Thursday, September 30, 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!   

I will start off this review to firmly state:  I did not purchase Lindsey Buckingham's self-titled disk

You have read me multiple times before when I said I never learn my lesson and buy things I want to like, or based on my past loyalties to a band or genre.  That stops here. least it's a speed bump. 

Buckingham's past few solo disks, his work on Fleetwood Mac's last disk, and his "collaboration" with Christine McVie just left me cold - for the most part. In the latter outing he had two good minutes of guitar work - excellent, in fact. And it was literally the last two minutes of the hour long disk. His guitar work on the Killer's song "Caution" shows he's more than up for the task of good guitar work, but mostly on his solo stuff, it is all more of the same. 

In actuality, the disk is 4+ years old. It was the album that got him (in a ways) fired from Fleetwood Mac, when they refused to postpone their tour for three months so he could support it. Why it still didn't come out before his heart attack or Covid is anyone's guess. It's not like he didn't have time after getting the boot from the band, which is when he was going to be promoting it anyways. It's finally just getting released now. 

Lindsey Buckingham is nothing special. Yes, the man, not the album, was inventive back in 1979 with Tusk, but his solo work past 1993's Out of the Cradle is just repeats and retreads. Layered vocals (which are whisper light from the start) with little to no harmony, and far too much electronic manipulation that borders on echo chamber. Pretty guitar work, but it's been similar album to album. Rarely does he cut loose and really go at it - and that's a shame, as he is an excellent musician. 

Drum machine loops do not help his cause here. Buckingham plays all instruments, sings all parts, produced by himself and wrote all but one song. I've said it before, the man needs checks and balances with fellow musicians or a band. Left completely to his own devices, it's just a bore. ....and so many of the lyrics are just dreadfully simple and make little sense. 

As it turns out, I only somewhat liked one song, "Blind Spot".  "Swan Song" isn't bad, and it's the only time Buckingham shows any originality......but it's not enough to save this disk. 

Lindsey Buckingham isn't making my top 10 of the year. Possibly anyone's. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021


I haven't had one of these since the first of the month, but I got nothing. 

The Muses have abandoned me. I can't say I blame them, of course. 

Hanging with me is, apparently, exhausting. ...and I've heard that descriptor of me from at least two people recently.  I find it hard to believe that it can be qualified as a coincidence

Exhausting or not, I have no topic today. 

Please go about your day carefree.  See you tomorrow. 

Song by: Foo Fighters

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Not the Doctor

One blood draw. 
Two arms. 
Four sticks. 

Never have I ever had a blood draw go so wrong.  Well, you know, until now. 

As infection control goes, I'm not quite sure if one is supposed to use the same needle to stick you three unsuccessful times in the same arm, looking for the same that was clearly clearly visible. 

Only when changing arms did a new needle get attached. That can't be right, right?

Oh, and the last three sticks hurt. Oddly enough, I didn't come away mega-bruised or with a hematoma. So.......silver lining!

This is all for my doctor's appointment today. Yes, I always insist on getting all my labwork done ahead of time, so if needed, he and I can make a plan of action. It has rarely come to that. 

Seven years ago, I needed a new doctor because my one retired, but I knew it in advance. When calling my current one - or what I thought to be current one - his number didn't work. And he was no longer on the hospital website. And his email bounced back.  Motherfuck!

Me, being me, I called their department administrator (the me of that service line) to axe what happened. He retired, they said. I said, 'where was my 30 day notice?, I said.  They didn't send one, and I had to remind them, it was required by law.  Then..............crickets. 

So, this afternoon I see a new guy. We'll see how it goes. I'm expecting little and maybe that's the right attitude. I've forged bonds with my last two docs and what has it gotten me?  I just need them to tell me I'm gonna live and maybe write a script for stuff. 

As Ina Garten would say, "how easy is that?"

Song by: Alanis Morissette

Monday, September 27, 2021

My Music Monday

The last in my series: 'what I heard on my vacation'. 

I heard some new stuff and reminded of some things I had not heard in a while.  Right now, the new is outpacing the old, so I'll throw in a past song. 

We heard Everything But the Girl.  And, thankfully, it wasn't the massively overplayed "Missing". 

"Don't Leave Me Behind" precedes that song by almost a decade, and the disk, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright was one of the first compact disks I'd ever bought. Thank you. For the Record (ironically named?) in Grandview Hts for that purchase. 

"Don't Leave Me Behind" also preceded what would become similar, if less than, songs by Swing Out Sister and Basia. One of those I regrettably bought. You'll have to figure out which one I made the mistake on. 

Horns were a thing in the late '80s. Whether they should have been will be up for debate with historians for centuries to come.  Until then.............I give you Everything But the Girl. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

the Call Up

It's new phone time. It was time. 

I'm not one to upgrade my phone annually. I've had the iPhone X for like 4-5 years. It's not that I'm not keen on technology, just that when it comes down to it, I'm lazy. 

The X was a huge upgrade from my 6 (or was it 7?). The screen was great, the camera better. But by all accounts, the 11 and 12 had much better cameras. 

As I've ditched all cameras that are not my phone, as a blogger, it's good to have a good camera. Ironically, you can't take a pic of your new phone with your new phone. So, what you're seeing is the last pic taken with my old phone. 

Truth be told, I would have kept the X, but I've had a few small fails with it. The phone itself - worked great with earbuds, through the car bluetooth or on speaker (though I hate people who talk like that). But put up to my an actual phone and I could barely make out words................and NO, it's not my hearing. 

The second issue was, a few times, the screen just went black. The phone didn't run out of juice or anything, it was still on, just could not see a thing. 

710, almost a year before, had much more serious problems. The phone would just come on and start deleting apps automatically. He thought someone was hacking it, but it turns out, it was a thing. The internet said so. He had to upgrade at the beginning of the year with the 12. 

Me? I ended up with the 13. Pro.  Not Pro Max, because it's not always about the size. The Pro is the same size as my X, which is fine. 

I don't get Apple sometimes. The regular old 13 comes in about seven colours. The Pro - four. And allegedly the one I ordered, in the pic, is Sierra Blue. Does that look blue to you?  and not silver? 

The phone arrived on Friday, and I let it sit for a day, as it had been a crappy work week and I didn't feel like *Nsync'ing stuff. 

Yesterday, I got, what I think is everything, moved from phone to phone. So far, I've only found one glitch that I can't figger out. The face recognition doesn't work on my MyChart app. Settings all seem fine, but we'll see.

The screen is pretty sweet. I have yet to take a picture, but today is BowWowBeach, so you know it's gonna take a Shep pic or two. 

At this point, I think / hope I'm good until the 17.

Song by: the Clash

Saturday, September 25, 2021

the Guests

I feel like I say "the work week was bad" or some iteration of that on my Saturday posts. I feel they are getting exponentially busier.  I get home later than 710. He's doing the doggie daycare pick up and drop off.  But he is nice enough to wait for me to get home, so the three of us can do our walk together. 

Fun fact:  not one of this week's pics were taken by me. 

Dad #1 picks up Dog #1.

Sophie is all about hanging with my sister-in-law. 
They took a semi-selfie. 

Bailey's autumn glamour shot. 

My cousin also uses the same doggie daycare. I am loving the activity here 

Song by: Leonard Cohen

Friday, September 24, 2021

Is That All There Is ?

There is a scene in Martin Scorsese's wonderful After Hours (1985!), where Griffin Dunne, while in a bar, uses his last quarter to play Peggy Lee's, "Is That All There Is?". 

I tried re-enacting that about five years later while sitting in Houston's allegedly oldest bar, La Carafe. I sat there and put coins (!) in a juke box and played the same song. It seemed so fitting. 

Poor Rebecca. Trying to impress two semi-alcoholic, but fully gay, men. Imagine our surprise (and her dismay) when we found out the Beer Can House was not a bar. 

My lord, that trip. Most of it not even suitable for this blog. That we remain friends is a testament to friendship itself. And somewhere Jon has the best picture of that trip (possibly of our lives) - and he wasn't even on it. 

It's fun to skip down memory lane on a Thursday evening, when you're been out after-work-drinking. It's odd - on so many levels. 

A. Drinking during the week.  Yes, that is no longer me.  Or at least rarely. 
B. Out. At a bar.   ...........during Covid. 

That booster must have made me think I was invincible. We can't afford to be innocent!  Yet, here I was, with a guy (straight!) who used to work for me, who was needing some mentorship. He's adorable and young-ish. Still not quite sure what he wants to do with his life / career. Normally, I'd say he's a little too old for that conversation, but to this day I still have it with myself now and again. 

I stopped at three beers - some kind of local red-ish one - though it was eerie how easily they were all going down.  

The place was nice. Totally rehabbed and in our Little Italy area. We sat at the bar, which I haven't done in ever so long. There was a juke box, but an electronic-y, touch screen kind of thing. Normally, I'd be all over it, forcing my music choices on the unsuspecting, but I'm not sure it had a song past Sammy Davis Jr's "Candyman", which was playing when we arrived. 

Looking down the bar, I'd say everyone was 20 years older than I, and 40 older than Bryan. The super sad thing was, they were probably my age. I back storied the entire thing, as I am apt to do. At one point this was a dive bar they all used to frequent, and someone fixed it up, but they still come here. All seemed very down on their luck. 

One guy walked in and the bartendress said, "we're out of PBR" and he just turned around and left. 

Frank Sinatra played here and there. Johnny Cash's cover of  Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" wafted through too (so I guess that's newer than SDJr).  ......but then came on Miss Peggy Lee. 

I'm 99% sure Bryan never heard the song, or even knows who Peggy Lee is.  Or was. Nor did I even try to educate him. Little scenes of After Hours and Houston played in my head.  It made me smile, not just in my head, but on my face. 

....and not just because I was feeling the effects of the alcohol.  Maybe partially, but not fully. 

Maybe next time, I'll take over the jukebox. 

Song by: Peggy Lee

Thursday, September 23, 2021

It Only Takes One Shot

2021-2022 flu shot is in the books. On the books?  .....whichever. 

I got my flu shot, is what I'm trynasay - as the kids say. Or so I'm told.    Youths!

Isn't the saddest looking sign / table you've ever seen? 

Someone doesn't know how to center a sign, clearly. And maybe ran out of tape. 

This all begged me to ask the question - are these the people I want ticking a needle in my arm? 

The whole set up for employee flu shots the last few years - at a hospital (!!!)  - has been, well.......unsatisfying. 

These are held in a lobby that essentially connects three buildings.  Out. In. The. Open. 

This is well and fine for most women, as they tend not to wear long sleeves and can more easily expose and arm. As it is almost never tube-top or halter season for us dudes, I have to unbutton my shirt, take it of and then put it back the lobby what connects three buildings and always has lots of traffic. 

Yeah, they have a 'privacy screen', but still.............

Like my Covid booster, it took longer to change than it took to get jabbed. 

"Jabbed" is the wrong word. I felt nothing - and haven't for years! - and 12 hours later, the site isn't even sore. I suppose after three Covid shots, anything will feel better. 

But inoculated within an inch of my life. Still wearing masks. Still washing my hands obsessively. I don't expect to get the flu, or a cold this upcoming season - just like last one. 

Yay me!

Song by: Lera Lynn

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Missing You

Oh - to be young, female, blonde and white. 

If you go missing, EVERYONE looks for you. You're on every news show, every paper - real and electronic. Even if there's no confirmed actual crime, the FBI will come looking for you. 

However...................if you're not young, blonde and white.....well, good luck to you and the person who may or may not trip over your body......totally by accident. 

Nothing against Gabby Whatshername, but there are any number of people "missing" who no one talks about, looks for, let alone overtakes every news organization - and what is eventually will be an on-going trial on CourtTV (assuming the "missing" fiancĂ© isn't dead or in Guadalajara - which is a kind of dead. 

2020 data tells you that more men went missing than females. 

Honestly, when is the last time you saw coverage of any kind of guy who hasn't shown up for something? Sure, now and again, some 88 year old wanders away from assisted living, but that's on the local news and the 9th story in.  ....and I'm being generous. 

90,000 missing person cases are unsolved. Most - and by that I mean, 89,887 of them - don't have manhunts (or womenhunts) for the person. 89,993 don't get this kind of attention. But many missing are Black, Native American, Asian or {gasp} poor!

The racial, age and gender disparities are glaring and every news organization overlooks that, or worse: mentions it in a half line in a news story, while unironically still talking about the missing white girl. 

Yes, "girl". Because let's face it ladies, if you can't get an acting part when you're over 40, no one is looking for you in the non-acting world either.  .....and I'm being generous.  

32 is probably the number before you age out of people wanting to know your whereabouts. Your odds do go up if your young kids go missing with you - but let's face it, the media is on it due to the kids, not the mom. 

In Cleveland, 11 (!!!!!!) women were killed at some guy's house and half-buried in the back yard. All of the victims were black. All of them poor. Some of them had been on the streets -.maybe even working them. None of them looked for - other than maybe family members. Certainly not by the police who - you know - didn't give a shit. There were certainly no Federal agents on the job, and not one report on the news about any of those missing women. 

I do have to say this about Gabby's family:

Your would be son-in-law comes home without her. You hadn't heard from her since before that. He doesn't say a word about why he comes back alone - or a word at all.  ........and you wait eleven fucking days to report her missing. I do believe that call was made shortly after they probably hired a PR firm. 

Of course, Gab's was engaged young and lived with her would be betrothed and his parents, in their house? She could have made better choices. 

Oh step down, I'm not blaming the victim. 

But true to nature, the bf was already tried and convicted in the media before there was even a body. Should he not have done it, he probably did the right thing by not talking and then taking off. There is no fair trial for this guy.

Song by: John Waite

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Miss Missing You

I, Blobby, won the Emmy contest between Mike and myself. 

Oh, no - you didn't miss posts where we made our selections and we, well.....I, wrote scathingly brilliant and funny quips about the categories and the nominees, and who we picked why we picked. 

You didn't miss it, because, never happened. 

Not that the chance wasn't kind of given........

It wasn't much of an invitation to play, if I say so myself..........and I should know, as it was my "invite". 

.....and how can I look badly upon a grown "man" who wants to visit his mommy? 

I kid, of course. Mike's mom should get a visit from her only son. Even I wouldn't make (more) fun of him for that. 

But as you can see above, he pretty much declared me the winner anyways. And if I picked just one winner, I'd take the entire she-bang.  .....and I guessed at least one win when I called it for Gillan Anderson back in January

So, I win!  I win!!

710 and I didn't really watch, probably for the same reason Mike and I didn't really play: I knew little (little-er) of what was nominated and even from that, less than I saw or actually knew about. While, of course, we state it's a guessing game - it's actually getting more and more like that every year. I honestly don't know how people keep up with whats on the 800 stations and 57 streaming services. 

I've said it before - the reason there are no food workers, are because there are so many shows and roles out there, any actor or actress who'd been waiting tables all have multiple shows in production. 

So it was an asterisk year of winning for me. But I'm not a proud man. I'll take it. 

Song by: Fall Out Boy

Monday, September 20, 2021

My Music Monday

Songs from our vacation - new and old. 

That's the theme.  Theme-ish. Honestly, it's been a month and I'm already starting to forget what we heard and what my brain thought it would retain. 


So this one is new. Actually, I think it was brand spanking new when we were traveling. 

'Tis a band I've never heard - Caveman. And a song of which I'd never heard - obiv: "Work This Hard". 

It's just kind of a calm, vibe-y song. Slow synths, drum machines, some echo percussion that could make it a Shins retread. But it kind of works. It's good background music, but I don't know I want an entire disk of it - though that might not be the case anyway. 

I'd say I have no way of knowing, but I could, should I listen to more of the group.  ....but honestly, who has the time? 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Good and Evil

I wasn't sure what to write about today, and Dr. Spo kinda sorta helped me in that department. 

We were texting about Ohio Style Beer - whatever that might be - and we chatted about work, as he knew I had a tough work week. I told him it ended with having a beer Friday afternoon / evening with a co-work who, like Spo, also happens to be a psychiatrist. 

After he asked what kind of beer, he asked about what kind of psychiatrist she was. Raspberry Wheat and Behavioral, respectively. 

While driving to, and nearing, our meeting place, I passed an elderly woman laying on a sidewalk. It was too busy to just stop the car, so I pulled in to where I was going, parked and headed back on foot. Jeanne - my friend - texted me and said she saw me, but where was I going?  I told, and she allegedly followed.  By the time I got near the site of old-lady-down, four or five others were gathered around her. I still felt good about my attempt. 

Conversely, over beer, Jeanne - not truly breaking HIPAA - was telling me about a patient she saw who had PTSD. He exited his car, forgetting to put it in park, and the car ended up pinning him against a fence. However, the PTSD was not from that. It stemmed from the 20 minutes of being there as people came up took photos and videos of him, but offered and performed no help. None. 

I want to ask, "is this what we've become as a society?", but I think I can just invert  the "is" and "this" and delete the question mark. 

I know I talk a big game here on my cynicism and general dislike for most of society - so I get to a degree, I'm the part of the problem - but, and I'll deny it later, but deep down, I'm a decent guy. I'm not winning any Citizen of the Year medals, and no one is giving me a key to the city, but I'm not a complete asshole. 

....and yes, there was a qualifier in that last sentence. 

Hell, in the last two months alone I've found a set of keys and turned them in; a woman's platinum Amex n the streets of Baltimore, called Amex on what to do with it; a child's school issued laptop and now old lady in front of a bank. Oh, and 710 and I found a stray dog and carried it around until we found a semi-interested owner. 

Honestly, I did none of this for "thanks", which is good..............because I got none*. 

As socially inept I am - and I am - even I know these are acts of kindness. Maybe sainthood, in this current environment. But the guy on the Amex side was, " it".  The key turn in guy didn't even make eye contact and threw them into a bin.  The lady who lost her dog never even got off her phone when we returned her and barely acknowledged our presence. 

For the record, this is why I'm a cynic and generally dislike people. While deep down, I might be a decent guy, these folks are not. What you see is what you get. So, just videoing someone's literal and figurative pain while they are literally trapped and watch you do it with no help is really not so much of a stretch in who we are. 

I blame BLOTUS. 

*My sister-in-law did walk the laptop to the school when it opened a few days later, where the staff thanked her profusely. 710 thought it might be a learning opportunity for the child (or parents) to also provide a "thank you", but that did not and is not coming. 

Song by: David Byrne

Saturday, September 18, 2021


It was a tough tough tough work week. 

Spo says he does not envy my job, as he knows what it's like to deal with hospital administrators. Most of us do a bang-up job, but we are an unlikeable bunch because of it. As I say - they pay me a bunch, but not enough to be liked. 

Dogs and cats are my or not. 

Extra. Again. 

Aerial shot 

Below shot. 

She loves to interrupt one's computer work. 

Graduated to co-star. 

Sophie loves to hang in the kitchen while we do dinner prep. 

Lick #1.   
Bailey thanking me for picking her up from the kennel. 

Lick #2. 
Shep thanking me for picking him up from daycare. 

All three of them pick me up all the time.  Emotionally, that is. 

Song by: Fred Schneider 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Side Effects

I was a few days away from my eight months since my last Covid vaccine. But me, being the fragile flower that I am - and I am ! - I got my booster shot a few days early. 

I have made no secret here about my anxiety to Covid, along with the idea of having to die alone with no one (read: 710) being able to see me or say goodbye. 

Though honestly, if it comes down to ICU and intubation, just make me DNR and let me go. The reality of coming back from that isn't all that high. 

I felt a bit guilty about getting the shot early - or at all. However, it's not like people who haven't gotten vaccinated at all are clamouring to get their first or second shot. And it's not like toilet paper in April 2020 - there's plenty to go around........because not enough of the country is vaccinated.

You've all read here that we still don't go out and socialize, though we had a couple over last week. Still - no movie, restaurants, we haven't been shopping for things we need for the house, so that furniture we needed 16 months ago, we still need. And when we do go - have masks will travel. 

Getting to the vaccination site was just horrible. Traffic in the 216 was worse than I had ever seen. A 20 minute ride took me almost 90. I was late by 17 minutes - and I pride myself for usually being on time. 

To add to it all, half-way there, I realized it wasn't at the location at which I assumed. I hit the hyperlinked address and let Apple Maps take over. Silly me. Silly silly me. 

I had not noticed on the link it had the address and street. No town. No state. No zip.  Only when I noticed me going into another town, which was past my destination did I go......."huh".  Je looked at my phone and it said I'd reach my destination in 16 HOURS and 2 minutes.  The 2 minute thing didn't bother me nearly as much as going to a different state.  No way was I going to make my appointment time - as I hadn't left over a half day early. 

So, some rerouting and yes, 17 minutes late. 

The problem working in healthcare and leadership is: people know you. So the site I went to had people to whom I had spoken, emailed or presented to via a webinar. They knew me, though I didn't really know them. That is bothersome to me. Perhaps I should be flattered, but I suspect they know me for a reason - which usually isn't good. 

Anyhoo. The shot. Like the other two were quick and easy. It took way longer to put my shirt back on. 

The good news?  Save a sore arm, no side effects !!!!

My first Moderna dose was like the third. The second had me sick with fever et al. By most accounts, most booster people have that reaction #2 with the third. 

I waited for it. And waited. If the '12 hours after' rule applied, I'd just be waking up from my night time sleep for those effects to show up - yet they never did.  As Spo might say, I was pleased as punch with that. Yet it was a restless night because I kept waking up to see if I was ill. 

If I need a booster every eight months or so, so be it. 

The boost won't have me going out and doing more things. It's just a layer of protection for me and my family. 

Song by: Joseph

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Half Mast

Norm Macdonald was ok and all, but this seems a bit much. 

That's it.  That's all I got. 

Song by: Empire of the Sun

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Morning Has Broken

It seemingly took us forever, but we finally made it through the Morning Show (on Apple TV+). 

The length was more due to laziness than the quality of the show. We are just not binge watchers of anything. I get it's the culture now, but we're not there yet. 

The show itself is actually well done. I mean, it's not Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom  - but that's not necessarily a bad thing either. 

While both shows are slightly heavy-handed, the Morning Show is pretty much - at least Season 1 - is a one topic hand. Newsroom was a new topic each week, so they had more to shove down your throat in a shorter period of time. 

The Morning Show is all about #metoo. And it's well done, if not dark and creepy, but you know......#metoo. Those guys are dark and creepy. 

For the most part, I can take or leave both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. To me, Friends is not a show that has aged well. In a way, it's like the comedy version of Succession - in terms of all the characters are just so unlikeable when you break down their annoyances. Witherspoon may have been at her best as Aniston's sister on that sitcom. 

Witherspoon has an Oscar (who doesn't?), but for most of the episodes Aniston comes off better. Not nice - just better, as an actress. I'm not sure Reese gets her due until the last episode. But she's has dark hair in this, so you know she's serious actress. 

The best scene is with Witherspoon, but it has little to do with her.  Someone named Gugu Mbatha-Raw (honest, I'm not making that up - though she might have) carries the episode, not even the scene. 

Steve Carell is there too. He's one of the creepy #mtoo'ers. He's almost likeable until he's not. Ironically, he thinks is pal, played by Martin Short, is a predator, when in fact, Carell's "Mitch" is too - maybe worse, he clearly just doesn't see it. 

Oh - and BILLY CRUDUP.  The man is fucking brilliant when he wants to be, and he is beyond brilliant here. For me, he totally makes the show.  

We finally made it through all 10 episodes, right before Season 2 starts. Maybe that won't take us as long to make it through the next 10. 

Song by: Cat Stevens

Monday, September 13, 2021

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 137th 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. 

03:32.  My first wake-up. 
I went back to sleep - at least for a while. 

07:19.  Sophie didn't want me to read the newspaper. 
I stopped. She got pets. She always wins. 

07:46.  Filling the bin. 
Can't feed the dog, if he doesn't have fud at the ready. 

09:30.  HRH Walk #2
Shep waits for the palace gates to be opened for his exit. 

10:29.  Outdoor 2nd B'fast. 
Actually, a raspberry croissant and a meet-up with my cousin, David, who had a sticky bun (....the jokes write themselves)

12:35. Lunch.  

14:59.  My hometown. 
First time I'd stopped since my mother died over two years ago. 

16:09.  Grocery back-up. 
Never seen the store this crowded. Not sure what was going on. 

16:32.  Gassing up for the week. 

17:56.  Beer!   ......for.........

18:11. weekly zoom call with friends. 

20:07.  1:16  until our late dinner. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Neighborhood #2

Yesterday was our annual* block party. our new neighborhood. 

Yes, we had them in our old 'hood, but this was our first here. And it was different. And good. 

There was no pot luck, like our old place had been. It didn't dawn on me immediately (read: 2 weeks)  that it was due to Covid. Touching and feeling piles of food that multiple people will encounter isn't a good look these days. 

So, it was BYOB (and we did) and there was a taco truck -- which only took touchless payment. Ahhhhh.........the new normal. 

710 wasn't in the mood to go, but I pushed it a bit. Due to the pandemic, we have met next to no one on our street, let alone the surrounding area. Everyone is either sheltering in place or avoiding us. At least that's my story. 

And truthfully, it was a slow start. We finally knew one couple, and our realtor. 

Honestly, I had a goal: to meet the other gay couple who lived two streets away. They are younger than us, for sure, and have a gaybie. But we'd seem them as we each walk our respective dogs (and their baby).  I mean, I don't think I was looking to be friends with them, but at least being able to do a chin nod and say  " 'sup " as we passed each other didn't seem beyond the pale. 

Oddly, one of them made a point of leaving a group of other folks and coming over to us and introducing themselves. We had a great convo and then his husband joined and it continued. I actually ended up liking both of them a lot -and their baby has an INTENSE stare. Unnerving, actually. But he's cute. 

As we got our tacos, we met a couple on our street - who are slightly older than us. Sara(h) was THRILLED to meet someone else. She was hoping for a more community feel to the street and didn't think it was there. She and her husband invited us to sit with them and eat.  And it was nice. We plan to at least sit outside for drinks soon. 

And we met our brand new neighbors from two doors down. They just moved in. They seemed great too. Loved the husband. He's funny, so we'll be fine. 

Oh - and we thought we met the person who sent out the email for the event. But as it turns out Taylor wasn't the guy who sent out notice. It was his wife..........Taylor.   Yes. They are both named Taylor. Now when they call out names during sex, it might just be a bit narcissistic and could possibly not be even directed to their partner.   .....and the opening of mail could be a challenge. 

So, our planned 30 minutes in-and-out turned to two hours. ....and we came away with some potential new friends but at least with names of neighbors on the street. ...and the neighboring streets.  I'm happy we went. I think 710 is too. 

*no block party happened in 2020 due to Covid. 

Song by: Arcade Fire

Saturday, September 11, 2021


For the day, I'll suspend a Sophie / Shep post. 

It felt weird not to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of 9/11, so while initially I fought the post, I finally leaned into it. Kind of. 

I have zero new to say about it. I have no new insight. 

What I can't find are the photos I took three weeks after the event, when I was in NYC. Maybe they're on a jump drive somewhere - or somewhere on my old laptop. 

I can count on one finger the times I've just reposted something, so this won't be that. But it will be a retrospective. 

Below are links to some of my 9/11 posts - be it the actual day/anniversary, visits to memorial sites, etc.......but mostly just the first two. 

I don't think they'll be in any order - not even chronological. Just stuff for you to read, should you want to........or not.  But it's 9/11.  Not to read my stuff is kind of disrespecting the victims.....and the terrorists win.    .........but that's on you. 

Possibly my best 9/11 post. It's 10 years old. It's 10 years out from the original date. 

No. Maybe this one is better, from five year anniversary

Ramblings after a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Site. A visit. There have been multiple. 

A slight bit of levity ?

Memorial Visits
This place is still haunted for me, but I oddly love going there. 

I've been once. Never a need again.

The memorial wasn't completely finished on our visit. I would like to go back at some point. 

It was our final memorial visit. I got in trouble. 

I've said a number of times in some of those above posts that 'this is my last 9/11 post'. Clearly, I lied. But THIS time, it'll stick.  Maybe I'll be around for the 30th, perhaps not. But even if I am - that would be another decade of blogging. I'm not sure I'll have that in me. 

....and yes. That's what she said. 

Song by: John Lennon

Friday, September 10, 2021

Signs of Life

First off - what the hell is Nebraska doing right? 

This map - as of yesterday - showed all the Covid hot spots in the U.S. 

It's not the one county area Nevada has goin' on. It's almost the whole frickin' state. 

Either zero people live there, or they've all gotten the vaccine or got their hands on some primo horse dewormer. Either way - good for them. I guess. 

We've all been making fun of Florida - and you know, usually, rightfully so. But fuuuuck. Tennessee - you are all sucky as hell. Kenfucky - you get exactly what you deserve with the leadership you keep re-electing. I have zerrrrro sympathy for any of you. 

As much as the alt right is going to burn this country down in flames - Pappy Joe isn't wrong about the vaccination mandate. 

Make no mistake - the right WILL burn this country down with that mandate too. 

This will force the two of the three major hospital systems in the CLE to make sure their workers are immunized. The third one has already required this.  The two others were afraid staff (read: nurses) would leave - and they still might, but they'll have much fewer place in which they can be employed elsewhere. 

It would be nice if any of this happened, or enough so that it could make a difference in the severity of the illness to give some relief to this current way of life. I see ironic anti-vaxx'ing lawsuits from the same group that are proponents of 'right to life'. 

I have said it before, if these guys want to fight it and keep dying, I'm ok with it.  ....but the response is not going to be pretty. 

Oh - and this Pappy Joe proclamation totally diverts his Afghanistan fuck up. 

Song by: Arcade Fire

Thursday, September 09, 2021

the Stroke

 Post-Mortem Jesus gets a happy ending.

I guess he did rise after the dying, after all. 

.....and yes, I did have nothing to write about.  How'd you know???

Song by: Billy Squire

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Count Me Out

I don't think any of this is coincidence. 

Over the weekend, Melanoma comes out with multiple stories (though quoted in none of them, but you know it was her handiwork) that she has zero interest in being First Whore Lady again. 

Then today, her pimp husband says he's 99, 100 % likely to run for BLOTUS II. 

The first good news:  Math is not BLOTUS' strong suit. Ask any of his bankruptcy attorneys or Electoral College counters. So, 99, 100 seems..........well.............reaching. 

The second good news.......possibly:  party-splitting. This could (or should) weed out if the GOP will follow this douchebag twice. If not, it could be an easy slam-dunk for the Dems, except nothing is ever an easy slam-dunk for them. 

Of course, the potential bad news is: these fucking GOPers are just fine following the 21st century Jim Jones to the new Guyana. BYO Kool-Aid. They'll follow him there, behind the likes of Gym Jordan who will have his tongue extended into the Cheeto Anus - if it can make it around the Depends.  ......and you know it will. 

The lack of Melanoma won't be a hinderance to him. She wasn't around enough to matter in the first place. No one would miss her - and I'm sure the likes of Ivanka and / or Lara Trump will more than make up for being the understudy in the role of Lady MacBeth.

You might think this is too early to worry about this hopeful nonsense, but it really isn't. 

I'm thinking Kamala has been scarily silent these last few months - even with the Texas abortion thingy - because they are keeping her from making even a slight gaffe, should she need to be the nominee in 2024. I mean, Pappy Joe ain't getting any younger...........and that big pile of Afghanistan dung he stepped in ain't helping his or the Dems case. 

Song by: the Shoes

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

a Heartbeat is a Lovebeat

So, I have a theory about this whole Texas / Abortion Ban / Bounty shit.  But I'm sure you thought I would. 

Personally, I think that Texas had to go WAY out there for this, but only so they get the abortion ban part to stick. 

The bounty piece is so egregious and I think totally unlawful, I don't even think the legislature figured a court would uphold it - state, federal, appellate or supreme.  However, they also figured that would be the sticking point and the thing folks focused on the most.  And they weren't wrong.

So they will be well and good and happy if the bounty part gets dropped, but the abortion ban part stays in place. And I think that is on which they are counting. 

As evil geniuses goes, this isn't a bad plan at all. 

While, of course, this is a continuation on a War on Women, let's be completely frank: it is a War on Women of Color and Economic Means. 

White women, who can afford it, will always have access to abortion. Those without funds, transportation, jobs or the ability to take a day off will never have this ability. 

And BT'DUB.....


White women in Texas overwhelmingly voted for BLOTUS and his ilk. So it's not just men dictating what happens to a woman's body. White ladies also want to continually deny anything and everything to women / people of colour and the poor. But it's Texas, we know they knowingly and willingly entered into this coven of horribleness. 

And you know - once again - it's a War on Women of Color and Economic Means when there is zero punishment for men in any of this. As you know, women get into these situations by themselves. So unless a dude drives them to the abortion or knows about it and doesn't stop them, then it's a bounty issue. 

I have a friend who works at Planned Parenthood and FYI - Mississippi, South Dakota, and Ohio are the next ones looking at the same restrictions and bounties. If Newsome loses the California recall and a Republican gets in as governor, your can add that state to the list as well. 

Oh, and 22 states have laws currently in place - Ohio being one - if Roe falls, the state follows Federal law. State laws will no longer apply. Look for more states to add that before SCOTUS truly hears this full-on. 

Here MIGHT be a silver lining?   Mid-terms. 

IF the Dems have the fucking balls to galvanize behind this issue alone, they could rally and really make the mid-terms their own. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. They have no leadership in Pelosi or Schumer. The minority seemingly has, if not all the power, then the most of the media attention. McCarthy and McConnell still rule the roost and we, once again, get beat up for our lunch money.

Oh - and $$$.  I have long been a customer of AT&T.  They were better than Sprint and less annoying than Verizon. But they gave $291,000 to members of the Texas legislature who passed that law. I will be looking to change my carrier, as soon as I look into other's donation habits. And I will be cutting off auto-pay before I do it, because if they think I'm paying an early termination fee {see what I did there?} they as fucked as the women that Texas is fucking over. 

Song by: the DeFranco Family (ft. Tony DeFranco)

Monday, September 06, 2021

My Music Monday

The theme is:  music - new(er) and old - we heard to, at and from vacation. 

This one is new(er).  I've heard Cannon's "Bad Dream" once or twice before vacay, so it was semi-familiar. But highway driving is different than city driving, so I had a different kind of attention span while trekking through Virginia and North Carolina. 

"Bad Dream" certainly has an ethereal quality. The synths and layered vocals remind me of something from the late 80s / early 90s of whom I cannot put my finger on. 

Honestly, there is nothing groundbreaking about this song - musically or lyrically. Yet, I still like it. It's not sing-along, though I'm sure some do and will. It's just great background music. 


Sunday, September 05, 2021

Get Together

We have been in our "new" house 17 months. We had our first gathering last night. 

Gathering might be a strong word, but friends David and James came over for dinner. Carry-out, actually, as some people are still being cautious about who touches what and how. I totally get it. 

While I'm happy I didn't have to cook, I'd have gladly done it, but we got to spend a LOT of time with the two. 

As 710 pointed out, usually we see a movie with them and then a quick after-film dinner. This was a four hour eat (well, maybe 35 minutes of eat) and catch-up.  We have not seen them - not really - since February of 2020. They are our closest Cleveland friends and it was weird not to be seeing them. 

As I've mentioned here any number of times, I'm fairly socially inept and this was no different - though with these two, I don't think they cared, though both are fairly socially fluent. But with a 19 month gap, 710 said to me beforehand, "I don't know how to host anymore".  

I'm not sure we ever did, but I think we do ok. And we did ok. 

We had some drinks, though they usually do not. We had some things to sample that were in individual bowls for each person, so no one shared or had to. Dinner was carry-out and the individual chocolate mouse cups were a huge hit.  

Everyone was double-vaxxed and no masks were used, though we all had them. We sat a decent amount apart, so we were mindful but not overly diligent. There were hugs and not just touched elbows. 

It wasn't a spreader event - super or not. No one left with Covid.  Probably. 

I know Delta variant is out there, so we won't do this often or maybe anytime soon, but it was nice to reconnect. It felt human. 

But it was the catch-up.  We missed an election cycle. We have missed the dozen movies we would have seen with them. We missed job changes, life changes, family changes. It took four hours to catch up. Maybe longer, but we cut it at four. I mean, I'm writing this after my normal bedtime because they left after my normal bedtime.

But at least I'll go to bed content. 

Song by: Madonna