Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there! 

This is about the quickest Aimee Mann has come out with a disk. She's not highly prolific, but she also doesn't have the corporate backing to release things on her own label as easily - I'm assuming.

After Charmer (2012), this is a quick turn-around, though technically this is not an Aimee Mann disk.

On her last solo disk, she had a great duet with the lead singer from the Shins, and while I loved it, I wrote that I didn't think I wanted to have her do a full disk of them.

But Mann has teamed up with Ted Leo to form the Both.  Leo opened up for Mann on her last tour and they began performing and then writing together.....then recording. And now they have a self-titled debut album.

Save one song, the album was written by Leo and Mann together - no individual songs they brought to the table to record. While there are glimpses of each of their solo artistry, there is a cohesion of a new pairing - taking them both out of their realm and forging a new one.

While now and again a song might be more Mann or Leo heavy, I dig it more when they vocally collaborate. So maybe I was wrong when I said that about a Mann duet album back in 2012.

The disk just came out, so I haven't had tons of time to spend with it - so I hope I'm not short-changing it (or overselling it).  And since it is so new I'll only mention a few songs.

I'm loving "Volunteers of America" right now, it's the highlight of the disk for me, but I reserve the right to change that in a month or three. "The Prisoner" sounds eerily like something Mann's husband, Michael Penn, would write or record.

So far, the only song that isn't working for me is "Honesty is No Excuse".  Oddly enough that is the song they did not write. Maybe I shouldn't have read the credits first, as maybe it skewed my though, so I'll give that a few more go-rounds too.

But overall, it's more than a worthy disk.  I don't know anything about Leo (sorry), but it rocks a little more than Mann's disks, and it has an energy to it that I love when Mann does that on her disks, but sometimes she doesn't do it enough.  With the Both, they do.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I think, as a blogger, I am contractually obligated to discuss Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

I find it hard to believe that the allegations against him, at this point, are false, but I noticed no one took a nanosecond to even question them - media, "celebrities" and sports figures alike. Apparently because TMZ says so, it's fact.

And it might be. I mean, he was sued for keeping minorities out of his real estate deals.

But in the 24 hour news cycle, as I've pointed out, everyone is guilty until proven innocent. It's no longer the other way around, nor has it been for quite a while.

And it seems the ├╝ber-rich are different than me and you.  Or at least me.  You 1%-ers are loftier than myself.

I can't give my black-Mexican girlfriend a Bentley and Ferrari and cash while my wife is seemingly aware.  But that's only because I don't have a girlfriend.

The man has balls though - and not just basket ones - as he rubs the fact in his wife's face, as he sits with his mistress at courtside.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that 30 years of owning the team that this is the first he's made a comment. Racism usually doesn't just come to the surface after that amount of time. It's there. Usually always.

Why he had a mixed race girlfriend is beyond me.

Why he owns a team in a sport, where the players are predominantly non-white, and that big of a supposed racist, is also beyond me.

It must be for the cash. People have done worse for less.

I'm no fan of Magic Johnson (oh, I don't want to hear it), but that's mostly because of his crappy theater chain, so I'm not sure I'd want him coming to my games either - but that's not quite the point. I do love how Sterling thinks there is a difference between white Jews and black ones.

I think the difference is that Sammy David Jr. is dead.  That was THE one, right?    (oh step down people, it's a joke!)

The sad thing - in a way - is that the NBA is so willing to act on this immediately, possibly even making Sterling give up his ownership of the team. But in the past have only given minor penalties to players using similar language, if you substitute 'black' for 'gay'.   ...and by 'gay', I mean 'faggot'. No suspension. No termination. And not even their first offense.

If there are other situations of Sterling saying things like this, why didn't the NBA act then (bc TMZ didn't report it to the world?).  If this is his first case - I guess the NBA thinks saying 'black' is a lot worse than saying 'faggot'.

But then there aren't a lot of "faggots" playing for the league. least that they know of.

And please do not discount me even writing this without the probable premise that I could somehow sneak in a video clip of Blake Griffin, who plays for Mr. Sterling's team. It might have been the only reason I wrote the post in the first place.

I mean, how can you not love the man, especially at the 0:22 mark?

Not so ironically, Kia was a sponsor of the Clippers and they have suspended that relationship, at least for the time being.

I don't know what Mr. Sterling thinks of Griffin, since he's mixed race. But I'm down with him.

Song by:  Prince

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Music Monday

Once again, it's Sunday evening as I try to figure out today's song selection.

I'd say I'm struggling with it, but for the last few days I keep playing one song over and over in my head:  the Cowsills' "Hair".

The song was released in 1968, but they'd been performing for years prior.

Oh, it should be noted that the Cowsills are all family members - brothers, sister and mom. If that sounds familiar it should - the Partridge Family was based on the Cowsills.

While "Hair", the musical was playing on Broadway in '68, the Cowsills made the title song a huge hit. Personally, I've always liked it.  Now mind you, I wasn't aware of then, as I was just a youngster.

I'll be honest, except for one other song, I don't know anything they've done. That other song?  The theme song from Love, American Style.  Most of you, I'm sure are too young to even know the reference or show.  {sigh}

If you YouTube the group, in later years, the Cowsills, are down to a trio, but their harmonies are tight. They are fairly impressive.

A few other notes - two of which I knew, one I didn't:

Their first television appearance was in Cleveland - on the Gene Carroll Show (which oddly doesn't have a wiki entrance, but was a Sunday morning staple - right before Polka Varieties).

Susan Cowgill was in a band called the Continental Drifters (oh yes, I have two of their disks) with Vicki Peterson of the Bangles, who would then go on to marry John Cowsill (who plays and sings on Tommy Tutone's hit "Jenny (867-5039)"). It all seems very incestuous.

It was that last tidbit that was news to me.

There are lots of YouTube versions of "Hair" but TV clips from 45 years ago aren't really quality, so you're just getting an embedded player with the song.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shopping with Blobby

I guess this month you get Shopping with David.

I wish wish wish, I had found this item, but alas, I did not. David seems happy to share, as he emailed it to me. And I'm happy to give him the credit.

It's the Infant Circumcision Trainer - White.

I suppose that means there is a non-white version, but I could not find it.

But I think we are burying the lead here. Amazon sells a circumcision training kit.

I could make all the jokes in the world - most of which you could do yourselves. Then I thought, why reinvent the wheel, read the 41 reviews.

The reviews, or some of them, are clever and humorous.

While you get the kit, it doesn't come with any certification to be a mohel or a doctor. However, you can get Replacement Glans/Foreskin (Package 10).

They don't mention if those are real or not.  For the low low price of $185.95 (without shipping - unless, I guess if you're a Prime member), they had better be real!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Petey Porn.  'Tis the day.

Yes, there's a rip in the pillow, but it's not like we're giving him the good ones to lay his head on (or under, as the case may be) and / or drool on. 

On our one really nice day this week, I hate my tuna salad lunch out doors on the back patio. 

"Someone" might have been the beneficiary of whatever was clinging to the side of the bowl. 

Just lounging around and looking handsome.  

Song by: Arcade Fire

Friday, April 25, 2014

Black Leather

If you remember, last year I volunteered (actually filled in for a friend) at CLAW.

This year, since I was on a list, I got the invite personally and not as a second tier hanger-on.

I thought about it for months on whether to go back. It was certainly interesting, if you remember, but I'm not sure it was "my scene".  But clearly it's someones.

Like policemen, truck drivers and men fixing your cable, porn has also lied to us in regards to men in leather and uniforms. In those "movies", men have at least seen the inside of a gym, are fairly rugged looking and purses don't fall out of their mouths upon opening.

In real life.......not so much.

You know how I feel about my own looks, so it's tres disconcerting to be one of the top three best looking guys there.  ...and I'm not even in leather.  And even more disconcerting? Not one person looked my way (especially the two guys ranking above me in this category).  {sigh}

I can't win for losing.

Last time my job was all administrative. This time it was all physical (let's get into physical). I was on the crew for set-up.

Ohhhhh....that's right. Last time it was on the first full day of CLAW. People were checked in, or in the process of doing so. This time I was pre-kickoff, which means some poor schmucks had to set up registration tables, stuff welcome packs, unload materials from the loading dock and carry stuff.

That schmuck would have been me.

My job was all lifting and carrying. But still it was better than the mind numbingness of stuffing welcome packs.

I still laugh when people call each other 'master' or 'boy'. I try not to out loud, but I'm not always successful. And still there is that pup / dog thing. Still freaking me out.

And it's totally sexist of me to always be surprised so many women (I'm assuming lesbians) attend. I guess they can like leather and flogging as much as the guys. Or some of the guys.

The irony was not lost on me when carrying a long, heavy wooden table assisted by some 'master' while others were setting some dungeon room with St. Andrew's Crosses, some paddle stations and such, and I got a splinter.....and semi-cried "ouch".

I think it was my friend Jeremy (who I subbed for last year) and I agreed in a place like this, "ouch" would not make a good safe word.

As you can see from the title image, they give you a badge - and now I can use that at no cost for all weekend, though I can't see me going back. I did my job.  And I'm not sure I need a educational session in "Erotic Negotiation", "Hypnosis", "Flogging 101.5" (is it a radio station?), "Tickle Torture" or "Fisting 101 and 201" (at the same time in the same room - that seems like you're learning too much too soon, if you ask me).

I laughed (and not to myself) with the lunch being a "leather cook-out".  Well, what other kind would it be?

But notice the logo on the badge. That's also on the free t-shirt they give you - which I can wear nowhere. Ever. And aren't they humorous about 'gate 69'??

I did get one laugh of the day that no one else seemed to think was funny (what's new?).  This was the event in the room directly next to where the Leather Banquet would be held:

Honey Boo-Boo is in for a shock.  Though honestly, those leather guys might be in for a bigger one. Those girls have more gear than they do.

Song by: the Runaways

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Challenge of the Love Warriors

I'm in a blog quandary.

Jim over at his Stuff has put forth a challenge to post a pic per day in the Month of May. There are even suggestions on topics per day to post.

Jim point outs some bloggers might be in a rut (am I?),  have writer's block (do I?) or need inspiration to blog more (do you want more of that from me?).

Am I "some" blogger?

I would like to participate, but here is my blog quandary:  do I participate?

I have been diligent about everyday blogging. I have some standard posts per month - and you know what they are. To do a picture per day would negate those posts should I still only post once per day.

Of course I could post twice per day for a month. If it's just a picture, that is. Or I could attempt to incorporate that picture into a post, but gone (for a month) would be My Music Monday, 12 of 12, Record of the Month, Shopping with Blobby, etc, etc, etc.

I'm (attempting) to embed a  survey to see what you guys think.  At least I'll get a feel for what I should do. No guarantees.

Song by: the Tom Tom Club

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Speaking With the Angel

It's Wednesday, which means it's garbage day.

Which usually means Tuesday night is chicken night, so I can throw away all the stuff associated with chicken (packaging, etc) without it smelling, since everything goes right out to the curb.

Perhaps it's a little predictable, but I stand by my method.  I mean, it's not like I usually have the same chicken dish on Tuesday evenings. I try to mix it up.

This week, Angel Chicken Pasta.

While it takes an hour to cook, the actual prep time is minimal. And sometimes, that is key when making dinner in the middle of the week.


  • 3 boneless / skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 T of butter
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 0.5 packages of dry Italian dressing mix
  • 2 oz of cream cheese w chives
  • 05. can of cream of condensed mushroom soup
  • 1/2 lb of angel hair pasta

Prep / Cook 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In saucepan melt butter. Add in Italian seasoning. Combine. 
  • Add wine, soup, cream cheese.  Combine.  Do not boil. 
  • Place chicken breasts in 9x13 baking dish
  • Pour sauce over chicken breasts
  • Cook for 60 minutes
  • 15 minutes before cooking time ends, boil water for angel hair pasta. Cook as directed (mine only took 4 minutes after water came to a boil).  You don't get pics of that, because if you can't boil pasta, maybe cooking isn't your thing.  

First off, 710 said this was an A+ dish.  I'm not sure he's ever given me that high of a grade on any meal. But I'm not sure he's ever graded me on meals least out loud.  

710 isn't a fan of angel hair pasta at all, but the thought this was right medium for such a thin pasta. 

A few notes - once again, even though our oven said 350F, the internal temp of the chicken was 200F. Still it was tender and moist and cut with a fork. But watch your cooking time.  60 minutes might be too long. 

I think I should have made more sauce. What I made did cover all three breasts just fine. But if you wanted any extra for your pasta you were almost out of luck. Not completely, but almost. 

And while I'm my biggest critic with what I cook, even I liked it a lot. It will be used again. 

Song by:  Cry Cry Cry

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Morning

Guess who turns 12 years old today???

No No.....not me.

Mentally I hit 12 eons ago and have never moved forward. This time I'm actually talking chronological age.

It's Petey.

Olan Mills was booked, so this is his "official" birthday portrait, taken by me. 

Petey is not a posing dog. I actually had to use treats to get him to get this good. And you can see how that turned out. 

But a dozen years ago today, he and seven siblings were born. I don't know where those guys are now. Each year, a card was sent out with updates on each from the litter, but those stopped a while ago. 

I wonder if because few are still around. Typical life expectancy for the breed, according to wikipedia, is 12-15 years. The old man is greying, but spry. And I will go out on a limb that Petey has had pampered life.  And two dads who'll drop everything to take him to the vet. 

The doc says, good ears, good heart, good eyes and teeth. He will always have lung and allergy problems, but I think we have those in check. His weight is spot-on. He exercises daily. I'm amazed at how many neighbors - even with dogs - will tell me, "you're out there every day, no matter the weather, walking him - we don't do that".  

How horrible for those pooches. 

I don't see too too much out of the ordinary for Petey today. He'll get a bone that I've had stashed away for him. If I can, I'll get him to a park, instead of the 'hood for a better walk. That'll wear him out. And I'm making chicken for dinner, so I'm guessing he might see a little piece of that. 

Of course he'll get rubs, kisses and hugs. 

As for the pics that did not make the official portrait - they are below. 

Had this last one been in focus, it would have been THE premiere selection. 

Song by: the Association

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Music Monday

I was chatting with my friend, Geoffrey, the other day and somehow got on the discussion of Linda Ronstadt.

I think it was mostly about talking about her refusal to attend the Rock n Roll Hall o'Fame induction ceremonies.

While she does have Parkinson's Disease and can no longer sing, she got a sly jab in at the Hall by saying, she relegates travel for only important events.  She also said she has never sung for accolades or prizes.

True to form, she has never kept any of her Grammys and has given them all away to some record store in Portland, OR.

She also says she's never considered herself a rock singer.  And in actuality, that is correct. It's not that she hasn't touched the genre, but she's done folk, standards, mexican, operetta, adult contemporary and country.  Of her 30 original albums, less than a third of those would even dare be considered 'rock'.

She had a great voice, but I love her work with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton on their two Trio disks.  Even Ronstadt says she works better singing with other people than on her own.

I had read way back in 1978 that the three wanted to record together. It did not happen for another nine years with the release of Trio.  And Trio II, while recorded five years after the first, wasn't released until 1999.

After our convo, Geoffrey posted their song, "High Sierra" on Facebook (the YouTube link is here). It's a great song and I almost used it here too, as it's been playing in my head ever since. But I'm going with something different.

On II, they covered Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush". I wasn't sure how it would go since Young's is so great - so iconic, but it works well.  Parton takes lead vocals, Ronstadt mostly the high harmony, Harris the low. But when their voices blend, it's great.

When there was uncertainty about Trio II ever seeing the light of day (in an alleged conflict with Parton), Ronstadt took Parton's voice off the song and had Valerie Carter (a singer from the mid-70s who never broke through) replace Parton's portion. Ronstadt released the song on one of her solo disks. Except for Carter, everything is identical.

And the Ronstadt-Harris-Carter version is nice, but the Parton one is much much better.

It's an ok video, but a crappy copy of an ok video. Still, it's about the music.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poles Apart

Since I don't care for zombies, it's fairly safe to say I don't watch the Walking Dead, nor am I a big fan well, you know.....Easter.

I would think if Jesus Christ were my personal saviour, that he'd do more than rise from the dead in the form of a bunny and hide eggs and provide candy in baskets.

I mean, that is what happened, right?

So, I'll talk about Dyngus Day - which to be honest, I didn't even know existed until a few weeks ago when having lunch down in a "certain ethnic*" part of town.

There were fliers up everywhere for this so-called Dyngus Day - or as some I guess refer to it as Easter Monday (which is tomorrow, but this ain't important enough to vacate a My Music Monday post).

I have to say that I've lived most of my life in Cleveland, which has a large "certain ethnic" population, and have never heard of this day.

Let me just say that 710 got on his magic pocket phone machine and looked up this "holiday".

And let me just say, that between the Salem Witch Trials, Easter and Zombies, Dyngus Day ranks up there with some fucked up days of celebration.

"Traditionally, early in the morning boys awoke girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches.

Throughout the day, girls would find themselves the victims of drenchings and leg-whippings, and a daughter who was not targeted for such activities was generally considered to be unattractive and unmarryable in this very coupling-oriented environment."


Oh and - What. The. Fuck.

Resurrections and eating brains seems more in line with normalcy than this.

And yet the Polish people get offended when you tell the landscaper joke of "green side up"??

* Hoolihan & Big Chuck - later Big Chuck & Lil' John - used this term, as they didn't (couldn't?) use "Polish". It wasn't meant to be derogatory as Big Chuck himself was Polish.

 Song by: Pink Floyd

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Give a Little Love

Everyone's favourite day of the week:  Petey Porn Day.

I should probably just change the name of this blog and post a beagle pic per day. It wouldn't need any text. I could save myself a lot of time and effort.

....and readership would probably skyrocket.

Petey with his neighborhood friend Enzo.  Enzo loves Petey. According to his owner he is not like that with everyone.  Petey always goes into play mode with Enzo - but here, he is hoping from some treats from Joan. 

Rest after a big day out. Petey had to maneuver around Sophie who wasn't going to budge an inch. 

Making my dad very happy. 
A quick trip to rehab. 

Making my dad's son very happy. 
Enjoying a 65 degree day. 

That is all the Petey Porn for this week.  More next. 

Song by:  Rilo Kiley

Friday, April 18, 2014

As Time Goes By

I have basically nothing for you.  It's one of those days.

These last few weeks, I have been spending a little more time out where I grew up. It's not a bad thing - it just is.

When I hit my parent's house, I normally don't go "through town"  - as it adds time and I never stop. Actually, I almost never stop downtown.  I can't think of a reason to.

Maybe once in a while I'll stop to look at "the falls", but that's about it.

The Popcorn Shop?  Honestly, in 45 years of being there, I've walked into that place once. I don't even think I ever bought anything. But for the town and the tourists, it's iconic.


Ditto with Rick's Cafe.

I want to say I've never been there. Until yesterday. But I had a flash that maybe, just maybe, 710 and I had lunch there once. But I can't confirm that.

I don't think it's been there as long as my parents have been in town, but not too long after the fact. Long enough that it might be 3-4 decades of passing it by - literally and figuratively.

However, my mother likes their Bleu Burger.  Ditto with the fries. Loves them, in fact.

And I was 97.59% sure she had not stepped foot inside of the place since her best friend Anne died 3-4 years ago. They'd do monthly dinners or lunches out, many of them being there. My dad doesn't like the place, so it was her and Anne's place.  That I did confirm - that she had not been since her passing.

So after a meeting we had, she was thrilled to be taken to lunch there.  One of my sisters bailed on joining us, so it was just us two. That was fine.

We had a good conversation and what I considered to be a so-so burger. She loved hers, so I pretended to like mine. Ditto with the fries.


I mean, why even take an ounce of pleasure she was having just because I wasn't reveling in my food?

Rick's, allegedly, is known for their ribs.

That is so not happening with me in a restaurant.  I might pick-up ribs now and again and eat them in the privacy of our back porch, but in public - while wearing a dress shirt?   Je think not.   ...and without floss handy?  Jamais!!!!

The only thing worse would be to order those and the trouble of eating them (in public) only to have them possibly be sub-par.

But she was happy - which made me happy.

Song by: Bryan Ferry

Thursday, April 17, 2014

App of the Month

This month we have a game as the App of the Month.  And yes, of course it's free.

Do you even know me???

2048 is the name of the game.

On a grid, you start off with two numbers: 2 and / or 4.

The idea is to combine like numbers (i.e. 2 + 2) to get a higher number (i.e. 4) and then combine those higher number (i.e. 4 + 4) and keep it up until you achieve 2048.

Of course, not all numbers are next to each other, so you have to find a way to move them in a fashion not only to combine them, but to place them next to an equal number to combine those.

Yeah, I know - as I read what I just wrote it makes little least in text.

I'm not sure pictures will make it better but.....we'll try.........

Yeah - that should do it.


Ok - just keep swiping your fingers trying to get the the same number next to each other and combine them. Keep doing it until you get to 2048.

While there is a score, that is not where you're looking to get 2048. You're trying to get that 2 to a 4 to an 8 to a 16 and so on until you get to the number.  I'm not sure what you get the score for. In theory probably want a lower score when you hit 2048 - as it means you've done it in the least amount of moves.

There might be instructions, but hell if I'm looking those up. I'm a guy.

Oddly (or not), this game is soothing to me.  There is no timer. Things do not come down, or show up, faster as time goes on. You only lose by running out of space until you are unable to complete your task of getting to 2048.

But there is a Beautiful Mind aspect to it. You see patterns on how you should move numbers and where to achieve your goal. After a very short while you don't even really think about it - you just do it.

And after the first 3-4 moves, it absolutely matters which way you combine numbers. You might think seeing three 4s in a row, knowing you have to use two of them to make 8 is easy, but you must pick the correct two to combine.

Sure, either will get you the 8, but how will you get that 8 to 16?

I've only had the game for four days now but have not achieved 2048.  But I will.

Oh - and the game is horribly addictive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pork and Beans

We rarely have pork.

It's just not one of my go-to dishes.

In actuality, most pork products are just not my thing. I like the smell of bacon more than I like bacon.

Somehow saying that out loud in a public forum just lost me friends and readers. Sorry - but it's true.

Now and again, I'll have ribs or on a pizza sometimes I will have sausage or pepperoni, but even lately that isn't often.

You will very very very rarely see me eat a sausage link (yes........get it out of your systems, pervs!).

Ok - I'll have a brat at a baseball game, but chances of any meat being in there are slim to none.

But 710 likes pork. I think he's deprived of it at home, which is why he's happy getting pulled pork (hehehe....pulled pork!) when we eat out at lunch.

Anyhoo....saw just looking for to cook, I got pork chops.

I didn't want just breaded ones or pan fried ones either, but it needed flavour, because let's be honest, pork has very little of it on its own. Maybe that is the reason I just don't care for it that much.

So I played around and looked at a number of recipes. None of them were jumping out at me, or they included ingredients I didn't have in the house and I was too frickin' lazy to make a store run.

Improvisation is the name of the game, no? And by "improvisation" I mean, I had to make do.

So here we go:


1.5 T olive oil
2 thick pork chops
1 T brown sugar
1/4 t dry mustard
4-5 oz tomato sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F

Heat oil in skillet. Cook pork chops 5 min on each side or until they start to brown. 

In separate bowl, mix brown sugar, salt, pepper and dry mustard.  I hate how clumpy and hard brown sugar gets. I actually needed a pestle to break it down. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), 710 used to be a pharmacy student before he changed majors and so we have one.

Remove chops and place them into a baking disk. Sprinkle the above dry mixture over the chops. The chops are still pretty hot, so the brown sugar immediately dissolves and infuses into the meat. 

Some recipes said to put 1/4 t of lemon juice over the pork at this point. I did not have a lemon, and I wasn't sure how much that small amount would make a difference spread over two chops. 

Then put the tomato sauce over each chop and fill the pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cover and place in oven for an hour or till the pork has an internal temperature of 145.

Honestly, it never occurred to me to check the temp on the pork sooner than 45-50 minutes into the cooking. The oven was at a steady 350F, but the internal temp got to 210 (!!!!). 

Mind you, the chop was tender, as the water and the covered pan kept things moist, but'll want to watch for this. 

It looks sad on the plate, before I got the sides on there too - though they were not beans, regardless of their inclusion in the post title.

Overall impressions: meh.  

The texture was fine and the meat was tender enough to cut with a fork.  I'm sure the dry mix added some depth of flavour but I tasted mostly tomato sauce. As smoky tomato sauce, but still......

I suppose if I ever do pork again (and I'm sure I will), this can be a back-up, but chances are I'd try something else. 

Song by: Weezer

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Free

Today is the deadline.

It's not like we were cutting it to the wire, but no one wants to hear about filing taxes back in February.  April 15th is always "the date".

This year though is a little different. Due to the DOMA ruling last June, we are now filing our Federal return as a married couple.

In a way, it was a different ballgame. We probably should have had them professionally done, just to see what was what, but they were done in-house.

The numbers were crunched as filing jointly as married folks or individually as married folks.

Obviously, we were going to go with whichever got us the largest return or the smallest payment.

For the record, we went with jointly.

However, for State and City taxes, we are still on our own, as Ohio doesn't recognize gay marriage.

......or didn't.....

Until yesterday.

Kind of.

Judge Timothy Black, whom I wrote about last Fall, ruled that Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage recognition was unconstitutional. He did not go as far to say the 2004 state ban on same-sex marriage fell into the same category. That still stands. No homos can marry within the Buckeye State.

For the record, the suit that was to be filed on 710's and my behalf was this one, - though we were not part of this.  Clearly some other lawyer(s) beat ours to the punch. I know they were all playing political strategy  - waiting to see which appellate judges replaced whom, but clearly it's moving ahead....without us.

Black placed an automatic 'stay' with his decision, so nothing is really being recognized here until the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on it - since Black figured (correctly) that both the Governor and AG of Ohio would indeed appeal.

Now, I would almost get the waste of time and money on the appeal if this same court, and these same judges, hadn't already ruled on striking down the recognition ban in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Why does Ohio think the ruling will be different here?

And so it goes.

But Black's ruling, even without the stay, would not and could not have changed our state and local tax situation. We had already filed.

We will see what 2015's tax season brings us.

Song by: Joni Mitchell

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Music Monday

It was one of those days that I didn't know what I'd have planned for the weekly My Music Monday selection.

So like the other week, I employed iTunes shuffle to help make the decision.

Last time, it was the last song I heard as I was driving. This time I just picked the 10th song that came on.

You might not be happy with today's selection, but I can almost guarantee you'll be happier than with the other nine that held in store for you.

You can thank me later.

Today you get the Thorns and their song "I Can't Remember".

I might have reviewed their debut (and only) album years ago. I won't bother going back to look for that post, let alone link it.

They are were, in ways, a modern day Crosby, Stills and Nash (no Young).  Each member  - Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge was at least quasi (not all were even 'semi') successful recording artists in their own right when they combined for what will seemingly be their only release.

Their bigger pseudo-association to CSN would be their basically acoustic presentation and always present three part harmonies.

I wasn't horribly thrilled with the disk when it came out 12 years ago (ugh), but a number of the songs have grown on me, including this one.

If you like it, you can thank me. If you hate it, well, just blame iTunes Shuffle.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 50th (!!!!!)  12 of 12

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12
th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just ErikJim and myself - that I know of. 

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

06:25.  Vittles

...for the doggie. Food and his steroid and allergy meds await HRH's awakening.

08:10.  Yoga.

...starting in 5 minutes.

There were only three people in the early class. 

09:40. Sustenance.  

Well, David and Blobby time after class. Food is just a good excuse to extend our day together.

10:45.  Recycle. 

Had tons of those grocery bags to get rid of.

11:30. Hospital Visit. 

Visiting my 93 yo uncle who took a tumble a few days ago.  I'm reading the Navy Times because he's at the VA.  Technically I did not take the pic but you can see me in the mirror. 

12:30.  VA Hospital parking spot.  ....for spinal cords, only. 

14:50.  Rehab Visit.

My 93 year old father took a tumble last weekend. He is in a physical rehab facility for the foreseeable future. 

15:20.  The flip-flops and University of Michigan sweatshirt non-withstanding, he was kind of hot.  ...and no wedding ring. 

15:45.  My hometown. 

Downtown Chagrin Falls.

16:30.  Petey walk #2.  Happy fella. 

19:50.  The only four-way Blobby is getting anytime soon.

21:10.  Pets at rest.

No Baker's Dozen. Not this month. Perhaps next time. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh Brother

Petey Porn goes on the road.

Petey got to see his old younger brother, Boomer, this last week.

We had dinner at my sister's house and she asked us to bring Petey.  Boomer is a funny guy - he loves his brother, but knows Pete is the alpha, so makes up for it by herding and pouncing on Petey.

Petey is a sage. Nothing phases him. Certainly not Boomer. But they are cute together.

You'll remember Boomer from posts where I used to go free him and Petey from the kennel when my sister was traveling.

And my sister lives in a house that Petey only lived in for one month, but still knows like the back of his paw. He immediately went to a cabinet and opened it up. He hasn't done that in two years, since he hasn't been there in that long.  How'd he remember?

He's never tried it at our house.

I love this pic. It's something about Petey's eyes. 

This is my niece's kitten. She's never seen Petey before. He could care less about her - but she was extremely interested in him - from a distance.  Pippa (yes, that's her name) and Boomer get along. Actually she will knock food from the counter to Boomer for his consumption. 

I think you've seen this before. Boomer likes to clean Petey's ears. It's gross.  But when Boomer does it, Petey doesn't get ear infections. Since we don't have a Boomer at home, we have to clean Petey's ears ourselves - but not with our tongues. 

Petey stole Boomer's bed.  Not atypical. When my sister had both, Petey took Boomer's bed and stacked it on his and slept on both, leaving Boomer with nothing. So Boomer would sleep on top of Petey. 

Boomer tried to block Petey from getting the bed, but that was just not going to happen. 

Song by: Avicii with Dan Tyminski