Yesterday was tough. We had one huge cabinet to put together and then hang on the wall. I was dead set against having us hang it ourselves because I knew the end result would look amateurish and Jen would be disappointed. When push came to shove though I said fuck it and we did it. Jen’s folks came over to help but something much more important came up and they had to go and take care of it. That left us flying solo and we got it done.
It took ALL DAY. We were up at 5:00am and we weren’t finished until after 7:00pm, but it’s done! We stood up to the IKEA challenge and we survived!
We have another big piece of furniture to work on today, and we are both seriously hurting after yesterday. My back and my legs are in really bad shape. Jen has a legitimate bad back, whereas mine is just me being fat, and she is in major pain. It hasn’t gone out on her though so we’re babying it as much as we can.
We’re going to start putting together today’s project. We may not finish it, but we’ll make a good dent.
Wish us luck in our battle against the Swedish* pre-fab menace.
*I couldn’t remember if IKEA was Swedish or Swiss so I Googled it. Apparently they are currently based in The Netherlands! Who knew? Bellana can go visit their headquarters!
I spent my lunch hour reading up on the situation in Ukraine. Once again it’s really hard to tell which reports are real and which reports are propaganda or misinformation. It sounds like “Russian warship, go fuck yourself” is real. I don’t think the ghost of Kyiv is real though. Despite how much I want it to be real.
I was a good student in Junior High and High School Geography classes. The map of Europe looked massively different back then, but even if it didn’t I never saw a map that was drawn to scale so distances are all hypothetical, know what I mean?
There’s a war going on in Eastern Europe. Bellana is in Western Europe. She’s not anywhere close to the conflict, is she? How far is it from The Netherlands to the Ukraine?
Google Maps. I searched for a route from her school to Kyiv. It’s a 21 hour drive. I wasn’t nervous about it at all, and yet I am still feeling a serious sense of relief. Irrational, yes, but when is anything to do with war rational?
Western Europe needs to keep my step daughter safe. Good work so far. Keep it up.
We got a FaceTime call from Bellana today. She and her roommate went to Paris over the weekend. It sounds like it was one of those out of this world experiences that you can only have when you’re 20 years old and taking a semester abroad. You know what I’m talking about. She said there will be a vlog post at some point. I can’t wait to see it.
This morning I was talking about how bringing the barrels out to the street marks the high point of my social calendar. Oh to be 20 and crazy again. Again? I was 20 once, but I don’t think I was crazy. I’m proof that youth is wasted on the young as well as at least 50 other old people cliches.
The YouTubes and I have been goofing around looking at reviews of grotesquely expensive boutique guitar amplifiers. There is a lot of dazzling stuff out there. One sticks out to me for purely family reasons.
I had never heard of Hook amplifiers before this evening. Now that I have, I want one. Drool and all that. The R20, on the demoes I’ve heard tonight, sounds ridiculous. Just plain sick.
Oh yeah, the family reason for wanting one? The company is Dutch! I can ask Bellana to bring one home for me. The combo is only about 2,300 Euros. Consider it done, yeah?
The plow guy did a great job. He only did our driveway, not the section of the yard that doubles as the kids driveway, but that’s okay. Those cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. He did a path from the driveway to the stairs on the side of the house which gains him the title of Hero++. That’s one rank higher than hero. He didn’t do the fire hydrant, but we didn’t ask him to. I went out and did it about an hour ago. Done and done.
I have some laundry to do today. I checked the dryer vent on the back of the house. It’s clear. We are all set to wash the sheets and stuff. Aren’t you happy to hear that little snippet of good news? I’m just a fountain of knowledge today.
The episode of The Mandalorian that introduces Ashoka Tano is so freakin’ good. The episode that reintroduces Boba Fett is almost as good. When he smashes the stormtrooper’s helmet with the gaffey stick? It’s like poetry, man.
Did I mention that the RPM Challenge starts the day after tomorrow? As if I haven’t been boring the crap out of everyone with music posts. Get ready for more, kids!
And that’s where we are at 12:09pm on a random Sunday.
But wait, there’s more! Just before I hit publish Bellana called. We had a FaceTime and it was lovely. Apparently our Dutch friends like to put mayonnaise on French Fries. I don’t know… I don’t know if I can get behind that trend. We’ll see.
I don’t like Discord. I know that makes me sound old, but it’s just an AOL chat room so it’s not that I am old, it’s that I’ve been there and done that and don’t want to do it again.
The RPM Challenge forums no longer exist as they have been replaced by a Discord server. Okay. I’ll play along.
There I was, typing in a post to the random chat board, and either the app on my machine crashed or the server went down. Like… right in the middle of typing!
Okay, we have established that I don’t like Discord. Now it seems that Discord doesn’t like me either. Well screw you, Chuck!
On an unrelated note, Bellana and her roommate posted another video. They went to Belgium. Just a spur of the moment trip to Brussels. How cool is that? How cool is the EU?
Maybe I’ll share the video one of these days.
On another unrelated note, why is the last post I made last night displaying in a box? Is this post going to display in a box? Did I accidentally click a put-your-post-in-a-box button? I don’t know. Let’s publish this puppy and see what happens!
ADDENDUM: I didn’t click a put-your-post-in-a-box button, but I did post the previous update while I was about 95% asleep and I did accidentally click a stick-this-to-the-top-of-your-page checkbox. It should be fixed now.
My step daughter’s roommate posted a new video, letting us check in with their Dutch adventure. They haven’t started classes yet, but they have completed their Covid quarantine, so they get to wander the city.
Jealous much? Oh yeah.
The video right now has them checking out a bookstore that for some reason looks really familiar to me. It’s nice to see that all of the signs are in English.
They are doing well and are enjoying the experience so far. Still not sure if I want to post their videos here or not. Also not sure if I would be able to as they have some pretty tight permissions set.
That’s all I have for today’s lunch time post. It might not seem like much, but I got to watch the video so it’s pretty much the best lunchtime post ever. Also, I sent Bellana a picture of the newly potted plant that is a cutting from a plant that belonged to her step mother’s mother and she was very happy. I’m happy too.
If you were super curious about how The Netherlands is handling the quarantining of visitors from other countries, here’s what I know.
Bellana entered the country on Thursday morning, January 13th. She was allotted some time to get from the plane to her final destination, which was something like three hours by train, and then once she was where she was going her quarantine began. On Monday she will take a Covid test. The results will take 48-72 hours to return but once they do (assuming a negative result) she’s free to move about the country.
So worst case scenario (that doesn’t involve a positive test) is that her quarantine starts on 1/13 and ends on 1/20. Note that in The Netherlands they would say her quarantine starts on 13/1 and ends on 20/1, but that’s neither here nor there.
One funny note from our FaceTime. She has changed her weather settings on her phone to Celsius. She said it was currently 2 degrees. Jen laughed and said it was 2 degrees here too. Doing the math, our 2 degrees is -16.7 degrees for her. Brrrr, babie.
So now you’re up to date on the Dutch quarantine process for international travel. I hope you all enjoyed this little lesson.
I didn’t go out for car music today. Nope. I was going to. I woke up at 6:45am (on a Saturday, you savage!) and my watch told me it was 2 degrees out. Yikes. Well… we’ll see how things look after my shower and stuff. When I was all dressed and ready to go my watch told me it was 1 degree out. Welp, maybe next time.
That’s one thing dropped from the to-do list. We are hoping to add one thing too. There will, hopefully, be a FaceTime call with Bellana today! All the way from The Netherlands where she is quarantining and probably super bored. I still haven’t decided if I want to share their YouTube video or not. I’m hoping they post things regularly so we can feel like we’re a distant part of their adventure. Fingers crossed. I probably won’t post the videos here. I don’t know. Maybe, but probably not.
In closing, yesterday I listened to a podcast that broke down the Grace Under Pressure Tour video that Rush released in 1984 or so. It brought this little masterpiece back to the front of my brain and it doesn’t show any signs of leaving any time soon.
Fear. A sort of suite. Sort of. In 1984 when Rush released the Grace Under Pressure album, the song The Enemy Within was subtitled Part One of Fear. Well what the hell did that mean? They eventually explained it to us. One of my friends in Junior High said he had figured it out, but I don’t believe him.
Fear is a three song suite-ish that includes one song each from three albums… in reverse.
Part One is The Enemy Within from Grace Under Pressure, released in 1984. Part Two is The Weapon from Signals, released in 1982. Part Three is Witch Hunt from Moving Pictures, released in 1981.
Simple, right? If I remember correctly, Neil said he numbered them in order of the hardest to write to the easiest… or was it the other way around. Damn it. I don’t remember for sure. It doesn’t matter, they were numbered based on the writing process, that’s all you need to know. I don’t recall if The Weapon and Witch Hunt were ever officially given a Fear subtitle on any subsequent release, but they might have. There was also a fourth song, Freeze from Vapor Trails, released in 2002, but they never played all four of them together. In fact, they never played Freeze live at all. They were never supposed to play Witch Hunt either. That was written and recorded as a studio only thing as there were little things that couldn’t be pulled off live with just three people at the time. As a result, this arrangement is a little different than the Moving Pictures album and that was something that Rush just didn’t do, making this version extra special. Years later, as sampling and triggering technology caught up with the band, they did do Witch Hunt as it was originally arranged. I really like this one though. It lacks the cowbell in the beginning, well most of it at least, but it adds that killer guitar solo at the end. Awesome.
Gee, I hope these videos actually play though… seems like a lot of people have posted this with the sharing options off. Yikes.