Friday, August 14, 2020

Man of the Hour

 I still think Fauci will be Time's Man of the Year, but S.V. Dáte, correspondent for the Huffington Post, is definitely the Man of the Hour. 

Take a 20 second look


Sadly, no way he'll be back in the press briefing room ever again (at least during this administration's time) but with that one question, he has more balls than all on  NBC, ABC, CBS, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN {shall I keep going} combined.

Dáte did exactly what reporters are supposed to do, but they're all so scared about being banned, they ask nothing - at least of substance and you can forget the follow-ups. 

So revel in this one moment Dáte - and all of us. 

I am. 


Song by: Paarl Jam

Thursday, August 13, 2020

12 of 12

 So I'm doing my 124th 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 - of which I know.


04:44. Putting on shoes to walk the dog......at 04:44. But we had a nice walk. 

06:10.  Shower and Shave.  The other S was earlier. 

06:29.  Rey's breakfast. She was waiting, who am I to deny? 

06:47.  Daily Covid check.


09:43.  Grapes & Cherries. 
The mid-morning snack of champions. Cherries have been excellent this year. 


13:23.  Like my 18th time washing my hands of the day. 

14:12. Confounded by a reporting issue. It took hours but I think I got it. 

17:03. Leaving for the day. 
Taking a bunch of shit for a site visit tomorrow. 

17:19. Bring in the trash cans. 
Many neighbors have Biden signs. 

17:26. Small run to the grocery store. 

18:10. Shep / Daycare pick up.  He's so happy to see us. 


20:05. Flame broiled.


That's it.......until September. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ticket to Ride

 Finally. 

Pappy Joe finally picked his running mate. And it's about whom 93% of folks thought it would be three months ago. 

I'm good with Kamala Harris. I think I would have been fine with Susan Rice too. I think Tammy Duckworth was a long shot and would have been a desperate move. 

Harris seems like a solid choice. I mean, I hope all this time, Pappy Joe & Co were vetting the fuck out her. You know, like Steve Schmidt didn't do to Sarah Palin. Or that Clinton's team found the most forgettable man on the planet to be her VP. 

I've said it before - when it was down to Biden and Bernie, I thought both should have announced their VP picks then. In the highly manipulated primary "season" (count them: three primaries before almost all "dropped out") I knew I'd be voting for the bottom of the ticket. Pappy Joe isn't living another eight years. He just isn't. And if so, I don't need another fucking addled man in the Oval Office.

Yes, I heard BLOTUS bad-mouthed her already. Shocking!  {not}

The bigger shock is that it took him an hour after announcing it to do so. 

Harris almost makes me want to watch the VP debates. 

Almost. 

I still can't see doing it. 


Of course a big takeaway is: Maya Rudolph has a job for the next three and a half months to eight years. 



Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Behind the Wall

If you didn't know, BLOTUS is building his wall. But it's not necessarily at the border. 

No, he's building it around the White House. 

Obvi, there has almost always been a fence around the corner of 1600 Pennsylvania and Black Lives Matter Blvd. 

Back in 2014 there was another fence erected so you couldn't even get to the fence fence.  

BLOTUS is adding another layer. Maybe two. 

Secret Service opted to add another surrounding after the murder of George Floyd. Apparently, BLOTUS can be a bigot, but he's a big scaredy cat (read: pussy) bigot. Can dish out; cannot take. 

There have almost always been fence and gate jumpers at the White House, which is one reason Gumby couldn't get past the first fence. Now there is another, higher version. 

Make no mistake, this wall isn't to just keep others out. It's also to keep others in. 

Mark my words, this dude isn't coming out on January 20th. Not on his own volition. 



Song by: Tracy Chapman

Monday, August 10, 2020

My Music Monday

I'm not the biggest fan of Alanis Morissette, not by a long shot. And most of the things I like by her are not the stuff that hits the radio, you know - when she used to be ON the radio. 

Jagged Little Pill was 25 years ago, and her record company's wanna be sequel was a semi 180 (a 90?) from that hit disk. Since then, it's more about her vision than purposefully producing a hit. 

I knew she was having a new disk come out this year and a bit 25th anniversary tour of Jagged, almost all of it 86'd by The Covid.

But her delayed album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, is now out and I've only heard two songs. One - meh. The other, meh+.  

I'm going with the latter, because there is something I cannot touch on that I really like.....and it just might be Alanis herself. 

"Ablaze" is a decent track, clearly a song to and for her children ("my mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze'). 

Morissette, hasn't really changed styles, unless you ONLY listen to "You Oughta Know", but really for her last like four disks. She still is wordy and tries and (sometimes) succeeds to jam them all into a musical passage that doesn't seem like it will or should fit. As with a lot of her stuff, her vocals are a little mush-mouthed, so with the combo, you have to pay attention if you really want to hear the lyrics. 

Still, I've played the song about a half-dozen times, so it can't be all bad or I'd have moved on. 

Apropos of almost nothing, I liked that Morissette hired two women to produce her new disk - as it's just rare to see that happening in the music industry. 



Sunday, August 09, 2020

Site of the Month

 Covid is the name of the game this year, right?   (psssstt.....that's rhetorical.)

So, I don't think I've done a statistical site regarding the coronavirus.  (A quick check tells me I have not.)

Trust me, I get that everyone is tired to talking about this - and hearing about it too. But I'll keep the topic alive until at least November 4th. 

Johns Hopkins has pretty much the ultimate site for U.S. cases, which you can sort by state and by county. It confirms the number of cases and deaths. 

On the right side of the screen will show you which are the top areas in the country. You don't sort there, as that will just auto-populate with each refresh.

Oh, the data refresh on this site is updated daily.

I should mention it is not just U.S. data, but you can do the global view. 

BTW, we look bad.  I might have to relocated to Denmark.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Take Off

Killer week. I mean, not literally. I didn't kill anyone..........yet.  And no one is killing me........yet. 

The pets kill me.......with love. And on a daily basis. 

Shep's first snapping turtle encounter.  Turtle 1, Shep 0.


Sophie after treat time. 
Rae is waiting for me most mornings. I think she just expects breakfast or dinner. I'm happy to oblige. 
Bailey got groomed and had a spa day. 
Closer, please!

In a stiff breeze, this dog could take flight. 



Song by: Pink Floyd

Friday, August 07, 2020

Under the Boardwalk















2020 has kind of sucked. 

And by "kind of", I mean "blows the big one".  And in a big way. Big time. 

Between quarantine and work, I can count on three fingers - other than holidays - how many days I've taken off this year. And one of those was for oral surgery.  My PTO bank is maxed out. I currently cannot accrue more until I take some. 

We had plans for Maine this year, but, well, but they were opening up - potentially - too late for us to know if we could go, should their open date get delayed. And it's almost impossible to not eat out there. This would have been a vacay place where only one unit has a kitchen, and this year, we felt that need - but it wasn't in the cards. 

We batted around other ideas, places, and the idea of doing nothing. And to add stuff to the mixture, 710 has a HUGE project that goes live near the end of this month. So it soon became evident that late July on was a non-starter. So we set sights on September. 

Still, we had issues not just on where, but if we should go at all. We weighed options and opted to repeat our last two years outside of Wilmington, NC.  We like the beach, we liked the place we rented........only to find out they had rented out all of September.  

Whaaaaaaat? 

In a way, we went back to the drawing board. 

After much discussion, we decided to try the same location,  new place. None, I don't think, are as nice as what we had rented, but with as many stipulations as we had on timing and locale, we couldn't be super duper choosey. But I think we will do ok. 

I know what you're saying:  "a beach during time of Covid????"  Trust me, it was a huge discussion. 

The great thing about our schedule and the beach itself is a few fold.  Oddly, during the week, the beach is not very crowded. My first outing and swim is at sunrise when you can almost count all the people out on two hands and feet. Social distancing is not that difficult. 

And most importantly, it's our own place with a full functioning kitchen, so where as now and then we would have gone out to eat, this shan't be the case this time.  On the plus side - it means more wine consumption, as no one will be driving anywhere. That one bottle per evening can be doubled!

We also bought travel insurance - due to, you know, "illness" and well, hurricanes. 

I have major mixed emotions on this. We do need to get away. For me, a staycation would mean me me doing work from home. And I think I'm just as happy watching the surf from a deck as being on the actual beach. 

I think we can make this work without fear of contagions.  .....well, except for the rest areas along the way.   

Only like a month and a week to go. 



Song by: Rickie Lee Jones

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Bomb

I got nothing. 

I can't quite incorporate the horror that is Beirut. 

I was thinking I was just watching a fire and had no idea what was to come in the seconds afterwards. 

And as fucking horrible as it was, in 2020, it just kind of seemed status quo. A momentary drop of the jaw and then a shrug of the shoulders - and isn't that just sad?  

If people thought video games desensitized a generation, the folks at Atari got nothing on 2020. And actually, if we're calling it out 2015-present. 

It's 22:00. It's past my bed time. 



Song by: Bush

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Ad of the Month

I'm not fan of Nike.  In my lifetime I think I've owned 2-3 workout shirts and that's about it. I've never bought their shoes made by children in foreign lands. 

That said, they make good socially conscious commercials - ironic as that sounds considering the previous sentence.  

They have had some great spots on race with Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James. They've had been supportive of female and LGBTQ athletes. 

While this ad touches on almost all of those momentarily, they also bring in the Covid moment. The editing is probably better than the copy, but over all, it is still well done. 


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Cooking with Blobby

I think I'm pushing two months since I did a Cooking post. But here I am.  Back with a  nice summer-like recipe, but good for year round. 

One Pan Bruschetta Spaghetti.  

There is not a ton of ingredients - and most of them are fresh ones. It's fairly quick to pull together and the only prep is really chopping. 

It both light and hearty at the same time. And it cooks in one pot


Ingredients: 

12 oz - thin spaghetti
2 T - olive oil 
1 yellow onion - thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
1T - cider vinegar
Pinch - red pepper flakes
2lbs - tomatoes chopped 
1t - kosher salt
1/2 t - ground pepper
2 oz - finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup - basil leaves

Instructions: 


Add oil into a large / deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Add the onions. Cook until soft (5 minutes). Add garlic - cook another 3-5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste.  Add the vinegar and continue cooking until it evaporates. 



Add the spaghetti along with 2 3/4 cups of water, tomatoes and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. 



Uncover for another 5-8 minutes to cook away the liquid. Leave enough to keep the pasta and sauce loose. 


Off heat, add the cheese and basil and mix it together. 


.....like this.  Dish up. 


Add more cheese if you'd like. We liked. 


The flavours are simple and clean. With such little water to cook the pasta, the starch is prevalent, but in a good way. 

It serves four, so we have leftovers, which is great for my work lunches. I'm sure we'll do this again. 

Monday, August 03, 2020

My Music Monday

The Go-Go's have a new song - their first in 19 years ! - with "Club Zero".

The band has a documentary on Showtime - as I guess Cinemax at Starz - couldn't afford the hefty $4.19 price the band was asking?  I mean honestly - who the fuck has Showtime still? 

As it is, until it hits some streaming service, I shan't be seeing this work of art. 

But I didn't know, until this last Friday when reading about the doc, that the band included a new song. Not even a rehash of something they never put to tape. 

Written {allegedly} by guitarists Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin (and maybe bassist Kathy Valentine), the song works. It's pop, though maybe with an edge to it - along the lines of "Has the Whole World Lost Its Head?" .  

Either way, "Club Zero" is better than most anything on their Vacation disk. Belinda sounds good, even if she doesn't quite sound like even 2001 Belinda. But the woman is in her mid 60's. The voice should change. 

Check it out. It's new, but still a bit of the past. 

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Jailhouse Rock

I'm in jail. 

Facebook Jail, that is. 

Most of my FB experience is posting something every few days or weeks. Looking back, Lately I post about 4-6 times per month.  Mostly of pictures with a snarky caption. Others are just memes. 

I rarely put up a political post because.......well....trolls. 

I use Facebook more for a 👍or yes, a snarky comment. Sometimes just a comment - no snark, but maybe some cynicism. 

So, just on Friday, CB posted an image of him with a six pack of White Claw.  A variety pack, at that.  I thought I'd be the first to toss up a comment - full snark. 



....and in the course of about 48 seconds, I was incarcerated. 



I'm not sure which part is the hate.  Is it because I called him 'white'? It's an unpleasant truth, but he is actually white.  Is it because I called him 'trash'?   Becauuuuuuse.......well........

And next to Zuckerberg, everyone else on FB IS 'poor', so that can't be it.  Did the White Claw lobby put an end to my reign of terror?  Will the Southern Poverty Law Center be posting my terrorist notice soon? 

I hit the 'continue' button to find out. 


Yup. It's because he's a cracker. Or has Covid.  I guess FB subscribes to #alllivesmatter, so they can help the Right marginalize the black ones.  

I totally get the need / want for civility, but on some of my quasi-political posts FB might want to take a look at those comments.  They won't because Zuckerberg, as rich and powerful as he is, puckers up to BLOTUS & Co because....well.....$$$ and fear of breaking up his cash cow. 

But FB, if you really want discussions to be 'respectful' you need to look in the mirror then take the site down completely. 

So, by the time you read this, I'll have one more day left in the clink. I'm not sure if I get parole, or how this works. Had I only been Roger Stone or Michael Flynn, I'd never seen a day of jail - virtual or not. 

Since I have all this free time, I guess I will go cure cancer. 



Song by: Elvis Presley

Saturday, August 01, 2020

In My Bed

It's that time of the week.  Cats & Dogs.  At least they believe my conspiracy theories!

This is a girl who can look right into your soul........I mean, if I had one. 
....and her eye liner!

Snuggle puppy.  I love snuggle puppy. 

Shep and his overseer. 

Shep and his surrogate overseer, Rey. 

Sometimes, on a walk, one just has to lie down and rest - even if it be IN.a creek!

Sophie wouldn't let me make the bed.  It's fine. 



Song by: Amy Winehouse

Friday, July 31, 2020

Delayed Devotion



I'm a-gonna go all conspiracy theory on your asses.  

I mean, it's not like I haven't been implying and / or inferring it for a long long time on this blog, but BLOTUS is just making it real. 

Let's just start with the Mail-In vs Absentee voting..........which at least in Ohio, is........wait for it......mail-in. How the actual fuck is one 'good' and one is 'inaccurate & fraudulent'?   Of course, this is the set up for the potential inevitable loss he's going to be taking. 

Now, let's go with the delay. 

He can't, legally or technically, do that. However, this, is BLOTUS, to whom rules have not applied, nor has anyone held him accountable when he has bent or broken them. So.......you should be worried. 

I am worried. 

Congress can make the exception, and it's THIS congress, so.......this is all very much within the realm of possibility. Maybe even probability. 

None of that was the conspiracy. That's just almost a given. 

BLOTUS has floated this test balloon before, on which I've commented before that it was not test. This is the slow peeling off of the band-aid where there is no election.  

Not a delay. I mean, NO election. Ever. 

This I believe to be true. I'm not crazy. I swear. 

It will be one delay, then another and another. There will always to his fucktard "fans" to eat up each and every excuse. This works well for the Senate too, as if they can't replace them, it remains Red.  Convenient. 

I could delve further into Conspiracyville if you'd like.   ....and even if you didn't. 


Covid. Not the hoax / non-hoax. But the potentially deliberately fucking up any chance of flattening the curve on purpose. Because nothing will say 'delay an election' like a highly infectious disease. It's why he's pushing for businesses and schools to open. Spread the disease.  150,000 dead, so another 100,000 more won't matter. In fact, it's 50,000 off the original 300k that Fauci predicted months and months back. 

And I will go one more level down:  Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York.........civil unrest. Civil unrest that he is perpetuating and keeping up. Why would one do that? 

Oh that's right - to create instability in big democratic cities before and up to an election. Delay or no delay. There is also that whole, federal "officers" arresting folks. If the courts moved faster, they could be convicted of felonies and ......wait for it.........not be able to vote. 

Yes, this is all very bleak, dark and a little bit crazy. But ask yourself this - how has this last four years gone? 



Song by: Duffy

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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!



The Chicks' new disk, Gaslighter, is good. Very good, actually. But it's not great. In theory, you could say that about all their albums. But perfect gets in the way of good. 

Country music abandoned the Chicks in 2003 and in 2006, they started to abandon country. 14 years later, they take another leap with the help of Taylor Swift and Lana Del Ray's producer, Jack Antonoff.  The problem for the band is it's a tad bit difficult to leave the genre when one member plays violin and another plays dobro and slide guitars as well as banjo. 

While I don't truly know Swift's music, I have to believe there was carry-over from her country days to whatever she's doing now. 

From Gaslighter's title track / first single, you more than got the idea that this would be as personal, if not more so, than their Taking the Long Way. But this wouldn't be career personal, but relationship personal. The group doesn't disappoint on that level.  Since their last disk, all three experienced divorce - some (Natalie Maines') worse than others. And it's all represented lyrically.

“My husband’s girlfriend’s husband just called me / How messed up is that?" is an early-on lyric from one of the most accessible songs, "Sleep at Night".  And then right to the point with:  "I hope you die peacefully in your sleep Just kidding, I hope it hurts like you hurt me" from  Tights On My Boat".  The former song is a little more traditional for the Chicks, though they branch out. The latter is new and in a way it really really works, though I'm guessing if I actually listened to Swift, it's a style Antonoff has used on her. There is one small vocal run that really annoys me, but the rest is spot on and very well done. 

They do really well with "Texas Man", "Hope It's Something Good" and the closer, "Set Me Free". And there was some moments that sound like updates from something they would have done on Home. While I totally dig the chorus on "Everybody Loves You", the verses are just 'meh'.  And while some of the instrumentation on "For Her" and "Young Man" are good, neither song draws me in. 

The band does well incorporating Martie Maguire's fiddle / violin / viola and Emily Strayer's guitars and banjo into the mix. Maines' voice is as strong, compelling and expressive as ever - all of them coming together, possibly better than ever, in "March March". 

This song is as far away from country as these women have ever been (well except for when they played Motorhead between sets at their concert). EDM-lite-like. I know the year is just half over, but so far this is hand's down my favourite song of the year. 

Antonoff does good work with production and melodies. While there are some drums on this record, it's more about percussion and some unique uses of it. The mix itself is ok. Maines, as a lead vocalist, stands out, but Strayer and Maguire seem more in the background than ever - and while there are really really nice moments, there are not enough harmonies. 

Still, Gaslighter has been in somewhat heavy rotation for the last two weeks or so.  I enjoy it. I like it a lot.  And that ain't nothing. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Orphan

I totally stole the image from (the other) Brett. He's good about texting me things, and well, to be fair, he's stolen from me, so.....

I might have literally ROR'd  in my office when it popped up on my phone. 

Sure, I laughed, but you know, it's not really that funny. 

I passed it off to my friends like it was my own find (and really, wasn't it - kind of?).  Meredity pondered what will happen to all those kids when their parent's die. She's not talking 30 years from now, but more like 30 days or weeks from now. 

This whole going back to school thing is fucked up.  Yes, everybody BUT this administration understands the kids are not at risk for getting it or dying. 

However, this isn't boarding school. Each and every day they'll go home or to a sitter or to a Nike factory for their 3rd shift of work, and infect their elders. 

Kids will be carriers. The are carriers. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends will all perish - not to mention all those that the soon to be dead people will come into contact.  Oh - and the teachers. And their families. 

However, should when these kids become orphans, the government has housing for them in cages in the southwest - no soap or toothbrushes - but they're very equipped to place kids there who are separated by their parents. LOTS of prior experience. 



Song by: Toto

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Strip

I wanted this to be funnier - and more naked, but we don't always get what we want. Do we? 


 

I don't know who would be on my 'free pass' list. I'll have to think about it.  Possibly Cena but his hair is too long here. 

Actually, he seems like a decent guy and he's always been a big supporter of gay rights, so, he's not all bad. And he made me laugh in the movie Sisters.

 



 Song by: Adam & the Ants

Monday, July 27, 2020

My Music Monday

Covers is the theme of this month.

This week is and isn't a cover. It is New Order covering Joy Division.

Joy Division was only around for a few years and two albums before lead singer, Ian Curtis, killed himself in 1980. They only yielded two albums.  Oddly, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - today's selection - wasn't on either of those disks. 

Their official version of this song was recorded shortly before Curtis' death. Shortly after his death, the three remaining bandmates formed New Order. 

40 years later, New Order still exists, albeit with only two members left of Joy Division, but they still put out good music, though not as dark as the original band.  

Bernard Sumner is here to do a cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart".   (Paul Young also does a decent cover - though not as morose as the original.)



Sunday, July 26, 2020

Site of the Month

If you have not checked out the Lincoln Project, clearly I suggest you do - or I wouldn't be making it my Site of the Month, eh? 

Yes, it's a PAC - so what?

The more important part is that it is formed and run by republicans whose goal is to prevent the reelection of BLOTUS. 

Actual living, breathing republicans who want to take down that turd. How can this not be good? 

They've even endorsed Pappy Joe. 

Mind you, the committee has Steve Schmidt, whom I still blame for BLOTUS - albeit slightly indirectly. He brought us Palin, who gave us eight years of splintering and dumbing down even the GOP (which I get is more difficult than it sounds). But it was enough to bring us the Mega-Palin: BLOTUS. 

But it also has Kryptkeeper KelleyAnne's husband. 

For sure read through the site, but FOR SURE, you should watch the videos

Fingers crossed.........and all. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

the Neighbor

Another week. More animal shots. They do make weird times feel normal, and make you care more about them than yourself during busy busy work weeks.  So............let's get to it. 

This is Rey. Or maybe Rea. 

We have a name. We know her house. She's not a kitten, she's 13. She used to live with one family on the street and adopted another when the first got a dog. Rey gets food from us and from two doors down, so she's not starving by any means. And she's cute as hell. 

Doing some sorting work with two of the laziest helpers you've ever met. 

Yeah yeah - Luna's cute. But why must Shep never get mentioned. 

Very hot last weekend, so for two days in a row, we took Shep to the Chagrin River to frolic. 
We frolicked with him. 

Soph not wanting her picture to be taken. 

My greatest admirer ?

Shep still has reservations about Rey - and vice versa. 




Song by: the Chicks