Today's Mighty Oak


I’m actually not one for new year’s resolutions. Typically I set out some very manageable goals for me at my birthday, and work on those for the year. So what did I do this year? Set new year’s resolutions.

To be fair, last year I had a new year’s resolution to update my wardrobe and (to steal from Thug Kitchen Bad Manners), dress like I give a fuck. It went well, and I’m generally really happy with what I did, so let’s apply that to this year!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Read more books

I read a lot, but feel like I’ve fell behind that a bit lately, so I set out to read at least seven books this year. Modest, I know, but with everything else going on, and an ever-growing pile on my nightstand, this seemed like a good place to start. Here’s what I finished:

  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore. The second book in the death series (after A Dirty Job), such a fantastic time!
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I enjoyed this a lot, and the ebook that I borrowed from the library had a short afterword by the author, as well as the ‘Toast’ from Screwtape.
  • Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. This expanded on the podcast of the same name, both of which are highly recommended!
  • Queer x Design by Andy Campbell. Amazing book about the history of queer design, highly recommended!
  • The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Book two of the Balance Arc of the podcast, brought to life as graphic novels.
  • hello mr., Volumes 7, 8, 9, 10. Literary journal about queer men, consistently some of the best writing in print, and a shame that it’s no longer in production.
  • Naturally Tan by Tan France. A deep dive into Tan’s life and work, a fun read that showed me a different side of the Queer Eye star.
  • Hamilton: The Revolution. Book about the creation of Hamilton, including a full script with notes from LMM.
  • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Kramer. A book about the character from Welcome to Nightvale involving pirates, spies and revenge.
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman. The story of the women who have the power to destroy the world.
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. A reread for me, but I had forgotten how poignant and good this book is!
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. Her next book, just as fun as the first.
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I reread this so I could discuss it with a friend, and I as reminded why it’s easily one of my favorite books of all time.
  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Murder in a haunted Ohio IKEA competitor, just wonderful.

Other books and audio books

So, I’m not counting audio books for this challenge (hot take: it’s not actually reading. Not saying it’s not great, it’s just something else), or a couple other books that didn’t really require much reading:

  • The Little Blue Kite by Mark Z. Danielewski. As recommended by the author, I read it through three times, each time following a different path (but it’s a really short book).
  • Coincidences at Museums by Stefan Draschan. A wonderful little book of photography at my uncle and aunt’s house.
  • The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen. Audio book based on the podcast, listened to during my long runs.
  • Vodou by Manuela Dunn Mascetti. Short little book.
  • Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-fix recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Some great recipes, but like any cookbook, many I won’t make. But some great running and racing content in there as well!
  • Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. A series of meditations on the writings of John.
  • The Book of Blessings. Small book about Tibetan prayer flags.
  • The Book of Urizen by William Blake. Small textbook that was mentioned in Origins so I decided to give it a quick reread.
  • Firefly: The Sting by Deliah S. Dawson. Graphic novel about the women of Firefly/Serenity.
  • Vox Machina Origins Volume II by Matthew Mercer. Graphic novel about the Twitch/Youtube show

Clean spaces

In a general sense of decluttering and cleaning, I’d like to clean ororganize 12 small spaces, one a month. These are things like closets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. I have too much stuff, and it’s time to do some purging!

  • Dressers in my guest room
  • Filing cabinet in my office
  • Nightstands in my bedroom
  • Glove box
  • Desk
  • Organized office bookshelves
  • Cleaned office closet
  • Cleaned and organized laundry room
  • Organized hall closet
  • Scrub kitchen counters (bigger deal than it seems, finally found the right combination of cleaners to get them really clean!)
  • Cleaned cable totes (random computer/electronic cables)
  • Garage shelves
  • Camping/Burn/Relay race totes

Buy more music

So, I get in the habit of hearing new music that I like, identifying it, and then not actually buying it. So I’m making an effort this year to put together a playlist throughout the year:

  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Fort Nowhere
  • Julie-O by Kevin Olusola
  • Arsonist’s Lullabye by Hozier
  • Calvary by Mashrou’ Leila
  • Dreamboy (album) by Dan Terry
  • Hiroshima by Ben Folds
  • Your Turn to Roll (Critical Roll theme song)
  • Take Me Away by Barefoot McCoy
  • Precious Love by James Morrison
  • Dreamboy main theme by Dane Terry
  • Hallelujah by Panic! At The Disco
  • Be Me by VINCINT
  • All Rode off Together by Meeting of Important People
  • Caution by The Killers
  • Reasons I Drink by Alanis Morissette
  • Simply the Best (From Schitt’s Creek) by Noah Reid

This goal took a bit of a backseat after Google Play Music closed, and now I’m at a loss of where to buy music from if I don’t want to use iTunes (and not stream). Any ideas?

Diversify meals for game nights

My last goal for the year is to make something different each time I host a game day. I’ve fallen into a lot of the same things, and I’d like to expand a bit, so the goal is to not repeat over the course of the year:

  • January: Broccoli and chickpea tacos (Thug Kitchen Bad Manners)
  • February: Curry Slurry (poorly named from The Lactose Free Cookbook)
  • And then we didn’t have any more in person games due to the global pandemic. Will try this again when we can meet up again in person!

Well, I’d say I was successful! The trick for me is to set reasonable and attainable goals, then I gain momentum to do more! (Side note, just surviving this year is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you differently).

I have some ideas for what I’ll be working on in 2021, including a lot of cleaning those same spaces again! I also have some digital cleanup to do, and am hoping to knock out some TV and movies I want to catch up on, as well as restart an epic fantasy book series.

Here’s to a great year!



Alright, let’s see what we have today!  First up, The Department of Education will no longer investigate complains from trans students.  Heartless.

At my old job I celebrated Bow Tie Tuesdays, here is a history of the bow tie!

I did not realize HBO was making a Fahrenheit 451 movie:

Also in movie news, two kids literally tried hiding under a trench coat as one person to get in to see Black Panther and my life has been made!

One man ate all the food from The Lord of the Rings as a tribute to his late father.

NBC straight-washed the opening ceremony, and it’s a problem.  Gus Kenworthy was with Adam Rippon and Shawn White almost the entire time, and never once was the fact that Gus or Adam are gay came up, although both were some of the highest profile athletes of the games.

But, speaking of, Gus’ tweet from the opening ceremony was wonderful.  And the kiss he shared with his boyfriend, aired on TV, and that’s really huge.

The Smithsonian unveiled the official portraits of the Obamas, and they are stunning.

Randy Rainbow is back and as good as ever:

I’m all for the queering of the Oscars.  In particular, Gus Kenworthy and his boyfriend looking to ‘connect’ with Ricky Martin and his husband, and Adam Rippon in his harness tux.

As a reminder, it’s never been about cake (or wedding dresses).  Just like it was never about water fountains, seats on a bus or a group’s work ethic.  It’s about bigotry.  A Pennsylvania bridal store will close, rather then sell dresses to lesbians.

But of course, the Republicans are back with a push to legalize anti-gay discrimination across the country.

HUD has removed all anti-discrimination language from its policies and website.

And just in case you wanted to see how bad it really is.  Here is a list of everything the current administration has done to roll back all the rights we’ve fought for.  This is why it’s so important to vote in every single election.  Our work is not done and these are real policies wreaking havoc on people.

Also, on a stupid note, Republicans in South Carolina want non-straight marriages to be called ‘parody marriage.’  Because apparently not only are they evil, bigoted, heartless bastards, they’re also children.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom, I promise.  As always, children will save us:

And a federal appeals court has ruled that the civil rights act applies to anti-gay discrimination, which is a great step!

And in a touching moment, survivors of both Parkland and Pulse meet in solidarity:

That’s it for today, have a great one!



Quick update for everyone.

First up, sadly, it looks like the Senate is trying to pass another SOPA, just with another name. Bad Senate!  Don’t do that.

Al Jazeera has a good segment about a proposed bill in Australia which will fine parents who don’t get their children vaccinated:

Hint, if you keep talking about how vaccines are evil and a ruse by the government, I will delete you from my Facebook newsfeed.  That will….certainly not teach you anything.

So once upon a time, there was a horror movie made aboard the International Space Station.  Who knew?

And lastly, a reminder to eat healthy and slowly:



Okay, big update, here’s what we have, hope you enjoy:

I’m thinking last year’s Star Wars ad (for VW I believe) will be better, but I’m excited for this, if nothing else, the promo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ntDYjS0Y3w

Courtesy of Copyranter, coupled with the fact that only 39% of American’s believe in Evolution:

Ogilvy is a giant of a ad agency, and Copyranter pulls out a great quote:

If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

How much do I love Sesame Street:

Clintus posted this awesome pic on his blog, check it out.

I also don’t usually link to food type things, but this looks delicious:

This also comes from Copyranter (I’ve been clearing out my RSS feeds) and he found it from Australia:

Ragan reports on an awesome interview given by the CEO of Morgan Stanley:

Morgan Stanley’s employees need an attitude adjustment.

At least that’s what CEO James Gorman thinks of his staff who are aren’t happy with recent 20 to 30 percent pay-cuts among senior executives. He also limited cash bonuses. In this Bloomberg Television interview, he outlined three reasons his employees shouldn’t be upset with a smaller salary.

1. They’re “naïve” and should read the newspaper.

2. Compensation shouldn’t define their overall level of happiness. If it does, “you have a problem which is much bigger than the job.”

3. Life’s too short. “If you’re really unhappy, just leave. I mean, Life’s too short.”

This man is amazing!  But is it sad that just using some common sense is now considered amazing?  Check out the article at Ragan to see the interview and read more.

 The most amazing peephole ever:

I have mixed feelings about this, but I think we should keep the leap second.  There’s something quaint about the atomic clocks lining up with the solar calendar.

This video is about the ad world, but much of it applies to clients trying to describe what they want:

Need to figure out what to eat and drink together?  Check out Foodpairing.

Joseph Gorden-Levitt lends his talents to autotune the news:

It’s macabre, but I like it, I just think it should have been a :30 spot.  So great idea, but sloppy execution.  But still, powerful:

That’s it for now, I’ll be back with more soon!

 



Hey everybody, couple big updates on the way, starting with this one.  I’m going through a whole bunch of stuff, so some will be a bit old, but all still really cool!  Hope you enjoy!

Did you know that you can use bacon to track the economy?  Yeah, we might use bacon for too much at this point.

Are you concerned about genetically modified food?  You shouldn’t be, we have blenders that will hep us test them!  Slate explains.


Oh my god.  Double windmill.  What does it mean?

Sorry, had to be posted.

Want to make your own laundry detergent really cheap?  Here’s a recipe.  I’ve heard good things about this, but have yet to try it.

I’ve always says that the internet can (and usually is) a force for good.  And 4chan proves me right once again:

This is old news, but good nonetheless, now it’s legal to “jailbreak” your phone.  You know, the one that you own!

Once tablets get more and more popular, we’ll see this more often, which I’m sure would make it easier to keep menus updated, as well as save a lot of paper:

Need a primer on the whole Glen Beck is trying to swindle his viewers out of money out of greed and stupidity?  Check it out here.

Pittsburgh City Paper has a cool list of historic dates at the Civic Arena.  Check it out here.  And follow it up by a collection of stories from the Igloo, all very touching.  And they round out the hat trick with another nice piece, this one the history of the building from the start.

I have not watched all of this yet, but it’s the history of the Soviet Union, as told through Tetris:

I think I might have posted about this before, but I would change the title to “Going to Church: You’re doin’ it right

I haven’t talked much about the mosque controversy in NYC, but I’ll chime in with these comments.  That is all.

Want to get away?  Teleport somewhere using Google Maps!  Pretty cool!

Check these out, there are ten total, and I like this one a lot:

You want to see Star Wars as a silent movie?  Okay, here you go:


Anachronisme
Uploaded by LesSingesHurlants. – Arts and animation videos.

Anne Rice isn’t a Christian anymore!  I guess I would care if I ever read any of her stuff.  But her reasoning is sound I suppose, but I would always say find a church that fits you.  They’re out there.

I finally got the tote bag I was waiting for (I saw them, but they weren’t for sale yet), and it is a Leave No Trace bag (how fitting).  Here’s a fun mockumentary about why plastic bags aren’t exactly great for us:

This police log is pretty awesome:

Overdressed for the occasion, a man who not only lacked the mandatory skanky hoodie but was all spiffed up in a white dress shirt and slacks made an extremely literal beer run at an Alliance Road stop ’n’ rob. That is, he snabbed an 18-pack of The King of Bland Beers and scurried out the door.

But then we find that sometimes they are written as limericks!

A car parked ’twixt striping of blue
Had nothing whatever to do
With handicapped access
Cops thought what it lacks is
A ticket, and also a clue.

That’s it for now, but I’ll try to be back later in the week with some more.  Have a great one!

Social Links

Archives

How I’m Resisting

What I’m fighting for

What I’m running from

What I’m reading

What I’m drinking

What we’re writing

What I’m writing

What I’m running