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A Birthday, A Quarantine, Some Tunes

Hello everyone,I trust you’re all well and safe during these uncertain and odd times.

Today is our son’s 11th birthday. He’s such a special guy, brilliant in every way, and growing a lot. Truly a beautiful soul. Hard to believe these years have gone past, it seems so quick… On the day of his birth in 2009 (KMA was about 3 years old by then!), we had rain, hail, snow, sunshine and a rainbow. This morning, we woke to a thin blanket of snow on the ground, big wet flakes that are (probably) some of winter’s last gasp for a few months. Of course, we couldn’t throw him a party as we normally would, so we arranged for a few of his friends to do a quick visit in the driveway on the weekend, talking from a good distance through the vehicle windows. It wasn’t as good as getting to run around together, but at least it was something. He was super-happy to see his friends. Then I barbequed steaks and we watched Star Trek: The Next Generation while we ate. Both kids love the show (and steaks). At night, we’re reading the Lord Of The Rings (having already finished The Hobbit). We are currently a few chapters into The Two Towers. The kids are completely hooked on this story, as well. True story: I bought this boxed set of Tolkien before we’d even talked of having kids. I told my lovely wife that someday I would read them to our children and now, at least twelve years later, here we are. Achievement unlocked!

Like most of us, we are sheltering in place, myself and the kids since March 20, though the kids were off a week earlier for their regularly-scheduled March Break. My lovely wife continues to go to work every day. I have not been idle during this quarantine. I’ve been walking 3km early every morning, as I did before all this started. I am exercising in other ways as well, weights and bodyweight stuff, trying to stave off the temptation to just do nothing. I’ve become a teacher, of sorts, as the kids are receiving coursework online from their teachers, and I’m here to help them through it. I’m cleaning and sorting, organizing and purging, trying to finally get to some of the projects I’ve always held in my head as “if I ever had the time, I would get that done…” Well, here is the time, so do it. Or don’t do it – I’ve found some of the things I’ve been meaning to do didn’t really need to be done. Next.

I have also had time to watch a few movies in these weeks, broken up during times I take for breaks. I started with part 1 of The Matrix (always awesome). Then I branched out, and took in some silly action movies: Wanted, Salt, and parts 1 and 2 of Now You See Me – the ensemble cast films about magicians. All of these last four were… OK. Flashy and fast-moving and I didn’t shut them off so I was at least curious as to how they would end. I am now thinking that I need to balance all of this out with some Kurosawa. His films always make everything better. Ha, that sounds pretentious, but it’s still true!

I am, of course, still listening to a lot of tunes. Recently I have discovered a new appreciation for Depeche Mode. I’d always dismissed them as just more of that 80s dance electronic stuff I didn’t care about decades ago, and so I hadn’t even really tried. They came up one day on Youtube, I tried it, I liked it, and now I’m exploring more. There’s something about the way their sound and instrumentations (is that redundant?) mixes with their lyrics that just clicked for me now, all these years late to the party. I’ve heard a couple of clunker tracks, sure, but by and large I can now better appreciate the art of what they do. The rest has been a mix of whatever comes up on my iTunes which, in my collection, spans most genres and about 100 years of music.

Stay safe, healthy, and our best to you and yours in surviving these interesting times as well as you can. Cheers!

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