Saturday, October 14, 2017

News and Updates

1. It’s grey and cool and rainy here, which is about as perfect as October weather can get as far as I am concerned.  This is weather made for mugs of tea and good books, and there should be more of it.

2. This whole week has been Homecoming Week over at Local Businessman High School.  I don’t remember Homecoming being such a big deal when I was that age, but then that was a thousand years ago in a whole other time zone, so perhaps things are different now.  All week long there have been Spirit Days, which have nothing to do with either ghosts or distilleries but rather mean wearing this or that themed clothing choice – but not that choice, or they’ll send you home (sometimes it’s clearer than others that most people don’t have enough to do).  We feel very spirited now, though some of that may have involved distilleries too.

3. The LBHS Homecoming Parade was yesterday, and they managed to get a nice break in the rain for it.  Lauren marched in the band, rattling away on the snare drum, while this year Tabitha chose to go with the Art Honor Society’s float (as opposed to the various other clubs whose floats she could have joined).  I found my usual post by the Mexican bakery and watched it all go by.

4. They did not get a break from the rain for the actual Homecoming football game, however.  We don’t normally go to the games, since Tabitha is resolutely uninterested and nobody we know is on the team, but now that Lauren is in the band we have gone to see her perform.  For the past two weeks the band has been having evening rehearsals to get their Homecoming show down correctly, so this year we went.  Except that the break in the weather that the parade enjoyed was by that point long over.  We got to the bleachers with about 8:30 left on the game clock for the first half (an eternity in American football) and stood up in the high bleachers in the driving rain while they finished out the half.  The band then formed up on the track for their show and played their first couple of songs in a light drizzle, but by their third song the deluge had begun once again and by the time they were finished with their performance we were well and truly soaked.  But it was nice to see Lauren jamming away with her bandmates, and they did a good job with their performance.  She said that the rim shots were particularly interesting in the rain, as they invariably led to a fountain of water shooting up from the drum head.

5. Our friend Nadja stopped in for the night as well last night – she lives in Minnesota and was on her way to Michigan and this was a convenient rest stop.  It was good to see her!

6. We definitely needed good things this week.  It’s been a long and frankly rather grim week down at Home Campus, and there’s a lot I could say about that but this is neither the time nor the forum for it. 

7. I have a new phone – the MotoG5 that several friends recommended in response to an earlier blog post here – and I can now make it do pretty much everything that I used to be able to do with my old phone.  I can make phone calls.  I can text.  I can use Chrome.  And that’s about it.  I have been repeatedly told by many people that there is a whole world of apps and possibilities out there, and perhaps someday I will get around to exploring it.  But since I’ve never before done any of those things, I don’t miss them now, and this gives me very little incentive to explore them further.

8. Why don’t gizmos come with manuals anymore?  My new phone came with an insert that had fewer words than Governor Teabagger’s (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) fabled 66pp Jobs Plan during his first run for office – a plan printed in a font so large that few if any pages had more than half a dozen words on them.  The phone insert also assumed that you already knew how to operate the phone, which makes me question why it was there at all.  I spent an afternoon plinking around the internet, which led to a) me finding an actual manual for my phone online that I could read at some point, and b) completely screwing up the settings on my computer somehow and having to do a factory reset on some of them.  These may or may not be connected.

9. Here I was all set to let my interest in American football continue to fade to black the way it has been doing over the last few years, and then two things happen.  First, many NFL players have moved to the front lines in the war to defend the Constitution, with the silent, non-disruptive protesting of institutional racism that they have been engaging in during the national anthem of late and the hysterical, authoritarian reaction those protests have generated.  I do feel some obligation as an American citizen to support those protests, to be honest.  It’s what any true patriot would do.  And second, my hometown team, the Philadelphia Eagles, has chosen this year to actually be good, and it’s always more fun to watch a good game (even if they lose) than the circus of failure that had been on display for much of the last decade.  I don’t think I would have forgiven them if they were good last year, for long and complicated reasons that I don’t plan to go into here, but this year it’s kind of nice.  So I am momentarily more interested in American football than I expected to be, and so far it’s been fun.

10. Although with the NHL season now begun and the Premier League in full swing, American football is still fighting an uphill battle for my attention.  But it still in there fighting, which is more than I thought would be true by now.  Sometimes you surprise yourself.

11. Whoever thought of aging full-bodied red wine in whiskey barrels should get a medal.

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