2019 Spotify Year in Review

Every year I post my Spotify Wrapped/Year in Review. This year I have to speculate if they got the 2019 metrics right. Based on what I remember listening to, it doesn’t seem to follow.

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RHCP and The Smashing Pumpkins being among the top artists seems off. I know I went through most of the Smashing Pumpkins discography, but I also went through the back catalog of Brand New and Circa Survive several times and created specific playlists for these artists that I listened to multiple times.

The top songs is also off. I know “Sunflower” and “Peaches” are among the top songs I listened to (my kids), but where’s “Old Town Road,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Uptown Funk,” and all of the other songs my kids made me play literally every time we went somewhere in the car or were doing activities in the kitchen?

My decade in review:

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The artists seem right, but the songs are off.

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No surprise here.

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Related: 2018 Spotify Year in Review

Cybertruck | Tesla →

I have mixed feelings about the Cybertruck. Last night, when it was officially unveiled, I thought it looked hideous. It looks like a prop they found from Back to the Future II. The only people I could imagine buying this were Tesla super fans. This morning, the truck was headline news and in all of my feeds. After looking at it a bit more, I can see the appeal that this truck will have. It’s way different than anything currently on the market and people love to be different. Rivian, Ford, and GM’s electric truck designs all take a conservative design approach and will likely appeal to the mass market. The design of the Cybertruck doesn’t appeal to me. For that matter, most modern trucks don’t appeal to me. Different strokes for different folks.

[updated]
I forgot to mention that I showed my three boys (ages 11, 7, 5) the Cybertruck over breakfast and they thought it looked really cool. Cooler than our neighbor’s brand new F-150. When I asked if it was cooler than my ’57, they said it was a different type of cool.

[updated again]
About 48 hours after its unveiling, Elon tweeted that they had taken deposits on 146,000 Cybertrucks. This thing is way more popular than I imagined.

Best McDonald’s Sandwiches: 15 Burgers & Sandwiches, Ranked – Thrillist →

McDonald’s was my fast food restaurant of choice growing up. It was always cheap, accessible, and good.

It’s been a good ten years since the last time I ate a full McDonald’s burger. As the father of three boys, I’ve often had the first bite out of my kid’s cheeseburgers, to make sure that burger is not poisonous and safe to eat (really to satisfy a craving), or was so desperately hungry that I ate the unfinished portions of their burgers left in their wrappers, rather than throw it away.

While the Thrillist article list is based on the best current McDonald’s burgers, reading through it brought back memories of all my favorite McDonald’s burgers from my lifetime. Here’s my top ten list of McDonald’s burgers:

10. Quarter Pounder with Cheese
This was my burger of choice when I was a pre-teen. It also happens to be my pre-teen son’s favorite.

9. Chicken Sandwich
I remember this being on the McD $1 menu and chowing down on these when I was in high school and college. My “hack” to make this burger a little more palatable was to ask for either the sweet and sour or BBQ dipping sauce and topping the burgers with the sauce.

8. McRib
I always enjoyed these when they were in-season.

7. Superhero/Batman Returns Burger
This had a limited run back in the mid-90’s. It was more of a sub sandwich filled with three burgers, cheese, and toppings. It was a lot of burger for a great price.

6. Double Cheeseburger
The classic McD cheeseburger, but double the meat and cheese. Not to be confused with the McDouble (two beef patties, single slice of cheese).

5. Big N’Tasty
These came out in the late 2000’s and are among the last McD burgers I remember eating. My wife was pregnant at the time and this burger was one of her cravings. It seems bizarre now, but we would go to McD, order these, and sit and eat them in the restaurant.

4. Teriyaki Burger
When I lived in Japan, McD’s offered a Teriyaki Burger. I can’t recall if it was chicken or beef, but the meat was covered in teriyaki sauce and topped with a sweet mayo and served on a bun. That’s it. If I ever return to Japan, a McD Teriyaki Burger is on the list.

3. Cheeseburger
The cheeseburger Happy Meal was a staple of my childhood. As a young adult, I survived my first two years of college on the McD cheeseburger. I remember during the early 2000’s, McD ran some ridiculous offer where you could buy them at their original $.49 price. On a return trip to Western, one of my best friends and I bought $10 worth–20 cheeseburgers–and proceeded to eat as many as we could on the 2.5 hour drive. I think we ate 5 each in less than 15 minutes and were full and feeling nauseous for the remainder of the trip.

2. Big Mac
Classic. It’s the sauce that makes this burger. When I get a craving for fast food, the Big Mac or Cheeseburger immediately come to mind.

1. Arch Deluxe
Hands down, my favorite McDonald’s burger of all time. This had a limited run when I was in high school and I’m pretty sure I ate one every Friday night those years it was available. I can’t remember exactly what made this burger so special. I remember it being a little bit more upscale than a traditional McD burger–nicer quality bun, a better special sauce, crunchier lettuce, and the burger packaging (at the time) was nicer and contributed to the experience. It’s the one burger from McD that I wish they’d bring back.

Reflecting on it now, I ate A LOT of McDonald’s growing up and turned out mostly all right…

The One That Got Away

tweet

I saw this tweet the other day and it got me thinking about the one that got away.

C-10

Two years ago to the week, I had the opportunity to purchase a 1970 Chevrolet C-10. Not just any old C-10, one that had the right amount of patina and that had been semi-restored. I first noticed the truck on Portland’s Craigslist with a high selling price. At the same time, the truck was on eBay with a high reserve and didn’t sell. The second time it was listed on eBay, the reserve price came down a few thousand and although I didn’t bid to his reserve price, the owner messaged me and we started talking. After a couple of telephone calls about the truck and trying to line up our schedules, I hopped in my car and made the 3.5 hour drive down to Salem, OR to take a closer look at the truck.

According to the owner, Jerry, he purchased the truck from a seller in Vancouver, WA who brought it down to the Portland Swap Meet. The previous owner had performed a lot of work on the truck including swapping the ’67 front-end, replacing some of the body panels, cleaning up some of the rust, getting the motor running, putting the 20″ wheels on it, installing a Dakota Digital dash, among other improvements. After going over the entire truck and taking it for a 30 minute test drive, everything checked out. I was going to buy this truck. Jerry and I agreed on a price. I explained that I was going to pay him half in cash and the other half would come from a cashiers check from my credit union (at the time, my credit union had a special on used auto loans that made it too good of a deal to pass up). He was fine with this. We shook hands and then I drove back home.

The following day I went to my credit union to begin the process of obtaining the loan. I completed my end of the paperwork at the credit union and then had to send copies of the completed forms to Jerry for him to complete. When Jerry returned the paperwork, I sent it to the credit union, and within minutes after sending it to the credit union, I received a call from the Loan Officer who was working with me. There was a problem.

The truck was not registered to Jerry. It was still registered to the person Jerry purchased it from who lived in Vancouver. The credit union was not going to issue me a loan and cut Jerry a check for a vehicle that wasn’t registered in his name. I had a couple of options: ask Jerry to go register the truck in his name so we could complete the purchase or take out a personal loan to purchase the truck. The latter option came with an interest rate nearly four times the special used auto loan rate. Hard nope. It was going to have to be the first option.

Asking Jerry to register the truck seemed like a reasonable request. He wanted to get rid of the truck, I was an able and willing buyer, and I thought he would understand, and he did, but he didn’t want to go through the process of registering the truck in his name. I offered to pay for the registration fees and he refused. I even offered to pay for the registration fees and throw in an additional $100 for his time. He still refused. An extra $250 and yet he still refused. All he wanted was the money for the truck.

I couldn’t tell if Jerry was being stubborn or if there was something shady going on. If this was an all cash deal, he would have just signed the title over to my name and it would be done. But wanting to pay him with cash and a cashier’s check via an auto loan, this wasn’t going to work. With him unwilling to register the vehicle and my unwillingness to use a personal loan, the deal was dead.

A couple of months later, the truck reappeared on eBay but body work had been done and the truck was sprayed in flat black primer. All of the patina and character from the truck was gone. This truck was no longer for me. But to another buyer, they were just a paint job away from a show-ready truck. The truck ended up selling near what he was originally asking.

In the last two years of keeping an eye out for C-10’s, nothing has come close to this truck that I could have had. I still give myself a hard time for not dipping into savings or cashing out some investments to purchase the truck. To most people, it probably makes no sense to go to these lengths in order to purchase an old, clapped-out truck. But these trucks, in decent condition, are increasingly harder to find. The nice ones have become collector vehicles and they don’t get driven on the roads except to shows or for fair-weather cruising. To me, these trucks look better than newer trucks on the road today. They drive perfectly fine for daily driving. I still think about the test drive I took and how well it handled for being a 47-year old truck and how responsive the throttle was. You can’t replicate the sensation and experience of driving these classic trucks.

Next time…

Buy the truck. Buy it and then go get fucking avocado toast. Drive and enjoy the truck like there’s no tomorrow. You age quickly, the old people are lying to you and blaming you because they feel bad they stole your future and shit all over what they didn’t steal.

C-10

C-10

The Launch — The California Sunday Magazine →

There is a lot of hype and high expectations riding on the Cosmic Crisp. I’ve been reading about the development of this apple for a couple of years now. The promise of an apple sweeter and crispier than a Honeycrisp has got to deliver.

Killed by Google – The Google Graveyard & Cemetery →

A graveyard/memorial of all of the products introduced and then killed by Google.

My favorite Google product that was killed too soon was Reader. It was THE BEST RSS aggregrator and reader. I’ve been using Feedly since Reader was pulled (2013) and while it’s good, it’s not Reader.

Another favorite was Google Listen. It was the first podcast app I downloaded in 2011 and it was so simple and great.