Sunday, July 31, 2011

Random Bunny Pic


Mr Bunny came out to watch me cook dinner on the grill.

Trade Deadline

The Red Sox made a deal at the non-waiver trade deadline today and got Erik Bedard. They had a deal for Rich Harden in place yesterday that collapsed due to health concerns.

No offense to Mr Bedard, but I would have preferred Hardin. With Bucholtz out for... Ever... We needed a starter to fill the gap, and he's probably as good as anyone available.

Oh, and the Red Sox just came back to beat the White Sox. That makes this a good day.

Go Red Sox.

One Step Closer

The 2010 RPM disaster is in the can. I still have to mix it, which means it should be done in time to start the 2015 challenge.

Oh, and can I just say that my callus free finger tips are burning like hell fire.

Ouch town, population me.

Oh, and the packing is underway.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can I finish one of these damn RPMs tonight?

Addendum: Finished? Of course not, but two more from 2010 are done.


DSC_0191 by robj_1971
DSC_0191, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Last year we went to Disney World.

Next month we are going to Disney Land.

The anticipation is overwhelming. I tried to stave it off today by downloading a Disney Land wait times app on my phone.

One step closer to being there.

Another Random Picture

DSC_0082 by robj_1971
DSC_0082, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Here's another random picture pulled using flickriver's random function.


Here is the obligatory I-just-mentioned-Rush-in-a-blog-post picture.

You're welcome.

Bass Response

The AUX input on our new car's stereo is on the fritz. That means it's back to compact disc land for commuting music.

I've never been an audiophile. Given that I've actually run a couple of fully functioning recording studios and have listened to music on some seriously awesome sound systems you'd think I would be a little more discriminating in my choice of audio sources. Nope, not me. MP3s are usually all right for me although I freely admit that CDs completely destroy them, and I can usually hear the differences (not always, but often).

So I had the newly remastered version of Moving Pictures by Rush in the car's CD player while I was driving to Salem to pick up tonight's Chinese food take out. As "The Camera Eye" came on I turned up the volume... A bit... A lot.

As the kick drum was causing the rear view mirror to literally shake I had one of those rare, holy-Christmas-this-sounds-AWESOME moments.

That's it. Nothing more to this story, just that the Moving Pictures remaster sounds inhumanly sweet. We don't have a surround sound system yet... yet... So I haven't been able to take the blu ray remix for a spin yet, but if it's as awesome as the remaster, then it's going to be Awesome.

That is all.

Covered Bridge

DSC_0354 by robj_1971
DSC_0354, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

It's random photo time.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Okay, Netflix... Now what?

Once in the not so distant past my good friend Mike told me that I had to watch the remake of Battlestar Galactica. I had heard from other random, and less reliable sources that the show was worth a view. Of course these conversations happened just after the show went off the air.

Fast forward to a few months ago when Jen came home with an Apple TV box and opened a Netflix account to stream through it. We watched a couple of movies and a few TV shows together. Then one night while my beloved Jenny was working late I stumbled across BSG and started watching it. 25 minutes ago I finished the 76th and final episode.

You were right as usual, Mike. I enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good throughout all four seasons.

Now what?

To top it off, I finished the seventh Harry Potter books-on-tape-in-the-car event this evening, just prior to pulling in the driveway. Now I need a new commuting listening project as well as a Netflix-on-the-iPad-just-before-bed project.

Suggestions are welcome.

Right now I'm sitting in bed typing this on said iPad, listening to Jack Frosting 7" singles and fearing sleep. My cold is much better right now but Jen's is still pretty bad. She took NyQuil in the hope of getting a ton of sleep tonight. So far so good, but I'm afraid if I go to sleep now I'll snore like a savage wild beast and wake her up. So instead of sleeping, like I should, I'm typing this.

You don't mind, do you?

The Lion King

When I finally got home after the horrid traffic on routes 93 and 495 the kids were watching The Lion King. How is it that my pea brain never noticed that Timon was voiced by Billy Crystal?

I guess you learn something new everyday.

Positive Role Models

Our beloved Boston sports franchises are just dazzling me with their trades this year. They are bringing into town one supremely positive role model after another.

I've talked about the Bruins trading for Joe Corvo already. I don't want to get into how I feel about that particular pile of puke anymore, but to sum up he was once convicted of assaulting a woman. Like I said, puke.

Now we learn that the New England Patriots have traded for Albert Haynesworth. I don't follow the NFL much, if at all, so I was unfamiliar with this winner.

I read a story on today that said that already this summer he has been arrested twice, once for a road rage incident in which he settled out of court, and the other for fondling a waitress in a bar. He is currently facing a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse for that one.

I wonder if Joe and Albert know each other. Maybe the two of them can hang out in Boston area bars and talk shop.

What positive role models they both are.

Cold Update

Step daughter is still fine today.
Step son is better today but still sniffley.
Jen was a little better last night, but still up to her eyeballs in this black plague/head cold.
I'm better. Still congested, still coughing a lot, still tired and sore, but none of it is as bad as it was yesterday.

There is a light at the end of the sickness tunnel. We will all be 100% by the time we fly to California!

Optimism, people. Optimism and confidence in our immune systems!
Go white blood cells go!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Monumental Day

I have known this day would come eventually, and now it has. Ever since we set up a second living room in the cellar I knew that one day I would come home to find one of the kids in the upstairs living room and the other in the cellar.

Today is that day. When I came home from work my step daughter was doing her thing, all by her lonesome, downstairs.

Independence hath been discovered and duly declared.


A look back, but also a look ahead...

The San Diego Zoo.

I wanna go NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!!








Say it Ain't So, Harrison

Oh Mr. Ford, please say it's not true.

I Will Not Freak Out

The vacation is coming soon. It's not imminent, but it's coming soon.

I have a really bad cold. Bad enough to stay out of work one day this week, and I never stay out of work when I'm sick. Right now I have a five alarm headache that is making my eyes hurt. Hooray.

Jen is sick too. She's working from home today, but she's probably feeling bad enough that she could have called in sick.

My step son is sniffling and complaining of a little sore throat.

My step daughter woke up with a minor sore throat, but by the time we left the house she said she was fine.


There is plenty of time for all of us to feel well again. More than enough time. We're all going to be feeling fine when we board the plane for the six hour flight to California. There is nothing to panic about at all.


Crap, I am freaking out.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lessons Learned from Our Fish Tank

Here are the lessons we have learned from our fish tank.

1: Neon Tetras (excuse any misspellings of fish names) are strong and hearty little suckers. We bought three of them after setting up the tank. All three are still going strong. Good going, little fish!

2: Glo Fish (I think that's the full name, but I might be missing something) are the polar opposites of Neon Tetras. We bought three of them, a couple of weeks after getting the Neon Tetras, and all three are now dead. Glo Fish are weak and stupid fish who can't handle the rigors of doing nothing but swimming and eating.

I will add to this list when (if) we learn new things about the exciting world of fish tanks. For now, though, to sum up:

Neon Tetras = Good
Glo Fish = Bad

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I'm sick, my nose is blocked but running at the same time, my eyes are watering so much I'm seeing double, and I've got a headache. Jen fears for California. I don't. It's just a cold and there is plenty of time (pause to sneeze) before we go. I just have to sleep it off today and not get close to my wife and step kids for a few days. Ah, there's the downside.

Oh, now the bad news. We've lost another fish. The three original fish are still alive and kicking, but the three from the second group are all dead. Stupid fish.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Sucks

Mondaaaaaaaaaaaay, SUCKS!

(high school flashback, sorry)

My nephew's birthday party was a blast. All of the kids were great, it was a lot of fun. Our present was a big hit. Good, good, good.

Right about the time we got home from the party I started feeling sick. Oh good. I'm sicker today. Not sick enough to stay out of work, but about 60 minutes into my 75 minute commute I was starting to think I should have. We'll ride it out until lunch time and see how it goes.

California is getting close. I can't wait to go. All of us are getting really excited. It's going to be so good to get away from things for a while.

For now though, this package of kleenex and I are going to spend some quality time together.

Good day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Birthday Party

Today is going to be a fun day. It is my nephew's third birthday party. My three nephews and one niece should all be there. I haven't seen them since Father's Day and I expect that they have all doubled in size since then.

I can't wait to see everyone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reasons Why I Love My Wife

Sometimes my wife and I get into this goofy state where we spam each other's facebook pages with goofiness. Last night, while eating a nice dinner at the 99 in Salem, we did exactly that.

She took a picture of me that nearly blinded me with the sun-strength iPhone 4 LED flash:


The caption she gave to the image? Dorky McDorkerson.

I then followed with this:


I captioned it, Mrs McDorkerson.

She then followed with this, which made me laugh out loud:


The reason for my LOL was her caption, Sad Dorky McDorkerson.

We then went on to spam the picture of her with comments relating to the Family Guy episode where Stewie kidnaps the cast of Star Trek the Next Generation.

As I was writing this I came up with another reason why I love my wife.

She said to me, "I wish the kitty would stop being a kitty."

I asked, "What would you like the kitty to be?"

She answered, "A Hippogriff."

She then told the kitty that it's name is no longer Patches, it's now Buckbeak.

I do so love my Harry Potter quoting wife.

Jenny, I love you like crazy. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gross Steak Sauce Cam



So I still have two recording projects out there that are weighing on me. My RPM Challenge for 2010 and 2011 are still sitting in the cellar unfinished. Every time I get a free few hours I try and psyche myself up to work on one of them but I almost always find something else to do... like watch TV.

Today I did a little work. I thought that finishing the tracking of both projects was within the realm of possibility, but I underestimated how much was left to do, and then did only a tiny fraction of it. An important fraction, but not enough to say I'm almost done tracking.

2010 has 10 songs and one unrelated song that I started writing for a song fight at some forgotten moment in the long ago past. When I woke up this morning I still needed lyrics, melodies, and vocals for three of the 10 songs, and the song fight needed to have its vocals re-recorded. Also, 9 of the 10 songs needed lead guitar parts. I thought those were finished. I really did. Discovering that oversight took a great deal of the wind out of my sails today. I did, however, manage to finish all the vocals. Now, officially, all that's left to record for the 2010 project is lead guitar.

The 2011 project still needs lead and rhythm guitars on three songs. All of the vocals are already finished and six of the nine songs are as complete as they are going to get as far as other instruments go.

So I am still not close to being done with the tracking, but at least now everything that requires an empty house (I hate having other people listen to me sing without the massive noise of a full band playing along. Even worse, I am the worlds worst lyricist and I hate letting people hear the crap that I write without having it buried in a mix. Really. The lyrics are worse than garbage. I usually just sit down with a rhyming dictionary and use the first crap that comes to my head, regardless of whether or not it makes sense or even actually says anything coherent. I am so bad that I don't even really try, I just see the words as place holders that take up melody space until some far off magical day when someone with talent can write the real lyrics) is done. So, in order for me to work on vocals I need the house to be empty. Otherwise I'm not doing anything.

Tracking guitar parts is different. That only requires everyone else in the house to be busy so I can hide in the cellar without missing any quality family time. I record this stuff through a headphone amp so I can do it late at night or early in the morning. I think I might try getting up at 5:00am again and sneaking in a part or two a day. I would like to have these two terrible, horrible, ridiculously bad projects finished by the time we leave for California next month.

Not going to happen... but still a sort of mini goal.

Anyway, next stop is guitar parts. I can do that.


Can you make out the temperature on our mini van's dashboard display?

In case you can't, it says 101 degrees.

Summer. Win.


Wild kingdom.


You there, in the case. You and I are going to end this lack of motivation and spend sone quality time together today. Ya dig?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Uh Oh, Trouble

My wife and step daughter have suddenly discovered musicals. First Funny Girl, now Singing in the Rain.

My step son and I are in trouble, me thinks.


So the Space Shuttle landed safely. That's good. There will never be another Space Shuttle launch. That's sad.

All of the reasons for scraping the shuttles are good and valid. All of the reasons for scrapping the Orion project are also good and valid.

It doesn't change the fact that I feel like we have royally screwed the pooch when it comes to manned space flight.

The whole situation is sad and pathetic. It's valid and smart too, but still pathetic.

Damn Cat

It's bad enough that when I woke up this morning I was not yet on vacation in California, but it got worse almost immediately.

The damn cat took another swipe at my step son and gave him a nice little scratch. He did not provoke Patches in any way. He sat on my bed with the cat and pet her a couple of times. Then I told him to get off the bed and get his breakfast. He did. He stood up and started walking away and the cat reached out and got him.

Why? Why does the cat only target him? I'm the fat guy who rolls over while she's trying to sleep on the bed with us. I'm the guy who nearly squashes her in the dead of night. On the cat's first night with us she bit my step daughter twice, but hasn't done anything to her since. Jen and I have both been swatted at, but not in ages. Why does he get all the clawed attention? I've seen him get in the cat's face before, and I've seen the cat react badly to it, but the last two times he's received a swipe he didn't do anything to deserve it.

I'm really pissed off at the cat. I know she's just being a cat and that's what cats do, but like I said she leaves the rest of us alone and only goes after the boy. Hell, she even ignores the fish! I have half a mind to try feeding her to the deer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pleased to Meet You, P4

Over the last few weeks the Hubble Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting Pluto!

Take that, Pluto haters!

This image isn't going to be very good on this page, so click it to enlarge it, mmm-kay?

Here is the story I just read that told me about this awesomeness.

Hubble was working in support of the New Horizons mission to the Kuiper Belt. There is some hope that when the probe flies past Pluto it will find rings, and that's what Hubble was looking for. Instead? It found a new moon.

The moon will be known as P4 until it gets an official name. The other three moons are called Charon, Nix, and Hydra. I vote we officially dub P4 as, "Screw You, Pluto Haters!"

Think that will fly?


Finally, a picture taken with my Nikon reaches the 100 views mark on Flickr.

I'm proud of this ugly little pic.


I want to go back to San Diego and I want to go back RIGHT NOW!!!






the final day point loma 124

the final day point loma 241

the final day point loma 406




Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Much Better

Google Still Doesn't Love Me

(this worked once before, maybe coincidence will happen once again)

When I came back from the cafe with my grilled chicken sandwich today I saw a post from Mashable saying that the Google+ iPhone app had been released.

What are my two favorite tech world things? Apple and Google. How can I further merge my fanboyisms? By accessing Google+ via an iPhone app. Elementary my dear nerds.

Off goes me to the App Store app on my iPhone to download the Google+ app!

Only to find that the search function isn't finding it.

}Sigh{ I guess Google doesn't love me anymore, even though I have been using Google+ every day even when pretty much none of the people in my circles have been posting anything. Now I guess Apple doesn't love me either, even though I've gleefully thrown all of my hardware, and most of my software, support their way. Hell, I even used that Ping thing.

I guess I'll just sit here... opening and reopening my App Store app and searching and re-searching for the Google+ app. Always in fear that my favorite tech companies are not returning my fanboy love anymore.

I feel so sad and alone. I need a hug...
And a Google+ app for my iPhone.

The Dark Tower... Nope

Word around the office is that the planned Ron Howard adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower is not going to happen.

Oh well. It's probably a good thing. They could never get the right guy to play Roland anyway...

Hello There Vesta

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta. This little spud was once considered a planet, but eventually it was moved to a new category called asteroid. It was the fourth object to be placed in that category, hence the complete name is 4 Vesta.

Dawn sent this image back to us. It is the first time a spacecraft has orbited an object in the main asteroid belt.

I think this is cool and all, but I am more looking forward to the second phase of Dawn's mission. The visit to the dwarf planet Ceres. Ceres is the biggest object in the asteroid belt (still smaller than the moon though) and is literally the original asteroid (named 1 Ceres, get it?). Oh yeah, and its mantle might be made out of water, and if so there might be more water on Ceres than on Earth.

For now though keep those pictures coming, NASA!


Jen and I spent a quiet evening at home last night. It was nice. She stayed home from work because she was feeling under the weather but she made a really nice dinner when I got home. Then we just plopped onto the couch and watch a silly movie.

It was really nice to just be together. Nothing going on, nothing demanding attention, just two somewhat sleepy people spending quiet time together.

You should try it some time.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Another goofy example of that super 8 simulator app.


YouTube Video

Female Cardinal?


That was a good weekend. Too bad it couldn't last for another 30 years or so.

On Saturday the kids and I did all the usual stuff. Piano, Karate, some chores, the usual. We watched a couple of Harry Potter movies. Jen came home from work and we played 45s for a while, which seems to be the big fun new game for all of us.

On Sunday we saw deer in the morning and again in the afternoon, The kids left with their Dad to go to a Star Trek convention where the lucky stiffs got to go to a meet and greet with William Shatner. The picture of the kids is priceless. Jen and I saw the new Harry Potter movie. Is it kid friendly? Not really. My step son would probably not sleep for a week if he saw it now. My step daughter might be able to handle it, but it's a close call. Jen and her Dad are going to talk it over and we'll see if we can get my step daughter out to see it. Oh, and Jen and I loved every second of it.

We had cook outs both days, we saw deer twice (did I mention that?), we had a lot of fun. I'm sad that this weekend had to end, although it brings us that much closer to our California vacation. I'm really starting to look forward to that!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Love Summer


DSC_0732 by robj_1971
DSC_0732, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

i had put my camera away, but then they stepped out into the sun.

Seeing Double

DSC_0711 by robj_1971
DSC_0711, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

two Bambis? You bet!

Deer Sighting

DSC_0689 by robj_1971
DSC_0689, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Bambi came over for a BBQ today.

Deer Sighting #2!

They lose those spots when the reach adulthood, right?

Got real camera pictures too.


I saw a flash of movement in the woods. It was a doe. I followed it's shadowy outline through the thick branches and leaves for a few minutes, loving the first sighting of the summer, when I saw a flash of brown along the side of the yard.

It was a deer. Not just any deer, it was young. Really young. Was it an actual baby deer? I don't know, do I look like an expert on deer? It was really small though. I would say at least that this is it's first summer.

It got spooked as Jen and the kids piled up against the window to look at it, but we all saw it and it was awesome!

I love our house/yard/woods/deer!

Flickr Backup

photo by robj_1971
photo, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Not sure what the issue is, but I downloaded a program called Flickr Backup to... you know... back up my Flickr account. Unfortunately it seem to be unable to handle sets with more than 500 images... which means my two ridiculously large iPhone sets are missing a large number of photos.

The iPhone 3G set is not, however, missing this picture of my beautiful wife, who is probably going to be seeing a 3D movie with me in about 11 hours or so.

Sometimes I just see something that unexpectedly slams home the fact that I am insane in love with this woman. This goofy photo did exactly that.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Super 8

Messing with the iSupr8 app.

YouTube Video


I had one of those spooky dreams where you can't recognize the moment when you stop deaming and wake up.

Last night at about 1:00am I heard an explosion. A great big monster of a ka-boom. I could see that the street lights went out through my window shade and I heard what sounded like a flock of startled birds squawking as they flew away.

When I lived in Tewksbury there was a transformer near us that blew once in a while. It sounded like that.

Until I suddenly heard the first notes of "Help" by The Beatles.


Our music-to-sleep by was still playing? But the power is off. Well, it probably just came back on and I didn't notice, right? I looked at the alarm clock and it was on but not flashing. It should have been flashing, shouldn't it?

Then I realized... Our bedroom does not face the street. How could I have seen the street lights go out if I couldn't see the street lights.

Now that I think of it, I thought, if something outside exploded, why aren't there two terrified kids running into the room? Why don't I have a startled wife laying next to me instead of a not-startled wife sleeping next to me?

Maybe because what I thought happened didn't happen?

My mind started coming up with alternative events? Was there a car accident outside? Did an animal attack our trash cans?

I got up and took a look around. All was well. I dreamed the whole thing.

Or did I?

Now I am going to check the news to make even more sure that I'm right.

Friday, July 15, 2011

iPhone 4 + Acoustic Guitar = Awesome

I found this on Mashabletoday.

Another July 4th Weekend Teaser

DSC_0059, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Here's another picture from our 4th of July adventure.


DSC_0494, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

I still haven't posted any of the 4th of July Weekend pictures. I haven't forgotten, I've just been busy.

This should hold me over for a while though.

The End of Harry Potter

A few weeks ago it dawned on me that the final Harry Potter movie was about to be released. I thought that I should gear up for it by getting my mitts on the audiobook versions of all seven books and listening to them during my grueling commutes. I thought I could have them all done by the time the movie came out.

Well, movie 7.5 comes out today and I am still on book six. I should finish it during the drive home tonight and then I'll at least be on book seven when I see the last movie, but in the overall scheme of things I've failed.

Which probably means my commutes have been a touch shorter than normal (not counting last night's endless marathon) which is a good thing.

Now that the movie is out the only question left is, when are we going to get to see it. Both kids want to see it, but given the intensity of the subject matter we are not going to let them see it without screening it ourselves first. We have them this weekend so we'll probably have to wait.

Which means I might finish the audiobooks before seeing the movie after all! Funny how things work out, eh? I expect the movie to be a bit of a let down. Not because I've heard anything bad (I have heard that the 3D is kinda crappy) but because it's been building up for so long, how could it not disappoint. I'm still really looking forward to it though.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Roger Clemens and the Dumbest Lawyer Ever


So the Roger Clemens perjury trial officially started yesterday.

And today it ended with the judge declaring a mistrial. Go ahead and search for it on Google News, I'm too pissed off to link to a specific article.

Background. Roger pitched for the Red Sox and was god among mortals. Then he started getting old (and by old I mean old for a fireballing major league pitcher, not a normal person) and his skills started to decline. When his contract was ending it was generally agreed he was not worth the huge money he was asking for. He was running out of steam and moving down the depth chart. At the very end of his stay though, he suddenly picked up his game and showed flashes of his old self.

He left though. He told us he wanted to play closer to his home in Texas and play for a contender... so he went from Red Sox Nation to Suck Nation in Toronto (take a second to look at a map if you need to).

In Toronto he was his old self again. He won Cy Young award after Cy Young award. He was a god among mortals once again. He latter moved to the Yankees (a bigger sin than perjury could ever be) and finally to Houston.

His turn around from aging former star to ageless mega star was intriguing. I don't recall any actual steroid allegations, but I know it wasn't far from anyone's mind.

Then the steroid scandal officially broke and Roger was called before Congress to testify at a hearing on steroids in baseball. He said under oath that he'd never used.

Not long after that, the MLB Mitchel report came out and his name was all over it. He was charged with perjury. Jury selection began last week and testimony began yesterday.

A motion was made before the judge during a pre-trial hearing where the judge decided that no second hand statements about Clemens using steroids could be admitted into the record.

Today the prosecution played a video tape of Andy Pettite's wife saying that Andy Pettite had told her that Roger Clemens used steroids.

Please take a second to reread the last two mini-paragraphs and let them sink in.

The judge stopped the video and declared a mistrail.

My question:

How can you make it through law school and pass the bar and get a job as a Federal Prosecutor AND STILL BE THIS STUPID?

We clearly are talking about the single dumbest lawyer in the history of law.

What a friggin' idiot!


NASA's Dawn Mission

See how NASA's Dawn spacecraft will visit the asteroids Vesta and Ceres in this infographic.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration