Friday, August 31, 2012

Telling Me Lies

I have to be honest, I can't stomach to watch the Republican convention even to mock it. I'm not sure I'll be able to watch the Democratic one either. I'm not sure there's nothing new under the sun there.

Remember when the conventions at least used to have surprises?  I mean, they used to announce the running mate AT the convention. There might even be a question who the nominee would be - and not basically anointed seven months ago.

Not for nothing, but Paul Ryan got accolades from the lemmings who will vote for him even if he murdered triplets live on national television. That is to be expected, as sad as that is.

But I have been loving some, but not all, of the news organizations calling him out for his blatant lies during his speech. TPM (whomever they are),  LeftAction, Politiscoop, ThinkProgress - you know all those mainstream media places that the likes of Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin will rally against.

BUT - even Fox called it 'deceiving'.

Don't get a hard-on yet, a lesser buried story on Fox is much nicer about the 'fact checking'.

I was hoping Soledad O'Brien would kind of rip into this, but any CNN story on the distorted truth seems to be so under the radar I couldn't find one. I didn't even try MSNBC.

Hell, I only saw two pictures of Romney having a large donor (in money, not fat) reception on a boat......flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.  Seriously, you can't make this shit up.

The point, I suppose, is for all the cries from the Palins, Malkins, Coulters, Roves etc of the world about the 'lamestream' media, it's not there.  It. Is. Not. There.

I know it is too much to ask that this line of thought goes away, as those lemmings are in need of something/anything to try to differentiate the candidates or to make them feel good about the choice that has been thrust upon them.

In reality, these voters / viewers are just too stupid to see through the veil of fibs. Honestly, I don't understand it.

My thoughts on the untruths are: these guys (and by that, I mean most politicians) are sending up test balloons to see what, and how much, they can get away with; how far they can stretch the truth to further their agenda - all the way up to stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction' that were as fictional as Geppetto himself

Song by: Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris & Dolly Parton

Thursday, August 30, 2012

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.

I'm running out of interesting debuts and even though that was a 2011 goal, I've kind of kept it in 2012. I suppose they don't have to be interesting - or even good. It's just throwing it out there and seeing what it is. 

Pat Benatar's debut, In the Heat of the Night was actually pretty strong - kind of.

I mean 'kind of' because technically having two charted singles - "Heartbreaker" and the excellent "We Live For Love" - it had material that is so familiar to me that I wasn't sure what was a radio hit and what wasn't.

Benatar did a more than admiral job with John Cougar's (yes, he was still 'Cougar' back then) "I Need a Lover". Actually, I might like her version than his.  And I like ""Rated X", No You Don't" and the title track.

My friend Jon will now and again throw out a reference to "My Clone Sleeps Alone"  - I only find that song ok. Still the album is pretty good debut - or even just a regular release.

Benatar clearly went on to a slew of hits, some better than others and in later years put out some great non-commercial music. It has been about 10 years since she's put out any original material - and that's a shame, because of all the overplayed radio success she had, the woman still has a powerful voice and some good skills at picking music.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


You may or may not have watched my Cedar Point video yesterday.  But if not - why not?  C'mon people, I"m not filming, editing and posting these for my health!

Anyhoo - in that video you might have seen me sitting for my pastel portrait.

Normally it is not something I'd do, but compare and contrast got the better of me.

On one of our my first trips to Cedar Point, which would have been right before kindergarten (ugh), my parents had a pastel drawing done at that time. So figure I was about 5 - right?

Fast forward (though not very fast) 44 years and here I am having it done again.  I mean, why not?

From a 12 of 12 back in 2010 (?) you may have remembered seeing my 5 yo chalk-self. It was a funny-ish story.

Shortly after having it done, we moved houses and cities. About 10 years later, the owners of our old house found the portrait had fallen behind a bookcase and mailed it to my parents. 20 years after that, I got it framed.

Oh, I was also having a real pissy time at Cedar Point, apparently.  Cranky Blobby.

There is a problem I see with the portraits that I didn't really think existed - my rugby ball sized head. For years I tried to justify seeing it in that picture as some talentless Cedar Point drawing hack who is now no doubt working at Payless Shoes.

But now 44 years later, another artist and the same subject, the truth is out there.......

As 710 watched him do the rendering, he thought the black and white portion was just great and wanted him to stop at that. Then he chuckled as the black beard he painted started to get speckled with white.

Neither version captures my eyebrows very well. Let's face it - they are a defining feature of my mug. ...and my nose has gotten bigger - no surprise.

I guess I could have made a pouty face or had him draw a blue and green striped shirt on the new one for a true comparison......but I wasn't that invested.

Can't wait to see what the next version looks like in 44 years.

Song by:  Rosanne Cash

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Usually when I do a vlog, it's just the video, no text.  Today is different, at least slightly.

710 and I went to Cedar Point this last weekend, alone, by ourselves!

I wasn't planning on videoing a thing until I'd say we were halfway through our day and then I started to see if I could formulate a vlog post.  But it turns out, without going back to replicate a number of things - which I was not willing to do - there wasn't a lot of cohesion to the video that I did shoot.

So now, you get some set-up, some context (but only some) and then of course, the video.

This was the first time in almost 20 years where we haven't gone to CP without kids - nieces and nephews. And while I adore them, they're too timid, too short, or too impatient to ride the adult coasters. So we've missed out on a lot since then.

This time, it was just us.

It worked well - and it didn't.

Our first two coasters were a mistake. The Mantis is a stand-up coaster that warned you to take out earrings. Not an issue, but I ended up seeing why. They pull over security rack banged your head and ears so fucking hard on the ride it was no fun at all. None.

The next ride, the Mean Streak, is one of, if not the, tallest, fastest wooden coasters in the U.S.  3:10 minutes is a long time in coaster rides - and it only had a 10 minute wait. But it came at a price. 1:20 minutes the pain in my back was so jarring, I was cringing ahead of time thinking of each hill and turn. Seriously, on that pain chart they give at the doc's office, it was easily a 9. I was on the verge of tears.

When getting off, we thought we had made a mistake coming and that maybe we were too old for this.

But 710 talked me into going on the RuPaul Top Thrill Dragster!  It takes off at 120 mph (not kidding) and shoots you up 400 ft and over one curve and then 400 ft down. The ride takes 17 seconds.   We've seen it not be able to make it over the top and come back down - backwards.  Yikes. Which is why I never wanted to go on it.

I was cursing 710 on the 45 minute wait, but I was wrong. The ride was SO worth it.  And you gotta figure, you can do almost anything for 17 seconds (though my iphone timed it at 23.4 seconds!).

After that it was onto the Magnum (which you see me - avec hair - on in 1990?). And revel in it folks - that's 710 in the front right.

You can't really take pics on coasters these days.  They're too fast and oh, my iPhone is considerably more expensive than a disposable camera.  ...but you see me with hair.  ...and thin.

The Magnum is still a blast - and Millenium Force is over the top incredible (no sides to the car and no steps down the incline if you ever got stuck - oh and 310 ft down!, but it's the second hill that is the fun one). It is totally worth a 75 minute wait.

So yeah, we ended up having fun - though for two times now, the Maverick (yes, most of the coasters start with 'M') has been so backed-up we couldn't get on. 12 seats per car - are you kidding me?  Oh, and it broke down as we  and waited and waited.  We finally gave up.

So - that's some of the background.  None of the video is in any kind of order, but it's just meant to be fun - that's all.

Song by:  Everything but the Girl

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Music Monday

Doing a My Music Monday segment with a video can be just as tricky as doing one without.

Sometimes the video, while not overwhelm the song, distracts from it. But blogs are visual and often an embedded audio player doesn't strike a reader's fancy.

The video for this week's selection, the National's "Conversation 16" is such a video - distracting.

While many videos have zilch to do with an actual song, this one falls in that category. And that's a shame, because "Conversation 16' is such a great song (my opinion, of course) that you really should listen to it - possibly more than a few times.

Matt Beringer's lyrics are dark, yet funny - intriguing, yet nonsense. But the vocal arrangement / phrasing is great (my opinion, of course) as is the drumming.

I guess the video is the same way, mostly the no sense of it, with John Slattery from Mad Men and that chick from the Daily Show and now on 30 Rock (she kind of annoys me on everything she does).

If you're not taken with the vid, just listen to the song - possibly more than a few times.

Personally, I think the song on some kind of radio should have gotten more airplay and it's been 2+ years since a new disk from these guys (though they have new songs out here and there on other projects), it's fun to revisit some of their better tunes.

This is one of them.  In my opinion, of course.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Change is on the Way

It started earlier this month, after weeks of 90+ degrees, it just dropped to 70s and even sometimes 50s at night.

Now, while walking Petey yesterday, I saw this. A tree that is changing colours already.

Granted, it is only one tree, at least on the walk we did, but it is the sign of things to come.

Of course I know this. Cyclical it is, as the Earth revolves around that gaseous ball of hot plasma and hydrogen.

Walks in the morning are no longer in the light. It's light by the time we're done, just not when we start. {sigh}

But I'm enjoying it as it comes. What are the alternatives?

I'll save my hate and resentment for Winter.

Song by:  Shawn Colvin

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Count on Me

I got nothing, and that's ok.  There are times when these things happen - it cannot be helped.

There's only so much one can talk about "legitimate rape", the Empire State Bldg, the RNC convention, Lance Armstrong. Prince Harry's royal scepter or hurricane Issac.

Unfortunately, there was much bigger news that almost went unnoticed:  the voice of the Count has died.

Since I had a younger sister, I had exposure to Sesame Street, since I might have been a little bit before its time.

Personally, I"m a Grover man, but oh how my mother loved the Count. I'll assume she was attracted to his Transylvanian accent. Or maybe his ability to count to 10.

I'm not sure who is going to break the news to her. Doubtful this is a story the Cleveland paper will pick up.  Oh - maybe they will.

As sad as the news is, it still beats having to hear about Mitt doing or saying anything at all.

Hopefully tomorrow's entry will be better......but it's one of those weekends we might just be skating by.

Song by: Jefferson Starship

Friday, August 24, 2012

Over & Over

Ever since we've gotten Petey (though he sometimes just gets called Pete or Peter), as I am apt to do, my OCD kicks in and I pull back a weird cultural reference that I've seen once in my life and then, in my head, run it into the ground.

I'm like a real life version of Peter Griffin, who just bases his whole life on the set-up for a reference that has nothing to do with the story.


If you've ever seen Parks and Recreation, "Tom" had this line where he said the 'puppy' a few times and for the last two months, I've been trying to replicate it - without success.

Don't ask me why, but I never thought to use YouTube just to hear him say it - outside of my head.

Problem solved.

Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fighting Talk

I don't much get into the blogging business of marriage equality - even though I am married to a man and our union is not recognized in our own state.

It's not that I do not care about the subject - I do,  I just assume others in the blogosphere can articulate some of the points better than I.  Also, I get my panties in a wad listening to the opposition prattle on with their lame arguments about the bible, man/woman, two parents per child rationale. 

Dan Savage (does he need an introduction here?) was challenged to a debate of ideas by Brian Brown from the National Organization of Marriage. It happened earlier this month at Dan Savage's house and moderated by a New York Times staffer - who happens to be Jewish and married.  While that last part might not seem important - it kind of is, as clearly Savage and Brown get into Old and New Testament discussions. 

While no one was declared a "winner", these are two folks who wouldn't accept that the other "won" anything. In a way, except for actually sitting down together, face to face, there was never going to be a victor. 

I do applaud both of them for sitting down together. Savage I could always see doing that, but Brown, not so much. 

In my mind, Savage wins, but you knew that.

I have a skewed view of the subject to begin with. But if you can sit through the hour (yes, an hour for you folks with short attention spans!) there are some good moments to watch - almost all of them Savage. 

Dan brings some logic to the debate as opposed to Brown to more or less just says "you're wrong" without some of the back-up that Savage brings to the table. Brown reverts mostly to a few tried and true arguments that have worked for his organization for so long. 

The first part, each has 10 minutes and it is a little tiring. Savage's five minute rebuttal is not bad, but you can see where Brown will take it on his five minutes...and he does. 

Around the 40-41 minute mark, you can actually see Brown start to froth at the mouth. Give the man a glass of water already. 

I took issue with the moderator at one point joining in on the "debate" but clearly taking Savage's side. Not that I'm not for that, but someone will cry "foul" over a non-neutral moderator. 

And while Savage is a smart man, well researched, well spoken, he had to know how Brown would react to the "facts" presented and did nothing to shut it down before Brown had a chance to respond. Brown, clearly cherry-picks certain things for facts and responses  - and as you might imagine, it all goes to crap with no one respecting the time allotted for the other.....and then it just becomes the same Hardball segments they are  on in separate studios talking over each other. 

....another fault of the moderator. 

I was hoping for a trouncing where something was made clear to the limited audience.  As of this writing, less than 400 people have viewed and it is only on YouTube.  But since there is a corresponding article on the NYT website, I expect that number to jump up somewhat. 

No one is changing anyone else's mind with this debate. The choirs have been preached to long ago.

Which I guess goes to this question:  has any public debate ever really changed your mind or opinion on something?

I can't think of once where that has happened with me. 

Song by: Everything but the Girl

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Midnight at the Oasis

Back in July, when having dinner with Mike, Peter and 710, Peter asked Mike and myself a question regarding our respective blogs:  which was our most popular post.

Mind you - that is not determined by us the writer, but by you, the reader.

I'm sure Mike gave an answer, but I probably wasn't listening to him. He tends to go on and on.  I'm sure my mind wandered to some shopping list I was making in my head.  :-)

But immediately, I knew of mine.....though there is some room for error on the answer.  I'll start with those parameters before getting to my response.

With my starting on Blogger, then to WordPress and back to Blogger, I clearly lost some counts of how many hits I've had, let alone by individual post. Then I was in and out of Google Analytics and even Statcounter, so there is no one counting device that tracked all my hits.

The best I can do is my last update which has me at about 200,000 hits total.  Lies. All lies.

But out of those, almost 12,000 are a Shopping with Blobby segment - the one on how to avoid Camel Toe.

Poor Peter.  He had to ask what camel toe was.  Poor us. We had to explain it.

I don't check my stats too often, but whenever I look, Camel Toe is in the number one position. My sweet thai chili chicken recipe has been a close number two last week and last month (you can sort by day, week, month and all time) - who knew?  Maru is still up there, but he's a feline internet star - so that's to be expected.

Brian Wilson is up there too - but he's a hairy beast baseball star, so......there's that.

Anyhoo - Peter suggested Mike and I both write about our most popular posts. I did. Mike hasn't.  Of course, I don't think Peter reads my blog, so I don't think he'll know I've done this.

Song by: Maria Muldar

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Check it Out

You asked for more Petey, so I'll give you more Petey.

The old man had his first vet check-up....while under our care. When he'd come in from outside, he'd dig at his ears for 10 minutes or so and then settle in. And his snot-sneezes.  You've never seen so much snot from man or dog.

The vet tech loved Petey (though 710 says "I bet they "act" that way with every dog") and Petey have her licks. The actual vet got more licks than the tech.

But Petey was good with them. The African-American tech you see in the pic had a huge bandage on him. The little Pomeranian we had seen in the waiting room when we arrived got him as he was trying to trim her nails. I think Lamar was happy to have to just steady a friendly pooch like Pete.

Yes, they cleaned some gunk out of Petey's ears and even put a solution in that hardened and will melt away over the next two weeks, that will clear up his problem. We'll have to clean out his ears every two weeks though - but no biggie.

His lungs are good. He has no heart murmur. The vet said he could stand to gain another pound or two, but other than that he's in very good health. She said she'd never guess him to be 10 1/2 years old.

That last part made me feel good. All of it did.

He was the model doggie for a check-up........except that he peed all over their floor while we waited in the exam room. 710 cleaned it up before they came back in.

Speaking of - Petey and 710 get along famously. Personally, I love it when he jumps up to greet us - which he's doing more often. But this was just a drive-by in the doc's office.

710 loves it too, though the might not as readily admit it.

We go back in two weeks for his follow-up and his annual shots. For those, I might have to step out into the waiting room.

Song by: John Mellencamp

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Music Monday

Well, I missed week's My Music Monday due to 12 of 12, but I'm back.

I even have a brand spanking new song for you - the album isn't even out for three more weeks.

It's been four years since Aimee Mann put out @#%&*! Smilers - a disk, which while good, I wasn't overly thrilled with compared to some of her earlier works.

I'm hoping her new disk, Charmer, is a step up.

Today's selection is the title track from that upcoming album. The song is decent, but right now I don't find it to be out of the ballpark good. But I know that sometimes it takes multiple listens to get me there...and I'm not stupid enough to think that one song will make an album bad or good.

The video, however, had / has potential.....if only for its co-star: Laura Linney.

Sure, it's no "Voices Carry", but....really............what is?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rich Woman

We are woefully behind on our average of one movie per month. Currently, we are three behind.

Last night, after dinner at David & James' house, we all headed out to the movies. When I asked David if he was interested in seeing the Queen of Versailles, he just about squealed.

I had to remind him it really wasn't about Marie Antoinette. He knew that though - or so he claims.

The movie has almost to do with the economic collapse of 2008 as it does with this family of hoarding, clueless spendthrifts.

Yes, the movie has 'queen' in it, which makes it sound like the trophy-ish wife is the focus - and in a way she is - but the husband, 34 years her senior, is no prize. Their kids are spoiled little brats who made me want to smack the shit out of two of them....and I'm not sure a judge in the world would convict me. They made me mega-uncomfortable.

Actually, the entire movie made me mega-uncomfortable.

The opulent lifestyle of these subjects compared oh, to say that of the Housewives of Beverly Hills, makes that group of women look like commoners. Not to say the movie folk had any style or taste - they did not - but their amount of wealth and spending made those Beverly Hills folks look like they lived in a double-wide.

But the movie was D-pressing.

When it was over, I turned to the boys and said, "that was more depressing than Shoah."  ...and in ways, it wasn't an exaggeration.

Discussions about certain scenes followed the movie, of course. The four of us like to dissect movies after the fact - be it Harry Potter or this. With a bevy of Housewives and any reality shows, this seemed to kick it up a bit in a sad tale that still seemed a little staged.

It's not only that their 26,000 (!!) square foot house wasn't big enough. It wasn't even that their Versailles inspired 90,000 (!!) square foot / $75-100MM house (!!!!) was even considered, let alone under construction. That's just bad taste and judgement.

Going to Hertz to pick up your car rental and asking the name of your driver to me smacks of staged movie-making.

To me, there was only one somewhat redeeming "character" in the movie (the husband's son from his first marriage) and David even liked "the queen", as he thought for all her misguided shit, she still loved her kids and understood her humble beginnings even if they lost everything. James thinks she manipulated people like David to think that.

I'm not sure she's smart enough to manipulate anyone, but you never know. Personally, near the end, the husband / former billionaire asked the filmmaker if 'this is almost over' - meaning the filming of his interview.  I was hoping the same thing - for the movie.  It was painful for me on many levels.

But on a good note, we saw four previews and each one looked more than decent - some better than others, but it's something.

Song by:  Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Date with the Night

I got nothing special to write about. It's been the theme of the week, no?

Work has been tough this week, and it's left me creatively drained. I gotta move past this.

So when 710 came home last night, I just had to get out of the house for dinner. He was nice enough to offer to bring something in, but I had to leave these four walls for something other than to walk the much as I love him.  The dog that is. Oh, and 710.

The plan was just to go for pizza, but we hit our favourite mexican place.

Lately, I will say, they've been annoying me. I know how to read a menu. They don't know how to write one.

I'm sorry, if a dish is smothered in black beans, don't you think it should mention that somewhere - anywhere - in the description?  Twice in a row this has happened. ....and I do not like black beans.

Fool me once.....yes, I get it.  But I thought that is what menus were tell you what you were ordering. I don't think I should have to ask to see all the ingredients they are using to make my dish.

Still, I'm a master picker. Yeah, I could have sent it back but that would have delayed getting food into my belly and that was imperative at the time. Miso hungee.

Live and learn I guess.

We have another night out tonight.  No fooling me twice.  Or thrice.

Song by: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Friday, August 17, 2012

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 will admit to being a huge Fleetwood Mac fan back in the day. I must have run through 3 or 4 vinyl copies if Rumours and at least two of Tusk. In some ways the band sustained themselves and their bad stuff wasn't even that bad. Even the other day when out to lunch with 710, "Dreams" came on the resturant playlist. You have to admit at 35+ years later it has held up. It doesn't sound like an "oldie", let alone 35 years old. 

But this tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me. seems more of a tribute to Stevie Nicks than it does to Fleetwood Mac. 10 of the 19 songs are hers and that's a huge missed opportunity for not just Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie (each are represented only twice), but of the Mac members who came before them. Granted, no record company is clamoring to do a tribute disk to the works of Danny Kirwin, but throwing more than four songs before the Buckingham-Nicks era seems silly.

Covering alt versions of Fleetwood Mac isn't a new concept - as Camper Van Beehtoven did it years ago with their entire cover of the Tusk disk. ...and they did it better than most of the things on here. Even the tribute disk to Rumours was a major fail - and that had much bigger named artists.

Still, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, is supposed to highlight that Fleetwood Mac was inspirational to artists of a much younger generation. However, most of them don't pull it off very well.

Songs that fare well, "That's All for Everyone" (Tame Impala), "Hold Me" (Haim), "Think About Me" (the New Pornographers) - though they don't stray too far from the original recordings. Marianne Faithfull's version of Nicks' "Angel" isn't bad at all...and Washed Out's "Straight Back" is pretty good. Though the original song was released in 1982, this has a newer wave of 1982 written all over this version, but it works.

The rest of the songs........not so much. They are bad party versions, uninspired or both.....and many of them ("Dreams", "Landslide", "Oh Well") have been done many times before - and better.

The risk would have been to do lesser known Mac songs, but then that would possibly limit their appeal to a bigger audience. The irony is, a record like this won't have huge audience potential anyways. 

They should have gone for the risk.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nothing in Rambling

I'm not sure what's going on - it's one of those weeks where I struggle to write, struggle to come up with a subject and kind of struggle to care.

I'm not sure if its work, dog, or just a general malaise, but I'm sure I'll be back on track tomorrow.....or the next day.

Hang with me.  But until then........

Song by: Lucinda Williams

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Too Tired

Sorry folks - I'm being lazy today.

Not only do I not have an original post, I don't even have one of my placeholders ready to roll-out. I suppose I can throw out a little update.

I don't make a deal out of it, but I had a nice birthday on Monday. Very low key. 'twas to be 710 and myself when Becky barged in and took over came up for a visit and went out with us for dinner.

I kid, we loved having her. We had a nice meal, knocked back a few bottles of wine had some dessert that 710 had brought home (hmmmm....chocolate salty caramel cupcakes!) and then went to bed.

It was all very mature of us.

The b-days are supposed to be low key.  I just don't care that much about the day. So kicking it with a husband and friend is just fine - and she got to meet Petey.  What could be better?

I got a number of nice emails, FB posts and one e-card from my friend Jeri. She took images of her and myself and made a disco-era card of us.  I could download it for $4.99 (!!!!!) and post it here, but really - five bucks???

She also made another one in the form of Magic Mike. It wasn't nearly as good and I'm really rockin' the 'fro.

Next year's b-day will be different. I have ideas of what I want - and have had for a year now.  ...and it's only 363 days away. I gotta get moving on planning it.

Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Site of the Month

I have not written squat about the 2012 Summer Olympics.  There is only so much you can write or read about Ryan Locthe's grill or the gay porn or olympics meme that was going around.

Granted, I'm going out on no limb here to show the Tumblr site my cousin tossed my way: McKalya is NOT Impressed.

McKalya Maroney (no relation to Jenna) was a silver medalist gymnast, who was unfortunately caught with an unimpressed look on her face - and people were off to the races using photoshop for good and bad.

Some are funnier than others, but it continues.

I liked the above image and this one.

It won't last and her star will fade, but for a moment, it was kind of funny, but people clearly have too much time on her hand - like myself.

Monday, August 13, 2012

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 30th 12 of 12. And it's a Monday, so it takes priority over My Music Monday.

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 and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad stopped doing the 12 of 12 links in December of 2011, but I will continue, as I like doing it.  I just can't link with the others who participated monthly.  Bummer.

 06:50.  I have 710's coffee paraphanlia all laid out - including his Sunday NPR mug. Oh yes, he has a Sunday mug. 

07:00.  The Sleeping Prince.

See that fleece blanket?  When no one was home, he snagged it from a window seat and dragged it to his bed, to make a softer, cushier bed. I had to hang out till he woke up so I could walk him.

07:20. Squirrel. 

10:40. Heading into yoga.

12:05.  Post Shavasana.

 13:15.  Brutal chess game.

 13:17.  Trade Joe's apparently participates in Human Trafficking.

14:50. Petey's first bath. Well, from us. Wasn't great. Wasn't horrible. His bedding and blanket went to the wash as well. But he's a clean teen!

 15:00. Fresh & Fruity Odor control.  Just like I like it.

 17:30.  My niece and nephew playing Frisbee. Both head back to college in a week. Katie has a new (cover) song out on YouTube as of this last weekend. Matt is on the Ultimate Frisbee team at college.

 20:15.  Even I have to do laundry. Sunday is laundry day.

20:30. Sophie, pretty as all get out.

No Baker's Dozen today. Sorry.  More 12 of 12 next month.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

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!

Technically, this isn't everyday shopping. It wasn't even SkyMall shopping, but just an ad in Hemisphere's magazine - the inflight magazine for United Airlines.

Mixed Chicks?   REALLY????

I mean, they don't even say "multi-racial".

Does this type of jheri curl only work for mixed race females? Aren't the Mixed Chicks hair c-suite folks missing an entire population of frizzy haired women?

But I'm sorry, but I'm still stuck on the company and url name. Maybe the women don't have an issue with it, but I am somehow cringing. It seems so disrespectful.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Bad Sign

It's 2004 all over again. 

The GOP can go on and on all they want about Obama and the economy.  They can try to ride him about job creation.  They can attempt to blame him about unemployment and healthcare. 

The reality is: they have no solutions to present, but they are experts on obstruction. The GOP just can't stand to let anything pass Congress if they don't have control of 1600 Pennsylvania. 

Tres sad. 

But truth be told, they don't have anything to go on and Mitten's foot-in-mouth isn't helping their case. So they rely on 2004 tactics. 

It is hard to blame this line of attack - I mean, it worked so brilliantly back then. Granted John Kerry wasn't all that charismatic, but it's fucking sad sad sad if you can't make a positive impression against GWB. 

Still, Rove & Co, expertly played the 'be scared of the homos' card to perfection. 

If you think I'm saying any of this tongue-in-cheek (as it's hard to tell in writing sometimes), you'd be dead wrong. 

Don't think I believe they were right in doing what they did, I actually find and found it morally repulsive, but they did it to win, and they did win.  They played on people's fear and diverted them from true and painful issues.  

They say, those who forget history are bound to repeat it.  The republicans have not forgotten history.

I mean, look at this billboard!  Feel free to enlarge the image. 

I took this yesterday on the way home from the airport.  I tried to take a snap of it on the way to the airport on Tuesday, but it was tough to do at 04:15.  Not that it was a breeze at 16:00 going 35mph. Yet, I was bound and determined. 

My hope is, that it is no longer 2004. Massachusetts was the only state back then with same-sex marriage. Now there are quite a few others. Polls are seemingly evening out and even skewing in favour of guy-on-guy weddings.  (yes, gal-on-gal too!, jeessh) 

Now, whether those who come out to vote are the ones taking those polls, it's hard to say. And for the most part same-sex marriage won't be on many state's elections in November 2012.  

That's not the point - it's just the need to implant the fear that Obama will have gay marriage death panels - or something like that, it's still fuzzy.  And in the receiving line of those weddings you'll be forced to get a third trimester abortion. 

The GOP will neglect to tell you that Darth Cheney's daughter got married this last year. They'll neglect to tell you that Newt Gingrich's half-sister is a lezbo (marital status unknown to me).  They will try to deflect that Mittens was governor of Mass when gay marriage began. 

They'll also deny being behind the billboards that are allegedly popping up in swing states (g-d, I hate living in Ohio every presidential election!), because technically, they're not the ones putting them up. But you don't hear those elephants clamouring for those Super PACs to take them down either. 

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a competitive person. But I'm not a win at all / any costs kind of guy. My morals might be questionable, but overall, I do have integrity. Personally, I don't know how some of these guys (guys being, men and women) sleep at night. I'm assuming it's because they have zero morals and less integrity. On some level, I have to believe they believe they're doing nothing wrong. 

Is there any other explanation?   ....I mean, besides that they're just plain evil assholes....?

Song by: Michael Penn

Friday, August 10, 2012

Magnet and Steel

I'd like to say this is a good video post, and it's not horrendous, but it's a one-take kind of thing and it was done on the fly with no forethought.

...and apparently it looks like I've had some kind of stroke. What the fuck is wrong with my right eye?

The thought of this post kind of came from a post of Dr. Spo's piece on refrigerator magnets. I decided I wanted all to see my Princess Leia homemade magnet.

It doesn't video so well, but neither do I - but you'll get the idea.

  Song by: Walter Egan

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bitchin' Camero

Lord know what's going on in Boise - do people come here for big conferences?  College football has not started here yet.

I say this, as when I tried to reserve a car rental, the first four national companies had no available cars. None!  What gives?

So, since supply and demand was in play, I finally got one for an exorbitant amount. But what could I do? It's not like cabs are plentiful out in Idaho.

Anywho, I reserved the most economical size, but when I got to the counter, the clerk asks, "is it just you?". It wasn't a pick-up line. Or if it was, I completely missed the come on. Probably wouldn't be the first time, nor the last.

I admitted it was, and he said he could give me a brand spanking new Camero for the same price.

Let's see, Camero or a crappy Chevy Aveo???  Let's see..................let's see.

I've never been one for dick extenders muscle cars, but even I have to say in the last few years the newer Mustangs and Cameros have made me smile a little at the auto show. And I've never driven one.  I can now cross that off my list.

Yes, the car is sleek - and it moves like a motherfucker. It went to 95 mph easily and felt like I was going 55. A dangerous thing, but the speed limit here is 75, so I was only 20 mph over. That's nothing, right?

The line of sight in the car is not optimal, but that's why they have a reverse camera - though that doesn't help when trying to change lanes on a freeway at, I've heard.

But the coolest thing about the car is the windshield display, as you can see in the title image and the one below.

While there is a traditional speedometer, temperature gauge and turn signals, they fricking show up on the windshield. Oh, if you're on XM radio it also tells you the channel, artist and song.

The only thing distracting about it is when you're driving and trying to take a picture of it - not that I did that. Ignore that top pic of the speed of 66.

Since no one else was in the car, I can't confirm, but I don't think a passenger can see this. I think the display is only positioned for the driver view.

It's nice to rent cars like this. It gets them out of your system - not that it was really in my system, but one of those things you can cross off.  It's not practical - but I suppose that is the point for most men with smaller dicks trying to recapture their youth.

....and I'd rather have a '66 Mustang.  Classic.

Song by:  the Dead Milkmen

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Tired of me talking about yoga?


I've been enjoying my Sunday morning yoga classes a lot - and maybe it's my imagination, but each one seems to get harder than the last. At our after practice tea session at B&N, some other class folks confirmed this.

While I haven't given up lifting, I haven't done it for almost two weeks, and you know something, I don't miss it. I know I need to get back to it, but I'm enjoying yoga much more.

Last Sunday's class was tough. I'm thinking a Krav Maga class would be easier.

Mid-way through, the instructor had us attempt Dolphin pose. In certain ways that was the end of class for me.

My arms were covered in sweat and when I had them pressed on the mat, there was no getting a grip, for this pose of many of the ones to follow.

I'm thinking I'm working a lot harder in these classes than in my previous studio. The sweating is a lot more and it ain't pretty. David and I were talking about how respective spouses would like us to shower sooner than later after class is finished.

But I am thinking I need to buy one more yoga necessity - a towel that actually covers the entire mat. It's the only way I kind of see this working if I'm going to attempt this and not fall on my face.

Per the two folks in line at B&N, both have them, one says it works great, one says it's worse than a slick mat. They both have the exact same towel. She uses it to wipe herself off during.  He covers his mat.

I rarely ask advice here, but does anyone use a yoga towel over their mat - and if so, does it work?

If you look at the above image, you'd think Herve Villacheze (sp) was working out at the studio.  ...but no.

That short mat?  Mine.  That short mat?  It is 71" long. Not short at all. I'm thinking the mat next to mine, is about 85" long.  It's owner will go unnamed.

Yes, I fit on my mat, kind of, but I do fit...mostly. But I didn't realize how ridiculously small mine looked next to his.  (that's what she said!)

No, but seriously, I'm just talking about the mat.

Oh - and this is a pic from Yoga Without Borders.  I'm in the last row, closest person to the rack - and by that I mean the clothing.

Then here we are (in the circle) gettin' our zen on.

Song by:  Laurie Anderson

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

You Better You Bet

I was underwhelmed by Ohio's (and Cleveland's) first casino.

Actually, I'm surprised I went as early into its existence as I did - it opened in mid-May. People would stand in line for hours to get inside. HOURS!  Outside, in the elements, with no facilities, you know, in case you had to "go".

As friends and us were trying to figure out where to go eat dinner downtown, 710 mentioned after eating, he'd like to see the casino. The dye was cast. One of the friends insisted on eating at the buffet at the Horseshoe.

Sorry, but buffets are buffets, no matter what MCL or casino you venture into. Always variety, always some better than decent items and a lot of not so decent items. Notice, I didn't say "good", but decent.

As a child, when eating at a place like this, my father would say my eyes were bigger than my stomach. They still are, but my brain processes the eating portion a bit differently. Saturday, I stopped eating something if I thought it was just fair. I wasn't wasting my time, my stomach or the calories when there were other selections to be had.

I was jabbed a bit for getting salad. I was told not to waste intake on things like salad on a buffet, but I like salad - so I got two different kinds. Sue me. The chicken papirkash was awful, as was the taco bar.  Creamed spinach was some of the best I've ever had, ditto with the fried chicken.  Braised chicken?  Not so much. One slice of pesto pizza was very good. The pork rib was so-so.

Yes, I know you wanted to know exactly what I ate.

I had a better time just sitting there talking, but one of the friends was alllll about the buffet and going back for more.

Then it was upstair for the casino.

You've seen one you've pretty much seen them all. I wanted to see what they had done with the old Higbee's building. You'd know it as the store where Ralphie and his family went to see Santa in A Christmas Story.

Not a lot of room to move in there. Besides being PACKED with slots and tables, I'm assuming people-wise, they were close to capacity. This is good for Cleveland's economy, but bad for me, who is ok to not deal with massive crowds.

I kid you not to say that every table we saw had zero spaces available to play. You'd have to be one patient gambler if you really wanted to role that die or place a bet.

Now, I rarely gamble, and even then it is usually roulette. But minimum bets at any kind of table were $25 per hand. Yeahhhhh.....that's not happening with me. Vegas will have $10, $15 etc minimums and I won't go above $10, but $25 is never happening.  Ever.

I suppose this place could get away with this since it was a Saturday and there was no shortage of hair-brained people were clamouring to part ways with their money. I just wasn't one of those. I suppose if I ran the place, I'd have jacked that minimum up as well. Supply and demand, baby.

I did play two rounds with a slot machine, which are not like slots anymore. The games don't clearly make sense on what is supposed to happen, so I was bored quickly, especially since I lost both rounds.

However, I did see this slot machine. I imagine it is one that brettcajun would be drawn to.

Song by:  the Who

Monday, August 06, 2012

My Music Monday

While clearly I'm a lover of music - be it pop, rock, country, folk, bluegrass, speed metal or straight-up gangsta rap (ok, i kid about those last two), I'm also a big fan of stories. It's a bonus when the two can be combined.

I'm not quite talking about "The Last Kiss" by the girl who gets hit by the train kind of thing. Bigger stories.

An example of this would be something like "the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

While I can't say I'm a fan of Gordon Lightfoot's song, I do like when music can tell a story, at least when they do it well. You could say a previous selection, "Ode to Billy Joe" is somewhere in these lines, or Dylan's "Lily of the West",and to a degree Jefferson Airplane's "Wooden Ships"

Key-Dollar Sign-HA doesn't have this ability.

To be fair to that talentless hussy, these types of songs are found more in a folk genre than you'd find in talentless hussy pop or you know, straight-up gangsta rap. Way back before my time, songs told stories of history - family, death, etc. While not specifically a Scottish or Irish tradition, but those two did bring these to America, much in the form of Appalachian music.

There, that's your lesson for the day.

Today's song pick is "Cold Missouri Waters". While this version is by the folk group Cry Cry Cry in 1999, the song is a few years older than this.

The song tells the tale of 15 smoke jumpers / forest fire fighters in Montana in 1949. Actually, 63 years ago this week. The Mann Gulch Fire, as it was / is known.

I could tell you how it all comes out, but then you might not listen to the song. Let's just say, rarely do they make happy storytelling songs. But after you listen to it, you might read the highlighted wiki link that tells a little more detail than the four and one-half minute tune. (Ok, maybe that will be your second lesson for the day.)

Still Richard Shindell does a nice job on lead and Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky really do a nice job with the backing harmonies.

There is a crappy fan YouTube video, but it truly takes away from the song (in my HMO), so I'll just embed an audio player here.  I hope you like the song. I do.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Personally, I haven't listened to this song is years. Maybe decades (yes, it's almost 30 years old!). Of course, I also cannot think of anything but the Madonna parody, Medusa: Dare to be Truthful, starring Julie Brown, as she talks on the phone to her psychiatrist:

"Other patients?  You're seeing OTHER patients?  C'mon! You said I was borderline, I even wrote a song about it!"

Now that I'm off that jag, this has nothing to do with Madonna or Medusa. Honest.

Yesterday was another yoga day - a special one:  Yoga Without Borders.

The idea was that a U.S. mentor would help an African mentee get certified being a yoga instructor. I think they do other mentorship items, but Bernard was on his way to his goal and this class was a way to bring togetherness, not just to him, but to all of us participating.

I wasn't sure how it would truly work, but the store where David and I do free yoga on Sundays (and that occasional singular belly dancing class) was doing a one-off on Saturday, but the class would be taught, via Skype, from Africa.

I saw a host of problems from the beginning - first off being, it wasn't just show-up to class, but you'd have to come into the store physically and sign-up to participate. The other issues seem to be more obvious - Skype and Transatlantic yoga and a potential language barrier.

Let's take the issues from the top:

David has friends in high places who actually got us signed up last Sunday. Sign-up wasn't supposed to start until Monday, but they worked magic and our names were on the list. Well - not mine per se. One guy's (Ralph? is that right David?) newly single ex-girlfriend, Svetlana, was no longer attending - so I became 'Svetlana'.  Yes, let the jokes begin.  You're not even the first, let alone the first today - so have at it.  Still, problem "solved" for me getting a space.

Skype worked much better than I thought it might from 7,700 miles away. Yes, there was fuzziness from the projection screen. Yes, there was the dropped signal. And some of the delay in transmission didn't make us hold poses too much longer than normal.

Language was much harder for me and I noticed others didn't seem to have this issue. I found myself constantly looking at others trying to see what pose we should be in. To me, Bernard's accent was heavy and things didn't translate how I thought they might. I swear he'd say 'down exit' as opposed to 'down dog'.

Yes, I eventually got into most of the flow, but too many times, I was uncertain what I should do.

Oh oh oh - and he really went with that 'togetherness' thing. Mind you, I always position myself between David and a wall - so no one is on my left side. But a few times, Bernard had us touch our neighbor.  Now my neighbor was my cousin, and I love him dearly - still, to hold his hand during shavasana was a new one. Grabbing his foot in another pose was something different  - - - altogether (insert Airplane response here!).

Oh, and that creepyish Asian guy who showed up to belly dancing kept walking around to adjust me. He hugged almost every women in the store. David assumed he is their waxer.

But David, on occasion did introduce me as Svetlana. I swear, even the chick checking us in, without humour or irony, just checks me off and goes, "we have another Svetlana who's already here!".  Oh, honey!

More awkward (ok, not really) is when David called me that name in front of Ralph. David says, "at least you don't have to go home with him!". I replied, "I've gone home with a lot worse!".  Oh, Ralph is an ex-Army Ranger.

It wasn't the greatest workout, but I get the 'we are the world' theme...minus Huey Lewis, Kim Carnes and Jermaine Jackson.

Today, we're off to our normal Sunday class. The problem?  The guest instructor, who was next to David, knows me as "Svetlana".


Song by: Madonna

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Another Living Day

Oh my.  Three days - three nights out. In a row.

I'd say it's like my 20s....or 30s, but clearly that is no longer the case.

Another difference would be that each night I kept it to two drinks. In my 20s or 30s, I wouldn't have double that, before I even left for a bar!  Last night was beer night.

I still like beer. And it was in the mid-90s, and my friend Jeremy and I opted to eat outside. But unlike the other two nights, the air was heavy, the heat oppressive. And I want to like Stone Mad more than I think I do.

But I love being out with him, as he is one of the few people who can be nastier and snarkier than I am. It turns out, nothing is off limits and very little of it printable here. To be fair, he's an equal opportunity offender.

Of course, he accused me of taking him somewhere no one would recognize me. It's really not true, but I can see where he might think that.

I wrote about Jeremy a few months back. He has opted to stay in Cleveland.....for now. That makes me happy, as I enjoy having friends around.

Even at two drinks a night - two of them school nights - take a toll on this old body. Now I have an early yoga class (I'm skipping Spin for it).  ....and we have a fourth night out in a row.

Perhaps Sunday will be my day of rest......after yoga.

Oh oh oh......on the way home, I totally got behind this car:

It doesn't matter they have an HRC sticker. They ended up pulling beside me and instead of being a gay man flaunting his peen, it was a male-female couple in their sixties.

...and the Lexus wasn't even a wagon.

I bet they have dachshunds.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Twice if You're Lucky

Yesterday evening, I had a chance to do dinner with Birdie from Strelitzia.

She was, what I consider, the first blogger I met. And now she's the first one I've personally engaged with  twice.

Where last time it was two drinks and we were on our way, this one was a little longer. Two drinks and dinner on an outside patio on a gorgeous summer's night.

And unlike last time, we really mentioned one blogger - well she did - and I didn't even know this person or blog. So conversation did not revolve around this blog thingy.

See?  People can have conversations that are not about the Gore Interweb!

While we talked about many things, it really ended up centering on our animals, but not obsessively so.  But who wouldn't want to talk about Petey??

As with all the blog folks I've met up with, it was a relaxed time with no least it came until picture time.

All of mine came out best.  What you see is the best of the bunch. Even our server, who claimed to be camera-friendly, didn't do a good job (this is one of hers). Birdie got the much better shot, but I'll let her post that.

I'm assuming she'll post it.  I mean, she met up with me!  But last night was a very nice time...and a decent meal.

Ok, but now I have to go walk the dog.

Song by:  Crowded House

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Deep Space

I'd could tell you about my man-date date last night.

Even though he lives 4 miles from me, I haven't seen Scott in two months. We rectified that last night.

Yes, drinking may have been involved. But honestly, not a lot. I have drinking plans three nights this week - I have to pace myself.  ...and I only started on Wednesday, so you know I'm in for a long rest of the week.

But no one wants to hear about Scott and myself talk about work, his kids and his wife. He doesn't believe in dog ownerships, so he didn't really care to hear about Petey.

So instead I have a silly video that my friend Sal showed me.

Maybe you have to be fans of Star Trek: the Next Generation. Or of the movie Jeffrey.  Or just of Patrick Stewart. Or a combination of.

Personally, I like the look the Klingon guy gives........twice.

Song by:  Rickie Lee Jones

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Shake Your Cocunuts

For those naysayers who commented a few days ago, that if there wasn't any video, then my belly-dancing class didn't happen.

Granted, there is no video....that I know of.

Well, that's not true. At the end of class, our "instructor" (seen kneeling in the white hoochie-mama outfit) did a demonstration that many people filmed. I was truly surprised how many pulled out their smartphones and went to town on videoing here.

The other two guys definitely did, but so did so many women. Maybe womyn. I don't know. (yes, the guy in black was key-uuute, and apparently a cross-training something or other....but he didn't seem there for the dance or mockery of the event like others I know).

But the person who went around did go and post 7-8 photos on FB, which is where I grabbed these. The ones I know were taken, at least of David dancing, did not get posted there. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.  ....but it doesn't prove we danced, it just proves we were there.

The above image (which you can click on to enlarge) clearly shows the two of us after class, in the group shot.  See upper right corner. I love how we're all leaning in to get in the shot.

The image below is us watching the instructor shake her coconuts.

I gladly put red arrows depicting where we were standing and watching....and you can see, we did try to stay at the back of the class, even for this. See upper left part of the image for us.

But you can see 2-3 phones out filming this lady. And later more people did the same when they asked her to dance for the camera.  I'm thinking creepy Asian guy in his chartreuse (yes, I had to look up how to spell that colour) top will be using it to masturbate over and over again. David's take on it is, he'll tell all his friend that it is his "girlfriend" - trying to convince everyone he's not gay.

I don't think we'll be doing this again. I'd say I won't, but if pressed, or asked, I probably would. I mean, they serve wine afterward!

Song by: Junior Senior