A Stroll Through History with The Dollop

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen while walking the dog, or mowing the lawn, or even–if I remember my headphones–while I’m grocery shopping. Sometimes, when I just can’t deal with the news anymore, I turn off NPR and turn on a podcast.

So I love when I find a podcast that’s been around for awhile but is new to me. It means there’s an extensive archive for me to work through while I wait for new episodes of my old favorites. Lately, the podcast I’m binging is The Dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. Each week Dave tells Gareth a story from history and hilarity ensues.

It’s a fun way to learn about history–or, sometimes, more current events–especially the little known stories of individuals who are nearly lost to history. Here are some of my favorites… Continue reading

A Rock Climbing Fable for the Ages

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I headed to the rock climbing gym as per usual. We donned our gear, chalked up our hands, and hit the wall. There were a dozen or so new routes in the back corner of the gym, and after a warm up, we headed over to check them out.

If you aren’t familiar with climbing gyms, here’s a little primer on how it works. The easiest routes are rated 5.5. If you’re an adult, these get old quick. The holds are easy and close together. Ratings go up to about 5.14 or so (it gets more complicated than that but it’s all you need to know for now). At my gym, when a new route is set a scorecard is put out and climbers can rate it however they think fit. Eventually, someone takes all the ratings and narrows it down to one rating.

600_434194106A year or so into climbing, I can climb a 5.9 pretty reliably. Once in awhile I meet one that vexes me. I have climbed the occasional 5.10. But this weekend I found myself faced with something interesting. Instead of a bunch of scorecards on the new routes, they were simply marked with colored tape. There were absolutely no ratings to be seen.

We stood before the wall, assessing the new routes. You usually have some idea of whether or not something is within your wheelhouse. But I found myself looking at one route on a sharp corner with lots of tiny little holds thinking, “I can do that.” My boyfriend guessed it might be a 5.11. I decided to throw myself at it anyway.  Continue reading

Happy Sunday:For the Girls

I missed this commercial during the actual Super Bowl, but my boyfriend started describing it to me, and I started crying. To be fair, I’d been fighting back tears since Lady Gaga got on that roof to sing “This Land Is Your Land,” but if I wasn’t already a devout Subaru owner, Audi would be my next choice.

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Senator Mitch McConnell during debate over Jeff Sessions nomination as Attorney General. Because Seantor Warren is a badass, she just went on Facebook Live and read the letter from Coretta Scott King she was going to read in the debate. Then McConnell gave women the mantra we’ve been looking for. I had to meme it.

Feel free to steal and share!she-was-warned-she-was-given-an-explanation-nevertheless-she-persisted

Political Podcast Picks

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m addicted to podcasts. And lately my listening tastes have leaned toward the political.

Here’s the thing, skimming your Facebook and Twitter feeds isn’t really informing you. Even if you’re clicking through to actually read some of those articles, they can only do so much. Sometimes you need more insight or analysis (preferably not of the screaming talking-head variety)…or you just need to have a laugh along with your political chat. That’s when I turn to podcasts.  Continue reading

I’m Going Solar, So Should You

When this publishes I’ll be on my first real vacation in years. Sure I’ve taken a long weekend here and there to go to Maine or down to the beach, but this time I’m actually getting on a plane (which I hate doing) and going to a place where it’s warmer to swim with Manatees and get a wand at Olivander’s. On the Monday after I return a team of guys will show up at my house between 7 and 9 a.m. to start installing solar panels on my roof. I may be more excited for the panels then I am for the vacation. (HYPERBOLE!)

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I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, but I was paralyzed by the choices. Over the past year I’ve watched as panels appeared on houses all over my neighborhood. Each house seemed to have a different company on the job. Which was best? I couldn’t decide. Then, a couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I were leaving Home Depot which has had salesmen from Solar City stationed by the door for what seems like years. I figure Home Depot probably did its homework on the company, and since Solar City is now part of Tesla, it had to be a reputable company. Still, I usually avoid eye contact and sneak by, not wanting to get the hard sell, but on this day I was feeling it… So I stopped.  Continue reading