Ending April

In no particular order:

  • We’re reassembling the congregation at West Avenue Church of Christ on May 3, 2020. Service will be “drive-in”. This is to stay within the mandates of the Ashtabula City Health Department. Dad and I spent time packaging communion for individual distribution to attendees. It will be an interesting question as to who shows up.
  • One of my favorite dramas, All Rise, will be back on Monday with a new episode reflecting the current COVID-19 unpleasantness. This could be interesting. The main character to the show is supposed to be the character Judge Lola Carmichael but Jessica Camacho has most definitely stolen the show playing the plucky young public defender that so many plot lines center around. I enjoy the show thoroughly.
  • I am going batty with the lockdown restrictions. Having to contact the Alliance Defending Freedom for help in dealing with the uncertainties out of the state capital is a new one. Their lawyer that talked to me today was a huge help. I am very thankful for them and, if you have them time, donate a dollar or two to them.
  • Telehealth continues. Why? Although Governor Mike DeWine’s easing of restrictions initially looks like medical matters go back to normal they have a nasty buried codicil that telehealth should be preferred as much as possible still. I’ll have to check in to see if I will be making the trek to Beachwood on May 15th or not. I will find out Friday if counseling will return to face-to-face or not though the current contours of the Governor’s order make that look unlikely.
  • Gyms remain closed in Ohio. I am not liking this.
  • We are at risk of losing our last movie theater in Ashtabula County. AMC theatres stopped paying rent on all their properties. The latest owner of the Ashtabula mall complex is a financial mess. AMC might get evicted. I’ve been working on planning out how to fire up an arthouse theater locally and what that would entail. With all the excess commercial real estate that we have locally I should be able to seek out technical support from the Cleveland Institute of Art and be able to round up a couple folks to help raise capital. We accept too much failure locally.
  • I need to remember to write to my state rep and state senator about the November election imploring them to make a firm decision one way or another by August. If we don’t there is going to be chaos.
  • Our local radio stations need shaking up. Unfortunately they mostly have institutional religious owners. Yes, we can have too much Christian radio. Unfortunately there aren’t enough open channel slots to start new stations in competition. Moving to the Internet to compete has not materialized as a working strategy after twenty years of people trying. Making an online television station might be possible but I’m not sure how the captioning would be handled. Unfortunately the work by King Leo shows how many millions it takes to run even a small operation compared to when CNET was independent of ViacomCBS.
  • The Red and White Thunderbirds operation remains on pause.
  • Any White Pine County operations remain notional in planning stages at this time.
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Starting Another Week

In no particular order:

  • Drive-in church happened. There were logistics mishaps. That was expected. Unless there is a radical change in the state’s stance over the next few days we’ll be doing things the same way on May 10th.
  • The mass media infrastructure is not healthy in our country. FOX is turning into just celebrity watch parties. One of the big four television networks has devolved into Twitch right before our eyes.
  • It would be a neat idea to look into starting a combo drive-in theater/single screen indoor theater in Ashtabula County. At the rate we are going on keeping businesses closed we will need to start something new. There is plenty of excess commercial real estate but is any of it fit for purpose?
  • Apparently meat shortages are starting. What a stupid time to be alive.
  • I need to start writing a story. There needs to be a continuation of the space force story with the moon base and all. I can add to the todo list, it seems.
  • I need beefier hardware for video editing. I never really wanted to go into doing video. Unfortunately Erie Looking Productions has to adapt to the current bizarre market.
  • Staying just a print and audio shop seems to not be in the cards at this time…
On A Slightly Happier Note

It appears that the Andover Public Library in the southern reaches of Ashtabula County is collecting stories of surviving lockdown. Details can be found at http://www.andover.lib.oh.us/live/coronavirus-story/. I intend to write up something to submit about the difficulties of carrying out the work of the church.

May 2020 Miscellany

In no particular order:


And Yet Storms Brew Again

Where do I start? We are wrapping up May. Five months of 2020 are shortly going to be in the can. This year still has seven months of crazy in store.

In June I start monitoring Hurricane Watch Net which covers the Atlantic basin monitoring for ground truth data. Folks without appropriate operator licenses can listen in using Broadcastify when the net is active. The current cyclone season in the Atlantic has already been unusually active and we might see a third cyclone before the official start to the season on June 1st as the sea state analysis showed Thursday night. It does appear prudent to start monitoring at least NMG for radiofax charts since broadband is getting bad locally.

There is an EchoLink counterpart to the Hurricane Watch Net. I may check in on Saturday just to get a chance to contact WX4NHC. Getting set up on 30 meter APRS remains a goal.

Churches are having difficulties with COVID-19. I sat on a webinar Thursday with folks from CDC and learned very little. Apparently congregational singing is a bit iffy in terms of safety. In a Church of Christ setting taking congregational singing out of the mix makes for not much of a service at all.

In terms of crazy things I have noticed in the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network lately:

With all the push towards creating oral histories of the lockdown I recognize that I could create a typeset version of something. There are a couple ways to do so. If I wanted to create a hardbound book I would go with the suftesi class in LuaLaTeX in conjunction with the markdown package and then accept a collection of markdown-formatted submissions. Submitters would not need to know LaTeX to submit. I could edit submissions as appropriate and glom them together into a coherent whole for printing. In theory the markdown package could also be used with the novel class if I wanted to put things together in that form. It all depends upon motivation if I actually ended up doing anything. If I did anything it would likely be something about West Avenue Church of Christ with a view to getting it deposited at Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

You take a breath. Then you take another breath. The 100 is a show with many things to say. It really resonates in the current climate, I fear.