Saturday, August 31, 2019

Velvet Kitty Cat

We were Sophie-lite last week, so she and I picked up the pace and took more photo time. I'm not so sure she was amused. She rarely is.

When he gets on the ottoman - facing me, it seems I have a directive. I'm good with it. 

It seems when she's on the bench, facing me, she has evil on her mind. I'm good with it. 

If one is good, two must be better, right? 

Not the best shot. She found a sunny patch.  The light didn't work with me. 

Not even a squirrel - just the potential of one. He has to check, it's in his contract. 

Shep's introduction to Bailey. 
It could have gone better. Bailey tried to herd him. But later Shep was growling. We did not like that. 

Bailey taking shelter under my deck chair. 
I can't even with those ears!

...and a final Soph Shot. 

Song by: Prince

Friday, August 30, 2019

Water on the Brain

Oh Rob Gronkowki is nice to look at.

Not exactly my "type", but if he axed, I wouldn't say 'no'. I'm not a fool.

While Gronk doesn't look like a brainiac, he was smart enough to retire from football at the age of 30. Considering the physical toll it takes on the body, and how it turns a person's brains to mush, is it any wonder he and Andrew Luck retired at a relatively young age?

Gronk is also smart, in as that he allegedly hasn't used any of his football earnings, living "only" on his endorsements.

He has a new endorsement for CBD products for pain relief.  While it may or may not work, there isn't a whole lot of science behind it and zero regulation.  It's supposed to be cannabis oil (or extract) without the THC, but that's probably not a reality in an unwatched market.

Part of his claim is he had liquid in his head as part of his playing. He's not saying he had brain damage, but his Tide Pods ad tells me differently.

via ytCropper

Song by: the Hollies

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Yes or No

Sometimes I just have to wonder:  do people really need to be told these poster form?

I am going on record though - they got the toilet paper roll diagram down correctly.  It should be under, not over

Song by: the Go-Go's

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Ring My Bell

As of 08:00 today, my parents house is no longer in our family. As I said the other day, it isn't an emotional hurdle.

While I thought I was through with the house a week or so ago, we had to stop by Sunday for one last thing. So, I took a few pictures and then went up to the deck to take video of one last ring of the bell.

I'm 98.7% sure I've mentioned it a few thousand blog posts ago (ok, I'm 100%, but I was being "nice"), but my parents had a bell, this bell......the above one.

Pavlovian for sure, but it would ring when one, or all, of us would have to come home. Usually it was for dinner, but now and then, it was when one of us was in trouble...........which usually just meant me.

You could hear that thing everywhere. If I were on the back 9 (we lived on a golf course), playing football in one of the fairways, I would hear it and say, "gotta go.....".   I'm not sure if anyone else ever heard it.

I have zero use for a bell that weighs a ton and we don't even have a pole where it would be mounted (hehehehe.....pole.....mount.....).  And what would I use it for?  Calling 710 home from work?  The clang goes a long way, but not 30 miles.

710 was nice for asking if I wanted it. I said 'no', but he still went back to look at it. The bolts are rusted and it's probably NEVER coming off.  So here's hoping the new owners are ok with this and know what it is for.

Unlike the stove, fridge and dishwasher, there was no instruction book for the bell to leave behind for them.

Song by: Anita Ward

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Record of the Month

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

I featured Craig Finn a few months back in a My Music Monday segment. I also went and downloaded his newest solo disk, I Need a New War

I would say Finn is an acquired taste. I like him, but don't love him. He is decent songwriter, but just an ok guitarist and singer. What he probably is more than any of those things is a storyteller. 

The music itself is subdued - mostly. But his lyrics have almost semi-fleshed out characters - or hints that they are. Yes, it seems all of them smoke and have drug issues, but.....well..........write what you know?  Honestly, the 8-ball that he sings about in the back room of the bar ("Magic Marker") is most likely not on a pool table. 

The more I listen to I Need a New War, the more I find to like. I won't tell you it's an easy listen, but eventually it's kind of satisfying. But this isn't traditional sing-along music.  Some of it is, but overall........not so much. 

I'm liking the music and the horns (though not the sax on "Indications"). Vocals are more sing-speaking. It work for him, but it's one of the reasons you're rarely going to sing along. 

There are not tons of variations in Finn's tunes. They mostly have the same (or similar) cadence. 

I Need a New War isn't really a casual listen. It takes effort for sure, but the more I sample, the more I sit in a car uninterrupted, there is a pay-off. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

My Music Monday

I'm doing closing tracks this month.  The final track of side 2 - as I think all of these were originally acquired on vinyl.

I'm ending this theme with Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman".

Should you not have owned the vinyl copy or the original pressing of the Rumours CD, you might not think this the last track on the album. With the three reissues, the band included the originally discarded track, "Silver Springs".  For the most part, this song now resides as the final track of the disk.

Bollocks, I say. A good track for sure, but it fucks with the original sequence.

There are multiple takes of this song, the final one they recorded being the one they used on Rumours. Some of those other editions (I have two of those three), have some of those outtakes. They also have demos too.  Meh. I found I played most of those once and never went back to them.

I considered using the only outtake I liked here, just for a change of pace, but then opted not to. You can certainly find them on YouTube if you were that interested.

Still, I always found the track a bit mesmerizing, and thought Lindsey Buckingham's and Christine McVie's guitar and keyboard work respectively to be very good. Stevie Nicks' vocals are fairly spot on too for this song in particular.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fright Lined Dining Room

We now have a grown up dining room.  14 years later.

When we moved to this house, we brought our present set with us. It served us well in the other place, but in the new one, it didn't quite fit in, yet we saw little reason to up and change it.

Tables themselves are no big deal. I mean, they are, but compared to what chairs cost?  Yeah, the table isn't the investment.  It's seating where you pay the big bucks.

As it turns out, there were both tables and chairs coming my way.  In the last year or so of my mother's life, she was having us kids chose things we might want. I really wanted very few things, but one were the chairs.

I had no use for 12 of them, but they really are a set. They were hand-carved by my great-grandmother's second husband.  I know! Divorce and remarriage in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  I also have a breakfront from him, via my grandmother. It was given to me like when I was 10. Every kid's dream present.

But with the chair, my mother insisted on the table. It's not that I didn't want it. It is that I didn't want to overreach, looking greedy or anything.

So last week, when we cleared out the house, we rented a truck and moved a big-ass heavy table (wayyyyyy heavier than I ever anticipated) and a dozen, substantial carved chairs.

Honestly, we just dumped everything at home, as we were wiped and just needed to get the truck back. But as of yesterday, while I worked (yes, on a Saturday), 710 did something he wasn't supposed to do alone:  get the new furniture into the house and reassembled.

It looks amazing.

Below is the 'before'......

Actually, I liked our old table. It doesn't quite make the leap to 'formal', but it is in excellent shape and we used it often. The chairs?  I could have lived with just about anything else. And look! We have a measly four chairs!  Oh the shame. 

The carpet we bought before Expo (the failed Homo Depot design store) as they went out of business. It was probably more impulse purchase than it should have been. 

Now, the after......

It looks amazing. Though we did not put in the additional leaf. We can add it for a party or something, but for most use, it is fine.

The wood colour is darker, but we swapped out the rug for one in my mother's dining room. Both items totally change the look of the room and both of us couldn't be more pleased. 

The carpet matches our baseboards and window seats and the other carpet was busy, but so was the wallpaper, and it didn't work. Now it does.

Oddly enough, even though the carpet, chair and table were in my mother's dining room and now in ours, there is enough difference where it's familiar but doesn't look similar.

We are grateful to my mother for this gift. It's one of those things we will thing about her each and every time we use it. the 'after' pic, you can see a glimpse of the breakfront of which I mentioned.

bad new?   One Sophie puke on that rug..........ugh.......I don't know it will be ruined, but....I won't be happy.

Song by: Arctic Monkeys

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Dog New Tricks

Hey cat lovers....I'm apologizing in advance. There are no Sophie pictures today. It's a puppy-centric day.  In a minute, you'll totally see why.

Shep at daycare on his birthday last week. 
He refused to wear the b-day hat, so they made him their Instagram Cover Dog of the Week!
I can say I knew him when.......

Lord, that tongue. 
Shep was majorly stressed out at his vet wellness visit. Shook and cowered most of the time. Poor guy. 

New(er) neighbor, Dusty. 
Dusty is a little timid with loud noises and other dogs. Shep can be both those things. 
This meeting went best. 

Introducing: Bailey !!!

Not ours, but my sister's new 10 week old (well 11 now), Corgi.  Totes adorbs....obvi.

And she's smart enough when it's hot to just sleep on the a/c vent.  ...and those ears!!!!

We brought the treat for Boomer (not pictured).  She took it and walked away with it. 

We will end with Shep. 
Now and again, he remembers I'm on the other end of the leash and gets SO excited. 
I love seeing him like this. 

Song by: Garbage

Friday, August 23, 2019

When You Say Nothing At All

I think Boromir says it all.

One simply doesn't walk into blogging.

There are days that battling Orcs would be less stressful and take less effort than coming up with a post.

Thus ends my non-blog post blog post - and the current LoTR references.

.....for now.

Song by: Alison Krauss + Union Station

Thursday, August 22, 2019

the Chosen One

Can we just try to ignore the 'chosen one' comment? I don't care in what context he was using it.

And can we try to forget the stupid fucking ass Greenland purchase?

I do find it sad that his staff actually has to back him up and go on air and say that this is a real thing.

While I'd rather not focus on it at all, but we shouldn't ignore BLOTUS' stance on Jewish loyalty.

“If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel.”

I know some people are making the stretch of Hitler's "the Jews are not loyal to the state".   It's not the first nor last Hitler reference to come his way.

But this is just a gateway comment to sooooo many things - and none of them will end up well.

I totally get there are some Jews who support BLOTUS - and I'm guessing it's mostly due to Israel, or they're big-assed bankers. Deep down, I'd like to think they have to know he has streak of anti-Semitism running through him.

How does one reconcile white supremacists and neo-Nazi's are 'very good people' and not condemning shooters of synagogues or the guys who are building up to do a shooting - and pulling a voting lever in his favour.

But the quotes set these gun-loving, Jew-hating white men (I mean, it's not even generalizing, is it?) to "punish" the "disloyal".  It's damning, it dangerous, and he knows it, as does his staff.

Why do Steven Miller, Ivanka and Jared think they'll be spared from the "I hate Jews" brigade?  I mean, I think they do think that, but that's not quite the way it works. 

BLOTUS is ramping up to something. Maybe it's just 2020.  His 2015 kick off was about Mexicans being rapists and murders. Now that he's got them deported or locked up in cages, he's doubling down on the Jews.

Honestly, if you're not afraid yet, you should be.

Song by:  Bryan Ferry

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Ooooh.  I have a new show to watch. I mean, I guess there are 75,429 out there on all the streaming services, no?

With all of these, and the half dozen more services set to launch in the next 6-12 months, is is possible to be an "out of work actor" anymore?

The food industry is going to go bust if there are no servers waiting for their big break.

So the irony is the show I'm watching is on's not television. Technically, you can stream shows there. But you can't stream the entire current season of anything. You still have to wait for your weekly dose, which just find for me as I don't have the attention span for 'binge' anything.

I can stream season one of Succession, because, well.......I never heard of it before a week or so ago. Currently, we are on episode 2 of season 2.

The premise is simple: mega rich media family with an elderly patriarch contemplates stepping down and needing one of this four kids (from three different marriages) to be the successor.  None of them have Australian accents, so I'm 11% sure this isn't fictionalized Murdochville.   {insert eye roll emoji here}

That said, it probably isn't far off from the Murdochs, but possibly more entertaining.

The oldest son is Cameron from Ferris Bueller.......and......and.........we'll he's probably done something else. Possibly.  He doesn't seem to be interested in the media stuff, so he's not as complicated (at least yet) as his siblings.

You have the female (don't know who she is but I like her). You have the disappointing son - always trying to please dad but never achieving it - with the drug problem.  And the youngest, who is the cockiest, and who also is played by Macaulay Culkin's brother (and yes, I had look up how to spell both those names).

Culkin is by far the most entertaining of the bunch. But I kind of love the old man too. At times. I like all of times. Oh - there's a husband too, who at his bachelor party got head from a woman who then kissed him and he swallowed his own load.  It's his post-ingestion reaction that is hilarious. ....and no, you don't see the act of the fellatio or the taking his own seed.  It's HBO, not HBO After Dark.

But back to streaming. While it doesn't seem like you have to see season 1 to catch on to what's goig on, we assume we're missing some of the relationship building. So in the week between new episodes, we are slowly getting through the first season.

So far, I'm enjoying it..............and you know how infrequent I say that.

Honestly though, if you have to watch Murdoch, take in Tracey Ullman's take  on being Jerry Hall being married to Rupert. Hilarious.

Song by: Iggy Pop

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Silent House

We are almost there.

The house I grew up in is about have new owners - almost six months to the day of us listing it.

This is pretty much the last piece in terms of closure in terms of the lives and death of my parents.

The house just surpassed 50 years old, which in some ways is extremely hard to believe. It doesn't look what I think a half-century house would or should look like.

The sell process was painful.  My mother choose poorly when it came to a realtor. I had some frank and unpleasant conversations with her, both with my mother alive and gone. My mother was happy to leave these things to one of my sisters and myself. On one hand, I wanted / needed the house to sell,  on another, I wanted the contract to run out so she wouldn't get a dime.

We had a buyer a few weeks back who walked away. They claimed things wrong with the house, which in truth weren't exactly wrong - complaining about lack of GFI.  Well, yes. This did not exist 50 years ago. But it was a few hundred dollar fix. But they walked away without even a counter, so it was never really about the lack of GFI.  We invested in the change and we got this buyer.

So over the last week or two, we've been cleaning out.  710 and I were over this last weekend. We finished clearing the basement, garage, family room and dining room.

Former living room (which we were not allowed in as children) which became the dining room when the family grew larger with the on-set of grandkids. 

The family room(s). You can see the original end of the house, which then that second section was added on in about 1992. 

One of my mother's friends, whom we adore, was bequeathed (well, by me) a few of my mother's pieces of furniture. When she and her family came over she spoke as if this must be a difficult time for me - with the letting go of the house.

I wasn't sure how to react. I know the correct answer would have been just to nod and agree, but in reality, it wasn't.  The last six months of the sale helped me lose any affection I had for the place. That and while I visited almost weekly for the last twenty five years, I hadn't lived there since 1981.  When you put it in to that context, I only lived there for 11 years.

As it is, depending on how we set up the pieces I got from that house, 710's and my dining room could end up looking a lot like my mother's. That might be weird.

When 710 and I left on Saturday, 98% of everything was out of the house - taken, given away, or tossed into a rented dumpster.  100% should be out by mid-week.  Then we will send in house cleaners to tidy it up for the new owners.

My feelings, or lack thereof, it is still end of an era.  I no longer have ties to the community out there, so no real reason to even take a drive through.  Still, it's closure, and that's ok with me.

Song by: Dixie Chicks

Monday, August 19, 2019

My Music Monday

I'm looking at songs that close out strong albums. Not all are debut disks, but the Pretenders one was, as is this week: a-ha.

I'd say a-ha is a guilty pleasure for me, except for the fact I feel no guilt.

While some of their catalogue is spotty, their debut disk is still solid. Every song.

They could easily passed off as fluff (well, kind of), but if you youtube them and look at some of their live stuff, their music translates well from studio to stage - and considering they're still going at it 35 years later, more power to them.

"Here I Stand and Face the Rain" ends their eponymous debut.

34+ years later, I still like it.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

App of the Month

You've probably seen the ads on TV for LetGo.  I dubbed it the "less rape-y / murder-y version of craigslist".

I really have nothing to back that up that last statement.

Letgo is an app (or website) where you sell stuff you don't want. It's basically a virtual garage sale.

As we get ready to let go (get it?  get it???) of my mother's house, there are pieces of furniture none of the kids or grandkids want. They're too nice to just toss in the dumpster, yet I'm too lazy to rent a truck to take them to a donation place.

I'm also way too lazy to sell this shit and haggle with people. Or deal with people. So I opted to give the stuff away.

I tried FreeCycle. Of the 10 or so things I posted there, I got two semi-responses. I did better on TrashNothing, still not as much traffic as I would have thought.  Then one night right before bed, I posted the same items on letgo and went to get my beauty sleep. The next morning (well, 5 hours later), I had 53 (!!!!) responses for this stuff.

.....and it kept growing from there.  Hundreds of inquiries.

Now mind you, I had the foresight to give dimensions of each piece and the condition. I was smart enough to specify - 'no delivery' and 'you must move yourself'.  The past part was I didn't know who would be out there to greet them. One of my sisters had rotator cuff surgery so the can't help move stuff into their van.  And - once again, I'm too lazy.

So, in my pea brain I was 100% sure I'd have all this stuff gone by the following day.

Silly me.  Silly, silly me.

I now believe that letgo is the Grindr of selling / buying apps.  All talk, no action.

People are nuts.  And flakes.  They're basically a bowl on Nuttin' Honey.

....and they can't read.

"Do you deliver?"    "Is it free?  REALLY Free?  Are you sure?"   Or the people, "I'm on my'll take me 25 minutes".    .......meanwhile......

They just don't show. And no text back - after they've been bugging you non-stop. 

One poor guy - who was just nice as can be - couldn't find the house. Turns out there is another street named the same as my mother's - in another county whose zip code is a one different digit. He plugged it into his GPS incorrectly.

So, this is a tricky endeavour.  How many people do you keep on the line because you're not sure the folks are serious - or not psychos?

I kept everything "live" until I got word not only did they show, but that they took the piece too. This gets people pissy.

Of the items I had, I only had one decent (actually excellent) transaction.  But it's all gone now. Praise be.

I don't know how it is on the 'sell' or 'buy' part. Maybe it's cleaner if you just don't give it away.

Yeah - this does sound like Grindr.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


Busy week, but I still managed to get some shots.

Another b-day shoot up at Lake Erie. 
He's so handsome!


Siggie Love. 
Ran into him and David at daycare. 

Drive home.  He likes to see where wer're going. 


Song by: Gary Numan

Friday, August 16, 2019


Just a little post to wish Happy Birthday to my Bestie!

It's hard to believe our little guy isn't as little anymore. We haven't had him three years yet, and here he is turning 4.  There are days I swear we've only had him a month or two, and then times when it seems like he's always been with us.

While I loved Petey (and you know I did), Shep is a little more high maintenance. He gets us out - every single weekend - come rain, shine, snow, sleet.  We have never seen so many parks and dog parks. There have been days where we hit three.

Shep is good for us and I have to say, he's got quite the life.

So, I'll let doggie daycare know it's his b-day.  Maybe they'll do something special for him. I'm sure we will.

Song by: Lit

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ad of the Month

It's only 30 seconds long, so it's not a huge time commitment on your part. Reading this will take longer.

For me, I just like how commercials anymore start blurring the lines with sexuality and fluidity.  I'm really talking about seconds 0:10 - 0:19.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


We saw this in a theater and paid for a ticket, so I'm counting it as a movie.

Last night, we went and saw a pseudo-TED talk on Deconstructing Abbey Road - Side Two.

This leads me to believe there was a Side One version, which there was. And then it turns out, this musicologist, Scott Freiman, had deconstructed the entire Beatles library in order of release. Or of recording. Abbey Road was recorded after Let it Be, but released beforehand.   I think I got that right - I usually screw it up.

I saw this was coming a month ago, I stored the date away in my man-brain and coaxed 710 to take me.

Abbey Road, to me, is arguably their best disk. Yeah yeah - Rubber Soul or Sgt. Pepper are great, no doubt, but some of the band's and George Martin's best work - or at least some of it's most ingenious. ...and that's saying something.

Side Two is really where it's at with the record anyways. Save for two songs, (three, if you count "Her Majesty"), the side is a medley, or segued together. How they recorded them - and re-wrote them - is why this side needed it's own lecture.

Freiman doesn't just break down the disk, but track by track.......and I don't mean song by song. I mean, each instrument, vocal etc.  And how the tracks were constructed.......or demo'd and became the final versions.

I had no idea much of it was abandoned or unfinished tracks tried for the White Album, and/or the 'Get Back' sessions (which became Let it Be).  Or how "Her Majesty" became the hidden track and how it was supposed to come after "Mean Mr. Mustard", but the band didn't think it worked. However, when they played it, I thought it TOTALLY worked.

Still, Martin is a frickin' genius, but the other members (maybe save Ringo) were all very experimental, though the band blatantly lifted from 1968 Fleetwood Mac and Iron Butterfly.  Even the breakdown of "The End" was amazing and you kind of forget that Ringo could actually drum. And well.

Now, a lecture / movie like this speaks to me. I am so familiar with the album anyways, but I love music and process, so the 'how it's made' part is perfect for me.

I'm interested in seeing the other albums. But if you like Abbey Road, and have a chance to see this, I highly suggest a viewing.

2019 Movie Count / Goal: 12 of 15

Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 113th 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 myself - that I know it's the only blog post he's still doing......for now.  

04:11.  Too Early. 
Even I'd have to agree with JP on this (if he is still around). I went back to sleep for another 40 minutes. 

05:37.  Affection Manipulation. 
Sophie being overly cute while I tried to eat my cereal that had "her milk in the bowl. 

06:30.  Dry Cleaning Day. 
We always turn in our certified pre-owned hangers for reuse. 

06:45. Starbucks. 
My new Starbucks, since I'm more at my new office. 

06:50.  Walk into work.  This is late for me. 

07:05.  Warning. 
Volvo app is great at letting me know if I somehow left my door unlocked. I did. 
It's screen shot (still a pic!) of me locking them remotely. 

10:25.  Recharge. 
My FitBit needs some juice. 

17:45.  Leaving. 
Clearly most everyone else already has. 

17:55.  Detour. 
The main road is under massive construction with lots of traffic. I cut through the cemetery. 

18:15. Doing what he does best.  Or most. 

19:00. 710 is home from the grocery store. 
Better him than I.

22:00.  Coffee set-up for A.M.
710's coffee.  I just keep him happy - part of my wifely duties.