We're just sorta plugging along over here.
Last Friday I took Raylan for a bike ride. He rode for 7 miles! The kid's just a little over 5 years old, so I was pretty impressed by that.
|Celebratory photo after the 7 mile ride|
|When the playground is closed, you play "King of the Rock"|
Also "Jump Off the Rock".
And "Who Has the Best Rock?"
The kids, of course, were very curious about them.
I tried to keep them from walking on them, but Kiddo could not be deterred. I hope the Nolen family were fond of children.
Anyway, we had a talk about what graves are, and an even longer talk about the sort of lives that people probably had in the 1800's in Austin.
Raylan seemed very confused by the idea of life without air conditioning or cars.
On Saturday night there were some protests in Austin (as well as across the country) relating to the police custody death of George Floyd up in Minneapolis. The protests were sparked by Floyd's death, but the protesters had grievances against APD as well, including the recent killing of Michael Ramos, an unarmed suspect who was killed by Austin police officers in April.
Later, there was some fun in the pool.
On Saturday night I got together with the guys for an acoustic Therapy Pets practice at Reed's house. We played outside, and sat 6 feet apart from each other. It was nice to see the guys and make some music again.
|Reed in the foreground, Jim, Frank, and me|
The protesting basically turned into a riot on Saturday night, with at least one car being burned, and at least two businesses looted.
I've been following these protests pretty closely for several reasons. I guess I'm interested in seeing what the protesters ultimately can achieve through their action. I'm interested in these questions of racial equity in law enforcement because I work within the criminal justice community here in Austin (and I'm always fascinated to see the take of "the public" on criminal justice within our community). Also, I'm following these Austin protests closely because some of the property crimes and public disorder crimes (e.g., participating in a riot) are offenses which may ultimately be reviewed for prosecution by our office.
Anyway, I woke up on Sunday, and during my usual bike ride, I headed downtown to see the aftermath of whatever had happened the night before. There was widespread graffiti for a number of blocks, with anti-police messages, including some messages about killing police along with messages about wanting justice for George Floyd. I was shocked by the amount of tagging that had occurred. Even APD headquarters and the downtown municipal court were covered in graffiti. That really shocked me because I knew that APD would have made protecting that building a priority if they weren't overwhelmed by higher priority problems.
So I'm guessing that it was pretty much pandemonium downtown last night.
I've got a lot of conflicted feelings about the whole thing, but I think that the line has been crossed beyond peaceful protest, and I'm not cool with that. I hope it doesn't escalate in the coming days.
|Some of the graffiti on APD headquarters|
Well, we ended up riding 8.25 miles. He fell down in some gravel early in the ride, and he wasn't happy about it, so for a moment I thought it would be a 2 mile ride. But when I asked him if he wanted to go home, he jumped back on his bike and took off again.
|Horses in Sunset Valley|
|"Are you excited about the horses, Raylan?"|
So that's been it, really. We've been quarantining and hiding out, mostly. It's getting weird because our politicians are opening everything back up, and, slowly, in some ways things are starting to move back to a bit more normal (stores are open and restaurants can be open at 50% capacity).
At the same time, most of the actual medical experts keep saying we should still be social distancing and following all of the quarantine procedures. It's hard to know what to do. For now we're still erring on the side of caution.
Personally, I feel like it might let up for a while, and then there will be another outbreak. Maybe it will be worse in the fall and winter? I don't know. It feels like nobody really knows.
Anyway, the world feels a little crazy right now. Everyone stay safe.