Gregory Pittman

Welcome! 👋🏼

This site is my home on the web, a gathering place for links and thoughts.

About Me 👤

Social Media 💬


Timeline… 📰

Short posts and on-the-go observations. I occasionally write longer pieces about leadership, education, and the arts.

Our Annual Christmas Movie Watchlist

Every year during the Christmas season, which for my family, always starts on Thanksgiving Day, we make our way through a list of well-loved holiday movies. I can recommend each of them for your viewing pleasure without any hesitation. In no particular order…

  1. Nativity!
  2. In Bruges (dark, and not very Christmasy, but it’s a great movie and takes place at Christmastime)
  3. Love Actually
  4. The Holiday
  5. The Polar Express
  6. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (not a Christmas movie, but one we usually watch together)

Die Hard and The Nightmare Before Christmas might get promoted to the family list this year. Might.

There are others we watch separately because not everyone gives them a thumbs up. My wife enjoys Elf and A Christmas Story. I like It’s a Wonderful Life. We’ll probably watch these movies on our own.


☕️ What’s in the cup? Big Trouble from Counter Culture Coffee


I was positive at one time that Evernote would die. But, against all odds, it’s still around and has been acquired.

Old school HT


🤣

South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweet asking why it should leave Twitter because disasters are their thing

Bringing the week to a close by a nice fire on a crisp fall evening.


Let me tell you about my morning...

For context, my day job is in education but I maintain a relatively active performance schedule. One of my gigs is as a section leader of a parish choir. It pays well enough and the people are wonderful.

It was evident from the moment of my arrival that today’s service was going to be loooong. Here are my “notices and wonders,” as they accumulated this morning.

  • There is a double introit because the handbell ensemble is also playing, in addition to the choir. 🔔
  • Someone “fixed” the clock at the back of the church. That’s not good, because the head priest likes to visit with the parishioners. That’s not at all a bad thing, but this particular priest loses track of time easily and frequently starts services five or more minutes late. Normally, the clock is set five minutes ahead to help mitigate this. No, I don’t think he knows someone sets it ahead; but today, it was actually a minute behind, so we were definitely starting late. 🕰️
  • Why is the order of service 20 pages long today? [mild panic begins to set in] What’s happening? Oooooooh! A baptism. Baptisms always make the service longer, plus there are more people to take communion, which adds even more time. 😱
  • Who’s preaching today? Oh, Father Dan,1 the priest with the longest homilies. 🙄
  • We’re going to be here for a little bit. 🥱

To help offset what was going to be a very long service, we needed some drama. And drama we got.

Today, we celebrated Veteran’s Day. The Scout troop attached to the church presented the colors in the processional at the beginning of the service. When they posted the colors, they did so just a skosh too close to a candle. As we finished the processional hymn, I smelled incense. “That’s odd,” I thought. “This church doesn’t use incense. Why is Father John1 carrying the flags? He shouldn’t be bothering the flags. Is that… Is that smoke coming from the flags? Oh! The flags are on fire. The flags are on fire!

THE FLAGS!

ARE ON!

FIRE!

How they put out the flaming nylon without requiring an evacuation, I have no idea. I should point out that, at over 260 years old,2 this church building is one of the oldest in the United States, and it could go up in flames very quickly. So, thankfully, whatever they did worked and we all lived. The service continued for another hour and a half.

And, that’s my story for this mid-November Sunday afternoon.


1Names changed to anonymize the complicit.
2The congregation itself is over 300 years old. There’s a lot of history there.


🏁 After wrestling with MacOS all day, I get to have dinner with two of my kiddos.


How My Saturday Morning Is Going (Hint: Not Well)

  • Install MacOS 13.1 public beta 2
  • Get locked out of my MacBook Pro
  • Downgrade to release version; all is well except…
  • Can’t access Apple Music library because “it was created with a newer version of Apple Music”
  • Reinstall MacOS 13.1 beta 2 because maybe the first one just glitched somewhere, right?
  • Get locked out of my MacBook Pro again

I can get by without my MBP for a day or two, maybe more. Should I chuck the beta and install the release version and just rebuild my Apple Music library? Or should I wait to see if Apple gets back to me on the feedback I submitted?


I have no idea what Wibblur will entail, but what does it hurt to join the waitlist? ¯_(ツ)_/¯


🤬 Now that I’ve downgraded to the release version of MacOS Ventura, I can’t access my Apple Music library because “it was created with a newer version of Apple Music.” The beat goes on—or, in this case, it doesn’t.


🥱 MacOS Ventura reinstalled successfully as far as I can tell. Now for some sleep while TimeMachine works its magic.


Well, damn. The latest MacOS update has me locked out of my MacBook Pro.


Our devices give proper alerts for severe weather approaching our area. Paying special attention to the timestamp of this status, ask me how I know.


Waiting on the remnants of Hurricane (now Tropical Depression) Nicole to rumble through overnight. I’m a trained weather spotter, but I’m also a trained sleeper. 💤


When I was growing up, we looked forward to snow days. Now we have hurricane days. Heading home to batten down the hatches. 🌀💨💧


In Memoriam Chase Crossingham

As a middle school administrator, I spend a lot of time explaining how bad social media is for teenagers. I use their language, so I don’t come across as preachy, but I don’t mince words: social media is one of the worst inventions ever for the developing brain and the way young humans should interact with each other. But I was reminded this evening how beautiful social media can be.

Paul Razzell is a writer in Canada. His Mastodon introduction post appeared on my feed, and I was drawn to it because he mentions his project related to Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherrent Vice.

I was a college freshman in 1991 taking the compulsory English 101 class. The instructor insisted we call him by his first name, Chase. He was as affable as he was burly. One of the first books we read for Chase’s class was Pynchon’s collection of short stories, Slow Learner. A writing assignment was attached to the reading, and when I received the graded paper back from Chase, there was a large A written on the cover page. I stared at that A for a minute. After class, I stayed behind to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. Chase assured me it wasn’t. I remember the conversation almost word for word.

“No. I enjoyed reading it.”

“But I never got anything higher than a C on any writing assignment in high school, and this is my first writing assignment in college. How can I get an A in college and a C in high school?”

“Because high school writing teachers sometimes think they have to be tough. They don’t. And some think they know it all. They don’t. You write well. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

I have told that story several times over the years; the impact that little bit of encouragement had on me was incalculable. But it wasn’t until my encounter with Paul Razzell earlier tonight that I thought to see what Chase has been doing since my English 101 class with him more than thirty years ago.

Chase continued to teach while working on his doctorate. As far as I can tell, he never finished his degree and eventually moved into financial planning, all the while maintaining his love for literature. Sadly, Chase died in 2014 at the age of 53.

Rest well, Chase Crossingham. You taught me not to be afraid to put my thoughts in writing. You also taught me to be a teacher who encourages students while maintaining high expectations. You taught me both are possible, and I have carried that conviction ever since. I have students of my own who are teachers now. I hope I have passed this belief on to them. If I have been successful, your legacy will live on for decades.


I changed my Micro.blog username from gpittman to gdp to match my omg.lol and Mastodon accounts. Hope nobody minds. :-)


Looking for folks to follow on Mastodon, I just discovered maybe the best bio line I’ve ever seen.

“Winner of the 1983 Impregnation Marathon in my mother’s womb”


I disabled crossposting from Micro.blog to Mastodon. Not everything I post here is necessary to appropriate to post over there. However, everything from there could be here, so I’m still trying to figure that out. But, now I’m going to vote.


Today is Election Day in the United States. It might be because my years are starting to accumulate, but it seems to me that each election is more important than the last one in terms of the legacy we will leave for those who come after us.


I have to move to a new host anyway, and I’ve been considering dropping it altogether.


The last 24 to 48 hours have seen my Twitter feed go completely silent of any social interaction. It’s all news orgs or individuals posting on behalf of news orgs. I might play with Mastodon this afternoon, though I’m quite happy to stake my social media tent here at Micro.blog.


A rare sick day gives me a chance to listen through all the HD music services again. Amazon Music’s implementation of Dolby Atmos is much better than Apple’s. I don’t know how that’s possible, but Amazon is delivering what Apple imagined but has so far struggled to achieve. 🎵


I want to learn to speak Spanish. I don’t want to have to rely on our Spanish-speaking teachers or use a translation service for simple conversations with students and parents. Apart from the obvious, (Duolingo, for example), what’s the best self-guided method for this?


As a navigation app, Waze is your crazy drunk uncle who’s up for an inappropriate adventure just about any time. There should be an option to reduce the amount of creativity it uses in its routing algorithm.