fifth seed waterproof flight chases ants from honey

July has been an exciting month — our wedding anniversary, an international trip (The Bahamas), Arrow’s birthday celebration and Darius and Christiane’s family trip to Lebanon.

Because of delays caused by the previous ‘president’s ineptitude and general crassness, trips to Lebanon were impossible because lengthy waits to get a green card for Christiane and to deal with Covid. As a result, it has been almost two years since the family has been to Lebanon.

Of course, it’s not especially easy to travel halfway around the world with two (very) young children. The key to success is to pack light.

TWL Airport picture to Lebanonpng

I’m happy to report that after flights from Seattle to Frankfurt and on to Beirut, they have arrived in Lebanon and are at home with Christiane’s parents. They’ll be there until the end of the month.

Auriane, Leandra and their Grandfather in Lebanon
leandra and Auriane in Lebanon

Regular readers are likely to recall my belated recognition of my iPhone’s water vulnerability.
“Water vulnerability?” Nazy asks (while Tiger smirks). “You tried to swim with it.

“And that, my dear, is why I bought an iPhone case that is water proof.”

“Couldn’t you just remember…”

“… but I can’t figure out how to install the case. Perhaps you would, eh, help?”

Azelle popcorn hat Nirvana

Nazy installed the new case which had…

“… a few fatal flaws,” she noted.

“What kind of flaws?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” Nazy replied as she watched me try to swipe through the waterproof screen. “And, Dan,” she continued, “you’ll probably want to use a hammer when you tap.”

And a jackhammer when I double-tap,” I thought after fruitlessly trying to read a text message.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to just remember to not dunk your iPhone?” Nazy concluded.

I’ve ordered and installed a replacement case. I also tried to register the screen protector that Verizon recommended in order to activate the warranty. The Pure.Gear registration website demanded three numbers hidden in the packaging, a copy of the purchase invoice, the serial number of the iPhone, the name of my wireless provider, my address, phone number and blood type, the address of my next of kin, the name of my first pet, the city where I met my ‘significant other’, my acceptance of their (voluminous) terms and conditions and much more ….

“ …
for a warranty that tops out at a payment of half as much as the screen protector cost and if I filled it in, they’d have enough information to break into my bank account.” I thought as I exited the registration process. I was also thinking about the ‘insurance’ that I had on my previous iPhone. When I dropped the phone, there was a $200 deductible before the insurance delivered a refurbished iPhone with a suspect battery and

“ … c
ompromised waterproofing?” I thought,

And, while we’re dealing with large companies, I got a note from Pacific Gas and Electric asking if I’d like to transfer to a different pricing model — one that would save me money if I used the same amount of electricity — but in the evening rather than during the day. Our projected savings will be..

“How much?” Nazy (reasonably) asked.

“ … $4/month!” I replied.

“Does the price goes up if we don’t agree?”

“If we don/t do anything, our electricity bill will skyrocket by 33¢ each month.”

“What a magnificent incentive.”

“Precisely. That’s why I’m doing nothing.”

This weekend, Nazy and I had fun babysitting Tiger, Arrow and Azelle while Melika and Tom went to a party. It’s an exciting time for the children: Tiger, after 7 years of growth, has now grown into…

“Size 1 shoes.” He proclaimed.

I have a bigger size,” Arrow thought.

“The Adams Family is also hosting several bee hives. However, a local ant colony discovered the hives and has been stealing the honey. We assume that the bees are outraged.

Really?” I thought. “I bet the ants steal less than we do.”

The beekeeping mentor brought some oil traps designed to keep the ants away.

bee arrow and trap for TWL

Azelle is growing up fast. On the weekend, because she had taken a nap, Arrow was ready to go to bed before Azelle. So, Azelle told Nazy …

“While you tuck Arrow in, I will wait for you in my room.”

And she did!

Arrow and Tiger completed their summer Art Camp full of fun and enthusiasm. After a week of rest and recovery, they’ll both start ‘surfing camp’. In the middle week, they’re having a basketball tournament and..

“You are the worst player, Dan.” Arrow explained.

“Yeah, you are the fifth seed,”Tiger chimed in.

“What are you talking about? I’m not a seed.” I complained.

“Fifth seed means you are the worst.”

“Worst? Me? Don’t be ridiculous — I’ve got friends named LaBron and Anthony on my team, so I’m the best.” I asserted.

“LaBron is not on your team.” Tiger replied.

“I’m best buds with LaBron,” I retorted. “He even let me be number 23. Just wait and see: he won’t even be using number 23 next year.”

Tiger and Arrow basketball players

Finally: there is nothing complicated or confusing about the CDC’s advice. Covid is returning because a significant portion of the population has not been vaccinated. Those unvaccinated people are causing the problem and, although a mandate is not the right path, I’m in favor of making things difficult for the unvaccinated. For what it is worth, a vaccination costs $2000 in Iran.

For last week's letter, please click here

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