Monday, December 31, 2012


Tonight is amateur night.  You won't see me out - at least not past 20:00. We might go out for dinner.  But just maybe.  I'm happy to stay in.  We both are.

As it is, people don't set off fireworks at midnight around here. More often than not, we're more likely to hear gun fire.  I think I've said it before, but it's safer to be in bed and hope our supine position allows bullets to pass over us, should one be a stray.

Thanks Wayne LaPierre.

I was always happy to be out on this night, at least in my youth. I don't ever recall kissing anyone at midnight, though depending on how drunk I was, I might not remember much at all.

These days it's more about yoga than beer or wine.  Yeah, I'm straying off-topic, but even though the last few yoga classes my cousin and I go to seem to be more and more challenging, I am still liking them.  And more importantly, my body seems to be liking them.

Not so much my shoulder or the leg I fell onto earlier this week, but the rest of it has been good.

Truth be told, I not only enjoy David's company, but the rest of his core group of yogis who have taken me in. They've been very very kind to stranger. We have all now added a Saturday class.

Oh, it was at this last Saturday class that, for all of five minutes, the men outnumbered the women. Unheard of!  But then Dottie showed up and evened it up. Still 50/50 is pretty unusual.

There was a granola male who was there who shamed us all - not that we're supposed to be judging.  But when you step or float to the top of your mat, it's humiliating to see this guy basically do a partial handstand to do it.  It took me a long time to float and not just to step. I'm not getting to the handstand level.

Or when you cradle your foot in the inside of your elbow (that I can do) and then in 20 seconds his leg is behind his head (that I can't do). Show-off!  I'm guessing play time with his wife must be lots of fun......though since he can move like that, maybe he doesn't need her.

I'm not judging him, but mostly myself.  He did not really make me feel bad about my practice, but that this movement is possible. Not for me, but it is possible.

In truth, he was very nice and it's encouraging to see a male who is that bendy. His Marine tatt and then two others, one on each arm:  I Inhale Love, on one. I Exhale Love, on the other.

He is also an instructor, but I might be intimidated by his class. He also participates (teaches?) rock and / or ice climbing.  That's just certain death for me.

But two yoga classes and hanging out with David was how I pretty much ended out my 2012 - and what can be better than that?

2012 held some highlights for sure.  Some big challenges, truth be told.  The year held one or two big sorrows and also a few joys.

As time progresses, I appreciate the joys more.  I take the sorrows harder.

Midnight and 2013 will be here before I know it.  I'll be asleep, though shots ringing out in the night will wake me momentarily.  Then it's back to snoozeville.

Be safe out there, if you're going out.  Hope your 2012 was a good one.

Song by:  Blondie

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Year in Pictures - 2012

It's that time of year - time to wrap up my year in about a dozen and a half pictures.  While not quite random shots, I try to make most of them ones you might not have seen in other postings - though you might have seen similar ones.

I had the luck to have a few blogger meet-ups, so those are included in here, along with some trips - though none for work. Who wants to relive those?   .....and of course, there is Petey Porn.

 January - the master bedroom: staging area for our bathroom renovation. 3 moths from start to finish. 

February - possibly my most favourite picture of the year:  Sophie's affection.

March - my cousin Bill's 66th birthday party.

April - my one visit to a chiropractor for my tendinitis.  The massage and tape helped slightly. Tape was to last for up to two weeks.  It lasted three days.

May - yet another malady.  My hearing loss.  While overall restored now, the ringing in my ears is constant....most likely never to go away.  CQ10 and zinc helped not at all. That was a failed experiment.

 June - Shanksville, PA.  The 17 ton boulder is the impact site Flight 93.

 June  - Petey's first day with us.  Checking out his new surroundings.

July  - meeting up with BosGuy.  Remind me, I still owe him two drinks.

July - Boston taking Yankee Doodle Dandy thing way too seriously. 

July - just hanging in Perkin's Cove near Ogunquit, ME.

July - Qgunquit Beach.  I suggest going if you can.

July - meeting up with Mike from his Short Attention Span Theater (such a short attention span that he has forgotten to update the site it for months!) 

Remind him, I have a much less flattering picture of him I could have used. 

August - the cousins who yoga together...........
Well, no surprise, Betsy is embarrassed to be seen with David and myself.  We can't really blame her.

August - Cedar Point.  We eventually had a blast, but next time I think we'll do it with friends and not just ourselves.

September - believe it or not, on the right is the outside wall of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. 

October - West Side Market.  I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for some post in which to use this picture. I don't see it happening, so it's going in here. 

October - Inadvertent blog meeting with Christopher over at the Mangina Monologues. He was sitting at a gate at O'Hare. 

November - the month of sick Petey. He's all good now. 

December - Since I travel so often, I have to FaceTime with Petey........and 710

 December - I can't have everything about Petey. I do have a daughter. Sophie loved the opening of the presents over the holidays. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Year in Music - 2012

With no rhyme or reason, I get to tell you of my top music pics of the past year - both album and song.

As with the other similar entries over the previous years, I don't hold myself to a number of songs or disks, as sometimes you just can't get a good 5 or 10 out of the bunch....and I'm not just listing to list.

In reality, I should keep a running list of things I've heard / seen during the year, but I don't. Looking through my iTunes doesn't necessarily help if I haven't purchased it.

And while I almost never listen to radio, it was hard to escape Sia and some DJ (?), whose name I don't remember and too lazy to look up, with their "Titanium" song, which I liked.

There is no real order to my actual choices, and some you've seen in the My Music Monday selections - but not all of them.

As it turns out, I have one album of the year with no runners-up and I have six individual songs, not really "singles"  ....again, in no real particular order.


While technically Gotye's song was released in July of 2011, it didn't really get noticed until 2012 in the U.S.  You can say it was overplayed (it was) and there were too many mixes and remixes (there were), but you know, when it comes down to it, the original version has not bored me. 2,491,073 plays this year alone (ok, I'm totally making up that number estimating!) and I still like it.

Aimee Mann had some fun videos from her Charmer disk this year, and actually released her strongest album in a few tries. But it was a non-video track that really scored for me on this disk - a duet with the Shins' lead singer, James Mercer.

Perfume Genius' "Hood" is actually one of my favourite songs of this year.  Less than two minutes in length, it's simply put together, a little raw and yet keeps me coming back to it.  The video is interesting, but not as interesting as the song - and that's really what it's about, no?

I'd never heard of the Presets (before or since) and while the video is nice, it is the song I like. Save for the internets, I've only heard it one other place - once.  ...and that was a few weeks ago when I was working out with my cousin.

If you're looking something different from the Killers, this isn't the song - but it's not bad in that niche they've carved out. It's still good for working out - not that I've been able to lift of spin without too much pain, but IF I could...this goes on my iPod shuffle.

Shawn Colvin had a very very spotty disk that was released in June. Oddly enough her strongest song was not written by her, or even on her own album. Colvin participated in a tribute to Guy Clark and recorded his "All She Wants is You".  Actually, it's her strongest recording in almost a decade!


I purchased a few disks over this year, but you know, I hate to say it, I don't listen to full albums the way I used to. That art form is waning and to that degree, I miss either longer drives in which do listen in that fashion or just vinyl albums.  Or both.

Aimee Mann wins for her release of Charmer back in September.

While I gave it an ok review back then, the disk continued to grow on me.  Yes, there are a few songs to skip over, but the disk works as a cohesive piece - even with the weaker links, but I'm still liking the title track, the song referenced above as well as "Soon Enough", "Crazytown", and "Gamma Ray".

That is what I have for 2012 in terms of music.  Hopefully there will be good music selections headed our way in 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Edge of Evolution

Ok, I have no songs with the word 'cliff' in them.  Who does?

I have a song or two sung by Cliff Richard, but I couldn't really make that stretch. It was too taxing.

HA - get it??

I love me!  (xoxoxo, me!)

I have a feeling, for my reading public, you already guess my stance on the "fiscal cliff" - a term that has been bandied about since before the election and has been in the news each and every day since.

It's not that I don't think the Dems can't find ways to cut some expenses, and I think they have, but clearly the GOP has learned nothing from their defeats of 2012. Their stuck in the mud mentality is well....stuck in the mud.

I get folks who forget history and are doomed to repeat it, but this "history" on what the U.S. citizens want (save the 1%) is only a few weeks old.  It is so not unreasonable to tax the wealthy and close their loopholes. Of course, I'm for taxing religious organizations as well (though in theory, that could blur the line between church and state that has already slid down that slick slick slope).

We are run by a group of morons.

Continually hearing about this has reminded me of some West Wing episodes of fiscal impasse. Art imitates life imitating art.

  Song by:  Alanis Morissette

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Can't Stop Falling

The first truly big snow fall of the year has arrived.

...and because of it, you get to see my new hat sooner than expected.  It's warm.  Like 'make your head sweat even our in 20 degree weather' warm.

Billed as this horrific "blizzard", yesterday's weather was quite annoying, but it would be a huge stretch to call it a blizzard.

I was out and about - and I never felt 30 mph winds, let alone gusts of 45 mph that we predicted.  Perhaps 20 mph earlier in the morning before snow fell, as I was walking the dog. My face was a block of ice before we finished that little outing.

And as for 8-12" of snow, I'm sure we'll stop short of the low number, and never make it to the foot. I could be wrong.

That all said, it still wasn't fun. Last week I mentioned my car out of control on slick roads, but there wasn't tons of snow.  Last night I cleared maybe 5-6" from the drive, but that was after the evening doggie walk.

But ohhhhh, that walk.

For all my sister's talking that Petey doesn't like the cold - he was in hog heaven bounding through the snow yesterday evening. Yes, he pulled, even more than normal.....and once that became problematic, mostly for me.

One pulling pooch + one slick road with ice under the snow = one toppled Blobby.

Je went right down on my "bad" know the one with all the metal and screws. It wasn't fun.  However, the next two times I fell were even less fun and more right on my tailbone, which I did almost three years ago to the day while cleaning the drive.

To be fair, number 2 and 3 were not because of Petey, it was just poor walking conditions. But that dog have not one ounce of compassion in him.  Where was he with the licks to see if I was ok?  He barely turned around let alone trotted back to check on me.

So, yes, it's pretty, but it's pretty from an inside perspective.

If we get 12" of snow, we would be about one-third of our total snowfall for all of last winter.

It was a night for staying in and making soup - which is what I did.  But more on that after first of the year.  Yes, I already have the rest of my posts for 2012 in draft or completed form.  This one wasn't even supposed to be here, but I felt that Mother Nature deserved a shout-out. 

Song by: Great Big Sea

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The poor animals are pooped.  The holiday took it out of them - especially Pete.

The trip to my parents just tuckered him out.  In a way, it tuckered us out too.

We had a nice relaxing, do-nothing day. Even though the plan was for a movie, I could not get motivated.

Sure, we made breakfast - our normal holiday eggs benedict. It was ok, but truth be told, I'm fine with Cap'N Crunch.

Petey did well with his first holiday here. He never got close to my sister's trees they had, but had full access to ours and didn't upset the apple cart once.

He was not even very interested in the gifts, until he got his pig's ear. He was not sure what to do with it, but it looked like he was trying to hide it at all costs - even considering the no-no of going upstairs.  Currently, it's residing under the dining room table. I don't know if he remembers where he put it.

Sophie?  She's just happy with the boxes and paper.

I think 710 and I did well with gifts for each other, nothing over board.  Hey, if the mittens he got me keep me from keeping my hands cold - he wins!  No offense to him, but keeping my hands warm is a tall order and one that no glove or mitten has yet to achieve.

The hat he got me will no doubt keep my head toasty.  There will be a picture at some point. It's a geeky looking hat, which doesn't bother me an iota to wear. I'm used to that.  Warmth triumphs fashion sense.

So it is back to work this morning for 710. Technically I am off, but will have to do some work, I just need to make sure it doesn't become a time suck.  I have a few things my parents gave me that I have to return.  ....and I want to cook.  I miss cooking and trying out new recipes.

Of course, this horrible storm is supposed to hit, so we'll see how that plays into everything.

If nothing else, it will be a good way to test out those mittens!

Song by: Moby

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Not much of a post.

Just wishing everyone a happy holiday.

It is Petey's first holiday with us. It is the first time he's gotten close to a tree and well, he hasn't disturbed it once.  But he's a fairly low-key pooch.

This was as close as I was getting him to pose in front of a tree.  Following commands are not his biggest priority.

We finally did the tree - and right in time.  We had guests up on Saturday - people you read about here all the time:  Morty, Rebecca, George and Andrew. We also included my cousin and his wife - which were great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy each other.  Or they are good actors.

But we got to see both Sixteen Candles (a favourite of ours) and Pee Wee's Christmas Special (and while I like it, I did notice nobody really paying attention - myself included).

After that whirlwind 20 hours (yes, not even a full day) it was getting ready for yesterday - the day we celebrate both my parent's birthdays as well as one of my brothers in law.

I do have to say, one of my other brothers in law just pissed me off to no end. 710 thought it was a failed attempt at humour, but I truly don't think it was.  He continually told said he liked Petey, but the next words out of his mouth were "if you were my dog, I'd take the 12-gauge in the back of the car and take you out back".  Then he'd say he was kidding, and then say "but I'm really not".

I didn't find it funny and honestly, if you knew him, it's not a huge stretch of something he could or would do.  He's an ass.

Overall, it's a nice time, but a loud one.  Space is too small and the kids way too loud. I'm almost finished before we begin.

My mother did give one of my sisters and myself the same present: a cap with a light in the lid, for when we walk our respective dogs at night.

Here's my sister wearing hers.

But for today, I'm here just to wish you all a happy holiday - whatever and however you celebrate.

Song by:  Weezer

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Music Monday

I know I've mentioned I'm not big on holiday music.  I'm just not - and not just the jesus / saviour / birth / star songs either.  I don't really care for the sleigh / wonderland / chestnut ones as well.

Yes, Bah Humbug.  Overall, they are just crappy songs. Save your breath - you cannot convince me otherwise.

That said, there are a few out there, that I like the arrangements - music or vocal - that I can look past the seasonal message of to enjoy (Sting's "Gabriel's Song" or Alison Moyet's "The Coventry Carol").

I think I could get away with justifiable homicide when taking out anyone who covers Wham!'s "Last Christmas".  Is it my imagination or are there an unimaginable number of people who want re-record that piece of trash?   Who knew people could be worse than George and Andrew?

Don't even get me started on Billy Squire's holiday song. Or Billy Squire, in general.

About the only appreciation I have for the genre is from Pee Wee's Christmas Special.

That long-ago special offered no new nuggets, in ways of music, just some fun renditions of the ones that have been around for 1,628 years.  Sure there are some clunkers (Little Richard has always given me the heebie-geebies), but most are done very tongue in cheek.

Last year, I gave you k.d. lang's version of "Jingle Bell Rock".

Dr. Spo will tell you that there is no good version of "The Little Drummer Boy" - and it is hard to argue with him on this.  It's a super-crappy song.

But Grace Jones makes it a lot less crappy.  It doesn't hurt, when it comes down to it, she only sings 62 seconds of a song that seemingly goes on forever. 62 seconds is probably just the right amount. Yet she does it with Grace flare and that is all you really need.    ....and she's way more in tune than the Del Rubio triplets.

So there you have it, the holiday My Music Monday.   

Sorry Grace......back in the box!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bullets in My Hairdo

Time and again, I've made no secret of my shock and awe at the NRA and specifically Wayne LaPierre.

Yes, I'm kind of late to this, but there were holiday posts and things to attend to.  I suppose if I posted multiple times per day, I could get everything in. As you might not yet notice, so far I haven't gotten in my Record of the Month posts, my App of the Month, Site of the Month, etc.

This isn't a bad thing, it just means I don't always need placeholders and I have things to babble on about.

Back to the NRA.

What fucking idiots. Seriously.

Here is what good armed guards would do at each and every school: job creation.  At least in theory.

125,000 schools nationwide.  Of couse, now already over-strapped school systems will have to lay off teachers to pay for this initiative, along with benefits and supplies (you know: guns, bullets, vests).  The  good thing is, no one has to shell out tax dollars for background checks, licenses or training. None needed!

I'm sure the teacher's unions (or the teachers themselves) won't balk that the average armed guard will get double an educator's salary, since the same people who rally behind the NRA (the GOP) already want teachers to sacrifice and take pay cuts.

I'll say it again:  fucking idiots.

But I'll go on.

Logistically, an armed guard ratio could be solved via a math word problem, no?

Q: If a school has 10 exits, 6 stairwells, 40 classrooms and 400 hundred students, and a shooter has four assault rifles each with a magazine of 1000 rounds of ammunition - how many guards would be needed to kill the shooter?

Extra Credit:  how many students would the shooter kill before the guard(s) got to him?

Yes, Wayne, the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  My only question is - how do you tell who is who?


Speaking of idiots, don't even get me started on the responses I got back from my republican state senator, Rob Portman.  Frustrating, but not surprising.  ....nor was it surprising that a wuss like him was on the short list for Romney's VP.  


Song by: Finn Brothers

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More Than Physical

I started physical therapy yesterday.   ...for my shoulder.  Not my foot - though right now I'm wondering if that should have been the priority.

Grass. Greener.  You know the drill.

Well, one thing at a time, and right now it is Mr. Left Shoulder.

Not 100% PT will work. The tendon that is running under the shoulder is frayed a bit - or so it is suspected.

I have exercises for strengthening and to improve my range-of-motion.  By the way - "strengthening" means using a 3lb weight.  I also have bands to use three times a day. The weight and the bands can easily go in my travel case so I can work out in the hotel room.

With PT,  I'm nothing if not compliant.  I don't want to be there.

It is unknown if I can go back to lifting. No time soon - at least not certain lifts. I can probably do some curls.  Not curlers.  I thought I'd just cut all you off at the pass on that "joke".    If the sessions don't work, injections might be required.  The thought of a needle going in my shoulder area makes me wince.

My therapist isn't as cute as my last one.  He's nice and all and barely hurt me, but he is no Adam.  Adam no longer works there.  Oh well.

After PT, I went to do holiday things. Kind of.

Cleveburgh is getting hit by their first measurable snow in 290 days !!!!   I know, it seems a lifetime (and almost a record), but we had such a mild winter last year.

The winds were wicked as were the freeways.  I totally lost control of my car and am completely amazed I did not hit anyone or end up in a ditch.  I wasn't speeding, just hit a bad patch of snow or ice and that was that.  Then I would have really needed PT.

So, one day into actual Winter and we are in it.  Original forecast was for 6-15" of snow, but it's looking more like 4.   ....and potentially friends on the way up to see us for a day.  I'm excited.

I hope they are.

Song by:  Bananarama

Friday, December 21, 2012

As the End Draws Near

Today is the day.  Possibly my last blog post.

....but I wouldn't be betting any money on it. Not that you'd have to pay-up if the Mayans are correct.

I don't know anyone who ever believed this hooey, though allegedly there are those out there that do. But these are the Hale-Bopp folks, or the May or October 2011 folks who thought the world was in peril.

The world is in peril. This has always been the case.

I suppose if I ever wanted to take the time to look up why, when, how the Mayans thought this to be the end of time, I could.  But since I'm a non-believer why bother?

But could they really have predicted the end of the world when they never saw the conquistadors coming?  ...then there is this thing with Leap Year's.  Those couldn't have possibly been taken into account when determining an end date.  We could be off by months or years at this point.

It's sad. On some levels, it would be so easy if it were just all over.  I'd never have to give or receive another performance review. I wouldn't have to do the laundry again or shovel a driveway.

Still, I enjoy my time with my man, my pets and my friends, though if it were all over for all of us, maybe we'd all be in a better place together - like East Lansing or something.

So here we are. And so we will be here tomorrow.  Unless there is that horrendous bus accident.....but until then.................

Song by: Manufacture

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Khumbu Icefall

I have mentioned, more than a few times, that for years, I was just obsessed with Mount Everest. Truth be told, every April and May, I will check news feeds about those ascending Everest.

For those who don't know - normally May 10th (ish) is the best time to summit the world's tallest peak. It's a small window of the "best" weather.  That being in quotes, as the weather still sucks - but sucks slightly less than every other time of year.

There are two ways to climb Everest - the North Face (yes, like the jacket) and then the Southeast Ridge.

If you haven't seen the IMAX movie, Everest, and have the chance, you should see it.

Anyways - I digress.....kind of.  

David Breashears was the director of that 1998 film.  He took footage of that shoot along with new images and created a 2 BILLION pixel picture of Everest.

You can toggle around, zoom in (and out) and really see the mountain, the topography and some of those routes I've read about on how people get from Base Camp (go to the bottom of the image and you can see tons of hiker teams camped there!) all the way to the summit.

I know this has a limited appeal, but at least I find it interesting.

On a related note, I cannot wait for the iPhone7 so I can get a 2 billion pixel camera!  I'm sure it will be on that version.

Song by:  Everest Original Soundtrack

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the Weight

At first I was going to say I haven't been forthcoming, but that's not quite true. I have not quite lied either.

My gym time is down to zero and has been for a few months.

Part has clearly been my lack of time spent in town, as I have been on the road constantly. Part has to do with Petey - that I'm not up and out as early when it comes to walks, breakfast and belly rubs for him. He makes me want to stay at home.

Part still has to do with my impingement syndrome and my tendinitis.

I fully cop to the fact that I've done nothing about either.

That said, I'm still doing yoga, both on Sundays and in my hotel rooms, and am adding Saturday to the mix this upcoming weekend.  But without doing cardio and weightlifting, my maladies have not hurt me all that much. I tend to forget about them.

As for that Saturday yoga, David and I were late for it last week, so we went to his gym to workout. 13 minutes into my cardio and I knew I was fucked. All the pain I had not been experiencing the last few months in my left foot was back with a vengeance.  David offered to let me stop, but by then I had six minutes to finish my routine.

Then it was on to weights.  Ouch.

Yeah, all that I had pain I didn't have (well, for the most part) was back.  ....and four days later I'm still in pain, so I'm at least tackling one problem: my shoulder.

Yes, I start physical therapy on Friday. Hopefully I can regain my mobility and get to a place where I can lift again.

After that, I'll focus on the foot.  The custom orthodics I was supposed to get turned out not to be covered by insurance and was to set me back $600.  Of course, now I'm thinking I should have shelled out for it. Maybe after the first of the year.

BUT - do you want to know the joke of only doing yoga?   Do ya?

I currently weigh less than I have in almost two decades.  I did a weigh-in at a client site, fully dressed and with steel toed shoes on.  I was 182.  About 18 months ago I was 183.5 - and that was nekkid and I was working out 4-5 times a week.

The key is, don't work out and eat like crap and lose weight.  Ok, I don't seem to have a much muscle as I once had and that I was working towards, but maybe with my new found weight, I can build on that and just be more defined, or seemingly more defined.

That's what I'm going to work off of - right after I finish PT.

Song by:  the Band

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silver Lining

In theory - we are done.   12 movies in 12 months.

Sunday we saw Silver Lining Playbook, which completes for our annual goal for 2012.

That is two years in a row, if anyone is counting.  I know I am.  I have to, since we struggle to get to this number year after year and until last year, have failed.

...and we still have two more weeks to go, so we might surpass it.  I'm sure we'll surpass some people want to go see Les Mis on xmas day (even though CNN gave it a "C"). Oh yes, "the gays" the neighbors want to see that opening day.

Once again, I read no reviews of Silver Lining Playbook prior to going to the movie, but it was hard to miss some trailers as we saw films over the last 2-3 months.

I would say the movie camera loves Bradley Cooper - he is fun to look at. And I've said it before, but the moving camera is more forgiving to him than still pictures. But that means nothing if he can't pull of the act - and he does.  While I like him, I can't say I liked his character that much, but I'm not sure you're supposed to.

Actually, I wasn't sure what to think of the movie overall.  Lining is more than a little frantic and more than a little fractured - the characters and the style. But that is David O. Russell, who I can't say I've cared for most of his movies.  Ok, any of his movies.

Some performances, again while I may not have liked, were better than others (the lady playing Bradley's mom). I'm still trying to figure out the appeal of Robert DeNiro. He had two good scenes here and other than that.........meh. I find that with most everything he does.  Clearly, I'm in the minority with him. I think Scorsese milked 2-3 good movies out of him and he's seen as a legend, deserved or not.  To me, he's like Pacino, playing off characters he's already done till he become almost a parody of himself.

And Chris Tucker? Was there no other black actor in Hollywood available?  NONE?

Was Malcom-Jamal Warner really not sitting by the phone waiting for a call - any call?  Tucker is a one-note hack and not even talented at that single note.  Maybe he's genius when acting next to Jackie Chan, but who wouldn't be?   I suppose I shouldn't care considering when you add up his screen time it was 6.5 minutes.

I hear the word about Cooper possibly getting nominated for an Oscar (are you listening Mike?) and I thought he did a good job, but Oscar caliber?  But then I remember Robin Williams has one, and Halle Berry.....and Miro Sorvino.  The Academy just hands them out to just about anyone, so Cooper has a good a shot as anyone.

Actually, I was ok seeing this movie. It was on the list and I wasn't fighting to get into the Hobbit opening weekend. I assume we can see that before year's end.........or we can extend that into next year to start counting down the 2013 movies.

I keep saying it, but Lincoln is still on my list and I want to see This is 40 since I'm already looking at that in the rearview mirror. If both of those stick around past the holidays (and they will), I can get a good jump on the next year's goal.

....and yes, I used this title before, but it seemed tailor made for this, dontcha think?

Song by: Rilo Kiley

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Music Monday

I'm back in a bluegrass mood today.

DJ - you can keep going about your business, but who knows, you might listen and like at some point.  I mean, you're taking banjo lessons......just sayin'.

This time I am going with Nickel Creek, a now-defunct trio (though they still have an active band url) of talented young musicians.

Produced over the years (on and off) by Alison Krauss, today's selection, "When in Rome" was actually not helmed by her, but some of Krauss' influences remain while the band takes, for lack of a better phrase, a harder edge in bluegrass.

Nickel Creek had bigger songs (well, in the country / bluegrass world), but I still come back to "Rome"  seven years after its release.

All members, brother and sisters Sean and Sara Watkins and Chris Thile are still active in recording and touring - just not with each other, though allegedly they claim to one day to reunite. They are not the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, so I'm not sure it's big news if they do or do not.

Still, when you look when they hit it big, they were all in their early to mid-20s and showed remarkable talent, whether you gravitate to this type of music or not.

And like it or not, here is "When in Rome".

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shame is the Name

Oh my poor poor boy.

Petey really has had a year - as 710 pointed out.

A new home.  ...and since then, he has had an ear infection, his big big bout with pneumonia and now this - a probable fungal infection on his paw.

The pup has just been licking one front paw for about a week, but he's licked it raw.  But the vet says it is some kind of infection that requires topical medicine for the next two weeks.

And that means the Cone of Shame.

I'm not sure Petey has ever worn one, but I am the one who is seemingly traumatized.  Ok, not so seemingly.

Peter just has been banging into things as he navigates his way around the house. He certainly has not figured out to turn his bed over like he is used to. He'd do that mainly with his nose, but that's not going to work.

I watch him resting, his head down and I can't tell if he's truly comfortable or not. But his sleeping noises are certainly amplified.

Sophie is certainly curious.  She's not sure what to make of this. Soph follows him mostly everywhere anyway, but now she's looking a little quizzical and keeping her distance a bit.....but just a bit.

I'm not sure what to think of it either. I feel soooo bad he has to wear this. I don't know how we'll endure two weeks of it.

Today after yoga, I'll hit a pet store and see if there are socks or a bootie he can wear to cover the infected area that he can wear instead of the cone. Yes, I imagine he'll try to take that off, but he's trying with the cone.

In theory, if he's not licking, he doesn't have to wear the Shame Cone. And we'll have to take it off for walks and meals.

Being a parent is hard work.

Song by: Morrissey

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sky is Crying

Some days the world just sucks.  Yesterday was one such day.

It is not often I hang my head at hearing the news. I've become very desensitized and cynical - if I haven't been all my life.

Yesterday was a new low for humanity. I did hang my head, closed my eyes and silently wept.  Yes, me.

...and yes, I am talking about the shootings in Connecticut.  For today, I don't think I needed to reference this event by name, but in a year's time, no one reading this will know what I'm talking about and those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Yet repeat it we do, whether it's a Colombine, Aurora, CO, Chardon, OH or any number of other schools, malls, church, federal buildings, playgrounds or work places. The problem is, we aren't forgetting history - we've been given some kind of "free" pass on these things happening - which is why it keeps happening.

What the fuck has become of this country....this world?

I'll be honest, to read the details seems harrowing. I'm not sure they'd tell me anything I'd want to know that wasn't details of how many rounds, how many dead, response times and "possible motives". And the police, religious leaders and survivors all talk in cliches about "bringing the community together" and such - you've heard it 100 times before.

The reality is, there are no words that could explain this. NOTHING could ever justify this - not that anyone but the NRA will try with their Second Amendment crap. The reality is, no one knows exactly what the framers of the Constitution meant with that. It's been an argument that is older than I am and no closer to anyone agreeing on it.

I don't give a shit to the people who say that if others are armed, that will prevent crime.  What a load of horseshit. And there is no evidence to support that statement anyways.

The NRA doesn't look out for gun owners. If they did, they would require license, training, education. But no, that would infringe on their "right" to own.  But "Myrna" down at the hair salon is required, by law (!!), to have a license, training and education to give you bangs. Myrna is such a menace to society.

And I get that many people acquire guns illegally, but g-d fucking forbid we could pass a gun bill that would actually punish those who bought or sold outside the bounds of legal means. Nope. Congress can't have that!

Then there are the right winged media assholes who will and are saying that this happened because there isn't prayer in school.  FUCK YOU.  They didn't wait a red hot minute to contribute and use the same old canned crap response(s) whether it is a shooting, a hurricane or tornado. ....and with no evidence to back up their shit.

No doubt the Westboro Baptist Church will make their presence known at any of these kid's funerals.  Why is beyond me, but you know they will. I've never understood the purpose of them showing up at soldier's funerals and the like.

For my type of media - the Simpsons and Kids in the Hall - I always flash on two segments during these tragedies.  For the Simpsons, it is Kang and Kodos observing humans after Lisa wishes for weapons to be banned but mankind must use a board with a nail in it to fight off invading aliens.

"Well Kang, it seems the humans have won".  

"Did they? That board with a nail in it may have defeated us. But the humans won't stop there. They'll make bigger boards and bigger nails, and soon, they will make a board with a nail so big, it will destroy them all!"

...and on KitH, Dave Foley makes a comment about Canada being like America......"but without the guns".

I'm not fool enough to think guns will ever be outlawed. We as a nation are too far past that point. But there has to be some middle ground and neither Congress or the NRA are willing to move off that lest they not be re-elected or lose their deep pockets for lobbying. I can't blame Obama specifically either - as all presidents have been weak on this issue. All of them.  Yes, people can and will cite some things some have done, but in the big picture, the NRA is still king of that castle, the blood runs in the streets and obtaining a weapon is as easy as anything.

But I can't help feel so bad for those parents.  My g-d, how awful.  I feel bad for the teachers and of course the children....victims and survivors. The long-term effects have got to be staggering. I'm not minimizing Colombine, but as a teen, you're a little more equipped to deal with some of this - but the life-long nightmares that must stay with a child who has lived through this boggles my mind.

I am not a man who prays. It's not that I don't believe in some spiritual presence, but this g-d that these christian commentators yak on about, believes in is all Old Testament. Those (mostly) men don't believe in Jesus - or truly speak of him. They believe in the fire and brimstone g-d.  They believe in the cutting your baby in half kind of g-d.  They don't believe in forgiveness, only retribution.

If there is the just g-d of which they speak - where is he?  He must be busy with football players making touchdowns and Grammy winners but certainly not paying attention to a K-12 school.

But yesterday and today might be the closest I come to any prayer.

...not that anyone is listening.

Song by: Stevie Ray Vaughn

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sleep On

I am exhausted.

Another half-week in California. Another red-eye. Anther landing and right into my home office - all on three hours of sleep, and not in a row.  Nor was it a good sleep.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I had an aisle seat and no one in the middle.  It made it a little easier - had it not been for the SCREAMING baby.  90 minutes of crying.

Oh that little air brat cried on and off for the rest of the flight too, but one and a half hours straight.

People with kids shouldn't be allowed on night flights when the objective is to sleep through the air travel. They can fly when the sun is up.

I do it to myself - to a degree.  Working all day, then flying home and going right to work - that's insane, right?  I need to break the cycle.

Of course, if I just flew during the day, I'd be worried what I was missing during my flight so it's a no win.

I do believe my work travel is over for 2012.  I might take a short flight (I have a $150 voucher) just to get that Platinum status. But it sucks flying during the holiday weeks.  And it's more expensive.  And it turns out - flying 642 (I think I'm down to 642 miles from 837) isn't that easy. Even Cleveland to Chicago and back is only 630.  BWI is less.

To those who asked earlier, you can purchase extra miles, but they don't go towards premiere status. Well, for an extra (!!) $1500 it does.  But for $1500, I can get a trip to Paris.......and back for under $1000 and that will get me all the miles I need.....and then some.

Ok.  I'm drafting the night before.  It's 9:28p......way past my bedtime.

Song by: Alison Krauss

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 34th 12 of 12

Normally it is 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.

It was also mentioned that since Chad quit this a year ago, this should be my last reference to him, and I suppose that's valid.  Thanks Chad, for getting me onto this over the last three years.  g-d speed.

This a work-trip 12 of 12 - so no kitty or doggie pictures.  I don't know if work posts like this are more or less exciting. Maybe it's not supposed to be exciting, just a day in the life of......    And that's what it is....but on Pacific Time.

04:15. Courtyard pool - still lit up. I have no idea if it's heated, but I never pack for such things. Yes, it's early, but my body is on Eastern time.

07:20. Passed by the Tustin Airship Hangars. You know, blimps. No longer there (I don't think). But there are two hangars. They are similar to the ones in Akron for the Goodyear airships.

07:40. Arriving at the client site. 

11:30. Heading out to lunch - leaving worksite. I rarely go out for lunch but their cafe has made me sick three times. I've learned my lesson. But there's a train track into the client site. 

12:10. Walking through a little park at the plant site, before heading to an off-site meeting. Nice area - no one but me was out there. They're not a healthy bunch of folks who will take a walk just to take a walk. 

14:20. Heading back in from lunch and an off-site meeting. Isn't this a seriously daunting gate / turnstile?

17:25.  Leaving the plant - to head to the airport.  FINALLY.

17:45.  The 405. It looks bad, doesn't it?  This is actually a good day. The 405 sucks. 

18:05.  I checked my luggage.  Yes, it fits in the overhead, but it's a full full flight, and I'd rather have my computer bag atop, so I have what little leg room I can for legs. I'm Gold, so it costs me nothing to check a bag and I don't have to drag it though SNA and SFO.

18:45. The John Wayne International Airport taken from the departing gates. But from there, I can look down to see the baggage claim area. Oooooh.  Purdy. 

19:05.  Pinkberry....because I'm worth it.  Though it's my 4th or 5th Pinkberry attempt and I'm always somewhat disappointed. This mango with chocolate crisps was ok though. And it sure beats my shitty dinner. 

19:30. Kind of snickering at all the folks charging their Apple items before boarding the plane. Trust me, mine was too, it was just out of the shot. 

No Baker's Dozen this month.  Sorry.  What fun is that without an animal picture?