My kid doesn’t take kindly to being tricked by how words are spelled, so he just asked me if “noodles” has a silent e at the end.

I recognize that if you’re serious about jazz you probably already know this album, but if you’re a casual listener like me: I found Jazz at the Pawnshop a month or so ago, and it’s everything good about listening in a club, especially while we can’t. Treat yourself.

Today’s neat discovery: Reading an article about the rewrite of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, somehow the name Denholm Elliott — Brodie in that film and in Raiders — got me to connect him to an obscure movie he was in 30+ years earlier that I like: The Holly and The Ivy.

That was a very good livestream, if I may say so. Come for the downy woodpecker, stay for the blue jay. https://youtu.be/8P0zlhy_vO0?t=34

Day three of owning a bird feeder: my kid has named two of the birds. Both cardinals, he has imaginatively named the male “Card” and the female “Car”.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the cookies
that were by
the fireplace

and which
you were probably
for Santa

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so soft

I just got a phone call asking if I was “the reference library.” And, sometimes it does feel that way.

Maybe I should’ve humored them, just to take on the challenge. (Of course, there’s no way I could out-research a professional reference librarian. Fun idea though.)

My kid in a small group Hangout with classmates: “Guess what number I’m going to say. It starts with a one, then a zero and another zero.”

A minute later: “Ok, the next one will be harder. It’s a one, a zero and a one.”

The grocery store had a couple horn players outside playing carols and it just about broke me. First live Christmas music I’ve heard this year, first live music of any kind in a very long time. I miss it so much.

I was waiting for a decent excuse to crack open the #bcbs Special No. 4 I picked up this year, and getting together (virtually) with my singing group for the first time in months seemed like a good one.

I shouldn’t be signing this terrible python code I’m committing to solve Advent of Code, just for plausible deniability purposes later. (But when all your code is about that terrible, I guess it doesn’t matter too much).

Things I find when tearing off the baseboard trim to paint in my old house: a receipt from 2000 for Erin Brockovich — probably a Christmas present — purchased in late December from Suncoast at Crestwood Plaza.

Today’s random thought: I wonder what (acoustic) instruments are easiest and most difficult to mic.

I don’t have any need for this information. I don’t have any experience in this area. This isn’t something I’ve ever done, nor will probably ever need to do. My brain.

As I’ve mentioned, not singing with folks is hurting. I know there are the multitrack things people are doing, but it isn’t the same. When singing live, you don’t mechanically perform your part and layer them — you adapt, in real time, to what your fellow singers are doing.

I haven’t made krupnik — it’s a sort of spiced honey liqueur from Lithuania — in the past few years. I stockpiled a bit and it mellows with age. But it’s fun to make (and delicious). I should get back into that.

Interacting w/ a smartphone daily will certainly reinforce its mundanity, but sometimes I’ll stop and realize how mind blowing it is that you can tap on a little slab of glass and communicate with the world, see photos /videos from all over, purchase nearly anything, etc. #mbnov

One of the things I enjoy most is being a pedestrian in a city I’m visiting for the first or second time. I miss that. #mbnov

Watching Home Alone and thought I recognized the voice of the guy who plays Santa. Looked him up on IMDB. He has 50+ credits, including one in post-production this year. But I didn’t recognize him in anything else until I got down to Groundhog Day, where he’s “Man in Hallway”.

Also re: the #bcbs I don’t go early so I don’t usually face the dilemma of which variant to choose. This time though there were three variants — fog, caramella and Special No. 4. I got the Special. Not sure I’ve ever even bought a variant before. #mbnov

C: Is Jeremy getting the call?

Dana: He’s getting the call.

J: I’m getting the call?

Dan: You’re getting the call.

J: I don’t know what that means.

Elliot: It means you’re getting the call.

J: Really?

E: Yeah.

J: I still don’t know what that means.


MPR’s choral music streaming radio is a blessing and a curse right now. Words can’t express how much I miss singing in a group. I am thankful for the work put into these recordings and the ability to listen to them for free. But my goodness, I ache. There is no true substitute.

One of my favorite sections of Every Moment Holy is the Liturgies of Petition and Provision. “For Those Flooded by Too Much Information”, “For Those Who Covet the Latest Technology”, and of course “For the Ritual of Morning Coffee”. Really looking forward to Vol. 2 in Feb. #mbnov

I bet one of the reasons Getting Things Done is so alluring is that the first phase is “capture”, which is easy to do, feels good and is productive. That’s short-lived if you don’t follow up, but it’s not surprising that it’s stuck around. #mbnov

The border between doing enough to feel like a productive adult and doing so much that you just want to chuck it all in the bin to go live in the woods is real hard to see sometimes. #mbnov

I woke up this morning (♫ da na na na na ♫) and couldn’t turn my head more than about 30 degrees in any direction. It’s since improved to about 45. So that’s nice.

One tool that is way more powerful than I’ve taken advantage of is LESS color functions — fade, tint, shade, mix, etc. I’d like to get better at those to make full designs more cohesive. #mbnov

My new OLED tv’s screen protection function is extremely aggressive. It’s meant to turn off the screen after 10 minutes of no activity. But the bar for activity seems too high: it seems to see some coding demos as static, for example. Not catastrophic, just kind of annoying.

One of the things that makes my job feel difficult (also fun) is the inter-dependence of different skills — journalism, math, programming (front-end, back-end, sysops), design, a little writing, photography, training of others and I fly the drone occasionally. #mbnov

Lake Ponchartrain, from Amtrak’s City of New Orleans on a train trip I took in March this year before *gestures at everything*. #mbnov

Browsing Apple Music this morning and saw they had an “Early Music” playlist that recently updated. It’s making me nostalgic for singing with my Greenleaf Singers madrigal group. This is the longest I’ve gone without organized singing in a decade+, if my memory is correct. #mbnov

The downside of woods behind your house is the occasional spooky noise. (I was going to write “unexplained spooky noise” but that seemed redundant). #mbnov

The change of the past months has already begun to wear away edges of the “old”. As with most change, there are positive and negative aspects — I have been fortunate to be shielded from most of the latter. The biggest difference from “normal” change is the lack of control. #mbnov

I: In the meantime–
D: I won’t say anything.
I: Dana.
D: I won’t say anything.
I: You say that in here.
D: Isaac–
I: You say that in here, but then you go out there–
D: When have I done that?
I: Every day you’ve been here.
D: I can’t believe you’ve been keeping track.


I recently moved from an 80-year-old elderly house to one that is younger than I am. Now I sort of wonder what a map of whether homeowners are younger or older than their residences would show, if anything. Maybe it would just be an “age of housing stock” map. #mbnov

> Andy: I’m telling you to back down.
Dwight: And I’m telling you that I will never back down.
Andy: Then I’ll make you.
Dwight: Oh really? How are you gonna do that?
Andy: Through the use of force.
Dwight: That is very general, and does not scare me in the slightest.


I frequently get the urge to learn some specialized skill I would get very little use out of, like how to bind a book, tailor a suit, leather craft, distilling, masonry, calligraphy etc. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, a quick YouTube binge will quell it. It almost never sticks. #mbnov

I certainly don’t want to inflate my qualifications as a responsible homeowner, but today I climbed up on the roof and cleaned out the gutters so I’m feeling pretty accomplished. #mbnov

Have you ever been at the point in coding a project where you’ve tried so many different ways of doing a thing, you find yourself wondering if it wouldn’t be faster to just randomly generate text until something works? (aka the Infinite monkey theorem)

I’ve been enjoying puzzling through sudoku when I get a little spare time lately. I especially enjoy all the variant rules that show up on Cracking the Cryptic puzzles like snake-egg, arrow, star battle, etc. Makes it a little more creative than a pure number fill-in. #mbnov

I’ve never really lived in a place that was conducive to just hanging out outside, like a stoop or a nice deck. Our new house has a good-sized patio in the back yard that I think should be good for that. #mbnov

Unanticipated pandemic side effect: there are lots of people and places I love that I can’t safely be near physically, but I have been privileged to spend the past 8 months to parent and get closer to my 5-year-old all day. I would not have otherwise had this opportunity. #mbnov

My capacity for procrastination and failure to learn from past events never fails to astonish me. Imagine if psychological stress had the same teaching power as physical pain — if you learned as much from scraping out a deadline as touching a hot pan. #mbnov

A seeming paradox of being able to concentrate is that I must first have let my mind wander in order to capture anything else that might attract my attention. Only then can I truly focus on the task at hand. I would do well to remember this more often. #mbnov

YouTube has an excellent selection of British game shows. Really into Richard Osman’s House of Games and Pointless lately.

The last game at Busch II was played 15 years ago today. The Astros beat the #STLCards 5-1, to take the NLCS in 6 games. Here’s a photo I took of the stadium (from the Arch) in 2003 and a composite panorama from inside on the same trip.

I had an eye appointment today where my eyes were dilated. I can’t see up close, but I still wanted to check in on the news, email, slack, etc.

So, right now I’m sitting on my couch and screen-sharing my iPad to my Apple TV across the room. Whatever it takes.

Someone, unexpectedly: Hey, what’s your phone number?

My brain: *short-circuits for 40 seconds*


My brain: The name of the man who voiced Garfield in the cartoons was Lorenzo Music!

Tonight I am at my wife’s high school reunion where I know my wife, one of her friends, and none of the other 40-some people in this very loud, very small room.

On the upside, a double Buffalo Trace was $6, so I’ve got that going for me.

I’m bad at guessing ages, but it occurs to me that since college, my work and hobbies have largely consisted of groups of people primarily either older than me or younger than me (and I think probably by 5+ years, mostly, though again, bad at ages). I wonder how common this is.
Showed my kid OK Go On Treadmills and his only comment was “They’re supposed to be running on those.” Then watched the one where they float around the plane in zero G and toss balls and toys and paint-filled balloons around, and he said “they made that room a mess.” Tough crowd.

Just turned what probably would’ve been a $150+ service call into an $11 part and a couple hours’ worth of learning and work (and a large part of that was spent driving to the store with the part). Blown A/C capacitor. Pretty easy to replace, turns out.

Got to take my older kid to a baseball game today. He’d been to one as a baby, but this was the first time he really understood what was going on. Also got to indoctrinate him into my “stay the whole game” philosophy (helped by a 7 ⅔-inning no-hit bid). It was a good time.

I’d be interested in seeing a map showing which specific place people meant when they say “the lake” or “the river” or “the city”. Like a watershed map, but for generic place words.

Seeing command module Columbia from the Apollo 11 mission in person was a surprisingly moving experience. It’s at the St. Louis Science Center until the beginning of September.

Just realized a good benchmark for a digital personal assistant (e.g. Siri) would be the ability to answer “will my garbage be picked up tomorrow?” (assuming it knows where I live). To its credit, Siri gave me the link to the holiday pickup schedule.

“The readers of the Manhattan Argus aren’t interested in sensationalism, gossip and unsupported speculation! Facts, figures charts — those are the tools of the newspaper trade!” RIP John Mahoney

Didn’t bring lunch to work today. Briefly considered getting Jimmy John’s delivered, then decided to walk down to Squatter’s Café instead. Rewarded with this delicious meatloaf sandwich on special.

Just replaced our three embarrassingly old smoke alarms. Did you know they make ones now that are combination smoke/CO alarms? And that they have 10-year batteries? Check how old yours are!