Friday, October 21, 2016

I'm Not Calling You a Liar

#Nasty  #badhombres.

Those seem to be the hashtags from "the debate" that anyone is talkin' about.

I was still riding a high from the Indians game, which ended about two hours before the debates. I was not plan on watching, but as we flipped through the 187 channels, 710 stopped on the last televised fuckfest with "those" two.

I believe we made it through two questions - one being about immigration and that damn fucking stupid wall. The other was much much much more painful: Abortion.

Since I pretty much refuse to read almost anything that has Drump's name in it, I don't know to what those above hashtags actually refer, though it doesn't take a Mr. Peabody to figure it out.

No, the uncontested answer of Drump to abortion - by Clinton, or that stooge, Chris Wallace - was simply ah-mah-zing.

He stood there and said about late term abortions, that "they" could "rip the baby out of the womb", one, two or three days before it was to be born.

Drump used the word 'yank', 'rip' and 'tear', trying to make a point about the procedure. Clinton did a fair at best job, trying to invoke it is not the government's place to tell a woman what to do, or about how horrible a choice it is, but still should be the right.

What she never touched was calling him a fucking liar on national television.

No one - and I mean NO one - performs late term 40 weeks!

Ok, maybe in some obscure third-world country - like Alabama - they do, but not in the U. S.

Usually, the latest late term abortion is at 22 weeks. It's not pretty, it's not nice, but it's also not at a whim of 'I just don't want the baby' either. Usually that late in the term, it's a clinical reason. And Clinton is right - it is a horrible decision to make or to do.

I get that the debate is to be somewhat civilized. I get that abortion, 45 years after Roe v Wade, is somehow still controversial, so someone who is pro-choice can't focus too much on actual abortion. And she deflected to the expected position of Planned Parenthood and all the other services they provide.

What she didn't do was call him a #liar.

Yes, there are many ways to do it without saying the word "liar", but he is and was lying - and zero to back it up.

Here within lies the problem - with Clinton and the media: they don't truly call him out on this shit. And unfortunately, what he says to the fucking 'tards who are voting for him believe the shit that come out of his mouth.

Once the debate is over and the fact checking starts hitting the intertubes......well, it is just too fucking late for facts. The damage is done and the few Drump voters who can read, aren't.

Nor did anyone call him on his Supreme Court "automatically overturning" Roe v Wade.  .......that's not exactly how the Supreme Court works. But Judicial, Executive and Legislative mean nothing to this man. A case actually has to make it to the court. It's not an executive order.

So we made it through two questions, and then it was to the DVR to see stored America's Test Kitchen shows that are backing up.

I'm pretty sure I've said it before - besides not being able to tolerate what he says, honestly, it's his f'ugly facial expressions, especially when Clinton is talking, that are such a deciding factor in his toxic personality.

Song by: Florence + the Machine

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Diamonds and Tears

Cleveland is going to the World Series !!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. THAT many exclamation points. Deal with it.

For the first time in 19 years, the Indians are back at the championship level. I could not be happier.

Growing up, I never thought I'd see the Cleveland Indians in a World Series. Now I've lived to see it happen three times.

I have yet to see a win......but I'm optimistic...which is SO not my style.

The regular season was somewhat anticlimactic. We were in first place since June and stayed there through September.

I'm not complaining. We are usually more up and down. There was always a reason to check the standings in the daily paper. After a while, though I did it, there seemed to be little point.

Post season was fun. We swept the first set of games. And had it not been of a horrible horrible game 4 in the American League final, we could have swept that series too.

While it would have been fun to win and home, I wasn't broken up about that. Hell, we didn't even win in this country! A win is a win is a win. I'm ok with where it was.

I got to go to a game in the 1997 World Series - our last one. I purposefully picked game 4 in case we did sweep....or got swept. I wanted to be a part of it.

My ticket that year - from a broker - was $330. It started out at $200, but I kept hanging up after blanching at the price. Every 15 minutes, it kept going up. I finally just folded and bought two tickets.

Mind you - that was almost two decades ago.

Tickets for this series?  Standing Room Only starts $641.  Starts. There are actually more expensive SRO "seats".

If one wants to put their cheeks in a seat, those start at the $800+ range. ...and those are the upper upper deck.

So while "we" are going to the World Series - we are not. It would be $1600 - minimum.....and that doesn't include parking!  Or beer. Or an evening time dog walker.

....and if tickets are $800 from the box office, can you imagine what a broker will charge you?

I can reassess as we get closer. Maybe someone has to get rid of a ticket or something.

I guess I'll just splurge on a t-shirt or something.

I'd have to really look, but I'm not 100% sure there is a city where two of their major sports teams have won championships in the same year.

2016 has brought the title for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lake Erie Monsters (an AHL - not NHL - hockey team). We have the chance for baseball too.

As always, the Cleveland Browns are total there is no way to capture all titles.

I'd say I don't care if the Indians win the Series or not, but I do. It was a right of passage when you were 11 that they'd end up in last place. And the 'maybe next year' for me is ticking down. Sure I'm only 53, but my time is running out.

Song by: Suzy Bogguss

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Out of Exile

Julian Assange is an enigma.

Remember when he was a "hero" for releasing the files that Chelsea Manning lifted from the US Military.  Ohhhh.......the liberals thought he was the bees knees for letting that information go.

I'm not sure the same liberals are as thrilled with him wiki-leaking Hillary Clinton's emails.

Oh, the irony.

I'll be honest, I'm so fucking over this election, I have not read what the leaked emails say or imply. Nor do I care.

The Dems are so worried about an outsider influencing this election. They thought it would be (t)Rump / Putin and the sway Russia will have over this election and affect the outcome. The Republicans have no issue either way, I presume, as long as someone somehow passes them the actual win.

I know Assange wants Hillary to lose. I don't know if he really wants (t)Rump to win, but that is kind of the outcome should he get his way.

And Assange should be a (t)Rump supporter.....and vice versa. My lord, people seem to forget he's taken refuge in an embassy where no one can touch him............for SEXUAL MOLESTATION!

I don't know what 'pussies' are called in Sweden, but maybe he's grabbing them there.

I do love that during the Wikileaks thing-a-ma-bob, that everyone seems to overlook that rape-y thing because he was fighting the good fight.

I was always on the fence with his actions (including, but not really about the rape thing). He did help get a young military (wo)man sent to jail for 35 years.

So he's winning on that one, Il Douche.

....and lord, what a hard life Mr. Assange must have had. Look at that image. He is 8 years younger than myself. In what world is that man forty fucking five years old?

Song by: Audioslave

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Every Time You Leave

I'm not complaining - but movies and date night are somehow a thing of the past.

To date, we've seen 20 movies this year. Impressive for us. But we have yet to step inside a theater since Labour Day weekend.  .....and since we got Shep.

That's why I'm not complaining.

For the last few months, Friday after work has been 'date night'. We got out for dinner...and a drink or two. Mind you, we're still home at a very very reasonable hour, but it was nice to end the work week that way.

Since Shep - food is made at home on Fridays or brought in. We just hang with the dog....and that's ok.

Ditto with movies.

Granted, there has not been much out there that we are in need of seeing, so it's kind of worked out, but as much separation anxiety that we fear Shep has, the reality is, it probably falls more on us.

Our weekends are walks in the 'hood, or at a park, or at a dog park. So far that's been fine.

This last weekend, I had to go pick up my new pair of glasses. Well, my new pair that Shep got a hold of and kind of chewed the lenses. They must have been covered because I didn't pay a cent for them. And 710 needed to go to the Apple store.

At the last minute, he said he'd stay home and just order what he needed on line.

I pseudo-laid my foot down. We were going to leave Shep for 90 minutes and do some errands.

It had to be done.

I know we leave him while at work, but we need our time too. We are constantly doing things separate from each other so the other can be home with him.

What a pampered pooch.

So out we went - and no one died.

This is good. Because while no films are must sees, the Harry Potter spin off and the Star Wars film are out in November and December respectively. And we have lecture tickets at the end of next month.

We just need to take outings more often to get him {read: us} acclimated to comings and goings.

Song by: Emmylou Harris

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Music Monday

Title Tracks is the name of the game.

The only reason this theme is tough is because one must narrow it down to the good ones. There is no shortage of songs. And I have to eliminate the ones I might have already used in other themes, etc.

It's hard being me.

Leonard Cohen has a new album out. It seems critics are tripping over themselves to give a better review than the last.

I'm a fan of Cohen....his writing that is. Not so much this talking singing. Dylan might have one the Nobel prize this last week, but he's winning no such awards for vocalization. I often put Cohen and Dylan in the same box - I respect and like their songs, but rarely do I care for their interpretations. Usually, other artists cover them much better - think of Hendrix on Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower".

Cohen has a tribute disk or two dedicated to his music, but do I really want to hear Billy Joel, Elton John or Don Henley sing his songs?  The question is not rhetorical. The answer is a resounding "no".

While I've written about Jennifer Warnes' 1987 disk, Famous Blue Raincoat, or unofficially called "Jenny Sings Lenny", it really is one of the great disks out there. Not just of Cohen music, but in general.

I get that you only know Warnes from her songs from the movies Dirty Dancing or Officer & a Gentleman or perhaps her one true hit, "Right Time of the Night".  Until Famous Blue Raincoat, that's all I knew too.

Only 9 songs in the bunch, but she chose wisely.

So I chose her title track. I hope you like it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Site of the Month

For all the scariness that (t)Rump might actually win, I keep forgetting one thing: Nate Silver.

Back in 2012, Silver was modeling all the races - Presidential, House and Senate. When it comes to statistics and and predictive modeling, the man is somewhat of a savant.

Silver's model had correctly predicted the winner of every one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia !!!!!

You might want to read that line above again.

And now take a big sigh of relief. Unless of course, you're one of the Deplorables.

In 2012, that was all 435 House of Representatives up for reelection. 33 Senate seats up for grabs. And of course, 1 Presidency.

469 races - and he called every. single. one. of them.  C'mon!  That is fucking impressive, by anyone's standards.

So off I trekked to Silvers' site: FiveThirtyEight.

538 is the number of electoral votes.  270 is what it takes to win the presidency.

You'll see at FiveThirtyEight, that there are a few headers - including Sports, Culture, etc.  I was only interested in the Politics tab.

On there are a lot of articles, but I went and clicked directly on the map. Considering Nate's history, I was automatically relieved.

Praise be.

So what is all this shit in the media's polls about anywhere from a 3-7% lead for Clinton? Even the Ohio portion (if you click on that state), has a 20+5 of taking our Electoral votes.

Donny can melt down all he wants - or not. I don't think it will change the outcome of the election.

Only three weeks and two days to go.

That said - just because Nate Silver predicts such a sweeping victory, it's still important to vote.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Play for Today


Shep Porn. A brief from any political post, or news. Just doggie goodness.

Play Date almost mover.  Our friend Suzanne giving Shep, Oliver and Eleanor post-play treats. Shep and Eleanor really really get along so well. 

Shep's first dog park (at least that we know of). He jumped right on one of the agility training gear. 

Bathed in kisses and sunlight. A dog and his boy. 

Big Shep and Little Shep. 
Big Shep at the dog park wondering, "WTF?"

Caleigh and Shane checking Shep out. And vice versa. 

If you were wondering if he was settling into his new surroundings and comfortable - I think I can assure you he is doing just fine. He's very comfortable. 

Song by: the Cure

Friday, October 14, 2016

Stand Up Comedy

I wonder if Donny (t)Rump has considered a career in stand-up.

He should.

All those times here I have pondered why he'd even be running for the top office, none of them making a lick of sense. But a four-drink minimum - of (t)Rump vodka, of course - standing in front of a brick wall, could totally work.

....and maybe that is his end game.

So, with all this sex sexual assault stuff now coming to light, and of course he'd have to be the aggressor, because...ewww, who would come on to him, he's crying foul. It's beginning to sound the they're the Duggars of the Upper East Side.

However, a comedy routine would slay the audience.

The Trump campaign described the entire Times article as a "fiction" that amounted to "character assassination." The Trump campaign told People magazine: "This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story." when you said Ted Cruz' father was in on the assassination of JFK?  Or a birth certificate of a certain black president?

Or his take on the current temperature of the election: "I never knew it would be this vile, this bad, this viscous."  (did he, or CNN mean 'vicious'?)

O.M.G.  He'd have them rolling in the aisles.

Comedy Central would tap him for three seasons of his own show, Inside Donald Trump. HBO would have specials.

My lord, it's like he doesn't have half a mind to recall all the vile, viscous and vicious he initiated...and then perpetuated long after people stopped discussing what he through against the wall. It is like the man has some special Tourettes that no body can treat.

All those Bill Clinton / sex stories, of which we've known, and of which Il Douche won't stop reminding us, I believe, if my recollection is intact, we were told by the Bill Clinton team:"This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story.".....or something of a similar sort.

Of course, we know - now - this not to be the case.

I think Bill Cosby's PR folks have had similar disclaimers.

We've all been around the block enough to know, that because the would-be (but won't be) prez says it, doesn't make it true. I have yet to hear a politician at the initial point of accusation actually come out and say - "yes, I've been fucking her / him". 

Standard Operating Procedure is always denial, then blaming / accusing the victims, then the press, until the truth finally reveals itself. While he likes to think otherwise, Donny is no different than your average perverted politician.

So perhaps maybe after November 8th, when he has some free time on his hands, before his court appearance for (t)Rump University being, he can throw his name in the hat for Open Mic Night down at the local Chucklehut.

Hecklers need not apply.

Song by: U2

Thursday, October 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 79th 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

 05:05.  Shower time. (Yes JP - that is 5 in the morning!)

 05:30. Morning dog walk. 

 06:50. Morning iced tea.  No sugar. No water. 

07:30. Sunrise from my new office. I will have to get blinds - it's so sunny for 2-3 hours I cannot see a thing on my computer screens. 

9:45. Interoffice mail. You can see that it's the 12th. ....and that Carey in Finance was to be the recipient. ...well, you can't see anything but 'Carey'. 

 11:10. The sun, of which I spoke.  ...and me looking like a character from Communion

 14:45. We have a really good heroin program at work.  Ok ok.....I got my flu shot. 

 16:50. A quick shot of my new office, before I left for home. 

 17:08.  Waiting in traffic.  So close to home, yet so far. 

17:20. Gotta bring in the trash and recycling cans. 

18:10. Mail.  Political ads and the sewer bill....which seems apropos. 

19:10. Pasta for dinner. 

.....and your Baker's Dozen

Sophie and me in the morning. 

Shep's been getting the lion share of the attention, but I love this little girl. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Diamonds are Forever

For the first time since 2007, the Cleveland Indians are in the ACLS.

For you non-sportsball people - that's American League Championship Season.

It's been a semi-interesting ride. The season was low key, but the Tribe plugged away, getting and staying in first place in their division since at least July.

Until the final weeks of play there was little drama - and then all of the sudden most of our starting pitcher (those are the guys who throw the ball to the batter) were out - one taking a line drive to the wrist.


While I knew our playoff berth was assured, I wasn't so sure how we would do.

As it turns out, fairly well. It was a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. The final two innings were a nail biter, but we persevered.

"We" - as if I had anything to do with it.

Cleveland were ACLS champs in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. We would have in 1994 too {probably} had it not been for a baseball strike.

2007 was our last one against the Yankees.

But it's been 68 years (!!!!!) we've been waiting for a World Series title. That's still shy of the 86 years the Red Sox waited their turn. Or the 108 years the Chicago Cubs have been denied.

For us locals, our playoff partners is interesting: the Toronto Blue Jays.

I know, you're asking yourself, how can an Canadian team be "interesting".  Well, in theory, they are not. But Mark Shapiro, until end of last year was the manager of Indians. Now he's with the Blue Jays. And he took a few front office people with him - including a former neighbor.

I am trying not to get ahead of myself, but a World Series appearance would be nice. Winning it would be better. And for it to happen the same year we take the NBA title. That would simply am-ha-zing.

Should we make it to the Series, I will put a crowbar in my wallet and get us two tickets to a game. I want to see a win before I die.........which could be at any second.  You just never know.

Song by: Shirley Basset

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What's New Pussy Cat?

The potentially biggest blogging day would have been this last Sunday - and I had a somewhat set post ready to go, because I knew I was going to be out of town.  Curses!

There is a certain beauty to this entire (t)Rump / Pussy thing.

Sure, you're disgusted, yet not surprised. Not in the slightest.

My anonymous commenter the other day is probably sorry he/she wrote that I insulted them two days prematurely. If I insult your beliefs and Donald doesn't - well, I just am a little bit sorry for you.

Back to the beauty thing:  all the news organizations have used (t)Rump to their advantage for ratings, sales, etc. They haven't held him to anything accountable for what he says or does. He distracts them. So, he's used the news to his advantage too.

Now, with arguably the biggest story of the campaign, and most of them can't (or won't) say the word "pussy" on air, or in print for the more family friendly papers. It's priceless.

Well, there was one panelist who kept saying "pussy". She upset another panelist who supported, and supports still, Donny. The pussy panelist would not relent, saying if the other panelist was good with (t)Rump and his deeds, then she would not be quiet.

I. Loved. It.

Of course, it reminded me of this last season of Veep - with their 'cuntgate' episode.

Never in TV history has the word 'cunt' been said so often in 30 minutes (and a half hour of one of the funniest episodes ever!)  Of course, this was post, yet pre, Billy Bush.....who with this, might be the only Bush to make an actual difference in politics.

Certain GOP members are fleeing like the rats from the proverbial sinking ship. {the rats are less 'proverbial'.} I hear more denouncing him than actually revoking their endorsement. As if revoking it abstains them from puckering up to his Cheeto coloured ass.

What some people - but not enough - get from this entire scenario is that rape culture is alive and well. Hell, it is fucking thriving. It is that kind of "lockerroom talk" that let's judges sentence rapists to three months in prison.....because jail might really ruin their life!

710 was listening to what I call Canadian All Things Considered.  It comes on right after ATC, and it's from Canada, but I've never bothered to learn the actual name. A female caller from South Carolina completely stumped the panel discussing the issue. She said, that if Donald did or said that, it was because the 'women were sending him signals for him to do it'.

Seriously. She said that.

Women blaming the victim. Classic.

When I say she stumped the panel - they were just dumbstruck by such a backwards comment. There was no logical response. And since Canadians are so damned polite, they couldn't call her a dumbfuck. At least not while the mic was hot.

Donald could learn something from those Canucks.

The second debate itself was painful - on all levels. Hillary included. But Il Douche was really on top of his messed up game:  All the sudden the Humayun Khan is a "hero".   He'll fix ISIS was the answer to the question on his audio rape. Oh - and something about Hillary making the tax codes - which last I checked are laws that being with the House of Representatives. But I suppose knowing anything about that would put him below any 4th grader who has seen Schoolhouse Rock.

I made it through the first hour and I made 710 change it. I could no longer take it.

Since I'm rambling...............

The day after, a poll of GOP voters said they wanted Donny to stay in the race. Oddly enough, the same day, Obama's approval ratings have never been higher in 8 years. Are these diametrically opposed?

The more painful thing of this entire "scandal"? Fucking Rudy Giuliani.  What fucking cabinet position was he promised for all the butt licking? Rudy said, all Trump has to do is ask the American public for forgiveness. ...and that they always give it.

Well Rude - I bet most of them didn't know you sent your wife divorce papers via fax and never bothered to, you know, tell her.

My big thing with this whole thing though? I more than half-believe Trump released the audio himself. I've said all along he doesn't really want this job, and he is in very pseudo-danger of winning.

It must be tough - he allegedly hates to lose, but now he wants to but can't admit it. That's a theory anyways. But it would not surprise me in the slightest to hear that he sent the tapes out himself.

Song by: Tom Jones

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Music Monday

The theme this month is the title track. I'll take it a step further this week:  band name, album name, song title are all the same.

Talk Talk.

In 1981 their debut single and album were "Talk Talk".  I. Loved. the Song.  I still do.

Actually, the band had a few great songs - not all singles - that I loved.  "Life's What You Make It", "Such a Shame" and "Renee".  I used to love "It's My Life", but No Doubt pretty much ruined that song for me for life. Somethings never need to be remade. Ever.

Yes, Talk Talk was an '80s band, but they were more the leaders in the synth-pop world that others would copy to with lesser talent, but sometimes with more success.

I still like the song.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

the Trial

I am DYING watching this Judge Morty clip.

To be clear, like the fact that Bud Cort didn't really have a show called Bud Court and Judge Reinhold didn't really have a show called Judge Reinhold, my friend Morty doesn't have a show named after him.

Judge Morty: State of Georgia v Rick Allen is real.

Well, the facts and the transcript are real. The video clip is just the reading and animation of the real life event. It just happens to be done by the people at Adult Swim's Rick & Morty. 

Yes, the video is 11 minutes long, but after you get past the first minute or so, it is fucking hilarious.

To be clear - I know this isn't my Morty because he wouldn't tolerate a defendant saying he "jacks on white boys".

Well. Probably.

Song by: Pink Floyd

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Do it Again

I suppose Saturday's are officially back to pet porn. It works for me. I've got a semi-willing, good-looking model, so what the hell.

Shep gets his first bath (at least from us).  Suffice to say, I was wetter than he was when all said and one. But he didn't smell like dog and his coat was very nice.

BooBoo might be Shep's best friend. They love each other and love to roughhouse. 

Shep tries to make friends with Boomer. Boomer is not so sure. 

Shep meets Wally. 

Morning cuddles.  Stupid, expressive hound eyes!

No worries - Sophie is still queen of the castle. We just need to get them together. 

Song by: Diana Krall

Friday, October 07, 2016

Different Point of View

I rarely ever comment on comments. Today I feel the need.

Yesterday, an anonymous reader said they didn't care for my political posts. They were tired of being insulted because of having different viewpoints as myself.

Now - I am absolutely fine with people having different opinions than my own. I'd like to think it's ok that I have a different point of view from someone else.

I get that yesterday's post might have been a last straw, but going back to read what I wrote, nothing is insulting as far as I can see. I talked more about the general unease of an African-American neighbor in today's society that he sees as being racist than I did about any specific political anything. I talked more about having wine then I did about (t)Rump himself.

What struck me as ironic is the 'insult' comment.

Trump has built his entire campaign - nay, life - around insulting others. Granted, he is an equal-opportunity insulter - unless you're a rich, straight, white male (and not even all of those are safe). He is an agitator for agitating sake alone. He is more carnival barker than provocateur.

Now, perhaps the commenter isn't a (t)Rump supporter. But since I didn't mention Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, I'll just take a wild guess.

The comment - right or wrong - struck me as being thin-skinned. Not so ironically - so is (t)Rump himself. It's doubtful he's ever taken or given constructive criticism. From all I see he's reactionary more than a processor.

I said I was fine with a difference of opinion. Fine. Then I don't want supporters coming at me with insults and braggadocious comments. If you want to have a logical, thoughtful discussion, I'm all for it. I will be the first to admit I'm wrong if - and only if - you can articulate (t)Rump's plans using his words, his actions. Not "what he really means is.....".

If you support (t)Rump - even if it's just for his fiscal policies - you can say you're not racist, but you at least have to admit you're supporting a man who is. You have to face the fact that, by proxy, you support xenophobia and misogynistic behaviour - even if it's on the periphery. You can justify it all you want "it's not" or "he's not" doesn't make it so.

(t)Rump might be all talk. Perhaps he doesn't mean the things he says, but now he has a fuck of a lot of people behind him who do - and act on it. You can say you're not "one of them", but it's a little hard to separate yourself from that pack.

Of course, I don't like losing readers. But I also don't see changing my blog for a few dozen posts I write per year that are political. Many don't like my music choices or the food I make - I stopped trying to please everyone a long time ago.

Song by: the Pet Shop Boys

Thursday, October 06, 2016


So last night we were invited to a neighbor's house for a political gathering.

I read it as: a discussion about the 2016 election - as Michael is a Republican and his (female) partner is not. The set-up was prefaced with, while he is a Republican, he is voting for Hillary.

710 read it as: fundraiser.

I would like to think that Michael & Carol, whom we've known for a decade, wouldn't try to sneak that by us.

Turns out both 710 and I were both right. It was a discussion, but there were reps from the Clinton campaign in attendance. They didn't try to hit us up for $$$.  It was worse:  door-to-door canvassing.

Lord. Just take my cash.

There were a dozen or so folks there: two gay couples (including us), the neighborhood black guy (yes, singular), the white wife of a woman married to a man from the middle east (and I don't mean Indiana).  In theory, it was a good cross-section of anyone the (t)Rump campaign abhors.

Discussion was around the visceral reaction to (t)Rump's looks, voice, manner - and of course, the things he actually says.

Danny - the sole black person - actually was glad for Don for one reason: the reality that racism is thriving in this country. His take is, that just because people kept quiet about their prejudice doesn't mean it didn't exist. He doesn't think the country has come far at all far in terms of race relations and this just proves it. He also mentioned people of colour are city-centric because they - he - doesn't feel safe in middle America. Danny is an extremely accomplished man - so this isn't the paranoia talking.

Other topics were the people who supported Il Douche, and the reluctance to ask people why they were - because they couldn't stand to have discussions that weren't based in logic. I'm just as guilty with that. One of my cousins who is far far far right is voting for him - and I could / would never ask him why. I just don't need the painful discussion.

Oh - and there was wine.  But I only had one glass. I hadn't eaten dinner yet and it would be a half-mile walk home.....except that 710 showed up later, right from work, so he drove me home.

Save the push for canvassing, or taking in out of state volunteers, this is what I love about our 'hood. We have a cohesive group of folks, and it's always been nice getting together with them, though some of them were new to us.

I don't know how "risky" this gathering was. One can assume political affiliation, but it's never guaranteed.

Either way - it was a nice break to the work week of just coming home. We totally used Shep for our getaway though before the campaign lady got volunteer signatures.  "We gotta go check on the new dog". 

Works like a charm.

Song by: Tift Merritt

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


We had a trainer come meet with Mr. Shep.

As you'd expect, he was on his best behaviour, so that was $$$$ down the drain.

Nah - it wasn't. Ann was helpful in helping us with ways to stop Shep from mouthing / biting. She had him responding in less than five minutes. Granted he isn't fully off it yet, but I think we have some tricks up our sleeve to help modify his behaviour.

Ann thought Shep was the most adorable thing. She probably says that to all her client's dogs, but in this case, it just has to be true.

The first meet and greet was more about us than Shep. The wants, the priority, the involvement. But in between, she worked with Shep - then with us - on how to control this mouthing.

He's acted up since - more than he did when Ann was here, but she's a lesbian. Shep is smart. Smart enough not to fuck around on that level.

Ann gave us helpful pointers, ones we are putting to use already - and will follow-up with us, even if we don't select her for our trainer. I think both 710 and myself liked her enough we might move ahead.

I don't think Shep (or us) needs tons of direction, but enough that a pro could be helpful in getting us to where we want to be.

I am hoping before the snow flies, we will have a better behaved doggie. Overall, he's a good guy, he just need to learn his manners.

Song by: Natalie Maines

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Love Like Blood

26+ years ago, 710 and I made our way up to Provincetown to see friends of mine. 710 had yet to meet them, but hey - they had a great place on Commercial St. and they why the fuck not?

Why the fuck not indeed.

When we arrived, as we climbed the external staircase to the third floor, we looked down at the once pristine white steps to see blood.

Not Nicole and Ron blood.  Not Rosemary and Leno LaBianca blood. ....but still.

As we get to the doorway, there is a note attached.....also splattered with blood.

Poor David G. - he was so pained by a potential visit with me, his cutting got out of hand.  And foot.

Without getting into detail - it was one the odder vacations I had ever had. It had good moments, of course, but I would venture to say, life-altering ones for everyone under that roof for that week. Well, on the third floor.  I don't know if anyone on 1 or 2 had any shake-ups.

The one thing that was not altered was David's and my friendship.

What started out as odd - I mean, who becomes friends with someone during / after a random 3-way ?(ooops, I've said to much!) - became one of the strongest relationships of my life. And who the fuck maintains a friendship based on that?

Well - we did. We do.

We've lived through moves, pets, boyfriends (mostly his), husbands and he went with me to go see Madonna. If that last one isn't a true testament to friendship I don't know what is.

What isn't is Cleveburgh.

I met David in New York City. I've visited him in P-town, Princeton, Palm Springs, San Diego, New York City (again), Las Vegas and Phoenix. For an all-to-brief period of time, he was in Columbus the same time as myself.  I have yet to see him even remotely near Cuyahoga County.  Or visit me anywhere (though before he lived in Vegas, he did fly in to see me there - so I'll give him that).


I'm not saying I put more into this relationship than he does - but I totally do!

710 actually saved the foot-cutting note. Packed it and trekked it back to Columbus and put it in some file and some 26+ years later, which he dug out a few weeks back.

Today is Davey's birthday. He will get a call from me. He will laugh at me and be mock-annoyed. In 30 odd years, I've never missed calling him on this day. I don't see why I should start now.

Song by: Killing Joke

Monday, October 03, 2016

My Music Monday

Two months of a numbers theme is over. I suppose I could have thrown the next theme to Erik since he kind of wussed out and just re-picked the theme for his last selection.

But I'm a decent guy - regardless of what others might say. So I'm picking the them, and I think I am going with title songs. Or the track selection with the same title as the album.

I will also open it up to a lyrical phrase that is the title of the album, while it might not be the title of the song. For lack of a better example, Laurie Anderson's "Sharkey's Night" has the lyric "home of the brave". The song appears on Home of the Brave.

I would have thought I'd have done that already, but a quick search and I don't see it happening.

So I may as well start at the As.

I'll go with a-ha and their debut album, Hunting High and Low.

I've said it before, a-ha is not just the "Take on Me" band. While it was overplayed, they have some really good material, and I actually really like their debut. All of it. Considering it is 31 years old (!!), it holds up pretty well.

The version of the song here is a slightly different version. The strings are more pronounced and have a different interlude than the actual album version. It still works.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Cry Baby

Can someone tell me about Donald (t)Rump's big whine-fest over this so-called 'defective microphone' during the debate?

Yes, I know the debate folks concluded there was an "issue" with the microphone.

Did this mic somehow take his audio output and misconstrue his words, thoughts, actions when they played through everyone's television sets?

Other than - at least on the station I watched - there the audio and video were out of sync by about 1.5 seconds somehow caused by this microphone?

And more - and most - importantly, was there ever a part of the debate where Il Douche not heard? Was anyone holding a cupped hand up to their ear and go, "what'd he say, Alice?"

No.  No one.

Everyone heard, and every news outlet printed, each and every word he uttered. Not once did I see "distorted audio" or anything of the like.

Naturally, this entire meltdown, is probably just him and his campaign teeing up on why not to do a 2nd, 3rd or 4th debate.

He should do himself - and everyone else - a favour and just not do them. I know it would save me a lot of angst.

Song by: Janis Joplin

Saturday, October 01, 2016

a New Life

Two weeks in.

Already we've had Shep twice as long as the first couple did.

I don't have a lot of text about him - mostly because I've been visiting with Becky and we've been drinking.

I'll be better.



 Sophie is still a priority.  She and Shep are getting acquainted very very slowly, but Soph seems pretty happy overall. 

Another new neighborhood doggie:  Kooper.  The two get along. 

Before bed time.  His and mine.

Song by: Pet Shop Boys

Friday, September 30, 2016

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 10 years old.

It's been well over a year and a half since I've done a Classic selection. A late night impulsive iTunes purchase brings it all back.

Slowly but surely, Warner Bros. has been remastering any number of releases. In the last few years they've put out several versions (minimum of three re-releases) of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Then two of Tusk. And now one for the original 1982 release, Mirage.

All have had varying stages of additional music - be it material that wasn't used, alternate takes, demos and live versions. While I adore Tusk, the 2004 re-release and the 2015 re-re-release had far far far too much of the same 'new' material as each other. With the 2015 version, they just added another disk and jacked up the price by $60 - if you wanted the deluxe expanded edition. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

Mirage, the follow-up to Tusk has the same price points if you want the super-duper deluxe version.

Mirage, at least in the minds of Warner Bros and 4/5 of the band, tried to steer their sound back to more of a pop-rock act than the 'adventurous' Tusk. The reality is, the album has more in common with Tusk than Rumours. Perhaps it's the hybrid with which they could all live.

McVie does not really deviate from what is her norm - and it works for her. I'm not sure Fleetwood Mac has made a better pop song than "Hold Me".  They've had bigger hits than it, but purely as a song, it hits all the marks. "Love in Store" should have been a bigger success than it ended up being. And she has solid outings with "Wish You Were Here" and "Only Over You".

The other big hit on the disk was Nicks' "Gypsy" and it makes four appearances on this collection - the 'early version', which is the album version with the intricate guitar work stripped away, the video version (i.e. longer version) and the live one.

Oddly, if anyone changes things up from her usual Mac contributions, it is Nicks. Her perfectly twangy "That's Alright". With her debut solo disk the year before, she had delved into that genre, but not as well as she does with band.

Of her three songs, "Gypsy" comes in last. "Straight Back" is what you'd describe as a deep cut. The original vinyl version - finally on in CD or .mp3 - finally reappears. It is far superior to the remixed version that was incorporated into the digital versions years ago. It also follows the style of her work on Tusk - a less structured approach, that in the near future of this disk won't always work for her, but it does this time.

Buckingham is the stronger tie to the Tusk style - mostly with "Empire State", "Eyes of the World" and "Can't Go Back" - the latter which I swear is just a song to mock the band and record label. And for all the talk that he is a lover of Brian Wilson, Buckinghan's two other cuts "Oh Diane" and "Book of Love" are pure homages to Phil Everly.

Mirage is a solid disk, if not an overlooked one.

As for the bonus disk - it's what bonus disks usually are - songs that didn't make it for good reason, bad outtakes  and uninspired demos. It's not much different here.

Actually, many of the 'early takes' are just the soon to be finished song without some musical element - be it "Love in Store" and "Gypsy" (missing guitars), "Oh Diane" (missing backing vocals), etc. A less country version of "That's Alright", which isn't nearly as inspired as what made the album.

Earlier I said "Hold Me" was possibly the best pop song Mac has recorded? You'd never know it from the early version. It goes on for two additional minutes, and you really begin to hope it wouldn't. The lyrical arrangement is bad, the versus are different. Whomever's job it was to clean it up and edit it (Buckingham and the co-producers) and earned their fees with this one.

The inclusion of McVie's "Put a Candle in the Window" is clearly a work in progress. Singing nonsense because no lyrics were written is hardly worth $1.29 if you're purchasing it as a separate song. Buckingham's "Blue Monday" shows how much of a blues artist he's not - and it's hard to get any cred of a multi-millionaire groaning about 'Mondays'. And his "Goodbye Angel" was already released in 1992 on another compilation.

Nicks does not fare any better with "If You Were My Love".....the title of which gets repeated 2,600 times for the last two minutes of a song that should have been over two minutes before that.  Her "Smile at You" isn't bad. Her voice is much stronger than when they'd actually rerecord and release a different version 21 years later. There are additional versus that got cut from the latter release, but it is not awful.

John McVie does co-vocal on the Roy Rodger's song, "Cool Water" which was a b-side to "Hold Me". It's well done and unexpected.

I know it was nostalgia that got me to impulsively purchase Mirage. To my credit, I didn't get the super-duper deluxe version. I can't say for everyone it would be worth it. I feel like I got my money's worth just for the original version of "Straight Back".

But for all the money - once again - where the fuck are the album credits and liner notes?

Thursday, September 29, 2016


This falls under the nonsense category.

With Shep in our lives, we are are 8 working days in to being home at reasonable hours. Both of us. Together.  Enough so, that we usually take him on his late afternoon walk together as a family - minus Sophie.

But that means normal dinner time - for most of society - and the opportunity to do what most middle Americans do around that hour:  watch Jeopardy.

For this entire week, and maybe part of last, they've had some guy on a huge winning streak. I have to say, I was very very proud of 710, when he goes, "he looks like that character from Kids in the Hall."

I could not stop laughing.

While 710 didn't know the character's name - nor would I ever expected him to - I did:  Gavin.

Like anyone who encounters Gavin and most multiple day winners on Jeopardy, I find this guy annoying as hell.

Yet, the likeness is eerie.

Song by: George Michael

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

While I watched very little of the debate, missing out on its aftermath was not as easy.

No one at meetings mentioned it, but just chatter and discussion at lunch.

Clearly, everyone has a higher tolerance for watching that thing than I did. Good for you. But I don't think it changed anyone's mind one way or the other.

I do love the coke-sniffing rumours that are going around about DJT. It could explain a lot.

I was talking to a friend of mine - a lawyer, as if it matters - who lives in a split house. His husband is a small business owner - a florist, as if it matters - and is voting for (t)Rump. I won't say in the past I understood the vague term, irreconcilable differences'. However, this scenario could be grounds for divorce.

I know all couples have fundamental issues and disagreements, even GOP versus DNC. That's on thing, but supporting (t)Rump? This isn't like voting for Goldwater.

What really tees me off about the debate......I mean, besides the debate that I missed the Indians clinch the American League Central Division.  The first time since 2007.

If there are other debates,  it is debatable (ha! get it??) that (t)Rump will actually participate in another one. At least that is what several news sources have implied, as has Rudy G, Donny's close personal friend and adviser.

Should Il Douche opt out of further debates, he'd have my undying respect.

I kid of course.

But it would still be a welcome gesture. And if there are debates, I'll just watch the Tribe in post-season instead.

Song by: the Ramones