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!


I just finished Woodward’s Fear last night. I was lucky and was one of the first people in my library to get a copy (the Boston library had over 100 kindle licenses but there were still quite a people in the holds queue) because I really don’t want to spend any money reading about Trump at this point. Every day we’re assaulted with news stories or tweets about him and I have just about reached my limit.

The book itself is well written and researched. The only complaint I have with it, which is kind of a big complaint, is that there’s really not too much in it that’s new or shocking that hasn’t been reported during the pre-release press blitz. Everything else just felt like a retread of stuff we already had heard about in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. Trump is a spoiled, self-deluded, racist, pig-headed, misogynistic, lying narcissist who cares nothing about running the country and eschews his daily intelligence briefs to watch Fox News and the other news stations to watch what they have to say about him.

One of the parts of the book that amazed me is how compressed time seems to be around Trump. He is a singularity of stupidity and chaos that warps the space-time continuum. Almost all of the staff and cabinet members in the book are long since departed in a year’s time. Gary Cohn and Rob Porter both have fairly big sections where they come off as the reasonable people who moderated some of Trump’s worst impulses (and Porter is the one who resigned after it made the news that he had allegedly beaten two of his ex-wives!). All administrations have turnovers but Trump’s is just head-spinning. A common joke on Twitter these days is what a year last week was. And it really does feel like Trump packs enough scandals, bad decisions and tantrums in each week then most Presidents have done in their entire lifetimes. It’s exhausting.

So if you’re into self-torture, do by all means give this one a read. I would have enjoyed it more if Trump’s reign was a smoking dumpster in the rearview mirror and not our current nightmare that we haven’t woken up from yet.

Bon Vendredi

Lola’s first birthday was last week. She is doing well and is extremely healthy. She does have a tendency to bite her ankles in frustration whenever she hears Trump’s voice on the tv. Although, she may just be mimicking the rest of the household.

I always feel like the new year begins right after Labor Day. January 1st is a horrible time for a new year to begin. Coming from New England, January 1st is the doorway to winter hell. Maybe it’s because school starts in September (or did for me at least) and the end of summer which made it feel more like a new beginning to the year. Or maybe I’m Jewish and never realized it. (Rosh Hashanah is coming up). So I hope everybody had a good first week to the new year.

Question of the Day

What’s the last thing you gave up?

Sugar during the week. Wait, that’s a lie. I have sugar in my coffee in the morning. And of course there’s added sugar in, just about everything. So during the week, I don’t eat any sweets like cookies, cakes, fruit juices, etc. I may eat a banana if it’s around and I need a pick me up. And I’ll have a dessert on the weekend because life needs some fun in it.

My diet has changed so much over the past few years. I’ve gone from a bacon loving, soda guzzling, burger eating, steak enthusiast to giving up virtually all of those. Honestly, I don’t miss the soda at all. The staying away from pork and beef is still new so it may not even take. But I’m not craving any of it. And I especially don’t miss the 50lbs of extra weight I was carrying around.

Taking a Few Days Off

Traveling up to Vermont for a day or two. I’m going to try to avoid all news for a few days. I’m really just ready for August to be over. Actually, if we can speed past 2018 and 2019 I wouldn’t object.

Stay safe Cynics!