I totally wasn’t expecting Kevin McCarthy to throw together a deal to keep the government going for an extra 45 days. He basically crossed his fingers and swore scout’s honor to the far right of his party that he wouldn't do that, knowing that, if he did, he’d be ousted as Speaker of the House. With him gone, the chance of averting a government shutdown at the end of the 45 days are looking dismal.
With Trump’s endorsement, Jim Jordan will probably become the new speaker. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if the House far-right Republicans insist on getting the same oath from Jordan that they got from McCarthy on the same terms. So, he will be in Matt Gaetz’s pocket, “just in case,” even though he’s one of them.
In another surprise, the writer’s strike ended with them apparently getting everything they asked for, even protection against competition from AI. I’m curious to know the details in that agreement. How do you hold AI back? I mean, sure, right now AI sucks, but it will get better until the day when someone in the union will be willing to offer their name behind one of these machines for the pay. As soon as one passes the Turing test. Of course, the guy providing the name will have to constantly come up with excuses to work remotely. “I have COVID again” might get old.
Meanwhile, that left arm I broke a while back is coming along nicely. At least an orthopedic doctor at Harborview said I could do without the sling as long as I’m in a place where I’m at little risk of being jostled. So I should wear the sling at crowded places like Uwajimaya. The theory being that people will see the sling and avoid ramming me on my left side. I think that is overly trusting. By the way — why is she an orthopedic doctor? I thought “-pedic” meant having to do with feet? I didn’t break a foot.
Well anyway, she showed me the X-rays taken a couple days ago, next to ones taken a month ago, and pointed out how there was new bone coming into existence. So, not to be afraid so much of being jostled. I’m at the point where pain is an opportunity for more healing. “Feel the burn!” as they say. It’s all so very reassuring. I am feeling the burn 40 times a day. She calls it my bone barking at me. “When your bone starts barking at you, you can keep pushing it or you can back off, it’s up to you,” she said.
Speaking of feet … scientists are all excited that there is new evidence confirming a crazy early dating of fossilized footprints at White Sands National Park, indicating Native Americans were walking around there 22,000 years ago. I hope the footprints turn out to be that old because it helps me feel that much younger. It’s so bad — I’m only four years younger than Trump.
I like to fantasize about going back into time and meeting interesting people. I think it’s very interesting that people would walk barefoot along what they’re saying was probably an icy cold lake at the time. It’s just a shame the language difference would be insurmountable. We’d need at least one babel fish between us. Two, if I understand how they work.
Based on what I remember from what scientists thought about all this when I was in high school and was last paying attention, the earliest Native Americans could have gotten here was 13,000 years ago. Oops, 9,000 years off? Did someone’s pencil slip? I hope they aren’t in too much trouble. Sometimes people can be really unforgiving when you make an arithmetic mistake. It’s like, “Neener, neener, you have a Ph.D. and you can’t even subtract! I learned to make change in first grade!” I get that a lot.
Getting back to breaking my arm; the ambulance company finally billed me for the trip to Harborview. I was pleased that the bill was so small. I credit the fact that (besides having Medicare) I asked to be taken to such a nearby hospital. Only about eight blocks. Before Medicare, the charge was about $200 per block. If I’d asked to be taken to Swedish, it could have been twice as much.
Read more of the Oct. 11-17, 2023 issue.