Friday, September 30, 2016

Record of the Month - Classic

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

It's been well over a year and a half since I've done a Classic selection. A late night impulsive iTunes purchase brings it all back.

Slowly but surely, Warner Bros. has been remastering any number of releases. In the last few years they've put out several versions (minimum of three re-releases) of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Then two of Tusk. And now one for the original 1982 release, Mirage.

All have had varying stages of additional music - be it material that wasn't used, alternate takes, demos and live versions. While I adore Tusk, the 2004 re-release and the 2015 re-re-release had far far far too much of the same 'new' material as each other. With the 2015 version, they just added another disk and jacked up the price by $60 - if you wanted the deluxe expanded edition. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

Mirage, the follow-up to Tusk has the same price points if you want the super-duper deluxe version.

Mirage, at least in the minds of Warner Bros and 4/5 of the band, tried to steer their sound back to more of a pop-rock act than the 'adventurous' Tusk. The reality is, the album has more in common with Tusk than Rumours. Perhaps it's the hybrid with which they could all live.

McVie does not really deviate from what is her norm - and it works for her. I'm not sure Fleetwood Mac has made a better pop song than "Hold Me".  They've had bigger hits than it, but purely as a song, it hits all the marks. "Love in Store" should have been a bigger success than it ended up being. And she has solid outings with "Wish You Were Here" and "Only Over You".

The other big hit on the disk was Nicks' "Gypsy" and it makes four appearances on this collection - the 'early version', which is the album version with the intricate guitar work stripped away, the video version (i.e. longer version) and the live one.

Oddly, if anyone changes things up from her usual Mac contributions, it is Nicks. Her perfectly twangy "That's Alright". With her debut solo disk the year before, she had delved into that genre, but not as well as she does with band.

Of her three songs, "Gypsy" comes in last. "Straight Back" is what you'd describe as a deep cut. The original vinyl version - finally on in CD or .mp3 - finally reappears. It is far superior to the remixed version that was incorporated into the digital versions years ago. It also follows the style of her work on Tusk - a less structured approach, that in the near future of this disk won't always work for her, but it does this time.

Buckingham is the stronger tie to the Tusk style - mostly with "Empire State", "Eyes of the World" and "Can't Go Back" - the latter which I swear is just a song to mock the band and record label. And for all the talk that he is a lover of Brian Wilson, Buckinghan's two other cuts "Oh Diane" and "Book of Love" are pure homages to Phil Everly.

Mirage is a solid disk, if not an overlooked one.

As for the bonus disk - it's what bonus disks usually are - songs that didn't make it for good reason, bad outtakes  and uninspired demos. It's not much different here.

Actually, many of the 'early takes' are just the soon to be finished song without some musical element - be it "Love in Store" and "Gypsy" (missing guitars), "Oh Diane" (missing backing vocals), etc. A less country version of "That's Alright", which isn't nearly as inspired as what made the album.

Earlier I said "Hold Me" was possibly the best pop song Mac has recorded? You'd never know it from the early version. It goes on for two additional minutes, and you really begin to hope it wouldn't. The lyrical arrangement is bad, the versus are different. Whomever's job it was to clean it up and edit it (Buckingham and the co-producers) and earned their fees with this one.

The inclusion of McVie's "Put a Candle in the Window" is clearly a work in progress. Singing nonsense because no lyrics were written is hardly worth $1.29 if you're purchasing it as a separate song. Buckingham's "Blue Monday" shows how much of a blues artist he's not - and it's hard to get any cred of a multi-millionaire groaning about 'Mondays'. And his "Goodbye Angel" was already released in 1992 on another compilation.

Nicks does not fare any better with "If You Were My Love".....the title of which gets repeated 2,600 times for the last two minutes of a song that should have been over two minutes before that.  Her "Smile at You" isn't bad. Her voice is much stronger than when they'd actually rerecord and release a different version 21 years later. There are additional versus that got cut from the latter release, but it is not awful.

John McVie does co-vocal on the Roy Rodger's song, "Cool Water" which was a b-side to "Hold Me". It's well done and unexpected.

I know it was nostalgia that got me to impulsively purchase Mirage. To my credit, I didn't get the super-duper deluxe version. I can't say for everyone it would be worth it. I feel like I got my money's worth just for the original version of "Straight Back".

But for all the money - once again - where the fuck are the album credits and liner notes?

Thursday, September 29, 2016


This falls under the nonsense category.

With Shep in our lives, we are are 8 working days in to being home at reasonable hours. Both of us. Together.  Enough so, that we usually take him on his late afternoon walk together as a family - minus Sophie.

But that means normal dinner time - for most of society - and the opportunity to do what most middle Americans do around that hour:  watch Jeopardy.

For this entire week, and maybe part of last, they've had some guy on a huge winning streak. I have to say, I was very very proud of 710, when he goes, "he looks like that character from Kids in the Hall."

I could not stop laughing.

While 710 didn't know the character's name - nor would I ever expected him to - I did:  Gavin.

Like anyone who encounters Gavin and most multiple day winners on Jeopardy, I find this guy annoying as hell.

Yet, the likeness is eerie.

Song by: George Michael

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

While I watched very little of the debate, missing out on its aftermath was not as easy.

No one at meetings mentioned it, but just chatter and discussion at lunch.

Clearly, everyone has a higher tolerance for watching that thing than I did. Good for you. But I don't think it changed anyone's mind one way or the other.

I do love the coke-sniffing rumours that are going around about DJT. It could explain a lot.

I was talking to a friend of mine - a lawyer, as if it matters - who lives in a split house. His husband is a small business owner - a florist, as if it matters - and is voting for (t)Rump. I won't say in the past I understood the vague term, irreconcilable differences'. However, this scenario could be grounds for divorce.

I know all couples have fundamental issues and disagreements, even GOP versus DNC. That's on thing, but supporting (t)Rump? This isn't like voting for Goldwater.

What really tees me off about the debate......I mean, besides the debate that I missed the Indians clinch the American League Central Division.  The first time since 2007.

If there are other debates,  it is debatable (ha! get it??) that (t)Rump will actually participate in another one. At least that is what several news sources have implied, as has Rudy G, Donny's close personal friend and adviser.

Should Il Douche opt out of further debates, he'd have my undying respect.

I kid of course.

But it would still be a welcome gesture. And if there are debates, I'll just watch the Tribe in post-season instead.

Song by: the Ramones

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back & Forth

FYI - I'm writing this before the first presidential debate of 2016.

I'm not 100% sure I won't see some of it, but Pitch Perfect is on tv (again) and so is a Parks & Recreation marathon.

....oh, and it seems like total insanity to watch.

Ok. Update.  I turned it on for the question on taxes.  Two minutes of (t)Rump and I understood nothing of what he said. He was so all over the board, I could not comprehend a thing he was saying.

This is right up his follower's alley.

Oh - and he interrupts constantly and Lester Holt has no control.

Clearly, (t)Rump's advisers have told him to blame everything on Secretary Clinton.

I lasted all of 12 minutes. It was so incredibly painful. I would like to say Hillary really shone, but in that 12 minutes, she did not. She laughed out loud at Il Douche - and rightfully so - but she wasn't exactly what I would call 'strong'.

The best part of the evening - other than Pitch Perfect and Parks & Rec - was live instant messaging with Magic Mike during the debate. He was worried I might have a stroke. Honestly, I was worried I might have a stroke.

It's nice that someone cares about me.

"They" predicted an audience the size of the Super Bowl watching this travesty. No one I knew admitted to say they were watching it - though if Facebook were to be believed, they were all watching it.

Becky "invited" me down to Columbus for a fundraiser with the one and only Lance Bass.

For whatever I don't think about him as a musical artist, good for him doing his Stonewall / Presidential debate viewing thingy. Use that fagdom to good use.....though I really don't know what kind of folk he would draw. Zach Klein probably has a bigger draw.

But that's ok Lance. We'd sneak to your VIP room to see if the Barden Bellas win nationals of the ICCAs at Lincoln Center.

Song by: the Foo Fighters

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Music Monday

This is the last in two months of numbers theme. I'm going with 9, as in Damien Rice's "9 Crimes' from his album 9.

I was going to be a prick and do the Beatle's "Revolution #9". For those unfamiliar with the "White Album" (the album is really not called the 'white album'), the song is basically a cacophony with John Lennon repeating "number 9" over and over.....for over 8 minutes.

But I couldn't do that to you - not that any of you would have sat through more than 0:41 before clicking to your next website.

"9 Crimes", for me, is the highlight of 9.

In a way, 9 has many of the elements of Rice's first disk, O, but it overall the album never gelled for me.

"9 Crimes" is also his last collaboration with Lisa Hannigan. The first I saw was the absolutely exquisite "volcano".  But this song works too.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Papers

Colour me unimpressed by the New York Times' endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

It is well written for sure, if unsurprising. 

I don't believe anyone in the GOP was expecting the Old Grey Lady to give the thumbs up to Il Douche.....and they'll use that to their news cycle / advantage. 

The half-tards who will be voting for (t)Rump anyway don't put any stock in anything the Times has to say. I'm not sure the editorial holds much weight. I don't believe it will sway any votes to anyone. 

On the other hand, if you read the article, the NYT mentions a subsequent article on Donny and why he's the worst candidate of any party in modern history. 

Now that will be an interesting piece to read. 

It's really the Cincinnati Enquirer's editorial that might have a few people prick up their ears. 

For the first time in a century  - a century (!!!) - the paper is not endorsing a Republican presidential candidate.  They call (t)Rump 'clear and present danger to our country'. 

This would be great, except then I realized this followers don't....and can' And logical reasoning isn't in there wheelhouse. 

All of this leads to a question:  has a newspaper endorsement / editorial swayed a person to vote one way or the other? 

Song by: Joe Jackson

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fit for a King

His name is Shep.

It took 5-6 days to choose his moniker, but that is what we landed on.

He's still learning his name, but to be fair, we're still trying to remember to use it consistently.

Shep is quite quite comfortable at home - but we are still learning things about each other, and I assume that will go on for a while.

A few days ago, he seemed to get separation anxiety at night. LOTS of barking. And for long periods of time. And the man has a formidable bark.

That was taken on a walk. He just stopped in the middle of the street to vocalize. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure he was sure why.

He's had a few "accidents", but that might be on us. We are still figuring out his signs of when he needs something. Mostly he knows how to hold "it" and we do ok. When he settles down, he seems to be ok with the least when we're in sight.

Shep gets his 05:00 walk every morning. The dog walker does the afternoon walk. And then 710 and I usually do the evening walk. So Shep is getting his exercise. He's a good eater and while the rescue place said he's "food driven" he really isn't. At least when compared against Petey.

We try not to compare too much. One thing that is different is the hearing. Petey could hear - until the end - but chose not to a lot of the time. Shep? He. hears. everything.

And the boy is wicked fast. He's a puppy.

Petey was not a toy boy. He had none, because he rejected them all. Shep? He's a fan. At least of some. The one in the title image, the rescue place sent us home with it, as it was his favorite....and it still seems to be, though we have bought and received (thanks Dith & Norman & pups) ones that he plays with. Some days our sun room looks like a battlefield of dead toys.

But you didn't come here for a history lesson - though I'll throw shit in now and again - you came here for pics. So let it be written, so let it be told.

He loves furniture. He got on every single piece of furniture my sister owns. He's a long boy. Bassett (legs and length), Beagle (ears and tongue), Shepard snout. The bark goes between Shepard and bassett.

My mother hanging with the pup. She adores him, and vice versa. It's nice to see.

Shep at the vet. His first with us. The vet techs came from the other building when they heard we were there. They all wanted to see who was the "new" Petey. They all loved him - and he bestowed a lot of affection on them.

He's in good health, though we are checking for Lyme disease. Normally, I'd have said 'no', but we have a lot of deer in our yard.

There was the blood draw and the thermometer up the butt, so they distracted him with cheese whiz on the table.

It has been a good first week, and Shep is home.....and he immediately felt like "the one".

We have some work to do on Sophie interaction. She tries. He chases. This is going to take a while.

Song by: Garth Brooks

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Saved the World Today

I've already done a Site of the Month a few weeks ago, so I can't technically (by my own laws in my won head) do a second one.

So I can't do Save the Day......technically.

Save the Day is a website that give you up to date information on voter registration by state. It also helps you register to vote.

I don't care the election - voting is important, regardless of the candidate or the issue. Since being allowed to vote, I have missed one election. One. And it was a primary...and not a presidential year either.

But Save the Day has a Josh Whedon directed video on the importance of voting. Since it's Whedon, he's assembled many of his former casts from the Avengers and Firefly...or Dr. Horrible. Or a combination of.

And then you have a few others (Julianne Moore) who - as far as I know - haven't been in a Whedon film. Maybe she was in the Age of I didn't see it.

Robert Downey Jr. looks ok when in motion, but the still of his face is, well, a little scary.

Nothing here is new or original. If you've seen one Rock the Vote videos, you've seen them all.

Well, that's not true. Rock the Vote was pretty much non-partisan. Save the Day is not.

I've said it before, I hate one candidate but I'm not thrilled about the other. Still, if Mark Ruffalo is going to show his peen in his next movie if Clinton wins, then well, she might just secure my vote.

P.S.   Don't go to YouTube and read the comments.

Song by: the Eurythmics

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ad of the Month

I'm not saying all my Ad of the Month posts will have sexual overtones, but I won't say they won't.

The only times I've ever seen NCIS was on an airplane. I loved how they'd show their badge and yell, "NCIS" - like any fucking person in the world knows what that is / was. You know they'd just shrug and keep doing what they were doing.

So - I know this guy was in NCIS, but clearly is not anymore, as he seems to have his own lawyer show.

But oh - the double entendre. The innuendo.

Pretty racy for CBS - the old people's network.

I was more surprised that the ad ran in last Sunday's Parade magazine.

Oh don'd judge. I didn't read it. But you flip through the electronic version of the Sunday paper and you have to get through it to hit the comics.

And I'm sure this is the closest I'll get to seeing this guy's show........unless I'm on a cross country flight with DirectTV.

As for him - it's questionable whether he could or not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

No One Knows My Name

Here we are - five days in and no name.

How can this be? 

There is a game we used to play called Non-Sequitur. One person would say a word (i.e. "labyrinth") and the next person had to choose a word that had zero association with the previous word (i.e. "pork").  

That example is actually a real life example. Morty stopped the game cold with his response, as we could not stop laughing long enough to continue easily. 

While that worked, what usually happens is you cannot help gravitating to an associated word and then someone could debunk your response by making an association to the first word. 

This is how it is with dog names. Association. 

You can't pick the name, say, "Bernie", without someone thinking Sanders or Kosar. You gravitate to sports rosters, iTunes liberry or IMDB. We've rejected most every selection we have come up with. We have had a few front runners, and we will go for a walk or something trying it out. Usually this is the litmus test on if it feels comfortable. 

We have considered and rejected Gus, Bernie, Buster and Lil Sebastian.

We have rejected a lot more than that. Ones we don't even try out - there are enough animals named Tucker, Cooper and Max. There are a few we have in our back pocket.

People ask everywhere we go. I get two emails per day from my mother: "what's his name?"

As you start to think of names you start ruling them out: someone else has that dog's name, or you hated someone with that name in high school, or someone reminds you "a serial killer had that name".  .....I'm just throwing out examples.

Still, I totally get why expectant parents don't discuss potential baby names. The raised eyebrows or the furled forehead when you make a suggestion they clearly do not like.

This has to end though. How will he ever know his name or what we're calling him if we just can't choose?

Song by: Gillian Welch

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

King of Fools

It's good to be king.

I mean - or so I've heard. Clearly, I'm the court best.

Another Emmy awards show come and gone. Another nick in the already fragile fragile friendship of Blobby and Magic Mike XXS.

We're hanging by a thread, people. A thread!

Mr. Mike called me a 'chicken' - well, kind of - and this is that thanks I get for playing.

He was traveling westward (ho!) so we couldn't live chat through the broadcast, but he messaged me here and there. I think he was very very very upset about the death of Leisel Von Trapp - though he'd never admit it.

Many-a-time, in these contests, Mike and I tie....or are at least close. This time?  I wasn't even in the same solar system, let alone the same orbit.

Granted, I went with what I wanted to win versus what I thought would win. It's not an excuse, you can check my last Friday's post. It said so right there.

Mike went in to win.

It seems he's all about strategy.

Outstanding Drama Series - Mike
Outstanding Comedy Series - Mike
Outstanding Drama Actor - Mike (again)
Outstanding Drama Actress - Neither
Outstanding Comedy Actor - Mike
Outstanding Comedy Actress - Both
Outstanding Limited Series - Mike (jesus!)
Outstanding Reality Competition - Neither
Outstanding TV Movie - Blobby (yay?)
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy - Mike (oh, for the love of g-d!)
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy - Neither
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama - Neither
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama - Neither

I can't spin this one. Let's face it - this was a humiliating loss.

I mean, this is a Dukakis loss. A Mondale loss. A Susan Lucci loss. (I had to use that last example to put it in a context that Mr. XXS would understand.)

Maybe I should have insisted on doing all 113 categories. I might have stood a chance.

It seems some sort of baked goods are coming Mike's way.

I'm a man of my word, and he knows it. But we never said a thing about timing. The job has been busy lately, and our new addition (not New Edition, Mike!) might keep me busy until I have time this weekend to bake.

He will see something coming his way next week.

Song by: Dwight Yoakam

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Music Monday

Numbers and the theme; and 7 is the number of the day.

For all the praise heaped upon the White Stripes - and Jack White - I never got it or understood it.  I like about two of their songs. And I get that it is just me, but to my ears, he has extremely limited talent.

Ooooh, he's edgy because he produced an album for Loretta Lynn. Ooooh. (perhaps you sense my sarcasm with the too "ooooh"s.)

For no good reason, I liked Jack's sister / wife / ex-wife....depending on which version of that story they went with. It's not like she pretended to be some great drummer. She was much more Chris Partridge than Neil Peart. Even Karen Carpenter ran rings around Meg's drumming ability.

That said, I did - and do - like the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". I like the rhythm section more than the guitar. It's one of the times that Jack White's vocals work well with the song and arrangement.

The video is ok. I remember liking it better long ago. It's still interesting, but wears out it's welcome halfway through.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Second Chance

It's a boy!

We took the dive and now have a new dog.

You read briefly about Gaston two weeks or so ago. He got adopted right away. Save for seeing him in the shelter, we never even got a chance for a meet and greet before he found a home.

Friday morning, I got a text from 710 saying he was back at the shelter.  Hmmmm.

I called when they opened and an elderly couple brought him back due to his energy level. It seemed odd, as Gaston was so docile in the pen.

In our 1:1 visit, he was wild, but he was just out of his pen.

The boy likes arms and hands. He wraps his mouth around, but he doesn't bite, still it's not something we are, or want to, encourage.

We spent an hour or so with him. He was fascinated at the other people looking for animals. He settled down a bit. He played with a toy, after being presented many. It seemed like he was excited and had to go out - the rescue staff came with us, but let 710 and myself take him for a walk, where he did indeed pee.

After we were back in, she left us alone, and then and there we decided to take Gaston home. Just then there was a knock on the window. One of my sisters had shown up. She knew we were going, but as they drove by, saw my car and stopped in. She and my brother-in-law loved him too.

As 710 completed the paperwork, I took Mr. Gaston (name to be changed) outside for more walks and pees.

After that it was a trip to Nana's, who loved loved loved him. And he loved love loved

In no time at all he had made it onto two chairs and the sofa, via the coffee table.

My mother was correct when saying that my father would have loved this. He was always down with having the dog on the chair next to him.

After a short visit, it was time to head to his new home. While 710 set up the crate, I kept Gaston (name soon to be changed) outside and took him on his first neighborhood walk. Along the way he met seven of his canine neighbors and played with three of them - wildly.

He was big on the Rhodesians.....and the boxer (not pictured).  The bigger boxer was submissive for Gaston (name soon to be changed).

This might have been the first time he had ever truly been off leash. He was in his element, and Eleanore was loving having a friend.

He is very much at home. He ran between completely hyper and out-like-a-lite. More of the former.

Sophie so far is pretty much MIA.  She showed up once when he was kind of out, but he saw her and took off after her, but she was far far faster - and we haven't seen her since.  I think she'll be a few days. I just don't know how he'll be with her. Play is fine. Biting is not.

He's pretty good on a leash. He seems to be hanging with 710 which just fills my heart. But we will have to do some formalized training with him.

There will be more to come, clearly. But it all worked out - and probably with the dog we really wanted.

Song by: Liam Finn

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Birth Ritual

I honestly don't get it.

I don't get a lot of things actually, but let's stick with (t)Rump and this birther / non-birther crap.

I get he might believe the shit about Obama not being born in Hawai'i. I get that he's spent the last five years touting this.

I truly believe that he didn't believe any of what he was saying - but that he's just a racist, scum prick and he liked the attention of relaying such things, even  - or only - if for just grandstanding reasons.

And it's a story he's gone on and on about for half a decade.

Now the tune has been changed.  Or has it?

No, Il Douche gets a 30 minute press event for his hotel (which you should really read the Washington Post review), after which he hastily mentioned the 180.  No apology of course, but I laugh that the press - or anyone - thinks that he was going to give one.

This it not a man of "I'm sorry, I was wrong". 

My confusion isn't with the original story itself - it's with the, why bother changing it now? Is there a rationale that if he didn't he'd lose some kind of votes?

It's all well and good he said it, I suppose. The people who believed that story / lie aren't going to suddenly go "oh, well if Donald believes that Obama is an American, than it must be true".  And even if they did - so fucking what?

For all of Donald's politicking, you'd think he was running against Obama, not Clinton.

Il Douche doesn't really bow to public pressure, and another thing I can't figure out is: why in the last two weeks, of all the stories / fibs / outright lies he's told, is this one raising its ugly head again? Who is even bringing this up as an issue let alone a current one.

The things the media focuses on is baffling to me. When his campaign manager asked a CNN anchor, "are you calling him a liar?" I would have paid a kerjillion dollars for her to say, "Yes. Yes, I am".

So, for something so incredibly stupid, (t)Rump gets to control the news cycle for a good 3-4 days.

This is insane.

Song by: Soundgarden

Friday, September 16, 2016

the Sun Always Shines on TV

I was not even going to do an Emmy contest post this year - but when I mentioned it to Magic Mike XXS, he basically called me 'a chicken'.

I wasn't physically there, but I'm assuming he put his hands under his armpits and strutted around his abode making noises he thinks chickens make. Mostly a la Arrested Development (whose name also happens to be 'Michael').

The thought of home-baked goods (shortbread, anyone?) did intrigue me. So I'm late to getting to it, so I'll take the gamble that I'll win.

I have zero idea why - what few shows I ever have heard of in the below list, I've seen far fewer. So, this will be a 100% guessing game. While I know I should vote for things that should win, I will vote for things I want to win.......only because I don't know what should win.

I also picked "top" categories. There are 113 categories.  113 !!!!   Blobby ain't got time for that.

As always, feel free to play along if you wish. None of you ever have. you're just like the

Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, The Americans,

Because my sister likes it - and she hates everything. 

Veep, Transparent, Modern Family, black-ish, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None

Tough one. LOVE Veep. Silicon Valley is downright painfully funny to watch. Masters of None was flawless. I'm taking a gamble and going with......Master of None.  It should win something. But I bet Transparent wins. 

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

Liev Schreiber, just for his voice. Lord. Let's hope it ain't Spacey. He creeps me out. But it goes to Chandler, for his looks....and another series my sister loves, and finds herself rooting for the bad guy.

Robin Wright (House of Cards), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Claire Danes (Homeland), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Keri Russell (The Americans)

Because Felicity should win something in life.  ....and does anyone even still watch Homeland

Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Anthony Anderson (black-ish), Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth,) Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Aziz Ansari (Master of None), William H. Macy (Shameless)

It will go to the guy who wears a dress, and there will be an acceptance speech that has the words "North Carolina" in it. Aziz But I'm going to for Middleditch because is so great at playing awkward. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Laurie Metcalf (Getting On), Tracee Ellis-Ross (black-ish), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

Oh how I love Metcalf. And the rest are really good (maybe not Ms. Ross). But c'mon - Selina Meyer? Fucking awesome.

The People v. O.J. Simpson, Fargo, American Crime Roots, The Night Manager

It will go to OJ.  But I'm going for the must-see series that we still haven't. 

The Voice, The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway, Dancing with the Stars, American Ninja Warrior

Because it doesn't involve food, "fashion" or dancing. 

All the Way, Confirmation, Luther Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, A Very Murray Christmas

Because of the title. I'm picturing a Yeti in Vera Wang. Or at David's Bridal. 

Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Matt Walsh (Veep), Louie Anderson (Baskets), Keegen-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Tony Hale (Veep)

I kind of want Anderson to win, so he has a reason to live for the next 12 months. But Walsh is stellar in his role of Eyore.  Actually, his sad sack's character is called "Mike".  See a theme here?  

Niecy Nash (Getting On), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Gaby Hoffman (Transparent), Allison Janney (Mom), Judith Light (Transparent), Anna Chlumsky (Veep)

Please let it not be Janney - again! It's become tiresome. Nash is great, but the show was never a hit, though very well done. I hope Anna wins....if nothing else than for heading up the investigation for Cuntgate....and having to say it so often in 30 minutes. 

Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)

Oh I know zilch about this category. I'll just give it to this guy. He recites Blake while driving an Infiniti. 

Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Maura Tierney (The Affair), Constance Zimmer (UnREAL)

I've never seen the show, but Zimmer is bad ass in most things. 

So there you have it.

Have at it Mike. Some kind of baked-good might be in Express Mail next week.

Song by: a-ha

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cough Up the Bucks

I was having breakfast the other morning with a well respected allergist and a nationally known pulmonologist. The meeting was strategic planning for the next 2-3 years, with the allergist mentioning how he treats people who come in with those annoying coughs.

Somehow that lead to that video of Hillary coughing a few days before she was "taken ill".

The allergist said - any doctor with any knowledge whatsoever knows that's not pneumonia. The pulmonologist was quick to agree.

I don't know the allergist that well, but the other physician I do and truly respect his medical opinion. And if anyone knows the signs of pneumonia it would be him.

Nothing additional was said, nothing political was truly implied. At least I don't think so. If anything it was more about how "doctors" will forsake their integrity to bow to pressure.

Now, neither of them said what the cough was or might be and I didn't ask. I wanted to, but figured that would start a political discussion and one I wasn't really willing take on. I have to work with these folks if they started spouting out (t)Rrump-isms.

Still, with the last month the Gulianis and (t)Rumps of the world hounding Clinton on her health, I'm not sure she could have fallen ill at a worse time - whether it is the sniffles or a stroke. The diagnosis doesn't even matter at this point.

Like it or not, that shyster (t)Rump went on TV with his medical equivalent, Dr. Shyster Oz with a note from his loony doc. And (t)Rump played Oz like a fiddle.  The note said he was fit as a fiddle - while Hillary convalesced. I'm not sure Il Douche could have had better timing.

I love that everyone is calling for 'transparency' and that this has been the least transparent election ever.

As if.

Not even by a long shot has this been the worse. But it's the 21st century and everyone thinks they're an expert in everything.

I'm so ready for November 9th.

Song by: Neil Young

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Looking for a new dog is soul-crushing.

On one hand, it's good to be in Northeast Ohio. Shelters from the south use us. They transport their animals up there for adoption due to the high rate of finding them homes.

But it's the non-pitbulls that get selected first...and quickly.

You all saw last week how quickly Gaston went.

The next day we went out to look at Robbie. We were there before the shelter opened and there was a fucking line. People clearly know the game when it comes to adopting - something we are just now learning.

And all shelters are not created equal.

Robbie and Gaston were at - what 710 calls - the concierge facility. They tell you as much as they can about the dog and provide all the things they've done for the doggie. They take in surrendered pets and get displaced dogs from other states - mostly the south. They are very good. It is where we got Sophie....and where my mother surrendered Buddy (who got adopted 4 hours later).

However, the county shelter mostly has strays and knows nothing about the pooch at all. It's questionable they've done much for the dogs save feed and walk them. I get it - it's government and government funded. Still, the place is frightening for some of the more timid dogs. It has to be traumatizing to them.

So, we did go to see Robbie. We were first in line for him.

Robbie was all energy. He like gnawing on arms and hands. Cute as the dickens. Hyper Hyper Hyper. Probably more dog than we could handle. Still very much a puppy. 

But he was the star that day. Everyone passing the window in our get-to-know-you room saw him...and he them.  We passed on him, but he was adopted before we ever made it home. Good for him. 

So it was off to the county shelter...again. 

Chloe. Oh - the ears!  The ears!!!!  And she was so sweet. 
Until she got out of the cage. Not with us but with others. Wild....and she didn't seem to like other dogs. 

Then we saw Bullfrog (I know....I know, but I didn't name him). 

The idea was never for a puppy, yet there he was. Great colouring. Cute as fuck. Docile. All of four months old.

Another couple saw him before we did, and they got their name on the list to adopt first. We got it seems many a-time that the people who say they want him don't actually ever show up to claim them.

Part doberman for sure. Maybe part hound. He has Petey eyes and nose.

As it turns out we had to wait until yesterday to find out if we would get him. And as it turns out, we did not. The initial couple showed up.

I really don't know how couples who adopt kids do it. This is stressful. It has to be worse on those wanting dogs, because, I mean, dogs are generally more adorable than children.

I suppose like those childless couples, we should start looking at Asians. Shar Pei rescues might be in order.

Song by: Pat Benatar

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 78th 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th 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, any 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 Erik (and sometimes Jim) 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.

05:35.  Finishing dressing for work.

06:40.  Getting into the parking garage

 06:50.  Time to buy the doughnuts.

Had a morning meeting - I was in charge of 'food'.  No worries, I got bagels too.

09:15.  Working on 2017 budget.

10:20. Fire drill.  

Was trying to take a pic of the flashing alarm. This is the flash. 

12:15. Lunch. Such as it is.

12:40. Lunchtime walk. 

I took a 3000 step walk - or so - after eating. Watched a helicopter land. A dozen years or so ago, a helicopter fell off that 10 story building - killing all aboard. 

13:00.  Putting what is possibly the second most important mail I've ever sent, into the mailbox.
2016 Presidential Absentee ballot requests.

 14:50. New Office Reno.

Your last few was in April's 12 of 12. We should move in within 3-4 weeks.

17:30. Leaving the parking garage. Heading home. 

17:45.  Fire Truck. 

No idea why it was on our street, as I came home from work. But I got home to partial electricity. Garage doors would not work, lights very dim, DVR and wifi out completely. 

Oddly enough (?) we lost power on this day 5 years ago......and were robbed during it. I dead bolted all the doors even with me inside this time. 

19:30.  iPad Mini is out of juice. 

....and now your Baker's Dozen.....

20:45.  Dessert. 

Cutting back. No more ice cream or cookies. A wee helping of crispy M&Ms

Monday, September 12, 2016

My Music Monday

Another month of numbers.

I'm going with a "Split Enz's" song,

Yes, quotes. The song is from Split Enz. I liked the song, "Six Months in a Leaky Boat", but to be honest, I liked Tim Finn's solo take on it better than the band's.

But the quotes are for that the below version isn't truly Split Enz. Yes, all three musicians - Finn, his brother Neil and Paul Hester all were in the band at one time or the other - though maybe not all at the same time. All three were in Crowded House for a time, but briefly.

Since the rest of the band isn't there, I'm not sure it is Split Enz technically.

I have a great live version on audio, but I think you are more inclined to watch video than hit an embedded .mp3 player. This one, they let Hester break into Queen's "We Will Rock You".  I was not amused.

I think "Six Months" is difficult song but in a good way. It doesn't really hit many of the pop song hooks or tried and true methods, which is why I like it. And really, I challenged you to name one other song that uses the word "circumnavigate'.

Go on.  I'm waiting.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Forget

Last year I said this year would be my last 9/11 post.  I still think it will be, but one never knows.

15 years seems to be about right.

Even a year ago, I had in mind the image I would be using for said post. Oh, I didn't have the post thought out - just the picture.

But wouldn't you know, I cannot find it. I am using an image I snagged of the internet. While it is clearer than my own picture, it's not as gritty or conveys the day.

14 years and 49 weeks ago, 710 and I took a planned trip to NYC. It was my nephew's 2nd birthday and I had an interview up in Westchester.

New York City was desolate, well as much as Manhattan could ever be. So much so that you could get any deal on any hotel room - including our $110 per night at the Waldorf-Astoria. It wasn't exactly what you thought it would be, but at least I can say we stayed there.

The plan was never to go down to lower Manhattan. But with trains running very sporadically, and stopping before the station - sometimes for more than a half-hour, because every little thing was suspicious and needed investigation - that we did most everything on foot.

I don't know why we were walking south, but we did....and kept walking. 3.8 miles as it turned out being. I'm sure more, as we went here and then there. No set route. No set destination.

Then we were at West Broadway - looking downtown. But somewhere there, police barricades appeared and going south - from that area - was no longer an option. But you could see things. Far away remnants.

We headed east, then south until we got down to Fulton. From a cross-street level it was hard to miss, by sight and smell.

Three plus weeks later, the site was still smoldering. It was hard to look. It was hard to look away.

It was dead quiet. In the middle of the financial district in the middle of the day.

Well, except for one asswipe.  He walks in front of a large group just standing there watching the burning remains, and goes, "THAT is still burning?" and then continued to walk on to wherever he was headed.

I shook my head. It was hard not to watch the news back then. Anyone who remotely watched tv knew it was still burning.

We stayed for a short while and headed back north. We wanted to go further south, but the barriers were too many and it wasn't really worth the effort.

As odd as it sounds, I was glad to see it live and not just a shot on a television screen.

15 years later and it is hard not to remember most everything about that day. And since I'll never forget - until dementia - I see no reason to recreate the experience here anymore. I have learned to avoid all the tv specials on this time of year. They offer almost nothing new. I did my deep dive with things in print or on tv.

I think I'm officially done needed to see those every again.

Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Gaston is not ours. Someone else belongs to him.

Doggie adoption is very very stressful for Blobby. The anticipation of meeting a pup you've seen on-line only to have your hopes dashed when someone scoops him up before you even have a chance to meet.

Granted, we 'met' Gaston. He in his cage, me with my fingers through it, even though the sign told me not to.

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel!

I called at the opening of the shelter and got the 4-1-1, as Ms Blige would say. Good on a leash. Good with other dogs. No prey drive. Not cat tested.

Two hours later, an hour before we were to each leave work early, Gaston disappeared from the website.


So did four puppies that had come on to the site at noon.....all gone by 14:30.

It seems the non-pit bulls (or their mixes) get chosen first. It's a shame, Bamboozler is such a cute / ugly kind of mutt......but he likes to eat chase cats.

I was lamenting all of this with my friends - via email - saying that with all the dogs getting snapped up so quickly, it's apparent that Michael Vick is out of jail.

There was another dog to see though - Robbie. He's a 7 month old Shepard mix. And he's cute. And friendly. And energetic. Allegedly he has a low prey drive too.

But he's 7 months. We got to the shelter an hour before close, but they don't let you do a meet and greet for the last hour. Bother.

So we will go back to meet him today.

However, there was another dude there too - who is not yet on the website and not ready for adoption just yet. Maybe in three weeks.

Meet Brewer. It's not a great shot, as he went back to bed. But he's handsome as all get out. Same age as Robbie (and name that will just not do).

Brewer has the itchies. They haven't isolated the problem for this - though they are doing a lot of testing and elimination stuff - including diet.

This could make him hard for adoption, if it is something that will end up being chronic. But 710 and I are used to a special needs least to a point, so Brewer already has a place in our heart.

We shall see how the visit goes with Robbie today and go from there.

More to come.

Song by PJ Harvey

Friday, September 09, 2016

No Questions Asked

Matt Lauer bombed.

Somewhere, Ann Curry is tapping her fingers together and going "excellllent".  Just like C. Montgomery Burns.

And honestly, who could blame her?

Lauer, to me, has mostly been an unlikeable chap.  I get for the 35-ish year old housewife....or Natalie dig his knowledgeable persona with his man-boy looks.

To me, he's like slimy new-car salesmen who'll act anyway you want to get you to take a test drive. Too slick for his own good and no substance to back anything up.

But I think his presidential forum the other night proved he's probably better at the Macy's parade or how to make the perfect arugula salad segments than he is at a tough or unbiased interview.

And by "better", I mean "only suited for".

By my own admission, I did not watch it all. I watched none of it with Il Douche. I just cannot stand to hear that man's voice, let alone what comes out of his mouth. The parts I saw with Hillary, she had to stop him from continually cutting her off and not allowing her to answer. He was hammering away at emails......again with the fucking emails.....and not the presidential stuff.

Allegedly with Il Douche, Lauer is blamed for not fact checking anything. Maybe he did....maybe he didn't. What he didn't do was counter many, or any, things (t)Rump stated.

Part of me gets that.

Who the fuck wants to hear Il Douche start yelling and distracting from pesky questions where answers are expected. It's a journalistic nightmare........if Lauer can be called a "journalist".

Let's face it: he's infotainment.  At best.

So, Matt came across as a 'disaster'. That was an NBC exec's statement. And that exec was nicer than most.

He came across as biased - for (t)Rump - and by all account treated Ryan Lochte harder than he did Donny. I'll take the NYT's word for it, as I didn't see him interview Ryan either.  Yet, last I checked Lochte wasn't running for President.

The "joke" is, that Il Douche said some really stupid fucking things during the segment - that no one is hearing or listening to, because they're all chatting about Lauer's ineptitude.

As much as I was never an Ann Curry fan - you just had to believe she could have done a fuck of a lot better, which is why Lauer probably got rid of her in the first place.

Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Mother In Law

Oh, the old stereotype about the mother-in-law. Does it never get old?

I'm sure there are problematic mothers-in-law out there, but mine wasn't one of them. 710 wouldn't dare say anything bad about my mother - though he could.

Yes, I did use the past tense up there. Unfortunately, one of the nicest women I've ever met left us yesterday. It wasn't surprising, but it was still sad.

I suppose I should clarify that was my mother-in-law, not my mother.

Every Monday, 710 called his mother on his way home from work, and each call ended with Jane giving me her best and her love. I'd text 710 before he left work, "tell Jane I said 'hello'".

I first met Jane at 710's undergrad graduation....oh so many years ago. 28? I'm sure she didn't know what to make of me......of us. But she was pleasant. For first go-rounds, sometimes that is the best that can be expected.

But over the years, though his parents live out of state, we have hosted them here in our house and we would go back to 710's hometown often enough. Jane got to a place where it was not just a hug and kiss, but lingering hugs.

710's and my family could not be more different. Neither family is what I would call overly demonstrative. But communication styles are vastly different. I fought every urge I had to not be the bothersome son-in-law. Still, I was one who could (and would) call Jane out on some of her decisions. It was all done with humour and grace and she always took it that way. I swear, there was relief from other family members that silently went "oh, thank g-d someone said it!! followed with the silent, "and thank g-d it wasn't me who had to be the one.".

It never got me anywhere, but I felt better. Jane would laugh knowing this too.

Jane was first a school teacher, then a principal. She would tell tales of the home-schooled folks she had to supervise. It wasn't until then that I realized most home schooled texts came from Bob Jones University.  EEEEK.

She also had stories of working with Ben Carson on kids with developmental issues. She would just be dismayed that this great "Dr. Ben" (as they called him) became this lunatic that she found unrecognizable.

The teacher never left her, and that was nice.

She was always engaging and eager to talk politics or baseball. It was great to be around her and just chat. We loved her visits here, as we would go to the Cleveland Orchestra, or just sit and home so the cats could check her out...and vice versa.

710 and I got the first generation iPad for Jane. She loved it. She lived by it, as her eyesight didn't allow her to easily watch television or read. She listened to NPR via the iPad and it was her lifeline for a while. Just this last Spring, we got the new version, which allowed her to watch YouTubes and FaceTime with her grandkids. She fought the change, but secretly she love that one too.

During our last few visits, when it was questionable what or whom she recognized, each time we appeared, the light in her face just shone. She wanted a hug and kiss from each of us and was always glad we were there. It was great that when her kids were there, she was engaged.

I will miss Jane greatly, though. I'm glad she is at peace, but she will leave a void, though memories will help fill that.

Now, stories of 710's mother-in-law?  Yikes.  Those I'm sure are a fright!

Song by: Ernie K-Doe

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Site of the Month

It is twice in a row now that my Site of the Month is the New York Times.

It's really just a timeline, but a fun one. Well....a politically amusing one. How about that?

Said timeline tracks things Il Douche has said and when 110 (and counting) Republicans said they won't vote for (t)Rump.

The link is here. 

We've seen and heard that things that "man" has said, but I think the biggest surprise isn't that people have bolted from his presence, it's the moment(s) they did it and what that tipping point was.

(t)Rump's praise of David Duke and attempting to humiliate the Khan family are the two biggest lifeboat moments for most of the GOPers.

I'm not sure there is a Carpathia coming to save them.

It would be nice if the NYT would continue to track this, but it seems they stopped in mid-August. Maybe all that's left are the hard-liners who have nowhere to jump.  .....except off a cliff.....and I'd be ok with that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Another movie viewing is in the books:  Don't Think Twice.

I'd like to say it was at the top of our list, but it wasn't.  I didn't know much about it other than the movie dealt with improv and was produced by Ira Glass from This American Life.

As 710 so aptly pointed out, I could never do improv. I don't follow at least two of their top three rules: "say yes" and "don't think twice".

I overthink most things and say "no" quite often.

Don't Think Twice is funny but not funny. Centering on an improv troupe, one person gets brought up to the big leagues and it fractures the nature of everyone's being. The overly tight group all react differently - yet the same - as the movie progresses. As you might expect, it shows the slight underbelly of comedy with the players ambitions, or lack of, egos, hurt feelings and camaraderie. Being business of  being funny isn't always laughs. But I suppose Tom Hanks and Sally Field taught us that two decades ago.

There are humorous moments for sure, but the awkwardness is more real and palpable.  And it was hard to argue with the line: "your 20s are all about hope, and then your 30s is all about how dumb it was to hope".   True that.  Assuming 'hope' = 'drunk'.  No?  Just me?

I knew most of the cast - if not by name, then by sight. Each one does a nice job and each has their strong moments, but I think the stand out is Gillian Jacobs (from Community and who had a recurring role on Girls). There is a scene near the end of the movie that is so nuanced and subtle, but it just struck a chord.

I'd say that Don't Think Twice is a good movie, but not an easy one. The theater was packed, but there weren't many LOLs.....though there were not supposed to be. I just don't think a lot of people knew that going in.

2016 Movie Count / Goal:  20 of 18

Song by: Bob Dylan

Monday, September 05, 2016

My Music Monday

Since Erik is drinking it up in New Orleans this last month week, he asked to keep the same theme as August - numbers - as he seemingly liked it so much.

Fine. I'm flexible.

I know it was really he was too drunk lazy to come up with a new theme, so I'll let him pretend that he liked the theme so much he had to extend it.

Whatever works.

Today we are working in the thousands. Annie Lennox and her "a Thousand Beautiful Things" from her 2003 disk, Bare.

Oddly, for such a visual artist, and that the song was the lead single from that disk, there is no official video. Nothing on her site, nothing on YouTube.

There is this embedded live version, which actually might be as good, if not better than the studio version. I love when a musician performs live and they show they're no studio created artist.

Sunday, September 04, 2016


The search has begun.

Yesterday, 710 and I went to three different animal shelters. We saw dozens of dogs. By the end of the day, I was emotionally drained.

It seems that amount of love Blobby has for doggies and the amount of doggies there are waiting for homes spreads fairly thin after hours and hours.

It is do difficult for me to see the homeless pooches. I have to feel they are so stressed by their environment and some of the more boisterous dogs don't help the scared ones in the slightest.

But on the other hand - while there are some full shelters, I am amazed at how many of the dogs find homes. This week alone, 710 and I have been independently looking online. And then if you look a few hours later, the dog in question is gone.

We ran into this nice couple who were doing a great thing and taking home two boxers who they didn't want they didn't!

There are sooooo many pit bulls in these places. They are cute, or can be. And I know they can be loving. But some do have high prey drives, and I can't have that. Sophie and all. They do get a bad rap, but I don't want the neighbors to be avoiding us either. I don't think it's the breed for us.

The names and backgrounds they give them just make me wince....or laugh. Some are surrendered animals. Some are strays, so they don't have their name. 710 made me laugh when he asked if we should adopt "Ava Gabor".  I wouldn't change or even shorten the name.  "Dinner time, Ava Gabor!".

There were two we both liked.....neither yet up for adoption, as they are 'under evaluation'.

Gaston a beagle mix. We are partial to beagles. But he was soooooo attentive, so loving, so fucking cute. He was like an animated Petey.....without the white tipped tail. And the tail was much longer than a standard beagle.

I'll see if I can't get more information on him today. There was nothing posted on how old he was or anything else.

Of course, these are just the shelters. There are a lot of foster and rescue places too.

To be honest, I was a big dejected when we got home late yesterday afternoon. I can't adopt every dog, but I guess I'd like to.

I suspect we will have a new family member sooner than later. Time will tell.

Song by: Lynyrd Skynyrd