The omicron variant that's in the news comes after a mu variant. Nu follows mu in the Greek alphabet but the WHO skipped it because it would be confusing (sounds like 'new').

Xi is after nu in sequence but a coronavirus variant sharing the name of China's leader would be asking for trouble. The WHO skipped xi as well but finessed the explanation somewhat by saying they were avoiding causing offence as Xi is a common last name.

Omicron follows xi in the Greek alphabet.

(seen at Language Log)
click for larger version
At the right time of day and right time of year, a narrow beam of sunlight comes through a gap in an awning at the correct angle to provide this lighting.
I like the single 8 inlay at the octave (or, as I first read it, ∞ ) instead of the usual dots at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, ... frets. Blake Dhima
For about a month, my county has had the highest COVID‑19 case rate in the state. A few weeks ago we supposedly had the second‑highest rate in the country. We're not often in the news and especially not for ranking high in something.

I've been moved by how well health care providers are serving my town. When I've gotten vaccine shots and a test, the process was efficient and the people helping me were in good spirits.
From conversation at a friend's house last night:

When I got a new roof on my house about 15 years ago, a metal roof, I asked three neighbors what color they'd like it to be. Out of about a dozen colors to choose from, they all picked the same color.
I would never ask my neighbors what color they wanted on part of my house.
I did reserve the option of overruling them.

It happened to be the color I wanted too.
Randsburg, California.
click on the photo for a larger, less cropped version.
preparing jackrabbits for careers Building facade, excerpted from Google Street View.

I've written before about curious artifacts at the boundaries of stitched‑together images in online map services. What kills me about this instance is how PREPARING is intact whereas stuff below it shows duplication. Yes, I am easily amused.
My left wrist, 11 years ago.
Callipepla californica
Tuesday's cloud
Cloud shadow yesterday.
It was so narrow and straight that
I at first thought it was a contrail
but it was probably a natural cloud.

We often get clouds that parallel the mountains
but I never saw a shadow like this before.

The pic links to a larger version.
Part of the appeal of where I live is free access to public land, free not just in the sense of no‑cost but also without much regulation and without many people in your way.

Twenty years ago, you could usually have any climbing route in my neighborhood all to yourself, even on a weekend. (This doesn't happen in climbing areas near cities.) There were no restrictions on drilling holes in rock for bolts.

Nothing lasts. The area is seeing more visitors, not just climbers but also people who just want to camp out, and a largely hands‑off approach isn't working so well anymore. The Bureau of Land Management announced that new policies were imminent.

A fellow climber whose name starts with N got a bunch of us together two years ago and pitched his idea for an advocacy organization. We'd have a better chance of getting climber‑friendly policies enacted if we were organized, so he saw it.

N had ideas. He thought we could raise money for our organization by publishing a climbing guide to the area. He made it sound easy, as if publishing wasn't much work and as if there wasn't already a good guidebook for the area which might be coming out in a revised edition before too long.

We agreed on a name for the group. I registered a .org domain name. A flurry of group emails discussed what our logo should look like.

At one group meeting, N discussed possible titles and responsibilities and floated the idea that I, your Tommy, should be president. Everyone else had a job, many were married, and all were happy to see me nominated for the position rather than themselves. I said no thanks.

Then COVID hit, which put an end to group meetings. Email discussion died out as well. Whatever initial enthusiasm existed seems to have run its course. N—the group's founder and driving force—moved away to open a restaurant about three hours north of here.

I recently got a notice reminding me to renew our domain name before it expires in December. I could probably let it lapse and no one would notice but renewal isn't expensive. I'll probably buy us another 12 months and see where things stand a year from now.

In their 1973 song Time , Pink Floyd sung about "plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines". A song for the current day might have lyrics about "plans that either come to naught or a placeholder web page".
Ammospermophilus leucurus
There were few group meetings at the first couple software jobs I had, which failed to prepare me for how demoralizing they can be. I have a hard time with a meeting that lasts an hour when only a couple minutes of it concern the work I'm doing. At least when I was working from home and joining meetings by phone (in a pre-Zoom era) I could wash dishes or something while listening.

Lying down while on the phone for a meeting was dangerous. On more than one occasion I drifted in and out of sleep and had dreams whose content blended with what I was hearing.

But meetings could also be entertaining, if sometimes in a tragic way. From an in‑person meeting around 17 years ago that included a co‑worker whose name started with E:
(asks E a question)
Was that a question?
Yes, that was a question.
Will there possibly be more questions?
Yes, I might have more questions.
Can I answer this question together with the other questions?
No, I want you to answer now.
E lost his job with the company a few months later.

Happy nineteenth, everyone.

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