All posts by Philosofer

FMD 5/19/17 – Score A Baseball Game

Watching the game last night, I heard Target Field play "Let It Be" during the challenge review. "Pretty clever," I thought, before realizing that that's surely happened at football and hockey games too, and long before baseball.

Still... it generated this idea. Go ahead and select the musical score for a baseball game. Here's the standard categories, and add your own as you see fit (or steal from others that others see fit). Heck, suggest a category for others too - no need to have an answer before you ask the question!

Home Run
Intentional Walk
Strikeout (swinging? looking?)
Stolen Base
Caught Stealing
Double Play
Great fielding play
Umpire Review (overturn, uphold)
Injury time out
Pitching change
Second pitching change in an inning
Starter gets pulled after a great outing
Rain delay (just one song)
Delay because of streaker/animal on the field/other unusual
Walkoff win

FMD 5/12/17 – Fire

I live on a farm site. There is a large grove. In that grove are a few piles of... stuff. Yesterday afternoon one of those piles spontaneously combusted, so a lot of time was spent hauling water out there and moving sprinklers around and just standing around looking at the flames and/or embers.

Anyway, give us your best "fire" song, and be as creative as you feel inspired to be.

FMD 5/5/17: Oldies

When in the car I've been listening to a lot of Oldies radio lately. Oldies as in "songs that were considered oldies when I was a kid" not "songs that were popular when I was a kid." So basically 50's and 60's. Growing up, when I wasn't listening to children's music, I was usually listening to this class of oldies. It had been a good while since I'd found a station to scratch this itch, so now that I have one, I tend to listen to it pretty much every time I'm in the car and the Twins aren't on. Admittedly a large part of that is the dearth of good radio stations out my way.

I've been thinking about trying to expose my children to some of the era. They get a fair amount of Beatles and Elivs in their musical diet already, but not too much else. We've got a road trip coming up this summer, which might be a good time to work on the musical education of my kids. So the question I'll pose today: if you were making a 50's and 60's mix without any Beatles or Elvis, what would be a necessary add?

FMD: 4/28/17 – Leaning into it

A few months ago we talked about "Shake it off" songs, that help you get over the rough patches. Today, I want to go the opposite direction. Sometimes a person craves the songs that hit a deeper chord and help fully open up the emotional expression. I once put together a mix of these songs - not quite sad, more melancholic - but it was lost so long ago that I'm not sure I could list more than two or three of my selections.

If you were putting together such a list, what would it look like? Would you pick songs that are sad in terms of lyrics, or sad in a more sonic fashion? I know that personally the music makes a bigger impact than the lyrics when it comes to this kind of mood music. Indeed, I'd often pick songs that aren't so much "sad"

To kick it off, here's a couple of nominations:

Death Cab For Cutie's "Transatlanticism"
Cloud Cult's "There's So Much Energy In Us"
Chumbawumba's cover of "New York Mining Disaster 1941"
Joseph Arthur's "In The Sun"
"Into the West"
Willie Nelson's cover of "The Scientist"
Neko Case's "I Wish I Was The Moon"

So... what's good for melancholy?

FMD: 4/14/17 – Old Albums

I've been listening to a lot of my old albums lately. Meaning the things I listened to in high school and college. My physical collection is largely packed up and put away right now, so as I'm inspired to pick an old album I just pull it up on youtube. That's handy.

Anyway, lots of them have not held up as well as I thought they might (The Love Below was disappointing. Still kind of a fun concept album, but the execution is just far too inconsistent.) Others were even better than I remembered (Chumbawumba's WYSIWYG is fan-freaking-tastic.). Lots were nicely familiar (BNL's albums), and well worth the time.

Anyway, for this week maybe we can talk old albums. What's something you haven't dusted off in ages that you used to listen to regularly?

FMD: 4/7/17 – The 50 State Project

First off, let me wish my lovely wife a happy birthday: Happy Birthday Philosofette.
Great, now that that's out of the way, let's do something fun.

Last week I had the privilege of driving across half of the country. We passed through a decent number of states, and as we did so I often found myself thinking, "I wonder what song would be a good song for [the state we are driving through right now]?" I know this type of thing has been done other places, but I thought it might be fun to put together a WGOM 50 State Song List (plus DC).

So nominate your, uh, nominations. Use whatever criteria you see fit. Name dropping (for example: "I'm from New Jersey," for New Jersey), artist home (for example, Springsteen, for New Jersey), or anything else that fits the state (for example, a song by Garbage, for New Jersey).  Then, chime in on others nominations.  If it seems like there's a consensus forming, I might add it to the list.  If the consensus changes, I'll change the list.  You know.  Whatever.  It's informal.  Also, I'm a big fan of not necessarily going with the obvious (though sometimes I suppose you have to).

I've gotten us started with two nominations.

'The List' SelectShow

FMD: Do You Realize

The other week, when we were talking about those stealth music attacks, funerals came up a few times. Then last week I got to present on some wills and estate planning things and one of the other presenters talked about funeral planning. So it's been on the brain for me, of late (eh? late? eh...?).

So I'll put the question to you plainly: what do you want played at your funeral?

There are no wrong answers. Seriously. Even "Tubthumping" works... (Jokes are the best way to put the "fun" back in "funeral).

FMD: Lullaby

What do/did you sing to your kids to get them to sleep? What do you like for yourself for the same?

I've been cycling through the same handful of songs, adding one or two with each of my kids. The rotation is pretty much:
"Hallelujah" (More Cohen than anyone else, when I sing it)
"When You Dream" (BNL)
"Salvation Is Created" (Chesnokov)
"You'll Be In My Heart" (Collins)
"Leaving On A Jet Plane" (Peter, Paul, & Mary)
"You Are My Sunshine"

Occasionally some others make it into the mix, but the kids usually request these ones, and I know 'em.

We've also found that Don Williams and George Strait work pretty well for rocking a baby to sleep.

FKB: Father of the Freakin’ Year

I've made some pretty boneheaded parenting moves over the last month.

First: I left the baby sleeping on the bed while I went downstairs to get breakfast for the other kids. She seemed completely out. Of course she woke up a short time later, and didn't make a sound until she fell onto the floor. I think she probably had a mild concussion, given the way she was acting for the first half hour or so after the fall. I had a thing scheduled at work and I made plans to take her to the doctor after I got back from it, but she was back to her old self by the time I got home. Still, it was kind of horrifying.

Second: It took me more than a month to really respond to Aquinas' complaints of bullying before I took action. And it seems like that action was much needed, and has gone a long way towards correcting the problem (thank goodness for the fact that they're first graders, and still open to being good kids instead of blaming the one who told on them). My fear of ruffling feathers was too strong and my kid paid the price.

Third: And yet, in communicating about this issue, I may have inadvertently sent some signals that didn't exactly endear us or my kid to the teacher. I'm not quite sure why we can accurately observe that one kid is faster or stronger than a different one, but we can't observe that one is smarter than another? (I didn't straight up say anything like that, but I fear some unintended implications were taken (look, the class isn't particularly rigorous, and there is some classic "things are going too slow for him" stuff going on (I don't say this to brag about Aquinas, only to observe that this class is moving really slow. Halfway through the year and he's still doing math work that he did at this point in Kindergarten.)(also, he's absolutely going to keep getting 90% on everything you teach, no matter the difficulty, let's not act like 100% is needed to move on...))).

Fourth: Here's the biggie... I forgot my kid. I usually pick up Aquinas from school. If I can't, I arrange for him to take the bus to daycare. Well, I had a hearing out of town and... I forgot. So he walked to my office, per usual, only I wasn't there and the door was locked. So he started walking to the daycare, which is about a mile out of town. On the way there someone - a stranger to him (and us, but not other relatives) - stopped and offered a ride. He happily accepted because, as he put it, "he was tired of walking." The stranger brought him right to daycare (and apparently has done the same for other kids), so in a way it's a "no harm, no foul" situation. Except that my kid accepted a ride from a stranger. So... big time foul.

Anyway, I'm working at this parent thing. This morning I built a huge pillow barrier around the baby as she slept on the bed, and still went up and checked on her just about every other minute, and caught her just as she was waking up 6 minutes into me leaving her there... And I remembered to have Aquinas take the bus when I was gone on Tuesday. And I bribed him, so he got 100% on his spelling test last week. Maybe by the time they leave home I'll feel like I'm on the right track.