Nearing a new normal

Today is Tuesday and that’s totally tremendous.

Voyager 1, which launched back in 1977, is phoning home from 14 billion miles away with information about plasma waves in interstellar space. That’s just crazy.

England, Northern Ireland and Scotland recorded no Covid deaths in the latest reporting period. (Wales is still catching up, reporting 3 deaths.) Closer to home, Massachusetts had 14 deaths but only 446 new cases. Just a few months ago we were looking at over 6000 new cases a day, so we’re certainly moving in the right direction. By August 1st the worst may be over.

Airline workers were on the front lines in the mask wars. Retail workers too. It’s amazing how selfish and petty people can be. These workers need a raise.

Remember all that rhetoric about blue state bailouts? We were told that states like California shouldn’t get pandemic relief because they couldn’t manage their own budgets? Flash forward: California has a $75.7B budget surplus. Sounds pretty well-managed to me.

And Donovan Leitch, who once had an incredible string of hit songs in the 1960’s, has now teamed up with David Lynch for a music video. There are no talking monkeys but it’s still very Lynchian.

Vicarious victimhood

It’s a rainy Monday. Today’s word is shrive.

What can you do about a bad judge? Not much. One guy from Groveland is trying to change that.

Two stories today on policing and politics. The first revolves around last week’s shooting in Times Square and how candidates for mayor are using it to showcase their support for public safety and the NYPD. The other looks at how most of the 12,000 police departments across the country are not like the NYPD. 90% of departments in the US have less than 50 officers. Unlike in many countries, policing here is decentralized. While that may be good in that allows local police to be closer and more responsive to their communities, it can also make reform challenging. Bug/feature.

Did Tucker Carlson get vaccinated? Inquiring minds want to know.

That ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline was a bigger deal than I thought. It could impact oil prices in the US and might lead to discussions about diplomatic or military retaliation. It’s also prompting requirements for companies operating as critical infrastructure to harden their networks against these attacks. Finally.

And LiveBoston617 reports on the arrest of a man from Leominster for gun possession. How would you describe the gun he was found with? It was… kinda funny looking. Ya. Funny looking.

Scattered to the wind

Saturday. At the weekend, as they say.

A Chinese satellite is expected to crash to earth tonight. It’s unlikely to hit anywhere near Boston. But it’s not impossible. Plan accordingly.

Danny McDonald tries to read the tea leaves on how Marty Walsh supporters will vote now that Marty is not in the race. Even this late in the game, it’s still too early to tell.

LiveBoston617 covers a shooting in Roxbury. (H-Block is a gang turf, not a neighborhood in Boston.)

I’ve never wanted to be this guy. Variety is the spice of life.

And the impulse to conform is a real thing. I knew the mask mandate had been lifted but, walking around the city, everyone was wearing a mask. So I wore a mask. Baaaa.

The wild ones

Hey, Thursday, right? A good day for a refreshing beverage.

How will we know when the pandemic is over? When you can dive into a pit of plastic balls. Obviously.

Dirtbikes and ATV‘s come out with the warm weather each year and many people find them menacing. In a recent City Council hearing, State Rep Russell Holmes said he found himself surrounded and intimidated by a mob of riders last fall. The council heard public comments and entertained some creative ideas like designating a special part of Franklin Park for the riders or bringing them in to ask them why they do what they do. But, asked Holmes, “Shouldn’t we be dealing with the real question, which is they shouldn’t even be in the park or be in the road?”

So far, foldable phones are just a gimmick. Apple has some ideas about changing that.

New Jersey and Connecticut top the list of best states for pizza, according to Food and Wine Magazine. Massachusetts comes in at number eight, behind even California. (I’ve had the pizza in California. Not good.) Anyway, they call out Santarpio’s and Galleria Umberto, and note other, different styles of pizza here in the Bay State, including Greek, South Shore bar pizza and something called beach pizza, which I hadn’t heard about before.

And don’t judge me because my name is round. (Only a spiky person would do something like that.)

Defying expectations

Tuesday. We’re off and running. Bring an umbrella.

Because of the variants circulating and the people who refuse to get vaccinated the rest of us are, unfortunately, going to have to live with a future of booster shots. Maybe they’ll reconsider.

It appears that Congress is actually getting things done, working through legislation, passing bills. Filibusters are scant. This is crazy. Stop the presses. Man bites dog.

Be the change.

Marc Hurwitz reports that a new brewery is slated for Hampden Street in Roxbury at the site of the closed Backlash Beer Company. They’ll be brewing and serving hard Kombucha.

And Apple’s Air Tags are not a very good way to track your luggage through the airport. But you can track a letter through the mail.