Another Ten Days to Finish January

January 21-30, 2024

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

So, what's up? Not a lot. I tried a little neighborhood photography, showing a few raindrops (all we get lately), red berries, and new students at Fresno Community College. Or, at least, the work of FCC art students. It's not like wandering around Paris' 4th Arrondissement, but it's what we have.

dropsred berriesstudents

SigmaFor socializing, Marianne has a few in-person gatherings with lady neighbors and Zumba participants. Women do this socializing stuff better than we guys. My social network seems to be one neighbor and an occasional zoom. This week it was with 19 other ancients from my college fraternity. In my mind, all these guys are strapping, young, college hot-shots.

(Missing from the matrix was Ed Mosey. I am reading his novel - The Sound of a Shot - and lamenting his recent death-in-a-crosswalk. Survived wartime Viet Nam, but not peacetime Astoria. Hard to accept.)

peloton norwaypuzzleOtherwise, we are doing the normal. Marianne is recovering well from the last tumor-removal surgery. (We have reeived the pthology report: negative for cancer, with adequate margins.) Her resilience is inspiring to me, friends, and relatives. My activity is less inspiring, but still positive. I have established a Peloton bike-riding routine for physical health and am working on new jigsaw puzzle for mental exercise. Hopefully, it all works.

jury asmbAs for that jury summons, I have a story. I showed up as ordered at the Jury Assembly Room, a cavernous room filled with 150 chairs, and the place filled with potential jury participants. An in-command court employee spent almost two hours organizing and orienting the bunch for the potential trial duty. Eventually, the judge showed up to insert a touch of reality to the pending case. He said that the trial was scheduled for two weeks, plus time for deliberation, and that the case involved sexual crimes against a minor. He suggested we all think about whether we could handle the subject matter, the time, in times of Covid.

I decided I could not, and asked for exclusion based on care for a cancer patient and a general desire to avoid likely Covid exposure. I don't know how many people volunteered to be jurists, but 40 names were called out to return the next day for the start of the trial. The rest of us were thanked for our service and allowed to leave. Since that moment, I have thanked my lucky stars that I was among the majority, the opt-outers. A quick DUI trial might have been interesting, but weeks of exposure to an evil crime story would have been traumatic.

Now that our calendar is relatively free, we have accepted two weekends of babysitting duty down in Monte Sereno. ("Babysitting" does not seem the right term for having fun with our young-adult grandkids and two bouncy dogs, but maybe they will always be classified as "our babies".) Otherwise, we need to keep working on health: physical and mental.

Stay tuned,

John and Marianne