The Children

My brother is an amazing parent.

Eldest daughter's 3rd birthday.

Father's Day - 2015


Decade of Data

Some time in mid-May of 2004 the hard drive of my otherwise trusty PowerBook G4 gave out. It was probably a direct result of the emotional stress I had subjected it, and everyone else that I cared about, to over the preceding week. I had just finagled an A in my final undergraduate class; somehow getting credit for building a functional bagpipe while simultaneously not building a functional bagpipe. And also breaking Jobonga's sewing machine.

The point being, I had lost all of the backup for the past 4+1 years of college; except for my WeBWork―my entire collegiate career's worth of work, gone. The other point being I still had 2,388 mp3s on my reliable 2nd generation iPod (back when 10GB sounded like a lot). And luckily, that was the important point.

At 1:01 PM, May 18th, 2004 I started importing these songs back into my iTunes library. And now, exactly a decade later, I have 10 years of uninterrupted iTunes metadata at my fingertips. And guys, I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT.

Some important notes:

1. The 1st song added back into my library, and thus, the song which will forever be my oldest iTunes entry: "When The Angels Sing" by Social Distortion. It's not what I would have chosen to be the originating entry, but the data doesn't lie. My oldest songs, in reverse order:
I do feel pretty good about "Informer" showing up there at #4. Also, "Boogie Shoes" by KC &/or The Sunshine Band has proven to be a really insightful Napster grab for me. Pre-2004 Whitney had some insightful predilections. 

2. In 10 years I have acquired 35,999 songs (see above). Which is roughly 9.8 songs/day for 10 years, which are basically Wangari Maathai numbers. Or, in other words, if I started playing my library today it would continue non-stop until August 19th. It's a little disappointing that I didn't hit the 36k mark, but it still feels good. Really good. And I'm sure that it's still more than Schwenn has. 

(At this point I'd like to throw out a shoutout to Napster, The CIF server, and the internet in general. Actually, mostly The CIF server. To this day its Internet2 connection is the ideal by which I judge my life. It would be enjoyable to have today; in 2002 it was transformational.) 

3. Most Played Song: "No One" by Alicia Keys. By a wide margin. Obviously.
Other highlights: "Bring It On Home To Me", because it's amazing. "The Dreamer" by The Tallest Man On Earth, because it's what I whistled in my jail cell that time I got arrested. "Break My Stride" by Unique II, because BIKETUB.

4. 196 Genres, 4316 Artists, 5377 Albums
5. My Oldest Play: "Freeze Frame" - Less Than Jake. 
That's right, the last time I listened to it was a decade ago, while I was still importing those 2,388 songs. IT WAS NUMBER 2368! And then never again. Over the course of 10 years. #memories

Because, THE DENSITY. After Crapples and my Sweater Book, this is the thing I am most proud of.
Because my Play Density is what I live for. Sorry, for which I live. It's the reason Pandora, and Spotify, and Jennjamin's Mix Tapes, and Rdio have no appeal to me. I need the data, and I need the playcount. Always. Otherwise what will the next decade of my life mean? 


The Whiskey Always Knocks Twice

This one time, on a Saturday, Sealander texted me and said he was stuck in Philadelphia. You may remember Sealander from that time he showed up in Madison unexpectedly and ditched his other friends to drink dinner-mimosas/game all day and part of the night with us instead. There was also that time Jojo and I blew through Rochester, NY reliving past glories and busting down the walls of the future of our past. There's surprisingly sparse photographic evidence of that night actually. Maybe because I came closer to getting arrested than I ever have—except for that other time I actually got arrested.

Anyway, Sealander was in town for the Paul Simon/ Sting tour, because that's a thing, and didn't have anything else to do Saturday night. What followed was two nonconsecutive meals accompanied by City Specials and bloody marys. 

Our most serious discussion was obviously regarding the demise of Google Reader. And then also the psuedo-demise of The Old Reader. Because, what are other people doing on the internet if they're not using an RSS feed aggregator? Seriously, that's an honest question. In related news, I'm giving InoReader a spin. I don't know, I'll basically try anything at this point.

Oh, and David Byrne's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". Listen to it.

And also listen to this, which is the sound track to my life.


DUMPS OF DUMPS or: How I Turned 32 and Learned to Love the Dumpling

In a year full of dumplings, vivren and I decided this was the year of the dumpling literally days before any of that other stuff went public. It's called having your finger to the throbbing pulse of the world. The pre-game was the 32 Working Day Challenge, in which the Finance Department successfully ate a different dumpling every working day on each of the 32 working days leading up to my 32nd birthday. That's 6+ weeks of dumplings, in case you weren't counting. It was daunting at times but ultimately delicious—plus it survived non-consecutive trips to China & Poland. Now that's what I call dumps! Of course it was documented and color-coded by dumpling origin:

The 32 Dumplings That Were
Dumpling Finale: Polish Bison Vodka!
With all that out of the way, it was time for the actual 32nd Birthday. Crowds starting assembling Friday night at which point we drank wine out of measuring cups and everybody had their picture taken. The later was mainly a safety precaution, since we did have to walk down my tiny little deserted street to get home. Then we did that thing where you stay up until 5:00 AM drinking with friends listening to music really loud. 
Germany - c. 1945

The Morning I Turned 32
Thirty-two started just how I'd always pictured it, a little hung over and very brunchy. And despite claims to the contrary, the DumpFest really came together. There were birthday necklaces, dumps out the wazoo, cowls for miles, and an impromptu scavenger hunt. In what apparently is a hexadecennial tradition, The Trudeaus showed up with manhattans, the hunt, and requisite prizes. Anyone who plans to attend my 48th birthday should be forewarned.
Team Taylors, with prize.

With the night ending in boots of Miller High Life and Maker's Mark in retrograde, the 6:00 AM wake up call was surprising. Actually, that's not true. I hid my phone under and extra layer of pillow so I wouldn't hear it. Katie proved her early morning mettle though and got us all out the door in time to load up the scooter cooler for the double tailgate, in a 1976 Winnebago. First up: The Philadelphia Marathon

Ms. Barnebey supports sports/husband.
Go Runners.
Fun fact: this guy did not blow anything up.

Between 'gates we stopped for coffee, and bathrooms, and Cheetos. While I manned the cab, Jay Carrol parking in front of me and we talked high school marching band for a few minutes. I was wearing this little getup. So there's that.
Second up: the Eagles' game tailgate.

There aren't a lot of things in this world more fun that double-scooting around a Eagle's tailgate on top of your beer supply.
Post-tailgate Cheesesteak Success!

Taytay in Philalphia



This one time we got up at 6:45am, got into a 1976 Winnebago, and drove to West Philadelphia. Then we supported the sports the best way we knew how—on a motorized cooler.

Scooter Cooler from wbarnebey on Vimeo.


Ghosts in the Grabyard

Ever since I saw this pic from johnhodman and its comment about ghost handjobs, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

Then someone told me to google image cough.


A Tale of Two Asteriskses

Remember Milwaukee's asterisk? Turns out it's called "Calling", but nobody knows or cares about that. It's Milwaukee's one landmark, along with that Calatrava thing it sits next too and Jo-Cats. Turns out Philadelphia has one too. It's not quite as tall, but di Suvero was nice enough to paint it the same color. This one's called "Iroquois", not "Calling", obviously. And while not as easy to climb, it turns out it's perfect for jumping.

Hey, Phila.