Friday, September 30, 2011

Weight of My Mistakes

Yesterday I got a comment that I ate cupcakes and still had a somewhat decent body.  I am clearly  paraphrasing making up shit.

I've made no secret - I work out so I can eat cupcakes.

I like cupcakes.

Normally I do not get them, but I will have a cookie or two each night, because I do like cookies too.

Since May, Rebecca (you know the one missing her appendix, whom I *think* Pac inadvertently called a 'hag')  has told me that I'm "too thin".  As if!

Unless your Karen Carpenter, can one be too thin?

She said it in May, she said it in July and she said it in August.  I figured she was just being nice, but then I realized we are never really that kind to each other.   I mean, we are, but we aren't.  You know?

So, the irony was not lost on me this last Wednesday when I got on the scale for the first time since mid-August.  The scale visit was the last date was the last time I was at the gym.

I know.  I know.  I always have gone one about the gym 4-5 times a week and I have really slacked off.  It's been part physical and part mental.  Going back there two days ago felt right being back.  I'm still having tendinitis pain, but I am determined to power through it for some stuff.  Cardio is still tough for me though.

Ok, the actual irony is, yes, I eat cookies, haven't worked out most of the summer and then weighed in at 178.5 pounds - possibly the lowest I have been in two decades.

I think I have found the secret to weight loss.

When I got my new driver's license last month, I made absolutely positively sure that they reduced my weight to 183.  I worked hard for that.  Down from almost 200.  I wasn't letting the DMV rob me of that success.   Had I only gotten my license a month and a half later, I'd have 178.5 in print and laminated.

I suppose one could surmise that since I've stopped lifting I've may have lost some muscle mass and not really lost "weight".  I guess we will see, as I am back to lifting.  I'm sore, but I'm back.

And 178.5 might be too thin.....for me.  Becky is right.



Song by:  Seal

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cuts You Up

I don't think she'll mind. I didn't ask permission. But in reality, she probably won't read far back enough through my posts to even know its here.  There is a plus to not paying attention to my blog.

Two nights ago I got texts from Becky telling me of her abdomen hurting and she was going to the ED to have it checked out.  It must not have been good, since her husband is a doctah and if he was advocating for her to go.....well then........

She was kind of being funny when she said she was probably just constipated.

I don't know if I ever mentioned it to anyone, but it turns out 19 years ago (well, in three weeks it will be 19 years) I had the same thought of being "stopped-up" , right after I thought I had food poisoning.  I wanted anything to make the pain better and ran though every case scenario - save one.

It was appendicitis.

For both of us.  I mean 18 years and 49 weeks apart.

Of course there were difference - she was asymptomatic except for pain.  I had the temp, the elevated white count.  Mine was perforated and it does not sound like hers was.  She has better nurses, as they fucking moved her IV so she could text better (hand to g-d!).  The RNs taking care of me shaved my entire arm only to put the IV into my fucking thumb.  Bastards!!!!   Mine also stayed in for eight days, but I'm guessing she'll be going home in the next day or so.

Becky was in Houston when it happened to me, but I got a call on the first night in the hospital where she made me laugh - and it hurt.  A lot.  I even remember the joke.  Let's just say that a normal appendix is about the size of your little finger.  Mine had expanded, according to the doc, eight inches.   ....and these are not "internet inches".

So you can imagine the exchange that went on between us.  I'd say laughter is the best medicine, but a morphine pump certainly doesn't hurt.

Becky's surgery was laparoscopic, mine was open wound. And I do mean OPEN WOUND.  They couldn't suture it shut.  I had to pack it with gauze for 4-5 weeks, three times a day until it healed inside-out.  That is why I have that killer scar you see in the title image.  She'll have a bikini scar at the most.

Rebecca is in good hands.  She's got her husband and kids around.  And I bet her mother comes running from four states over.  Completely selfish, I'm hoping it doesn't ruin her trip to Columbus (yes, another one!) in late October.



Song by:  Peter Murphy

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So Long, So Wrong

It is with great regret that I have to inform you that one of my first blogroll participants has left the blogsophere.

Tornwordo, from Sticky Crows, has taken down his blog shingle.   He has not yet taken down his blog, but he has ceased posting.

I was lucky enough to get to share a few glasses of wine with him while I was up on Montreal about 18 months ago.    As I said back in that post,  he was high on my list of bloggers to meet.  I came to him via another blogger, RJ March, who was the first person I knew to delete his blog. Another loss.

Torn and I talked about our potential blog end-dates and he warned mentioned me this day was coming.  If I remember, he's hitting pretty close to his intended mark.  I was in denial, I heard him but opted not to believe him.  Silly me.

I don't think I'll give this up just yet.  It is not my plan.  But Torn knows and commented the other day on how hard it is to come up with things to write about.  Sure, I've made my own hell by attempting to write a post daily and some days there is just nothing to squawk about.

Some might say Torn took the easy way out, but in reality it was the smart way.  It's made me think of my ultimate demise.  No worries, not yet, not for a while.  At least I don't think. But that's the problem, I rarely think.

I'll miss his posts.  I hope I won't miss him. I hope he visits.  I hope now and again he sends a shot of Georgie.



....and Serge.  (I hope he doesn't mind I stole these pics from his ex-blog.)


Thanks Torn for your fun and witty posts.  You will be missed.




Song by:  Alison Krauss + Union Station

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rocket

Sunday was our annual Block Party.

It is lots of food and wine with people standing around yakking, but in a good way.  People wanted to talk about our robbery, I didn't.

That we had decent weather was just a plus.

Well, it was warm.  There were are sprinkles (the rain kind) and some thunder, but nothing enough of either that squashed the party. So that was nice.

At the event, we have little things like an ice cream truck, a fire engine and a police car.  The firemen (none of them cute), showed basic fire safety, mostly to the kids.  The cops (none of them cute), just were there to just be diplomats to the neighborhood.  I didn't get ice cream, so I don't know if he was cute.

There is also the Euclid Beach Rocker Car.  It is an old ride that they retro-fitted into an actual "car".   The kids love it.  I rode in it a few years ago.  I think I'm good for life.

Of course, there was food.  Lots of food.  No real main courses, just sides and desserts, which I am totally fine with.

I was going to make toffee brownies, but opted not to fire up the oven, and there are always plenty of desserts.  I made hummus instead.

Hummus is easy to make, though I tweaked it for personal taste.


Five ingredients.  Ok seven.  I had already minced the garlic before I remembered to take the picture.  I'll tell you the seventh in a moment. 

All the ingredients lumped into the food processor.  The seventh item was hot sauce.  The red pepper flakes didn't cut it in the heat department.  Actually, neither did the hot sauce.  I needed more of each. I also needed to add some olive oil to think it out a bit - to make it a little more creamy. 

Oops, an eighth ingredient.  Parsley.  Mostly for a garnish.  But it did come straight from our little garden, so that was nice. 


The one dessert that I did want at the party was probably for the kids, but I am one overgrown child, so, I thought I was perfectly entitled to one of the last cupcakes, with sprinkles (the non-rain kind).

I got such grief about it from one of my neighbors since I carried it around for an hour, but not eating it. I was saving it.  Then the amusingly annoyed one walked back with me saying, and I quote:  "someone might rape you for that cupcake."    

If only!

So to be annoying myself, I snapped a pic of me eating it last night and emailed it to him, just because.



And I looked again, and am still not ugly enough to submit it to Dudes With Beards Eating Cupcakes.





Song by:  Goldfrapp

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Music Monday


I kind of / sort of understand why people like Dolly Parton, especially gay men.  Let's face it, she's one sashay away from being a big drag queen anyways.

Blobby is not fond of drag queens, but is ok with self-deprecating humour. I've made a career out of it.  So has Dolly. She's fun to listen to when being interviewed.

And not unlike some other songs I put on here, I like the writer more than the singer, and Parton can write a decent tune.  However, I am a fan of her version of "Stairway to Heaven".  I am not kidding.   Ok, the first two-thirds of it, but still.......

I don't know if it was one of Parton's first hits, but a remake of her "Jolene" has caught my attention since its release in 2004.  Mindy Smith does an excellent job on the remake, which was done for a Dolly Parton tribute album, Just Because I'm a Woman.

There is a duet version of "Jolene" with Dolly on Smith's debut album, One Moment More.

The tribute version is just Smith - and it is great.

In the song, the singer "begs" Jolene not to take her man.  Parton sings it, but Smith feels it.  The sadness, the sorrow and the desperation that would seem to be the appropriate emotion for this song.  It escalates the way it should and tumbles down in uncertainty and vulnerability.

With Dolly you just got a lot of vibrato - and all that conjures up for me is Porter Waggoner, sparkles, spangles and getting a free towel in every box of Breeze.

Purists probably hate Smith's version, but for me, it made me sit up and take notice.


Sunday, September 25, 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 don't think it is a huge secret that back in my middle and high school days, I was a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. Yeah, like so many gay men, I liked Stevie Nicks' work (more than I liked her). But as a collective they worked well together, even when they weren't working well together.

Lindsey Buckingham (his website is a frickin' mess) is an excellent guitarist and totally underrated in that regard. But starting with Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, he started involving the band less and less in his works and taking over even doing his own background vocals and sometimes other band member's instruments. But even in this context he still somehow worked within the confines of a "band".

With his solo work - not so much. Over the years he tends to take on more and more of the playing, production.  With Seeds We Sow it is about 99% Buckingham - and it wears a little thin.  He also seems to have less perspective on his art.  There is no balance. There is no accountability other than his own - and while that is his prerogative - it  leaves me a little cold.

While none of his solo works are bad (Out of the Cradle is still excellent),  some of his stuff starts to blend together or sound too similar to other pieces he has put out.  Check out his "Starts are Crazy" and back that up with "Bel Air Rain" from his last disk.  I don't think it illegal to plagiarize yourself, but there might be a case for it here.

How many ethereal and layered background vocals are we supposed to take from Buckingham?  "Gone Too Far".  "End of Time" and just about anything on most of his other disks.

But drum machines are so 1980s......or you know, for talentless female "vocalists" that are on the radio these days. I like a good rhythm section, and there is no heft to this music.  It's nice.  It's well played.  But it just floats out there.  There is no real drumming to ground the songs.

There are exceptions on this disk.  Some that show such great promise of what could have been.  While "Illumination" starts out like many of his songs with jangly guitars, it morphs into something much better. The unfortunate thing is that it is the shortest song on the disk.

What you get if you purchased the disk via amazon (which I did - for $3.99, and I'm glad I didn't pay full price for the disk), you got two bonus acoustic cuts.  The title track and "End of Times" in acoustic version.  They are so much more interesting than what made.  It would have been something so new for him and for an artist who clearly likes to push boundaries, this may have been the way to go.

Yes, Buckingham is smart and talented, but not smart enough to know that he needs others to bounce ideas and sounds off of.  It doesn't have to be Fleetwood Mac, but living in a world unto yourself becomes a cold and lonely place - much like this album.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Not

It's a late-start Saturday.

Slightly weird dreams, but trouble falling asleep, which never happens......usually.  I can normally get to sleep, just not stay there.

Usually, when I say I have nothing to write, I then go off on some tangent.  Not so today.  I got zilch.

Yeah, the image says 'no entry', as in, no blog entry.  Not quite factual, since you are indeed reading something about nothing.

Yet it is still nothing.

Hopefully I will have something for you tomorrow.



Song by:  Aimee Mann

Friday, September 23, 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!


Hardest. Jigsaw. Puzzle. Ever.

Well.....next to Spinal Tap's Smell the Glove cover puzzle.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday Afternoon

This was a group effort.  Kind of.

First off, I didn't even see the car or plate to begin with.  That was my better half's observation.

It was, however, my idea to take a picture of it - as I am apt to do.  But only my idea.  I was driving and couldn't, so Denton was my puppet and did what I said.   Ok......that sounds bad.  He agreed to my request - is that better?


I have no idea if the driver was female or not, but you kind of hope they were.....and that they own it.

Of course, it is possible probable that the plate doesn't even mean to spell out C U Next Tuesday.   But here is hoping that they pulled one over on the Ohio DMV.



Song by:  the Moody Blues

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dreams

I haven't posted a dream in a long long time.

Remember when I used to post many, in great detail?  I haven't been remembering my dreams as much as I used to.  But now and again I have unsettling dreams.  Not nightmares, not totally disturbing ones, but the kind that leave you feeling uncomfortable.

The point of this post isn't to tell you my actual dream.  It dealt with loss and being left behind and looking for what was now missing.

I'm no armchair psychologist, but I would venture to guess it had to do with the break-in and robbery of last week.  Overall, except for being a prisoner in my own house when I'm here working during the day, I haven't felt the creepiness factor I thought I would of having someone in the house while I was here.  That feeling I predicted a week ago would come just has not.  Unless you count REM cycles.

But even the dreams aren't outwardly disturbing like the Panic Room.  Sure, Jodie Foster is way more manly than I am, but for most who entered that house, it did not end well for most of them.

What I hated about this dream, and I have had it with others, is that I know it is a dream.  I'm not so far into my sleep cycle that I'm conscious it is a dream.  I feel I'm pretty much awake, but unable to alter or exit the storyline in my head.

It's not only frustrating, but when I do wake up fully I'm out of sorts and either upset or mad.  Yes, I've woken up mad - normally at Denton - about something I dreamed that wasn't even real.

Unfortunately, this has occurred the last few nights and leaving me under-rested.  That is not good.  You don't want me tired and off my game.  It's never pretty.



Song by:  Grace Slick

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Air That I Breathe

So it begins.............again.

I loved my MacBook Pro.  If Rick Santorum would have let me marry it, I would have.  But we all know how he is and what he thinks of inter-species and inter-laptop marriage.

Oh yeah, and I'm already married.

I waited almost a week to replace the Mac.  On one level, I hoped the PO-lice would have found the guys, but let's face it, that sucker is gone.  Maybe in months, after it's been wiped clean and the cops finding someone "accepting" stolen property, it might be the only way we'll ever see that shit come back to us.

But I've moved on.  I had to, at least for my own well being.

Knowing I cannot (or at least, should not) use my work laptop for personal things I knew I had to replace.  Really it was more of a mental thing to not tread water on the robbery thing.  Truth be told, Denton had to push me a bit.

So I have a new Mac.  I opted to go with the MacBook Air.

It has its pros and cons, but the good clearly outweighs the bad.  The process is faster than my old MacBook.  It is half the weight.  It has a lot of gig for storage, but not as much as the MacBook Pro.  But at this point, I don't need 500G of space.

The con is really the lack of a DVD drive.  For 90% of what I do, I do not need one.  All I ever used it for was to burning music for my nephew, who is now at college.  Or from any music I checked out of the library and wanted to rip as my own.  For a little price, I bought an external one for those tasks and can keep the laptop at super light weight toting.

So, there is a certain thrill to starting out with a new machine.  Everything is so clean and uncluttered.  Of course, it's uncluttered because now you have to reload all those things you really need to operate.

Those 500 or so songs from iTunes, I had to get back.  Actually, it wasn't too much of a hassle......I think.  I'm not 100% sure I got all songs back.  How can one be totally sure?   I never kept track that closely.  I'm sure I'll find something someday I want and it is not there.

iTunes did give me two songs I did not purchase.   One I would have, but I know for a fact I got it from the early days of Napster (before they got sued).  So now I have two versions.  The other song, trust me, not only would I have not bought it had I ever heard it before, but I had never heard it before.   I'd say I got $1.29 off for my troubles, but it's not a $1.29 I ever would have spent.

The one thing I did not get back were the digital booklets for any of the album downloads.  iTunes says, and I quote:  After reviewing iTunes in the Cloud, it appears that the digital booklets are not covered in the redowloading. 

Fuck you.  That costs them NOTHING.  And, I already paid for it.

I also went through a similar process with amazon about the one album I purchased from their .mp3 store.  The first try I got 11 of the 13 songs.  Then I got 12.  Finally I got 13, but it was a lot of back and forth with their 'help' desk and we know how easy amazon is to contract regarding 'help.

Admittedly, what I don't have back-up for is some of my Limewire songs that were "shared" peer to peer.  I have them on my iPhone, so I need to find a "work around" to get them off and into my iTunes library.  And I'm sure some of my actual public library scores are missing so I'll have to make treks back there to get some of that back as well.  Bother.

Overall, I'm pretty frickin' happy with the Air.  I mean, not the parting with the money, but insurance is covering most of it.  Still....it hurts to hand over the credit card to purchase this all.....again.

See how happy I am?


Actually, I took this snap (and the title one) just to get into the People of the Apple Store, but it's not a very well kept up blog, so I'm not hopeful that I'll make an appearance.  There.  I said it.  Let the chips fall where they may.

With Apple's new OS, I'm also dealing with format changes.  The two finger scroll, as they are making much of this stuff to mirror the iPad.  I've been cursing a bit, but trying to get the hang of it.  I could go into the settings and change them all to what I am used to, but I'm trying to be adaptable.

So, I'm on the road to recovery.  At least it seems that way.



Song by: the Mavericks

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Music Monday


I see Julie & Buddy Miller as the country versions of Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen.  Great songwriters and Buddy is a great instrumentalist, but their voices are just not suited to my ears.

How was that for diplomatic?   And people say I have not tact.  pfffft.

Their stuff works better when interpreted by others.  A main person to do that has been Emmylou Harris.

One of the first, if not the first, iTunes song purchase I made was Sam Bush's cover of the Miller's "The River's Gonna Run".

I ran across the song, lord knows where, and I was drawn to it, probably more for Harris' part in the song, as she will and can make any song better.  Yet Bush has a good sense about him, vocally and with his mandolin.

I don't know I'd want an entire disk by him, but to be fair, I don't know I wouldn't.  I have not gone out of my way to see/hear what else he has to offer.  But I do like the song, and I like the duet.  Technically it's not exactly a harmony piece Harris sings, but a companion or almost separate part.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Drive

....drove me batty.

Drive, the movie, that is.

The commercial on tv makes it look more interesting than it is - at least to me.  Denton liked it a lot more than I did.

Since the ads started running like only three days ago, I assumed it was weeks before it would hit the cinema.  Nope.  It's out.   We saw it.

Clever trailer editing can make any movie look better than it is.

As Denton said afterwards, it could have been a Drexel (art house) movie if it were European.  Yes, it had a film noir quality about it, but I'm not sure it was quite there.

There is a definite economy of words, which is not always a bad thing.  A chick from Mad Men is in the movie for all of four minutes, has less than four lines and still gets fourth billing.  What's up with that?

Ron Perlman, man that guy is one ugly motherfucker.   Beauty & the Beast, indeed.

Ryan Gosling is the star and he's fine.  Possibly has about 10 more lines than Holly Hunter did in the Piano, and yeah, his toothpick should have had second billing.  Carey Mulligan was fine, but she comes across that the poor man's Michelle Williams.

Only Albert Brooks (yes!  Albert Brooks!!!!) is somewhat impressive in his role.  Maybe because I'm used to seeing him in more comedic parts that he himself writes and directs (save Broadcast News). Seeing his name at the beginning gave me pause, but he did a fine job.

The story, while eventually getting somewhere, goes nowhere fast.  Oh, the irony.  ...and it's a little fragmented.   And ugh, when there is violence, it is way too gratuitous and disgusting for me. I had to turn away from the screen several times.

Oddly,  there is not nearly as much 'driving' as the name or trailer would lead you to believe. Maybe it is a 'drive' of a different kind and I'm just too dense to see it.  Probably something too esoteric for a moron like me.

I did like the soundtrack.  It was a cross between 2011 and 1985 and it totally worked.  Not enough to turn the movie around for me, but it was a good take-away.

For those keeping track, this makes movie #8 out of 12.  We are a little behind, but I think we can make it up.  To be fair, I told Denton he owed me for seeing this movie - which should count for five.  Maybe Drive isn't that bad, but I'd rank it at the bottom of the list we have seen this year.

At least if I was going to see Ryan Gosling in something, I'd want it to be where he looks more like this:



Song by:  the Cars

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cool Places

The weather has changed.  Overnight, things went from Summer-like to mid-Autumn, not even the beginning of the season.  And of course, we are still a week away from Fall actually beginning.

I am not ready for this.

I love Autumn, but my body is not young anymore.  I am sure I have mentioned the inability to warm up during cold weather.  Anymore, it seems no matter what I do, I am chilled to the bone - and yesterday's temps in the 40s,  this old chassis just couldn't chug along enough to get into the 50s.   ....and that's still 20 degrees below where I want to be on any given day.

Turning on the heat in mid-September is just really unthinkable.

Well, not completely unthinkable, because I did think it.  I just didn't do it.

The thing is, I can work from anywhere, no that it's a home office situation.  I just need Denton to get a job where he does the same thing - though maybe not in the same home.  Working and living in the same space 24/7 might be too much for either of us.  Yes, a warmer climate would work for me - all these losers on House Hunters International seem to be able to telecommute from Belize.  Why can't I?

More seasonal weather is expected over the next week, but I didn't like this peak into later October.  Not one little bit.

I guess I'll just have to invest in a Slanket or two.   Sorry, I can't afford the Snuggie.



Song by:  Sparks w Jane Wiedlin

Friday, September 16, 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.



Aimee Mann's first record post 'til Tuesday, so technically it is her debut. Her solo one.  Whatever is not her best solo effort, but it's a more than solid start.  I like some of her other releases a little more, especially if/when you compare the debut to Bachelor No. 2 or Lost in Space.

Whatever has some really really good songs that are stand-outs ("Jacob Marley's Chain", "Put Me On Top", "Fifty Years After the Fair" and "Stupid Thing"). 

Mann has some very solid playing, writing and singing.  It also has good solid production by ex-'til Tuesday band member, Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, etc).

Overall, the disk just lacks a certain spark.  I think it might be solo inexperience, it might not.  I suppose there is a learning curve to being out on your own and taking more artistic responsibility than being part of a group.

As Mann recordings go, it is the one I come back to least.  In reality, I've pulled the best tunes and placed them on my iPod and those are the ones I listen to.  The rest, while ok, are more forgettable, or at the very least, don't grab me. 

Those other disks I mention - and any of her others - are stronger by comparison.  Still, Whatever is stronger than most releases of its time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Barrel of a Gun

I thought I should clear something up a bit from yesterday's post.

I have no intention of getting a gun.  Denton has no intention of us getting a gun.

Like the post said, it was a hair-trigger (yes, a pun) reaction. It was fleeting thought and never serious.  I said I'm not a gun person - and I'm not.  We're not.  No way would we really want one in our house.  I don't believe any good can come from that.

And to react to 'Anonymous''s comment yesterday,  I won't be getting a 'dong' either.

I have one.  It's a really big nice one too, though no doubt it could scare off one or two people, even a burglar.  And while I do believe a 'dong' will love me more than a gun, but it will only be for a few years and then the interest just wanes.  It's nature.

I met with another police officer yesterday who did another once-around of the house and to check on the neighborhood in general.  I suppose my call made some kind of impact - I don't know if it will be long term, but right now I will take what I can get.

And I am still working with the insurance company.  ...and plotting my next Apple move.

In some regards, I'd like to get an iPad instead of a MacBook, but I don't think I can really do the blog thing that easily or effective on an iPad.  I think I can do some video but I'm not sure how much.  Who out there knows these things?   Are people syncing their iPhone to their iPad?

Even though Denton has had one, I can count on one hand the number of minutes I've used one, so I know very little about.   So I have some time to figure it out, what I want, what I can do on it.  The plus for the iPad only is, I can take it with me on business trips and it won't get stolen - at least from our house.

It's the small victories.



Song by:  Depeche Mode

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stolen

Do you know how I have been lamenting that there was nothing to write about?   Well.....be careful what you wish for, or so they say.

I didn't bother mentioning it in my 12 of 12 yesterday, but none of that post was done on my MacBook.  Why, you ask?

Oh, because during the daylight hours, while I was working at home, someone came into the house and stole two MacBooks, an iPad and a GPS.  THAT is why.

It was this weird confluence of events.  A mid-afternoon power outage (that ended up lasting almost 12 hours) and someone walking into the house, ground and second floor, all while I was in my office, which is above the garage. Connected to the house, yet separated at the same time.

Totally ballsy that they got through the locked front door, then into another door (unlocked) and free to roam the house.

The "joke" is, I didn't even notice.  I went about my day, and when the power and internet went out, I was kind of stymied doing work. I did what I could in the office and then I went out to the end of the drive and talked to neighbors.  With the doors locked, I sat outside, as it was lighter out, than in. 

Denton came home he wanted to look up why the power might be out but his iPad wasn't where he normally leaves it.  I tell him to just use his MacBook.  It's not there either.  I look for mine and it too is gone. 

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.  x 100.

It's like losing my iPhone all over, but billion times worse, and no, that is not hyperbole.  There is nothing worse than hyperbole!!!!   (oh hey, I still have a sliver of a sense of humour, who knew?)

I was figuratively sick to my stomach over all of this.  And not for the immediate reason you'd think.  It wasn't that someone was creeping around the house while I was there.  It was that I had somehow failed.

Were the outside doors truly locked?  Did I forget to do to something?  Why weren't the devices hid more effectively? What could/should I have done differently?  Because now, it wasn't just my stuff, it was Denton's stuff too.

Not only that, we all know it's not about 'stuff'.  It's about the loss of security and feeling safe in your home and that has been violated. Yeah, the thought process of what if someone had been hurt and thankfully no one was, but that wasn't it...........it will be, but I haven't started down that path yet. I'd have felt horrible if something had happened to Sophie.

For a few hours, I thought they stole my wallet too.  I realized this after we did our bad Scooby-Doo bit. 

Sitting there, Denton thought 'do we think they are still in the house?' , because at some point I did lock the inner door.  So off we went with Coleman lanterns in hand like Velma and Alan (you decide which one is which) - and a wrought iron bar - announcing ourselves and whipping open closets for "surprise" when clearly the only one's who'd be surprised is us. 

As we were each on the phone furiously cancelling my credit and bank cards and fuming over having to stand in the DMV line, the perfect end to the day:  the cat ralphing right there in the kitchen and then loud knocking on our door at 22:00 - in the pitch black.

It was the cops.  Police had been called.  Police arrived and were nice (one was cute....so, there's that), and very helpful.   Hint:  write down your serial numbers of all your electronics - don't store them electronically - because if they find stolen stuff and they don't have those numbers, you don't get those items back.  Oddly enough, we had the numbers for the report..

After assessing that no prints could probaby be taken, not only by what might have been touched, we went through everything to see what was missing, effectively wiping out any useable fingerprints.

I hate to say it, but one thing went silently through my mind:  we should get a gun. 

I've always been a big non-believer in firearms. I know it was a not-so-fleeting thought and a reactionary one. And then out of Denton's mouth, he said something similar.  At least mine was in my head, but I immediately felt better for thinking it. 

Yesterday, in our email group, when I mentioned a dog or a gun, Morty mentioned the gun would be less messy, that is until I used the gun.   True.

But the blood splatter is only one clean up.  The dog barfs, sheds, poops and pees daily.  And I don't have to walk the gun.  The reality is, I'd have to be packin' and come across the perp (yes, I'm using Law & Order lingo) for that gun thing to work.   ....and it's a five day waiting period and I'M MAD NOW!!!!

So I have yesterday I emailed all neighbors (I head that list) to let them know to be vigilant.  Naturally, a few stepped up to say the same thing happened to them over the last week, but never bothered to say anything.  UGH!  Then I spoke with the police again and our insurance agent, so all those wheels are in gear. 

And to add insult to injury, I can't go to iTunes today to purchase Blondie's new release.  That will have to wait until we get clearance (Clarence) from the insurance company and then make a trip up to Apple to make one heck of a purchase that should pay their mortgage for next month. 

So, we are safe.  I can't say we are sound, because sleep did not come Monday night and doubtful it will tonite.  Each sound has my ears pricked up.  I snap at little things and it's only day one.  I still have like 4.5 more stages to get through until acceptance.  As if!

There. I have something to blog about.  Happy???                 I'm not.




Song by:  Dashboard Confessional

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 19th 12 of 12

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.

08:00.  On way to morning walk.  Our wheelbarrow.  I suppose it needs to be put away somewhere else.
08:05. Neighbors street-side garden. They have beautiful gardens, so much so that they are on the Garden Tour this upcoming weekend.
08:10. New construction in the 'hood.  And the house is going to be LEED certified.  The wall forms are styrofoam with concrete between them.
08:15. Neighbor's uninviting entrance to their house. Thorns. I love it.
13:30. Lunch.  Clementine season seems early, but they are tasting great.

13:45.  Bare bulb. Light outside my office.  It looks grim, no?  We're fixing that.

16:00.  Electricity went off, so I had a hard time doing actual work.  This is a heap of clothes we are donating after clening out our closets. I bagged them all up.
 
 17:00.  Windchimes and light.  Just off our back porch.

 17:05.  Trees, Clouds. Sky.  Still no storms. No known reason for power outage.

19:15.  Just sitting outside enjoying the daylight.  It was too dark inside to sit, so thought I'd enjoy natural light.

 19:17.  Self portrait #1887.  Against a setting sun.

21.30.  Life by a Coleman lantern.   Power ended up coming on at 02:42 today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Music Monday

There isn't really a website for Jenny & Johnny.

Jenny, is Jenny Lewis of solo work "fame" and a former member of the now defunct Rilo Kiley.  I was not a fan of the band, and her solo work is spotty at best.

She paired with Jonathan Rice from, while not obscurity, he was less of a household name than she.......and Lewis isn't really in the mainstream of anything.

But their pairing had one of her best outings for sure.  I still don't or can't sit through the disk start to finish, but I do like a lot of the songs on I'm Having Fun Now.

One of those is "Animal".

While there is no "official" video for the song, this is a live performance backstage somewhere in Europe.

As stripped down as you think this might be, it's not too far off what you get on the album.  I like the rawness of it, but Rice's almost Asperger's like performance is a little unnerving.  Pffffft.....artists.

Sorry - the embedding feature does not seem to be working today.  I'll link to it here and see if I can fix the problem.  Sorry for inconvenience.


UPDATE (a week later): Oh, I figured it all out. Some HTML issues from paste to publish.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Tower of Learning

Ten years.

It may as well ten minutes.  Or 100 years.  Time is stagnant. Time flies. 

Everything changed.  Somethings changed.  Nothing changed.

I was lucky enough to be in, and work beneath, the towers.  I was humbled enough to see what was left three weeks after that day.  I was enthralled at seeing the beams of light months later.  I get excited when my friend/ex-coworker John, sends me a picture a month from his office in the World Financial Center, which overlooks the building and memorial site, to show the progress.

As change goes, sure there are the little things we get annoyed at like full-body scans at airports, carry fewer liquids and well.....you know really not tons else, especially when you consider had those been in place in 2001, some folks might not have made it through Logan, National and Newark and made it onto those planes (seriously, you should see what never gets caught).  I have to remember that when I have to get a pat down and take off my belt.

And yeah, when buying a house, for some reason I need to show my passport and SSN card to secure financing.  The G-men don't want money laundering by buying unique fixer-uppers, I guess.

What has changed is the political landscape. National and International. All of it fairly obvious and divisive.  The littlest issues have become ugly, territorial and downright mean.  They probably always were, but no one even attempts to hide them much anymore.  It's quite sad.  The first ones to say to not politicize 9/11 are always the first one to do so. Holier than thou, and full of shit.

It is tough to watch all the tv specials about that day.  There are tons of them, most of them rehashes and not very good at that.  Then of course, some are just painful.  There is only so much of that one can take in without being overwhelmed, and it don't take much.

I am a reader of events like this.  I can't help it.  I've talked about these things before. Most of these articles, books and tv specials try to be respectful while hyping things that should not be hyped.  The days leading up to each anniversary is overkill. It just is.  There are like three exceptions that I feel should be pointed out.


Ric Burns' Center of the World.  It became part 8 of an already released 7 part PBS series on New York that aired about the time of 9/11.  With new footage, it was released after the DVD release.  One entire episode dedicated to two buildings.  From design to demise, it is quite a moving few hours.  It can be purchased without the other seven disks.

9/11.  Shown shortly after the events, it was two French filmmakers who happened to be doing a documentary on a fire station - which ended up being the first rescue unit after the first plane hit.  No other film is so inside the action and shows such heartache, hope, despair and downright gut wrenching video and emotion.  It is a very very difficult film to watch and yet they do it so well.  Especially considering that was not what they set out to create.

102 Minutes.  You know how the story goes.  You know how the story ends.  And yet two New York Times writers take you from the time the first plane hitting to the second tower falling - and I was on the fucking edge of my seat the entire time.  That is how good of a job they did chronicling that time frame.  A hard read, and yet one I'd highly suggest.

And yes, most of these take into account the people who survived or the people who were documented on the way out of the buildings who did not.  Everyone talks mostly about the rescue workers.  I feel for them - I do.  But I focus on the ones that no one talks about.  The ones on the planes (not necessarily Flight 93).  I think about the people on the floors who never had a chance and probably knew nothing of what happened.  I think about the people above the impact zones, who had no chance and did know.

I think of Kit Faragher, whom I knew in grade school, with who was in the WTC for a day meeting on one of the floors above the impact zone.

It's important not to forget, but I don't want to linger, which seems to be the easy thing to do.

These days, I'd much rather see/hear stories of moving forward.  I like the ones about designing and building of the memorial.  I love the story about the lone tree saved from the WTC site.  I'd rather play with the interactive map with multiple 360 degree cameras that show the entire site along with it's renaissance and parts of lower Manhattan (scroll down  to find the link if you choose).



....and I like the newer logo.


Writing on a decade gone by was harder than I imagined.  Not in emotion, but in focus.  Where does one start or stop? 

The tv doesn't allow you to not watch - like it was 10 years ago.  You have to force yourself to stop or you just don't.  Or can't.

I would like to think in those days after the attacks, we would have pulled together as a nation.  That first month was great - and it just fell apart.  We are more politically and religiously intolerant. We hate more easily.  At least it seems to me.  And that came quickly after.  And 10 years in history is a blip.  A nanosecond.  Does the aftermath mean anything - in the big picture, that is?

I would venture to guess 'yes', but by the time that is decided, I'll be long gone.  Much like the towers.



Song by: Rufus Wainwright

Saturday, September 10, 2011

(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear

I'm going on record to say I know this is wrong.

Wrong to take the picture.  Wrong to post it.  But it's not like I drew the thing.


...and it's a little sad when your safety pin is bigger than your schwing-schwong.  

Yes, I really am struggling with things to post.




Song by:  Elvis Presley

Friday, September 09, 2011

Stuff

It seems I have this post more and more:  squat to write about.

Maybe this doing a blog entry a day is not working, though I will commit until year 3 ends.  Becky gave me a nice review to one of her friends while they ate brunch in Columbus.  It was in regards to that I write daily and usually not short posts.

That doesn't mean they have any good content.

But I have not much going on of interest that involves me.  I know, right?

I scour the papers - ok, the on-line ones - to find interesting stories to comment on, but there is little there to hold my attention, let alone to expound upon it for your amusement.

There's Obama.  I guess.

I'm totally disappointed in him.  I held out longer than most on his term, but I'm kind of done.  While I didn't see the speech yesterday, I was pissed he let Boehner dictate when he could talk.  And how does that work exactly?  Obama addresses Congress, not the House.  Last I checked John Boehner is not Speaker of the Congress.

If Obama had a backbone, he should have said, "I'm doing an address, I'll do it from the White House, if anyone in Congress wants to watch it, they can turn on the fucking TV to do it."

But no.  He caved.  As he has caved on so many thing, so many other times and has come so far to the middle, he's ones of the least conservative Republicans in DC, but a Republican nonetheless. 

Yeah, I don't doubt I'll vote for him, because Rick Perry scares the ever-loving shit out of me.  And when will someone bother to point out that governors of Texas have almost zero power and responsibility?  It is not governed like other states.

I hate to say it, Romney might be the least scary one of the GOP bunch.  I mean, Bachmann - are you kidding?

Yeah, so Obama might have my vote unless a good third party candidate comes in.  I'll wait to see. But it will be like me voting for Kerry because I hated Bush.  It's not that I wanted Kerry either.

And I'll say it, that tactic last night of the speech and announcing a potential terrorist threat was so fucking GWB league (get it?  Bush league??). 

So, I guess I have something to write about, but I'm not happy about it.  Not a bit. Not one little bit.




Song by:  Alex Chilton

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Saved by Zero

I have mentioned before that way back in 7th grade I saw the double bill of Young Frankenstein and Frankenstein - in that order - with my oldest sister.

It made the latter movie unintentionally hilarious.  Well, I'm guessing to the people who put on the films - in that order - it was not so unintentional.  They probably knew they had a good thing going, for the people who go it,  and I'm guessing some of the people who showed up did not get it.  Even at that age, I knew where they were coming from.

So what do four fortysomethings and one fiftysomething do on a hot football Saturday, in Columbus, Ohio?  Why - we stay in and watch movies on TMC.

Technically, we watched a movie from Morty's DVR, but he had saved it from TMC, thanks to a co-worker of his.

Becky wanted me to watch it, and as soon as Zero Hour started, in black & white, I go "I'm out".

Ugh, a Canadian b&w war movie.  ...and a horribly named one at that.  I mean, a Canadian war movie?  Did they have big Canadian wars??  Do they even have a Canadian air force?

Yet Becca kept urging me to pay attention to the movie and not my iPhone. She would

I think it was two minutes in before I was completely hooked.   ....and it is not that the movie was particularly good.  The only thing I had seen Dana Andrews "star" in was Forbidden Planet.

Yes, we totally MST3K'd this movie, and normally, we as a group, do that with all movies.  But it was clear someone else had too.

None of you will heed my "warning", but I BEG of you not to IMDB or Gooooogle search anything on the movie.  Just do me a favour.  Pretty please?  It's rare in this day and age of the internets that you get such an unexpected treat.

Go out and rent or Netflix Airplane! (yes, Airplane!) and Zero Hour.  And then watch them back to back.  In that order.   I promise you will not be disappointed.

It is just my little present to you. 




Song by:  the Fixx

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Site of the Month

This one is really brought to you from my friend, David G.

Have you heard of Buffalax style video?  Yeah, me neither, but I'm not was worldly as Mr. G.  Who is?
Anyhoo.....apparently it is taking foreign videos and trying to Anglicize them.....to a degree.

Someone takes the foreign word and tries to replace it with what sounds like an English equivalent.  Not a translation.  Nooooo......not even close.

David did the work for me.  He looked any number of videos and said this was the best one:  So Lumpy in My Blue Jeans.

To his credit, I did watch a number of others myself and perhaps it is the power of his suggestion, but I agree that Lumpy is the best of the best.  ....of what few I actually sat all the way through.

After you watch the video, or to to the site, you can see others in the same category.  It's a decent time waster, if not a little racist.

For now, I'll just embed Lumpy right here for all of you.


So Lumpy In My Blue Jeans - with Fake Subtitles ( Buffalax Style ) from electricdonkey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I Want a Cure

I totally forgot to mention that Morty did his third bike ride for curing cancer.

Pelotonia is a fundraiser from Ohio State University's James Cancer Center that gives 100% of it's proceeds to helping cure cancer.

There are a number of rides on can do in length of time and distance, but Morty does the longest:  two days and about 160 miles.  I'm always impressed by his high endurance races, be it marathon, triathlon or Iron Man.  I'm even more impressed when he does it for charity.

Pelotonia took place a few weeks ago and raised almost $9.4MM.  Not too shabby.

Morty's note after the fact had some great and touching anecdotes of this two days.  He did the ride for any number of people he knows who has or has had cancer.  Myself included.

I donate because it is the right thing to do and I know I couldn't make that ride.  I donate because I believe in Morty and what he is doing.  I donate because I was treated at the facility that would eventually become the James. Trifecta!!!!

Like Morty, I have known so many people who have had the big C over the years and it can be devastating.  But I love that there is hope.

There used to be a time that anyone you heard who had it eventually lost their battle.  I am happy to say that is no longer the case.

My father, three of my sisters and myself - I know! Right? - all survived their bouts.  Some of us had more severe forms or prognosis than the others.  I don't knock their having to deal with cancerous moles and skin that needed to be removed, I have seen that deteriorate to horrible things.

But I am ok to report that some of us come through with success - even if it is a harder road.  It makes us who we are and potentially gives hope to others.   I say this specifically for a blogger friend who is going through her own challenge as we speak.  She is the kind of person who will conquer.

So - is there a cure?  For some forms of the disease and in some people, sure.  That might not seem like a lot, but it is all we have.  And it is more than we had even 20 years ago.

And with people like Morty, hopefully in the near future, even more success.  So I wanted to publicaly thank Morty and all his peeps for their participation in all of this. They didn't save my life, but someone before them did and they will do it for someone else. 



Song by:  Rosanne Cash

Monday, September 05, 2011

My Music Monday

Yes, it is Labor Day. And yes it is Monday.

I do not have a good enough of a Labor Day story or anecdote to push-off a My Music Monday. Hell, I didn't even try to eke out a themed entry to include something regarding work.

But the end of last week, I updated my car iPod (read: decommissioned iPod when I got my iPhone that now resides in my car) and while I delete some music I should have never had on there in the first place, I added some new stuff.

However, as I drove to Columbus for a few hours on Saturday, I started hearing some archived songs that I made a mental list of having to post here. The joke is - I now remember two of them. Damned shuffle and my short-term memory.

At least I am giving you one of the two.

Robert Palmer has a great great song - well a number of them - but all the good ones are before he did the schlock-fest of "Addicted to Love" and "Simply Irresistible". Don't even get me started on the Power Station.

No, I'm going back to 1980 with his Clues album. with "Johnny and Mary".

Recorded with what is I'm thinking only five notes, "Johnny and Mary" truly works.  While I clearly enjoy the song, I really like the 2:47 mark, when Palmer uses all five notes in a row!!!  I know it sounds weird to most all, but it has always struck a 'chord' (HA!) with me.  And while the song is 31 years old {yikes}, it doesn't seem dated - at least not to me.

The video is totally dated, as all 1980s videos are. It's a little Shields & Yarnell-y.  Again, I try to make the post about the song and not the video and just have to use video as the vessel for the tune.

I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Little Too Late

....I'm getting off to a late start this morning.  I swear it has nothing to do with the eight beers or so I had last night.  Honest.

As much fun as I'm having I am having in Columbus, there isn't anything significant to write about.

We are having a fun time just hanging out, yakking and watching football and a movie.  Yes, A movie.  One.  Over and over.  Ok, twice.

I absolutely have to write about the movie, but not yet. Not yet.  It was out of the world incredible, but not for acting, story, sets, score or costumes.  I know, you're completely intrigued by now, aren't you?

We really didn't do anything, which was fine.  It was hot hot hot in all of Ohio, like Africa hot.  So we stayed in the house with air conditioning.   Morty and I ventured out for food because we are food-driven.

We did watch football between the movie.  Of course, we watched the Ohio State game, but c'mon, it was against Akron, there wasn't really a chance of losing.  But on the way down to Columbus (ugh, two dozen cops at least),  I looked in the rearview mirror with my Woody hat and the glasses I had chosen to wear this weekend - and yikes - I was looking too Woody Hayes-ish.  I'd say, before my time, but perhaps not.  Not that looking like Woody was ever in my plan. 




Song by: Pat Benatar

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Drive South

Granted, it is only 2+ hours south, but hey, it is still south.

...and it might be more than 2+ hours.  Dammit if the invited trip down to see "the gang" isn't also THE Ohio State University's home opener.

So with the throngs of those guys heading down the same freeway for the game or just getting away for the long holiday weekend. 

It might be safe to say that Blobby won't be going this normal 75-80 mph down I-71. 

I do not think we have any true plans.  Food.  Alcohol. Blogging.  and probably more Alcohol.  ...and movie quotes. 

Unfortunately, I am going solo.  Denton is not joining me.  I wish he were, but he has a work thing, so we will be separated for a few days.  Bummer.

But I will totally have a nice time with these guys, and there will be writing, and perhaps video on the weekend.  Possibly a little something extra,  a project that Becca is working on.  I mean, I'd link her, but her blog is DOA!  Someone get the paddles........STAT.



Song by:  John Hiatt

Friday, September 02, 2011

Listen to Me

I'm still treading water, as I have nothing to really say or write about.  Nothing.

That's ok, it's why YouTube was created, right?   It's somewhat funny and a lot true. 





Song by:  the Hollies

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September Song

My lord - how did it become September all of the sudden?  Where did the time go?  Where did the summer go?

Technically, I know summer does not end for another 20 days or so, but......you know how it goes.

I can't say we didn't get in the summer vacation (by the hair of our chinny chin chin) so it wasn't a total loss.  Everything else seemed to be work and yard work.

I'm not complaining.  Twice, I got to see great, long-time friends, which is first since not living in the same town. We have a third and potential fourth rendezvous before the end of October.  Totally unprecedented.

August came and went without movie #8, so we'll have to double-up since I missed Buck , which should have been great, and Cowboys & Aliens, which got excessively tepid reviews. Vacation and work travel kind of got in the way of movie day. 

As it stands now, September might be my least frequent travel month of 2011.  The jury is still out, but I remain hopeful to stay closer to home and spend time with the family and do stuff with friends, maybe even take in two movies to catch up.

You may have guessed by now, that I have little to write about, and possibly that I went out and hoisted a few too many with two friends.   Yes, I might be at home more often this month.  I hope my liver can take it.

 

Song by:  Lindsey Buckingham