I had to put out a new version of the Inner Drive Azure tools for my day job today, and I had more meetings than I wanted (i.e., a non-zero number), so these kind of piled up:
There were other things I'll read later, but it's past 6pm and someone is staring at me because she needs a walk.
NPR did a segment this morning on the 1978 movie Grease, which correspondent Dori Bell had never seen—since, you know, she's a late Millennial. As I listened to the movie, while slowly waking up and patting Cassie, the timeline of the movie and the play just made me feel...old.
The play, which premiered in 1971, takes place in the fall of 1958. The movie came out in 1978.
So try this out, with the dates changed a bit: The play premiered in 2015 and takes place in 2002.
Oh, it gets better, Gen-Xers and Boomers: Grease the movie is to us today what It Happened One Night was to people in 1978. Because 1978 is 44 years ago, as 1934 was 44 years before 1978.
So, sure, Bell had trouble relating to Grease for the same reasons people just after the Vietnam War would have trouble relating to a movie made in the depths of the Great Depression.
Time for my Geritol...
- Josh Marshall takes another look at the astonishing bribe Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler paid to Jared Kushner and concludes it's not just a one-off favor; it's an ongoing relationship.
- Joan Williams argues that Democrats need to look at the class and economic aspects of the Right's economic populism, and maybe perhaps argue (correctly) that blaming people of color just takes the spotlight off the super-rich who are stealing from the middle?
- US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) makes essentially the same argument, with a reminder that the mid-term election is only 202 days away.
- A homeless-rights organization in Chicago argues that increasing the transfer tax on property sales over $1 million could fund real homelessness relief for real people.
Finally, a quirk in US copyright law has created a bonanza for litigators, along with the original creators of such diverse works as The Thing and Hoosiers.
Actually, it's 5pm here. And I have a few stories queued up:
Finally, author John Scalzi puts Rogue One in third place on his ranked list of Star Wars films, with some good reasons.
I won't belabor the point, or even inject my own opinion about Will Smith's Oscars meltdown Sunday night, except to say I'm amazed at how many articles, columns, and Tweets have appeared about it. I guess nothing else in the world matters right now?
Something about some sheep defending their pasture against cats? Do I have that right?
I'm working through Best Picture nominees and generally chilling out, so I might have to miss it. Let me know which of the barnyard animals wins.
After the whipsaw between 2019 and 2020, I'm happy 2021 came out within a standard deviation of the mean on most measures:
- In 2020, I flew the fewest air miles ever. In 2021, my 11,868 miles and five segments came in 3rd lowest, ahead of only 2020 and 1999.
- I only visited one other country (the UK) and two other states (Wisconsin and California) during 2021. What a change from 2014.
- In 2020, I posted a record 609 times on The Daily Parker; 2021's 537 posts came in about average for the modern era.
- Cassie got almost 422 hours of walks in 2021, a number I don't think I ever achieved with Parker. And given I only had her for 291 days of 2021, that's an average of 1:27 of walks per day. According to my Garmin, she and I covered over 684 km just on walks that I recorded with my watch. A young, high-energy dog plus working from home most of the time will do that, I suppose.
- Speaking of walks, in 2021 I got 4,926,000 steps and walked 3,900 km—about the straight-line distance from New York to Seattle. Those numbers came within 2% of 2020 and 4% of 2019. I also hit new personal records for distance and steps when I walked over 51 km on September 3rd. And I hit my step goal 355 times (cf. 359 times in 2020), though not all in a row.
- I drove 4,242 km in 2021, almost exactly the same amount as in 2020 (4,265 km), but I used a bit more fuel (116 L to 79 L).
- I spent 1365 hours working from home and 521 in the office in 2021, about the same (1327 and 560) as in 2020. I expect about the same in 2022.
- Personal software development took up another 184 hours, almost all on the really cool thing I'm going to soft-launch tomorrow.
- The Apollo Chorus took up 222 hours of my time, including 100 in rehearsals and performances and about the same amount on my duties as president. In 2020, that was 57 and 71 hours respectively, mainly because we didn't have any in-person performances.
- Finally, I started only 28 books in 2021 and finished 23, after dropping a couple that dogged me for a while. That's more than in my worst-ever year, 2017 (18 and 13), but down a bit from the last two years. That said, my average numbers for the past 10 years are 28.2 and 23.3, making 2021...average. I also watched 51 movies and 48 TV shows, which just means I need to get out more.
So, will 2022 return to normal (-ish)? Or will some of the trends that started in March 2020 continue even after the pandemic has long become something we scare children with?
I've just added two places to my shortlist of vacation spots once travel becomes a little easier.
On Tuesday, I saw Japan's entry for this year's Academy Award for best foreign film, Drive My Car (ドライブ・マイ・カー). Most of it takes place in Hiroshima, Japan. Clearly director Ryusuke Hamaguchi loves the city. For obvious reasons most of the central parts of Hiroshima only date back 70 years, but the hills and islands surrounding the postwar downtown look like the Pacific Northwest.
And this morning, the New York Times Canada Letter reported from Newfoundland. I've wanted to see the Maritime Provinces for years. Maybe Cassie and I can spend a couple of weeks some summer driving from Maine to Nova Scotia to PEI and then take a ferry to "The Rock?" (There's a ferry from North Sydney, N.S., to Channel-Port aux Basques, Nfld.)
For what it's worth, I think I'd fly to Western Japan...
We're all set to perform Handel's Messiah tomorrow and Sunday, which got noticed by both the local news service and local TV station. Otherwise, the week just keeps getting odder:
And to cap all that off, the National Weather Service has announced a Hazardous Weather Outlook for tonight that includes...tornados? I hope the weather gets better before our performance.
I swear, the local poké place used three shots of chili oil instead of one today. Whew. (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)
While my mouth slowly incinerates, I'm reading these:
On that last point, comedians Jimmy Carr and Emil Wakim lay down epic burns against anti-vaxxers: