Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Joke is not Funny

Bobby Valentine?  Really, Red Sox?  You are hiring Bobby Valentine?  Like... the guy who ran the pot smoking Mets team?  Really?  The guy who let all star players stay in the locker room playing cards during a playoff elimination game?  Really?  The guy who, after getting thrown out of a game by an umpire, put on a fake mustache and snuck back into the dugout?

That clown is going to be the new manager of the Boston Red Sox?

Really?  You're not just messing with us, are you?

How in the name of Ted Williams does this change anything?  You just had a player-friendly manager oversee the biggest September collapse in over 100 years of major league baseball, and now you're bringing in some one who is even more of a player-friendly manager?  Even worse, he's one of those guys who always spouts off to the press.  He's good for a sound byte, not for righting the Red Sox ship.  Just wait until the first time he throws Josh Beckett under the bus.  He'll be throwing 85 mph fastballs right down the middle to every hitter he faces.  Do you think Pedroia and Youkilis are going to stand for that type of crap?  Especially after all the years playing for a manager who went out of his way never to publicly criticize his players?

They need someone who will rule the locker room with an iron fist but keep it all behind closed doors.  They don't need a clown like Bobby Valentine who will let them run amok and them publicly slam them when they have a tough day at work.

This is a really bad move.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Evil Jingle

I have to tell you, the kars4kids jingle is evil!  It's maniacal, it's torturous, it's EVIL!

I have been trying new things for my morning commute.  Last week on Monday and Tuesday I thought about taking 495 to route 3 but when I got there 3 was backed up all the way to Canada.  No way, kids.  So I stayed on 495 South and took route 2 East to where it meets up with my normal route at route 126.  It worked well both days last week, but last week was Thanksgiving week and I expected the traffic to be light.  Monday was much heavier than Tuesday, but both were okay.

Yesterday I tried it again and it still worked well, but it was also the day after a long holiday weekend and I expected many people to have taken the day off.  Today, would be a decent test.  At least it would have been if not for that effing kars4kids jingle.  I was listening to sports radio this morning and just as I was reaching route 2 that horrible, evil jingle came to me over the air.  I immediately reached over and turned the radio off, but it threw my concentration off and I stupidly took the route 2 West exit instead of 2 East.  I probably drove for 5-6 miles before I noticed it.  I saw a sign for route 190 and realized how dumb I am.  After I corrected my idiotness and got back on track the traffic was about the same as last Monday.  Maybe a little heavier, but not bad.  Everything is fine until you get to the rotary in front of the Concord prison.  After that it's slow for a few miles as you go through 3-4 stop lights, but then once I got back to route 126 everything was normal.

I do so hate that kars4kids jingle.  I hate it.  It is EVIL!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stupid Fish Tank

Remember how I was all happy and optimistic about cleaning the filter in the fish tank and getting a new light and all that?

This morning my lovely wife took a look and the light was off. Funny, I had turned the light on before we went to bed (day is night and night is day for our fishies) but sure enough it was out this morning.

Either the bulb blew (there is only one in the new cover, where the old one had two) or it took eight hours for the whole schlebang to burn out.

Urge to scream, rising... rising... rising...

Long Weekend Recap

The last weekend was so long that I can't remember everything.  Let's see.

On Wednesday it was mostly about preparing for Thanksgiving.  We got to sneak out and pick up the kids at school, which is always awesome.  Pies and brownies were baked and brownies were eaten.  We took the kids and their German ancestry (on their Dad's side) to a German restaurant and I ate wiener schnitzel.  More proof that my days as a member of the picky eaters club may be coming to an end.

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving.  I helped Jen with the cooking.  Mostly with the lifting as I don't want her to hurt her back any worse than it already is, so let the big guy carry the heavy stuff.  We watched most of the Macy's parade.  The kids proved how worldly they are.  They both commented on how the entire parade is really just one great big commercial.  They are brilliant!  The holiday feast was shared with my parents and Jen's parents.  We all went around the table saying what we are thankful for, and we all included my mother's health.  May the remission continue indefinitely.

On Friday Jen's back was in really bad shape.  We were supposed to take the kids to see the new Muppet movie, but she couldn't handle it so she stayed home.  The movie was fantastic.  We were laughing out loud all over the place.  The only down side was that Jen wasn't there.  We made up for it a little bit by telling her every single thing that happened in the movie.  The kids went to their Dad's for the weekend in the mid afternoon, and Jen and I went to my parents' house so I could run a quick errand for them.  When we got home we had leftover Thanksgiving dinner.  Our microwave started acting screwy.  This becomes important later.

On Saturday Jen and I went out to breakfast and then paid another visit to my parents.  We discussed our microwave troubles and they suggested going to Dracut Appliance to look for a new one.  We checked it out, but our microwave hangs above our stove and under our cabinets and we didn't have the measurements so it was just a browsing trip.

At first...

Our freezer is a little screwy these days too.  Come to think of it, so is our dishwasher.  Our oven is okay, although there are a couple of quirky, bothersome things about it.  By the time we left the store we were mentally remodeling the entire kitchen.  We were moving the appliances, building new cabinets, taking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and pretty much redoing the whole space.  The amount of money required to pull that off is way out of our range right now so we started thinking about doing those changes a bit at a time.

On Sunday we made a trip to Home Depot.  We picked out new appliances and were all set to order them, but the oven we wanted was out of stock.  The fridge we picked is pretty simple.  It was also comparatively cheap.  We went on the website, searched for available items within the dimensions of the space our fridge is in now, and picked the one with the largest capacity in cubic feet.  So in a couple of weeks two of our wonky appliances will be replaced and we'll be well on our way to remodeling the kitchen a bit at a time.

In the afternoon I did a little raking and Jen cooked an awesome dinner.  After that it was time for band practice number two.  We were much better this time.  Last week we picked a handful of songs to work on, and we managed to pull all of them off.  We were feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves.  After practice Jen and I had a date night planned.  The date consisted of the two of us sitting on the couch petting the cat's belly.  Really, when the cat decides to allow you to pet her belly you really cannot refuse.  It ended up being the simplest date night ever, and it was fantastic.  I loved every second of it.  I love every second I spend with my wife.

And that, my friends, are a few of the highlights of this past holiday weekend.  I can't wait to see what we do next.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fish Tank

The fish tank's light stopped working. Both bulbs went at the same time so it was probably electrical. At about the same time, the filter stopped filtering. Today Jen and I picked up a new hood and some new filter bags. We can see what's going on inside again although the water is real dirty. It's going to need some time to filter clean, assuming the filter bag was the issue.

I'm only seeing two of the tetras. I think the filter problems might have finished one of them off. The catfish is still alive but he is freaking out with the sudden light and looks like he's going to have a heart attack.

Fingers crossed that the filter starts filtering again.


The kitchen remodeling has begun. We have been in the house for over a year now and much of the design is still what the previous owners left behind.

Today we started planning on changes for the kitchen. It's time to start the slow process of making our house more ours.


This fog is insane!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MacMini in the Cellar

Oh yeah?  Who's got his wife's MacMini set up in the cellar for Garageband demo recording usage?

Oh yeah, that would be Robbie.

I've got the mini running with an Apple keyboard, a magic mouse, my little Akai mini music keyboard, and my little USB iMic audio in/out jack.

All I have to do is find a spot for the speakers and we are off to the races, kiddos.  Maybe I might actually finish a national solo album month thingie now! 


Bruins vs Jets

I've made it clear that I hate Joe Corvo and that it pisses me off that he plays for the Bruins. All of that is based on the fact that he beat the shit out of a woman in a restaurant about nine or ten years ago.

Tonight though, he is playing so badly that I can't imagine any Bruins fan is happy to see him on the ice. Three times so far he has completely blown a defensive play that has turned into a prime scoring opportunity for Winnipeg. One of those chances turned into a Jets goal.

Can we please trade his useless ass now? Please?


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


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


100_9702 by robj_1971
100_9702, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.


100B7952 by robj_1971
100B7952, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.


101B3472 by robj_1971
101B3472, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

First Time in Ages

They didn't wait 20 minutes to tell us they ran out of what we ordered like last time.

RPM Preview

Well my 2012 RPM Challenge is going to have a different feel than in previous years. I believe I am inheriting my wife's MacMini, which she recently replaced. It will have a permanent home in the cellar music nook.

Rock on!

Kitchen Fantasy


Friday, November 25, 2011


Date Night Part 2 by robj_1971
Date Night Part 2, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.




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


2 gig card 345 by robj_1971
2 gig card 345, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.



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


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


The kids and I just came home from seeing the new Muppet movie. Can you say Best Movie Ever? I can. It was a blast! I was laughing out loud all over the place. It was funny, it was sweet, it was touching, there were in jokes all over the place. I loved it and the kids loved it to.

What I didn't love was the 25 minutes of commercials AMC subjected us to, followed by six previews.

Can I say that while watching the Bruins game on NBC we just saw a Best Buy commercial where a mom upstaged Santa Claus and then gave him all sorts of shit. Really Best Buy? You really just bad mouthed Santa Claus? Well how about I bad mouth you by not doing any of my Christmas shopping at any of your stores? Yeah, that sounds fair to me. My wife is on this wagon too, and I'm sure we won't be the only ones.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

iTunes Match

Finally. The library on my MacBook has been uploaded, and the library on my desktop has also been uploaded as well. The crash seems to have been caused by a corrupt Charlie Parker file. I also had four files (out of 25,000) that errored out for some reason. I don't know what the problem was.

Everything works from my iPad and my iPhone. All of my playlists uploaded so I don't have to rebuild them the way I would have had to for Google Music. The only downside is that it does not stream the audio, it downloads it. So now I have a playlist full downloaded songs. That also means that unless it works as a cache and will overwrite itself then I'm going to run out of memory at some point. That seems a touch silly to me. Doesn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving

If you enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration as much as I did then you seriously enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there, where applicable.

We are hosting dinner today.  The turkey is GIGANTIC and it's in the oven cooking away.

I am going to throw out a math question, with maybe a little computer logic too.

Earlier today Jen asked me, should she make n packages of stuffing?  I replied yes, but with the following logic:

if( == 4)
     cook.four.packets = TRUE;
if( >> 4)
     cook.more.than.four.packets = TRUE;

In other words, Cook 'em All, Babie!

Stuffing is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner!  WOOHOO!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bruins Win Again

Hey, do you know how the Bruins made out against Buffalo tonight? They were chasing win #10 in a row and looking to hold onto their Northeast division lead.

Yeah, I know.

They won again. Ten straight after losing seven of their first 10 games to open the season. From worst to first in less than one month. How are they playing right now? Like Stanley Cup champions, that's how they're playing right now.

It was so bad at the start of the year that I couldn't bear to watch. Now? I'm hanging on every play.

Go Bruins!

Bad Form

I just used the term, "Grammar Nazi" while dining in a German restaurant.

Bad, bad form.

I'm waiting for them to chuck me out.


The holiday weekend has arrived a day early this year. I took today off in exchange for that long on call stretch a couple of weeks ago. I'm off Friday too as that is a company holiday.

So this is a five day weekend. I call it glorious. Of course the weather is not cooperating. It's pouring outside. Today I'll try to get my hair cut, get the kids at school when their half day is done, and help my beautiful bride with Thanksgiving preparations.

It's going to be a busy first couple of days off, but by Friday I am hoping we will sleep all day!

Gobble, Gobble!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iTunes Match

It finally finished without crashing. To bad it left 3814 songs in "waiting" status. At least now I can right click and get the Add to iCloud function.

Hey iTunes Match! Get with the uploading already!

I was Wrong

I am a big enough man to admit that I was wrong.  I was totally out of line and off base.

Yesterday I said that we should not expect MVP caliber numbers from Sidney Crosby in his first game back after almost a year recovering from a concussion.  I said it might take a few games before he is back to his NHL dominating self.

I was 100% wrong. 

He was a hit post away from an assist on his first shift.  Obviously that pissed him off royally because he scored a sick goal on his second shift.  He finished the game with two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win.  Yeah, he was so rusty that he contributed to 80% of his teams goals on the night.  Granted, he was playing the Islanders who are not what you would call a championship caliber team, but it did sort of look like he had never gone away, didn't it?

I didn't watch much of the game last night as I was focused on the Bruins 1-0 win over the Canadiens.  You know, the Bruins ninth consecutive victory.  The win that officially moved them from last place to first place in the Northeast division, and from 15th to 3rd in the Eastern conference.  That game.  Still though, I flipped over a few times and watched the Crosby comeback.  It was scary.  Now the rest of the league has to deal with a Penguins team that was already steam rolling everyone and just got better by adding the best player in the world.  Oh crap.

Montreal Fans

This happened in the stands last night at the Bruins vs Canadiens game in Montreal.

These are the same Montreal fans who were so offended by Zdeno Chara last season that they called 911.

I Control the Animal Kingdom

I am the master and commander of the entire animal kingdom.

No, really!

This morning the cat was spending more time with Jen than with me so of course I wanted to do something to make the cat super jealous.  I opened up the shade on the bedroom window and looked outside... 

Nothing.  No animals.  So I called toward the window, "Here deer deer deer," and then I started putting my shoes on.  I looked up a moment later and lo and behold, a deer was walking by in the woods, about 30-40 yards from our backyard!  I called, and it came!  It was a doe again, probably one of the two who still visit us from time to time.  We haven't seen the whole family of eight or so since last fall.

I think the deer in our woods might have been part of a genetic experiment to cross breed white tail deer with chameleons, because when they are back in the trees and walking around I can see them, but when they stop walking... woah, they vanish.  Perfect camouflage.  It's a little creepy.

However, I now know that when I want the deer to stop hiding and come out and play with us, all I have to do is summon up my new found superpower and call them.  It's true, I control the animal kingdom.

And you thought I was just some random goofball with a Google account.  This makes you want to treat me with a little more respect, doesn't it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ITunes Match Continued

I did a little reading up on iTunes Match crashing on a couple of Apple forums. One suggestion was that there is a file in my library that is causing the problem. It showed how to view a file's cloud status and I had a bunch in error status. I was able to determine why for all but three of the songs and I removed them from the library. Hopefully it will be able to finish now. I also started the process on my desktop in order to get some of the songs that are missing from my MacBook.

Wish me (cloud) luck.

Random Thoughts at Lunch Time

I mentioned the other day that I bought into iTunes Match.  I tried setting it up the other night.  I had 23,000 or so files in my library.  Over 19,000 of those can be matched... I think.  The reason I say I think is that I saw a message along those lines pop onto my iTunes screen just before it crashed.  Well, just before it crashed one of the times.  I continuously try to get the Match process underway.  The first time it hung up on me while searching for matches.  The next 10 or so times it crashed either as the matching step is completing, or as the upload is starting.  I am getting seriously pissed off.  I haven't had a chance to poke around the interwebs looking for people bitching about similar problems, but I doubt I'm the only one.

One more brief mention of last night's band practice.  When I was in high school I played in my first cover band.  By the time I hit music school I didn't want to play covers anymore.  I didn't do it again until 2002.  Things are so much different here in the 21st century than they were back in the stone age of the late 80's and early 90's.  When I was young and the band wanted to play a new cover, we all had to sit down and try to learn the song by ear.  Occasionally we would admit defeat and go to a music store and try to buy sheet music, but usually not.  We also had to share tapes of the songs with each other so that everyone could have a copy to try and learn from.  Today we don't have those troubles.  Today if you want to hear a song you can go to YouTube, or search myspace music, or just Google the title.  If you can't figure out a song by ear you can Google the title along with the word "tabs" and in almost every case you will get a link to a guitar or bass tableture that you can use to easily learn the gist of the song.  It's so easy now.  How did we manage when we were kids?  It seems like so much extra work!

The Bruins are playing the Canadiens tonight.  It was a pair of losses to Montreal that marked the low point of Boston's horrible 3-7 start to the season.  Since losing that second game they have gone 8-0 and managed to jump from last place in the Eastern Conference all the way up to a playoff spot.  Let us hope that the win streak continues and we put Montreal back into their place. 

In other hockey news, Sidney Crosby is going to play tonight after having been out of the Penguins line up since January.  This is great news for hockey fans, as the league finally gets its best player back.  It's bad news for Eastern Conference hockey fans as now the already excellent Penguins are going to get 10 times better.  I don't expect him to put up MVP numbers tonight, but I also don't expect it to be too terribly long before he starts.  As much as I loathe seeing Pittsburgh win, I am very happy to see him back.  Now if we could just get Marc Savard back too.  Hang in there, Savy!

As for the Red Sox... Really?  Bobby Valentine?  Really?  Ummm... Really?


I for one was not sad to see Dale Svuem (spelling?) go to the Cubs.  I still remember his stint as the Red Sox third base coach in 2004 and 2005 and I can only imagine that if he's the overall boss we'd be seeing him having base runners trying to score from second base on bunts.  Hey Dale, would it kill ya to put up a stop sign just once?

But at the same time... Bobby Valentine?  Really?

Weekend Recap

That was the busiest weekend in a long time.

On Saturday we went to Bank of America and officially closed our accounts.  $5 fee to use our debit cards?  No thanks.  The President of the company telling us that Bank of America "has a right to make a profit"?  No you don't.  We've changed banks and moved on to bigger and better things.

In the process we learned that if a charge is under dispute and the account the charge is attached to is closed, the company the complaint is made against CAN REOPEN THE CLOSED ACCOUNT without the owner of the account's consent.  Apparently, one of our newly closed accounts is going to be reopened without our permission today so we have to re-close the account.  Buh Bye, Bank of America.

From there we went to piano lessons and karate class, and did a lot of cleaning around the house and raking in the yard.  Then it was off to Mike and Tammy's daughter's fifth birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  The reservation was for 12 people.  The staff tried to seat us in two booths.  As in, separately.  The punch line is that the two separate booths were next to two adjoining six seat tables.  Umm... can we have the table please so that our group can actually... ya know... be a group?  Thaaanks.

After that we went home and met up with Jen, who had been at work, and did some Thanksgiving supply shopping.  While out we stopped at a craft store and the kids picked up a couple of paint by number sets.  Talk about a hit!  It's almost all my step son has talked about ever since.  They both are having fun working on their paintings.

On Sunday morning we had the Dead Relatives Tour 2011.  We all went to the cemetery to visit the graves of my mother's parents, and my father's mother, brother, aunts, uncles, and cousin.  After the visit we all go out to lunch together.  I tried very hard to explain to the kids that this event is a happy occasion where we all spend time together and focus on the happy memories.  My step daughter is having a tough time with the concept of death these days.  I'm not sure where that came from, but she's had a couple of upset moments.  She was fine yesterday though.  My step son could not get enough information about my relatives.  He asked a thousand questions.  He was fascinated with everything, especially my father's uncle Jimmy, and my uncle Johnny.  Mostly because I've talked to him about both of them.  We have a couple of pieces of furniture that once belonged to Jimmy, and both kids have some memories of their mom and I going to Johnny's wake and funeral.  Of course, after going to great lengths to explain how it was a happy occasion, there was a moment when my step son was asking why some graves have flags, and I was explaining what it meant, I told him that when Uncle Jimmy was buried two soldiers presented a US flag to Uncle Johnny and how proud we were and just lost it.  Both kids were quick to give life saving hugs though and I felt better.

Lunch was so much fun.  The niece and nephews are so cute it's unreal.  Both babies had moments when they absolutely cut the rest of us up, and the older kids were so much fun.  The only negative was my brother having a migraine.  Last year my cousin's son had a migraine and had to leave the table and sit in the car.  This year it was my brother.  I hope this does not become a trend.  The only thing missing, now that I think of it, was the guy who normally comes around making balloon animals and doing magic tricks.

Finally last night it was time to play some music.  We were singer free, but we managed to muddle through a few things.  We're going to do it again next Sunday, and this time we have specific songs to work on, and we may have a singer trying out too.  It was so much fun, but I was worried about Jen and the kids being stuck in the house while we were making all of that noise.  I tried to prepare them for the volume, and I guess I over did it a little.  They were all surprised by how "quiet" we were.  The kids enjoyed the whole experience.  Especially my step son.  Jen told me he was rocking out the whole time.  He snuck down the stairs a couple of times to watch too.  It was cool to see him enjoying it so much.  This morning he was talking up a storm about how he wants to learn to play the guitar and the drums.  He's awesome, that little man.  Both kids have also volunteered to join the band as singers or keyboard players.  It might be tough to get a bar gig with an 8 and 10 year old in the band, but maybe it will be worth it.

The whole weekend was great, and it's all thanks to Jen and the kids.  They make my life so much fun.  I love them all very much!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rock in the Cellar

I just wrote a longish, happy post about tonight's inaugural band get together, but the effing blog app I used crashed before it could save. Piss. Me. Off.

So Mike, Steve, Kevin and I got together in my cellar tonight and jammed. None of us really knew anything that anyone else might have known, so we did a lot of random noodling on easy, well known riffs. Among them was "Working Man". We also managed to get all the way through two or three songs, which was difficult without a singer. We managed though. Among those songs was "2112: The Temples of Syrinx". No other band that I've ever played with ever gave any piece of 2112 a shot, but we did all right.

We will play together again next week. You know, I haven't really played with a band in about six years. I had forgotten just how much fun it is. Even when the band sucks out loud, and we certainly did, it is more fun than words can describe.

I had a blast.


Jammin' in Methuen tonight? Better change my strings.

DRT Luncheon

Saturday, November 19, 2011

iTunes Match

Well, I took the $25 annual plunge tonight and signed up for iTunes Match.  You access it from the iTunes store (assuming you're using the latest version of iTunes) and it gives you the little sales pitch.  The deal is it will search through your iTunes library and any files it finds will be added to your collection in the cloud.  Once that's done, it will upload up to 25,000 additional songs.  So if iTunes has your song you get to listen to their copy of it from anywhere you have an internet connection (on up to 10 authenticated Apple devices) and if iTunes doesn't have your song you can listen to a copy of your file from anywhere you have an internet connection.

I'm game.  $25 a year seems a touch on the silly side, but I absolutely LOVE the idea of having my entire music collection available to me on my phone from anywhere I can get a signal, so I bit the bullet and went for it.  iTunes Match has the advantage over Google Music in that it will play my DRM songs that I purchased from iTunes over the years, as well as being integrated into the Music app on my iPhone and iPad.  The fact that Google Music doesn't have an iOS app, and their iOS web app blows, and that it keeps telling me I am at the 20,000 song max when I am still at less than 17,000 songs, all add up to me sticking with Apple for my cloud based music needs.

However, I hit an unexpected snag when I tried to sign up.  It told me that my library was too big.  Too big?  Didn't the sales pitch just tell me that the 25,000 song counter would only start running after the Matching stage was complete?  I had a little more than 26,300 files in my iTunes library.  Fortunately about 1,500 of those were audio book files and I have no interest in moving those to the cloud.  I removed them and tried signing up again and it worked.

The set up for iTunes Match runs in three stages:

1. Gathering information about your iTunes library
2. Matching your music with songs in the iTunes store
3. Uploading artwork and remaining songs

I am still on step one, and have been for a while now.  Maybe an hour or so.  The status bar for step one is still only about 1/3 of the way through.  This could take a while.  I have a lot of music that won't be matched with iTunes store files, so I expect the upload process to be long and tedious, but if the service works the way they are selling it, it will all be worth it in the long run.

I had one other Apple music related comment to make.  I've been meaning to throw this out to the public ever since I installed iOS 5 on my iPad and iPhone.  I had all sorts of trouble with the Music app (formerly called the iPod app) since the update.  Let's put aside the fact the the new user interface on the iPad is crappy and pretty much just blows and concentrate on whether or not files would actually play.

Almost every file I had on both devices would fail to play after taking the update.  Sometimes I would tap on a song and it would skip to the next one, but usually it would just hang at 0:00.  Also, on the occasions when it would skip to the next song, the next song in question would be the one to hang at 0:00.  Anything uploaded after the update played fine.  I got so fed up with it that earlier tonight I deleted all of the music off my iPad and reloaded it from iTunes.  I haven't done the iPhone yet, but that will probably happen tomorrow. 

My question to you, oh internet, is am I the only person this happened to?  Jen still hasn't taken the updates yet so I can't compare notes with her.  I'm curious if this is a more widespread issue that I just haven't heard about in the rabid Apple press.  At least the files I reloaded tonight seem to be playing.  Well, one playlist that I couldn't play earlier today is playing.  That seems like a decent test to start with.

Anyway, step one of iTunes Match is probably about 45% done now.  Progress is our middle name.

Pinewood Derby Wanna Be

This craft store sells non Cub Scout approved Pinewood Derby kits!

I won the Pack 49 Pinewood Derby once!

Caved In

I put it off for as long as I possibly could.

The kids and I started raking the front yard this morning.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Spot the Trend

Five seconds away from my office, followed by five minutes away from the office.

Happy Birthday, Mr Blog

Oh my goodness, am I lame or what?

Today marks another uber nerd anniversary.  Three years ago today I made the first post on this blog.  (it has since been moved to the private page because it mentions the kids by name)

Three solid years of insufferable, pointless, blathering idiocy.  Yeah.  Three whole fricken years of this stupidity.  The only thing dumber than that is that there hasn't been a single day during that time period when I have failed to post something.  That's 1095 days of dumbassitude.

Is it any wonder that no one reads this crap?  (I do appear to have a small number of somewhat regular readers.  Most of them are family members and real life friends.  Hi family members and real life friends!  I see two regular hits on site meter that I have yet to match a human to.  I have a guess on one, but can't say for sure, and have no clue on the other.  The little hit counter at the bottom of the page links to a summary of visitors that includes a location for most hits.  Unfortunately the location is actually the point where the local network hits the internet.  I am in Framingham right now, but the summary says I am far, far away.  When I hit the page from home it usually says Methuen, but sometimes Verizon monkeys with their network and I show as North Andover or Lawrence.  I can sometimes guess who the hits belong to, but often I don't have a clue.)

So wish my bloggie a happy bloggie birthday.

In other, unrelated news:  This weekend is going to be crazy busy.  We have the regular Saturday kids events, followed by Mike and Tammy's daughter's birthday party.  On Sunday we have the annual dead relatives tour where a bunch of family members get together and visit the graves of my grandparents and aunts and uncles, and then we all go out to lunch together.  As I say every year, it sounds morbid but it is far from it.  It's always a good time.  It's a celebration of those we love who are no longer with us, and those we love who are still, thankfully, around.  After that it's the first meeting of what hopefully will become a new band.  I have no calluses on my fingers, so it's going to be painful.  I'm looking forward to all of the events we have planned this weekend.  I still have half a house to clean, and those leaves in the front yard ain't picking themselves up, and we're hosting Thanksgiving next week, but I am really happy to have so much stuff going on.  It's hectic as hell, but it sure beats the alternative.  Well... once in a while it beats the alternative.  I still love a slow, quiet weekend at home with my family.  I guess I'm just still not 100% used to actually having a life.  I love it, and it's all Jen's fault. 

That's the other thing I'd like to take the time to state publicly.  I love Jen.  I am crazy about her.  She means everything to me.  Her and the kids letting me into their lives the way they have is the single greatest gift that I have ever received.  When Thanksgiving day comes and I tell everyone that the thing I am most thankful for this year is Jen and the kids, it's not me being uncreative, or not taking the time to think of something original, it is the complete and total honest truth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New School

Today was the first school day that the kids woke up at our house since their Dad moved.  The morning routine needed to change accordingly.  We all got up earlier (urgh) and left the house earlier so that we could get to Daddy's which is now further away.  We left the house at 7:05 and I got to work at about 8:45.  That should be doable.  The only downside is that after a few weeks we'll start getting lazy and slow in the morning and we'll be leaving at 7:10... then 7:15... then 7:20... and so on and so forth.

I tried to get the kids talking about their experiences at the new school.  I never had to change school systems so I don't know how tough it really is, but I do remember kids coming into our schools and having trouble with it.

Q: What is your favorite part of the new school?
A: The special classes (art, music, ect) and playing team handball in gym.

Q: What is your least favorite part of the new school?
A: Whole wheat bagels and recess is only 20 minutes.

Q: Are there any school subjects that you are doing in class that you hadn't started at your old school?
A: Negative numbers and Geography.

Q: How are the other kids treating you?
A: Fine, everyone is nice.

I also asked my step daughter if she had started saxophone lessons at the new school and she said she hadn't and wasn't sure how to go about starting.  I recommended she ask her teacher.  I asked about chorus too and got the same response.  I told her to ask about that as well, but that she might have to wait until after the Christmas concert before she can join.

The one issue my step son was having was that he still doesn't have his lunch ticket yet.  His sister does, and yesterday the lunch lady found him in the computer system, so he should be all set.  He just needs to ask his teacher how to get the card.

Obviously I have been worried about how they are going to handle the new school work and the new rules, and how the other kids would treat them.  I think they are the two best kids in the universe and I want everyone else to agree with me.  I insist that everyone else agree with me.  Still, changing schools can be tough and I want them to succeed, so I am going to keep needling them for information.  Today they were very open and up front with me.  There was no shyness when they answered my questions.  There was no anger or stress in their answers.  They seem to be cool with the whole situation.  That's a huge relief.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bunk Bed

Patches thinks the open drawer on Jen's dresser would make a pretty got place to sack out.

School Bus Blues

Today's commute was a touch under 90 minutes.  I got stopped for a bit on 213, got stopped for quite a bit on 495, and from there it was buses.  Five of them.  The first one was on North Street in Tewksbury and I think it made a slew of stops.  There was one that the car in front of me stopped to let pull out in front of us.  There was another that cut me off.  That's the same one that made a stop and the driver decided to shoot the shit with a parent.  There was that great moment that did not happen, but almost happened, where the school bus I was stuck behind almost got stopped by a school bus heading in the other direction. 

Most days I have nothing but good luck with school buses.  Surprisingly good luck actually.  Most days I manage to avoid them all together.  It's really rare to get stuck behind more than one.  I can't say for sure if five is the record, but if it's not it's got to be pretty close.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Game

Did you see the Bruins game tonight? They beat New Jersey 4-3. It was a lot of fun to watch. Each time we scored to take the lead they came right back and tied it. Both teams had tons of scoring chances. That's the kind of game you want to see. The opposite of that piece of garbage between Tampa and Philly last week. (Google it, but suffice to say the highlight was players standing around doing nothing. Literally.)

Oh, while I have your attention let me change the subject and publicly state that I am already 100% sick of Christmas. Every store I go into is playing Christmas music. The cafe at work is playing Christmas music. I drove past a house on the way home tonight that was decked out with Christmas lights. It's November 15th. Screw this. I'm sick of it already.

End rant.

Another Day, Another...

495 North, again.


Do you live in New England?  Have you noticed the weather?

We had a small snow fall followed by a couple of days later by a more serious snow fall in late October.  Other than that, and the leaves on the ground, I can't tell if we're in the late stages of Fall or Spring.  It's in the 60's again today.  I haven't needed to wear a jacket for the last three days.  This morning I actually wore shorts outside to take out the trash.  It's that crazy.  Two days ago we had the air conditioning on in the car.

Yes, I am aware that I am jinxing things, but I just have to acknowledge this seasons ridiculously warm and happy weather (again, excluding those two days with snow.  Especially that second day when most of the region lost power.  That sucked).

I am dreaming of a green Thanksgiving.  Hell, I'm dreaming of a green Christmas and New Year's too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Obligatory Highway Fun

This caused a short back up on 495N.

Lucic Avoids Suspension

The Bruins appear to have done it again.  Last year Zdeno Chara broke Max Pacioretty's neck and managed to avoid a suspension.  He did not manage to avoid the public uproar and calls to 9-1-1 in Montreal though.

Now it's Milan Lucic's turn.  On Saturday night he plowed over and through Sabers goalie Ryan Miller.  Miller finished the game, but has since been diagnosed with a concussion.  Earlier today Lucic had his hearing with NHL senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan (sounds impressive, eh?) and no suspension was assessed.  Are the phones ringing in Buffalo's 9-1-1 call center?

Probably not.

I saw a replay of the hit today.  It was pretty rough.  I would not have been the least bit surprised if Lucic got one game off without pay.  He clobbered Miller.  Could he have gotten out of the way?  Maybe... I thought he could have at least made more of an effort.  I guess.  He was penalized on the play, correctly, and he had his day in hockey court and he got off.  I think he should have gotten something, but I'm not complaining.  That's the end of that story, until Boston and Buffalo meet again.

My question to Brendan Shanahan though is this, When are you going to evaluate the punishment to Miller for what he did immediately after the hit?  After Lucic wrecked him, Miller sat with his ass on the ice and swung his stick, baseball bat style at Lucic's legs.  He did not hit anything (strike one) but still, that was pretty egregious, wasn't it?  How is that not suspension worthy?  How is that not worthy of some supplemental discipline?

Now before you Buffalo fans (who will never even see this post because no one ever reads me) get all a-tizzy over this, remember I said that Lucic should have received a bigger punishment.  Lucic was at fault for the hit.  Lucic was totally in the wrong.  Don't forget that I already said that, Buffalo fans.  But also don't forget that Miller swung his damn stick at Lucic like he was George effing Washington trying to cut down the cherry tree.  Both actions should have resulted in suspensions.

I like Ryan Miller a lot.  Really.  If we didn't have Tim Thomas I would want Ryan Miller to be our goalie.  When he's on his game he's unreal.  You haven't forgotten that USA silver medal in the Olympics, have you?  We owe a huge chunk of that medal to Ryan Miller.  He's an awesome goalie.  But he swung his stick like Babe Ruth swinging for the fences and that action needs to be addressed by the NHL.  I don't care if he hit Lucic or not, that was awful and he can't get away with that.

That's my two cents.

Weekend Update

So how about that weekend, huh?  It's one big blur now, but it was a much needed break.

On Friday I got to spend the day with the kids.  We went to Jen's office to take her to lunch and much to our happiness she came home with us and worked from home.  So we got to (sort of) spend the day with Mom too!  We took the kids back to their Dad's and got to see their new house.  The official move took place this weekend.  The kids took us through every room and showed us all of the things they helped with.  They have been doing a great job helping their father and step mother set up the new house.  Later Jen and I took care of our itch to go out to a place where there was music and we went to New England Seafood in Methuen, where they have live music on the weekends.  We just hung out and listened and danced a little (I can only slow dance, even to fast songs.  I think my wife was a little embarrassed).

On Saturday we went to my parents' to invite them to Thanksgiving dinner.  We hung out for a while and got caught up on all the goings on.  It was a nice visit.  After that we spoke to Jen's mother and invited them to Thanksgiving too.  Jen's mother and step father have recently become owners of a pair of iPhone 4S.  Jen and I are still thinking about upgrading.  I'm all for it as the button on my iPhone 4 is a tad on the twitchy side.  It still takes a couple of weeks to order them though as the demand still massively outweighs the supply.  On Saturday night we went back to New England Seafood where the crowd was much smaller, and the band took a little more time hitting their stride, but once they did they were excellent.

Oh yeah, and in between all of that I was sending a flurry of Facebook messages out trying to get people to start a new band with me.  It looks like Sunday will be the first meet up.  I need to get a list of songs that Steve and I used to play out to Mike and Kevin, and I need to check out the myspace page of the singer that Steve knows... even though I'm 99% sure I've listened to it in the past.  Then I need to PRACTICE and get some new cables and batteries and all that good stuff.  Oh, and don't forget to change the strings on the Les Paul!

On Monday Jen and I both had to do some working from home.  I also managed to do something I rarely do, and even more rarely do successfully.  I went clothes shopping... for myself.  My business casual clothes are all old and starting to disintegrate so I went to a fat guy store and a department store with a fat guy section and got some clothes.  When I showed my purchases to Jen this morning she didn't laugh.  Either I didn't buy anything ridiculous, or she was really good at holding the laughter in.

Today I took the morning off to go with the kids to their first day of school in their new town.  They were waffling between scared, nervous, and excited over the last week or so.  Today it was mostly excitement.  I was hoping Jen and I would get to meet their teachers, but we only got to meet some of the office staff. 

Now the long weekend is over and I'm back at work.  Thanksgiving is next week though, and another four day weekend is on tap.  I'm ready, right now.  Right.  Now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Plants vs Zombies

On Friday we stopped at Best Buy for a quick shopping trip.  Some video games were purchased by my wife and my two step kids.  Earlier tonight Jen and I were watching Horrible Bosses when I got called back to today's on-call issue.  We paused the movie as I went to see why requisitions were printing to the wrong printer.  While I was poking around Jen took out one of her new games.

Plants vs Zombies.

She has been playing like a maniac for about an hour.  I think she might be developing a new video game obsession.  I think it's awesome!

She just said, "ARGH!  This is so much fun!  I want to stop playing but I can't!"


Fried Steak

Another culinary experiment gone perfect.

Almost Made It

I officially went on call at close of business on Thursday.  Thursday night, all day Friday, all day Saturday, not a single call.  I thought I was going to make it through this long stretch without being pulled in for anything.

Then at 1:00pm I got a call.  I was in JC Penny trying to find some fat guy pants that I could wear to work.  When the phone rang I assumed it was Jen, the love of my life, but when I saw the number was blocked my heart sank 10 miles.

I almost made it.

Music Happening?

Looks like Steve knows a singer too! Is this the dawn of a new 5-piece band?

Things might be happening!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What's That?

There are two holes in the wall by our table, and whatever is behind them seems about two feet away.

Why? And what is back there?


Two nights in a row we've gone out to a place where a a random band was playing and two nights in a row we've heard Bryan Adams songs.

Is there something I should know about? Did I miss a memo?


Messing with a new camera app.

Things are Happening

Things may be happening... Musical things.

While I have made no progress on the November album in a month project, today has seen some real progress toward playing music with actual other human beings.

Steve is interested. Mike is interested. Now we can add Jen's friend Kevin, a drummer, to the list of interested people too. We are still short an actual vocalist, but we are not short a potential date for a first meet up.

Steve has even tossed out potential band names. Can you believe it? Awesome!

Friday, November 11, 2011



Jen and I are going to try and sneak out for a while tonight. I'm on call this weekend so we can't go far from home.

Still, we need to celebrate Nigel Tufnel Day so while we get ready to go out, Spinal Tap is playing in the background.

Undoubtably the greatest rock music film of all time. Hell, the greatest musical of all time.

The "these go to 11" scene is on the tube right now.

Happy Nigel Tufnel Day!!

Drink Made with Cotton Candy


I'm on call today so I can't take the kids to Methuen's Veterans Day parade. I guess remembrance and thanks will have to suffice for honoring those who served.

Of course today is also Spinal Tap Day as well as Nerd New Year. I will find sufficient ways to celebrate those events too.

This one goes to 11.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Explain This to Me

Before you read on, please read this article.

So the head football coach at Penn State hired a child molester as an assistant.  On a few occasions this child molester was witnessed... ummm... plying his perversion in the locker room.  There were actual witnesses who weren't children being raped, but innocent bystanders.

We come to find out that witnesses to the child raping told the head football coach and said head football coach told his superiors and then did nothing more.  The rapist assistant stayed on the payroll and kept taking kids to the shower.  That's the story as I understand it.

Yesterday the University fired the head football coach.

............And the students rioted.

So let me get this straight, students of Penn State...  Allowing a member of your staff to continue to rape children is not a riot worthy offense... but firing the football coach who allowed said member of his staff to continue to rape children is a riot worthy offense.

So the students of Penn State stand in favor of forcibly raping little children.

They may argue that their reasons for rioting were other than those that I have stated, but from where I stand I can't really see it any other way.  Allowing little kids to be raped is okay, according to all of you.  Getting fired for allowing little kids to be raped is worthy of a riot, according to all of you.  You, Penn State students, are in favor of child molestation.  You agree with the practice of raping kids.

Nice going, Penn State students.  Way to keep those priorities straight.  As you see it, college football is more important than not raping children.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanks for Nothing

This edition of Thanks for Nothing goes to the town of Wayland, MA.

There is one nasty intersection in Wayland that I get stuck in every day.  It is where route 126, 27, and 20 all come together.  126 joins up with 27 at a stop sign that backs up 126 all the time.  the two combined roads then cross 20 at a light that backs up in every direction, including beyond the stop sign where 126 comes along which makes the back up there even worse.

I spent 20 minutes there today.  Why?  Because prior to 9:00am they were doing construction.  They had a lane closed and there were police officers directing traffic all over the place.  There were detour signs up, even though apparently there were no roads actually being detoured.  The back ups stretched forever in every direction.

Thanks for nothing, town of Wayland, MA.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thanks for Nothing

This heartfelt Thanks for Nothing goes out to Newbury Comics. 

Being a resident of the greater Boston area, my first (and usually only) choice for purchasing music on compact disc is a wonderful chain of stores called Newbury Comics.  They are all over the place.  The best ones are in Boston, on Newbury Street, and in Burlington.  There are good ones in Nashua and Salem, NH as well.

On a few occasions in the sort of recent past I have hit the Natick, MA store during my lunch hour.  It is located on Route 9, and if you know anything about the area you know that Route 9 is a traffic nightmare.  It can take quite a long time to get anywhere on Route 9.

But, as mentioned in prior posts, today is New Rush Day and I need to get my mitts on a copy of Time Machine Live in Cleveland.  I decided to be smart and check the store website to make sure the Natick store still exists.  According to the site the store it is still right where it should be.  When my lunch hour came, off I went.

That will teach me to believe a store's website.

When I got there the windows were covered with big "Moving" signs and the store was empty.  I had to double back and go to Best Buy to get my copy of Time Machine.  Yeah, I went to a big box chain store to buy a magnificent piece of art rock.  Computers?  Camera accessories?  Home electronics?  Yeah, I will go to Best Buy for all of them.  I'd go there for DVDs and Blu rays too, but music?  No.  If I want to buy a record, I go to a real record store.  Am I an insufferable snob?  Abso-freakin'-lutely, but I don't care.  I actually feel a little dirty right now.

Thanks for nothing, Newbury Comics.


I cast ballot number 29 in precinct number 1.  I am very proud of myself for getting involved in the democratic process, although I still am not sure which candidate for mayor is preferable.  I did vote for one of them, but I'm not saying which one.

I failed in my other Tuesday morning quest.  I did not get to a store to pick up a copy of the new Rush record.  I'll go at lunch.  There is a Newbury Comics store right around the corner.  Given traffic in this area it'll probably take me an hour to get there and back, but I'll do it.  I do not want to live in a world where officially released Rush music exists and I do not own a copy.

Hey, the Bruins won last night.  They won big, again.  They have moved all the way up to 13th place in the conference.  They are only five points out of a playoff spot.  We have a real live win streak going, three games.  A win in their next game brings them back to .500.  It's a little painful to be getting excited about moving up to 13th place when just a few months ago we were having a Stanley Cup parade.  Still, wins are wins and we need them.

In summary:
Go Bruins!
Get out and vote (where applicable)!
Have a Happy Rush Album/DVD/Blu ray release day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Random Thoughts

I'm going to have a sick busy morning tomorrow. First, it's election day in Methuen. Before I sleep tonight I have to decide which mayoral candidate will get my vote. I am currently 100% undecided. This is a new experience for me.

Second, the new Rush live record comes out tomorrow. I have to find a store that opens before 9:00am so I can get it as soon as humanly possible. I'll wait until Santa Claus for the blu ray, but I cannot wait for the CD.

Okay, so I guess it's not that crazy, but it's crazier than the usual Tuesday morning.

Anyway, Jen and I went out to dinner tonight. When we got home I turned on the Bruins game and immediately Lucic and Horton both scored. The Bruins are now up 5-2 over the Islanders. You're welcome.

Moon Over Eastern Standard Time

For the first time this season, it's full on dark for the whole ride home from work.


Spam Spam Spam Muppets and Spam

I got a spam comment last night!  WOOHOO!  I feel so honored to have generated enough page hits (two must be enough these days) to have caught the eye of someone distributing spam.  Oh happy day!

Last night we started watching season one of the Muppet Show.  Both kids were pretty much dead set against it, but Mom insisted.  10 minutes into the first episode my step son was laughing so hard he fell off the couch.  This morning I got my step daughter to admit that she enjoyed some parts of the show too.  Even 35 years after the show initially aired, the Muppet Show can still bring in the big laughs.  I can't wait to bring the kids to the new movie that comes out in a couple of weeks.

Changing the subject again, I scared the crap out of myself last night.  Literally minutes after writing the spam worthy post where I mentioned cooking boiled dinner and not getting anyone sick, I started feeling sick to my stomach.  I think it was my dessert that did it, not the dinner I had bragged about, but I was nervous there for a while.  No one else felt ill at all.  It was just me.  That was good.  I am fine today, but for a few minutes there last night I thought I had some how done something wrong with dinner and was going to make my whole family sick, never mind the fact that I had just minutes before bragged about how I didn't get anyone sick.  Lucky there, huh?

The Bruins play the Islanders tonight.  Let us hope that the trend of not sucking continues for the Bruins.  I started playing EA Sports NHL 2012 last night.  They have always tried to make things realistic in the game, and that is part of the fun, but twice in one game last night I had to sit through video reviews of goals.  Ummmm... thanks but no thanks, EA.  I would much prefer to... you know... actually play the game... you know?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Awesome Personal Achievement

Today I completed what can only be described as an AWESOME personal achievement.

I cooked a boiled dinner and so far no one is dead. Can you believe it? I can't. I mean all I did was follow my beautiful wife Jen's detailed instructions, but really any time I cook something that doesn't immediately require a visit to the emergency room is a big win in my book.

Boiled Dinner

Trying hard not to screw this up.

Thanksgiving Preview

Yesterday my darling wife improvised. She was out shopping and the kids and I were about to start getting ready for karate class when she called and turned everything upside down (in a good way).

She bought a turkey and all the fixin's. And invited her folks along to join us. The kids and I started cleaning like crazy while Jen started cooking.

We can't be sure if all of us will be able to get together for thanksgiving so Jen thought it would be nice to have a preview. It was a great idea. We all enjoyed it.

Tonight the kids will go to their Dad's for another town's worth of postponed trick or treating. We are going to celebrate Halloween take three by pretending it's St Patrick's Day and having boiled dinner.

In other news the Bruins kicked the crap out of Toronto last night. It was nice to see them do something other than suck.

Nasoalmo is still pretty useless, but I think I'm up to four lame things. Nothing near finished yet.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Was That?

Kitty wonders if she heard right: did someone say turkey for dinner?


Movie shopping at Best Buy.

Random Thing

I was just informed that I had a monster truck on my head. Strangely enough, I did have a monster truck on my head.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Little Song Snippet

I messed together another song idea tonight. It sounds exactly like every other crap burger I've ever done.

It taught me a fact about GarageBand on the iPad of which I was previously unaware. You can string together a series of subsequences, but it will only let you use 10... and tonight's stink nugget really called for 11.

Nigel Tufnel would be pissed off.


Why?  Why am I so tired.  This week hasn't been longer than any other week, but it feels like 10 times as much has gone into getting through it.  I'm just tired I guess.  I'm looking forward to the weekend, but there are a lot of things to do.  The kids have all of their activities, I finally have to cave in to mother nature and rake some leaves in the front yard and get rid of the downed tree branches in the back.  I think Sunday will be the yard work day.  I'll see if the kids want to help, but I won't push them.  We have one less tree in the front yard, but that one wasn't much of a problem as far as leaves are concerned.  Part of me is hoping for a quiet weekend, but as always if something fun comes along I'll jump at the chance to do it.  Next weekend is a long weekend but I'm on call for the whole thing (and more) so I want to have fun with my family this weekend to make up for being a stuck-at-home bore next week.  Anyway, that's the situation as it stands right now.

In summary, I'm tired and I want to go to sleep so I can get stuff done this weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yesterday was Sweet

Due to the snow storm on Saturday the city of Methuen rescheduled trick or treating for Wednesday 11/2, last night. I took the afternoon off so I could pick up the kids after school, go to their Dad's to get their costumes, then home in time to suit up for the 5:00 start.

Things were really slow at the start. We didn't see a single trick or treater until after 5:30. I thought maybe word about the reschedule hadn't gotten around. After the first group hit our house the kids and I went out. We cleaned up on three neighborhood streets. The kids were bombed with compliments on their costumes. One house even said they were the best of the night. I agreed.

Jen and I checked out all the haul and approved. The take was huge and delicious. It was a great trick or treat, even if it was a couple of days late.

A brief nasoalmo update. Two really bad song ideas underway. The only interesting part being that one is on my MacBook and the other is on my iPad. Yeah, it's crazy like that.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Deer Pictures

I promised a couple of pictures of the deer I saw in the yard this morning... so here goes.

2011-11-02 - Deer in the Yard 001

2011-11-02 - Deer in the Yard 004

2011-11-02 - Deer in the Yard 006

There were two of them in sight, but the other one was perfectly placed behind the cover of the trees so that I could only see her tail when she swished it.  Otherwise she was perfectly hidden.  As for the pictures, they looked really dull so I tried to brighten the colors a little using Picnick via Flickr.  I probably made things worse.

Moon Over Trick or Treat


Welcome to November.  It's time for National Solo Album Month, or NaSoAlMo to those in the know.

The idea is to write and record about 30 minutes worth of music all by your lonesome with no one helping you all within the month of November.  I'm not getting psyched up for this the way I do for the RPM Challenge in February (why is that?  I don't know... RPM has a bigger community, that's probably why) so I am not going to feel bad if I don't finish, or even if I don't do anything at all (the way I did when I planned to try this two years ago).

I updated my account on the project website, but I have not yet set up the album.  I won't do that until I actually have something to upload.

Maybe later today.

Here's the site, if you want to play along.


Looked out the window and saw a deer right at the base of that tree.

Pics coming later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's not October Anymore

Storm + Traffic = Robbie in a Bad Mood

Okay, I get it.  We had a bad snow storm in October.  It was freakish and the snow was wet and really heavy and most trees still had leaves and the leaves plus the heavy snow equals branches breaking off.

I get it.  Really, I do.

But the storm was on Saturday.  Today is Tuesday.  I still had to go through a detour due to a downed tree.  Last night the traffic was horrible.  As bad as it's ever been, even during real snow storms.  There were road closures that weren't there yesterday morning.  How?  There is no snow left on any of the trees.  What would cause new trees to come down?  It wasn't very windy, there was no added weight, what was it?  There were stop lights with back ups that stretched for miles... and this is 48 hours after the snow fell!  My brother's family is still without power.  Still!

Then to top it off, I was going to pick up my wife at her office last night and I got stuck in what I assumed was a car accident induced traffic jam on 495 north.  Over a 35 minute stretch of time I moved about a mile.  I had already been in the car for 90 minutes when I reached the jam up.  It was almost 8:00pm when I reached Jen's office in N. Andover, and I left my office in Framingham at 5:40.  It was just adding insult to injury.  Urgh.

Anyway, the last place Bruins play tonight.  Can they cheer me up?  Probably not.  They suck almost as bad as the traffic did.  Halloween in Methuen has been rescheduled for Wednesday and I will be able to take the kids out trick or treating.  I just hope our neighborhood gets the memo.  Last year our neighborhood was flooded with kids.  It was awesome.  Hopefully the snow won't put a damper on things this year and it will be awesome again.