Thursday, November 14, 2019

App of the Month

Well, from my 12 of 12, you might have realized I'm in Northern California. Lower north, but higher than San Luis Obispo.

And for those in the know - we are just at the 30 year mark since the Loma Prieta quake. The one that pretty much brought down - for all intents and purposes - the Bay Bridge.

So while fire seems to be the big thing in California now,  those fault lines are still shifting as we speak.

Now mind you, I'm not all that worried about earthquakes. It's not like I can do anything about them anyways. And if I've learned anything in the last half-decade is, if there is a quake, the Rock will be there with a movie crew post haste, and he always makes it through.

So, there are any number of earthquake warning apps out there - and let's be honest, I cannot attest to how any of them perform. And to be completely honest, I don't want to test them out.

But eQuake has a 4.5 star rating, and 565 ratings. The bigger news is: it's free.  Because, I'll skimp on my safety if it means not paying for an app in where I still might die a horrible death.


eQuake tells you of where recent earthquakes have happened. 


Seemingly, it sucks to be in South Asia or Oceania. 


But you can get the 4-1-1, or the 4.1 on each tremor. 



.....and there is a simulator, so you know what will / might happen. 



It seems you get a 13 second warning. Tops.  Enough time to find a doorway or a table or something.

"Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Shaking in 11 seconds", says the warning.


So you can see why I only guess how it works. I can't vouch for how well it does.



I drafted this days in advance of publishing, so anything could have happened.

  1. No earthquake, so I can't tell how it worked
  2. Earthquake, and it didn't work, so I perished. 
  3. Earthquake, It did work, but I still got swallowed up by the earth - no Rock to save me. 

Should there be a tremor and it works, AND I live, I'll update this posting. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 115th 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 myself - that I know of.....as it's the only blog post he's still doing......for now.  

06:14. Sunrise over San Francisco.  
JP - I'd been up since 05:04, but body clockwise, it was 08:04. Proud? 

06:45.  Beginnings of packing. 
Heading to Monterey later this morning. 

07:10.  B'fast at Mo'z Cafe
Loved this place. Great food. Great service. We ate here 3 out of 4 mornings. I sent Spo an image of my tea pot, but it didn't make the cut here. 


09:40 Leaving San Francisco down US 1, and into the fog in Daly City

10:35.  Fog finally lifted around Pescadero.  We finally got to see some of the scenic US 1

12:30.  Arrival: Cannery Row. 

13:45 Cannery Row public art, as seen on our walk from lunch to the wharf.

14:20.  Candy. 
Diet be damned. I purchased and ate one dark chocolate caramel with sea salt.  It was fair. At best.

15:10.  In the hotel room. 
2 full baths - one with dual sinks, soaking tub and separate shower. 2 gas fire places. 2 huge closets. Separate bedroom / living area. And a small balcony overlooking the bay. If we had a place for the litter box and a hot plate, we could live here.  

17:15.  "Entertainment" choices. 
As if. Like I'd pay for porn. I mean, it's free on-line. 

18:06.  Blurred pic. 
Full moon and a Princess cruise liner leaving the harbour.  The moon was incredible, but I haven't figured out to capture that via iPhone.

20:00.  Late dinner at La Bahia.  Hole in the wall, no website with which to link, great food and totally on the cheap!


That's a travel edition 12 of 12 for you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

the Challenge

Sometimes it all comes back to Seinfeld.

That show about 'nothing' that somehow is something when it comes to occurrences you encounter.

I have no songs with the word 'contest' in it, but I'm hedging my bets you've all seen the Seinfeld episode called, "the Contest".

If not - the short description is: four friends bet on who can hold out longest without masturbating.

Someone didn't get the normal Movember memo - about growing a moustache, which somehow equates to men's health.  I have a moustache, attached to a beard, so that's not happening.

But neither is this next November movement:  No Nut November.

Like 'the Contest' the short description is fairly short:  no getting off.......all month.


Truth be told, days ago, when drafting this, I was winning this contest. Crushing it, in fact.

But that was days - or two weeks ago. Yes, I'm pre-drafting / publishing some posts.  So, it's possible I'm still winning........though most of you would say I'm "losing".

Honestly, I'm loving the third bullet point.  Like one can control their nocturnal emissions. And oh - I'm not 14........so..........I'm pretty sure that one doesn't apply to me.  AND - sorry, no nut means no nut.  I would say, even a wet dream disqualifies you.

There is (or was?) a kickstarter campaign for a trophy. When last looked, they raised $101 of $22,000 !!!  That has to be some trophy........though I'm sure whomever did it was just taking the money and running.

Clearly, this is a millennial's doing.  I'm fifty fucking six years old. Should the opportunity for sex come my way, (yes, I just said that), contest or no contest, I'm taking my shot (yes, I said that too).



Song by: Christine McVie

Monday, November 11, 2019

My Music Monday

Stripped down / Unplugged is the thing.

The MTV Unplugged series bothered me that, after the first 2-3 episodes, most everything was plugged in. They were too lazy to hold the bands accountable or change the name of the show.

a-ha did a show like this not too long ago, but in their home of Sweden.

So, let's take their most popular U.S. song (well, probably worldwide), "Take on Me" and strip away the synths, which was the song back in 1985.

Is it just me, or does the lead singer here look a little like a just woken up Rob Lowe?


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Cooking with Blobby

Baking aside, it's been forever since I've done a cooking post. There just hasn't been time in our lives to do anything but some of our standard meals.

But Jamie Oliver - lisp and all - has a new PBS show out that I've taken to watching in the evenings. The premise is no more than five ingredients - not including salt, pepper, olive oil, etc.  Most of the things have not interested me to try, but he had one - sweet and sour chicken with noodles -  I though, 'huh............that's not bad and it seems easy enough'.

In theory, it was easy, but the prep is a little time consuming. Cooking times seems much shorter.

A few caveats:  we had more chicken than was called for, and I knew if I didn't cook it all at once, I'd let it languish. I could have kept the extra out of dish, but I didn't, so I had to compensate with more noodles and sauce.  I'm not sure if that helped.   Oh - and Jamie does stuff in metric, so.....conversions were fun.  But.......here we go.

Ingredients

2 x 200 g free-range chicken thighs , skin on, bone in  (about half a pound each)
150 g fine rice noodles (5.3 ounces)
200 g sugar snap peas  (1/3 lb)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chilli jam



Pull the skin off the chicken. Place the skin in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat to render and get golden, turning occasionally. Cut the bones out of the thighs and chuck into the pan for bonus flavour, then chop the meat into 2cm (3/4") pieces.


Move the skin and bones to one side of the pan, then add the meat alongside and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally.


Once crispy, remove, chop and reserve the skin, discarding the bones.


Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.


Halve the sugar snaps lengthways.

Once soft, drain the noodles, reserving a mugful of cooking water, then refresh under cold water. Use scissors to snip the noodles into roughly 8cm  (3") lengths.



Stir the Worcestershire sauce and chilli jam into the chicken pan and let the jam melt, then add the sugar snaps and noodles.


Toss over the heat for 2 minutes, adding a splash of reserved noodle water to loosen, if needed. Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper, then dish up and sprinkle over the reserved crispy chicken skin.


It was.........ok.  The left overs, heated up the next day for lunch tasted better.  A few things I learned, as I can see making again with some variations.

You use no oil, as the rendered skin is the oil you use. The skin put out a LOT of oil.  Jamie doesn't say to drain it or not, but we did. I think that was a mistake. I would take some off, but after the noodles are added, they'd soak in some of that flavour.

Two (!) stores didn't have the vermicelli noodles, so we ended up with pad thai ones. They were ok, but I think the vermicelli would have been better.  I rarely use salt for things, but I would have used more for seasoning.

I'd also have make the skin crispier before taking it out. It was ok but not crisp-crisp.  But it is essential to use on top. It honestly made the dish. ....including the leftovers.

As fair as it was, it has potential, but it was not sweet nor sour, so I am not sure where he's getting that name.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

An Olive Grove Facing the Sea

Just a quick post for all you dog and cat lovers.

Shep loves his greens. Every day. 

Shep looking at me looking at the rendering of my parent's headstone. 

Sophie over a radiator.  She'll stop at nothing to be warm. 

Three bassets ignoring each other. 
That FB Group ad lied. 

On a hike down by the Rocky River. 
Yes, he went in the water. 

And introducing Olive - my friend, Chef Bob's new black lab. 
She is ever so friendly, and apparently, ever so destructive. 



Song by: Snow Patrol

Friday, November 08, 2019

the Phone Call

Now and again, I consider leaving AT&T.

At those times, I have good reason, though I don't always know or remember what they are.

My place of employment is horrible with our cell reception. It's annoying for employees for sure, but I think of the patient and family populations who are trying to relay information and fine tons of dead zones.

Of course, the Verizon folks have slightly better reception than AT&T, so that's probably my rationale. That is........until I look at rates.  Mine is no prize, but Verizon has great rates...................IF you have four phones.

So somehow I'm being penalized for not having a wife and two kids, all of whom need phones. I think I should be rewarded for not.

As much as I hate Wal*Mart, that service I got my mother - unlimited phone and data - for $35/mo sounds good. I have no idea of their coverage though.

That said - I got a text message from AT&T (for which they didn't charge against my plan!) and said they were enacting a spam control starting.............now!

And honest to Yahweh, the next call came up:


Well, the next call was the second one.  The one above it?  Probably Rachel from Card Services. As I don't know anyone in Texas, let alone Rogers, TX - if it even exists.

But over the course of last week, I haven't seen 'Telemarketer' come across again.  Now it's.....


It's now 'Spam Risk'

I don't care that I left the Philly number there.  They're trying to get me to pay off my non-existent student loans.  So clearly, this isn't catching every call.

Mind you - with my mother now gone I rarely answer any call from a number that's not already in my phone. With her alive, it was a crap shoot that it was something I needed or someone needed me.  So that Philly number left a v-e-r-y long and detailed voicemail.

710, who does have Verizon, says he has not seen this as an option with his service, let alone one where the carrier reached out the customer to enact.  I do have 'opt out' options, but why the fuck would I want to?

So AT&T, you may have just bought yourself some time with my decision making.

Pretty sneaky, sis.


Song by: the Pretenders

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Target

This isn't a threat.  It's hopefully a promise.

Come November 2020, it will be the last we see of #moscowmitch - at least in terms of making (or not - as the case may be) legislation.

It might be my new shoes, but I was seemingly walking with a lighter step yesterday. I think I was lifted by what could only be known as 'hope'.

First, let's just forget BLOTUS' assertion that Virginia was currently a red state and wanted it keep it that way - even though the senators and governor are all democrats.  Yes, I say BLOTUS isn't dumb, but manipulative. He might be proving me wrong with this one.

And Virginia continues their blue streak. 

While clearly I like that, but Virginia waffles between red and blue, but NoVA helps push that envelope to the dems. It's the Lynchburg fucks you have to watch out for.

It's really the defeat in Kentucky. It'd say they put the KY in it, but this fuck was dry.....and hard. So much so, that the current, non conceding governor is asking for a canvas of the whole state.

Just so you know, I said it in 2000 and it have yet to be proven wrong:  Gore v Bush was the starting line for elections being held in the courts. And we've seen it every year since, in either state races or federal.

The guy's a fuck and should just take his lumps and join FOX (like McConnell will - along with his lobbying job, once he's out with his mail-order bride).

What this all spells is trouble for #moscowmitch.  Yes, I'm going to use that hashtag till the end of his time.

But until that point, we have two problems.  Now that he sees chinks in the armor (and that may or may not be a horrible racist jab at his "wife"), and with the clock now ticking for the next 12 months, GUESS who is going to start trying to pass all the legislation that he has stalled.

Problem 1:  He's not going to pass it in a humane way. It's going to come at a price to the dems for sure.

Problem 2:  He'll have two months after he's defeated in an election till the end of his term. I believe the word you'll be using is: "retribution".

Both are very real.

But today, I'm loving he's got a target on him.  And calm the fuck down Secret Service - while I would LOVE to see this man dead, it won't be because of me.  I'll let the KY voters take him down. Then they too can fuck him without KY.




Song by: Joe Jackson

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

House of Cards

One Dr. Spo threw it out there, if interested, he would read your tarot cards.

I have never had this done.

Nor have I ever been to a psychic, but Ouija boards and Magic 8 Balls have never really worked out for me. Neither has flipping a coin or reading my daily horoscope.

I won't go as far as to say I don't believe in any of these things, but I think you all know by now, I'm a naturally born cynic.

But of course, he is Spo, so why not see where this could lead?

The reading was done on Hallowe'en, the day we got no tricks or treaters, so my stash of soy sauce packs is still intact.  Phew.

I honestly have only seen a tarot card reading in movies or tv - and of course, they are always foreboding and foreshadowing. But my life isn't like tv or movies, unless you watch scenes, dropping one quarter or token at a time.

I'm not 100% (ok, not even 23%) sure how it all works, but I'm like 47% sure Spo knows what he's doing.   He did a three card spread - which only sounds semi- Kamasutra  and full-on Urban Dictionary-ish.  It seems they take a past-present-future looksee.


The cards: the Fool - The Hanged Man - Ace of Swords.

Below is what the good doctor sent in way of my reading. Things I needed to look up their meaning are parenthetical.

"Your cards have two “major arcana’ cards (represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul's journey to enlightenment), suggesting the next 12 months should be powerful not just ho-hum times. 

Groovy.  (Spo's word.  Not mine.)

Fool < chaotic times or folly - or throwing off the usual conventions for new and not too clear directions. 

Hanged Man < another card about ‘seeing things from a different view”   (this is allegedly different than a hung man)

Ace of Swords < a new way of thinking. 

Together the suggest either you are going towards a new/exciting way of seeing Life/new directions or you ought to do so. No ‘status quo’ for you in 2020 either way. The times are a changing.

It is the future, so I cannot say if this is true or not. It hasn't happened. I get the notion "they" want me to see things differently in this upcoming year.

Should it happen at all, it will probably be something I don't even recognize in myself, but we will see.

Thanks, Doc.



Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Judgement

Everyone is so atwitter about BLOTUS making Florida his primary residence,

As much time as he spends playing golf there, it's clearly DC isn't primary.

It doesn't seem to be a preemptive move for divorce after his term in office. It looks like New York and Florida have similar no-fault laws on the books.  Neither state has equal distribution of assets, but the court decides 'fair'.

Taxes?  As the governor of New York aptly tweeted:


What I haven't seen, though I haven't really bothered going back first or second paragraphs.

But honestly, what I haven't seen anyone touch on (though read that previous sentence again), is this:

Florida has some of the most broadly worded protections available to debtors wishing to shelter their assets from creditor attachment. With these protections, BLOTUS and others facing pressure from creditors, often move to Florida to ensure their assets are judgment proof.

And. There. It. Is.

This is reason that the BLOTUS and OJ Simpson's of the world, head to g-d's waiting room.

I mean, ask Ron Goldman's family - and their non-received payment from felon Orenthal James Simpson, to the tune of $33.5 million big ones.  OJ wasn't a resident, but you know........when one must protect their assets from legitimate legal settlements one "moves" to America's wang.

This turd of a president knows once he leaves office and any protections the office held (if they actually do now), will be gone.  Again, he's a fucking evil man, but I don't equate that with being stupid........regardless of the people he pick with which to surround him.



Song by: Iron & Wine

Monday, November 04, 2019

My Music Monday

Stripped down. That's the theme for November.  (Semi) Popular songs by (semi) popular artists in an unplugged-ish fashion.  I think this could work - in a good way.

I'll start with Brandon Flowers from his solo work. He is usually the lead singer for the Killers, but has two solo disks out. If the good stuff from those were combined into one disk, it would make for an incredible first side of an album.  I think he really needs his band. He seems to be more consistent there.

Anyhoo......."Can't Deny My Love" is from his second solo disk. I think I used the album version years ago as a MMM selection. Maybe you'd remember, or maybe you'd give it a chance now with minimal musical accompaniment.

This is taken from a promotional appearance for the disk, while he visited the Siriux XM studios.


Sunday, November 03, 2019

the Weight

This box sits on a cabinet right outside my office window - mocking me.  Every. Single. Day.

Thanks box of paper - tell me something I DON'T know!

Actually, truth be told, I'm a little less husky than I was six weeks ago.

You might remember at the beginning of October I mentioned of making some changes to my eating habits - at least for the past six weeks.

No desserts, less sugar, less bread.  That was my commitment to the process.  So far; so good.

In a six week time frame, I have lost 9.9 lbs.  Probably 10, as after I weighed myself a few days back, then I went and used the restroom. That had to be at least one once.

I'm fine, so far, with 9.9 .  My goal is and was....well no matter, but I haven't yet hit that number. But I'm closer.

It isn't just the non-eating doing this, of course. I have a semi-exercise system.  Not a gym - as my shoulder is still ever so troublesome.

I've made an effort in walking. Sure, I get my dog-walking steps in. But at lunch, I walk 2,000+ steps.  Since I am in my new building most of the time, it's not a big hospital complex, so I have to make a concerted effort to walk 10,000 steps per day.  There have been three days in 6+ weeks that were under 10k, and they were all 9.5k.  Most of my days are 13,000.

I also make the effort in stairs. As I walk through the building, and take a set of stairs, as long as no one is in the stairwell with me, I will walk up and down the steps 3-4 times.  I'm currently averaging about 22 flights of stairs per day.  No less than 10. Sometimes upwards of 37.

My snacks are bananas, pistachios and clementines.  If I need sugar (at work) I have one Jolly Rancher.  It's all of 3 calories. At home, it's been no white sugar.  I'm not trying to deprive myself completely, but I knew I had to start strong, so............here we are.

10 pounds isn't everything, but I think at 1.66 lbs per weeks is healthy.  It's not the big drop all at once, but I am not sure that is sustainable in keeping off anyways.  And I mean, per week, that's like 86 pounds per year - not that I'm looking to drop that much.

The crazy thing about this "diet" is change in behaviours.  No dessert?  I go to bed earlier, though I don't really get much more sleep. JP would die to know I wake up even earlier.  Our milk buying / consumption is way down.  If you don't need a glass to wash down a cupcake, then, you don't buy as much. This also has thrown our dish washing cycle off completely.

You don't even want to know how it's changed my very "personal daily schedule".......but all for the better, so there's that.

I know the original goal was until the end of October, and we made it. But for the time being, we'll keep going. I still have a little more to go, which might take us till the end of the year. 

This might not be a temporary change of life, maybe an alteration.  It's a wait and see game. And clearly, a weight and see game as well.



Song by: the Band

Saturday, November 02, 2019

November

How did it get to be November?  Whilst you won't see it this week here, Thursday night / Friday morning we got our first snow of the season.

Autumn Shep 1
He is such a Fall dog.  So was Petey.

Sophie - such an all season cat. 

Shep - and me at my goal weight. 

Daycare pick-up picture. 
It's the one 710 got sent to him yesterday. 

Dog blocked.  Story of Sophie's life. 

Komfort Kat.

Autumn Shep 2
Squirrel hunt with a colourful backdrop. 



Song by: Duncan Sheik