Assorted Stuff

wasting bandwidth since 1999

An Anthem For 2020

The Mountain Goats is one of those bands that has been around seemingly forever, creating a steady stream of great music year after year. I discovered them about fifteen years ago when a friend recommended their album, “We Shall All Be Healed”.

That same year they released “The Sunset Tree” which includes one of my favorite songs of all time (from any performer), “This Year”. It’s a surprisingly upbeat tune in which the singer declares his intention to escape an abusive home environment.

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Exploring The World From Home

Screen Shot 2020 03 25 at 2 20 25 PM

With many schools closed due to the pandemic, many K12 educators are working hard to understand the basics of running an online classroom. Everyone is trying to help each other, with social media and discussion threads filled with stories, advice, and lists of resources. Lots and lots of lists.

A good chunk of the advice is, of course, centered around using Google tools, like Classroom,1 with the primary focus seemingly on how to continue teacher-directed instruction in an online environment. I wish there was more effort to turn that around and find ways for students to create projects based, at least in part, on their interests and concerns, rather than continuing the fixed curriculum.

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Going Nowhere

houseboat in Amsterdam

If today was anything resembling the normal we used to have, I would be heading to Dulles Airport right now to board a plane to The Netherlands. This was supposed to be the start of a ten-day photo trip that a friend and I planned six months ago.

Obviously that didn’t work out the way we wanted and, probably like you, the only travel I’ll be doing in the near term is regular walks around the neighborhood and occasional, very cautious, visits to the grocery store. Plus lots of virtual trips and thoughts of future adventures at a time when the world is more welcoming.

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Thinking of Douglas Adams

For some reason, this keeps floating through my currently addled mind. I’ll have to read the books again while we are in social distance mode.


The graphic is from a Wired article about Towel Day. Read it (and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) if that reference doesn’t register.

Game Over?

National Pinball Museum - Game Over

Government is not a game. But for as long as I can remember, the news media has framed it that way. As result, we’ve elected far too many game-playing politicians.

Good government requires many smart people committed to building a better society. But this administration dismissed as many who fit that description as they could find, replacing them with unqualified hacks working only for themselves.

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