• Episode 73 of Sam and Ross Like Things is now up. Only took two weeks!

    Hiding under the Blanket While Breathing Through My CPAP Tube & Yaupon Tea

  • I’m afraid

    I’m afraid of the mass of self-identified nazis coming to my city tomorrow. I’m afraid of the white supremacists that are already here. I’m afraid that they want me to be afraid and it’s working.

    I’m afraid because their win condition is chaos, and chaos is easy. Peace is harder than war. Love is harder than hate. And narratives where we are the hero, where we’re right and everyone else is wrong, are so easy to believe.

    While I do care about our laws around weapons, I’m more concerned by how easily we were convinced of the need to carry them in the first place. And with the intentional chaos invading my home, I’m terrified of how easily we might be convinced of the need to use these weapons on each other.

    I’m afraid of the worst of us coming out, but hopeful that we will do the harder work of seeing the humanity in each other. Take care, and I’ll see you on the other side of the war I hope we don’t have.

  • Tonight’s rainy evening demands that I listen to Automatic for the People.

  • Sometimes I want to take the files I’ve been moving from computer to computer for 15 years and just delete them without even looking.

  • Want to read all about my Secret Snacks? Pick up the double-sized, January/February issue of Richmond Family Magazine to read my latest column for the DadZone!

    Or for the digitally inclined: richmondfamilymagazine.com/article/d…

  • My friend Val is a damn good writer:

    Being, changing the default

  • Happy New Year!

  • Just a reminder that the term “grandfather clause” has racist origins. We should endeavor to use different language if we can. Grandfather Clause - Purpose & Facts - Britannica

  • A new Sam and Ross Like Things records very soon. Tell me a thing you like!

  • When I was a kid, my parents had to hide holiday presents or wrap them right away. For my kids, we just have a stack of unopened Amazon boxes in the corner.

  • Write Like We’re Running Out of Time

    I saw Hamilton recently and it was amazing. I’ve been enjoying the music with my family for a long time and seeing the show staged was glorious. Today, I spent a bit of time on YouTube watching Hamilton clips and there’s one of Lin Manuel Miranda at the White House poetry slam before Hamilton was Hamilton. He talks about how he loves Hamilton because he changes the world all in the power of his written word.

    It got me thinking about the Federalist Papers and how Hamilton wrote most of them. They were essays defending the US Constitution of 1789, so that States would ratify it. Words and clauses of the Constitution’s text were dissected, positions and arguments established. The ideas in the Federalist Papers are the ideas that shaped how our Constitution was seen both then and now.

    2019 (and beyond) needs more things the Federalist Papers. We need ideas to reform our republic. We need people discussing systems and philosophy above the fray of the daily political professional wrestling drama. We need to fix our current laws and constitution but not lose sight that our constitution is just a piece of paper that was agreed to 200+ years ago. We the People have the power to change it. Power stems from us not the Constitution. The Constitution is not a sacred document; while extremely important, it’s ultimately a set of rules that can and should change as we as a People decide it should.

    I’d like to write about Constitutional ideas in this space, and hope to do so with some guidelines for myself:

    • Much like activists in Michigan who put forth a referendum on redistricting reform, I’m going to refrain from using any partisan language or talking about particular politicians.
    • I’m hoping to write things that hopefully transcend party and give us hope that we can have whatever government we, collectively and with mutual compromise, want.
    • The daily politics are important, but not what I want to write about here.
    • I definitely have a point of view and a political philosophy that will be readily apparent, and nothing is without bias, but I’m not writing anything to favor one political party or another.

    I’m definitely not Alexander Hamilton, but also, why not me? Why not write my thoughts down? I’ve got access to all of human knowledge at my fingertips. I’ve got a keyboard and a word processor and a modest command of written American English. The worst thing that could happen is that I say something stupid that gets taken out of context, it goes viral, and I’m harassed for the rest of my life.

    I care about my fellow human beings. I don’t think I’m better than you. I have a multitude of biases (some more conscious than others) that will always be apparent in my writing. Please do call me out. I’m going to make mistakes and I hope to be corrected.

    More to come.

  • A thing I like is my friendship with @rosscatrow. Happy Birthday Ross! Many happy returns on the day!

  • A perk of having some grey in my beard is that it makes it harder for people to tell what’s hair and what’s blue cheese dressing.

  • I’ve only been back at practicing piano for a couple months now, but I feel reasonably qualified to state that Beethoven definitely had three hands.

  • Massive Resistance to integration. One of my home’s greatest shames. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass…

    60 years later our schools still don’t reflect our demographics and it takes the consistent work of good people to continue progress.

  • ‪We only watch commercials at my parents house. DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A CHILDRENS’ “GAME” THAT IS A TOILET AND A PLUNGER AND A SMILING POOP FLIES OUT OF IT!?!?!?!?‬

  • I remember when Dave Letterman got to CBS, he kept repeating “these special effects are fantastic” every Top Ten list.

    Funny what sticks in your brain.

  • Property is theft! - Wikipedia

    Property is theft! (French: La propriété, c’est le vol!) is a slogan coined by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government.

  • When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • “Where the bakers who bake till the dawn so we can have cake in the morn mixed Mickey in batter, chanting: Milk in the batter! Milk in the batter! Stir it! Scrape it! Make it! Bake it!”

  • Making the clackity noise

    Recently I started taking piano lessons after a gap of about 25 years. It gets me out of my brain, learning the piano. So much of the practice is just the practice. Playing a little bit, every day (or nearly every day). Scales over and over and over again. Making a mistake and going back to the beginning. There’s no cheating on piano. There’s no revelatory formula that Isaac Newton figured out centuries ago that will suddenly make piano click. There’s just practice and practice. Fingers on the keys. There’s a base level of work you have to put into it before it sounds like anything, but when it starts to come together and you hear yourself making music, it feels glorious.

    I don’t write for pleasure as much as I’d like and I’d like to get back into it. And just like the piano, it has to start with fingers on the keys, every day (or nearly every day). Most of what I write will just be practice and most of it won’t be publishable, but that really doesn’t matter. I don’t practice piano for the performance (though performance will be a part of it), I’m doing it for the doing it. I want to write because I want to. It doesn’t have to be “productive”, it doesn’t have to be a side hustle, it just has to be doing. Another dynamic verb in my life.

  • To the purposes of his own elevation

    Avalon Project - Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

    I post this paragraph once a year or so. George Washington predicted the present with such clarity.

  • Washington’s Farewell Address

    It is… little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction… and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

  • “You should ask yourself… for every decision you make, is this good for the company? Am I helping with the company’s strategic vision?”

  • The surest way for my mom to make me go outside and play was to put Garrison Keillor’s Tales from Lake Woebegon[e] on the radio.

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