

    I was just looking at the NYT’s invaluable country pages and discovered that Mexico is actually doing really well right now:

    Their stats and charts remind me a lot of US sunbelt states, which have been having a good month or two.

    Brazil is a lot worse than Mexico, but they’ve peaked, and cases and deaths are both headed down. Brazil is as bad as Michigan in parts (with fewer resources), but the best regions are much better than Michigan.

    India is in a completely different place:

    The worst-hit regions of India are 2-4X worse than Michigan is right now, with far smaller resources.

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  3. I’m trying to figure out what an HGTV team would do with the front of Laura’s house.

    Darned if I can figure it out.

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  4. I think working from home highlights the things you dislike about your home. Thursday work begins on my kitchen. I look forward to it being finished.

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  5. I’m not surprised CA lost a seat and TX gained two. I just checked UHaul. A 20ft truck from Los Angeles to San Antonio is $3899. Same size from San Antonio to Los Angeles is $635. Suggests more people leaving CA than TX.

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    1. Texas grew at more than 2.5 times the rate of California (15.9% v 6.1%), but presumably that is not based on the current cost of UHaul TX->CA v CA-TX, since those moves would be represented in the 2030 census.

      Texas added nearly 4 million people.

      I find it interesting to note that of the top 10 fastest growing states by percent change (top 11, since DC doesn’t get any extra representatives presumably no matter its growth), TX & FL get new representatives (and Colorado).

      https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2020/dec/2020-apportionment-data.html

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      1. No, that one spot check doesn’t show it. You can check the UHaul index for past data (by state even). It does suggest it may be continuing.

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      2. pretty cool. would be interesting to see if one could use the uhaul data to make pairwise predictions, but that requires figuring out the contenders first.

        NY had the smallest shortfall since 1940 — and Minnesota would have apparently been the alternative looser.

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  6. I talked to my cleaning lady today. She asked me if I was vaccinated (I’m fully vaccinated now) and told me that she’s now vaccinated. She did Johnson & Johnson. I asked if she did it before or after the stoppage, and she said after. People were concerned about her doing it (it sounds like she’s in the higher risk age group), but she liked the convenience of one and done and was concerned that she wouldn’t manage to get back for a second shot. She wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a yearly booster either, especially if it’s over $20. She works in people’s homes and also moonlights as a night watchman/babysitter at the college COVID hotel, so she has a lot of exposure to the public. She said that the number of college kids in the COVID hotel has been dwindling. Her youngest kid (the only one left at home) is back in school in person and doing better.

    I hear through the grapevine (although I haven’t seen it in print myself) that 40% of Hometown U. faculty are fully vaccinated and 20% of Hometown U. students. That’s a lot, because it takes a long time to work through the two-shot vaccination process, and young people have only had about a month of eligibility here. Our college student won’t get her second shot for probably another week.

    I see that Texas is vaccinating 2/3 of a person per 100 people every day now. I wish it were more, but at the same time,

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    1. Our individual cleaner (who has cleaned our house for 17 years) emailed that she got her first shot and should be fully vaccinated by June. We’ve been paying her through the last year, but it will be nice to gt back to normal.

      We alternate with a cleaning service (where we don’t pay the individuals ourselves). We’ve been having those cleaners come because we can’t figure out how we would pay them otherwise — but it will be harder to figure out if those folks are vaccinated. But, I think we’ll have to figure it out.

      It’s cool to hear that your cleaner did get vaccinated.

      WA State U just announced that it will require vaccinations by Aug 6 (or a approved acceptation).

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      1. bj said, “It’s cool to hear that your cleaner did get vaccinated.”

        I am especially pleased to hear it, as she’s the matriarch of a large extended family (she’s got 30 grandkids) and is pretty plugged into her local church community.

        I saw an editorial in the campus paper calling for mandatory vaccinations, but I don’t know that that is going to happen. As I’ve said before, they have the mandatory weekly testing program, so it would be very easy to say–get vaccinated or keep on getting tested weekly. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

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    2. My husband tried to convince his barber (who’s much younger) to get vaccinated. Long covid is no joke.

      I see people trying to find easy ways to categorize the people who are hesitant about vaccination. I think it’s a class thing. In our circles, I think just about everyone is vaccinated, apart from a relative who has had serious allergic reactions to other vaccinations, and a friend of a friend who’s undergoing cancer treatment.

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  7. I really wonder how good this year’s census was.

    There were a lot of ways for it not to work out, given the possibility of people dying after being counted, or people winding up being accidentally double-counted due to COVID moves.

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    1. For census purposes it doesn’t matter if you die after being counted. If you are alive before April 1 you are counted. Kiddo was counted at her college, by her college, even though she was home by April 1, though. We were sent info about that and did not count her at our house, but I can imagine folks getting that wrong.

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  8. Alex Tabarrok tweets, “Clip a Powerball ticket to every vaccination card.”

    !

    West Virginia is already offering $100 savings bonds to people under 35 getting vaccinated, but I’m not sure that has the bunch of immediacy.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/04/27/991173625/west-virginia-will-pay-young-people-100-to-get-vaccinated-against-covid-19

    “The initiative will apply retroactively to people in this age group who have already gotten their shots. It is funded with money from the CARES Act, with [Republican Gov. Jim] Justice adding that officials have “vetted this in every way that we possibly can.””

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  9. I’m hopeful about the nationwide trend in cases (down nicely for the last few days). But, WA & OR are not doing well (not one of the 27 that are showing substantial declines, including those in the NE & MI). We’re doing pretty well on vaccination, but not quite well enough for me to be comfortable until I see those cases go down.

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    1. bj said, “I’m hopeful about the nationwide trend in cases (down nicely for the last few days). But, WA & OR are not doing well (not one of the 27 that are showing substantial declines, including those in the NE & MI). We’re doing pretty well on vaccination, but not quite well enough for me to be comfortable until I see those cases go down.”

      It looks to me like Oregon may (?) have peaked. While their cases and hospitalizations have been kind of bad, deaths seem to have decoupled from cases and hospitalizations.

      WA is kind of similar, in that there’s a bump in cases and hospitalizations that isn’t matched by a similar shaped bump for deaths. In the previous wave (Nov. 2020-Feb. 2021) the bumps matched up much more closely.

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  10. CA is somehow down to 5 cases per 100k. Oklahoma, Hawaii and Arkansas are at 6.

    I was doing a final vaccination push with an older relative in WA today, as the 8-year-old and I will be flying in about a month, and the 8-year-old can’t yet be vaccinated, and there’s still time to get one shot done. Relative wants to know, if vaccines work, why was everybody at the State of the Union wearing a mask, despite having been vaccinated for months?

    *sigh*

    The powers that be think that they’re sending a message by staying masked long after being vaccinated–but it’s not the message they want to send.

    On a completely different note, with Mother’s Day coming soon, I have to mention that the lavender-flavored chocolate and the Earl Grey chocolate are actually really good.

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  11. They’re vaccinating everywhere now in my neck of the woods. Just got notices about a vaccine clinic at a local high school (for students), administered by a Cancer Care Alliance and at a local upscale outdoor shopping mall, administered by fire fighters. Our big max vax site now has refrigerators so that they can manage the vaccine differently. Hopefully we’ll see a surge in vaccinations?

    I understand being unsure about whether a vaccine works, since when it works, you get what you already had, which is not to be sick. That’s why I’m so anxiously looking at the data, which looks better nationwide (and very good in Israel and getting pretty good in UK), but hasn’t turned the curve in my neck of the wood.

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    1. bj said, “I understand being unsure about whether a vaccine works, since when it works, you get what you already had, which is not to be sick. That’s why I’m so anxiously looking at the data, which looks better nationwide (and very good in Israel and getting pretty good in UK), but hasn’t turned the curve in my neck of the wood.”

      The scary thing at the beginning of the year was that Israel was vaccinating massively, and for weeks, nothing seemed to be happening. But then it started happening, just like it’s started happening in NY/NJ.

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  12. I’m reading this:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/01/why-does-the-pandemic-seem-to-be-hitting-some-countries-harder-than-others

    It came out in late February, when India seemed to be doing really well.

    I haven’t gotten to the end of the piece, but I suspect that the real answer is that there’s a lot of randomness in dealing with COVID, and the longer you have an unvaccinated population, the more likely it is that your results will ultimately converge with the results that other countries or regions have gotten. (See: Germany and California.)

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  13. https://qz.com/india/1996126/will-pfizer-moderna-or-jj-vaccines-be-available-in-india-soon/

    I don’t know what the current situation is with regard to approval, but this April 14 piece suggests that the Indian government had previously been slow to approve foreign vaccines:

    “The central government announced a change in its policy yesterday (April 13), under which Covid-19 vaccines that have received emergency approval elsewhere in the world would be fast tracked in India.”

    “This new policy potentially opens the door for Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The country has already approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccines, which have tie-ups with local pharmaceutical companies for production in India.”

    “Pfizer was among the first companies to apply for an emergency use authorisation in India, back in December.”

    “At the time, the government had insisted on Pfizer’s bridging study in India, and the pharmaceutical company wanted India to first commit to buying the shots. Eventually, Pfizer withdrew its application in February.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/bdddb51a-cc48-4e37-887b-a3b30193ceea?list=intlhomepage

    “Pfizer is in discussions with the Indian government for “expedited approval” of its Covid-19 vaccine as the country continues to grapple with a deadly surge of the virus and the world’s highest daily case numbers.”

    That’s an article from a few hours ago.

    WHO has (believe it or not) just approved Moderna.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/01/who-approves-moderna-covid-19-jab-for-emergency-use

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