Brain Droppings

Random stuff coming……….

I am very pleased that I was able to cast my ballot in the presidential election early and safely. My state and my city have seriously come through for me in these unhealthy, uncertain times. I am proud of what we the people have accomplished in this regard and I am proud that as an American I was able to have my opinion heard.

However…

The downside of voting early is that November 3rd, election day, is kinda irrelevant to me now. Maybe not irrelevant, but more like unimportant. At least until the returns start coming in. I go on social media and have a thousand people asking thousands of other people, what are your voting plans, or how are you going to vote, or are you excited to vote, or everyone get out the vote, etc, etc, and my response is… been there, done that. I took election day off, just in case. I should have taken the day after so I could stay up all night watching returns. On second thought, that would probably be a bad idea. I tend to get a little… animated when fascism is taking over my country and I don’t want to put any added stress on my ticker, or wake up the neighbors, or anything like that.

Basically though… I’m done, there isn’t much excitement about the process left.


Counting today, there are nine days left in October. At the start of the month I decided I wasn’t going to do an album in a month. A few days ago I changed my mind. I’ve got 10 songs in the pipeline. They are all short. They are all weird. They are all simple things based around little poly-rhythmic tricks, or guitarmonies. I haven’t written any lyrics or melodies yet. None of the songs will be instrumentals, but they will all be mostly instrumentals. There aren’t going to be any hooks. Vocal tracks will be short and simple and lyrics will probably just be a line or two. The point of it all is to hear a guitar playing in 4/4 in your left ear, and a guitar playing almost the same thing in 7/8 in your right ear, and how they occasionally line up with each other. Or, songs where the “melody” is just three guitars with tons of fuzz playing in harmony.

In other words, October Music is Robbie’s “I’ve been listening to King Crimson” month.


I still can’t believe that Massachusetts had 1,000 new Covid-19 cases yesterday. The last time we’d had 1,000 cases was in May. All of the progress we made has been flushed down the toilet. How are we as a society capable of landing a space ship on an asteroid 300 million kilometers away and bring it home with a sample of asteroid rocks, but not able to stay in our houses so we don’t get sick. Why are we incapable of just wearing friggin masks and washing our friggin hands?


I thought I was going to have more this morning, but I’m letting myself get distracted. In closing, let me paraphrase my favorite line from this week’s episode of Archer.

I’m your rampage sherpa.

Talk to you all later. Happy Friday.

Covid-19 Numbers

Note that the Massachusetts numbers are the probable and confirmed cases combined.

Here’s what we have for today…….

  • Massachusetts
    • Total Cases: 147,215 (up 1,049 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 9,810
    • Death Rate: 6.66%
  • United States
    • Total Cases: 8,386,634 (up 74,525 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 222,766
    • Death Rate: 2.66%

Over a thousand cases in Massachusetts. What the fuck?

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 63

This just dawned on me…. Holy crap….

I’m having a crazy day here at the home office. Busy. My 1:00PM lunch break didn’t start until 2:45. My 16 hour fast lasted 17:45 today. Crazy!

As I eat my PB&J with a side of Ritz crackers I am listening to the Puck Soup podcast. Our favorite hockey writer podcast is having an in depth discussion of appetizers. One of them just said he loves going to a tex-mex place and having a big bowl of chips and salsa.

So do I, I thought. Minus the salsa, of course. That’s when it hit me.

I haven’t been to The Border Cafe in over seven months.

As if the existence of Covid-19 wasn’t bad enough, now I realize that I haven’t been to my favorite restaurant in over half a year. The entire Spring and the entire Summer passed without me having a single bite of Tejas chicken, or their blackened chicken, or the French quarter chicken, or the tortilla chips.

Good lord, what has the world come to?

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 62

I think the stir crazy for this installment of the stir crazy files is more of an abstract idea. It’s kinda of a philosophical stir crazy, if you will.

The stir crazy is… I don’t really feel stir crazy anymore. How did that happen? Quarantine/Lock Down/Extreme Social Distance… it’s normal now. We don’t go out, we work from home, we only drive the cars around a little just to make sure they still work, we don’t see people, we instacart groceries and amazon everything else. We try picking up new hobbies, then we drop the new hobbies and look for new, new hobbies. We tweak our work spaces here and there. We stress over the kids going to school. We stress over the possibility of being asked to go back to the office. We stress over sick family members and then stress again over not being able to help sick family members.

All of it sucks out loud, but it’s all normal now. It’s not this new, insane thing that we have to deal with, it’s just life. It should feel wackier than it does, shouldn’t it?

Oh well. At least we get a new season of The Mandolorian in a couple of weeks. This is the way.

“Happy” Seven Months

It’s October 13th. Happy (I mean that sarcastically) Seventh Covid-Quarantine Monthiversary.

This fucking sucks.

Last night one of the guys in the band floated the idea of having a mask-wearing, spread out all over the room band practice. Another guy immediately said yes. The third guy commented but didn’t say yes or no. Then I was the asshole. I’m really tired of being the asshole. Like… really tired of it.

I was going to mix one of the songs last night. I replaced all the bass and drum parts and made sure everything lined up correctly. There was one spot toward the end of the song where the vocals sounded weird. I had two tracks singing the same thing. I’m not sure why I did that, but I did it for the first three songs I recorded. In this particular instance there was a drop out that cut a whole word out of one of the takes. How did I miss that?

I listened to just the vocal tracks, one at a time, and there were little drop outs all over the place. What the hell? I was mostly able to comp together one full track out of the two that I had, but there was one line where both tracks had a drop out. Fortunately it was in a chorus so I was able to fly in that line from another part of the song.

It really pissed me off though. How did I miss that when I was in the car? I knew I was having signal loss issues that day but I thought I was catching them as they happened. I’m so mad at myself. I did the same thing with the two other songs I recorded that day and they both had a drop out or two, but they weren’t nearly as bad. I comped together a full take pretty easily. I then did the same for the four songs I recorded yesterday, when I wasn’t doubling tracks, and everything was fine. I don’t have to redo anything, but it still pissed me off like crazy.

I also had my first bad news on the exercise front, though it wasn’t unexpected. When I started this I said I was going to do the intermittent fasting and 30 minutes of exercise each day and see what happens. I explicitly said I was not going to screw with what I ate, just when I ate it. I have been weighing myself every Tuesday morning and I was losing weight. Today was the first weigh in where I was up. Only a pound and a half, but I was not happy. Not even a little bit. I told myself that weight loss wasn’t my primary goal, but now that I’m up a pound and a half I think I have to face the reality that maybe it actually is my primary goal. Crap. I thought I was more evolved than that (that’s a joke, I didn’t really think that).

The good news is, last time I cut the grass I would do about 10 minutes of mowing and then have to sit for half an hour to recover. After a month’s worth of multiple little “work outs” each day, when I cut the grass this weekend it was more like 20-30 minutes of mowing with little 5-10 minute breaks to recover. That was my original goal for all of this shit. I consider that a small success in an otherwise garbage universe.

Kiss my ass, Covid-19.

Massachusetts is Screwing Up, Bad

I started keeping a Covid-19 stats spreadsheet back in March. I never dreamed it would still be going without an end in sight on the last day of September, but here we are. I keep one with just Massachusetts numbers and one for the entire United States.

We all know the US numbers are so bad they are evil. Literally evil. Unimaginably evil. Massachusetts was really bad too in the beginning, but after a while we straightened things out. For a while there our numbers were among the best in the country.

Not anymore.

We have had over 400 new Covid-19 cases for each of the last eight days. Today we had 532 new cases and 33 new deaths. Oh yeah, and the Governor is talking about further opening up of some sections of the state. This is absurd.

We should be better than this. Get your shit together, Mass.

That Sucked

We got flu shots today. We went to a drug store in Salem, NH. Talk about a horrible experience. We did everything right. We stayed safe. The rest of the people? Some were. Some weren’t. The putz without the mask inside. The dick having a smoke in the parking lot. What the hell.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 61

I just realized I’ve let one of my original quarantine promises to myself fall by the wayside without even noticing.

I promised myself I would still be up out of bed and ready for the day by the time I would have had to get ready if I had to make the endless drive to Waltham. That should have been 7:30-7:45 or so. It dawned on me today as I was getting dressed at about 8:15 that I completely forgot about that rule.

Not that it was important or anything but I kinda feel like I let myself down… even though I didn’t remember I was letting myself down.

I’ll try to get up earlier tomorrow.

Eat my ass, coronavirus.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 60

Exercise, babie… said the very fat, morbidly obese dude. Looking over my health stats on my phone, on the Zero app, the one that tracks intermittent fasting, I have completed a full 16 hour fast for 10 days in a row. That’s 160 hours where I did not eat. Cool! On the activity app, I have close all three rings for 10 days in a row. That’s 30 minutes of exercise, at least 800 calories burned (which normal people could probably do by 7:00am without even trying. Gimme a break, I’m fat and criminally out of shape), and standing at least one minute each hour for at least 12 hours.

Having said all of that, I also canceled my gym membership today. I finally stopped hoping that the lock down would end and it would be safe to go back. It’ll save us a few bucks a month.

A few bucks a month… that’s important given that we bought an exercise bike today. Woah! Another exercise source for us that doesn’t involve leaving the house! Crazy talk! Bring it on!

Tiring

Do you know want to know what is tiring?

Coronavirus. That’s what’s tiring.

We should be planning weekend trips to the mountains to see the foliage. Instead we’re freaking out over the prospect of having to put gas in the car. We’re freaking out over the prospect of kids going back to school. We’re freaking out over the fact that I coughed a bunch of times before I went to sleep last night.

This whole thing is exhausting. Quarantine fatigue indeed. Still staying strong and keeping safe though. Not like the millions of idiots who “don’t believe” in the virus. I hate stupid people.