The Phoenix metro area had quite the wonderful thunderstorm yesterday. Going outside this morning to sip coffee was just great. The air feels so clean and fresh. You can't help but sit and breathe deeply.
At the beginning of December, we popped a box in the mail bound for the UK. Just to be sure, I paid extra for International Priority because Christmas Presents. Time passed. A couple days before Christmas I tweeted:
Paying extra for international priority shipping was totally worth it. 17 days ago I dropped off the package bound for the UK. Since then it’s gone from Phoenix to Los Angeles, and then back to Phoenix. Where it has sat since Friday. Nice!
— Kevin Spencer (@kevin_spencer) December 22, 2020
Since then, it went back to Los Angeles again, up to San Fransisco, and then made it across the pond to Heathrow and cleared customs. From there it went from London to Coventry. And has sat since Jan 2nd with no further updates. No ETA for delivery. Nothing.
Best $85 I've ever spent.
To be fair, we're far from alone. I think I was hoping the UK postal system wasn't quite as backed up. First world problems I guess?
Update: delivered yesterday (21 Jan 2021). And on top of what I'd already paid on my end, my parents had to pay VAT and a "delivery fee". Cool cool. Won't be doing this again.
Tlaquepaque Sedona, 2020.
Every time we travel back up to Sedona we always go look to find ours. 12 years ago there were only like 10 or 15 and super easy to find. The passage of time has not been kind. It's fun knowing ours was one of the first but there's no way to find it now.
As an aside, nice surprise to find this made Flickr's Explore on Oct 24th.
The weather took a pleasant turn this past week. Going outside to sip morning coffee again is nice.
As I sit here a hazy smoke lingers over Phoenix. The pinky orange sun barely visible through the cover. Our neighbor California is having one heck of a time with wildfires. Some of the videos on the news are just mind blowing and I feel terrible for those without homes to go back to.
I worry things are just a lightning strike away from igniting here also. The summer has been brutal and as you drive around you can't help but notice how dried out everything is.
What a bloody year this has been eh?
Statue of Pat Tillman outside the Arizona Cardinals Stadium in Glendale.
Tillman gave up his NFL career with the Cardinals to enlist in the Army after 9/11 attacks. Was killed in the line of duty by friendly fire.
This past weekend was the hottest so far this year.
Summers in the desert. pic.twitter.com/gL4OgAjyw3
— Kevin Spencer (@kevin_spencer) July 11, 2020
Not having any humidity is the key. For while it does hit you like an oven, you can stay outside for longer than you'd think before starting to sweat. Compare that to the East Coast and, really, I don't know how people in Florida do it. Instantly drenched when you take three steps.
When it gets this hot, there are some fun outdoor cooking stories of course. This Reddit thread from r/phoenix has a couple good examples. From frying eggs in a pan, to baking cookies on your dashboard. The first one I've done, the second is a bloody fantastic idea.
While it's supposed to be our Monsoon Season, we haven't had any rain since April 11th. And no fun lightning storms to watch.
John Gruber had a post on Woodrow Wilson's racism.
It’s absolutely flabbergasting to compare these basic facts to what I learned about Woodrow Wilson in high school, which was more or less just the facts of World War I and that Wilson’s spearheading of the League of Nations was noble.
What we're taught in school vs reality is something I've thought about for a while. In England it was no different of course. No mention of the negative side of empire building. No mention of atrocities, no mention of the role in the slave trade.
A few weeks back the statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colsten was torn down. My immediate reaction was "who?". Which is a terrible thing to admit, but that part of history was just skipped over in the classroom.
Years ago I read Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States which paints a rather different story of how America was settled. The genocide of the Native American people in stark contrast to the glorification of history in print and on screen.
Learning about what actually happened is really important. The more of this we can teach in schools, the more each generation can tear down monuments both figuratively and literally. Public holidays, building names, flags, and statues celebrating crimes against humanity should not be tolerated.