Feb 24

An officially unofficial day

We generally observe today as the anniversary of us being a couple.

It was a friend group, you see. There were about six of us who were all in the same grad school cohort and within the group there were the two of us palling around all the time. Nineteen years ago we were at a small dinner party and playing board games. The next day we were hanging out again and somewhere in there realized that people thought of us as an us. People, in our group and in the larger cohort and some of our professors too, thought of us as a couple within the group. Where there was the one there was the other. So we celebrate today.

Tonight we marked the occasion with a late dinner at an empty local little restaurant. I also commemorated the evening by teaching myself to hand-fold envelopes, in which I put two little love notes.

Last month, of course, we were celebrating under water. It’s amazing how much material I can get out of a few days worth of dives, no? You should see how many of my dive buddy I’ve not included

And I’ve only added a few of my lovely dive buddy’s photos to the collection. Here’s one now, and that’s me in the middle distance!

I love that wide composition. Like it’s just you in the water, all by yourself. It’s a nice feeling, especially since you’re not. There’s a handful of people not too far away, but you spread out, juuuuust enough.

Here’s some young yellow tube sponge growing on this coral covered outcropping.

And I got lucky floating directly over this nice bowl sponge.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you something else I was lucky to see: a giant turtle.

Last night I had class where we talked about the Super Bowl, and the Huxleyan dystopia. The readings and the schedule lines up perfectly. Also I had the chance to make fun of myself and one of the students absolutely nailed the punchline. I should have dismissed class right there. It was perfect.

One element of some of the readings in this particular class is to help create a healthy skepticism of the media around them. So we also talked about Edward Bernays. And then, as a palette cleanser, I offered them astornaut and author, Ron Garan.

On the way out I saw this on a bulletin board.

Imagine that! They’re publicizing their scholars’ work to the student body. Novel concept! I’ll be sure to attend some of those.

Tomorrow, a giant turtle, and more from under the sea. I’ll put some flowers here and we’ll see one of the oldest courthouses in the land. Be sure you’re here for it all!

Sep 22

And, most importantly, no one got hurt

Saw this car this morning. I believe it is as MG TD. I don’t know, but a cursory examination of the interwebz leads me to believe this may be a circa 1953 MG T-type.

I drove in this morning, parked near this car and figured I’d never see it again. But it was there when I left this evening, because I left earlier than I’d anticipated.

At a glance, you can tell that the owner is proud of this vehicle and, I assume, is happy to have people notice it. I wonder how often it sees the road. Perfect weather day for it today, but you surely pick your spots with a classic, right?

The MG people produced 30,000 TDs over three or four years in the UK. Some 23,000 of them were shipped to the US. You can buy one today ranging from $17,000 to $32,000.

And, yes, if you have a MG, you get an MG hat and you wear the MG hat.

But why did I leave earlier than I’d anticipated today? Excellent question.

After they closed the building for the day I worked elsewhere. And I got to go home at the regular time, rather than after watching the news — which they did outdoors this evening, which was impressive.

So we went to the lake, and floated on tubes into the early evening.

Fine way to spend a Tuesday.

Jul 22

Two points

I photo my thumb accidentally took while idly fiddling with my phone and watching the news and waiting for The Next Thing of the Day.

Two points if you can figure that out. I know what it is, but I’ll be impressed if anyone here can take two points off of my hands.

The Next Thing of the Day proved easy and uneventful. Started on time, ended on time, everything in the middle was assuredly a smash hit. A Tuesday to be remembered! If you could make the normal Tuesday stand out somehow or another.

Two points if you can figure that out, too.

In my idle chatter I mentioned I had a tube going on my bike. I took it off and found just the tiniest little hole seeping air. I was tempted to slap some super glue on it and experiment, but, in another sign of my own maturity and wisdom, decided this was not a profitable experiment.

You can wrap a tube in a dollar bill to finish a ride in a pinch. (Two points if you get it right on the first try!) But I was already at the house, and not in that pinch. If you’re lucky, though, the currency can hold up for weeks. I can also buy another inner tube and just be done with it. We have a small stack for just such an occasion. I went to the room where we keep stacks of things and found that we have one spare inner tube.

This does not a stack make.

Opened the little box, pulled out the tube, prepared it for installation and …

So I had to put my spare on my back wheel. The spare is the one you carry with you, not the one from the room where we keep stacks of things. That means I don’t have a spare to carry on the bike. So tomorrow’s ride will feature a new back tire, and one with a tiny pinhole on the wall. I should throw a dollar bill in there, too. Juuuust in case.

I always carry a few bucks on the bike. (Two points to me for being prepared.) You never know when a ride goes farther, or takes longer, and you want to stop at a store for water or extra fuel. And, also, for emergency tire patching.

One last point. They’re in the Alps in the Tour.

Click through that mini-thread and you get four little photos that the world feed used as cutaway shots.

The Alps get more intriguing all of the time.

Jul 22

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth. I hope you have big plans that involve a barbecue, but not chemical burns, being outdoors, but not sunburns, and good times, but not … too good a time?

The juxtaposition-for-dramatic-and-ironic-contrast device ran empty on me there, apologies.

Not much to our Fourth. The city didn’t host a fireworks show this year. Not sure why. It can’t be too pandemic related, though, since they returned to their parade tradition this morning. (Last year they had a reverse parade and people apparently drove their cars around parked floats. You do what you can.)

The next small town up the road is hosting fireworks, and there are a few large church displays. Someone at one of the lakes is doing fireworks. It’s out there if you want it, plus a parade. There’s also a neighborhood parade, and we rode our bikes through that route just after they concluded this morning. We rode very fast, but did not catch them. That would have been amusing.

Perhaps our neighbor, who has wowed us all with pyrotechnic displays that surely equal a mortgage payment the last two years, will hurl flaming sulfur and blackpowder into the sky this evening.

Let’s check in on the cats, who would be fine with fewer things exploding within earshot.

Phoebe was enjoying a late afternoon in the sun on the dining room table that she is not supposed to be on.

But she’s so cute, and she doesn’t care about your rules, so what are you going to do?

You get her back by putting a taco toy on her head. That’s what you do.

Poseidon was playing … under … the tunnel?

At least he wasn’t on something he’s not supposed to be on. For a change. (Alert the media!)

And alert them because he’s ready for his closeup.

I mentioned we saw a rock ‘n’ roll show on Friday night. I’m going to stretch this out all week, so settle in. Here are a few clips from Toad the Wet Sprocket.

“All I Want” is a song about the fleeting feeling of epiphany. It comes and it goes, but when it goes, it goes very quickly. Yes, it’s a nostalgia-adjacent song that’s sang nostalgically. Peak Gen X irony, I’ll grant you.

A few years later, this song was released. And, pretty quickly Toad the Wet Sprocket found themselves at that point where they say “This song is a hit! … but it’s just not as big as your last one.”

I wonder, if they had any sense they’d be doing this 30-plus years later, if they would have stayed away from the Monty Python reference.

Tomorrow, I’ll share a Gin Blossoms clip, because Friday night had a distinct mid-90s feel to it.

We were also in Nashville for part of the weekend. Our friends Sally Ann and Spencer finally held their wedding reception. (They did a private wedding during peak Covid and Saturday they finally brought all of their people together. They had a party worth waiting for. We all got dressed up and had a fine time. Because we were in Nashville, I had barbecue for lunch Saturday and Sunday. Because we were returning to Bloomington, we brought enough barbecue back for two dinners.

We had one of those dinners tonight.

Most importantly, our friends had a lovely time, and they deserved it. It was nice to be a small part of their festivities. They hired a photographer for the evening, and I didn’t even pull my phone out of my pocket for any pictures. You don’t have to take my word for it, though.

We looked very sophisticated.

Our neighbor did not set off fireworks. It was a quiet Fourth, and that’s just fine, too.

Jun 22

Looking forward to a regular thing

Friday night we’re going to a rock ‘n’ roll show, a good ol’ fashioned concert. Lights. Music. Happy people. Crowds.

(I can still count on one hand the number of frivolous things we’ve done around people since March of 2020. This weekend will involve numbers four and five. Maybe this sort of thing will soon stop feeling novel. Maybe it won’t feel like I’m breaking curfew.)

This will be our first concert since Covid came along. This is a show we should have seen in July of 2020. We bought these tickets in 2019. So, in two more days, we will see the Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Barenaked Ladies. I haven’t seen the Gin Blossoms since 1996. I’ve, sadly, never seen Toad the Wet Sprocket. We saw Barenaked Ladies in 2018. It was my third or fourth time I’d caught their act, but my lovely bride had never seen them. They were celebrating 30 years then, had just been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. They put on a great show.

Anyway, we’ll have pretty nice seats for a great show and we’ll wear masks and, I’m sure, have a great time.

So to get ready, here are a few BNL clips from the show we saw in 2018.