I swim the seas between paranoia and disbelief - your weekly free thread
February 19, 2024 8:14 AM   Subscribe

SPRINTS - Up and Comer It's your weekly free thread! Drop in, look around, let us know what's up with you.
posted by Gorgik (94 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this song, it's new to me and I like it!
posted by capricorn at 8:17 AM on February 19

Are we sharing earworms? I have an earworm!

I beat Grandia this past weekend and the opening theme has been stuck in my head ever since. I've been a fan of the composer for years, so the earworminess makes perfect sense to me.

Tired today. That's about it.
posted by May Kasahara at 8:19 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

boots cats boots cats boots cats
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:32 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]

This has been firmly lodged in my brain for a few months now...Jeffrey Lewis - Time Trades.
posted by schyler523 at 9:06 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I had covid last week so this week's theme is: catch up!! I did get a lot of laundry done yesterday, and some work work. more today. wooo.

all my ear worms are weird depressing jazz lately, so hmu if you want to get somma that.
posted by supermedusa at 9:08 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

In Northern California and we've had two big storms come through with rain pelting down and lots of wind (gusts up to 50mph!). My cats and I are not fans, but at least we've had no flooding directly around my house but folks in the low-level areas of town or those creekside are seeing flooding. I am doing as suggested and sticking close to home. I did get all my stray cardboard boxes broken down for the recycling bin and made a start on my taxes. Unfortunately, one of my retirement accounts has warned that they'll be sending a revised 1099 so I have to wait for that to finish.

I ordered something I saw on Instagram and immediately felt stupid for doing so. I am usually very careful about where I order stuff from and how I pay (I used Apple Pay for this and that makes me feel better). It doesn't help that it is a woo woo weight-loss aide--hypnosis program (which has helped me some in the past, but I don't know about this one).

So scam anxiousness, storm anxiousness, pretty well par for the course.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:11 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]

Good song!

This has been my hands down favourite for a few months now…Shey Baba - I Want it All

I love watching movies but I don’t do it too often so I was happy to finally see Last Night in SoHo the other day and the Holdovers last night. I really liked the sets in both and obviously both are pretty good movies
posted by ashbury at 9:13 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I just completed Part One of the Penacony storyline in Honkai Star Rail. I have thoughts about Firefly, Black Swan and the other characters I encountered. I'm still struggling to understand why I'm fighting TV sets and a mechanical T-Rex in a chef's hat. This setting is aggressively strange, even disorienting, particularly when compared to austere Herta Station, desolate Belobog and fussy Xianzhou Luofu. That's not even considering the way the Dreamscape plays with architecture.

It's clear to me that Penacony is a thinly-veiled critique of Western society, busily pursuing distractions and celebrity while ignoring the Omelas Child that the whole business likely rests upon. Interesting references to Disney (in the form of "Clockie" and maybe the Watchmaker) and the early history of Coca-Cola. We already know that the name "Pencony" is short for "Penal Colony" and (through the odd device of "Hanu's Big Adventure") that at some point in the past the prisoners seized control of the prison. The current government of Penacony is "The Family," which has got to be a reference to "The Mafia." I guess we'll know more when Part Two of the story comes out.
posted by SPrintF at 9:14 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

I don't have a song to recommend, but more than once in recent months I'm chitchatting and discussing what music we like, and I default to what I listened to in high school: Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, AC/DC, etc, which, strictly, isn't correct, not these days. In actuality, my musical tastes have gotten broader than "metal", and if you do the math and count "songs per artist/group that I have to crank up", Three Dog Night is probably the winner, Fat Boy Slim and Soul Coughing are runners up.

Film Student Update: Last week was only one day of film class, and this week I need to find time with my team to go film stuff, so no in-classroom schedule. As with my team last semester, my new partners both went radio silent last Wednesday. I was asking my teacher about something else and mentioned their nonresponsiveness and asked, is it me, or it is just a "kids these days" things? He indicated that it's probably just a "kids these days" thing, which I'm sure he deals with far more than I. I put "kids these days" in quotes because I was one of those kids when I was their age, so 'these days' is subjective.

The acting thing I agreed to do last week turned out to be improv games with the directing class students. I am not very good at improv in general; I'm not quick on my feet. I think I did alright though.

Thursday I got a message from one of the other project teams in my 16mm film class -- they need extras for their project, would I come and help? My rule, as I've mentioned, is to pretty much agree to help whenever asked, so I was ready to go.

Here's the counterpoint to "kids these days": This other team is definitely made of Film Production Students. They're freshmen too, but they definitely have vision and know how to plan a shoot. They had arranged a location, they had storyboards, they had their number of feet of film calculated out per shot to the second. They had to reshoot a few things at the beginning and the discussion thereafter, keeping an eye on remaining feet of film, was whether they'd have enough film for the ending as written or if they should switch to the shorter ending (they did get the ending they wanted). I need to sit closer to these guys in the future. I feel bad because one of them looks like a big lunk and I underestimated him, but the more I've seen of his work he really is a filmmaker. "Kids these days" is subjective in many more ways than just broadly dismissive.

My animation class has an assignment due Wednesday: a "walk cycle", which basically means draw a person walking. It sounds simple, right? I don't know that I've ever sworn at my computer more, and I've written computer programs in C++.

Update while I was typing: my team has gotten back to me, we're on track. We don't have a firm shooting schedule yet but I'm going to go check out the camera and film in a few minutes so we have it ready for whenever we can get together.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:18 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]

The "AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH NEW JOB I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING" anxiety is starting to abate, largely because I keep reminding myself that "I've only been there two god-damn weeks, chill already". I have been trying to focus on low-key homey cozy things to do this weekend; I usually am that way to some degree, doing a little cleaning and some advance meal prep for the week, but I've also got a bit of a bedroom redecorating thing going on (nothing crazy, just changing up some wall art). I also picked up some dorky cheap paint-by-numbers wall art kits from a craft store as part of that, and I'm going to be also hanging some things in my office.

I also bit the bullet on starting my taxes this year - I knew it was going to be a mess because I had the W2 from half a year at my old job, and then a weird mix of unemployment and a 1099 from the latter half of the year. As it turns out, my federal tax hit is not as bad as I was afraid it would be, and I still get a half a years' worth of the very big state tax returns I got from the old job. ...Unfortunately, though, nearly all of that refund is going to go towards offsetting some dental work (phooey).

I also had to sit through a MIND-NUMBINGLY boring overview of the benefits at work - it was one of those presentations where the hosts read each of their powerpoint slides verbatim, and all of it was information which they'd sent us in the benefits guide at work anyway. Sheesh.

Fortunately I was grumbling about this to Mom, and she said that for her last job, my father was so good at helping navigate "which health insurance plan should I go for" that some of her WORK COLLEAGUES also asked for his advice, so I'm going to send him the PDF and ask his input. I have until late March to sign up so there's SOME time (and the health insurance won't kick in until May anyway).

Right - I need to eat something and then go play with posters and shit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]

Earworm over here: Haywyre - Never Count On Me. I think I ran into it in a game a while back? And sometimes it just shows up in my head unprovoked. I like the shifts from round to spiky and back.

It seems to be catching up with stuff everyone liked a while ago, for me lately. Watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World last night, after it came up online in a few places and several friends seconded it, and yeah it is pretty great. I had sort of dismissed it as one of those respectable but uninspiring period pieces, maybe conflating Russell Crowe with Kenneth Branagh in my head a little bit, but I'm glad I finally checked it out, really enjoyed it. Also playing a game called Hades, which seems to have been everyone else's obsession in 2019-2020. It's engaging enough to keep me interested when I want to engage, but also loose enough that it can just be something I do with my hands and forebrain when I'm stressed and need a distraction, which seems more and more often lately.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:47 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

I have about 180 hours worth of stuff to get done this week. I'm not as stressed as I could be about it, I don't know why. I just keep working on whatever is next and what gets done, gets done.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:50 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]

Went skiing on Saturday for the first time this season. The snow was really good by our local standards (no ice nor slush). I stuck to the two easiest trails and stopped when I was tired contra my usual practice of doing too many runs and getting injured. Sunday was a rest day. I went to the university library and spent some time browsing their collection of ancient (1950s & 60s) science books for children. Also looked at Norbert Wiener's books (Cybernetics, et al.)

Today my task is to haul our ~20 tubs of Christmas decorations from the living room to our rented storage unit across town. Hopefully it won't rain. Then go to the gym where I'll watch an episode of The Expanse on the elliptical. Then come home and try to finish reading Roadside Picnic.
posted by neuron at 9:58 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]

I read Roadside Picnic last year. its a great book! really interesting premise, lots of food for thought afterward (for me, at least). enjoy!
posted by supermedusa at 10:09 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]

This year something finally clicked and the workout habit I've been trying to get going for years is now an everyday thing. Like I actually WANT to get up and work out instead of hating and resenting it. I don't know why it happened. I've been doing daily morning stretches since 2015 when my back first went out, but I've struggled so much trying to add intensity (mostly the NY Times 7-minute workout). I've done it sporadically, sometimes putting together a streak of a week or more, but I could never crack it as habitual.

Until suddenly it WAS. It's so much better to love it than to hate it. I've been able to ramp up from one 7-minute workout to doing 3 reps, and my expert friends say 20 minutes a day is a great target. I've shaved off about 20 pounds since the beginning of the year. I've experienced the endorphine rush exercising, and it helps my mood through the day. I've always tried to cook healthy, but I've been trying to pay more attention to portion control and being satisfied having a bit less. Now that I'm in my 50s, I feel like I don't have much more time when I'm still old-people-adjacent. (My friend teaches fitness classes for "older folks" which turns out to start at 55!)
posted by rikschell at 10:11 AM on February 19 [9 favorites]

My earworms are both TV commercials. There is one song (with lyrics) I can't get out of my head advertising a pair of morning show DJs/announcers. It's driving me crazy.

The other one is the latest round of TV commercials from the Ontario government. It's not the ads so much that are bugging me (although they're a total waste of money), but the musical tag that finishes them all off. Here's a link to a story about the spots with one of the commercials embedded. The tag comes at the 57 second mark.

Now, what does that sound like to you? To my ear it's part of this song.

Why does the Tory advertising team think that it's a great idea to end their ads with "I like bread and butter"? I have no idea but it's driving me 'round the bend--both because of the earworm and the stupidity of the whole thing. That's not any of the Ontario themes that the province has ever used. If the government really thinks it needed a new one, why rip off that riff?
posted by sardonyx at 10:13 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

My band is about finished recording our third album, trying to decide on a name, cover art and track listing. Which…man, is almost as hard as picking a band name in the first place.

It’s also been a year since my first of three knee replacement operations. (The first got infected.) Tough year, and I’m still far from back to even normal-ish. Felt like I aged from 50 to 60 in 12 months. So, 2024 will be a year of healing, hopefully.

Just discovered the South African thriller writer Deon Meyer, who I’m really enjoying.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:16 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]

I came down with norovirus on Thursday. My housemate got it earlier in the week and I caught it from her. Unsurprising, it’s contagious as hell and she vomited in the dining room so it got pretty thoroughly aerosolized into the house. Completely wiped out and miserable on Thursday, still wrung out on Friday, and definitely still feeling delicate until today. We scrubbed All The Surfaces with bleach wipes over the weekend, washed all the bed linens. Noro is nasty persistent stuff, we did what we can.
posted by notoriety public at 10:19 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]

Last week I listened to the Church's late-80s album Starfish [SLYT], and oh, how gorgeous it still is. So if you want an ear worm, listen to that. (I know I am again today...)
posted by wenestvedt at 10:19 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]

My earworm for the past few days has been Doctor Worm.

I was having a problem with earworms that would burrow into my brain when I woke up in the middle of the night. And some odd stuff would pop in there. Beth by Kiss? WTF?

And of course more stuff that I listen to more frequently Else and Hindsight

Luckily, I realized that stuffing the intro of Genius of Love, in there has worked to wipe the others out. Probably because it has no words, (that I have ever heard).
posted by Windopaene at 10:26 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Don't think I've ever heard anything but Under the Milky Way from Starfish.

But I do love me some Blurred Crusade.
posted by Windopaene at 10:30 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Mood (lifted from cstrosses masto...)
posted by lalochezia at 10:37 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Current earworm: Let's Dance by David Bowie, probably because of a clip I saw of this version by Culture Club.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:44 AM on February 19

Talk about gorgeous music - An earworm all weekend, BILL EVANS playing Paul Simon's song"I Do it for your love".(Live in Paris 1979)
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:44 AM on February 19

Usually I have a different earworm daily, that usually sneaks in at dawn before I get up. I know something was omnipresent yesterday but I can't recall what it was today. Oh well. Next.

I'm gonna check out the music suggestions posted here. Beats doomscrolling the news, which I've been doing to excess lately.

Currently in a mid-winter funk. I can't get arsed to do anything fun, let alone muster enthusiasm for anything beneficial, like exercising. Like every year, I'm hoping to lay the groundwork now for a fun spring/summer/fall... and like most years... dropping the ball there.

What do Muses eat? Maybe I can trap one as it passes through the backyard.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:11 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]

Tuna sandwiches, perhaps?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:24 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

One from my youth has returned to the socials: Sophie Ellis Bector's Blood on the dancefloor and, while you'd better not kill this groove, deejay, or I'll burn this god-damned house right down, it's cracking on in a mish-mashup with Jamiroquai's Canned Heat, "for these sad times I'm going through. (just dance!)"

I'm surprised I can't find a mashup of this already, my searches are coming up empty and I have everything-bootie-mashup.
posted by k3ninho at 11:27 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

My tax refund hit my bank account this week so I splurged on one of those big "pro" model Vitamix blenders. I don't quite know what I'm going to do with it, but I keep seeing it being used in food videos for recipes I'd otherwise want to try and keep wishing I had one. So now I do. And dear god is it massive. And it sounds freakin' terrifying at high speed! Anyway I guess I'll have to go back and find those videos again for inspiration.

While I was in Financially Reckless mode I also bought a sous vide machine (and got a couple of different-sized Cambro containers to hold the water bath from the local restaurant supply store for half of what they go for on Amazon - I'm not completely reckless). But contrarily I'm going to mainly use it on vegetables, grains (looking forward to attempting hands-off sous vide risotto), soft-boiled eggs for ramen, that sort of thing. For one thing, I saw a video by someone I trust saying they no longer sous vide meat because it's never quite as good as when it's been cooked on a stove or in an oven. BUT, what I've found in my research is that it does seem to work very well to concentrate flavors in vegetables and prevents any of their nutrients from being lost (boiling is worst, steaming less so, roasting is good but not as good as sous vide in that regard, or so I'm given to understand). So right now my plan is to sous vide a few bags of mixed veggies (and/or rice and eggs) on the weekend, leave them in the bags and pop them in the fridge, thus having healthy already-cooked veggies on hand for quick meals during the week.

Here's the thing: I found out in my 30s that I really love good food, and I've also never been rich enough to dine in good restaurants every day, so I learned to cook for myself and my son. And I enjoyed doing it, but once he grew up and moved out I eventually lost enthusiasm for cooking for just myself day after day. At this point in my life I'm in a position to devote a bit of money to reducing hands-on kitchen time as much as possible while still being able to make healthy tasty food. Sous vide veggies fit into that model very well, as does my Instant Pot that lets me easily make enough concentrated chicken broth for 10 or 12 pots of soup, or quickie sauces to dress up those veggies. The Huge Terrifying blender? we'll see...

Anyway, all that just means I'll have more time and energy to devote to learning Linux!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:35 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]

My current earworm is this, which I found via a Netflix show. There’s a scene where one of the main characters experiences a moment of happiness in a domestic setting, as opposed to his usual life of killing people via awesome martial arts prowess, and I was so shocked at the good music I had to track it down.
posted by The River Ivel at 11:46 AM on February 19

Greg_Ace, I’d be very grateful if you were to share the recipe for your concentrated chicken stock!
posted by ashbury at 12:11 PM on February 19

Oh, and very tangentially related, it drives me nuts that grocery stores advertise their flyer product prices in dollar per pound but actually sell the product in dollar per kilo. In my opinion it’s a devious and unscrupulous practice even if we know that they’re doing it. Not cool, grocery stores, not cool.
posted by ashbury at 12:18 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

My earworm is Running Up that Hill as played by my kid on repeat for months. Yesterday I learned it wasn't the Kate Bush version! Like 🤷??!!
posted by dragonplayer at 12:28 PM on February 19

This morning I had the irrepressible urge to listen to Billy Bragg's Cindy Of A Thousand Lives while I was watching my feral cat colony do their morning ablutions. Just out of nowhere; I mean, it's a great song, but I couldn't figure it out until I realized that last night I had finished the hilarious gay fantasy romcom novel Gary Of A Hundred Days.

My earworms may have become brainworms.
posted by MrVisible at 12:39 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

What do Muses eat? Maybe I can trap one as it passes through the backyard.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:11 AM on February 19 [1 favorite +] [⚑]

effort, they eat effort. You set out a big banquet of effort, and they come, frolicking, to your garden.
Now, how to make them stay? That part has been eluding me of late.

Ear worm - Flower by Deerhoof. A fucking lovely band.
(I saw them live about two weeks ago and they were insane, raw, fierce. Remarkable, but I didn't think I would listen to them at home. Then I dug deeper and their studio albums are super super super.)
posted by From Bklyn at 12:58 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]

Greg_Ace's Typical Instant Pot Chicken Stock

2 small (under 5lb) whole chickens, and/or bones left over from roasting 4-6 chickens
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, halved through root and quartered
1 large carrot, unpeeled, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise
1 leek, halved, WELL-washed, roughly chopped (including the green parts)
6-8 sprigs parsley, incl. stems
8-12 black peppercorns
fresh thyme
2 bay leaves (up to 4-5 still works)

Don't worry, it's easier than it looks at first glance, and it's pretty forgiving. Feel free to add other aromatics/flavorings as you like, but this is my minimum list of ingredients. Note: this recipe does not include salt - later on just add salt to whatever you're cooking as needed to compensate.

1. If you often roast a chicken, as I do, you can save the bones in a bag in the freezer until you've got enough (I find two full gallon bags is plenty). Alternatively, break down a couple of whole chickens so they fit in the pot better.

2. Dump everything but the chicken into the Instant Pot, then pile the chicken parts on top. Try not to fill it past the "Max" line; feel free to mash it all down to flatten it a bit if necessary - I mean, "presentation" isn't a factor in this context....

3. Fill with just enough water to cover everything, but no higher than the "Max" line.

4. Set the IP to pressure cook at the highest pressure setting for an hour and a half. Let the pressure reduce naturally for at least 20 minutes before releasing. It shouldn't spatter if you didn't overfill the pot, but take care when manually releasing pressure.

5. Use a large spoon or spider to remove the larger bits of solids from the pot and discard. Strain the rest through a colander lined with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large lidded container. Discard the solids.

6. (If you used bones rather than whole chicken, it's likely there's only a very thin layer of fat on top of the liquid, in which case this step can be skipped) Put the closed container in the refrigerator overnight, to allow all the fat to come to the surface and harden. The next day pull the fat layer off and discard. Jiggle the container a bit to watch the contents wobble amusingly.

Now, you could leave it at that, if you've got lots of room in your freezer to put it all. But if you don't, or for extra versatility, I recommend continuing with the following space-saver steps:

7. Put the liquid in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil then lower the heat and let it simmer (softly bubbling) uncovered for however long it takes to reduce to something like a quarter of its volume, maybe even less. The idea is to remove the water, leaving behind only the concentrated flavors and gelatin. If you listen you can tell the difference between water being simmered off, and the slower plop of the liquid once the water is mostly gone. It will get darker as it thickens, but that's fine. Just keep the heat low so you don't burn it. It shouldn't ever start sticking to the bottom of the pot. If it coats the back of the spoon you stir it with, you're good to go.

8. Spoon the thickened liquid into an ice cube tray (or more, as needed). Put in freezer and allow to freeze overnight. The cubes can then be removed (using a table knife to pry loose any stubborn ones) and placed in a freezer bag, ready for use any time you need it. It'll keep in the freezer for a *long* time, months even, but you'll probably use it up before then.

To use, do any of the following (adding salt as needed):
- Instant stock to add to soups/stews/etc.: Put a cube into 2 cups of hot water and stir to let it melt and distribute.
- Pan sauce: After cooking meat, deglaze the pan using a bit of dry white wine or water, then throw a cube directly into the pan to melt. Maybe even toss in a pat of butter and stir it well for extra decadence. Drizzle over the meat you just cooked.
- Gravy: Once you have a roux started, throw it directly into the pan and let it melt. Stir it all together and slowly add water as needed to get to desired consistency.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:28 PM on February 19 [10 favorites]

Feel free to MeMail me if you have any questions about that recipe!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:31 PM on February 19

I'm in a room with a very large spider in the corner. I don't know if the spider is dangerous or not but it looks like H. R. Giger, by which I mean the actual guy. it's making that face.
the room is otherwise empty, including furniture. I passed out last night keeping an eye on the spider, when I woke up it was in the same spot, but there's a spent cigarette butt near my foot. I don't smoke.

I am typing very carefully. the neighbors have been arguing for 45 minutes about Bobby McFerrin.
I have to get out of here.
posted by dong_resin at 1:51 PM on February 19 [16 favorites]

the neighbors have been arguing for 45 minutes about Bobby McFerrin.

You should tell them "Don't worry, be happy!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:55 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]

You should tell them "Don't worry, be happy!"
the graveyard is full of people who have told them that
posted by dong_resin at 2:04 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]

(Edited: oops, commented on wrong thread), mods please delete.
posted by gmatom at 3:11 PM on February 19

At some point in the recent while I have dropped my cell phone and cracked the screen protector that I put on it when I got the phone. This is objectively better than cracking the actual screen of the phone, but it leaves some conundrums.

I have this sheet of glass with an adhesive back that I need to peel off and replace. I've seen suggestions of flat waxed dental floss to slide under it. Are there better options?

I should probably get some safety glasses before doing this? Because it seems to me like peeling off a thin sheet of glass might be the best possible option for a sliver of glass to fly into my eyes?

I have no idea how I did this, and I'm super annoyed at having to deal with it. I guess the good thing is that I got two screen protectors in the package so I have one to use to replace it?

Anyway, this all feels new to me. But hey! The phone itself continues to survive.
posted by hippybear at 3:49 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]

I'd start with pointing a hairdryer (on a low-warmth setting) at the screen for a bit - a few seconds? half a minute? - which should help loosen the adhesive. After that you should be able to pry up a corner of the protector with something like a toothpick/pocket knife/small paring knife, stick a credit card in the gap and push it along to lift the glass. If the phone's water resistant maybe a touch of soapy water on the card to help loosen the glue further, and/or you may need to re-apply of the hairdryer briefly for any really tough spots. I don't know whether pieces would fly off, but it can't hurt to wear eye protectors.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:26 PM on February 19

Oh - and I'd do that with the phone turned off, out of an abundance of caution.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:27 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Greg_Ace, thanks for the recipe!
posted by ashbury at 4:30 PM on February 19

You're very welcome, use it in good health! :)

It just occurred to me - I suppose I should mention that if you don't have an Instant Pot, you can boil the chickens/bones, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and leek in water in a big stock pot for about 2 1/2 hours, then toss in the parsley, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves and cook for another half hour. Then strain and reduce as I described above. Same result pretty much (though I think the IP version might have slightly better flavor), it just takes longer.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:34 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

Oh, and dong_resin, welcome back! It’s been a while since we’ve seen you in these parts.
posted by ashbury at 4:41 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]

I've been compiling playlists, despite my frustration with the terrible transfer of actual owned stuff to new tablet and resultant loss of metadata-- so many unkown albums, or "albums" that are really only 1 song. Sigh. Another thing.
I bookmarked a mefi post from a while ago re: best practices for listening to music that is owned (ooooowwnsss, I can't help quoting Denis from SlapShot) so I might dip my toe into apps that will help with the labels. I miss all my music, it's in my head but not here on the screen danggummit. Where in the hell is that album of instrumental surf music?
The sun is coming up earlier and setting later. My partner had the day off today, a first; they had a glorious nap in the sun with a couple cats. Planning all the herb pots to go on the side of the house.
posted by winesong at 4:49 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

@Gorgik, I enjoyed the Sprints song you shared. Thank you

my friend infected me with a song he was obsessed with for a while, I found myself sharing it yesterday and it's a nice little story song (bonus appearance from Greg Thomey, formerly of Codco and 22 Minutes): Adam Baldwin, Lighthouse in Little Lorraine

last week was rough, this week we'll be attending a celebration of life. Be well
posted by elkevelvet at 4:58 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

I learned this weekend that in the standard 7-Eleven logo, all the letters are capitalized except the final "n".
posted by Gorgik at 5:09 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]

I'm still unemployed and searching but not at Must Panic mode yet. Responses have been slow because I'm only going after jobs I actually want. I'm ok with that for now. Got an interview outfit and refreshed my haircut and color as an act of optimism.

I've never had the experience of looking for work with a supportive partner, it's a trip. In a good way.

I'm mostly just hoping I don't have to go with "job I can do but dislike" because I run out of runway.
posted by emjaybee at 5:26 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]

I’ve been wanting to go back to lessons for my instrument but I'm not sure I want to go back specifically to classical lessons. There's a whole world of things I still suck at: my improv is bad, there are a bunch of neat embellishments in celtic music that I should really get around to learning since I'm playing some of that, I can't write songs to save my life. But re:lessons, I don't know anyone in my city which is tough. The one person who teaches who I cold emailed, I had asked if they'd do a intro lesson to see if we were a good fit and they told me they don't really do that, which just felt like a tactical mistake to me.

It's been too cold to busk, and no one has been wanting to interview me.

I've been thinking about plateaus: how to know when you've hit one? How to know what steps are necessary to take to fix it?
posted by wurl1tzer_c0 at 6:51 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

thanks, ashbury.
nice to see everything's still blue.
posted by dong_resin at 7:38 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Last week I was planning to drive over to the Oregon coast with a couple friends for beachwalking. On Monday, a dead fin whale washed up, on the beach just north of our planned trip. So on Thursday we went in search of the whale. Met up with friends over there who had seen the whale on Wednesday afternoon, said it was about half a mile south of the entry point to Sunset beach. We headed south, walked and walked and walked, no whale! Did it wash out? Get buried? It's a pretty flat beach, no obvious whale burial mounds or sunken pools. Had a nice day, picked up lots of whole sand dollars, good weather for February.

The next day, I saw an article online - Wednesday overnight, the tide carried the whale 3 miles to the north! The article didn't even post until 5pm on Thursday, too late to have helped our search, but mystery solved! The ocean is wild and unpredictable!

An interesting thing about Oregon beaches. They are all public, still part of the Oregon Dept of Transportation, from back in the day before there were good roads connecting points along the coast, and people would just drive on the beach at low tide. Now driving is only allowed on certain beaches, but they are still all under ODOT. That's info I've known for ages, found it fascinating when I was a kid. But as it turns out, Sunset beach that we went to does allow cars, and there were a lot of them on the beach that day! It was really disconcerting, having to watch for traffic as we drifted back and forth from the dry sand to the waterline! In the past I've seen the occasional car on the beach, maybe driving, maybe stuck and getting dug out, but this was something entirely different! Will pick another, more car-free beach for the next wander. Unless of coarse there is another whale.
posted by dorey_oh at 8:19 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]

I’m in another eldercare nightmare and am once again cursing the decision my parents made to settle in a tiny town hundreds of miles away from the place where the rest of my responsibilities are. I am convinced I will never be able to afford a real vacation again.
posted by eirias at 2:56 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]

Greg Ace - what size Instant Pot is that you're using?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:44 AM on February 20

So I appear to be buying a house (my first one). The sellers are trying to get rid of it before the new tax year in April so things are moving very fast.

Six weeks to complete the sale is seen as "heroic" by the estate agent and the conveyancers but the sellers know this and everyone is trying. On the plus side, the property is empty and I am renting (with an accommodating landlord and lady) so there is no chain. Still, we have to wait for searches to come back, a mortgage decision to be made and dealing with whatever the surveys come up with.

This is all new, exciting and scary. I also have no idea what I am doing but I am sure I'll work it out.
posted by antiwiggle at 3:47 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]

My latest home improvement project just expanded in scope (again). I wanted to install wall shelves in a bedroom, but the walls were dingy so I decided to paint first. Paint is now done. While painting, I realized additional furniture would be a good idea, which may affect shelf placement. Also, Ikea curtains need hemmed now that the curtain rods are at a permanent height.

I had a second set of extra shelves to put up in the room's closet, and thought I could get cracking on that while figuring out the furniture. Opened the closet and the built-in shelf is tilting more than it used to? Closet could also use paint, and I have plenty left from the room. So: painting again. Shelves are still not up.
posted by mersen at 5:24 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]

Heya! Y'all know I post a ton of films to Fanfare. You may have also noticed I rarely, rarely say, "I would recommend this to anyone."

I would recommend River to anyone. It's a very sweet, light, and hilarious comedy about a small Japanese resort town where time begins to repeat itself every two minutes. It's clever, funny, good-natured, and short. Highest possible recommend. It's by the people who made Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes and it's similarly delightful.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:19 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]

Greg Ace - what size Instant Pot is that you're using?

Oh good point, specifying that could be helpful. It's an Instant Pot Duo 6 qt.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:18 AM on February 20

Oh hey, in the previous freethread, I mentioned that our kid was making an absurd, 4 foot birthday hat. He finished it. It's three levels tall and telescoping and ends with a concial birthday hat and a loofah as a giant pom. It features a bunch of weird in-jokes in text beads, three hands (a left, a right, and in between, a five fingered, no thumbs third hand) labeled "I am this many" and the words "BRITHDAY BOY" (sic).

Here is the promised photo. It was awesome. People in the restaurant where we all had dinner were truly confused.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:41 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]

Epic hat DOT kid!

May have to start voting for #1 DOT kid
posted by Windopaene at 11:08 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]

I have now applied for 28 jobs elsewhere. I have an interview on Thursday for a job I probably don't want, but will do it for the experience, if nothing else. I talked with my caseworker today and she said no progress has been made on the job I applied for there because everyone involved is on vacation this week, so things will probably move along on that starting next week.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:01 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]

jenfullmoon, I am invoking the money-making/job-finding energy of Johnny Paycheck in a bigass hat for you. Fingers crossed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:44 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]

wurlitzer: I've been thinking about plateaus: how to know when you've hit one? How to know what steps are necessary to take to fix it?

Sometimes, a plateau is a place to reevaluate your licks. Look back to a song you learned some time ago and struggled with before you could finally get through it; go slow at first, then play up to speed. Maybe you've picked up a nuance or two since first learning it. Use that song as a meditation. Transpose that song into a different chord shape. Look for an inflection point, such as a slight sustain where you can feature the tonal beauty of your instrument.

Look for a new song you don't already know but with a chord structure similar to the one you used as a meditation device. Pick a chord shape, but use a capo on (say) the fifth fret.

Choose your favorite instrumentalist, preferably one whose skills are far beyond your reach, and listen to them do a song you know how to play. Look for a fill (just a couple of bars) that you might copy. You don't have to imitate that person's flashy skill, but try to pick up a simple run or embellishment.

Your instrument will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times without your instrument. That goes double for the doldrums.
posted by mule98J at 2:32 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]

Just saw today that Built To Spill is going to be playing at Zoo tunes here in Seattle this summer. With Yo La Tengo. Might be a nice night. Not a fan though of the current "power trio" lineup though. I want chiming guitars and that slide...

Still, might purchase.
posted by Windopaene at 2:34 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]

My earworm of the moment is this mash-up of Air on a G-String and Whiter Shade of Pale.

I wanted to learn it to do on my own YouTube channel.
The chords for Whiter Shade are readily available, but I didn't have sheet music for either.
I found some images of sheet music for some of the Bach, but figuring out the melody for Whiter Shade and the chords for the Bach took me a week.
As in, listening to the Orchestral Suite #3 (D major), the Wilhelmj arrangement of the Air (C major), and the TUKUO video (A major) and adjusting each into one key.

So it's kinda in my head now. It's amusing that TUKUO says "you're thinking, 'How are we going to do this?'" when they are so obviously related. Anyway, a fun project.

In other news, I may get my car back tomorrow. My son's truck needed more work than he had money for, so he's been using my car since November, IIRC. We seldom need two cars, but when we do, it's obvious that my needs are the lesser. So lighting a candle of gratitude.
posted by MtDewd at 4:07 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]

I was trying to make some spooky music for a friend's videos and I found a MIDI version of a player piano performance of Chopin's funeral march so I slowed it down by 100bpm and added a drone in the background and a vast amount of echo and reverb and I think I summoned something help
posted by MrVisible at 10:15 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]

Well, this post's title turned out to be prescient! Is anyone seeing the ChatGPT stuff that's going on? I like it when chatgpt morphs into an alien Golden Retriever on acid. We could all use this kind of positivity!
posted by taz at 1:34 AM on February 21

I really think “Ghostline the flux and trick from the first telling till now” is just a more ornate version of "be smart from the very beginning," and everything chatGPT is currently burbling is some synthesis of the Ask Metafilter corpus.
posted by taz at 3:18 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]

The memory and hard drive for my Rescue Computer arrived today. Unfortunately it didn't like the memory I bought and refused to start up, even though I thought I got the right RAM for this model. So I double-checked with a different company what specific memory I needed to bump it to 8GB (the max for this model), and ordered that from them; until that arrives I'll have to stick with the 4GB it came with. Which is fine for now - I don't expect to make this machine run any heavy-duty applications anyway. But the good news is it likes the new drive just fine. I got Linux installed on it and I've almost worked through a couple dozen package downloads to get it up to date.

So far I'm impressed with Mint Cinnamon, the developers have made plenty of helpful documentation (that's geared toward n00bs!) available online, and the GUI and system utilities seem friendly and well-thought out. I haven't done a deep dive into the system's intimidating inner workings yet but there's a plethora of reading material online that I'm slowly working through.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:13 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Cool Greg_Ace.

In the getting rid of shit phase we are in, old computers. And old computers that I think have cool old video footage child one took of child three. But so old, I can't get the data off. I don't have a modem anymore...
Took those to the local folks that we've had do stuff before.

Then the computers I snagged from when my local office shut down, Windows XP! lol. But they have like all the company's data and archives and shit, and a couple of docs of mine. Yikes. Trust the recycling guy's assurances, but some entity probably still owns those files, and I don't want them coming looking for me...

Wish I could use these old machines for something, (pretty sure I tried to install Linux on one and it failed dramatically, but I digress).
posted by Windopaene at 7:42 PM on February 21

This video of Korean street food prep I'm watching at one point involved using a blow torch on top of food frying on a flat top grill. And honestly, I'd never though of using a blow torch in cooking other than maybe creme brulee before, so maybe this is a discovery i will play with at some point.
posted by hippybear at 7:49 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

That seems like a good way to burn my house down. But, I am intrigued...
posted by Windopaene at 8:06 PM on February 21

The job interview went very poorly! This is fine because I don't want it anyway--super low pay and it turns out the location is...not great, not what I thought it was, and I don't think I'll want to apply for jobs there again based on that as is. But they asked me about if I'd been disciplined and, well. So that ended that right quick. I hate that I've ruined my life over poor job performance and that's a black mark added to me for the rest of my life, even if "fired" hasn't quite happened yet. I didn't expect that and I feel like shit about that particular moment, for sure.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:39 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]

We had a teacher quit, so I'm back to splitting my day between preschool and infants.

I've been hanging with the young teenagers in ballet the last few week. I'm going to participate in their recital dance plus my tap number. But my legs really feel it the next day. Also the teacher does some things slightly differently than my teacher did back in the day. Picking up choreography is giving the old brain a workout though.

Went to the doctor yesterday. I have tennis elbow and I don't even play tennis. I was joking with my coteacher if we averaged our blood pressures, we'd be normal. I measured 77/44 twice. I run low, but not that low. However the appointment was before I took my blood pressure med. Luckily I wasn't dizzy or anything.
posted by kathrynm at 11:45 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Wish I could use these old [WinXP] machines for something...

I've kept a couple of middling Windows XP towers. One gets occasional use in my study because my perfectly fine scanner won't run on my Win 10 laptop. Grrrr.

But mainly because I have two also perfectly fine 24-bit soundcards and a bunch of audio and music applications that run just fine, even though they're 16+ years old. Xp is also quite useable for doc and spreadsheet work. I'll keep the towers til they die.

I liked Windows XP; it Just Worked. But it's also usually pretty easy to install Linux on that vintage of machine. At least one of my XP towers is dual-boot. And a full-Linux install (not dual boot) will optionally reformat the drive, obliterating those company files.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:52 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Just ate my first sous vide carrot, courtesy of my latest kitchen toy. On the one hand, it was just ok...but on the other, not bad for a first try with a technique that's brand-new to me.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:31 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Kiddo came home from school today and informed me that "they" banned all caffeinated drinks. "They" being the somewhat nebulous school administration or teacher? Kiddo has offered rather sketchy details. I am confused.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 1:30 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

that's dumb. what are all the non-diagnosed and unmedicated adhd kids going to do to scrape a passsing grade
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:33 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

Well, Artful Codger, maybe I will try to install Linux again on one of them. Has never seemed to work though. Pretty sure I tried it a couple of times. Can't get a USB keyboard, mouse, and Wifi fob into the working ports at the same time currently. And XP doesn't have plug-and-play so...

"Insert CD with the drivers", um, yeah, no...
posted by Windopaene at 2:41 PM on February 22

I saw some useful hits on a search for "installing linux on old windows xp pc". The key might be to select a 32-bit distro, and you should obtain your computer's stats to check against distro requirements. You might need to select an older distro. I saw some praise for Mint.

(I booted my one dual-boot XP tower into Linux. It's Ubuntu 14.04. Ooooold. And I've forgotten my Linux password. I see a re-install in my future...)

You might need a USB port expander. Also, unless you're a firewall guru, you might want to keep the box OFF of the network when in XP.

You can usually get any required drivers online and them move to the XP box a USB memory stick.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:04 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

for Linux Mint I used the instructions to download an .iso file and create a bootable USB stick, but I could have opted to create a bootable CD instead, if that will help.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:29 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Windopaene, this might be more useful for an old 32-bit computer
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:33 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

Word is Vice is getting killed off.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:00 PM on February 22

Nothing is getting better...

Or maybe communities will fund things they want. That's about as hopeful as I can get. And I had something cool to post about, and now this downer has driven it from my mind... Sigh
posted by Windopaene at 7:41 PM on February 22

The job I applied for at my organization got pulled (MIGHT get reposted, but they are rewriting it so I may no longer qualify anyway.). I am truly screwed on trying to get another job there, I'm eligible for nothing else at all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:58 AM on February 23

jenfullmoon good vibes your way.

Spouse and I are watching The Fellowship of the Ring tonight and I just realized that Gandalf blows his smoke ship into the setting sun. Into the West. It took me over TWENTY YEARS to catch that detail.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:09 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]

That assumes Middle-Earth is on Earth, and rotates the same way...


But never noticed or thought about that either...
posted by Windopaene at 1:45 PM on February 25

Middle-Earth is meant to be a pre-history of our planet, I'm pretty certain. A quick google suggests that Tolkien's history ends about 6000 years before our own age.
posted by hippybear at 2:26 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

Fine, fine...

But what if not? Cool thing to notice though
posted by Windopaene at 3:13 PM on February 25

And it is always sad, when it's Sunday night, and the freethread is about to die...

The next freethread will be awesome though so, time marches on...
posted by Windopaene at 5:37 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

The slow tick and tock of the free thread.

It's slower than the days, but faster than the moon.

Honestly, this is one of my most favorite new developments on MetaFilter.

I love all you people.
posted by hippybear at 6:12 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]

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