I’ve never had a clever idea for a personalized license plate. And, wouldn’t you know it, the best idea only occurred to me when I found it, already in use.

(You might note that, in the reflection, I am wearing gloves. Today was the day that broke me. But my fingers stayed warm.)

There are only two problems with that plate. First, it’s on the children’s hospital tag. Hard to discern what we’re saying here. Second, I suppose the state wouldn’t sell you an ellipse. A few dots on the end would have made the thing.

“Sigh … ”

I guess you could always put that on a mug or a thermos or something. Still get much of your point across, but not in traffic. But then, there are vinyl clings for that. One for the front bumper, and one for the back.

I’d actually like two light kits for the car. One that says “Sigh” and another that says “Hey thanks.” Light those up, front and back, at the appropriate times, and you could convey a lot of messages. I’d be better with that than the horn. There are certain places where the horn is a complex form of communication, but where I’m from the car horn was a solo angry note. Or, if you ever watched poorly scripted dramas, it could also indicate “My brakes are out! Get out of the way!”

Come to think of that, you don’t see that as a TV trope that much anymore. Maybe automobile manufacturers have figured something out about brake technology since the 1970s. Or maybe all of that is on Amazon Prime, or Apple TV. We don’t have those, so the tropes could be in full force over there.

I had a nice long meeting about documentaries today. This is probably the third of these meetings I’ve had, and this meeting was the conclusion of the second or third email chain about them. We’re going to be watching a lot of documentaries at work over the next couple of months, which is exciting.

I also had a short stint in the television studio this afternoon. Someone needed to shoot a quick promotional video, so the studio became a set. I enjoyed watching people moving around chairs and using state-of-the-art cameras as props.

Also, I have begun a surely losing battle with YouTube. This would be difficult to describe, even if you cared, which you don’t. Everyone has their own struggles with YouTube, or they don’t. And, sure, I’d Google the problem if I knew how to describe it, alas.

Our dystopian, but not because of this, future: when you can’t figure out the right search terms to find the answer for how to solve a YouTube issue.

This is a strong contender for my First World Problem of the Year.


We return to the Re-Listening project, where I am playing all of my CDs in their order of acquisition. It passes the time, gives me something to sing to in the car, and something to fill a bit of space with here. These aren’t reviews, but a bit of memory, and a bit of whimsy, as music should be.

We are, I think, getting close to the music getting quite good again, but I digress.

The year was 1996. My on-again and off-again girlfriend suggested a movie. If memory serves we had to erase some lame movie experience from our collective memory. I wish I could remember what that one was (and I’ve tried) but I remember this specifically: when the credits rolled, we stood up to leave and she said, “This movie needed more explosions.”

So the next one was Twister. I think we blew off something that seemed important, but was anything but. That was the sort of thing that appealed to her sensibilities — low key rebel that she was. And so it was that we found ourselves in one of those old theaters that instantly feels a little dirty and dusty and spent the afternoon with Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes and all the rest.

Sometime soon after I picked up the soundtrack.

Incidentally, the first two tracks on that soundtrack also appeared on records that we’ve recently visited here. The third song is an inscrutable Tori Amos track. (I wasn’t ready for Amos yet. But a different girlfriend, a few years later, helped remedy that, and even took me to a live show.)

I don’t know why this is, but I love every Alison Krauss song I’ve ever heard, and I own none of her music, except for two or three soundtrack appearances.

Hard to believe this is Mark Knopfler’s first solo single.

In addition to those, and the Van Halen and Rusted Roof indirectly referenced above, there’s a who’s who of forgettable tracks from big pop names here. There’s Soul Asylum, k.d. lang, Lisa Loeb, the Red Hot Chili Peppers for some reason, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

At the end is this song and … I think this might be my favorite Stevie Nicks song?

I’m too young for Fleetwood — and it’s an ever-shrinking list of things I’m too young for these days — and I never really got the Stevie Nicks appeal. But I like this. Probably it’s the Lindsey Buckingham medley.

The next album was the second effort from Bush. We recently ran through the 1994 debut in this space. They had a huge success there, but most of the record doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Their next release, this release, from 1996, even less so. But i remember being disappointed by it then, too. It’s a stinker. But what do I know? It topped the Billboard 200, though I’ve always found everything aside from the first single to be easily forgettable. I don’t care about this record at all. It’s an endless run through empty metaphors from the emo thesaurus, with hasty licks that are, I guess, fills.

Where their first record seemed like a polished parody of the grunge style, this one swung too far in the opposite direction. Wikipedia would like to convince me that this is generally held up as “the last ‘grunge’ sounding album of the 1990s.” Let’s think on that without thinking on in too hard. Did anyone release a record with overdriven guitars and out-of-tune vocals after November, 1996 …

First of all, this is a silly exercise. It’s a loosely labeled genre. No one in it liked the term, none of them. Soundgarden’s last album came out a few months before and they broke up in 1997. Alice in Chains was in that weird hiatus with Layne Staley — and Boggy Depot doesn’t seem to apply. Kurt Cobain was dead. Pearl Jam was still working, of course, but trying to be anything but grunge by then. So maybe Chuck Klosterman was right. Maybe Bush is the Warrant of grunge. Funny that it would be the British band to be there, simply because of timing.

Everything that came after was mislabeled as post-grunge or broadly, and hilariously, mislabeled as “alternative.” Much of it was the return of “corporate-formulated music to regain the footing it lost when swept out by the success of ‘Nevermind.'” Grunge used to be defined as a rebellious counter to all of that. More cynically, it was viewed as cheaper and quicker to produce, and there was a time and place for it. The time was the late-stage Gen X crowd and the 1990s. The place, I suppose, was their ethos. But we all went to work, too, and time marched on. And then the Spice Girls marched in.

Thankfully, the Spice Girls are not the next record on the Re-Listening project, nor will they ever be, but that’s for next week.

I had another quick bike ride before dinner. Just 21 miles, because the next segment was going to be 14 more and I didn’t know how I’d feel about that, plus there was dinner to consider and it was getting on 7:30 and, I couldn’t even use the “time got away from me” excuse, because, look! The moon!

The little things in Zwift delight me so much. The stars twinkle. This stage had a few drones flying overhead for some reason. (You can select an overhead camera view, and maybe that’s why they are they. That’s what I’m telling myself.) And the moon moves back behind that mountain. It is setting, and this happens to fast, because you are riding through simulated days and nights, but it also makes sense given the terrain and the path of your road and how that changes your perspective.

But, I think, when you see the moon in Zwift it is always a full moon. This seems like poor, or overly romanticized, programming. An always full moon would be a problem. It is, or isn’t, full from our planetary view because of the relative positions of the earth, moon and sun. So if the moon always looked full then the earth is out of the way, or, to be more accurate, the moon isn’t in our orbit. Big tidal consequences. Let’s assume it drifts away with some appreciable-to-human-eyes speed. The angle of the earth may shift widely. Our days would get longer, and some time after that things would get really bad here. Seasons would probably change a fair amount. Who knows what would happen at the then-wobbly poles. And I guess it depends on when, in our solar transit, that the moon decided to let go as to where it would wind up, but that could create a whole series of issues in the solar system, too. Zwift might want to fix that, just in case.

In case of what? The moon is watching a bike riding video game and getting ideas?


2023 Zwift route tracker: 38 routes down, 82 to go.

Happy weekend!

Comments are closed.