1. Total elapsed time between putting down the new living room rug and the cats treating it like a bar bathroom in the middle of a three-day bender: three weeks. All things considered with cats, that’s probably not bad.
2. We decided to put our vaccines to the test yesterday and went to the newly re-opened RenFaire here in southern Wisconsin. We had a very good time, it has to be said – we saw some familiar acts (Barely Balanced, Moonie) and a new one who was very good (Broon), Oliver managed to catch some of the jousting, and somewhere in there we even got food, which was a neat trick since apparently everyone in the southern Great Lakes region had had the same idea we did for a trip and the lines stretched back to the interstate. I spent much of my time people-watching – there is no better place in the world for that than a crowded RenFaire – and I got a pewter pin with a rising phoenix above the word “vaccinated” that I may just wear all the time now. So all in all a good time.
3. The night before I left Philadelphia to come back to Wisconsin I realized that despite having made many visits to the local supermarket while I was there I had not managed to obtain any Cooper Sharp cheese to take back with me – a clearly unacceptable situation that would have resulted in rebellion back home should it have gone unrectified. So I went down to the local Acme and arrived just as the deli counter closed. Fortunately the guy behind the counter was sympathetic and had not yet cleaned his slicer, so he was willing to cut me a break and some cheese. We had a very nice conversation while he did so – he’d like to visit Lambeau Field someday and was pleased to hear that a) I had done so, b) in my Eagles gear, and c) that while I had gotten some grief from Packers fans it was the good sort of grief that you get from people who are having fun with you and not the stupid kind of grief from idiots who forget that it’s a game. So perhaps he’ll come out here someday. It’s been less than a week since I returned and there have been significant inroads made in our Cooper Sharp supply, so we’ll count that as a success.
4. The Milwaukee Bucks are in the NBA finals and I have been trying to follow along since they are the local team and haven’t won anything in half a century and also Lauren is a fan so it’s something we can talk about. I haven’t actually been watching the games because basketball is a sport I do not understand at all once you get past the “bounce bounce score, bounce bounce score” aspect of it, but I’ve been pulling up the live score display on Google during the games and keeping track that way. So far it looks like there are all sorts of interesting things going on for those who do follow the sport and much conversation has happened to me about these things and now I understand what other people are thinking when I start discussing soccer, hockey, 18th-century American political culture, or Middle Earth. But hey. I’m trying. Go Bucks! Go do that, um, basketball thing you do!
5. The last 90 seconds of a professional basketball can take up to six months to play out. I think they should take a hint from American football and have a 10-second clock run-off every time a trailing team fouls someone. Also, they should define what exactly is a foul. The last time I watched a basketball game on television (admittedly some years ago) I saw three identical plays where the offense was called for a foul on the first one, the defense on the second one, and nobody on the third one. Kim spent an inordinate amount of time trying to explain to me how the plays were not identical at all, to no noticeable result, so I think I am just Basketball Defective that way. Oh well. Go Bucks anyway!
6. We seem to have a robin’s nest perched on the light by our front door. It has two little robins in it, in fact, and a mother robin who spends most of her time flying away in a panic every time one of us gets close to the door, or a car goes by, or the earth rotates on its axis by more than a few inches. Whatever. My office is right by the door so I hear this symphony all the time. I have no idea how long it takes for baby robins to grow up and fly off, but I’m hoping for their sake it isn’t that long.
7. Every Fourth of July the meme I created a few years ago goes viral again, which is a nice thing really. It got about a thousand more shares from my FB page this year, for example, bringing the total that I’m aware of to about 65k, and I’m happy about that. It’s a good thing to create something to be shared and then discover that people will actually share it unprompted by you. Sometimes I try to see who has forwarded it along, and every once in a while I get surprised. This year a performer I once booked down at Home Campus shared it on his personal (as opposed to professional under his stage name) page – I have no idea if he made the connection back to me or not, since it was one gig in a long career for him and he was sick the entire time he was here (but performed like a consummate professional anyway). And apparently a while back a heavy metal singer whose name I actually recognize shared it on his Twitter page, called it “amazing,” and said it gave him chills to read. Win!
8. That’s not a humblebrag, by the way. That’s a straight up brag. It’s nice to be able to have one of those now and then.
9. We did actually have our annual Fourth of July picnic as well this year, after a one-year hiatus for the plague. Various family members and friends came by, tasty and moderately non-lethal foods were prepared, and we all got to watch the fireworks arc gracefully over the cardiac ward of the local hospital as per local tradition. We left most of the set-up from Lauren’s graduation party intact because why do things twice when you don’t have to, so it was pretty easy to pull off. Apparently I took no pictures because reasons – probably too busy with the grill and what have you – but it happened and we had a good time.
10. When I went to Philadelphia I took one of Kim’s old laptops and a little red jump drive with a pile of my folders on it so I could do work while I was there (or if I had to extend my stay). When I packed to go back to Wisconsin I took the jump drive out of the laptop so it wouldn’t snap off in transit and tossed it into my shoulder bag. But when I got home it had disappeared. I emptied that bag and found nothing. Oh well. Most of it was backup files anyway. On Thursday morning I drove to campus and went to my office there, since that’s where I plug in the mics for the remote part of the class I’m teaching – they need to be recharged after every class. I picked up the mics and went to class. Several hours and tech issues later I returned to my office to plug the mics back in again, and there on the floor of my office was my little red jump drive. I have no idea how it got there.