Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Site of the Month

I had heard about the website Lumosity on NPR.

Lumosity was created by neuroscientists and is a site to be used daily that targets core cognitive processes that underlie performance in many different areas - including memory, attention and other abilities that are critical in the real world.

Well, if my high school math teachers were right, I was to be using Algebra in the 'real world' too - and that doesn't much happen.

But I get the need to keep your neurons sharp. I don't need to sink into dementia any sooner than is going to happen in the first place.

Truth be told, I've only used the site once (yesterday) so far, but for a few minutes per day, I will try it to see how (or if) my abilities improve.

You have to sign-up (with minimal information).  Can you believe someone already captured the user-name, "Blobby"?   Who the fuck do they think they are???

There are five test areas in all (speed, memory, attention, problem solving and flexibility), but without paying (and you know I'm not gonna), I only have access to the first three of those.

Eh, I'll live.

The site says I will improve 80% over the next three months.  I'm assuming that is based on all five areas. They don't really say.

While I did "ok", I wasn't stellar, but I attribute some of that to figuring out exactly what I should be doing (there are no do-overs) and figuring out the MacAir controls to the games.  i.e. I was to click on one thing, then another area to add a number, but hit the pad to quickly and it accepted an incorrect number.

So part of my 80% betterness (it could be a word!) will just be knowing what I'm doing tomorrow.  Then I'll plateau.

I don't know if BPI will fill in later, but the bottom two won't unless I shell-out $4.95 per month and up. Je don't think so.

It's hard to say to what the above numbers equate. They are not the same as the scores I received in each game.

Granted, I took a nose-dive at attention, as the scope got larger and it there was specific things you had to click on  - not just be in a very close proximity. The Speed and Memory should be better since I now know how they work.

I guess I can recap in 90 days to see how close I come to achieving that 80% improvement.

One of you might have to remind me to do that post.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

App of the Month

I'm actually reviewing an app that hasn't even yet been released.

I. Am. THAT. Good.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out all that is wrong with an app called "Leftover Swap".

You get, give or exchange leftovers.

Now, I have a friend, Christine, who at least before she had kids, threw away anything leftover from dinner because she and her husband didn't believe in leftovers. That was a little extreme to me.  I am thinking she might have changed her tune on that now that she has three children.

710 and I are fine with leftovers - either as is, or to repurpose them into new meals.  You know how leftover steak can then be a steak salad or you make chicken hash from leftover chicken boobies, or something a day or two after the initial meal.  It beats throwing it away.

But exchanging leftovers with strangers?

I might be ok with giving stuff away, but in-take?  Noooooooo thank you.

I like to know ingredients and how things are prepared.  Oh - and I really want to know how long that food has been around and how it has been stored.

More disturbing is the claim of not letting restaurant portions go to waste.

You mean, food that has been sitting on someone's plate that they have invariably touched over and over during the course of the meal - was prepared by someone else, served by yet another person and possibly boxed up by yet a third individual?

I'm not a germaphobe but, ick!


I have no idea if the app will be free of charge, but it should be.  Ya gotta believe the audience for this is limited, and clearly cheap if they're eating other people's leftovers.

I shant be downloading this one.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Music Monday

I threatened to do a few weeks of '80s music, but I'm still holding off. Partially because of the songs I had thought of a few weeks back have slipped my mind and I just don't remember the representation I was going to put forth.

Maybe it's time to start Aricept.

My choice to day is a 1991 song - with hints of 1960s.

Roger McGuinn was a founding member of the Byrds and their lead singer and guitarist.  There is no way to get around that sound.

While McGuinn made records after the Byrds broke up in the early '70s, he had a slight resurgence in 1991 with his album, Back from Rio.

There is no denying the influence the Byrds had on rock music - just listen to any Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

It's not a complete shock that those guys showed up on McGuinns Rio, as did members of the Eagles, Wall of Voodoo, Elvis Costello, Michael Penn and some former member of the Byrds.

Back from Rio is a pretty good disk, though I'm not sure exactly how well it did - though I own it.

I went back and forth between two songs - my pick, "Someone to Love" and "King of the Hill".  Both are nicely done, though the latter is almost twice as long as the former - and I know you guys don't have that kind of attention span.

Secondly, "King of the Hill" was co-written by Petty and as much as he takes his influence from McGuinn, it is almost as if McGuinn becomes a back-up player.

"Someone to Love" is just a nice piece of pop music - with its Byrds-like jangling guitar sound.

I'm sure McGuinn put out music afterwards, but the press had moved on to, I'm sure, other comebacks that were more interesting.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


With my soapbox yesterday on vodka, I forgot that Saturday is normally Petey Porn Day.  My bad.

But I suppose one could look at doggie porn every or any day.  Since it is a weekend, and I'm downright lazy, today is Petey Porn Day.

Honestly, the toughest thing is coming up with the post title.

Grandma giving Petey a treat last weekend.  It was my sister's b-day and her present from us was bringing Petey to her house for dinner.  The ribbon comes off a Lillian Pulitzer box - a present from mother to daughter.  I put it on Petey - as my present was better. 

Honest, he's not pooping. He was enjoying the cool of the ground cover on a hot day earlier this week. Hell, I wish he'd go in there to do his bidness. But no - he'll hold it until he gets a walk. 

Dinner time.  Ours.  Not theirs.  One big beggar and one hanger-on. 

I will follow him. Follow him wherever he may go.........

Hell, I even created a new tag to dedicate just to Petey Porn - though Sophie is clearly a part of the picture.

Until next week.............

Song by:  the Cure

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)

My lord, the gays and their causes.  It defies logic sometimes, not that you can tell us / them least without getting bitch-slapped.

"Everyone" is on rant about boycotting Stoli vodka due to Russia's treatment of GLBT folks in their country. 

I don't drink vodka, so there is nothing for me to boycott. 

I do understand boycotts when it comes to organizations and companies. I'm not sure I get a boycott against a singular company in hopes that it will change national policy for a country - let alone a country that isn't even ours. 

Isn't that a little like Germany saying they won't use Welch's Grape Jelly if the U.S. doesn't change their policies on greenhouse gases?   Ok, maybe that isn't the best analogy, but it is not too far off.

I don't think anyone in the former Soviet Union is quaking in their boots - save maybe the people at Stoli.  

The arguments for why the boycott will succeed are flawed (my opinion).  People cite Anita Bryant (36 yrs ago!) and Coors (allegedly ended in 1997)...and.....well........that's it.

(ok - we had those uber-successful boycotts that totally brought down Target, Whole Foods and Chik-fil-a.)

Bryant was removed as a spokesperson and yes, it hurt the Florida Orange Juice Growers.  The Coors boycott hurt Coors, but guess what, the family is still severely right-winged and still giving money to organizations that cater to the right-wing.  So......

And yes, those boycotts financially hurt the company and did nothing to change domestic policy on well......anything.  Stoli will get financially hurt, but thinking they have pull with Putin or is that vital to the Russian economy is ludicrous - this is a country who still has periodic bread lines and an overall economy worse than East St. Louis. 

If Stoli is the biggest factor in the Russian economy then the country might have bigger issues. 

And why go after only Stoli - why not all Russian spirits or products?  Personally it sounds like Skyy or Grey Goose is behind this boycott. 

I would be more inclined to have people / athletes / sponsors boycott the 2014 Winter Games in Russia - not that I see that really happening - there is way too much invested.  The IOC claims that Russia claims that athletes and fans will be exempt from the anti-GLBT propaganda laws. 

Shouldn't that be a bigger issue?  Exemptions for certain populations and only when the eyes of the world are upon them for two weeks?  

The boycott of the Russian games in 1980 didn't have the desire effect the U.S wanted - and hell, Russia had invaded Afghanistan. I don't see the U.S. or any other country actually skipping the Winter Games. But the world is a different place now.  Social media, the internet, etc would have many more eyes on human rights issues in Russia. 

I was taken to task by someone who said that the Stoli boycott is a grassroots effort and that social change can only happen through this effort. 


My, how short-sighted and how hypocritical. 

Mind you - these are the same people the bemoan, belittle and mock One Million Moms and NOM's boycotts on JCP and Starbucks respectively.  Whether you like it or not, those groups are going for social change too - just not some we would like to see. 

So boycotts are ok as long as it suits our wants and needs?

The reality is - Ed Snowden will be given sanctuary by Russia.  The U.S. wants him back.  We're not going to rock that boat any more than we possibly have to until he is custody....and that includes denouncing GLBT human rights in Russia. 

The boycotters can knock themselves out, but I think their focus and their target is misguided. 

Song by: Paul McCartney & Wings

Friday, July 26, 2013

In These Shoes

I have to say, ever since we moved back into the renovated bathroom and dressing room, we haven't really moved everything back.

It seems when we moved out we pitched a lot of shit.  Then we moved a lot of shit we kept to other bedrooms and closets, but when we moved back in, many things stayed in those other rooms and closets.

I'm at the point, if it is in another room and we haven't used it, we need to lose it.

One thing that went yesterday were shoes. Not tons - seven pair between 710 and myself.  They were old, out of style or never quite fit.  They've been gathering dust.

It would have been easy to give them too Goodwill, but a local organization was collecting shoes for folks affected by the Haiti earthquake three and one-half years ago.

Haiti is pretty impoverished on its best day, and since that earthquake, they haven't bounced back much at all.  I was good going slightly out of my way to drop of shoes for this charity.

Of course, I think everything's a scam, so hopefully the shoes will make its way to the folks who need them.

I kind of internally chuckled when I opened my trunk with these shoes.  It seemed like I had the Holocaust Museum Shoe Exhibit Starter Kit.

Oh relax - it is a joke.  (Though if you're ever in DC you need to take a day to go to the museum - and then another day to recover.)

But I pulled up to drop off the shoes - one of like five locations - and what do I see?

 The group has collected over 8600 pairs of shoes!!!  This was only a partial pick-up from one site.  The rest from this site were already loaded into......

a frickin' semi.

The place I dropped off at was a church, one that has an almost exclusive African-American base. I stood for a few minutes talking to the very handsome pastor who was telling me how he was taking flak from any number of people because he was doing this for Haiti but for not doing something for Trayvon Martin.

I never got to question as to what he was supposed to actually do for someone who had been dead for 18 months (not that I was ever actually going to ask that question).

He immediately went on to say, "people get murdered every single day. These are millions of people who have been without everything for years".

I was a little taken aback by that - not that any of it wasn't untrue - just him being forthright telling someone he's never met before that he was going against some in his congregation with no apologies.

8600 pairs of shoes are nothing to sneeze at. I really have no idea how they'll get tied garbage bags down to the Caribbean.

Here's hoping it's not a scam.

Song by:  Kirsty MacColl

Thursday, July 25, 2013


All this fuss over an off-spring.

It's nice and all that the Brits still have a sense of tradition and well - adhere to the class system.

All in all, I'd rather hear about the royal baby than not be able to turn on a tv or open a newspaper to hear or see every pregnant second of Kim Kardashian's bastard.  Sadly, she might be America's royalty.

How far we've fallen as a nation.

...but even with the royals, my lord, the media was out of control....and their audacity.....

"How Long Will Kate Keep Us Waiting?"

Excuse me?  How is this fucking about you / me / us? Sorry she's not on your timeline or told you the exact due date, you vultures.

And this is a U.S. CNN headline, not CNN International. This isn't even the BBC where, you know, the birth of a monarch, actually means something.

While we were in Maine, I kind of hoped that the royal baby watch was all over. Morty said something about it, off the cuff, (he's not obsessed with it.....honest!), and it made me assume that labour had begun.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

My lord, the blog entries and comments, the Facebook posts - and the parodies - about the birth, about the baby, the parents, etc, you'd think people wouldn't have time to pull away from their Rolling Stone cover rants to join in on the baby news.  Alas, they found the window in their busy schedule.

Praise be that it's all over.  Yes, we'll have to see picture of his first day at school and shit, but I'll be long dead well before he ever takes the throne, assuming there is a monarchy at that point.

There are allegedly 3.6M babies born in the world every single day.  The amount of time and effort for this one is just strange to me. The ones who struggle to succeed are the interesting stories.  Not to diss the future king of England, but c'mon, he's going to struggle for very little.

I look at it this way - the story got George Zimmerman off the front pages, and Anthony Weiner is knocking the little baby king off his rotation.

Lord knows what is next.

Song by:  Rachel Sweet

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 10 years old.

I've been focusing on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other, and I'm running out of decent debut disks. 

Yikes, I haven't done a Classics version since April.  And it doesn't look as if I'll have a new music release for July.  Such is the way of the world.  Blobby's World.

I'll finally do Rosanne Cash's debut - Right or Wrong, released in 1979.

Technically, it's her U.S. debut.  She recorded an album in Germany a year or so earlier that was a bomb, but she was bound and determined to not be associated with her father - Johnny. Even she thinks that album is abysmal.

While Cash, oddly enough, wasn't raised that much on country music, she knew enough to record a disk that would start what would be called 'new country' - meaning not being so sad-sack with the country music ala the put upon woman done wrong by her man.

Produced by her soon to be (first) husband, Rodney Crowell, he brings folks from his stint in the Hot Band which backed up Emmylou Harris - including Harris herself.

Cash is green as a vocalist and songwriter on this disk, penning only one tune.  Her vocals are decent but became much stronger over time. Still her voice suits the song choices. It's a solid debut disk, though not stellar.

Covering "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)" was a bold choice - as it had been done from everyone from Harry Belafonte, to Robert Palmer to the Carpenters to the Grateful Dead.  Still her country take on it works.  She also covers her father (so much for distancing herself) with his "Big River".  She even tries to bring some country influence into the music with a duet with Bobby Bare Jr.  ("No Memories Hangin' Round")

Crowell, being a prolific songwriter, gets four of his own songs in here - all good, especially "Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'em Down" and "Anybody's Darling".

Cash's one turn at writing ("This Has Happened Before") is decent, but only an inkling at what she'd be able to turn out a few years later.

It sounds like the disk was made on a shoe-string budget and while a few of her more successful disks got remastered, Right or Wrong did not - and it desperately needs to - though the limited audience vs the out of pocket expense make it highly unlikely Sony will ever do this.

If you stumble upon it (the library, perhaps), it's worth picking up.  While as you won't be wow'd you will most likely like.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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!

Another month where someone else has been doing the heavy lifting.  My friend, Meredith sent these to me while we were up on Maine.

The one thing I forgot to do is ask Dith was - where the fuck was she shopping?

 Pork Buns I've heard of.  Bungs?  Not so much. 

Laundry Soup?  Do you eat it in the Laundromat - or is it made with rinse water? 

$1.99 is a good price for Big Gay Choy.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Music Monday

While driving home on Saturday, I totally considered doing a month's worth of '80s music, since it was evening and XM's New Wave channel has their 'dance mix' night.

Though the songs are usually good, the actual way they segue the songs, or the mixes that they pick, are questionable at best. Yet clearly, it put '80s on my mind.

But at least for a week, you get a reprieve from that.  Thank g-d for shiny object to distract me.  ...and who the hell knows what will happen between now and next Monday.

So earlier Saturday, on the way to yoga (that was cancelled, everyone knew it but myself and one other person!), I was on another XM station, 'alt nation' when I heard another song:  Cayucas' "High School Lover".

At least on the drive, it seemed interesting enough - kind of a Beach Boys (when they were good) meets Beck (when he was good).

On second listen, when I got home - it's still not bad, but then started resembling Peter Bjorn and John. I used to like PBJ, but after that awful show (which I think is still on) Two Broke Girls used their "Second Chance" for the theme, I cringe hearing the tune.

So now, all I hear when playing "High School Lover" is Peter Bjorn and John.  Before I ever got a chance to like the song, I'm already turned off.

I should have left it with the comparison or Beach Boys and Beck.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

All or Nothing

Maybe it's post-vacation blues.  Perhaps it's been the week of stifling heat.

It is quite possible the Muses went on vacation without submitting a PTO request.  They shouldn't do that. Not only is it against policy, they don't give me time to back-fill the temporary vacancy.

We did get a severe storm at 04:00 yesterday.  The light show woke me up.  Better yet, the temps dipped about 27 degrees. Phew.

Sure those pesky winds (technically an EF1 tornado) downed power lines, snapped trees and made a local college gymnasium collapse......but most importantly, temps dipped about 27 degrees.

That storm wasn't enough to warrant a post, but I think I've written enough to say I have nothing to really say yet still get credit for a post.

Yayy me!

Song by:  Dirty Vegas

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Love My Dog

It's Saturday.  Petey Porn Day.

I know all Saturdays are not PPD, but when I want to just glide through a post they are.

And it's really not gliding.  I have to sift through recent pics and find the good ones, hoping there are good ones, then get them up here for you.

 710 assumed this was posed.  Impossible.  You cannot get this dog to pose.  Ever. 

Hot in the City.  Petey and Sophie hanging in the air-conditioned office. 

Getting on the floor to pet the dog. 

Cute. Cute. Cute. 

Song by: Cat Stevens

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guilty by Association

You know - we aren't all Trayvon.

...and what's that poster even really supposed to mean?

People who are carrying these signs and posting them have great intentions, but little insight - my opinion, of course.

We all have the potential to be Trayvon Martin - assuming it's the one portrayed by the media of a kid with Skittles and iced tea.  No one wants to discuss the image of him as a student getting busted for drugs and truancy.  We don't want to be that.

We also have the potential to be George Zimmerman - the one portrayed by the media as guilty before he was even charged.

Nancy Grace and any number of talk shows were "great" about trying Zimmerman months before a jury even got an opportunity to do so.

If you haven't watched Newsroom, there is a scene from last season that so scarily breaks this down, it's almost mind-numbing on its probable accuracy.  My favourite part is at the 2:45 to 3:00 mark.

And "Don" is right - you can't imply that the viewer doesn't already know everything.

I guess that explains the dozens of emails per day I get saying to give Trayvon the justice he deserves.  I guess that explains the hundreds of blog trolls who speak with such authority that they clearly must have been at the crime scene, at the investigation, at the trial and in the jury room when they say how horrid a man George Zimmerman is and what he did and how he did it.

The man didn't invoke Stand Your Ground during his trial. They didn't even bring up race - prosecution or defense. This post isn't about race either.

 If people have issues on what is considered reasonable doubt for giving jury instructions, that's another issue, but one for which Zimmerman can't be blamed.  The state judicial system can possibly be blamed and then changed.

More troubling is the possibility of the Feds getting involved after a jury reached a verdict to consider additional charges. Ones they most likely would have never considered had Zimmerman been convicted.

Yes, you're outraged he was acquitted. I get that. I'm betting you wouldn't be so outraged if you or a family member were the one acquitted.  I bet you would be outraged if you were acquitted and now they want to consider hate crime charges where there were none before, basically nullifying your verdict without compromising Double Jeopardy.....only by squeaking by the letter of the law.

So now they are saying, a trial of your peers means nothing if "we" don't like the verdict.  That is a fucking scary and slippery slope to go down.

If we are all Trayvons, then we are all Georges. too.

Those civil liberties on spying and tracking that everyone is cawing over with Edward Snowdon?  I don't see anyone making a ruckus over the thoughts that a judge and jury trial could mean nothing to your actual physical freedom.  Yes, Zimmerman is a recognizable target for this, but someday it could be you.  Sure you pooh-pooh it now, but why wouldn't it be?  Why couldn't it be?

And we are not all Trayvons. We can't be.  I'm not saying he was bad.  I'm not saying he was guilty of doing anything. Yes he was unarmed, but no one knew that during the time, only after the fact.

I didn't know if the people who broke into my house when I was home were armed.  I didn't know if the people I confronted on our deck on vacation last week were armed.

I am a lot more aware of my surroundings with instances like that.  I notice people walking and driving slowly in the neighborhood who aren't neighbors. I know my neighbors.

Yes, I notice the guys sitting on the park benches in the neighborhood gardens  - the ones police say have been look-outs for robbers in folks' houses alerting them to people coming home.  I notice the cars that park on the streets for hours on end.

Yes, Trayvon was a stranger in a neighborhood with a patrol. Yes, Zimmerman should have left it up to the police. All great in hindsight.

If you look at the rest of that Newsroom episode, you'll get a glimpse into how some cases like Anthony and Martin get to that media level while thousands per year go unnoticed, unreported, unsolved.  ....and actually, that should be your outrage.

Song by:  Joe Henry

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Artificial Red

Vacation week ran coincidentally with my annual time to get a sunburn.

You'd think these two weren't exclusive but they can be.

Oddly, I thought I miss my burning opportunity this year.  With 2-3 dog walks per day and cutting the lawn at least once per week, I thought I had built up a nice base coat.

Add to the fact that I try to put on 15 SPF on my bald head and face daily, I was hoping I had beaten the odds.

When we got to Maine, I slathered up with 30 and 50 - whichever one was at hand. And as you saw in the video, we had some very cloudy and foggy days.  I'm not even sure there was a chance for UV rays to get through to burn me - not that my shirt really came off those days.  And my hat went with me most everywhere.

Alas, on the last full day - Friday - it was beautiful, sunny and hot. I braved it and went out uncovered.  SPF-speaking, that is.

I didn't get very far, as Rebecca, being a mother, made me put some on. Actually, she put it on me - on my back.

We, however, did not get my you can see.

The pic was taken Sunday evening, two and one-half days after two walks on the beach, one swim in the ocean, a few hours of sitting around the pool (mostly under an umbrella-ella-ella) and a quick dip in the actual pool.

It only hurt for one shower - that Saturday morning one.  Other than that, it looks worse than it is, though today is Thursday and it looks only slightly less red. I think it will turn to a nice brown.

And just so I'm not chastised, I've been putting 50 on me when I go cut the lawn or take Petey for a walk.

Why risk it?

Song by: Mad Season

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You're Missing

So while we had a great time in Ogunquit, I had some missed opportunities to meet old friends and one bet squelcher.

My friends, Brad and Sanj were actually staying down the street, I'm guessing less than 800 feet from our place.

Mind you, they were only there for 1.5 days of our stay, and reception was an issue when it comes to text and such.

So only 800 feet and we couldn't get it together with our schedules to meet for a drink or even outside one of our places just to say 'hi' and exchange a hug.

I think it's been four years since I've seen either. Since then, they've gotten married - in Sanj's homeland of Canada. Even the second to last time I was in DC they were meeting with a lawyer to do their wills so our time was not then.


But not as sad as one Mike, from his Short Attention Span Theater.

At least with Brad and Sanj, I didn't know they were going to be up there. Only a Facebook post told me they were there.

With Mike, well, he's known for months.  And months.  He knew we were to be in Boston and then he drops the bomb that he'll be in Ogunquit the day we get to Boston, but we can meet in Maine.

 ....and then he went radio silent.


I get that compared to him I'm stunningly handsome intimidating, but that's no reason to run for the hills, is it?

Personally, I think he got freaked out when I told him he appeared in two of my dreams. Nothing naughty and even his partner, Peter, was in one of them. Maybe he was upset that he didn't garner a place in one of my naughty dreams. It's hard to say.

Either way, that made him clam up faster than......well......a clam, I guess.

Oh sure, he reached out to me at the last minute re-asking the days I'd be in Maine, but then his internet service provider must have caught up with his non-bill paying and cut him off.  What other reason could he have for not contacting moi in a timely manner  - or for not updating his blog in over a month? (and even that last post....well.........I mean.......really!)

I guess he's reached financial hardship.  What other explanation could there be that Mike couldn't even bother to go Dutch on that Oscar-betting drink wager from last February. Apparently top-shelf booze is out of his grasp. Maybe he can't even afford {gasp} a well drink!  Oh the shame........the shame.

Oh sure, he reached out at the last minute to say he was leaving Ogunquit about 30 minutes before we arrived in town.  How convenient.  How very fucking convenient.

Mike had "other" plans in New Hampshire.  No doubt other plans that didn't exist until he found out my confirmed arrival date / time, then started calling everyone he knew hoping there would be a competing obligation. Apparently he found one.

Lucky him.

It's really a shame too - as I had a great intro for our meeting.  One of which he will now never know. I even had others to go along with my plan.  I'd even go so far to say it was "ingenious".

I'm not sure if I'm more disappointed in Brad and Sanj (and me), not being able to walk 400 feet to join up half-way, or at Mike for literally starting a Microsoft Project Plan to get out of seeing me and buying me that drink.

Luckily, my thoughts of suicidal ideation have now passed. I'm strong.  I'm a survivor.

....and the Emmys are coming up.  Oh sure, there could be a wager, but chances are, one won't get their winnings.

Song by:  Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Safe Upon the Shore

Well, it's not a great video, but it is long.  (make your own penis joke now.)

Snippets of the time in Maine with very little cohesion to the video process.  In theory I could have mapped it out more and done more filming, but you's vacation.  I couldn't be bothered all that much.

Also, it's hard to edit when you're the director, cameraman, writer and star.  Ego. Ego. Ego.

Anyhoo....there's no real narrative.  No protagonist (unless you count me).  No antagonist (unless you count the Atlantic - or 710's thumb).  No story arc, no true resolution. Enemies don't be come friends, friends don't become enemies.

It's me, a camera and shoreline.  ...and for three sequences, 710 as my cameraman.

I apologize in advance of possibly wasting seven minutes of your life.


Song by:  Great Big Sea

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Music Monday

I won't say this is a "joke" post, but I would say it is not a real song release.

In 1978, the Atlanta Rhythm Section released a song, "Imaginary Lover".  It was a modest hit, I would say. Morty could tell you chart position.

Legend has it that disc jockey at a radio station played the Lp version at 45 instead of at a 33 1/3, and people wondered when Fleetwood Mac recorded a cover version.

News of the song sounding like Stevie Nicks singing lead vocal got back to Nicks herself.  Legend also has it, that as the band was determining what songs to record for what would eventually become the album Tusk, Nicks slipped the sped-up version as one of her demos to the band and at least Christine McVie really liked it.

I was never fan enough of ARS to actually purchase a full-length disk, but I did buy the 45.

As it turns out, moving it from 45 to 78 did not have the same effect.  However, if you manually rotated the turntable, you could get it to the desired speed to have that Stevie Nicks sound.

Many years later, someone did bother to upload this to Napster - where I snagged it.

Yes, some parts do sound like Stevie Nicks, but some parts it is a stretch.  Oddly enough, the sped up music (not vocal) aren't too bad. It's not quite as slow as the ARS, obviously, but for the new "vocalist" the change in tempo kind of works.

Oh.  Coming home from dinner at my parent's house last night, we heard the original "Imaginary Lover" - which is why you're getting the faux version now.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Normal Town

First off - why can't I have arms like these????

Is that so much to ask?

This is a slacking post.  We are home as of late yesterday afternoon.  One dog was VERY happy to see us and one cat yelled and yelled and yelled at us for quite a few hours.  ohhhhh, she was not happy.

I will give a wrap-up of the week in a day or two and possibly post a video.

Suffice to say, we had a good time.  I over did it on the last day of sun and my chest is paying for it.  Oh well, at least it was the last day and not the first.

Laundry has been started and life will be getting back to normal - such as it is.

Carry On.

Song by:  Better Than Ezra

Saturday, July 13, 2013

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 41st (!!!!) 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. Janet Hughes is now hosting the link that puts many 12 of 12'ers together (sometimes she keeps current, mostly she does not, so I might have to drop this link / reference).  The number of people linking don't seem to be as robust as they once were, but that stands to reason.  

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.  

July 2013 is Vacation Edition. All pics taken in Maine. 

06:20.  Post-sunrise over Maine.

07:45.  the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME.
I could walk this every day of my life and never be bored. 

08:00.  Daisies and a bee outside Cafe Amore.

08:30.  Breakfast:  the Aftermath.
French Freedom Toast with Straw/Blue/Rasp berries.

09:20.  Ogunquit Cemetery.

Maximillian is dead and buried.  Is owner, not so much. The space is reserved for Mr. Pope, as his info (save year of death) is on the back of the tombstone, but Max will be waiting for him. 

11:30.   I'm shameless.   
Ogunquit Beach Lifeguards. 

11:31.  Temps have fluctuated from 58 to 67 degrees this trip. High Tide has gone from 12:33 one day to 14:40 yesterday. 

11:50.  Self-Portrait #2603.   
Possibly the best selfie I've taken yet. 

12:00.  Summer Sky.

13:00.  Kind of / Sort of dunes right off the beach area. 

18:45.  Shore Drive.

20:30.  Inicio.  The server singing 'Happy Birthday' to me ala Marilyn Monroe.  No, it was not my birthday.

Picture was actually taken by my friend, George. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Child

I just really really like this image.  I've been waiting months to use it.

Oddly enough, we were all sitting around drinking two nights ago and Rebecca didn't know that Jason Voorhees had a last name.

Her rationale was that Cher, Madonna and Prince don't have last names.   ...which they totally do.

Today is our last full day in Maine.   Boooooo.

We are hoping to make it count, not that we haven't tried to make the other ones memorable.

Actually, we've all been good about doing stuff together and on our own when something doesn't appeal to others. No one is tied to doing everything all the time - we'd kill each other.

Weather has been hot and cold; dry and wet.  And yet it hasn't mattered one little bit.  710 and I have had dinners and lunches with either everyone or partials. I've been at a gay bar three times this week - which is three times more than I've been at one in the last 7-8 years combined.

There's been great beach time, great walking time - even though I went swimming with my FitBit and might have ruined it beyond repair.  I've done all the word and now am not getting any of the credit.

Still - all things must end, and so this vacation.  But we have all of today and part of tomorrow.

No doubt there will be follow-up posts and pictures accordingly - just to keep the magic alive.

Song by:  Nancy Sinatra

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Week

While certainly not intentional, we have stumbled into Maine during Bear Week.

Who knew?

I knew P-town has Bear Week, but did not know that Ogunquit had one, and a week before.

Maybe it's the weather, or maybe the ursa major and minor groups are unaware that this event is going on.  We certainly didn't, but we might be in denial of who is and isn't considered a "bear".

It used to be that broader, hairier, masculine men were bears in my book. Now it is just a description for the morbidly obese and overly hirsute gay male.

Oh, I'm queer - and hairy, but not overly so (at least I don't think).  I'm currently somewhere between 175-179 pounds, so I'm under my BMI threshold.

In olden days, I might be a bear, now I don't know what mammal group to which I might subscribe.

At lunch yesterday, the restaurant had brats on the grill for Bear Week. We weren't seated in that area so the waitress said we couldn't participate in the event. Clearly our server didn't think we were bears.

Eventually we did get the brats, and they were marginal at best.

However, the night before I was taken advantage of at a bar.

While just standing around with three other men, my husband included, an older, not very attractive (and possibly inebriated) man decided to approach and lift my shirt to check on how hairy my abdomen.

I politely removed his hand and adjusted my shirt to its original location.

Then it happened again.  And again.  All the while I was being nice but persistent in saying 'no'.

Apparently no doesn't mean no.

....and apparently being accosted in public leaves a group of friends in fits of laughter and finger-pointing.  It's almost understandable how that whole Steubenville rape scenario went down with no willing witnesses and no one talking.  I should be grateful they didn't videotape and post the transgression.

There wasn't enough Purell to get me clean, so I finished my beer and left the bar.

I am a victim.  I am a survivor!

Further indignity?  He was sitting outside the brat place for Bear Week.

The town is too small and Bear Week even smaller.

Song by: Barenaked Ladies

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Well, this sucks.

Since I am on vacation, and could just as (not) easily write witty posts about Maine, drinking and friends - I really am happy to coast on the blog thingy and just post whatever, where I don't have to think that much.  Or at all.

So, I took four minutes (tops) to participate in BosGuy's quiz on what Superhero am I.

Apparently I'm a SuperheroINE.

Well.  Just. Fuck. Me.

As if I don't have enough self-esteem and body image issues - now I have this with which to deal. 

First off, I did NOT have a tough childhood, I don't exploit others, I don't have long hair and all of the such - and told the quiz as much - TWICE.

Apparently the quiz was not listening.  Both times I came up as Catwoman.


I don't know if Selina Kyle stole things or not - as I never read comics.  When I answered in the affirmative that I have, I'm thinking back to five finger discount items at Lawsons when I was a junior high lad in need of Skittles or Now N Laters, but low on cash.

Sure, I grew up watching Batman - with Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Ertha Kitt.  Then of course, Michelle Pfeiffer.

I didn't see - nor cared to - Oscar winner (coughcoughcough) Halle Barry in that role. Anne Hathaway didn't suck in her stint (ooooh, Mike is turning red at just the mention of her name - but more on him later).

So, now there is Catwoman.  But without the skintight suit, or the back-end percentage deal of the box office receipts.

I suppose it could have been worse - I could have been Supergirl.....who falls somewhere between Sabrina, the Teen-aged Witch and.....Ritchie Rich / Caspar.

This would be something else to bring up to my shrink, if I had one.

Feel free to take your own quiz here.

Song by: Shakespear's Sister

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Beach

Third time in three years.

We made it to Ogunquit, Maine for vacation.  This time though we invited Morty, George and Rebecca.

Well, we invited Jon and Meredity too, but scheduling issues and such didn't make that a possibility.  So only Morty, George and Rebecca were able to join us.

Sad and fun.

This was an idea I've had for a few years - a group vacation for all, as I'm seeing it as a milestone birthday for me.  It's all I wanted.

But one never gets all they want. That is the lay of the land.

Still, we've had fun.  Folks were quick to point out the heat and humidity - myself included - but I tried to temper that with the thought of the winter we just left behind.

We had a few days of 94+ temps and one day of 98% humidity.

The pool was the cool down, as the Atlantic has been 58 F.  

Shin deep has been like ice cubes.  I haven't gone in deeper, though I will try later in the week.  However the temps have dropped almost 20 degrees, along with threats of rain - though I don't care about that. It's still a great town with not much to do.  This is not an issue.

Relaxation is what it's all about.  And food.  And drink.  And friendship.

I love we have stories upon stories - some old, some very new, some revealing.

....and last night, in a down pour, we met two really nice female companions who oddly enough, are staying not only at the same place, but in our same building.  FUN!

But it's late - and I'm a little drunk, so it's off to bed if I am to make a 07:30 yoga class.

Oh yes, it's vacation, but I gotta maintain my bikini bod.

Song by:  New Order

Monday, July 08, 2013

My Music Monday

I thought about doing the Go-Go's "Vacation", but then I realized it's a fun song for about half of it's three minute running time - and then I just get bored with it.

Oh - and their video for the song SUCKS.

...and since the gals kicked the most talented actual musician out of the band, Kathy Valentine, I thought about using her "I Guess We Just Don't Get Along".

So I scrapped that and went with a No Doubt song, only because I don't think I've used them in the past.  I have used the Go-Go's.

I don't know how they do now (since I think they scrapped their last tour because their last album tanked), but when we saw them back in the last '90s (yes, I just said that), they were a LOUD band, but a great live performance.

That was still for the Tragic Kingdom tour, though they threw new songs in.

"A Simple Kind of Life" is a song of steady means, that builds, but only slightly.   ...and it takes a break from many of their songs that are based in ska routes.

Poor Gavin Rossdale - he and Gwen Stefani were only dating at the time, but it sounded like she wanted to trap him, if the song is based in any kind of reality.  Well, since his band, Bush, and solo career didn't rally pan out, the man needed a meal ticket.

I'm guessing the song dates back to 1999 or 2000 - as I snagged it off Napster in its original iteration.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Bus Stop

So, one morning last week, I was coming down the driveway to take Petey on his morning constitutional. A car pulls up with two older women (70s and 80s, easily), both with heavy German accents.

They were attempting to locate an estate sale that was easily 6-7 miles from where they were - and in the opposite direction from which they arrived on our street.

Being that the east side of Cleveland is not built on a grid, it took a few minutes to explain where they needed to go and how to get there.  I watched them take off, missing (or ignoring) my first directional turn and then they were gone.

As we made our way through the 'hood, and letting Mr. Pete do his morning bidness, with me following behind, bag in on hand.  As we were closer to our house, there was a horrific crashing noise.

Now, you've all heard the tales of cars coming into our yard, or colliding on the hill or turning upside down on wet slick days.  But with some of them, you'd hear crunching noises.  I've never heard a "crash" noise like this.

I went to investigate.  Petey accompanied.

If you can view the picture.....the lane on the left is a dedicated lane that is closest to our house.  The other two lanes are for merging traffic, but they have the opportunity to maintain those two lanes, making it a three lane / one-way street.

I approached from behind the bus (the pic was taken after I walked down the hill).  Clearly, this car cut right in front of the public transportation vehicle.  The car shoved another car (not in the picture) into the right hand wall.   The car in the foreground was not part of the accident, but witnessed it, though her car was so close to the wall, I'm not sure how she didn't scrape.

Since that car was closest to me, I axed the woman if she was alright. She was, just calling the police, which as you know, in our 'hood is now easy task.  No one wants to respond, as we straddle to different jurisdictions.

The bus mashed in their side, but didn't seem to set off the airbags. The driver window broken out, the door smashed - and nary a scratch on the bus.

Who should get out of the car to walk around?  The old lady who stopped to axe me directions.

How 10 minutes after she left me that she ended up back on the road she had just come down is beyond me.  The lady who witnessed the accident said, "it looked like she was trying to do a U turn and turn around"..........on a three lane one-way street.  Oy.

Not that I had any liability to this, but I opted just to get out of Dodge.

The following day, at Pride, as nice young woman asked me how to get to the Terminal Tower.  I pointed her the way and 710 goes - "you probably sent her to her death.....". 

I probably did.

Song by: the Hollies

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Life for Rent

As much as I travel, I can count on one finger - for business - how often I have had trouble with rental car companies.

Sure, they jack the price around with so many taxes that the quoted prices per day or per week is nothing like the final bill, but that's to be expected.

I'm talking about having available cars.  Only once in Sacramento did this happen to me.

Now, in personal travel where I need a car, it seems to be much more frequent.  Granted the 'n' in that type of scenario is very low, so the percentage then becomes high.

My last personal car rental was a year ago in Boston.  They didn't haven't the reservation.  When they did kind of find it - it seems someone had not only typed over the reservation, but most of my personal profile information, which seemed quite scary.  It didn't seem that an alternate identity was using the credit card on file, but it wouldn't have taken much for that to happen.

So imagine my surprise that this year - in Boston - that I get to Hertz and my name isn't on the Gold board. The idea is to get your name from said board and just go to your car avoiding the inside of the rental agency.

No such luck.

I joined what was 5-6 others whose name was not on the board.  Soon there were another 10 behind me.  Fudge.  But I didn't say fudge.

Mind you - there was no one at the Gold counter.....for 5-7 minutes.  I would have bolted too if I were the one who had to convey to member after member that there was a glitch.  The 95 degree temps just added to the frustration of everyone in the cramped office.

With each customer, the customer service rep would go to a back office and disappear for at least five minutes. I finally got a laugh out of all waiting when I said, "WHAT is behind that door????"

I was dying to know why my name - and a dozen others - wasn't on the board, but to be honest, those fuckers hold all the power, so I said nothing and took my upgrade of a car and got the hell out of Dodge.

Now, since I am a huge fan of pop culture, all I could do was stand in that sweltering hole of an office and smile to myself thinking of a scene from Seinfeld.

Except for Jerry's car being downgraded and mine being upgraded, they were eerily similar.

Song by:  Dido

Friday, July 05, 2013

The Id Parade

So we did the parade yesterday - at least Petey and myself.  710 was too tired from an all-night work project.

The cavalcade is only around the neighborhood - Petey's normal one-mile path that we'd do on our normal walk - but this has bikes, scooters, big wheels, strollers and such.

The route ends at the assisted-living facility that is on our street.  There the Declaration of Independence (in part) is read - and then the weakest-ass singing you've ever heard for any number of patriotic songs.  Not Lee Greenwood patriotic, but songs that is older than that.

To the "anonymous" commentor yesterday - yes, Petey was ho-hum about the parade - and of course he'd rather been the emcee of the cookout, not that he was invited. All the Hebrew Nationals would be gone with his wily ways and begging brown eyes.

For the parade, he kept up, but didn't interact with most of the people or pooches.  Oh sure, he made time for his girlfriend, Esmé.

...and he got tons of pets from strangers.  He paid no mind to any of them.  ...then he took a big dump while others kept moving.  Good times........good times......

Since the rain held off, I went with my idea of a dish - that kind of worked, kind of didn't.

I can't say if anyone liked it, but they ate it all.  Or if they didn't eat it, they discreetly tossed it in the trash. Either way, I didn't have to bring anything home.

What did I make?, you ask....

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites.

1 head of cauliflower, washed and broken up into small florets
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. of your favorite hot wing sauce

Pre heat oven to 425

Toss cauliflower with olive oil and distribute evenly.

Combine garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl. 

Toss spice mixture over cauliflower and mix well, making sure all the cauliflower is coated in the spices.

Spread cauliflower out on a rimmed baking sheet a roast for 20 minutes.

Toss with wing sauce and serve with your favorite blue cheese dressing for dipping.

I know this doesn't look that appetizing, but again, I'm not a food photographer.  They tasted ok, but they seem to be a more of a right out of the oven to table kind of thing.  Getting them two doors down and in the heat and humidity didn't do wonders.  

Again, the platter on which I brought it was clean about 30 minutes later.  

It's a good vegetarian option for a cookout - I think.  And anything with hot sauce can't be all that bad, right? 

Hope your holiday was good.  

Song by:  Danielle Dax