As seems to happen too often, I had to be a problem. Computers are weird and who knows why, but my first invitation to this forum failed for no apparent reason. I want to thank Tom Boutell so much for working with me to find a work-around. I am a Facebook fanatic, mainly because I'm otherwise anti-social and I would never be able to keep up with people if I didn't have it, but it does get to be a bit much sometimes. So I'm happy to have a place to go to that's less frenetic. And now I'm off to read all those posts that I've missed.

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You finally made it!! *waves* I was beginning to wonder what had happened over there.
 

I forget if I mentioned here this ridiculous musical undertaking we decided to attempt: We are putting on Delaware's very first Beatles festival, and this festival means that we are playing every Beatles song ever released (and even two that were recorded and never released) over a course of six consecutive nights... this means we do two albums per night, plus any singles that were released around those albums.  There is one night we're only doing one album, and that's the night we're playing The White Album since it's a double-album... and one other night we're playing three albums because that's just how the math worked. 

The festival started tonight, and we were kinda expecting the lightest crowd tonight since it's a Monday night, and since we just kinda figured this is their less interesting material.  But holy crap, we had 130 people tonight, and the theater only holds about 250... so it felt very full, and the crowd was very enthusiastic. One of tonight's audience members was actually in the audience when The Beatles played on Ed Sullivan!! GAAAH!!  After our show tonight she said she was so happy she came tonight so she could actually hear the songs, unlike the Ed Sullivan show where all she heard was screaming. :-)

We've been rehearsing this material since January-- two rehearsals per week -- one a vocal-only rehearsal, and the other rehearsal was with the whole band. 

The name of the group putting on this BeatleFest is called "The Rock Orchestra," which is an tribute show organization headed up by Joe Trainor and Matt Urban. Joe and MattU (not to be confused with 'my Matt' (aka MattC)) choose what tribute shows they want to perform (basically curating a season's worth of music), and then writes all the arrangements, and hires the right musicians to play it. So there's no set band member list to The Rock Orchestra... but they have an extensive Rolodex from which to draw. :-)

This BeatleFest takes 40 musicians to play all of this music as true to the albums as we can, once you get strings, horns, traditional Indian instrmentalists, harmonica, harp, even sound effects... all in addition to the core band. 

Because we're playing these songs in release order, tonight was the "simplest" material, so we only needed the core band tonight.  But we've been rehearsing in release order, too... so our most recent rehearsals has been the REALLY complicated stuff requiring all 40 players.  We had two final rehearsals this weekend... Saturday was sound-equipment load-in, and Sunday was all 40 of us... and we played all of the hard stuff (we're even doing "Revolution #9" live!)  We intentionally left the stage set up with all the (empty) chairs for the strings and horns, all of my 73,000 percussion instruments were out on display, MattC's guitars and saxes and keys were all set up, even though we don't use them until Wednesday.  We really want the audience to watch and feel this stuff build in complexity as we move through the Beatles' catalogue and timeline. 

So tonight when we got to the theater for Night 1 of BeatleFest to play "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles" and the surrounding singles, only the seven core band members were needed, and we were like "Where is everyone? Oh, wait, it's just us tonight!"  

We've got Joe Trainor singing mostly Paul McCartney's parts and also playing piano and keys; we've got Brendan Sheehan playing guitar and singing mostly John Lennon's parts, Rich Degnars on drums (he's amazing), Josh Dowiak on bass and some vocals, Joey Lopes on lead guitar (he is freakin' awesome), and then Matt and I are the utility players.  (Utility players are people who can sing and play many instruments, so they play whatever is needed.)  I sing backing vocals on almost everything (I sing lead on a few, too) and I play about 22 different percussion instruments (everything from simple handclaps to timpani and anvil and concert chimes to a motorcycle exhaust pipe), keys a few times, and I also handle all the sound effects (think the animal sounds in "Good Morning, Good Morning").  Matt sings whenever we need 4-part harmony (and he also sings lead on a few), and he's playing guitar, bass, sax, keys/piano, and percussion. 

Tonight was an easy night music-wise, and tomorrow night (Tuesday, Night 2) is also just the core band again because we're playing two more " simple" albums: "Beatles for Sale" and "A Hard Day's Night" (plus some singles).

Wednesday night (Night 3) is "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" (plus some singles). Wednesday night is when Matt and are the guest singers, so we sing lead on a few songs. This night is also when more band members arrive... Indian musicians arrive, some horns and strings...

Thursday night (Night 4) s the big night where we do three albums (‘Revolver’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Magical Mystery Tour’) and also the point when all 40 musicians are on stage through the rest of the festival!

Friday night (Night 5 of 6, also Matt's birthday):  Tonight we only play one album, which is "The Beatles," aka The White Album. It's a double album.  We'll also play any singles released during that time. And once we tackle that, we're brought to closing night, which is "Abbey Road" and "Let it Be," plus the singles. And that's it!

During the show, we have fun projections as a backdrop that sorta gives you an idea of what "era" of The Beatles we're in (in Hamburg, the Ed Sullivan stage, their psychedelic stage, the rooftop, etc... and we have another projector with a slideshow that displays the song name, album title, and a counter that counts up the number of songs out of the 215 we've played already.  

I'm really proud and excited to play this music with these people-- it sounds great, and best of all everyone gets along, so it's been a very joyful experience!  It's also been exciting new really exciting to feel how the songwriting got more interesting and complex as The Beatles' progressed, and also to note how they were able to do all the things they wanted to record thanks to advances in recording technology.  

There was more I wanted to type, but I've forgotten because I've fallen asleep a few times while typing this... haha... and it's now 3:55am so I'm gonna post this now. 

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These shows sound amazing. Do your best Norwegian Wood for me, and Maxwell's Silver Hammer for Mr. Archer. <3
Thanks! Tonight is Norwegian Wood-- that actually features me and Matt (along with Day Tripper and Ticket to Ride.) Maxwell's Silver Hammer is tomorrow night-- I love that song!
I am not normally a tribute show person, but this would absolutely have drawn me in, especially the White Album night. Alas, I'm in Virginia Beach for the week. So I shall console myself with sun, surf, sand and ludicrous amounts of cozy time.
Both are equally magical. Have a fabulous time, sir!
It is absolutely killing me that I can't be there (or give Robbb the gift of being there). I hope you all break all of your legs!
Thanks, babycakes! It's very strange not having you guys here... you are both missed very much!
This sounds like so much GD fun. I can feel the glow from here.
 

iPhones have a new feature: as of iOS 11, they don't save photos in the familiar JPEG format. They save them in a new format called HEIC. It's very nice. Web browsers can't handle it. Until today, OPW couldn't handle it either.

However, Rabbit was kind enough to point this out with some useful pointers in the right direction, and I found tools to convert HEIC to JPEG.

So, please enjoy the ability to once again attach photos to your OPW posts from your iOS devices.

For those who haven't tried it before, look in the lower right corner of the editor, where you see the words "Add Media." To the right of that, click the little picture icon, then the browse button that follows.

Enjoy!

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7/8
 

All seasons of MASH are now available on Hulu, so today we started binge-watching it.  Season 1 is where they are working out the kinks, and finally easing up on the blatant misogyny and tail-chasin'... though I guess it is a period piece. 

Either way, I love these characters so much, and Larry Gelbart is a script god. 

I am happier now that the Father Mulcahy I recognize and Klinger have arrived. 

The show holds up great now that we're half a season in, and it's a pleasure to watch. But you definitely have to get through the first few. Henry Blake is less of a dunderhead and more a dude; Frank and Houlihan aren't just meanies out to foil Hawkeye and Trapper, but are nuanced people.  

I feel like I'm with old friends. :)

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I wish I were binging with you!
Come on down! :)

Or, we can make a date to binge-watch simultaneously. We'll synchronize episodes and we can talk about 'em here or elsewhere!
I guess what I really mean is, I wish I had the TIME to binge, and especially with you!

Right now I'm bingeing on the final season of 12 Monkeys. Not because it's good, but because I've seen the rest and feel as though I should take it to the end.
Oh, that’s going to help me survive this holiday. Thank you!
It is a magical balm.
Damn you. I already have too many things on my binge list, but this is kinda a 'must add'. I mean, M*A*S*H is, like you described, a collection of old friends.

I've also recently listened to an interview with Alan Alda on one of my myriad podcasts and it just reminded me how much I've always liked the dude. I'll have to see if I can't find the episode and add a link...

Update: I think this was it: https://www.npr.org/2018/01/22/577433687/alan-alda-wants-us-to-have-better-conversations
I love Alan Alda. I also love Bill Hader's impression of Alan Alda.
When Saturday Night Live does their faux auditions (e.g., They pretend to play the screen tests of people auditioning for "Back to the Future" or Star Wars. So you'll have Bill Hader impersonating Alan Alda auditioning for Marty McFly or Han Solo. It's hilarious! -- like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwKHqEkXEY)
Holy crap that's amazing. Love Bill Hader, and I hadn't seen some of his impersonations. So good.
god do I love that show.
Rabbit 7/2
It's soooo good!
Vince has the DVD set, and it has the option to remove the laugh track.
Matt and I discovered that we both always listen for the same guy on the laugh track... that same guy can be heard laughing on Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, too. I'd bet a zillion bucks that you and Vince know the exact laughing guy we're talking about. :)
No, but now I want to listen for him!
Wow, this is like the Wilhelm Scream.
I've never heard that before! Gaaaaah! That is amazing!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdbYsoEasio
I don't think it was any of the Star Wars clips in that youtube video, but there was a more recent movie (maybe TLJ?) that I actually caught it while in the theater and I almost shouted when I realized what it was.
I kind of like the post-Radar Klinger. He wasn't as madcap, in fact they abandoned the whole section 8 crossdressing thing completely once he became company clerk. It made him a more nuanced character.
We haven't gotten there yet, but now I'm curious. I hadn't noticed it in my youth... I just remember being sad when Radar wasn't on the show anymore.
 
 

Most of what's on my mind these days are psychological ones: I'm in therapy, I'm going to a psychiatrist on Tuesday for another part of my full work-up, I feel terribly, terribly guilty that I'm not meditating as often as I should, which defeats the whole goddamn point of meditating, etc., etc., etc. Much of the rest of my mind is dedicated to my dog, and my housemate's dogs, which brings me to today's post (fair warning: I use One Post Wonder as a place to work through issues.)

I love my lil' boy, as anyone who has seen my recent Egyptian Face of the Book feed knows. However ...

why the hell do I feel so guilty whenever I think about him?

I live in a pretty small duplex with a tremendously small lawn - when you have dogs, you rent where you can - and Rover is a herding dog, who has lots and lots and lots of energy. I throw the squeaky for him, I try to take him to the dog park as often as I can, he has about three thousand toys, two thousand leashes, he's got a selection of treats that range from the prosaic to the mutant, and so on ... but I feel so incredibly guilty about the lack of running space for him it contaminates everything else in my head when I think about him. 

I wish the ol' ice-cream-scoop-to-the-frontal-lobes approach to mental issues worked, I really do. Because I don't have much else in my life, if my guilt over Rover ruins my appreciation of him, I think I'm going to spiral even further down than I already am.

Which, I should note, sucks.

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It sounds like you intellectually know you're a good dog owner (which btw I whole heartedly believe) and the main problem is that the anxiety monster has decided to settle in on the closest spot it can find to your main source of comfort in the world. Anxiety monsters always seem to hover around the things we love most -- since of course, if we love them, we spend time thinking about them and of course they're also the things we don't want to lose. Anyhow, as you probably know, most working dogs can live in small spaces if they're getting enough exercise. A "yard to run in" -- which is difficult for you to produce -- is utterly not necessary. If your rational brain decides that the anxiety monster has even a scrap of credibility and Rover needs more exercise (which I doubt) you could potentially take up a more aggressive dog park or dog walking schedule to meet the need.

I don't know if objective standards are any use in quelling your anxieties, but if they are, being reassured by a vet about the level of activity he gets might be some help. Hopefully the psychiatrist will have some more useful thoughts on how to shut this down.
The anxiety monster definitely knows Rover is a good place to feed. I have a breakdown about once a month where I weep and shake that someone is going to take him away from me.
 

This article by Lili Loofbourau on Slate sums up my feelings of sadness, helplessness, futility, and we're-fucked-ism. 

Enjoy!  Yay!  This is fun!


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those videos are glorious!!!
Jenn A 7/1
If you want soul food cooking videos, I got some soul food cooking videos for you: http://phillyjaycooking.com/
 

I've been switching over to newsletters lately to get information in a manageable fashion and I have a few to recommend.

Morning Brew is a daily business newsletter that is fast, fact-filled and funny.

CB Insiders is also business, but tech-focused, and also has a sense of humor. They often link to robust studies that the company does. The free version is 2-3 days a week; there's also a paid version which I dearly wish I could afford.

Messy Nessy Chic is an interesting mix of Paris, travel and historical curiosities and manages to hit a lot of my interests at once in a really fun way.

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Thank you lady, gonna check them out.
 

I just made a decision of no great import. But it took me a long time to make it, it woke up a lot of memories, and I have no better way to process it than to write it out, especially considering how much my brain be broke lately.

so, about, oh, two, three weeks ago, a person who went to my high school when I was there sent a friend request on Ye Olde Booke of Ye Faces. What the hell , I went, and clicked okay. 

Thus beginneth the problem. 

 See, this was a person who had never made a secret of her disdain for me, back in the day. Sure, we’re all a lot older, and hopefully a bit better people, but, still, I have trouble acknowledging one of the few people who DID like me in high school on The Egyptian Book of the Face because I don’t know what to say to him after a good thirty years of radio silence. 

Why would someone who, given the choice between spending time with me and with a slime mole colony, would pick the colony nine times out of ten, want to reconnect? Hell, to connect at all?

If there are readers of this, then you may or may not have seen that comic that went viral this week about the person who found her high school abuser on-line, and was dismayed to see that that person was well-thought of and had a reasonable life. That’s kind of this situation, except that this person wasn’t an active bully, just someone who made the disgust at the thought of me very plain.

It doesn’t help, of course, that this person apparently has done very well indeed in the intervening years, and is now a quite respected scholar at a major university in the UK. I’ve got low-enough self-esteem as it is, and, as petty as I may be, but it kind of twisted the knife with my totally-unlikely-to-get-tenure-and-holding-on-to-sanity-with-the-most-feeble-of-grips situation to see someone who apparently was not only tenured but had been fought over by multiple institutions. 

The decision I spoke of above, by the way, was to unfriend the person. The memories awoken were not helpful, the shame and the perception of myself as a failure weren’t helpful either, and the fact that I’m sliding into a total breakdown was, really, on the unhelpful side, to boot.

I dunno. Maybe I should have used this as a face-ones-anxiety moment.  Maybe I’m worse than I think I am.

I can’t help but wonder, though... why send the request in the first place?

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It’s 30 years, this year, since I left high school, and it’s likely that’s true for you, too. I think some people meet these milestones by adding all the high school people they can find.

You, on the other hand, owe her nothing. I’m glad you unfriended her.
eva 6/17
Sometimes there is just no room in the bucket we all carry for even that one tiny more thing. You did the right thing.
Ben Rose 6/17edited
People's memory is *highly* selective. There's really no guarantee she was thinking anything at all when she sent you that friends request except that you are someone she remembers from highschool. As Ben and Eva have noted, honestly, no one from "back in the day" has even a scrap of entitlement to your attention. Give attention if it gives you joy, but withhold it freely as needed.

FWIW, while I have endless amounts of time for people from college, I can't imagine wanting to reconnect with anyone from high school for any reason, bar the one friend I've actually kept. That part of my life was such a mess I have no desire to talk to anyone from that period.
Yeah. There are a couple of teachers who, assuming they're still a going concern, I wouldn't mind saying hi to, but most of the others? Wouldn't pee on them if they were on fire. There's something about high school and American culture that makes it a hotbed of some of the most toxic stuff behaviour going. I didn't enjoy any of my youth, but I particularly didn't enjoy grades 9-12.
Rob Furr 6/18
I understand low-self-esteem. It is my demon that holds me down. I do not need this person. I had/have some pretty lofty high school ideas of success. HAVE you ever thought that you ideals of success might need to be addressed. I don't know anything, but this helped me at one of my worst times.
 

I've been warning my vet that her laptop is walking wounded for literally, years. So, it up and dies last month. They come to me in a panic. Nope. Nothing can be done. Unit isn't even powering on. Battery's good, power supply good. Buy a new laptop. I send them a recommendation.

And nothing happens for 3 weeks.

Then it comes in last Friday and it's assholes and elbows to get it ready for this Friday. Okay not a big deal. Install office, install AV, install AM. Except that her equally ancient portable printer doesn't want to operate on USB 2 or 3. And despite being advertised as Bluetooth, doesn't have the validation code on it anywhere.

Le sigh.

Digging around in HP's moldy basement I find a version of the installer that is marked "For IT use only". Well, I always was one that couldn't resist pushing the big red button labelled "Do not push".

After a couple of passes the IT use only installer finally installs a critical, missing SYS file and the printer groans to life. Huzzah!

So it's on to other problems. Notably that I use robocopy to create a running incremental backup of the practice management software's data that her veterinary business requires to an installed SD card. Ah, now it's Microsoft's turn to mess with things. It seems they've been busy monkeywrenching the schedule tasks interface. But really, it was just a matter of making sure the scheduled task runs at the highest level of authority. Nota bene, all is well.

But this time I installed remote access software so I can take a peek at problems from the comfort of my own home, the NEXT time it breaks.

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Hey, in unrelated news, does your cousin still own that salon in Philly? I need to confess something to her and see if she can help me atone for a sin from long ago.
Niece. And yes, she does, Fringe Salon. Looks like they moved to new digs. 1901 South 9th Street Room 505, BoK Building, (215) 339-1778.
Many thanks, my good sir!
My brother learned that trick of installing RAS on every machine he's responsible for, and I'd say 98% of the time he can solve issues via his phone. Technology, man.