Monday, October 31, 2011

Traffic Blows

A stretch of maybe one mile on route 495 North took about 35 minutes tonight...

For no discernible reason.

Snow Storm Aftermath Continued

I saw things like this in a few places this morning, but only one affected me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Storm Aftermath Pictures

Well if you haven't heard, the northeast got reamed by a winter storm last night. Last night being October 29th for those of you keeping score (as I sure as hell am). A pre-Halloween snow storm. My sister and brother's homes are both still without power. Their families are staying at my parents' house tonight. My mother in law's home is also without power. They have a generator, but if they need to they can come here and keep warm.

The one and only upside of this ridiculous situation is that the city of Methuen has moved their Halloween Trick or Treating from Monday to Wednesday. Monday is actually Halloween, but Jen's kids are at their Dad's house that night so we were supposed to miss out. Wednesday they will be at our house so we will get to participate. What's more, I'm on call tomorrow night, so by Wednesday I will have a little bit of comp time available so I will be able to leave work early and get home in time for the fun!

The storm did some good after all!

Anyway, I took a few pictures of some downed branches as well as the puddle in the woods behind the house. Enjoy.

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 004

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 009

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 013

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 015

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 020

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 023

2011-10-30 - Branches Down from Last Night's Snow Storm 018

World Series Winner

I picked three out of four winners in the division series. I picked both winners in the league championship series, and on Friday night the Cardinals won their 11th World Series, making me correct in that round too. That's six out of seven picks for those of you keeping score (as I sure as hell am) and that's an 85.7% success rate. I think this was the greatest post season in history, my personal prognosticationally speaking, of course.

Granted the price I paid for this ability to see the future seems to be the Boston Bruins sucking up a storm this year. Yeah, we are in last in the Eastern Conference. Stanley Cup winner last year, dead last this year. Sweet! (sarcasm)

Go Bruins!


We survived! Woohoo!

We still have power and everything. We have one tree in the back yard that has a significant reduction in the number of branches, but none came near to the house.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Sucks

October 29, 2011:

Heavy wet snow, two brown outs so far tonight. The wind howling through the trees out back. Obnoxious people doing a lot of yelling at what sounds like a storm party somewhere nearby. Paranoia at every bump as we wait for the pre-Halloween storm to take away our electricity (I just read a Facebook post from our mayor stating that as of 9:00pm tonight, about 80 minutes ago, there were 270,000 Massachusetts residents without power). All of this piled on top of the weather keeping us from going to see my friend Jeff's new band play in Lowell tonight.

What I'm trying to say is, this storm just sucks ass.

Although, I did get to visit my folks today as I went to their house to pull a 3,000 pound air conditioner out of their window, and Jen and I got to visit Larry and Nawal and their son, who was very shy at first but then very sociable, because Larry needed help with a car issue, and Jen cooked a fantastic chicken piccata dish for dinner, and I played around with a little before my beautiful bride and I sacked out on the couch with a movie.

So I guess what I mean to say is that the storm totally blows, but everything else today has been pretty great.


The cellar is dry. Please stay that way.


I'm celebrating this week. Why? Because Jen's business trip to Europe that at one point was scheduled for this week was postponed to next year.

That's why.

Foul Language

I try not to use foul language when I post things here, but Jen just told me that they upped the snow fall predictions for our area tonight. We are now expecting 6-10 inches of snow.

Mother nature can lick my sack.

The bitch.


Just a random, unplanned Friday night visit to Lowell.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What? The Cardinals Won Game Six?

I watched some of game six of the World Series last night.  Just a couple of innings.  Then I switched to radio and listened to a couple more innings.  It was terrible.  Both teams were playing like little leaguers.  It was shameful at times.  I turned it off and went to sleep.  I didn't want to hear the team I picked lose because they forgot how to play defense.

But now I find out they won?  The Cardinals won game six after scoring two runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, scoring two runs in the 10th to preserve extra innings, and then scoring on a David Freese walk off home run in the 11th.

So the Cardinals have a chance to win it all and make me look like I knew what I was talking about when I picked them, and I have one more chance to use that MLB At Bat 11 app to listen to live game radio.

Go Cardinals!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I wanted to take some long exposure pictures of the falling snow but by the time I figured out how to do it the snow had stopped.

So in the spirit of Halloween I took a few pictures that made me look like a spoooooooky fat ghost.

I need a life.




Time Lapse Snowfall

First Snow of the Season

I Should Have Posted That Thought

After the end of Game 5 of the World Series I meant to write something relating to the two Cardinals runners getting thrown out trying to steal second.  I had meant to retorically ask whether or not Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa had read Moneyball.  If he had, he would have known that, according to the statistical analysis used by the A's in the book, trying to steal bases is generally a less than smart move, and getting caught stealing would get your ass chewed out by Billy Beane.  (did I spell Beane right in this case?)

Anyway, here I sit on my lunch break perusing the ESPN website when I come upon an article that would have made me look like a total genius who controls the fate of billions of baseball fans:

"St Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa planned to take advantage of Wednesday's World Series rainout to check out "Moneyball" at a local cinema."

Damn it!  Talk about a missed bloggie opportunity!  Well, we all know that I am pretty much the dumbest dumb ass who was ever dumb, so you'll understand when I miss a rare chance at looking like something other than an idiot.

If only I'd have posted that post.

Game six tonight (take two).  Go Cardinals!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sad Day for New England Musicians

I just saw this on twitter and it made me sad. Daddy's Junky Music has gone out of business.

I bought my Gibson Les Paul Custom at the Salem, NH store back in 1991. They were sort of blown out of the water by Guitar Center, but I have nothing but happy thoughts about Daddy's.

Happy Trails, Daddy's Junky Music Stores.

Nothing to Say Update

I've got nothing to say today.  Maybe later, but nothing right now.

World Series game 6 tonight?  The Cardinals trail in the series for the first time, three games to two.  They face elimination.  Can they take game six and keep the series alive?  They better.  As soon as this series ends my $15 MLB At Bat 11 app becomes useless.  Let's get another game out of it, okay?  Go Cardinals.

Theo Epstein is officially no longer the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox.  He is now the President of whatever it is for the Chicago Cubs.  Theo oversaw the Red Sox winning the World Series after an 86 year drought.  The Cubs haven't won in 103 years.  If Theo manages to oversee the end of the Cub's eternal futility, after having done the same in Boston...  Would that make him the greatest baseball executive since Branch Rickey?  In case you don't know, he's the guy who invented the farm system and later he's the guy who signed Jackie Robinson and broke the color barrier.  Would Theo need to be mentioned in the same breath?  I think so.  Let's see how he does in Chicago though.  Personally I'm hoping for another 103 championship free years.  The idea of a Cubs team winning it all is somehow offensive to me.  It makes me feel dirty.

On a non-baseball note, I guess I didn't say anything weird in my sleep last night.  Finally a night without evidence of madness.


Go Cardinals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things I Say in My Sleep

Here is a new segment on this happy little bloggie site:

Things I Say in My Sleep

Last night while snoring at an obscene volume level my beautiful wife nudged me and asked me to roll over. Instead of happily obliging, as I normally do, I sat up in bed and said:

"I have to move the fish. I've got to make room for the other fish."

When my beautiful wife stated that she'd only asked me to turn over I angrily came back with:

"No you didn't. You asked me to move the fish!"

Following that statement I laid back down and immediately went back to sleep.

My beautiful wife laughed heartily at that.

Considering that this happened one night after the whole dream staring Hollywood actor Robert Hays, I'd say the evidence of insanity is piling up.

Wouldn't you agree?

Traffic Boredom


It's the little things that make nerds like me happy.

I just got a PC upgrade at work.  No more 2004 technology for me!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Watching the MLB Post Season Sucks

Baseball television people are always bitching about how the ratings for the post season, especially the World Series, suck.

I have a couple of reasons to put forth, and I'm not referring to the usual beefs that the start times are too late for fans to stay up and watch the whole game, especially for kids, or how the television time outs are so damn long that it's way too easy to completely forget the game is on. I am going to give two new beefs.

Tonight, during the game, FOX did an in game interview with last night's winning pitcher. They kept the interview going through the entire half inning as said pitcher did impressions. Harry Carey. Arnold Swartzenegger. Just what I want for my in-game analysis; some dumb jock who gets paid a disgusting amount of money doing horrible impressions during a World Series game. Great television, huh?

The second example was when Cardinal pitcher Chris Carpenter misplayed a ground ball hit to him. Tim MacCarver's hall of fame expert analysis was that Carpenter is six foot six inches tall and people that tall tend to overrun balls. Really Tim? Not only did you just say that he made the error because he's tall, but you just said that ALL tall people make exactly the same error. Are you kidding me? You get paid to come up with horse shit like that?

The entire broadcast has been two parts embarrassing and one part insulting.

That is why your ratings are in the tank, FOX.

Because everything about your broadcast sucks. Everything.

World Series Game 5

Last night the Cardinals once again failed to win a second consecutive World Series game. The Rangers tied the series at two games a piece. It's the top of the third and the Cardinals are up 2-0.

FOX is letting last night's winning pitcher do impressions during play. And people wonder why the baseball post season's ratings go into the tank?


Go Cardinals!

I Have Weird Dreams

Sometimes my dreams are just plain weird.

Did I dream a movie, or did a movie dream me?  Urgh.

I had a zombie apocalypse dream last night.  Probably due to just having watched season one of The Walking Dead.  That's nothing odd.  Hell, I once had a dream where I was James Bond trying to escape a city over run with zombies.  This isn't new ground.

What was new last night was that I wasn't in the dream, nor were any people I've ever actually met.  My dream was a movie.  Literally.  It included all of the zombie and horror movie cliches and it stared Hollywood actor Robert Hays, of Airplane fame.  Why?  I have no idea.  None at all.

Was it a lucid dream?  Did it start out as a nasty nightmare and I turned it into a third rate horror movie?  I don't know.  I don't remember.  What I do remember is that Hollywood actor Robert Hays played the brooding, angry leading male.  There was a leading lady too, but I didn't recognize her.  They were in a building in New York City, somewhere near the waterfront.  The building was the last place in the entire city that wasn't overrun by zombies.  Hollywood actor Robert Hays and his girlfriend were among a small group of survivors who were fighting to defend the building.  One by one the group were getting picked off by the undead and the situation got increasingly desperate.  Sound familiar?

Eventually, a helicopter whose passengers included the President of the United States (I don't know who played the President.  I never saw his/her face, I just know the President was in the helicopter) landed on the roof of the building.  Hollywood actor Robert Hays' girlfriend got into the helicopter but there wasn't enough room for him and he sacrificed himself to save her.  How heroic, eh?  You've never seen that plot line in a horror movie before, have you?  The dream/movie even contained the bit about the hero saving the one bullet for himself.  Hollywood actor Robert Hays used it as the helicopter escaped the zombie apocalypse.  Who didn't see that coming?

The movie/dream even had the lame horror movie twist.  After the helicopter got away, Hollywood actor Robert Hays' girlfriend was next seen nine months later, in a zombie free hospital full of happy people, about to give birth to a baby.  I woke up as the labor was starting, but I know without a doubt that she was about to give birth to a zombie baby.

That brings us to the part of the twist that is almost interesting.  Assuming the baby's father was Hollywood actor Robert Hays, how could the baby be a zombie?  Does that mean the baby's dad was a zombie?  A functioning zombie?  Was he carrying the zombie virus without being affected by it?  Is that how the zombies take over the places that had remained safe?  By having the virus lie dormant in some humans?

Who knows.  Are you creeped out now?  Is my dream/movie as good as The Walking Dead?  Do I need therapy?  Are you amazed at how lame my dreams are?  Would it have been better if Hollywood actor Robert Hays was playing James Bond in this movie?  And let's not forget the most important question of all... given that this was a lame horror movie with a (not very) shocking twist ending... will there be a sequel???

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We are checking out Nana and Papa's 3D TV.


Nana and Papa's Buddy.

Woah, Cardinals

Pujols hit how many home runs? Reggie who?

The Cardinals are now up two games to one in the World Series, after obliterating the Rangers last night. Albert hit three, count 'em, three home runs.

I put the game on during game night, and it was a little bit on the back and forth side early until the Cardinals offense went off the hook.

Game four is tonight.
Go Cardinals!


Game night was a success. Here is the list of games we played:

We didn't play any games. As my step son said, game night turned into hang out night. It was the first time all of us had gotten together in months, and it was a lot of fun.

Thanks for coming. Now when's the next one?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Original Artwork

Two original artworks created by my step son now hang on my wall.

Jealous? Yes, yes you are.

Game Night Tonight

We are having a game night tonight. A much needed game night, you might say.

The kids and I have been cleaning like crazy today. A much needed cleaning like crazy, you might say.

Friday, October 21, 2011

National Solo Album Month

November is national solo album month. Should I do it?

I'll probably give it a shot. I can't get up for this the way I get up for the RPM Challenge. Still...

Yeah, let's do this thing!!

National Solo Album Month

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts for a Friday.  (In other words, I don't have anything to say)

I filled up the Nissan's gas tank today.  Since the last fill up I had driven 528 miles on 17.1 gallons.  In my experience of having big cars with less than stellar gas mileage, or little cars with great gas mileage but tiny gas tanks, 500 miles on a tank seems just awesomely colossal. 

The Rangers beat the Cardinals last night, the pukes.  The Cardinals were up 1-0 in the top of the ninth and blew it.  Jerks.  Now it's a best of five with three games in Texas.  You better straighten yourselves out, St Louis, if you're going to come through for me.  Still, it was another great game.

The Bruins got off the suck wagon last night by kicking the crap out of the Maple Leafs.  Let us hope this is a new trend for the B's.

After cleaning up the water in the cellar before work yesterday, the cellar remained dry for the rest of the day.  Let's hope the forecast is rain free for a while.

I hope my niece is feeling better.  She's been out of the hospital for a while, but she's still dealing with pneumonia.

We are hosting a game night this weekend.  It's going to be a small turn out, but I still need to clean the living room and at least straighten up the cellar.  I'm going to have a busy Friday night and Saturday morning.  It'll be totally worth it though.  I love having people over.

I still cannot believe we bought a house.  I mean... me... a home owner.  Woah!

Go Cardinals.
Go Bruins.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Noteworthy Photos

Here are two pictures that mark interesting moments in my day. Ok, maybe interesting is stretching it.

This picture is the ceiling above my desk. Why is this interesting? Because I used the volume button on the iPhone headphones to snap it. In other words I took the picture without touching the camera.


Next we continue with a commuting theme. For the third drive in a row I was slowed by a patrol car.


I should also add that these two pictures were taken with my iPhone but posted from my iPad without syncing either of them. Thank you, iCloud.


Yesterday I posted a picture of a police car, taken right outside my work, that foretold of a long commute.

Ditto for this morning.


MacGyver's Vengeance

It's probably just a little bitch slap because I misspelled his name last night, but apparently I have angered MacGyver and he has reigned his vengeance down upon me.

We had a little water in the storage area this morning. Just a puddle under the window. It took less than 10 minutes to clean up and no more came in.

I had three towels stacked against the window. The top one was dry. The bottom one was soaked through. I guess it's coming in through the bottom of the window, not the top or side like I guessed.

Home depot will see me this evening and caulk and a gun will be both purchased and used. You have my word.

Screw you, MacGyver.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

World Series Game #1

I am 25% of the way to correctly picking six out of seven major league baseball post season series winners this season.

The Cardinals just finished beating the Rangers in game one of the best of seven series, 3-2. It was an excellent game and it could have gone either way. This might be a heck of a World Series.

Keep up the good work, St Louis.

Go Cardinals!

Scenes From This Evening

Three unrelated scenes from this evening.

First, when you see this right outside of your office at quitting time you can pretty much bet on having a painfully long commute.

Second, after a full day of rain our basement remains dry. My defenses held. McGuyver's got nothing on me.

Third, Patches has claimed the back of the comfy chair next to Jen's desk as her perch for watching the World Series.

Good news, everybody! My niece has been discharged and she is home from the hospital. Thanks for the happy thoughts, internets.


I have not heard the audio on this yet so I am just saving this for later.  I did, however, read a related article here.

Next stop, pod racing on Tattooine?

I Forgot One Positive Vibe Request

Wooops, I forgot one.  I asked for happy thoughts to be sent to my wife, my niece and her parents, and my mother.  I forgot one.  I forgot our cellar window.

Twice this month we have had water in our basement after some heavy rain.  The point of entry is a window on the side of the house.  It's closed, but apparently it doesn't seal very well because when the rain is heavy and falling the right way (I guess) it comes in.

We're supposed to get some rain over the next couple of days.  Out of paranoia and fear of having to use the wet vac again I tried to take some minor precautions (okay, I should have caulked the crap out of the window by now by I haven't.  I might look into putting in a storm window, but I haven't done that either).  I put some towels on the window sill on the inside.  Probably useless, but maybe they will soak up some of the water should it find it's way in.  Second, I put some wood and cardboard and plastic against the window on the outside.  Hopefully they will keep the water away from the leaky seal.  Hopefully.  Please send some happy thoughts to our cellar window in the hopes that it can keep the rain water out.

Good luck, window!


Extend Positive Vibes Where They Need to Go

I have a few family members who are currently in need of some positive vibes.  Would you please help me out by sending happy thoughts to the following folks?

My beloved wife could use some positive energy sent her way tonight.  After a few days of management office political craziness she has a code release tonight.  If we all think real hard I'm sure we can make it go off without a hitch.  Send happy thoughts to my Jenny for a quick and easy deployment tonight.

My niece is sick.  The poor little sweetie has pneumonia.  She made a few trips to the emergency room over the last few days ended up being admitted yesterday.  She spent the night in the hospital, the poor baby.  I don't know if they are going to release her today or not, but regardless she could use some good get well feelings from all of you gajillionmillionbillion readers.  Send happy thoughts to my niece for a quick recovery, and while you're at it her mom, Mary, and dad, John, could use some happy thoughts to get them through this too.

Finally, and a tad late, my mother went into the hospital yesterday for a chemo treatment.  She is officially in remission, according to her doctors, but the treatments continue on a regular, but less frequent, basis to help keep the tumor from coming back.  Send happy thoughts to my mom so that she will get through a few days in the hospital without any problems.

Thanks for the help, universe.  I appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Bruins Suck!

Okay, I know that tonight is only the sixth game of the season.  We still have 92.68% of the season to go, but I am already getting sick of them not scoring goals.  The power play is still embarrassing.  They just look like crap.  I mean they are losing to Carolina tonight... AGAIN.  (of course with 10:29 remaining they just scored a power play goal to make it 2-1 Hurricanes... but still)

They are doing nothing to impress me at all.  I was happy  to see Joe Corvo leave the game in the first with an apparent injury... then I was mad when he came back in the second.  Damn it.  The first line hasn't been good.  Have I mentioned the power play?  Urgh.  And what is the deal with Tukka Rask?  I think he has to be a douche canoe.  I mean, the Bruins RAWK when Tim Thomas plays and then they snooze when Tukka plays.  I get the impression that the rest of the players just hate his guts.  Doesn't that make sense?

Get off your dumb asses and play like Stanley Cup Champions, okay?

In iPhone news, I need to ask WTF app?  Also, WTF aol radio app?  Suddenly you can only play when the app is in the foreground and the phone is awake?  How the hell do you idiots not have an iOS 5 upgrade yet?  WTF, I ask again.  I suddenly have to plug in my phone to listen to the Bruins on your dumb ass apps when four months ago I could listen as my phone slept, or as I ran other apps?  FIX IT!

Go Bruins.


I just love getting critical and urgent issues for applications I have never been trained on. So far I've got 2 tonight and I'm only half way through the shift.


Oh, and the Bruins are losing after the first period. Great.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Super Patches

Patches is an empathy machine. She's also a purring machine.

World Series Prediction

It sure does look like I can see the future, doesn't it?  I picked three out of the four MLB division series winners, and now I have picked both League Champions as well.    I picked the Rangers over the Tigers and the Rangers won.  I picked the Cardinals over the Brewers and the Cardinals won (sorry Milwaukee).  That's an 83% success rate, now isn't it.

So who do I pick for the World Series?  I'm glad you asked, because now I have a lame cliche to add to my usually gut feelings.  Are you familiar with the idiot saying, "Team of Destiny?"  Sure you are.  Every year in every sport every team tries pinning that lame saying on themselves to try and self motivate. 

This year I'm pinning that tag onto the St Louis Cardinals.  Just look at the facts.  They over came an 8.5 game deficit to catch Atlanta and win the wild card.  Then they beat one of the best pitching staffs in human memory when they beat Philly.  Then all they did was beat up a rolling Brewers team to win a trip to the World Series.

This year the St Louis Cardinals win the World Series.

You heard it here.

On a purely selfish Red Sox fan level, the Cardinals franchise has the second highest total of World Series victories in league history.  They have 10 so far.  One more win puts them one step closer to the Yankees, who have the most.  Granted, they have 27... so no one will be catching them any time soon, but every win helps.

Dental Recap

My step daughter had a few teeth extracted.  Some of her baby teeth do not have adult teeth under them so as part of a long term braces project she had them removed.  When she came out of the anesthesia she was really groggy and out of it, but she did fine.  She's at her Dad's house now either sleeping or eating squishy foods.  I hope she gets some ice cream.

Dentists Office

I hate having to go to the Dentist's office. I did not realize until just now that I could hate it even more when I wasn't the patient.

My step daughter is having an extraction procedure. Wish her luck.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The bread the serve at Polcari's in Salem is sooooo good.


Another kitty?


To Do List

Here is today's to-do list in a nut shell.

Game night is next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Culprit

Missed Chance

I just missed a chance at what would have been the best camera phone photo ever.

We pulled into a parking lot as an officer of the law was guiding a suspect into the back seat of a squad car.

My iPhone was in my pocket.

I just missed getting a shot of some perp getting arrested. DAMN!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Went downstairs for a second just before bed...

...and there was more water on the floor.

We can add sealing up the window to the list of weekend chores.


I Love Her

More iOS 5 Fun

I took this picture while barely using the iPhone touch screen.

Starting with the phone asleep, press the button to show the lock screen. Double tap the button and a camera icon shows. Press it and the camera app opens. Point the camera and press a volume button. The camera shoots.


Oh, and I logged into and viewed the location of my iPhone and my iPad. Both were where the should be (although it looked like my phone was in the parking lot).



Friday.  Even in a short week like this one, Friday seems so far away until the very moment it arrives, and then it is the best present you could hope for.  Friday at 5:30pm, when I sign out of the office, is possibly the best time of all.

My neck and shoulder are still hurting.  Driving definitely makes it worse.  At least, turning my head to the side to look for on-coming traffic makes it worse.  Hunching over my desk at work doesn't help at all either.  However, on each of the last two nights after I've got home it has improved dramatically.  Driving and working seem to generally make me tense my shoulders and that hurts.  Taking a load off on the couch, watching Disney shows with the kids lets me relax and that helps a lot.  Sleeping is hit or miss.  It depends on how I am positioned as I sleep, I think.  The plan for this weekend is for me to clean the whole house.  It's going to hurt, but I expect to be pretty loose as I clean, so it should be okay.  Still... I've had enough of this.  It can stop now.

Baseball update?  Both of my teams lost last night, the jerks.  The Rangers still lead their series three games to two over Detroit, but the Cardinals and Brewers are tied at two games a piece.  I watched some of the National League game last night.  The Cardinals were winning when I shut it off.  Jerks.

Hockey update?  The Bruins are playing like the stereotypical championship hang overs.  Urgh.  They'd best get going or they are going to dig a Chicago sized hole for themselves.  Krejci needs to get healthy too.  Come on, Bruins.  Play like you mean it. 

iOS 5 update?  Everything I've tried has worked.  I haven't done anything with the new notifications yet, and I haven't used the Messenger because no one else has set it up yet.  I generally keep notifications off.  Maybe I'll turn them on for the NHL app tomorrow and see how it looks when the score updates come through.  Sounds like a plan.  Other than that?  My favorite update is that Safari now shows open windows as tabs.  No more of that new page button crap.  Welcome to the 21st Century, oh Safari.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cute Kitty

Testing iCloud pt2

I took this picture with my iPad. It crossed automatically to my iPhone. Can I post it from my iPhone too?

Testing iCloud

I took this picture with my iPhone. It automatically crossed to my iPad. Can I post it from my iPad too?

Oh No!

Wisconsin flashback!

Dennis Ritchie

Today is a sad day for those of us who like computers... meaning just about all of us.

Dennis Ritchie passed away yesterday.  You should be very sad, even if you aren't sure why.

Dennis Ritchie developed a little programming language called C.  For years, C was it.  It was The Programming Language.  The language itself is being used less and less often in the real world these days, but other people have used it as the base for larger, more powerful languages, and if you have a computer I can guarantee that at almost any given time that you use that computer, you are either running something written in C, or running something written in a language that is either based on or derived from C.  The development of C is one of the biggest moments in the history of computing.  We wouldn't have computers as we know them today without C.

I knew all of that already, but in reading up on Dennis Ritchie's passing I learned something that I didn't know... or maybe did know, but just forgot about.

He worked on the development of the UNIX operating system.  I knew UNIX was written in C, but I didn't realize he was in on that project.  Why is that important to you?  Do you have a computer that is connected to a network?  You do?  Then you have to thank UNIX.  Do you have an Android phone, or a device running either Apple's Mac OS or iOS?  Then you have a UNIX system*.

Do you use the internet?  I assume you do if you are reading this.  The internet is just a great big network, and what OS was the first to allow for networked machines?  You guessed it... UNIX.

The computing world has lost a pioneer and a hero today.  Rest in peace Dennis Ritchie.

Read more here.

*Technically.  Mac OS, iOS, and Android OS** are all written on top of the LINUX kernel.  LINUX is a version of UNIX.

**Now that I think of it, I am not 100% sure Android uses the LINUX kernel.  I am more like 95% sure, but I could be wrong.  I don't think I am, but I could be.

Tell Me Why

Explain this to me:

I pull up to the gas pump, swipe my debit card, see a prompt asking, "Is this a debit card?" with yes/no options.  I press yes and receive a message along the lines of, this pump does not accept debit cards.

Then why oh why did you bother asking me if it was a debit card?

While I'm on the subject, isn't it the 21st century?  Haven't we as a species evolved enough so that payment devices can tell the difference between debit cards and credit cards?

I guess a society that at least in part feels that it's okay for a bank to charge a fee for customers to use a debit card to access their own money may not be evolutionarily advanced enough to handle this.

I guess these things happen in a society where a bank CEO honestly believes his bank as a right to make a profit.  It's like the Declaration of Independence says; life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and banking profits.  It's in the Bill of Rights too, isn't it?  Amendment 10.5 or something?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Should Have Known

In the immortal words of Aimee Mann:

I should have known.

The iOS5 update is downloading.  I am currently at 29.7mb of 774.4mb with FIVE HOURS REMAINING!

Every iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch user in the universe is trying to update right now.



As my lunch break comes to an end I sit here thinking about my to-do list for this evening.  Very high on the list is installing the iOS5 update that Apple released today onto my iPhone and iPad.  There are two things included in the new operating system that I think I'll be making use of. 

First, is the new messaging app.  No more text messages for us!  Jen and I both have iPhones and my brother and sister and both kids have an iPod Touch.  We can now all send messages to each other's phones without using a text messaging plan.  I see it as an instant message function that is always logged on.  I wonder if there will be a Mac app for this too?

The other thing I am looking forward to playing with is iCloud... sort of.  I have never had a problem with having to plug my Apple devices into a computer to sync things up.  I don't think it's a big deal, really.  If Google would just get the damn music beta working correctly we could go forever without needing to sync music or apps.  We'd only have to plug in for iOS updates.

The one thing I'm wanting to get my mits on is iTunes Match.  This is the service that lets you store your music collection online.  To me, that means a Google Music that can play Apple's DRM files.  That would make me happy.  Also, if a song in your collection exists in the iTunes store, you don't need to upload it.  You can access a copy of it that already exists in the service.  I'm not just talking about things you've purchased from iTunes, but things you've ripped off of CDs, or... well... possibly... obtained through other means.  Not that I have ever done that, no.  The downside, of course, is that the service isn't free.  It's $24.99 a year (I think).  I think that might be too much for me for a service that I come very close to already having with my 80 gig iPod Classic.  Should I decide to upgrade to a larger iPod Classic then I will in fact be able to carry my entire (very large) music collection in my pocket. 

Of course this all depends on how well these new applications work.  If iTunes Match is as clunky as the iOS web app for Google Music then it's not even close to worth it.  But if it works as well as most of the streaming audio apps I've used... then it might be.  Might be.

Tonight we will begin to find out.

Happy iOS5 Release Day!

Still Hurting

My neck/shoulder is still hurting, but maybe not as bad as yesterday.  There is a pretty constant dull ache right where the shoulder meets the neck, aka the target for the Vulcan Neck Pinch.  I can't tilt my head terribly far either way without feeling pain, and I can't turn it far in either direction as well.  I can't lift my left arm very high either, but I can definitely do more of all of these things than I could yesterday.  If I move slowly I can get much further than if I move quickly.  I don't know if that means anything or not.  Yesterday I was wincing in pain as I tried to wash my hair, but today I was able to do it all right.  There were also a few stop signs where I had to turn my head to see the on coming traffic that I could get further around today than yesterday.  Just before pulling into work though I spun the steering wheel with my left hand and had a nasty jolt of pain.  That seems to have set me back a tad.

Isn't this exciting?

Baseball... The Tigers finally won a game last night.  Texas won the first two at home, but last night in Detroit I had the feeling while watching the first few innings that the Tigers were going to win no matter what.  Turns out I was right.  Texas leads the series 2-1.

Tonight in the NL is game three in St Louis.  The series is tied 1-1.  The Brewers took game one easily and in game two you got the impression that the Cardinals (ie Albert Pujols) were done fooling around.  Tonight is a big game though.  I think the Cardinals are going to win it.

Hockey?  The Bruins on Monday did what they always do in matinĂ©e games, Stanley Cup Hangover or not, they sucked and lost to a crappy team.  Okay, it's too early to call Colorado a crappy team.  How about I call them a team that I expect to be crappy.  Or at least mediocre.  I like the Avs, I just don't think they will go very far this year.  Tonight they play the Hurricanes.  Let's hope we see a Bruins team that actually comes to play.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Pain

I don't know what I did, exactly.

I was in the shower yesterday morning (I whole heartedly apologize for putting that image into your head) and I tweaked something in my shoulder.  I don't know exactly what, but I've been in pain ever since.  It's a muscle pull or a strain or something and now every time I move the wrong way (which is just about every way) I get pain in my neck and shoulder.  It feels a little like what I always assumed whiplash would feel like, except it's only on my left side.  I can't turn my head all the way without it hurting a lot.

Throughout the day yesterday it wasn't stopping me from doing anything, it was just persistent and annoying.  This morning it's pretty much the same, except that my range of motion seems to be less than it was, and it definitely hurts more.  Again, it's not debilitating or anything, it's just there.

It sucks, and it had best start getting better.  I don't want to go to the doctor and say that I gave myself a nasty muscle injury while washing my hair in the shower. 

I'm pretty lame, but I never thought I was that lame.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh No!

I put on my Greg the Bunny (Fox show) DVD today for the first time in years.

I was struck with horror...

Disc one skipped in the pilot episode where Rochester Rabbit pulls a knife on Greg the Bunny.

I nearly cried.

Columbus Day

The kids and I have had a good day today. My step son and I played a couple of games of dominoes. The three of us went to visit Mom for lunch and then during Bruins intermission we snuck over to Friendly's at the loop. After the game we settled in for some major Beatles Rockband. Now Dad is on the way to pick them up and I wish they could stay.

Please Don't


Please don't put these in the spaghetti sauce.

Dominoes Pt 2


I'm playing an 8 year old and I've won both games. I feel bad.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Montpelier, VT

Today Jen, the kids, and I went on a random leaf peeping journey. Instead of our usual route through the White Mountains of New Hampshire we headed for a new destination in central Vermont.

The colors were great, but there weren't any places to safely pull over to take pictures, so the peeping was strictly of the in-a-moving-car variety.

We had pointed ourselves in the direction of Barre, VT, but decided to go past it and visit Montpelier.

We started trying to make a list of the state capitals we had visited. Boston, Concord, NH, Providence, RI, Hartford, CT. Neither of us had been to Augusta, ME. Jen had been through Albany, and I think I had too, but wasn't sure. I'd been to St. Paul, MN. Some mental stressing reminded us that we'd all been through Harrisburg, PA, and Jen and I had not only visited but loved Annapolis, MD. We couldn't say for sure about any others, which is a tad pathetic.

So we all added Montpelier, VT to our list of state capitals visited. I took a couple of pictures on Main Street. At least I think we passed a Main Street sign on this road.

Is this the state capital building?
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This is pretty much the coolest bookstore in the universe.
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Check it out, the steeple has hearts on it!
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One side of the street. We were walking to the Main Street Grill & Bar.
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On last view, from the table we sat at for lunch.
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Italian Food

Leaf Peeping

We are in the car, traveling North to Vermont to do some leaf peeping.

Jen has brought a bunch of game ideas to keep everyone occupied. We've played the alphabet game and buzz and the geography game. Now we are playing the story game. Our story seems to be about a grudge war between cartographers and the lollipop king of lollipop land.

We are weird.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Topsfield Fair

We went to the Topsfield Fair today with Nana and Papa and Larry and Nawal and their son.  I had never been to the Topsfield Fair, but I had been to the Rochester Fair and the kids always have fun there.  I imagined Topsfield would be the same thing only bigger.

It was, but not in a good way.  I was a little disappointed.  It was fun, don't get me wrong, but there were just so many people it got annoying and frustrating and it took a lot of the fun out of the day.

I took some pictures.  Most of them include the kids, but here are a few random ones that are public-safe.

The sand sculpture section had exactly one sand sculpture.
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The law states that you must take a picture of the Ferris wheel.
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The kids did one of those squirt gun races.  Neither one of them won, but it was a close race.
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This is one of my varied definitions of "Scary Ride."  I'm a ride wimp and very happy about it.
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We left before it got dark, but I got a couple of nice pics of the lights.  Nothing special though.
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