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4th of July barbecue?

So hey, even though my birthday party got rained out, a bunch of people came and it was a good time. I suspect that an even better time will be had when it’s sunny. Anyone in (or able to get to) the Seattle area interested in having a barbecue at my place on the 4th?

Let me know in the comments!

High temperature alert

It’s pretty hot in Seattle.

First, advice from someone who grew up in the desert:

  • Drink lots of liquids, but don’t drink just plain water because sweat loses electrolytes
  • A good way to cool down reasonably quickly is to hold ice against a major artery or vein, such as your wrist or armpit, or against your sternum (but be careful about overdoing it in that case)
  • A breeze can help but at a certain point you’re only blowing hot air around and heating it up even more
  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
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Current status

My neighborhood is a war zone, but all signs point to SPD abandoning the East precinct and deescalating. I am suspicious that after they do, they’re going to purposefully cause crimes to make everyone fear for their safety to try to get us to beg for them to come back. If this happens, I hope we see past it.

The next few months are going to be interesting, and not in a great way.

Meanwhile, I’m sick with yet another sinus infection, and this combined with my mental health and my chronic pain issues are making this a very bad time. I mostly slept and cried today, although now it’s 10 PM and I’m at least feeling good enough to exist.

Job-wise, the news is quite public now that my company was hosting the Blue Lives Matter site, and enough was enough and pretty much everyone at the company revolted over it. They’re shutting the site down now. I don’t know how long it’ll take, but we are going to hold them to it.

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Regular check-in

I’m personally physically all right, at least for now. The house guest also made it here safely, right before things got really weird.

I gotta say, getting an urgent group text informing my building of an incoming teargas cloud and “Close your windows” is not a thing I thought I’d ever experience first-hand.

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Checking in

Seattle has long been a powder keg, ready to explode. The last few days, I’m pretty sure a fuse has been smoldering.

I am fine, and I am safe. I live right next to where a lot of the action is taking place, and it’s been pretty surreal. Friday night there were riots within a couple blocks from me; I didn’t hear them very much, but the onslaught of sirens and riot-suppressing fire (rubber bullets and tear gas) were quite hard to ignore.

Saturday after the sudden curfew was enacted, things got eerily quiet. Later in the evening I heard more gunfire. Some of my neighbors saw people breaking into and looting the drug store next door, and called the police on them. I haven’t dared to go outside to look myself.

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Updates from Elsewhere

So, my cold symptoms came back somewhat today, so I took another sick day and took it easy. And now I’m feeling better, so, yay.

The last few days I’ve been having trouble with my sleep apnea again so I’m giving my CPAP another shot. Since I’m on new insurance and getting healthcare at a different place now maybe I’ll get a new sleep doctor who actually listens to my concerns instead of just taking shortcuts based on simple apnea.

I also of course still want to get tested for COVID-19, if only for peace of mind. I’m not fond of this constant uncertainty. If I can get a clean diagnosis I can stop having an anxiety attack every time I cough or feel short of breath. And on the off chance I do have the virus I know what to prepare for. (Plus I switch to no-contact grocery and food delivery for a while.)

Inside I’m going to ruminate about the virus itself.

Read more… (COVID-19 rumination)

Normalcy returning?

My symptoms have mostly cleared up, so I went out to get some cat food and cat litter. At the store everything seemed like it was back to normal; the crowd wasn’t quite as massive as usual for a Sunday afternoon, but the shelves were, for the most part, well-stocked. The canned beans section was still somewhat depleted (but there was still plenty to go around), and paper products and bottled water were back to normal stock levels. Hand soap was a bit scarce (and there was a “limit 5 per order” sign prominently placed there) and hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol were completely out. I didn’t think to check the rice section, though. Anyway I did end up buying some more hand soap since I’m running low. Just the usual amount1 I’d need for a reasonable amount of time, of course.

And while I was feeling up to it I finally got around to doing a Sodastream canister exchange at Bartell’s. I only went to the Sodastream section and also picked up some of their actually-sugar-based-we-mean-it raspberry mint syrup2 so I didn’t check their product availability myself, but while checking out the cashier handled a phone call and said, “Sorry, we’re out,” and then after hanging up said, “If I had a dime…”

My review of the new Amazon Go store

There’s a new Amazon Go store on the way home from my therapist, and I was feeling too tired to think about dinner so I decided to just check it out.

There’s a little seating area in front and a greeter who watches you to help people out (and probably make sure they aren’t up to Shenanigans). I suspect that there’s actual human intelligence going on and it isn’t purely AI like the marketing leads everyone to believe. Still, I have some ideas for things to test.

Food selection is pretty okay. The prices are fairly reasonable for Seattle. It’s mostly sandwiches and salads and snacks, and I think they’re all made elsewhere (probably at the flagship store downtown).

I ended up getting a “Tex-Mex Salad with Beef” and a caramel latte. The salad was $8.50. The coffee was $1.85, on sale, although the regular price is $2.35 which is still really cheap for Seattle. The cup and lid were Starbucks-branded, but the cardboard cozy thing said Amazon Go on it.

The salad was pretty okay. It had too much quinoa and not enough lettuce for my taste, but it was tasty and more or less filling. It did have an expiration date of today. I wonder when it was actually made.

The coffee was a bit too sweet and also wasn’t very hot by the time I got home and I suspect it wasn’t actually freshly-brewed hot. They did have regular and decaf options, but no non-dairy milks. It tasted okay. They let you bring your own cup, which is nice.

Not a fan of how it’s yet another case of tech displacing workers from jobs and automating everything away while driving even more of a wage gap and an overall wealth divide.

Also the salad selection could be better.

All in all I think it’s a place I’ll go to get cheap, quick coffee but I don’t expect to make a habit out of it.

They’re also opening a gigantic flagship store a block from my home. I look forward to seeing what the anarchists do to it.