Category Archives: Grab Bag

A Smattering of Short Takes

I am trying to get better about blogging and I’ll have more to say about why I’ve been reluctant to blog a lot in the last few years soon. But suffice it to say that I’m over it and want to get back to this.

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz

On October 1st, the company I worked for laid off somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the company, myself included. So my life has largely been consumed with the parallel paths of finding full-time work and finding clients to keep money coming in during this period. We’re still alive so that’s something.

Because I needed some fun in my life amid the understandable stress of the current situation, I decided that after three years of playing Geeks Who Drink Pub Quizzes at local restaurants every week, it was time to try my hand at hosting the quizzes instead. So, I threw my hat in the ring, did my training and have been QuizMaster a few times already. It’s a lot of fun and if you like public speaking, it’s worth trying out. (And if you are local and want to check it out, I am hosting the next two Wednesdays at Pizza J in Providence at 7PM both nights!)

The less amusing part is that the RI Unemployment people got notified that I had become employed by Geeks Who Drink and sent me a letter telling me that I was done with collecting unemployment. Oops. I need to explain to them this is a part-time job and an inconsistent one at that (as I am a sub for the local regular hosts, not a regular host myself).

TV Recommendations (that you didn’t ask me for but get anyway)

I got curious one night and checked out the first episode of Broadchurch (the British original) and got hooked. I’m now two episodes into the third season. It’s a dark show, to say the least, and it sets up some serious cognitive dissonance if you are a Doctor Who fan with Jodie Whittaker, David Tennant, and Arthur Darvill as regulars and a smattering of other actors who have passed through Doctor Who here and there (David Bradley, for example). If you really want to blow your mind, watch any current Doctor Who episode with Jodie Whittaker and then watch the Season 2 episode of Broadchurch where her character gives birth immediately afterwards. I did that. I’m still haunted.

Last night the third of four “Short Treks” “aired” on the CBS App. These 15-minute episodes are little short stories set in and around Star Trek Discovery. (The second one, Calypso, was brilliant and a beautiful bit of story-telling, highly recommended). The most recent one, The Brightest Star, was also very good and featured Saru, played by the wonderful Doug Jones, and how he ended up getting mixed up with Starfleet despite coming from a pre-warp civilization. I need to watch it again because there is something I think I must have missed. They are a pre-warp civilization but there’s clearly some high tech there and it is doing something… weird. I don’t want to spoil anything and since I am pretty sure I must have missed some critical detail, I will stop here lest I spoil something or make a complete fool out of myself.

Swamp Meadow Community Theater

A ways back a colleague of mine in Swamp Meadow Community Theater (based in Foster, RI), which I have been involved with for 9 years, died. Kail Rubin was one of the really good ones. She was kind and generous and an all around wonderful person. We have performed on stage together and we have also worked the tech booth together. And I got to direct her in MASH back in 2016 when she played one of the nurses.

Her passing opened up her position as Executive Director of Swamp Meadow and I went and got myself elected to fill out the remaining six-seven months of her term. I hope I do right by Kaila and by Swamp Meadow.

Working from Home

If you work from home, you will appreciate Things I Learned by Working from Home.

Best. Voicemail. Ever.

I don’t know why it took me 3+ years to get this recording off my phone (thanks iMazing!) but here it is: the greatest voicemail I ever received from a wrong number. Enjoy!

Catching Up

MASH-flyerSo, I should probably have posted about M*A*S*H before, you know, the show opened. At least I posted it while it still has three performances to go… not that I expect this site will generate audience for the show.

Anyway, I directed M*A*S*H and have a wonderfully talented cast and crew. It’s been a fantastic experience and I will be sad when it is over.

In other news, we’re having the BIG tree in our back yard taken down today. It has rot visible high up at the site of where an old branch was removed years ago and we were thinking its was local to that spot until a piece of bark right at the ground level blew off in a wind storm two weeks ago and we could see the rot underneath. So, rather than wait for it to fall on our house, we called the tree peeps to take it down. This makes me incredibly sad as this was a huge, beautiful tree, a swamp maple, and losing it means a lot less shade in our yard. A lot less.

We’ll plant some new trees to make up for it but it will be years before they give us real shade in the summer.

And that’s all the news to report today.

Something is Wrong with This…

In August, I ordered my son’s books for school. His school uses an online bookstore and he wanted digital versions where possible so he didn’t have to carry around a heavy bag. So, I ordered what I could digitally and the rest on paper. After about the first week of school was over, he came to me and said that his history teacher said that he really needed the current textbook (he had been using a loaner of last year’s version). I told him that I’d ordered it and thought the teacher would have the online license code to grant him access because I had gotten an email to that effect. Turns out, that was for his science book.

So, I checked the online bookstore (Follett) and found the order was incomplete and that one item was backordered and would ship when available. You guessed it, the license code for his history book from Pearson. I wrote to Follett and said that I’d never heard of license codes being back ordered. It takes a second to generate a new code and email it to someone. They gave me a polite brush-off reply that, indeed, codes can be backordered and they would ship when available.

Last week I got an email that his license codes had shipped. Via FedEx. And would arrive late the following week. Again, I boggled that license codes had to be shipped.

2014-09-18 10.38.25

Then they arrived yesterday. They came in a ridiculously large, flat package. Inside where two sets of codes (for two years of access). I felt like redirecting the package to the school just to complete the absurdity of the whole thing but texted him the code for the first year instead.

In 2014 unlock codes for digital books have to be mailed in a package via conventional shipping. The mind boggles.

I haven’t been to a White Castle since high school.

Come to think of it… I am not sure I’ve ever been to one… I remember there being one near high school and we always talked about it. But I don’t think I ever went.

via tweetie

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Don’t reach for either of these too fast. Easy to get wrong with disasterous results.

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Magic Launch Event Spoils

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Bear Cubs receiving their bear badges

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Cub Scouts sing Happy Birthday to Scouting at the Blue & Gold Banquet

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What is up with socks in Montana and Vermont?

We are easily amused. Falling neatly into that category is the “Everybody Votes” channel on our Wii. For the un-Wii among you, this is a feature of the Wii where random questions appear every week or so which ask a two-choice question. All Wii users get the same question and the votes are tabulated and results presented showing overall percentages and results by state or country (if national or world-wide in scope). Recently, the following question appeared:

 

 

“If you are missing a sock, where is it likely to be found?” and the choices were, “The dryer ate it” and “It’s under the bed.”

The majority of people said that it was under the bed. But when you view the results by state, something very interesting happens:

 

 

Every state in the Union (especially New York which is darkest green) says that the missing socks are under the bed. But if you look closely, Montana and Vermont, and only those two states, trend more towards the drier eating socks. I just think this is really funny and had to share.

 

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