Carrying On

May 2-8, 2023

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

worldSwitzerlandThe plan a month ago would have had us including interesting pictures from Southwest travel. Instead, we're carrying on locally. My travel pictures are limited to a Liberty Puzzle map of an old world road trip and a Peloton path in Switzerland. Imagination is important.

ApteramoldsOne of my "hobbies" is also about carrying-along-despite-hopes-and-plans. Aptera, the startup car company I actively follow, is trying to reach production, despite a shortage of money. On May 4th, they had a webinar for fans explaining the good and not-yet-good of company progress. Million-dollar molds are being created to enable high volume production of carbon fiber body parts. Very high tech. Meanwhile, they are short by tens of millions of dollars from being able to do everything else necessary to make a car, even one with just two seats and three wheels. It looks like our reservation will not be filled until 2024 or 2025 -- or never if new investments are not enough.

I have also been advising a cousin about his intent to purchase an electric car. My standard advice has been to buy a Tesla if possible, due to relatively advanced development and, most importantly, a reliable network for on-the-road charging. However, my cousin hates Elon Musk (I sympathize) and he lives in Idaho, a relative desert for public chargers, so Teslas are out and even simple battery-electric-vehicles are problematic. After months of discussion, they settled on a Lexus hybrid for home charging and on-the-road gas stations. A good fit for them.

This discussion has illustrated the division in this country about electrification of transport, with conservatives actively fighting any shift to electric. Some conservative states, like Idaho, make it hard to deploy public chargers. Other states make laws against direct sales of cars from manufacturers to customers, a marketing model pioneered by Tesla and adopted by other startup car companies. This may not be the most serious aspects of American divisiveness, but it is discouraging. Oh well, we electrification fans will just have to carry on.

Speaking of carrying on, we continue to closely follow events in Ukraine. The winter war was a stalemate and pending offensives promise future brutal battles. Today is Victory In Europe Day, a date for the old Soviets to celebrate the loss of tens of millions of soldiers in the defeat of Nazi Germany three-quaters-of-a-century ago. In our Kyiv time, we attended a Victory parade where locals showed their pride, but today Russians parade and Ukrainians carry on, proudly fighting invaders.

As part of Ukraine support, we joined a silent art auction at Scarab Art Gallery with proceeds going to the war-torn country. For us, it was a chance to support and also to chat with art community friends. Marianne's donated art piece went for a bargain price and we bought a small vase we didn't need. It's all charity.

Scarab plate
Priscilla auction Ren

May is a big month for family birthdays. Brian (8th), Geoff (20th), Sam (23rd) all age a bit. Our plan to celebrate Brian's birthday in Colorado, fell through, but we got to compensate by hosting a barbecue for Babi and Reuben, both celebrating their May 4 birth-dates. It was a pleasant Fresno Spring afternoon.

cake blow out candles sisters

And so May started. OK enough. We expect to end the week with an oncologist meeting where he will propose next steps. Stay tuned.

John and Marianne

PS: Flowers, just because:white red purple