Caturday.

Truman has pretty much adjusted to his required harness when out on the balcony. Curiously, when he has the harness on he always sits or lies down out there he always does it so he can bring his paws together.

He then gives me a look.

Music.

I’ve never liked the quality of music coming from the family Spotify account. I’m not talking about the selection of tracks or the app experience (the former being good, the latter being less good), but I’ve always thought the sound quality of the music sounds way too compressed. Songs I remember having outstanding nuance in the mix (when listening on vinyl and my really good Bose headphones) sound muddy to me on Spotify. The same tracks on Apple Music sound good, sometimes remarkably so, but there’s still a warmth found on vinyl that is lacking on their digital counterparts.

I stumbled across the Tidal Music service a month or so ago. We have a Plex server that stores all of our music and videos for consumption on our various devices and an introduction to Tidal Music came along with my Plex account. I was intrigued by the service, as it advertises “Master Quality” tracks, as well as using FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) as the default file format, instead of MP3s or Apple’s AAC.

The distance is quite noticeable and enjoyable.

I use music by The Carpenters to make the comparison, usually “Superstar”, “Only Yesterday”, and “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song”. First of all, Karen Carpenter may be one of the greatest female pop vocalists of all times. Secondly, Richard Carpenter’s arrangements are very thorough and nuanced. I feel much closer to their music when listening to the Master and “HiFi” (FLAC) offerings from Tidal.

My only pause with Tidal is that it’s quite pricey. As a Plex user, Tidal is $18.99 a month, almost double what an individual user subscription costs on Spotify or Apple Music.

Earl and I talked about it and because I listen to so much music when I’m working, we were able to justify or rationalize the expense.

I’m building a nice selection of Master clock tracks in “My Collection” on Tidal and thoroughly enjoying the experience. My ears are quite pleased.

Deserve.

This is still one of my favorite songs of all time. From 1987, here is Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield and “What Have I Done To Deserve This?”.

Humbled.

I won an award at work today. I was one of three recipients of a Quarterly Leadership Award. The announcement was made during an All-Hands Call today. I had no idea my name would be included on the PowerPoint presented through the Zoom interface.

I am only as strong as the team I lead. I thanked my team for their support in accomplishing our goals together. I have a great team with hard workers and a lot of brains.

Today was a good day.

Inspection.

Truman inspects the hallway every morning. We have a daily routine; I scoop his business out of his litter box, take it down to the trash chute, and he follows along and sniffs at the doorways where we knows other cats and dogs live. He’s silent as he walks from door to door, though if you get really close one can hear him purring.

He goes around the corner and then I kneel down. He sees me kneel down and comes over and rubs my outstretched hand, then I get up and walk to our front door. He follows along, taking his time, glancing about in transit. He then runs through the front door and goes to the kitchen cabinet where he knows he’ll get two treats.

We do this every day. It’s not a day unless we’ve done this together. He enjoys the routine as much as I do.

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All Of The World Shut Down.

Back in 1986, when I was a college freshman at SUNY Fredonia, studying Music Education, a bunch of us in the music school on a Friday night and just started playing around with our instruments and voices. I will never forget the utter joy I felt as we figured out “Life In A Northern Town” by Dream Academy. Even though I had been told my voice would never be worthy of public performance (and was subsequently an ‘instrument’ student after a second audition), I still can not express the emotion I felt harmonizing with my classmates as I sang backups on this track, in a practice room in the Music School building.

Freeze Frame.

Cable didn’t come to my parents’ house until after I graduated high school and was off to college. Short version, my parents’ did not have cable when I lived at home. However, my grandfather had a huge satellite dish in the field next to his house and with the right amount of voodoo we could tune in MTV by whipping the satellite dish around to face the right position in the sky. This was before the days of scrambling the signal so that you had to pay for it. You just grabbed it as the signal blanketed the planet. I once landed on a Russian satellite and heard some screeching noises that nearly blew up the television but I’ll save that for another blog entry.

It was 1983 when Tracey Ullman came out with “They Don’t Know”, a remake of the Kirsty MacColl song from the late 1970s. It was unique on Top 40 radio, reminding us all from the brashness of the “Wall of Sound”, er, sound, from the 1960s. It’s a great track all around.

My grandparents were on one of their month-long trips across the country when I was in their house after school watching MTV, after whipping the satellite dish around trying to find the signal. The first few frames of Tracey’s video for “They Don’t Know” literally took my breath away.

I was a sophomore in high school, already kinda sure of which way my life would be headed as far as a life partner, but after seeing this man bang on the chimes I suddenly had absolutely no doubt that I was 100% certified gay beef.

The sight of this man literally took my breath away. All of sudden everything fell into place and life made sense. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, but I knew someday I would snuggle up next to a man and be very happy.

Of course, hormonal lust was fueling my attraction to this particular guy banging on the chimes, my taste would vary quite a bit to this first gasp of losing my breath, but I knew from that very moment, who and what I was and destined to be.

All because I whipped around a satellite dish in the right direction.

Soarin’

In October it’ll be a year since we were at Walt Disney World in Florida. It’s not uncommon for us to go this long without visiting the House of the Mouse, but with this whole pandemic thing I’ve been thinking a lot about vacations and the like.

One of my most enjoyable experiences at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is “Soarin’”. I love this attraction; the sensation of flying is awesome, the newest film is very well done, and I really enjoy the music and the scents they blow in your face on cue with the film.

Earl is playing “Catan” on his iPad right now and the music reminds me a little bit about Soarin’ at Disney. I’m ready for this pandemic to be over so we can get on with some fun and frivolity again.

But we’ll do it on our terms, when it’s safe, and we can enjoy it without worrying about getting sick.