You might be wondering if Deb and I are dealing with any after-effects of our recent illness, whether it was WuFlu or something else. And the answer is yes — it hung on for over ten days and still hasn’t left us completely.
Both of us lost taste and smell. While it’s fashionable to use that symptom to confirm a diagnosis of WuFlu, I’m here to tell you that’s happened to me a dozen times before with bad winter colds. My missing senses are about 80% of the way back now, though Deb’s still without taste and most smell.
We awake in the morning with congestion that settles in our chests overnight, which makes the first couple of hours unpleasant. That’ll take a while to go away, I think.
If there’s an upside to having been down for ten days, it’s that I lost weight — at least ten pounds, by my guess, perhaps more, and right where it needed to go away. I gained almost two belt notches.
Just in time for swimsuit season.
Just a brief word about that Chinese high-altitude balloon that’s been drifting over the continental US this week. The Montana airspace in which it lingered is familiar to us — that particular patch of Big Sky arches over one-third of America’s land-based nuclear arsenal, an area we traveled ourselves 18 months ago.
China says it’s a wayward weather balloon. Our own DoD says it’s a spy balloon but, without offering a plausible explanation, refuses to shoot it down.
Let’s start with the fact that it doesn’t belong here. A belligerent foreign power violated US airspace and (when you and I learned about it) did so over the 14,000-square-mile Minuteman nuclear missile field under command of the Wing at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana.
We have the technology to determine the nature of the payload and rule out (or confirm) that it’s ballistic, NBC or EM. We can disrupt its navigation, tracking and communications. The US probably can control it (and may have already).
Failing that, a couple of one-second burps from an F22’s 20mm cannon puts Beijing’s blow-up doll on the ground. Done.
It doesn’t seem to me to be a hard call. I don’t for a second buy the Pentagon’s bullshit that they can’t drop it right where they want it. For fuck’s sake, grow a pair and shoot the damned thing down.
At the moment, according to eyewitness reports, it’s over eastern Missouri — about 150 miles northeast of The Mountain. We’ve been watching (via Flightradar) an AWACS circling the area, along with tankers and the odd F16 zipping through the airspace. Fascinating.
Yesterday in the House, Republicans finally took my advice. They fought dirty. They booted a radically anti-American Democrat from her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee — a hateful Somali Islamist who married her own brother to gain US citizenship.
The move wasn’t in the interest of comity or bipartisanship. It really isn’t consistent with the principles of collaborative governing. No, this was purely political and unabashedly retaliatory — it was a damned dirty play.
It also was the correct thing to do. Democrats, by their deranged and apoplectic reaction, confirmed that.
In speech after unhinged speech, they took to the mic and invoked every empty epithet in the leftist lexicon — racist, sexist, Islamophobic and more. They wailed and they lost their minds, behaving as rational adults do not.
Republicans should take that both as a win and a clue. They played dirty, something that Democrats aren’t accustomed to seeing from the Right, and they struck The Big Nerve. I hope they have the stomach for more of the same.
We dropped Smudge at puppy training this afternoon and adjourned to Ranch House to enjoy breakfast for lunch. When we picked her up 90 minutes later she was still anxious, still not acclimated to that environment. It’s the only place she behaves that way.
Maybe it’ll simply take more time. Or maybe it’s not the right place for this puppy. We’ll see.
By the time we drove away from the canine academy, our architect had our foundation plans ready. We stopped by his office, chatted a good while and left with what we came for — three sets of prints, plus a thumb drive loaded with digital versions of the same.
The drawings he did are spectacular — great work, exactly what we need to move ahead with the build. They’re also full of nice-to-haves like an enclosed half-basement in the crawl space, a storm shelter, a concrete patio at grade under the elevated deck and a gabled overhang sheltering the kitchen door. There’s no way we’ll be able to afford any of that, so we’ll work with our site-and-foundation guy to get us a structurally sound result without the frills.
We meet with him next week.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.