What’s Good in Tater Town 4/11/21

This week was a blur and I haven’t slept well the last few days so my brain is fuzzier than normal. Let’s see if I can remember the good.

  1. Both kids came home for dinner Sunday.
  2. Nice weather all week.
  3. Nice weather meant walks and reading on the deck.
  4. Dunkn is still giving a free donut if you buy coffee on Wednesdays
  5. More people seem to be reading the blog.
  6. The Braves have won four games in a row.
  7. I’ve been able to watch most of the games on TV.
  8. I got to chat with friends when I picked up a movie from the library on Friday.
  9. I saw my daughter again Friday when I drove her to get her first dose of the vaccine.
  10. All four members of my family have received the first dose of the vaccine and will be fully vaccinated by mid May.

That’s it for this week. What’s good with you?

Not Throwing Away My Shot

I briefly mentioned in a What’s Good post that I got my first dose of the vaccine. I’m almost two weeks out from the first shot of Moderna. My arm was really sore for a couple of days and that was it for side effects. I was tired the next day, but I also stayed up late watching basketball so it might not have been a side effect.

Soon after, the governor announced that anyone over 16 could pre-register for a vaccine. I texted both of my kids and they signed up. That weekend they both got calls to schedule an appointment at the new FEMA site near where they live. The site is prioritizing people in certain zip codes and they made the first cut.

That Monday, it was announced that the next day all mass vax sites in the state would open to anyone over 16 the next day and that all providers are required to open to everyone on Monday the 12th. That day, my wife was able to get an appointment for the next day.

Wednesday my wife got dose 1 of Moderna. She had no side effects. Not even a sore arm. Thursday my son got dose 1 of Pfizer. He did have a really sore arm. He is camping now so we don’t know if he’s had any others. Yesterday my daughter got dose 1 of Pfizer. She told me last night her arm was really sore if she raised it too high. She will sleep until after noon today so it will be a few hours before we know if she has any other side effects.

We are all in track to be fully vaccinated by mid May.

Don’t throw away your shot.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 4/9/21

I capped off my week by running my Keurig without first getting a cup to catch the coffee. I think I might need more sleep or more coffee. Let’s see if I can coherently reap my week in reading and viewing.

Movies – I watched one movie this week – Kong vs Godzilla. I enjoyed the movie. I have always been a fan of the monster movies. The fights between Godzilla and King Kong were very well done. The human characters didn’t really add anything to the movie. They were mostly there to react to the fights and occasionally tell someone else why Kong or Godzilla was not the bad guy. I’m OK with that. We watched the movie to see Kong fight Godzilla and we got plenty of that. If you don’t care about Kong fighting Godzilla you probably shouldn’t bother watching the movie.

TV – My DVR is getting dangerously full. I’m at 87% full now and too many shows scheduled to record and none I want to give up. The problem is there are too few that I watch alone these days. I have a lot of shows I save to watch with my daughter and a few I save to watch with my son. I need a few shows to go on break. In addition to watching shows on the DVR to try to avert disaster we watched the newest episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I really like this show. They make a good pair. It’s got action, drama, and humor. Everything I like about Marvel. We also watched the first episode of Kung Fu on the CW. If I get the chance today I might write a longer review of it. We enjoyed it. I didn’t watch the original so I don’t know how it compares to it. If you like martial arts action stuff you should check it out.

Books – I finished two books this week.

The Project by Courtney Summers – Lo Denham is seriously injured in the car accident that kills her parents. While she is in the hospital her older sister joins The Unity Project, a secretive religious community, leaving Lo to live with an aunt she hardly knows. Years later, Lo has the opportunity to gain access to the Project and does so in hopes of reconnecting with Bea. This is a story in two parts. We follow Lo in current day trying to find her sister and getting closer to the Project and we follow Bea from her decision to join the Project up until the story joins Lo’s. Is the Project a dangerous cult or a misunderstood community that only wants to do good in the world? Where is Bea and why does she not want to see Lo? Who keeps calling Lo without speaking? This is a compelling read that I highly recommend. You should also read Sadie by the same author.

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh – a novel in verse that tells the story of Ada – the daughter of an immigrant father and an African American mother – and her struggle to find a place for herself in America and her family. We bounce back and forth between Ada’s current struggle to adapt to college life and her struggles to fit in in elementary and high school. Her mother is an addict. Her dad is overprotective and religious. Ada finds herself when she finds a dance class that is much more compelling than the accounting class she is struggling to pass. It is a nice quick read. I enjoyed it, but it felt a little undone.

On Deck – I will have Freaky on DVD from the library today. I also have Tesla on DVD. Fear the Walking Dead comes back this week. At this point, it is better than the original. I still want to watch the first episode of Rebel. A new episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier is available. I need to work on clearing shows off the DVR. I am reading The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony.

A Question and a Musical Interlude(Fireflies by Dave Hause

First the question – how do you find new music?

As I’ve written before, a lot of my new music has come from discovering bands when they opened for another band at a concert.

I used to make myself listen to a pop music radio station on the way to work so I would hear current music.

I flip through Sirius stations when driving and occasionally hit a new country song I like.

A friend left a CD of Dave Hause’s music on my desk one day.

Now, I don’t go to concerts. I don’t drive much so I don’t listen to the radio. When I walk I listen to a playlist I built of songs I like.

How do you find new music in a time like this?

And now, one of my favorite Dave Hause songs. Enjoy.

On Villain Stories

I’ve written about villains before after complaints about The Walking Dead. This post was also partially inspired by The Walking Dead. This Sunday’s episode showed the back story of Negan. SPOILERS FOLLOW

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Negan was a villain in an earlier season of the show. He killed two of the good guys. One of those was one of the original, much loved characters. This death was also in the comic. Eventually, he was defeated but rather than kill him they locked him up in their community jail. The story has now flashed forward six years. The show has slowly made Negan less of of a villain. He bonded with a kid and then saved her at one point. He was allowed to escape from the jail so he could infiltrate the new villain group to take them down from the inside. He killed the new villain. His is very much a redemption story. I have read some of the comments on posts about the episode telling the story of Negan before he was a villain. In addition to the normal “is this show still on” comments from people who want to show they are way too cool to watch such things there were complaints about Negan getting a redemption arc. People are mad that the character who killed people they liked gets a chance to be redeemed. They think it isn’t possible that someone who once murdered someone could ever be redeemed or given a second chance. (see more on second chances here)

There have also been recent complaints about the new Hunger Games book being about President Snow when he was younger. People are mad that there is a book that shows a human side of someone who did terrible things. They don’t feel like a villain should get a backstory, especially one that shows they were not always bad. I’ve seen the same complaints about the idea of a Cruella De Vil origin story. The theory behind all of these complaints is a bad person is a bad person and will always be a bad person forever and ever amen and no one should care why they are a bad person. I disagree.

I think it is important and interesting to understand what turns someone into the villain. In fiction, it is a better story if the villain has depth and you understand why they are doing what they do. I have enjoyed seeing Negan go from Big Bad to antihero. I liked seeing the story of how he went from who he was in normal life to who he became in the zombie apocalypse. I think it was interesting to see how President Snow was as a young man and what happened to turn him into who he became. I am interested in watching Cruella(and not just because I have a crush on Emma Stone). Villain stories are more interesting to me than hero stories. Heroes and happy endings are boring. I like complicated characters who might be a little(or a lot) bad.

This thinking is also prominent in the real world. If someone commits a certain crime many people believe there is no redemption. Look at Michael Vick. People were mad that he was allowed to play football again. People are mad whenever he is not treated like a criminal who should never have god things happen to him. We want to send people to prison and keep them there. We don’t believe in redemption or rehabilitation. Bad people are bad people forever and ever amen. We don’t care about what might have led them to commit the crimes. We don’t want to spend any money or effort as a society to try to change anything. We are fine to continue to let people grow up in bad situations and then lock them away forever once they commit a crime. We don’t want to hear abut mental health issues. That’s just an cop out, An excuse to avoid prison.

I think our real life aversion to redemption and lack of sympathy for anyone who commits a crime bleeds into our feelings about fictional villains.

The Request Line is Open

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have two subjects in my head as possible posts. I’m just not feeling either one of them today. One because I don’t know if I want to write about it at all. The other because I can’t just get it right right now. I might try to work on it today while I watch the baseball games and hope the Braves finally win a game. If it works out I might go ahead and publish this afternoon in case I have something else in my head tomorrow.

In the interim, I will once again try something that has not yet been successful. I figure since I have a few more followers these days and my Facebook page has been a little more active, I will try again.

What topics would you like to s me write about in this space?

Are there questions about me you would like to ask?

Any TV shows you would like me to review?

Do anybody care?

Ask away in the comments and I will do my best to answer questions in a future post or write about the topics/shows you suggest.

Tater on Commercials

I usually don’t watch a lot of commercials. I record all of the shows I watch and then fast forward over the commercials. I usually only see commercials in the morning when I’m watching the Today Show and when I am watching live sports. With March Madness on TV the past few weeks I’ve seen way too many commercial way too many times. Maybe it’s because I don’t see them regularly, but it seems commercial are way more annoying right now and several have music that gets stuck in my head for hours and annoys me all day long. Here are two of those

This one that prompted this post where I rewrote the song

And this one that is even more annoying

There’s the less annoying iPhone commercial with the guy cooking that plays constantly

The worst of the worst is the one with the woman trying not to drop her phone

Not all ads are bad. I still like the AT & T commercial with Lily and enjoyed her segments “explaining” basketball

And the best commercials on TV right now are these

Now that basketball is over I will go back to only seeing commercials during the news and Jeopardy and the occasional baseball game when the Braves are on TV. Hopefully, by the time football starts and I’m back to watching live sports regularly, the trend of annoying music and sounds will be gone and we will get more like the last two.

And now back to your show…

A Little Taste of Normal

It’s been over a year since everything changed with the pandemic. It’s been almost four months now since I left my job. I used to be the only thing in Tater town that wasn’t normal now nothing was normal. We are still not quite to normal yet but I am getting a small taste of normal.

Saturday I went to the library to pick up a hold. Usually, I don’t see anyone when I do this. It is contactless pickup from the lobby. Most days I run in, grab my item and leave. I might knock on the door and wave. It depends on who I see. This time, one of my former co-workers was outside on break so I talked to them for a few minutes. When I went to pick up my hold, another former coworker was getting ready to put the holds out and had to go get mine for me so I got to chat with them for a bit. I texted one other person who was at work that I was there so they took their break and came outside to say hello. It was the first time I’ve talked to any of them since December.

Sunday morning I went to actual church for the first time since March of 2020. I got up early and went to the outdoor sunrise service where I could stand far away from everyone else but still experience the service.

Sunrise service

I did talk to one person after the service. I had not seen them since the last time I attended church.

Last night both kids came home for dinner.

Today my wife has to go in to the office because she needs something there to do her work. It’s still not quite normal. She won’t leave for the office until mid-morning and I still will have nowhere I need to be, It is still closer to normal than I’ve had lately.

Things could be happening soon that will get us closer to normal. Things I won’t talk about until after the fact because my anxiety and pessimism won’t believe in good things until they actually happen.

It will be nice when we go back to me being the only abnormal thing around here.

What’s Good in Tater Town 4/4/21

Happy Easter! This year is flying by. Here’s the good from the week in Tater Town.

  1. Dinner with my son Sunday night.
  2. I got my first dose of the vaccine Tuesday morning.
  3. Free donut again on Wednesday.
  4. I saw some church people I had not seen in a while when picking up my food for delivery Thursday morning.
  5. Baseball is back!
  6. Kong vs Godzilla on HBO Max.
  7. Talked to library friends while picking up a hold Saturday morning.
  8. Great late basketball game last night. The team I was cheering for lost, but the game was excellent.
  9. Outdoor sunrise service at church this morning.
  10. Both kids are coming home for dinner today.

That’s all for this week. Hope you all had a good week as well.

Saturday Afternoon Musical Interlude – Can I Get an Amen by Ryan Hamilton & the Harlequin Ghosts

I decided I would start randomly sharing some videos of songs from lesser known artists I enjoy. This is the song that had me singing while I did yard work today. Ryan doesn’t like it when people say it has a Bon Jovi vibe, but I think it does.