I finally finished painting another crop of miniatures. I think I started these back in ~August, but then didn't find an alignment of time and motivation to finish them until last weekend. AA battery for scale, the troll's leg is dark because it's in a shadow.
I have a goal this year to do one hike a month. It seems fairly doable. We did this month's hike today at Morgan Territory with the Spencers. It ended up having significantly more elevation change than I anticipated, so it was more strenuous than planned. But, we all made it through the other side. It was about 2.5 miles. Lots of nice dense woods, a few patches of open hillside, but the sky was a bit overcast so it wasn't too hot.
About a third of the way on we had to cross a stream and a tree had fallen right at the crossing. So we had to climb under and around the tree and as we crossed. Corinne put her foot right into the muddy water. We rung out her sock as best we could, but she did the rest of the hike with a soggy foot. No blisters though.
I got some neat pictures of mushrooms and some little wildflowers:
It appears that I caught the atmospheric pressure wave from the eruption of the Honga Tonga volcano on my weather station's barometer:
- Rancho Las Positas Elementary School known cases on site: 17
- Livermore cases: 7,470; overall vaccination rate: 74.6%
- Alameda County cases: 130,664; deaths: 1,513; overall vaccination rate: 79.6%
- U.S. cases: 57,190,000+; deaths: 827,000+; overall vaccination rate: 62.3%
New cases per day in the United States has absolutely skyrocketed, over 717,000 new cases in the past day. The previous peak was 294,000. The silver lining is that, so far, there hasn't been a correlated spike in deaths--however the CDC did record more than 2,600 deaths yesterday and 2,600 deaths a day is a big deal, just not as big a deal as the 3,700/day we saw in Jan 2021 with about a third as many daily cases (assuming similar levels of testing; I don't know if that's a valid assumption or not).
The school system is seeing the bump in cases, but not too badly. More than 17% of their total known on-site cases were reported on Mon-Wed of this week. Our girls' school has only had one known case this week so far.
The school district sent every student home for winter break with a 2-pack rapid test and asked that they take them before returning to school after break. Heather's and Corinne's tests all came out negative. Corinne had a runny nose on the way home from Utah and her PCR test from the 28th (the earliest available) also came back negative.
Update 1/8/22: The school district sent out an email stating that 115 positive tests had been reported from the at-home tests which jump-started their stay-home and isolate protocols helping reduce the number of positive cases on campus.
The Lab has asked us to reduce in-person interactions where possible. So I skipped my regular on-site day this week and will probably continue to go on site only as needed for the next couple of weeks.
With the ridiculous level of contagiousness that Omicron has it seems unlikely we'll avoid being exposed to it for very long. But as for becoming infected, as far as we know, so far so good.