Monday, March 08, 2010

Random Musings

It's been a while, so naturally I have a few things on my mind.

1. For one reason or another, we found ourselves in Florence (SC) the last two Saturdays. I really haven't been there in quite some time, perhaps since early January. Florence has the closest Target, Best Buy, big book stores, and so on. We go there anytime we need to get those (many) items that aren't available in Hartsville. I am pleased to announce that both the mall and other stores (Kohl's) appeared to be fairly busy. The mall actually looked busier than it did in late November, at the height of the Christmas shopping season. Even if it's people spending tax refunds, I'll take it. It's good to see people spending money again.

2. In an interesting profile of Billy Corgan in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine (links to the TOC, article isn't online yet), former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain talks about his departure from the band. Nothing earth shattering there, or that Corgan's ego is still firmly in place despite being a pop culture non-entity since 1996. Chamberlain had an excellent quote about the current state of music:
"Music is such a small part of people's lives now...People don't sit around like they did in the Nineties and stare at album covers and think about Kurt and Billy."
This got me thinking about popular music -- do kids today listen to music the same way we used to back in Nineties? Or is this a disgruntled rock star venting about his former boss?

3. Maybe the most interesting thing about using Facebook is having friends from disparate universes argue with each other. For instance, an elementary school friend that I haven't seen since the other Bush was the P.U.S.A. got into a debate with my brother-in-law. Wild!

4. I'm not surprised that Darlington County had one of the lowest rates of return for the 2000 Census. The level of ignorance around here is stunning. Filling out the form takes minutes and might have made a difference here.

5. In related news, my wife had a PTO meeting last week -- staying at work until 7 PM, making for a 12 hour day -- and only two of her kids' parents showed up. Baseball practice > School function, evidently.

6. Wyatt will soon be 18 months old and Owen will be four in May. Unbelievable how time flies! We've been trying some gluten with Owen, and we haven't seen any negative results. We actually spent the night with my parents and he didn't have an issue with the cat, either.

7. We've finally started seeing signs of Spring around Hartsville. It has been the longest, coldest winter that I've had since leaving Pittsburgh in 1990. It rarely made it out of the 40s from late December until the end of February. Several weeks during that time, the temperatures never made it out of the 30s. It snowed three or four times, twice with significant accumulation. We had an ice storm, knocking out power for six hours. So weird! But I've really appreciated upper 50s-low 60s the last ten days or so.

8. The Pacific miniseries has started on HBO. Not surprisingly, it is excellent and I really enjoyed the first episode. HBO is streaming the first episode, but will make you buy HBO or maybe pay for the streams after that. Great marketing move for them -- and I think a unique one at that. They control their programming pretty tightly, so this is a big step forward (from my standpoint).

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