Sunday, October 31, 2021

Northern Lights

It seems we here the 216 had an opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis last night. 

Opportunity does not equal actuality. 

Like the last few comets or alignment of planets and / or starts,  weather a little closer to home is fucking with a natural wonder a bit father from here. 

There was a big-ass solar flare the other day and well, it's going to result in the northern lights being seen farther down into the U.S.  (and Europe). 

It's been grey for a few days - and rainy. So, if I ever want to truly see the nothern lights, I might actually have to go north. 

That's an excuse to hit norther Europe some time.  But at least now I can go to bed at a reasonable time. 

Song by: Paul Hardcastle

Saturday, October 30, 2021


Cats and Dogs.  That's all you need to know. 

Another shot from her day out two weeks ago. 
We've created a monster with that short freedom. She tries to make a break for it anything anyone is near the door. 

Chewy, the hospital therapy dog. 

Shep used to park at the carved animals in the cemetery - but he's used to them now. 
Fun fact:  none of the people who are to be buried under that lion are far. 

Fleece and Fur. 

I don't know who this girl at daycare is, but she was hitting on me. 

I know who this dude from daycare is - and he too was hitting on me. 

Tired from being awesome all day long. 

Song by: Veruca Salt

Friday, October 29, 2021

Cooking with Blobby

Oh my - another one. And more pasta. Will this ever end?  

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon is fairly easy - though clean up is kind of a pain - even if the dish title infers it's all in one pot.  It's kind of a lie. 

I'd find this dish better for the chillier weather, which I did when we dipped into the 40s. It's comfort carbs but a little twisty. And it's vegetarian-y. I think it's not vegan-y with two different kinds of cheese. You know how those vegans are. Almost as annoying a gluten allergic cross-fitters. 


  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt  
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 pound short, ribbed pasta, like gemelli or penne 
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (8 ounces) 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino (2 ounces), plus more for serving 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons) 
  • Red-pepper flakes, for serving 
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced or torn basil leaves, for serving (optional). Not really optional. 
The lemon part is here is key - good or bad. 

710 (and to a degree, myself) has been turned off by lemon in cooking. Desserts are fine! But my mother, bless her, used lemon a lot in her later years. My take on it is: her taste buds were waning, so she amped up the lemon usage to where she could taste it at a normal level, never knowing it was ruining every dish it touched for folks with normal buds. None of us - sister and brother in law included - ever told her this, so we endured it for the last few years of her life, and then purposefully staying away from the citrus in any cooking we did. 

It was time to dip our toes back in the water. And to that degree, I kind of failed. Less is more.*


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. 

In the same pot, make the sauce: Add the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir until well combined.  I seemed wiser to mix this in a bowl and add it to the pot, so already, I have veered away from "one pot pasta'. 

Add 1/2 cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth. 

Oh - and a word of note: box graters are finger tip killers. It would have been wiser to use the food processor for the parmesan but it seemed it would be one more thing to clean. Still when you get to the nub of that cheese at the grater, be careful. 

Apropos of nothing, IF you grate your finger tips a bit, you MIGHT want to have someone else squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture.   ...........the more you know!

Add the pasta and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. 

Divide the pasta among bowls and top with some of the sauce that’s pooled at the bottom of the pot.

Garnish with grated Parmesan, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and basil, if using.

We didn't garnish with more Parm. Ricotta is tricky. It's a little grainy and doesn't smooth out as much as you'd ever like, or think it could or should. And once it's not hot-hot, in congeals a little bit. So to add more cheese seemed like it would be a drying technique. 

The red pepper flakes somewhat balanced the lemon, but not enough. For the initial serving, there was seemingly too much lemon flavouring.  It wasn't bad, just a bit distracting. I also figured there was residual Ellie/lemon repressed trauma from years back still lingering. 

So yes, it's one pot:  plus a bowl, plus a cheese grater and a cutting board. But, if you have a 710, he'll clean up for you and your mess. 

*leftovers had the lemon flavours mellowed quite a bit. this left it with a more blended and somewhat complex profile.  maybe the idea is to either add less lemon initially, or let the dish sit for a day or two before actually eating. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

No Idea

Here's an ugly truth many bloggers might hate to admit:  sometimes you just don't feel like writing. 

Sure, sometimes you struggle for a topic, but sometimes you just don't care, even if you have had said topic. 

98.3% of the time, I still enjoy to write, and even want to. But now and again - like now - the mood isn't there. 

I believe that like Stella, I will get my groove back. Nothing some ice cream and a good night sleep might fix.  If not, I can just turn it into a blog with pics and memes. I wouldn't be the first........or the last. 

Song by: Any Trouble

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Walk Between the Raindrops

Torrential downpours in California are nice, but not enough, of course.  San Francisco had its wettest October day on record the other day. 

That is seemingly very specific, but not to the point if they said the date was a prime number or not. 

Souther California is getting it too, but they might have a bigger issue than drought.  Now the issue is mudslides with all the bare hills after fire after fire. 

But in Yosemite - and by all means, if you've never been, you should go! - finally has enough rain to have water going over Yosemite Falls. 

Lack of rain or snowfall has left the falls dry as a bone. 

In person, it's something to see. When we were there almost 20 years ago (!) , it was May-ish and the snows higher up were still melting. Some of the roads still impassible due to snow. But due to the melt, all the falls in the park were roaring. 

Due to climate change, that has not been the case as of late. 

There is already snow in the upper areas, so hopefully they'll get a lot to sustain not just the falls, but all of the areas that are dying for some water.........literally. 

Song by: James McMurtry

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Candy, Everybody Wants

In the back of my mind - wherever that might be - I knew I was supposed to get Halloween candy when I went grocery shopping the other day, but it didn't happen. 

I saw the anemic display and said - to myself - I'll circle back and pick up something. 14 seconds later, and I'm rounding up, that thought went right out of my head. 

Last year was the first Halloween in the new 'hood and well, I wanted to make a good impression, but I waited until about four hours before trick or treat started before I went looking for candy.  BIG mistake. I got the leftovers of the leftovers. 

As it turns out, I'm not sure anyone cared. The parents were grateful someone was handing out candy in such a Covid year.  2021 isn't much better, but so far, I like the neighbors we've met and like getting to know them. I'm even learning some of the kids names - which sound like a lot of their dog's names....I'm just sayin'..........

As I don't want our house to get egged or TP'd, I shan't be buying any of the following:
  • Raisins
  • Necco Wafers
  • Candy Corn
  • Pennies (there is a coin shortage, ya know!)
  • Carmel Creames
  • Popcorn Balls
  • Candy / Carmel Apples
  • Malted Milk Balls

Last year, I bagged everything individually to keep all safe - and to keep grubby hands from touching everything. This year, I kind of want to be the cool guy who gets full-sized candy bars, which are a hit and easier to grab if laid out correctly. e

Still most of our treaters - last year anyways - were all under the age of 5. They need fun-sized stuff. Now it's just up to me stopping in the next day to find something. 

Song by: 10,000 Maniacs

Monday, October 25, 2021

My Music Monday

The theme is:  a title from one of my blog posts from the last week. And while "we" just did Prince & the Revolution, I'm sticking with his Purple Majesty - adjacent. 

"Jungle Love" is from the Time, which was a one of the many off-shoots of Prince. There was Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, the Family, Jill Jones along with his own NPG. Let's not forget Shiela E..  And his work with Chaka Kahn. 

Yes, he wrote songs others covered (Lauper, Bangles, O'Connor, etc) but he didn't actually produce them. 

While "Jungle Love" says it's written by Morris Day, the production is all Prince. 

I didn't know much about the Time before Purple Rain. 710, on the other hand, saw Prince, the Time and Vanity 6 in concert. But the band was featured heavily in the movie - and while they only got two songs on film, they (i.e. Day) figured prominently into the plot. 

I've said it before - Purple Rain was an iffy movie. The performances are incredible. The storyline and the acting is pretty much atrocious. Day. He may have been the only natural on the set, and I'm including you Clarence Williams III.  Sure, he was passable on Mod Squad, but that's where his gravy train ended. 

So, while I wanted the actual performance of "Jungle Love" here, and I found it, but it has so many cut aways from the performance, it was just easier to use the actual video - which still has cuts aways because, let's face it, it was a promotional tool for the movie itself.   Ahhhh.....MTV 1984. 

If you can look past the "ohhh-eeeee-ohhhh--eeee-oh", it's a pretty good song. At least it had its time. It was nothing I ever purchased for felt the need to - but if it came one the radio, I probs wouldn't change the channel. 

Sunday, October 24, 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. 

Why go to the state fair when the state fair can come to you?

I don't even know - it $6 a good price for a 3lb butter turkey? Butter is just one of those things that one needs, so I have no idea how much it costs. It goes into the cart, to the register to the fridge, without an iota of thought .

I suppose this time of year, a turkey is the logical choice, though a state fair would never have something so mundane.  One year, the Ohio State Fair had a butter Buster Douglas (yeah (99.98% of you will have to look him up). 

Since our state fair tried to be timely with their sculptures (wait - Ohio isn't the only state to do butter sculptures - are they??) maybe last year or this had an corona virus spore done in butter. Maybe this year - as I have to believe (but don't remember...............or care) if they cancelled it in the midst of 2020's horrific year of deaths. 

Honestly, I think the most troubling thing of these are: they're not even refrigerated.  That can't be good - right? 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Jungle Love

Saturday. Pet Day. The reason you suckers keep coming back here.  Listen, if I come in 3rd behind these two, that is the BEST case scenario. 

Office Cat. 
She doesn't really pick up after herself. 

Car make-out sesh.......with two dudes. 

Defiant park squirrel.

Confident Cat. 
She rules the house. 

Defiant 'hood squirrel.


The pair. 

Jungle Sophie. 
We let her outdoors twice 15 years ago - supervised. She proved to be a flight risk. 

But she wanted out and the backyard is pretty inescapable - and we kept a close watch on her. 
She. Loved. It. 

I think we shall try again soon. 

Song by: the Time

Friday, October 22, 2021

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Cooking with Blobby

I know: two cooking segments within 10 days! Crazy.  

But as you've probably surmised, I eat daily. Sometimes several times per day. Sometimes more. 

But grilling weather is dwindling. I know people grill year round, but when you have to get through 8" of snow to do it, and you continually have to put shoes or boots on and take them off - it's probably not happening. 

So, why not try something new. And for the record, this one you can do in a skillet too: Ginger-Lime Chicken. 

Super easy. Few ingredients. Good flavours. 

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts 
  • Kosher salt and black pepper 
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 2 limes), plus lime wedges, for serving 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (from a 3-inch piece of peeled ginger)

PREPARATION Pat the chicken dry and season all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lime zest and ginger; season with salt and pepper. 

Add the chicken to the mayonnaise mixture and stir to coat. (The chicken can sit in the marinade for up to 8 hours in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before cooking.) 

To grill: Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill the chicken over direct heat until cooked through and juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side for thighs and about 4 minutes per side for breasts, turning as necessary to avoid burning. 

To cook in a skillet: Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Cook the chicken until juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side for thighs and about 4 minutes per side for breasts. 

Serve chicken with lime wedges, for squeezing on top.

The flavours are clean and light. It doesn't really taste like lime or ginger, but everything looked, smelled and tasted great. I used thighs, and they cook quickly, so really, grating the ginger (well.....peeling it) takes more time than actual grilling. 

It's relatively easy and it's good for putting into the rotation. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

If You Could Read My Mind

This might sound weird, but I miss reading. 

I mentioned in my 12 of 12 of getting a new book.  It has been forever and a day since I bought a new book.......let alone read one. 

Somewhere in my past, I loved to read and would devour books, but know, life happened.  I work a lot - and I mean a lot! - and then I come home, walk the dog, make dinner, have an hour after that before I start to get ready for bed. 

......oh and I'm still hopelessly addicted to the NYT Spelling Bee, so I don't really do much of anything in my free time if I haven't made 'genius'. 

So my book reading had dropped to almost nil. It got to the point where I didn't even miss it, because I pretty much forgot about it.  No offense to blogs, but reading them isn't the same, and to be honest, I'm not even keeping up on most of those. 

Yet, during one of our Sunday friend calls, Morty brought up a book. He talked it up - like Terri Gross does on Fresh Air. He made it sound so good, the other four of us on the call ordered it that very day. All 592 pages of it. 

Normally, restarting a past time should not begin with almost 600 pages, but here we were. We all agreed to not talk about it until everyone had read it.  Morty, of course, was already finished before he even mentioned the book, so the rest of us were just going to play catch-up. 

The day I got the book, I sat down for 90 minutes and read as many pages. It. Was. Great. 

I mean, the book is good - even better than good - but the process the familiarity was just welcoming and felt comforting. And I started to remember why I kind of gave up reading:  I loved to read in bed. But I'm an old fart now, more often than not a book would end up on the floor or next to me, because I fell asleep. 

So, I redirected my pattern and it all worked out. 

As luck would have it, 710 had to go out of town for a day - part of one rainy Saturday - and I planted my hairy ass on the sofa and read another 400 pages and the last 100 the following morning. 

The book - the Heart's Invisible Fury Invisible Furies - was a good read for sure, but not overly taxing. It certainly kept interest, made me laugh more than one time, and pretty much tear up one other. 

Since we promised no spoilers, there are no details here. 

But now, I want to go back to reading which means blog-reading suffers even more and the tv might stay off, which should be just fine. 

......and yes, I read physical books. I like the feel of them. And if it's a big enough book, it probably hursts as much as an iPad when you doze off and it falls on your face........and I don't have to make sure it's charged. 

Song by: Gordon Lightfoot

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


Twice vaccinated Colin Powell died yesterday of Covid-19. 

Boo. Hoo, 

Sorry.  Boo-fucking-hoo. 

My take: two down, like 18 more to go. 

Rumsfeld was the first. Now Powell.  C'mon Cheney, Bush, Rice, Scooter and the fucking rest of you. You are all war criminals. 

The image you see is Powell knowingly lying to the UN about imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 

Depending on which new agency or governing body you believe, the Iraq dead (civilian and military) range anywhere from 109,032 to 645,965. 

U.S. deaths are at about 4,431 and another 31,994 injured. 

.....all for a lie.  Oh, and oil.  

Powell claims...well, claimed.....past tense, now, he 'regrets' making a case for the Iraq War. He called it a 'blot' on his record. 

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. 

Wrecking dad's car when you're underage drinking is a 'blot'. Knowingly leading soldiers - whom you used to be in charge of as Joint Chief of Staff - to their death is more than a fucking 'blot'.  The killing of 110,000 (or more!) is your fucking ticket to Hell. 

Powell's faux apologies always rang hollow to me. Of course, he had nothing to fear. There was no tribunal for him or anyone in Shrub's administration. There would be no dishonorable anything. No trial. No jail time. No hanging.  But there should have been. 

I don't give half a fuck if Powell tried to peal himself away from his precious GOP that was tainted with BLOTUS. A war criminal trying to cast dispersions at a traitorous president was downright laughable. BLOTUS - I hate to admit - was right to mock Powell for that as well. 

Covid killed Powell, the reality was, he was 84. I mean..........tick tick tick......

Now the angel of death can come for the rest of them. I won't feel a thing, though I might dance a bit if Cheney bites it.  IF.  I'm not sure he's human to begin with.  And unlike Powell, I'll have no regrets chuckling over their demise. 

btw....the one "good" thing to come out of the Iraq war was this blog. While I didn't hold onto it for a huge length of time, the idea was to use the forum to protest the then soon-to-be start of that war. Ironic I lasted longer than that, but my body count is a LOT less.  It's not zero - just to be clear. 

Song by: the Eurythmics

Monday, October 18, 2021

My Music Monday

The theme is a title from this last week's post. 

The N was small. Three of the posts were non-music titles. But once I used "Talk to Me", I knew my choice. 

The song comes from Chris Isaak's 1985 debut album, Silvertone - which is arguably his best. I stand by it.  It's got a great groove, it's moody, borderline dark-ish and all very retro, even in 1985. 

There is no official video for it, but someone made a fan one. It kind of works. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Site of the Month

Since I have little going on that isn't work, I thought I could cross of my semi-regular, ill-titled series, Site of the Month.  

Sorry.  Site of the "Month".

Actually, I think the NYT runs this weekly, or frequently.  Just different questions. 

I did ok, but not great. 

For the record - and Texas senators and house members might pay attention - I got the one wrong answer on a women's health question. 

It probably is best for me - a white guy - not to be making medical decisions for women and their bodies. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Talk to Me

I've come to deal with that all work weeks anymore are just going to be borderline brutal. It makes me appreciate home time and pet time even more. 

He's tres affectionate upon daycare pick up.

Cat in repose. 

Daycare Dog in repose.

She was VERY talkative during dinner last night. 
This was the only time she was not yelling at me. 

Wiped out from a long week. 

They might not be besties, but they found harmony in their own way. 

Song by:  Chris Isaak

Friday, October 15, 2021

Dirty Work

You will find this somewhat unbelievable, but I rarely drink during the week. 

This week is not one of those weeks. 

It's well known in healthcare that you can tell it's a full moon by the crazy activity that occurs at hospitals. Everything about this week has said every day has been a full moon - which isn't really possible. And it's barely a half-moon anyways. 

I rarely discuss work here, and will be vague-ish.  But each day has surpassed the last in terms of craziness and neediness. 

There has been an employee who is self-harming, a provider who is just a complete ass to me, short staffing, someone I have to fire - and my favourite:  the person who applied for FMLA two weeks after she quit!!!!

She actually called in her last three days. I'm not sure she even called in to say she wasn't coming. And since she hadn't even worked her first 90 days, she had no PTO to cover this.  Apparently that became a problem for her financially. 

T. S.  

So, she actually filed paperwork to to get FMLA the last week of her job. What she probably didn't know - or care - is that one is required to use the first six days as PTO before paid FMLA kicks in. But she has none and now no job to accrue said PTO time. 

I mean, the claim was IMMEDIATELY declined, but still.   

Oh - then her number kept popping up on my phone.  Yeah - I wasn't about to answer that. 

Management is exhausting.  222 babies. Some better behaved than others...........but that's all relative. 

Song by: Steely Dan

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Calling it Quits

I should be ok with the head coach of the Oakland Los Angeles Las Vegas Raiders resigning from his job after multiple instances of bigotry, racism, misogyny and homophobia.  Deep down, I'm a little pissed that the organization and the NFL didn't fire him. 

THAT sends a message. 

Allowing him to faux apologize and probably resign with his benefits and golden parachute is bullshit and says all the wrong things to the others in the NFL. 

Jon Gruden called Roger Goodell a 'faggot' and a 'pussy'. At least in email, if not to his face. I'm sure he meant 'a bundle of sticks' and a 'kitty cat', right? 

He said the head of the NFL union, who is black, that his lips were the size of Michelin Tires. 

He denounced any protesting by kneeling and made homophobic comments about the NFL trying to be inclusive by drafting Michael Sam, who would have been the first out player. 

There were comments about women too, of course.  Female refs?  

While, clearly, all of that is horrible, I think I was way way way more offended that he thought the league was too safety conscious. 

Yes, clear medical indications of playing literally turns a players brains to mush, but the league is being pussies about protection. And not just NFL, but down to pee-wee. 

This guy clearly had issues not performing well enough for his father as a tot - and grew up to be one big asshole.  But an asshole who got to leave - more or less - on his own terms. 

Once again, the NFL holds almost no one accountable for anything.  

Song by: Aimee Mann

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 138th 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.  

04:27.  Running morning reports. 
Well, signing on to run morning reports. 

04:56.  A.M. dog walk. 
Trying out a new head-lamp thingy. Tired of almost running into skunks I can't see. 

05:04.  Morning Chore. 
710 does the dishes in the evening. I put the non-dishwasher stuff away before we wakes. 

06:04.  Cream. 
The dermatologist told me I had suborrheic dermatitis. So now I put this on my face every morning instead of moisturizer. 

08:26.  Zoom. 
.....not even the first one of the day.  ....but look at that skin!

12:07.  TCB. 

12:18.  Takin' a walk at lunch. 

12:38.  Lunch itself. 
Tuna on water table crackers. pineapple chunks. clementines. 

17:08.  Going down. 
Headed home......with one stop in between. 

17:40.  Eye of Sauron Shep
Someone was a bit excited at pick up to pose for anything. 

17:57.  Book Club. 
First rule about Book Club is to talk about Book Club. 
...and yes, I still buy physical books. 

19:21.  Groceries. 
710 shopped after work. I met him in the drive to help unpacked. 

138 is in the books.