The 1981 Lake Harriet / Har Mar tornadoes in Minneapolis

The other night here in Chicago we had a crazy walloping of 11+ confirmed tornadoes during very bad storms. After surviving that, coworkers were sharing their opinions with me about what's scarier, hurricanes or tornadoes? I've had to get out of town to avoid a hurricane before, and I guess I've been lucky that I've always been able to make use of fair warning -- we tend to see the hurricanes coming, though their path can change and their intensity, too.

But what of tornadoes? I definitely am not a fan of tornadoes, going all the way back to when I was a child, growing up in Minneapolis. In 1986 there was a storm in Fridley (a suburb of Minneapolis) that spawned a huge tornado that a TV station caught on video and was famously shared around the world.

But even prior to that, back in 1981, a tornado ripped across the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and went right through the neighborhood of Linden Hills, where I was growing up. I was wondering about that tornado, asking myself how correct my recollection of it was, and it turns out that local television station KARE-TV recapped that June 14, 1981 tornado a few years ago, and so I share that with you below. Enjoy!

Like Grandma's basement

Sometimes I order an old record from eBay, sight unseen. Or seen via photo. But not smelled. I have no idea how it's going to smell until it arrives. I guess that's how I ended up with this album, which smells like grandma's basement. I guess that this is proof that it really is an original pressing from 1963.

The album: Crash! Kenny Burrell with the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet.

Great album. I've already listened to it half a dozen times in less than a month.

Growing Spam Resource

My deliverability blog Spam Resource got about 398,000 visits in 2023. Is that good or bad? It feels good. It's been fun blogging about email, deliverability, mailbox providers, marketing best practices, and all that kind of stuff. Near the end of 2021, I slowly started to overhaul the blog with the hope of increasing visibility and traffic.

Quick and Incomplete Notes on Low Salt Food

I've had to change my diet recently after learning that I have a heart condition. It's not possible to completely eliminate salt (unless I want to only eat rocks), so I'm not going to be able to get to a zero sodium diet, but I have decided to eliminate sodium from my diet wherever I can. Here's a few of my notes on what I look for when buying food.

Hang in there. We need you.

It's a shitty time. Depression falls from the sky more easily than the rain lately.

Please remember that your family needs you, your friends need you, your pets need you. The world needs you (even if you don't realize it). Depression can and will grab at you. Try hard not to let it eat you up whole. Get up out of bed in the morning, walk your dog, shower, brush your teeth, no matter what. Survive and try to even thrive, so that you can help others through this time.

But what of antifa?

What IS antifa? I don't know much about them, and I suspect you don't either, so maybe start with Wikipeda. Jezebel's Harron Walker has a good and quick take for you as well. See "Area Fascist Still Doesn't Know What Antifa Is." (Jezebel, May 31, 2020.)

Beyond that, a greater understanding of "what is antifa" is too much for me to tackle. Instead, I'm just taking a few notes here based on my concern around the president labeling antifa a terrorist group. I decided to do a bit of googling and reading around the news to try to answer one question for myself: Is "antifa" actually behind all the rioting and looting going on in the US these past days? If so, maybe some level of outrage is warranted. If not, it's fair to question what's actually going on here.

Black Lives Matter

Other people can explain this better than I can, so I'm going to quote and link quite a bit here.

Black Lives Matter. Doesn't "All Lives Matter" mean the same thing / mean a good thing, too?
No. German Lopez from VOX explains  Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 different ways . (July 11, 2016.)

It’s a common conversation these days: One person says, “Black lives matter.” Then another responds, “No, all lives matter.”

It’s also a complete misunderstanding of what the phrase “black lives matter” means. The person on the receiving end interprets the phrase as “black lives matter more than any other lives.”

But the point of Black Lives Matter isn't to suggest that black lives should be or are more important than all other lives. Instead, it’s simply pointing out that black people's lives are relatively undervalued in the US — and more likely to be ended by police — and the country needs to recognize that inequity to bring an end to it.

My Coronavirus Notes & FAQ

Here I'm pulling together a few different bits of information on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that I believe to be correct. I've linked to sources and included publication dates to help with identification and trust.

Starting with: Should you wear a mask when out and about?
Yes. See this post from Daring Fireball's John Gruber. "We’re waiting for peer-reviewed studies. In the meantime, early studies and anecdotal evidence from countries with established mask-wearing social norms suggest quite strongly that mask wearing is effective." (May 21, 2020.)
See also "HAMSTER RESEARCH SHOWS MASKS EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING COVID-19 TRANSMISSION" linked to and summarized by John Gruber. (May 21, 2020.)

John's not some conspiracy theorist. He's a respected tech blogger linking to various respectable sources of information.

On the subject of voting

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"