I received one part of my birthday yesterday– a low voltage Caseta wireless dimmer wall switch. I got it so I could dim my new LED light fixture in my kitchen.
But this meant I needed to add a second dimmer to the switch next to it (double wall switch plate) for esthetics AND so I could dim my entry lights.
So I went to the homo depot and got another dimmer and a wall plate. And installed that shit.
It would have been nice had it been one or two wires, screwing in the switches and done. But no. The low voltage dimmer had an extra wire that needed a home.
And then there was digging the wires out of the wall box so I could get at everything. And then wedging everything back in– only the new dimmers are chunkier.
Still– I managed. Because I’m butch like that.
And now Alexa can turn on and dim basically all my lights with just my voice. Well– except the bathroom lights. Those I figure I can keep manual– for now.
Welp. Today’s mah birfday. Another whole year in the books. 48 years on the planet.
I wish I could say marking my 48th trip around the sun was eventful- but alas, it was not.
I spent the day cleaning my condo. I went out for a late breakfast by myself. Hit the gym. That’s about it.
I did get a lovely card from Nicolas in the gay chorus. It was definitely the bright spot in my day!
I also bought myself a few things:
I love Tom of Finland stuff. And I found this Taschen book of his Kake comics. Grrr.
Speaking of Tom– on my Facebook feed I started getting notifications about the new Tom of Finland store, where they sell lots of things. Including signature caps that Tom tended to put his men in.
So I bought the leather baseball cap. It’s low brimmed, so I think it will look sexy as hell in leather nights.
And finally, as I’ve been dabbling with espresso making lately, I got myself an upscale coffee grinder. This should hopefully take my grinds to a new level of fineness, which should in turn improve the crema in my espresso.
That’s about it.
Birthdays for one really kind of suck. Maybe by my 49th birthday I’ll have figured out how to say “fuck it” and just plan my own birthday dinner or throw myself a goddamn party.
After this business trip, I am a bit parched….
And then there’s this–
Or would it be a boondoggle? I’m not up on all the hep lingo these days.
Anyway, I’m currently sat at a hotel “near” Detroit, drinking coffee and steeling myself mentally for what will undoubtedly be a long and taxing day.
I flew in last night. I fly home Thursday evening.
The purpose for this two-plus day trip? Customer goodwill visits. That I somehow got roped into attending. With two of our sales team. And our company president aka “He Who Shall Not Be Named”.
I loathe him.
And I loathe what I perceive as colossal wastes of time and money, and by all accounts– this is both.
I get that these types of visits are occasionally necessary from a business perspective, but it’s the inefficiency of it all that chaps my ass.
The original “plan”, if you could call it that, called for visiting four different customers to discuss various programs, quality issues, potential new business, etc. And these four companies are scattered throughout Michigan, which will necessitate a lot of driving– as none are very close to Detroit.
Our outside sales rep has organized all of this.
After arrival yesterday I discover that we are down to three visits, as one customer decided they aren’t available. And two of these remaining three have granted us a grand total of 1.5 hours of their time.
This really leaves one customer visit of import. Which is like a four hour drive away from our current location.
This is time that I could be in the office, being productive on any number of the stacked up projects on my plate. But no. I’m here.
And then there was the $900 flight to Detroit. And the $200 hotel stay last night. And the I-don’t-know-how-much-we-spent dinner last night but it was at least $100/person.
And there will be dinner with the “one”‘customer this evening. And another hotel stay.
Lord give me the strength not to let my displeasure show today.
So, today’s the big day. Total eclipse in North America. First time in a butt load of years.
And I’m gonna miss it.
Not like I was going to see totality– we are only like at 85% eclipsed here in Minneapolis. But even that would have been nice to see. However, the weather today has other plans.
Cloudy. Stormy. Not very eclipsey.
Being the science nerd that I am, one would think that I would have taken a short trip south to see this thing. But my whole thing is: while eclipses are predictable, weather is less so. And I know with my luck, I’d travel somewhere to see this once-in-a-lifetime event, only to have it rained out.
So, I chose not to travel to see it. Although had I traveled, I would have chosen somewhere like Cody, Wyoming. It’s kind of arid out there– probably better chance of not having tons of clouds.
That’s just a guess though.
Anyway, if you have eclipse watching plans, I hope they go well for you. I wish you sunny (and moony) skies.
Because we need a distraction, or as I like to call it "alt-work".
For some reason, this text from a Joyce Sutphen poem popped into my head this morning.
It just so happens to be the poem set to music that the Chamber Singers performed last year about this time in Denver.
Here's the link:
I still think it's beautiful.
This is the only body I know
This is my address on earth
This past Saturday night were the World class drum and bugle corps championships. And the Blue Devils won. Again.
I'm a bit disappointed.
I just don't like the direction of the activity, and I disagree wholeheartedly with the judging.
It's not that the Devils aren't good. Because they are. Very good. But they play and march about half as much as the other corps– and the judges don't seem to care.
In fact, they seem to reward it.
The greatest demand on the marching members comes from performing while moving across the field. And not just moving– but moving in concert, with precision.
Maintaining forms. Monitoring step size. Horn angles. Body position. Keeping your horn still while your feet are striking the turf at 180 bpm. All while playing music with dynamics and nuance.
This… is wickedly hard.
The Blue Devils know this, so they write their programs to have the players stationary for much of the music– or moving at 1/2 speed. Then, when they stop playing, they take their horns (or equipment down) and then move to their next location.
Almost no technical demand on the kids.
And the judges are placing this in first– effectively killing drill and formational marching.
This simultaneously makes me sad and frustrates me to no end. It's called "the marching arts" not the "stand and playing arts". It's supposed to be music in motion– synesthesia in a sense.
And the Blue Devils are ruining it.
Well, the judges are ruining it by scoring them well. And if it's winning, why change things?
At least my old corps (the Cavaliers) managed to jump a spot at finals and ended in 4th.
Because it's humpy day: