The switch

Mother Nature seems to have flipped the switch that turns Summer into Fall. Two weeks ago it was sunny and warm-to-hot; now Fall is definitely present.

Two weeks ago there was a west coast wind event as a pressure system came into the area from the NE driving extremely strong winds. There were widespread thunderstorms and new and existing fires ragged – notably east of Portland, Oregon. The winds shifted to the south driving smoke up the coast. Local air conditions were rated as being unhealthy. Visibility has been less than a mile.

Over the past weekend the conditions improved as more westerly flow has arrived along with rain. This week there has been clear air.

SWALLOW remains at the dock. The past weeks of smoke were not something I wanted to travel within – I did so in 2018 and it is not ‘fun’. Reports say that the number of boaters is less than pre-Labor Day but busier than usual for mid-September.

Part of me would like to do some cruising … the other part has me staying comfortably (somewhat) dock-bound.

Momma Kitty is a great gauge of the temperature: above 70 degrees she is less interested in lap time. Overnight if it is above the low 50s she sleeps on top of the covers. As it has been cooling she wants my lap full time and wakes sometime in the night for me to allow her under the blankets.

Momma Kitty curled up for reading time.

As I’ve not been cruising I’ve not added solar panels to SWALLOW. I pretty much know the controller I’ll use but still don’t know how and where to place a panel(s). I’m somewhat contemplating going with a portable panel(s) allowing me some flexibility in placement. No matter what panels I choose there is no way to make an installation look pretty. There is also the issue of drilling holes to run the wires.

COVID update: I’m increasingly seeing family, friends and acquaintances disregard social distancing. The specific behavior is they wear masks (this is in the positive column though sadly I have some acquaintances that don’t ‘believe’ in masks) but feel the need to meet up and get close (hugging, kissing, shaking hands, eating in restaurants, etc) and remove masks. This spreads the disease! It is frustrating and shows why the United States is failing to significantly reduce illnesses and deaths.

I don’t allow anyone, but Momma Kitty, to get physically close to me. I will not shake hands, hug, etc until things significantly change in infection rate and when care improves for those that get sick.

Looking ahead I don’t know what I’m going to do come Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t wish to enter anyone’s home – even family. This attitude comes from: I have preexisting conditions that put me a risk AND I have shit for healthcare. If I get sick and survive I’ll experience financial ruin – yet another example how USA has failed.

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