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wnylib

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Member since: Thu Oct 10, 2019, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 5,423

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Positive covid case in my senior living complex.

I live in a senior housing complex, a multi-storied building. Next door is another multi-storied building of seniors and the complex management office is in that building.

Today the management office informed all of us that there is a positive covid case in their building. Last week I saw several of them returning from a senior shopping outing in a van, part of the services provided by management for seniors who don't drive or have a car any more, or who need assistance getting around. I was in that building to pick up a package that I had ordered online. Since my mailbox is too small for packages, UPS and USPS deliver them to the management office.

The group crowded together at the two small elevators and got onto them in groups. I went home and decided to go back the next day for my package, double-masked and wearing gloves. Now I am so glad that I did. If any one of those shoppers was the positive case, the rest will be sick soon.

I knew this would happen sooner or later. I have dreaded this moment. There are signs in the lobby and in the halls and common laundry rooms on each floor reminding people to wear masks outside of their apartments. Only about 25% actually do.

To get my mail in the lobby, I need to walk the length of my hall, touch elevator buttons twice, and open two different doors, then repeat the same thing going back. Add a third door when I go outside.

I am worried that this will spread quickly through both buildings. I feel trapped for my own safety.

2020 is dying. What epitaph would you give it?

With its passing, perhaps now it is us who can rest in peace.

Merry Christmas to all!

Have a good one wherever you are and whomever you are with.

Erie County Executive Poloncarz shuts down covid briefing over press obsession with Bills playoffs

Yesterday Mark Poloncarz gave a press briefing on the status of Erie County's covid 19 cases which have made the county and surrounding areas into an orange zone.

After noting that the rise in cases and deaths has levelled a bit since the orange zone restrictions, Poloncarz expressed concern about new spikes likely after Christmas. He talked about vaccination plans, and then opened the briefing to media questions.

One reporter asked about public access to Bills home games in the playoffs. Poloncarz said spectators would not be allowed. Then one question after another focussed on how spectators might be allowed in, e.g. after testing, or if a limted number of tested people might be allowed, etc.

Poloncarz was noticeably annoyed and said that tests are being used for monitoring a serious crisis and he would not waste them on getting people into games that they could safely watch from home .

When still another Bills question came up, Poloncarz told reporters to "get some priorities." He said people are dying and we're struggling to contain infections and all the media can talk about is risking the players' and potential spectators' health and lives by opening up for the public."

He repeated that they needed to get some perspective and priorities. In the usual media manner, reporters tried to call out over each other their questions about the Bills games and Poloncarz said, "That's it. We're done. People are dying and all you can ask about is sports. Anybody with questions unrelated to the Bills can contact our office."

He left. Update over.

I share his disgust and applaud him for his handling of it.

Christmas history and traditions

There are many stories about the origins of the Christmas holiday and celebrations. I know some of them, but I am sure that others can add more.

Christians celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus, but nobody knows the actual date of his birth. December 25th was chosen to replace Roman celebrations of the god, Mithra, whom Romans had adopted from Persian Zoroastrians. Worth noting when fundies complain about Christmas being coopted by others.

Martin Luther started the custom of decorating trees for Christmas. In Pagan times, Germanic tribes considered evergreens as symbols of life because they remained green throught the year. They brought boughs indoors on the short days of winter. Luther decided to decorate trees and boughs with Christian symbols and candles to represent Christianity instead of Paganism. Queen Victoria's family was of German origin. When she decorated a royal tree for Christmas, the custom caught on and spread.

In Mexico, there was a goddess that the Native people celebrated for 9 days around the time of Christmas. When Spanish priests realized that converted Native people continued to enjoy their traditional long celebration period, they introduced the idea of a 9 day Christmas, with people reenacting the search of Mary and Joseph for a place to stay. This was the origin of the Mexican Posada, in which people spend 8 evenings going around seeking a place, only to be turned down and sent away. On the 9th evening, they are welcomed inside with the Posada song to enjoy a festive Christmas party.

The American Santa Claus goes back to Dutch settlers in colonial times who celebrated St. Nicholas Day on December 6. In Dutch his name was Sinter Klaas. The British settlers merged the name with their tradition of Father Christmas to become an Anglicized Santa Claus.

The early Puritans (Congregationalists) in New England banned celebrations of Christmas because they were mixed with old pagan customs in Britain and were often rowdy drinking occasions. Even saying a quiet, "Happy Christmas" to someone in the Puritan colonies was punished. But, today, the few conservative congregationalists that remain in the US are among the people who complain about a war on Christmas.

Mistletoe and Yule logs are old, Pagan customs carried over to Christmas. Mistletoe is English, considered sacred by druids. Not sure where the kissing custom came from. The Yule log custom was brought to England by Danish invaders, I think. Maybe someone knows more about that

Many people today celebrate Christmas as a time for gifts, parties, and lighting up homes and neighborhoods against the short days of winter, without any religious association.

Apple pie recipes

Why do most apple pie recipes call for tart apples, like Granny Smith? I use what's on hand for eating fresh, like Galas. Using a naturally sweet apple cuts down on the amount of refined sugar I use.

Sometimes I add fresh cranberries to the apples, for a cranapple pie. Then I do use more sugar.

And I always use more cinnamon than recipes call for. I like spicy, and I like cinnamon.

Help! My cat is driving me nuts

with an obsession. She has discovered the fire alarm disc and sprinkler nozzle on the ceiling in my apartment. I've had her since she was 2 months old and she's 5 years old now. Don't know why this obsession only developed recently. Or how to get her over it.

She sits on the back of my couch and stares up at them. Then she meows at them, over and over. She has a quiet meow, but she looks at me as if she expects me to fix whatever it is that she thinks is wrong with them. The alarm is not beeping. A new battery was put in just a few weeks ago. It was not beeping then, either. So as far as I can see, there isn't any change that would get her attention.

This started during the day on Halloween, which sort of spooked me out a bit -- the staring at nothing. I've even wondered if she senses something about the apartment above me, but I don't know the people there so I'm not about to go up there and ask them.

Any ideas on why kitty is fixated on the alarm? Or how to ger her over it? She does this a few times every day.

Heads up on Arizona.

NPR is reporting that conservative Maricopa County votes are being counted. They have narrowed Biden's lead and the count is not finished. More Maricopa County votes due later tonight. Votes are also coming in from Tucson, which is more Democratic, but in lower numbers than the votes from Maricopa Co.

But, even if Biden's lead does not hold in Arizona, there are still PA, GA, NV,and NC.

Disappointng if we lose AZ, but not the end of the story.

Trump went there. He's doing what was predicted.

I just listened to Trump's speech on BBC Overnight.

He claimed a big victory tonight, including victory in states that are still undecided. To preserve that victory from Democrats who "are trying to steal the election," he said that all voting must stop now. He did not call it vote counting, which is what it is. He called it "continued voting" and said he will go to court to make it stop.

BBC commentators are not mincing words. They are calling it shocking, undemocratic, like nothing ever done in the US before. Not even 2000 was this bad. They are saying that the world reaction will be alarm at what is happening inside the US and that the US is no longer a model for democracy in the world.

They are emphasizing that the counting of votes in the days following an election is perfectly normal and legal but that Trump is twisting facts to manipulate his followers for his own political gain instead of supporting free elections.




Huffpost real time tracker map and chart.

For all you nail biters, check out the Huffpost map showing projected winners and which way others are leaning for the polls that have closed. There are charts showing the percentages of the leads in each state AND the percentages of votes counted in each state. Some showing a Trump lead have not counted all their votes yet and do not yet have a count on the mail ins.

From what I saw, FL is lost to us, but we might get PA, NC, and OH when mail ins are counted. In PA, and some other states, those results will not be in until Friday.

Remember, we were told that Trump might look good in the beginning, but to wait until the mail ins are counted.

My biggest disappointment so far is McConnell's win. If we take the Senate, that won't matter.

EDIT: The numbers and their direction will change off and on in some places and do not as yet include mail-in counts, which will trickle in from the various states in the next few days, depending on state laws about when and how to count them.

Hang in there.
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