Fall events on the horizon ... for now

Rules on indoor gatherings are ratcheting up, even so

Happy Friday the 13th!

I keep expecting the governor, er, COVID, to cancel fall, as it were. Gov. Roy Cooper hasn’t issued a statewide indoor mask mandate. Yet. Nor has he reimposed social distancing requirements for indoor gatherings. Yet.

But tougher measures may be on the way. Local indoor mask mandates are spreading, though they may prove difficult to enforce. Many business owners will do a lot of this on their own. They don’t want their customers to get sick or spread illness. Unless the owners are reckless.

Indoor music venues — Haw River Ballroom, Cat’s Cradle, Motorco — already require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a “clean” COVID-19 test within 48-72 hours of entry. More venues will follow. Why require proof? Patrons will be in close contact, indoors, perhaps for several hours. The entry requirements make sense when, in effect, your audience isn’t likely to go anywhere for awhile.

As I wrote earlier this week, outdoor events will be harder to monitor, especially those that can’t easily require distancing. Still, there’s good news: Lollapalooza’s vax/test requirements seem to have worked.

Maybe we’ll have outdoor events this fall after all!

What I’m reading

• The News & Observer reports on Black Friday Market, a new downtown Raleigh business that operates somewhat like a flea market for local black entrepreneurs — only in a nicer setting and a prime location.

• In Reason, my friend Ron Bailey explains why “The Scariest Predictions In The New U.N. Climate Report Are Also The Most Unlikely.” Ron never dismisses the human role in climate change. But he notes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report bases at least two predictions of temperature rise on burning five times more coal than we do today. (Coal use peaked in 2013.) A more realistic scenario, from the International Energy Agency, bases its projections on current trends in energy use. As Roger Pielke Jr. and other climate policy analysts suggest, we’d still need some “mitigation” to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next 80 years. But keep those hair shirts in storage.

• The big read is Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale, by Adam Minter. Minter, a Bloomberg News journalist who writes mainly about recycling and reuse, travels across the globe, tracking the stuff we donate to charity or leave in our homes when we pass on and finds out what happens to it. 

How safe are used kiddie car seats? Why does Patagonia have a side business selling its own used clothing? Does the local recycling center really dispose of those old CRT televisions in environmentally friendly ways?

It’s packed with entertaining stories about the people in the secondhand business and the ever-changing high- and low-tech ways someone’s trash can become someone else’s “good enough” product. Highly recommended.

(I’m only about 80% through it. I’ll be fascinated to see if he discusses the surging market for vintage audiophile equipment.)

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Don’t try this at home

Earlier this week, a Facebook memory popped up from 2013 of Cara making risotto as our Lhasa Apso Lillie watched.

Every time I think of risotto, this segment from “The Next Food Network Star” follows.