Harry

Social media is weird. I’m not sure it’s always the best thing. Sometimes it delivers news from a remote past, in this case, from maybe 17 years ago. Ish. I was briefly fortunate enough to be in contact with a social group of smart, educated, funny, talented, ambitious people in academics at Maryland University. This was because I had been lucky enough to be in an incipient relationship with a smart, funny, talented woman who was within this social group. And among their group was another young lady who the first time I met her was making spring rolls for everybody. And she was really a light. A light among all of these lights. During this time, she met a great guy, and by the time the girlfriend and I were about to call it quits, they got engaged.

Yes. I’m trying to be vague here. My apologies.

Anyway, she died. The spring roll girl. Like this week. She had a stroke and died and she was too young and too nice for that. And she leaves children and an I assume adoring and broken husband and many heartbroken friends. I only know this because I’m on Facebook. And it makes me remember what a light she was and what a nice guy she’d met and what a journey they were on, plundering happiness with their kiddos and their dreams wide open, and how cruelly interrupted that was.

So with her in mind as well, will be going to a funeral this weekend for another guy. It’s gonna be mid-40s and overcast/raining Sunday. Excellent weather for a funeral. Harry was 89. He’s my grandpa, kinda. My brother’s grandpa, yeah, but I knew him first. He was a good guy, a Jersey guy, a Cubs fan, an avid reader, and an erstwhile listener of the Howard Stern Show. The last time I saw him, I’d been sent on a home check because blah blah blah who cares about the details. But he was fine. He was determined to be fine. He was stalwart in his being fine. Even though it meant sitting in his bed for four hours for the caregivers to show up. He was fine.

We remember Harry today because he was a veteran. And we remember him Sunday because he was a mensch. Bye, Harry.

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.

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.

Nice

Well, I just bought me some new underpants.

Update: I posted this to Facebook, and I think it may be one of my more commented on entries there. Some of the glorious feedback received…

  • it’s good to celebrate wins.
  • Thanks for sharing–No pics??
  • Living the dream
  • Low-rise Mesh?
  • Underoos, they have them for adults !!
  • Mr. Moneybags over here with no holes in his britches
  • But . . . what about the socks???!!? Socks are vitally important don’t ya know. They can even substitute for underpants if you are so inclined.
  • ’bout time

Wings Give You Wings

I went out to lunch today with Dear Old Dad. I ordered wings, parm and garlic. It may be the fourth time I’ve eaten wings recently.

I never ate wings before I moved to the backyard of the dish’s birthplace. I thought they were kind of gross. But since I moved to the ROC, I’ve become a big fan, thanks mostly to the now defunct J.B. Quimby’s, which made the yummiest “jerk” wings I’ve ever had (it wasn’t really jerk rub, but it was salty and full of rosemary, and it was delicious). That helped turn me into a rabid wing eater.

And, the thing is, that is one of the things I missed most about being locked up thanks to Preznit Carnage’s horrible awful no-good COVID disease. I missed ponying up to a bar and enjoying a pile of piping hot, crunchy, greasy, well-seasoned chicken wings. So that was mighty enjoyable.

So I’m on a wing rampage. Gosh they’re delicious.

So then we bought some groceries for the old people. Then I came home and worked on a project: The kitchen speakers are now upgraded.

Next, a bit of cable management for the unavoidable cable runover across the floor, and I get the friggin’ pilot chair fixed.

Then I’ll really have something.

I’m Not The Only One

As I got in my car earlier today, another car pulled in and was blasting a song out the window. That’s a weird song to be playing in such a celebratory way, I thought. “Right Time of the Night” by Jennifer Warnes? I wondered if that guy was listening to it, too.

I cranked up my trusty Chevy Malibu and, sure enough: My radio was also playing proclaiming it the right time of the night for making love. Channel 7 on Sirius/XM. Every Saturday. American Top 40 with the now disembodied voice of Casey Kasem. So there are at least two of us in Rochester.

Where I was at the time was quite novel for these times. This was my first visit to a wreaka stow since the Trump Virus hit. Since I’m fully vaccinated, I thought, let’s go. I left with only two CDs, The Interrupters’ Say It Out Loud, which sounds like the best parts of any Rancid record with a kickass chick lead singer (it is produced by Tim Armstrong), and Ska Au Go Go by Neville Staple, which may just be a weird remix set. I didn’t intend to go on a ska spree, but there you go.

Oh, and I found Q. It turns out he’s a dancing man.

My Back Hurts

Sometimes there’s a special place where my back hurts. It’s on the left side just below the shoulder blade in there somewhere. And it hurts like a hard pinch. And so as I write this, I’m leaning on a cold compress and that’s nice and all. But I don’t know if it’s how I’m sleeping or if it’s how I’m sitting when I work (I alternate between a sitting and standing desk here in the home office) or if it’s just a tumor. But leaning up on a cold compress sure is nice. Also Tylenol helps. So does booze.

I am currently listening to the album When God Was Great by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Imagine, if you will, an album made by these longtime music professionals in the ska/ska-core genre making an album now. It is sublime, and I highly recommend it. Ska is alive and well, kids, and TMMBT is still working. It’s not about fried mozzarella. It’s about heart, music, and love. Ska has my adoration forever.


Prince could unwind Bryant Gumbel into a quivering, giggling, incoherent puddle. Imagine if you’d gotten to meet him.