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  • Brag on your kids

    Man, I don’t know what I’d do in these miserable times without having a pack of wonderfully talented children around to cheer me up. 

    Our society bitches incessantly about how entitled and worthless this generation of kids are, but I see exactly the opposite. My kids and their friends (from early teens to early 20s) amaze me at their optimism, righteous anger to make the world better, realistic acceptance of the challenges that face their generation, and understanding of the hard work that will be required of them. 

    What awesome things are your kids doing? 

    My 14 year old daughter’s latest work. 

    cdriveDeeJaimieTHatorianNoelmajjam0770MichelleCecilyFlukesjtmy92and 5 others.
  • Brag on your kids

    My oldest son, unbeknownst to me until recently, turns out to be a gifted writer in addition to being a passionate field botanist. 

    An assignment in an architecture course, where they were tasked with continuing a text that was provided to them:

  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    I work in a surgery private practice at a hospital, so I suppose I’m at a somewhat high risk for getting this disease. Theoretically, nothing I do requires me to be in the office and could be done via a VPN into our network, and for the last month I’ve been asking periodically if there’s any plans for all the non-clinical staff who can work remotely to do so. Crickets. Today when I asked the practice administrator, I was told point blank NO because “it opens our network to vulnerabilities.” even though, when I asked around, several nurses and medical assistants actually did work from home today, logging in remotely through a VPN into our network and are able to access all of the records I need to do my job. And many others have been able to do this for years. So in reality we do actually have a VPN that is being trusted as secure, and there are no HIPPA issues  


    My job isn’t *critical*, I suppose, but it *is* necessary for most of our patients to receive care. There still will be a need for many, many hundreds of tests and procedures to get authorized by insurance companies every month, and they won’t get that if I’m quarantined at home sitting on my ass with no way to log into our system. Or, alternatively, it won’t be good if I am exposed to the virus, but still have to come into a hospital every single day because I am a health care worker, even though I could 100% work from home, and thereby pointlessly expose everyone to my presumably infected body. Or, worst case, I actually get too sick to do my job at all and none of it gets done. 

    I’m starting to get pretty pissed off about this situation. Since there has been zero efforts made to communicate with us about this, I’m left to just sit and assume that there are some staff members whose health has been deemed important enough to allow them to socially distance themselves, and health of the rest of us is outweighed by the assumption that we will sit around on our ass all day at home watching TV if we are allowed to work remotely. 

    I don’t really care about my personal health in all this. If I needed to be in the office, then I’d be more than willing to do so. I’m just extremely upset by the prospect of my patients potentially not getting the care they need. Agh. So frustrated. 

    I imagine this exact scenario is playing out across many 10s of thousands of other physicians offices in the country. What a shit show this could/likely will be. 
  • What's Making Your Day Today?

    cdriveMichelleTeresa from ConcordFreddyNoel
  • 10 Album Challenge thingy

    I never know where to go with this question every time it rolls back around on the internet. Taking the instructions strictly (so without any commentary added), I've always just fallen into the Dee's eye-roll category of posting 10 SUPER COOL ALBUMS YOU MUST HEAR. But if I'm going to go strictly with albums that were deeply influential in some way or another, I can't stop myself from adding some annotation. And it's just too hard to figure out how to  narrow it down to 10. So in more or less chronological order of when they lodged in my brain:

    Styx - The Grand Illusion
    Jimi Hendrix - Are you Experienced?
    Led Zeppelin II
    * man, I wore the fuck out of these albums when I first came across them. Styx when I was like 8, because it was the only album my big sister had, and Hendrix/Zeppelin because they were introduced to me at the exact moment when I was first really starting to listen to music. I can still sing every single part of every single instrument and every little vocal inflection on Come Sail Away, which my wife occasionally has the misfortune of triggering in me. Also, I never, ever want to actually hear a single note of any song on any of those albums ever again in my life. Not that I dislike them, but I've just heard all I ever need to hear of them.

    David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
    REM - Murmur
    * like Come Sail away, I can reproduce every single note of these albums in my head, but unlike Hendrix and Zeppelin, I never, ever have gotten tired of them even after many hundreds of times of listening to them. Bowie’s death was the only celebrity death that has ever really gotten to me. It just never seemed possible that I would live in a world that he wasn’t living in. 

    Black Flag - Damaged
    * maybe the first punk album I listened to? If so, wow, that was a good one to start with. 

    Spike in Vain - Disease is Relative
    * a friend of mine brought this down with him when he moved back to my hometown from Cleveland. The first punk band I heard that had ambitions beyond just hardcore and thrashing. Much noise, much dissonance, well pulled off oddball time signatures. 

    Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun
    * the album that was the gateway to lots and lots and lots of drug use. And the gateway to the rest of The Dead’s output. 

    Old and in the Way
    * ok, ugh. I no longer can take hearing a single note of this again, either, but unlike Hendrix and Zeppelin, that’s because this is bad music, even with Vasser Clements and David Grisman. Turns out Jerry Garcia was a really enjoyable banjo player with a pretty weird and unique style, though. Too bad this wasn’t just him and Grisman and Vassar, and no Peter Rowan. Still, this is as much as anything what led me to listening to more or less nothing but exclusively bluegrass and old-time string band music for about 5 years. 

    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will the Circle be Unbroken 
    * the other album that led me down the long path of string band music, except that this one is really, really good. 

    David Grisman Quintet's first album
    * this is a moment when a few young people are pulling an entirely new kind of music out of the air and it is crystallizing around them as they are playing it, and they are full of pure joy at the magic of spinning something out of nothing. Still breathtaking to listen to their raw creativity and virtuosity. The album that led me to attempt (and ultimately fail) to get really good at banjo, even though no actual banjos were present to harm the making of this album. 

    John Hartford - Mark Twang & Aereo-Plain
    * Hartford is my banjo god. 

    Shiina Ringo - Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana
    * omg, this album contains multitudes. This one set me off on at least a solid year of almost exclusive listening to every single thing Shiina Ringo ever did, over and over again. Another one where I can reproduce every single note in my brain at will. Easily, hands down my favorite album of the 2000s. 

    Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
    I was 11 when Rapper’s Delight came out, so I’ve been around and aware of lots and lots of hip hop from the beginning. For whatever reason, it never clicked with me. I mean, I liked it fine enough when it was in the background, but I never seeked it out or really had any desire to actively listen to much of it. This album was the moment when rapping finally clicked with me, and now I'm constantly delighted by new hip-hop that's coming out. 
  • What music are you streaming?

    cdrive said:
    I'm doing the "shows you've been to" A to Z thing.  It's hard!  
    Wow, this *is* hard. Hm. 

    Amen Dunes ('A' was surprisingly difficult)
    Bleckmann, Theo
    Coverdale, Kara-Lis
    DeJohnette, Jack
    Eick, Mathias ('E' was also weirdly hard. I almost cheated and used "Elvis" for the custodian/Elvis impersonator at the hospital I work at. He is totally legit great.)
    Guðnadóttir, Hildur (she's the one who wrote the amazing score for Chernobyl. I saw her in a small room that held about 50 people, and I was able to sit, then eventually lay down, about 10 feet from her)
    Hedges, Michael
    International Contemporary Ensemble (again, 'I' was unexpectedly difficult)
    Kid Koala
    Lightning Bolt
    My Brightest Diamond
    The Necks
    Owens, Kelly Lee
    Perfume Genius
    Quartjar (had to go with a local band for this one. But I even have a bonus local Q: Hector Qirko)
    Rzewski, Frederic (he played The People United Will Never be Defeated in its entirety. Also got to sit on the floor about 20 feet from him, and it was sublime)
    Souleyman, Omar
    Uncle Earl
    Violent Femmes
    Wu Fei
    Xylouris White
    Yo La Tengo
    Z -- nothing comes to mind...

  • What music are you streaming?

    Travis said:
    In one of those periods where Songs:Ohia is speaking to me a little too much. 
    I feel you, man.

    For whatever reason, that day 12 years ago has started turning back over in my head a lot recently, the day when some miserable, broken guy decided he was going to take out me and my family and all the other little kids and their families in our church who had ruined his country. 

    If ever there was a song which captured the feeling of a moment, this is it. 


    We're all standing in the shadows of our noblest intentions of something more
    Than being shot in a classroom in Oregon

    edit: might help to have a link to the song.
  • RIP Those Who Died in 2020

    Other than Bowie, Tony Rice’s passing has hit me the hardest of any famous person. Hardly an exaggeration, dude was the Earl Scruggs of bluegrass guitar. One of the all-time great rhythm guitarists. RIP, brother. You brought me great joy. 
  • Brag on your kids

    Dee said:

    She made me a lamb biryani earlier this week that I’m still thinking about, lol.