Five Things: June 16, 2020

I’ve been out running errands! Fully masked and observing social distancing! Here are five things anyway.

Date-a-versary! 27 years ago today, Krissy and I went on our first official date, at the El Presidente restaurant in Visalia, followed by dancing, which is kind of our thing. Krissy told me years later that she knew she was going to marry me after that first date — not immediately, but eventually. Time proved her correct, and I’m glad it did.

Most of you probably know by now that the very first song we ever danced to was “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure. Here’s a fun spin on the song: a “Done in Blink-182 style” cover. Enjoy.

Adam Schlesinger Tribute Album: Speaking of covers, here’s Saving for a Custom Van, a tribute album of Schlesinger-penned tunes, from Fountains of Wayne and his Hollywood work, from folks like Ted Leo, Rachel Bloom, Kay Hanley and others. The proceeds go to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, which is fitting, giving that Schlesinger died from the virus. If you’re a fan of pretty perfect pop, and helping people, this a good way to do it. Here’s the Bandcamp link.

Diego, the tortoise who saved his entire species, finally retires to uninhabited island: Way to go, dude. Take a nap or something.

36 alien civilizations, or something: People have been pinging me about this because I’m a science fiction writer and they figure it’s right up my alley. It is, kinda, but I’m not that excited about it, because it’s just another example of people taking The Drake Equation out for a spin, and plugging in numbers based on, basically, educated guessing. My response to this particular guess: Sure, fine, okay, why not. Wake me up when one of them sends a radio wave our way. In the meantime, I’m not going to get all that excited.

“Toilet plumes” spreading coronavirus: Just what you needed to hear. Wear your mask, folks. Also, lower the lid after you poop, but before you flush. Do it for other people. It’s not difficult.

25 Comments on “Five Things: June 16, 2020”

  1. I generally would advise aliens not to come here, for I fear half the population would hurl nukes at them. That said, if any secretly land in my vicinity, I will beg them to TAKE ME WITH THEM.

    Jeesus, all we need this year is for the aliens to fucking land now. Good god.

    As for the toilet plumes, that’s another reason not to use public toilets. Or go anywhere where you need to use them.

  2. Re: toilet plumes. That’s why I always thought that the battle of the sexes over whether to leave the toilet seat up or down was silly. Both sexes should close both the seat and the lid before flushing, and open whichever they wish before using.

  3. I have been enjoying reading your 5 Things. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on pieces of any length, these are perfect. I hope you’ve enjoyed writing them.

  4. I forget which famous astronomer got a request from a newspaper reporter for 1000 words about the possibility of intelligent life outside the Solar System. His reply was 500 repetitions of “Nobody knows.”

  5. Didn’t I read something just this week that sombody really _did_ hurl a radio wave our way? I just ignored it, because … someone will check it out and tell me how likely it is that it’s an alien civilization sent the signal. So I guess my response was more along the line of “Wake me up when you have good evidence that someone sent us a radio signal.”

  6. I have been trying get people to lower the lid on my home toilet for years! Years, I say! Have I had any luck? Not much.

  7. Talking about toilet plumes, it reminds me of an episode of Bones, where she casually describes toilet plumes to her spouse as they are brushing their teeth. Biology dweebs probably all laughed uproariously with me, other people, not so much.

  8. Re: toilet plumes

    “Hey, I’ve been good! I must have gotten it in a bathroom!”
    “Dude, no one believes that anymore!”

  9. Congratulations on your anniversary(ies). On our 25th (we’re up to 40 by now), my wife gave me an anniversary card with a photo on the front of an exceedingly attractive woman, clad in an exceedingly transparent negligée, staring out with an exceedingly come-hither expression and the caption, “Even after all these years, you still get me wet and make me scream in the middle of the night.”

    Inside, the card read, “I guess you’ll never learn to put the toilet seat back down.”

    I might add that we first met trekking in Nepal, where toilet seats–for that matter, toilets–weren’t an issue. Tip: if you want to get someone to marry you, wait to propose until your beloved has been trying to blow up an air mattress at 18,000 feet. In our case, her response was, “whatever…”

  10. This is the definition of “trente-six” according to the Larousse Dictionary.

    1. Indique une grande quantité.

    (If you want to see #2, it’s:

    2. Tous les trente-six du mois, très rarement sinon jamais.

    but that is beside the point.)

  11. I still feel like my century is the 20th, since most of my life was spent there.
    In my century, early on, scientists didn’t even think there could be life anywhere else, let alone intelligent life, and as for space travel, that was a ludicrous idea, best left to folks whose idea of reading was the funny papers.

    Hence the diplomatic name “jet propulsion laboratory” since rockets were too outrageous.

  12. During The Black Death “doctors” recommended sniffing feces to keep away the plague. Trump may add this to drinking bleach.

  13. Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has updated the entry for Earth from “Mostly Harmless” to “Avoid at all Cost”.

    As for Drake and his equation, how is it that 14 billion light years of universe has only managed to produce one planet with life, and that life thinks smart watches are a pretty neat idea?

    I feel like this whole universe thing was an undergrad project for some multidimensional being university and the student only took it to get 3 credits in “create a universe” when they were working on a poly-sci degree to get into law school or something.

    Very little in this universe appears to be well thought out.

  14. Re: toilet plumes

    Another advantage of the bidet/toilet: they close by themselves, and the covers do a pretty good job of enclosure. I’ve often thought that toilet paper and kleenex will be among the things that future generations will find disgusting about us. Also paper money and cars with steering wheels, pedals, and gas tanks. (I was going to say “and guns” but that’s one of the things that I find disgusting about us.)

  15. Thanks for helping link to the tribute album. Adam was such an amazing songwriter and musician. Glad I was able to see FOW 6-7 times in my life. Anyone whom loves great power pop needs to check them out.

  16. wake up call:
    #RealDead (C19 & BLM & toxic dumping due to EPA cuts)
    #FakePOTUS

  17. re Slartibartfaster

    “The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    Goes to show how long the question of ‘intelligent’ design has been around ;-)

  18. Friday 19th is one of Bandcamp’s twice-monthly pandemic-inspired revenue-waiving days, so if you hold off on the tribute album until then, MusiCares get more of your money.

  19. Speaking of Heinlein, and of an undergrad building the universe, Heinlein had a short story where the world was built as someone’s art project.

  20. I saw the Toilet Plumes opening for the Butthole Surfers at the 930 Club back when it was still on F Street.

    Everyone knows that, whenever dealing with a number of X things in the universe, where X<BIGNUM, X=42.

  21. Thanks for the input on the To Talk or Not to Talk post!
    That was just something swirling through my mind that day, not that I necessarily felt one way or the other.
    You offered lots of points I hadn’t considered, so much appreciated!

  22. Shawn C – I imagine you are thinking of “The unpleasant profession of Jonathon Hoag “ . Watch out for dirt under your fingernails.

  23. Re: Errands, cruises, and such

    I find myself doubting your risk assessments. Which I don’t particularly want to harp on, on your blog, but it is after all a matter of life and death or possibly permanent organ damage, (notably to lungs, kidneys, or neurological), and so, in fact, I will.

    In a lighter vein, I read your marriage proposal for the first time, and I believe I recognize that voice. Very nice.