A minor but extremely important point

Yes, it is both minor and extremely important, shut the hell up. I know how grammar works.

You may be aware that there was supposed to be another debate tonight, and that a certain party dropped out when it was made clear that the debate was not going to be held in person, where he could spread diseases to people.

For some fucking reason, the notion that the debate was not going to be held in person led to an absolutely astonishing number of people who literally appear to believe that the debate was going to be held over Zoom, or some similar computer meeting type of shit.

This is fucking stupid and you should be ashamed of yourself if you ever thought it. And, God help you, if you’re thinking well, how the hell else are they going to do it? right now, you need to slap yourself silly, because your brain is stuck in 2020 in a really alarming way and you need to take a moment to reorient yourself with how literally everything ever happened before the world ended.

There are these things called TV studios, guys, and we’ve been using them to hold conversations between multiple people who are not in the same place for generations. Multiple Goddamned generations. Walter fucking Cronkite interviewed people who weren’t in the same place as him. Kennedy and Nixon held a debate where they weren’t in the same place in 1960. That was sixty years ago.

The Goddamned debate wasn’t going to be held over fucking Zoom. Please get your shit together, all of you.


I’m not going to go back to reporting numbers every day, but today was the worst day for new infections nationwide since July 31 and Indiana had their worst day for new infections ever. The US will likely start setting new records again next week. So, once again, yes, let’s definitely reopen schools. Because we definitely have not tried ignoring this shit hard enough.

For my part, I just completed my second day of “hybrid instruction,” and honestly I’m not doing enough differently to be this damned tired. I only worked two days this week so far, for crying out loud, and I can’t convince myself that I don’t actually have tomorrow off. The kids are all home, but all that means is that tomorrow is like last week, not that I’m not doing anything.

In which somehow that worked

Pictured: not my pile of branches. I didn’t get a picture for some reason.

I made a terrible mistake today and did some yard work on purpose. We have a large tree in the front yard whose branches hang too low, so that if you’re mowing or whatever they need to be moved out of the way to take care of the part of the yard under the tree. I was all ready to post something on Twitter or whatever commenting on how it had turned out to be one of those jobs that you dread for forever and then takes like fifteen minutes when you actually do it, and then I discovered my neighbor standing behind me. I had headphones in, so this isn’t terribly surprising, mind you.

At any rate, I then got to have a lovely conversation about how too much of my tree was overhanging her yard and also overhanging the roof of her house. Now, this tree is really tall— I’m terrible at estimating distances, but it’s easily over twice as tall as my house, so obviously doing something like cutting a straight line along the property line wasn’t going to happen. I pointed out that we were having some folks out sometime soon to cut down the locust tree in the back yard and that I’d ask if they could hack this one back a bit on the taller branches, and that I’d take care of the stuff I could reach today.

And then it occurred to me that somehow the following had happened: one of my neighbors came over, complained about the state of my yard, demanded that I fix the state of my yard, and that somehow I not only did it but I’m not even mad about it. Like, that’s got to be a tricky conversation to have with somebody, right? I can see that going poorly. Were the situations reversed I’d have just asked if she minded if I cut the damn branches myself to avoid the chance of a confrontation going south and ending up on YouTube or some shit.

The problem here is that I’d already cut enough branches to fill our two allocated yard waste bins, so now there’s a giant pile of branches in front of my house the size of a car that are just going to have to sit there until what’s in the bins now gets taken away, and then I can cut them apart and fill the bins again. And frankly it’s not impossible that the process will have to be repeated twice. In the meantime, I’ve been sweaty and tired all afternoon and a lot more achy than I intended to be, because using a pole saw for an hour is tiring.

Also, I made sure that not one single inch of that pile of branches is on her yard. I’m considerate like that.

I haven’t missed a day since April 5…

… so obviously I can’t let that streak break just yet.

Not that I have anything in particular to say, mind you. I’m still kinda pissy about that school boar meeting yesterday; it’s flat ridiculous that we’re this far into the year (and this close to our supposed return) and we still don’t have the vaguest idea how so, so many things are supposed to work. But really, I could do that rant any day.

Here, have the trailer for WandaVision, and muse upon the fact that somehow I never wrote a review of Avengers: Endgame.

Mr. Siler and the mystery of the smoke alarm

Every day, while I am in my Meets with my students, I can hear a smoke alarm giving a battery beep … somewhere. It has been going on for weeks, and I have been keeping track of which students are in the room while I can hear it and it is not common to any one student.

At no time whatsoever during the rest of the day can I ever hear a smoke alarm. It is absolutely not in my house, because the battery would have died by now, and I would have noticed it at some other point in my day. I would have noticed it on weekends. My son or my wife would have noticed it.

It is absolutely not happening in this house, and at the same time it is clearly not happening in any specific student’s house. In fact, since I’ve been typing this, it’s stopped, but no one has left the Meet while I’ve been typing.

There is a Goddamned ghost smoke alarm living inside Google Meet, and I don’t know how to make that particular kind of ghost go away. Please send me an old priest and a young priest.

(I JUST HEARD IT AGAIN.)

In which I apologize in advance

It’s happening again, somehow– my first viral video on TikTok is now up to 3.7 million views and really hasn’t slowed down all that much, and I woke up this morning to discover that one I posted last night had amassed 130K views overnight and has tacked on another hundred thousand in the 10 hours I’ve been awake.. The first video got me from around 50 to just under a thousand followers; this one has taken me from 900+ to 2100 in less than a day.

I am apparently at least a little good at this.

I still have over five times the following on Twitter that I have on the TT account, but TikTok gets massively more engagement than Twitter does. It’s kind of shocking how much of a difference there is given that TT doesn’t have any sort of “retweet” type of function.

(I know I’m still kind of being a dick by not posting my address on here, for those of you who care. It’s because it’s under my real name, and I’m still trying to avoid crossing the streams, so to speak. If you’re curious, email me or drop a comment and I’ll let you know individually.)

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be somebody who gets this kind of engagement on every single post. I was just starting to break away from constantly checking my notifications inside the app like a rat in a Skinner box looking for a heroin fix, and now it’s started all over again. I assume that once it starts happening all the time you get over it, but it’s nuts how constant the new notifications are. There have been sixteen while I’ve been writing this, for example, and I write fast, and they’ve started to slow down because everything always slows down around this time of day. If this behaves like the other one, in an hour or so I will be able to clear my notifications, then reload and immediately have new ones, and I’ll be able to do that constantly. It’s nuts.

Still looking for a way to monetize this. At some point in the last 24 hours they decided I was important enough to unlock live-streaming on the app, which is terrifying and I’m not going to do it. If I get another 98,000 followers I can join the Creator Fund, but I gotta figure that’s still a ways off, right?

right?

Yes. Definitely.