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Romey's Ramblings Posts

Enjoying Fall Colors

We took advantage of Clara and Bethany having an aligned three day weekend and headed up to the mountains to catch some fall colors. When we heard in September that the leaves were changing early, we got nervous, but luckily things held out and we got to see some great contrast in the leaves.

We went up to Hermit Park for the second time this year, renting a rustic cabin that has no electricity or running water. The weather was a beautiful mid-70’s, with the nights dropping into a cold 40’s. Luckily the cabin had propane heat, but we didn’t need to turn it on.

I can’t say enough good things about Hermit Park, especially when social distancing is so important. The cabins are very spaced out where you can’t see your next-door neighbor, and while the bathrooms are outhouses, they are actually very clean and well ventilated.

As soon as we got there we took a bunch of family photos that turned out pretty well. The girls were good sports about it, especially with the number of shots I took.

Friday couldn’t have been better. Then came Saturday…

We ventured out to Rocky Mountain National Park and started out at the Alluvial Fan. We snapped a few pictures then made our way up to see the water fall. We were crossing a 3-foot-wide stream when the rock I stepped on rolled and caused me to fall, with a 12 centimeter gash in my knee. This forced us to cut our trip short and go to both urgent care and eventually the Emergency Room for further examination.

The good news is that there doesn’t appear to be any bone fractures or ligament damage, but there was a lot of debris that made it into my knee and there is still concern for lasting damage and the possibility for further infection. Luckily I’m not in much pain and I’m taking it easy. I am wearing a knee immobilizer and need to use crutches to get around. My knee also currently has 13 stitches in it and a little drain for any excess fluid.

“But otherwise, did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

I did have a nice time and am still very glad that we went!

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My 2020 Political Podcast Playlist

Now that we’re less than 60 days until the Election, politics is in full gear for the fall. Since 2015 I’ve been on a steady (and probably unhealthy) increase of my political podcast consumption. As someone who is fiscally conservative, socially moderate, a detester of Donald Trump, I’ve tried to keep my perspective as open as possible, with a wide array of podcasts across the political spectrum.

I wanted to share a list of the political podcasts I listen to, in hopes that if you’re looking for something new to challenge and reinforce your views. If you have any that you really enjoy, please let me know! I’m always up for listening to a new podcast (currently I subscribe to 148 of them!

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What happened to “Memory Bliss”??

While listening to music, I stumbled on the strangest rabbit hole when a pivotal song of my youth came on Spotify, P.M. Dawn’s Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

However this is not the beloved version from my youth (which, thankfully is still on YouTube for now):

The re-recorded version, which is the only version available on Spotify and the other streaming services features a different vocalist, and a significantly inferior production value – yet this is the only version available on their Spotify artist page.

I scoured the Internet to see if I could find any press release or story that described what happened, but couldn’t find anything. I feel a little bit like Marty McFly after returning to Biff’s 1985, the only one realizing everything has changed.

I did finally stumble on a discussion thread where other like-minded people were asking the same question, but really only found this conspiracy-theory explanation:

This is in no way an “official” answer, but I think one need not look too far.

P.M. Dawn’s Prince Be (the mastermind and principal songwriter, arranger, vocalist, and performer of their entire “legitimate” catalogue) was, for years before his passing, incapacitated and unable to perform and record due to a stroke and complications from diabetes.

Doc G, the Attrell brothers’ first cousin, effectively took over the name back in 2009 and set out releasing phenomenally shitty music (including both originals and dreadful remakes of PMD classics) under the P.M. Dawn brand. Along those lines, he re-recorded “Set Adrift” in 2013 and began hawking his insulting, weak-ass version of the song to every crappy, MS Paint-designed ’90s compilation in the known universe.

I don’t know what may have specifically changed in the rights arrangement for the P.M. Dawn catalogue under Universal Music Group (current rights administrators for Gee Street/Island Records), but it does indeed appear that Doc G has found a way to have all traces of that song pulled from the digital universe. (“Set Adrift” has to be the biggest cash cow in the P.M. Dawn universe, though, so I’m kinda shocked he found a way to do so.) Presumably any remaining “accidental” appearances of the original have to do with licensing terms negotiated at the time of release.

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That’s the best explanation that I could find, and it does seem to fit the facts in this whole thing, but it’s extremely unfortunate that this knock-off version is the only one available on the streams, and troubling that the original can be so easily wiped out. I get that books go in and out of print all the time, but we’re talking digital media, where storage is virtually free, having their content removed from the zeitgeist.

If anyone has the actual explanation, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise I’m choosing to believe this theory and set adrift on my own musical memory bliss.

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New Drum Cover – Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven

I finally found some time to get back to recording drum covers again, this time pulling out a song that’s been around for a while, but that I couldn’t pass up: Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven”.

>> Locked Out of Heaven Drum Cover on YouTube

This song isn’t so much a re-interpretation as it is just a rendition of a really awesome drum grove. My favorite part is during the chorus when I get into a “big toms groove”, then going straight back into a fast hi-hat pattern.

I’d love to hear what you think! I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did recording it!

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(Not Quite) Back To School

Here we are at the end of the summer. Along with other parents, I’ve been holding my breath as to whether we’re doing in-person schooling in the fall in the midst of COVID-19. After reflecting on last school year, it’s become more apparent that the distance learning didn’t work at all in our house – not for lack of effort by the school, our great teachers, or by the parents – we all gave it our best, but it just didn’t work for our first grader.

Now we’re T-minus 10 days from an already-delayed start of the school year. While our district has maintained that they will be doing in-person learning for elementary students, they’ve already walked secondary schools back to a hybrid model (rotating cohorts of 2 days per week). This week we’ve seen neighboring districts announce the suspension of in-person learning until October, with the announcements leaving a lot of ambiguity about the date.

During that time I’ve seen a lot of people take to social media (especially Facebook) to publicly express their concerns and fears about whether to return to schools, on both sides. While I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject, discussing it with my wife (who has been in logistical discussions all summer about how to safely open and operate a high school during COVID), I’ve purposefully avoided discussing this on social media. Facebook more and more just seems more toxic.

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