Monday, May 31, 2010

King Without a Castle

I got nothing for Memorial Day, per se. Nothing.

Is there anything sadder than a collapsed bouncy castle? Probably.

Back at Edgewater park (ok, it was still the same day as the truck fire), there weren't one, but two Bouncy Castles that deflated and collapsed upon themselves and their occupants like a result of the deformation of timepace caused by a very compact mass.

We were kind of amazed that people rented these things, along with gasoline generator and electric air blower to keep the things up and running. I guess you need to do that to keep your spawn busy for a few hours while you try to eat and eat and eat in the showiness of nature.

That's it. That's all I got.

Hope you enjoy your long holiday and this unofficial kick off to summer.

Song by: Chris Isaak

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fire Walk with Me

Yesterday was a bee-you-tiful day. The car thermometer said 77, but it felt a good 10 degrees warmer than that.

It was workout, as usual and then we ran around for a bit. Some errands, lunch - because I need to eat......constantly, if the scale I stepped on is any indicator. I don't get it, I eat an inordinate amount of salads, greens and fruits - and drink very little that isn't water. I mean, beer and wine are mostly water - right????

Seriously though, I do drink about 100-120 oz of water a day. I'm not gaining gaining, but I sure ain't losing either. And we know it ain't all muscle.

Then we went up to Edgewater Park (shit, is this a crappy website, or what?). We just walked around to get our vitamin D and took in the sights of too many people with no shirts on, who had no right taking them off in the first place. Too many people with too many homemade tattoos. Too much blaring music - and none of it good. Some kite flying. And too much lighter fluid for their Weber imitations.

If you look at the above image, we had just walked past where the smoke monster plume of smoke is, but it Smokey wasn't there when we were. At first I thought it was, well too much lighter fluid on someone's imitation Weber, but it clearly was not.

Nope, it was a truck that had pulled off the highway and was massively on fire.

Years ago Morty told me that in his smaller town, whenever a fire engine was heard, folks got in their cars and followed it. I found that amusing. I'm not sure he was amused that I was amused, but it was what it was.

So it wasn't lost on me entirely that as this truck fire grew out of control that people ran toward it. ....with their toddlers and babies in tow.

We also loved the amount of car traffic that continued to pour past it as it looked ready to explode the more it seemed to rage out control. Alas it never did, and maybe that only happens in the movies, but why you'd risk it and take your kids to see it is a little beyond me.

I guess everyone likes to view destruction and other people's loss. Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves.

It should be noted it took a cop at least 10 minutes to get on the scene - another five for a fire engine and then another five for the frickin' park police (who pretty much live there) to show up. The firemen doused the car with their hose and the black smoke turned to white. I said, "well, they've elected a new pope".....and we walked on. The show was over.

Song by: Angelo Badalamenti

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Drinkin' in My Sunday Dress

Drinking? Absolutely. I mean, you have met me (or at least read me, right??)

Sunday? Well one of many days I might drink, but in truth it was only Friday.

Sunday Dress? Never. I might spill something on the taffeta.

But last night we kicked off the long weekend by going out to the Grotto, which is kind of our neighborhood hang-out. I got there a lot with my man-date, Scott. However, Denton and I like to go there, especially in the warmer months. We sit outside, order a bottle or two of wine and of course, food. I mean, I'm not only an alcoholic. I do need food.

Last night it was some white Argentinian wine and lobster gnocchi with truffle oil. Though just the two of us, it was nice conversation and we didn't even have our favourite server, but still had a nice guy who took good care of us.

Technically summer does not begin for almost a month and the unofficial kick-off is this Memorial Day weekend, but to me, summer begins with the patio at the Grotto being open. It's good to have a special place where folks know you and where you can kick back and relax.

Welcome to unofficial summer!

Song by: Maria McKee

Friday, May 28, 2010

Zero Zero Zero

It's come to this.

I have them every once in a while. It comes with the territory of blogging daily.

I. Got. Nothing.

It's been a long work week. It's been a long month. We're going into a long holiday weekend, so enjoy it. I will take to the blog over the weekend of course, so maybe I will come across a funny snippet, story, image or have some kind of adventure.

Until then - enjoy.

Song by: Sam Phillips

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smiling Islands

Yesterday after work, I walked a few blocks to Fat Fish Blue to see a friend of mine play guitar.

Colin John is his stage name. It is first name and possibly his middle name, but he does have a last name. While the URL is for the Colin John Band, there was no band - just Colin.

Colin was one of my first friends from high school. I was (and am) a complete dork. Colin seemed cool. Too cool to talk to me, but he always did. He sat next to me in English freshman year and in front of me in band for four years - he on sax, me on trumpet. He is also potentially the only person from high school that I'd go out of my way to see.

But he clearly played guitar and bass. I had seen him play bass in a band while we were in high school, but as friends we lost touch after freshman year of college. Colin stayed with me for a weekend at Ohio State, but after that - I had no clue what happened.

I blogged about him (barely) a few years ago and his wife found the entry by Goooogling him. We've kind of been in touch since.

Colin now lives in Hawai'i, but tours and thanks to FB, I knew of some local dates in NE Ohio. Since I travel a lot, this was the time I could see him.

He recognized me right away and came up to see me. I assume I've changed in the last two plus decades. I have less hair. I'm heavier.

We had a good conversation and did some catching up, but then he had to play. I had a few beers and then had to get home. But Colin played a nice set - all instrumental, mostly blues and he was great.

So, that was a little unexpected, but nice. There. That's all I got.

Song by: Robbie Patton

Wednesday, May 26, 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!

I would say about 94% of my SwB segments have been food related. This isn't one of them.

We were on our way to Montreal when I think we heard a program on this. I'm pretty sure it went on way too long for a commercial. Of course I couldn't remember the name of the product but it didn't take long to find it once I put my mind to it.

The Better Marriage Blanket.

It is an odor absorbing blanket. Since I couldn't remember all that, I typed 'fart blanket' in Gooooogle. It came up immediately.

Is flatulence ruining your love life? My friends, look no further than the Better Marriage Blanket, a fart-absorbing w√ľnderspread that means you'll never again have to blame it on the dog.

I didn't know passing gas was so detrimental to relationships. Clearly these folks haven't heard of Beano. It's cheaper and you don't have to wash it.

....and what kind of black hole is in this blanket that absorbs all smells? It might emit Hawking radiation, but you kind of have to figure he can't control this butt beeps.

So Morty, remember, it's just a blanket, not a miracle.

Tuesday, May 25, 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.
I was sooooo tempted to review another Dixie Chicks album, just to annoy a certain someone, but I didn't really have it in me. Though, I wasn't about to touch on Dio either. He was never my thing.

But I did think I'd stick with chick singers. I like 'em, ironically enough.

Forget the Prince-penned "Manic Monday" and the sappy "Eternal Flame" crap you probably know of the Bangles. Their first full-length album, All Over the Place, is where it's at, man.

Back when this was released in 1984, the press dubbed them to be more mod than they actually were, more Beatles-like than they actually ever could be and yet less talented than male counterparts.

All Over the Place is certainly more rock/pop (yes, in that order) oriented any of their subsequent efforts. Those seemed to be obvious attempts at radio airplay. Their single "Going Down to Liverpool" single might have gotten MTV airplay, but I don't remember hearing it on the radio at all. ..and I think it only got MTV airplay because Leonard Nimoy was in it.

That all being said, the girls played well on this album and no one had a more starring role than the other - which of course would somewhat change later when Susanna Hoffs seemingly had the lead vocal in most of their singles.

But this batch of songs were guitar heavy, some to the point of distortion - but don't get me wrong, it's not Neil Young type distortion. The playing is tight, the vocals are good and they show a good knack for harmony. I like(d) the G0-Go's too, but harmony wasn't their strong suit - not that they tried much.

Songs here are short and sweet, most all of them clocking in under three minutes. The longest song, "Dover Beach" should have co-songwriting credits by T.S. Eliot as they clearly steal lines from his The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

All of the songs are more than listenable, but there are some I like more than others: "Tell Me", "He's Got a Secret", "Live" (which does make obvious Beatles attempts), and "Restless". I like "Dover Beach" too, but I think it's mainly because I love Prufrock.

If there is a drawback to the album, it is that there are no songs written or sung by the almost always under-utilized bassist, Michael Steele. To me, she was always the strongest of the songwriters, but had limited exposure. Granted she had joined shortly before recording of this album, but still.....

There is nothing deep about this record and it's over in less than 30 minutes. But it's good mid-80s fun that kind of defies that era.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Site of the Month

Ok, this isn't the bestest site, but when have I ever had the bestest SotM? Well once I did, back in '04 when I was still attempting Site of the Week. The others have been kind of hit or miss. Like this one:

Dudes with Beards Eating Cupcakes.

I'm a dude. I LOVE cupcakes. So, I kind of had to grow the beard to participate. And I did opt to participate. I mean, it isn't called Dudes with Goatees Eating Cupcakes, is it?

Oh, I didn't say it would be pretty. No. No. No. (I guess you could say that last part like Amy Winehouse.). To be fair, even with this ugly pic (and can I tell you how hard it is to eat a cupcake and take a self-portrait?), I think I'm pretty-ing up their site quite a bit - and that's saying something! It's pretty tough to be the best looking one on their URL, but if you look through, even I think I'm in the upper percentile.

My friend Sal directed me towards this site on Facebook when he submitted a pic of himself eating a cupcake (duh) with sprinkles. I left a comment dubbing him Sprinkles - and much to his dismay, it has kind of stuck with a number of this FB friends. He claims not to be happy about it, but deep down I think it makes him smile.

And there are pictures on the FB group that are not on the website.....if you care that much....or at all.

I will say this of the cupcake I'm eating - it was pretty frickin' good. Someone brought in to work when I was in Philly. I've tried a number of cupcakes at these specialty stores and most all of them are fair at best. It's a great business model even for bad cupcakes: instant gratification for $3 a pop.

...of course, gratification is relative, but you don't know that until you take the first bite and find out. You can extend that sentence to a metaphor for any sort of life experiences. They just don't all have sprinkles.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I'm being entirely lazy today. I think I've earned that right.

I thought I loved this Kids in the Hall sketch, and while it is funny, but I'm not feeling it. Truth be told, I still use a number of lines from this bit. I can almost bet you'd all figure out which ones too.

Sorry for being a little lame today. Tomorrow is another day.

Song by: Alison Krauss + Union Station

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Way Home

I'm home. For a few days. Then back on the road.

Honestly, overall, I don't mind it. I have to say, the Residence Inn has the best pillows I've come across in hotel living. Most of them suck beyond belief. I don't really need the dishwasher, cook top and full refrig. I mean, I'm only there for two to three days, not weeks. If I had to live there, it would be pretty grim.

But I'm back from another trip to Philadelphia. Outside of Philly actually. Not much to do other than work, but it was at least interesting and spent some time with my peers, whom I actually really like.

Oh, someone there brought in Conshohocken (no, not a typo) Tomato Pie. Or as you and I would call it: Pizza without Cheese. Don't call it that though, apparently the natives get all bent out of shape about this Philly "delicacy".

Once again, I also had to deal with the dreaded Philadelphia airport. It really is the pits when it comes to big town airports. Some of the terminals connect, but only if you get past security. Other than that you have to walk outside.

Terminal D is the big one, where you wait forever for your TSA screening. But if you go to a less congested one, g-d forbid, those can't accommodate my mobile boarding pass, which resides on my iPhone. So you're made to go to Terminal D for that, but since I'm not past security, they make you walk outside.

BTW, the mobile boarding pass is a cool thing, when it works. Sometimes the scanners aren't all that. And some of the smaller airports don't have the technology to accommodate them. However, the guy behind me at the gate must have repeated "that is so cool!" about eight times. And it is. I can pretend it is to be green, but the iPhone will last a lot longer in the landfill than my paper ticket. But that's ok, it is so cool!

Oh, as for my image at the title? I totally fucked with FAA rules and used a portable electronic device when I was specifically told to power them off. Suck it!!!!

Song by: Kirsty MacColl

Friday, May 21, 2010

Waiting in Canada

2 of 2 posts with travel images. Am I boring you yet? T.S.

As usual, you're not getting many shots of us, since you've never seen him. Just more random shots of our few days away. Some on this side of the border, some the other.

Here we are at the Canadian border. One stop light. One camera. Where's the security?

Here we are at the U.S. border. Multiple stop lights. Multiple MULTIPLE cameras per lane. And an agent with an attitude/complex who didn't like that we had too big of a rental for only two people and got out of his booth to search it.
Per a Kids in the Hall sketch, I wanted to be like Oscar Wilde (or Buddy Cole) answering the question: "Do you have anything to declare", and me saying "Just my genius". But the question was never asked.

Evening sky over Place Jacques Cartier

City Hall under renovation. I like how the building covering will be how the renovation will eventually look like.

With the Stanley Cup playoffs underway, the chances of you seeing a Les Habs flag flying than a Maple Leaf are pretty fuckin' good.

Labyrinthe. Alas Mort, no porc. No porc.

St. Lawrence River and downtown Montreal from the Jacques Cartier Bridge

Parc Olymique. Home of the 1976 Summer Games. Time has not been kind to the buildings.

Tulips up on Mount Royal

Wanna knock over a bank in Burlington, VT? This would have been the time to do it. Seemingly every cop was in this park waiting for a group photo.

Song by: Jann Arden

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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!
Yeah, I'm a Dixie Chicks fan, and they've been kind of dormant for a few years now, so I was a bit excited regarding two-thirds of the group putting out a "side project", the Court Yard Hounds with their self-titled album.

Side project is in quotes because only part of me believes the Chicks will record again and that this is really the new full-tine gig of sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire.

While talented in their own right - both sisters are very accomplished multi-instrumentalists and songwriters - they do lack a certain spark that Natalie Maines brought to the trio as their vocalist. And overall, I'm being nice.

CYH is kind of snooze of an album. It has all the right intentions and a lot of talent, but like I said, no spark.

With all due respect to the sisters, they were wise to hire a lead singer of Maines' capabilities. There is a reason the sisters sing harmony and backing vocals. While fully capable singers, there is nothing distinctive about what they do here. There are hundreds of female vocalists already out there who sing with mediocrity ("April's Love", "Skyline", "Fear of Wasted Time", "Well Behaved", etc). Too add insult to injury, they pick the least charismatic collaborator when having Jakob Dylan duet on one song. He doesn't even compliment the lead vocal.

There are a few songs that have the right idea, but aren't quite there - like "Delight (Something New Under the Sun)", that you can't think if Maines were taking the lead vocals, it would work.

And then there are ones that are a slight notch above that where they make an attempt for something above a pulse, or a chart position: "The Coast", "I Miss You".

I do like "Ain't No Son" and not because I am a gay man (it's a song about a gay son). The CHY finally kick it up, but you can't help but wonder how out of the park it could/would have been with Maines singing this. Still, had more of the disk been like this song, it would have been a worthy purchase.

I wasn't expecting a Dixie Chicks disk, but I was expecting something more creative and not so bland.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Est-Ce Que Tu

Just some images of our trip to Montreal. Probably 1 of 2 postings. Possibly not in a row, but.....

Youville. Mayor of. Population: 1
(the arrow pointing towards Mayor McBlob is a nice touch and totally happenstance)

...taken in the men's room at the Science Center. Throw in Advil and you've everything from your first meeting to post hitting the sheets and out the door - all in one bathroom. That is what I call convenience!

Montreal - from high atop the Jacques Cartier Bridge

Great, easy lunch...and reasonable. And now look at the name again. One word. Say it aloud.
Get it? Get it??

On Parc Jean-Drapeau, there was a raceway, built for cars, but at least this day, it was for bikes. It was great.

No, not the infrastructure for the Death Star, this was a geodesic dome on the island.

A close-up of the dome avec the Maple Leaf.

Doggies and their human pets waiting to watch Dog Cart Races.

Man, Three Disks by Alexander Calder, 1967

Self-portrait. Sitting on some church steps across from Les Glaceurs. What you see is just the end of a waffle cone...and it was some great chocloate ice cream. Their cupcakes were just so-so.

Song by: Dusty Trails

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hitler's Brothers

Ok, I kind of lied. I had some stuff ready to post, as I might not have had time to do real-time posts while taking a mini-vacation. But two of my all-time favourite media folks, Keith Olbermann and Lewis Black, in one clip proved too much to not post.

Lewis' Back in Black moments are some of the best things on television and he has truly outdone himself in regards to slaying Glenn Beck. I was sitting in my hotel room with tears in my eyes and pounding the chair on which I sat, with my fist. Truly a classic clip.

Ok. Now that you've had your laugh (hopefully), perhaps tomorrow you can read about my adventures. Because as you all know - it is all about me!

Song by: Paula Cole

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ontario, Quebec and Me

I've been to Niagara, Toronto and now, Montreal. Yes, there is a lot of Canada I have not yet seen, but so far, there isn't anything bad I have encountered. It's all been pretty cool.

We're staying in Old Montreal. It's quaint. It's somewhat quiet (when there's not a hockey playoff going on). We've encountered some really good food and charming places to eat and see.

But we've ventured out of the old and into the modern Montreal as well. Mostly thanks to Bixi.

Yesterday was another Bixi day...and my taint hurts!

I did not come to Montreal with plans of biking. Had I, I surely would have brought more appropriate attire. Even if not biking shorts, I wouldn't have packed more than jeans for two days while biking innumerable miles. That rough seam in the crotch that chafes against your taint? OUCH. Sure there was sweet relief getting out of the saddle now and again, but you knew damn well you had to sit back down at some point.

And let's face it, Bixi is great, but it's not made for the long haul rides. It is for commutes. Three gears does not cover it for my biking needs. Especially when biking over here:

the Jacques Cartier Bridge. You'll know him as the deep sea diver who searched for high-end jewelry. I kid, I kid. But it's a decent climb up the bridge, but clearly not undoable, as I am writing this after the fact. It is not one I could have necessarily done that easily without my gym routine of the last year or so.

But the ride took us over the St. Lawrence River and to the Parc Jean-Drapeau (seen barely on your left).

Yes, we stopped at the top of the bridge so I could take some pictures. Denton accused me of taking artsy pictures to rival my cousin, David. As if. I'm nowhere near his league. He is an artist. I am a hack.

The plan was just to ride around the parc/island, but we stumbled upon a little outing of dogs and then outdoor sports and vendors gathering. It was fun, but I felt a little out of place. Bixi and jeans ain't MEC (must get one!) and bike pants scenario. We looked like interlopers. Well, we kind of were anyways. The dogs were fun and way cute.

But Montreal is a biking town. LOVE IT. Lots and lots of people out and about, on the great bike paths and even straying off of them. Tons of rollerbladers too, which surprised me for about 25 seconds and then I realized this is a skating country. Mostly ice, but when there is none...well...they gotta do something.

We've done musees aussi, but other than that, it's been low low key. And we're loving it.

More pictures and tales to be posted over the next few days I'm sure. Until then - bonjour.

Song by: Billy Bragg

Sunday, May 16, 2010


As you know, I'm a big fan of spinning and bike riding, so it only stands to reason that when having an opportunity to either walk around a town, or ride around one, I'd pick the latter. Such was the case with us in Montreal yesterday.

Weather called for better than it turned out, but some things you cannot control. Life goes on. I know this does not sound like Blobby, but sometimes I am not

Montreal has this great system called Bixi. Basically it's a bike-taxi, and I don't mean a pedi-cab. They are basically bikes you rent for $5 a day, but only for 30 minutes at a time. Kind of. Let me see if I can explain it to you easily.

You go to one of the many Bixi stations that are all over town.....see.....?

Then you use your credit card to take out one of the many bikes at the station.

(if you belong to some kind of CSI organization, you can use your high-tech equipment to see Denton in the reflection in this picture. Good luck!)

All the bikes are the same, though some in a bit better shape, as I would come to find out.

You can ride for 30 minutes before returning it to one of the stations (any of the stations). If you do it in that 30 minutes, you can get another bike back out after 5 minutes, for another 30 minutes. ...and so on and so on. All on the original $5 charge.

If you do go over those half-hour increments, you get an additional charge. It's not much, but it would add up if you're not time efficient. The Bixi isn't meant for you really to keep the bike all day, just to use it in short spurts for a commute or errand. We kept it for a few hours (in those half-hour at a time) and while I like to ride at longer than 30 minute time frames, there was that pesky rain.

Twice we stopped because of the rain and just hung out under some awnings. I would have had to stop twice anyway because I got two bum bikes. One, the tire just scraped and rode horribly. The second one wouldn't stay in gear. After that, the bikes worked just fine and it was easy to swap them out at one of the many stations.

In the morning, I took off my sweatshirt because I was too hot. Here I am being careless and riding down Boulevard de Maisonnevue at a good clip, yet still taking a self-portrait. Stupid. Ballsy.

Yeah, Bixi doesn't rent helmets. Kids - do not try this at home. Seriously.

But then the storm came in and temps dropped. It did force us to stop in to eat lunch, then we'd get back on la bicyclette and check out more of the city. We were (in no particular order) down near the water; we were in Chinatown; we rode to the base of Mount Royal; over to some musees. No real rhyme or reason to our route. I'm sure we didn't do the most efficient route, but that's what makes exploring so fun.

I feel good about using Bixi for many reasons. One is, I didn't have my normal gym experience this weekend, so there's that. It's a great way to see more of the city than you normally would and you take roads a normal tour might not take you. And I love promoting such a program for the environment and just good health.

As it is, this is national bike month and this week is Ride Your Bike to Work Day. I'd love to, but I am only in the office one day this upcoming week. Weather permitting, I will ride to work on that one day. But if I can't - I feel I've done my part, not only riding in Montreal, but letting you know of National Bike Month and its associated programs.

Song by: Lone Justice

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Race is On

Yes, the race is on - to see which one of us can publish the photo event of 2010. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But as we all know, NOTHING is better than hyperbole.

I had drinks with my, what I deem, my second fellow blogger: Tornwordo. Birdie was the first official one. I had nano-second encounters with JMG and Paul, but they were so informal. With Paul, he didn't even know I had a blog at the time and vice versa. I don't count these last two as true meetings.

Torn is a world-famous.....or at least Canadian famous.......or perhaps just a Montreal famous blogger...but it's more than I got. He's also taller than I am - so there's that.

And to all you naysayers, look: I'm smiling. So yourself. You can fill in the 'something' with another verb - as long as it starts with 'f' and ends in 'k'. (btw....our server totally took a better picture with Torn's camera.)

Torn was high on my list of bloggers to meet, but for the most part my blogroll is pretty limited compared with others. I'm a discriminating man - everyone does not get a pass. Sorry. Actually, I never expected to meet anyone on my blogroll. I don't really think in those terms. I'm just lowly old me. Who'd wanna meet me? (ain't nothin' special about me muthafucka!)

We found each other's writings through RJ March, and have kept up with each other for years. I let him know I was headed his way and hoped our timelines would converge....and they did.

It was only for two drinks, but some fun and nice conversation. And he is a great ambassador for Quebec and Montreal. At the last minute, Denton did not join us, which naturally began speculation on his existence. But Torn got something most folks have not seen: a picture of Denton. I "happened" to have my digital camera with me, in which I had take pictures of Monsieur Denton earlier in the day. Even Biride didn't get that. Sorry.

I think we had a nice time - I know I did. Like with Birdie, conversation wasn't really difficult, as it can sometimes be with people you just meet. It's not like we just met. It's years of information gathering. By the way, he might not know it, but he totally has (or is getting) a Canadian accent. It's there and seeping into his everyday language. For the record, this is a good thing.

Hopefully we can meet again before we leave for the U.S. This time with Serg and Denton....and most importantly, Georgie. No offense to Torn, Denton or Serg.

So, yes, the race is on. I'm gonna post this at 02:00 in hopes of winning this unspoken blog war. Or skirmish. Or love-fest. Whatever.

Song by: Dave Edmunds

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beginning French

Oh, I might have forgotten to mention, I'm taking a few days off, not of blogging, but of work. With this job, not a lot of PTO rolls over to next calendar year, so it behooves me to use it - which I normally do not.

The original plan was for me to do a work meeting in Vermont near the Canadian border and then take a day off so I could have a long weekend in Montreal. Yes, I invited Denton.

....but then days got switched around, a few times, but this last time I thought I had it nailed. Plane tickets were purchased, cars were rented and hotels booked. Then the client changed the date until June. Frick.

But you know what? We're going anyway. And now, we basically have an extra day, since our time away won't be interrupted by me giving a three hour presentation. Sweet!

Actually, by the time you read this - we'll already be there.

I reached out to Tornwordo for a l'hotel and he directed me to a nice place....or seemingly nice. Who can tell with photos from a website really? But it beats a Days Inn....which seems to be 'Days Inn' in French. Some things just don't translate.

I'm hoping my lack of French won't be too problematic for this trip. I took a few years of it and the skill set has been gone for...well.....forever. I can eke out some things and make nicities and understand some of it if they talk s-l-o-w, but anyway you look at it I'm going to butcher something and just end up being the ugly American.

Hopefully, the nice French-Canadian people will see us make a valid and sincere attempt and not spit on us. Sometimes, that's the best you can hope for.

I'm hoping to meet up with Torn and possibly Serge (and yes, Georgie) if we can arrange it. Nothing has been solidified, so we'll see. Poor Denton, getting dragged into my Blog Life.

You will get updates and pitchers (as a friend of mine says). It is possible you won't get them until my return, but we'll see what kind of connectivity we have....and what kind of time I have. If not until my return, I will have some canned blog posts ready to go - just in case.

(oh, and this is my 1800th post! yikes!!!!)

Song by: Laurie Anderson

Thursday, May 13, 2010

12 of 12

So I'm doing my third 12 of 12. 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day.

Created by Chad Darnell (thanks Chad!) and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. He intends 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, which was a very bland day - if I say so myself. Heck, I think I finished taking most of my pics before 3p my day was so boring. (as always, click on image to enlarge.)

06:55. Trash Day. Two bags. One grouping of newspapers and a plant. A plant that has been in a part of the house for over two years and never ever watered once, yet as you can see, is still green. Had to go. Ugly as all get out - and clearly you cannot kill it.

07:01. The Old Oil Can Church - as my mother calls it. I had to look it up, but it's really called the Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church. It's not on Euclid. I'm just sayin'.

07:26. This car was parked next to me at work. I'd say they were living out of their car, but with these space limitations, I would say this was a virtual impossibility.

12:30. Most interesting part of the day for me. Not so much for this car owner. I work on the 11th floor and saw black smoke coming up from a half a block away. From this parked car. No owner to be seen. Huge flames. Tires melting and exploding. Front windshield melted. Cool!!!!

Loved how the fire department put it out and basically left the scene. It is a common surface lot, so the owner could be working in any number of buildings. Out of state plates, so who the hell knows if anyone contacted them. Bummer to walk back and find it though.

12:40. 54 fuckin' degrees. In mid-May. Felt like 40.

12:45. Inside the bank - and dealing with office drones. Me: the only person in line. Had to wait 3 minutes so Betty and Susie (I'm guessing at names) had to finish their conversation. No doubt about American Idol or some such crap.

12:50. I'm not a horribly patriotic chap, but I loved the lighting and angle of the huge American flag in an office building.

13:05. Why isn't it just Ty's Barber Shop. Or Ty Barber's Shop?

13:10. Looking for food. Didn't eat lunch here, but liked the display of grains and beans.

13:20. LeBron! One For All - if you play for the Celtics, that is.

13:40. Giving up on eating lunch, I read a few chapters of my book before getting back to work. GREAT book, btw....

17:50. Sophie's Paw/Pad. Cat pads are great.