another sign of mortality
Saturday, February 13 2021
The panagram this morning for the New York Times Spelling Bee was "nonbelief," a word that Gretchen and I found cooperatively. But our Saturday morning ritual was cut a bit short by developing news. Last evening, Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy had leaked that Donald Trump had taunted him during a January 6th phone call in which McCarthy tried to get Trump to call off the rioters at the Capitol. This news lead to vote this morning in which the Senate voted to call witnesses. So we wanted to watch developments on the teevee upstairs.
In the end, witnesses were not called and instead the written account of a Republican congresswoman (one of the ten Republicans who had voted for impeachment) was entered into the record. By this afternoon, the impeachment had reached its conclusion and a roll-call vote was held for a verdict. As expected, Donald Trump was acquited, but, somewhat suprising, seven Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting for conviction. That was about as good of an outcome as anyone with a sense of justice could expect from this impeachment.
Meanwhile, I was adding additional structural members to my new computer desk. This was mostly to connect legs together to both make it more solid and provide places to attach additional pull-out surfaces and storage opportunities. As I worked, I found I was experiencing a mild (though initiative-draining) bout of dysphoria that eventually stopped me from working on the computer desk project. This was my 20th day without alcohol, and my funk was bad enough for me to consider having a beer or perhaps a drink containing hard spirits. I hadn't really been craving alcohol all ths time, so this was the first real test of my resolve. The whole point of this alcohol-free period has been to wean myself off of its availability as psychological crutch, and it didn't take much will power to resist my cravings.
Part of the my malaise came from seeing the top of my head in the video feed from the laboratory's surveillance robot. I knew my hair was thinning up there (something Gretchen has told me and something my brother Don was sure to mention when I was in Virginia). But seeing it for myself gave me additional unwanted evidence of my mortality. There's still hair up there, but right around the center of the whorl at the top of my head, it's thin enough for a fair amount of skin to show through. Oh well; I'm not actually vain enough to do anything about it except perhaps cut my hair on a more regular basis (this kind of hair thinning pairs poorly with the longer hair I have right now).
This evening, I got a bit of a second wind and began the process or reorganizing the three or four powerstrips associated with the computer desk. I also added a USB 2.0 hub just for devices on the desk (including the keyboard, a mouse — though right now I'm using a bluetooth mouse, a place to charge my cellphone, and whatever microcontroller I happen to be working on.
Meanwhile Gretchen had gone to Woodstock to have dinner with Sarah the Vegan, and came back hours later with a veggie quesadilla for me and a Beyond Burger for Powerful. The news from Sarah the Vegan is that she is in the process of buying a house again, this time a tiny little place on Lucas Avenue in Kingston for only $150,000.
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