Good morning. Hello. How are you? #501

80's Levis commercials, eBay question, ISP misery, Egg cracking, Bamboo standardization, Boston 90's music scene, Pacemaker for the brain, Protecting the inspectors general.

Good morning! Hello! How’s tricks? 501. Remember that old Levis 501 with a blues song and someone singing “Levis button fly 501 blues?” Man it turns out there were a whole bunch of these ads. I just watched like fifteen of them. That was a real trip down memory lane. Old dirty soho meets Risky Business. Kinda oddly compelling.

Okay lessee. Thursday. Running late again. Keep oversleeping. Just by 10-15 minutes, but that makes a big difference in my hyper-scheduled morning. It also does not help that I just spent ten minutes watching 80’s Levis commercials. But we carry on.

Quick poll: Do you have an eBay account? Do you buy stuff on eBay? Do you sell stuff on eBay? I don’t really have a sense of how ingrained it is in American society. Selling, especially, seems to be a hair too complex for the average person. Not worth the energy as it were. And I sense people just sell shit on FB marketplace and Instagram now cuz their apps are easier? What are your experiences here?

Emma and I are on this endless quest to get our internet from stopping dropping out. I was 100% convinced that it was all AT&T’s fault, because the home networking map in my head was wrong, and I thought I had concrete evidence it could only be their router. Meanwhile, Emma was working her way up on the phone through various levels of tech support trying to get to a human who knew what they were talking about. She eventually got through to the boss level, at least in theory, when the CSR said that someone from advanced tech support would be calling in the next two hours. It was at that moment I suddenly got paranoid that maybe I was wrong, and I went and checked the network map and sure enough, my mental image was wrong, I was using the wifi router for DHCP and both wifi and ethernet. So I did some quick re-jiggering, plugging a spare laptop straight into the modem, bypassing the entire home network, so that the next time an outage happened I could see if that went out too. So now I’m like “hurry up and go out, internet, before this guy rep calls so I can be 100% sure it’s them and not me.” The internet helpfully goes out before they call. To my mortification, the direct-connected laptop does not go out, which means it’s my problem. I am stumped, but decide an easy fix is to change the ethernet cable from their router to mine, and from my router to the home networking switch. I change them both. Now I gotta wait for another outage. But one never comes? So maybe it was a bad cable? So now I’m like, well, this will be embarrassing when that expert rep calls and I gotta admit I failed the most basic trouble-shooting steps. Except the dude never called. And this morning, just now, I think maybe we had a quick outage? Not 100% sure though. The saga continues for another day. But I am increasingly convinced I was hubristic and over-confident and this might be my problem not AT&Ts, so I am admitting it to all of you as penance. Hail Mary.

Important update for Keith: at your suggestion, for the last week I have been cracking my eggs on the flat part of the counter and I gotta say, I am not a fan. I find it substantially more messy — I have to clean the little egg-cracking spot every day or two now as opposed to once a week when I was using the corner of the counter. I can definitely see why it would get less shells in the pan, but weirdly, on one of the seven days I still got shells in the pan, which would put the shell presence percentage at 14%, which I don’t think is substantially lower than normal. But I feel like that one shell was a fluke, something I fat-fingered and not the cracking’s fault. So, maybe. I would keep experimenting but… man it’s dirty. Or maybe I’m doing something wrong!

While I’m on the topic of inconsequential food prep items, who in the world got to decide on the standard size and shape of an American grocery-store-bought bamboo strip? Seriously. Go to any American grocery store and the odds are better than not that in the “asian section” they will have bamboo strips. There are like 20 different brands of them being sold in different stores. Most stores will only have one brand. And it will always, always, always, look like this:

To clarify, the bamboo strip will, not the can. My local Harris Teeter actually has these in full-size cans, which is kind of nice because I can buy them and intermix them with the bamboo shoots I buy at the “Asian grocery.” (Hrm maybe an Asian section isn’t as problematic as I thought if there are “Asian grcoeries.”) Anyway, at the Asian Grocery, there are like 40 sizes of bamboo! They range from these wonderful thin little matchsticks of bamboo to, like, four-inch thick veritable logs, Every size and shape in between.

Who decided on this American standardization? Is there a Bamboo Standards Committee? As a man who eats Bamboo every day… can I be on it? Is there a Big Bamboo dictating these things? Is Dynasty the mafia?

Also fun fact: Hmart’s website is down right now.

Another fun fact: Apparently Bamboo is poisonous if you don’t cook it! Who knew!

There was a great article from Bandcamp a few days ago about the Boston 90’s music scene and oh man, talk about a trip down memory lane: Turkish Delight, Betwixt, Bright, Swirlies, Karate, Juneau, Magic Hour, just wow. There was one band on there I hadn’t heard of or know, Glans, and of course only three Archenemy Releases would have liked to see more. Also we had this hilarious grudge against The Vehicle Birth back in the day, I don’t know why. I think it was because, they, like, did promo? Or maybe we convinced ourselves they were rich, which would have been pretty ironic since The Noise accused us of being trust fund babies and we got all bent out of shape about it. But anyway, man, what a list. In the last year or two I’ve gone on binges by most of those bands, revisiting and buying vinyl from every band listed above.

I wish Green Magnet School was on Spotify it is very frustrating.

There was this crazy article in the New York Times the other day about a woman out in the Bay Area who got a “pacemaker for her brain,” except it was for depression. Whenever she has depressive thoughts or suicide ideation, this little matchbook-sized device (I mean, that does not sound “little” when it’s in your head, but…) shoots out a little jolt of electricity in exactly the right spot. She doesn’t feel it happening. But when it does happen, she is convinced she can tell because she immediately feels better, the depressive thoughts stop, and she can get on with her life. Prior to the procedure, she was unable to hold down a job. Now she has a functional life again, and the whole thing sounds amazing. It is still experimental, however. She’s part of the trials. It’ll be a few years. Man. The next generation is going to have some amazing innovations, even if they don’t have a planet or country, though. I suppose I should be all hard core and puritanical and get over my depression, bad eyes, gimp neck and weight problems through willpower but it is hilarious, hopeful and depressing all at the same time to think that in a generation or two, literally none of these things will be actual problems, people will just get ‘em tweaked at a mall kiosk.

I am very happy for this woman it sounds like her depression was a real bad case and she seems a great candidate for this. Mine would be more, like, when they’re trying to expand their market to every last mild sufferer.

Yesterday I realized my monitor would raise, and I raised it, and I don’t look down as much now and I don’t know why i didn’t do this six months ago when I got this new monitor. It’s like I live in a whole new world. Suddenly I’m not tired of my repeititve existence. Suddenly I don’t want to go to New York anymore. Everything is magically fixed. The end.

There is another effort going on in DC, hasn’t gotten to the bill stage yet, but, you know, that’s kinda alarming in and of itself. When Trump was president, we were all dreaming of all the stupid loopholes we’d fix when a Democrat was elected again, hardening the government against the next Trumpian lunatic (not processing at the time that the next Trumpian lunatic is probably gonna be Trump himself, god dammit). One of those things that desperately need fixing is that the Inspector Generals need to be better protected from evil asshole presidents since they seem to enjoy firing them. So there’s a group out there writing to congresspeople reminding them that, hey, you need to get this fixed. And I am fully behind this idea. Like we might lose the midterms? We only have maybe 12 months to patch the bugs, as it were, and it seems like everyone has forgotten about it? This is a problem. This needs fixing. We are running out of time for round 2, and round 2 is coming.

Okay well fun talk. Gotta cut it a bit short today. Let’s do a mix, and it’s gonna be a Boston 90’s mix, in honor of that Bandcamp article. Which actually ended up being a bit harder than I thought, because so many Boston bands from that era aren’t on Spotify. Except for this one fantastic Pipeline compilation, but it felt like that was cheating to use too much of that single comp, so I just picked the Syrup USA song from it. Also a lot of bands from Boston, it turns out, had the names of other bands and it’s basically impossible to track them down on Spotify with the very little time I have right now. SO maybe this is just a vol 1. Yes, okay, Volume 1 it is. Duly tagged.

Have a lovely Thursday. I got lotsa meetings today will be a grind but it’s also my Friday, that is nice. And Jane should, hopefully, be staying at Grammy’s tonight, that’ll be nice too.