Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Year in Pictures - 2017

Another year - some of it captured in images.  Some are just regular everyday pics of what happened in 2017.  Some are my Instagram pics, which normally don't show up here on this blog.

Actually, I'm not sure any of the following pics showed up here. Maybe similar pics, but not exact ones. Some months will have more than others, and since you get so much Shep, I'll try to limit his exposure.

2017 was a decent year. Some travel, lots of outdoor time (i.e. Shep trips), friends. I'm chalking this year up in the win category - except for my fall, occupation and physical therapy. 

January 2017 - Brother v Sister

February 2017- Breakin' the law!

February 2017 - Observation.

We ( mostly 710) had an 'event'. Everything came back good, so I never blogged about it. 

March 2017 - Take Down

These weren't actually on that ceee-ment island on the street next to us. These signs ended up in our yard. I just took them over and placed for the city to do something. 

April 2016- Acupuncture. 

I think I achieved some placebo effect, but overall, no relief for feet, shoulder or elbow. 

May 2017 - Playground

Remember when I said seeing a musical about make-up (or seeing Madonna) were the gayest things I've ever done?  Scratch that.  When coming into NYC, 710 made me take a slight detour and took me past one of the few places still left where they shot West Side Story.  

Super Gay!

May 2017 - Political Statement at 30 mph

May 2017 - 2nd Ave Subway 
96th St Station

June 2017 - John Paul White Live

July 2017.  Boston. 

I never did find the guy. 

July 2017 - Mike & Me. 

Successfully looking disinterested in each other. 

August 2017 - Rose Cove Cafe.  Ogunquit, ME

August 2017 - Cape Neddick Lighthouse (Maine)

September 2017 - Dog Park
Approaching Storm.  No filter. 

September 2017 - Nervous Dog restroom done right. 

October 2017 - Ohio State v Oklahoma St

....and I went with a number of fraternity brothers (Tim, Jeff & Dan). I had not seen these three for 30 years. 

October 2017 - Movie about Me.

November 2017 - Prince

Went to go take a pic of another piece of public art and came across this. Personally, the doughnut makes the entire thing. 

November 2017 - a Boy and his Dog

As seen up at Lake Erie.  Those ears.  Those ears!

December 2017 - Cinderella's Castle (or is it Sleeping Beauty?) at night which became the Frozen Castle. 

oooooh.  ahhhh. 

December 2017 - Mom Manatee and her pups

December 2017 - I love love love love being greeted this way. 

December 2017 - Bad Ending to the Year. 

Trying to get any kind of moisture into me, as the throat starts really feeling raw. I really hope it doesn't go into full blow cold. 

I hope your 2017 was good or that you had really good part on which you can reflect and get joy out of.  Here's hoping for a good 2018 for all of us. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Year in Music - 2017

It is that yearly wrap up of music.  2017 certainly didn't suck when it came to new music, but it wasn't over the top stellar either.  I think 'not sucking' sometimes is the best the industry can do most of the time.  Maybe that is the high praise.

So I have some album and song choices for my personal faves. Save for the top album, I don't think any of them will have an order.


I don't know exactly what makes a good album great. I don't think there is a key. And clearly, it's subjective anyways.  With John Paul White's  2016 disk (hey, I only heard about and got it in 2017) Beulah, I think my take away was I'd say "this is my favourite song on the disk",  then I'd hear another and say, "no, THIS is my favourite song on the disk".....and then repeat that saying for 90% of the disk. I really like all the songs, but only like 9/10 of them are my favourite.

If you just listen to the songs without focus, you'd think "oh, it's a nice album", and it is. If you truly listen to the disk, they are kind of a bunch of mean songs ("I want to make you cry".  or, "I never really loved you anyway".  or, "I'm gonna try/till the day that I die/till I get even".  or my possible favourite - which I think I misinterpreted initially "someone I know I don't deserve and doesn't deserve me").

I think I paid $5.99 for it, but if it was 2-3 times that price, it's worth it.

Aimee Mann's Mental Illness was a great release too.  It was one of those disks that kind of snuck up on me. The first few listens, I was all 'meh' about it. But the more I played, the more most of the songs took hold.  I don't see the Dan Fogelberg / Bread reference (that much) to which she made in press releases for the album, but I still like it. 

I get that the Killers' Wonderful Wonderful isn't a thing for some folks. I really love half the album, like a quarter of it, and skip the last quarter.  Love the title track. Their first single, "the Man" might be my song of the year, but they have 2-3 really other strong tracks besides the two just mentioned.


Again, in no particular order, per se.

I figured if I'm touting the record some much, I should have one track included. It was a tough choice. John Paul White isn't a video artist, so it's live stuff, but well done. I chose one the least-"mean" songs, with "the Martyr".

White makes an appearance in Rodney Crowell's song, "It Ain't Over Yet", which also features Crowell's ex-wife, Rosanne Cash.  Crowell is really a story teller, which could explain the start of more talk-singing than sining. It bothered me at first, but the song has been on medium to heavy rotation since it's May release.  The song is up for a Grammy for Americana / Folk.

There is no video for the title track to the Killers' last album. Is it the best song on the disk? No. But it is the most original and interesting.

There are others, of course. I featured them in the last year, but won't repost exactly, but will relink to those posts:

Alison Krauss - one of the few high points to her Windy City disk is a cover of Willie Nelson's "I Never Cared for You.

Nothing But Thieves - still digging their song "Sorry"

Michael Kiwanuka's "Cold Little Heart" might be my 2nd best song of the year.

the Killers' "the Man" is still probably my fave.  Sonically, it has so much going on - you really have to dig in and listen on different levels.

Aimee Mann with her "Patient Zero"

.....and last but not least, the National's "the System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" 

That's all I got for this year.  Let's see what 2018 brings!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Ad of the Month

My Ad of the "Month" segment seems to defy all space-time continuums, since I think April was my last one. Apparently, "month" is arbitrary. We will all just have to live with that.

Today's selection isn't really a funny one - though some of mine are not - but once or twice it made me roll my eyes. It's for Samsung Galaxy phone - and if you've had your tv on for any amount of time, on any channel in the last month you've seen a slightly abbreviated version.

I have zero idea about the phone itself, or its abilities, reliability, charging, blah blah blah. The commercial starts off in 2007 with what is the introduction of the iPhone. Long lines wrap around an Apple store.

And speaking of time being arbitrary - my first eye roll comes in actually after my second one.  At 0:55 - where there is basically no line in present day 2017 at Apple.

Oh Samsung, you might be creeping up on marketshare, but don't fucking kid yourself. With a new iPhone release, there are more than 12 people in line at any given store.....and that's just to score a place at the Genius Bar.  Sorry...."Genius" Bar.

The second eye roll comes in 0:51-0:52 mark......where the main character cruises, and gets cruised by, some euro rent boy with one of the stupidest haircuts who looks up from his Grindr app to see the guy he's been trying to hook up with at <25 feet away...........I'm assuming.

Sure you could say the main guy looks back to see the small line at Apple, but it's a total checking out of the rent boy after he passes.....a tried and true cruising method.......................I've heard.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Left Hand

The wheels turn slow at the Bureau of Workers Compensation. 

Three weeks after my fall, they finally approved occupational therapy.  Three weeks.  And it only took about 10 sessions of OT before they decided I needed to see, you know, an actual ortho doctor....four days short of two months from the accident. 

But wait - you just can't see said doc. BWC has to approve it. Mind you, I had already made the appointment before that. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), they came through with the approval a few days prior to the appointment, which was two days ago.

That initial 'nothing broken' diagnosis is seemingly incorrect. 

Blobby has a fractured scaphoid. 

Not only have I been told by every doctor I've seen in the last few weeks - mostly ones who work for me, who are not orthopaedic docs - that that type of fracture is easily missed (and can turn the hand necrotic(!) if not treated). While with the initial set of x-rays weren't sure what they were looking for, you'd still think a radiologist might have said something to the effect that - some of these fractures don't show up on "film" for weeks after the injury. 

The image on the left was my original x-ray. The one on the right is the Tuesday one.  You can now see the break. What we can't see is the full extent - and if the blood flow has been damaged. The radiology report seems to think so as the words, "altered vascularity" appear twice. 

But they don't know. Only a CT scan will show this.  {sigh}. 

Blobby can't just get a CT. BWC has to approve this. Naturally.  And between the holidays, no one is around to do the approval. I don't suspect I will get the scan in 2017.  I mean, tick tick tick. 

When / If I get the scan, and depending on the 'altered vascularity' status, surgery could be in my near future. Me, being me, has already resigned myself to this fate. I needed another scar. I mean, chicks dig them. 

But this entire event is exactly what is wrong with BWC and insurance today. They don't want to pay for the smaller stuff up front, like therapy. So a patient is in agony for weeks, setting their healing process back, which extends treatment and ultimately increases cost - the very thing they were trying to avoid. Now let's triple that with delay of treatment and testing (and no doubt surgery). 

That all said - there is a silver lining:  my transition to the dark side is coming along nicely. 

Song by: Crowded House

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Spin the Black Circle

"They" say there is no such thing as bad publicity.

I think 2017 can pretty much disprove that theory, huh Kevin - Harvey - Matt ?

"They" also say that {absolute} power corrupts. I think we have far too many examples of that phrase proving itself right.

Then there is the confluence. Where the two meet, this week you get dickwad Orrin Hatch.

Do not get me wrong, Orrin Hatch has always been a dickwad. Like McCain, here and there, he'll be the voice of "reason" in a Senate that not only has none, but even someone like Charlie Manson can have a lucid thought amongst those 100 douchebags. Make no mistake: Hatch is a douchebag of huge proportions.

So much so, that the Salt Lake Tribune, made up a word ('Utahn') and gave him the honor of being "it" for the year.

I know nothing about the Trib. I'm not sure if they're conservative or not. I kind of assumed they would be, as it is in Utah. But they did endorse Obama twice! So I have no clue.

What I do know is they called out Mr. Hatch - for his horrible personhood and for him to step-down. Normally when you've been named Something or Other of the Year, it's usually a good thing. Not so much this time.

The Trib pretty much broke the man's 2017 "accomplishments" down into three parts:

  • "[His] part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments."   (i.e. fucking his own state over)
  • "His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation's tax code."  (i.e. fucking pretty much everyone else over)
....and my fucking personal favourite:
  • "His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power."  (i.e. fucking himself but enjoying it)


If this were middle school, you'd tell him to get some aloe for that burn.

But here's where it just might not matter, because like it or not, DC isn't like the realm in which we live.  Orrin actually THANKS the Tribune for the honor!  710 thinks he is trying to spin it into gold, which is much more depressing than him being a dumb fuck whose lackies didn't even bother to read the piece and report back to him (I mean, I'm assuming he doesn't do any of his own reading).

My depression comes from that Hatch actually believes he can spin it - and that stupid fuckers will now also think it's some kind of honor.  It is all too much of a reality. It's out there in big bold letters and there are people who won't bother to acknowledge the questionable man he is - Hatch included.

It's hard to counter-act people who cry "fake news" when they're too stupid to read any news. I don't think that's a battle one can win.

Song by: Pearl Jam

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Super Magic 2000

While we were in Florida, I considered doing a vlog. Two actually. I have footage for two. I've completed one. This one.

I have not yet decided on doing the second one. I mean, who really wants to see Blobby at the Magic Kingdom?

On the other hand who doesn't want to see Blobby at Harry Potter World?  There is really only one answer to that.

Harry Potter World resides within Universal Studios. There was a lot of discarded non-Harry Potter footage, though I left a few things in just because. There was some discarded Harry Potter footage too.

I won't say the video was half-baked, but I could have tied a few things together and down a proper ending, But truth be told, I was 22,000+ steps into the day on the way out of the park. I just wanted to get back to the hotel and get a drink. It actually never occurred to me to finish the video tightly.

Still, I think there are some funny parts - and there's a theme, much to 710's annoyance (I'm guessing).

That all said - Universal was better than Disney (in lots of ways), but we were happy had we just done Harry Potter. 

For note:  Universal is comprised of two parks, with two admissions. There are parts of HPW in both parks - one with Diagon Ally and one with Hogsmead. This is brilliant on two levels.  A. It could get you to buy to passes (we did!). B. If you can't afford the price or the time, at least you get to see part of it. Both are very well done.

On with the show..............

Song by: Chris Isaak

Monday, December 25, 2017

My Music Monday

Xmas falls on a My Music Monday post day.

What to do.....what to do????

The obvious thing would be to do a holiday song, no? But do one of the variations of the actual 17 xmas songs that exist?  (Honestly, does anyone need another version of "White Christmas" or "Jingle Bell Rock"?)

There are some original songs out there too, but some are too kitsch for me (the Kinks' "Father Christmas" and you all saw my shiteous Pat Benatar post from a few years back).

I have a feeling I've done Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" before, but a search of the blog tells me 'no'. I still think I did.

The YouTube title says it's Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but I'm thinking it's just Lake. Again, I could be wrong.

The song has got a good vibe and an underlying message that isn't all tinsel and holly. Since I was a young teen, the tone has always resonated with me. 

That all said - I hope you enjoy your day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Came So Far for Beauty

I'm not slut beauty pageant shaming, but c'mon ladies, when the corporate men at Miss America parade you around in swim suits and high heels - at the same time - (and with you seemingly being ok with it all) that you think they were wondering about the size of your cerebellum?  Your take on cold fusion?

I'm not saying you deserve the internal email exchanges on your looks or who you've slept with - or how many - but please dears, spare me the shock and awe about it happening.

We've all seen some weird-ass show / documentary on child beauty pageants. They are creepy - and not the judges, but the contestants and their parents.

As they age into the older circuit, exactly which part of the "pageant" isn't about objectifying the women?  And at what point does that lie they tell themselves become their reality?

Again, I get that men speaking this way - you know, "locker room talk", as the President says - but what part about any of this is "news"?  It's not right, but it is kind of expected.

For me, the bigger shock was that 49 former Miss Americas signed some petition. Naturally, I assumed it meant 49 contestants, but no......49 actual winners.  The biggest shock: 49 were still alive.

I had to look it up - the pageant is 96 years old.

Of the 49....oh hell, the many can you name?

Yeahhhhhh.......that's what I thought.  ......and you're looking at THE one up in the image.

I'm not saying that other Miss Americas have not gone onto good careers, but very few of them in the spotlight.  Phyllis George?  Lee Meriweather?  I want to say Anita Bryant, but I don't know she was a winner. Well, I know she was a loser, but that had nothing to do with Miss America.

But those other winners didn't go onto public careers like Vanessa Williams. And ironically (or not, actually), she violated the terms of being able to fulfill the duties of the throne.  She violated the morals clause, something the CEO and his folks didn't really have, but still paid the price.

And ironically (or not), Williams went on to fame with, in a way, the objectification of herself. Partially on her terms, partially not. Yet she used it all to her advantage.

As any normal man would do, I flash on Candice Bergen in Miss Congeniality, insisting this is a 'scholarship program'.

All you have to do is see the Q&A section of the show to know that it's not.

Song by: Jennifer Warnes

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Santa Baby

The last Shep and Sophie post of 2017.  I think it's a good one. But I think most of them are. According to the stats of who reads what, so do you folks.

"Santa" and Shep. 

Santa is Amanda, our doggie day care provider and who boards Shep while we are away. She did this for all the dogs at daycare.  It's that extra step where we know we have the right place. 

That said, I feel a little gypped not to take Shep to his first Santa pic. I got over it. 

Sophie, upon our return from Florida. 
It's a week later and she won't leave us alone. 

At a dog show in Florida, we ran into Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen. 
The owner was quite snooty about how they have NO basset hound in them. Still the pup was way way way cute. 

Who knew that doggie day care had nap time like kindergarten. 

I like how Shep was  independent to sleep alone. But then I worried he might have been the cheese to stand alone and all the other pops ostracized him. 

I'm a helicopter parent. 

One more of Soph making biscuits. 

The real Shep. 

Actually, it's such a Petey move. 

More pet pics to come in 2018!

Song by: Eartha Kitt

Friday, December 22, 2017

the Launch

As possibly promised, two video clips today.  One I took, one I did not.

I did mention in an earlier post that when we went to the Kennedy Space Center, I "successfully" filmed the launch of Elon Musk's Space X Falcon 'gently used / certified pre-owned' Rocket.

I fucked up was less successful the second half of the video, the re-entry and landing of the booster rocket. If you don't read for content (and why would you?), I didn't push record when I thought I did - and didn't realize it until hours later.

For the re-entry and landing, I am stealing from the internet.

Those who do not follow Space X, Musk is all about reusing equipment. He has successfully developed rockets that will launch and land, ready to be used again. When at KSC (as well call it), they land at a pad nearby the launch site.  But they can, and have, landed on barges out at sea as well.

....and they've blown up or fallen in the ocean and sank. But more often than not, they land.

As predicted, seven minutes and 46 seconds after lift-off, the booster rocket was back on the ground, with two sonic booms.  Our view was good, but clearly not as good as the NASA video.

I did not watch the launch from my phone, like so many.  I held my camera out in front of my chest and when I tilted back, so did the shot. It's not perfect, but it was way better to see it unobstructed by gadgetry.

If you ever get the chance to see a launch - take it. They're looking at manned flights, possibly in 2018.

Song by: Boston

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Folks.  Take a look to your left. This is what poor white trash looks like.

Actually, look at his entire fucking family. The words: "double wide" seem to be in their future....and present and probably past.

So are "restraining order" and "court ordered child support".

So Track beat up his daddy because he couldn't borrow the pick-up. Poor Track. Poor Todd.

Track, being a lesser Palin, doesn't even have his own wiki page for me to cross-reference. I checked Todd's and no one even cares enough to update his to include the assault from his eldest child.

Track, by all accounts, was drunk and taking pain meds. Todd greeted Track at the door with a pistol. Srsly. While granted he knew his son was probably heading over, Todd also knew enough about his son's behaviour to have a gun at the ready.

Todd still got the shit kicked out of him, so, that 'good guy with a gun' thing doesn't seem to have really worked in his benefit, did it?

This is the same dude who was arrested on suspicion of punching his girlfriend (classy!), and possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Oh, his girlfriend filed for custody of their child.  Whaaaaa? A child without marriage in a republican household??? values?  Where are the family values?????????

Caribou Barbie is trying to pass it off as PTSD for him time in the military.

Maybe. Maybe not.  But lest we forget - from a war started by a republican president and VA benefits cut by a republican congress, and mental healthcare not backed by almost any president.

Or maybe Track is just an ill-raised dick with a drinking and drug problem coupled with anger issues.

Trust me, if those were my parents, I'd be a little pissed off too.

Song by: the New York Dolls

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

the Good, the Bad and the Dirty

Shit. Piss. Fuck. Cunt. Cocksucker. Motherfucker. Tits.

There was a day you couldn't say any of those seven words on television. Clearly, this was before the Sopranos.

While 'dick' isn't on the list, I'm amazed how many mainstream shows (i.e. not HBO) use the phrase.

Of those seven, even I only think one of those is bad, though I can't really say I use 'piss', or 'tits' in my daily routine. I rarely use the 'c' word, though let's face it, sometimes it's warranted.

And I use 'dick' a lot.

Dick also pertains to, well, anyone in the BLOTUS administration. If they're female, I'm going with 'cunt'. Like I said - sometimes the word is warranted. I think it more than applies in this situation. I mean, be honest - how many times have you muttered the word when looking at, or hearing about, Ivanka?

I rest my case.

Honestly, I cannot tell you how upset I was over the whole administration and their edict to the Center for Disease Control about seven other words: Vulnerable. Entitlement. Diversity.  Transgender.  Fetus.  Evidence-based. Science-based.

Science and Evidence based for an agency that - in its own title - controls diseases. I'm really on-board with that faith-based Ebola team!

This is what a white, xenophobic, homophobic, pro-life, anti-science administration looks like folks - in case you weren't paying attention.

I love the 'entitlement' one. The GOP thinks Medicare and Social Security are entitlements, but giving tax breaks to kerjillionaires is not.

I kid you not when I say how out of sorts I felt last weekend about this entire chain of events. I can't even quite pin-point the level or origin of my discomfort - though I have to assume it was that when science deniers get in office, the billions (not millions) of people who will end up suffering.

I don't think I'm being out of line when I say that defunding agencies who utilize science is next on their list.

The head of the CDC said “there are no banned words at CDC.”  Good to know, but Health and Human Services - the parent department - this might not be true. I doubt they'll let the CDC skate.

Allegedly - it sounds like in the CDC budget those seven words have been replaced. If true, it is not too far of a hop, skip or jump that any report or scientific findings that might come down the pike. Or no longer come down the pike, as the case may be.

I will give it up for whomever is continuing to project things onto the BLOTUS Hotel in DC.  This was them last night.


Song by: Panic! at the Disco

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Last One Standing

Our last evening of our mini-vacation, and we went to go see Star Wars - Episode VIII: the Last Jedi.

The plan was to see it with our friends, David & James. Maybe we still will, but chances are, I will suggest another movie. James has only seen Episode IV and VII .....and Rouge One. He's not invested.

I'll do this without spoilers, if I can.

I'd say the key to this movie is Luke, but I'm not so sure that is the case. It was a great lead-in with the ending of the Force Awakens. He does tell Rey regarding her plans, "this isn't going to go the way you think"

The same could be said to the audience.

There are a lot of storylines going on here. Enough so that I kept thinking the movie should be ending, but then I forgot another part still needed to be wrapped up.

I like the story. I'm not sure I love the entire execution of it all.

Oddly, you expect Luke to be the heart of this movie. And while he does that to a certain extent, the real heart is a newcomer, Rose.    ....and with Finn and Rey in different worlds - literally - with the appearance of Rose, Finn would have to change his Facebook status to "it's complicated".

Hamill is pretty good in the elder statesmen / recluse role. For all intents and purposes, he has become Ben Kenobi. Like Ben, he tries to train Rey in the ways of the Jedi. Normally that would be fine, except for the fact the filmmakers just got to Lesson #1 on being a Jedi and Rey totally nails it. Like, immediately. There isn't even a learning curve to jump to what the Force is and how it works. It's Evelyn Wood of Jedi Schooling.

I get it, time was of the essence.

I am not sure if Kylo Ren is actually conflicted or if Adam Driver is just a one-note actor and can't fully portray the character. I can't be the only one who thought he was just yelling at Hanna Horvath instead of Rey, right? There is no nuance to his performance(s).

The director does decent things crossing space and time with Kylo and Rey, which I thought was clever.

I think Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Issacs do fine jobs, especially Ridley. But I'd rather just look at Oscar for 2+ hours.

Partially, the story isn't all new, but it's not over-the-top rehash like the Force Awakens.  You certainly get the Ben Kenobi (i.e. now Luke) recluse thing like IV.  You get the training I mentioned - though it's not quite done with the same tone as a New Hope.  Yes, there is the Empire and the Rebellion....sorry, the First Order and the Resistance.  You have the Sith and his apprentice (and seriously, is there no one in Hollywood willing to do motion capture that isn't Andy Serkis?).

....and you have trade wars.  Which sounds familiar, though not as CSPAN-y as the galactic senate in episodes I-III.  Still, the casino scene is something more out of a James Bond movie, and didn't seen true to this series.

There are two newcomers here (well, other than Rose):  Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro. Before the movie, I was torn on the additions.  Pseudo-big names, but were they needed - the actors, not the characters? They could have been played by anyone, though I will say, as did Luke, "this isn't going to go the way you think". I was mildly surprised on a few fronts - especially with Dern, who ends up doing something, now that I've seen it, that I cannot believe had not been done in any prior films.

Like the elephant in the room, regardless of what may or may not happen to General Organa (Princess Leia to you!), is right there for the entire film.  Carrie Fisher's death was palpable during the entire movie. How could it not?  Fisher does a good job too, and I don't think I'm cutting her slack due to that being dead thing. Brother and sister have a nice scene together.

I will applaud Rain Johnson (writer and director) for not taking some of the predictable ways out of certain story elements.  As it was stated, didn't go the way we (might have) thought, though I am pretty sure I rolled my eyes when someone in the First Order just had to say "rebel scum'.

Two additional things bothered me too. In the opening moments of the Force Awakens, the rebel alliance hurries to get Max von Sydow out of harm's way. I assumed there'd be a story behind him later in that movie, or maybe in this one. There was not. Just a dead end. Yes, it's two years later and I'm still dwelling on a minor event. 

Are you surprised? If so, you have not been paying attention the last 14 years.

The other thing that grinds my gears - and it's not just with this movie - "the grudge".  The villain who must go after the good guy at all matter what is going on around them. Buildings blowing up, girders falling down around them, infernos all around, planes out of control plummeting to the ground at breakneck speed.......yet they still need to pursue the 'hero' to cause their demise.

You've seen it in Bourne, Bond, and just about every other action flick in the world. Now you get to see it in the Last Jedi. It's a tried and true filmmaking 201 maneuver and it never ever ever ends well for the villain, so why do it?  Be better than that!

In Jedi, it's a meaningless segment, but it extends the movie, which isn't needed since it already clocks in at 2.5 hours (though I will say, it did not feel that long).

I would say the Last Jedi ranks in the top third of the Star Wars movies.  ....and that ain't nothing.

My final thought:  Porgs are way better than Ewoks.

2017 Movie Count / Goal:  09 of 24

Song by: Neil Finn

Monday, December 18, 2017

My Music Monday

Patty Griffin is one of those artists that if you blink, you'll miss.

She flies enough under the radar that it is probable to easily miss her, though you might know some of her work. The Dixie Chicks and / or Natalie Maines has recorded a half-dozen or so of her songs. They are a great conveyor of her music. She performs with Emmylou Harris - in concert (I've seen once) and on record.

She also dated Robert Plant for a number of years.

Griffin is a performer and a songwriter.

I actually discovered her music back around 2000 at one of those playing stations they used to have at Border's. The first song from her disk 1000 Kisses was "Rain".  It just struck me enough that I picked up the cd and purchased it right there and then.

I can't say that Griffin has a certain style. She goes enough from Folk to Americana to out and out rock and roll.

If push came to shove, I'd say I like Griffin way more as a writer than a performer. She certainly has her moments - and they're strong - but that's my thought.

Still, I love "Rain".

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rocket's Tail

Bucket list item: achieved !

While I didn't pre-broadcast this, 710 and I are (were?) in Florida for the last half of this last week.

As noted many times prior, we are not great planners of vacations. But 710's vacation time doesn't roll over like mine does.  He's on a use-it or lose it method.

So we had to do something. The safe and easy choice was NYC, but we had done that already (and with the amount of snow they got, I'm ok with having not done that). For some reason, we ended up going to Florida.  Orlando specifically.

We are not Disney-o-philes like some people I know. And some of these folks are borderline committable due to their "all things Disney" mentality. For those gay grown men into it - and I mean, one of my friends goes 5-7 times.....per YEAR! - it's just creepy. That he hasn't named his dogs Mickey and Minnie is a downright miracle.

But as soon as we made the decision, and because I'm a nerd, I was on-line looking to see if Space X had any planned launches from the Kennedy Space Center.  They did...........and they didn't.

The message was vague about a mid-December launch, with no date attached. What it hadn't said was that the scheduled date had already passed but the launch was scrubbed. So we hedged our bets and still planned on central Florida.

The day before we left, I read Space X was launching the day we arrived.  About 40 minutes after we would be wheels down.  And KSC is an hour away from the airport. DANG!   

As wheels touched down in MCO, I went on-line to see if it was still on schedule. As it would turn out, that launch would be delayed again....until Friday.  SCORE!

Unlike the Shuttle launches, where you had to have reserved tickets, this launch allowed anyone to go to the viewing grounds who had a ticket to the center - first come; first served.

Due to my excitement and over-planning, we were at the gates by 07:30, though said gates didn't open until 09:00.  We were #s 10 and 11 in line. SCORE!

The wait to get in wasn't horrible, and they let us in 15 minutes early. Then we rushed to get in line for the bus - which didn't start until 09:30.  Then we got out to the viewing site a good 50 minutes before launch.

Traveling to Cape Canaveral, it was very overcats, but still ok to see a launch. As it would turn out - and as you can see - the clouds and the marine layer went away. It was a perfect day to see a rocket go into space.

The crowd was manageable for a few reasons:  I don't know that Space X is that well publicized for throngs to come see. The other is: the launch had been scrubbed 2-3 times, so people might not have been willing to keep coming back.  The stands were not filled.

We had a great view of Launch Pad Complex 40, even though it was 6.3 miles away.

Take off was  on-time and went off without a hitch. The last time Space X launched a Falcon rocket from KSC, it exploded while still on the pad, rattling windows for 30 miles.

Take off, of course, was amazing. But with the Falcon, it's about the first stage booster that comes back to Earth and lands upright back at Kennedy. THAT was amazing to watch and we couldn't have had better seats, as the booster landed in a site between two buildings.....where we had a direct view. Others were not as lucky to see that.

Blobby - being Blobby - did video the launch, but not really the landing. I refused to watch the launch through an iPhone screen, so I hit 'record' and held the phone, but look at the launch with my own eyes. When I went back, I made sure the phone did too, hoping it was capturing everything.  That worked pretty well.

Blobby - being Blobby - fucked up the re-entry video. Parts of that event was more difficult to see until the rockets turned on to direct and slow down the landing.  Blobby thought he had hit 'record' but I'd find out later, didn't.  So when I hit 'stop', I really was hitting 'record', so I ended up with four minutes of my phone recording the inside of my pants pocket.   Bother.

Still, it was an amazing event. While he had been to Kennedy Space Center many times (remember: geek here!) we stayed for a bit after wards. They have a new Atlantis Shuttle building. KSC kept one of the Shuttles for itself and built and entire complex around the shuttle. It was great. We did a simulation for an actual take off..............though an Atlantis one, not a Challenger one.

Later this week, I suspect you'll get video. Our internet connection here is not the best, so I'm not trying large file transfers until we are home....which we will be shortly after you all read this.

Song by: Kate Bush

Saturday, December 16, 2017

We're Going to be Friends

'Tis that time of year. My annual post of animals / pets who own my friends.  I can't say I got everyone to participate, but unlike my dog, I'm not a hound. I ask, but I don't pester. I also didn't give anyone tons of time.

I will admit to "stealing" two or three images. Sue me.

Everyone has such great kids - I'd love to meet, pet and fuss with them all.

Meredity & Norman's  Ripley, Rolo and London (basking in the sun). 

Brett & Nico's Holden & Harley 
(I'm guessing on which one is which, of course. I have no idea, actually.)

a VERY intense looking Otis.
Mike is assuming he might be focused on a biscuit.

Georgie!  How I do love beagles. Richard & Serge do too. 

OMG.  John's Scooter.  
I have never met Scooter and yet still just adore him. 

Christopher's Phoebe. She's so pretty. 

Georty's beagle, Logan.  
I love him crossing the paws.  Petey used to do that all the time. 

Good boy, Barkley belongs to Rebecca, Andrew & Co. He is so sweet. 

Raybeard's Patchie. He's a handsome dude. 
I mean, I'm assuming it's a dude. 

omg omg omg.   what a great picture !!!
Jon and Tommy's Bruno and Lilou. 

Dr. Spo & Someone's sweetie, Harper.  Those ears!!!!

Ted & tongue.   I love Teddie who hangs with my cousin David and his wife. 
Ted is an incredible soul.  ....and very chill. 

....and of course......Shep and Soph. 

Indulge them for the holidays.......and all the non-holidays too.

Song by: the White Stripes