In Memory of Grandpa

Grandpa Sal as a Young Man in ROTC

Grandpa Sal as a Young Man in ROTC

On the morning of Friday, December 1st, I had dropped my parents off at the airport. They were heading to Atlanta for a conference. Later in the day, I drove over to work to get my schedule for the coming week. While I was heading there, Dad had rented yellow Mustang convertible for their week, and had texted me a picture of it. So I got to work, got my schedule, and hung out for a bit.

Then I got a phone call from my mom, who was crying. At first, she could barely talk, and two horrible thoughts went through my head. First, I thought she and Dad had gotten into a bad accident. Then I thought my brother, and best friend, Aaron, had gotten into an accident.

What she finally told me did not make me feel better.

At all.

Her dad, my grandpa, in Connecticut, had had a heart attack. He was in the hospital on life support.

Not long after, Dad called me. Grandma was taking him off life support, so he wouldn’t suffer.

I picked up my parents and my brother at the airport the next morning, and we went straight to Connecticut.

That side of my family is Catholic. The wake was Wednesday. The funeral was Thursday. And we came back home on Thursday night.

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לשנה טובה! זה תשע״ח

Oh… *ehem*… my apologies…

So it’s Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish new year. The year is 5778. For two days, we celebrate and eat far too much delicious food, so that the week after, on Yom Kippur, we can fast for around 24 hours or so to atone for our sins (because unlike Catholics, we only have to feel guilty once a year, instead of year round… we spend the rest of the year making everybody else feel guilty. BOOM! [I can make that joke because I’m Jewish… you can’t… unless you’re Jewish]).

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Great Guitar Solos – Pink Floyd Plays Sorrow Live on P*U*L*S*E*

More David Gilmour because… well… it’s David Gilmour…

This is from the P*U*L*S*E* DVD (that entire show is a treasure trove of amazing solos, to be honest). It’s the song “Sorrow”, from their 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

The song opens with a guitar solo, which ends at 3:15. The second solo starts at 3:57 and ends at 4:26. The third solo starts at 5:11 and ends at 5:31, which starts a very short ambient section. The final solo starts at 6:57, which closes out the song.

Special thanks to VolcanoMan in the comments on my last GGS post for suggesting this one…

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Streaming Service for Rare, Hard-to-Find, and Out of Print Music

I’ve already posted most of this on Facebook, so it will be familiar to some or all of y’all. But here I’m gonna expand a tad…

First, like I said on Facebook… I’ve been going over the take-down of What.CD, a private torrent site that, yes, shared official material (music, audiobooks, e-books, etc… no video, though).

Now, before I continue, I’m going to quote what I said on Facebook:

No, I don’t want to talk about how or why I know as much as I do about it, and yes, I agree that piracy is wrong, it’s right that piracy is illegal, people should support artists they love with money, and blah blah blah… we’re not having that conversation here.

And I’m gonna stress that here. We’re not here to discuss the relative morality of torrenting sites, question why I know as much as I do about the site, etc. So that’s the commenting policy. And that includes you, too, NSA, CIA, and FBI.

So anyways… I called What.CD the Library of Alexandria of music, and one of the reasons for that is because What.CD amassed an amazing collection of out of print, rare, hard to find, and/or prohibitively expensive music you basically couldn’t find anywhere else. It was incredible what could be found on What.CD, what new music you could find that you never heard before, and so on. And now that’s gone. Sure, torrent sites are like a massively exagerrated Hydra (shut down one site, a thousand more will pop up in its place), but it’s going to take a seriously long time to rebuild the What.CD Library.

But there could be another way, too… a… perhaps… more legal way… to rebuild a part of that library and make it accessible to everyone…

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Cassini’s Grand Finale (Why I Missed Wednesday’s APotW)

Hello! You’ll noticed that I skipped Astronomy Pictures of the Week on Wednesday. That… was on purpose.

Today was Cassini’s last day alive. This morning, Cassini plunged into Saturn, sending back some amazing data, but, in the process, ending its life.

Cassini was launched on October 15th, 1997. For two decades, Cassini revealed the wonders of the greatest planet and planetary system in our solar system to us. We learned so much.

But, now, it’s over…

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Astronomy Picture of the Week – Saturn-lit Tethys

Here’s a pretty cool image

Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

Tethys was on the far side of Saturn with respect to Cassini here; an observer looking upward from the moon’s surface toward Cassini would see Saturn’s illuminated disk filling the sky.

Tethys was brightened by a factor of two in this image to increase its visibility. A sliver of the moon’s sunlit northern hemisphere is seen at top. A bright wedge of Saturn’s sunlit side is seen at lower left.

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Welp… Guess I’m a Terrorist, Now…

Okay… I should probably qualify that title a bit… thanks to my anxiety, I haven’t actually participated in many protests (though I’m working up the courage to actually start participating in more… and I have participated in dialogues and such). Plus, despite realizing that I’m not a pacifist, I’m actually a coward who’s usual reaction to face-to-face conflict is to curl up into the fetal position and cry for Mommy. So… you know…

However, I do support Antifa and consider myself Antifa, and I’m friends and comrades with Antifa. Despite the qualifications above, I am part of it… or at least I try to be…

So… that title? It’s not clickbait.

The DHS has officially classified Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.

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