Indy Digest: Oct. 25, 2021

Why is it that the things that are good for us are often painful?

As I’m typing this, my right arm is throbbing. My lower back is angrily barking. And my left foot is sore as heck … all because I had the audacity to play softball yesterday.

I’ve mentioned in this space before that I play softball, even though I have the athletic ability of a 1977 AMC Hornet. I play because it’s fun; I like my teammates; and it forces me to get my butt away from the computer to be outside and active a couple of times per week. While I certainly could and should exercise even more, softball offers a nice start.

While I love my job, it creates a health conundrum, as it’s mentally tiring, yet physically sedentary, for the most part. I can work in front of a screen all day and tire myself out—while not even breaking into four digits on the ol’ step counter.

And as for going to the gym … bleh. I don’t like it. Treadmills, elliptical machines, weight machines … ugh. What’s the point? Plus, unless I fork out dough for a physical trainer or commit to meeting a workout buddy, there’s no scheduled aspect to it, so it’s easy to put off. But with softball. I have practice times and game times to which I am committed, so I go.

And go, I did. I put on my uniform and joined my fantastic teammates at Demuth Park for two Palm Springs Gay Softball League E-Division contests. I was outside. I stretched and ran and played first base and had a lot of fun. Even though we got our butts kicked, it was undeniably good for me to do.

But, boy, do I hurt today.

Many of the yummiest foods are bad for me, while many of the best foods are gross. (My palate thinks brussels sprouts and cauliflower taste like mildly fermented dirty socks. But worse.) Laying on the couch with a glass of bourbon and binging The Great British Baking Show feels amazing, but it’s bad for me, while exercise, which is good for me, causes pain.

Universe, you really have a lousy sense of humor sometimes.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Health Care on the Road: CSUSB’s Nursing Street Medicine Program Expands Its Efforts to Help the Coachella Valley’s Underserved Residents

By Kevin Fitzgerald

October 24, 2021

CSU-San Bernardino at Palm Desert’s Nursing Street Medicine program expands its efforts to help Coachella Valley residents in need.

On Cocktails: These Three Spookily Named Drinks All Have Storied Histories—and Are Delicious, Too!

By Kevin Carlow

October 22, 2021

The Corpse Reviver No. 2. El Diablo. The Zombie. These classic cocktails are perfect for Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, or, heck, any other time.

8-Track Flashback: War Celebrates Five Decades of Shows by Bringing Genre-Defying Hits to Spotlight 29

By Matt King

October 25, 2021

War—the band responsible for hits like “Low Rider” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”—is belatedly celebrating its 50th anniversary with a tour, including a stop at Spotlight 29 on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Sci-Fi Triumph: The New ‘Dune’ Looks Amazing, Is Well-Acted, and Actually Makes Sense

By Bob Grimm

October 25, 2021

The new adaptation of Dune, from reliable director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival), is the year’s best-looking blockbuster—and a solidly coherent take on the Frank Herbert tome.

The Indy Endorsement: The Canyon Creek Pulled Mushroom Sandwich at Larkspur Grill

By Jimmy Boegle

October 25, 2021

Props to Hotel Paseo’s Larkspur Grill for taking locally produced Canyon Creek Mushrooms and making them shine.

More News

• If you’re confused about whether you (or someone you love) is eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot, The Associated Press has put together this helpful explainer. For example, if you’re wondering why Moderna and Pfizer recipients have to wait at least six months before getting a booster shot: “Experts agree that getting a booster too soon can reduce the benefit. Timing matters because the immune system gradually builds layers of defenses over months, and letting that response mature improves the chances another, later dose will provide even stronger protection.”

Riverside County says it will start offering Moderna and J&J booster shots tomorrow, aka Tuesday, Oct. 26. Here’s a quote from the news release: “This is one more important step in getting us through the pandemic,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Riverside County public health officer. “There also continues to remain opportunities for those who still need an initial dose to receive it at any of our community clinic and provider locations throughout the county.”

CNBC reports that the shipping backlog gumming up America’s ports is not going to get resolved anytime soon—and that will hit us financially: “In the meantime, consumers will pay more and have access to less. Shipping a container through major U.S. ports now takes triple the time it normally does. In September, about one-third of containers at the L.A. and Long Beach ports sat longer than five days before being shipped out, according to Goldman Sachs. Offloaded containers dropped by 9.1% at Long Beach and 3.6% at Los Angeles. President Joe Biden tried to fix the problem by ordering ports to stay open 24 hours, but it has only helped at the margins. Ongoing labor shortages and a lack of coordination among the multiple players in the U.S. supply chain blunted the effect of the move.”

• Northern California in the last couple of days has gotten deluged by rain, thanks to an “atmospheric river storm.” A climate scientist, writing for The Conversation, says such storms are only going to get worse: “Recently I led a team of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Army Corps of Engineers in the first systematic analysis of damages from atmospheric rivers due to extreme flooding. We found that while many of these events are benign, the largest of them cause most of the flooding damage in the western U.S. And atmospheric rivers are predicted to grow longer, wetter and wider in a warming climate.

• The Washington Post has been killing it lately with its coverage of the mess that is Facebook, which is being exposed due to the so-called “Facebook Papers.” Today, it published a piece detailing how, according to the headline, Mark Zuckerberg “chose growth over safety.” The lede is striking: “Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg faced a choice: Comply with demands from Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party to censor anti-government dissidents or risk getting knocked offline in one of Facebook’s most lucrative Asian markets. In America, the tech CEO is a champion of free speech, reluctant to remove even malicious and misleading content from the platform. But in Vietnam, upholding the free speech rights of people who question government leaders could have come with a significant cost in a country where the social network earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to a 2018 estimate by Amnesty International. So Zuckerberg personally decided that Facebook would comply with Hanoi’s demands, according to three people familiar with the decision, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal company discussions.”

Yesterday, the Post chronicled the damage the social network has caused in India, “fueling hate speech and violence.” The lede looks at what happened when two Facebook employees last year created a dummy profile of a 21-year-old woman living in North India: “Soon, without any direction from the user, the Facebook account was flooded with pro-(Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi propaganda and anti-Muslim hate speech. ‘300 dogs died now say long live India, death to Pakistan,’ one post said, over a background of laughing emoji faces. ‘These are pakistani dogs,’ said the translated caption of one photo of dead bodies lined-up on stretchers, hosted in the News Feed. An internal Facebook memo, reviewed by The Washington Post, called the dummy account test an ‘integrity nightmare’ that underscored the vast difference between the experience of Facebook in India and what U.S. users typically encounter. One Facebook worker noted the staggering number of dead bodies.”

• Closer to home: The Los Angeles’ Times Gustavo Arellano looks at the furor over In-n-Out Burger’s anti-vaccine-mandate stance—and points out that the company’s right-wing leanings have only become stronger and more apparent in recent years: “They’ve never hidden who they were, yet In-n-Out sold a fantasy of apolitical niceness that most Californians slurped up like one of the chain’s fantastic strawberry milkshakes. They fooled even include Vice President Kamala Harris. She got In-N-Out for staffers and reporters who flew back with her to Washington, D.C., this September after an appearance with California Gov. Gavin Newsom at an anti-recall election rally—never mind that In-N-Out had contributed $40,000 to the California Republican Party in July. It takes a delusional Californian to think In-N-Out was anything more than what it is … .”

• Carson residents: As people who live near the occasionally smelly Salton Sea, we feel your pain. The Los Angeles Times explains what I’m talking about: “Three weeks after a foul smell began plaguing Carson residents, Los Angeles County officials say they can’t predict when it will dissipate. Some residents are so fed up that they have filed a lawsuit alleging a warehouse fire caused a buildup of decaying vegetation in the Dominguez Channel, leading to the smell. After crews finally began spraying a biodegradable neutralizer last Friday, officials predicted the odor would go away by the middle of this week. Then, they pushed it back to the weekend. Now, they are not committing to any date at all, citing variations in individual sensitivity to the smell that has been likened to rotten eggs, vomit, body odor or farts.”

And finally … your Thanksgiving meal is gonna cost a LOT more this year than it did last year. The New York Times explains: “Nearly every component of the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, from the disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan to the coffee and pie, will cost more this year, according to agricultural economists, farmers and grocery executives. Major food companies like Nestlé and Procter & Gamble have already warned consumers to brace for more price increases. … There is no single culprit. The nation’s food supply has been battered by a knotted supply chain, high transportation expenses, labor shortages, trade policies and bad weather. Inflation is at play, too. In September, the Consumer Price Index for food was up 4.6 percent from a year ago. Prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs soared 10.5 percent.”

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...