Ten foot pole

It’s Tuesday, July 13th. Embrace your geekness.

What will happen when all the stimulus money goes away? We should know by next year. I think there’s a good plan in place. (I hope there’s a good plan in place.)

After once being a big supporter, Geoff Diehl is revising his position on Donald Trump. Apparently the Trump purity test doesn’t apply locally. Also, influential members of the Massachusetts GOP are pushing for chairman Jim Lyons to step aside to allow for a more moderate, less Trumpian leadership to guide the party ahead of the Governor’s race. As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady used to say, “how convenient.”

The Bolt Bus shut down ‘temporarily’ when riders disappeared during the pandemic. Some said the Bolt was finished for good. But apparently they’re planning to return. So that’s good.

Nice to see that Bostonians are getting back to normal, complaining about First World hardships. Beth Teitell reports that people are missing out on cannolis, tennis games, and in-ground pool installations because of all the rain. Oh, the humanity! At least somebody saw a rainbow. In New York, people are coming out of the pandemic with a slightly better attitude, noting happily how clean and uncluttered with passengers the subways are.

And Maggot Brain, one of the best albums of the 1970s, is 50 years old this month. Christopher Weingarten pays tribute.

Hot sounds

Sunday. Turn the AC on.

We should be breaking 90 degrees in the next few days here in the Boston area. But don’t cool off in the waters off Hull and Nantasket. The Lion’s Mane jellyfish are back.

Dan Sheehan covers the opening of The Record Co, a state of the art co-op music studio in Newmarket Square. What a great idea.

The Great American Think-Off happens next week. The questions are big but the barriers to entry are not.

Employers and employees are recalibrating their relationships. This time (for a change) it’s working out better for the employees.

And if you wake up very early next Thursday, you might get to see the “ring of fire” solar eclipse, happening just as the sun comes up.

Damned if you do/don’t

Tuesday. Today’s word is peruse.

On May 29th, Governor Baker will end Covid Restrictions in Massachusetts, months earlier than expected. Only two weeks left for wearing masks in Boston. I’m not going to miss the fogged glasses and constantly tripping over my feet.

For good or bad, not much goes on at higher levels of the Boston Police Department without City Hall having a guiding hand in it, especially on legal and labor issues. It hasn’t always been that way but that’s the way it’s been for the last half dozen years. And here we are. Now, the one guy holding things together operationally at the BPD, a very capable person who probably doesn’t want the top job anyway, is getting blamed for doing what the team at City Hall told him to do. That doesn’t seem fair. And meanwhile, back at the ranch.

Initially a skeptic, NYT health writer Donald McNeil is giving the China lab-leak theory another, deeper look on his personal blog.

Apple is promoting it’s new lossless music service as a big improvement is the quality of the sound. But it can’t be that big a deal if the company’s own listening devices (Airpods, headphones, Homepods, etc.) won’t be able to use it. Huh?

And UFOs are in the news again thanks to 60 Minutes and a congressional report due next month. Can’t wait.

Seeking equilibrium

Sunday morning. It’s a birthday for Studs Terkel, Danny Trejo and Liberace.

In a Globe Ideas piece, Michael Fortner sees rising crime rates as a threat to progress on police reform, which kind of gets to the heart of the dilemma.

Covid disrupted the status quo for lower-wage service workers. When their jobs disappeared those workers found other ways to survive and now they’re in no hurry to return. Many have found a different type of work and others are just waiting it out. If these workers are not rushing back, maybe it’s a sign that their services were undervalued in the marketplace. Something like this has happened before, you know.

Skylarking, by XTC, is one of my favorite albums. It’s a “summer’s day cooked into one cake.” The story of how it got made is also one of the great tales of rock music.

Michael Jonas wonders about the scattered decision making by Marty Walsh‘s aides in the the appointment, and then suspension, of Dennis White. It was quite a cluster.

And would you vote for this man? I probably would, but not everyone agrees. He did chop down that cherry tree, after all.

Nearing a new normal

Today is Tuesday and that’s totally tremendous.

Voyager 1, which launched back in 1977, is phoning home from 14 billion miles away with information about plasma waves in interstellar space. That’s just crazy.

England, Northern Ireland and Scotland recorded no Covid deaths in the latest reporting period. (Wales is still catching up, reporting 3 deaths.) Closer to home, Massachusetts had 14 deaths but only 446 new cases. Just a few months ago we were looking at over 6000 new cases a day, so we’re certainly moving in the right direction. By August 1st the worst may be over.

Airline workers were on the front lines in the mask wars. Retail workers too. It’s amazing how selfish and petty people can be. These workers need a raise.

Remember all that rhetoric about blue state bailouts? We were told that states like California shouldn’t get pandemic relief because they couldn’t manage their own budgets? Flash forward: California has a $75.7B budget surplus. Sounds pretty well-managed to me.

And Donovan Leitch, who once had an incredible string of hit songs in the 1960’s, has now teamed up with David Lynch for a music video. There are no talking monkeys but it’s still very Lynchian.