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2023 - Week 5 - On Spy Balloons and Purple Hair

Posted on:February 5, 2023 at 03:05 AM

Hello Void,

As we’ve cross the 1/12th mark in 2023, I find myself reflecting on the past. Ten years feels like a lifetime ago that it was 2013. Lou and I were a few years into our life together, Oz was approaching their second birthday, and I was about to start my job at MTS. Barack Obama was just beginning his second term as President of the United States and the market was doing well while we were being promised a future where everyone would have health insurance.

Here in 2023, the nation has been captivated by the story of a spy balloon seen over Montana earlier this week. News agencies have been covering the story extensively, as the large white object floated approximately 60,000 feet above the earth. Meanwhile, the economy, market, etc., all look very different than it did 10 years ago, though it does feel like the doom-saying in the news tends to sound pretty similar.

At the start of the week, Lou dyed the underside of their hair purple and it turned out beautifully. We also endured an “Arctic Blast” which kept temperatures in the 30s in our lovely neck of the woods.

On Wednesday, I started playing the Infinity Role Playing Game with some colleagues and it’s been a ton of fun so far. The mechanics are interesting and almost make sense, despite my feel brain’s resistance to learning new things.

On Thursday, Lou and I went for a hike and put in about 5.5 miles at our favorite Newberry. It was a beautiful, if a bit gloomy, afternoon and another great opportunity to connect with nature.

On the puppy adoption front, we received a blanket from the breeder on Friday which had been wrapped around the American Hairless Terrier puppies. We exposed Oz to the blanket as an allergen test, and their reaction was very mild so we continue to feel confident that we’re going to be able to adopt.

By the end of the week, Lou had crocheted another stunning sweater. The crop top style sweaters she’s been making lately are really cool, and this latest one came out perfectly and flatters the figure.

Meanwhile, today saw the stunning conclusion to the Spy Balloon event when the United States military shot down a sizable balloon off the coast of the Carolinas. A colleague happens to live on the coast there and shared some photos as it happened and described the experience as it happened: the sound of the explosions, the sight of the thing faling from the sky toward the ocean.

The whole story has sparked my thoughts on the nature of shared news experiences when they span large distances and populations. The balloon was first noticed Thursday of this week and news agencies everywhere covered the as though it was the most important thing going on in the world. People shared their own photos and videos of the large platform suspended from the large white balloon, including those who tried to shoot it down. In the end, it became a widely known event in American history.

While this is not a feel good story, it’s still interesting to participate in this event with the rest of the nation and the world, even if it will eventually be forgotten in the face of the constant barrage of news and events.