graduation

Been away for a few days, attending my niece's high-school graduation in Washington. Here is a picture I took through a window in their house (the window explains the random streaks). Some people live closer to nature than I do:

Leavenworth

Here's a selfie we took of six grown-ups, from left-to-right: Uncle, Dad, Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Aunt.

At leavenworth

Finally, a picture of the grad and dad that I stole from Mom's Instagram:

Ava and john graduation


smith-rubio family xmas update, 19th annual edition

Our lives in 2020 were a lot like everyone else's during this pandemic. On March 11, we went to the movie theater to see Emma. We haven't been to a theater since. We've hardly been anywhere since, just a couple of visits to family in our "pod". We got refunds for the plane and apartment tickets for our planned trip to Spain. Boo hoo ... there are a lot of people suffering far more than we are. But we couldn't have predicted the direction our retirement would take. (That is a definition of the pandemic: no one could have predicted what life would be like.)

Oh, Spot wasn't much affected by the virus:

Spot

Count your blessings and all that.

I started using a CPAP machine:

Cpap shadow

Another sign of the times: almost every picture we took in 2020 was of cats, since we didn't have to leave the house to take the photos:

Starbuck robin 2020 edit

Of course, when everything else brought us down, there was Félix:

Robin félix 8th birthday

What does it mean that the musical moment that had the biggest effect on me in 2020 came from the performance of a James Bond theme song for a movie that because of the pandemic has still not been released? When Billie Eilish suddenly dug down and expanded her voice as if she were Shirley Bassey, she gave the lie to everyone who thought she could only whisper. Fool me once, fool me twice, are you death or paradise? Now you'll never see me cry.


our house

One way we are privileged is that we paid off the mortgage on our house. Retirement is thus a lot easier than it would be otherwise. I have my wife to thank for this, as for so many other things.

I feel like I've gotten to know our house especially well over the past months, because I never leave it. OK, my hermit-like tendencies have always meant I'm home a lot, but since March 11, when we went out to see Emma. as part of Geezer Cinema, the quarantine has kept me almost entirely indoors. I have more warning signs than my wife, so she is in charge of actually going out, although it's limited. Once a week we order take-out breakfast from Homemade Cafe ... I drive, she picks up. One morning, my sister and brother-in-law joined us at a nearby park for half and hour or so. A week ago I left the house on my own for about an hour to have some blood tests. And then, finally, we drove up to Sacramento Friday for the grandson's 8th birthday ... their home is part of our "pod".

Other than that, I've been in this house for almost all of 135 days and counting.

Have I learned anything about our house in that time? Not really ... we've lived here in 1987. We have friends staying in the basement, although the virus means we rarely even see each other. My wife did buy an air conditioner for the attic, which was about 30 years overdue. That is probably the main difference between our house now and what it used to be like.

I may have posted this before ... here is my wife, the first time we did breakfast take-out:


breaking the quarantine

After a few months, our daughter and grandson came to visit. He's 7 1/2, and I can't say he's gotten smarter since we last visited, but he is definitely still smart. Probably smarter, to be honest.

I had an odd icon on my phone. Somehow I knew who to ask. I showed him my phone, which looked like this:

Screenshot

I didn't know what that circle in the icons at the top right was. He pulled down from the top of the phone to show a few icons in detail. Then he pulled down again, showing a full array of icons, including that circle, which was labeled "Data Saver". I must have turned it on by accident. I turned it off. Mystery solved, by the 7-year-old.

Then there's this. I was showing him old photos and asked him if he remembered this:

Three at game 6-30-19

Sure, he said, that was when we went to the Giants game. The game in question was at the end of last June, so almost a year ago. He proceeded to tell me that the Giants won that game, 10-4. I checked: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN201906300.shtml. He was right.

The kids these days.