Monday, November 30, 2020

My Music Monday

I would put Neil Finn's songwriting ability up there with Lennon & McCartney. 

To be clear, I mean, the Beatles songbook, not say, Paul McCartney's "Let Him In". 

Be it solo material, duo records with his brother, or either of his bands, Split Enz or Crowded House, Finn has a way to make a tune - usually accessible without dumbing down to the masses. 

Of course, save for a few songs, I can't say they hit the charts, but that might be because he doesn't dumb down to the masses. 

Finn had a really good solo disk three years ago, but there has not been a Crowded House disk in over a decade. That is about to change.  

With some rotating members - Finn's two sons are now in the band, as is producer of their first three disks, Mitchell Froom (formerly Suzanne Vega's husband) - they are poised to release a new album in 2021. 

With all the accolades I just bestowed, it seems I'll do a 180 here on their first new song, "Whatever You Want". 

Of course, I had highest of hopes for it - so it might be on me while I feel this fails. Not horribly, but it doesn't live up to what I would consider a Finn standard. 

Finn's voice is good, but the song is just not that great. The intro rhythm sections had me hoping, as it was solid. But the chorus and verse is just weak.  I suppose it's better than nothing, but "Whatever You Want" doesn't measure up.  


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ad of the Month

I'd say I've been hanging around the house since the holidays, but in reality, we've been hanging around the house since March.  More television has been viewed than should be allowed, but.....unlike many in this country, we don't go out a lot and when we do, it's avec masks {oh, that's a WHOLE other post} . 

It seems with post-op, I've been 

I'm not entirely sure which channel this commercial is on, but it runs a lot over the last few days. I also can't tell you because YouTube TV has kind of messed whatever normal I had with cable. I said something the other day about 'channel 3' and 710 just laughed and laughed and laughed at me.  He was correct to do so. 

Anyhoo.....it's a Dewars ad, not that it matters. I don't think. 

I suppose, Scotch Whiskey is manly. I wouldn't know. Not that I'm not manly - but not that I'm not. But I don't care for Whiskey. or Scotch. or Bourbon.  I suppose it could taste good - but I can't get past the smell. And the irony is: my sense of smell isn't all that good. 

I'm not saying that turn of the century soccer, rugby and Newies caps aren't masculine - I'm just saying it's all a little gay. And by a little, I mean seconds 0:24 - 0:27 are just super cruisey.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Telephone Line

Sophie and Shep: Holiday Edition. 

Not tons of content:  homebound. thanksgiving and pos-op make for limited adventures with pets. We will make do.  We WILL survive. 

She can - and will - crash anywhere. But she's a wonder to see. 

Exploring up at Penitentiary Glen after a few mile long hike. 

Lake County - which is adjacent to us - has some of the best places to hike. But they are also one of the worst of the 88 counties in Ohio in terms of Covid positivity.  And almost everyone on our last trip - last weekend - was not wearing a mask. So, for the long future, we decided we can hike other places than anything in Lake County. 

Soph can't seem to stop playing with my laptop. Her paw pressure easily makes it tip over. 

Squirrel on a wire. 

Taunting Shep. This set him off barking, which then started any number of unseen dogs  - behind fences, doors, etc - start yapping. We could not stop laughing. 

Relax-a-cat. 

Sophie is not phased by much. 



Song by: Electric Light Orchestra

Friday, November 27, 2020

Cooking with Blobby

It's been a few since I posted a cooking anything. But the day after T-giving seems to be about the right time, no? 

I'm not really a turkey guy - but I am ok with sides. Yes, we had dressing, green beans and mashed potaters. All the regulars for a very non-regular, stay-at-home Thanksgiving. 

But I wanted to try something else. Onions. 

Not in anything. Just stand alone. 

I love onions done on the grill, but I thought I'd try them in the oven. The one recipe I saw looked frightfully easy. One should avoid these. For the first part of that recipe, they had the halved onions in muffin tins. Oh, it looked nice, until you realize you don't make muffins that large or have onions that small.  I improvised. 


I just nestled those halved-onions in a bread pan and snaked foil around them to keep them in place. 

A little salt. a little pepper - and into a 350F oven.  Technically, it should have been 425, but the turkey was cooking at 350, so I made due. The onions would have to cook longer. 

At 425, they should cook for 20 minutes where then you'd brush the tops with butter or oil.  And puh-leese, it wasn't going to be oil. 

I forgot a picture of the buttering, so forgive me, but I know you all a vivid imagination. 

Then they go back into the oven for another 40 minutes. At 75F less than the suggested 425, these times are obviously longer. I was just eyeballing everything. 

This is how they came out. I think ok - or how I supposed they'd turn out. I guess they were sweet-ish. No harsh onion flavour anyways. They didn't taste as buttery as. thought but maybe I didn't use enough? Maybe they weren't supposed to taste that way? 

They complimented the meal for the most part. I don't know I need to repeat this any time soon, but it was a valiant effort.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanks

I admittedly do not understand people. 

I have watched the news where people are traveling for Thanksgiving, while they clearly hear of, and know of, the rapid rise in Covid cases. They're unswayed. They don't care - about others, let alone themselves. 

My sister called two weeks ago and asked if we should do anything. While I haven't seen her in months, and I'd love to, I declined her lightly-asked invite. She totally got it. 

Honestly, if I'm breaking sheltering, it's not going to be for turkey. 

So - for the second time ever, we are having Thanksgiving at our house. The last time was in 1987.  This time, just the four of us:  710, Shep, Sophie and myself. 

710 loves turkey, so turkey we shall have - though it will just be a breast. I'll make sides - as long as one is mashed potatoes, since that is another request of his. 

But as this is Thanksgiving, I'm not one to normally speak about for what I'm thankful - but this being 2020, all bets are off. 

It's been a tough year for all - more so for others. So this isn't a humble brag, or it's not how it is meant. Both of us here have jobs - ones not completely affected by Coronavirus. Yes, I took a pay cut for a bit and had my 403b contributions discontinued for nine months, but.........I have a job. It keeps a roof over our heads and we don't have to worry about eviction, meals, utilities. 710 has one too. His company is struggling due to it - but his area is the only profitable one. 

I am very thankful for that. And for that, we are planning more of helping others out not just during the holiday season, but for the forseeeable future. I find it to be our duty. 

While I haven't seen my sister, we talk, we text - so it's not a loss. I think at this point it will be weirder to see her than not. 

I am thankful for my longtime friends. Our weekly talks, our constant texts kept my spirits up more than they know - because it was more than I ever said. I spoke of angst on this here blog and it was real. Mini panic attacks of the potential of dying alone in a hospital  room due to Covid. 

Admittedly I had become a little numb to that as the months went on, but as the cases surge here in Ohio, that angst comes back to visit me. I'd say it's not logical to have those feelings, but it is. Read a paper, turn on the news - see the masses being exposed, hospitalized and dying. 

Wow - this post has kind of become a downer. That was not the intent. 

I miss our Cleveland friends. Oddly, they are closer physically, but many of them are being far more careful than we - so now and then we run into them while we are walking - and catch up from opposite sides of the street, but no true connection. It's weird for sure. 

And yes, I am thankful for you. You all keep coming back. And I'm track (I think) to have my best blog year - in terms of hits. For what that's worth.  I just assume you folks have nothing better to do during this pandemic - tons of free time, so you stop by.  That works for me. 

Hope you all have a good day. Enjoy it. 



Song by: Shelby Lynne

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

20 Dollar Nose Bleed

Short and sweet. 

Yesterday was nasal surgery day.  Blech. On most all levels. 

I wasn't nervous or anything - though maybe I should have been. I got to see all the pre-op videos and it's always a barrel of laughs when they get to the risk sections of surgery and anesthesia. 

Suffice to say, I didn't succumb to those risks....................that I know of. 

I have a little numbness on part of the roof of my mouth. That would last days......or weeks...........possibly forever. It's not debilitating. 

The drive to hospital was more worrisome. I was NOT going to let Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" be the last song I heard before being put under. I hit the radio buttons hastily. 

As it turns out, the surgeon had music on when I got put in the OR.  "Hotel California"!!!   FUUUUUCK. What I would have given to hear Ms. Abdul one more time.  Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), right before I went under, I got to hear the intro to Heart's "Crazy on You".  Crisis averted. 

No one wants to potentially go into the afterlife hearing "you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave". And yes, I totally get the irony in all of that. 

In my mind, I know it will get better. But as of this drafting, it pretty much sucks. 

Pain is extremely minimal and I don't foresee taking anything other than Tylenol. But now imagine your very very worst head cold............and multiply it by 47.  And that the snot you experience is blood.....well ..........and snot. 

I don't know how, or if I'll sleep. Or can. The other irony would be not dying prior to surgery because I couldn't breath, but doing post, so I could........and then didn't. But without the horrors of having to listen to the Eagles. 



Song by: Fall Out Boy

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there! 


I've almost always questioned lead singers of bands who write, or help write, the songs and their need to go solo. Or have a solo disk. 

I get, say, the members of someone like Fleetwood Mac who have three lead singers, and who only get 3-4 songs every few years (well, when they made records). But the Brandon Flowers' of the world?  Phil Collins?  I suppose it's more ego over art, but who knows. Neither of the latter two sound much, if any, different than their band work. 

So, I had a raised eyebrow at Matt Berninger - lead singer and lyricist for the National - releasing an album on his own. Album is the key word, as he's of that ilk where vinyl is preferred. As a New Yorker cartoon nailed it with:  "I like vinyl for its expense and inconvenience".  I'm sure it has its qualities, but my aging ears probably couldn't tell the difference. And you can't take the music with you. 

Serpentine Prison is and isn't like the National.

Admittedly, when you you are a baritone, your options to change things up are slightly more limiting. Berninger's voice is fairly distinctive and he does have a certain style, which he doesn't much try to abandon here.  Some of the music tries to deviate - but not as hard as one would want. 

"Silver Springs" (not a Fleetwood Mac cover) is hitting the marks for me. I'd say the chorus more than verses, but it might be hard to say 'chorus' too. And it's more about the phrasing and vocal arrangement than it is the words. Gail Ann Dorsey's voice is cool and smooth and fits the song and a good contrast to Berninger's.  Dorsey might also sing the best lyric on the disk: "everyone knows where to hang / but they never show you the ropes".

"Loved So Little" is up there too. The strings kind of really help make that song - and the Hammond organ. Digging "My Eyes are T-Shirts" which is the shortest song on the disk, but it does seem to go on much longer. 

The music for "Oh Dearie" is so not National-like, and it's very welcome.  "All For Nothing" is all too-National like. Right down to the horns. 

Actually, I love when the band uses the somewhat muted trumpet and trombone, but keeping them with Berninger makes it harder at times to distinct solo work from the collective. This happens on a number of tunes. 

The album is a solid B-.  I wanted more out of it, but I wasn't expecting more. To be truly different, I think Berninger would have really had to step out of his comfort zone - and it doesn't seem he was willing to do just that.  But at least I have "Silver Springs" to hit repeat on a dozen times per day. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

My Music Monday

So Foo Fighters have a new song out - with a new album in February to follow. That, it hopefully something in which to look forward. 

Dave Grohl - excellent drummer and a seemingly good and funny guy - said their soon-to- be new disk, Medicine at Midnight, was inspired by Bowie's  Let's Dance disk. 

If so - this could be fun. 

There are less subtle hints of Bowie in their new song, "Shame Shame". 

It has the drums (not his) of the Niles Rogers produced Let's Dance.  ...ditto with his Chic partner, Bernard Edward's production of the Power Station. 

But the repeat of "shame shame" and it's chord progression and notes reflect a much earlier Bowie. Yet there is still enough of Foo Fighters on here to make it them, not a Bowie knock-off.  Again, he inspired them - it's not an homage. 

I'm enjoying it. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Count on Me

I'd say we have a petulant, whiney, immature president, but that seems like overstating the obvious. 

I get this digging his heels in - as he's never one to say he's wrong or lost. I do believe BLOTUS is incapable of that. 

Still, I don't get the end-game. 

Voter recount in two areas only in Wisconsin - where a republican hasn't won since 1956 ?   I'd say why is he spending $$$ on that, but I already know. 

Voter wannabe recount in Georgia and maybe Michigan. 

Say he does. Say he takes back those states. If my math is correct - and I did take Math 104 twice, so.... - I do not believe that still gives BLOTUS enough electoral votes to win anything. Again, I'd ask why, but I think we know why. 

He is fucking with us. With Pappy Joe. With the world. 

He's doing it because he can. He's doing it, because he's a dick. 



Song by: Jefferson Starship

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Let's Go to Bed

Doggies. Plural.  Kitty. Singular. 

Most of this week is about bed and sleeping. 

Soph loves her stairs. 

Shep no longer sleeps with us - his choice. So it was weird to see him crashed on our bed. 

Peeking at me  from other side of the desk while I work. 

Shep really is a happy looking guy. 

More office time with Dad #2. 

Apparently I'm intruding on his sleep. 

710 laughs at me. I will turn on the electric blanket so Sophie can be warm. 

No one goes out harder then Shep when it comes to sleeping. Even pressed against me. 

Henry and friends. 
It was the blue collared guy's first daycare day. He was pawing at me furiously. I loved him.




Song by: the Cure

Friday, November 20, 2020

Site of the Month

Instagram is not the Site. It's a site - but not THE one.  

UPS has their own page on the IG site. They probably have more than one - as many companies have business pages on all the social media platforms. 

But UPS has a fun side too. 


The Official Instagram for UPS Dogs. 


Perhaps there isn't a greater site in all the parcel transportation industry social media realm than this. 

I might have undersold it with that last line. 

Before we got Petey, the UPS driver used to give him treats. That was all well and good, until the driver left the truck to deliver a package to my sister. Petey would go in - find the treats (or their lunch) and them. 

Or - and more then once - he was in the truck unknowingly to the driver, who would leave with him in the back. More than once, he had to drive back to deliver Petey.  And that must have hurt too - as he would have been shocked by his invisible fence. 

After we had Mr. Pete - on walks if we saw the UPS truck, it was a sit and wait game. He would not budge an inch....on the hope for a treat.  Hounds!

Alas, our driver didn't do what his old one had. Yet Petey persevered. We had to wait for the truck to drive away before we could continue our walk. 

FYI - he knew the difference between UPS and FedEx.  He was a smart cookie. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Lazy

I'm being lazy. 

I'm not posting today.  I haven't had a thought in my head that's not work. 

.....and I've been up since 02:30, so Blobby is in no position to be creative...........not that I have ever been. 

So, save your reading time. 

Go save the world. 


Song by: Love and Rockets

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Court and Spark

So, it turns out Covid isn't all bad. 

I mean, there is no 2020 Coldplay tour!  School shootings are WAY down.  There is always a chance #moscowmitch will catch the disease and die!

.....and no jury duty. 

I got a summons to the county court......three weeks ago. 

First off - I've only been 'summoned' once before - pushing 12 years ago. It was the kind you called at 16:30 the day before to see if they needed you.  They didn't.  Five days in row they didn't need me. It was just like my dating life 12 years before that. 

This time was to be the same thing.  

My first thought was: who gets jury duty right before Thanksgiving?  My second thought was: they're having actual juries in times of Covid? 

I knew at our supposed peak, they stopped them. But then they reinstated them - though I don't know if that was for city, county or federal. 

While being on a good case would be entirely a blog series, it's weird time of year, as I'm finishing my budget and really in the midst of heavy recruiting. And more importantly - I just didn't want to, civic duty or not. 

I had a plan, of course.  Two, in fact. 

1. Go. And wear my Black Lives Matter mask. There was a 100% chance they wouldn't let me on any jury. Ever. Of course, that in itself is using the minority population for white privilege.  So, I scratched that idea. 

2.  Call the number on the summons and ask for a 90 day postponement. 

That seemed more realistic, as it had the instructions right there. On the outside of the envelope.  It's like they were telling me to call.  So I did. 

I didn't even have to given an explanation. 

Not only that, they go:  you know there aren't jury trials at least until June. Do you really want to postpone as you are now ineligible. 

To be honest, I didn't even know what she meant by the past part, so I quickly answered not to put me in the postponement category. So now I'm "ineligible". 

I'm not sure justice will prevail without me. But maybe, just maybe, it will. 



Song by: Joni Mitchell

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tin Man

We made it to 10.  

Well.....plus 25.5. 

But a decade ago today, 710 and I married in Washington DC

Oh, back then, the marriage was only legal in five states and the District. I won't say it was only ceremonial but it didn't mean much other than to ourselves once we were firmly back in Ohio. 

Unlike other states who came around to same-sex marriage, Ohio had to be be taken there kicking and screaming and by a SCOTUS decision. 

Months before the wedding - before 710 even knew of a wedding - I borrowed his passport and got our marriage license when I was on a business trip to DC.  Of course, we had discussed marriage, but had, at that time, made no arrangements. I took care of that. 

It was a great day, except for the pictures. 

Becky took this one, but it was set up by our poorly chosen wedding photog. I mean - c'mon.....the pile of leaves in the corner? Was there no stager? No stylist?  As I've said before, the guy charged $60 - and I got what I paid for. Honestly, we got 2-3 good shots.........and I'm being generous. 

It's been a good 10 years.  Plus 25.5.  

Some years have been better than others, but that's true of all of us. We've seen more good than bad. Honestly, Covid could probably push any couple over the brink - and we've kind of been good this whole time. We have gotten along with each other's family - and what few times ours have gotten together has always been pleasant. 

So, 10 is tin.  ....and I got nothing. And I can guarantee you he's got nothing. We have never done anniversary gifts, nor do I expect to start now.  Since there The Covid going on, there will be no eating out either. I suspect I will make salmon. There might be a cake - which is better than any present anyways. It'll just be him, myself and the always ever present Shep and Sophie (we are a pack!). 

That's the best celebration a guy could ever have. 



.....and just for shits and giggles........when we were in DC in September, we walked to where we got married. I did a short video when I thought I'd do a vacation video. 



Song by: America

Monday, November 16, 2020

My Music Monday

I am just going to get this out of the way. 

In the 10 years (yes 10!) that I've been doing My Music Monday, I can now say I've done my second Miley Cyrus song.  I apologize to all.  Or at least "most". 

A few months ago when Cyrus released "Midnight Sky" it was all about Stevie Nicks' ok to sample her "Edge of Seventeen". Curious, I listened and couldn't find any sample of the song.  As I had know the Nicks song for almost 40 years (think about that too!) I figured I would recognize anything taken from it. I didn't. 

Granted, I'm aging - perhaps my memory is failing?   Nahhhhhhh.  

Perhaps it's the "ooh baby ooh said ooh" inference? 

Maybe no one else heard it either, as Cyrus and Nicks have released a remix / mash-up version. Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe it's a time when Nicks could use more than three notes. Maybe it's the mix itself (as whomever did a good job). But it certainly makes Cyrus' song better.  And Cyrus does a decent job adding a layered vocal on top of the 1982 song. 

I don't quite see the appeal of Cryus voice though. It's not horrible, but it's different and I'm guessing as some appeal to some folks - just not me. Though in this mix, it kind of works. 

....and is it just me or does the photo below look like Dolly Parton? 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

White

Wow.  White people suck. 

Mostly us white men. 


Well - almost completely us men. Though you cracker women are scaring me more than a bit. 


Of course, the map itself is scary. As minorities are the disenfranchised voters, and with so much red EVERYWHERE, it's a wonder that any democrat anywhere, ever, has ever ever ever ever been elected to anything more than student council. 

That's really all I got too. Clearly I don't get how people get elected. But neither does BLOTUS - and I don't sue everyone to change the results............but neither do I lose. 

Ok. Bedtime for me. I'm exhausted. 


Song by: the Cult

Saturday, November 14, 2020

the Bottomless Lake

This whole week was Friday the 13th. I couldn't be happier for it to be over. 

Big Ass Paws stepping on me when he tells me it's time to go out. 

Last Saturday, we got in one last trip to Bow Wow Beach. 
A good time was had by all.   ....save for six of us, no one else wore masks.  {sigh}

And outtake from 12 of 12
Wherever we go, she follows. 

My sister sent me a pic of Boomer & Bailey. 
They have their own beds, but they choose to spend time together - which is adorbs!

Sophie on Shep's bed.....again.  
Possession is 9/10ths of the law. 

....and then a Sunday hike around a marsh. 

Bullying his way on to her ottoman. Her taking note, but not caring - and certainly not moving. 


Song by: John Prine

Friday, November 13, 2020

12 of 12

 So I'm doing my 127th 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 - of which I know.   

05:12.  Purple Haze. 

This happens a few times per year - as I found out a few years back. A hydroponic nursery has their lights going. But a cloud layer has to be just so for it to reflect off of them. One must get up early to see this. 


05:36.  Doing Dishes.

......at 5:30 in the morning. There weren't a lot, but I couldn't start my day without taking care of them. 

06:08.  Brace going on. 

New brace. Different leg. I didn't even fall or anything. But turns out I have a quad tendon injury. It was painful - and assume it's just age-related? 

06:34.  Arriving at work. 

07:57.  Glass cleaning. 

A boy has to see. 

10:11.  New business arriving. 


12:33.  Buffalo Chicken Salad. 

I didn't pack. I should have. It wasn't great, but not horrible either. 

14:47.  Water swap out. 

I find it extremely satisfying to put in the new jug o'water. 

16:42.  Isolation Mask. 

We can only wear these at work now. No more cloth masks - which aren't as effective as these. 
I don't have to wear one in my office when I'm there alone. 


17:36.  Dog walk around the lake. 

Trying to beat sun down - we lost. But lots and lots of ducks or geese. 

17:55.  Dinner.  Don't ask. 

21:12.  Schitt's Creek. 

Yes, we're late to the party, but we're watching. 



There you have it.  127 in the bag.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dictator

I'd say IF I were a conspiracy theorist - but I'm beginning to think I might be. It might no longer be an "if". 

I never ever ever ever expected BLOTUS to concede the election. He's not the kind of person who can ever admit they failed, make a mistake or even apologize. To him, that's a weakness. 

And if you dare scroll through the last four years of my post, for at least 3.5 of them, you'll find me talking about his trek to dictatorship. 

It's possible he's about there. 

A failed re-election bid. Barr inserting himself and the DoJ looking into voting irregularities (though none have been found). A fired Secretary of Defense. The deputy chief of staff to the undersecretary of defense for policy: gone. 

“The president is taking back control of DOD. It’s a rebirth of foreign policy. This is Trump foreign policy,” said the official, who spoke anonymously and without authorization., said an anonymous DoD source. 

Control. Of the DoD. Two months before he would have zero control. 

Oh - and he installed a "temp" head (you know, so he doesn't have to get congressional approval) of a man who called Obama a "terrorist leader".   So.................this is going to go well. 

While I have been predicting this for sometime, it's kind of fucked up to watch this potentially happening in real time. 

Of course, we've seen this happen in many other countries over many different decades, but deep down, at least I thought, "well that can't happen here!",  but the reality should have had me say, "why couldn't it?"

I think we just might see some attempts.  Let's see how silent the GOP remains. 



Song by: the Clash