Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home Programming Project

Yup, just added a few fields to the form. Jenny did the difficult stuff of course, I just put stuff on the screen and saved it. Nothing special.

Hey Jenny, what should we do next?

Rush is Coming this Summer

We've known this for a while now, but I think this is the first time we've gotten this much specific information out of a member of Rush.

Read this post from

The one aspect that seems to be waffling a little isn't the pre-album tour, but whether or not there will be pre-album tour music released. Some of the talk from band members has seemed to indicate that they want to get a couple of songs down and release them, possibly as a downloadable single or something, then hit the road for a short tour, then go back into the studio and finish off a full album.

I am thinking that part of me would prefer to not have new music for sale before this summer's tour. I think it would be cool to hear new songs on stage before hearing them on record. I have in the past suggested that maybe the coolest option would be to record an album's worth of brand spankin' new stuff live. I've always wanted to hear bands do that but I seem to be one of the only people on Earth who do. REM recorded big chunks of an album on stage, but I think it was during sound checks. King Crimson tried it once back in 1974 I think but ended up overdubbing quite a bit over most of the songs. I think Tanya Donnelly is the only artist I can think of who really did it.

Maybe Rush could follow her lead?

Rush tour this summer kids!

Getting Ready to Brave the Elements

I took these last night while driving through a huge puddle that I guess technically qualified as a flooded road.

I'll be hitting that spot again in just over half an hour. Looking forward to the challenge... to the adventure... to getting my post count up to 70 before the month of March ends.

Did I say that?

Drum Machine Work Around

Just thinking out loud here. (you can skip this post, I'm just taking notes)

My drum machine is better than a toy, but not by much. If I keep a constant tempo and 4/4 time I can get it to do just about anything. If I need to change tempo mid song... well... I don't think it can. If I need to use a different time signature then I have to set it every time I start a new pattern. That includes when I set it, make a mistake, and then erase the mistake. In that instance the formatting (ie the new time signature) is erased and reset to the 4/4 default. Pain in the buttocks, as Forest might want to say.

So I have never gotten very... proggie with it. Never used 7/8 time, never had big tempo changes. Dynamic changes are possible but they sound a little cheesy. Or should I say, cheesier.

So what is a guy to do when he listens to too many Yes records during his drives to and from work and starts wanting to write a 20+ minute epic?

Probably nothing. But maybe a suit of short songs ala side two of The Beatles Abby Road might be doable. It could actually be simple. Write a series of 1-2 minute "songs". Label each one with a letter, A, B, or C. Program the drum machine for each separate piece. Record them each individually in the order you wish them to appear, for example ABACAB (for Genesis fans). Edit the "songs" together so that they play continuously. Wahlah, instant prog rock epic.

I feel retarded for not having done this before.


More Tails from the Rainy Streets

Another day, another once-every-50-years flood.

It wasn't bad for me this time. I expect it will be worse on the way home as the runoff into the rivers continues, but as for right now. Insert the sigh of relief here.

Jen's office building management had recommended that their tenants voluntarily evacuate at around 3:30 yesterday. Her company decided to stick it out. She told me that the parking lot was underwater and that cars were getting stuck. When I got there at 6:20pm or so there was no sign of any flooding. The parking lot was wet and had many a puddle, but there was no flooding. Apparently it had drained out. There was evidence of other similar happenings on the way home too. We ended up on Tower Farm Road in Billerica at one point and there were barrels out with signs warning that the road was flooded. It wasn't. It was actually in better shape than a lot of other roads we took. Again, it must have drained off somewhere.

Fortuitous indeed.

Speaking of good fortune, the basement is dry. When I got up yesterday morning I planned to go into the cellar and move all of the very expensive, electric musical instruments and related equipment off of the floor. We were running a little late though (my fault) and I forgot to do it. As the day wore on and I started hearing about more and more flooded basements I began to get paranoid (something I'm very good at). When we got home I went down stairs and fortunately everything was dry. Needless to say, the two Gibsons are off the floor now. I gave a check this morning too and we are still dry. I think our back yard slopes away from the house a little and that has to be helping things. Thank you, back yard. I've said this before, but when Thanksgiving comes around later this year could you please remind me to remember to say that I am thankful for a dry cellar?

How are the roads today you ask? Not bad for me. I avoided Shawsheen Street at route 38 in Tewksbury. Jen gave it a shot and it was open, but the water was so deep it was hitting the under carriage of most of the cars in front of her so she turned off at the last second. Concord Road in Bedford has a few spots to either side that look like they are ready to start spilling over on the pavement. In Concord, Cambridge Turnpike and Hawthorn Street were both closed again. That spilled some traffic onto my Walden Pond route, but not too much. I spent about 8 minutes at the light trying to cross route 2 onto route 126, but that happens occasionally in good weather too. Route 117 in Lincoln is still open this morning, but that road wasn't closed until after the rain stopped last time so I don't know if that means anything. Route 20 in Wayland is closed again where it crosses routes 27 and 126. That had already been blocked off last night.

So the situation on the roads in my limited view is not great but still pretty good. I know things are bad near my sister's house as route 119 has been closed for a while due to a collapsed culvert. There is a pond that's being pumped out before it floods... everything, I guess. There are some bad spots out there, I just don't see them with my own eyes when I drive to work.

I know of a (current) total of four friends/family members/co-workers who have flooded basements right now. Pumps are keeping up in some cases but not really in others. There were a few places on the drive home last night where entire neighborhoods worth of houses had hoses running from their basements to the street and water was gushing out.

The good news here is that today is the last day of March, so this terribly rain soaked month is coming to an end. The bad news is that tomorrow is the first day of April. April showers bring May flowers and all of that. If that's true, what do March floods bring?

Something to think about.

Stay dry people.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gearing Up for the Adventure

It's 5:24pm. I am off the clock at 5:30. That's when the adventure begins.

I have to drive from Framingham to Lexington to get Jen. We carpooled today for two reasons. First, if we drove together there would be one less car on the road getting stuck. That's pessimism. Second, we figured the van is much higher up than the Saturn so it had a slightly better chance of not getting stuck. That's optimism.

I've been checking the news occasionally today. By the sound of things the south coast of Massachusetts and big chunks of Rhode Island are getting hammered today. There are evacuations in Fall River and a section of route 24 (big highway, for those of you who aren't aware) has been closed.

I only see one mention of a road I may have to drive on in the list of road closing on During the last flood I was detouring around a few bad spots and I was driving past the spot where route 2 and 2A meet in Concord. I hear the road is closed there. Hopefully the route leading up to that will be all right and I won't have to detour and make another illegal left turn.

Jen's office parking lot is flooded so I might have to park on the street and wade through the lot/pond to get to her. I will do it happily, but hopefully there will be another way. I don't want my wife's feets to get wet.

Well, it's just about time to go. Wish us luck!

Stay dry people, and be careful out there.

Wrong on Every Level

This is one of those things that is wrong on every imaginable level:

Hope you're staying dry on this very insane rainy, flooding, Massachusetts day.

It's Raining Again... Still

Flood producing rain storm #3 for this month is well under way. I drove Jen to work this morning and we had a good time looking at all the rivers and ponds and lakes and puddles-that-are-big-enough-to-qualify-for-lake-status and tried to guess which of them were going to be over flowing their banks and flooding out the surrounding streets.

I only saw one closed road, Hawthorne Street in Concord, MA, but I am sure by the time I leave work tonight there will be more. Probably many more. The forecast calls for rain all day and night, then tapering off to showers tomorrow.

There is a flood warning for the County, a flood warning for the Merrimack River, a flood warning for the Spicket River, and a flood warning for the Shawsheen River.

Most of the larger rivers were still nice and high from the last two storms and it shouldn't take very much to put them over the top with this new storm. Last night I checked our cellar and we were still dry. We didn't take any water from either of the last two storms so I am optimistic that we'll stay dry. Still, it's a little unnerving. I know a lot of people whose homes have been very wet this month. I am hoping for a lot of luck to go around.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Back to Monday Again

The weekends seem to be going by faster than ever.

We went to see How to Train Your Dragon, which I keep calling how to tame your dragon for some reason, and helped make it the #1 flick this weekend. You're welcome.

We had a great day visiting my siblings and their spouses and their kids. Both toddlers said my name. I got hugs from both of them. They both sat and played with me. Call me the happiest uncle ever. We also had a good time playing in the yard despite the frosty cold. Everyone had fun. I just hope we don't have to wait so long to do it again.

I also did some standing around in the cold while my step daughter did some fund raising for her softball league. At first she was waiting for people to come to her, but after a while she started engaging people and being very polite. She said good morning and asked how they were doing and then wished them a good day, whether they were dropping money into her can or not. For the most part, the more polite she was the more willing they were to donate. Something to think about, isn't it.

Next week is Easter and we are having my parents and my in-laws over for dinner. We have some major cleaning to do between now and then so Saturday might be a hectic day. That's all right. The kids are going to be there for the holiday. It's Dad's weekend, but he said they'd do Easter baskets at his house and then they could come to our house for dinner. That's very thoughtful of him. Thanks.

Now I just have to make it from Monday to next weekend. Another crazy week is in store. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tag Day

We are tagging for girls softball. A guy just drove up in a Hummer H2 with a liscence plate that translated to "never enough". Did he drop any dough in the can for the kids? Nope.

(we were at the entrence and he might have given at the exit, but still.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things to Do in the Future

For a brief period of time during her kindergarten years my wife lived in Canada. Looking at Google Maps tonight we found the town. Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

I want to see the water fall, and I want to go to the Potato Festival.


Tonight we went to see How to Train Your Dragon at the Jordan's IMAX in Reading, MA. We all enjoyed the movie. It was a fun flick for the kids. The killer though was the 3D. Damn! I know it was a cartoon and all, but it was fantastic. There were 234856235 instances where you really wanted to duck because something on the screen was about to tear your head off. It was great.

I haven't seen Avatar so I don't know how the 3D compares, and I understand that Avatar is the gold standard... but this movie looked fantastic. If you get a chance to check it out in IMAX 3D you should.

It was fun.

Saturday (sigh of relief)

Finally... Saturday.

We are going to see How to Tame a Dragon in 3D tonight. Cool.

Tomorrow we are seeing the babies-who-are-probably-too-big-to-still-be-refered-to-as-babies at my sister's. Cool

Next weekend is Easter. As of about 25 minutes ago we are hosting dinner for us, the kids, and four of the grand parents. Cool.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend, Please?

Less than six hours to go until the weekend. It can't get here fast enough.

We have the kids this weekend and that is good. There is speculation of a 3D movie on Saturday. On Sunday morning there is the thrill a minute ride of begging for money for my step daughter's softball league. We did it last year and brought in a nice haul of dough. The other day she asked me if it was because she was cute. Absolutely!

Sunday afternoon there is a much needed cousins get together. Jen's two kids, my sister's son and my brother's daughter. We're getting together for a cook out. I miss my niece and nephew a lot right now and I am seriously looking forward to seeing all the kids together again. For some reason I just need that now.

Last night was my step daughter's on stage debut as a pianist. She played The Star Spangled Banner at her school's talent show. She was the first act to go on (obviously) and she was fantastic! A flawless performance! She told me she was nervous and a little embarrassed to be in front of the whole crowd, but she enjoyed it and wants to do it again. I am so proud I might spontaneously catch fire.

And now for a completely random, pointless picture from the honeymoon!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Love My Wife

So I am on a vacation day today but it hasn't stopped me from having a really bad day so far. I am just feeling the weight of the universe and I think it might be about to crash down on top of me.

Just one of those less than wonderful kinda days.

I talked to Jen about it over Google Wave for about 20 minutes and I feel so much better. I'm still not feeling right, but I feel 100 times better. She knows how to make me feel all right. She knows what to say to make me better.

I love her so much. This is just one of about a billion examples of why I love her and why I one day woke up understanding that I could no longer live without her in my life... that's when I knew I had to marry her.

I cannot put it into words. I try to explain how I feel about her and it comes out sounding either like drivel or like a teenager pontificating on a case of puppy love. (is that the right word? pontificate?)

So I just have to sum up how I feel. I just have to say that I love you Jennifer. I love my wife.

Why Traffic Sucks

I saw this guy filling up on route 28 in Salem, NH this morning... Is this why traffic sucks?

Mmmm could be.

Talent Show Day

Talent show today. Got to get ready. Shower? Breakfast? Outfit? Ear Rings? A little last minute practicing? Gotta get it all taken care of before school. She's going to do great and we are all so very proud of her.

11 hours till curtain. Break a leg!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Caps vs Pens

I just watched the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on the NHL Network in Hi-def. Modern cable television is pretty freakin' wonderful, isn't it?

Anyway, I turned the game on and was asked by one of the kids who I wanted to win. I immediately said Pittsburgh because Joe never-met-a-waitress-he-didn't-want-to-pummel-into-a-bloody-pulp Corvo plays for Washington. If only he were in jail instead of playing for a Stanley Cup Contender.

But wait a second...

Corvo may be the player I want to see lose more than anyone, but now there is a new public enemy number one. Matt Cooke. I can't really root for that cheap shot artist scumbag either. Damn. The list of teams that I cannot root for grows with each new horrible cheap shot to the head asshole. I want to see the league pass the new head shot rule now, but I honestly don't think it's going to make any difference.

Go Bruins.

Spoke Too Soon

Yeah, route 20 is closed again. Had to go around it again. Thanks rain!

It didn't slow me down much, but I was hoping to not have to go out of my way more than usual today. Jen heard about the closure on the radio and called me to let me know. Isn't she wonderful? What a beautiful, thoughtful person. I'm glad I married her.

Anyway, tomorrow is a vacation day for me. I hope to spend a few minutes on music, but I probably won't have time. My main goal for the day is to learn how to record video on my new camera. It can't be difficult, I just haven't done it yet. I have something going on Thursday afternoon that needs to be video recorded.

So what's going on with the Bruins? They beat the Rangers to hold onto the final playoff spot. That's nothing special, the Rangers and Bruins are equally pathetic. Neither of them has shown through their play recently that they actually want to make the playoffs. Last night, however, they beat Atlanta 4-0. Atlanta was one point behind us in ninth place. They had also won four in a row and looked like a team that wanted the post season. A Bruins loss last night would have dropped us out of the final playoff spot.

Somehow they won... and won convincingly. Is this the turn around we've been waiting for? Do they suddenly get it? Or is this just a last minute tease to make us think they have a shot. I am way too cynical about this team to see it as anything other than a tease. Still, I am ready to be proved wrong, Bruins. I am ready.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Raining Again

Yeah... it's raining again. Not a drizzle, actual heavy rain. Nice. The Shawsheen River is spilling onto Shawsheen Street in Tewksbury again. I don't know how long it will be until they have to close the road again. None of the other trouble spots on my drive to work were trouble this morning, but that doesn't mean they won't be this evening. This rain is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Yippee.

Tonight is Massachusetts taxes night for me and my beautiful wife Jen. The Federal taxes are done, submitted, refunded, and spent already. We've been sitting on the state taxes for a while but they will be done tonight. I might try to convince the Mrs to do the US Census tonight too. That and laundry. I can see how jealous you are of the laundry option.

Stay dry out there... again.

Monday, March 22, 2010


This page has hit a milestone... 5,000 hits! 4,258 of them are probably me, but 5,000 hits is still worth celebrating!

I looked at the site meter yesterday before leaving for my parent's house and it was at 4,993. I did not want to be the 5,000th hit so I didn't check it again until I posted the two pictures last night. When I updated I viewed the page to make sure everything looked all right... and of course that was the 5,000th hit. Dumb ass.

Last week I had 197 visits. That's the most by far. 77 of them came on Wednesday the 17th, again the most for a single day by far. I guess I owe the flooding a thank you? Not quite.

There was still one side street off of 126 in Wayland that was closed this morning. Route 177 in Lincoln and route 20 in Wayland were both open. I should be able to take my normal route to and from work again starting tonight.

Of course there is more rain in the forecast for today. Let's hope it doesn't slow our progress toward normal any.

Good luck.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St Patrick's Day/Steak and Cake

We had a St Patrick's Day boiled dinner crossed with my Jenny and my sister in law Mary's birthday steak and cake. For the most part all I did was follow my niece around marveling at how adorable she is.

We also took advantage of the good weather and went out in the yard for a while.

Isn't she beautiful?

I also found another victim of the wicked wind/rain storm last weekend.

The weekend is coming to a close and that is terrible. It just started, how can it be over?

Is it Friday at 5:30 yet?

Two Unrelated Items of Note

Here are two little items of personal note that I want to share with the masses known as the internet.


My wife is the hardest working human in the development business. Her boss should absolutely promote her and give her the title "Queen of Software Engineering." Then she will have a title at work that is similar to the one she has at home, "Queen of everything I love and hold dear."

I'm not being cute. I am serious. The work she does is outstanding. No one works harder, no one accomplishes as much. She's a dynamo. She's amazing. She is the Queen of all.

Now for the second item. No one on Earth will give a flying leap about this one other than me... and I'm the one with the account here so I am posting it. Neener Neener Neener and all that.

I've managed to sneak off and work on my RPM Challenge (currently 21 days overdue) twice this weekend and I now have all 10 rhythm guitar parts recorded. It's sloppy and there are mistakes sprinkled throughout, but I don't care. No one is going to listen to it any way, I just need to get the point across, right?

I still need to write lyrics and melodies for all 10 songs... you know... the hard parts? Then I need to record vocals and guitar leads and mix the whole crappy thing. Then I will be done.

Last year I took care of all lyrics, melodies, and voices on (I think) March 5th. It was the NHL trade deadline. That means I am approximately 16 days behind last year's pace, and last year I finished about six weeks late.

My annual album in a month project is becoming my annual album in three months project.

Still... I WILL finish this sucker. I will.


Today is an important day for my extended family. Today is the day we celebrate St Patrick's Day as a group. Today is the day we all have boiled dinner together.

Last weekend we had boiled dinner with the kids at our house. This weekend was supposed to be my wife and I along with my parents, my brother's family, and my sister's family. Unfortunately my big sister's awesome son has strep throat so they had to back out. It'll still be fun though.

And remember, if it's not salty enough to make your gums bleed then it needs more salt!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Waning Crescent?

Did I spell that right? My step daughter was trying to remember what this moon is called. I had no clue so I took a picture. Fascinating.

Take Me to the River... Again

I was driving on Osgood Street in Methuen today and decided to take River Street to avoid going through the huge intersection with 113 and Pelham Street.

Fascinating, I know.

So there I was on River Street and there to my left was... ya know... the River. So I stopped for some pics.

I can't say if the river looks all that high here, but it sure looked really high everywhere else I saw it so I am going to assume that it looks high here too.

The downed tree that crosses the entire river is the reason I stopped. Look at all the pictures I didn't take of it.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 009

I focused on the water through the trees using autofocus. Thank you D90 and your eight billion point autofocus.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 005

Was that tree down in the water before this past storm? I don't know.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 002

I love the goldish color of the water.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 012

A wider... crappier view.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 015

Totally unrelated...

One of the places in town I've wanted to take pictures of but never got around to is the train station on Railroad Street. I just happened to be parked behind it this morning so I took a few quickies. I want to get it from the front, but I didn't have time today. This'll do for now.
2010-03-20 - More Spicket 018

2010-03-20 - More Spicket 024

2010-03-20 - More Spicket 021

I did this after getting my hair cut. That's how I spent the first part of my morning on the first day of Spring. A bad hair cut and a few bad pictures.

Now the Mrs and I are going to hang out and be lazy for the rest of the day. Sounds like the best plan ever.

Happy Spring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bruins Blues

They sucked last night. With the exception Shawn Thornton at less than 2:00 into the first period the Bruins rolled over and died... again... and let Matt Cooke more or less off the hook for potentially causing Mark Savard permanent brain damage.

Go Team.

The 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh last night was painful to watch. The lack of effort, the lack of heart, the lack of interest was just crushing to Bruins fans everywhere.


At least we didn't have this happen to us...

(Make sure you look at the score and the clock. Florida was winning by one goal with less than a minute left when this happened. This goal forced overtime.)

Enough All Ready

Okay, here is your Friday morning traffic update.

Route 117 in Lincoln still closed at route 126.

Route 20 in Wayland still closed at route 27/126.

Enough all ready, I wanna have my morning commute back.

I got all excited this morning as we were heading North on route 93. I was bringing the kids to their dad's house and listening to WBZ radio. The traffic report said 93 South was clear all the way to Boston and 128 South was clear all the way to the Mass Pike. After dropping the kids off I jumped on 93 South and started making my way to 128. All highway babie! Jen had called too and said it was smooth sailing all the way. Nice! No flooded back roads for me today!

Then I reached Dascomb road and everyone slowed to a crawl. So looks like it was back to the flooded back roads once again. It's okay, at least I get to give my readers an update. (Feel free to insert a sarcastic tone of voice)

(This page has gotten more hits out of these floods than I've ever gotten before. Tuesday through Thursday were the biggest site traffic days I've ever had. It's kind of embarrassing that people looking for info on closed roads are being exposed to the crap I write about. It's also kinda fun.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Most Drool Worthy Item EVER!

Do you love Star Wars? I do. I have been obsessed since 1977. I love Star Wars, really I do.

Do you have an iPhone? I do. I've been obsessed since January of 2009. I love my iPhone, really I do.

Mashable posted an article today that announced what is clearly the most drool worthy geek fan boy creation in the history of mankind. In the history of the universe. In the history of all universes.

Attention, “Star Wars” Fans: The iPhone Lightsaber Duel is Coming

Read the article! Read it read it read it read it!!!

I want it.
I want it.
I want it so baad!

I have to leave now. I need to go wipe up this puddle of geek fan boy drool.

A Star Wars bluetooth lightsaber duel game. Clearly the greatest thing in the history of things.

›Robbie Faints‹

The Flood Waters are Receding

Things looked a little better today, flood wise. The flooded baseball field that I sort of see as a kind of bench mark or something has cleaned off quite a bit. A good chunk of the shallow outfield is no longer swimming. There were still ducks but they had a significant reduction in the area available for swimming.

Jen discovered that Shawsheen Street in Tewksbury is now open. That's good news as it shaves a little time off the morning drive. There is still some water on the road and I saw a DPW crew working on it but it is passable. Good news.

There were two roads in Concord, MA that were closed the last two days but are now open. I don't know the names (Hawthorne was one, maybe?) but they are the two roads I failed to get pictures of yesterday. Fitting, eh? Anyway, they are open today.

Route 117 is still closed where it crosses route 126. Route 20 is still closed too. Hopefully they will be open soon. I had no traffic problems from either of them today, but last night they were both still big hang ups. I just managed to get around both of them.

Keep up the good work drying off, everyone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baseball is for the Ducks

I mentioned earlier today that this morning I wanted to take a few pictures of a baseball field on Pelham Street in Methuen but I couldn't find a place to park. Well on the way home tonight there was room for our van in the flooded park and ride so I pulled over and took a few.

They suck.

The sun had already set behind me so everything looks gloomy, and the field isn't nearly as flooded as it was yesterday. You can see the infield now although the outfield is still a vast lake. The ducks and Canadian geese were still hanging out though.

Click on the images and then when you get to Flickr click on the all sizes button and maybe you'll see some actual detail. Maybe not.

The Spicket River runs behind this field somewhere so I am assuming that's where the water came from. I'm probably wrong though.

Here's the view from just beyond left field. Like I said, the infield is drying out already but there is still enough water to give sailing lessons.

The geese are apparently Blue Jays fans who are working on their double play combinations. See? They are Canadian geese? Toronto Blue Jays fans? Right, I'll shut my cake hole now.

The ducks swimming in center field went more for a relaxed, pastoral kinda vibe.

The water somehow looks deeper the further out you go. Is the field slopped toward the center field fence?

The parking lot looks much better than it did this morning but it is still mostly closed off. I was actually parked at a bus stop. The vehicle you see here may well have been stuck there since the weekend.

The good news here is that the water is definitely receding. Hopefully in a few days the roads will be open and I won't have to drive all over creation trying to get to and from work.

Continue to keep dry folks!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

I'm wearing a green shirt. I have that particular base covered. However, I think I should be exempt from having to display my Irishness via the color of my clothing. My bright, glow in the dark, see it from low Earth orbit, red hair should be enough to signify where my people came from.

Here is the wikipedia article on Saint Patrick himself.

Here is the wikipedia article on Saint Patrick's Day.

We had the traditional(? is it traditional everywhere or is it just around here... here being greater Boston... more specifically here means my parent's house) boiled dinner on Sunday. This coming Sunday we are doing it again at my parent's house. My mother is going to be hard pressed to top the meal my beautiful wife prepared last weekend.

The only downside to my celebrating Saint Patrick's Day is that I don't drink. I do not experience the drunken revelry, I only get the sober revelry. I don't think I'm missing anything, but many people seem to disagree. Oh well.

In the Boston area the holidays just keep coming. Today is also Evacuation Day. The city of Boston celebrates the day the British army evacuated the city in 1775. It was George Washington's first victory in command of the Continental Army. I believe it is truly worthy of celebration. I just wish more than Suffolk county would declare it a holiday. Getting Saint Patrick's Day off as a result is just a coincidence of course. Of course.

Here is an article on the history of Evacuation Day.

So many reasons to celebrate. Enjoy them all.

The Flood Travel Fun Never Ends

Last night while driving home from work I was making killer time. I zigged around that closed road, zagged around the other closed road, and was on track and heading for home.

When the traffic in front of me stopped.

In a spot where it has never stopped before, never mind during our current flooding crisis.

I spent a pretty significant amount of time not moving. No clue as to why, but it had to be road closure related, right?

I was in Wayland on route 126, South of where it crosses 117. I went with the assumption that the problem was caused by that intersection and I pulled out my iPhone... have I mentioned the iPhone is the greatest invention in human history? I was right near Waltham Road and I know a lot of drivers take that road regularly so I used that as my starting point. I plotted a course around the traffic light and shortly after was working my way around it.

When I reached 117 the traffic was stopped there too so I kept going and mapped out the route to the next big road that joins route 126. When I got there I made my big mistake. I should have skipped that road and mapped out a route all the way to route 2. 126 was still gridlocked. If anything it was worse than it had been at 117. I read the lips of a driver going in the other direction (the traffic was stopped heading back to 117 as well) who said that the jam I was in went all the way to route 2.

So I mapped out a route starting at the next big road on my right (there were no roads that went anywhere on my left) and waited patiently for the traffic to get me there.

After 15 minutes my patience was long gone.

Finally after 20 minutes or so I managed to turn off 126 at Baker Bridge Road. From there it was on to Sandy Pond Road and all the way to route 2. I took an illegal left turn onto 2... sorry about that... and hoped that I could get back onto my route after the light at Walden Pond. If the right turn off of route 2 at Walden Pond was clogged up I was going to take 2 all the way to route 495 and suck it up highway style. Fortunately the road was clear and I got home about a half hour later than normal.

The complete traffic jam was at least three miles long. Maybe someday in the future when all of the roads are open again I will figure it out exactly. I can't imagine anyone getting through the whole length of it in under an hour and a half, maybe more like two hours. It was a total disastrous mess.

Here's a map of it:

I can tell you love my MS Paint drawing skills. That blue line is perfect, isn't it?

Today's commute started off ambitiously. I took my camera with me because I wanted to take a photo of a baseball field on Pelham Street in Methuen. It was completely under water and the ducks had moved in. There is a park and ride right next to it and when I passed it yesterday I noticed a bunch of cars parked there. I figured I'd leave home a few minutes early, park in the park and ride, snap off a few shots, and then go to work. No luck. The park and ride is closed. All of the cars I saw are apparently abandoned. I couldn't see any good place to pull over so I abandoned the mission.

When I got to the on ramp for route 93 South I saw that Cross Street was closed and barricaded. I had a new mission! Camera phone pictures of closed roads! I got four and missed two. Let the fun begin!

We start with Cross Street in Methuen, the source of inspiration.
Cross Street in Methuen, MA

I drove a very long time before seeing another closed road, but when I did it answered a lot of questions. This is route 117 in Lincoln... the very source of last night's traffic fiasco. All of the cars that should have gone West on 117 suddenly had to go North on 126. Add in a two minute light cycle at route 2 and you have a 3+ mile back up that starts in Concord, crossed the entire length of Lincoln, and ends in Wayland. Nice!
Route 117 in Lincoln, MA

I saw this one yesterday and completely forgot about it today. I think this road is called Sherman's Bridge Road. It's in Wayland.
I think this is called Sherman's Bridge Road and it's in Wayland, MA

Here we come to the source of Monday's morning woes, route 20 in Wayland. Note the one jack ass driving around the barrier. I hope he gets stuck.
Route 20 in Wayland, MA

And now that that is over with I can start looking forward to tonight's commuting ridiculousness.

As long as I have my GPS equipped iPhone I can handle anything! Bring it on! (famous last words)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Flooding Continued

Here is some video I found at the Lawrence Eagle Tribune website showing some of the flooding in Methuen today.

The damn is in slightly worse shape today then it was a couple of weeks ago when I took this.
2010-02-28 - spicket flood level 010

Hopefully things are starting to recede now. I'm not sure when the rivers are going to peak, but it should be soon if it hasn't happened already.

Keep dry everyone!

Much Better

This morning I drove Jen to work so I had to go a little bit out of the normal path, but not much. We skipped Shawsheen Street in Tewksbury and got stuck behind a train on East Street. Chalk that one up to bad luck. Route 20 in Wayland is still closed so I went part of the way along yesterday's horrible detour, but before the traffic stopped I turned onto Rice Road and took that to Route 30. Now I know another way to cross from 20 to 30. I've had to do that a couple of times due to snow storms. Hopefully I won't have to do it again.

Last night I was a little worried about Jen having to drive in the little car. I offered to pick her up and she accepted. We figured we'd go out to dinner and wait out the worst of the traffic. As you can probably guess we ended up at The Border Cafe. Not without a little excitement though as route 62 was closed right near the restaurant. We had to detour around it. The detour took us to Middlesex Turnpike. We took a right turn to get back to the Border. That was lucky for us because the road was closed to the left.

So to sum up the situation from our personal perspective, our drives to work are a little longer than normal. That's it. The storm hasn't affected us in any other way. Our basement was bone dry last night when we got home. I wanted to check it this morning but I left in a hurry and didn't get a chance to. It was dry when the rain stopped, I am hopeful that it is still dry now. I have some family and friends whose basements are flooded right now. Hopefully the sun will dry things up outside so that the water they pump out doesn't come back in. Also, let's hope there isn't any real damage. Stuff can be replaced but damage to the foundation is hard to fix.

Keep your fingers crossed and stay dry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

7:18 to 10:06

I left the house at 7:18am.
I punched in at work at 10:06am.

Eastern Massachusetts is a flood water mess right now.

There was a road closure in Tewksbury at the intersection of route 38 and Shawsheen Street where the Shawsheen river apparently flooded. My wife called me and warned me about that one so I avoided it. Thanks sweetie!

There was a road closer on Middlesex Turnpike, probably in Bedford, that detoured traffic onto Concord Road in Billerica and Bedford and right into my commute. I could probably have avoided that one but it would have forced me to cross the Concord river in two places, one of which was already over it's banks last Friday. I can't even imagine how bad it is now. There is a brand new bridge in that spot and I wonder how much of it is still there.

Neither of those caused me too much trouble. Maybe 10-15 minutes total added to my commute. This next problem however...

I was on Concord Road in Wayland, MA just before Plain Road. The traffic was stopped. I knew it would have something to do with the intersections of routes 20, 27, and 126. This is often a problem spot for me, but I have never seen it back up as far as it did today.

I jumped onto Plain Road and took it all the way to route 20. As soon as I took the right turn into traffic I hit a detour that put me onto Old Connecticut Path. That was fine with me because that was the road I was planning on taking anyway.

Big Frickin' Mistake.

There is a traffic light on that road right where routes 27 and 126 merge together. About a mile North of that spot those two roads cross route 20. That's the intersection I was avoiding by going this way.

The intersection of the three state highways was backed up all the way to the Old Connecticut Path stop light and beyond. Almost all of the cars on the road with me were taking a right turn to head North back to route 20. The cars coming from routes 27 and 126 (though mostly 27) were blocking the intersection. The result was no cars could turn right due to the back up, and no cars could cut across due to the blocked intersection.

What did that mean to me? I got stopped in the back up at 9:02am. I crossed the intersection at 9:53am. FIFTY-ONE (51) MINUTES AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT! That's what it meant.

Let me say that one more time. Fifty-One minutes at a single traffic light. I would say the overall affect of this experience was to put me into a stabbin' mood. As in I wanted to stab all of the people blocking the damn intersection.

I tried to pass the time taking pictures of flooded spots, but there were only a few of them that I could actually see. Here are some pictures taken on Old Connecticut Path in Wayland.

Flood Water Detour 1

This spot was worse than this picture makes it look.
Flood Water Detour 2

Check out the highly skilled photographer's finger.
Flood Water Detour 3

Another one that was worse than the picture looks.
Flood Water Detour 4

I drove past this spot on Friday and I am 99.999% sure there was no little brook there at that time.
Flood Water Detour 5

So there you have it folks, the actual events of 3/15/10 between 7:18 and 10:06 am. Yippeee.

May you and yours and all your stuff stay dry.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

WOOHOO It's Pi Day! Let's all draw circles and calculate their circumference and area!

Yeah! Celebrate mathematic's favorite constant!


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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wow Wii!

Jen bought a Wii before we met. When we moved in together it ended up in a box in the cellar. Eventually it was replaced by the glory of the Playstation 3.

Over the last couple of days she's been itching to play Wii again. I went into the cellar and dug it out this morning. Now a few hours later we are through with a mountain of errands and it's time to hook the sucker up.

Think it'll still work?

Friday, March 12, 2010


Kneel before the awesome maniacle awesome maniacleness of my maniacly awesome Lego robot destructor thingie!!

(we went to the Natick Collection tonight. They have a lego store. Jen bought a big cup full of random assorted legos and this is the best that I, having absolutely no Lego skills, could come up with.)

Mall Rats

Jenny Gellato

(does gellato have one L or two?)

Natick Collection

It's not a mall if it has woods in the isles, it's a "Collection."

Martian Flyover Animation

I found this video here... they found it here.

Karma + Irony = Laughs

Cyanide and Happiness bring us a new short... "Speed Racist"

UMass Lowell Commencement Address

Do you remember who gave the Commencement Address when you graduated from College?

Neither do I... she was a writer... I think... lots of research rings a bell... I don't know.

This year my alma mater is having the Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, give the address. Wow. Really sad I am going to miss that one. I'm sure he'll have lots of interesting anecdotes about... ya know... Football.

Yeah. Interesting stuff. Especially when you consider that UML paid a shit-ton of money to build a football field and then canceled the football program. Yippeee.

ADDENDUM: Google came through for me. It was harder to find the answer than I thought, but this UML news page had the following quote:

"Best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich will deliver the address when the University of Massachusetts Lowell hosts it annual commencement ceremony..."

And from wikipedia we get this: Barbara Ehrenreich

I remember enjoying the speech, I just don't really remember anything about it. It kinda came and went.

Sniffle... Uh Oh

This morning I had tons of motivation. I got up at 5:10 and went to the cellar to record some guitar parts. Yeah! Get working lard boy!

I did laundry.

Maybe tomorrow.

Motivation appears to be quite the fleeting thing for your humble narrator.

So as I've mentioned in previous posts Jen spent much of this past week suffering through a brutal cold. She missed work a couple of times and had to work from home another couple of times. She went to work this morning but is still under the weather a bit. Also over the past few days my step daughter has been dealing with a cold too. Not as severe as her mother's but still pretty annoying.

This morning, while I was supposed to be rocking along with the rhythm tracks for lame song #1, I started sniffling. Here we are about four hours later and I'm still sniffling.

Uh oh.

I am going to have a positive outlook about this. I have full confidence in my immune system to fight off what ever buggies may be invading my system on a molecular level. Sic 'em white blood cells!

The Bruins won last night. I guess all it took to wake up the offense was having your best forward take a cheap shot from behind that more likely than not ends his season and in the worst case may result in permanent brain damage only to find out that the prick who hit him in the head from behind won't be suspended by the NHL despite the obvious intent to injure.

Note that the cheap shot, injury, and possible brain damage alone were not enough to spark the Bruins. They lost the game the incident occurred in, and then lost the next game to the 2nd worst team in the NHL. It took the announcement of the non-suspension to wake them up.

I guess we as fans have to take what we can get in a playoff run that will not include Marc Savard. Savard being the player who is lucky to not have been reduced to a drooling vegetable by the drooling vegetable in Pittsburgh. Funny, this all sounds familiar. Didn't a Pennsylvania player almost destroy Patrice Bergeron's brain a few seasons ago? Yeah, that happened.

The hit Savard took has been deemed legal by the powers that be, despite the fact that hits thrown with the intent to injure are in fact illegal in the NHL and this particular hit had intent to injure all over it. Maybe the rules are different for players who wear the same jersey Sidney Crosby wears? Could be. Probably not, but it could be.

I have a question. Are the radio rights for the Boston Red Sox back to WEEI full time? I thought that happened last year after a pretty sad attempt at splitting the coverage between WEEI and another station owned by the same company.

If the answer is yes then I will never be apart from a Red Sox OR Bruins OR Patriots game again. Why? Because I have an iPhone.

Over the last 14 months of glorious iPhone ownership I have installed a handful of applications that allow me to listen to streaming audio. Pandora, Daytrotter, Wolfgang's Concert Vault, Student Radio Network, and NPR News.

And not long ago I added a WEEI app as well.

Now it should be noted that despite having this bevy of listening options, I never really spent much time with them. When I tried using them I would often run into network issues and the streams would either be lost or be choppy and tough to listen to.

Something made me give streaming audio another try yesterday. I drove from Salem, NH to Framingham, MA listening to the random song function on the Daytrotter app and never lost my connection, never experienced any delays, never had any problems at all. On the way back I listened to the Pandora app. Again, smooth sailing with no issues. While driving to get my step son at his after school program I listened to a Who show from 1973 on the Wolfgang's Concert Vault app. Flawless again.

I have to add at this point that I had completely forgotten I had the WEEI application.

While waiting for the little man to finish his evening activities I browsed the music section of the app store and found the free AOL radio app. I installed it. Checked the local stations for the Boston area and saw 98.5fm. The station that carries Bruins and Patriots games. That's when I remembered WEEI.

So from now on, when the Bruins are playing and I can't get to a television or a radio? Pop on the ol' iPhone. When the Red Sox are on and I can't get to a television or a radio? Pop on the ol' iPhone.

It really is the greatest invention in the history of the universe. Screw the wheel, the iPhone takes the prize!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My red haired sister sent me this link from this morning.

Cardinal rules - There’s a special something redheads share

You should read it.

There are a couple of things I want to say in response. I don't really buy the red heads don't go gray mantra. I look in the mirror and I see plenty of white hairs. I know the day when I am no longer a red head is coming, and it's probably coming soon. It's okay though. I see being a red head as a state of mind as well as a physical trait. I will always be a red head, even when my hair stops being red. You'll just have to check out the sunburns to see proof.

One other statement from the article needs commenting on. " the gene for red hair is dispersed through the population, gingers will become less common. But they won’t disappear completely." I completely disagree with this.

I have had a hunch... a feeling... an intuition... for many years now that as the red hair gene disperses throughout the population it will actually become more common, and eventually... someday... we red heads will actually take over the world. I don't know whether it will be in a sort of harmonic convergence kinda way, or more like a villain in a James Bond movie taking over the world kinda way, but I do believe that someday... some glorious day... it will happen.

And when that beautiful day comes it will be a capital offense to utter the phrase, "rusty brains."

Power to the Red Headed People!

W-w-w-wait a Second Here!

I just looked at the date. Is it really March 11th? No-freakin'-way is it really March 11th!

We just finished Christmas and New Years a few days ago, didn't we? I can't believe how fast this year is going. I'm dizzy just thinking about it.

March means April and May are nearly upon us. April and May are the anniversary months for Jen and me.

April has our dataversary (anniversary of our first date) and our duplexiversary (anniversary of our moving in together). May has our engagedaversary (anniversary of our engagement) and our actual wedding anniversary (anniversary of our wedding... the first anniversary to be exact).

It's disturbing how fast the year is moving, but when you look at the celebrations that are right on the horizon it doesn't seem so bad.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Did I Say?

According to news reports this morning actor Corey Haim has died. Another little piece of the 1980's goes away. I wasn't a fan. I remember seeing Lucas, but I never saw The Lost Boys. What I was a fan of was the endless joking made at his and his other half Corey Feldman's expense.

I went to youtube looking for two video clips that I could use to pay tribute to the fallen former teen idol.

One was the Robot Chicken episode with the two Coreys fighting crime... or solving mysteries... or something. I forget. I haven't seen it in a long time, but I know it was funny. I know it.

I couldn't find it.

The other video I looked for was a clip from Greg the Bunny. Corey Feldman made an appearance on the FOX show. I don't think it ever aired, but it's on the DVD. Feldman tries to pull a prank on his horrible neighbor, Warren, and accidentally kidnaps Greg.

I couldn't find it.

Here is the dialog as I remember it:
Greg has been sleeping on the front seat of Warren's car when Corey drove off in it (his intention was to drive it a few blocks down the street and leave it there). Greg wakes up, he and Feldman see each other and start screaming.

There is a little back and forth before getting to the pertinent lines.
Corey Feldman: I thought you were a stuffed animal!
Greg the Bunny: I thought you were in rehab!
Corey Feldman: No, that's Corey Haim.
Greg the Bunny: What did I say?

Had you seen the clip you would totally have laughed. It is the best Corey/Corey joke ever.

And now the punch line is gone. Corey Haim has gone to the great vampire hunting rehab in the sky. Happy trails 80's teen idol. Hope things work out better where ever you end up then they did here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


You have to read this story before I can continue. I'll give you a couple of minutes....

I worked at that Shaws warehouse. For three days back in 1995. During my tenure the warehouse was operated by a third party, not by Shaws itself. Therefore, none of what I say in this reminiscence relates to the current story. Okay?

I think it was '95. It might have been '94... but I think it was '95.

I had a job working for a school called Northeast Broadcasting School. I got the job a few weeks after graduating from their audio recording program. My job was to babysit the recording studios. It was part time, I made very little money, my hours were late at night and all weekend. The huge plus was that I got to use the studios myself when no students were there.

Of course they laid me off.

I ended up getting a job working 2nd shift on weekends at the Shaws warehouse. As I said before, I did not work for Shaws itself and I can't for the life of me remember the name of the third party company that ran things.

What I do know is that they were pulling out. I was to start on a Friday, and by the end of my shift on Sunday they were going to be gone and Shaws was going to take over.

The place was in chaos. It was insane. There was no supervision, no order, no anything. I had a little training on my first day and then it was off to the mad house. The conditions were awful, every single employee that I met was stretched to the breaking point. People would get pissed off at a manager and break open a box of food and throw it at the walls. One guy actually threw a tantrum and drove a fork lift into a wall. I asked one coworker if anyone had tried to Unionize and was told that the topic came up every once in a while, but with Shaws taking over most of the staff was hopeful that things would quickly change for the better.

At midnight on Monday morning all of the third party staff people left the building and a swarm of Shaws employees from other warehouses thundered in. I think my shift ended at 2:00am and that was it for me. I was done. I spoke to some one in the office on Monday afternoon and said Shaws or no Shaws I was never setting foot in that death trap again.

Now here we are 15 years later and the warehouse employees are on strike. Judging by the Globe article linked above it sure sounds like Shaws is trying to eff them in the eh. A wonderful new contract that includes a reduction in take home pay and a 10% increase in family health care cost. Nice.

I am glad they Unionized. Unions tend to get a bad rap these days and it is definitely deserved. I am generally a pro Union kinda guy, but they can be just as corrupt as anyone else. I worked at UPS for a while and was a member of the Teamsters. There were a few occasions when coworkers had some sort of problem with management and would seek out the Union's help. It used to bother the management folks, but from what I can see the situations would normally be resolved to everyone's benefit. Of course I can't for the life of me remember a specific example, so I might be passing on an affective snow job onto all of my faithful readers. Who knows. Who cares.

All I know is that I'm not shopping at Shaws until the strike is over.


Random Tuesday Thoughts

My beautiful wife is still feeling sick. She's been fighting a bad cold since Saturday night and is staying out of work for the second day in a row. I very much want her to feel better.


Please continue to send her get well thoughts. She can use them.

**Subject Change**

Apparently today is the day that the weather is officially nice enough for road crews to start deploying onto the side streets in their ceaseless effort to gum up traffic everywhere. I saw four of them this morning. They were all in Concord, MA so maybe it's just that one town that let the crews off the leash today, but if one town does it you know that more will follow.

**Subject Change**

Three years ago today Boston (both the town and the rock band) lost Brad Delp.

A couple of weeks ago I had iTunes up on my desktop at home. I had walked away from my computer and my step daughter was taking a look at my playlists. The kids take piano lessons and I was being a nerd and playing them some examples of a couple of my favorite keyboard players (Rick Wakeman & Keith Emerson).

When I walked back into the room she had clicked on my Boston playlist and selected "Rock and Roll Band". Turns out she knew the song from playing Rock Band. I told her that her mother knew the guy singing and she was very impressed. I now have two Brad Delp stories (the other one had to do with him walking into a bar in Billerica in ohhhh 1992 or '93 or so and having the whole crowd hush with awe as Boston music royalty deemed them worthy of his presence) and this new one is by far the better.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Paying the Stupidity Tax

I have purchased four Powerball lottery tickets since the game became available in Massachusetts.

I haven't won.

In the drawings I've played no one has won.

Still, on two of my four tickets I actually got a number. Pretty cool. On a third ticket I actually got two numbers.

I just know there's a winning ticket with my name on it. It's just a matter of time!

(Now please go back and read the title of this post... Yup, that's me.)


My wife is still sick today. She called in sick to work. I want to be able to stay home and take care of her but I can't... stupid job.

Please send get well wishes to my sweetie.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


We watched Miracle tonight with the kids (on blu-ray... woah!). I wanted to give them an idea of why I got so excited about the Olympic hockey tournament this year.

The most notable kid comment was, "The movie is called Miracle, so I bet they win."

Wise beyond their years, eh?

Moon Over N Andover

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Downtown Lowell

(read the next line in a Jerry Seinfeld-esque voice)

What is the deal with downtown Lowell?

Last night Jen wanted to go for some Japanese food. She did a little searching online and found a place in Downtown Lowell on Merrimack Street called Etsogo. It was a Friday night, after 8:00pm and we expected to have to wait.

Little did we know that Downtown Lowell apparently shuts down for the entire Winter season.

We parked in that big garage on Market Street and walked over to Merrimack. I was shocked to not only not see any people around (there was one drunk homeless guy... it wouldn't have been Lowell otherwise) but to not see any businesses open. Everything was closed. It was 8:freaking pm and everything was closed. Many shops had their hours posted, complete with "Winter hours" that close up at 7:00. I know it's cold out, but gimme a break. The whole city center closes at 7:00 because it's cold? No wonder they have so much trouble keeping the city alive. Open the damn stores!

Fortunately Etsogo was open and it was really good. I had beef and chicken teriyaki and Jen had sushi. We will go back to that place, I am sure, and hopefully the city isn't asleep the next time.

I recently started creating picture sets in Flickr for different cities and towns that I have found myself taking pics in in the past including Lowell. I used my iPhone and Camera Bag application to try to take some faux artsy pictures that I could add to the Lowell set.

Enjoy... even though they are lame.

The view from our parking spot on the second floor of the garage.

I think this is Palmer and Middle Streets (thanks Google maps!)

My wife Jenny perusing the menu. Checking out the sushi options.

I liked the front windows and took a lame picture of them.

Jenny loves her some sushi.

An ice cream shop called Monkey's How could we say no? Of course they were closed, so maybe next time we're in town we'll pay a visit.

A failed attempt at getting a shot of the clock tower at the city hall.

Downtown Lowell is on my list of places to bring the camera for a waste of a day walking around taking pictures of stuff. It's been on that list for years, but someday I'll get there.

This afternoon we went out to eat as well. Where did we go this time? Only my favorite place (the Burlington branch of my favorite place, to be exact).

An unrelated note: we are sitting at home watching the Bruins playing the Islanders and we just saw a McDonald's commercial and now I have a song stuck in my head:

Give me back that fillet o' fish
Give me that fish...


Friday, March 5, 2010


Well... not that holy grail. That holy grail is in France... right Dan Brown?

Larry just sent me this. A video from cnet telling us how to skip all the previews on a DVD. Oh Please Please Please let this work on our Playstation 3!!!

Fun Science Geeky Site

Check out this site...

Did you check it out? I found out about this on the Bad Astronomer blog. You use this to design and model your own solar system.

Ya know, nothing major. Just intelligent design and stuff. Although in my case it's not very intelligent. I keep plugging in numbers that get one of the four bodies either obliterated or kicked out of the system in the first orbit.

However... not to toot my own horn... but I had one with four bodies that ran for about 400 seconds before one of them was booted out of my solar system. That's a whole boat load of orbits. (of course the guy who got booted had an orbit that was really erratic, but at least it was going in something that vaguely resembled an ellipse.)

I guess that makes me god of my own little solar system.


I just finished reading a Dan Brown novel so as you know I'm all about symbolism right now.

Watch this video. Watch Marc Savard hit the post in the third period. That play symbolizes the entire season.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hate and Stupidity

I hate things that make me feel stupid.

Actually, I hate more things than just things that make me feel stupid. I hate a lot of varied things with varying degrees of malice. Some things I hate a little. Some things I hate a lot. For instance, right now I am hating that the Bruins aren't slaughtering the Toronto Maple Leafs (it's tied at one in the second period). I hate that, but I hate losing to Montreal (like they did the other night) even more.

But for right now I want to focus on how I hate things that make me feel stupid. Today there is one thing that I am hating because it makes me feel stupid.


Yup. Hate it.

I open it up and load in an image file and... and... and then I stare at the screen like a buffoon trying to figure out how to do anything. I hate it.

Just saying.

One thing I don't hate is my wife's blog. I love my wife more than anything. I love my wife more then Rush and the Bruins and the Red Sox combined!

I also love her blog. I read it all the time and I think you should too. Go here and check it out. Just remember guys, she's MINE!

The Evolution of Homer

Feel Better

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
My sweetie isn't feeling all that well today. Would you all be so kind as to send her some feel-better-soon vibes? Thanks

I Bet This is a True Story

I bet this is how things went at the Boston Bruins front office this morning.

Peter Chiarelli walks in the door, smiling from ear to ear with a look of total excitement on his face. He walks past a water cooler where Don Sweeney and Cam Neely are talking to each other, looking very depressed and ragged. Chiarelli slaps them both on the back and says, "Trade deadline day guys, let's get on those phones and get some deals done!" Sweeney and Neely exchange confused looks with each other but before they can say anything to Chiarelli he is off down the hallway.

Chiarelli then pops his head into the door of Charlie Jacob's office. "Trade deadline today Chuckie, we're gone fill the holes and fix this team for you! Don't worry a bit boss, we're going to get it done!" As Chiarelli walks away Jacobs looks at his calendar for a minute. He looks perplexed. But I thought the deadline was... he thinks, clearly taxing his mental capacity.

Chiarelli gets to his office, plops down into his chair, puts his feet up on the desk, picks up the phone and starts dialing. He says out loud, "Let's call the Hurricanes first. We are gonna get ourselves some scoring help!"

Before the call connects Cam Neely walks purposefully into the office, grabs the phone from Chiarelli's hand and slams it on to the receiver. He then shoves Chiarelli's feet off the desk and firmly slaps him across the face. "Peter" he yells at his General Manager, "the trade deadline was yesterday!"

Chiarelli looks at Neely, his face first showing a look of disbelief, followed by confusion, followed by crushing disappointment. "You mean the trade deadline was yesterday? It's over? You mean that wasn't a nightmare I had last night?"

"No Pete," says Neely, "the trade deadline was yesterday. You totally blew it."

Chiarelli then puts his head into his hands and weakly sobs.

Yup, I bet that is exactly what happened at the Boston Bruins offices this morning.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Peter Chiarelli Needs a Nap

Poor poor Peter Chiarelli had a bad day. I think he probably needs to go to his bed, pull down the shades, turn off the lights, pull the blankets up over his head, and nap for 48-72 hours. Maybe when he wakes up fans of the Boston Bruins will have calmed down and stop threatening his health.

I have a feeling I know what Peter Chiarelli was feeling like throughout today's NHL trade deadline excitement. Imagine a Viagra commercial. Got that image? Now imagine the man in that commercial about 3 minutes after realizing that he needs to place a call to his doctor so that he can ask about Viagra. That is probably a very accurate depiction of Peter Chiarelli's state of mind today.

From the NHL roster's point of view the Bruins moved Byron Bitz, who has been a healthy scratch and is still probably existing in the weird skill level purgatory between the NHL and the AHL. I call this space the Cameron Mann Zone. It could be a loss down the road, but right now it's just a loss of a popular guy who's name is kinda fun to say. The real departure is Derek Morris. This off season's big free agent pick up who is the 2nd highest scoring defenceman (behind Zdeno Chara) on the Bruins. He was cast off to Phoenix (where he played for many years) for a 4th round draft pick.

That's what I said, you didn't read that wrong. A 3+ million dollar defenseman dumped to the desert for a 4th round pick. The pick may turn into a 3rd rounder if Morris signs a contract with Phoenix. Personally, if I were Mr Morris I would never sign with Phoenix simply to spite the Bruins for dumping me so cheaply.

Coming back to the Bruins NHL roster is Dennis Seidenberg from Florida. Seidenberg's numbers are pretty comparable to Morris' but he makes about a million dollars less per year.

Effectively, the Bruins swapped a good defenseman for a cheaper good defenseman.

That's it.

Think back to the days leading up to the Olympic break. The Bruins won the four games immediately prior to the break, but lost the TEN games prior to that. During that TEN game losing streak Peter Chiarelli kept telling us how he was working the phones trying to pull off a deal to get some scoring help. In other words, he was trying to fill the gaping void in the current roster's make up by acquiring a forward who can actually score goals. He failed to achieve this goal during the losing streak and he continued to fail today.

So one of the worst offenses in the NHL failed to do anything that might improve things at the trade deadline. Bruins fans are feeling devastated over the lack of movement and are jumping off the bandwagon in droves. The coaching staff are forced to continue to try and squeeze goals out of a line up that is almost completely unable to score goals. We have two forwards who are capable of producing consistent offense (Savard and Sturm), one forward who is as good an offense/defense combination as any in the league (gold medal winner Patrice Bergeron), and a whole cast of players who are either under producing or drastically over produced last year thus skewing all of our expectations this year.

The absolute pinnacle of this team's achievements this year will be a first round exit from the playoffs. That's as good as it can possibly get. Frankly, I doubt we will even go that far. I foresee a lottery pick in our future, and I ain't referring to the first round pick we got from Toronto for Kessel. (although we will be getting a lottery pick out of that too)

It's going to continue to be painful to watch the Bruins for the rest of the year. We've already had 60 some odd painful games so what's another 20 or so.

Two further trade deadline Bruins related notes. Scott Walker was traded from Carolina to... Washington, I think. The cost to get him was, if I am not mistaken... and I could be... I don't think I'm making this crap up as I go but I suppose it's possible I'm doing it subconsciously... a seventh round pick. Late in this afternoon's festivities the Bruins announced that Dennis Wideman was not on the trading block. I give that statement the gold medal for bullshit statements. Wideman was not available because no other team in the NHL (or the AHL for that matter) was willing to take him. Walker went for a seventh round pick, and even that was too much to pay for Dennis Wideman.

I am still very much on the Bruins bandwagon, but if one of the rumors I heard today had come to fruition I would have been off faster than you can say, "convicted felon." The Bruins were rumored to be in the running to acquire Joe Corvo. Uh uh, no way. Corvo comes to Boston and you suddenly start seeing lots of posts about how big a San Jose Sharks or Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings fan I am. I will not root for some one who is slime enough to beat up a woman, never mind a man who is scum enough to beat up a woman in a restaurant. Joe Corvo shouldn't be playing for Washington (after getting dealt there today from Carolina) he should be playing for the Bridgewater Penitentiary team.

And that, ladies and gents, is my NHL trade deadline wrap up post. Maybe by next year's trade deadline Peter Chiarelli will have some Viagra to help him out.

Go Bruins!

Mission of Burma Videos

I've never heard of Aquarium Drunkard. Fortunately they have heard of Mission of Burma and they posted four videos of the band playing in Infrasonic Studios. Click the link above for the actual post. Robbie the content whore will now post the videos here as well.



Mission of Burma :: Blunder (Aquarium Drunkard Session) from Aquarium Drunkard on Vimeo.

Careening With Conviction...

Mission of Burma :: Careening With Conviction (Aquarium Drunkard Session) from Aquarium Drunkard on Vimeo.

Here It Comes...

Mission of Burma :: Here It Comes (Aquarium Drunkard Session) from Aquarium Drunkard on Vimeo.


Mission of Burma :: Dirt (Aquarium Drunkard Session) from Aquarium Drunkard on Vimeo.


A post on Rush is a Band today gave a link to a page that is posting links to scans of old Rush magazine articles. It is called Rush: A Brief History of Time. Enjoy.