Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cocaine and Rhinestones

I’ve been doing a lot of driving this summer so I’ve been looking for lots of new podcasts. Cocaine and Rhinestones has turned out to be one of my favorites. The host, Tyler Coe, tells the story of country music made in the 20th century and I find it fascinating. I was a long-time sucker for those Behind the Music docs from the 90’s and this scratches the same itch. Country Music has been a huge gap in my musical knowledge and this podcast has opened me up to all kinds of good stuff. I’ll be bringing some up on the podcast in a couple of weeks.

The episodes run just over an hour long and the subjects range from music acts (The Louvin Brothers), to people (Buck Owens), to individual songs (a 3-parter on “Harper Valley P.T.A.“). As Coe says on the About page, “You don’t need to “be” country to perform country, so you certainly don’t have to be country to enjoy it.” The same goes for this podcast. If you like music history you will probably be into this podcast. I am 100% in.


It’s not even noon.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

The Murderbot Diaries is a series of novellas by Martha Wells. They’ll all be published this year. The first two are out now, with #3 due in August and #4 in October.

As novellas, they’re an easy length and they don’t get bogged down in too much worldbuilding arcana. It was a nice change from The Luminaries.

The premise of the first book:

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

The fist two are good reads. It’s not genre-defining fiction or anything, but there are some really cool ideas and it’s written well. I’m looking forward to the rest.

Thumbs up.

new Graveyard today!

Graveyard broke up for a minute, but they’re back again with Peace. I’ve gotten through it a few times this morning and it’s exactly what I’m looking for in a Graveyard album. The opener is hot shreds and there is plenty of the more bluesy sound they developed over the last couple of albums.

Max Richter – Sleep (remixes)

My enjoyment of ambient music has been a recurring topic over on the podcast, and I’m always looking for enjoyable but unobtrusive things to listen to at work. Max Richter’s Sleep (remixes) has been my go-to for the last couple of weeks.

Max Richter is a composer who has done a lot of film and television soundtracks and scores. I guess his most recent popular one would be from Arrival (which was a cool movie, btw). Sleep is an 8-hour concept album he created to be listened to while sleeping. Really.

The remix album features three of the songs from the larger work, each mixed 4-5 times. It’s a really good listen for the workday.

They’re all fever dreams, I guess?

I don’t get down with conspiracy theories in real-life but I do enjoy them when applied to famous fiction. This retweeted John Rogers thread has some good ones:

Willy Wonka:

True Detective:

Rambo and Die Hard:


This Juliana Hatfield tribute to Olivia Newton-John showed up for me in a new music email and I figured it might something Michelle might like in a nostalgic or kitschy kind of way. Instead, I’ve been listening to it non-stop.

I was unaware of my familiarity with the ON-J catalog. I don’t even mind it. These are solid pop songs and Juliana Hatfield plays them in her own style without the slightest hint of cynicism.

You can hear what I mean in this video for “A Little More Love”:

2018 Monument Av. 10k

I’ve been dabbling in cardio lately and thought it would be a good idea to run the Monument Av. 10k. My younger daughter and I took a….casual…approach to the training schedule and managed to get through the race without any trouble. It was a lot slower than I used to be able to do it but I was really there for the company.

My mom and sister made these signs to cheer us on and my wife and older daughter also came out to cheer. It’s always great to have support in the crowd.

After the race we enjoyed the traditional sandwich and pint at Melito’s (and then after lunch I enjoyed the traditional shower and 3-hour nap!).

Liverpool through to Champions League Semifinal

Holy crow. So stressful, again. What a match!

Nailed It!

Speaking of great programming on Netflix, Nailed It! is a new 6-episode “game show” that plays out like Cake Wrecks in real-time. It has all of the charm of GBBO with none of the skill on display.