Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Train of Thought

I know you're all dying to axe what we did on vacation. 

I'll get to that at some point, but we did take a few days to get to our final destination. 

I'm apologizing to Cookie, I'd say in advance, but really in retrospect. We came through - and stayed ! - in Baltimore one night. It's been ages since I've been to anything but BWI. 

I didn't even give Cookie an opportunity to turn me down to meet up for a drink. I wasn't thinking - so, I am sorry for not at least trying. 

But 710 is a Maryland boy, so you can take him out of it, but can't take it out of the boy. Yes, something about that line is very very dirty. I get it. 

710 is also a railroad boy. 

He loves me almost as much as he loves trains. His maternal grandfather (his namesake), who died well well before 710 was born, worked on the railroad.......all his live-long day. 710's license plate is the demarkation of the caboose where 710 Sr worked. 

There are tales of the depression, when 710 Sr. would throw coal off the train to the poor families who would come to the track, during winter, so they could keep warm. 

And in Baltimore - unsurprisingly enough - is the B&O Railroad Museum.  And since he loves me, almost as much as he loves trains, I agreed (not even begrudgingly) to go.  There is also that connection of Baltimore (he) and Ohio (me). 

Naturally, we got there an hour before it was supposed to close. Bother.  AND it was like $20 per person!

That all said, the museum is a beautifully restored roundhouse.  It might be sad to say, but after three and one half decades together, I know what a roundhouse is.  In that B&O roundhouse are some beautifully restored trains. 

There was actually cool stuff.............and if need be, historical stuff. 

So I got husband points (which can be redeemed for absolutely nothing!) for going. 

After that, we went to our Fells Point boutique hotel, which turned out to be - ta da - the old B&O tobacco warehouse. I got zero points for that, because he picked the hotel, though he didn't know the history of the building. 

B&O was nice, but according to a woman in the lobby, it is not near as nice as the railroad museum in Strasberg, PA.  I'd say I'd have to see it for myself to judge, but...............you know...........

Song by: a-ha

Monday, August 30, 2021

My Music Monday

I will start a September theme a few days early:  Songs I Heard on Vacation. 

Some will be new. Most will be not. 

Todays is a song from the past: 1981. 

I like the Moody Blues enough, as they did somewhat pop and moved into progressive rock when Justin Hayward took over for Denny Laine (who would go on to play with Wings). 

But with the advent of music videos and the change in radio - the progressive stations going away for popular fare - the band semi-adapted. "The Voice" would be a perfect bridge from prog rock to pop rock. 

I forgot how much I liked the song - and got to hear it twice on our trip*.


* I fully believe that Sirius XM uses the same x amount of songs for certain y amount of weeks / months and then rotates them out. If you listen enough, their playlists (on almost any station) are predictable. Access to hundreds of thousands of songs, yet each station will use like 64.........repeatedly. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

the Best

I'm going out on a limb that anyone who reads my blog is of a certain age and intelligence level and knows who Tina Turner is. 

Let's assume, and that way I don't have to go into a lot exposition when I say we saw the HBO documentary on her, Tina a few days back. 

Of course, I knew her background - at least to a fairly good degree. And that is without reading her autobiography, I, Tina, or seeing the movie of her life, What's Love Got to Do With It. 

Truth be told, I've never purchased one of her disks. I mean, who needed to - for 5-7 years, she was EVERYWHERE.  Not in a bad way, but she and her manager really worked the circuit and you couldn't turn on TV or MTV and not see her. 

At 81, she agreed to this documentary, as her parting gift to the public. For years, she has been a private citizen, all but retiring from recording and performing. She gave up her U.S. citizenship about a decade ago and has rarely been back to this country. 

The (re)telling of her story for this doc is, of course, ironic, though I believe that was lost on the creator, director and even on the subject herself. 

They go into great detail on her rise with Ike Turner and the subsequent abuse and divorce. Much of her post Ike years has been on the explanation end of anything about Ike. Clips of Turner semi-masterfully answering / deflecting these constant barrages did nothing to lessen the talk during interviews. The juxtaposition of Ike answering similar questions is more like tap dancing in a minefield. 

She claimed to write her autobiography so it would address / answer all those past issues. It didn't work (though honestly, a good PR person would have pulled the plug on any interviewer asking questions from which they were told to stay away). And now Turner is doing this doc explaining the same media issues and the issues stemming from the original one. It's a rehash of the rehash. 

That all said - Tina is very well done. 

Almost all from Turner's perspective from her current age - so that she can look back with even a different mindset, though I doubt it was. I think the most poignant thing was a line - and I'll paraphrase - all the success she's had and the happy time have never and could never outweigh the bad. 

The idea that money cannot buy happiness stands here. A woman, who was abandoned by her parents, and who left a physically and mentally abusive marriage with nothing but her name and all the cancellation fees from the Ike & Tina Review (when she walked out) is worth something close to $250MM.  Yet her perception remains: those good times are still less than - and overshadowed by - the bad ones. 

I think they miss some things - even when they mention Ike being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Both were inducted together, yet I'm 94% sure she's never mentioned.  That omission once again gives Ike that notoriety and diminishes her contribution - which is what Ike did all their years together. And Tina will be only the second two-time female inductee after Stevie Nicks. .....but this documentary was made before that announcement. 

It's a solid two hours. 

.....they never even mentioning that the blog title song of this post is featured in Schitt's Creek. It would have been worth asking if she's ever seen it. 

2021 Movie Count / Goal: 13 of 15 

Song by: Tina Turner

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Away From Home

Back home after our week and a half away.  We missed the kids a lot, but tried to not let it consume us. 

Sophie was at home and had someone with her all the time, so she probably got more attention than when we were home. And Shep was safely boarded at his daycare place. 

Some pics are holdovers, as clearly, we weren't home to take new ones. But some are from the daycare's IG feed. 

Shep still isn't really allowed in the new yard yet. Soon. 

Hanging together, before we went on vacation. 

At least a co-starring role and not just the extra. 
He looks happy being there. 

Same here. 

We got to see, and sometimes pet, dogs while we were away. 
This beauty lived next door to where we were staying - she LOVVVVED  the foolball. 

....and Shep finally got a starring movie from daycare / boarding. 

Soph was happy to have us home, but didn't give too much grief - as her aunt stayed with her the entire time. She was well cared after. 

.....and now they're back together. 

Song by: David Broza

Friday, August 27, 2021

Cool, Calm & Collected

This week, in blogville, has been almost all about music. And death. And / Or. 

I won't say the death of Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, hit me hard, but it certainly got me thinking. 

Watts had been the band's drummer since 1963 (my age!).  That is job longevity.  Only Jagger and Richards had been with the band longer. All other members have come and gone, one way or another. 

Charlie was what I would call the most unassuming member of a rock band ever - and I'm including Tracy Partridge in that grouping. 

For what might be the greatest rock and roll band ever (arguably!), Watts had one of the smallest drunk kits ever.  See kids - it's not all about size, but about how you use it.  Whatever "it" may be for you. 

I used to joke with my friend Ann (when she was my friend), that Charlie always seemed so bored with it all. His energy level was just above that as having a pulse......barely. 

The reality is: he kept the tempo for a highly energetic rock group for almost 60 years. You don't do that without keeping the pace for them - not the other way around. He just did it with aplomb and an unwavering set of hands.  .....and a seemingly expressionless face. 

The thinking part, to which I mentioned earlier, is really age.  Watts was 80. The rest of the band isn't far behind, yet still about to go out on the road (and the plan was to do it without Watts anyways).  The bands of my era are all in their 70s and 80s now.......instead of being from the '70s and '80s. That is, if they're still alive at all. 

Of course, these bands are rarely, if ever, producing anything new (though the Stones put out a pretty decent song during Covid in 2020), and the tours are for the dollars. I get for some of them, they need the coin, but the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, U2 aren't any of them. If they were funneling those dollars to the musicians who struggle, I get it - but they're more than likely paying off ex-spouses.  Being Jerry Hall ain't cheap................am'I right Rupert???

So, adieu Mr. Watts. It was a wild 58 years.   ....and can you believe it?  Keith Richards outlasted you. 

Song by: the Rolling Stones

Thursday, August 26, 2021


Sorry (not sorry) folks. 

I'm on vacation.  Actually have been for over a week and you've gotten mostly prepared posts that I had drafted in advance. 

But I'm out of those. And lazy. Possibly drunk. 

So, here are some butthole and vagina clouds for you.  Or the one on the left is giving the alt-right symbol / signal. I mean, it is North Carolina. 

Song by: Kate Bush

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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 Killers have a second release in just over a year.  My first thought, was "thank g-d", since their last,  Imploding the Mirage, was so fricking disappointing. 

Their follow up, Pressure Machine is better and worse than that last release. 

First off, while I think it's a huge step to have founder and guitarist, David Keuning, is back in the band, this album seems more and more like Brandon Flowers' third solo project. 

Secondly, one can't just throw on some lonesome harmonica and made-to-sound poorly recorded / mixed spoken-word vignettes about small time life and try to make this your Nebraska (Bruce Springsteen). It's not that. Though I fear the band and producers think it is. They'd be wrong. 

Thirdly, this is produced by the same two guys who mostly helmed the less-than mediocre Mirage. I wasn't hopeful. 

The opener, "West Hills" is just as muddied of a mix as the spoken word parts. It's possible it could be a decent song, but it's dragged down by that mix. 

Flowers & Co try far far far too hard to paint bleak life in small town Utah. Flowers has been doing this on and off again with all his solo disks and some of the band material too. Train wrecks, opioid abuse, affairs, patrol cars and the likes.......it just kind of mumbles (not even screams) desperation of 'hey notice me....this is bleak, so you know it's good!' 

There are some decent tracks on this disk, which any more than one would have beat Mirage, hands down. I like "Cody". The topic is ok, but Kuening's guitar work is nice - and it's nice to hear Sara Watkins play violin anywhere (though still a grab for Nebraska like sentiments).  "Sleepwalker" is good, as is "In the Car Outside".  

For some unknown reason, Phoebe Bridgers appears on the semi-decent "Runaway Horses". She seems to be the 'Michael "send me the script, I'll DO it!" Caine' of recorded music these days. She's everywhere and I cannot figure out why. She must know where bodies are buried. To be fair, she doesn't detract from the song, but she adds nothing either. 

There is little in Pressure Machine that is traditional Killers - and that's ok. I'm all for expansion and growth. But let's not make this something it's not either.  These are stories of small town Mormon life, which Flowers has been writing about now for decades, but it doesn't make him Springsteen.  It never will. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Bye Bye Love

Sorry to see that Don Everly passed the other day. 

Whether you were a fan or knew of the Everly Brothers, they undoubtedly had an influence on artists you like.  Or if you're young young, artists you like were influenced by older artists who were influenced by the Everly Brothers. 

Their two part harmonies were inspirational to the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris and countless others. The brothers were in the first induction into the Rock & Roll Hall O'Fame. 

Beginning in the 50s it was just the two of them, before band members got added, but they had the hits with "Bye Bye Love", "Cathy's Clown" and "All I Have to Do is Dream". 

Their last hit was in 1986, the year they were in inducted into the Rock Hall............and it was written by Paul McCartney.  Until then  - or there abouts - the brothers had not performed or recorded together in more than a decade after a falling out. 

So, while the Everly Brothers were even before my time, I certainly appreciate what they did for music in the bigger picture. 

I'll leave you with their last "hit", "On the Wings of a Nightingale" 

Song by: the Everly Brothers

Monday, August 23, 2021

My Music Monday

I was minding my own business on the drive home from work last week. 

Until I looked at the pic on my phone, I didn't even know to which XM station I was listening. 

Yes, sometimes, I snap a pic of a song I think I like, because sometimes it takes too long to soundhound....and I'm driving. 

I don't know from Wild Nothing. But I was digging the vibe from their song "Paradise". 

Is it wrong to say that one of my first thoughts was, "this would be perfect on Ecstasy"?

Now, it's been three decades - give or take a few years - since I have done X, and the music of the '90s wasn't all that great as a companion to drugs - though I will say, we made the most of it. ("Shout!").  The music of the 90s doesn't really hold up over all - and I know that's a big brushstroke with which to paint, but I stand by my statement. 

While the song is from 2012, it has a 1980s New Order-ish vibe, but it's mixed with a little trance too. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

O Children

There was a news item yesterday saying it is possible / probable that 90% of school-aged children could have Covid before the end of the first semester of school. 

It sounds heartless for me to say this - but say it I will:  

I don't care if they get it.  I don't even care should they perish. 

If parents, teachers, elected officials (local, state, federal) want to fight people on the need to get vaccines and / or wear masks  as a "personal choice", then fuck it - I say, "let 'em crash".  All of them. 

Sure, I feel bad for the kids, but just as grandparents were a write-off to the same elected officials in the first few surges, kids can be just as expendable this go round, right? 

Honestly, I want these parents to hurt. And all these who are just digging their heels into the ground. 

Yeah yeah - I'm sure there are the parents who are doing all the right things. Then vaccinate those kids, if you can, and make them wear a mask at school - even if the other snot-nosed shitheads are not. Or home school them. 

Honestly, DeSantis and Co. down in Florida are the worst of the worst and just like BLOTUS, nothing is sticking to this guy. Maybe a few hundred kids lives on his hands will. And their teachers. 

I really don't understand the teacher's unions. I haven't heard a peep from them, but why are these teachers not striking?  Why are they just sitting there and taking the potential for a deadly respiratory disease?  If the districts all band together, what the fuck is the state actually going to do?  Fire every single teacher? They'er already severely short staffed. 

So, if the state and local governments want to play g-d, that's fine. They just get to deal with the fall-out. 

I hope. 

Song by: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Saturday, August 21, 2021


It's quite possible, I'm drunk. 

......and by 'quiet', I mean probable.  And by 'probable', I mean definite.   

I mean, expect typos.  Well, more than usual.  Luckily, it's mostly animal pics and few words. And very Sophie heavy. 

Sophie, spending time with Dad #2. 

Any dad cooking, is Dad #1 in Shep's book. 
He is a silent beggar. 

.....not as silent. 

Bailey's #2 'gotcha' day. 
....that poor poor girl. 

Kitchen Kompany. 
....from a distance. 

Dad #1 left the TWO front doors open. 
What was even more than surprising that Shep didn't escape, was that Sophie did. 

....She didn't get far, and my rescue of her was caught on the Nest doorbell thingy. 

I'm "bothered" all the time from Sophie. 
Love it. 

Song by: the National 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Shopping With Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think. 

As you know, I'm not a sheltered man.  So I am pretty sure I know the difference between a keychain and a sex toy. 

The fine folks at amazon - who btw, featured this to me as a suggested item........thanks?  - claim it's a "self-defense" keychain

I suppose.  I mean, if you have lube and are distracting your attacker by sliding it up his (not even "his or her") butt, one ridge at a time.  At least they've now forgotten about stealing your wallet, purse, or dignity. 

Who knows, maybe even they'll buy you dinner afterwards. 

Though - I have to say: THIS is a deal.  $8.90 for four to a pack. And it's on Prime, so you can get it tomorrow and hope you're "attacked" tomorrow night. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Ad of the Month

I know people identify themselves as cat or dog people.  You've seen my Saturday posts - clearly I play both sides of that fence. 

When it comes to advertising, unless it's about cat litter or fud, felines are never taking center stages......until now. 

Thanks Chevy. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Stand or Fall

Oh Pappy Joe. 

Sorry - he really stepped in it. 

If there were only some way to have known that our exit from Afghanistan would be so messy, cumbersome and fraught with destruction, uprisings and general chaos. 

Ohhhh. Wait. 

Now that I think about it, since my early high school days - the Taliban has been in or around Afghanistan, teaming up with the Russians in the Soviet-Afghan War. 

Shocking that the Taliban was still embedded in that country and ready to take over the second "we" made the announcement of pulling out. 

It's almost as if we didn't have the NSA, CIA or DoD.  ......or a lick of common sense. 

Even this dufus in Ohio had that figured out. 

So the criticism that Pappy Joe is getting from the Republicans, while unfortunate, is somewhat deserved. Mind you - we were in Afghanistan in the first place because of a Republican administration, so......their condemnation only goes so far. 

The U.S. cannot be the police to the world and Afghanistan wasn't ours to be in anyways. It would have been nice to, you know, evacuate our folks before pulling the plug on leaving, but...........the Republicans will play that into the fucking ground - even though they really don't care about brown-coloured refugees from other countries................but they'll pretend like they do through the mid-terms, which is why the Dems will lose those. 

Song by: the Fixx

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


Time passes too fast. In theory, I know it's the same increments, but perhaps I'm just feeling the sand slipping to the bottom half of the hour glass. 

How is it that Shep is already six years old?  well..........yesterday he was. 

Oh, I know we haven't had him for six. It still a few weeks away that we've had him for five years. Still, it hasn't seemed this long, but the days are ticking away. 

He's no longer a puppy - obvi. He no longer wakes at 04:30 to go out and sometimes I have to pry him to get him to go out on our a.m. walk.  Anymore these are not as necessary.  He can hold whatever he has to - and due to not being able (currently) to leave him at home a few days a week, he goes to daycare Monday through Friday.  He can poop there, should he need 

I'm not thrilled with five days of daycare. But now that 710 has been called back to the office, Shep hasn't been alone in 18 months. Almost never left alone in this house more than an hour or two. 

And we love our dog walker, and she loves Shep, and Shep LOVES her. I want to keep her employed. But she gets his separation anxiety. In the old house, it was somewhat manageable, with an apartment above the garage. He could get into little trouble there - though he did pull up the vinyl flooring in a fit of rage (?) one day. That doesn't fly in this house. 

His walks have slowed down too. It's not longer go-go-go-go-go-go-go.  I mean, as much as hounds do that between sniffs.  Now, he tires more and stops to rest on his own. To the untrained eye, he's still very active - and he is. But we notice subtle differences. 

Still - he was THRILLED to see me at pick-up yesterday. He got hugs, kisses and an extra dentastick after dinner. He doesn't know it's his birthday, because he's treated like a king every day. 

Song by: Kim Wilde

Monday, August 16, 2021

My Music Monday

I kind of have nothing planned. And I might be a bit tipsy after our regularly scheduled Sunday Zoom call. 

It's true. 

I have no theme. I have no plan. 

I happen to know that Dar Williams has a new disk coming out in October. I like her and she's fairly consistent, but this is a new direction for her.

....at least with the song, "You Give It All Away", which she wrote and recorded during the pandemic. Well, the 2020 part. 

It was based on a discussion with peers on how streaming services pay nothing for their work and without touring they make zero dollars, especially during Covid - it feels like they're.....giving it all away. 

I won't say it's Williams' best song, but........it's not bad. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Popsicle Toes

Yesterday was feet day. 

I don't do enough self-care. I assume most people - yourselves included - don't either. 

Honestly, professional pedicures are the extent of my self-care. I have never had a massage, or a spa visit. Clearly I don't even get haircuts. 

My problem with my feet is not doing it enough. Literally. 

Age and overuse have beaten those fuckers down. It would take a lot to get them to 'normal'. But 2-3 times per year won't probably do the trick 

I've made a decision for once a month. 

Should you have not had a pedicure, I highly recommend it. My friend Becky tried to get me to go back in - yes, I remember - 2011, but I put it off...............until 2015. 

Even then, I have only been a handful of times - the last one being in Provincetown in May. The time before that, right before sheltering in place 14 months prior. 

I am thrilled at how my feel are currently looking today, but I know that it won't last if I don't keep up with it all. 

Even better news - the place I have gone now provides alcohol. 

I mean, they always had a bar, but now one drink is provided with the pedicure. I'd say it's "free", but I also know I'm actually paying for it, but they bring it right to me. 

Hey - if folks are touching my feet, there is zero reason I shouldn't be taking the edge off with booze. 

Song by: Diana Krall

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Dog Paddle

Just a horrible week all around:  work. weather.  home.   

Sometimes the pets made it better, but not always........................Shep. 

The girl can stretch out

Taking it all in from up high - room 413

Two kids. 
Two dads. 

It's not like he didn't get lunch treats. 
He just wanted more. 

My earlier above statement still applies. 

In Breaking News:

Shep Swims for the First Time

Song by: Modest Mouse

Friday, August 13, 2021

12 of 12

 So I'm doing my 136th 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. Erik is back and I think he's picking up 12 of 12 again. 

05:29.  Still no electricity.  
Dark Sky said it wouldn't rain for another hour. It poured before we got to the end of the street. 

The electric company (sh. it.  shit!) said our power would be back on by 22:00.............tomorrow!

06:26.  Starbucks b'fast. 
Couldn't eat at home, so I had a sammich there and took it to the office. 

06:34.  The office. 
Not as funny as the show. 

06:37.  The sammich. 
Just as funny as the show. 

09:12.  Wiring. 
We are doing a major system conversion over the next 2-3 years (!!). 
The team that is coming in to do it needs everything rewired. 

10:18.  Yes. Yes they do.  ......but........

11:37.  Trying to get home. 
710 and I took opposite half-days to work from home due to yesterday's storm. Tons of streets still blocked. Non-working traffic signals too - and a few where the signals are just gone....taken out by the falling trees. 

13:17.  Screen shot of my Zoom meeting. 
Working with no electricity and no internet is REALLY difficult. 

14:02.  Sneak peak at our back yard project. 
It had hit the 90s. Heat index was climbing. No breeze and no a/c.  Miserable. 

16:27.  With my favourite girl. 
Even with the heat, I'll let a furry kitty curl up next to me. 

17:25.  Adventure #1:  the vet. 
Nothing wrong. Just his annual stuff. 

19:35.  Adventure #2. 
The house is too hot to stay comfortably - and I needed some internet to do some work. And my 12 of 12
Shep seems very comfortable at Hyatt Place

And there you have it.  Have a great Friday the 13th. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

No Real Post

Big assed storm just as I left work, on my way to get Shep from daycare. 

80-90 mph winds, trees down, streetlights out, power out. 

.....including at our place. I''m doing this with my hotspot, so need to conserve energy. 

More tomorrow ?

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

I'll Wait

 This sums up the shittiness that is Florida and its governor. 

I truly do not get Desantis' end game with this. How does all of this not hurt his state's economy?  I mean, I suppose he hopes the less affluent populations perish, as they weren't going to vote for him in the first place.  .....but then who is going to clean all the Kentucky Taco Hut bathrooms - should the people who he thinks are the spreaders of the disease - once they call kick the bucket? 

I mean, I suppose they don't call the state 'g-d's waiting room' for nothing.

Song by: Van Halen