Cursing.

My father rarely cursed. My father was generally a man of few words, but when he did share verbal expressions of emotion he rarely swore. The closest things he would say that would come close to cursing was “Jumpin’ Mice” or “If it’s going to be a pain in the nuts…”, which the latter is probably more crass the cursing.

I followed his lead for the first two decades or so of my life and rarely swore. I can actually remember the first time I swore. It was 8th period gym class in 7th grade. I had dropped the watch from my grandfather’s estate between two lockers in the locker room and I was really bothered by it. When the teacher asked why I had put the watch in this precarious location I simply said to him, “I fucked up”. That was the first time I had swore to anyone other than myself and he instantly knew that I was really bothered by losing the watch left to me by my grandfather.

We successfully retrieved the watch.

It wasn’t until my radio days that I started a tendency of swearing like a sailor. It was the most effective way of communicating with the owners of the radio station because they were yelling and screaming most of the time. I can still remember my father’s wince when he asked why I wanted to leave that particular job and I replied, “because the owner is an asshole”. But the fact of the matter is, my language adapted to the situation because circumstances dictated that the only language they would take to heart was when someone yelled and swore at them. Then again I did witness the husband and wife team throwing a knife across the room during an argument, so swearing was probably the least of my problems at the time.

Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high”. In a sane society, or at least in a society that doesn’t consider pajamas as an outfit to wear on an airliner, Ms. Obama’s declaration would be absolutely valid. But we live in a time and place where we are deeply, horribly divided. Truth, the validity of facts, and the elimination of a general moral compass has rapidly distorted our values. We are living in “the low”. To take the high road merely means to tell the truth now, and when bad actors no longer care about the truth, they’re sure not going to understand anything unless you lean hard on your intent, and that means dropping f-bombs to get people’s attention.

Look, I’m not a fan of talking like a sailor. I still have a microsecond of shock when David Rose drops a “fuck” on “Schitt’s Creek” or Patsy and Eddy drop all sorts of profanity of “Absolutely Fabulous”. But this is where society has taken us, and this is how our language is transforming to keep up with society.

A recent tweet passed by on my timeline criticizing the use of profanity on “The Circus” on Showtime. As host John Heilemann responded:

My response? A super condensed version of what I’ve written in this blog post.

I’m not going to walk into a church and start a “blue set” behind the mic at the pulpit. I’m not going to walk into a fancy restaurant and start swearing like a sailor nor am I going to begin a profanity laced litany in a room full of ladies (I still have an ounce of chivalry that I show once in a while).

But when it’s time to call the President of the United States a fucktard, I’m going to call him a fucktard.

Total Geek.

So I remember this song from when it first hit the clubs in 1986. I was out of high school, becoming comfortable with my sexuality, and really loving the whole dance club scene (that I could find at the time).

Seeing this video for the first time in a very long time, the geek in my can’t help but marvel at the amount of computing power that was necessary to generate the graphics in this music video. I’m pretty certain there was a Commodore Amiga involved.

Here’s Tia with “Boy Toy” from 1986.

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Rough Life.

After ripping down the shower curtain, liner, and shower curtain rod in the guest bathroom, a guy has to take a break.

And tell me, why do the hoomans keep shaking cans full of coins at me? Rattle rattle rattle. Rattle this.

“Hamilton”.

Official press photo.

Tonight the family got together for Valentine’s Day and we saw Hamilton at the CIBC Theatre here in Chicago. The tickets were a Christmas present for Chris; it was a delightful coincidence that at the time, the first night available was Valentine’s Day

I knew the history laden musical was all the rage these days but other than that I didn’t know much about the show. It’s the 21st century of a Rock Opera, complete with lots of rap music, 21st century riffs, and lots of remixing and synthesizer sounds. Musically, the show is a delight. But I was mesmerized by the blocking and staging of the show. Rotating stages, clever choreography, moving sets, and masterful lighting augmented wonderful performances by all members of the cast. The cast and crew worked hard to tell a nicely woven story, and I was happy to see them all take the curtain call as one, no highlighting of the “star”, no spotlighting a particular cast member.

I found that refreshing.

The only thing that bothered me about the entire experience was the audience; I’m surprised at the number of people that can’t get through a Broadway show without checking their phone (and its glaring LED glow) or having a conversation with a person near them. There was a low murmur of nearly constant chatter a few rows behind us. The folks that came in nearly 40 minutes late and needed to be seated in the center of their aisle should be shunned, not mentioned, but here we are.

When did we forget how to be a respectful audience member?

Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I highly recommend catching the show if you can.

Restless.

The winter blahs may be lifting. I put myself on the club airplane schedule. I’m going to knock some rust off my aviator skills with an instructor and get ready for a spring and summer of flying.

I will never understand how my dad and grandfather went the entire winter without flying at all. Not getting up there gets me way too moody.

Agenda.

Pet Shop Boys have released an EP called “Agenda”. Pardon my language, but it’s fucking brilliant. “Clash” features a review.

The theme of the four track EP is on point. Described as “three satirical tracks and one sad track”, it sounds like classic Pet Shop Boys with modern lyrics. The last track, “The forgotten child”, made me cry.

Here’s the track listing, you can probably figure out the overall theme on your own.

  • “Give stupidity a chance”
  • “On social media”
  • “What are we going to do about the rich?”
  • “The forgotten child”

I’ve included the lyrics to “Give stupidity a chance” to portray the vibe of the EP. It is available on Apple Music, Spotify, etc., and the CD is available for pre-order from their official website.

“Give stupidity a chance”

Intelligent people have had their say
It’s time for the foolish to show the way
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

We’ve heard quite enough of experts and their dealings
Why face the facts when you can just feel the feelings?
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
I mean W-T-F
I don’t wanna think about the world
I wanna talk about myself

Instead of governing with thoughtful sensitivity
Let’s shock and awe the world with idiotic bigotry
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

You say corruption, I say justified reward
Keeps the cronies loyal chairmen of the board
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
Let’s talk man to man
Chicks are always up for it
You gotta grab whatever you can

We need a leader who knows that money means class
With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass
Not a total dumb-cluck, just one of the guys
Let’s give stupidity a prize

Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Not Quite.

After a little over 48 hours I can confidently say that I am not ready to go an iPad as my full-time computer. I find iOS on the iPad Pro to be quite slick, but it’s not robust enough for my power use. I missed having a mouse or trackpad and I found working in apps all the time to be too confining. Plus, the web browsing experience is not all the way there. It’s 95% there, but there are still too many sites that just act abnormally on iOS.

The new iPad Pros are amazing. The Apple Pencil is awesome and I love my 10-inch iPad a lot. It’s *perfect* for my aviation needs. It’s perfect for writing a blog entry or editing photos on the go. But editing movies? Writing code? Making graphics? It just doesn’t completely fill my needs.

Let’s see what iOS 13 brings. In the meanwhile, I’m going to continue to love this mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pro. The keyboard is awesome, it works the way I want it to work, and it does what I need it to do.

Blahs.

It’s that time of year when I’m fighting off the SADs. I’ve been taking vitamins and trying to get as much sunshine as possible this year, but Seasonal Affectation Disorder hits me and I feel like doing nothing.

I keep trying to figure out a way for Earl and me to go on a quick weekend Jeep trip and head south, even if it’s just far enough to get into temperatures in the 40s.

There’s so much to do in the city, even in the winter, and I try to keep busy, but sometimes that wind is just so cold and brutal, the sky is cloudy and gray, and there isn’t an opportunity to fly or really enjoy a nice walk along our neighborhood streets.

I’d give anything to reasonably ride a bike right now.

I do see cyclists everyday, no matter the weather. Even when we had historic lows a couple of weeks ago, someone would go riding by on their bicycle, headed to wherever they were going. I love the fact that Chicago is such a cyclist friendly city. Because there’s some crazy cyclists out there.

I’m sure warmer weather isn’t too far off; we’re only a few weeks away from the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (don’t get me started on that).

I’ll be happy when spring finally arrives.