Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
Greetings, friends and family,
Well, we kind of got out of the pandemic. Covid deaths are down, but it's more due to people having had it or being vaccinated than the virus disappearing. At this writing China is being hit hard! We switched up our vaccines from the original Moderna and got one Pfizer and one bivalent Moderna in 2022. We haven't gotten covid yet, but if and when we do, probably we can survive. Long covid is still an issue so we don't want to fool around with it. We still tend to wear our masks indoors in small spaces or with many people. We've been spending more time in restaurants, though.
We got our new solar system turned on and learned quite a bit about it as explained in this web page if you're interested. It gives my strategies for getting the most out of it using our home backup battery. We got Laura a full electric car, a Kia Niro EV, which is quite a nice car, and is shown the day we got it in May. It's her car, even though the license plate has my initials.
We jumped right into it and drove to Ohio later that month. The electric charging is pretty good near I-90, but not every charging station is working, and not every hotel which assures you that it has a charger actually has a working charger! You can gain weight with one of these, though, by parking near a level-2 charger and eating at a local Italian or Thai restaurant a few miles off the highway while you charge. You may eat a lot more food than you would at a rest stop!
The reason for the trip was to set up the sale of the old house in Wickliffe. Unfortunately, while the process was started, it still has not completed. It has proved to be a nightmare of finding enough local contractors to do all the work needed to even sell it. No dice on selling it "as is!" After we did what we could, we did catch a baseball game and saw a couple of friends.
We went to Cape Cod as usual in July, spending two weeks there with a week ourselves and then the week with the family. At left is the full moon viewed over Cape Cod Bay. Provincetown put in an inclined elevator which goes up to the Pilgrim Monument. We had to try that out, even though we're still able to walk up the hill! Laura took a picture from which she made the batik shown at right. The batik has been sold, incidentally, as Laura has continued to exhibit her work at Gallery Twist.
We had a destination memorial service for my mother Carol at the cape this year. It was a good time, and the year that had elapsed since her passing made it easier for everybody to reminisce about this remarkable woman. You can see it by watching the video which includes contributions from some who weren't there as well as some still pictures from Carol's life. I guarantee that no single person had heard all the stories from this one before, so no matter how well you knew her, you'll learn something! If you missed the one for my dad three years ago, that's still up at Youtube as well and you can access it from the following playlist.
I still participate in the Cambridge Roundtable on Science and Religion and we actually had several in-person events in 2022. The other Science/Christianity group that I am involved with is the American Scientific Affiliation. The 2022 ASA annual meeting in San Diego finally happened, and I gave a talk on Bias in AI and the Christian. To see it, you can try clicking on this link and then scrolling down near the bottom to find my name. Of course a lot of other interesting talks are here, as well!
My recent talks to ASA have centered on some of the negative effects of technology and suggested Christian responses to them. My other contribution to the ASA in 2022 was a book review of the book "System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot" which was published in their journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. That can also be found on their web site but a slightly longer and better version is on my web site. The book is not written from a Christian viewpoint, but addresses many of the issues I have raised quite comprehensively and is recommended.
I got a new small DJI Mini 3 Pro drone and flew it over the Pacific during our San Diego trip and then a couple of times over the Atlantic to make the video above. This also marks the return of the great Karen Green music to my video soundtracks, so if you're a fan of drone video or good music, check this one out!
We went to a Prison Fellowship Warden Exchange event in Portland, ME in September. We've been supporting them for decades, but this was the first time we really spent some time with them. A very interesting meeting, and also a tour of a Maine prison. We also stayed around Portland to vacation for a few days. If you're interested in the details of this meeting, email me and I'll send you my detailed writeup.
I've been telling people for 40 years that our home town of Bedford is the best run town in the Commonwealth, and that I don't need to get involved with it. Regardless of who the selectmen were, they always seemed to get in on the ground floor whenever the state was offering financial matching aid, etc. Unfortunately, things evidently have gone downhill fast in the last few years, and the town wanted to pave our nice dirt Reformatory Branch Trail by clear-cutting a 30-foot swatch of trees, and taking a bunch of land by eminent domain, severely reducing some people's lawns and yards.
Those of us who use the trail saw that as a bad idea. They would be making it an extension of the Minuteman Bike Trail which many of us will not walk or run on because of the risk of high speed bike collisions! One of the arguments used to support that was that it would help with climate change by encouraging bikers to abandon their cars. It's only 1.7 mi, and one end of it will never be paved, so that's really not a big incentive to bikers. They also argued that it was needed for handicap access, but I used to push my own mother on it in her wheelchair, so that was not true, either.
I made a couple of videos to help persuade the undecided which can be seen here. Laura gave tours to some of her friends who had never been on the trail before, and the vast majority decided the trail was perfect as is. The proponents of the project needed a 2/3 majority, but the vote ended up tied, so our efforts were successful. We advertised an after-vote party on the Facebook channel, and had over 30 happy citizens celebrating with us, a first foray into town politics for us and our first major gathering hosted since 2019.
Have a great 2023. There certainly are a lot of things for Christians to think about, and pray about, with the war in Ukraine at the top of my list. Pray that the invaders would be driven out to end this thing, since Ukraine will never surrender to Russians after everything they have done. (For re-tweeted Ukraine news, see my twitter account @DrTechTim).
Tim (and for Laura)