Friday, October 23, 2020

Just When I Needed You Most

Sometimes your friends just come through - even if they don't necessarily know it.  

Yesterday, my work day started off badly. Not in terms of busyness, but an email that really REALLY irked me. 

The email became two or three more, which really ground my gears and got my panties into a wad.  ....and they were in a wad. 

As I was stewing on that, my phone rang - the personal cellular kind, not my office kind. 

It was my friend Doug, from Chicago (seen here). I picked up immediately. 

Doug immediately launches into a story of how he went to take out the trash two days in a row and each time saw a rat (I think that's what he said, as he holds the phone far too close to his mouth) and screamed "like a 12 year old girl"...............and then his immediate thought was, "if Blobby had seen this, he would have died laughing making fun of me" {he was not wrong on this}. 

His second thought was, he hadn't talked to me in a few months, so he just dialed. 

I am so glad he did. 

In the world of smart phones, it is all too easy to text - and I'm horribly guilty of that. I do speak to my core group every week, but the close folks with whom I've cultivated long time friendships, you now, it's just easier to SMS them. .....and them me. 

Phone conversations are going the way of the written letter. 

We had a fun and funny conversation - not just about the rat siting (which was probably a tiny mouse), but we discussed friends, music, his job, his husband.  We started down the political road, but we were both smart enough to douse that early on. That's too much at 08:30. 

Still, I told him he called me at exactly the right time. And it was. 

While he didn't get me out of my funk - he did for the time we were on the phone. ....and I thanked him for that. 

Song by: Randy Vanwarmer*

*I'm betting other than Morty, no one could have guessed that artist...........including Randy's mother. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020


I'm kind of being lazy, except I'm not. 

I have been busy - not just at work or on dog outings, but searching the city, albeit passively, for political signs.  Granted, not all I found. Some came my way via friends and one or two via on-line. I'll point these out and give credit where credit is due. 

I figured I'd do a series of 2-3 of these. Not consecutively, but you know, wrap it all up before the election. 

Cleveland Hts. 

University Hts. 

Cleveland Hts. 

Shaker Hts. 

Four doors down from us. 

I thought it might be a third party candidate, but no one on the Ohio ballot as it turns out. 

I still like this sign. 
Not $25 worth. 

Cleveland Hts. Hand made. 

Cleveland Hts.  
Love this. 

Stolen from the internets. 

Sent via - ???   Wow, I'm blanking. 
I would have gotten one made, but my husband kind of put his foot down.  I respect that. 

Taken while in DC

I love dogs with real names. 
....and stolen from the internet. 

......until the next go round.................

Song by: Five Man Electrical Band

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

App of the Month

Sometime at the start of the year, I tried to wean myself off Words With Friends. I was playing way more unknowns than friends, but worse than that, I'd have dozens and dozens of games going at a time. 

It became time intrusive. 

So weaning didn't work, so I just stopped. I didn't even finish the games I had in progress - and I gave no notification even to the actual friends I was playing. 

So, I took more solitary routes of app-game playing. Lots of backgammon, but honestly, I have yet to find one I like. 

710 was playing Spelling Bee via the New York Times app / subscription. He'd get faux annoyed at me for looking over his shoulder and trying to provide words for him.   .....lately, I've just taken the game over. 

If you're a subscriber - as are we - it's "free".  If you're not, you can pay a king's ransom of $6.95 per month (!) or $39 a year.  But that fee also comes with a handful of other games other than the Bee. 

You get seven letters. You must use the middle letter - whatever it may be - in every single word. There is at least one pangram in every game. Oh - and each word has to be at least four letters long.  So this kind of like grown-up Boggle, but you only get one role of the die for the day. 

Each game is only good for 24 hours. There are no more until the next day, so you can't keep playing and playing and playing. 

So, while I worked this game at lunch, or if bored on conference calls, it got through the first four or five levels easily enough. I was so close to the 'Genius' level, but couldn't get there. And I hadn't gotten the pangram - and it was killing me. 

I use the 'shuffle' button a lot. It only moves the letters around save the middle one, but it gives one a different visual perspective. Only when at home, and talking to 710 it just snapped with 'typeface'.  Yay. Me!

I hit the Genius level. 

The number of words per game differ - as do the points. The number of points per word are static (1 point for 4 letters, 5 points for 5 letters, 6 for 6).  There is something beyond 'Genius' which is 'Queen Bee'.  You can go beyond the game points if you find other valid words. I haven't gotten there, nor have I tried. 

Here were the words I got. 'Typeface' got me to Genius. 

These words are real, but you cannot use. I think I tried about half of these in one form or another (knowing vs guessing vs trying anything).  I don't get why 'acceptee' is obscure or offensive. 

But after you play, you can go to the NYT/Spelling Bee site which will give you info on your game (see the image right above here).  and stats about the game in general. 

This all plays to the geek in me, of course. 

And you can view this site before the game, and while it's not cheating, I'd rather not have of answers ahead of time.  While I got 20 for Genius, clearly there were another 7 for Queen Bee. I barely made it to 20, while feel like a failure of a genius by not getting the rest.  It's easier if I don't know. 

The upside:  it's a solitary game, so I don't have to worry about playing others like I did with WWF. 

The downside is, there is only one game per day - for the NYT subscriber. So either 710 plays it, or I do. 

He's been kind, but it was his thing. I just co-opted it. Maybe I'll spring for the $39 and just play it on my own dime.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

American Idiot

“Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” BLOTUS said on a call with campaign workers 

BLOTUS  said Americans were fed up with pandemic restrictions. “People are saying, ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” “Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years.” 

So, BLOTUS - one question, if I may: 


Honestly, I could not hate this guy more.  ........and I ain't talking about Fauci.  And he's saying these at meetings where he knows he'll get taped and it will get 'leaked'.  It's all very fucking calculated. 

I know, especially with the altered ad that Fauci has called out, BLOTUS is playing both sides of the coin, but no one is calling him on it, and no one - maybe other than me - cares. 

I will BLOTUS this:  Americans ARE fed up..............but with him, not Fauci. 

Song by: Green Day

Monday, October 19, 2020

My Music Monday

I like the group Tame Impala enough. 

I mean, I like them enough to keep their songs playing on the radio when they come on, but not enough to hit 'purchase'. 

For a while it bugged me, "who do they sound like?", because with a lot of music, it's all been done before. 

A few weeks it dawned on me, that the group, or at least a song by the group, Sky.  The song:  "Some Kind of Wonderful".    .....which has no relation to the John Hughes movie of the same title. 

They were a Canadian (the lead singer, of the duo died 2-3 year back) band who I saw on MuchMusic, when our cable company carried it - so it would have been around 1997-1999. I stole the song from Netscape, which would have been 2000. 

The song was poppy, unassuming and I'd say forgettable, except that I didn't - which doesn't count, as I know I have a much better recall / memory than most. Yet, I hear more than twinges of Sky on Tame Impala songs. 

As I know no other Sky song, you're getting "Some Kind of Wonderful". 

Sunday, October 18, 2020


I still idyllically watch the West Wing now and again.  

Maybe just an episode here and there. Though not that long ago, we rewatched the entire final season, which was the entire election cycle of Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Arnie Vinnick (Alan Alda). 

The show is somewhat of a tonic for me in terms of political ideation. I know politics was never like this, and never will be - certainly not since Bush v Gore and going forward - but a boy can dream. 

If anything, you have to believe VEEP was way more accurate than the West Wing ever could have been. Never once did Toby Zigler ever utter the word 'cuntgate'.......and I believe that was a failing on Toby's part. 

So I was semi-looking forward to a West Wing "reunion" show on HBO. 

In this year(?) of Covid - we've been subjected to a lot of failed reunion shows that were meant to make people feel better, but I'm guessing made them feel more distressed at how badly they were pulled off - or weren't, which is a more accurate description. 

But this would not be a reunion as of such, but a play version of an episode called "Hartsfield Landing", in which a small town in New Hampshire can start voting at midnight, and all of their 40 residents are done voting by 12:07. 

In this scenario, they claim the town has accurately predicted the winner of the election since the 1800s. 

In reality, Hart's Location, NH does vote this way, but probably not the truth about the winner info, though it does hold true back to 1992 - which is the farthest info I can find in terms of politics. 

I remembered the episode vaguely and while it was extremely well done, with all but two of the show's characters appearing in the play version, the rationale for choosing this episode to recreate is wishy washy.  Yes, it deals with voting - which I get - but it clearly has to be a primary, not a general election, though they don't readily make that clear. 

The cast does well. All the original cast/characters appear save John Spence, who died in the last season of the series. His secretary, Margaret appears in the episode of the show, but not in the play  I mean even the minor folks are there - including the press pool, they only have three, but you recognize them. I assume they might have had more, but due to 

The impetus for this rendering was to get out the vote........which would have been nice.......a month ago. 

The cast and crew were there to support When We All Vote, a non-partisan, non-profit, who looks to increase voting in each election, but really looking to engage the younger and disenfranchised populations (read: minorities).

My problem is, at least 30 states voter registration dates had passed before the show aired. If they truly wanted to engaged, they'd have aired this while all 50 states were still in play. 

Of course, another problem is that these would-be targeted populations most likely don't have HBO Max, and most likely weren't going to watch an older, mostly white cast (though they did have Leo's part played by Sterling K Brown - who did so-so at best). 

And while the organization is non-partisan, the show's guest spots, who interspersed the play, were clearly not. Obviously, this year, I'm not bi-partisan, but yet it kind of irked me that the show, supporting an organization that allegedly is, didn't reflect that. No candidates were named, but issues were.

Still, it was nice to see the band back together. If it weren't for the voice, I'm not sure I would have recognized Ainsley Hayes, and it was great to see Joey Lucas.

But yet, use the When We All Vote information about your election day. It's say the least. 

Song by: Moby 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Double Trouble

 Kitties and Doggies.  Kitties and Doggies.  Kitties and Doggies.   Yay !!!!

Workday walk with Dad #1.
It added a bright moment to my work day when I got it .

Kitty Cat Carport. 

.....this can only be trouble, when they team up. 

Best co-worker, even when she doesn't pull her weight. 

Three works of art:  Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry, Shep

Song by: the Cars

Friday, October 16, 2020


Yesterday, I spent 2+ hours learning how to be a poll worker. 

I am bound and determined to make sure all of those who can vote can vote.............Covid be damned.....USPS be damned.......BLOTUS lies, be damned........Russia be damned. 

We went through the mechanics of identifying the voter, making sure they get the ballot and that it is scanned in. 

What I didn't know is about the set-up of the machines - the DS200s......the printers, the scanners, the reports that get printed out at certain times of the day. What we do with observers - local and federal, media - local and social, and then those pesky campaigners who cross the area in which they're not allowed. 

But of course, we had to get training on how to deal with the irate and the potential active shooter. This election year, it seems all too possible...........probable, even. 

It will be a minimum of a 14 hour day. And the way it works: I will be paired with a registered voter from another party.   ......for 14 hours.....minimum. 

Any other election cycle, that might be tenable. This year........I just don't fucking know. 

This is the price we pay - I pay - for democracy.   Or murder. 

.....I guess we'll see. 

Song by: Mark Knopfler

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Johnny, Are You Queer

Honestly, yesterday was one of those days.  11 hours at the office and left to pick up food to eat at my desk. I didn't even use the bathroom until after 17:00. I just kind of forgot. 

As you might imagine, I then had nothing planned for this here blog. 

Still no news, but I'm picking up things when people send me a meme here and there, so I get the gist of what is going on with the SCOTUS hearings. 

So, while reprehensible on just about every level............this did make me smile. 

Song by: Josie Cotton 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Elephant in the Room

I suppose it is not surprising that voters choose party over country - yet it is still disheartening as hell. 

2020 especially that this would occur. 

Clearly, I do not get this BLOTUS / Mob mentality. I didn't get the Jim Jones / Guyana thing either but.......I'm assuming this is headed the same place. Covid may or may not be "the" kool-aid, but best case scenario, it's BLOTUS' test balloon. 

I truly have tried to stay away from most news. It's a double-edged sword, of course. I read the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but it's hardly 'news'. Locally, it's a bunch of crafted and rejiggered public relation announcements that they make into 'news'.  Or the arts / architecture guy who uses 10,000 words when he should be using 350. 

So, for that paper, I skim, until I can get to Dear Abby. 

Yet, this caught my eye. 

BLOTUS and Pappy Joe are close in Ohio, with the former slightly leading. Again, disheartening, but not surprising.  But the Plain Dealer ran polls from Baldwin Wallace College about Ohio and three other mid-west battleground states:  Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

So first off - yay Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. I suppose we have chance with that 5.2% unsure number. But it's not likely. 

Again, not surprising. 

This, however, really caught my eye. And really pissed me off. 

Even in Ohio, and not by a small number, folks who would be voting for BLOTUS think Pappy Joe would do a better job. 

Ponder that for a moment, if you will. 

This distresses me to no end. Though even news shows will say that BLOTUS brings has the 'economy' thing in his corner?  REALLY?   

When he was hospitalized with Covid, a little piece of the news went unnoticed: the trade deficit - which BLOTUS had said was a priority - reached its highest level in 14 years. So......that's not working. Unemployment?  Still frickin' high. First quarter of 2020 was the worst one on record - economics wise. So.......he has the stock market?  Which is NOT the economy.  So what gives with voting for him? 

I was relaying this later that morning to my cousin. And honestly, he said something that I had not really considered. Yes, I get the racist leaning of this party during this time. They can claim differently, but I think it is undeniable. Even if "they" are not "racist", they support someone who is. 

But David said, and I'm paraphrasing: they know this is the last grasp on white (males?) being the majority. 

Clouds parted. Bells rang. Lightbulbs went off. And then the voice in my head went, "duh!". 

That's it.  I think that is it totally. 

....but I'm susceptible to logical though, so I might totally change my mind next week. But at least I have the capacity to change, unlike some lemmings I'm seeing. 

Song by: Chris Thile

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

12 of 12

 So I'm doing my 126th 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.  

04:42.  Getting day started. 
...which is a lie. I had been up since before 04:00.  

05:44.  Cleaning last night's pan. 
Was too lazy to do it last night. 

06:18.  I'm so hot, I steam up the bathroom. 

06:39.  Arrive at work. Computer bag in the back o'the car, ready for transport to my office. 

09:21. Checking my mailbox. 
I've been at my job for four months and just found out last week I had a mailbox. 

10:14.  Annual compliance training. 

11:50.  Leaving my office for a site visit to one of my practices. 

12:24.  Head to said site visit. I had to go home and get my wallet, which had my license - as I had forgotten it that very morning. 

18:10.  Shep vs Defiant Squirrel. 
Squirrel wins..........again.  
My fave part was, Shep had an audience of folks waiting to see how it would turn out. 

18:31. Milk. Eggs. and such. 
On way home from evening walk. 710 went in. Shep and I stayed put. 

18:47. Cooking with gas. 
Beautiful evening before the cold sets in later this week, at least one more grill out. 

20:49.  Dessert. Graeter's Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk. 

.....and #126 is in the books. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

My Music Monday

I did a number of quarantine related songs earlier in this Covid pandemic. 

No matter what the White House says or does, it's still a pandemic. Ohio just hit its highest number of reported cases since this all began. So, we didn't quite flatten that curve like our governor touts. 

twenty øne piløts is a band out of Columbus, OH. I featured the duo a few years back in this very thread. 

Their song - this song - "Level of Concern" is played frequently on Sirius XM, and not just the Alt Nation channel. The song is easy going. It's catchy - not unlike the coronavirus itself. 

The song itself references quarantine and speaks to anxiety itself. Even the below video is like the making of a video in separate isolation.  I like both the song and video.   ....and proceeds from the song are going to music crews who have not been able to work during times of Covid, so good for these dude!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Vote, Baby Vote

It's done. 

Our 2020 ballots have been hand-delivered to the county Board of Elections. 

We got said ballots Thursday. I quadruple checked just the Presidential ones before, and then again after, filling in the oval. One can take no chances this election year.  None. 

Each of Ohio's 88 counties gets ONE drop box per. That is is. 

Fine for a small county that has less people than all of Cleveland itself, but for ours - which is the first or second most populous - it's problematic. And it seems, short-sighted. 

But our republican-led state government does not want to make it easy to vote, even in a pandemic year. 

While I know THEY have thought about it, I'm guessing voters haven't played this all the way through: 

A probable record year for voting. Which not only brings lines anyways, but now everyone "supposed" to be six feet apart. The lines will LOOK massive, more so than they actually are. This will deter people from getting in the line as they snake out the door and down the November. 

Let's add to this - more time. I don't know the logistics (yet), but you gotta believe someone has to wipe down each voting booth x amount of times between voters. 

And the current "president" and his cronies have already tainted the voting by mail pool. I don't think it's real, but, the seed of doubt is now out there. Fuck, it's one reason why we didn't put ours in the mail. We drove down, we waited in a line of cars who were doing the exact same thing. 

But no - our state government says voters cannot drop a vote into a secure box. Because why would they want to deny people the opportunity to easily cast their vote unless they knew it wouldn't benefit them.  Obvi, limited voting also represses GOP votes, but I'm guessing it must be at a lower rate. I have to believe a republican led state has done the risk analysis on all this. 

This is why  - one of the reasons - Election Day should be a national holiday. Options. 

I had to call the Board of Elections this weekend to see where my notice for training might have gone. I am still hellbent on being a poll worker on Nov 3rd.  I have taken the day off. I'll be happy to work from 06:30 - 20:00 to make sure people have the chance to cast their ballot. 

I don't lie, of course I care if the vote is for BLOTUS or Pappy Joe, but I'd rather they be given the chance than shut out of the opportunity to even have a choice. 

So my vote has been cast - per se.  I wish I had this great feeling of relief doing it, but so far, nothing. If anything, I probably sniped at 710 part of the afternoon after doing dropping the ballot. 

Anxiety is high. 

Song by: Deee-Lite