Thursday, April 24, 2014

Challenge of the Love Warriors

I'm in a blog quandary.

Jim over at his Stuff has put forth a challenge to post a pic per day in the Month of May. There are even suggestions on topics per day to post.

Jim point outs some bloggers might be in a rut (am I?),  have writer's block (do I?) or need inspiration to blog more (do you want more of that from me?).

Am I "some" blogger?

I would like to participate, but here is my blog quandary:  do I participate?

I have been diligent about everyday blogging. I have some standard posts per month - and you know what they are. To do a picture per day would negate those posts should I still only post once per day.

Of course I could post twice per day for a month. If it's just a picture, that is. Or I could attempt to incorporate that picture into a post, but gone (for a month) would be My Music Monday, 12 of 12, Record of the Month, Shopping with Blobby, etc, etc, etc.

I'm (attempting) to embed a  survey to see what you guys think.  At least I'll get a feel for what I should do. No guarantees.


Song by: the Tom Tom Club

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Speaking With the Angel

It's Wednesday, which means it's garbage day.

Which usually means Tuesday night is chicken night, so I can throw away all the stuff associated with chicken (packaging, etc) without it smelling, since everything goes right out to the curb.

Perhaps it's a little predictable, but I stand by my method.  I mean, it's not like I usually have the same chicken dish on Tuesday evenings. I try to mix it up.

This week, Angel Chicken Pasta.

While it takes an hour to cook, the actual prep time is minimal. And sometimes, that is key when making dinner in the middle of the week.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless / skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 T of butter
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 0.5 packages of dry Italian dressing mix
  • 2 oz of cream cheese w chives
  • 05. can of cream of condensed mushroom soup
  • 1/2 lb of angel hair pasta


Prep / Cook 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In saucepan melt butter. Add in Italian seasoning. Combine. 
  • Add wine, soup, cream cheese.  Combine.  Do not boil. 
  • Place chicken breasts in 9x13 baking dish
  • Pour sauce over chicken breasts
  • Cook for 60 minutes
  • 15 minutes before cooking time ends, boil water for angel hair pasta. Cook as directed (mine only took 4 minutes after water came to a boil).  You don't get pics of that, because if you can't boil pasta, maybe cooking isn't your thing.  


First off, 710 said this was an A+ dish.  I'm not sure he's ever given me that high of a grade on any meal. But I'm not sure he's ever graded me on meals before.......at least out loud.  

710 isn't a fan of angel hair pasta at all, but the thought this was right medium for such a thin pasta. 

A few notes - once again, even though our oven said 350F, the internal temp of the chicken was 200F. Still it was tender and moist and cut with a fork. But watch your cooking time.  60 minutes might be too long. 

I think I should have made more sauce. What I made did cover all three breasts just fine. But if you wanted any extra for your pasta you were almost out of luck. Not completely, but almost. 

And while I'm my biggest critic with what I cook, even I liked it a lot. It will be used again. 



Song by:  Cry Cry Cry

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Morning

Guess who turns 12 years old today???

No No.....not me.

Mentally I hit 12 eons ago and have never moved forward. This time I'm actually talking chronological age.

It's Petey.


Olan Mills was booked, so this is his "official" birthday portrait, taken by me. 

Petey is not a posing dog. I actually had to use treats to get him to get this good. And you can see how that turned out. 

But a dozen years ago today, he and seven siblings were born. I don't know where those guys are now. Each year, a card was sent out with updates on each from the litter, but those stopped a while ago. 

I wonder if because few are still around. Typical life expectancy for the breed, according to wikipedia, is 12-15 years. The old man is greying, but spry. And I will go out on a limb that Petey has had pampered life.  And two dads who'll drop everything to take him to the vet. 

The doc says, good ears, good heart, good eyes and teeth. He will always have lung and allergy problems, but I think we have those in check. His weight is spot-on. He exercises daily. I'm amazed at how many neighbors - even with dogs - will tell me, "you're out there every day, no matter the weather, walking him - we don't do that".  

How horrible for those pooches. 

I don't see too too much out of the ordinary for Petey today. He'll get a bone that I've had stashed away for him. If I can, I'll get him to a park, instead of the 'hood for a better walk. That'll wear him out. And I'm making chicken for dinner, so I'm guessing he might see a little piece of that. 

Of course he'll get rubs, kisses and hugs. 

As for the pics that did not make the official portrait - they are below. 



Had this last one been in focus, it would have been THE premiere selection. 




Song by: the Association

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Music Monday

I was chatting with my friend, Geoffrey, the other day and somehow got on the discussion of Linda Ronstadt.

I think it was mostly about talking about her refusal to attend the Rock n Roll Hall o'Fame induction ceremonies.

While she does have Parkinson's Disease and can no longer sing, she got a sly jab in at the Hall by saying, she relegates travel for only important events.  She also said she has never sung for accolades or prizes.

True to form, she has never kept any of her Grammys and has given them all away to some record store in Portland, OR.

She also says she's never considered herself a rock singer.  And in actuality, that is correct. It's not that she hasn't touched the genre, but she's done folk, standards, mexican, operetta, adult contemporary and country.  Of her 30 original albums, less than a third of those would even dare be considered 'rock'.

She had a great voice, but I love her work with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton on their two Trio disks.  Even Ronstadt says she works better singing with other people than on her own.

I had read way back in 1978 that the three wanted to record together. It did not happen for another nine years with the release of Trio.  And Trio II, while recorded five years after the first, wasn't released until 1999.

After our convo, Geoffrey posted their song, "High Sierra" on Facebook (the YouTube link is here). It's a great song and I almost used it here too, as it's been playing in my head ever since. But I'm going with something different.

On II, they covered Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush". I wasn't sure how it would go since Young's is so great - so iconic, but it works well.  Parton takes lead vocals, Ronstadt mostly the high harmony, Harris the low. But when their voices blend, it's great.

When there was uncertainty about Trio II ever seeing the light of day (in an alleged conflict with Parton), Ronstadt took Parton's voice off the song and had Valerie Carter (a singer from the mid-70s who never broke through) replace Parton's portion. Ronstadt released the song on one of her solo disks. Except for Carter, everything is identical.

And the Ronstadt-Harris-Carter version is nice, but the Parton one is much much better.

It's an ok video, but a crappy copy of an ok video. Still, it's about the music.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poles Apart

Since I don't care for zombies, it's fairly safe to say I don't watch the Walking Dead, nor am I a big fan well, you know.....Easter.

I would think if Jesus Christ were my personal saviour, that he'd do more than rise from the dead in the form of a bunny and hide eggs and provide candy in baskets.

I mean, that is what happened, right?

So, I'll talk about Dyngus Day - which to be honest, I didn't even know existed until a few weeks ago when having lunch down in a "certain ethnic*" part of town.

There were fliers up everywhere for this so-called Dyngus Day - or as some I guess refer to it as Easter Monday (which is tomorrow, but this ain't important enough to vacate a My Music Monday post).

I have to say that I've lived most of my life in Cleveland, which has a large "certain ethnic" population, and have never heard of this day.

Let me just say that 710 got on his magic pocket phone machine and looked up this "holiday".

And let me just say, that between the Salem Witch Trials, Easter and Zombies, Dyngus Day ranks up there with some fucked up days of celebration.

"Traditionally, early in the morning boys awoke girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches.

Throughout the day, girls would find themselves the victims of drenchings and leg-whippings, and a daughter who was not targeted for such activities was generally considered to be unattractive and unmarryable in this very coupling-oriented environment."

Lovely.

Oh and - What. The. Fuck.

Resurrections and eating brains seems more in line with normalcy than this.

And yet the Polish people get offended when you tell the landscaper joke of "green side up"??



* Hoolihan & Big Chuck - later Big Chuck & Lil' John - used this term, as they didn't (couldn't?) use "Polish". It wasn't meant to be derogatory as Big Chuck himself was Polish.



 Song by: Pink Floyd

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Give a Little Love

Everyone's favourite day of the week:  Petey Porn Day.

I should probably just change the name of this blog and post a beagle pic per day. It wouldn't need any text. I could save myself a lot of time and effort.

....and readership would probably skyrocket.

Petey with his neighborhood friend Enzo.  Enzo loves Petey. According to his owner he is not like that with everyone.  Petey always goes into play mode with Enzo - but here, he is hoping from some treats from Joan. 

Rest after a big day out. Petey had to maneuver around Sophie who wasn't going to budge an inch. 

Making my dad very happy. 
A quick trip to rehab. 

Making my dad's son very happy. 
Enjoying a 65 degree day. 

That is all the Petey Porn for this week.  More next. 



Song by:  Rilo Kiley

Friday, April 18, 2014

As Time Goes By

I have basically nothing for you.  It's one of those days.

These last few weeks, I have been spending a little more time out where I grew up. It's not a bad thing - it just is.

When I hit my parent's house, I normally don't go "through town"  - as it adds time and I never stop. Actually, I almost never stop downtown.  I can't think of a reason to.

Maybe once in a while I'll stop to look at "the falls", but that's about it.

The Popcorn Shop?  Honestly, in 45 years of being there, I've walked into that place once. I don't even think I ever bought anything. But for the town and the tourists, it's iconic.

meh.

Ditto with Rick's Cafe.

I want to say I've never been there. Until yesterday. But I had a flash that maybe, just maybe, 710 and I had lunch there once. But I can't confirm that.

I don't think it's been there as long as my parents have been in town, but not too long after the fact. Long enough that it might be 3-4 decades of passing it by - literally and figuratively.

However, my mother likes their Bleu Burger.  Ditto with the fries. Loves them, in fact.

And I was 97.59% sure she had not stepped foot inside of the place since her best friend Anne died 3-4 years ago. They'd do monthly dinners or lunches out, many of them being there. My dad doesn't like the place, so it was her and Anne's place.  That I did confirm - that she had not been since her passing.

So after a meeting we had, she was thrilled to be taken to lunch there.  One of my sisters bailed on joining us, so it was just us two. That was fine.

We had a good conversation and what I considered to be a so-so burger. She loved hers, so I pretended to like mine. Ditto with the fries.

meh.

I mean, why even take an ounce of pleasure she was having just because I wasn't reveling in my food?

Rick's, allegedly, is known for their ribs.

That is so not happening with me in a restaurant.  I might pick-up ribs now and again and eat them in the privacy of our back porch, but in public - while wearing a dress shirt?   Je think not.   ...and without floss handy?  Jamais!!!!

The only thing worse would be to order those and the trouble of eating them (in public) only to have them possibly be sub-par.

But she was happy - which made me happy.



Song by: Bryan Ferry

Thursday, April 17, 2014

App of the Month

This month we have a game as the App of the Month.  And yes, of course it's free.

Do you even know me???

2048 is the name of the game.

On a grid, you start off with two numbers: 2 and / or 4.

The idea is to combine like numbers (i.e. 2 + 2) to get a higher number (i.e. 4) and then combine those higher number (i.e. 4 + 4) and keep it up until you achieve 2048.

Of course, not all numbers are next to each other, so you have to find a way to move them in a fashion not only to combine them, but to place them next to an equal number to combine those.

Yeah, I know - as I read what I just wrote it makes little sense......at least in text.

I'm not sure pictures will make it better but.....we'll try.........




Yeah - that should do it.

No?

Ok - just keep swiping your fingers trying to get the the same number next to each other and combine them. Keep doing it until you get to 2048.

While there is a score, that is not where you're looking to get 2048. You're trying to get that 2 to a 4 to an 8 to a 16 and so on until you get to the number.  I'm not sure what you get the score for. In theory probably want a lower score when you hit 2048 - as it means you've done it in the least amount of moves.

There might be instructions, but hell if I'm looking those up. I'm a guy.

Oddly (or not), this game is soothing to me.  There is no timer. Things do not come down, or show up, faster as time goes on. You only lose by running out of space until you are unable to complete your task of getting to 2048.

But there is a Beautiful Mind aspect to it. You see patterns on how you should move numbers and where to achieve your goal. After a very short while you don't even really think about it - you just do it.

And after the first 3-4 moves, it absolutely matters which way you combine numbers. You might think seeing three 4s in a row, knowing you have to use two of them to make 8 is easy, but you must pick the correct two to combine.

Sure, either will get you the 8, but how will you get that 8 to 16?

I've only had the game for four days now but have not achieved 2048.  But I will.

Oh - and the game is horribly addictive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pork and Beans

We rarely have pork.

It's just not one of my go-to dishes.

In actuality, most pork products are just not my thing. I like the smell of bacon more than I like bacon.

Somehow saying that out loud in a public forum just lost me friends and readers. Sorry - but it's true.

Now and again, I'll have ribs or on a pizza sometimes I will have sausage or pepperoni, but even lately that isn't often.

You will very very very rarely see me eat a sausage link (yes........get it out of your systems, pervs!).

Ok - I'll have a brat at a baseball game, but chances of any meat being in there are slim to none.

But 710 likes pork. I think he's deprived of it at home, which is why he's happy getting pulled pork (hehehe....pulled pork!) when we eat out at lunch.

Anyhoo....saw just looking for something....anything....new to cook, I got pork chops.

I didn't want just breaded ones or pan fried ones either, but it needed flavour, because let's be honest, pork has very little of it on its own. Maybe that is the reason I just don't care for it that much.

So I played around and looked at a number of recipes. None of them were jumping out at me, or they included ingredients I didn't have in the house and I was too frickin' lazy to make a store run.

Improvisation is the name of the game, no? And by "improvisation" I mean, I had to make do.

So here we go:

Ingredients

1.5 T olive oil
2 thick pork chops
1 T brown sugar
1/4 t dry mustard
4-5 oz tomato sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

Prep

Preheat oven to 350F

Heat oil in skillet. Cook pork chops 5 min on each side or until they start to brown. 



In separate bowl, mix brown sugar, salt, pepper and dry mustard.  I hate how clumpy and hard brown sugar gets. I actually needed a pestle to break it down. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), 710 used to be a pharmacy student before he changed majors and so we have one.

Remove chops and place them into a baking disk. Sprinkle the above dry mixture over the chops. The chops are still pretty hot, so the brown sugar immediately dissolves and infuses into the meat. 

Some recipes said to put 1/4 t of lemon juice over the pork at this point. I did not have a lemon, and I wasn't sure how much that small amount would make a difference spread over two chops. 

Then put the tomato sauce over each chop and fill the pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cover and place in oven for an hour or till the pork has an internal temperature of 145.


Honestly, it never occurred to me to check the temp on the pork sooner than 45-50 minutes into the cooking. The oven was at a steady 350F, but the internal temp got to 210 (!!!!). 

Mind you, the chop was tender, as the water and the covered pan kept things moist, but still.....you'll want to watch for this. 


It looks sad on the plate, before I got the sides on there too - though they were not beans, regardless of their inclusion in the post title.


Overall impressions: meh.  

The texture was fine and the meat was tender enough to cut with a fork.  I'm sure the dry mix added some depth of flavour but I tasted mostly tomato sauce. As smoky tomato sauce, but still......

I suppose if I ever do pork again (and I'm sure I will), this can be a back-up, but chances are I'd try something else. 



Song by: Weezer

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Free

Today is the deadline.

It's not like we were cutting it to the wire, but no one wants to hear about filing taxes back in February.  April 15th is always "the date".

This year though is a little different. Due to the DOMA ruling last June, we are now filing our Federal return as a married couple.

In a way, it was a different ballgame. We probably should have had them professionally done, just to see what was what, but they were done in-house.

The numbers were crunched as filing jointly as married folks or individually as married folks.

Obviously, we were going to go with whichever got us the largest return or the smallest payment.

For the record, we went with jointly.

However, for State and City taxes, we are still on our own, as Ohio doesn't recognize gay marriage.

......or didn't.....

Until yesterday.

Kind of.

Judge Timothy Black, whom I wrote about last Fall, ruled that Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage recognition was unconstitutional. He did not go as far to say the 2004 state ban on same-sex marriage fell into the same category. That still stands. No homos can marry within the Buckeye State.

For the record, the suit that was to be filed on 710's and my behalf was this one, - though we were not part of this.  Clearly some other lawyer(s) beat ours to the punch. I know they were all playing political strategy  - waiting to see which appellate judges replaced whom, but clearly it's moving ahead....without us.

Black placed an automatic 'stay' with his decision, so nothing is really being recognized here until the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on it - since Black figured (correctly) that both the Governor and AG of Ohio would indeed appeal.

Now, I would almost get the waste of time and money on the appeal if this same court, and these same judges, hadn't already ruled on striking down the recognition ban in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Why does Ohio think the ruling will be different here?

And so it goes.

But Black's ruling, even without the stay, would not and could not have changed our state and local tax situation. We had already filed.

We will see what 2015's tax season brings us.



Song by: Joni Mitchell

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Music Monday

It was one of those days that I didn't know what I'd have planned for the weekly My Music Monday selection.

So like the other week, I employed iTunes shuffle to help make the decision.

Last time, it was the last song I heard as I was driving. This time I just picked the 10th song that came on.

You might not be happy with today's selection, but I can almost guarantee you'll be happier than with the other nine that held in store for you.

You can thank me later.

Today you get the Thorns and their song "I Can't Remember".

I might have reviewed their debut (and only) album years ago. I won't bother going back to look for that post, let alone link it.

They are were, in ways, a modern day Crosby, Stills and Nash (no Young).  Each member  - Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge was at least quasi (not all were even 'semi') successful recording artists in their own right when they combined for what will seemingly be their only release.

Their bigger pseudo-association to CSN would be their basically acoustic presentation and always present three part harmonies.

I wasn't horribly thrilled with the disk when it came out 12 years ago (ugh), but a number of the songs have grown on me, including this one.

If you like it, you can thank me. If you hate it, well, just blame iTunes Shuffle.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 50th (!!!!!)  12 of 12

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12
th 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, a 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 ErikJim 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.


06:25.  Vittles

...for the doggie. Food and his steroid and allergy meds await HRH's awakening.

08:10.  Yoga.

...starting in 5 minutes.

There were only three people in the early class. 

09:40. Sustenance.  

Well, David and Blobby time after class. Food is just a good excuse to extend our day together.

10:45.  Recycle. 

Had tons of those grocery bags to get rid of.

11:30. Hospital Visit. 

Visiting my 93 yo uncle who took a tumble a few days ago.  I'm reading the Navy Times because he's at the VA.  Technically I did not take the pic but you can see me in the mirror. 

12:30.  VA Hospital parking spot.  ....for spinal cords, only. 

14:50.  Rehab Visit.

My 93 year old father took a tumble last weekend. He is in a physical rehab facility for the foreseeable future. 


15:20.  The flip-flops and University of Michigan sweatshirt non-withstanding, he was kind of hot.  ...and no wedding ring. 

15:45.  My hometown. 

Downtown Chagrin Falls.

16:30.  Petey walk #2.  Happy fella. 

19:50.  The only four-way Blobby is getting anytime soon.


21:10.  Pets at rest.


No Baker's Dozen. Not this month. Perhaps next time. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh Brother

Petey Porn goes on the road.

Petey got to see his old younger brother, Boomer, this last week.

We had dinner at my sister's house and she asked us to bring Petey.  Boomer is a funny guy - he loves his brother, but knows Pete is the alpha, so makes up for it by herding and pouncing on Petey.

Petey is a sage. Nothing phases him. Certainly not Boomer. But they are cute together.

You'll remember Boomer from posts where I used to go free him and Petey from the kennel when my sister was traveling.

And my sister lives in a house that Petey only lived in for one month, but still knows like the back of his paw. He immediately went to a cabinet and opened it up. He hasn't done that in two years, since he hasn't been there in that long.  How'd he remember?

He's never tried it at our house.

I love this pic. It's something about Petey's eyes. 

This is my niece's kitten. She's never seen Petey before. He could care less about her - but she was extremely interested in him - from a distance.  Pippa (yes, that's her name) and Boomer get along. Actually she will knock food from the counter to Boomer for his consumption. 

I think you've seen this before. Boomer likes to clean Petey's ears. It's gross.  But when Boomer does it, Petey doesn't get ear infections. Since we don't have a Boomer at home, we have to clean Petey's ears ourselves - but not with our tongues. 

Petey stole Boomer's bed.  Not atypical. When my sister had both, Petey took Boomer's bed and stacked it on his and slept on both, leaving Boomer with nothing. So Boomer would sleep on top of Petey. 

Boomer tried to block Petey from getting the bed, but that was just not going to happen. 




Song by: Avicii with Dan Tyminski

Friday, April 11, 2014

Site of the Month

Remember yesterday when I was wringing my hands on what I was to write for today?

Well - I never really came up with anything, so I'm going with my Site of the Month.....which I stole from Tornwordo's FB page.

It is a Countries of the World Quiz.   ....and I might not pass a geography course if actually put to the test...


...welllll....unless it was graded on a curve. Even then I'd barely eke by. 

55 fucking percent. 

Now, for full disclosure, I took the test twice. I was three-quarters into it the first time when I realized you did not have to click on the country and then type in the name.  Well fudge - now you tell me. I lost a LOT of time. 

So all you have to do is type in names and keep going. It's a time-saver.  So the first time I only got 64 countries. 

Once I figgered it out, I took the test a second time. Hence the 55%.  Though almost 74% beating others who have taken this quiz - though that latter percentage did factor in my previous low low low score.  

So on paper, I suck at this.   However, in my defense.......


If you look at it like this, it looks like I did very well.  But those pesky African countries, Asian ones and a few South and Central American ones kind of threw me. And there are a lot of them, even though it doesn't look like it.

And what the fuck is up with Greenland?  Typing in "Greenland" is not even a choice. I even tried typing in "Lapland", just in case. I got nothing.

Now a few caveats - though I'm not letting myself off the hook.....spelling counts.

Yes, I wasted time trying to spell "Uzbekistan"....multiple times. And yes, I didn't know there was a difference between Samoa (which I got) and the Samoan Islands (which I didn't).

I'd bet most of us who read this blog-thing don't know from Andorra (no, not Samantha Stevens' mother) or Djibouti.

Where I'd remember something obscure like the Marshall Islands, I'd forget Sri Lanka. I'd get Camaroon, but blank on Guatemala, Tanzania or Tunisa.

I mean, my g-d, they filmed Star Wars in Tunisa!!!!

I easily got Malaysia. Thank you flight 370!!!!

I'd like to say I ran out of time, and in a way, I guess I did, but everyone does. There are only 12 minutes on the clock.

But even with losing time by respelling things, I really ran out the last 1:40 trying to figure out the other 88 countries.    ....and half of that last 1:40 I would type in things and get the message back that I've already submitted that country.  In that time frame, I'm not sure I added 2-3 more countries.

I didn't want to skew results by taking the quiz again - as the program will tell you what you missed. And if you scroll down while you are taking the quiz, it fills in your correct selection by continent and alphabetical on a chart    ....so I guess you could deduce what might be missing. I just didn't see the list at first and saw it as a form of cheating.

But go ahead. Take it for fun. At least you know Tanzania, Sri Lanka, the Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Camaroon are on the test.

Just not Greenland.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vague

Another day, another vague post.

Honest, it's not on purpose. Well - maybe it is.

Believe it or not, I don't blog about everything. I rarely talk about work, I keep my family life, outside of cats and dogs (and occasionally a husband or cousin) to a minimum.

So it might not surprise you to figure out that the last week or so has been filled with one, if not both, of those subjects.

Family members have given birth, married and passed away with nary a mention here. Some are distant enough that it might not warrant a post. Some might be held so dear, I couldn't possibly convey what or how I was feeling - not that I need to. Or want to try.

Yet, rest assured, there have been no births, weddings or deaths recently. Just life events that make us feel too grown-up. And let's face it - I'm a guy, we don't like or want to grow-up.

No doubt - or maybe - I'll touch on these at some point, but not today. Right now I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and upcoming weekend.  ....and yes, I know it's only Thursday, but I've kind of written off the rest of this week. I'm looking ahead. At least by a day and three-quarters.

12 of 12 falls on a Saturday this month. If I get my butt to do something other than EDL* stuff (I've already cleared trash off our "hill" and picked up about 25lbs of bottles, be it beer, soda, energy drink or hooch) and various car parts (two partial headlights, some front end pieces and part of a hood) then maybe I can have some interesting shots for you.  Maybe.

You'll get a Petey Porn post on Saturday. I just need to rally enough energy to find something for Friday.  Oh, and start thinking of  My Music Monday post.

This blog is work folks. WORK!


* Everyday Living


Song by: Medusa

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Emotional Thing

These days don't happen often, but I'm not in the mood to write.  It's been an off-week for me in many ways, which I may or may not write about but not yet.

I almost tried to think of one of my placeholder posts just to pass the day and time, but I wasn't even up to thinking about that.

Poor me.

Poor you.

Not to worry - it's not all bad, just majorly distracted. I could have given myself one of those non-existent chits I have around here somewhere that I've talked about for years, to take a day off, but since they don't exist, well..........

So this is my non-post post. It still counts. I'm good with the Blogging Board of Directors and I didn't have to call in ill.


Song by:  Shakespear's Sister

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

World Leader Pretend

A few rows back and with an iffy iPhone shot and you'd think I was watching Dick Cheney give a speech.

As if!

No, it was Bob Woodward. Yes, that Bob Woodward.

He was at the Town Hall series and one of my former bosses called me on Saturday to axe if I wanted his tickets.

Sure. It beat going to see the Capital Steps.

I thought Woodward would be more interesting. He had the potential to be, even without ever mentioning Watergate.

The man was there to talk about his new(er) book the Price of Politics.  Woodward may be a good author but he's only a so-so speaker. But being an investigative reporter doesn't necessarily make him objective about what he writes.

This book is his second (!) on Obama. Two books in just over one term in office (it came out in Sept 2013) - so I'm not sure (well, actually I am) that there is time for perspective. But he had few nice things to say about Obama, or Hillary or Carter and Harry Reid. While he didn't praise Boehner, he certainly had nothing bad to say about him. Ditto for Reagan, Bush and Bush.

I mean, this is a book about gridlock in DC. To not even acknowledge that the GOP is  part of that gridlock is absurd. But he puts it all on Obama not being able to pretend to be nice to both GOP and Democratic congress folks. Though he thinks Obama is, at heart, a very nice man - but he doesn't use the power of the presidency to get things done.

The one decent thing he said, but I think was too late into the talk to matter was talking about Obamacare. He asked how many in the audience thought it would and would not work. It was about half and half.

But Woodward equated it with the Cold War. It took 40 years to work through until it was resolved. He shot down both the left and right on their claims that Obamacare has succeeded or failed. He said it won't be years until we know.

Of course, if the Dems don't win in 2016, the GOP will dismantle the ACA (that is me speaking, not Woodward).

I was more put off that he basically, but nicely, trashed Obama and never really talked about true gridlock. He did nothing to make me want to go get or read his book.

Before the start of the program, you're asked to submit questions for the Q&A afterwards - and only a fraction of people submit and they never ever ever get to four that are read. And they didn't read my hastily written one.


I really do have horrible handwriting and printing.

I also meant to put quotes around "bug".  It was a little Watergate joke.

Well, it was free and it was a night out with 710 - and on a Monday. I can't really complain. It was something different to do.  And it wasn't the Capital Steps.




Song by:  R.E.M.

Monday, April 07, 2014

My Music Monday

I've always been a fan of Suzanne Vega, all the way back to her debut in 1985.  Though to be fair, I probably backtracked that debut after hearing "Left of Center" to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack from the following year.

Yikes 29 years. Or 28.

At one point, I even liked "Luka" and "Tom's Diner", until I couldn't stand them anymore. Radio overkill is a terrible thing. And there were way better songs on that second album anyways besides those.

Vega, in my opinion, had a few disappointments - Day of Open Hand had one semi-memorable song and her first disk produced by her then husband, Mitchell Froom (99F Degrees), though their follow-up, Nine Objects of Desire, is without a doubt her best album.

The thing about Vega is, while her musical styles somewhat changed, she kept coming back to more of that folk scene for which she's known. It was just her two Froom produced disks that had her stray a bit - to mixed results. And her voice has remained the same and intact, which for a 30+ years of singing is no small feat.

In the last few years, she's been rerecording some of her old music and releasing it on her own label, as any artist in the 80s or after got a huge raw deal from the record companies. The artists don't own their recordings and make little to no money on them - some even owning tons of money to cover the advances for recording and marketing their albums.

Vega is out with a new disk this year - her first of new material in seven years - Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles.

A review waits, possibly for later. But I am taken by a song from that disk, "I Never Wear White".

While the recorded version is fine and has a fuller sound, I am more fond of just the acoustic version. That is always Vega's strong suit anyways. Her touring band (ok, at least when I saw her in '87) was very small and mostly acoustic anyways.

So here you go......


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Dangerous Type

I have been debating writing this for days now - and yes, it's going to be one of those posts.

So the new CEO of Mozilla was pushed (or jumped) out of his job for donating $1000 to Prop 8 five years ago. "He is a hater", we as a collective group cried.  Or, if Michelangelo Signorile is to be believed, the CEO was actually ousted for donating to Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign............back in 1992!!!!

Now, without going to Wikipedia, I dare anyone to tell me exactly what Buchanan's platform was 22 years ago. And assuming they were extreme outliers and didn't jibe with Mozilla's culture - what was their culture back in 1992.  Oh that's right, the company didn't exist back then.

What is the statute of limitations on people who donate to campaigns, sign petitions, write term papers, say stupid things or take drugs?

The CEO of Hyatt gave tons of money for Prop 8. If I'm correct, the HRC still gives them a 100% gay friendly rating and the Advocate is happy happy happy to take their ads (and money for them). Of course they say, "it's the company we support not the individual". So why does the Hyatt CEO remain? Where's the boycott?

Giving $1000 5 years ago, or Bill Clinton smoking pot X amount of years before he ran for President. We vilify one and elect the other. Both, in theory, are illegal - one criminal law, one constitutional (though until lately, never upheld).

Clinton and Obama "evolve" on gay marriage and we cheer. A CEO donates money a half decade ago, and as far as I can tell, no one bothers to ask him if he's evolved. So he's fired.

Mind you "we" asked him to apologize. But of course we'd be the same people calling him out for faux-apologizing, whether it was sincere or not. Because everyone - you and me included - loves to be forced to say "I'm sorry".

We, as a group, are hypocrites. We are all broken or flawed individuals. To think that leaders - in government or business - are not the same, is only setting ourselves failure and disappointment. We expect more from them and when they can't rise to the level we project, we rally against them. We tell them they have to be above board and they tell us they are - because we demand it, though if we look closely at ourselves, we ourselves are not.

But again, where's the line?

If not the issue of marriage equality, then what else?  Where is the defining list of which we must all abide? And who makes up that list? 

We think there is an absolute and when there is not, "the other side" is now the enemy. The opposing side(s) think the same thing.

Nate Silver, whom I admire, has produced a list of all the top tech companies and the amount of people who donated to and against Prop 8 and the total amount donated for each.  There are any number of things wrong with this.

One is: he doesn't give a percentage of FTEs employed by the company. 80 people at Intel are a fraction of one percent. It also doesn't tell if they're management, front line workers or groundskeepers.

Either way, I think Joe McCarthy had a list like this.

Gay groups are all very comfortable with releasing names of donors to any anti-gay campaign. I am too. Of course there is a caveat to that:  any petition you sign, any donation you make, etc is fair game too. And if those don't jive with your employer's belief system - like Mozilla - you're good with being forced out of a job?

It's dangerous territory.

NOM at least attempted boycotts of Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc for supporting same-sex marriage and / or extending benefits to same-sex couples. The gays at least attempted a boycott of Mozilla over one known employee donating to Prop 8. In theory shouldn't the gay groups be calling for a boycott of all those companies and everyone on Nate Silver's list - at least until they terminate those employees?

I don't see how "we" can pick and choose who will get the brunt of our hatred, as I don't see anyone calling to stop using Intel, Apple, Google or Yahoo - because we can be just as hypocritical as our enemies.


Song by: the Cars