Good morning. Hello. How are you? #667
Juneteenth, Father's Day, Texas, gardening wounds, Hoscotch to Heaven, the impracticality of lost weekends while parenting in middle age, tech chores.
Good morning, there, friend. Happy Juneteenth, happy belated Father’s Day. How are you doing today? Do you have today off? National holiday and all that, amirite?
Though I was talking about it with Emma yesterday, not really sure how laws work when Democratic presidents sign them into law, do Republicans think they’re real laws? Tough to say. The Texas Republican party went full cecessation this week and stuck right into their platform that the last election was a fraud and Biden isn’t actually president, so, you know, legitimate concern. Man, that is really batshit. They also put in there that homosexuality is a “abnormal lifestyle choice.” That one really sort of raises all sorts of questions. Like, they don’t come out and say it should be illegal — I mean, it definitely seems like they want to, but don’t think they can get away with that. But, like… polygamy is an abnormal lifestyle choice? Filling your house with cat gangplanks and walkways and owning a hundred cats is an abnormal lifestyle choice, only 30% of Americans own a gun, so that is pretty clearly an “abnormal lifestyle choice” but you don’t see these things making it into the Texas Republican’s party platform. I thought Texan Republicans were rogues, iconoclasts, individualists but apparently you can only be an individualist so long as you do things in exactly the way they want.
Hrm. Seems that despite being a federal holiday, only 18 states have passed resolutions also making it a state holiday. Shockingly, Texas is not one of them. Never ye mind the whole thing got started in Galveston.
Man I did not mean to start out like that but boy they really are off the rails.
Left you guys on Friday, went to Walmart. Brought along Emma’s handy CO2 sensor and you’ll be happy to know that Walmart’s CO2 levels are awesome. Shit, the place is practicely better than outside. Just fantastic. In the low 400s. Good on ya, Walmart. Our doctor has not yet booked a time for Jane to go get her vaccine (yay!), so we are actually thinking about going to Walmart cuz why not. Assuming is has Moderna. Because that is obviously the way to go. Super cool of the FDA to slow roll the Moderna vaccine for kids to let Pfizer, with its obviously inferior vaccine, catch up. We all enjoyed the needless extra month or two waiting around, that was just awesome.
The Walmart does not have a 4K UHD Blue Ray of The Northman yet I am sad. Still no more Peach Iced Tea Ice Breakers, though they did have seveal boxes of new, full-size Blueberry Muffin Kit Kats, so that was kind of exciting.
I also went to the dry cleaner for the first time in, oh, two years. That was thrilling. Place was exactly the same, except it has a big plexiglass shield in front of the cash register. Remember when we put Plexiglass shields everywhere? Those were the good ole days.
Did a ton of gardening this weekend, harvested a giant cucumber, bunch of lettuce, planted more radishes, fennel, luffa. Planted the sunflowers again because I want to see what ate them all now that I am back home. Been eating delicious salads from the garden and it is just great. Jane helped out. She is so cute with her little wheelbarrow, it is just the best.
While trimming the tomato vines, I got stung. Twice. On the knee. I knew it right away. They are bad. I am three days out and my knee still hurts, like deep hurt, not just an itch, it is inflammed, it is hot. I am using calomine lotion and ice packs and advil and it is tolerable, but man. I’m not sure what stung me though. If it was wasp I can’t find the stinger. If it was a chigger it’s more pain than itch, like they usually are, and our cool “bug thing” plunger vacuum hickey-maker thing isn’t working on it like it usually does with wasps and chiggers. I also scraped up my finger really bad. I love garden injuries. Spend the weekend working in the garden, spend all week recovering. It is the best.
It was Father’s Day yesterday, I forgot all about it until Nick wished me Father’s Day via text. And thank you everyone else for your kind texts, but I don’t really deserve them. I mean, I am a good father, I am just not a good holiday-er. I’m famously terrible at holidays and birthdays, and I whiffed Mother’s day completely this year. Thusly it was fun guessing whether Emma would take advantage of that whiff and not do anything for Father’s day, or do it up big and shame me. She kindly chose the latter. I don’t think she even mentioned it, I am very impressed.
Aug Stone has a new album out under his spoken-word comedy guise Young Southpaw. It is called Hopscotch to Heaven and I contributed some music to it, on the title track. The music is absurd, it’s sort of drone death metal electronica, and the spoken word is absurd in the way that Young Southpaw is known for being, endless run-on tangents after tangents to the point of complete insanity. It is a good time, you ought to check it out.
I also admire the simultaneously surreal and disturbingly literally interpreted album cover.
Speaking of friends doing cool things, Luke O’Neil did a great interview with Jen Malone, who is an old Boston rock friend, did PR for a lot of rock bands back in the day, including Archenemy band Betwixt, which is how I got to know her. These days she is a famed Music Supervisor, perhaps best known for doing the music supervision for Euphoria and Atlanta. She is helping organize the unionization efforts for Music Supervisors, who are not treated or paid like other members of the crew of television shows. The interview is great, and it is also a huge instructive for anyone who thinks “I could do that job that sounds easy and fun.”
The last time I saw Jen in person was 2010 or so when Kindra, Chris Jones and I did a lost weekend in LA at the Standard Hollywood, which was just a marvelous trip and I was just thinking yesterday about how I would like to go on a nice bender but the thing about benders these days is you have to carve out, like, three or four days for them, you can’t do them at home, you need at least a day, maybe two, to recover before you return to your family, and then you’re a dude who just spent three days away from his amazing daughter so he could go drink and, I don’t know, get up to wacky hijinks and that suddely makes the whole thing seem a lot less fun. Benders really can’t — or shouldn’t — be planned in that way.
Spent all day yesterday dealing with “tech problems that will take an indeterminate amount of time to solve,” which are just the worst. The first one wasn’t too bad - my Wemo Stage controller that turns on the music in the bathroom had crapped out, wasn’t responding. Wasn’t a dead battery, but taking the battery out and testing it and putting it back in seems to have done the trick, and the thing updated itself and startwd working again. The second problem is that the Time Machine volume on the Qnap is telling Emma that it doesn’t have enough room for her backup. It has 700gigs free, which is admittedly not that much, but a) it is backing up my computer just fine, and b) she successfully did a backup the day before, did nothing on her computer, and the next day it was like boom out of room. So I don’t know what the deal is. I restarted the QNAP, checked the firmware, checked the permissions, cleaned the file system, did all the basic maintenance stuff, and mine is backing up fine right now, so… I don’t know. I do have two spare 16TB drives laying around (thank you Todd for alerting me to that stellar deal on Best Buy a few months ago) and I could expand the volume, but it takes so long to do that. You either gotta make a whole new volume, format it, set up Time Machine anew on each machine, and then wait for days while they create their first new backup on the new volume, or you use QNAP’s “expand volume” functionality, and that takes hours-if-not-days as well. BUT I suppose this is exactly the sort of thing you do on a bonus day off, right? Except it’s SO NICE outside. Why did I finish all my gardening already gah.
Today, as suggested on Friday, we have a special Satan-inspired playlist from Nick, the devil being something of his specialty. I am very into the idea of guest playlists, I don’t know why it took me so long to realize the enormous potential of such things. Maybe I’ll make a companion devil-in-music playlist that could be fun, I can only think of three-or-four offhand, but I suppose it’s conceivable I could fill out an hour. Whereas Nick went the distance and made a playlist that would comfortably fill up a TDK 90 Minute cassette from the “old days.” Well done.
Okay that is all today, I think. This Time Machine backup isn’t gonna fix itself. I hope you have today off, and I hope you get some quality chores done. Chores are almost as good as errands. Feeling productive? Without having to think of something to do? Fantastic.