Good morning. Hello. How are you? #493

A lovely weekend with visiting friends and capitalistic dopamine hits

Good morning! Hello! How’s it going? Happy Monday! Monday Monday Bah-da bah-da-da-da, So good to me. Wait I’ve used that one before. God, when you’ve written nearly 500 of these things with the same schtick for an opening, it gets hard to come up with a new one at 7AM, lemme tell ya.

Programming update: Thank you to Yale who deciphered one of the other bumper stickers on the REVOLT car, confirming it was some right wing nut jobs and not some left wing benignly misguided idealists.

Anyway, hope you had a good weekend! Mine was lovely, had some friends visit: Nick and Meghan and Henry came from Wilmington and parked their little camper in our driveway it was super fun. I redeemed myself with Henry since last time they visited I forgot to supply him with Japanese Kit Kats and this time I gave him two of ten different flavors.

Jane is old enough now to “like” Henry, mainly because he pushes her on the swing and will play on the playset with her. Man I worry about how isolated that girl is I hope this pandemic is over soon. She get so excited when friends come to visit. They got here Friday night so when I was doing the morning routine Saturday, I opened the curtains in her bedroom, like we do every morning (to say hi to Grammy’s house) and there they were, down in the driveway, and I said “look! We have some friends here this weekend.” She she did that cute little thing she does with her hands where she clasps them real hard when she’s excited, sorta like The Rock in Southland Tales, except with excitement not anxiety. Man that’s an underrated movie. Anyway, whenever she does it, I think of the Rock, which make it seem kinda bad-ass, even though The Rock was doing it to seem less bad-ass but whatever. It is funny to have a three year-old girl remind you of The Rock.

Anyway, lovely time this weekend with the friends. Conversations were had into the night, well, as into the night as parents in their late 40’s can manage, which is, like, midnight if you’re feeling saucy. I was responsible and confined myself only to watery beer both nights. The first time I had like 5 or 6, which is a lot these days, and I felt horribly hung over the next morning. Not, like, the absurd, abysmal levels of a few weeks ago when we had our last visitors, but still disproportionately hung over for the amount I drank. If I were the Mythbusters and I were performing small-scale tests and plotting them on a chart, I would discover that my hangovers are not linear. If I were graphing them from one drink to ten, I think the slope would lessen as I get further along: It’s the first few drinks that kill me. Or, more accurately, drink four, since the next night, I had three and-a-half beers (Nick and I were being responsible, and we split a last beer) and I drank a can of seltzer along the way, and I had virtually no hangover on Sunday, so, I guess that’s my limit: Three-and-a-half drinks, no sugary drinks, add water. So that was a thing I learned.

Jane had her first McDonald’s biscuit. Sunday morning Jane wanted to see the friends right away when she woke up, so we went out to the driveway right when she woke up. Henry was just getting ready to eat a biscuit, and man, Jane loves biscuits, and Henry, quite rightly, wasn’t gonna give his biscuit to Jane, so I had a potential scene on my hands, so we hopped into the car and went to McDonald’s, oh, boo hoo, Nick and I were so sad we could get McDonald’s for breakfast because Nick and I just hate fast food we really are super holy about never eating fast food or sarcasm. Anyway, crisis averted, and Jane got to go in the car, because she fucking loves cars, and she ate two whole plain biscuits because she’s The Rock and needs her carbs.

Let’s see, other weekend excitement. Every package I was expecting ever — a set of items cleverly designed to add little dopamine rushes and synthetic joy to my drab existence over the next week or two — unfortunately all came on the same day last Friday. So I have been slowly doling them out, pretending that they didn’t all come at once. The PS5, which was originally supposed to come this week on Wednesday, showed up Friday, which was sort of poor timing, coming right before our guests came. But I started with that one, unboxed it (mediocre unboxing experience, also has no USB-C cable), and hooked it up to the TV, logged in with a Playstation account I’ve not used since PS3 and it worked just fine even if it thought I still lived in SoHo. I downloaded all the major media players to see if they were different than the Apple TV versions, specifically if YouTube had any usability enhancements or if Plex happened to have a “Play at 2X” option, but no go they are both exactly the same experience as on the Apple TV. But still, that’s nice, I don’t have to switch back and forth. Anyway, then I went shopping for games and looked at a lot of games, but they all seem to involve running around in dark passageways shooting things. I don’t really want to play a game where shooting things is the main thing. I thought about Control or Returnal (am I italicizing game titles? I guess so!) because their plots looked fun but also they still involved running around shooting things. So in the end I went with No Man’s Sky, which is a PS4 game but has been upgraded for the PS5, so good enough, and I’ve heard it runs really well now after all the updates. I am happy with my purchase, doing story mode, and am basically content to just mine hydrogen crystals forever. I’ll go through the story mode but really I just want to treat it like Animal Crossing in space and mine things and eventually that’s all I’m going to do and then I will have the plotless sci-fi of my dreams. It is exciting and soothing.

Next, our Mythbusters props came in from the prop auction. We got two, but we unboxed them on different days to, you know, prolong the capitalistic dopamine-slash-opiate rush of new stuff. So we opened the TNT box first, and it just great it’s exactly what it looks like — a painted plywood box with a plunger on it, but we love it.

It also comes with a certificate of authenticity and a thank-you letter on behalf of the Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation, signed by Grant Imahara’s mom and the rest of the board members, including Fon Davis, the legendary ex-ILM modelmaker — and guy who sublet to Grant Grant’s last workshop. Speaking of which, Adam Savage and Fon did a tour of Grant’s workshop on YouTube this week and it was just the saddest thing.

On Sunday we got around to opening our other prop, one of the blueprints used to plan out one of the early episodes. It’s in a poster tube. It needs framing. It is huge. It looked great. It was exciting. But back into the tube it went.

Capitalism. Wooooo. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I got my podcast done Friday before Nick et al came, if you want to listen to it it is just great, really one of the best, honest. Nah, I lie it’s just a normal one but I sure talk about a lot of media:

My new phone came too, but I haven’t opened that yet, prolong the dopamine, but I swear to god this is the end and I’m not going to buy anything ever again. Honest.

I did some gardening this weekend, but I didn’t film it, since I was puttering in the garden while Jane, Emma, Nick, Meghan and Henry were around and playing on the playset and whatnot and it would have been too complex. I decided that three of my pepper plants were a lost cause, the deer were eating them and the weeds were too much so I cut them back to their stumps, probably through winter but who knows maybe they’ll bounce back one more time. And I re-mulched that bed heavily to get rid of the weeds, which I pulled. But aside from that, the peppers are producing SO MUCH it is just great. I probably already have enough Thai peppers to get through the winter, and they’re still giving it is out of control.

Also pulled up the tomato plants that I had planted in-ground. The experiment was a success, our ground grew tomatoes just fine, but the squirrels were relentless and the things were basically chewed down to nothing anyway, so away they went, along with three giant basil bushes that had never recovered since I moved their grow bags only to learn that they had rooted through the bags and into the ground. I still have like 10 basil bushes, though, so that’s fine. I also got a second good harvest of long beans to eat at dinner on Saturday, which was nice. I added to, checked, and stirred the compost, it is doing lovely. I trimmed all the dead leaves off of my failure of a batch of cucumbers. I found a few small luffa on my luffas but they’re not going to grow into big old luffas before winter so, I don’t know — did I do something wrong? Or do luffa’s just take a reeealy long time to grow. Will investigate. One thing I have to do next year is a calendar, and mark down the number of days since things planted, like they say on the back of seed packets. I am always winging it and that is a problem. Also the squirrels ate all my soybeans because they are bastards.

I think that’s about it? Lovely weekend. Barely looked at the internet, don’t know the news. I’m sure I’ll look at the news and Twitter today and tomorrow I will rant about Joe Manchin or something, that is the circle of the week. But for now, the domestic life it is.

Let’s do a mix! W Hotel Lobby in a Better, Alternate Universe vol 29. Now, did I put Taylor’s version of Wildest Dream on this mix, and on a mix last week? Yes, yes I did. Am I ashamed? No I am not, that is what you used to do on mix tapes, especially when making them for other people. Anyway, this entire mix is new stuff, save one song. It’s a bounty of mellow, sophistipop. I particularly enjoy the new HTRK. I hope you enjoy it.

Okay. I gotta go water the plants. It was so nice last week, having it rain and not having to water the plants. This week I will have to water them. Alas. And I turned my Discogs store back on — I had turned it off when I wounded my leg, but I’m ready to deal with that again now. I got two new orders (Rolf Hind and Rex) so I’d like to get those out today because out there, somewhere, is a sad consumer waiting for their next capitalist dopamine hit to get them to the next day. I am sympathetic, and I will not stand in their way.

Ta!