Friday, February 17, 2023


As I lie in bed writing this post, Olga is snoring beneath the covers next to me, unaware that her world is about to be rocked. The guy from the "luxury pet hotel" is coming to get her between 10 and 11 a.m., so I have to be home to see her off. I'm not even going in to work until she's gone, which is fine because it will give me a chance to pack up her bed, her blanket, her Kong and her anti-inflammatory meds.

As you may remember (probably not) from the last time Olga stayed there, the "luxury pet hotel" features a dog-cam that will allow owners to check up on their pets at any time during their stay. So no doubt I'll be doing that, probably to an annoying degree.

Anyway, after Olga gets launched I'm off to work, and then home to pack. Not that there's much to bring, since we'll only be gone a week. We depart tomorrow morning. I think I may leave my big camera here and just use my phone, like I did last spring. It's so freeing not to have to lug that thing around.

I have four more Newbery talks to do today, all in the space of about two hours! It's a Newbery marathon!

Oh, and I went to the dentist's office yesterday. No drama -- just for a cleaning. I have to have my checkup with the dentist herself (as opposed to the hygienist) in a separate appointment on March 1. Apparently my hygienist and my dentist work different days of the week, which is ridiculous, but whatever!

Here are some interesting articles I came across yesterday:

-- Apparently an urban planning goal known as the "15-minute city" has become fodder for right-wing conspiracies.
-- An op-ed in the New York Times offers a sensible defense of J. K. Rowling, who has been vilified by trans-rights supporters.
-- Horseshoe crabs, which used to be abundant, are now a struggling species thanks to overfishing for human medical use.

(Photo: Golden evening light in St. John's Wood.)


Yorkshire Pudding said...

The fifteen minute city seems to me to be a laudable aspiration for numerous good reasons that are clearly beyond the wit of right wing nutters. And as for J.K. Rowling, she never deserved the vile reactions she received from some quarters. She was only stating her legitimate and quite understandable points of view in what is meant to be a free country. I hope Olga has a nice holiday with the other mutts.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Wishing you no stress when you see Olga off for her holiday, and a stress-free trip of your own. (And enjoy the Newberry marathon. The day will fly by.)

Colette said...

The dog-cam sounds great. A very thoughtful addition to an animal hotel. It's beautiful in Central Florida right now. Not overly hot, and (more importantly) not high humidity.

Ms. Moon said...

I need to read that article about J.K. Rowlings. I very much have a dog in this fight, having a trans child. From the things I've read, I am very much offended but perhaps the quotes were taken out of context? I don't know.
Anyway, you have a great flight, and I know that Olga will probably have a terrific time in the luxury dog hotel. Try not to worry about her.

Rachel Phillips said...

I look forward to seeing pictures of Olga on holiday. My brother is coming to the Wellington Hospital tomorrow which I assume is somewhere in your neck of the woods. He is staying in overnight until Sunday.

Boud said...

I've seen the comments by Rowling, her own words. The nyt is not neutral in this disagreement. Hundreds of their own contributors have written to protest their anti trans assumptions. And they refuse to respond. They're leaning into click bait by getting into this issue. Human rights are not up for debate.

I think I'd be too nervous to check up on Olga! So far away, what if she's not okay, and other neurotic thoughts. You're doing better.
than I.

Enjoy your week. I expect you'll be in touch.

ellen abbott said...

Been out of touch so I gather this is a visit to the US? Seems like I remember one pending or maybe it's just a vacation. don't really care about J. K. Rowling and whatever the uproar is. I know it concerns supposed anti other gendered folk but I've never bothered to read anything about it.

Ellen D. said...

The world is nuts, Steve, and everyone must fight about everything. It has really gotten out of hand and I am not sure what to do to calm everyone down again. "Can't we all just get along!?" was said by Rodney King over 31 years ago and we've gotten worse instead of better, I think. Or maybe it is just that all the fights are splattered all over the Internet all of the time while the people that do get along just quietly go about their day...
Safe travels, Steve!

NewRobin13 said...

I love what Ellen D wrote. The world is nuts. Can't we all just get along?
I'm glad you'll be able to check in on Olga while you're gone. I hope all goes well with your journey in every way. Looking forward to photos and updates while you're back in the states.

Red said...

I hope everything goes well for Olga and you and Dave on your trip.

Sharon said...

I hope the Olga transfer was stress free for you and for her. I'd be checking that camera an annoying amount of times too.
Thanks for the links to the articles. I saw the one about Rowling but I'm interested in reading the 15-minute city one.

Margaret said...

Have a wonderful trip! I would be watching the cam too much so I would have to put limits on myself.

Sabine said...

Have a safe journey!

As with all issues, it does help to read both sides and here is what JK Rowling wrote in response to the various accusations and death threats she received:

I never liked Harry Potter but I get her point.

Kelly said...

I know at least one of our local boarding facilities has pet-cams, but I've never done that. I'm afraid I would obsess over it. I strive for "out of sight, out of mind" and trust that all is going well.

I bet you'll see nothing more exciting than Olga napping on her pink blanket.

Jeanie said...

What a day! Have a terrific holiday (we'll look forward to the photos!) And hope all goes well with Olga at the fancy pet hotel!

Andrew said...

Here the dentist does the teeth cleaning. I am thinking that it may a better use of resources to have a less qualified person do the cleaning. Maybe...

Sometimes I hear we aim for a twenty minute city or a thirty minute city. The article you linked to should have been saved for April the 1st.

Catalyst said...

Here's hoping you have a splendid time in the land of DeSantis and that you make it safely home to Merrie Olde England promptly.

sparklingmerlot said...

Safe travels. Can you share some of the dogcam with us?
I rather like the idea of having everything within 15 minutes of home. I don't understand the hysteria - unless they are going to force people to live like that which will never happen.
I remember when dentists did the cleaning themselves but I am old.

Steve Reed said...

YP: It's interesting how some conspiracy theorists turn everything into a question of government force or coercion. I agree about Rowling. Even if you think she's wrong, she doesn't deserve all this venom.

Mitchell: There was a little stress in seeing off Olga, but we'll both recover. :)

Colette: Excellent, though I hear we're supposed to have a hot day this coming week? Someone told me that, anyway.

Ms Moon: From what I've read, Rowling has mainly explored the potential clash of rights between trans women and women who were born girls, especially in a few very specific areas. What she has said makes sense to me. That doesn't diminish the fact that trans women deserve respect and the right to their identity, and in fact she has also spoken in support of the trans community. That's how I see it, anyway. (As we've discussed before. :) )

Rachel: Yes! The Wellington Hospital is very close to the school where I work. Hope your brother is OK!

Boud: Having worked at the NY Times, I am 100 percent certain they are not editorially anti-trans. I had trans coworkers there and the company was very supportive. I think they ARE asking questions and probing issues related to trans identity and policy, and they SHOULD be doing that as journalists.

Ellen: Yes! Off to Florida today. (Friday)

Ellen D: I think social media has done us no favors, particularly Twitter. People's opinions are now reduced to tiny snippets of snarky text, and that just feeds disagreement.

Robin: The dog-cam is up and running and I've checked in on her already. I'll post some pictures in the coming days!

Red: Thank you! I'm sure we'll all be fine, despite my angst and guilt. :)

Sharon: The 15-minute city one was an eye-opener for me! That's not a controversy I'd heard about before.

Margaret: I am doing my best to NOT check it!

Sabine: Yes, I read that piece years ago, and it's one of the reasons why I am not anti-Rowling. I think her views have been somewhat misrepresented by others.

Kelly: I get that! And yes, so far, I've only seen Olga lying on her bed. Not a lot of excitement there. :)

Jeanie: I will post pics ASAP of both our trip and Olga's!

Andrew: When I was a kid my dentist did the cleaning, too. I think it's absurd (in my current situation) that the hygienist and the dentist work on different days!

Catalyst: Oh, Lord, DeSantis. I'm trying not to think about him.

Caro: Yes, dog-cam pics will be forthcoming! I think "force" is what the conspiracy theorists are peddling, but that's not the idea behind urban planning at all.