I’ve been slacking, I know. I’ve gone back and forth between having a lot to write about and then feeling like it wasn’t worth mentioning, but fuck it.
Jen and I are in the middle of the last season of Penny Dreadful, a series that aired on Showtime up until this summer. It’s a wild, beautiful, gory horror story set in London of the 1890s and it’s absolutely stunning in its production design, writing, and subject matter. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a series this much since Deadwood. I’ve also been trying to sort out my thoughts on Stranger Things for about two weeks now, but I’m struggling to say what I’m thinking. More on that later.
I ran into a friend on the train by chance who shared employment with me in a previous organization, and we caught up on life since we both moved on. He’s doing very well, is much happier, and we filled in some of the blanks for each other–things I was unaware of, but found hilarious and annoying. I’ll just say it was great to have some unexpected validation on a Thursday evening.
Jen and I spent some quiet time on Saturday morning looking through a bathroom remodeling book for ideas. It’s getting closer to reality, which is kind of shocking. Further research on a home equity line of credit took me down a different path to where we’re looking at refinancing the house. I spent about two hours on the phone on Saturday with banks going through the information and getting quotes, and along the way I wound up with a Navy Federal Credit Union account for a $5 minimum deposit and no monthly fee. If the math is correct, and the quote doesn’t change drastically, we could wind up dropping more than a full point, pulling a chunk of cash out to use on finishing the bathroom, and saving a bunch of money each month. I’m supposed to get the final quote by Wednesday (fingers crossed) and if everything looks good, get it on the fast track to close as soon as possible.
School starts up this coming week, and I spent Sunday finishing my syllabus, posting everything online, working on my first lecture, and sorting through admin stuff. I’m starting from scratch again this semester, so I had to work through the schedule and the workload repeatedly to make sure everything balanced correctly. This class is once a week for four hours, so the schedule is compressed, and I hope it works out well.
“The problem of radicalized surveillance is particularly pronounced in Baltimore,” the complaint stated. The city was already on the defensive, even as the aerial surveillance program was shielded from the public eye.
We’ve had a clutch of five baby bunnies living in our driveway for over two weeks now. Their mother apparently had no idea how to select a safe, protected nest for her children, so she abandoned them out in the open, where any crow, fox, cat, dog, or Finley could find them. Jen sprung into action and dug them out a proper nest, added paper bedding, and found a plastic organizer to put over them. Since then they’ve sprouted hair, opened their eyes, grown three times their original size, and are now venturing out of the nest. Mom seems to come and feed them at dusk, and they seem to be healthy; Jen has a dedicated following on Instagram demanding daily updates.
Jen and I are dealing with sore throats, runny noses, and overall malaise due to a summer cold. Finn doesn’t seem to be suffering the same way we are even though we got it from her.
I met up with my old friend Logan on Monday night at the Brewer’s Art, which was like a double flashback. We haven’t seen each other in years, probably going on 10. He was a fellow classmate at MICA in the day but I didn’t really get to know him until after we were out of school. I had a job at Hopkins and he was running his own screenprinting shop, and we fed each other jobs, spending a lot of time in the basement of the Brewer’s Art, which was centrally located between my apartment and his studio. He moved out of Baltimore sometime around the millenium for L.A., and has since built a globe-trotting career as a stencil artist based out of New York. We spent about three hours drinking, catching up, talking about our kids, and laughing. I got home at 1AM, long after my normal bedtime, and paid for it all day Tuesday.
…Harbaugh is just like Ravens fans: spoiled brats who harbor the worst inferiority complex on the East Coast; a bunch of purple camo-clad buttholes who keep grudges for so long they have to bequeath them to their surviving loved ones. Their paranoia is a self-fulfilling prophecy because they bitch ENDLESSLY about everything, which in turn compels the rest of the world (officials included) to want them cold and dead in the ground. If I were officiating a Ravens game, I would trip Joe Flacco myself.
The WaPo did a very interesting article on the Christian homeschool movement and some of the underlying ideology behind it. I was surprised to learn how integral they were to the adoption of homeschooling as an alternative to public education but not shocked to hear how xenophobic and isolationist their doctrine is.
Over decades, they have eroded state regulations, ensuring that parents who home-school face little oversight in much of the country. More recently, they have inflamed the nation’s culture wars, fueling attacks on public-school lessons about race and gender with the politically potent language of “parental rights.”
The article follows a family who began to question their fundamentalist beliefs and sent their daughter to public school, only to find it wasn’t full of satanic child molesters, as they’d been told.
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: How to Enable Advanced Data Protection on iOS, and why you should. I’d like to set this up among all of the devices we have here, but we run a lot of older gear that won’t be covered under this seup—and the idea that if I do enable this, we’ll lose some functionality on things like the Apple TV or this old laptop doesn’t thrill me.
Andy Baio has made many amazing things for the internet, one of which is/was called Belong.io, which was a tool using the Twitter API to scrape interesting links from the feeds of a bunch of interesting people daily. With Phony Stark blowing up the service and charging for the API, he’s shut the whole thing down:
Truth be told, it was already dying as those interesting people slowed down their Twitter usage, or left entirely in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition and a series of decisions that summarily ruined it as a platform for creative experimentation.
Songslikex is supposed to be a tool to suggest other songs you might like based on something you suggest. I’ve put in a couple of slightly off-center suggestions and it’s returned a list of songs that were OK, but I don’t know that I’d put them all in the same category. I don’t know how they’re developing their list, but I guess it’s OK.