Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Not That Funny

What do you call a comedy where you don't laugh even once? 

Well if it were a tv show, it would have Whitney Cummings in it, but if it's a movie, chances are it has Will Ferrell as the "star". 

Netflix released the 2+ hour Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and it was a dud.....and from the preview, I knew it would be. Yet, this non-traditional movie thing has clearly limited options. 

When I first saw the preview, my initial reaction was: "oh, poor Rachel McAdams"

I mean, she was great in the Time Traveler's Wife and Spotlight.  And like the movie or not, she killed Regina George in Mean Girls.  She's better than this. I mean, even Squeaky Fromme is better than this.  She fares better than Farrell in this movie, but so does any background extra...........and Squeaky Fromme. 

One of the many problems is: it's all been done before. 

You could call this Pitch Perfect meets King Ralph meets Blades of Glory meets Purple Rain.  There might be spoilers here.........so look away if you must. 

Underdog singing group (Pitch Perfect) lucks into performing in Eurovision when all other Icelandic contestants die in freak accident (oh yes, this takes place in Iceland!) (King Ralph), gets in Eurovision with disastrous results (Blades of Glory) only to find it's heart and use a song written by another band member to win the crowd, if not the contest (Purple Rain).

One of the other problems: not one laugh. Not even a smile or a smirk. In two hours.  Maybe a raised eyebrow at Matthew Crowley Dan Stevens playing a gay / not gay Russian singer. 

Ferrell has no one but himself to blame, of course. He co-wrote, produced and starred in it. Like almost every character he's ever played, he is a clueless rube striving for some unobtainable goal. I guess it kind of worked once in Anchorman.......so he just ran with it. In. Every. Single. Movie. He. Has. Done. Since. 

And in Ferrell fashion, has to take his shirt off in it at as well. I think he thinks that will garner laughs like when he was on SNL.  It does not. 

Like SNL, when there is a bad sketch and seems to go on forever?  Well now they made it longer and into a movie. 

Poor 710 gave up about 25 minutes in and just read the rest of the time. But it still counts as seeing a movie. 

2020 Movie Count / Goal: 07 of 18

Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Monday, June 29, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 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 Watkins Family Hour has a new disk out, Brother Sister. It's succinct - as this time around it is just basically Sara and Sean Watkins, two-thirds of Nickel Creek. 

Last time out, under this moniker, they had other notables join them, such as Fiona Apple and Benmont Tench. The group play together a lot in Los Angeles at a club, but this time, it's just the brother and sister. 

As Nickel Creek and both Watkins are steeped in bluegrass. You didn't quite get that as much with their last disk, but this time........you got it.  Kind of.  There are drums, which you don't usually get with pure bluegrass. 

They start strong with the opener, "the Cure". Their voice blend well, as you might imagine having starting Nickel Creek as young teens and now into their 30s.  Sean's voice is clear, but don't have a lot of bass to it.  He does much better on "Just Another Reason".  They're full on honky-tonk-ish with the closer, "Keep it Clean". It's fun, but doesn't really do much for me. 

You only get two instrumentals - "Snow Tunnel" and "Bella and Ivan", but they work so well. 

The only cover might be Warren Zevon's "Accidentally Like a Martyr".  I think it's done well. Not quite as strong as Zevon's version, but a really good take. 

If you're looking for Nickel Creek redux, you'll want to look elsewhere. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Stairway to Heaven

End of June. End of Pride Month - the Pride Month that never was. Virtual Pride. 

So, Sophie and Shep have two dads. They were raised fine without a mom. Both are well adjusted. Kind of. Sometimes. Usually. 

Today is very Shep heavy. Sophie has been laying low, keeping cool. 

Dad #2 on his own for after work walk. 
We stop. We rest. We take in the world - and hopefully some water. 

But Dad #1 has the best office mate. 
Office relationships do work. 

Always social distancing. 
Florida: take note!

I wish Shep was a little brighter in this pic, but the clouds are perfect. 
Love the dark undersides of them. 

Shep greeting me while I open the back for groceries. 
He's always SO happy to see either one of us. 

Sophie got stairs for her birthday. 
She's aging so, 710 bought her stairs. It took her about 1.5 weeks before she used them. 
Now she's up and down ALL the time. 

Someone last week asked about our history of getting Sophie. You can read about it here and here (with pictures) 

Shep may have two gay dads, but at daycare, he is a lady's man. 
But he's secure enough in his masculinity to pose with a Pride rock that someone left in a park. 

Song by: Dolly Parton

Friday, June 26, 2020

Dust in the Wind

A killer dust storm from the Sahara comes to the U.S. 

THAT is what 2020 was missing. 

I'll be honest - I'm phoning it in today. Not literally. It's not voice-to-blog, but it's not much more than that either. 

Yes, if you haven't heard, a dust kick-up in Africa has already darkened the skies of the Caribbean and headed to the shores of the United States. 

Honestly, at this point, I don't even care anymore. 

And while I know the election is almost five months away, and I'm holding out little hope for a positive outcome. November 3rd and the subsequent court battle (yes, you know it's true!) will be soul draining,  but I got a little lift today with seeing this. 

That'll carry me until the skies turn black with dust. 

Song by: Kansas

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hit Me With You Best Shot

This should be a well-formed, fully fleshed out post. 

It is not. 

On this last weekend's hike / picnic, we noticed a van pull up next to where I parked. I didn't notice the things on the outside of the van, just that that man opened the panel doors, which were mirrored inside and he groomed himself.  

After hour hike through the woods and creek, we exited the trails and came upon the same van, just parked down the road. 

Let's take a look.............shall we? 

I mean, you hear about the anti-vaxxers and conspiracy folks, but.......I don't know that I've ever come across one (that's what she said!).  It was strange......and sad. 

I forgot to take a pic of the room of his truck, which was covered in barbed wire. 

On the plus side, since I don't have Covid, no one is tracking me

.....I think.......

Song by: Pat Benatar

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

So Fresh, So Clean

I know businesses are opening back up, and for the most part, I'm not participating in any of that. 

Save one. 

Monday, I went to the dentist. 

It wan't an emergency, just a regularly scheduled cleaning and bite wings. 

As much as I loathe the dentist and Covid wold have been a legitimate cancel reason, I know me. Miss once, which turns into twice, which turns into forever. 

And I never did get that periodontist to reschedule my post-surgery visit. I felt someone had to look at the graft and see if it's taking. 

They delayed my visit by 15 minutes, so I'd be the only patient there and things would be clean. I got a nifty pair of glasses. 

I wasn't quite as worried about said dentist, as they aways wear masks, gloves and face shields on their regular work days. 

But they hyrdo-scrape (or whatever it is called) was a non-part of the visit. You know, water particles hitting your mouth and then flying everywhere. That was a non-starter, for everyone. 

That also meant the archaic method of cleaning teeth - the scrape, pick, poke and prod. I'm not a fan of the water method either, but this one was painful. Literally. 

For like the third visit in a row, I got the 'you need to floss' speech. I had to stop the hygeniest and say: "I floss every single day", which is not a lie. 

Then she asked how long it had been since my last cleaning.  "ummm....6 months.....like clockwork". 

She seemed to think my tartar build up was especially bad, so............yay?  I'm going with it being Covid Stress Related Tartar.  It'll be a thing with the ICD-11s, I just know it. 

There was lot of blood. There was soreness. There still is. 

We will see how it goes again in six months. 

Song by: Outkast

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dance the Night Away

Hopefully you can see the pic next to this writing. 

I have zero idea who the guy who lives in downtown Cleveland is, but if I weren't married, I might ring his buzzer. 

....and that may, or may not, be a euphemism. 

It's a tough pic to see, even in that size, so for those with less than stellar sight (me!), there is a guy who lives at this apartment building who is a BLOTUS supporter. A 2020 banner hangs semi-firmly against his window. 

He is not the won I want to buzz. 

That would be the guy who lives a floor directly above that dickweed. 

My would be guy has another sign: if you Venmo him $$$, he will tap dance at midnight. 

I mean, what is NOT to love about the entire thing. 

Well, his across the way neighbor snapped the pic, posted it and viral it went. 

As of last Friday, the dude got Venmo'd $25 large!   That's $25,000 !!!!

.......and was sent a pair of tap shoes. 

( cannot tell if the below embedded video will work or not. If not, click here.)

View this post on Instagram

Special thanks to Kelleigh and Jude and the Tappers

A post shared by Jett 🥐 (@jettlikeanairplane) on

And all the money went to the ACLU. 

All of this, is just brilliant. 

Song by: Van Halen

Monday, June 22, 2020

My Music Monday

I'm gonna tell you now, I'm not gonna make today's selection 'easy'. 

Until the other day, I had never heard of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Who knew they've been around for the better part of two decades. Nor did I know of their song 'Temple'" from their new album of the same name.  

It was one of those songs, when it came on, it just somehow had something that drew me in.  I just don't know what it was that was the draw.  If I had to guess, I'd say it was the bass-line set against the vocal. 

I won't go as far as to say the vocal style is Ono-ish, but Thao has a timber in that range, but with an understandable voice. 

I'm pretty sure I don't want an entire disk of this music, but I liked it and it expanded my listening style, so I'm all for that too. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Getting Away With It

I am kind of sick to my stomach yesterday, and probably into today. 

It's a virus that cannot be cured: BLOTUS & CO.  I have another day of my stomach in knots. 

William Barr is the Himmler to BLOTUS' Hitler.
Whomever is now running the Voice of America is the new Göring.
If the Third Reich had a government oversight department, whomever that was would have been any number of 

Yes, I've pushed this theory of the US becoming Nazi Germany since November 2016, and maybe you roll your eyes at me, maybe not. But take a look. We are here. It's no longer coming. 

It. Is. Here. 

For months (or longer), Barr has been undermining the entire DOJ. Meddling in cases and sentencing. And now firing prosecutors. I don't see or hear him doing in this in any cases that do NOT involve BLOTUS. 

The firing of the NY prosecutor who was looking into Rudy G is the latest. But he's looking at letting some Russians who were being looked at via Mueller to take off the hook. Let's not forget the Roger Stone sentencing guidelines, which he tried to manipulate until the prosecutors walked off the job. 

Of course, he has his fingers in FBI shit too, so.......look out there. 

As for the VOA thing. There is some new person in there. Whomever didn't quit at her appointment was fired anyways. So...........now they got the propaganda thing down with state media.  YAY!

And in a span of six weeks, BLOUTS has fired five IGs in Intelligence, Transportation, Defense, Health & Human Services and State.  There are were the guys who, you know, pointed out when their government agencies were doing wrong. Now there is none. 

But let's take it further, shall we: 

You've probably read about the Georgia polling places for their primary?  Nonfunctioning voting machines, mostly in minority areas, people waiting 4-5 hours to vote. And the number of sites were limited too. Sure, they can claim 'coronavirus' concerns, but that doesn't hold water in a state that opened back up first. You can eat and get your hair done, but you can't vote?   Bullshit. 

Kentucky is up next. And it is worse:  Once with 3,700 polling places...........they are going to fewer than 200.  

Read that above paragraph again.   And then again. 

Yes, they do not want you to vote. 

Last week, folks in Kentucky waited over EIGHT HOURS in unemployment lines. Their residents are struggling horribly, and Mitch & Co know it. But he's up for re-election, so...........

Yet I don't think anyone is running against him in the primary, but they're setting the tone for November. 

Now, I'm not 100% sure that a November election will even be had. By that time, the SS will be fully in place.

Oh yes - let's touch on that, shall we? 

The title image. I shit you not, was tried as a symbol for a 2020 BLOTUS ad (the left side of the image). Allegedly concocted by Stephen Miller (oddly, that part isn't a surprise).  Facebook actually banned the ad as promoting hate. 

I mean, WTF? 

So the GOP isn't even trying to hide it. Yes, the GOP. You can say it was BLOTUS and not the party, but anymore they are completely inseparable. But it was a test balloon, no?  It was: what exactly CAN we get away with? 

Guess what: they've already gotten away with it. 

Song by: Electronic

Saturday, June 20, 2020


Since we went hiking last week, there are no shortage of pics, per se. But since were gone for three days, Sophie pics are slimmer.  Sorry ktty kat lovers. There are a few, no worries. 

On the trails at Salt Fork.

Shep has a new frenemy in Bosch. 
They were great at the park, not as much at the cabin - which was Shep's territory, I guess. 

Sophie being a loving officemate for 710. 

Neighbor kitty. She (?) comes around a lot, especially when we grill. 

Shep / Neighbor Kitty stand off. 
The kitty did not even blink. 

Shep loves Meredity. 
We all do, but in times of Covid, Shep was the only one who could express it. 

Good 2+mile hike. 

Sophie turned 14. 
We didn't forget about her. She got lots and lots of attention. 

Song by: Sugarcubes

Friday, June 19, 2020

Cooking with Blobby

It's been a while for one of these, no?  Two months or so. 

But it's warm out, so it's grilling season. I think we've used the grill 2-3 times per week in the last month. Nothing has been out of the norm: burgers, steak, chicken......blah blah blah. It's all good and makes kitchen clean up way easier, but it's nice to do (or at least try) something new. 

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is its name. My friend Charlie had posted it and I immediately went, "ooohhhhh". 

Of course, food photography can make anything look good. Still, I had to try for myself. 


4 lb Chicken Thighs
1C - Pineapple Juice
1/2 C - Soy Sauce
1/2 C - Brown Sugar
1/3 C - Ketchup
1/4 C - Chicken Stock
2 t - Grated Ginger
1 1/2 t - Minced Garlic 
Green Onions - garnissh
Pineapple - garnish 


First off, we didn't buy 4 POUNDS of chicken thighs. Who does? The almost two pounds we had (6 thighs) were fine. 

Secondly, grating two teaspoons of ginger doesn't seem like a lot, but it is. Not in taste, though it was, but in sheer grating time. I might have ended up with 1 1/4 before I ran out of anything but my fingertips to run against the microplane. 

So, let's start. 

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients that are not chicken or the garnish. Whisk. 

Set aside a cup (or less) of marinade for basting. 

Marinate chicken from 3 hours to "overnight", whatever that means. Who is grilling chicken at 09:00? I made the marinade the night before and put added the chicken before going to work. It was fine by the time I got home 11 hours later. 

Ina says to put something on the plate that is in the dish. Since there was pineapple juice, I thought grilled pineapple spears would be nice.  I prepped the garnish before hitting the grill. 

Throw the chicken on a hot grill. Natch.  I flipped and basted a few times. Thighs are generally thinner so they don't take too long to cook. But it's dark meat, so 175F is the temp. 

I threw the pineapple on a bit later. I think it could have been on earlier, but I turned it so it got some grill marks on all sides. I think it could have taken some more cooking, but it was fine. 

.......and garnish. 

The chicken was incredibly tender and tasty. We both liked it a lot. 

It takes some planning, but ultimately, it was totally worth it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020


At first - and for a while - I wasn't sure about how I felt regarding Trevor Noah. I mean, Jon Stewart is a hard act to beat. I'm not sure anyone could have come in an taken his place well. Not even Craig Kilborn. 

That was a joke. 

But Noah has come into his own on that show and made something slightly different. Never more than these last few weeks. Maybe months. 

His coronavirus broadcasts from home have been good, and well, now that Arsenio Hall doesn't have a talk show, there is no one on late night who is a person of colour. Sure, the Jimmy Fallons (ugh) of the world can talk about the events going on around us when it comes to race, but honestly, they can only speak from the white privilege perspective. 

Let me rephrase - they should probably only speak about it from that perspective. 

Noah can actually bring something to the table that they cannot. 

He had a brilliant piece following the death of George Floyd and now again with the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. 

Take the eight minutes. 

Song by: Bread

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

App of the Month

It's an app - kind of. 

Shortcuts is an Apple download. Maybe there is something for Android, maybe not. 

From my understanding it helps you create shortcuts to do stuff on your phone, because apparently scrolling for your other apps and touching them is too time consuming? 

But that's not what this is about. You need this app for another reason. 

There can be a shortcut on your phone, so you can say, "Siri, I'm getting pulled over". 

Siri will automatically record the police /  encounter. 

Now, being a white male, I totally get my privilege. Other are not so lucky. And assuming there isn't someone else around to record something, be your own advocate. 

Oh - yes, you designate a contact and Siri will automatically send the recording to said contact. 

Just an FYI - here is some more info on setting that up. These days, it's important to cover your yourself. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Blow Me Down

So when a co-worker texted me yesterday about the SCOTUS ruling on LGBTQ rights the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex, you could have knocked me over with a feather. 

My immediate text back was, who was the fifth justice, as I assumed it had to be 5-4. 

Well, knock me over again.  6-3?  

That almost never happens with Queer rulings. And certainly not from this court. 

Mind you, without reading a thing, I knew who the three dissenting justices were. Two of them being sexual assaulters. 

Somewhere at 1600 Black Lives Matter Ave, BLOTUS is fuming. Only one of his two SCOTUS picks is doing his bidding. I have yet to see him call Neil Gorsuch an activist judge, but you know it's coming. Too bad those seats are for life, eh BLOAT? 

Somewhere over at the Naval Observatory, Ms. Pence and Mother are probably trying to pray the gay away, all the while, Say Yes to the Dress is playing on their tv.  ....and now, thanks to SCOTUS, BLOTUS can't even fire Pence. 

You know who else is pissed? Clarence Fucking Thomas. 

Now, he's such a douche, I'm not sure he'd even support the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But it must really grind his gears that lumping homos in with blacks is just too much for him to handle. 


Thomas, I'm guessing, doesn't believe that sexual orientation is like skin colour - that one chooses to be gay, but someone like him is born that way. A tale as old as time - when you hate the gays. 

SCOTUS truly comes through. Now and then things don't see quite as dire. 

Song by: Harry Nilsson

Monday, June 15, 2020

My Music Monday

I am as surprised as anyone (though, let's be honest, none of you are) that Ive selected a song from Cage the Elephant

For some reason they have been XM's favourite child for the last few years - where almost any station that isn't Ozzy Ozborne's has been playing them. So much so, that I have outwardly speculated if payloa is back and thriving in radioland. 

I will stipulate again about XM - when 8-9 stations are playing the same song from the same group for months or year on end (I'm looking at you Portugal, the Man), that you simply cannot be played on the 'alternative' station. Sure, you're an alternate to the '50s station, but.....if the song is mainstream, it's not longer alternative. 

Cage the Elephant fits into that description too. 

And while I find their stuff very milquetoast, my surprise comes at their newest release, "Black Madonna". 

No fear, it's not Madge with her grill and chains. I know she thinks she's not white, catholic or old, but she is all of those things......and less. 

But "Black Madonna' has a great hook, one even Mr. Krankypants cannot deny. It's a little repetitive with the chorus, but not enough to weigh it down. It's almost summer fare.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

Our long weekend get away has been faboo. 

Originally, the trip was planned for April, for 710's birthday, but then, The Covid hit. The park was shut down. Given we had a tough to come by pet friendly cabin, they were great enough just to move the dates for me. 

So we were at a state park. Lots and lots of land and a big ass lake. Horses too. Golf course, etc. This was new to us, we've never been or tried to go. But 710 wanted a trip with the dog in tow, and I was determined to make it happen. So I did. 

The original plan was to surprise him - not with the cabin - was to have friends join on the second day, with food and cake, etc. Clearly, that did not happen. And even before that, I opted not for a surprise, as, well, no one really likes those. 

As it turns out, a two month delay didn't quell the enthusiasm for attendance. One afternoon, we hung out, talked and had a drink or two. We all discussed masks or no.  Two people fully quarantined before this, three others when not have been mindful and two of us get our temps checked daily when going into a hospital. We felt fairly ok with, though we were somewhat distanced. Not 6', but not too too close. 

These are people - some of the VERY few - who get hugs and kisses from me. It was tough not being able to do that. 

The cabin is nice, but you know, it's a cabin. I swore it said it slept 10, but even if using the couch, you might get seven.  

Shep's lower bunk you see is one of four. I took another. The main bedroom is a double. A DOUBLE. I'm good with a queen, but two of us, and possibly Shep, would never fit in a double. So for the first time in a long long long time, 710 and I slept apart. I though the dog would sleep with him, but he hung with me.

We've been hiking, swimming, dog parking and generally just been relaxing. We are all exhausted, yet in a good way. 

Mike, whom you've about here ALL too often, texted and seem worried we were 'camping'.  I can't go that far:  there were no tents, sleeping bags, s'mores, or Coleman lanterns. We had running water - but hot and cold. 

We'd do this again sometime. 

Song by: Barbara Mandrell (ok, I don't own the song, but......it fit)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 122nd 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.

Sorry Gang - 12 of 12 falls on a weekend, which means, a delay in Sophie Smut and Shep Porn. Spoiler Alert: No worries, both make an appearance here. 

06:01. Doing my daily financials, even though it's my day off 
At new job for four days and needed a day off !!   Kidding - it was planned a while back. 

8:09. Yes, it's early, but I had to cut the lawn. 

10:34.  Packed car. 
710, Shep and I are taking a long weekend getaway. First time we've been out of the house since February that hasn't been dog walks or groceries. 

10:35.  Had to say goodbye to Sophie, who couldn't come. 
I think she'll be happy to have the house to herself for the first time since February. 

12:32.  Stop for lunch and to let Shep walk about and go #2. 

14:51. Salt Fork State Park. 
Cabin #2: the pet friendly cabin. 

15:16.  We made a beeline for the beach. 
Shep LOVED the water. Still won't swim and panics a little when the water gets too high. 

15:18.  Hawks. 
Lots of them. I think Shep was too big to be their would-be prey. 

15:45. Hike. 
710 and Shep (and I) heading back to the cabin - the long way. 

17:39.  Dickens at his desk during Covid. 
I don't even know what the shop in Cambridge, OH actually sold. 

Dr. Spo will like this one.........I believe. 

18:07. 710 took the pic. 
But I was the one who requested he take it while I drove. 

20:43.  Near sunset. 
I was socially distant from all others, but everyone had fire pits and groups. 

That is this month's 12 of 12.