Friday, 6th November, 2020

[Day 235]

Well, today was the day that followed last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and wondered what was going in the US Presidential elections – as I thought that Pennsylvania must just get called (what a hope!) I stayed up for an hour watching a variety of things on Sky News (as my Mac decided to update its operating system in the middle of the night, just when I wanted to use it so this knocked out about three-quarters of an hour). In the course of yesterday evening’s viewing, I did see Donald Trump’s rant from the White House and I seriously wondered whether the rant that ensued was a sign of seriously disintegrating personality – or worse. However, worse is bound to follow in the next few days.

Today was the day in which we were scheduled to pick up our new car so we duly made our way there to arrive at 11.00 am. The transaction all had to be completed outdoors to comply with various regulations these days, so we were signing various handover documents on a variety of clipboards, handing over documentation and the like on our existing vehicle before getting a mountain of documents on the new one. All to be seemed to be handled extremely expeditiously so having rescued the car mats from our previous vehicle, we were on our way home. I must say I do not particularly like the first hour or so driving a new car until one is completely familiar with all of the controls and updates. But we made sure that we had the car radio tuned into Radio 4 and Classic FM which suits us 95% of the time and most of the remaining controls seemed to be a ‘carry-over’ from our previous Honda. There is one particular feature which I particularly like and no doubt I will discover lots of others as the days and weeks roll by. In most of the cars I have had, the petrol gauge tends to be circular in nature but in this car, it is a linear scale. But immediately above it is another linear scale which measures the current mpg and so you can tell for any particular gear or road conditions how your mpg is responding. I noted, for example, that reducing my speed from 70mph to 60mph seemed to push up my mpg substantially to about 45mpg, so it is quite easy to adjust your driving to meet your desired fuel consumption. I found this an excellent feature – just the little refinement which makes a new car a joy to explore. When I got home and after lunch, I fitted our old car mats on top of the supplied ones. There is a certain logic behind off of this. I like to have some light-ish car mats as a ‘top set’ as it were and in the doors compartment, I usually store a car wheel brush. Then if I have been anywhere particularly muddy or I have a few seconds to spare at the end of a journey, I can easily remove the light mat and give it a quick brush-over (keeping the under-mats pristine as well)

This afternoon was a particularly delicious afternoon. We were watching the Biden count in the remaining four contested states gradually overhaul that of Trump and eventually gradually increase as new batches of votes (by county?) are gradually added. Much of this pattern is both predictable and predicted – Donald Trump asked his supporters to vote in person on the day which they generally did, thus building up ‘red’ majorities. But then the Democratic vote started what is known as the ‘Blue Shift’ as the votes come in form the larger urban areas in which voters had voted by postal ballot or by drop off box. The Republican voters tended to think that COVID-19 was largely a Democrat myth and did not mind queuing up next to each to vote in person on election day. The Democrat voters did believe in COVID-19 and their vote tended to be counted after the ‘in-person’ vote had already been tabulated.

As I blog, the Democrat lead over Trump is gradually increasing (14.5k in Pennsylvania, 20k in Nevada, 39k in Arizona, only 4k in Georgia) There will certainly be a recount in Georgia as the totals are within 0.1%-0.2% of each other) and in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) there seems to be a lot of military (posted votes) still to be counted. There does seem to be a movement ‘in the air’ that it is really important that each particular vote is actually counted and recorded and this may be the enduring impact of the ‘Black Lives Matter‘ social movement. The Trump rant to the effect that the elections are fundamentally flawed and subject to massive fraud all over the USA is being quietly contradicted by various leading Republicans who are re-asserting their faith in the counting process. We might add that in many of the states, the officials in charge of the counts are registered Republican but the integrity of the officials has been systematically traduced by Trump. It may well take a day or so to get the final totals from all of the states but when the overall result is in no doubt (i.e. Biden has unequivocally won the election, pending court cases notwithstanding), then one can watch with some pleasure. More on this as the days unfold!