Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Still Down

The blog is. Sometimes completely. Sometimes with no pictures. No end in sight.

Totally my fault - shouldn't have waited until last minute to change, but in reality, these hosting, FTP, migration issues would have just come at an earlier time.

FUCK. Sorry folks (even though I know you cannot read this right now).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fifty Years After the Fair

Because of my migration, which seems to have worked, I neglected to write about a big event in our lives. Well, mostly Denton's, but hey, I was along for the ride.

He had his birthday the other day. One of the bigger ones. But 50 is the new 40, right? Ok, it's not - people who say that are just in total denial. But Denton is good with where he is, I'm ok with where he is and where we are.

I won't say it was a week of celebration, but we did drag it out a bit. The traditional going out to a new restaurant happened last Saturday. It was ok - nothing outstanding. But it was somewhere new and we know I abhor change.

On the way out, we ran into my cousin Bill and his wife. That was a pleasant surprise. They'd never met Denton before and while it was a brief introduction - as they were waiting for their table - it was a nice ice breaker for both of them.

Monday was the actual day. There was a card and some gifts and a simple meal at home. But I was stumped on dessert. I can cook, but I'm not a baker - not by a long shot. Yeah, I did those orange pound cakes for thanksgiving, but that was about it.

But the day before the big day, I got it in my head I'd make a cake and do butter cream frosting all by my lonesome. And I did.............

Ok, it ain't the prettiest thing you've ever seen, but it worked. The cake cracked more than I thought it would as it cooled, but nothing a little homemade chocolate butter cream frosting wouldn't patch up. And it did.

The cake was incredibly moist (because instead of oil I used a stick of butter) and the frosting wasn't nearly as sweet as it seemed when I was making it (maybe that was because I used two sticks of butter in there). The coffee in the mix worked too - and no matter what Ina Garten says, you can taste the coffee, it doesn't just give the chocolate a depth of flavour.

What you see on top of the cake isn't fur or anything. I got the grand idea to grate chocolate infused with orange flavouring over the top. That didn't make or break anything - that's for sure.

Denton liked it - and that's all that mattered. Let's face it, even if it sucked, I racked up all kinds of points just for making the effort.

Song by: Aimee Mann

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Holding Me Up

Ok, I think I'm starting migration of this blog tonite/today.

I don't think it will be easy. I might lose you guys for a few days unfortunately. I'll still write, so I don't lose my going-on-two year streak (look at that, look at that) of continual blogging, but it might not publish like always.

I'm hopeful, but not optimistic. Bare with me folks.

Song by: the Dandy Warhols

Monday, April 26, 2010

Move Away

This is just a head's up for my readers. I'm hoping for no disruption in service over the next few days, but I can promise nothing.

Those of you who have been around since before, what, 2006 (?), I published my blog off of Blogger......when Blogger was still Blogger and not Blogspot.

Even though I have my own URL now, I still use Blogger as my editor and FTP, mostly because I'm lazy. 

But Blogger is making me migrate. Yes, making me!

FTP publishing will no longer be available after May 1, 2010
You currently have blogs that are published using FTP. You must migrate your blogs to a new custom domain URL or a blogspot URL. To learn more, see our dedicated blog and help documentation.

To be fair, I knew this day was coming since February and I could have migrated anytime before this week, but true my nature, I'm waiting until the last minute, leaving me no, or little, time to troubleshoot should something go terribly wrong. And you know my luck with my FTP and Hosting issues. 

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

It doesn't help that I am traveling most of this week, so I will migrate today, do or die. Most likely the latter. But there might be help from me yet - from a higher power. I mean Denton, of course.

Fingers-crossed, fellas. Fingers-crossed.

Song by: the Killers

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let it Roll

Yesterday I did my once every two year bowling expedition.

By most skill sets, I am not a bowler. Not really.

It's not a "sport", I despise, I just have no natural skill set to do this on any kind of regular basis. And whenever I go, it is normally for some kind of fundraiser or something like that.

This time it was Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Don't get me wrong, it's a great organization, but I have no aspirations to become a Big Brother. I'm no role model for even the least mentored kid ever. It has almost nothing to do that they'd never let me qualify. It is just easier to reject them first before I get the rejection.

Just because I can't be a Big, it doesn't mean I cannot contribute to those groups that do good work. My contribution was this:

Putting on used shoes that would make Marge Simpson say: "they're a little warm and moist!"
Actually, they weren't, and they looked good on me. "You sure have big feet for a cameraman, Blobby!"

...and look at that form! I look like such a pro!!!

Clearly I bowled like one too. At least on the first game. Get this: I WON!

My score was only 158, but it was almost 30 points higher than the second place guy - who happened to be Denton. For my efforts, I won four tickets to any Cleveland Indians home game of my choice (up to and including June 30th). And I can break those up into more than one game. Nice.

The second round I did ok, but I did not win. I placed like 5th out of 40 folks. Not shabby.

And while technically, "we" won an award for donating the most money of the group, Denton got the prize, mostly, I suspect, because his name appears first on our joint cheque. Of all the nerve!

We tried to turn down the prize and re-donate it to the organization, but they wouldn't hear of it. That's nice, but I feel like we were taking away from a group who might have needed it more than us. Don't get me wrong - I'll spend it. Or co-spend it.

Oh and get this - we also were presented tickets to four free games at the bowling lanes.

Maybe we will be going back sooner than later.

Song by: Kim Richey

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nothing Man

I got nothing.

It happens. You've seen it before. You'll see it again. Deal!

I can only blame part on lack of sleep. I got more Thursday night than I had all week, but oy, the dreams. Let's just say one centered on buying Denton two car tires. The other was all about a make-it-yourself-headstone. Whomever I was making it for (it wasn't mine) referenced Willie Nelson.

If that is my other world, maybe sleep is overrated.

Running has made my lower back sore (again). My arms are sore from adding weight to my routine.

I've been working a bit and on the road almost all of next week - no worries, you'll get posts.

But today, I got nothing. I'll work on it though.

Song by: Bruce Springsteen

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!

You get this for two reasons:

1. Because I am perpetually 12 years old, these cookies sound funny.
2. I am dead tired. If I thought I couldn't sleep before - these last two days have a new record for lack of sleep.

As I write this (pre-written), I am operating on 3.5 hours of sleep in the last 40 hours and it's only really 19:35. I can't go to bed too too early or I'll just be up in the middle of the night (not that I'm usually not). I also haven't eaten dinner yet.

But it will be an early night for me. I think it will almost have to be.

Until then, we'll always have Nut Horns.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hello Earth

Because my carbon footprint isn't like a 14 triple D enough, I went and killed the planet just a little more yesterday. You can thank me later.

It was the first time in 2010 that I cut the lawn. I fired up the old Honda mower and went to town, cutting down about a half acre of grass - overgrown grass at that.

Oh, but while I was doing that, I also was running the snow blower, to attempt to drain it of any gas left in there, so I can store it for the next seven months. I was going for noise and air pollution at the same time. Never say I'm not efficient.

Sorry Mother Earth.

But it is Earth Day, so I eked by without violating the day, right? I can totally make a fresh start this year by doing good. I'm not sure what that is yet, but I'm sure I can find something. If I had a shower at work, I'd ride my bike more during the summer, but we don't - and as we all know by now, I sweat and stink while doing the littlest of exercise. No one is gonna wanna see/smell me for 10 hours.

Maybe I can check in with AltUse and see how to best utilize some common household stuff for other uses. It's kind of like an online Hints from Heloise. It's about time that bitch went cyber. I'm sure it can tell me how to use that calypso, right Becca?

Song by: Kate Bush

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Run for Life

Oooh - I started running (again) yesterday.

It's probably not a big thing, I just have little to blog about today.

I used to run. I used to run a lot. When I was in high school I ran cross country and track - well, track for one year. I hated it - both track and cross country.

However, when you're 6'2", and 125 lbs, very few high school sports are open to you. running and golf. I sucked at both. So each day I would run 10-17 miles for practice and be resentful at every stride I had to take. Oddly enough, I liked my coach (no, not that way!).

But the day cross country ended, I swore never to run again - and I had pretty much stuck to that. Not completely, but pretty much.

For my cardio routine at the gym, I've done LifeCycle, recumbent bicycling, the elliptical and would walk brisk paces on the treadmill. Oh, and Spin. But I have avoided running - until yesterday.

I'm not sure what got into me - though I suspect Morty and Jon inspire me with their talks of marathons and half-marathons. I was on the treadmill and about halfway through my 30 minute routine, I just kept upping the pace and soon I was running at a decent clip - and I just kept it up. And guess what? I kind of enjoyed it.

I only ran about two miles, but I felt good doing it (lung capacity-wise) and by the time I was done, like everything else I do lately, I was sweating like a pig. It felt good and it was a nice change from my other cardio stuff.

I clearly have issues though. I had trouble finding a good gait. I seemed heavy-footed on the moving walkway, but if I keep it up, I think I'll find my way.

Blobby is not planning on running any races, just finding something to mix up the routine so it is not so routine.

Next goal: the fucking StairMaster! (just in due time. I'm in no rush there.)

Song by: Melissa Etheridge

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One More Time

Sorry to besiege you with more of my niece, Katie, and her amazing time last Tuesday as a YouTube spotlight artist. It has garnered a lot of attention ( and her "Not Enough" video is closing in on 1.3 million hits so far - in a week!)

...and then there is this guy, MeetChristopher (or funkychristopher), who has taken her song and added drums to it. It totally changes the song - and for the better.

As far as I know, Katie has never played with a band, so this would be an interesting experiment if she ever decided to try it. It could work well for her.

There are times during the session where Christopher's drum track is a little loud for the song, but that's a small criticism. Katie likes it, so do I. I hope you do too.

Song by: the Cure

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brothers on a Hotel Bed

My sister sent me this image of her two dogs - Petey (the beagle) and Boomer (the miniature Australian shepard). (click on the pic to enlarge, of course - it's cute. do it!!)

Poor Petey, he is so put upon. He never makes a fuss and is like, the best dog ever. Boomer is all about the fuss.

The dogs want for nothing. They have their own individual beds, but Boomer, as you can see, has no personal space issues. From time to time, Petey will take Boomer's bed and double stack it so he has both beds, so maybe that's why Boomer bunks with this brother. Paybacks are hell.

As it turns out, Petey is a freeze baby. If it's under 40 degrees, he sleeps on top of the heating vent and has to be pushed/dragged out the door, because he'd rather hold "it" than go outside to do his business. So I'm sure Boomer laying on him is a good source of heat for him.

Still it is a horribly cute picture of the two.

Song by: Death Cab for Cutie

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fast Car

Hey, someone got a new car. But it wasn't me.

Denton got a "new" car this weekend. Yesterday, actually. It's not new new, but certified pre-owned. Or at least pre-owned. I assume it is certified.

It's pretty, no? A two-door is different for us, but it's not like we have to get our kids in and out of the back seat. And it's not my car, so it's not my yay or nay to have that say.

The seats are comfortable with lots of lumbar support for our aging backs. It has nice little seat extenders that would be great to fit under our thighs for longer trips.

I think the only upgrade Denton did was to have satellite radio installed. It's nice, but just a car accident waiting to happen while you try to maneuver through the stations. I'm sure it will be better after he configures his pre-sets. It's not like we want to hear the all-Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson or Springsteen all-the-time stations. There is a cool station for people of my age/generation - lots of vintage Squeeze, Tears for Fears, Big Country and the likes. Other than that, it's just radio to me.

And yes, it's fast. I don't know it is as fast as his now traded-in BMW, but that had lots of herky-jerky motion that would leave me with whiplash at times. German engineering over the last decade has helped that problem, it would seem.

Of course, now I have car fever. Damn!

Song by: Tracy Chapman

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brilliant Disguise

It seems that I'm funky. It seems that I look cool.....and that I've possibly fooled you.

If history has taught us anything ("and it hasn't!" - as Homer Simpson would say) looking cool is way better than being cool. So I am golden!

And why would just your friends be fooled? I bet bin Laden doesn't even have facial hair and he has just alluded the half-dozen folks still bothering at this point to look for him by putting $0.50 in the gumball machine at Pizza Hut.

All I've done is grow, trim and touch-up mine at the exorbitant costs of whatever razor blades go for and multiply that by like 18 years.

But sometimes going to Pizza Hut is just too high of a cost.

Song by: Bruce Springsteen

Friday, April 16, 2010

Baby, I'm a Star

I don't know if any of you stopped by the YouTube to view my niece Katie's, already eight month old video (ok, I know for a fact that some of you did). But if you did, thanks. I'm not sure why YT picked her "Not Enough", as her spotlight, but it's all good.

The internets sure work wonders. I hate to sound all old-timey, but it is amazing what some social networking traction can do.

When I awoke at 05:00 and checked her account, Katie had about 3,300 subscribers to her account. Pretty normal for her. By the end of her YouTube spotlight, she was up to over 10,000 folks following her.

"Not Enough" had about 10,000 views. By the end of the feature day, she was pushing 682,000!!!!! (as of today, she's closing in on 1,000,000!!)

Of the other three artists they featured, Katie clearly out-performed them, anywhere from 302,000 to 600,000 views (on the day of the feature, that is). But as she so aptly put it to her mother, "I'm young and blonde, who do you think they're going to click on?"

She wasn't being smug, she just knows human nature and how the public guys act and react.

I haven't read the comments she got the other day, but she emailed me saying most were nice and supportive but some were "vile". She doesn't take either extreme to heart, or head. She's a pretty solid girl.

So, I'm not a star - but Katie is. And as David so nicely said, I'm fantastic by association. I can deal with that.

Song by: Prince & the Revolution

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Give a Little

Actually, I had to give very little back this year - and it was all in city taxes. State and Federal we're getting something back.

But today is the day - unless you've filed for an extension. Pay up, fellas.

As the years have gone by, we file by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin (no, that's not our asian exchange student). It used to be that we were so, um...not hand to mouth that we needed whatever refund we could get, sent back as soon as possible.

Even when we do owe, we can now get by if we have to write a check. But we don't take up the task of filing until later and later, and that's even if we have a refund due to us. Case in point: we submitted electronically two days ago. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh? At least it was not via mail where these morons wait in hour lines just to just drop it at a mailbox at the post office. That's just insane.

But filing isn't as easy as it was. Or EZ, I should say. Those days are gone. There are house payments and credits to go with our tax form. HSA roll-over and pay-out information and interest in some bank accounts that must be uh, accounted for. Stocks dividends and well, then there are multiple W-2's to deal with, for those of us who have had multiple jobs in one tax season.

The 1040-EZ form went by the wayside when I stopped raking in $14 grand a year. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration. I probably stopped when we moved back to Cleveland.

Yes, in the eyes of the city, state and federal governments, I am, and we are, second class citizens. We don't have the same rights as some of you, but I get to pay for that lack of a privilege. I hope you're all happy about that, motherfuckers. I know some out there are - but not most of my readers.....or you wouldn't be here, would you?

Song by: Nicolette Larson

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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 5 years old.

Is Home, arguably the Dixie Chicks' best release? Yes, arguably.

I really like Taking the Long Way, but to be honest, half of that album is excellent and the other half is just good. Technically, so is Home (released in 2002).

But Home contains one of my all-time favourite songs, a "cover" of Patty Griffin's "Top of the World", so it might edge out their other release for top dog. I say "cover" because the Chicks released it a few years before Patty released her own version.

Originally released as a big middle finger to Sony, the Chicks abandoned the hit formula of their first two major releases after they took Sony to court for unpaid royalties and for treating them unfairly.

Home is, for closest categorization, a bluegrass record, basically in terms that there are no drums, which are traditionally not used in this genre. I don't think anyone is going to argue that it is deep in the weeds bluegrass music though. It's not, but they sure do put some great elements in there that make it not as accessible to the folks who bought those other disks.

Still, it is a good disk, though there are some mines they don't dodge. Let's start there. "Landslide". Ugh! It was great in 1975 and some of the 1,873,418 times Fleetwood Mac played it live....but there is a lifespan to some songs, and it had long since passed before DCX put it on tape. There was zero need for it, though that being said, it was a huge radio and sales hit. So, while the rest the public ate it up, I did not. I'm not a fan of their sappy "Traveling Soldier", which was their last hit before the statement regarding Bush that really put the brakes on their career. Sappy doesn't do it for me. Slapping Bush down, does.

But DCX still comes out strong with "Long Time Gone", with it's wordplay on current and classic country music. "Truth No. 2" (also written by Griffin) is good and I like "White Trash Wedding", if nothing else for the lyric "I shouldn't be wearin' white and you can't afford no ring...".

I also really like "I Believe in Love", though to be honest, they performed it much better live, a year earlier, at a benefit right after 9/11.

But it is "Top of the World" that always draws me in - and keeps doing so. Also released as a single, it was too late after 'the incident' for radio to take a chance on it. That it is over six minutes long didn't help matters. But it shows what a great songwriter Griffin is and what great interpreters of music the Chicks are.

I like the video too. It's very much like The Hours, which came out a little before the video. If you didn't see, read or like The Hours, you won't see the similarities or like them, I suppose.

Of course, if you don't like country or bluegrass music either, then you might be dead in the water with this disk.

Just for the hell of it, I've embedded the video for "Top of the World".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

12 of 12

So I'm doing my second 12 of 12. Last month, I posted on the 12th from pics I had taken on the 11th. This month, I'm posting on (look at your calendars folks) the 13th from images I snapped throughout the day on the actual 12th.

It's all so confusing. I know.

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. He intended 2010 to be his final year of doing this, but hopefully someone will pick it up from there. Time will tell.

But here are my 12 of 12. (as always, click on image to enlarge.)

06:20. The artsiest shot I could get of dumb bells in the weight room. Mind you, I've already completed 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of abdominals.

06:50. I'm bragging a little, but just a little. I'm becoming happy with my upper arms. A year ago they were about as big as my wrists. My wrists however, are still "dainty".

07:18. The parking gate where I temporarily house my car while in the gym. I've been in and out of here hundreds of times and never noticed the attendants name. Morty did a few weeks ago and I opted to finally snap a pic of it. She caught me doing it.

09:25. I had a doctor's appointment and entered in through the new Sydell and Arnold Miller Pavilion of the Cleveland Clinic. I wanted a picture of the fountain, but the fuckin' security folks chased me out of there. Why? I have no idea. It is a really cool water feature though.

09:50. My exam room. I would eventually sit on that exam table. Then lie on it. Then get bent over it. Don't ask. Really. Don't. (there are no pictures of that - of which I am aware, anyway.)

09:55. My appointment was at 09:30. This is my foot tapping in annoyance.

11:15. In the work parking garage, parked next to me. I was happy to see this wasn't the crappy Deep Space Nine Air Bag

11:50. Pretty obvious what's going on here, right? Email me if you need it explained.

13:00. Had to run up the street and walk in an actual bank! This is the lobby of the Huntington National Bank in the Huntington Building, formerly the Union Commerce Building.

15:35. The Goodyear Blimp flies over downtown Cleveland. It was the home opener for the Cleveland Indians. The stadium is just up the street from my office.

18:50. Peace Arising from the Flames of War. From the rear at dusk. Erected in 1964 and sculpted by Marshall Fredericks, it also goes by them name of Fountain of Eternal Life or the War Memorial Fountain. I prefer the original name.

20:20. Dinner is served. Grilled chicken with barbecue sauce, and a simple salad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So You Want to be a Rock & Roll Star

I should post this tomorrow, but the 12 of 12 is kind of fucking that up. I'm trying to abide by the rules and post shots I will take on the 12th.

Tomorrow however, the 13th, my niece is going to be on YouTube. Well, you might recall, she has been for the past few years, but this is different. I will put her text to her father here (as it was written):

hey dad! the manager of the music department @ youtube emailed me...shes featuring me on the home page for tuesday music spotlight.


I'm not sure why 'dad' got the text and not 'mom', but I'm sure there will be words about that later. There always are. (you see, mom and daughter are exactly alike, though both would loathe to admit it.)

Naturally, I went to YouTube to figure out where the music homepage was, but couldn't quite find it. At least I don't think I did. I can't be sure. This new-fangled interhighway just befuddles me.

Katie an incredibly talented kid young woman, who has about 3,400 subscribers to her YouTube account and about 70,000 hits to her videos. I'm one of them and have watched everything she has posted, each a number of times. I have my favourites, of course. She hasn't posted much of anything since starting college - I'm not sure how she's balancing her time.

My sister says, this is the url, but I don't know this for sure and probably won't until tomorrow. I will post an update on this post early Tuesday - as soon as I know for sure how to direct you.

I know it's a proud uncle talking, but of course I want to direct buzz her way. Who knows what she'll do with her talent or where she'll go. But if she becomes famous, you can say you knew here when.

Song by: the Hollies

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Site of the Month

I will rue the day I decided to do this. Rue it, I say!

As it turns out, I'll RuPaul it.

I blame Pat R. who put his variation on Facebook and I immediately chided him for his submission. Then I realized I didn't have a Site of the Month for April and we're pushing mid-month. Then I though, oh, what the fuck.

And I'm not so serious about myself that I couldn't do this virtually. It's not like you're seeing me do it in person. Ever. (shut up Morty!)

I can count on one-hand the number of times I've seen RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo.....and I think we saw two of those the other weekend when Morty, Dith and Becca were here. Painful to see Henry Rollins delegated to a role of judge - for drag queens. Overall, it's just a very tragic show. (and for the record, RuPaul is much scarier as a man than a woman!)

It was fun watching it as a group though, but not so much when it was just Denton and myself.

So anyhooo....I took Patrick's cue and got all gussied up. Ok, maybe I went a little over the top, I mean, I don't even drink martinis. The rest is pretty accurate though - I mean, if I were Dame Edna.

In a certain way, this face close-up is very Warhol - dontcha think? Hello? Anyone? Anyone??

g-d, it sucks when I don't have anything else to blog about. But feel free to go to the site and dress you up in my love.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Space Oddity

It's Saturday, and it's been a long week. But ruckiry (not Jon's boss), the Onion can always find a way to make me smile or laugh. And while NASA has some far reaching goals, I can totally see needing this kind of project - and the funding is totally worth it.

Song by: David Bowie

Friday, April 09, 2010

Children's Crusade

April is National Autism Month. I've already missed the actual Awareness Day, which was a week ago. My bad.

I'm not as much of an advocate for Autism as I should be. As I stated a year ago, one of my nephews has it and one of my best friend's son has it as well. It's tough - all the way around.

A few years ago, they said one in every 162 kids has Autism. The official associations are now saying one in every 110!!!

Last year there were over 4.2 million live births in the U.S. That would mean, if the stats hold true, around 462,000 kids in 2009 were born with Autism. I'm sorry, but that is staggering.

What is more staggering is that most insurance plans do not cover therapy for these kids. My sister took over when her son was diagnosed and got the state to provide six hours of in-home therapy a day! Occupational, Speech and Behavioral. Max is pretty well adjusted and socialized. I don't know if clinically he's considered high functioning, but he's cute as hell - and so fricking loving, he's just a great kid. Most of that is due to his mother.

Most moms don't have that kind of time or energy. Or there might not be these kind of services in each state, or even in their state at this point due to budgets. But there should be some kind of national initiative. But there isn't. Not yet.

Song by: Sting

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Happy Now?

Actually, I am.

Happy Happy??? I don't know about that. I am after all - ME! There has to be a certain amount of displeasure in what I say or do to make me the curmudgeon that makes me, me.

But as I said last week when I got my blood drawn that I would be 'somewhat devastated' if my HDL didn't return higher than it had been. Let's just say I'm not devastated.

Through the power of the Electronic Medical Record and Secure Messaging, I had access to my lab results before my doctor's appointment next week. Sweeeeeeeeet.

Well, sweet because the results are decent. Not great, but decent.

I'm not giving you access to all my results but it is safe to say they were all in normal ranges. However, it was the HDL that has been giving me headaches for the last, um....well.....decade.

Even still with this increase, I'm at the low end of normal, possibly still low, period. Wikipedia says normal low/medium is 40. Where I get my healthcare, they says 45. I am now a 40. I'd feel better if I were a 45.

As you can see, I haven't been this close to "normal" since 2000 (yes, these are my actual graphed HDL results - thanks to that EMR). In the past, I never did heed the call of diet and exercise before - not really. Finally I got on the exercise wagon, but the diet train has pretty much left the station without me.

I'm kind of excited to see the doc next Monday - you know, to get all the accolades for my improvement. I'm pretty sure had I not made these strides, I would have been goaded into taking medication(s) to get me to a normal level. I think I've dodged that bullet.

Now I'm pretty sure I can inch closer to 45 and stay there. I feel fairly confident that my gym routine is there and won't wane.

So, I guess there is something to say for better living.

Song by: No Doubt

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Diamond Life

Tis the season.

And like a holiday where one might use that intro, you're bound to be underwhelmed and even disappointed. It's just this season lasts six months. Seven if you get post-season play.

Of course, this could be our year. Well, it could be!

This last Monday opened major league play for baseball. Yayyy.....and well, boooooo. There is really no in between here. Love it or hate it, that's the deal.

Do you know what it is like to sit in a stadium built for 78,000 and be one of only 3,000 there? I do. It is a good thing I'm such a masochist, or I couldn't be a Cleveland Indians fan. But I am, and I am.

Only seven times in my life have I held out such hope for good outcome and they've all been since 1994. {sigh} Yes, since '94 we have been in the playoffs seven times and in the World Series twice - both times taking it to Game 7 for the loss. I went to Game 4 of the '97 Series. Yay me!

I think my favourite me/Indians story is the '97 playoffs where we won to advance. Denton and I were in the Keys and instead of going out and having fun, I made us stay in and watch the ballgame. We won. I jumped up - raised my hands in excitement and caught my right hand in the moving ceiling fan. Fucked up the fan - really fucked up my knuckles.

No good deed goes unpunished.

I should mention that we started the 2010 season with a loss to the Chicago White Sox. So right now we're at .000. GO us! But to be fair, three other teams in the AL Central are in the same standing. It's the great thing about opening day, you're either 1.000 or .000. No in between.

The home opener is next Monday, but I won't be going. It is the one day you can guarantee the Indians will sell out. There was a time in their heyday that they had the longest streak of sell-outs, but those days have passed.

But there is one shining thing about the 2010 season: Travis Hafner is back in the line-up, missing for almost two years due to injury. He is the man I'd leave Denton for. And if for nothing else, I can post the pictures of his 6'3" 240lb frame. I'm just sayin......

Possibly my new favourite of Pronk

Or maybe this is it

No No.......this is definitely it. Yes. Yes, this is the one

This is nice, but I'm still going with #3......or possibly #1

Song by: Sade

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Rise and Fall of Intelligent Design

I have limited knowledge of website design. I can and have used FrontPage to design some stuff. I can moderately write HTML, so I'm not a complete moron (yeah, no one here is looking for a comment on that last statement), but I'm having a hard time with the website for Yvette's Bridal Formal url.

I think it is a hot mess. Ok, just a mess. No so hot.

I was just going to use this as a throwaway post and just put up a link to it, but I had to show it to Denton who, get this, loves it! Because of his comments, I expanded on the post more than I had planned.

Instead of thinking it is over-designed or just haphazardly put together (like I do), Denton thinks it to be brilliant (ok, that might be too strong of a word) and that the moving graphic 'makes the page'.

Really? That makes the page?

Personally, I can only imagine what their show or stock rooms look like, or how well they'd actually do their alterations (or if).

You might be able to click on something on one of there 1,721 links, but where the fuck would you start? or end?

That the store is adjacent to the DMV, probably says it all.

Sorry Yvette, you're not getting my Site of the Month. I just cannot do it.

Song by: Rodney Crowell

Monday, April 05, 2010

What You Saw

What we saw? We sawed part of our landscaping. Chain-sawed it, to be precise.

There is this very very limited time frame to clear out this hill we live on. By way of the calendar and Mother Nature, there is about two weeks when we don't have snow and then that everything is greened-in and filled-in, making it nearly impossible to navigate through the over-growth and brush to do what you need to.

Sunday was the day. And we know we wouldn't get to all we needed. I think we got to one-sixth of what we would really like to, and it is not even the entire property, just the hillside that runs along part of the acre.

For full disclosure purposes, the image you see of me at the title is a photo-illustration. The chainsaw was not running. No matter when I touched it, the thing went dead. It's like how I deactivate sodium streetlights when I go near them. Weird, but true.

Mostly the picture was/is for my cousin David, whom I made fun of using a similar device and how I didn't think he'd come back with all appendages. I'm not sure I would have either - and I'm already down an appendix, a femur and one of my nuts had to be augmented, so I really really wanted to keep all my fingers and toes.

We started where that out of control car went up the hill. You can see where that "accident" killed all the ivy. By the time I took this picture, we had already taken out the trees they ran over or damaged so badly they had to come down.

Then we just moved part way down the hill, but while it doesn't look like we got too far down (and we didn't), we did clear out a lot. See?

It doesn't look like a lot, but trust me, whomever we hire to haul this crap away will be happy they didn't have to collect it. We probably would have put in another hour or so of yard work (we had already done four), but then this happened.....

This is a deal-breaker, ladies! I'm sure we can fix it ourselves, but it was a good sign that it was quitting time. We were already banged up from cutting and hauling stuff - and most it had 3" thorns on it.

Oh, and of course there was the requisite garbage bag of litter we picked up - usually about 20lbs of crap that folks driving or walking by just toss in our yard. Mostly liquor bottoms and clothes! But yay! This time I found a used condom. I guess I should be kind of happy these losers are using condoms and not procreating, but still.........ICK. And this 20lbs was from the same one-sixth of the yard we chopped down, so you gotta figure there is another 20-40lbs left. And we do this twice per year.

Since we were out there for a few yours in the sun and warmth (another record setting day), I got a little colour and my vitamin D, so all in all, it was a good day.

Song by: Don Dixon

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I'm Not Dead

Yeah, I know some might find the image to your left a bit sacrilegious, but deal with it. It's funny. You know it is. You know it is.

Is it just me or do more and more and more people greet you with "Happy Easter" or "have a good holiday"?

A holiday for you maybe, not for me. And "happy"?

An acquaintance of mine, Nurse Matt, said he kind of fell into saying "Happy Easter", until he found that when he said it, people wanted to actually discuss the subject.

I don't know why I seem more offended at that and not at "Merry Christmas". I always see xmas as being a much more commercial and less and less of a religious holiday. And well, I think you know I don't believe in the resurrection of anybody.

I guess it comes down to, outside of this blog (and barely inside of it), I don't shove or barely even share my religious view and beliefs down your throat, so I don't know why others to just expect you share, know or care about theirs.

Don't say it is a large holiday and people just are apt to say it without meaning. No one says "Happy Passover" or "Merry Ramadan" - and trust me, there are a lot more Muslims than Christians. So if you're going with the 'it's popular and wide spread' rationale, it's not holding water.

There, I'm off my soapbox.

But for those who need a more palatable image for easter, this is as close as you're getting from me.

Song by: Pink

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Feels So Good

You didn't actually think I'd miss a day - did you? Only 8 more months to hit 2 years of blogging without a break.

But as I was driving home from a client site the other day, I was listening to All Things Considered on NPR, as I am apt to do now that Bush is out of the White House (honestly, I could not stand to listen to that man talk, so I stopped listening to news.....altogether.)

That being said, the Bush administration was slightly brought back into the story regarding the GOP and healthcare reform. David Frum, former speech writer for Shrub "resigned" from his job at a conservative think tank due to his criticism of how the GOP bungled the latest legislation.

While I'm not 100% thrilled with the HCR, it is a huge step in the right direction. And if it is a win for the Dems, so be it. It wasn't a pretty win, but a win nonetheless.

Anyhoo - the story is interesting and you can read it (or listen to it) here.

Song by: Walter Egan

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hot Blood

I'm totally psyched about the blood draw I had yesterday.

Ok, I wasn't too thrilled about fasting for 12 hours, but it's not like I was doing a Bobby Sands kind of thing. It was only 12 hours without food. I did just fine.

I actually am excited about my blood results, not so much about being stuck. I'm hoping hoping hoping that my HDL has risen. It has always been low and the doctor for years has been telling me that it will only change with diet and exercise. Ugh, I would say.

Clearly, in the last year, I've changed my tune - at least about the exercise part. And I've been diligent and consistent in my gym routine, so I am cautiously optimistic that my good cholesterol will be heading in the right direction.

The only other way to change the HDL is by medication, which I'm not really willing to do if I really really don't have to. My LDL and Total cholesterol is fine, as are my triglycerides. Or at least they have been in the past. Since it's been almost a year and a half since I've had them checked last, we'll see what has happened.

To be honest, I'll be somewhat devastated if it has not moved somewhat in the right direction. I don't expect it to be in the normal range, but at least getting closer.

As a side note, where I went to get my blood work drawn has two labs in two different locations. I went to the one closest to me (right after my gym routine. I figure that might help - right?). Anyway, I went to location #1 where I don't think they could have been any ruder to me if they had tried. In so many words, I told them to fuck off and walked across the campus to the other locale.

They were great and I got stuck (as you can see above) and was out in a matter of two minutes.

I do love this though: no more tape on my hairy arms to rip off (the bandage and the hair). A cool, temporary ace-bandage like thingy that you keep on for 20 minutes, unpeel and discard. Poifect, as Curly, would say.

So I won't get my results back for another two weeks at my appointment. I'll let you know how the numbers turn out - good or bad.

Song by: Lucinda Williams