Dec. 31, 2020

Last Blog of 2020

Thursday 12/31/2020

New Years Eve.

I couldn't let the day go by without memorializing the close to one of the worst years on record, 2020. Pandemic, civil unrest, divisive elections, and a disrupted life that was far from normal. Little to like or to remember fondly though at least the vaccines materialized before Christmas and 3 million fellow Americans were innoculated.

Even for an optimist like me who always finds the silver lining, there was little to make the year anything like normal. I always thought 1968 was a tumultuous year that seemed to get worse as it wore on. But 2020 was worse. 

On the positive side, I did start my podcast and have now completed almost 110 episodes, 6500 downloads and listeners in 23 countries. We are on target to hit 150 episodes by the end of March when we celebrate one year on the air. In fact, I'm thinking about creating a second podcast, in addition to the San Francisco Experience. Early days and a lot more planning to do but it would be fun to try a different style and format. More to follow !

Next week we will do our interview with Bob Siegel, the founder of the CrossTown Trail, the 17 mile urban trail across San Francisco. That's all thanks to Tina Martin who connected me with Bob. I've got a long list of questions for him and he is confirmed, so he will be our first interview of 2021 but I expect to do more now that I have figured out how to record from my iPhone.  Interviews are more interesting for the listener as they get to follow the interplay between two people rather than a monlogue.

But my first podcast of 2021 will be about genealogy and DNA databases. Since I did the test last year, I've discovered a cluster of distant cousins in North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. A completely new discovery for me. And it turns out that one of my Pender cousins also has a cluster of NC cousins who have popped up on his I am reaching out to the NC Genealogical Association and slowly gaining some traction there, in addition to the discoveries, several of whom I am corresponding with.

But a darker side of these genealogical databases is law enforcement is now using them to track down cold case felons. I have misgivings about an unregulated access by LE to databases that are for personal family historical research. Stay tuned and listen to tomorrow's podcast on the subject.

Another podcast subject is the Recall of Governor Gavin Newsom. 900,000 signatures have been gathered of the 1,500,000 needed to qualify for the ballot. March 15 is the deadline and donations are pouring in. If it qualifies, the recall election would happen in July or August 2021. More unnecessary uncertainty for California. But if it does get on the ballot, there is no high profile opponent waiting in the wings to present themself as the white knight. In which case, he would survive the recall. But you never know how the unpredictable world of politics might turn.

Well, I will finish with Auld Lang Syne. Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021.