Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can I Have a Kiss?

You know the day. You know the blog theme.

I swear Petey knows "Can I have a kiss?" better than "Sit!". Which is ok because I get better benefits from doggie kisses than him giving me his paw - which never actually ends up in my hand.

Beagles have the softest tongues.

Here he is - up on the couch. He's really taken to sitting with one of us in a chair or on the couch. We love the companionship.  I'm not sure what he's getting out of it.  But on occasion, I get kisses. 

Yes - another (temporary) bed. Petey co-opted the old cushion from the leather chair. It now resides next to his other two beds....which don't include the chair or sofa. 

Just a quick 12 second film of Petey lovin'. Had me a blast. 

Song by:  Kelly Clarkson

Friday, November 29, 2013

When Black Friday Comes

It's been done 12,000 times by other bloggers, writers, news folk - but ugh on Black Friday.

It's not that I care so much about the sanctity of the holiday and not opening stores at 06:00 on Thanksgiving - or anytime during that day.  It is more the stupidity of the shoppers.

Personally, I don't care if these asshats get trampled to death. It's Natural Selection at work.

Proven time and time again that these are NOT the best deals of the season, nor is it the busiest shopping day of the year, I see no reason to sit out in the freezing cold (now no longer overnight but currently for 3-4 days ahead of time), to get one shitty off-brand TV. But you can't tell these uneducated, non-news reading, souls a thing....unless it's Sarah Palin telling them what and what not to do.

Yes, I'm generalizing.

And of course if you camp out in line, where do you go the bathroom.  That is the $64,000 question*.

If I never set a foot inside a store from November 15th - January 20th, I'm a happy man. There is very little that I cannot get on-line and the stuff I want to acquire for people most likely won't be found at the big box stores.

I feel worse for the Pizza Hut manager who got fired for bucking the system and closing on Thanksgiving - though allegedly that day has a high rate of pizza deliveries. Supposedly, Kentucky Taco Hut is rehiring him, but in a way I hope he does not accept.

In my mind, I already have the things I need to buy - some are already purchased, but that was a place / time rationale, not a "deal" to be had. Either way, it's going to be a light year, and that is just fine.

And now that stores are open at 06:00 on Thursday, can "they" even call it Black Friday?

*Rates apply to 1955-1958 rates of inflation

Song by: Steely Dan

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks a Lot

I won't go on about my usual malaise for this holiday. You can read that in previous T-giving day posts.

I'm just posting for:

A. getting in a post to continue my streak.

B. the picture.  I mean - c'mon!

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for many things, but the uneasiness of going around a table to say them seems odd to me.

Clearly I am thankful for my husband and our family. And my friends. And my general health - though this year it has been a little trying.

I don't need much more than that in life.

Enjoy your day - your food, your parade, your football.

Oh - and Happy Hanukkah. You won't see the merging of these two holidays for the next 79,000 years - or 2070, depending on who you believe. Either way, I'll be dead.

Song by:  Raul Malo

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

the Big Chair

No, not that electric chair kind of thing.

We bought a chair almost four years ago - which was a substantial purchase. Chairs, leather or not, are not cheap. That is assuming one, or both of us, could agree upon.

I was looking at chairs after I hurt my back and couldn't find a comfortable one to rest my weary bag of bones.

Yet one would expect an expensive chair to hold up longer than say, two and a half years, right? I mean, the leather is fine, but the seat cushion collapsed overnight about 18 months ago. For six of those months, I just let my fat, hairy ass sink to the base of the chair and lived with it.

But for the last 12 months, I've avoided the chair completely unless we had guests over. I'd sit there so they wouldn't have to sit in that shame.

Finally, I did something about it. Not expecting, or wanting a thing, from the store, I called just asking where the best and most reliable place in Cleveland would they suggest I go to get a new foam insert - as that was the only real thing that went bad.

A quick look-up from them told me that the cushion was under warranty, and that they would order a new one right away. That, I was not expecting.

I would have sworn they told me the leather was covered but the innards were not. Maybe it's the opposite, or maybe I got wrong info or maybe the front desk of the store eff'd up. Either way, I not only got a new insert for the butt part of the chair, but for the back as well.

The old backing is just fine, but I"ll put the new one away for a day when that deflates.

Here's the sad sad cushion. It never sprang back. I swear I'm not that heavy. 

And here is the new and improved version. I'm almost afraid to sit on it. 

I'm assuming you can all guess what has happened to the old insert?

Song by:  Tears for Fears

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blowing in the Wind

The 2013 (or is it 2014?) Farmer's Almanac said this upcoming Winter, for our neck o'the woods would have average snow fall, but would be colder than normal.

I'm sure there is 'normal' somewhere out there, but I don't know what that is and am too damned lazy to look it up.

But by "winter", I assumed they meant December 21 - March 20. I didn't think they meant bone chilling cold in November - almost a full month away from that dreaded season of interminably long dark days.

Saturday I was coming home from Columbus and stopped to get gas. JFC - I froze just paying and getting the pump ready.

I truly know how good I have it when I can wait inside a fucking Mercedes while I fill it with petrol. I don't know how the homeless (or those frontier people) ever survive a night, let alone weeks or years of this. I'm not sure I could make it two hours.

We are now on day four of this.

Sunday, pulling into my parents development, the roads were untouched, and the wind was howling - blowing the snow everywhere. Then the houses that already had holiday lights up, had them on. It certainly felt more like we were going over for a holiday celebration than a regular Sunday dinner that landed before Thanksgiving.

Even yesterday morning we woke up to single digit temps. Today is supposed to be better, but still calls for snow and wind. It makes walking Petey a challenge. His double walnut sized brain thinks he can do the long walks, but his paws hurt, I know this - but getting him to comply and take the shorter route is a bear.

And it's all I can do to not scold my neighbors when I get an email to send to the entire neighborhood about their kitten who never came home the night before. WTF is a kitten doing out in sub-zero temps??? They should have that cutie taken out of their custody. came back, but then neighbors found it again hours later - meaning these assholes let him out......AGAIN.

Maybe I'll just steal the kitten next time I see it. Petey is interested in him.

Anyway, there looks to be little warm-up in the next week. 30 as the high (not counting wind) for the next seven days.


Song by: Bob Dylan

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Music Monday

Lordy 2013 was a questionable year for new releases. Not only did I not review something new for each month, I didn't even buy anything additional to what I did post for my Record of the Month.

Sad sad sad.

I'm hoping 2014 is a little better, but it almost has to be, right?

In January, one my my favourite artists,  Rosanne Cash, is coming out with her first album of original material in seven (plus) years with The River & the Thread.

Cash, while seemingly country in nature, one would be hard pressed to truly classify her in that genre. Americana is closer to the bucket. And that category probably shows more in her new record than her previous ones.

While Johnny was from Arkansas, Rosanne as born and raised in California. By her own admission, she only lived in Nashville for nine years - and has been in New York City for 20 odd since. But she's big on her heritage, all the way back to Scotland, where a lot of Appalachian music has its roots from there.

So with her father's side of the family being from the South, she opted to explore that aspect of music with this album.

Her first 'release' from the disk is "A Feather's Not a Bird". I'm really digging it.

Yes, it has that southern quality that made Bobbie Gentry (who Cash has been covering the last few years in concert) so great. I love how Cash's voice has actually gotten stronger over the years.

If her full album is anything like this song, I will be a happy man.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

When I Write the Book

One Dr. Spo  has made a MEME about blogging.  These questions are a conglomerate of questions bloggers and non-bloggers have asked him over the years.  The answers, however, are mine. 

What you like most about being a blogger?
Just because of my OCD, I like the consistency of writing it. I don't have a life-changing blog in terms of politics of gay culture. Hell, my subtitle is 'stuff & nonsense' - though it is mostly just 'stuff'. 
How many bloggers have you met?
13 known bloggers. Either people I follow, or have followed in the past. There might be one or two more that have stopped blogging a while back, but for the most part, I'm going with a baker's dozen. 
Do you ever go back and read your old entries?
Sometimes. I shouldn't, but I do.

If I look at my stats to see what is trending and can't remember what a post was, I might hit it and read it. Or if I need to find a post to link to a current on, I search for it. The problem is if then you start reading a succession of older or newer posts from that one. I catch things i could have said more clearly or see a typo that I want to fix - but I resist the urge to go down that rabbit hole. 
Do you share your job skills here?
I really don't. You get something of my travel or work frustration, but no real specifics about my job, my company or things of that nature. Besides being another rabbit hole to avoid, why get the work g-ds mad at me? 
Have you changed your views about anything thanks to blogging?
Yes, but not in the way most would think. Reading gay political blogs, I find I don't always agree with the majority. Case in point: I found the high praise of Dan Choi to be mostly because he's gay and a soldier - and not just the fame whore he wants to be. and g-d fucking forbid if you commented anything that didn't see him as the next gay hero. I find many gay political blogs hate the intolerance of many straight people toward gays, but are the first to be EXTREMELY intolerant of our own kind if you're not on their bandwagon. 

Do your coworkers know about your blog?
Not that I know of. Friends have posted links to some of my posts on their Facebook page and sometimes have "tagged" me in the process. It is possible some of those co-workers / Facebook friends have seen the tag, clicked and then found the blog. But since I don't share things about work, I don't foresee trouble - though they'd have to scour 3000+ posts to know I don't talk about work. 
What advice would you give for successful blogging?
It would be to consistently post. If you do one or two a month - or a full week and then nothing for a period of time, you'll never gain a following, if that is what you want. If you're blog is too specific (i mean, there a knitting blogs!!!), you're going for a core audience that you'll never expand upon - and that's fine, if that's all you are going to talk about. 
What is your opinion of aardvarks?
They have kept our ant problem under control!  Though they do look an awful lot like Renee Zellweger (or vice versa).

Do you publish everything you write ?
Almost everything. I've drafted a few things that never went anywhere and I deleted them. It could be argued I shouldn't publish half the things I write. 
If you could make ‘three rules’ for blogging, what would they be?
1# Have your own voice. I appreciate (somewhat) original content. I'm not big on bloggers who copy media stories and while not crediting as their own, certainly don't recognize the actual source. They don't even put in their own thoughts most of the time in regards to their copied post. 
2# Have a sense of humour. Not everyone is going to agree with what you post, so don't get your nose out of joint when someone disagrees - at least if they have a semi-logical "argument". 
3# It's nice to ask a person if you can blogroll them and not just do it. Not only do you know someone is reading you, but appreciating you enough that they want to acknowledge your publications. It's nice to know where some the sources of your readership too. And it might turn you on to that person's blog and their own blogroll of folks.  (Don't ask assuming they will blogroll you back.)
Do people help you write your blog?
Now and again, someone (a cousin or friend) will provide a link to a topic they think I would find funny - knowing I might blog about it. Do they actually write it or get to provide feedback on my draft? No.  
But many people (a cousin or friend) will be the inspiration for an entry - or 10. 
Who are your blogger super-heroes?
You know this can go nowhere good, right? Someone is bound to be hurt or left out, and that is not my intention. But I have a few: 
Mike's Short Attention Span Theater (when he writes / wrote it) always made me smile. He was clever with his words and though he'd loathe to admit it, has the same sense of humour as myself. 
Erik, over at gambrinous with griffonage comes closest to my taste in music. But he seems like a nice guy and one of the bloggers I truly want to meet. ...and if I ever got a tattoo, he might be the guy I'd let do it. Though I truly do NOT understand his fascination with Dr. Who, but........  
Patrick over at Pac's Pad.  He's a great writer. He is clever and always comes full circle with his posts and always makes me want to comment on them. That is high praise. 
And Chris from the Mangina Monologues - because he has the right amount of wrong in him that makes me smile. 
Final question (if you dare!) :
Have you slept with any of your fellow bloggers?
Define: sleep

Song by: Rockpile

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Peace Dog

It is Saturday. Petey Porn Day

I'd like to say these are throwaway posts, but they are not. I love showing him off and people seems to ooh and aah over him, so I see it as a win-win. 

Just an FYI:  never jump in a pile of leaves. Sure it was fun when we were kids. I just didn't know dogs pissed on every single pile they came across. And, ummmm, sometimes drop a deuce in them too. 

On a completely unrelated note: I have barely used a poop bag in the last three weeks!

Oh, so now he's interested in the camera!  ...or in 710.

Petey has taken to taking up residence in 710's chair. No one is stopping him, so, he has full rights. 

Sometimes he uses his multi-tiered bed system. Big yawn. 

Of all the pictures I've taken of him, this one might actually be my most favourite. 

Song by: the Cult

Friday, November 22, 2013

Abraham, Martin & John

Do you remember where  you were?

I'm assuming I was in my crib, as I was only 101 days old.  But today is the 50th year that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Of course, I could have been in a high chair, though I think I couldn't have supported myself in there at that age, so we'll go with 'crib'.

I've made no secret that the JFK assassination was probably my first acknowledgement of some OCD-like behaviour.  I read the entire Warren Commission in sixth grade and started down a path of dozens of books about that day in Dallas.

After a while, you either got the scientific versions or the crackpot editions. Rarely did the two meet and even while I tried to stick to science, of course there were conflicting data elements and conclusions. Personally, I don't believe that Oswald acted alone....but that's just me.

Actually, it's not just me. A recent poll says only 24% of Americans believe Oswald acted alone.

I've never harbored any delusions on what a great man or president Kennedy might have been. In reality - he wasn't. His times in the House and Senate were short and plagued with long bouts of medical leave, so his experience was little.

As president, JFK's approval rating at the time of his death was around 49%. Only in death was he immortalized. He was a womanizing, back room, nepotism-prone politician. His father was corrupt, and clearly the Kennedys, even to this day, get preferential treatment from both the law and religion (seriously - you're married 20+ years, have four kids and the church gives you an annulment???). Bobby Kennedy prosecuted thugs (if Hoffa was considered a 'thug'), but in reality was one himself - the way he (mis)treated others.

That said, the country, if not the world, came together for three days 50 years ago.

Sure, 1963 was arguably a simpler time, but I'm not sure that could happen now - for an American president. Maybe for another Princess Diana, but not for an elected head of state.

As much as Kennedy's death possibly moved the passage of Civil Rights Act up measurably, the same is true with our involvement in Viet Nam. To be fair, Kennedy didn't start us in Viet Nam - that was much earlier - but he didn't help the process one little bit.

But the time of '63-'68 left an indelible mark on our history. Like the Kennedys or Martin Luther King, you can't say they didn't profoundly change the world - even if the former was more mob like mentality. People wonder how much more they would have done had they lived. In certain ways, I think things got accomplished much more quickly due to their deaths. Maybe that is harsh, but I believe it to be true.

Actually, a number of years ago (yikes! six!!!), I wrote a piece for a group blog, which no longer exists - Gay Men Rule. I just reread it and am still kind of happy with it - as it stuck with the theme of the meme.

But I've moved on. I'm not longer obsessed, compulsively or otherwise. Though I will honestly say I showed a little interest in the NYT article on Jacqueline Kennedy's pink suit.  And yes, the New York Times has a decent interactive site on the assassination.

Yes, cable has a plethora of shows on the assassination running this entire month. Some I've caught - some at which just to roll my eyes. And whenever I'm at Arlington National Cemetery, yes, I'll go to both John and Bobby's graves, but that's it.  No more books. It's all circumspect now and unless there are unreleased government documents, destroyed coroner records, missing body parts from the autopsy - and no actual truth to definitively be known - it's all left up to interpretation.

A half-decade later and no one really knows tons more than they did five years after the event.

No, this is more about the passing of time. Plenty of history has been made in my lifetime (the first walk on the moon or say, Charo's 17th guest spot on the Love Boat), but arguably (actually, inarguably, I believe), Kennedy's assassination is the first real demarkation of a lasting historical event in my life.

Where does the time go?

Side Note:  

I took the title image, this past summer, at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. They were setting up for a Warhol exhibit and I was instructed, "no photography" - flash or otherwise. You can see how well I listen. 

This is part of a Warhol series called "Sixteen Jackies", which is by far my favourite piece he ever did. Of course, it all plays into that younger me, who was fascinated by that time in November '63. 

Song by: Dion

Thursday, November 21, 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!

You know we joined Costco for their dog food. Petey, being the high-maintenance cutie that he is, can eat their salmon and sweet potato chow, since he is allergic to most meats and grains.

Anyways, since the food bag is 30lbs, we don't frequent Costco too too often. They do have other stuff I like  - the gigundo pack of granola bars. Sure they sell them in the grocery store, but the price for a box of 10 is only slightly different than a box of 60 at Costco.

The problem with Costco is all the other things you don't need, that you think you do, because they are on display.

Yes, I needed new heads for my electric toothbrush, and yes, they are expensive no matter where you go - but did I really need to buy eight of them, because that was the only way they were packaged? Or the 52 disposable razors? I needed like, eight of them, but you can only get one for each week of the year.

I rarely shop for food there, because as I've said in the past, I'm not feeding an orphanage. I don't need or want two pork tenderloins - there are only two of us. I'm sorry you don't sell single ones, but.... And I don't need 12 peppers - mix of red, orange and green. I like peppers, but 12 will go bad before I ever had the chance to use four of them.

Sometimes you're just not practical Costco.

On the other hand, there are deals there. Well, I assume.

I mean, when wouldn't you need this?

I'll tell you when:  when I suppose the 32 capacity safe just won't do!!!

Apparently guns are "adventures" 

Please remind the parents from Sandy Hook that. Their panties are still in a wad that guns were killing machines. Go figure!

Still I haven't really done the math, but exponentially, the addition of 16 more guns really drives up cost quite a bit. I mean, a true bargain shopper could get two 32 gun capacity safes and still have it be $1400 cheaper than the 48 - and you can store way more rifles and ammo. 

And if Costco were really doing their job, some nice senior would have been handing out venison samples right next to this display. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Site of the Month

Oh, it's that time - though I think "of the month" is becoming less of a sure thing.

Maybe it's a good thing that my 'stand-by' posts are not needed, but now and again, it is good to bring them back.

But like two or three weeks ago with My Music Monday, this SotM is being brought to you by Meredity.

I'd say, she might just want to write my blog, but then I remembered she has a blog that she started two years ago and has been dormant for the last 2-3 posts, so........maybe that's not a the best idea.

Anyhoo...Dith sent me to Head's Up Now, because of Blobby Robby.

Honestly, I don't know why she'd be at the site in the first place, let alone how she might stumble upon Blobby Robby.

As she said in her text to me: "these things just write themselves sometimes...".

But they don't. I do. And it's work, people. WORK!

Here is Blobby Robby's description:

A squishy fellow who is about 4 inches across. He is all smiles, with stretchy arms, legs & hair thrown in. Squeeze him to your hearts content to get some sensory feedback. He goes right back to his original rolly, poly shape. He has a soft feel to him. 

I saw that and figured, yeah - that's me. Except for the hair.

Then I first saw 4", I was all like "Bitch, please!"   ...but then I saw that it said 4" across and I went, "yeah - that's about right!"  It's all about the girth, folks.

And I'm not all squishy.  {wink}

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Love is a Battefield

Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  Only 268 - 273 words in length (depending on which draft one actually believes was delivered - there are five known), but it stands as one of the greatest addresses ever given in American history.

Oddly, Lincoln was not even the keynote speaker that day at Gettysburg, but he followed Edward Everett's two-hour speech with his own, which lasted a little over two minutes.

While it's doubtful that many of us know the entire speech by heart, I'm guessing most of us could recite the first line - and possibly the last. It is highly improbable that anyone knows any of Everett's oration.....unless you happen to be an Everett historian. Of course, that is the crowd I'm going for in my readership, so one never knows.

Ken Burns thinks it is a great speech too and has started Learn the Address.

People are uploading their readings of the Gettysburg Address - including all five living presidents. ...and Louis C.K.

Of course, others participating are the obligatory congressmen on both sides of the aisle, but you also get Whoopi, Colbert, Nina Totenberg, and esteemed historians such as, Martha Stewart, Alyssa Milano and naturally, Vicki Lawrence.

Apparently, Sherman went down to Atlanta to turn out the lights...for one night.

All visitors are encouraged (ok, invited, maybe not encouraged) to do the address themselves. And why not? It's a good history lesson, if nothing else.

There is a line in the Address where Lincoln couldn't have been more wrong:  "the world will little note; nor long remember what we say here".  

Yeah, I took a shot at this - though I don't do well. I can do public speaking and possibly even give my own speeches, but to recite one - let alone one of the most famous ones - I don't do it justice. Even Alyssa Milano has me beat there.

That bitch!

I'd have been better off singing the title of this post.  ....but don't hold your breath on that one.

I have not decided to (or not to) submit to Ken Burns' site.

Song by: Pat Benatar

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Music Monday

INXS and "Don't Change" have been on my short list for a while - i just never quite got around to do committing it to the blog.

There are a parts of the group I truly liked, and parts that just became annoying to the Nth degree. And most of both of those categories were the lead singer, Michael Hutchinson.

Early INXS was good. Very good. I'm a big fan of their albums Shaboo Shoobah and the Swing. Today's selection was a coin toss between "Don't Change" and "Original Sin".

I kind of liked their disk, Listen Like Thieves. But I also noticed that is where, for me they started to decline. When they got to Kick, I was done. Their stupid-ass rhyme scheme on "Meditate" was so annoying - and the MTV overkill of "Need You Tonight", "Never Tear Us Apart" and "New Sensation"just grated on my last nerve.

I was also getting tired of Hutchinson's faux Jagger movements in everything he did. He was ok, but he was no Jagger.

That all said, I'm still fond of some of their songs, "Don't Change" being at the top of my list. It sits on all my various iPod / iPhone rotations.

Oddly, I'm not sure I've ever seen the video for this song - and maybe that's not a bad thing. The man kind of creeps me out.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I have become that absent-minded {post} middle-aged man. Apparently, I'm "that guy" who has to be reminded that today is our anniversary. Queue one episode that has been written for every sitcom ever.

The third anniversary is Leather - dontcha know. Well, I didn't. I had to look it up.

Sure some might like Tin, Silver or Gold more, but eh. Leather is so much more versatile.

What?  I mean, belts, shoes, jackets or know, chaps, harnesses, cockrings and such.  See? Versatile!

Years ago, Morty got me a black leather candle (yes, you read that correctly), that actually smelled well, like black leather. I don't know the occasion. I'm not sure there is an occasion for getting black leather candle.

I moved from Columbus to Cleveland with it. Had it at two separate houses until we moved eight plus years ago. 710 made me toss it. I never lit it. I almost didn't want to, but I liked the smell. I'm sure it was cheaper than buying chaps. I mean, I'm guessing!

But there is no leather that will be exchanged today. Except for dinner somewhere, I'm not sure we are celebrating at all. It's not that the thrill is gone or anything, just life getting in the way.

I'm not even sure that dinner will be our celebration. We made tentative plans to go out with friends, not that they wouldn't celebrate with us, but it is not expected or even discussed.

No celebration takes a back seat to leaf clean-up. Continued clean-up that is, though we're getting close to the end. Yesterday was about taking a stab at getting most of the rest of the leaves off the lawn. There is possibly one more small clean-up to do in a week. Last leaf pick-up by the city is in 11 days.

(feel free to insert clumsy penis metaphor here.  hehehe...I said "insert")

The gas-powered leaf blower is great. I never cared for the electric one, but this one is way more powerful and got me to clear the lawn in a little over an hour's time. ....and I look mega-butch with it, no?  (the question is rhetorical - so keep the lips sealed.)

Yesterday morning, before lawn maintenance, we had our neighborhood 'men's breakfast'. Still serving steel cut oats (meh), but at least the company is fine, though we seem to be in the same invite rotation as the last two. I wouldn't mind us getting in a slightly different mix of men (there are multiple gatherings, but generally you're invited to one per year) - not that there's anything wrong with the gents with which we ate. It can just be interesting changing up the list here and there.

Still, it's a great gesture and one of those things that make our neighborhood a little unique.

So, here we are - year three of official marriage. Sure, there were those pesky 25 years of non-marriage, but we're still not recognized by the state of Ohio. Maybe that will change soon.

Song by:  Tori Amos

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Warm Place

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday.

Why hasn't Rebecca Black followed up her mega-hit single?   Ohhhhh I remember.

Anyway, it is Petey Porn Day.  You knew it would be.

For pushing 12 years old, he still has times of being a playful pup - especially when it's about going outside. He knows walk times.

Of course, he dictates walk times. And his internal body clock will tell him to tell me that it is morning or evening walk time. 

It's been a cold few days (into the twenties - as the high!). He's been taking to getting out of his bed, and finding sun to sleep in.  I worry about his old man bones and him needing heat. This is a new development.  But as you can see, Sophie plops down right next to him and they have a slumber party. 

And it was time again to wash his beds. He gets so confused when one disappears (even though he has a second). But on the big one, he wasn't letting me put the cover back on. He just sat his beagle butt on it and would not budge. 

Stubborn pooch.

Why not a short 20 second (or so) video of Petey excited to be going out. It's an ok shot, but sometimes he is much much much more animated.

Song by:  Nine Inch Nails

Friday, November 15, 2013


You know, Facebook has a lot of reasons to be a bad thing. I suppose, like anything, it is in how you use it.

I know people who have 700+ "friends". C'mon - they don't even "know" 700 people. But the mentality is those with the most friends wins.   ....and then they block these friends, but still count them in their bucket.

Me? I have no use for that. Hell, I even ignore immediate family member requests. Granted, I have a handful of people who know me through others (though I've never actually met), and a few of you who follow this here blog (whom I have never actually met....yet), but for the most part, those I connect with are friends and a few cousins, whom I counts as good friends.

(Truth be told: I have a former co-worker who I like personally, until he opens his mouth about politics and I just loathe reading his crap, so he just might get shit-canned. AND, he's not even the former co-worker who is now a VP at Fox News!)

Anyhooooo - I've done this on and off series of posts on how I know my closest and dearest friends. Ok, technically, I've only truly written about Becky and Meredity. Oh, you hear a lot about Morty and Jon, but not the true origins. I'm sure those will come in time.

This post kind of covers Morty.

Kind of. Maybe more than kind of.

Around two years ago, I accepted a FB request from someone I will call "Girl Jackie". I call her that, because that is what we all called her.

She gets the qualifier as "girl' because in the soon-to-be periphery, there was a Boy Jackie. I even think, and Morty can correct me, there was a Black Jackie somewhere in that mix. But there had to be qualifiers so people would know which Jackie you were referring.

Even though I had not seen nor heard from Girl Jackie since maybe 1990, she played an ginormous part in my life. And Jon's.  And of course, to Morty, Ditto and Becca.

In 1987-88, for the most part, it was just Jon and myself when going out. Sure, we had FG (don't ask) tag along, but the core was Jon and me.

One fateful night, Jon and I went to an after-hours party at a big empty, soon to be refurbished, house on Columbus' east side. It was there we encountered Girl Jackie.

She was a social butterfly, who had no problems talking to anyone. She and her friend, Susan (Morty / Rebecca / Jon - Susan Lee was her name. I'm not crazy!  She existed) chatted us up and Jackie, with her sing-songy hands, insisted we meet her friends, Morty and Mitchell.

See back then, Girl Jackie would talk as much with her hands and her mouth. Not that she was using ASL, but she seemed to have broken wrists and they'd kinds of lightly flail about as she talked. She'd cock her head side to side a lot too as she spoke. It made her seem a bit, well, flighty. More than she actually was.

Morty was nice and great to talk to. Mitchell, wellllllll....he was a little cold and aloof. Of course, after we parted ways with them that evening, Jon and I immediately talked how Mitchell hated us. We would hold onto that belief for years.

To be fair, and I did love Mitchell, at first he probably thought we were hitting on Morty, as they were dating at the time. And we probably were flirting, though Morty wouldn't have recognized it if we were hitting him over the head with a 2x4.  He might have been drunk!

Later, Mitchell would just be annoyed with me, because on a daily basis, I would most likely be drunk, hanging out with his equally drunk roommate. We were annoying, so he had every reason to roll his eyes and just go upstairs and leaving us be.

Later in bars, Girl Jackie would find us and again reintroduce us to Morty and Mitchell.

Morty, being super social, (I think) invited us to parties, usually where he lived. And it was there a friendship began. That friendship begat ones with Meredity and then Rebecca.  Sure there were peripheral acquaintances too, but the core group was kind of set.

No way Girl Jackie could know what she was doing then - not that we could have either.

Sure it was possible at some point we would have made Mort's acquaintance, but it didn't seem likely. Girl Jackie was a catalyst for a lifetime of friendship.

The irony (?) is that she, being possibly the most social, dropped away and eventually moved to Australia, not that any of us knew that. Until Facebook.

Girl Jackie is back in Ohio for a few weeks visiting family. She made the 9,800 mile trek here, so I felt I could take the last 21 miles to meet her for lunch yesterday.

We had a great time. Though 23 years had passed, it seemed a breeze to chat with her and just kind of catch-up. I've long given up on trying to fill in with people the last two decades of missed connection. And she could piece some of it together from our FB posts anyways.

Hopefully, since she's here for another 12 days, we will be able to get Rebecca and Morty together with us for one more lunch. I'd like Meredity to go too, but I know her plate is full these next few weeks.

So, as lame as FB can be, seemingly for many many 'what I ate' pictures, it does have some usefulness.

Song by:  bt

Thursday, November 14, 2013


As I alluded to in yesterday's 12 of 12, today would be a food / cooking segment. I actually just typed 'fool', and almost left it wouldn't be too far off, in any regard.

So, I was picking up provisions for part of the week and looking for a dinner idea. Fish seemed to be in order, so I headed and talked with my fish monger.

You know, Sara Moulton always says to get to know your fish monger, and to be fair, she is correct.

Of all the folks at the grocery store, I never get any, let alone good, advice from the produce manager or butcher.  But the fish guy (and it always seems to be a 'guy'), is always helpful, no matter what store I might be patronizing.

Yesterday was no exception.

While Mr. Monger didn't really steer me too or away from any particular fish, we talked about certain freshness aspects, things that are easier to cook (remember, our great stove / oven has no built in broiler, so options can be limited to certain dishes).

I went with cod. I don't remember how much - but it looks like more than for two people. But it turned out to be just right (though a tiny part was left over). The fish monger (I probably should get his name) suggested doing a multi-season coating and then topping the fish with Gruyère.

Interesting. At least interesting enough to try.

And easy. As you can see all the ingredients I used. And can I tell you how many grocery stores do not display lemons at the fish counter? Ours does, and it's always great, as I don't have to trek back to produce.  It really is the little things.

The seasoning is one anyone can find in some form: paprika, garlic, onion, chili, etc. The problem became I wasn't sure how much to use. With my first bite I knew I had used too much, so cut back to about half of what you see here.

Then you top with the Gruyère, in a lightly sprayed dish

..and bake for 15-20 minutes, uncovered.

You might want to go easier on the cheese as well, as it is salty. Knowing this, I did not salt the fish at all. And perhaps it would be ok with this amount of cheese but less seasoning. The combo was a little overwhelming.

The dish presented nicely - if I say so myself.

I would definitely try this again, with some adjustments, but you can see the prep time was nothing. The cook time was next to nothing and clean up was one pan.

We like fish - I'm just always looking for ways to make it more exciting.

Song by:  the Cure

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 45th 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.

06:40.  Where Sophie has been greeting me most mornings: lying at the bottom of the kitchen stairs. And no, she doesn't move a millimeter, so I have to step over her. One day it will all end badly - for both of us. 

07:50.  Apparently we lost almost all the leaves off the Japanese maple.

08:00.  The (dis)advantage of working from home: laundry day doesn't have to be on weekends.

10:00.  HRH is finally awake (srsly!) and ready for his walk. The 1.5" snow did not stick to the driveway. Allegedly just east of us got up to 6".

10:20.  Snow and leaves. More snow "expected" later today.

10:30.  "Breakfast" for Petey. Still getting a scoop of wet to hide his pills. One more week of antibiotics for the boy.

12:35.  Lunch is last night's dinner leftovers. Noodles with chicken, broccoli. garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and of course cheese. I could possibly eat this every day.

14:00.  Time to work the tennis ball with my foot, in my ongoing (and losing) battle with tendinitis.

17:30.  Sophie was out of cat fud.  ...and low on litter. A trip had to be made today.

17:55.  Well we needed fud for dinner too. Fresh fish (soon to be a cooking post?), frozen fish for those lazy dinner ideas, the first clementines of the season (I hope they're good!), bananas, lemon, and a scallion. Oh and some M&M cookies.  I mean, c'mon - it's me!

19:00.  Off to prepare dinner. Sophie relaxing in style.

20:00.  Dinner. Again, you'll get it in a post tomorrow.

....and  now you're Baker's Dozen

22:00.  Dessert. Ok, store bought cookies.  Two for me. Two for 710.

Ok....that's it.....until next month

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weather Storm

Well {possible} crap.

This is {potentially} coming.

Since I am drafting this the night before, I could {potentially} wake up to 1-3" of snow tomorrow morning.

No biggie.

...and another {possible} 3-5" during the day.

Well, that would suck.  8" of snow before Thanksgiving. Yuck.

We have done most of the winterizing.  One more set of storm doors to get into the dinging room french doors. It would have been done, but.......well, Blobby tried putting one in, the screen door popped open as I was putting the glass-insert into place and the glass {and Blobby} went flying.

No glass shattered, and more importantly, no glass shattered into Blobby's open palm. However, I did break some of the surrounding wood and put a huge crack into the glass.

Anyhoo....that storm hasn't been fixed or fitted.

And while I got the majority of leaves up Sunday and Monday, well......two trees are still hanging on to theirs....and no snow stakes have been placed in the ground as of yet.

I made 710 get the snow-blower ready when he came home last night, so if we do indeed get up to 8" (hehehe.....of snow people....of snow) I can clear the drive way.

I'm not ready for this yet.  Hopefully it's all meteorologist hoo-ha and they're wrong about their predictions.  Still, that upper radar picture is not pretty and it's been pouring since about 15:00. It was an ugly evening walk with Petey, but we kept it short to make sure his lungs stay clear.....or continue to clear. He's not happy about that.

So, maybe it's the beginning of the Winter season*.  Maybe it's a weather blip. I guess we shall see.

It still sucks.

*Winter does not officially begin for 39 more days

Song by:  Massive Attack

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Music Monday

I'll be honest, I didn't put a whole lot of thought behind today's selection.

I happened to be driving home from yoga yesterday when it rotated through my car / iPhone hook-up.

Guster's "Satellite" is what one might consider a lightweight pop song, and it is. That is not necessarily a bad thing.  You take it for what it is worth. Nothing more.

Honestly, I think I have only three songs from the group in all my my music liberry, but all three are good, yet, I think "Satellite" is the strongest. It is just one of those kind of songs you don't mind singing while alone in your car - which is exactly what I was I doing yesterday afternoon.

Since owning only three of their songs, I can't say I know a lot about the group, more than I know they're a trio. It seems they're still recording and touring - though my selection dates back to 2006.

If you're looking for complicated or deep lyrics, you've cone to the wrong place. Still, it's harmless and enjoyable - and sometimes, that is all that counts.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lost at Sea

The male, earth-bound version of Gravity has arrived in All is Lost.

Let's just say, after Life of Pi, Titanic, Captain Phillips, Cast Away, and of course, the über-classic, Speed II  - any time at sea would seem to be more advantageous to, oh say, Leon Klinghofer.....or Jason Patric's career, after oh say, Speed II.

Like my review for Gravity - this could also be subtitled:  I Cannot Catch a Break! 

I do love how Robert Redford (the only cast member) is being praised in reviews as 'brave' for taking this role. No offense to Mr. Redford, who does a very fine job, but at  age 77, being consideration for any role might be limited, at best, so maybe "lucky" could be substituted for "brave".

Oddly, the studio marketing department didn't try to sell All is Lost as 'the feel bad movie of the year'. They easily could have.  Maybe they thought it would be harder to drawn an audience in with that tagline, than one hour and forty minutes of almost zero dialogue.

Save for the brief opening voiceover, the entire dialogue of the movie consists of:  "this is the Jenny Dean S.O.S." (x 3) / "over here.....over here" (x3) /  and one well deserved "FUCK"!

That's it.

Still, there is something to be said for a movie that is about complete and utter isolation. Life of Pi and Cast Away incorporated a pre and post story. Lost does not. Yet to a degree, if not fully, the man's isolation is a choice, just not necessarily under his current circumstances.

I'd say the ending could be open to interpretation, but I really don't think it can...or is. I mean, the movie isn't called All is Potentially Lost.

And now that I am over 50, how is it still possible that we aren't on the older side of this audience? Seriously, except for 2-3 folks, everyone was a 'senior'. Sure, it was late afternoon movie, so the elder-home bus must have dropped off their residents two minutes before the movie they ambled very very slowly to their seats. Then there was the unwrapping of the hard candy in foil.  My lord!

Oh - and you should have seen / heard the ghoulish crone sitting next to me who laughed - laughed!!!! - out loud, each and every time something worse would happen to Redford's character. What the fuck was that about?

There weren't any 'must-see' previews, but perhaps the new Coen brothers movie. Maybe. There's a cat featured prominently in the trailer, and you know, movies with animals rarely end well for the animal. I can't possibly take the suspense of that happening.

There better be something to see  - we still have five more to go.

2013 Movie Count / Goal:   7 of 12. 

Song by:  the Bangles

Saturday, November 09, 2013

We All Feel Better in the Dark

Another week.  Another day of Petey Porn - with a little Sophie thrown in.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), it was an uneventful week in the life of one Mr. Pete. His pneumonia is getting better, though not completely gone, but as long as he progresses, there are no scheduled return visits to his doctor.

We have to limit the distance of his walks to help his lungs heal. It would have been nice to been told that a week ago, but we'll work with that information now. Petey likes the longer walks - in his brain - but his body suffers afterwards, so I'll do my best to redirect him to shorter routes.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Neighborhood Squirrel Patrol. 

Enemy v Enemy

On the way back from the vet - his follow-up visit. He's better, but still recovering. 

Autumn Whirlwind '13.  
I totally stole the idea from David and Ted. 

Autumn Whirlwind '12. 

Them There Eyes.

Chilling, after the vet, on a cold cold wet day. The animals have it right. 

Song by:  the Pet Shop Boys