Summer Update

Summer Update

And just like that, it was halfway through 2023.

I am over three months into my new remote job, and things are going swimmingly. It’s interesting because I get to work for a new kind of company (agricultural sector as opposed to finance), and also pick up on a new corporate culture. The IT department there isn’t very mature, in part because it has been expanding rapidly (how I got the job, essentially), so I get not only to prove my chops but also to help the folks who aren’t as seasoned as I am to understand the software development lifecycle. It’s very gratifying that my experience is being put to good use, and to know that despite my advanced years I am still relevant in the workforce.

Aileen, meanwhile, is working on the summer Arts Bubble musical, which this year will be City of Angels, a satirical noir comedy (not to be confused with a Nic Cage movie of the same name). As usual, she is committed 100% to all aspects of the production and putting in tons of work. Equally committed is our son, Tiernan, who is cast in his first lead role, as the hard boiled private eye from the movies. I hope you will be able to come see it (many friends and family already have confirmed they will, thank you all). The show dates are July 14-17; message me for details if you want to attend. But note that opening night is sold out. Woo hoo!

Our other son, Lionel, has just come back from a month in France, where he took a French immersion course with his University, and had a taste of life in another culture. This included going clubbing and he had some interesting stories there. He’s becoming such a worldly young man. Back home, Gavin continues his relentless work maintaining the region’s water infrastructure. He is a wizard with programming PLCs, which are these logical circuit board thingies that basically hold our entire civilization together. Aileen goes over to his house more often these days, since that’s where the best computer is, which is great for Potato, the cat who lives there, since it means she gets more attention now.

There is still a big hole in our heart and home that used to be filled by our sweet kitty, Sashimi, our magical girl. Aileen made this portrait of her after she died. It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two months. Have we really moved on?

Is it ok to move on?

Is it ok to die?

We all will. Already this year two FB friends have died from cancer. Another, a very dear friend from back in the day, is sick and currently hospitalized. The clock is always ticking, ticking away to midnight.

Last night we watched a video on YouTube that informed us that the Doomsday Clock is the closest it’s ever been to midnight: 90 seconds away. The war in Ukraine is not helping here. The video we watched was actually about how scarily sophisticated A.I. is getting, and speculated on whether it might just decide to destroy the human race. It really terrified Aileen and gave her nightmares. I tried Stevesplaining to her that A.I. chatbots aren’t sentient beings with a will, just really impressive pattern-seeking algorithms, but I don’t think I reassured her.

In any event, just because A.I.s are “merely” computer programs doesn’t mean they won’t be put in charge of everything and then God knows what will happen. And if that doesn’t get us, we just might end up cooking to death anyway when Earth turns into a Venus-like planet. All we can do is carry on with our usual business while the summer broils us.

Oh dear, sorry to end on such a heavy note. Here’s a poem about cats by Jane Hirshfield to hopefully lighten your mood. Have a great summer, everyone, if you can. And come see our show!

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