Who's around here anymore? 

I went sailing. Coming from the Tasman into the Southern myself and the mate had a problem the captain ignored, and it's not why I left but it's not not on the list. Came home, to fall in love. I had surgery and she looked after me and we shared a bed because the painkillers gave me nightmares and sometimes I woke needing something I couldn't easily wake to get. Loose reasons. We shared a bed because we gave ourselves easy reasons. I kissed her.

It's legal now even though it shouldn't need to be. When I asked for advice on the local trans forum they all said that actually it's real easy to switch your birth certificate, like we're a single country with a single law on the matter. I was born over east, and it was only the plebiscite that means I can ask her to marry me, and have it be a real question. I asked her before I asked her to date me. I've known, since I met her, that I wanted her in my big house by the sea. So I'm going to do that. I have a plan.

I miss having space. I miss being outside. Look at the mountain to see the weather coming over the hill. Once it's dark the job is done. Sanding and painting and ropework and rig checks and training. Things with your hands where the results are immediate. Repetitive without being tedious. Nine months I was there, and I loved it. Still dream about it. Nine months in a job made up of so many things I want forever, and six months I've been at my current job, which is a desk job, which is dull, it is reading on my lunch break, and office-wide emails, a morning commute.

I am trying to readjust how I think so I focus on the other things: there are many hours afterwards. I am going to find running shoes that work for my feet and get back into that. There are horses. I am trying to write. I stopped. I gave up. It is difficult to be out of habit. I miss drawing, but I am no longer practiced and the last I remember is being so good my teacher wondered if, later, I'd consider the Archibald. And now none of my lines go where I want them to. Difficult to get back into something that is hard now, when it used to be easy.

Focus on the good things. Focus on the good things and focus on the get-through. Bills have to be paid. A wedding. A holiday. Horses, dogs. A small garden. There's more to the future than this.

Last night we hosted a Rotary Fundraiser, at another Rotarian's house.

This fundraiser is called "Guess who's coming to dinner?" People sign up, pick one of the nights, pay, and then on the day of the dinner they are told the location. We don't know who is coming and they don't know who is cooking or hosting.

I've been missing my father. He considered one of my shirttail aunts to be a very elegant hostess. Her meals were simple but in courses, starting with a salad. The salad contained only greens. My father said he didn't approve of salads with anything but greens. After thinking about our main course I decided to start the same way.

First course: green salad. Spinach, finely chopped kale and red butter lettuce. The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette with orange zest grated in and a little fresh orange. This is accompanied by a white wine. Before the white wine we had a toast with aalborg akvavit. I bought a bottle sometime: in my 20s? This is the same bottle. Just think how many times I've moved it: guess I don't drink much.

Second course: soup. Green pea soup. Butter, sauteed onions and then frozen green peas, cooked just barely. It tastes verdant: spring.

Third course: corned beef and cabbage, turnips and carrots and onions, with roasted potatoes. We baked some cabbage as well. This is homage to my mother. In high school she gave us each a 6 by 8 three ring binder and said we had to cook dinner once a week. We chose the meal and she would tell us how to make it. The first thing I chose is corned beef and cabbage. I have her delicious mustard sauce recipe with it. I also looked at James Beard, who states that corned beef is neglected and can be done well. With this a malbec red wine or Guinness, at room temperature.

Fourth course: cheese and fruit. Three cheeses. A brie, a local Mount Townsend Creamery Trufflestack, and a cheddar. Bunches of grapes cut into small bunches and two varieties of sliced apples.

Fifth and last course: Coffee. Chocolate truffles and marzipan from Elevated Ice Cream. Irish Whiskey, Jameson Stout Cask Edition. That bottle will probably last me 20 years as well.

It went well. We did enough prep and had the dishes out. We used the big plates initially as chargers, with salad plates on them. We cleared the salad plates for the second course and served small bowls of soup. It was fun and our guests seemed to really enjoy it.

These funds go to all the things our small Sunrise Rotary does: picture dictionaries for each third grader in the county to take home, Polio Plus, donating a Shelter Box to go to a disaster area each year, a incoming and outgoing exchange student, international projects, high school interact, work on local parks, and other things. It does give me joy to balance out the worry about US medicine.

On March 18th, at 9:58 p.m., an Uber driver hit and killed a cyclist.


On March 18th, at 9:58 p.m., a self-driving vehicle hit and killed a cyclist.

The media likes the second version; it sounds scarier. I like the first one; it is actually true. However, neither one tells the whole story.

Uber likes self-driving vehicles, as they are a potential way to avoid paying drivers. At this time, they were working on a system where they would test self-driving cars, but only with a driver behind (but not touching!) the wheel.

To keep the cars from acting erratically in traffic, they were programmed not to brake in emergency situations.

So, second time around the test loop, test driver Rafaela Vasquez got bored, and decided to watch some Hulu on her cell phone (it was The Voice). The car saw an unidentified moving object. It took a couple seconds, but it finally figured out that it was a cyclist walking their bike across the road. At 1.3 seconds before impact, the car alerted Vasquez to brake. At impact the car was travelling at 39 mph; the pedestrian/cyclist, Elaine Herzberg, died at the hospital that night. Vasquez started to brake less than one second after the impact, and immediately called 911.

While braking distances depend on multiple factors, braking to a full stop from 40 mph takes ~76 feet. By my calculations, the car had ~74 feet between it and Herzberg when it made the decision that emergency braking was necessary.

A self-driving car would have hit, and bruised, a pedestrian. Uber and distracted driving killed a pedestrian.

National Transportation Safety Board report


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