Sunday, January 31, 2010


Quiet Sunday. After spending most of Saturday at my parents we went out to breakfast with my parents. I am very excited as my 15 month old niece said my name today!

I am one very proud Uncle Robbie right now.

For the rest of the day... probably snoozing. We're all really tired this weekend. A nap will do me good.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blue Car Blues

Holy crap it's cold out! I checked just before going outside and it said the temperature in Methuen was a whopping six degrees.

I went out to the blue car, planning on moving it out of the driveway so I could take the white car out for an oil change. The blue car wouldn't start. There was juice in the battery, but no crank when I turned the key.

We have a remote starter for this car and sometimes when we use it the car won't start and some how the ignition is locked out for 10-15 minutes or so. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. I decided to work on the assumption that the button on the remote starter had been pressed while the keys were in my pocket and I waited 15 minutes and went out again. Once again, nuttin'.

So we called AAA. They came after 25 minutes or so and the tow truck driver couldn't get the car started either. So we had it towed to A&B Auto in Tewksbury. Our garage of choice since... since... at least the late 1970's.

So now we have no blue car for a while. Hopefully it's just a dead starter and we'll get it fixed up quickly.

Best of luck, oh loyal blue car. Get well soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Now I Remember

Now I remember what I was going to say two posts ago. I wish I still forgot though.

I have noticed something disturbing.

The mirror in the men's room near my desk has a very bright light right above it. It has the ability to very clearly point out certain discolorations in my greater headial area.

In English: Robbie's going gray.

I would say that about a year ago I first started clearly seeing a change. I was still probably 95% red hair to about 5% gray. Today, however, the change sort of hit me. I usually don't notice things like this but for some reason it stood out today. Now I would say it's probably more like 85% red... maybe closer to 80% red. I may still be overly optimistic here, but there sure does seem to be a whole boat load more gray these days.

I can't imagine my life without red hair. It has defined me for so very long (no it hasn't, I just like to pretend it has). I have to come to grips with the fact that there will come a day... soon by the look of things... when I will no longer be able to accurately describe myself as a red head.

How does that make me feel?

I'm okay with it. Why? Because I have 1,125 wedding pictures where I very clearly have red hair. Now that my wedding, and my wedding pictures, are behind me my hair can really do whatever it pleases.

Just so long as it doesn't fall out.

The Death of Myspace

Happy Bonus Day

Today is that magical day for people who work for the company I work for. Today is the annual bonus day. There are a lot of smiling co-workers this morning.

Of course mine is already gone. Our monstrous debt is being firmly kicked in the shins today. Well worth it. Take that you mountain of debt that is keeping us from buying a house! One big step closer to the big goals, but still many more steps to go.

I just did something I've never done. I unfriended a Facebook friend. Over the last two Rush tours in 2007-08 I met a lot of cool people by hanging around The Rush Forum site. After a while many of those people ended up on Facebook, and I still occasionally get a friend request either from one of the people I met, or some one who read something I posted (although I haven't been on the forum in quite a while) or some one who knows some one I know... that sort of thing.

I got one of those friend requests the other day and I accepted it. Only to find that the person apparently sits at a computer all day (not a bad thing, I do it too) and posts snippets of Rush lyrics as status messages... every 5-10 minutes or so. As if this person is listening to Rush (nothing wrong with that) and transcribing the lyrics into status updates. The end result is that my newsfeed is filled with posts from one person and I either can't find or just plain miss anything posted by anyone else. On top of that, this person has filled up a few photo albums with pictures of Rush, and changes their default picture to a different picture of Rush a few times a day.

Listen, no one is a more obsessive Rush fan than I am, but what you're doing is beyond obnoxious. I know the lyrics to all of their songs. I know what the individual members look like so I don't need to see their photos as your profile picture. Let them put those pictures as their own profile pictures. I will admit that I have a shite load of Rush pictures on my account, but they are pictures that I took myself not pictures that were published in a magazine in 1978. I don't need you to continuously barrage my newsfeed with some one else's words/thoughts/images. BAM! You have been unfriended.

I feel mean, but gimme a freakin' break.

I was going to write something else but I went and got all distracted. What was I saying? I don't know. If I remember I'll post it later.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nothing Interesting

Today is another one of those nothing-interesting-in-my-head mornings.

Did you know that in C# strings are references, but they don't behave like references? If you have a reference and give it a value, then set a second reference to equal the first, and then change the value of the second, the value of the first changes too. Not strings though. When you change the value of a string it doesn't overwrite the string in memory, it creates a new one at a different location. So a second string referencing the one you changed will not change with it. They overloaded a method somewhere in the string class to keep it from acting like a normal reference. Nice of them, eh?

I remembered another dream. This makes three in the last week or so! This time I was at my 10th high school reunion, which is odd for two reasons. First, I didn't go to my 10th reunion. Second, I just had my 20th reunion and didn't go to that one either. Another odd thing was, in my dream, the 10th was held at some one's house. I was telling everyone that I was a professional musician. (so this isn't a dream per say, it's a fantasy?) I was talking to the guy who had been my best friend during my early elementary school days. I told him I could play any instrument known to man. The only ones I wasn't completely proficient at were double reed instruments like oboes and bassoons. I seemed to be nervous about that. I hinted that I was supposed to be recording a difficult oboe concerto and I wasn't good enough to pull it off. My former elementary school friend said, "You can play wind instruments?" (obviously he's a big fan of my guitar playing) and I responded by saying, "Dude, I've been playing saxophone since the 4th grade. That's a wind instrument." Then I woke up.

All this dream remembering is fascinating to me and, I can imagine, boring as sin to anyone who stumbles upon it. Oh well, sorry.

Jenny just re-registered our mini van. It's legal for 2010! Now I have to get that damn break light fixed and get it inspected. Yippee, eh?

My company's email server apparently has crashed. I am just a wealth of fascinating stuff today!

The Bruins play tomorrow. Please please please please please please please let the suckatude be over. Please!

The RPM Challenge begins in four days. I have no idea what to do. I need to hit a music store this weekend and get a few packs of guitar strings. I also need to put one of those packs of strings onto my ES335 (the guitar of choice this year. Last year it was the Les Paul Custom). I need to go into the cellar and organize my work space. It's a total mess. That's what happens when you don't use your recording equipment for a year. I have to get all of my cables together, clean out a little room to sit while I work. I also need to plug stuff in and hope it's still functioning.

I was going to try to use Apple's Garageband on Jen's MacBook, but now we are thinking of selling the MacBook and I don't want to start this on it unless I can finish it. I am going to have to dig out a couple of SVHS tapes from my stash. Hopefully I have a couple that don't have any must-be-saved recordings on them. I may end up recording over last year's RPM project.

I have no idea what I want to do (who am I kidding, it's going to sound exactly the same as last year's. 7-8 cheesy rock riffs and a couple of 12-bar blues') but I am getting excited for Monday morning. It's going to be fun. Lame, of course, but fun.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bad Moon Rising

2010-10-27 - moon shots
Originally uploaded by robj_1971
The moon looked freaky tonight. I made it look freakier by not being able to keep the camera still and taking a seriously crappy photo.


Watch the sales video here.

The starting price is $499. That's a whole lot better than the $1000 we were fearing, but no where near as happy as the $300 we were hoping for. Oh yeah, the $499 is only 16gigs and has no 3G. The 64 gig version with 3G is something like $850. (I forget the actual cost, but it's in that neighborhood.)

The data plan for 3G is cheap at only $30/month, but it's AT&T. Oh. Good.

There was no mention of iPhone OS 4.0, or the end of the AT&T exclusivity agreement.

Still, watch the video and you too will see why I was drooling like a gibbering idiot throughout the whole presentation.

I don't need it. I don't want it. But at the same time I totally need it and want it!

Don't Call it a Tablet

Call it an iPad...

Get me a towel to mop up all of this fan boy drooling.

Picture taken from this Engadget page.

Update/Apple/Dream Post

First of all, an update on last evening's bird's nest picture post.

Bummer dude.

Along with this post there was a less-than-140-character summary along with one of the pictures posted at twitter. Almost immediately after the tweet hit the stream I got a response from some one in Seattle saying it could be an eagle, or a heron, or an owl depending on my location. Or it could be a squirrel.

hmmm. We have lots of squirrels in our neighborhood.

Shortly after there was a response directly on Flickr saying it looked like a squirrel nest. Two votes for squirrels is enough for me to cave in and accept that I don't have an exotic bird like a condor or an albatross living in my yard. I have what my eyes tell me I have: squirrels. Later in the evening I got another response agreeing with the squirrel theory.

Bummer dude.

>change of subject<

Today at 1:00pm Eastern time (10:00am Pacific time) Apple Computers is having a press event. They told us they would be announcing a new product. If said new product is anything other than their much anticipated despite no proof to it's existence touch screen tablet computer then there will probably be mass riots throughout all of geekdom.

I will be following the event as best I can through twitter, although with the number of my fellow nerds salivating over this (or any) Apple press event it's safe to say that the fail whale will be making many an appearance. I am also going to try and find some live blogs to follow. I usually end up at cnet for such things and they have already put up their page here.

I am not going to buy an Apple tablet. If it hits the market at a price similar to a Kindle I might consider it after some time has past and the initial bugs are shaken out of it. Until then, nope. Don't need it. I would like to have something like that to play with, and it would be cool to have a wireless computer with a little more umph to it than my iPhone to carry around, should I ever want to surf the net in the woods or anything. But lets face it, I have no real need for such a device.

There is also a rumored update to the iPhone OS. I heard that version 4.0 might be on the agenda today. In anticipation of which may I once again announce to the world in general that, boy it would sure be cool to have a flash plug in for the iPhone version of Safari. Gee, that'd be swell.

One final rumor is that the exclusivity contract with AT&T might be terminating which means iPhone users can switch to other cell phone carriers. AT&T is shit, to be blunt. They are not even close to capable of handling the demand created by the iPhone. The cell network drops calls constantly, and the data network is slow and unreliable. Not to mention the fact that within 30 miles of Boston, Massachusetts there are many, many places where their 3G network is not available. (I can only speak from my greater Boston experience, but from what I hear holes in the network in the Boston suburbs are nothing compared to huge holes in the network in little towns like San Francisco, CA and some little hamlet called New York, NY.)

Now, having said that... I don't think jumping ship to Verizon or T-Mobile the minute the option becomes available to us might be the smartest thing to do. Sure, AT&T sucks and their network cannot handle the current iPhone population... but what if suddenly there was a massive reduction in the number of smart phones using the AT&T network? Would enough people jump off the sinking ship to relieve the burden and leave a network that is capable of meeting the demands?

Maybe, but I still see us moving to Verizon, if not immediately then after our contract is up. I think we have another year to go, but I am not sure. I will have to look into that.

>change of subject<

Do you remember your dreams? When I was a kid I had nightmares every night. My parents chalked it up to being constantly freaked out by old Star Trek episodes and the occasional Channel 56 Creature Double Feature. When I was waking up terrified every night I always remembered what I dreamed about. I can actually still remember some of them now, 30+ years later.

But at some point I lost the knack. More likely I taught myself to stop remembering so I wouldn't wake up scared.

Last week though, I woke up with a clear memory of dreaming about Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame having an NBC talk show. (I wrote about it here but am too lazy to link to it.) Today I woke up with another clear memory of a dream. That's twice in about a week. Odd for me.

This one was a commute dream and I would guess that I have these all the time, given that I spend almost three hours a day commuting.

I was traveling on a two lane black top through a very rural wooded area (not one that I recognized) on my way to work. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 8:00am which meant I had plenty of time to get to work.

Accept for one small detail...

I was walking. WTF am I doing? I asked my dream self. I lucked out though and saw a breakfast joint type restaurant that was like a two story Cracker Barrel just up ahead and there was a transit bus leaving the lot. I figured there was a bus station and I could take a bus to work.

I got there and bought a ticket to Boston. (that's another thing, I was trying to get to Boston to go to work in a place I haven't worked in since 1995 or so) I waited for what seemed like forever until a bus finally arrived to pick up me and a small throng of other bus-commuters. When I got to the bus though it wasn't a bus, it was a big van and all the seats were taken. I had to stand up, leaning against the sliding side door. At this point I guess the dream became a you-are-ridiculously-tall dream as I had to stand hunched over to avoid having my head rip through the roof.

I tried to engage in small talk with my fellow passengers (very out of character for a non-speaking guy like me) but most of them ignored me. The only one who said anything said in a perfect Boston accent, "I don't speak English." Clearly the asshole did speak English but I left it alone. (note: that actually happened to me once. I was a kid tagging for Tewksbury Little League baseball outside a long closed down supermarket that was called Heartland. I was asking the people going into the store for donations. One woman said to me in a perfectly formed Boston accent, "I'm sorry, but me no speak English." I was flaggergasted. That scumbag woman had lied right in the face of a 12 year old kid. I can only hope she choked on whatever food she bought that day.)

Just after being told off by my non-English speaking, English speaking fellow traveler the alarm went off and I woke from this bizarre dream. Can anyone tell me what it means? I think it means I have a long commute, but I'd like some one in the brain shrinking field to concur with me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Update/Apple/Dream Post.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is That a Bird's Nest?

There is a tree in our back yard that has this huge... thing... in it. I think it's a bird's nest. Jen agrees. Unfortunately for my bird watching aspirations I have no clue if it really is or not. It could be a big pile of trash that blew up there the last time we had some major wind. It could be a shopping bag or something. I can't tell.

I'd like to think there are a couple of winged neighbors living in a sweet little tree-top abode, but I don't know.

My questions therefore are:
1. Is that a bird's nest?
2. If it is, can you tell what kind of bird lives there just by looking at it? (I'm hoping for bald eagles or something)
3. If you can tell what kind of bird lives there, when is the best time to catch a glimpse of them?

I don't ask for much, just everything.

Here's what you do... Click on the image (preferably open it in a new tab or window so that you don't lose this page... because you never really ever want to leave this page, do you?) and go to the hosting Flickr page. Click the All Sizes button above the image. Click on the Original link. There you will see these pictures blown up to a ridiculous size and you'll have a larger view of this... whatever it is.
Bird's Nest #1

I wanted to include one shot that wasn't zoomed in so you can get a little perspective from the tops of the houses.
Bird's Nest #2

Of course the coolest part of having a huge might-be-but-might-not-be bird's nest in our yard is that it gave me an excuse to use the humongously awesome new camera. Even better, it gave me a chance to use the manual focus. My old camera would only have focused on the branches in the foreground. My new camera's auto focus did the same (I know, I tried), but with the manual I could actually almost focus on the thing I wanted to focus on. Of course I did a crappy job, but this is nature watching post, not a photo critic post.
Bird's Nest #3

So tell me what you think. Is it a bird's nest?

Up Side and Down Side of Car Pooling

There is a downside to car pooling. Like when one of us isn't feeling 100% and the other has to leave work early or be stranded. Okay, there can be an upside to that too I guess. Especially when you're the one who isn't feeling less than wonderful. You get to go home early and take care of your sweetie all day. That should probably go into the upside category. Maybe there is no downside to car pooling.

Another upside is when you pick up your beloved wife at her office and start discussing what to do for dinner as you head home only to remember (like it's ever far from my mind) that The Border Cafe in Burlington is almost sort of kind of on the way home and you could just stop there for dinner and not have to worry about cooking or cleaning or anything.

So the downside is that you sometimes have unexpected needs to leave work early - which is in fact an upside, and the upside is The Border Cafe. You also save money on gas and can be all smug and green. So it turns out car pooling is a win-win-win-win situation.

I like it!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today is January 25, 2010. More than a full month into the New England winter.

I just checked for Methuen, MA. Check out the temperature:

Rain + temps in the 50's = No more ice on the sidewalks! WOOHOO

Car Pool

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
Jen and I car pooled to work again today. We did it specifically so that we wouldn't ride with Hitler. (pic is from the Museum of American History in Washington, DC.)

Bruins Blues

I actually watched 2/3 of yesterday's game. I wish I hadn't. It was painful. I was about to put it on at the start of the game when I was called away to a wonderful roast beef dinner that my beloved Jennifer had made for us. I didn't get back to the tube until just after the start of the second period.

Jen was in the living room and told me I might not want to put the game on. I sat down, prepared for the worst, and turned it on. She said, "They're losing 2-0" just as the screen popped on to show me that no, they were actually losing 3-0.

Losing 3-0 early in the 2nd period against the team with the worst record in the entire NHL.

Final score? 5-1. Chances of the Bruins finishing this week in 13th place when they were in 5th about a week ago? Really, really good.

The collapse has been complete. Injuries have been a part of it, but I think the major reason is that they just suck. They are getting embarrassed at every turn. When the Canes scored their fourth goal not one but two Bruins had fallen down at their offensive blue line allowing the Whalers to skate right in and score at their leisure. That's the kinda stretch they're in. Tripping over themselves in their attempts to stop sucking.

The Hurricanes scored five goals and Dennis Wideman was on the ice for all of them. Let me rephrase, DEFENSEMAN Dennis Wideman was on the ice for all of them. He has played like garbage all season. So much so that last week his head coach called him out by name to the press. If I were in the Bruins front office I would have demanded that Peter Chiarelli trade him by sunup today. However, a quick perusal of the Boston newspaper sites and a twitter search show no such things. (although I'm not the only twitter user begging to see him traded away.)

I want the team we had last year back. At least I want their ability to win games back. It has been a pretty heavy suckfest since day one this year and the time needed to right the ship slips away more and more with each blow out loss.

Is it time for the Olympic break yet?

Go Bruins?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best Song Ever

The cookie party song from the Sarah Silverman Show

The Sarah Silverman Program
Cookie Party!
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

Baby Treat

We had quite the treat yesterday. We got to meet Larry and Nawal's baby yesterday. He is wicked adorable. Cute as can be. Very well behaved and down right mellow. His mom and dad are sleepy but doing well and very happy. Congratulations to the new parents and welcome to town to the new little man.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

File Under: Weird Dream

We all know about the mess NBC has created by turning it's too very successful and popular late night talk show hosts against each other while trying to destroy a network (and television in general) institution called The Tonight Show, right?

Last night I had a dream...

I dreamed that the tonight show was given back to Leno (which is happening next week I think?) and the twit who has the 12:30 show got to keep his job. The 1:30 time slot had some big changes (this is the part that was in the dream). A new talk show was created for that time. The Bruce Dickinson show. It was hosted by non other than airline pilot/fencer/author/lead singer for the English Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden.

A few weeks into the shows tenure Jen and I were invited on as guests. I don't know what we did to deserve this. I can only guess Bruce wanted to talk to the two people who are most in love with each other and that (obviously) was us.

Unfortunately our entire appearance was taken up by me and Bruce talking about the times I'd seen him play live. "Remember that time I saw you in Portland, ME on the tour where you and Adrian (Smith) rejoined the band after all those years?" Bruce said yes and then gave a pithy anecdote about that night.

"Remember the show in Worcester, MA in 1990 on the No Prayer for the Dying tour?" I ask, and Bruce goes on to tell a story about that night too.

"Remember that time you did a club tour with your own band just before you put out your first solo record? I saw you at The Channel in Boston." Bruce and I then go on to trade our favorite memories of that particular show for probably close to 10 minutes.

Then he gets word from the director that it's time to take a break and go to the next guest. I had wasted our entire network television debut talking about old Maiden concerts. My wife, whom I love more than life itself, was upset because she was left out of the whole thing. I was embarrassed and Bruce was very upset with himself for getting off of the topics he had planned. He never once read anything off of his notes. We were both very apologetic to each other and mostly to Jen.

And that, oh humble readers, is the kind of crap that goes through my mind when I'm unconscious. It's a good thing the real world is so much fun for me these days because my dream world is L.A.M.E.

(psst: if the song doesn't play try clicking here.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Late Night Civil War

From the Jimmy Kimmel show... is that how you spell it? I've never actually watched it. I go to bed at 10:00pm like a decent hard working American. pfffffttthhh

Glasses Free Update

So I left the house for work today without my reading glasses. It has made it a little difficult for me today, but not terrible.

Back story: I have been wearing reading glasses since I was in the seventh grade... Let's say somewhere around 1984. Oddly, my lens prescription has barely changed at all during the intervening 100 years. My eyes are not that bad. I can read fine without my specs on, but keeping things in focus is kind of hard work and they get tired very easily. After a while things do get seriously blurred. Worse than that, after struggling through the blur for a while I will get a headache and that can suck quite a bit.

My eyes have felt tired pretty much since I sat down at my desk this morning, but it wasn't until about 1:00 that I started needing to fight blur. Here we are at nearly 4:00 and I am still doing okay and there is no sign of a headache yet.

Keep those fingers crossed.

Now... I need comments for this part... what should Jen and I do this weekend? We are hoping to meet Nawal and Larry's baby at some point but other than that we have no plans. Give us ideas.

Also, our hypothetical valentine's getaway to New York City is off the table. We need things-to-do-for-valentine's ideas now as well.

Your input will be appreciated. Even you, reader from Sweden who keeps hitting me via Google while searching for "How tall is Ginger Baker."

And now, to quote Christopher Walken in that ping pong movie, I bid you toodles.

Very Mad

I got a phone call from my wife this morning telling me that some asshole cut her off on rt 93 so bad that she spun out. I want to find this prick and twist his/her retarded little head off. Why is it so easy for people to hate other people? Because of assholes like this.

I can't find my glasses or my work ID badge. I know I had them in the car last night. I didn't see them in the place where they belong this morning and thought, "Oh, you idiot you left them in the car and Jen took that car this morning." Jen said they weren't in the car. Grrrrr WTF did I put them? Now I have a splitting headache to look forward to this afternoon because I am reading without my reading glasses. Dumb ass.

The Bruins lost to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets last night. Urge to jump off the Tobin bridge... rising!

On the up side though, today is Friday and I have two days worth of spending quality time with the love of my life to look forward to. Also, I might get to meet a new born baby as well!

It's getting better all the time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A YouTube Kinda Morning

Okay okay so I am posting more youtube clips. What are ya gonna do, scream? Complain? Elect an underwear model to the United States Senate?


On MLK day we finally got around to subjecting the kids to Mystery Science Theater 3000. We started with Cave Dwellers because... well... it's so freakin' funny it hurts. Next up will be Pod People because it too is so funny it hurts. I was thinking about it earlier today and the "song" the "heros" record popped into my head. Even better, obviously, is Joel and the Bots' version... or attempt... they try to figure out the lyrics and come up with this:

On an unrelated note, Cyanide and Happiness has a new video that pimps their new book, much like Senator Elect Brown pimped his young daughters in his acceptance speech. I don't like sharing commercials, but it's pretty funny so just pretend it's not... well... a commercial.

Odometers That Go To 11

Maybe I'm still put off by the whole Senate election... Maybe I'm just tired from being elated last night when my step-son lost his first tooth...

I'm trying to find a way to take this photo of my car's current odometer reading:

and use it in some sort of 666 Number of the Beast meets Spinal Tap's amps going to 11 joke or gag or whatever.

I just can't do it.

I think i need a nap.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Senate Election

I am not going to say anything about yesterday's Massachusetts Senate election. I am traditionally a sore loser when it comes to politics but I am going to take the high road this time.

I am going to say this though:

I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.

I'm not an ambi-turner.

Or are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am? A eugoogoolizer... one who speaks at funerals. Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?

So join now, 'cause at the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, we teach you that there's more to life than just being really, really, really good looking. Right kids?

Wait a minute. I might just have an idea. They'll be looking for us at Maury's right? But they won't be looking for... not us.

Well I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking "wow, you're ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career."

I'm sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself.

How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

There was a moment last night, when she was sandwiched between the two Finnish dwarves and the Maori tribesmen, where I thought, "Wow, I could really spend the rest of my life with this woman".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It snowed a ton yesterday and then rained for a while and it all froze over. I was told that down to the South near where I work it wasn't that bad. I expected a slow commute to start with but then it would get better.

It did, except that when I reached the area that wasn't bad yesterday it started snowing. Urgh. I had one fishtail at a stop sign, and the red light back ups were longer than normal, but I got to work in one piece.

Weather 0 - Robbie 1.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have the day off today. Thankfully the weather chose today to dump a mountain of snow on us.


The Bruins are getting spanked by the Senators as we speak. Typical for the first game home after a road trip. At least Bergeron is back.

As I typed that the Sens scored to make the score 4-0.


Speaking of Senators, there is a Senate election in Massachusetts tomorrow. Between 12:00 and 1:30 this afternoon the campaign for the plastic, screw-the-common-man, Sarah-Palin-is-our-future, republican candidate called us five (5) times. If I were one of his supporters I would vote against him in protest of the harrassment.

From obnoxious news to fantasticly wonderful news, I became an honorary uncle for the second time yesterday. My friend Larry became a father for the first time. Congratulations to Larry and his wife Nawal!

I think it's best to end on that very happy note.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I dusted this guy off today in the hopes of being able to play it moderately well come February 1st.

Happy Birth Day

I don't think I'm clear to give details but I'm going to burst so I have to do something public. Somebody I haven't met yet will be celebrating his birth day on this date in subsequent years. He earned the right to do that just an hour or so ago.

Happy Birth Day!

Meanwhile, the four of us are watching Star Wars. The original cut, not the retarded special edition. This is the bonus disc from the most recent rerelease of the special edition.

Han will shoot first, as it should be.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


We just got a phone call from former President Bill Clinton. He calls us now and then to see how we're doing. I don't mind, but sometimes when I'm busy I just want to tell him that I chose to vote for him twice, he has to keep calling and thanking me.


He asked me to vote for Coakly in the Senate election next week. No problem Bill, anything to get you off the line so I can go back to fixing the toilet.


Prior to taking the kids to karate class today I took 200 pictures of them punching and kicking.

I love those kids for indulging my Nikon goofiness.

Thanks guys!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Hockey Night in Canada Theme

Here is the newly recorded theme music to Hockey Night in Canada...

By Neil Peart.


Another Playlist

When you finish with the Mission of Burma set from the last post (they are playing in Boston tonight and tomorrow by the way, you should go) try this one from Throwing Muses:

This is an audience recording and it can be found here: Throwing Muses Live at The Middle East on 2009-03-14 (March 14, 2009)

Testing has a music section. Some of the shows hosted there have embedable MP3 players. I am just testing this out...

This comes from Mission of Burma Live at MIT East Campus Courtyard on 2009-10-09 (October 9, 2009)

Just saving it for later. There are a few radio spots at the start of the playlist. Beware.

Friday Morning Hockey Surprise

The Bruins are on the west coast this week. That means Robbie has no knowledge of what's going on in the games until the next morning. My days of staying up all night are long gone. I was in bed, sound asleep, before the puck was dropped.

They played the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and lost. Not surprising. Last night they were playing the San Jose Sharks. I expected to check the score this morning and see another loss.


They won 2-1 in a shoot out with Zdeno Chara scoring the shoot out winner! Oh what a happy morning surprise!

Of course David Krejci didn't play. He's out with an undisclosed injury. That means the top three centers on the Bruins roster are all out with injuries. Marc Savard is out with a knee injury. Patrice Bergeron is out with a broken thumb.

372 year old Mark Recchi was the #1 center last night. He's actually a winger. Vladimir Sobotka, who started the year in Providence, was the number two center, followed by Steve Begin and Trent Whitfield. One does not expect to win the Stanley Cup with a line up like that.

Please come back, oh our much missed center ice men. Please come back.

But still, 'grats for beating the Sharks. Nice going. Now stick it to the Kings on Saturday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Star Blazers Yet Again

Quest for Iscandar 02 (1/2)

Quest for Iscandar 02 (2/2)


Here I am sitting on the couch in the living room with a laptop on my lap, as happens often in this high tech household me and my super software engineer wife share.

Am I using my Toshiba laptop which runs Windows 7? Nope.
Am I using my Gateway laptop which runs Linux? Nope.

I am using my beloved wife's macbook running the latest OS X version.

I am checking out the user my bride set up for me and looking at Garageband tutorials and trying to figure out my RPM Challenge needs... again. I go through this every year.

The macbook has an audio input, which is a good thing. I just need an adapter (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch) and I can plug right in. It probably won't sound very good, but it won't sound any worse then the crap I recorded last year. The downside is that it only has a single audio input, which means the drum machine won't come into Garageband in stereo.

Know what? I'm not going to worry about it. No one is going to listen to this crap-fest other than me, who cares if all of the percussion is in the center of the stereo field in the final mix. Certainly not me. I'll spread the other instruments around for any stereo effects I might later desire.

I'll still record anything acoustic (ie my pie hole) with the mic plugged into my mixing board and a line out into the computer. That way I don't have to mess with the mic cable and I can eq my terrible voice at every stage along the signal path... hopefully until it no longer sounds like me.

It's still a few weeks off, but Robbie is gearing up for RPM. Be prepared to be bored to tears with frequent updates!

And as my last band's singer, Jeff, used to say all the time: Rock On!

Continuing the Heavy Metal Theme

Heavy Metal Baby

Death Metal Rooster

This is hysterical. I don't know why, but it is.

Times Square?

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
Times Square? We are one small step closer to a return visit.

Wanna Go Back

2 gig card 310
Originally uploaded by robj_1971
Robbie wanna go back.

Beer Run

I love Cyanide and Happiness.

Nothing again

Am I running out of steam? The frequency of posts has dropped, as had the number of ideas of what to say... obviously the two are related.

I can't think of anything to say right now.

The Bruins lost again. I can say that. I didn't expect them to beat the Ducks. The Bruins are the walking wounded and they were slumping before losing a couple of top players. The Ducks were on a winning streak. What upsets me is that the Bruins twice had the lead and couldn't hold it. What makes it a little better is that Teemu Selanne seems to have broken his face. Not an even trade, but if we're going to lose we might as well start dragging a few people down with us.

My wife is a fan of the game The Sims. I've never played it before. I decided to give it a try last night. My goal is to create the foulest human (simulated) possible. I want to have a character who has a good shot at winning the (not so) coveted Biggest Douche in the Universe award.

On a slightly happier note... Given the choice between spending Dr Martin Luther King day at home with me or on a field trip with their after school program the kids have decided they would rather stay at home with me. I am going to chose do feel all warm and fuzzy, like one seriously happy step-dad, instead of realizing that the field trip probably wasn't that interesting. I know they are staying because they love me. hehe I am the happiest step-dad in the universe. Granted we'll probably just sit in front of the tube watching Harry Potter flicks all day. WooHoo!

Okay, I'm not going to top that. I might write again later if I can think of something.

Good Day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's That Time Again

Yes, it's that time again. January. That means that February is right down the road. That means that it's time to start pretending I am a musician again! Nice!

February means its time for the RPM Challenge (write and record either 10 songs or 35 minutes of music) and FAWM (write 14 new songs).

I've never technically succeeded in either of these challenges, but it won't stop me from giving it a try for the fourth year in a row. (I finished the 2009 RPM six weeks late, and I finished the 2007 RPM using old songs)

I have signed up for this year's challenges on both websites. I have decided to refer to this year's goofiness as The Annual Failure Celebration or something like that. It's going to be fun to play with, and when it's over I hope to have a pile of shiny brand new crappy songs to force down everyone's throats! Muahahahahaha!

In the interest of said torture, here is last year's collection of crap!

Run away! Run away!

On a slightly related note, I am hopeful that my wife, also known as the love of my life and the woman of my dreams and she who makes my life worth living, will jump on the wagon and start writing again this month. While I am sitting in a corner trying to write and record some new music, she can sit in the opposite corner writing some new fiction. I hope she comes along for the ride.

I love ya sweetie!

Bring on February!

(now all I have to do is buy a pile of new guitar strings, a stack of 9 volt batteries, and learn how to use Apple's Garage Band. No problem!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I saw this on the RPM Challenge forums today. Some one trying to psyche us all up to write a bunch of music next month.


Yup, it's bleeding-heart-liberal-pats-himself-on-the-back-for-doing-something-politically-correct time!

You love this segment, I know you do.

Jen and I have carpooled to work the last two days. We can't do it any other day this week because it would cause the kids being in their after school program until about 7:00pm and that's too late.

Still, we're feeling all green and happy and good.

Actually I am not feeling green at all. Yes I do consider myself a monster liberal, but I didn't carpool for the environment's sake. I did it for two reasons. First and foremost it lets me spend an extra 45-60 minutes with my wife each morning. Even if all we're doing is bitching about the crappy traffic reports on WBZ. Second, it saves us a couple of bucks on gas. Reducing pollution is just an added bonus.

Now, what would be really good for the Earth would be for the freakin' Bruins to start winning games again. Three losses in a row. Savard, Bergeron, Ference, and Stuart all out with injuries. To put it into Star Wars terms, it's a dark time for the rebellion.

On yet another totally unrelated note, I have reached book 5 of the Harry Potter series of books on tape. When I started listening to the first book, read by Jim Dale... at least I think that's his name... Leave a comment if I'm wrong, I did a huge double take as he pronounced the name of the bad guy as if it had a silent "t" at the end: Voldermort sounded like Voldermore. In the films they pronounce the "t" at the end of the name, and I had always read them that way. But this reader did not and it always sounded wrong to me.

Today, after dropping off my love at her office, I listened to the last 10-15 minutes of book 4, The Goblet of Fire, and started chapter 1 of book 5, The Order of the Phoenix. I did another double take when Jim Dale (I think) suddenly pronounced the "t"! Voldermore became Voldermort again. I don't recall the timeline, but I believe the first film came out after the forth book... which means he changed his pronunciation to match that of the film. Interesting, eh?

Now I have to get a few chapters in to see if Gryffindor stops being pronounced Gryffenduh and the "uh" becomes an "or" again.

It's official, this is the most fascinating blog post you guys have ever read.

You're welcome!

Monday, January 11, 2010


The worst part of the holidays is probably the financial aspect. Savings accounts tend to take a nasty hit between Thanksgiving and the start of the New Year.

The second most painful aspect is probably the downer that comes after the season is over. I'm talking specifically about work. We had two days off for Thanksgiving, then a few full weeks, then a short week for Christmas followed immediately by a short week for New Year.

After that? Slam! Back to reality. Last week was a full five day week and it took forever. To make things worse, it was followed by a standard two day weekend which, coming on the heels of two consecutive three day weekends, was very short.

We made the most of it though. The Mrs and I went out for a much needed date night on Friday. We cleared our heads a little and just enjoyed being with each other. We had so much fun we did it again on Saturday. Sunday became a textbook flake day as we slept late, then sat on the couch all day watching movies, and then went to bed early. It was perfect... or as close to perfect as you can get without that magical third day being added in. I have Dr Martin Luther King day off on Monday but Jen doesn't so it'll be a bit of a bust. We're still hypothetically planning to hypothetical go away for a weekend next month. As with every February I also am considering a few extra vacation days for RPM Challenge reasons. We'll see.

I could have really used a three day weekend this week too.

Despite the two day restriction though, it was the best weekend Jen and I have had together in a while. Possibly since the honeymoon. It was a great weekend.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dream Bummer

Last night I had a dream...

I was at my parents house looking through the comcast programming guide and saw that one channel was showing, at 1:30pm, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

How cool is that? I was going to see the last Potter movie on TV looooong before it hit theaters.

I stayed in front of the tube for hours, constantly making sure that the channel info for 1:30pm didn't change.

When the time came I flipped to the proper channel and...

It was a half hour documentary on the release of the book.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Date Night Again

Date night part two.


It's cold out there.

It's colder for me though. I just got a haircut. Wow is short... And bad. I think I look more retarded than pre-haircut.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Date Night

We are on a date night.

Star Blazers Again

An episode in three parts:

Star Blazers - Quest for Iscandar 01 (1/3)

Star Blazers - Quest for Iscandar 01 (2/3)

Star Blazers - Quest for Iscandar 01 (3/3)

For more information... as in, if you have no idea what this is.

When I was a kid we weren't allowed to watch television in the mornings on school days. The result is that this show basically defines the phrase "summer vacation" for me. It was the reason I got up early in the morning.

Star Blazers

Well, I guess I have to learn to speak Japanese now.


I need a haircut. Woah, do I need a haircut.

There was a time in the long distant past where I let my hair get pretty long. I was a victim of the mysterious late 80s/early 90s appeal of the dreaded mullet...

There was never a single moment in time when I thought I looked good with long hair. I knew I looked ridiculous. I knew I looked like some one with a severe mental defect or two. I knew that no one in their right mind would ever take me seriously looking so retarded. I just didn't care. I felt comfortable some how.

Those days are long gone.

Until now.

I have more hair right now than I know what to do with. It's been a while since my last haircut. I don't know how long it's been. A while, but not an eternity. It just seemed to sprout out of the melon on top of my shoulders really fast this time around. We have a lot on the plate this weekend (when do we ever not have a lot on our plate) so I am not sure I'll be able to get the mop chopped, or get in a fight with a lawn mower, or have the garden weeded... I'm just making up crap now. I'll stop.

If I am feeling daring, or more ridiculous than usual, maybe I'll take before and after pictures when I do eventually get it cut.

That would be fun, wouldn't it? (no, not at all.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All the Very Best Fails of 2009

A Facebook friend posted this link today. I felt compelled to share it.

The warehouse fail is far and away my favorite one.


I've got nothing today

I can't think of anything to say here today. Maybe something will come to me later.

The best I can do is ask you to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo discovering four of Jupiter's moons. On January 7, 1610 the accepted belief was that all objects in the sky orbited the Earth. (Yes, other people had already come up with the orbiting the sun model, but it still wasn't accepted by the church and therefore you were branded a nut job by God himself if you believed it.)

On January 7, Galileo took his cool new telescope and pointed it at Jupiter. He saw a few little dots surrounding it. Over the next couple of nights he looked again and again and those little dots (there turned out to be four of them) were moving. He deduced that they weren't orbiting the Earth, the were orbiting Jupiter.

And thus modern astronomy was born... sort of... eventually... Lets just say that after enough people saw the same thing it started poking holes in the non-nut job accepted theory.

Thanks Galileo!

Galilean moons

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Still Hypothetical

I'm still on that hypothetical trip to New York kick. What to do if you visit the city in the winter. Sure the views from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building will be spectacular, but you're bound to freeze your ass off.

I've found a couple of interesting things at, including this page and this collection of links.

I've also found an interesting page on This wonder finally answers the questions, "How much do you tip a cab driver or a hotel maid?" I've been waiting my whole life to find that article.

This page has potential. It is a list of free events happening in the city for specific days. There is a huge list of things for today's date, but nothing for the weekend in hypothetical question. I will come back to this later in the hopes that the schedule is empty simply because it's too far away.

I mentioned yesterday that we could look into going to an off broadway show. The NY Times theater section could help out with that.

This Yelp page ranks the top rated indoor activities in New York. Unfortunately almost all of them are sports related. I'm not much for rock climbing, indoors or otherwise, and I really don't care to take up soccer again, I haven't played since I was a kid... 12 or 13 maybe. I did see a couple of museums listed. That could be fun.

Speaking of museums, this page lists a few... dozen. Maybe the Metropolitan Museum of Art should be added to the A section of our to-do list. Maybe.

Maybe the history nerds that we are would be interested in checking out some Revolutionary War sites in the city. Why not, on our honeymoon we went to a civil war battlefield as well as a War or 1812 battle site. Not to mention that upstate New York road trip we took that included a visit to a Revolutionary War/French and Indian War fort. All of this kinda makes us look like war mongers, doesn't it?

Maybe we could just find a cafe with a window in the upper west side and patiently wait for Woody Allen to walk by. Or we could visit Grant's Tomb and ask who's buried there.

So many things to do. Hypothetically of course.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ponderings on Hypotheticals

Let's just say that hypothetically, my beloved wife and I were going to New York for a few days in February. Further hypothetically lets say that it was a weekend. Hypothetically speaking lets say it was the 19th through the 21st.

What could two people do in New York on those three days? We've been to New York before so we don't necessarily have to do all of the site seeing stuff. We can go to some lesser known attractions.

I think a guided tour of Radio City Music Hall might be fun. Maybe catching a play on Broadway, or even off Broadway. This is all hypothetical of course.

Hypothetically, my two all time favorite guitar players are sharing the stage together at Madison Square Garden on the 18th and 19th. I've seen Eric Clapton live twice. Once in the early 90's and then again in '04. He was friggin' inhumanly brilliant in '04. I've never seen Jeff Beck in concert. He has been at the very top of my must-see-before-I-die list since about... oh... 1989 or so.

Hypothetically speaking, were we to be in town for one of the nights they are playing at MSG we would not go. For two reasons. If we were to hypothetically be in New York on that hypothetical weekend it would be for some peaceful together time for me and my wifey-do, not for seeing 60 something year old guitar gods. Also, because hypothetically the only tickets left are in the $250 a piece range. On that note, even if I did want to subject my love to a concert (I don't, I want a quiet get away weekend where we can just be together... hypothetically of course) we wouldn't spend that ridiculous amount of money on it.

So, what other things can we do if we make such a hypothetical trip?

Last time we went there were a few places on our B-list-of-things-to-do that we didn't get to. I can't think of any off the top of my head though. I think I wanted to at least pass through Greenwich Village. I seem to recall a park that Jen wanted to see. That's all that is coming out of the fog of my memory.

Last time we went to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Strawberry Fields and John Lennon's house (hypothetically we would probably have to go there again. The Beatles catalog has since been remastered so we would in turn have to make a remastered visit of our own), Battery Park which was littered with construction, the Statue of Liberty, Columbus Circle, we took a stroll down Wall Street... what else should we do? Remembering of course that hypothetically it will be February so maybe more time spent indoors than out would be beneficial.

I will hypothetically spend some time researching ideas on the 'net. Your job, oh faithful reader(s) is to comment with more ideas. Hypothetically of course.

1 gig card 1011 gig card 2101 gig card 3751 gig card 4111 gig card 6531 gig card 605100B9801101B02002 gig card 049
2 gig card 292

Wired: 100 Quotes Every Geek Should Know

I found this on twitter today. It's a Wired article listing 100 quotes every geek should know.

I did not know them all. I did know most of them. Some of them I had heard before but couldn't really remember. I had seen the movie once before but the line never really stuck with me.

Many of them are lines I have used in normal, every day conversation.

Here are the winners in Robbie's book (this might take a while)... It's only 43% of the total list.

1. “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.” — Dennis the Peasant, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

2. “Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky, seven for the Dwarf lords in their halls of stone, nine for the mortal men doomed to die, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring the bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.” -LOTR

3. “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” - HAL, 2001: A Space Odyssey

8. “If you think that by threatening me you can get me to do what you want… Well, that’s where you’re right. But - and I am only saying that because I care - there’s a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.” - Chris Knight, Real Genius

12. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE - God (Douglas Adams), So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

13. “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” - Adam West, Batman & Robin

26. “Do you know of the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space.” -Kahn, ST:TWOK

27. “Ray, if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!” - Winston, Ghostbusters

30. “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” -Darth Vader, Star Wars

32. “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

33. “It’s a moral imperative.” - Chris Knight, Real Genuis

35. “Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.” - Egon, Ghostbusters

36. “This episode was BADLY written!” -Gwen, Galaxy Quest

37. “Worst. Episode. Ever.” - Comic Book Guy, The Simpsons

42. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” - Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

44. “Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” - Marty McFly, Back to the Future

45. “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight blob of grease!” - C3PO, Star Wars

46. “I’d just as soon kiss a wookiee!” - Princess Leia, The Empire Strikes Back

49. “This is your receipt for your husband… and this is my receipt for your receipt.” - Officer, Brazil

53. “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” Vizzini, The Princess Bride

57. “Check, please.” - Lone Starr & Barf, Spaceballs

61. “No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door or you will undo everything I have worked for.” - Young Frankenstein

63. “He’s dead, Jim.” McCoy, ST:TOS

65. “Bring out your dead.” Monty Python and the Holy Grail

66. “My name is Inigo Montoyo. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” -Inigo, The Princess Bride

68. “Redrum.” Danny, The Shining

69. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” - announcer, The Shadow radio drama

70. “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” - Chief Brody, Jaws

73. “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” - President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove

74. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” - Obi-Wan, Star Wars

75. “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes

76. “You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh, damn you! Damn you all to hell!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes

80. “What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?” - Bridgekeeper, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

84. “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!” - Robbie the Robot, Lost in Space

86. “All things serve the beam.” various instances, The Dark Tower series

89. “And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…” - Milton Waddams, Office Space

90. “Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.” - Peter Gibbons, Office Space

92. “Gimme some sugar, baby.” - Ash, Army of Darkness

93. “Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I’ve got news for you pal, you ain’t leadin’ but two things, right now: Jack and sh*t… and Jack left town.” - Ash, Army of Darkness

94. “Kneel before Zod.” - Zod, Superman II

95. “Shall we play a game?” - Joshua, WarGames

97. “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” “Hit it!” - Elwood, The Blues Brothers

98. “Make it so” / “Engage” - Captain Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

I have two comments on the list. First, thanks to the writer(s) for including not one, but two references to the movie Real Genius. Second, I am stunned at the lack of references to the movie Highlander, or the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

What a Mess!

You should see the sidewalk in front of our house.


Christmas and New Years sure results in a lot of trash. We have three full barrels and a bunch of tied up plastic bags waiting for the trash men to come.

We did a huge amount of cleaning in the kids' rooms recently, and we also restructured our Christmas decoration storage methods (ie, we emptied two old boxes into one big new box... I just like using big words sometimes.) Then there was the mountain of boxes the gifts came in. We got a lot of that out last week, but some of the gifts remained unused over the first weekend.

Now all we have to do is hope the trash men actually take all of the trash. They have, in the past, decided to leave barrels unemptied. I guess they like saving stuff for later. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll leave the empty barrels in the street so they can get run over... again.

Oh well, happy trash day (where applicable)!

Post Script: Google just made me enter a capcha in order to read my own post. Let's hope that isn't a new trend.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Darwin Awards

The 2009 Darwin Awards came out today. I have to say that I am a little disappointed. The winner and the two runner ups are all very good examples of natural selection at work, but I think the crown should have gone to one of the also rans.

The winner is a pair of ATM robbers who miscalculated the amount of dynamite needed to open said automated teller. The poor math (or whatever it was... more likely rank stupidity) resulted in them blowing themselves up. The punchline, which probably accounts for their posthumously receiving the award, was their getaway car was a BMW.

Yes, that is a quality example of the spirit of the Darwin Award, but I tend to prefer the simpler cases. Take, for instance, one of the 2009 runners up. After drinking at a bar a gentleman pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road so he could get out and urinate. He jumped over the low concrete divider and fell 65 feet to his death. Seems the stretch of road he planned to use as a rest room was actually an overpass.

Now that, to me, is a perfect example of a Darwin Award winner.

Thanks to all who competed in this year's awards for trimming the fat from our gene pool. Your efforts are much appreciated.


Okay, I have a new camera. It is definitely of the swanky variety. So far I haven't done anything other than point and shoot, although I did try the burst setting and... well... WOAH!

I need to come up with excuses to take the camera out of the living room and use it... or else Jen is probably going to yell at me to stop taking her picture.

There are a couple of spots in town I would like to try out, but for the most part I am coming up empty on ideas. Give me some!

This is one of the kids' Christmas presents in action. The car had just come out of the loop.

Have I used this picture yet? This is another of the kids' Christmas presents. Our new (fur real) pet, Fluffernutter.

On New Year's Eve the clouds and snow took a break long enough for me to steal a picture of the Blue Moon.

Here's one that was cropped a bit.

Now, give me ideas!

Another Report

Here is another report on today's three car accident on route 93 south near the 133 exit in Andover.

This is from New England Cable News and I have to say up front that this traffic reporter is probably the only on-air reporter in all of New England based local television that I would like to see fired. We're not seeing him at his moronic worst here, but I just have to say publicly that I hate this guy so much I stopped watching NECN in the mornings.

Now for the video...

Late for Work

I was 64 minutes late for work today. At about 7:48am (or so) I got stuck in a traffic jam on route 93 south. I got off 2 exits later (3 exits prior to the one I actually wanted to take) at 8:55am.

This is the reason.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Our nice long New Years weekend features snow, snow, and more snow. And more snow and more snow.

Didn't the same thing happen last year?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

NHL Winter Classic

Was that awesome or what?

Bruins 2 Flyers 1 in overtime. What a blast.

First period highlights:

Second period highlights:

Third period highlights:

Overtime highlights:

This leaves us with the sad task of putting away Christmas decorations. We're going to take down the tree. Bumber, but necessary. We want to have our kitchen back.

Hope you had a great New Year's Day.

Go Bruins