Thursday, February 23, 2017

She's Been Activated and I've Been a Bad Boy

I attended my first ever protest last week in front of the Burnsville office of 2nd district Congressman Jason Lewis to draw attention to his reluctance to hold a town hall meeting with his constituents so people can voice their concerns and yes, vent some anger. Between protesting Wells Fargo's support of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the pipeline itself, and the Woman's March in January, Tammy has been walking the walk and showing up at these protests with her signs, not content to only voice her concerns on social media and leave it at that. She's been activated. I went along with her to get a feel for what's happening at the grassroots level. I see more of this in my future as well.

We also attended a meeting at a friend's home last week to view 13th, a documentary on Netflix about the history of mass incarceration of African Americans in the US. The documentary delves into post Civil War racist legislation that in effect kept many African Americans from truly living as free men and instead, still enslaved but to the states through our prisons where they were stripped of their right to vote and have a voice. It's an eye-opening film that I encourage everyone to watch, especially if you're someone who's inclined to roll your eyes at the mention of white privilege.

I've been a bad boy. I had some videos on my Vimeo channel of an Adele concert I attended with Rachel more than 5 years ago. I think I had maybe 3 or 4 of her songs on there and it was enough to get my account terminated. That was a big blow to me. There's no fighting it because I was in the wrong but still, it kinda hurts. I'll typically look to see if there are other videos of the artist present before uploading any of my own because some artists are much more strict about that sort of thing than others. Anyway, I just looked and there are no more Adele concert videos by her fans on Vimeo and I'm sure there are many fewer accounts just like mine. This whole ordeal leaves me with a bunch of dead links on my blog to videos I'd posted on Vimeo—my preferred online video host. Fortunately, I've got most of my videos backed up to my YouTube channel and I'm in the process of redirecting the links.

For the past few years I've been using a free music archive of songs from various artists as background music for my ride videos so as to color within the lines of copyright rules and that works pretty well. It's odd though because today a friend posted a song hosted on YouTube to his Facebook account by a fan of George Harrison. How is it that something like that isn't taken down? I don't get it.

I took Tammy's 2006 Subaru Forrester with only 128,000 miles on it into the shop to have a problem looked at. When making sharp turns at slow speeds there's an uncomfortable binding feeling in the front wheels. It turns out the front differential which is tied into the transmission is beginning to fail and the fix is a new transmission to the tune of $4500—about the value of the car if it was in good shape. That's a fix that won't be happening. We decided to kick the tires on some new cars in the Subaru showroom and ended up putting money down on a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek just like the one in the photo to the right. We won't be able to take delivery for another few weeks as it's still in transit.

We've had a tease of spring weather for the past 10 days here in Minnesota with record-breaking temperatures often in the mid-50s to lower 60s (12 to 16Âșc for my metric friends). It's been nice but also concerning to many who worry about the larger picture and what's happening with climate change which is only becoming more difficult to turn a blind eye to.

We took the pups for a walk around Lake of the Isles last Sunday. They loved it but they were so filthy by the time we got back to our car.

I've been getting in some nice walks and I was out on my road bike yesterday. It's been nice to feel the sun on my face again. Our snow is gone but more is on the way beginning sometime tonight. I came so close to going out this afternoon and putting down the fall fertilizer application I missed in November but I don't want my neighbors to think I'm any crazier than they already suspect.

And yes, for those of you who are wondering—that's Pat Elster!

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