Yeah, I have let myself completely go during this pandemic. Which means I have had the opportunity to notice how daily growth can produce notable changes every once in a while. Like, when I was growing my beard out, it seemed the same for a while and then suddenly much bigger. Now, tis my hair which seemed a bit long suddenly feels like I have wings on the sides of my head. I am the fluffiest I have been since ... high school I guess. I can feel my hair flop around as I go downstairs or as the breeze blows when I go outside to get the mail. It has been seven months since my last haircut, and the next one will happen after I get my second shot which is still a month or more away.
And, yes, we have both more and less certainty in Ontario. The authorities now say we of GenX-AZ can mix if we want to, getting Moderna or Pfizer for our second shot or we can stick with AZ. Of course, the problem with the latter is finding it, since there is not so much of it. They say that we are eligible for our second shot 12 weeks after our first, but then there are some folks who are getting ahead of that pace. The good news is that the Ontario authorities are calling all the folks over 80 who have not gotten a second shot. The bad news is that this is necessary in part because the web-based system was down. And, yeah, for those hunting shots, there are two paths--the govt locations which book up fast and the pharmacies which require tenacity to find one accepting appointments. I did go on campus briefly and saw the line for vaccines, so I feel pretty good about getting my second dose (non-AZ, if I want that) as Carleton is only vaxxing students, faculty, and staff.book we are assigning and providing to the participants. We have a nearly complete roster of participants--emerging scholars, junior military officers, junior policy officers, etc. We have a nearly complete roster of presenters. So, the event is in good shape. A key part of it is to build bridges and foster networking across the traditional divides. That was supposed to be facilitated by lunches/dinners/coffee/bar time. So, the event will be online, which not only means less social time but also less time--there is no way I want folks to be on screens for entire days. The bright side is that we don't have to arrange travel or the like, so it is an easier event to organize. We have some stuff we have to do, but we are nearly there.
The CDSN and CSIDS are also organizing a couple of 20th anniversary of 9/11 events, so we are working on that as well. We dropped the 50th anniversary of BattleRhythm this week, so that was a nice marker of how much progress we have made. As we say on this episode, we really don't know who is listening, but we've had enough folks across town tell us that they listen that we believe we have some listeners and many of them are in or near government. I am most grateful to Stéfanie von Hlatky for being such a great host, as this has added a heap of worktime to her very busy schedule. She brings terrific insights, much humor, and great connections that make for great interviews. Melissa Jennings, the CDSN's Director of Communications, produces each podcast with great care, diligence, and patience. Paxon Mayer, our PhD RA, helps prep us with the research she does for us. It is a terrific team, and I am lucky to have them. Otherwise, we are in the middle of a transition as our previous project coordinator has moved on, and we are in the midst of hiring a new staffer. If I didn't buy principal-agency theory before, I certainly do now.
On the Canadian defence scene, there was not too much news this week--just one more senior officer losing his job, this time for uttering the N word apparently. Two retired chiefs of the defence staff wrote a regrettable op-ed where they worried about the plight of senior officers. Not a great look, given that this culture that they blame is one that they did little/nothing to change. It happened on their watch, and now they want to say "hey, due process" at a time where it is clear intra-CAF processes are anything but due. So, they didn't cover themselves in glory. My take on that was:
When abuse of power is such a central part of the CAF story, two former CDS's complaining about how this has affected the senior officers reveals more than the authors intend.— Steve Saideman (@smsaideman) June 4, 2021
The farthest north and west I went was to Costco. The farthest south was biking to Manotick for exercise and for, um, ice cream. Indeed, the trend of the week was combining exercise with bad eating as I tried out the donut shack and a new ice cream place. I have lost weight during the pandemic, but most of that was in the first few months. My plateau since has reflected a balancing of stress exercise, stress baking, and stress eating. I am guessing next month's map will feature the trip to Carleton as my longest voyage of June. I am looking forward to the family reunion at the end of July in Philly. My daughter will make it from LA so I get to see her for the first time since Dec 2019, and it will be the first time seeing everyone else since Thanksgiving of 2019. Zoom is helpful, but it just isn't the same. Oh, and samplers of beers in Philly bars await me along with steak sandwiches and pretzels. We shall see if I have to really quarantine when I get back, as that is what the Canadian border policy calls for. Will it change by then? I doubt it.
Time to make some s'mores brownies as the treat of the week--the aforementioned stress baking. Be well and good luck in this uncertain time!