Thursday, June 30, 2011

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 promised to move away from the country and Americana music - but it seems I'm not moving as far away as one might assume.  That is mostly due to no good releases in the last month or two that are waiting their turn at this post entry.

I'm pulling from a few years ago - Suzanne Vega and her last original release,  Beauty & Crime.   Fuck - it is four years old now!

To be fair, I opted not to purchase it at all and waited until I found it at the local liberry.   And I waited and waited and waited.  It's not like I went out of my way to reserve it, I just looked for it, and if it wasn't there, I left with other disks.

I have had it for the last year, but have not reviewed it.

I like Vega, but she can be hit or miss.  Her first two outings were stellar.  I still play them often.  Her third, Days of Open Hand, to me, is impossible to listen to.  99 F Degrees has moments - and very experimental for her.  But the follow-up to that,  Nine Objects of Desire, is really her shining moment.

Songs in Red and Grey was spotty.  I wasn't sure what to expect of Beauty & Crime.

You'd not be surprised, or wrong, to know it's not a lot different than most of her work (save 99 F Degrees and Nine Objects of Desire).   Not different, if you're familiar with her previous work, that is.

Folk and pop mixed together.

Vega has a good voice, a different one that most have only heard on "Luka" and "Tom's Diner".  But with those, you know she can turn a phrase and has a way with phrasing in itself.  That is the beauty of her disks.  No one does it quite like her.

Beauty & Crime is a mix of all her disks.  There is the fair - that she's done before ("Anniversary", "As You Are Now", "Edith Wharton's Figurine").

Even what I consider the best song on the disk, "Pornographer's Dream" sounds like music she's done before,  but it goes back to her words and phrasing that really lock it in as a great song.   Just asking the question of what kind of a dream a pornographer, of all people, would have is kind of brilliant in my book.   And I'm taken in by her singing "out of his hand, over his head, out of his reach, under his real life.....dreaming of what might be".  It's just great.   No one ever writes songs about pornographers.

There is some slightly new stuff too:  the beginning of "New York is a Woman", but it sinks into same terrain that she's used to - that we're used to.  "Unbound" has some Nine of Object of Desire vibe.  This is a good thing.  She should do so much more with this.  "Bound" is very new for her.  I like the instrumentation and the strings.

For g-d's sake, "Frank & Ava" is downright upbeat. I like it.  It had limited radio appeal for a nano-second, but Vega's time on radio was 1987-88.  That was it.

Beauty & Crime is a more than decent album.  You have to be in the right mood - but isn't that true of all music?  That said - I'm still glad I got it at the liberry as opposed to purchasing it.  At least check it out  - literally.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

It was a whirlwind two days but I've been to Vegas and back.  Actually, it was less than two days.   Flights and all took about 34 hours.

I would say it was all work, but on Monday night I did hang out with my long-time (I did not say "old") friend, David G.

David and I go back some 27 years and we never see each other enough, but now that he and his partner Duck have moved to Vegas and I now have a client there, I'm hoping to be able to see him every month or two.

David took me to task for my Cardigans post on Monday - and my entire My Music Monday series.  He says I'm coasting.  Is this true?    Yeah - it is.  with work travel and stuff, I'd say it's an easy 50 or so posts per year, but trying to find a decent song is harder than one might think to put up there.

We could have gone to their house to hang, but maybe another time.  It was late for all of us - or really we had early early days the next morning, so we opted to have a drink - one - at the newest place in Vegas, the Cosmopolitan.

Last time I was in town they were still building it.  I'd look out our hotel window and I'd count the number of cranes there were on site building this thing - and the entire complex.  1500 workers per shift erecting this group of buildings.  I'd say it was nice, but it is not all the different than many of the other casinos and lounges that are out there.  But now I can say I have been.

And it was a tad warm out there.  106 on day one.  111 yesterday.  I froze last night as I slept in my own bed with the windows open and the temps in the high 50s. 

All my miles are finally paying off - the upgrades to 1st Class.   I don't care about the food or the drink - I care about the wider seats, the legroom and to be honest, that I only have to share a bathroom with 11-23 other people, not the other 200. 

I normally do not watch movies on flights, but they were showing the Adjustment Bureau and it looked interesting even if it god iffy reviews.  Naturally, the movie's sound was all static so they replaced it with - ugh - Unstoppable. I think they meant to call it Unwatchable.   (seriously, how many runaway train movies can Denzel Washington make?)

Total spoiler alert:  they totally stop the runaway train.  But you knew that, right?

The entire time it was on (I opted not to really watch), I could think of Lionel Hutz and his quote: "This is the greatest case of false advertising I've seen since I sued the movie The Never Ending Story."

1st class is the one time I don't mind having a window seat either.  And some of the sights going west are just beautiful. 
Ya gotta love the Rockies.

Not the best shot of Lake Mead, but it's cool anyways.

Definitely not the best shot of me, but the other one has me sitting in an oversized high heel shoe.  Unfortunately, it does not reside on my camera, so I'm kind of at the mercy of Duck on where that ends up.  Here's I'm just using a lounge chair to make a fake call, so they could take the picture.  It was totally their idea.

So that's it.  I flew back last night, getting home around 12mn....and I'm up and ready for a full day.  I really need to find flights with WiFi so I can work on the plane.  I feel so far behind at this point, but whatta gonna do?

Song by:  Brandon Flowers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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!

Today's version comes from on-line shopping.  I hear you can get this at the store, but have yet to find it - so I broke down and ordered it.    .....and not just for the name.

Yes. Head Lube.  Glossy.

...and no, it's not a marital aid.  It's a shaving one.

.....for the head people.  The head.   And by 'head', I mean the skull.  g-d!

Actually, I'm digging shaving the head.  Some guys say not to do it daily, but I am.  At the end of the day, pulling a t-shirt off my head must be what it's like for European women trying to get off pantyhose.

Where I thought it was a pain to just buzz my head 2-3 times per week, I do have to budget additional time each day to take blade to scalp.  But I like doing it - and can do it in the shower and no mirror needed - just the feel of a missed spot.

That Aveda stuff I said I bought a few weeks ago?  My g-d, all it is, is Noxema.  Thick. White. Same smell.  But if it runs off your head into your eyes?  Watch out.  BURN.

The Head Lube is really just the lotion part to make my head shiny.  They also have a matte finish.   But I do own the shave cream too and that is so much better than Aveda.  It must be mostly glycerin, but it soaps up.   It gets a nice clean shave each time.

And that first barber was wrong.  He said the best razor to use was a single blade disposable.  He was wrong.  More often than not, blood would end up on my towel as I was drying off.   Double or triple blade is best - even if disposable.

Still, Head Blade has some great products for us chrome domes.   It's a funny name, but hey, it works.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Music Monday

I did not struggle with this week's artist, I did with the song though.  Or the video.  Or both.

I know the idea here is to present music, not necessarily visuals, but video is a good way to show you the music.

The problem I'm finding with the Cardigans is that they have great songs and iffy videos.  I mean, I kind of like them, but I suspect I'm not everyone.

Yes, you can all breathe a sigh of relief with that last statement.

If all you know of the Cardigans is their mid-90's hit, "Lovefool" and were as turned-off as I was with it, you might be missing a lot.  I cannot say that song really represented them.  I considered that fluff and quite annoying (though, less so now).

While the Swedish group does have underlying pop sensibilities, they have a decent rock mix in what they do....and that was reflected in 1998's Gran Turismo and in 2004's  Long Gone Before Daylight. which remains one of my favourite albums.

So there are some great songs on that last disk.  Both disks actually. And while there are some decent videos from the latter disk, whatever copyrights there in Sweden, they do not equate to being shown here, so I have no video to show for my first few songs of choice.   Sorry.

With that, I'm going back to Gran Turismo.

"My Favourite Game" is the song.  Good guitar.  Good beat.  Good vocals. Decent video.

If I remember correctly, I believe some video channels banned it for its recklessness and the violence at the end.  It's not anything really bad - at least in my estimation.  There are far worse videos depicting bad behaviour.

If you like, I can always make singular song suggestions.  Or sample from iTunes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love is Stronger Than Pride

Let's start off this post that I'm happy for New York and its gay residents who wish to marry.  Or even in the future want the ability to marry.  That it happened on New York City's Pride weekend is a nice coincidence.

But as most Pride events go, I'm rarely proud.

Because of the NY decision, I thought we should go - even though it was like 60 degrees and on the verge of rain.

We've been the last few years - after years of inactivity - and each year it gets what our friend James would call "tragic'.

Even that word seems 'gay'.  Yet it is quite accurate, I am sorry to say.

This isn't the rant about drag queens and/or go-go boys on floats.  Or men in leather.  Or dykes on bikes.  Yes, all those things that people say are the ones that make the news that continue to keep us on the fringe of society.  I don't really dabble in any of those groups, but I'm ok with their participation.  I'll admit there was too much Lady Gaga t-shirts.  I muffled my best Miranda Priestly to not say "ground breaking", in her best sarcastic manner. 

I probably said it last year, but at least Cleveland's event has little to do with Pride.  Plain and simple, anymore, Pride is a vendor fair.

It mostly has to do with the money making beer garden.....or the vendors who might be gay-friendly, but are really looking to make a buck off of the DINKS.  Am I to believe that the bathroom retro-fitters or Key Bank are there because they love the homos so much?

Don't tell me that these guys are there because they need to subsidize the event.  Save for a fairly lame parade on rolled-up downtown streets, the only people there are the ones in it, not watching it - this is the event.

Secondly, decades went by with Pride parades and gatherings afterwards that weren't underwritten by State Farm Insurance and their reps furiously trying to hand you literature.  I'm not sure anymore if this is a cash making event or an awareness one.   Well, that's not true. I'm pretty sure I know.

The music.  The booths.  The  beer.  The food. The county-fair attire. The port-a-johns.  Pride has turned into every other street fair - be it art, rib or jazz.

Denton made the observation that if he didn't know it was Pride, he could have been plopped into any other downtown gathering.  I guess you can take that two ways:  we've arrived where we are just like everyone else, or Pride itself has marginalized itself so much that it has become next to nothing special.

Even the life sized penis I had my picture taken with (um....I'm the one on the right!)  didn't have a volunteer to get into the costume.

I made us go this year.  Ok...urged....not made.  Next year, I do not see myself being that insistent on participating in the event.   That kind of bums me out, but

Song by:  Sade

Saturday, June 25, 2011

App of the Month

My second attempt at doing the iPhone App of the Month.  This month it is iFitness.

That I don't use it as much as I should is not real reflection on the app as it is on me.  I'm not structured enough to use it.  The same could be said for the tracking sheets the gym gives you to chart your gym progress.  I just don't do it.

Sure, I start regularly, and then it just trails off into nothingness.  Sad, really.  I'm sure I could have a much better body if I just really tracked whatever the hell it is I'm supposed to be doing.

My lack of practice aside, iFitness does have a lot good features though.

First off, it has nice graphics, which is something you want in your apps, no?

But it has some great features like the exercises broken out by category

....and then by visual description.

I suppose if nothing else you can download the app to look at mostly shirtless men bending and stretching in multiple positions.   For those fetishists, some of the pics are in lycra one piece outfits.  For those who like women, there are a handful of images of, ewwwww, girls!

But my bigger issue, and maybe it is just mine, I don't normally take my iPhone into the weight room with me.  There are dozens and dozens of exercises this app outlines that I forget once I click "off" and leave the device in my locker".

I'm not one to have that strap that attaches my phone to my big bulging bicep little girls arm.  And even if I did, I'd have to take it off to see what I wanted to incorporate into my routine.

You can see on the bottom of each screen you can customize and record your routine - and log your progress along the way.  Again, it is one of those things I started but never continued.

The 'more' button takes you to Food Tracker, Weight Monitor, BMI calculator and those kind of things that make you feel really good about yourself, or really bad.  Chances are, there is no in between.

I'd have to go back and look, but this might have been one of the few apps I paid for.  If so, I don't think it was more than $0.99 or $1.99.   The price seemed reasonable at the time, but so did my ability to keep up with the work that went with it.

....and you see how that all turned out.

Still, for a more disciplined individual, this might actually be a really good app for you.

Friday, June 24, 2011

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 10 years old.

For 2011, I thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.

Technically this is not the Eurythmics' debut album.  In the Garden was never released in the U.S. until after the success of Sweet Dreams (are made of this).  And there was good reason why that true debut never hit these shores.  Trust me.

If for nothing else, I was drawn to Sweet Dreams, was that the title track finally knocked the Police's "Every Breath You Take" off the top of the Hot 100 in the Spring of '83.   Don't get me wrong, it was a great song, but man, it was way overplayed before it made it to the top of the chart.

In some ways, so was "Sweet Dreams", but it was new.  New Wave was still there, but the face of melodic and electronic pop was just starting to really make its mark and the Eurythmics had it.

As the band's disks go, this is a fair one.  I think they had much better overall recordings with Touch and Savage.  But Sweet Dreams is strong, even if chances are the only two songs you've ever heard from it were the title track and maybe "Love is a Stranger".

If you were really persistent, you may have heard their cover of Sam & Dave's "Wrap it Up".  A stellar cover at that.

While Stewart was seemingly the brains behind the voice,  Lennox had equal writing credit and a voice to back up everything she did.   Unfortunately, it was the MTV age and what she mostly got noticed for was her hair and androgynous look.

"The Walk," "Somebody Told Me," and "I Could Give You (A Mirror)" are really good tracks too.  Nothing where anyone stood up and took notice though.  The same could be said for most of the way Touch turned out.  Well, I think it is safe to say the way most of their albums turned out.  I mean, if you were a good fan, you got to know all the songs, but if you were reliant on MTV and radio, you heard maybe two songs per disk.  Maybe.

I know this has been remastered, but I don't have it, along with the additional material that Dave & Annie included.  It might be interesting though.  In my experience, normally if it was left off in the first place, it was for a good reason.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looking in the Eyes of Love


Yeah, I'm scary.  For many reasons, actually, but let's just stick with the red red red eye.  Eyes, actually. Both of them.

And not red.  Pink. 

Or if you want to be totally clinical about it, I have conjunctivitis.

I have not had a case of Pink Eye for maybe 15 years, but oh how it takes me back.  The eye snot.  The sandy feeling in the orbital area.  The crusting over of the lid while I sleep.  Good times.......good times.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I was working off site at another one of our corporate offices that happened to have a nurse practitioner on duty (hehehe, I said 'duty') and got the official diagnosis.  Like I needed to fill-out paper work for that!

She did say I had a lot of allergens too.  She said many non-allergy folks are seeing this in Nashville this year due to all the mold from the massive flooding they had last year.  I guess it makes sense, but still......

So off I went to get my antibiotic eyedrops and some Allegra for all this.  The latter, which is now OTC, cost twice as much as the prescriptive eyedrops.  Go figure.  And the first pharmacy did not have them.  Oy.

I am now on day 2 of the drops and my eyes are no longer red - so that's good.  They get a little crusty over night, but nothing too bad.  So all is right with the world.

On a silver-lining note:   I only exposed my co-workers to it, but I wasn't at home, so Denton was in the free and clear.  Bummer that I had to toss a pair of contacts because they probably had virus on/in them.  Oh well.  A small price for my health, no?

There was a funny FB exchange between me and Geo about a first season South Park episode on Pink Eye / Zombies / Scott Baio / Tina Yothers and Worcestershire sauce.  I do believe it might be one of their best episodes - but then again, I stopped watching it by season three, so what do I know.

On a sunnier note, I did get a big cupcake yesterday at the other office.  See?

I'm bound and determined to get on Dudes With Beards Eating Cupcakes.  Each guy f'uglier than the last, yet they never take my submissions.  I must be too pretty.   ......first and last time you'll ever hear that from me.   Apparently I need some earlobe expanders to get on the site.   Never mind!

Sal, who showed me the site in the first place, thought the cupcake was the same colour as my eyes. 


Song by:  Alison Krauss + Union Station

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Somebody Make Me Laugh

I don't follow stand-up comedians at all.  The early days of cable made them hard to avoid.  So many shows with a brick wall and a mic in front of it with bad or semi-bad comedians doing their two-drink minimum.

One of my favourite line exchanges from Family Guy is:  "How do we kill and hour?"  "We could watch Rita Rudner do a five minute routine...".   True that.

If I stumble upon it, Kathy Griffin has some good stand-up stuff.  I do notice the more she puts out, the less funny it/she is.  I always mute when she imitates her mother swearing, which she does at every special now, not because I'm offended by the words.  I'm offended because it's not funny.

Chris Rock I can take.  And dare I say, I love how wrong Lisa Lampanelli is.

Of course there is Tracy Morgan. I never found him that funny on SNL (but that's true of the majority of their players), and his role on 30 Rock is relegated to single minutes per show, so he's hardly the star of it.  After his little stand-up homophobic routine a few weeks ago, I'm not sure how much he'd be missed.

I struggle a bit with free speech and hate speech and where the line is in something like that.  Louis C.K., whom I mentioned for the first time, and until now - the only time, back in 2009 had some words of support for Morgan, or his ability to perform at least.

Louis, by all means, isn't a homophobe and actually has some funny bits on being gay (he's not) and on 'sucking a bag of dicks'.

Below is a typical quote, at least the delivery, on how he does his 'act', though I'm not sure how much of an act it is.  He seems to be like this most of the time.

So, say what you will about Louis C.K. supporting Morgan to do what he does, he backs it up with his own stuff.  He supports the ability for the likes of what Morgan can say, not necessarily what he says.

I do find it interesting that in all the Morgan stories / comments, no one has brought up Michael Richards once, that I've seen, and his "jokes" on black people that were caught on video, that got him banished.  I'm sure there is a correlation there, but I have yet to see anyone tie it together.

Song by:  David Broza

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Evening

So here we are:  Summer Day 1.  Well, technically sometime in the early afternoon EDT.

I'm always looking forward to Summer.  I guess I look forward to all of the seasons, save Winter.   Spring of course, because it signifies the end of Winter.  Cruel Cruel Winter.

Where was Bananarama on that one?

I have not bitched about the heat this year for two reasons:  we have not experienced it yet, but mainly I can't.  I will bitch up and down about the cold and figure you can only pick one to moan about.  I've opted for cold.

But it is the longest day of the year.  I'll be stuck inside doing work related things in Tennessee.

Tennessee, where it is scheduled to be in the mid-90s today.   It's ok.  It'll all be ok.

I'm not in Ohio.  I will miss home. I will not miss the scheduled five or six days of continual rain.  We no longer need it.  We haven't for a long time, but yet it comes.  Daily.

The lawn looks great.

I do look forward to the summer evenings.  Sitting outside.  Taking walks.  Eating on a patio, be it ours or a restaurant.  The evenings make the year.  They make the season.

Enjoy it all while you can.  We know it won't and cannot last.  I try not to reflect on that aspect, just the now - at least in Summer.  For Winter, I do look forward.  Fast forward.  It never comes.  Not fast enough anyway.

Song by:  Gillian Welch

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Music Monday

I will admit to not being a follower of the group the Roots, but others might.

As a hip-hop/soul band with a rotating membership, they are actually quite talented with a certain kind of funky groove that I enjoy.  Not enough to know their every move or every song.

Like the fact that, until I was beginning to post this, did I know they were now the house band for Jimmy Fallon's show?  I did not.  But to my credit I have never seen Jimmy Fallon's show because, to my credit, I dislike Jimmy Fallon.

Anyways, back in 2002, I heard Terry Gross interview the band about their then new disk, Phrenology. While she played or sampled a number of tracks, one stood out for me that I went so far and used Napster to "share":  "The Seed (2.0)".

I got it more for music and rhythm than I did for the lyrics or theme.  They do lay down a great bass and drum line, but don't discount the guitar.  It makes up for the fact that the song is about procreation and I try not to cringe at the line, "I push my seed in her bush for life".   That said, it is done all very tastefully or at least with good soul.

In truth, I have so many songs, this one got lost in the shuffle, but I was driving home over the weekend and it popped up and decided then and there to include it in this little feature.  Granted, back in 2002,  I way overplayed it, so I don't know how long of a shelf-life it has with certain individuals, but for a while I loved it.  Now I like it......but not love.

We're just friends.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dirty and Deep

I know today is Father's Day.  No worries, I have that covered with my dad.  The man needs and wants for nothing, and I suppose at 90.5, you've earned that.   Still I got him a shirt when I was out at Pebble Beach last month and more importantly, two cinnamon rolls from Panera.  The rolls alone makes him thrilled.

He doesn't get excited by too much - for g-d's sake, he has two purple hearts from WWII.  Not to say that he's jaded, like his son.  If I ever need to be reminded what I'm going to end up looking like, I just have to look at him, or a picture of his father.  There is no escaping that one, unless I visit a plastic surgeon - and soon!  I'm ok with my destiny.

We did Father's Day yesterday - mainly because my mother asked that we come out to help move 10 yards of mulch she bought.  Luckily for us, my nephew, niece and one of my brothers-in-law got there first and moved most of it.  We ended up with only an hour's worth of work of hauling it and placing it where my mom wanted.

It was probably more of a Mother's Day gift,  but they both get to enjoy sitting on their deck and looking at it. I guess it could be a Father's Day gift in the fact that he didn't have to do any of the work, not that he really could have. He is pushing 91 years old.

 My folks do have a pretty sweet back yard, and the mulch does look good in their grove.

There's a little more of their yard over my shoulders.  

But that was my pre-Father's Day Father's Day.  Now I get to spend the actual day doing laundry, cutting the lawn and packing for my next work trip, which starts tomorrow.

Song by:  Deborah Harry

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Between Something and Nothing

I have a few formulated ideas about which to write, but I cannot moving on any of them.   Spo would say, the muse has left him, I'm not sure she ever arrived, so she could eventually leave, in the first place with me.  I fly solo.

Anyways, the muse reminds me of a horrid movie with Albert Brooks and Sharon Stone.  {shudder}

It's been a long week and the next two will be longer.  In my mind, I'm already into July because June has been written off for me due to work and work travel.  I am seriously in danger of breaking my now 2.5 years of continual blogging.   Yes, it's true.

I will be on the road most of the next two weeks.  Yeah, I have some of my standard pieces, that are not as timely, ready to go (well, in my mind, I do - not drafted), but that ain't gonna fill two weeks. 

No doubt I will attempt to make it work, but I am apologizing in advance for either lack of posts, but probable lame ones at that.  Correction:  lamer posts.  I know mine are borderline anyway.

I am just preparing you.  You can't say I didn't warn you.

Song by:  the Blue Ocean

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hey Baby

Yeah, I'm just getting back from a full day of travel - just to Philly and back - but know I'll be dead tired to come up with something that is way too clever.

Sure, if something really big happens, I'll make the time and effort, but we all know that's not going to happen.  So instead you get a pseudo-canned video/comedy posting from the pages of Kathy Griffin and Jimmy Kimmel (who I'm guessing has lost, what, 70 pounds?).

Sorry, but you have to sit through an ad, but I think it is totally worth it.   Personally, I like the parka.  You'll see what I mean.

See ya tomorrow.

Song by:  No Doubt

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Or Purrrfect.

Yesterday was Sophie's 5th birthday.  At least according to the rescue place we got her.  Unless she was really born there (which she was not), I'm not sure they really know, but it is the only date we have for her, other than the one we got her from Rescue Village.

She was named, by the shelter, Fabiano.  Or as Denton calls her, "our little Italian shoe maker".  That might explain why she likes to make sweet sweet love to our shoes once they are off our feet.

She also came to us with an extra pad on one of her toes and a broken tail.  All of these things make her, her.

We love(d) Kylie and Tovah, but Sophie is a different kind of cat.  She's a dog cat.  She is not independent, or aloof.  She's an in-your-face kitty.   Has to be by you or around you at most times.  Wants to be up on you.  She'll play fetch for hours with balls or string.  She yells at us all the time for attention and is a cuddler.   And I haven't had dogs who have licked us as much as she does.

To be fair, we encouraged her to talk - and talk back.  She is quite the conversationalist.  And now that I'm working from home, she's around all the time.

Sophie is fun and funny and I love her a lot.  I can't believe she's 5.  She still acts so kitten-like.  But she is great to have around and now that I'm working at home, it's good to have a companion.

So I'll include some Soph pics here.  The title image is her first weigh-in at the vet, where we decided on her name.  She was all of 2.2 lbs.

 Evil lurks in there.  She still has claws here, so she was still young.

HEY!  You're not supposed to be up there!

Helping Aunty Dith knit.

In true form, Sophie climbed up on me and even in my sleep I accommodated her.  Just like when Denton says she crawls all over me at night and I don't stir.  I'm there for her needs and happy to do it.

That's it. I won't bore you with more pictures.  I can't find the one of her first xmas, which was so frickin' cute.

So she's 5.  I'm hoping many more years of her being her.  I still think she needs a sister or brother, but we'll see.  We like her personality so much, we hate to have it change on us.

Song by:  Sara Evans

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't Stop Now

I don't really have a thing to discuss or blog about today.

What I have is a work laptop issue.  One that won't let me past safe-boot.  One that won't let me sign-on to get any of my documents.

Sure I can get email from a web-based application, but that's only a little part of what is going to make me tick today.

Help Desk has been not helpful.  They put in a 'ticket' for me and marked it CRITICAL.   That was yesterday.  I'm still waiting.  I suppose it is a good thing they aren't EMS or a cardio-thoracic surgeon.

So, it seems I'll spend part of the day trying to re-get through to the Help Desk to see what is what.

g-d, remember the day(s) we did our work without computers and they helped us now and again through the day?  Now there is no back-up plan.  We are so dependent on them that when this happens we are screwed.

So for today, and hopefully only today, I'm screwed. 

Song by:  Crowded House

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Foul Play

I don't think anyone would call me a sports-watching guy, for the most part.

Yeah, I'm an Indians fan and love to watch those, but you'll never really see me catching a Browns game, or a Cavaliers one either.  Not in regularity.

I can count on one finger - finger! - how many Browns games I've been to.  I can count on two hands how many Cavs games at which I've sat.   ....and we're talking over a 40+ year span.

That all said, I will be the first to admit that while the NBA championship was going on, I'd tune in the last quarter to watch the action.   I know, I know.........I'm so butch.

And while I am,  like so many others, I was there to watch LeBron & Co. lose.  Or hoped for them to lose.

While in Denver, many of us hit a bar to watch the last 7 minutes of Game 5.   It was a beautiful thing.  I loved watching Dallas beat Miami.  It should be noted, I don't give a damn about either team.  I just wanted LeBron and his minions bite the big one.

It turns out, everyone in the bar did too - and they were clearly not Cleveland fans.  It's just that seemingly most everyone hates LeBron.   How sucky must it be to be that hated?

I don't care that he left Cleveland.  I don't.  It's the way he did it.   ...and it's not even that hour spectacle on ESPN, that was beyond bad.  It was that he knew he was leaving and didn't say anything until no other trades could be made.

He didn't try during the 2010 play-offs and then fucked the team over again.    So yeah, I was glad they lost on Sunday.   Seeing those fucking grown men cry after their loss was hilarious.

I know I'll take flack for this, but I didn't care all that much when Kobe called the ref a 'faggot'.  Unseemly and uncalled for, sure, and if he called him a 'fucking asshole' no fine would have been levied against him.  Or certainly not a $100,000 one.

It's the actual fine I have trouble with more.  David Stern, NBA commissioner, set that amount out for one word.  I get that.  Yet he turned his back on how LeBron, Wade and Bosh colluded to join the same team at the same time - violating any number of NBA rules - and not only were there no fines or suspensions, the matter was not even looked into.

For the NBA, it's all about perception and $$$$.  If it hurts the game, and the revenue, yeah, they'll fine.  If it gets more people watching and buying tickets - well........................


But for the moment, I'll be happy that James was denied his ring.   Just like the one he didn't get when not winning when he was a Cav.

Song by:  Rachel Sweet

Monday, June 13, 2011

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 16th 12 of 12.  It is the first time a post is superseding My Music Monday.  You knew it had to happen. 

12 pictures taken on the 12
th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell (thanks Chad!) and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. While he said he would stop it at the end of 2010, it still looks up and running to me, so I'm running with it.

 07:22.  No, not the morning after a raucous night.  Laundry day and as I got out of bed (late, due to me dealing with drying out and coming off Mountain time), I stripped it so I could wash the sheets.  Fun!!!

 07:25.  Looked out the window I had closed during the night with heavy sounding rains.  It was dark, I didn't have glasses on, I couldn't tell.  Definitely need to go and unclog those drains on the roof over the sun porch. 

07:45.  Someone left me a bowl and spoon so I could come down and have my morning breakfast.  Sweet!  

09:30.  It's here!!!  Its' here!!!!  For my Shopping with Blobby segment.   It was delivered while I was traveling this week.   You'll have to wait and see.

11:00.  Heading to the gym (I told you I got a late start).  One and a half months after the hill collapsing down the street, the city has done zilch to make repairs.  I can't quite be sure, but it looks like more has fallen down.

11:10.  About to enter the locker room where the sign says 'no cellphones'.  Uh-huh. 

12:30.  Ignoring the sign in the last photo, I used my cellphone to give you a glimpse into Blobby's now daily ritual of the shaving of the head.  That is also the back of me. 

16:00.  800mg of ibuprofen for my tendinitis.  I was told (or so I thought) 800mg a day.  It was 800mg three times per day.  Let's see if that now helps and doesn't eat away at my stomach lining or shut down my kidneys.

17:00.  Grocery shop.  Mostly produce.  Salads and I'm planning on making gazpacho this week.  Naturally, when I got home I had forgotten tomato juice.   ...and yes David, the hot dogs are Hebrew National!

17:45.  Ball in the yard.  No doubt hit over the fence by one of the triplets next door.  I threw it back into their yard. 

17:50.  The yard itself.  Or part of it.  It's looking better than it ever has, which isn't saying much. Deluge upon deluge since April has helped keep it green.  But if you look close at it, there is still a long way to make it nice and lush.  Denton was great enough to cut it for me while I was away on work travel.

21:30.  The remnants of dessert.  Hey, I am totally open that one of the reasons I work out is so I can eat cookies and cake. I like cookies and cake.

Undetermined Time Earlier in the Day. 

And now, your Baker's Dozen.  What's a 12 of 12 without a picture of Sophie?   She can't resist getting up on a bed you are trying to make.  ...and I never try to stop her. 

See you next month (well, and everyday in between) for the next 12 of 12.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


You would think after three nights (and partial days) of drinking, that after getting home, I would have been happy to detox.

You'd be wrong.

I was thrilled to be home, but when it came to dinner options,  sitting outside at Lopez seemed like the thing to do.  I wasn't about to fire up a grill or the stove in the mid-80 degree heat.   ....oh, and I was lazy.

We both love Lopez.  It's an independent restaurant and on days like this:  packed.  It is great to see something like that thrive.  As it turns out, we would have had to wait 45 minutes for outdoor seating.  We were happy to sit inside too, so we did.  ....oh, and I was hungry!

Of course the first thing we did was to order two margaritas, large.  One with salt, one without.  Or as the server called mine: naked.

We did keep it to one drink. I was driving and there has to be some decrease on alcohol consumption.  I think I hit my total limit of booze for the week month.

I'm sure it was quite the coincidence that the new place two doors down from Lopez was Club Sober.

Song by:  the Champs

Saturday, June 11, 2011

You'll See

Like states and ballparks, I have another list of things I'm checking off - slowly, but surely:  meeting blogger buddies.

I have now checked another one off, a guy:  Stevie B.  Or his mirror site:  Stevie B.

I can totally relate to Stevie's issue of trying to move from Blogger to WordPress.  I attempted the same thing years ago and ran two different, but same, sites concurrently.  I tried to make the leap, but it didn't work.  As you might know, I went back to Blogger as my editor years ago.

I think Stevie felt he wasn't alone in this dilemma, but on the other hand, I gave him no encouraging outcome (sorry about that!).

I stumbled across NTSSB and I do not know how.  I think it was when looking at who was referring to my site, his URL came up, so I checked it out.  Clearly I liked his style and his humour, as I blogrolled him right back, asking permission before doing so, of course.  He seemed thrilled with the idea.

Ok, maybe "thrilled" is a little too much, but he didn't say "no'.  So that was my take away.

If you discount the three folks I know (and I do!) who has/had a blog, Stevie B now makes the 4th one I have met.  All of them I have had drinks and/or eats with, so it's not just a 'hey, how's it going' kind of thing. Steive was no different. 

I gave him the head's up I was coming to Denver and he drove the 20 miles from Boulder to meet me for lunch.  We walked down the main street till we found a place to grab a burger and beer - and we had a nice talk about blogs, biking, growing up, partners.  You know - the norm.

It's a good picture of him, but I'd say it doesn't do him complete justice.  He's a looker, and he's got an incredible pair of chompers on him.  I bet his dentist loves him.

So it was nice to see and be with Stevie B for a few hour just eating, drinking and gabbing.

Song by:  Madonna

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eight Miles High

I gotta stop blogging so late at night - and drunk at that.   These work events wear me out.  It's hard for an old man to keep up - not that anyone here is much younger than I am.  Still, a lifetime of drinking has ironically taken its toll, instead of built up tolerance.   Who knew?

So last night (really still tonite, since I'm still up and typing this), we, as a team, went to the Rockies/Dodgers game.  I could not have cared less.  National League? pffffft.   Purple outfits?  They're not Prince.  Or even Appolonia.

And we had to sit in the 3rd deck with the 'common folk'.   I'm just joshing.  I had fun, but mostly because my man-date, Scott, was there and another great co-worker Sean, whom I absolutely adore. He's like Scott and myself, but younger and way cuter.

The game was a dud, until we were nearly out of the ballpark.  Rockies trailed by 4 runs and I just didn't really care.  Before we hit the mezzanine, the were tied.  By the time we passed the turnstiles they were ahead.

For some reason because they won, if I turn my ticket in at a Taco Bell between 2-4 pm, I get four free tacos.  No thanks.  "Make a Run for the Bathroom" should be their unofficial slogan.  (that's for you Torn!)

Still it was nice being in a ballpark I had not visited.  Checked-off at this point.  And they served Killians Red, so that beat the crappy beer of the named park - Coors Field.  Blech.  I'll bet Killians is a Coors product, but not that cheap taste....even if they still subscribe to homo-hate stuff.  What were my options?

So they had a cool field, no? 

It looked nice from up in the nose-bleeds.

And then up even past us there was a row of purple seats, that circled all the way around the park.  It is the demarcation of the mile high point in what would have been Mile High Stadium, before corporate sponsorship took over.

I "made" Scott go up with me and take out pic there.  It took a few tries to get a purple seat in the snap.

After that we hit a bar to watch LeBron & Co lose to Dallas.  I don't care for Dallas per se, but I like watching LeBron lose.  Douche.

So I'm done tomorrow at 12 noon and it's off to explore the city a bit.  I'm a tad bit excited.  Something new for me.  Work travel where I actually see the sites!

Song by:  the Byrds

Thursday, June 09, 2011

We Can Work it Out

Let me just start out by saying, I totally see where Karen Carpenter was coming from.

First work dinner of this trip and I wanted to purge so badly.  Bulimia rules!!!!

Of course, I didn't. Or haven't.  But I feel so full and bloated it is quite disgusting.  I'd feel "better" about it if I had actually eaten a lot.  I stopped my dinner maybe a quarter of the way through it due to this feeling. 

I know, I're just really wanting to hear all this, right? 

Denver is pretty though - what little I've seen of it.  The drive from the airport to downtown isn't much, but from the approach it looked cool.  It has been mostly hotels.  And then a walk to dinner down some district where there is only public transport or walking.  No cars.  See?

The weather is nice too.  Mid 70s.  Not like that pesky mid 90s in Ohio.

The walk back from the Chophouse (g-d, a chain.  Why not an independent?) was nice and necessary.  What little I walked did little to help me digest, but it was better than nothing.

...and if nothing else, I came upon a group exercise thingy all performed outdoors.  See?

While I've always wanted to do yoga outdoors, I don't know I could participate in this.  First, it's all core, as far as I can tell - but the bigger deterrent is/was, each guy is in better shape and more attractive than the last.  I had to keep moving so none of my new co-workers pegged me for being that kind of homo.  I'm not sure what 'that kind' really means, but why get them asking questions when this was the first day I have met some of them?

Today is a full day of meetings.  Let's hope I'm feeling better as the day goes on.

Song by:  the Beatles

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I wish I had a better, or at least more substantial, post for today.  I do not.

By the time you read this I will be once again on the way to the airport.  Two point five days of work.  That includes the travel time.  Well, the travel time there.

We end on Friday at noon (mountain time), but I'm staying until the next morning because I've never been to Denver.  Sure, I've been to their airport, but not to the city.

I have two cousins living there, but considering I have not seen them for 28 years, I don't see any reason to start trying to get in touch now.   Do you?   I'm in touch with all my cool ones anyways.   You might say, "you haven't seen them for 28 years, they might be cool".  But if that were really true, don't you think I'd know about it by now?

So what will I do with my time there?  I don't know.  It won't be a Rockies game.  We're going to see them on Thursday night, so no reason to go back and see another game on Friday.  But it is a ballpark I can cross off my list.

That little task of going to major league stadiums isn't going that well.  They've already replaced Shea and Yankee stadiums.  And Pittsburgh and San Francisco.  Does it count that I've been to those stadiums if they no longer exist?   Does the Astrodome even still exist?

Anyhoo, I hope to have something for you while I'm gone.  No promises.  I can actually see where I might break my 2.5 year stretch of blog posts.

Song by: R.E.M.