One day, we noticed our neighbor working on the area. He was filling in the mud pit with gravel. It took him a couple days to finish his work there. We approached soon after to find that the mud pit was now a sturdy stone platform. He had also replaced the old swing. The new ropes were thicker and the swing had the invitation "Welcome!" engraved on the seat.

The swing continues to be one of our favorite spots, and I am grateful for our neighbor whose kindness helped sustain us in dark times.

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During lockdown, the swing became one of the few things the kids could do for fun. The parks were closed, play dates were impossible, and playing in the backyard had lost its appeal. We visited the swing daily, sometimes multiple times during the course of a day.

Our constant use turned the grass below the swing into mud. We felt bad, like we had abused the kind gesture of our neighbor. He always had taken good care to mow his lawn regularly, so we assumed he might not love the new mud pit.

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Two years ago, my then 3 year-old took note of a tree swing near the road in my neighbor's yard. One day, she started swinging on it and we looked around, unsure if it was ok. The neighbor noticed our hesitance and kindly assured us we were welcome to use it. His kids had outgrown it and he was happy to see it used. It became a favorite pitstop during walks.

Does anyone know of a good vocal coach, ideally one who is local to A2/Washtenaw and who teaches folk, singer-songwriter styles?

new video game - Eastward 

Zelda, Earthbound, Studio Ghibli, The Sandlot, and Goonies are all referenced in the opening paragraph of the review... Um, please take my money.

*Stumbles onto soapbox*

Girls' pants and dresses should have pockets! Girls need to carry cool stones and pine cones and pennies too!

*Hobbles down off soapbox*

Mac stuff - M1 

Recording on my Mac causes the fans to go full blast, ruining some recordings.

Seriously pondering trading my 2019 Intel Macbook Pro for a quiet M1 Air. Talk me out of it?

I'm looking for recommendations on good places to work remotely around A2/Ypsi. Roos Roast on Rosewood has nice outside seating, but they close at 4pm. Maybe Cultivate?

Today a song from múm came on, a band I haven't thought about in years. The song is "Cards - Live in Berlin" from their Menschen am Sonntag EP. It's a slowly building and peacefully reptitive song with increasingly active percussion and lovely synths that weave in and out.

Ooh, and some Spiritualized just came on so I'll listen to that now ("Shine a Light" on Lazer Guided Melodies). It's got the right wistful quality for the first day of school.

I have taken stock of my music voice memos from the past year and I easily have enough to fill up my much anticipated (by me and no one else) indie/folk/singer-songwriter album. Now, to write more lyrics and record - next update in ~2 years.

@csalzman and I are updating our toddler app: Night Lights. We are putting in an "all pink stars" easter egg just for Scout.

Taking a vacation next week and going up north and currently experiencing the last day of work craziness.

My wife tells me someone asked for recommendations about where to get their cat declawed on NextDoor.

This will be brutal.

Yeah, I'm starting a new hashtag. I'm basically an influencer.

Gia Margaret - mellow, electronic, emotive, shoe-gazey stuff.

Amaro Freitas - "Ayeye" - modern Brazilian jazz trio. Really cool stuff and fantastic musicians.

Big Thief - New song "Sparrow" - powerful

Devendra Banhart - new album "Refuge" - I guess he decided to put the guitar down and become an ambient artist

Board of Canada - Treat Em Right instrumental remix - reptitive groovy electro funk

Power is estimated to be back by 11:30pm… on Sunday. 😬

Masking guidance confusion 

The way the CDC issues masking guidance has confused people. I think part of the confusion stems from this notion of the CDC contradicting themselves and flip flopping.

I wonder if we could avoid this notion by treating masking guidance more like weather reports. I look at my app, and it tells me whether to mask today based on local case rates, variants, etc.

After all, we don't get confused if the weather report says it will rain this week, but not the next.

Ok, it's getting torrential around these parts.

My car (Ford C-Max Hybrid) has been sitting in the driveway unused and uninsured for about 1.5 years now.

I'm very tempted to sell it and buy an electric assist bike for the times I need to scoot myself around town, and take Lyft or something when I need to.

If my "back to office" plans are flexible (I'll learn more this coming week, but I assume they will be), then I'm not sure there's a good reason not to do it.

I made a meme for my checkin. It's how I've felt lately... actually for a long time now.

Besides the everpresent doom, I'm getting excited about the idea of starting a skateboarding gang with @samfirke. I need to be more active, but running is hard (bad knees) and the gym seems iffy safety-wise, so maybe this!

I am also writing some songs and currently working on lyrics - aided by the newish Jeff Tweedy book, which has some really practical exercises for helping that process.

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