Select Page

COVID – week 108 – April 4 – April 10

Weekend – the BA.2 strain is dominant. Locally there are a lot of cases close to home. The Washington State cases have picked up.

Friday – Federal mandate for vaccination is upheld. Masks, vaccination and everything related are starkly political.

Thursday – two years after the panic about PPE, tests and government support for business, the fraud cases are starting to come to court. So much grift, malpractice and just straight theft.

Wednesday – Covid cases soaring in the UK. NHS pressure. Second booster done. Yay.

Tuesday – much concern about Omicron/BA.2 spread in China. Shanghai on lockdown.

Monday – fourth shot/second booster booked for mid-week.

This time 2021 – Washington State picking up new cases. UK emerging from a major wave and lifting restrictions.

This time 2020 – UK NHS at near breaking point. Boris Johnson with Covid. Visible changes: no planes in the sky. Less roadnoise.

  The Seattle Times
4 Apr here
5 Apr here
6 Apr here
7 Apr here
8 Apr here
9 Apr here
10 Apr

COVID – week 107 – March 28 – April 3

Weekend – locally, cases are low, hospitalisations are low, and the general population seems to think the pandemic is over. Anecdotally – Covid is still taking kids out of school.

Friday  – as war continues to dominate the news cycles, the continued Omicron surge in South Korea, Hong Kong SAR and PRC is generally unreported. The growing number of cases in the UK and now the US is not getting any attention. Meanwhile the number of hospitalised in the US is at a pandemic low.

Thursday – UK stopping free tests, now similar to US in tests being sold in retail stores.

Wednesday – How to Survive a Pandemic looks to be the latest in documentaries giving narrative of the pandemic.

Tuesday – FDA approves second boosters for 50+. UK Partygate fines issued.

Monday – Shanghai, PRC in lockdown.

This time 2021 – the start of a new wave, Covid spreading faster than vaccination.

This time 2020 – blood draw to see if I had early Covid in January (I did not), lockdowns being relaxed in the US.

  The Seattle Times
28 Mar here
29 Mar here
30 Mar here
31 Mar here
1 Apr here
2 Apr here
3 Apr

COVID – week 106 – March 21 – March 27

Weekend – positive cases are down dramatically since the start of the year. Unclear how many tests are actually being run now. UK cases keep trending up; disastrous timing of all protections being lifted, along with a surge of BA.2. It’s a balancing act to what happens next in the US.


Friday – much discussion about vaccination rates, boosters, a fourth shot – and the timing of any fourth shot. Does this become an annual combination ‘flu and covid’ shot. I mentioned this two years ago.

Thursday – BA.2 keeps popping up as the next variant of concern. The "dance" of the Hammer and The Dance.

Wednesday – US airlines ask for mask mandates in airports and on planes to be lifted.

Tuesday – no funding in the budget for more COVID testing and boosters/vaccinations. BA.2 variant is now 25% of cases in Washington state.

Monday – New covid wave in the UK. Big jumps in positive cases. That peak is as bad as the end of 2021.


This time 2021 – another wave. Spring break, no masks, variants.

This time 2020 – Fauci predicts 100-200k deaths in the US. (it’s now 1M), military field hospitals being built in Seattle, 3.3M file unemployment.

  The Seattle Times
21 Mar here
22 Mar here
23 Mar here
24 Mar here
25 Mar here
26 Mar here
27 Mar

COVID – week 105 – March 14 – March 20

Weekend – The Seattle Times weekly graph – rapidly declining cases, hospitalisations and death rates. Much discussion of a "second booster" or "fourth shot".

Hong Kong death rates are insane. This from The Economist.



Friday – Covid in over 70s in UK at record high. After two years, this is the pandemic that everyone is now forgetting.

Thursday – good listen from The Guardian on the coming wave of Covid.

Wednesday – Canada to drop testing requirement for visitors from the US from April 1.

Tuesday – BA.2 is starting to make news. ~100M people in PRC under lockdown or restrictions. Fourth dose (second booster?) will be needed, Pfizer CEO says an annual shot will be needed. I refer back to my comments from 2020. CDC Wastewater Surveillance System shows 1000% jump in Covid DNA in Seattle wastewater.

Monday – "UK should brace for rising cases", meanwhile all travel restrictions dropped in the UK. BA.2 Omicron variant starting to run fast. PRC locks down Jilin province. Concerns that Sinovac isn’t as effective against omicron and variant. Dropped The Guardian from the daily summaries – but no doubt another raging covid wave will force its return.

This time 2021 – another wave passes across Europe, Washington State following closely. 100M vaccinations in 58 days.

This time 2020 – the start of panic buying amidst FUD and calls for rationing.

  The Seattle Times
14 Mar here
15 Mar here
16 Mar here
17 Mar here
18 Mar here
19 Mar here
20 Mar

COVID – week 104 – March 7 – March 13

Weekend – call for fourth jab in England, Covid cases rising again. Changchun, PRC on lockdown because of surge of Covid.

Locally – mask mandates end this weekend, many businesses still requiring masks and vaccine proof.

Friday – "one third of US Covid child deaths were from omicron". Hong Kong battling huge wave of Covid.

Thursday – Covid building up again in England.


Wednesday – vaccination mandates, mask mandates – ending across the US and Europe. Meanwhile Hong Kong, Israel and others are seeing a fifth wave of Covid.

Tuesday – ah – the variants are coming back. "Deltacron" and BA.2 are starting to enter the vernacular. With war taking the headlines, and a weary populous; this could just be "let it run" – which is a disaster for public health, those sheltering, the immune compromised, and anyone with children under 5.

Monday – good read on the coalition of extreme groups forming across the US.

This time 2021 – vaccination and beating the variants. A year into working from home, and it’s the new normal.

This time 2020 – getting into the groove of weekly blogging with daily news aggregation. Restaurants and bars closing, statewide school closures, large gatherings banned.

  The Guardian The Seattle Times
7 Mar   here
8 Mar   here
9 Mar   here
10 Mar   here
11 Mar   here
12 Mar   here
13 Mar

Going Solar – a preamble

When we moved to Issaquah, back in 2008, we moved into a new home. I’ve spent the last 14 years or so researching and tracking the financials, efficiency and availability of photo-voltaic systems. Back in 2008-2010 I spoke at length with several colleagues who had made the early jump, these homebrew solutions came with costs, risks – but happily lots of data.

We are at the point in early 2022 where we have decided to take the plunge and make a major investment in a combined photo-voltaic and battery storage system. This series of blog posts will walk through a lot of our thoughts and decisions, mainly so I can have this for future reference.

COVID – week 103 – February 28 – March 6

Weekend – with war in Europe dominating the headlines, the US and much of Europe seems to have forgotten we’re in the tail end of a pandemic.

Cases are down – but still higher than much of the last two years.

Friday – Hong Kong planning to test all residents, shops rationing some food and medicines.

Thursday – Live coverage from the Guardian looks to be over. Newsroom is focused instead on war in Ukraine.

Wednesday – the end of Omicron is being mistaken for the end of Covid.

Tuesday – the smaller, child sized, shots of Pfizer are less effective. Stops serious illness, but doesn’t prevent infection.

Monday – European war, and the potential for massive global escalation, has given The Guardian newsroom a completely different focus. No daily aggregates from The Guardian in almost a week.

This time 2021 – vaccine rollout well underway; 28M in US with two shots. A great early lead.

This time 2020 – I was in the office, running an architecture design session, no social distancing. All of the talk was about the coronavirus. 2 March 2020 – State Of Emergency declared in Washington State. Work from home officially started on 6th March.

  The Guardian The Seattle Times
28 Feb   here
1 Mar   here
2 Mar   here
3 Mar   here
4 Mar   here
5 Mar   here
6 Mar

Security and access tweaks

Like many other sites, large and small, well known to obscure – I’ve been getting a lot of external and malicious traffic.

Some slight tightening of security, mandating newer TLS versions and cipher suites.

COVID – week 102 – February 21 – February 27

Weekend – looks like The Seattle Times and The Guardian are down to weekday updates – which is unsurprising.


 UW reporting "end of the pandemic". Locally cases are "much lower" than the peak of a few months ago.

Wednesday through Friday – Ukraine invasion. Newsrooms have put most coronavirus news way below the fold. General trend is lifting restrictions and mask requirements; continue to encourage vaccinations and boosters.

Tuesday – most COVID restrictions in UK, Ireland, US starting to be removed. On the other side – 100K new cases in Brazil. Free testing to end in England.

Monday – possible war in Ukraine has taken Covid off the headlines globally. NZ ends vaccine mandates.

This time last year – vaccination systems went online, and were swamped. 500k US deaths from COVID.

This time 2020 – this was the week when panic buying really started. Cleaning products, face masks, hand sanitiser, paper towels, toilet paper – all stripped from stores.

  The Guardian The Seattle Times
21 Feb here here
22 Feb here here
23 Feb here here
24 Feb here here
25 Feb here here
26 Feb    
27 Feb

COVID – week 101 – February 14 – February 20

Weekend – potential for Ukraine invasion has bumped Covid reporting off the Guardian for the weekend. Second booster shot being considered. Queen tests positive for COVID.

Weekly infographic from The Seattle Times shows rapidly falling positive cases, and the overwhelming variant at the end of January was Omicron. Mask mandates are going away rapidly.

Friday – Omicron wave reaches South Korea. Building concern around Omicron variant BA.2 – this from BBC early in February.

Thursday – continued re-opening in the US. Washington State and King County removing mask mandates.

Wednesday – Omicron keeps heading east, across Europe, in it’s wake countries are emerging from and lifting most restrictions.

Tuesday – Canada, US, Europe – "protest convoys" and what looks to be some pretty major astroturfing.

Monday – Microsoft announce a broad plan to return to the office; most employees have been at home for two years. Flexible working will be the new normal.

This time last year – mutations, variants, "over by Christmas" which could have been the case in so many ways.

This time 2020 – still in the office, still looking at the handful of cases emerging in Washington State and New York. Regular, weekly blogging started in March 2020.

  The Guardian The Seattle Times
14 Feb here here
15 Feb here here
16 Feb here here
17 Feb here here
18 Feb here here
19 Feb   here
20 Feb