Open Thread Election Day Special

I haven’t voted yet. I will this afternoon. Mrs. C has come down with a cold and the weather is a bit rainy so we will time it properly. But a little cold isn’t going to stop her from voting in this damn election.

I’ll update this thread with morning election stuff. Please, use the comments to share your voting experience, good or bad, and anything else related to today’s elections. I don’t know what the results of the day will be but after two years of watching Trump in action, this vote is going to feel very cathartic.

Update 10:05am:

Update 12:56pm:

I voted. No lines at my polling place but it was in the middle of the day and there are never lines where I vote. I didn’t even need the pen to fill out my ballot. I darkened the circles with my rage.

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite scary novel for Halloween reading?

I’m currently rereading The Historian which is such a wonderful spin on Dracula that takes you throughout Europe. It is a perfect mix of history, horror, exotic locations, and fairly good characters.

House of Leaves is another one that I am usually in the mood to read when the weather starts to get chilly. I have read it two or three times but I can’t remember the second half of the book for the life of me. It may be a book that collapses under its own weight but the first half is damn good.

I’m currently working my way through a book of short stories by Algernon Blackwood whom I have recently discovered.

I’m always open to new suggestions.

We’re All In Need of a Media/Trump Crash Diet

I’ve been severely limiting my access to political news since the Kavanaugh fiasco. The sexual assault circus that the GOP put on over the last two weeks, with a phony FBI investigation as an encore broke me. I don’t want to see news panels, op-eds, or extended analysis of anything that Trump does. I mean, I get it. The first year of Trump’s presidency was a dumpster fire of epic proportions where you had to stop and gawk at the breaking news that was happening every single day. At first I thought the mess in the administration was just because Trump is an evil chaotic moron whose incompetency knew now bounds. But after two years, I’ve come to realize that Trump is an evil chaotic moron whose incompetency knows no bounds, but, his lack of shame completely allows these pathetic qualities to dominate the news cycle again and again. Yes, he’s a dumpster fire, but he’s the one who lit the match to set it ablaze so that we all stare in stunned awe, wondering if the raging inferno will grow in size. And yes, it will. Trump wants us to stare. Creating a burning shit storm to seize the media’s attention is the one skill he has mastered after a lifetime of bullshit.

Admittedly, attempting to ignore him is a poor long term strategy. He is at the head of our government. (That really is the hardest sentence I have ever had to type.) His actions have serious consequences for everybody. And as a person who prides himself on being somewhat up to date on current events (not to mention having a blog which puts me into contact with a lot of internet news), this is a difficult balance to maintain. I’m trying not to get caught up in the maelstrom of smaller stories that happens on a second by second basis and conserve my energy for bigger issues. You know, like when he decides to kidnap children from asylum-seekers. (This is still the shittiest thing he has done. At least until he nukes Ontario)

How will this period of American history end? No clue. I’ve given up hope on anything stopping it if the Dems don’t win the midterms. The NY Times posted a huge expose on Trump’s tax fraud and how he has lied about his inheritance right before dinner last Wednesday and the outrage didn’t even last past Thursday’s breakfast. Hell, EVEN THE NY TIMES seemingly forgot about it and two days later printed a story on Trump’s amazing week full of wins. I’m convinced that Trump could shoot a puppy on tv, stuff the nuclear codes into the carcass, and present dead pooch and nukes to Putin on a gilded platter and the media would just end up doing stories on how Trump voters are hopeful about the tariffs.

I stopped following Trump on twitter a few months ago and it felt liberating. Yes, I still hear some of the crazier things he tweeted just because it will still seep through. Sewage is like that.

I’m limiting cable news. I don’t care to hear the Trump surrogate du jour explain how nobody has done more for women than pussy grabber in chief. I don’t want to see CNN’s chyron about BREAKING NEWS and then hear Wolf Blitzer repeat the same news story that they’ve been “breaking” for the past 2 hours.

Absolutely don’t listen, watch, or read anything that Trump says at a rally. I’m fairly certain his rally speeches are carcinogenic.

I’ll start limiting the times I check Twitter. That’s always a tricky one. I really enjoy the viewpoints of people I have chosen to follow although I should just turn it all off around 8. I’ve lost too much sleep to some breaking story that appears when I should be winding down. I’m guessing most of us have.

Now if you don’t mind, Olivia Nuzzi has published a lengthy article in about a little skit that Trump pulled on her with his cabinet to get her to write nice stuff about him which I’m not going to read. I mean, I’ve read the first few paragraphs already and it’s good but I’m not going to get sucked into this vortex of despair. Ok, maybe I’ll just skim it.

15 Years of Blogging

Damn. I started this blog on September 28, 2003 because I was finding so much amazing stuff on the internet and wanted to share it. I was also incensed with what was going on in politics with George W. Bush starting a war against a country under false pretenses. I’m so glad the political climate has quieted down since then.

I already did a post back when I returned from retirement about how I, and this blog, have changed in the past 15 years so I won’t bore you with that again. But I do want to thank all of you for putting up with the joys, sadness, mistakes, stupidity, and everything wonderful that I post here from week to week. I would have quit this long ago (permanently!) if it weren’t for you. Thank you so much for everything. Here’s to another 15 years!

My Wife Met Yo-Yo Ma Yesterday

I’ve been learning the cello for the past few years (am currently working my way through the first two Bach cello suites, so you can imagine my excitement when my wife texted me yesterday morning to say that Yo-Yo Ma was on her flight. I had to wait 6 hours to hear any more stories but when she landed she texted me this pic of her with him.

And she told him I had started learning cello a few years ago and he immediately wanted to write me a note. She just returned home and gave it to me. I’m in cello geek heaven. Here it is:

I have always heard stories of how gracious and great of a guy he is and it warms my heart knowing that somebody so talented and at the top of his field can also be so kind and inspiring. (The red marks on the paper were from the back. My wife just grabbed the first sheet of paper she had near her grasp.) What a wonderful way to begin the week.

More Cellphone Lockscreen Screenshots

We did this on Friday but there were a few more people who submitted over the weekend. I’ll post more today if you want to send some in. I love seeing the background of what everyone is looking at as they stare into their phones.

From Jennifer:

It’s no longer Friday, but I wanted to share my pic too…this is a close-up of a quilt I made 2 years ago. Quilting seems very old fashioned to many, but I’ve found it to be wonderful stress relief. I can get lost in the hum of a sewing machine and hyper focus on tricky hand work, forgetting about all else.

Thanks for still blogging! I’ll always keep checking in!

From Trish:

Here’s mine! I’m opening a yarn shop in Kansas City, MO later this year ( if anyone’s interested) and I’m excited about my logo!!

Question of the Day

What’s your current cellphone wallpaper? Send me a screengrab ( of it and I’ll post it to this thread or you can put it in the comments.

I just changed mine for fall:

Submissions below!

Thanks to Tim for your eye that sees all, except where your charger is.

Thanks Paul!:

Howdy from soggy old Blighty,

My current wallpaper. A Sister of Battle from Warhammer 40k deep in contemplation.

Keep up the cracking work, and please don’t quit again!

Thanks Dana!

My amazingly handsome pup Dodger.

From Andreas:

Pixel Art! ?

From Moonsung:

My daughter and I in big sur area.

From Sarah:

It’s on my iPad…I don’t have an iPhone. It’s a screen grab fro The Witness, a great puzzle game.

From Jeremy:

Hey Chris!

Here’s my wallpaper to add to the fun if you’re still accepting submissions!

Have a great weekend!

More have come in.

Thanks to Ben for this:

It’s a photo I took of a sign I spotted years ago at a local flea market. It’s become more meaningful the longer I’ve had it on my phone – now I wish I’d bought the sign.

From Shelby:

My lock screen is an older shot of my girls Moxie (RIP) and Kadie (too cantankerous to die).

From Tyler:

Hey Chris!

My humble contribution is an Android “Live Earth” view down the sheer north face of Half Dome in Yosemite. (Missing from a screenshot is that the 3D perspective changes as you scroll between screens.) I’m somewhat of a Yosemite enthusiast.

Thanks to Josh for this one!