Friday, November 30, 2012


It's just another one of those days / nights.  Little to discuss.

The red-eye wore me out, so did another full day of work after the flight. Though coming home to the family is always fun.

Poor Petey had to wake up just to see me, but he was seemingly thrilled.

So, why the Superman topic?

A permanent Superman display - albeit a cheesy one - resides in the baggage claim area of Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Why there?  Who the fuck knows.

Cleveland gets a display because the creators of the character were from Cleveland.

There is audio with the display, but to be honest, I needed to get my luggage and shuttle more than I needed to hear about Superman's origin or see his packed crotch.

And what is up with that hair.  Yes, I know Clark Kent's alter ego had that, whatever you call it, hair thing going on, but this looks way bad.  Not bad-ass. Just bad.

The steroided-out body is not helping.  He is just as an unrealistic role model for boys as Barbie is for girls.

But I'm not a comic book guy. This almost unheard of in the gay blog world. I've never bought one, and I'm not sure I've ever read one. I never got the medium.  I don't begrudge those who are into them, but I don't know how it translates from 12 years old to 40-something.  Maybe the storylines are very intricate and deep.

I do know Spiderman in the daily paper is lame, but what can you do with three panels per day.  Mary Worth seems better. Of course, I always go with the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy with that one: "a very rare Mary Worth in which she has advised a friend to commit suicide."  

That is a comic I can commit to.

Song by: R.E.M. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Power of Gold

So, I had some time to kill between shutting down at work and getting to the airport (where my red-eye from  Orange County to San Francisco to Cleveland became a red-eye from Orange County to Newark to Cleveland).

I had to gas up the rental and what the fuck, I went inside to buy a Powerball ticket.  The gas station didn't sell them, they said.

Since I had time to kill, then I went to 7-11 to make my purchase. I figured $500MM would allow me not only to quit my job, but charter my own jet to take me directly to the town of my choosing.

Alas, it was not meant to be. California does not participate in the Powerball.

All my dreams of taking Petey around the world giving to the charities of my choice we shot to holy hell.

I suppose all is not lost. I'm writing this before the drawing...or around the time of the maybe no one will have won and I can risk the $2 and invest in my future. Well, 710's and my future....and Petey and Sophie. Sure I want to travel the world, but don't want to leave them behind.

I cannot believe it is only Thursday.  Maybe I should have titled this post "Eight Days a Week"....because fuck if it doesn't feel that way. I suppose it's the perils of starting work travel on Sunday.

The only good I can think of going to EWR (that's Newark) is that I get a few hundred more miles tacked on to my quest for Platinum status. It's going to go down to the wire, like last year.  Fortunately, or un, I will most likely make it. Good for me, but how very sad.

I have an exit aisle. Yes, the seat won't recline, but I'll have extra leg room, so maybe I won't get that DVT I always seemingly feel in my right thigh.

Ok....I guess I'll get back to reading, instead of writing. I've started re-reading the Hobbit.  I haven't read it since freshman year of high school....which was like the Paleolithic era.  In theory, I only have to read one-third of it since they're breaking the movie in to three parts.

Of course, I'm hoping I'm asleep after the flight attendant asks me if I'll save the other passengers if we crash. I always lie and say I will. Baby, it's every man for himself.

Song by: Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg

Wednesday, November 28, 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! 

This selection should be just enough to set my cousin over the frickin' edge. He finds my taste in music best. I'm sure he's not the only one.

Iris DeMent has an album of new material out - her first in 16 years (!!), Sing the Delta.

While I know that most of my music choices are not for everyone. I think if folks heard DeMent, they'll  seemingly find my other selections as popular as....well....whoever you kids think is popular these days: the Beatles? The Stones? The Rolling Who? - as Edina's mother might say.

No, Iris is full-on Delta / Americana / Ozark music - not unlike a more rural Bobbie Gentry.

DeMent has one of the most unique voices ever put to tape, but it is her writing and playing that make the voice worth hearing as well. In some ways she's on par with Emmylou Harris for the most identifiable vocal talents.

Yes, the disk is more piano based than guitar, which is slightly different for her, but she's a talented mult-instrumentalist.

If you're looking for a mainstream disk, this isn't it - even for DeMent. But she has strong material with "The Night I Learned Not to Pray", "Go On Ahead and Go Home and "If it Ain't Love".

I won't say it's the perfect disk - I find some of the songs, and the intros to be too similar, too repetitive. I would hope that after a decade and a half that it would be mixed up a little. She's been more diverse on her other disks.

I'm not really complaining - as compared to everything else out there, this is still pretty original material.

You'll all hate it, but if you gave it a listen, you might learn to appreciate the beauty of being different, being original.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All Fired Up

Sometimes, my job just blows.

My Thanksgiving weekend was cut short, so I could fly to California for a work-related issue that had to be resolved Monday morning.  Fun for me.

The only plus was to escape the 30 degree weather for 70 degrees - though it is 40 at night, not that I leave the hotel after I'm done at the client site.

But I had to fire someone - which isn't a horrible thing, I'm sad to say. Yes, it sucks when it's budget related as opposed to performance related. Yet, doing it near the holidays is never very easy - or is it?

Perhaps she saw it coming (she should have) and built in a coping mechanism. Perhaps she just didn't care. Perhaps she hasn't grasped the severity of her actions and being without a job. Either way, the conversation lasted all of four minutes.....including discussing COBRA and such.

I mean, I showed up on site, unannounced, and she never asked me once why I was 2,400 miles from home with no warning. She had to know it was coming, right?

It all went off without incident. least for that stage.

But trying to staff a workplace during the holidays with temporary folks (and from 2400 miles away) seems dicey at best - which is why I'll probably be on-site most of every week of December. So much for taking any time off.  However, it should solidify my Platinum airline status.

I don't talk about work much, but it is pretty tough lately. The struggle outweigh the victories, and it is a little defeating. On the other hand, I get to work from home when I am home (which isn't often lately), and I get to stay with Petey and Sophie, which means the world to me and them.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Well, it's my bed time....if I were in the east.  But it's 20:00 and I'm going to bed.  Sad sad sad.

Song by: Pat Benatar

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Music Monday

"Dropping through sky / Through the glass of the roof / Through the roof of your mouth / Through the mouth of your eye / Through the eye of the needle / It's easier for me to get closer to heaven / Than ever feel whole again"

I'd say that was my most favourite part of the Cure's song "Disintegration", but as I listed to all eight and one-half minutes (yes folks, another long tune), I keep changing my mind about which part of the song really makes it a stand-out.

The group has been around forever it seems - at least 30 years - and for me they have release no better song, no better album than Disintegration. Yeah, I don't care if I ever hear "Lovesong" again, but the disk is stellar, especially the title song.

Don't let the eight plus minutes fool you - it doesn't seem that long and it never bores me.

When I break down my liking of the Cure, I can't quite pinpoint it. Yes, they're down - which I like, but some of their stuff you can dance too (oh Morty, Jon & Co will remember Wednesday's at Wall St.),. It'd be tough to dance to this selection, but never say never.

I think I like this song because of the passion and desperation that Robert Smith conveys - it never seems forced or fake, but pulled from pure emotion.  Or he's a really good actor.

Consider the album came out in 1989 (?) both song and album hold up extremely well.  I hope you sit through all 8:25, but I get it is not for everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Yes, I know I probably used the title years back for Pie Day (3/14), but c'mon.......what else am I going to use as a title for seeing Life of Pi.

Honestly, I wasn't sure I truly wanted to see the movie. But Ang Lee does nice work and the story was clever enough and had potential to be visually pleasing.

But the story itself - in book form - was brutal. Or had brutal moments. What one, even in the tale (?) fable (?), parable (?), hallucination (?), coping mechanism (?)), must do to survive is not pretty, no matter how it is filmed.

When one reads a book, your internal visualization can take you multiple places, whereas a movie ends up making it static. Or worse, film makes external visualization of nasty events that were tough enough to read, indelible. I wasn't sure what I was totally up for it in this regard.

Visually, the movie was stunning.  Lee did a great job with the shots and effects, I'm guessing whether you see it in 3-D or not (we did).  Yes, to me, some of the tiger shots were a little to CGI-ish, but time will tell they hold up in terms of technology five years down the road.  Lighting, colours and transition shots were extremely well done.

The acting was good too - considering 80% of it was the boy who played Pi. Yes, there are cut away shots and some pre-ocean material, but mainly it was all Pi.

As for my concerns about the translation from page to screen, overall it was fine.  Like any adaptation, things were glossed over, omitted, unexplained or changed for dramatic effect.  The rougher aspects of the book were handled delicately, or as much as possible. The six year old (!!!) didn't burst into tears at some treatment of the animals.

But to be honest, with the book's intro about this story making you believe in g-d, well.....not only did the book not do that, neither did the movie, nor did either really try.

I understand the award buzz for the movie due to the difficulty of adapting the book to a movie and having an excellent director, but save some technical aspects, I don't see major wins.  But it seems I'm tipping my hand for the show-down Mike and I will have in two months.

Still, the movie is worth a viewing.   ....and we are 11 for 11, and still have The Hobbit, Lincoln and two or three others to go.  We might surpass the annual goal.  Lordy be!

Song by: Kate Bush

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cold Turkey

We had no leftover from Thanksgiving.

Well, that's not true. We had pie. Lots and lots of pie.  But my mother didn't send us home with any turkey.

That is not a big thing for me, but I know 710 would have liked it. And it does make for good sandwiches....but I think the bird was picked clean and not sure there was anything left over. If there was, it goes to my father by default, as turkey is his favourite meal of all time.

But the cold I'm talking about here is the outside temperature.

Thanksgiving day was 62 degrees. It's been a great Autumn. Often we can have snow before Halloween.  Not this year.

Alas, what a difference a day makes.  62 to 30.  And snow. Lake Effect  snow warnings. Big flakes snow.  Blowing completely horizontal snow. 1-2" of snow, potential of 4".  I'm not sure Petey is thrilled, but he's adapting.

I know I'm not thrilled.  I'll adapt.

We almost made it to December.  Almost.

I was too lazy to go out and get a picture of it all.  Too lazy and too cold.

Well, I'll be headed back to California tomorrow where it will be in the '70s.  Perhaps it will warm up a bit before the official start of Winter in almost a month.

Song by: Cheap Trick

Friday, November 23, 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!

Have you even noticed I haven't posted a Shopping with Blobby segment since August?  I kind of knew I skipped a month, but not two.

Two points of clarification:

1.  This is not my item. Je did not find this nor knew of its existence. This was sent to me a few weeks ago by my friend Meredith. I howled when I opened it and showed it to 710 immediately.

2. I hope these truly exist. I would so buy them.

For you non-geeks, I could go into Star Wars mode, but you might know Admiral Ackbar and his one famous line from Return of the Jedi.  Perhaps.

We don't really have mice, so I don't need it for that, but just to have - because hoarding more stuff is good - right?

Actually, we get a mouse or two once per winter. They find their way in from the cold and then Sophie finds them. She's caught and played with them, but never finished them off.

For that, we trap them under a piece of Tupperware and then toss them back outside - injured but alive. ...until the elements get them.

But I'd never use an Admiral brand trap!  I wouldn't mess that up for the life of me - or the mouse.

Let's face it:  it would just be a conversation piece for me and a few select people who either go it or found it funny.

Thanks Dith.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You

Here we are again - Thanksgiving.

I always seem to be odd man out on this one, but mostly because of the food.  I've said it before, I find the meal to be boring and uneventful.....and usually monochromatic.

Most everyone else seems to love it. And it's not like I haven't tried. I've made fancy stuffing - with apples and such. I mean I grew up on Pepperidge Farm, out of the bag, so me making it was a big deal. It was fine and all, but that's it.........fine.

And you can deep fry them, brine them or stuff them with a duck and chicken, but turkey is just a boring bird.

Still, I get the spirit of the day and it's hard to argue with, but I'm never thrilled to have to go around the table to express your thanks. I save that for 710 and myself, not so much for saying in front of even my family.

As for the day after, I'm "supposed" to be off, but the way this work week kicked my ass, I don't doubt I'll have to put in a few hours - and now I probably have to travel on Sunday out to California....again. Yes, hit an airport on a holiday weekend.  Shoot me.

That, I am not thankful for.

And no way in hell am I hitting any store this weekend. If I'm going to go somewhere teeming with people, why not just hit the airport? It can't be any worse.

No, we have two movies to see. I know, right?  I can knock out all 12 before December even rolls around. At least in theory. This trip might push something back but there isn't much I can do about that.

But for blog stuff - of course there are 'thanks' to be given:  thanks to all who keep stopping by here and putting up with my daily crap or humouring me. And to the folks who link to me and comment. It is all appreciated.

Without you, I'm nothing.

Ok - that might be a little heavy-handed, but you get the drift.

I hope you all enjoy the day.

Song by: Dido

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chocolate Cake

I haven't weighed in on the whole Hostess bankruptcy thing.

I love how all the news is about "twinkies".

Who gives a fuck about Twinkies?  They only Sno-balls were a worse Hostess purchase.  ...and I'm a guy who bought Fruit Pies and Suzy-Qs.

But I can't tell you how many of their signature cupcakes passed my lips. My sister and I had a good deal going.  Growing up, I didn't really want the frosting - I was happy with the cake.  She could peel that top frosting off in one felt-swoop. Of course, once I got to college, those cupcakes - avec frosting - would end up being meals.

Hell, who am I kidding - many a meal they'd become while I'm in remote areas while I work travel. It's not like they don't carry enough calories as you'd need in a regular meal.

Then of course there was that debacle of the moving Ho-Hos wrapped in paper. They totally tasted differently once they did away with the foil. Ditto with Ding Dongs.

Oh yes, initially named Ding Dongs, then the phallically named King Dongs, then to their stupidly named King Dons. Don't get me wrong, they tasted great, but after the foil was gone, so was the magic.

Of course, I think the Hostess bankruptcy thing was all for PR (not Puerto Ricans). It was a way to get people to buy all that back-stock clogging the warehouses. It made them a nice chunk of change and no doubt the union thing will be fixed and that stuff will be back in every quickie-mart and gas station, not to mention college vending machines.

Works for me.  Everyone wins.

Song by: Crowded House

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rollin' On

Yesterday was only Monday and it was a shitty start to the week - even more so than just what people think the typical Monday feels like.

I suppose that since I'm only working two and one-half days this week that my work life has to cram all the crap from a five day week into half as much time.

Well done!

I don't doubt that today will be no better.....but whatta gonna do?  All they can do is fire me, right?

And I had nothing to write about, so what is a guy to do?  Oh that's right - Petey Porn.

710 washed the doggie bed (yuck, it smelled like doggie!) and Petey was love love loving getting it back - as you can see.

I swear, it's just coincidental that the overture to Dr. Shivago was playing in the background.  I swear.


Song by:  Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Music Monday

I'm in a Dwight Yoakam mood today.

I've been listening to the man since maybe 1990 or so - and I was a late comer to his music.

About this time, Morty and I went through our "country phase", though he mostly grew out of it, I've held onto and retained some of mine.

Back then it was newer country to which we listened - Garth Brooks, Clint Black and such - and mostly via a dive gay bar jukebox.   I kind of kept up with some country, but never a huge purchaser of it, I did morph off into following more of a folk and bluegrass thing. New country got newer, more pop and more about looks than sound.

Yoakam, while not an old-timer then, really hearkened back to the days of honky tonk country - ala Buck Owens and such. Not the Owens we knew from Hee Haw, but a harder lined singer / songwriter.

Yoakam has a lot more full-on honky-tonk'd music than my selection, "AThousand Miles From Nowhere", but you're a sensitive group who might not listen to something like that, let alone like it.

I've been listening to this song for, oh g-d, let's see....1993, and at the 0:00:32 mark, I still hear the line "I've got pickles in my head".  I know that's not the line - well, I learned that eventually - but that is the only way I can hear it anymore.  Of course it has become a source of amusement for 710 when I sing it that way.

Yoakam has some great stuff though - "Inside the Pocket of a Clown", "Fast as You Can",  "Turn it On, Turn it Up, Turn it Loose" and a few dozen others.  Sure it's an acquired taste, but it's the real thing.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It's yoga day.

Community yoga, that is. Free yoga, that is.

It's the one day a week to hang out with my cousin after struggling through poses - depending on who's leading the class.  I'm never keeping my balance in a half-moon pose. It's not happening.

Just because of our schedules, it's been weeks since we've both been to class at the same time. I think we are on schedule for today.  And if it works out, it should be nice enough to grab tea and sit outside afterwards.

Becky is in town and I'm trying to get her to join us - but I'm guessing it won't happen.  I think David and Becky should meet. It just seems like it should happen.

Last week's class was all about the twist, which I usually like, but it was almost all twisting. I needed a better mix - and I really enjoy the balancing poses best.  Though when we were doing those, the yogini stood right in front of me, making it hard to do Airplane or Dancer's pose without hitting her - and she didn't seem to care.  Either way, I couldn't hold the pose due to that - and that's my story!

But tomorrow also picture day for Santa and Petey.  We'll see if it happens.  710 thinks it should be Petey and Sophie, but I don't see how we'd get Sophie to the pet store for a posed picture. I guess we could photshop her in, but we'll see. That seems cheating.

Yes, I'm in this title image - blue shirt on the left side, against the wall of mats and clothing.

Song by:  Joni Mitchell

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cotton Alley

Do you know what today is?  I mean besides a month old post trying to guess who just turned 8? (that mystery apparently still isn't solved!)

It turns out, the second anniversary is "cotton".  That is slightly more exciting than paper.


Yes, today is our second wedding anniversary. Two years ago to the day we were married in DC.

Nothing much to rehash from that day. You've either read it before or can read it from the hyperlink.

The title image was Rebecca's mother's pearls.....something borrowed.  We had something new, old and blue as well. We weren't completely non-traditional.

Yet cotton, like love and marriage, is the fabric of our lives (see how I worked that in?).

We have no big plans. Dinner out.  Somewhere new - not that we've picked it yet, so it might be our third or fourth choice if we can't get a reservation somewhere. It's more about just hanging with the husband. Like I said yesterday, I just wanted to be home - being on the road has been exhausting and that red-eye was painful, in oh so many ways.

But the day is about cotton.  Someone is getting new Gold-Toe white athletic socks.  No expense is too much for my man!  Well actually - have you priced socks lately?  The expense might be too much for my man!

Song by:  10,000 Maniacs

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Love You

So I've been back in the central valley of California.  Home of Yosemite and the Big Valley. Only one of those played a part in my childhood gaydom.   Yes, that would be Nick Barkley dressed in all black  - most of it leather. Who knew?

It's not that pretty here. It's not completely heinous, but eh.

With a few hours to kill between work and flight, a coworker and I went around Sacramento. It's not a bad little town. It had aspects of Seattle and Portland in it, but yet it was clearly different.

Oddly enough, they had this "old" downtown that looked more like Frontier Town at Cedar Point.  All that was missing were some dancing saloon girls. They may have been there and we just missed them. But that part of town has a serious tattoo and candy problem.  All I can assume is that city officials are hoping their leases run out so they can go higher end - like a store we went into that only had olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  That's it. That's all they sold.

High end stuff, no crap. But I wasn't shipping anything home and TSA finds anything over 3oz of balsamic a national offense.

I'm very very glad to be going home. I'm writing this at the airport as it is yet another red-eye for me. The folks at SFO are going to know me by name unfortunately.  I've only been gone for like 36 hours and I just want to be back. Maybe road warrior is no longer in my plans. But I have no other plans, so I'm here for the time being.

Ok. Need food and then will board my planes. I hope sleep becomes me.

Song by:  Sarah McLachlan

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Ahhh yes. I was greeted by this in the Doubletree lobby in central valley California.

It was in the low 30s when I flew out of Cleveburgh, but 70 when I landed out west. Granted, it's in the 40s at night, but I wasn't really expecting a fake xmas tree to be the first thing I saw in the hotel.

I shouldn't be surprised, as Halloween candy was out at Labor Day and the December holiday shit has been in stores since mid-October.

But I'm not ready for it - not that I ever am. I can't even wrap my head around that it's Thanksgiving next week and then December a week after that.

I still have weeks of work travel planned for the rest of the year. No rest for the wicked, I suppose. I am hoping to make Platinum, but I think I might come up short - which sucks. I suppose had I done 2-3 more flight earlier in the year, I wouldn't be coming down to the wire on this, but it is all so draining.

Well, I wish I had more to say, but it's 23:38 on my body clock, which means I've been up for 20.5 hours now.  I gotta get to bed.

Sad it's only 20:38 here and my lights will be out.  Sad but true.

Song by:  any musician cheesy enough to release a holiday record

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Separate Ways

I could have easily called this post "Good Riddance".

No doubt some of my readership is in the 20 states who want to explore seceding from the Union.

I would venture to guess if you reside there and read me, you're not one of the folks signing petitions and hoping to break free from these United States.

....but one never knows about who reads me.

But seriously, good riddance.  By all means - go!

What surprises me is the states that are signing such a petition.  Yes, you expect it from Texas, Alabama and Arkansas. Oregon and New York have stymied me.  I can't see I saw that coming.

Yes, I know it's all chatter. They are malcontents where in most states didn't win their election. They couldn't get it together to elect "their guy" and now they think they can secede and succeed?  More power to ya.

For g-d's sake, do what every other malcontent does - say you're moving to Canada and then don't follow through.

Song by:  Journey

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 33rd 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 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.

05:45.  The night light in our guest bathroom.  710 found it at his aunt's house.  I'm loving it.

06:45.  Bare trees.  Coming in from walking Petey.

09:45.  Japanese maple is finally losing its leaves.

13:20.  Down dog.

13:30.  Contemplating dinner at lunchtime. 

17:20.  The last of the Halloween candy. We had one bag and zero trick-or-treaters.  It fell on me to dispose of it.....once piece at a time.

19:00.  Someone got into the trash. tsk tsk tsk.

 19:30.  Coming down from putting away the laundry.

 20:10.  Petey lovin'.

20:20.  What dinner ended up becoming - Subway. 

21:30.   Sophie's explosion of colour, her pads and her tongue.

22:10.  Dessert from Luna Bakery.  Chocolate and raspberry cake. 

No Baker's Dozen this month. It was all I could do to eke out 12, let alone 13.  Maybe next month.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Music Monday

During some of my Record of the Month selections, I will take artists to task for never changing and in turn, stagnate and wither.  I totally see the irony in the fact that I love Neil Young, though, when looking at his over-arching career, he doesn't change all that much.

Yes, he's attempted a few new branches (his rockabilly Everybody's Rockin', his distortion record with Crazy Horse Live Rust), but generally he's maintained a good folk-rock persona that has served him well over 40+ years.

Young floats back and forth between solo work and leading Crazy Horse - and now and again appearances with Crosby, Stills and/or Nash, he churns out material fairly regularly and with decent consistency.

Granted, I do like his mid to late '70s work the best - American Stars & Bars, Comes a Time and Rust Never Sleeps.  But in 1992, he released what people hailed as a follow-up to his classic album Harvest. This was called Harvest Moon.

Not breaking into any charts with it - like most his disks - it was a subtle album that contained a song which has been on any number of my playlists since:  "War of Man".

Mostly consisting of bass, drum and acoustic guitar (though in parts there is a little keyboard thrown in). Oh and Nicolette Larson.  Like most selections on Harvest or Harvest Moon, the song is fairly understated and it works well.

Larson sang background vocals on many of Young's records in the '70s before having a hit herself with  Young's own "Lotta Love".  With her being a huge presence on Young's Comes a Time, I always felt her vocals complimented Young's rougher, untrained voice.

Reuniting on Harvest Moon was good for both of them, though Larson died a few years after the fact, but she always complimented his work.

Once again, Young and Larson do a good collaboration.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Apparently it's a guy thing.  James Bond that is.

We went to go see Skyfall yesterday - as 710 really wanted to go see it.  He's a bigger Bond Daniel Craig fan that I am.  And we really didn't see any of the big popcorn movies of 2012. No Spiderman, no Batman, nothing from Pixar.

But as a gender, Bond is a guy thing.

Women can swoon over Connery, Moore or Craig (c'mon, is anyone getting hot for Bronson or Dalton?  Lazenby had a better shot!), but out of 100 people in the theater, five, maybe six were female.

It's a guy thing.

I have heard buzz on Skyfall, and it's gotten good buzz.  As always, I did not read the review. I knew we'd go, though 710 offered to let me off the hook, but I wanted to be the good husband and initiate the outing.

I'd be hard-pressed to say I've seen more than two Bond films in the theater. This one and the last one being The Spy Who Loved Me, back in 1977.  For the record, I think I like Diamonds are Forever, the best.

Oh, I've seen most of the films, just on pre-cable TV.  I've seen a few of the newer ones on HBO.

I was a big fan of many of the earlier Bond themes - be it Shirley Bassey (well, not Moonraker), Lulu, Duran Duran and even Nancy Sinatra. In later years, Garbage did a good job, but not so much with Sheryl Crow, a-ha, and ugh uber auto-tuned Madonna. Horrid.

Skyfall theme isn't great, but at least Adele is in the Shirley Bassey vein.

While I won't give any spoilers for the movie, I was actually happy to not have any of the campy scenes that many of the Bond films are known for.  Of course you have to suspend disbelief at some things, but at least that cheesy dialogue was thankfully missing.

With one of the Bronson films, and a Bond girl named "Christmas", Bond utters "I thought Christmas only comes once a year", I groaned and clicked off the movie. I was done.  Not only was it stupid line, it was poorly delivered - with an entier cheese plate.

Javier Barem is in the film and I like him, but he spots a hair-do only slightly less creepy than he did in No Country for Od Men. He's also wonderfully sexually ambiguous. While it had me chuckling for certain reasons, it had the straight guys in the audience chuckling uncomfortably.  It worked on multiple levels.

But back to the guy thing:  OMG, the tub-o-lard next to me who snuck in a sizable bag of Chex Mix and crunch-crunch-crunched his way through the movie was mucho distracting. It was all you could hear for one-third of the movie. I'll assume he finished the bag as opposed to stopped being hungry.

This isn't the 1960s or 70s Bond, this is product placement Bond:  Jaguar, Heineken, Range Rover...etc. But once they showed the Astin Martin, the guys in the audience actually started clapping. ....for a car.

It's a guy thing.

I wasn't one of those guys, just so you know.  I don't clap for cars.  It's not like they clapped when he had his one and only martini - though the words 'shaken' or 'stirred' were never uttered.

It was a decent movie, probably not one you need to see in IMAX (we didn't), but it has Judi Dench and Albert Finney - and they usually make things better.  Oh, and Lord Voldemort is in it too. Sorry, but I just can't see him as anything else when I look at Mr. Finnes.

More guy things....previews. Does there really need to be another Die Hard movie? I question if there ever should have been one let alone sequel after sequel.  Or does there ever need to be another Quinten Tarentino movie?  Every single preview - and there were plenty - had someone or someones going through a glass window, a glass ceiling or both. Trite! It's safe to say the fake glass industry is solid in Hollywood.

...and as always, for those keeping count:  This is movie 10 for the year.  We are one behind if you average one per month, but only two to go for the year goal......and we still have Lincoln, the Hobbit, Life of Pi and maybe Flight still to see.

Speaking of Flight, they gave us tickets to that instead of while the latter movie is having a banner opening, our money did not go to their box-office. Oh well.

Song by: Adele

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Something to Talk About

Bonnie Raitt might have something to talk about, but I do not.

I'm electioned out.  There is nothing left to say there. I'm not feeling the need to talk about work. You've already been updated on the Pete-monster (who was extremely engaging yesterday - and further on the road to recovery).

I got nothing.

As it stands, I have less than a month before completing four years of non-stop blogging and I'm afraid this level might be wearing a bit thin - for you and me.

It's just a quiet-ish weekend here. Everyday Living things - laundry is done, leaves to be raked, pictures to hang, groceries to be purchased....blah blah blah.

On the plus side, we are expected, as Morty would say, to have a Native American Summer this weekend. Two days of upper 60s or low November.  It will be a good time for leaf pick-up and for doggie walking.

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the Fall. Nothing to see here.

Song by: Bonnie Raitt

Friday, November 09, 2012

App of the Month

I only heard about this month's app from the fall-out of an SNL skit.

Even if I'm up late enough on a Saturday to see SNL, I have no inclination to actually turn it on and watch what is usually a lame-ass show.

Allegedly they skit consisted of Mayor Michael Bloomberg giving a disaster speech and his American Sign Language interpreter behind him.  It got criticism from Academy Award winner  - Marlee Matlin.  That's all I know about the skit.

Marlee Signs is the app.

The app is quite girly. It's all very fuschia-y. It's almost like ASL Barbie or something.

ASL has always intrigued me - and save for saying 'thank you', 'grow up', 'sunshine' and a few other words, it pretty much escapes me, though I can eke out most of the alphabet.

But like me with any language, I might be able to get through it by reading (at my own pace) and even get out the words (at my own stuttered pace), but if someone talks to me in said language with any fluency I'm a lost soul.

Will I truly use the app?  Probably not?  Will it make me conversational in ALS?  Definitely not.  But basics aren't bad to have.  ...and as's free.

I never saw Matlin in her Oscar performance of Children of a Lesser G-d, but she had a great recurring role in the West Wing, which I much enjoyed.

If I have any issues with this app, it is that there is no audio.

(I'm wondering anyone got that last line.)

Of course anything with Marlee Matlin in it reminds me of Family Guy. You were all thinking it - now you get to see it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I'm Gonna Make It Better

Petey is doing better - thanks for asking.

I know many of you have reached out and asked and thanks for that. It's been stressful. He was such a sick pup.

I think more of it was our first bout with doggie illness. I had dogs growing up, but let's face it, my parents dealt with these issues. 710 had never had dogs, so this was all kind of new to us.

It took almost a week for the Petey to eat. It took 10 days for him to drink any water.  Forget getting him out of bed, hell, forget having him even pick his head up.

But a few days of IV antibiotics and some food and he's on the way to recovery.

He now has energy, he wags his tail (srsly, he couldn't or wouldn't move it for a week) and he has life in his eyes.  ...not that you could tell from that title image.

Sophie is always nearby keeping an eye on him and tending to him.....well, you know, observationally.

Petey now wants to go outside on walks.  It had been eight days since he'd seen a squirrel. He's interested in them, but if they get away, he just walks away. All his energy isn't there. Like he thinks he wants his normal walk but really can't make it that far without tiring out.

Still, you can see him making a full recovery, though he still has three weeks of oral antibiotics. Yes, he was that sick.

He's back to following us around the house, hoping he gets real people food (he's not getting it) and the ever-so-important, rearranging his bed.

As soon as he's all better, he gets to have a play date with Ted, my cousins dog.  I'm excited.

Song by: She & Him

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The President

The post is late this morning because as much as I would have liked to stay up for the election results, Blobby needs his "beauty" sleep.

Maybe it's "sleep" that should be in quotes as that seems less obtainable than beauty.

The chances of me being asleep all night are slim to none.

So I have to get some of my election results in the a.m.   As it turns out, I stayed up for the Presidential piece. All states are not in, all electoral counts are not in, but enough of them that gave Obama a second term.  ....but I'll get to that after a few other things.

  • It was early when AP called the race for Sherrod Brown.  I was excited for this. I didn't think Josh Mandel would win - and really hoped he wouldn't. Personally, I hope he has millions of dollars of debt to pay off over the rest of his life. Mandel is such a sleaze. 
  • "Joe the Plumber" - neither his name or occupation - lost big time. Stupid fucking tea-bagger.
  • Romney did not win Ohio, not by a lot, but a loss is still a loss.  I'm good with that.

Gay Stuff

Marriage Equality (or at least a ban on opposite sex marriage only) has victory in  Maryland, Maine, Washington and Minnesota (that last one a surprise!). Some of them were wayyyyyy closer than I would have liked

...and of course the Presidency

My hopeful prediction, of an Obama win, was not wrong.  It's not that I didn't think Obama would win, and I won't want to be a conspiracy guy, but I don't completely trust the system......or the inane-ness of the voting public. My percentage was off on popular vote. But Nate Silver nailed it on the electoral.

I was pleased to see that Obama won Pennsylvania, but some of the sweet victories:  Wisconsin, Paul Ryan's home state and Scott Walker as Governor couldn't help Romney carry a win. Colorado and Virginia too.

Mitt lost all three of his "home" states - Michigan, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Sad. For him. Not so much for me.

Of course the spin starts on who won and lost and why. But the measure of the winners are if they'll work together, which is unlikely.  Seriously folks, call it a day and get on with your jobs - which isn't obstruction.

If nothing else we have about 18 months to breathe a little.

Song by: Snow Patrol

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.

Yes, I know I used the line in a post last week. I'm using it again today.

Today is the day.

....and it couldn't have come sooner.  Actually, that's a lie. I would have loved for it to come sooner.

I truly do not trust the polling data. The Plain Dealer will tell you the race is tied at 47% for both Obama and Mittens.

A CBS poll will say the numbers this week are unchanged from last Obama at 51%, Mittens at 45%.  Clearly I'd like to believe this poll better, but who can know?

When in California last week, I was amazed how many people, knowing I'm from Ohio, would ask my opinion on how I think both Ohio and the nation would go.

I checked into the hotel at like 23:00 and was dead tarred and the clerk went on and on and on about Ohio being "the decider".  He also slipped in, more than once, how much he watches Fox "News".  I just said stuff like "oh yeahhhh.......who knows".  When I really wanted to say, "shut up and give me my room key!"

Or at the client site, someone just asking me not only who I think would win, but why I think they'd win.

Now, I think the majority of folks think CA is a blue state - and overall they are. But an hour south of Los Angeles is not Los Angeles.  Orange County and even further south in San Diego County they are red.

Didn't their parents ever tell these folks not to publicly discuss religion and politics?  Let alone doing it at business?  I tried to divert, but they weren't having it.  So I said what I thought and was met with silence.

Hey!  They asked!

But it's almost over. One way or the other.

No more robocalls. No more me (and only me in the house) getting a Mitt flyer  I mean, have they not done their research on my voting patterns?  Is his campaign just throwing good money after bad?  Did I change my party affiliation in my sleep at some point in the last two months and not know it?

I can't believe that campaigns cannot quantify that this much money, commercials, print ads and in-person appearances truly change anyone's mind. Even with the "undecided" - how many of them turn out to be actual voters and how many of them really had no idea who they were to vote for?  I don't buy it.

I'm not an overly optimistic guy, but I have to be in this instance.  I'm predicting a 6% win for Obama.

If you haven't voted, go out and do so.  I have.........weeks ago.

Song by: Donna Murphy & Jennifer Westfeldt

Monday, November 05, 2012

My Music Monday

I like the Rolling Stones.

Granted they've been around for 1,556 years, so they are bound to have a number of good songs since they've started carving them on  cave walls back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Yes, they 'move like Jagger' but Mick is 70 years old. Those type of folks usually move with walkers and canes. Someone forgot to mention that to Maroon 5.

"Gimme Shelter" is probably my favourite Stones song, and when I was a pre-teen, I remember waiting by the radio to hear "Angie", though I normally turn that whenever it hits XM. It has more than run its course in my books.

But when we saw Argo the other day, the movie included what is most likely my second favourite Stones song - "Little T&A".

Mind you, the song was inappropriately placed, as the film is based in 1979-1980 and the album, Tattoo You was released in 1981.  Mr. Affleck's music supervisor did not do his or her job.  Tsk Tsk.

Besides the guitar riff (which is great), I swear one of the reasons I like the song so much is that Jagger doesn't handle lead vocals - they are sung by that freak of nature, who has somehow defied (yet looks like) death - Keith Richards.

"T&A" was never a hit, there is no video, so you get a static picture in the YouTuber, but you also get the song.  ...and it is My Music Monday, not supposed to be My Video Monday.

I dare my cousin to make of fun of my music choice this week. I dare him.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I Ran

We are 9 for 11 - in movies that is.  But it is pre-Oscar season (Mike, beware!) so there are any number of good movies coming out between now and New Year's Eve (Lincoln, Life of Pi,  ummm....I'm sure there is something else), so we should make all 12 movies this year.


No promises.

But yesterday we made Argo.

Hyped by most reviews, though I hadn't read the specifics, it pretty much lived up to the snippets I had heard.

I can't say I'm a fan of Ben Affleck, but he did a good job in front of, and behind, the camera.

Truth be told, I knew the movie was about the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, but I assumed it was about the 52 captives who were held for 444 days. I knew nothing of six Americans who left the U.S. embassy as it was being taken over and took refuge in the Canadian embassy - which is where this story focuses.

And yes, it's a true story. Clinton declassified the information in 1997.

The cast is strong - consisting of a few, what I would call, medium names: Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler (as Hamilton Jordan!....nicely cast), John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Chris Messina and Clea DuVall (who is always great - even in this limited role).   .....oh and Adrienne Barbeau (don't turn away or you might miss her).

I don't mean 'medium names' to demean the actors. Maybe a film full of character actors would be better. Over the top billings would have taken away from the movie itself. The script, direction and acting were strong and subtle.   ...and oddly enough, it kept up the suspense.

I don't know if it is Oscar worthy yet.......but I guess I'll keep in mind as Mike's next contest comes up on two and one-half months.

Blobby recommends.

Song by: a Flock of Seagulls

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Luck of the Draw

Last night we went to a showing of some American Institute of Architects.

I know, it sounds........different.

Most architects don't really draw anymore and do CAD stuff via computers.  These are olden times drawing guys.  One of them lives in our 'hood, which is actually the reason we went.

The showing was in an old church, which some woman purchased for almost nothing (well, relatively) and uses it to showings, have receptions, etc.

As you can see, it has nice design elements, which made it perfect for an event like this one specifically.

While this picture doesn't really show it, the night was well attended and it was an open bar!  Generally that is no big deal, but I'd barely eaten anything in 24+ hours (damned red eye) and had two glasses of wine.  What a lightweight I've become.

Actually, the venue was better than some of the drawings. I went in expecting more true architectural renderings but saw more paintings of landscapes or cityscapes but nothing that would look like the beginnings of a building.

Still it was something different that we don't normally do.

I'm thinking it's a movie hopefully there's something out there decent. I'm thinking Argo, but we'll see.

Song by: Bonnie Raitt

Friday, November 02, 2012

Waterloo Sunset

I won't say it's a throwaway post, but I won't say it's planned or thought out.

I sit here at the San Francisco International Airport  at 21:30 PST / 12:30 EDT acutely aware that if I don't post now, it will be well into Friday before I get to it.

Yes, another work trip, another redeye. Such is my life on the quest for Platinum Status 2012.  (and I swear to g-d, if they overhead page Patricia Singer one.more.time. I am going to scream. She is NOT answering.  It's been 30 minutes. Check the nearest ditch or Hare Krishna center.......she's gone!)

It's been a tough week with Petey, travel, weather and some personal stuff.  Light at the end of the tunnel, as it is Friday. Or will be when I land.

Petey is allegedly better. Not great by any means, but better. He pooped.

Not big news for you, but he had not gone since Sunday. He hasn't eaten since Saturday! He's a sick little boy.

But my work trip was successful, even if it took a while to get out of Dodge.  Damn that hurricane.

I know it sounds whiny to even talk about Ohio's "hardships" when NJ and NY are so shat upon. I feel for them. Still 710 was going on and on and on today about the sun. He hasn't seen it since last Thursday. It's been constant rain since last Friday. It's been in the 80s and sunny in So Cal.  It was nice.

(STOP paging that Patricia Singer. Have you ever considered she might be hearing impaired and not getting the messages??)

Still, I look forward to going home. I'll be there for a week, then back to California. Platinum doesn't seem too out of reach, but no doubt I'll be a flight or so short at the holidays, when I have no desire to jump on a flight just to get that status. Yet, I should get some recognition for all of this air travel, no?

The posted pic is sunset in Irvine, CA. It's pretty, though the reflection of the internal lighting in the airport kind of ruin it. Try to overlook it if you can.

(Ok, I realized that "Patricia Singer" is the 'red zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only' for SFO. That's is the only explanation at this point.)

Song by: the Kinks

Thursday, November 01, 2012

In Praise of the Vulnerable Man

P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute.

No doubt he was correct. I always just try to get through a day hoping that guy ain't me.

I'm a little late posting this, but not only have I been on the road, but I had other posts on the ready that had to be done in October.

I was a single parent this last weekend and everything was going well.....until Sunday morning.

Petey woke me up by coming upstairs at 02:35 and I told him to go back downstairs where he belonged. Oddly enough, I think he complied.  It is possible he slept on the guest bed - either he did or Becky didn't straighten the bed when she left. Possibly both things happened.

But I woke at normal time to take him out.  It was not good.  First the dining room smelled of poop, but that couldn't be - he never does that. Then as he was walking from his bed to me, he puked twice. Nothing solid, just frothy.  He puked two more times before going outside with me.

I was hoping he'd get it out of his system but that didn't happen.  He barely walked, and seemingly had no energy and his breathing was a little laboured. He finally did #2, but it was not solid.  Poor boy....and then he wouldn't walk home.  I ended up carrying him.  Pool little boy.

710 was called and consulted and we decided I would take him to the 24 hour vet place about 10 miles away.

I have always been skeptical of these place - by my own intuition and by experiences I have heard from others. I'm not sure which fed which process, but I was on guard.

Personally, I think they prey on the folks who bring their pets in the middle of the night to be looked at. They are money machines that only intake.

Petey has been prone to pneumonia in the past. He has it now.  It seems the remedy would be easy: antibiotics.

But not when you have a 24/7 clinic to run.

$101 for walking in the door. Literally.  Then bloodwork.  Then x-rays.  Right now we're at $486.

They'd like to do an ultrasound (no).  They'd like to keep him overnight and possibly put an IV in him if he needs. If they do, we're at a $1,700 estimate.

When the internal medicine vet comes in they'd like to lavage Petey, get some cells to see where the pneumonia stems from ($1,700 more). And they'd like to do a bronchoscopy ($2,700).

Get out your calculators folks - so far we're at a $6,100 estimated bill and this does not even include treatment.  This is just diagnostics.

Oh, and they don't want to start antibiotics because that will kill the illness in the cells they want to look at.  Fools!  I WANT you to kill that...and I don't see why he should have to suffer for another 24 hours just so you can collect your  - what I'm guessing will end up being - $7,000.

I adore Petey, but he is 10.5 years old. Treat the poor dog.

After some phone consults with 710 and my sister, who gave me his background on how they treated him successfully before, I told the staff to give me antibiotics and I was going to take him home. We will follow-up with our own vet.

They were nice about it and complied, but c'mon!

I was there for three and one-half hours, each dog coming in after got treated and left before I was able to carry Pete out of there.

He's on two anti-biotics for two weeks (at least), he gets steam baths.  Well, we use the guest bathroom and steam it up for his therapy to loosen his lungs up.

But these clinics are D-pressing. The 14.5 yo boxer a man had to carry in to be put down.  The cat that wasn't eating or drinking. The Akita who had bandages around her abdomen, paw and a pouch that was either a drain or a catheter bag.

We all love our pets. We all don't know exactly what to do for them, since they can't talk for themselves.  The guilt of what to do - or not - makes us vulnerable.  And yes, I think the people in these places are generally nice, but prey on that guilt and vulnerability.  Hell, right at the desk, they have a service for payment plans. ...and trust me, at $7,000 I would have needed one of those plans.

I have to say, I was a wreck for the first two hours, but after making my decision to take charge of his care as opposed to feeling a bit bullied, I felt better.

Petey is still a very sick pup. We squirt water into his mouth (well, 710 has been a superstar w doggie patient care). He's not eating, which means no pooping.  But he is peeing, so that's good. No more vomit, but he is going to the vet for IV and IV antibiotics.

His cough has slowed down and his breathing better, but his energy still isn't there. He's got today for another round and then I'll be home the following morning to give him kisses and pets.

I need him to rebound. I know people die of pneumonia, so why not dogs, but I'm not ready to give up on him.  He makes us too happy.

Here is a picture of the patient resting at home. No bed or blanket is too much for this precious pooch.

Song by: Alanis Morissette