The Good Fight

Weekends are weirdly abstract when your work shift is Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 p.m. to 6:15 a.m. as has been my experience since June. This particular weekend is no exception. I pretty much slept all of Friday, got out of bed, watched Real Time with Bill Maher, then went back to bed. I woke up about 6 a.m. Saturday and played with the cat. There are a few errands that might get done today and hopefully a lunch with Dad / phone call with Mom.

I wanted to mention that if you watch the television program The Good Fight and you’re enough of a fan to want to discuss the show online, there is a Facebook group for that. Unlike many Facebook groups, this bunch of fans seem to generate some smart discussion.

Spoiler alert. Spoiler alert. There might be some uh, spoilers.

Season 6 is two episodes in on its Paramount+ platform. It’s been a weird ride. They seem to be going for a disconnected vibe that flirts with feeling like the dream sequence from season 4, but there’s been no reveal, so it’s not a dream. As I posted in Fans of the Good Fight on Facebook:

I have not been in on the current season yet. The premiere did not fish me in so much. Ask me when I got fished in by the current season. Just ask me.

Christine Baranski on an elevator holding a sunflower singing from West Side Story.

I’m in.

So they’re doing something interesting on the show. There are protests in the streets all around, and some of the protesters are tossing fake grenades into the elevators. The first time this happens is episode 1, and all who are on the elevator react as one would expect. By episode 2, Eli Gold grabs the thing and hands it to the receptionist without any sense of danger, so these things are becoming quite normal. The grenades all have a message printed warning of escalated protests on 11/10.

Why 11/10? I think this can be explained in a seemingly unremarkable conversation in episode 2 between Diane Lockhart and Eli Gold. As I posted in the Facebook group:

It is interesting that the show is taking part in real time, apparently. In episode 2, Diane asks Eli what the date is, and Eli responds that it is September 15, which is the date episode 2 originally aired. November 10 is a Thursday, which means that episode will be available for streaming on the real November 10. Whatever they have in store for us, it’s probably going to happen in episode 10.

Noting also that November 10 is two days after Election Day. I think they might be setting us up for an art-imitates-life moment on The Good Fight.

Wonton

So. This happened.

This person is a member of the House of Representatives.

Adventures in Mac

I will offer my unsolicited advice at the beginning to save you some time: If your early-2015 era MacBook starts throwing errors and restarting and you take it to the Genius Bar and they wipe the drive to fix the problem, and you take it home and set it up again and you keep seeing the errors and the restarting, do not throw up your hands and give up and go and order a new MacBook Air.

Keep running your machine. Keep restarting. Keep seeing the errors. Push the thing for a while. It may require this before the issue is fixed, and apparently, the geniuses at the Genius Bar do not tell you this.

That’s the kind of month I’ve been having. Spending every Saturday for the last three Saturdays milling around in the Eastview Apple store, the first Saturday they wiped the drive completely only to see the problems continue; the second Saturday to be told that the logic board, which is essentially a Mac’s motherboard but Apple has to name everything differently, and the third Saturday to order a new MacBook Air.

So last night, I got out my vintage machine and fired it up to collect some information for trade-in. I’d been running it on and off throughout this whole process. So I left the Mac running while doing my “day job.” And the thing has been running ever since. No errors. No restarting. I’m typing on it right now.

So by way of explanation: The reason they wiped data to try to resolve the issue is because they assume that some third-party app is running a process that is interfering with the computer’s boot-up. Wiping the data, including all third-party apps, is thought to cease the harmful process.

But wiping the offending app apparently didn’t stop the process from running. It needed to run its course before it stopped. So I experienced the errors after the alleged fix. And now, I’m not. One would think the geniuses at the Genius Bar would inform its customers.

Looks like I’m about to cancel a MacBook Air order and save myself a couple thousand dollars.

Genius Bar

You never know what you can do without your Mac until it craps the bed on you. It started a month or so ago with a “hash volume mismatch” error, which I ignored of course. Then, a few days before I started my paid time off/Edinboro time, the thing just would not boot. It kept restarting and would not go to the desktop. The problem being. that vacation/Edinboro is when I like to do some computing. Journaling. Organizing. Goofing off on social media.

So that was annoying. And Saturday I took the thing to the Genius Bar, and they wiped the thing clean and said that would fix it. It did not. Still restarting, still throwing weird errors. I will be back at that location again Saturday. Fortunately, there is a nice Mexican restaurant nearby. So lunch will be nice.

I went to Best Buy yesterday hoping to find a Bluetooth keyboard to go with my five-year-old iPad so at least I could get some of this pent-up writing out of my system somehow. It was kind of hilarious. I was waiting in line so this fella could help me and this other guy came out looking for Charles. Then another guy came out asking about Charles. I sure hope Charles got helped. I sure didn’t. Dude nerd-snorted and directed me to Amazon. And we wonder why Main Street can’t compete.

So I went to Amazon and found a terrific little keyboard I’m typing on right now. It was delivered overnight to the little locker in Staples I use now because my neighbors steal things. It isn’t perfect, but it works and looks pretty cool.

Good Times Bad Times

I went from having the best shift in the world to the worst shift in the world, previously, evenings 3-midnight with Saturdays and Sundays off; now, overnights, 9:30 to 6 in the morning with Fridays and Saturdays off. Any other time of year it would be slight gradients more palatable, but in the summer, when it’s hot as balls out and the sun stares right at you right when you’re fixing to go to bed, and when there’s nothing on television worth a darn, well, I’ve spent this summer feeling mighty upside-down most of the time. It’s the kind of thing you can try to correct for and keep trying to correct for but that you can’t get straight. If I draw this shift next quarter, I can tell you I will have questions.

It is though a great opportunity to binge-watch television programs. I have watched Parenthood. I have watched Brothers and Sisters. I have watched Ally McBeal. I am now on season 3 of Better Call Saul. And I want to mention something about the third one there.

Anne Heche has died. She is in seven episodes of Ally McBeal. She plays Melanie West, a tourette’s-having cutie who for a moment is a romantic interest for the silly little man known as John Cage. She is delightful in it. I would enjoy watching outtakes of her working in rehearsal with Peter MacNicol. I know she did much more other work. It’s just I recently watched her in this. And this was an actor who lit up the screen. It is sad the context of her end, the firey car crash, the anoxic brain injury. She was my age almost exactly and born in a place I know too well, Aurora, Ohio, though she did not grow up there.

I will say this too about the show Ally McBeal: I found it more compelling now than I did then, mainly because I know more music. What TV show these days would suddenly break into a cover of “To Sir With Love?” Who does that? I don’t know what neighborhood in Boston Ally McBeal’s world is in, but I’d like to check it out sometime.

And Olivia Newton-John as well. It’s odd, if there is ever an earworm from this person for me, it’s “Hopelessly Devoted” from Grease. Then maybe the weird ’80s mainstay “Physical.” Then maybe “Magic” from Xanadu. It’s weird how a musical artist like that can seem so innocuous but can be so vital. If Linda Ronstadt ever goes, you’re gonna have to give me a day or two to process it.

Binging Better Call Saul is a great experience though. I was watching it when it first came out, but I think I lost interest trying to figure out what Mike Ehrmantraut was doing with that stupid battery and the tracker. I had to look it up on the internet this time, and I’m here to tell you, it’s pretty smart. Quite a crafty way for ol’ Mike to meet up with Gustavo Fring. That’s the beautiful thing about Vince Gilligan. He trusts you. In the Mike storylines, there is barely any dialogue. They want you to watch, to bear with a slowly-unfolding story, to cheerfully receive a story not told but shown. So much so that I had to go look up the thing with the tracker and why Mike was hooking up a AA battery to a radio. Okay, here’s what he was doing, ready?

Mike drives away from the location where he tried to kill Hector[b] and unsuccessfully checks his car for a tracking device. Certain he was followed, he completely dismantles the station wagon he was driving at a local junkyard but finds nothing. While looking at a sales display of gas caps, he has an epiphany and takes apart the one from the station wagon, where he finds a battery-operated tracker.

After finding the tracking device, Mike obtains an identical one from Dr. Caldera, studies its function, and discovers it remotely warns the operator when the battery runs low. He replaces the tracker in the gas cap of his sedan with the new one, drains the battery of the one he took from his sedan, and stays awake all night to watch the sedan. In the early morning, someone arrives to change the tracker on his sedan for one with a fresh battery. Because the man who replaced the tracker is actually carrying the one Mike placed on his car, Mike is able to follow him.

Do not mess with Mike. I’m just saying.

Meanwhile today is the day that Salman Rushdie got stabbed in the throat at Chappaqua of all places and the day that we all found out that Former Loser Preznit Carnage the Magnificent likely actually absconded with nucular documents. Can we impeach him yet? I mean, again?

Here’s a picture of my cat.

The Tiger Dream

You can never know what the things you say in your waking world may end up inhabiting your dreams.

My cat’s official whole name is “Henry the Love Sponge.” See, this cat came into my Dad’s wife’s place of work, which is kind of a warehouse. This happened the day after one of the greatest cats of all time, Anna Banana, had been struck to her death by a car.

So Ellen, my Dad’s wife, took on this boy because she was the only one in the place who could wrangle him. But she and my Dad were trying to retire from the cat business, and after Anna, they had one cat standing, a beautiful black girl cat who has to eat every five minutes because of a thyroid condition, which is not unusual for a 20-year-old cat.

So anyway, I have a cat now. This guy. Henry the Love Sponge.

Now when they were taking care of him, Henry didn’t play much; he mainly just hung out on their porch waiting for a human to sit next to him. But I knew that for this one-bedroom apartment fellow, play would be vital. Luckily, we unlocked that box pretty quickly.

Among the narratives I started using for this boy was that he secretly believes himself to be a ferocious tiger. Specifically, I say to him something along the lines of

ROAR! I’M A TIGER!

Which may explain why, in my dreams in my last sleep session, I dreamt I was literally under attack by a large, tenacious tiger. My boy isn’t quite as menacing as the one that was in my dream, but man, does he have some big tiger energy.