Monday, September 30, 2013

My Music Monday

A few weeks ago I threatened, ummm, I mean suggested that I might use a cover of Olivia Newton-John's super-mega-hit, "Have You Never Been Mellow".

The day of reckoning is at hand.

I'll be frightfully honest - it's been a super busy weekend and I haven't really given much thought to what today's selection could or would be, but I did recall my throwaway comment two or three weeks back. So why not run with it?

While the cover, done by the group you've never heard of (nor I), called Pet, might be on one of their albums, it was included on a disk called the Spirit of '73 - Rock for Choice, which celebrated the passage of Roe v Wade with female artists covering other female artists songs from the '70s though not specifically from '73.

You have the lead singer from Concrete Blonde doing Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot" (fairly spot on with not a lot of difference), Rosanne Cash doing Joni Mitchell's "River" (not her best outing, but not horrible) and a good cover by L7 doing the Runaway's "Cherry Bomb", with Joan Jett guesting.

The fun with Pet's cover is, that it isn't really mellow, as the title and Ms. Newton-John might suggest. It's not horribly hard core, but it has a slight edge, you know, for girls.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Just Call Me Joe

I can truly knock another blogger off the list of people I've met on my blogroll.

Joe.My.G-d. is up there with the pinnacle of gay bloggers - not that all my blogroll are homos (though most are!).

As I started blogging, with no direction (still don't have one!), my friend David G pointed me to JMG.

Joe's blog started my education about the blogroll process and how one can can time-sucked away by hitting those and then looking at those folks' blogrolls, then so on and so on, until you are somewhere deep, deep in the abyss.

Eventually, one learns what one likes to read and crafts their own list of where they visit daily, but it was definitely and education.

As I mention previously, I met Joe for a few seconds at the Dugout back in 2006, when I actually met David G there for a drink - not that Joe would remember.  I could not truly count that as meeting someone from my blogroll.  I think this time I can.

Joe was in town on a PR trip for the 2014 Gay Games. "They" shuttled him around all big Cleveland sites - museums, shops, popular sites.

As he does in many cities he visits, Joe has "meet-ups" for his readership. He had such a meet-up at Bounce,  a gay bar.

A gay bar!!!

I haven't been to a gay bar since.....well........I don't know when.  And the meet-up was after, or close to, my bed time.  I vacillated about whether to go or not, since I was coming off a long and fun dinner with the cousins (possibly a post on that at another time - perhaps not!).  But I kept getting emails  and text messages from Birdie, pushing me to go meet both Joe and Father Tony.  She even talked me up to them.

My ego would say, "as if anyone need to talk me up!", but my reality is that even talking me up was a lost cause of people going, "who???".   Such is my self-esteem, or lack thereof.

As you can see, I went - and I met both Joe and Tony.  I texted the snap to Birdie, since I knew she was up and would want to see. Instant gratification takes too long. She wouldn't want to wait till today's blog post (which I'm writing after midnight in my darkened living area as the dog and cat sleep. I can hear their snoring but don't see them).

I can't say how many people show up to most of Joe's meet-ups, but there were only a handful of us. Maybe 5-7 that chatted with Joe (and Tony).

Tony recognized me from a few comments I left on JMG.  Joe did not seem to, but knew "of me" from Birdie - so my self-assessment of my self-esteem is still right on the mark.

Anyhooo - we had a nice conversation and we chatted some - some of it about Cleveland, some about NYC, some about - yes, you guessed it - Birdie.  She has a fan club, let me just tell you that.  No surprise to anyone.

But I got to meet two gay couples from the east side, one of them being "my age". They were nice gentlemen. Not that I can recall their names, but it's way way WAY past my bedtime.

I can't say I have missed gay bar life in the slightest.  I chatted with one out of towner, Brian, and that was ok, but so many others in the bar were sub sub sub par drag queens waiting for their "big shoe" (probably size 14).  I fully support the right to drag, but I don't get it - nor do I want to.

Normally that talk gets me skewered by the gay community, but I'll say this, all the guys I was sitting with in Joe's "VIP" section chimed in the same thought - I just had to say it first.

So Joe also took my pic, so I figure at some point in the next few days, I'll end up on his sight.  I can only hope he links me to drive traffic my way. ....though I'm not needing it lately.  Something has clearly happened in the last week.  I've jumped from my normal 300 readers per day to 700 to 1100.

It won't last, but I'll take it while I can get it.    Yes......and that's what she said. for the title image, let's just go with I'm not happy with my Asian, half-asleep look.

Song by: Sinéad O'Connor

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Trick of the Tail

It is Saturday - so you know it is a Petey-centric post.   C' had to know!

It was our, what is turning into, monthly visit to the vet.  Poor doggie.

This time, he still has allergic hot spots, but it was also his annual shots and blood work so, we combined the trip.  The old man is off anything that has beef or chicken products or by-products in it - so we tossed some of his treats and he's now on hypoallergenic treats along with his salmon and sweet potato food.

...and he's on Zyrtec.

But his itching has seemed to decrease in the last few days, so his cone is off and he's a happier puppy and I'm a happier dad.

I know I have no perspective, but isn't that the saddest, yet cutest, face you've ever seen?  He was getting his nails clipped. I'd have done it but one of his hot spots is on a paw. I was calming his down as he was being held and clipped. 

He really is a good boy for the vet tech and the doc.  And he doesn't hold it against me that I take him there so often.  The one vet tech who adores Petey wasn't there that day and called the next to tell me she was sorry to have missed him.  THAT is how good of a dog he is. 

Well, I had a Vine video that I shot (that was to tie into the title, but I'm too lazy to change it now), but it doesn't seem to be uploading.  Maybe I can get that to work for next week, but as it stands, I am dead tired and had a few drinks, so I'm wrapping this up, getting dessert and going to bed.  

....I've got yoga this morning. 

Song by:  Genesis

Friday, September 27, 2013

Recovering the Satellites

With my looking for a car (I added another car to my mix - damn!), I began thinking if I wanted to continue or if I would miss XM radio.

Most of the cars deals will give you a three month subscription for "free", but of course, I'm guessing most people continue paying.  I certainly did with my current car.

But I'm not sold on satellite radio. There are 1,241 stations, and 1,587 of them are sports. Yawn.

I can't even fill up 18 of my satellite pre-sets with anything I want to hear....and three of them are NPR. So I don't know I will continue the package.

That said, I will miss continual NPR broadcasts.  ...well that and one other show.

I know I'm gay (surprise!!!), but I find OutQNews to be a horrible station.

First off, they can't even fill 24 hours, let alone seven days per week. They certainly can't fill seven days per week, even with repeats of repeats of repeats of shows. I can't tell you how often that you get the broadcast message "there is no programming at this time....please check back later".

Really? What kind of fucked up business model is that?

It's kind of sad when Lance Bass has potentially the best show on the station. I honestly don't want to hear Derek & Romaine (sp?) talk about dildoes.  Ever!

But I did stumble upon a talk show they have, which I actually quite like:  the Focus Group.

It is on live on Saturdays, but you can catch most any other day of the week, you just can't call in with questions or comments on those repeats.

The two hosts are gay - one a bit more, um, flamboyant than the other - but are marketing execs and have worked at some big name corporations.

But their show is all over the place from financial advice - not only for gay folks, but it will skew that way, in terms of who is married and the benefits they get from x, y, z from retirement plans. But they also do what is being marketed to the LGBT community.

They're fun and funny, though John Nash (not the Beautiful Mind guy), seems to talk over the more grounded Tim Bennett. That's kind of annoying.  Still, I like it - and you know me, I like very little.

I think I can listen to their shows on-line, so maybe I won't miss a thing. It's not like I was ever going to call in personally.

I suppose we will see what my new potential car brings me.

Song by:  Counting Crows

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Everyone's a Hero

I'm not a father (nor have I ever wanted to be), but I am an awesome uncle.

I wish wish wish wish I had thought of this. Though I don't think I'm that creative, though I wish I were.

I'm glad someone thought of it. And how awesome would it be to be his kids?  Though his wife might roll her eyes quite a bit.

This was posted on Facebook by Rebecca, but clearly others have seen it, as it has almost six million views. ...and it's funny.

Song by:  Captain Hammer

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


It's that time - shopping for cars.

I love it and I hate it.

I love it because, I've always been fond of automobiles. I was that kid who could tell you what ever car make and model was. I mean, not in that Marisa Tomei way, in My Cousin Vinnie.

Mind you, when I was a kid, there really weren't foreign car companies - at least that were prevalent. Sure, I knew MG and Jaguar, but other than that, it was the Big 3.  I had a fondness for Pontiac, Buick and well....if we have to go with Ford / Mercury, I focused only on Mustang and Cougars.

I grew out of that and now, there are plenty of makes / models of which I have never heard. Still, getting the annual Consumer Report Auto Guide is like porn to me.  But now I'm more of a grown-up about it and really look at what is and is not recommended and why.  I comb over every page even when I'm not in the market for a car.

...and I've never lost my love for driving either. I like being in the car and doing the actual driving.

But I hate the buying process. I don't even want to test drive the fuckers, let alone walk in and deal with the SALESMAN (you have to scream that last word like Pee Wee).

I mean, I kind of swooned a bit over my last sales guy, but not so much with any of these.  And even the last guy, whom I did buy the car from, became a nuisance. Always friendly, but forever trying to get me to upsell to another car and stay in the Infiniti family.  It has only gotten worse as my lease is winding down.  Seriously - three to four calls per week and another two to three letters in the same time frame.

Even if I wanted another Infiniti, which I don't, they've done enough stalking to make me run in the other direction.

Yet, time is running out. I've put off the process as long as I could, but I've started looking and test driving cars - and building them, and others, on-line.

Hell, I'm leaning on getting a Kia, just because the dealer threw me the key and told me to bring it back shiny side up. What a joy not having to take a drive with a schmuck in the back seat, prattling on about "the features".

Most of the sales guys weren't horrid. Yeah, they have the same patter, the same crappy jokes. But there's always "the one".  Skeevy and at least one wants to know if I'm married.  Of course, they mean "to a woman".  I always throw them when I say I am, but to a man.  Sure, I could leave it at "yes, I am", but I don't.

Each time, they say "that's great!", and then jump right into a story about their girlfriend / fiancee. Calm down guys, you're safe. Not everyone wants you.

So, yeah, I've waited till the last possible minute (ok, a month), but I have it narrowed down, I think, to 5-6 possibilities. I'm thinking I'll narrow it down further by this weekend and then just make a selection.

It's just a car.

Song by: Cyndi Lauper

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Name is Joe

I was fixing to do something new for dinner last night, but you know, figuring what to cook is 85% of the battle.

I don't care that about shopping, prepping, cooking or clean-up.  I just want something interesting to make / eat and hopefully that it is fairly easy to do - but I also don't mind a challenge.

Asian Sloppy Joes didn't seem like anything that would tax my pea-sized brain too hard. As I do often, I stole it from Bo and his blog - which unfortunately seems static these days. I'm not liking that.

I actually paged through a number of his posts trying to find something I'd want to make (sorry, but the man uses a lot of beans in his dish - and I just can't do that). There were a few dishes I have slotted for later dates, but today I'm just taking it somewhat easy.

So Asian Sloppy Joes it is.  Or Asian Sroppy Joes, I suppose.

Oh, don't judge me.  It's just supposed to be a little funny.

I'll let you go to Bo's blog to get the actual recipe. It looks like a lot of stuff atop, but it really isn't. The prep is easy, the clean-up is too.

Mistakes, I made a few - and while the end-result might have tasted different from Bo's version, 710 and I really liked how mine turned-out.

Let's start with that I misread the instructions and used a teaspoon of sambal oelek, when I should have used a tablespoon.  Deep down I knew it didn't look like enough, but I didn't go back to double check. Pooh. I think more sambal oelek would have made my concoction even better.

I'm guessing if there were a tablespoon of it in there, you'd see it in the picture.

Then I was short a half-cup of hoisin sauce, I didn't check how much I actually had, but I figured I had to have enough - right????   Anyway, I added more chopped tomatoes thinking it would equal out the liquid-y effect.  I don't know if it did or didn't, but it seemed to turned out ok.

Don't worry - this isn't the final product. This still needed to simmer and thicken for 30-35 minutes. 

This is the final product. Yes, the meat is spilling over the bun (story of my life! .....ha! just got that taken care of before anyone else tried),

I also didn't use iceberg lettuce, because we just don't buy or use iceberg on anything. I used romaine, but I totally get why it is called for here. It's like lettuce wraps at BD Wongs PF Changs. The crispness offsets the warm innards.  It works.

And it is sloppy. Yes, we used buns, but we ended up using forks, but maybe because we overloaded them.  And yes, I had a second one (hey, I was hungry!), so I used less filling and the bun totally held up.

But the taste was great. It had familiar elements, but a much much better flavor than what we grew up with - and my mother never used Manwich, but with most of them, there isn't a great degree of variation.  This has enough that it makes it worthwhile.

This serves 6-8....and three of them are gone. But we have lunches for the next day or so.  For the leftovers, I will add more of the chili paste to see how that goes.

But I would definitely do this again. It will be great on a cold winter's day.

Song by: Lucy Kaplansky

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Music Monday

Why do we like the music we like?

I could probably tell you why "Muskrat Love" or "Kokomo" grates on my every-loving last nerve easier than why I can explain why I like some of the music I like.

If you read my music posts, be it these or my Album of the Month choices - new or classic - you can probably pick up some patterns as to what I like and make assumptions as to why.

Now and again, I am very perplexed at why something tickles my fancy.  When something does that tickling, usually I end up Shazaming it so I won't forget it.  The thing is, I almost always forget to go back and look at my Shazam list after the song has been identified and stored.  It's like that back hallway closet you store stuff in until "later" and then you end up looking in it when you move and decide what to keep or throwaway.  You end up tossing it because you figure if you haven't needed it all these years, why take it.

The same thing is with the Shazam list - if I haven't gone out and listened to or purchased it after the fact, why am I hanging on to it?

Time will tell if I hang onto this week's selection. I haven't purchased a thing, but on the other hand, liked the song enough not to put it in the pack of that proverbial closet. I at least took the step to look it up on the iTunes and the YouTube to share with you.

I have never heard of Until the Ribbon Breaks before last week, or "their" song "Pressure".

I put "their" in quotes because it is my understanding that while it is a group name, it is a group of one individual. And while there is that hyperlinked site of their name, it is (as of this writing) currently just their video to the song, "Pressure".

Going by YouTube, it seems that UtRB is almost nothing more than a DJ who does remixes for songs by folks like Lorde, Teaan and Sara, Martina and the Diamonds and then a bunch of artists this 50 year old fart has never heard of.

So, "Pressure" might be "his" (I'm assuming he is a he), first foray into original music - though I can't be sure of that on any front (if it is a he, if it's original music, if it's his first go).  iTunes has UtRB as having one 5 song EP out.

Anyhoo - while I like the entire song, it's at the 00:00:45 mark that it kind of kicks in for me. Yeah, the song is a little gay-clubby (well, I"m assuming), but it's got a fairly even groove through most of the tune. I like it.  ...though I'm still not sure why.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


It was about a year ago that I first ran into CB at O'Hare airport, Gate B10.

...well, actually, it was the only time I ran into him there....or anywhere.

He was on his way to Cedar Point, which he makes an annual pilgrimage from the Twin Cities. He never invites me, but at least he tells me when he'd flying into Cleveland.

So this last Friday, I took a few minutes out of my day to meet him for a few minutes after he got wheels down.

There wasn't a lot of time to catch up.  He had to beat the potential bad weather we were experiencing in northern Ohio, so he could have a few hours riding some of the coasters.  I hope he did, as the weather map looked pretty frickin' bad up there - and then it POURED the 90 miles east of there in Cleveland on Saturday morning.

Actually, I know he got to ride sometime on Saturday, as he posted on Facebook that the Gemini was possibly the best coaster ever.

That is so wrong on so many levels.

It's an ok coaster, for sure, but hardly the best ever, let alone the best at Cedar Point.  I love love love the Millennium so much better than Gemini. Since I haven't been on the Gatekeeper (yet), I can't say where that falls into the mix.  Heck, I even like the Top Thrill Draster better than Gemini. Possibly even the Blue Streak too.

Maybe next year I'll get an invite and we can debate the pros and cons of the coasters real-time - though he'll never get me on the Mean Streak, which I had an issue with last year.

...and what a good snap of him. As usual, I'm not thrilled with me, but I think this time, you might even agree with my assessment.

Song by: Lucinda Williams

Saturday, September 21, 2013


It's Saturday - Petey Porn Day, along with a little Sophie action.

Petey perched in his bed....on top of his other bed.  Someone needs his nails clipped. 

The neighborhood kids love Petey - because he's so sweet and tolerates anything they do - not that I allow it to go far. Christian likes to drape himself over Petey to give him a big hug.

Not to be out-cuted, Sophie has been sitting next to me while I work and whapping my shoulder for attention - as if I didn't realize she was there. 
Even she is bored with doing it over and over and over and over......

Song by: BT

Friday, September 20, 2013


Well, I guess today would have been the day for a post on who I am picking for the Emmys.  However, my "adversary", Mike, has gone radio silent - both in blog and email*.  He must be one hard-working chump champ.

It's ok, we'd probably just tie anyways. And looking at this list this year, it'd be 100% guessing - so much of what's out there I haven't seen, so I'd rather just skip it than lose.  ....not that I'm admitting defeat to him.

So, I guess I'll just move on to another subject matter:  Apple OS7.

Man - all the griping and grousing from folks on the download. You think they were building the pyramids.  I'm sure Twitter was swarmed with hash-tags of #firstworldproblems.

I don't know what they were doing, but from download to installation mine took all of 20 minutes.  What's the big deal folks?

While I've only been using it for 30 hours or so, I'm not quite sure what to think.

The look, itself, makes it look like a 3rd grade girl did this for her art project.  I'm not digging the juvenile look to the screen.

710 had to tell me how to delete emails. No longer is it a finger slide to the right for delete, but now it is to the left. What's that about?

Allegedly the battery life is now better - that remains to be seen. I do notice it takes longer to charge the device (I have the iPhone 5). Before, it was pretty quick to charge - now, not so much.

That said, there is a little functionality that is ok....mind you, only been exploring for 30 hours.

The actual phone looks better, though now there are four buttons when a call comes in. Like I don't have enough choices with "Accept" or "Decline".

I like swiping up from the bottom of the screen - as it brings up your music, camera, flashlight, calculator, airplane mode, bluetooth, brightness, airplay (if you have Apple TV),  timer, volume, and some other stuff. All right there at your fingertip.

The Find My iPhone app is now better. The phone, if stolen, cannot be cleared or reused unless your Apple password is put into the FMI app. If no one knows that password, they are fucked. Tech gurus and Apple claim, hundreds of thousands of iPhones will be not be targets from thieves once they figure out they cannot by-pass this feature. Here's hoping they are correct.

I'm not sure how I feel about the camera. The way to move to video, panorama, or their version of Instagram is ok, but not that easy to do if you need it quickly.  Maybe that will change the more I get used to it.

There are a lot more changes to this OS than I thought there would be - and I dare say more to discover that I don't know about. The pre-release news was all gloom and doom, but it's not. Tech reviewers seems to really like it (along with the new S and C versions of the phone).

On another good note, Mike has promised to send me an apple pie he's baking from apples he is picking this week.**

Song by: Prince & the New Power Generation

* Ok, not completely true. Wouldn't you know he emailed after I finished drafting this post. 
**Promise not actually made, just suggested from me to him. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Red Pepper Spicy Rag

Here I am, Blobby, off on another cooking adventure.

Eh - it was easy and not that adventurous, but good nonetheless.

In an on-going battle to eat right, for both of us, you don't want to sacrifice flavour for less fat.  It's a constant struggle sometimes.

We like pasta, but I will admit to not being fully on-board with the whole wheat stuff.  So if we are using white floured pasta, we try to look at the sauce we might use in that instance.  This time I went with an oil-based one to keep any cream out of it at all.  That was nicely done.

But oil is bland, so one must infuse it with something to make it better. I went with garlic, scallions and red pepper flakes.  I added chicken and broccoli later for protein and some vegetable.

1lb boneless chicken
1/4 head of broccoli (cut into small florets)
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced for chicken
2 cloves of garlic, smashed for oil
1 scallion, diced for oil
2 TBL of red wine sherry vinegar
2 cups of penne or wagon wheel pasta
Black pepper
Parmesan cheese

serves 4-6.

First off, I cooked the chicken on a pan with a little olive oil and the fresh minced garlic.  I removed and tented it with foil while I got the rest of the dish together (sorry, I took no pictures, except for the ingredients and the final product).  If need be, removed the garlic as it cooks. Since the chicken cooks for a bit and nothing is worse than burnt garlic.

Boil water for pasta.

In another pan, heat the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes until the oil smells fragrant (yes, I said 'fragrant'.  I'm that gay).  Then add in scallions.

Before adding the broccoli remove the garlic. Add broccoli then salt and pepper it after you toss it in the oil.  Cook for about five minutes.  Then add the red wine sherry vinegar.  At this point, add the chicken (cut up into easy to eat pieces) in with the broccoli and oil.  Mix around.

When pasta is done, drain and add to the pan with all the other ingredients. Toss together.

The oil mixture might not coat all the pasta, but you can add a little more oil and heat through. You might want to season some more with salt and pepper at this point.

Grated Parmesan, after dishing it up, is a nice touch.

Granted, the pasta looks kind of plain without "sauce", but it is very flavourful.  And I might have used a heaping 1/4 tsp for the red pepper flakes, but the dish packed some heat as you went along.  Reduce it a little if you don't like spice.

This will definitely go into my rotation. It's easy (though you use two pans), tasty and if you have vegetarians in the house, just delete the chicken.

Song by: Bela Fleck

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Site of the Month

I don't necessarily mean to have a blog post that is streamlined for, oh say, two people, but if I did, this might be the one.

Those two people may or may not be my friends Morty and Tornwordo.  

Now, some of my other friends and readers might be fecal-oriented as well, but they just might not be as "open" about it.  Or perhaps there are known odor issues.  Perhaps it is a combination of things.

Well thank your lucky stars - because now there is Poo-Pouri

A solution so portable, you can take it with you anywhere you might end up pinching a loaf. 

How does it work you say?  Well, after you spray it in the crapper (before the dump, that is), the diagram gives a very simple explanation:

Though, of course, I see a problem if you have floaters and not sinkers.  ....but maybe that is just me. Perhaps Morty or Torn can weigh in on this potential dilemma. 

But when you go to the site, scroll down and look at the purchase packages, like the Best Smellers or the Pooh of a Kind. 

Be careful however if you write an amazon review - because, well, they're publishing some of them with the name of the buyer / reviewer attached.*

*this warning does not apply to Torn or Morty. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Under the Gun

Oy, the screaming headlines with yesterday's killings at the Navy Yard.  Don't get me wrong, they should be in a huge fucking font. Not that we, as a nation, ever learn from this - the violent acts or the reporting.

Wasn't it just yesterday I wrote about Boston or Sandy Hook?  Just a year ago about Aurora, CO? Of course there are all the times I didn't even bother to write about a shooting of some sort.

But how can one ignore a minimum of 12 victims?  Truth be told, how can anyone ignore one, but we do. We are desensitized to the fact, yet as you'd assume, some of the eyewitness accounts are absolutely harrowing.

Oh, don't get me wrong, many of us will all up in arms for about six days before something shiny distracts us and then the NRA quietly puts their hands in their pockets, looks left, looks right and nonchalantly whistles as they slink back into the shadows.......until the next time.

Not long ago I was contacted by a researcher (and her team from onlineMBA), who had read a post I had done back in 2012.  I would think she might have read my Sandy Hook piece too, but perhaps not.

As you mostly all know, I'm skeptical when someone approaches me to blog something of theirs - and actually, I don't think I've ever done it.  Oh, I've mocked a few people who wanted me to review their shitty short movie videos, but never really gone further than that.

But I did watch the video that was sent to me, and I think it's worth a repost.  While it was billed, to me, as "politically neutral", and technically it might be,  I think it skews a little to the left.  ....not that there's anything wrong with that.  ....and maybe that's just my take. No doubt it is the NRA's take.

Truth be told, I knew I would have probably use the attached video and link they sent my way - I just didn't know when. Sometimes the news cycle has other plans in regards to timing.

Regardless of what I think of the NRA, which is not much, economically it is scary on how much firearms are a business. BIG business.

As I draft this, no doubt the backlash from whatever the NRA will say will be in full motion. They'll rattle their chains about the government (read: Obama) wanting to take away their guns.  I already saw a laughable comment on a blog about how (and I quote): "President Obama should do the responsible thing and stand firmly against gun control laws, so that the GOP led House will pass some."

I had to laugh. This is one area in which Obama is seriously lacking.  Obama's administration is way way way too soft on gun control. So much so, it barely exists.  As for the GOP doing anything Obama wants is fucking hysterical!  He could come out for breathing being necessary for life and they'd dispute it. Limbaugh has already taken Michelle Obama to task for saying Americans need to drink more water.

As much as I like Aaron Sorkin and even like his HBO show, the Newsroom, it can be spotty. But he / they do good new story pieces, clearly in hindsight, but.....if there were a true liberal media, the NRA, the GOP and the Tea Party would have all been called out for their bullshit rhetoric.  It is an almost three-minute piece worth watching.

Like my other pieces - nothing has changed. Gun control does not exist nor will it. There is no backbone in any White House, or the Senate or the House.

Background checks, licensing, education and training do not and will not exist. I am a defeatist when it comes to these facts. I believe Wayne LaPierre could obtain a gun, legally or not, go on live national television and shoot his own daughter in the head and and he'd be cheered by his organization, as it is his g-d given right!

Oddly enough, for the 400 times I've been to DC, I've seen 'Navy Yard' as a stop on the Metro, but never been over that way.  Now I feel it should be another stop at which to pay my respects.

The artist attached to the title today is almost no accident.  It is unfortunate in certain ways that I have so many songs with 'gun', 'kill' or 'shot' in the title  - though I don't think that is an accident for our society either.

Song by:  the Killers

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Music Monday

Wouldn't you know it - a few hours after I publish the last My Music Monday segment and Arcade Fire comes out with their new song - the title track from their forthcoming album Reflektor.

I will say, at the initial listening, with the first third of the song I was a little put off.  I'm not a huge fan of Régine Chassagne's vocal style, so after I could get past her few solo lines, I was fine. She's a better co-vocalist or background vocalist than lead. But the last two-thirds "Reflektor" either found its groove or I found it - or a little of both.

Granted, the song is over seven minutes long - about 90 seconds too long, but still it works. I've listened to it dozens of times at this point and it doesn't get boring at all.  Personally, I dig Win Butler's delayed vocal on the title word from that of Chassagne.

While Arcade Fire is clearly their own band and has their own style, their new song has, odd as it might sound, hints of Bowie and even Duran Duran in their mid-years. It's a good mix.  Actually David Bowie appears on the song, albeit briefly (very shortly at the 4:03 marks and then for about 30 seconds at the 4:50 mark).  As far as I know, Simon LeBon shows up nowhere.

While I get that the band is not for everyone, they have always been innovative with their their one for "We Used to Wait".  (you have to have Chrome as your browser for that.)

They did two videos for "Reflektor". One for all to watch - posted here below. It'

The second is, again, tech savvy. You need a laptop with a webcam and Chrome. You also need a smartphone or iPad (again, with Chrome). Yes you need both devices.  There is a lot of hoop-jumping if you want to see this version of the video.

For those interested you got to this site on your browser.  There they will give you a code in which you put into your iphone/ipad.

After you enter the code and hit enter, at this point, you have the iphone/ipad face the laptop.  The video will play, but you have the opportunity to make it do certain things by moving the iphone/ipad in front of the webcam. It has mostly to do with light and reflection.

Yes, it's work, but at least it's not a crappy / lame Beyonce, Lady Gag Gag or Katy Perry video.

But if you're not that interested - you can listen to the song via their other video.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It's food, but I can't say it is "cooking".  A stove, oven, grill, campfire or microwave were not used in this process.

But we were having a family gathering and I knew I had to bring something. While I knew most would be bringing some prepared foods, and some their homemade stuff, I went with the latter.

I was actually testing out a new salad that I was planning on bringing to our neighborhood block party in a few weeks. I didn't think it would be bad, but why not use the family a guinea pigs?

I know I liked it.  They claimed to....and they are not ones to spare feelings.

The recipe was snagged from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa - a celery salad.

I am not sure how many people like celery plain - I do.  But add peanut butter or cream cheese on it, and I'm fine with it as a snack. That can't be worse than potato chips, right?

But for a group, celery needs some jazzing up - and this is really done with the dressing you put on it - for the most part.

Here we go (in the image, I forgot to include the shallots or anchovy paste. oops:

Ingredients1/2 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

DirectionsAt least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me-this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately

First off, the stated prep time of 15 minutes might be a little understatement. Chopping celery to get five cups is more time consuming than you might expect - and that's if one doesn't clean the celery, which I hope one would.

That said, with the cleaning, the chopping, the grating, the juicing and the whisking, you're probably closer to 25 minutes.

I skipped the walnuts, because, if you've been paying attention, unless it's cashew chicken, nuts should not be in food. least that is my rule, when making or eating.

Maybe it was the lemons I purchased, but I only needed one and a half to get the juice needed.

Anyways, the recipe is a keeper. It might be better for warmer weather eats, but it is fairly easy and serves up to six (probably more).

the dressing

the kind of finished product.  I forgot to take a snap until people already started digging in. 

Song by: Seals & Crofts

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I've Got a Dog

Saturday is Petey Porn Day.  ...and I can formulate the posts days in advance and schedule them to publish. 


Instagram - stacked beds. 

 No stand-off.  Perhaps just a Mutual Admiration Society meeting. 

He (almost) never gets anything while I'm eating - but it never stops his cute & silent begging.
 Look at that face!

 No, not a stretch.  He's out like a light. 

Sentry Cat.  "You shall not pass!"

Yes, he has two (!!) beds in this room. But that wasn't enough. He stole a blanket, rearranged it and slept on it. I'm not about to say 'no' to him. 

Song by:  Dwight Yoakam

Friday, September 13, 2013

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 43rd 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.  

07:05.  Petey going for the lean-in.  His first pee of the day. 

07:20.  The new 'no dumping' campaign. Water goes from the storm sewers to Doan Brook to Lake Erie.  I'd like to think our 'hood is a no-dumping community.

08:00.  Trimming the beard. I do it once weekly and still use the guest bathroom for this task. Why get the master bath dirty?

10:00.  Left note on package delivered to our house by mistake. It was a Mercedez-Benz auto part.

16:00.  Rain? check.  Light on? check.  Wipers on? check. Taking a picture while driving in the rain? ummm...check.

16:20. Only in Shaker Hts would an Audi TT be a Student Driver vehicle.

16:40.  Had to drop off some unwanteds for somebody who will hopefully want them.

16:50.  Admittedly, I drove past here on purpose though I didn't need to. It will be the title of my autobiography....which will also be pure fiction.

17:00.  Is this a social statement of some kind?

18:10.  I honestly didn't look, but I find it hard to believe we have cracks on the street - right in the middle and only on the lane markers - that are in this pattern.

19:15. Sophie hangin' with her Pops.

22:10.  Dessert  Hersey Sundae Pie.  710 brought it home from work. 

Thursday, September 12, 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!

I believe years ago I did a segment on the foolishness of the naming of wines.  Marilyn Merlot (ugh), or Plungerhead (that has a toilet plunger on some guy's head).

But I think we have now jumped the shark - so to speak.

I like Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks as much as the next guy, though my love for them has waned over the last decade and a half.   ...but c'mon!

Yes, it's possible that the wine was named for a mythological Welsh figure, but I think no one ever heard of that character before Stevie Nicks wrote her 1975 top 10 hit.

I don' know who these marketing gimmicks aim for, but I'm assuming they had a crack analytical team knowing that forty or fifty somethings would buy this because it hearkened back to their youth.

I'm just not one of them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Know Your Onion

Yes, it's 9/11, and I have not forgotten, but I won't be bullied into doing an annual post about that day.

We can talk about something more tragic - my cooking.

Last Sunday, 710 and I attended a bar-b-que at one of our neighbors house. They requested we bring chips and dip.

Chips and dip for 10 people?  That sounded, well.........boring. But I'm a good party guest and do as I'm told.  I mean, I wasn't exactly roped into what kind of dip or chips to bring. Many would bring store-bought dip and Ruffles.

Oh, I considered making salsa, but I had done that before, so I did go back to the thought of regular dip, as we were only asked about 20 hours before the party. However, in good conscious, I couldn't buy Dairyman's dip, but I wasn't making chips either.

So I compromised, I bought potato chips, but some nice kettle ones - Shears with 40% less fat (though less than what, I don't exactly know)  - yet I was going to "make" the dip.

Trust me, it wasn't a stretch. No limbs were gone out on.  As you can see, four ingredients. Total prep time was about 7 minutes.  Tops.

16oz of sour cream
4oz of crumbled blue cheese
4 tablespoons (or one package of) dry onion soup mix
chopped chives (optional)
1 tablespoon of milk (optional)

You know how this goes:  sour cream goes into a bowl, then the soup mix - stir it in until it is well mixed.  Then add the blue cheese and mix again. Chill for an hour or two so the flavours set.

If the dip thickens, you can add milk and stir in to thin it out a bit, but a good stirring will do the same thing.

I did chop some chives, mostly for presentation.....because, I am after!

I thought this much dip would be enough for 10 folks, but it turns out only a few ate it. I would have been fine cutting the recipe in half.

Unfortunately for me, we have a bunch of chips and dip now hanging around the house - exactly what I don't need.

However, it is quick and easy and looks homemade, so if you're going to a shin-dig, you can pretend like you "made" it yourself and put some effort into the whole thing.

Song by:  the Shins

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


It seems I have zero songs with the word 'garlic' in the title. What's that about?

After yoga on Sunday (an iffy class at best), David and I broke from our normal getting tea and sitting around rapping (not like Young MC or Tone Loc) by him suggesting we go down to the local Garlic Festival.

David had been the day before and got roped into being their unofficial official photographer. Due to that fact, he snagged me an armband to get in for free.

The event is nice, but c'mon, it's $8 to get in and you still have to buy your food and beverages.

Now, I do love garlic and David expounded on the garlic shrimp and garlic fries. It's just that after yoga (well and during and before), I wasn't feeling great, so the sound of food wasn't that appealing to me.  Not only that, but the competing smell of garlic didn't always make for great smells.

Someone cooking meat versus chicken versus shrimp, well when all of those came together, the collective smell wasn't the winning combination. Of course, it could have been that I wasn't feeling that well either.

Still, it was fun to walk around and see the vendors (slow roasted heads of garlic - taking 6 weeks(!!) to roast??), the cooking demos to the bands and art. I ended up eating nothing. But it was fun to watch David work - he's very good at what he does. I hope the folks he took pics of get to see his work with them in it.

...and better yet, he only caught me in one picture and that wasn't with his fancy-schmancy camera, but with my iPhone.

CREEPY.  ....and this time, I am talking about the "guy" on the right.   ...but what abs!

The rest of the pics are mine and mine alone.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar ruined everything!

I liked the garlic chalk art though. 

I didn't stick around long enough to know who was crowned Ms. Garlic Cleveland. I'm not sure what her duties would be, but I'm sure it can go on a college application. 

The Garlic Fest was a great community event. Maybe next year I'll be ready to eat some of that food. 

Song by:  Sigur Rós