Tuesday was a day of online engagement, b-movies and backyard philosophizing.


Amelia’s virtual school is having Spirit Week, and Tuesday was sports day. Making her dad, grandpa and lots of family back in Wisconsin super proud, she honored the day by wearing her rather awesome polka-dotted Green Bay Packers cap.


We had some nifty assignments to do with Amelia, like going on a scavenger hunt around the house to identify liquids that are either translucent or viscous. Oh, the mischief kids get into today.

She also had some art projects, making moths! I am very supportive of education and the arts, but I have to say, I once had a storage unit in Chicago that got overrun with moths. With those bad memories, I wasn’t all that supportive of this particular project. But what must be, must be. Truth be told, Amelia created a fine moth.

I also had some online interaction to do. I’ve been on several conference calls since we’ve been in quarantine, but this was the first one that used video. So I actually had to do something with my hair and put on a shirt with a collar. It felt pretty onerous, not to put too fine a point on it.

But the call went well, and I actually had a fairly productive day all in all. I spent some time working in the backyard while the kids were playing. They ultimately wound up by the new fire pit, having some pretty deep philosophical discussion. The scene reminded me a lot of Bill and Ted visiting Socrates.

“All we are…is dust in the wind, dude.” More righteous words were never spoken.

That evening, after the kids were in bed, I connected with some friends around the country and we did an impromptu shared screening of The Core, a deliciously terrible move currently on Netflix. If you’re looking for a silly, early 2000s sci fi movie to have some laughs with, I highly recommend it. It stars Aaron Eckhart, Hillary Swank, Delroy Linda, Alfre Woodard, Bruce Greenwood, and a delightfully scenery-chewing Stanley Tucci.

The science is…questionable at best. I think the dialogue was written by an AI that has only ever seen old Ed Wood movies and maybe a few episodes of  Lost in Space. Anyway, it was good fun making cracks about this movie that somehow got made.

It was also a reminder that all dark times can still have a happy ending. Sure, our current situation is scary. But in this movie, the Earth’s core stopped and shut down the planet’s magnetic field. Talk about overwhelming. But all it took was some nuclear bombs and a plucky crew of lovable scientific misfits to save the day. There’s hope for us yet.