Better late than never!

Deer Tick – Mayonnaise

J.S. Ondara – Tales of America

Anders Osborne – Alone

Ian Noe – Between the Country

Of Monsters and Men – Fever Dream

Brittney Howard – Jamie

The Highwomen

Yola – Walk Through Fire

Khruangbin – Hasta El Cielo

Tool – Fear Inoculum

Steve Earle & The Dukes – GUY

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms of Surrender

Tyler Childers – Country Squire

The DeToffol’s are sheltered at home in Minnesota and plan to stay isolated for the foreseeable future. We are very privileged in that we are currently healthy, are able to shelter in our wonderful home in a safe community, and that I am able to continue to work from home.

This detailed and well-sourced article makes the case that we need to hammer coronavirus with isolation and extensive testing to buy ourselves time. Each of us has a major role to play. We need to stay home.

Coronavirus and Covid-19 information sites:

Comic courtesy of XKCD

We got the Simmons SD600 electronic drum kit for Christmas and it has been a lot of fun. I’ve been watching a bunch of drumming videos and this isolated footage of Danny Carey playing on “Pneuma” is my current favorite. Danny is a true master, who obviously loves his art. And this is a great song.

This video gives a decent introduction into why you should secure your devices and digital accounts. Pay special attention to your personal email account. It is the most crucial account to secure as tightly as possible because it is the gateway to all your other accounts.

  • Buy products with security built-in. Make sure your software is updated regularly.
  • Use a password manager. I recommend Bitwarden, which is free and works across Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android.
  • Use Second Factor Authentication (2FA). Turn this on for all your important accounts, especially email and financial services. And don’t use SMS to receive the codes if you can help it.
Apollo 11 Patch

It has been 50 years since the Apollo missions launched humans to the moon. In celebration, there are a multitude of events, documentaries and retrospectives and websites marking the anniversary. I’ll update this list as I find more.

The Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 kit is excellent! The set has amazing details and build quality. The boys and I had a great time building and learning about the most powerful rocket ever made.


How the Earth rides around the Sun, and how that impacts our clocks and calendars.

Uncle Tupelo played their last show on May 1, 1994, captured for posterity (and with a decent board recording!) in this video. This seminal band, the progenitor of alt-country, had a huge influence on my musical tastes.

Rolling Stone recently published this fantastic oral history documenting the 25th anniversary of ‘Anodyne’, Uncle Tupelo’s final album.

The end of each year brings the best of lists from across the arts and entertainment media. Here is a list of best of articles that I’ll update as I find new ones.

David Ehrlich’s “The 25 Best Films of 2018: A Video Countdown” (video above)

The New York Times “The Best Books of 2018

Paste Magazine “The 50 Best Albums of 2018

Paste Magazine “The 25 Best TV Shows of 2018

Google Play’s “Best of 2018

Apple’s “Best of 2018

The Wirecutter’s “The Gifts We Want To Give in 2018

The New Yorker “The Best Podcasts of 2018

NPR “The 100 Best Songs of 2018

NPR “The 50 Best Albums of 2018

AV Club “The Best Comics of 2018

American Songwriter “Top 25 Albums of 2018

Thinking back, my Mom and Dad were fairly early adopters of computing, which certainly helped spark my interest in technology. We had the Sears Tele-Games version of the Atari 2600.  I remember my Dad bringing home a Compaq Portable from the office a few times. Our first true personal computer was the Tandy 1000, sold by Radio Shack. The Tandy 1000 was a IBM PC compatible computer than ran on a special version of MS-DOS. I don’t remember exactly which model, but I’m pretty sure it had the Intel 8088 processor. I remember ours having two 5 1/4 inch disk drives, which made it easy to load DOS and then a program. My favorite game was King’s Quest, a graphical adventure game by Sierra. And of course we had a dot matrix printer for printing school papers.