Happy 2nd of February. For those who give a crap, out in Western Pennsylvania, the official weather rodent Punxsatawney Phil failed to see his shadow and predicted an early spring; of course, he is correct on these calls less than half the time, making him less effective than a coin flip. Or a typical member of the American media.
Steady as she goes here at Stately Dog Manor. I do not seem to be making much progress on the athletic goals; I will blame the polar vortex (we actually had a number of insanely cold episodes this January, including for the annual protest near the White House commemorating the 17th anniversary of GTMO's opening and ongoing operation this year.) As has become an annual tradition, Andy visited with us for his stateside sojourn, and we are beginning to think that, aside from the "Groundhog Day" aspect to not only his visit but to GTMO and the USA's now eternal war on everyone, there is now also a "Same Time Next Year" aspect to our approach to the whole damned thing. Things were a little more upbeat this year because of the Democratic win in the House, but guardedly optimistic at best nonetheless.
Anyway, we are hopeful we will see Andy before next January when, we fear, we will be noting the 18th awful anniversary, even as our nation expands its inhumanity at our Southern border and everywhere else. I should note that I am, at least, making some progress on one of my literary projects (I will let you guess at which one), but I am hopeful that perhaps even by the end of February, I will have something to report.
In the meantime, the absurd "partial government shutdown" ended exactly when I predicted it would, i.e., the very moment that rich people were inconvenienced. This occurred when enough air traffic controllers were finally tired of not being paid, causing flight reductions in the Northeast, particularly at New York's Laguardia airport. Within hours, the shutdown was over (including law passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the Orange Ogre).
Meanwhile, our republic continues on the road to perdition, as climate change is worse than forecast (while large parts of the USA continue to deny it even exists as it is happening in front of them) and for good measure, the USA has just withdrawn from an important anti-nuclear treaty, rather than try to secure compliance, because we are in the throes of psychotics like Donald Trump and John Bolton, but, but... Hillary's emails.
I will end by noting that I continue to visit a gentleman held in our "hospitality" in a privately run immigration detention facility in New Jersey, and will continue to do so until he is out of there one way or another. Someone always has it worse in this country (although he is being housed and fed, albeit... in jail). Best we can do is try to be kind to others. A lumine. As Henry James put it, 'Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.'