Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a Fantastic Game

Canada took the gold medal. My hockey heart is broken.

But what a game it was! USA scores with just a few seconds left in the third to tie it and send it into overtime. Then Sidney Crosby scored the game winner to give Canada the gold and the United States the silver.

I had a professor at UMass Lowell who was a basketball fanatic. Whenever he needed an integer for a code example he always used six and would tell us that it was the number of the greatest basketball player of all time. Celtic Bill Russel.

Invariably he would have students challenge that bold statement and he would always fire back with a listing of the championships he won. He won the NCAA championship when he was in college, then went pro and won the NBA championship in every season he was healthy. Literally, the only time he failed to grab the title with the Celtics was when he was injured.

While Russel was playing for the Celtics Wilt Chamberlin was winning all of the individual awards in the league. Who was better? Chamberlin who scored a gazillion points, or Russel who always lead his team to victory.

I think it's pretty easy to decide. Russel. It's pro sports, winning is everything.

The same debate is happening on hockey these days. Who is better, Crosby or Ovetchkin. Ovetchkin wins the goal scoring races and the MVP awards, but in just a few short years Crosby has won a Stanley Cup championship and an Olympic gold medal. Who is the better player? The one with the better numbers or the won with the titles? Clearly it's Crosby and his titles.

Congratulations to Canada. Congratulations too to team USA. They really were an after thought in these games, and to win their way into the gold medal game... just a fantastic achievement.

If the NHL does not participate in the 2014 games it will be an even worse decision than locking out an entire season. Just wait to see what we do next time.


Let's go Bruins!


The puck drops in about 90 minutes!

USA vs Canada in the Gold Medal Game!

I'm not too excited, am I?

USA! USA! USA!  Gold Medal Game is 90 minutes away!

USA vs Canada in the Gold Medal Game - 90 Minutes from Now!


Flooded with Repetition

First of all, let me apologize for the repetition here. I have taken all of the pictures you're about to be force fed before. Many of them were taken this month. So I am sorry about that.

We have had heavy rain and lots of snow and even more snow melt. The result is that rivers are running high. So I went to two spots on the Spicket River today and took a few pictures that I'd already taken (see paragraph 1 for the apology). The difference being that this time the water level was really high.

First, the damn. The last time I went here the water was trickling over the damn. This time it was roaring over it.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 010

2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 015

2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 016

2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 023

The water is getting close to the bridge here, but there is still some room to spare. I wonder what it looked like two days ago when the water was higher.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 042

2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 046

Now we move over to the music hall, where I took pictures just a couple of weeks ago (see paragraph 1 again). This time the water is a wee bit closer to the bridge.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 049

The water is so high the waterfall is almost gone.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 053

Please pardon my lame attempt at artsy... Trying to get the water through the drain pipe. Autofocus doesn't work.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 071

Manual focus, however, gets the job done. How did I ever live without it?
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 067

Another view at the bridge that is close to getting wet. Again, I bet this was even worse yesterday and the day before.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 078

The view from on top of the bridge. Also known as route 28.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 082

2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 089

Finally, one from yesterday. It was snowing and I tried to see how the new camera would handle it. It did all right.
2010-02-27 - Snowing Yet Again

So there you have it. All stuff I've done before but felt like doing again.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


A few more for luck...




and the best for last... thank you Annapolis, MD!


The match up is in place. The rematch of the Olympics!

Sunday at 3:00pm Eastern time... the men's ice hockey gold medal game...

The United State of America

June 5, 2008 - Universal Studios

(I did a quick search of my Flickr account looking for pictures of the US flag. I know there are better shots in there somewhere, but we'll have to settle for that one for now I guess.)

Come on guys, bring a gold medal home to the USA!





(the search for US flags seems to be at an end now. Flickr is apparently down. I went to the US Capital in Washington and the White House too. I have to have flag pictures from those two places, I have to!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quick Note

First, something relevant to the world around me. Team USA dropped a plutonium bomb on team Finland today blowing them out with six first period goals. Team USA has earned a shot at the gold medal and will play the winner of the Canada/Slovakia game which is currently in progress.

Canada is up 3-0 after two periods. I am thinking this one is all but in the books. USA vs (more likely than not) Canada on Sunday at 3:00pm Eastern time. The winner gets the gold medal.

Now a non-topic note...

You folks know that I love it when you come to my goofy little blog, right? Have I mentioned that I have, like, three different sites tracking hits on this stupid page? I do. You can see two of them. the third one is commented out of the code and I never look at it, but it's still there. I love hits. Just like anyone else who has a blog, I love hits.

I also love comments. Hint hint hint. Lemme say that again. I love comments.

I love comments.


Rooftop Concert

After having just enjoyed a string of Beatles videos done in both Lego and The Sims on Youtube I thought I'd post a few minutes worth of the real thing.

The rooftop concert. On the roof of the Apple Corps building, January 30, 1969.

Part 1/3

Part 2/3

Part 3/3

Lego Flavored Goodness

The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There

The Beatles - Help

The Beatles Legology

Rising Water Levels

Jen just sent me this. It's some video from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune showing some of the high water levels in Methuen.

Keep dry people!

Wii Curling Rocks

Flood Warnings

Well the craptastic weather continued last night. Heavy rain and very high winds buffeted our little half-a-house all night. The power stayed on through the night after flickering off a few times between 9:30 and 10:00 or so. We had one interesting four or five seconds where the lights in the living room were flashing on and off so fast it was like we were in a disco. How 70's of us!

The wind has died down almost completely and the rain has stopped for now, although there is supposed to be more on the way. The concern now is flooding. We are reasonably close to two rivers, the mighty Merrimack (literally) and the mighty Spicket (not quite as literally). My beautiful wife whom I love with all my heart and soul sent me this a few minutes ago. I believe it comes from and it is the current flood warnings for our area:



I checked our basement last night and we were still very dry. I didn't have a chance to check this morning. I'm not terribly worried about it though. We've had major rain before and not taken in any water. I'll check again when I get home.

All of this talk of flooding brings me back to the flooding along the Merrimack back in May of 2006. I know Lowell and Haverhill were both underwater at that time. I don't know about Methuen and Lawrence though. My primary memory from that time, however, was taking what might have been my first photo walk along the Merrimack in Lowell. I am hoping that we avoid any flooding this time, but if we do have to suffer through some my hope is that it's minor enough to avoid any damage to anyone's homes or businesses, and all we get out of it are more pictures.

Good luck!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wow! Was That Ever Exciting!

I left work at 5:30 intending to pick up the kids by 7:00. On the average day I can make it to them with about 10 minutes to spare. (for those of you new to the story, I work 40 miles away from home and it usually takes about an hour and fifteen minutes due to evening traffic. Now that you're all caught up I will continue.)

It's been raining pretty steadily since Tuesday, and tonight the rain was coming down pretty hard. The wind had picked up quite a bit too. As soon as I got onto the road it was apparent that the traffic was going to be bad. The volume was heavier than usual, I guess people decided to avoid the highways tonight, and there were many people who were obviously afraid to drive in those conditions. I knew it was going to take some luck to get to the kids by 7:00.

My luck ran out at 6:29. On an average day I can get from the office to route 3 by 6:30. That's sort of my good trip/bad trip barometer. I made it tonight with a minute to spare. Unfortunately it all went downhill then. Route 3 was crawling. I immediately called Jen and told her I was worried about being able to get up to Salem on time. She said she could get the kids for me. I was a little saddened by that. I like to be Jen's hero who gets things like this done when she needs it. I was failing in that tonight.

By the time I reached route 495 though it was clear that I had zero chance of getting anywhere by 7:00. The interchange there is a little weird. You exit route 3 north at the start of the Lowell Connector and the exit to route 495 North is about half a mile down the road. The traffic on 495 was so bad that it backed up onto the Connector and all the way back onto route 3 and all the way back to the previous exit. In other words, it sucked. Jen told me to find away around 495 and not worry about getting the kids.

I took the Connector to the end and drove through Lowell until I got to route 38, and shortly after that route 133. I took that across the Tewksbury line and turned onto River Road. Up until then it hadn't been too bad. Just the occasional people who were too afraid of the rain to top 25 miles per hour. No big deal.

When I got onto River Road there were signs warning about flooding. Before reaching the Andover line there were two or three places where I feared for my safety. The road was under water. Deep and wide like the mighty Mississippi. (not really, I just occasionally enjoy typing the word Mississippi)

About that time my phone rang. It was Jen. She was calling from a road in Salem, NH that was closed due to floods. We were in the same boat (pun not really intended). AT&T in all of it's glory dropped our call just as Jen was talking about her car almost stalling. I called her back. She didn't answer. I called her again. She didn't answer. Now Robbie is nervous. What happened? Did she stall? Did she get into an accident? Did a meteor fall from space and hit the front of her car? (Robbie often has problems keeping his over active imagination in check.)

I had reached route 93 North. The highway was moving much slower than usual, but at least it was moving. I got on and headed to Salem. I had to. What if she was stuck there? I had to get close so I could help if she needed me. I also had to get the kids if she couldn't. It was 7:00 on the dot and if one of us didn't get there soon they'd be nervous to the point of panic (perhaps... Robbie's imagination again).

I was just South of the state line when Jen called again. What a relief! She said the car stalled while going through a puddle. It started up again quickly and she didn't get stuck. Again, relief. She also said she had the kids. That's three times relieved. We talked for a minute or two before she said, "Oh my god! I've got to let you go" and hung up. Welcome back nervousness.

I had nearly made it to the state line when she called back. Apparently route 28 in Salem was under water and she had hung up in order to keep two hands on the wheel. I thank her very much for that. I'll take a few minutes of anxiety in exchange for her keeping herself and the kids safe any day of the week. No question about it.

The wind and the rain had both really picked up by then and it was getting hard to see. I had turned around in the Mall at Rockingham Park parking lot and was heading back to the highway. She pulled onto route 93 South a minute or two ahead of me and we hung up again to concentrate on driving. When I reached our exit in Methuen I was very, very happy to see her car right in front of me. The three of them were safe. I followed her home and we all dashed into the house in one piece.

It was quite the adventurous night I tells ya!

Here is the best sight I saw all evening. Jen and the kids safe in front of me.

Twilight Zone

You know I've never seen the Twilight Zone episode, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet? The one starting the legendary, immortal, genius, poet, starship captain William Shatner?

I am posting these here now so that I can watch them later. You can watch them too if you like.

Not sure if this is broken into two pieces or three, so I'll throw this one on for luck. (it was posted by a different user so it's probably not related, and the whole segment is probably included in the first two files. Okay, just ignore the rambling red head)

Deja Vu

Last night I was poking around looking at posts related to the RPM challenge that I made last year. I was curious to see how last year's progress compared to this year's progress. I was amazed to see that I finished tracking the bass parts on exactly the same date. This year I am working at the same pace as last year. That surprises me seeing as I feel like this year I've been slacking in a huge way.

Oh, and this is for you Mr Technorati: UZF9VHU6B6KW

Quarter Final Surprises

So the Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Final round is over. I was pretty surprised by some of the results.

The one game that went more or less according to plan was the USA/Switzerland game. I would have preferred to see the US offense explode and bury the poor Swiss by 8 or 9 goals, but I will take a 2-0 win if that's what's there for the taking. Their reward for their victory last night is a chance to get blanked by Miikka Kiprusoff. Let's hope the offense has a better time against the Kipper then it did against Jonas Hiller.

Finland beat the Czech Republic. I like the Finns. Four years ago, after the USA was eliminated, I through all of my weight (figuratively) behind Finland. This year I get to root against them. They will play my home town team, the United States of America tomorrow at 3:00pm Eastern time. I have to admit that I sort of expected the Czechs to run away with this game. Maybe I still have memories of their gold medal in 1998 swimming in my head, but I thought they would do better. Of course, they did have to face Miikka Kiprusoff. USA take note, please.

In a major upset, the Slovakians beat Sweden last night. That is definitely a shock. Slovakia is no slouch, don't get me wrong, but Sweden is a powerhouse and they beat them 4-3. Slovakia's prize for beating the Swedish team? Nuttin' much, just Canada. Just the best team in the known universe. I'll be rooting for Slovakia. When the USA beat Canada Sunday night it was amazing, but I would prefer not to have to sit through that match up again in a gold medal game. Granted, if Sunday was a sign, it might be the best game ever. The pure hockey fan in me wants to see USA/Canada in the gold medal game. The hockey loving citizen of the United States of America wants to see USA/Slovakia. Again, no offense to Slovakia... but I bet they'd all understand.

The big surprise last night was the huge let down that was Canada vs Russia. I said yesterday that these two teams are on paper the best two teams in the world. I was expecting all of the excitement and drama and wonder that we saw in the USA/Canada game. Instead we saw Canada utterly destroy Russia. The great Russian Bear rolled over and died and let the Canadian team coast to an improbable 7-3 win. I expected Canada to win last night, but I also expected Russia to show up. I was flat out wrong on that front.

So tomorrow the medal round match ups will be decided. In what will go down as yet another NBC screw over of hockey fans, on the East coast at least, the USA/Finland game will be at 3:00pm Eastern time while everyone in the USA is at work and the Canada/Slovakia game will start at 9:30pm Eastern time when at least 25% of the United States viewing population will be asleep before the game ends if not before it starts.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


USA beats Switzerland in their quarter final match up by a final score of 2-0. The USA outshot their opponent 8437584715702764081764 to 19. (that might be slightly inaccurate... it might actually have been 44 to 19 with the Swiss getting 11 of those shots in the third period)

Zach Parise scored both goals for the USA with a 0-0 tiebreaker 2:08 into the third period and an empty net goal with about 12 seconds left. It should, of course, be noted that Zach's brother Jordan was a goalie for the Lowell Devils. I saw him play many many times. That doesn't actually have any bearing on the story, it just means that Robbie likes to name drop even when he doesn't know the person who's name he is dropping or it bares no relevance to... well... anything.

USA will now play the winner of tonight's Finland vs Czech Republic game which takes place at 10:00pm Eastern time. This semifinal game will take place at some point on Friday. The times are to be determined.

It should be noted (only because I do not believe it will jinx anything) that four teams advance out of the quarter finals, and three of those four teams will win a medal. Coming into the tournament I would have been thrilled to see my country earn any medal, but I really didn't think it would happen. Now, after getting the top seed out of the preliminaries and already having beaten a huge powerhouse of a Canadian team...

Is gold too much to hope for?


For future reference, I followed todays game on three sites: Twitter, an NBC auto-refreshing score board, and a live blog featuring input from a few ESPN writers.

Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Finals

I can't believe I forgot to set the DVR today. Team USA plays Switzerland at 3:00pm Eastern time today and I will not be able to see a second of it. I will, however, get to see team Canada play Russia tonight at 7:30pm Eastern time. There we have the match up that I was hoping to see in the Gold Medal game. On paper they are clearly the two best teams in the tournament. It doesn't quite have the same flair as the USSR days (the Soviet hockey team is the only thing I miss about those days, and even that is only due to the 1980 miracle on ice game and the joy of rooting against them... like rooting against the Yankees) but it is still a definite marque match up. It should be a fantastic game. Crosby vs Ovetchkin once again.

I grabbed a table with the current tournament bracket from this site here. I just wanted a quick reference to see who will be playing whom when.

Bummer of a Day

What a bummer of a day this is turning into. Rainy and dreary with snow in the forecast. Back at work after my wonderful five day weekend (that was probably five days too short). Team USA plays Switzerland in their first quarterfinal match up in Vancouver and some dummy forgot to set the DVR this morning.

Total bummer. I wanna go back home and go back to bed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Do You Spell Carpal Tunnel? (Or Another Boring RPM Challenge Update)


Holy Shite my hand is KILLING ME!

Back in 1990 (I think) I was playing a gig at a CYO Dance in Tewksbury with the band I had started up with friends in High School (Tempest Fero... yeah, worst name ever but that's irrelevant to the story). We were playing a song by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. One of the 80's glammy ones, not the awesome 70's Ronnie Dio metal ones, and my left hand started hurting. It was like a bad cramp or something. I couldn't keep my fingers on the fretboard. It hurt like bloody hell.

That was the first time it happened.

Since then it happens on and off when I'm playing, regardless of whether I am playing a lot and in good "shape" or not.

This morning I drove Jen to work and then hit the basement in the hopes of getting three more songs underway and maybe starting to record bass parts or maybe some rhythm guitars.

I few minutes ago I was recording the drum machine and a guide guitar for song number 10 and my hand starting with the usual pain. Unfortunately the drum part I programmed ran for maybe 5-6 minutes. My hand started hurting so much I couldn't fret the chords. Damn it hurt a lot.

I just took a few asprins and I am going to take a lunch break, but oh my sweet goodness did that suck. It doesn't hurt right now because I am not squeezing anything with my fingers contorted into weird shapes, but it will probably come back when I start playing again. Let's hope the asprin does it's thing.

(by the way, I am pretty sure it's not carpal tunnel because as far as I know carpal tunnel is a wrist injury and this is all in the fingers... so I've got that going for me I guess)

The good news here is that I've got 10 songs underway and am ready to start overdubbing over the drum machine tracks. The bad news is two fold. First, I have until February 28th to finish this. Today is February 23rd. That translates to "Fat Chance." Of course I finished last year's project in April so maybe I can beat that record. The second bad news is... well... OUCH!


Making a push on RPM this morning. Got miles to go though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bad Television

Never in the history of bad television has there been television as bad as the show iCarley. Oh my God it's horrible.

Lazy Monday

After a lazy Sunday that was capped off with a shocking win by team USA over Canada in men's ice hockey I am set for a pretty lazy Monday too.

I have today and tomorrow off. The kids are on school vacation this week so they will be with me today but they have some other things to do tomorrow.

That means watching some tube with the wee ones, maybe some board games and stuff like that to go along with some chores I need to do. I have already snuck into the cellar to do a little RPM Challenge work, I might try to sneak back for more if I get the chance.

Mostly though I'll just be wishing my wife were home with us.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Rules of Curling (Video)

For future reference, here is a video discussing the rules of curling. I haven't watched it yet so hopefully it's not a spoof. Or maybe I should be hopeful that it is a spoof.

USA vs Canada Update

This is a great game. I hope you're watching it.

5:54 left in the second period and we're tied at two goals a piece. The pace is frantic and the level of intensity is through the roof. Canada is controlling the play for the most part, but USA is getting better as the game goes on.

I remember sitting at home watching games during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and thinking that I had never seen hockey that good. That's how I feel about this game. This is hockey at its finest.

As a Bruins fan I have to say (with no disrespect to Tim Thomas or Tukka Rask) that it is really nice to be rooting for Ryan Miller. He's been keeping us in this one.


Five seconds after posting this the USA took a 3-2 lead!

USA Olympic Hockey

A win tonight for team USA gives them a by in the medal round. I am feeling it. Canada is the best team in the world, but they had some trouble in their last game. The USA has more or less breezed through their two games. (apart from that third period in the first game, but they held on to win)

I am feeling it.

I am feeling it almost like we felt this...

USA vs Canada

The big USA vs Canada game starts in about an hour. Time for the big (fanboy) guns...

Lazy Sunday

Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday at home with the one you love? I don't think so. Today our plans are to do some more work on our little homespun development project (an account look up screen!), watch the USA vs Canada game tonight at 7:30 (I think), and just relax and hang out and enjoy a lazy day at home together.

Sounds perfect to me!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Does this work?

Saturdays are the Best

Sleep late? Check
Go out to breakfast? check
take care of the food shopping? check
do the dishes? check
put away the laundry? check

Still to come

Massive amounts of C# and SQL coolness.
Awesome Indian food for dinner.
Hanging out and being together.

Sounds like a good day to me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Date Night

Date night at a casino. We're both ahead. Jenny is much more ahead.

John Mayer is playing here tonight. The place is crawling with 13 year old girls dressed like $20 hookers. Do they know it's John Mayer and not Tiger Woods?

Mini Vacation!

We are up early today so we can get the kids to their father's before school. Jen also has an appointment to go to today. Outside of that? We are commitment free for the next three days.

>insert sigh of relief here<

We're on a long weekend/mini vacation and it feels so good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Is Not Thursday

Today is Thursday. Thursday February 18, 2010 to be exact. (can you believe it's really 2010? I can't!)

But it is not actually Thursday, it is really Friday. At least it is for my lovely wife and I. We both have tomorrow off of work. Vacation days!

We had planned on a weekend in New York as a slightly belated Valentine's gift to ourselves, but later scrapped the plans in favor of staying home and spending the money more wisely. (BAH!) We didn't cancel the plans until after we had put in for the vacation time, so the result is my babie and I staying home together on a Friday.

I need all of you who read this to take a moment to send massive amounts of feel-good, positive vibes to my sweet, lovely, amazing wife Jennifer. She has something going on at work today and I want her to go into it full to the brim with confidence.

As for the day off tomorrow, it's just the tip of the ice berg for Robbie. I also took Monday and Tuesday of next week off. I had planned on using those two days for songwriting/recording/RPM Challenge purposes. I still plan to, but I've sort of run out of steam on the project this year. I'm still sitting on 5 unfinished songs and I haven't done any work since the weekend, despite having a day off this past Monday. I'll get there though. My beautiful, talented wife did some writing this week so the least I can do is push through some more music. Besides, my alonetone account has had just over 950 song hits. Posting a batch of new tunes might be enough to sucker folks into pushing me over 1000!

After writing up the bit on Jeff Beck that I posted yesterday evening I have been in a British Blues Guitar Holy Trinity mood. By Holy Trinity I, obviously, mean Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. I put together a play list on my iPod with my favorite Clapton records (Cream's Disreali Gears and the studio half of Wheels of Fire, and Derek and the Domino's Layla as well as a few other single songs from other various places), my favorite Beck albums (Truth, Rough and Ready, Blow By Blow, and Who Else, again along with a few extra cuts here and there), and my favorite Led Zeppelin records (II, IV, Houses of the Holy, and the requisite random other songs), and then a small smattering of Yardbirds songs featuring all three of them. Turn on the shuffle by songs function, hit play, regress back to my 17 year old self trying to figure out what the hell they were doing on my old (long ago stolen) Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

Jeff Beck is indeed coming to Boston in April. He's playing at the venue formerly known as Harborlights but it's a Thursday night. Thursdays are kid nights. I won't be seeing him this time. Someday, if it's meant to be... but not this tour. Sorry Jeff.

And now for yet another whiplash inducing subject change: Team USA is playing Norway today at 3:00. I set the DVR before I left the house this morning so please, please, please don't tell me what happens. Okay? I appreciate that. I want to watch it tonight and pretend it's live. Thanks again.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jeff Beck

The New York Times did a nice article on Jeff Beck last week. Check it out right here.

It's more of a story than an interview as there is very little comment from Beck himself. Most of the quotes come from people who know him and who worship the ground his guitar playing walks on.

Count me among them.

When I was a kid I was playing saxophone in school but what I really wanted to do was play guitar. There were about 5-10 guitar players who caused that need in me. The big three were the usual big three, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. (with significant contributions from Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Alex Lifeson, and a few others.)

My interest in Jimmy Page has pretty much disappeared. My interest in Clapton has never lessened, but most of his work from the 70's and 80's did nothing for me.

Jeff Beck has always been hit or miss. Not as a guitar player, but as a recording artist. He has never really put together two great albums in a row, but in most cases (specifically all but one track on the album Flash... urgh) even the duds had redeeming qualities.

Do you like heavy rock? Listen to Truth.
Do you like motown style R&B? Listen to Rough and Ready
Do you like fusion? Listen to Blow by Blow and Wired
Do you like electronic music? Listen to Who Else

He is #1 on the list of guitar players I want to see before I (or he) die(s). Hopefully when the new record comes out and he tours the US in the Spring I will get a chance to see him.

Snow Recap

I'd just like to take a moment to publicly thank the prick who decided it would be all right to park on the street in front of our house during a huge snow storm. Thanks to this mental midget the road directly in front of our driveway could not be plowed.

As a result, when I got home from work last night and couldn't get into my driveway I not only had to shovel the driveway itself but I had to shovel the street in front of it too.

Next time I hope a great big plow rips your shit car in half, asshole.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow... Again! Or is it: Snow... Again?

Remember a week or so ago when I posted a bunch of things about the killer snow storm we were getting that turned out to be less than a dusting?

It may be happening again. The weather powers that be were predicting a snow storm for us last night. We saw reports of 4-6 inches for our region from most sources, but from at least one we saw 7-11 inches predicted as well. It was supposed to start late last night and bomb us all day today.

Jen asked me to get up a little earlier so I could shovel the 7 inches of snow off the driveway so we could get to work. I did. I was up at about 5:50 or so (early, but not RPM Challenge early... again) and I looked out the window to see...


Not a single flake.

The car parked in the street in front of our house did have a ticket on it which means for the first time in the nearly two years we've lived at our current address the city police enforced the winter on-street parking ban. That was nice.

As for snow though? None.

I checked the weather reports and the snow that was supposed to start around midnight was now supposed to start at about 8:00am. While driving to work at a little past 7:00am it did in fact start to snow. By the time I got to work at a little past 8:00 it was in fact sticking. By the time I stopped listening to the second to last chapter in the last Harry Potter novel (almost done!) the snow was still coming, but the sticking had stopped.

Now three hours later the snow is still falling but there are spots on the balcony outside my window that are literally melting.

I am not going to jump the gun and jinx anything, but it sure does look similar to the events of that recent snow storm that wasn't. I'm not the kind of person who bashes weather forecasters, but if you blow something like this twice in a month you probably deserve to be smacked in the face with a fish or something.

Still, I would rather them be wrong by predicting snow that doesn't come then the other way around. Here's hoping they continue to be wrong about this one!

In other, more exciting, news: The Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament begins today at the Vancouver Olympics!

This is from the schedule I've posted a couple of times:

Tuesday, Feb 16
Switzerland @ United States 3:00 PM ET
Norway @ Canada 7:30 PM ET
Latvia @ Russia 11:59 PM ET

I am hoping I will be able to find a radio station carrying the USA game at 3:00.

If the snow does come and I get sent home early (not likely at this point) I am running into the house and putting on my old USA Hockey Jersey.


Monday, February 15, 2010

My Wife - The Writer

So I've been posting random crap here for 15 months or so. I just type up the stuff that drips out of my brain and post it here. I take bad pictures and post them here. I see something interesting/funny/retarded/whatnot and I post it here.

Today my beautiful, charming, sweet, loving, perfect wife started a new blog. She's using blogger too and posting here.

How much do you want to bet her page is getting at least 5 times more hits than mine by the end of the week?

She's that amazing.


Out at dinner with the Mrs.

Wandering Around Methuen on a Day Off

I went wandering around Methuen today in celebration of President's Day. How the two things are related I don't know. I just know I wanted to visit a couple of the places I have been wanting to take my camera too over the last couple of months.

The last time I did this I had a point and shoot Kodak camera. Nothing special. This time I brought a smoking Nikon D90. A real camera.

The photos that follow answer the age old question: Does the camera take great pictures or does the photographer?

The answer is clearly the photographer. These pictures are flat and bland and lifeless. If I actually knew how to compose a photo and actually execute the taking of the photograph then these would be really good. But, I am not. I want to find a how-to-not-take-boring-pictures tutorial or something but I don't have the time to do that. Someday. Until then, you'll have to settle for these.

I used to know the story behind this. This was supposed to be a supremely ornate entrance gate to a very wealthy man's huge home, but it was never finished. Now it's two huge columns off to the side of a funeral home.

I am starting to think my left leg is a ton shorter than my right. All of my pictures lean.


There is a cemetery near our house called Walnut Grove Cemetery. It dates back to the 19th century. I can't recall if it was founded by one of the town's most famously wealthy individuals, or if he and his family just sank a lot of money into it. I drive by this place whenever I can. There is something about it that draws me to it. It's much more opulent than the usual cemetery. Many of the plots have markers for families along with smaller markers for individual members of those families. Something about this place just appeals to me somehow.

Inside there is a tall marker that appears to be a memorial to townspeople who fought in the Civil War. It is a tall marker with a soldier on the top and it always catches my eye.


The family name associated to the cemetery, and many of the notable places in town is Tenney. This marker is right next to a chapel that is called Tenney Chapel.

Speaking of Tenney Chapel...

The bell on top of the chapel.

The chapel gate.


Another cemetery gate.

See what I mean about flat and lifeless? See also what I mean about a family marker surrounded by markers for individual family members?

I like the steps leading up to the plot as well.


A few times I managed to take a picture of the car as well as whatever I was taking pictures of. Like I said, bad photographer.


Nice roof.


The Tenney family tomb.





The Spicket River runs alongside the Methuen Music Hall and there's another waterfall! I had no idea.

At one point in the past some one who owned a ton of land in town took to building stone walls and various castle-like elements. I knew that story once too but can't recall the details. It doesn't matter other than to note there are structures that look quite a bit like battlements near this waterfall.

The bridge is route 28.

Some of the structures are in better shape than others.




Here is the music hall.

Over on the other side of the rotary on route 110 there is a restaurant called Jacksons. Right behind the restaurant is the Merrimack River. You can get right to the river bank from the parking lot. I drove past the other day while looking for a florist shop that isn't there and saw some really cool ice flows on the river. Of course they were gone today, but I did get to see some seagulls (aka rats with wings).


The bridge is route 93.



I followed that gull as it flew past me and managed to look, though the camera lens, directly into the sun. I was still seeing spots half an hour later.




And now that my little photographic President's day excursion is over I will celebrate the history of the USA's highest office in a more fitting way. Folding Laundry!

God Bless America!