I've got me the songwriting bug again. For reals. For the first time in ages.
I also have zero motivation to do anything with said bug. I think the well might be temporarily dry. I have two or three things going in GarageBand, but I don't see any of them turning into anything.
When we move to San Diego (any minute now) my 12-string and I will busk the beaches. I can do that for a living, can't I?
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I've got me the songwriting bug again. For reals. For the first time in ages.
Remember when they were the source of the hope? Remember when we looked at them and thought that they were the guys who were going to break that everlasting championship drought? Remember when they had to listen to opposing fans chanting "1918" and how it royally sucked?
Neither do I.
2004 actually happened. It really did.
Go Red Sox!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Why then is it the only town I drive through that hasn't managed to clean up the mess from Irene?
I was in Wayland, five minutes away from work at 8:55. I got to work at 9:18. Two roads closed, one of which was route 126, and a power outage that destroyed the traffic at the junction of routes 27 and 30.
Every other town I drive through on my morning commute? Nothing. No traffic at all, and that is including the fact that most of those towns had their first day of school today. I got stopped by one school bus, but other than that it was smooth sailing from the moment I got off the highway.
Not in Wayland though. It took me 45 minutes to get out of town last night. I can handle that, but here we are at the 48 hour mark and a town that is dripping with property tax money can't clear a state highway?
I am taking a different route home tonight so I won't see any progress, or lack thereof, tonight... and I can't wait until tomorrow.
Monday, August 29, 2011
No damage, no nothing. We didn't even lose power. There are a few branches down in the yard, but nothing serious and nothing close to the house. We had one branch come down in the driveway, but it apparently landed right between the two cars without hitting either of them.
A little before noon I heard a couple of trees snap in the woods out back. I actually saw the top of one tree come down, along with one big branch. Nothing anywhere near us, but it was enough to make me nervous. I was also watching the Mayor's Facebook page and he posted a few times about trees down and power outages around town. There was one comment that mentioned people trapped when a tree fell on their house. That got me moving.
I made lunch for everyone and we calmly ate it at the dining room table, but as soon as that was done we moved to the cellar. We turned my tree falling paranoia into a family game day and played a bunch of games downstairs. I kept sneaking upstairs to check the tree situation, but everything held together. We watched a couple of movies downstairs too, and by the time I went up to get the kids dinner the worst was over. We ate upstairs, but then went back downstairs for another game, but when it was over we all slept in our beds. We were prepared to sleep in the cellar if things were bad outside, but they weren't and all was well.
I hit two road closures during the commute this morning, both in Wayland, MA. There was debris on most roads, but nothing terribly bad. The power was still out in a couple of sections of Wayland too, but that was it.
Here's hoping the rest of you made out as lucky as we did. So long, Irene. Good riddance.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The trees closest to the back yard are mostly just swaying, but the bigger gusts are making the taller trees further away really dance.
I've been keeping an eye on Methuen Mayor Manzi's Facebook page and the comments are beginning to tell stories of trees falling onto roads and power lines and in one case a house, and I can hear sirens almost constantly.
It's starting to get interesting. Let's hope this is as serious as it gets.
All quiet on the tropical storm front. I hear a little gusty wind outside, but the storm itself is still 2-3 hours away. The Mayor's Facebook page says that there are already reports of downed trees. Fortunately none on or near our property. Let's hope it stays that way.
Yes, there is a good chance I might semi-live blog the storm. What a nerd.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
The latest hit single from Some Red Haired Guy,
Including the instant (anti) classics:
Hurricane Irene Blues
Storm Comin' Waltz
Get yours now!
(hehe, again... somebody stop me)
Friday, August 26, 2011
She's getting braces put on today. She probably has them on already. The appointment was earlier this morning. I don't know how long it takes to wire up a set, but I am guessing they are either done or will be in short order. Hopefully it's not too painful.
Everyone wish my step-daughter a Happy Braces Day!
But the damn Irene forecast... it's getting to me. I'm buying into the hype. I'm already planning out how the four of us can sleep in the cellar on Sunday. I'm constantly mentally inventorying things that might be needed this weekend (the only thing I don't know if we already have or not is masking tape to tape up the windows).
I keep asking myself, why is this one bothering me so much?
The answer is simple. That damn tree.
We have a tree in the front yard that needs to come down. At least 50% of the branches are dead. We had an arborist (sp?) look at it and he agreed it needs to go. He told us he'd get some one over to get rid of it but he'd need about 10 days to set it up. That was a month ago. We've called other tree removal companies and they ignore us. Meanwhile, Irene is blowing into the region on Sunday and the damn tree still stands.
Just hold on a bit longer, Mr. Tree. Keep on standing tall and strong and please don't fall down.
Thanks, Mr. Tree.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Hurricane Irene, I mean.
I usually don't let weather forecasts bother me, but I am getting paranoid now.
Shopping list, for between now and Sunday:
- Flashlight batteries
- Maybe a new flashlight or two
Matches = 1;
- Masking tape
- Bottles of water
I'll update more if I think of more.
Last night I started noodling around in GarageBand, playing a silly little electric piano noodle in 3/4. As of this morning, it is a complete song. I just uploaded it to alonetone and soundcloud.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Extended Business Hours by Robertjames1971
My free account there is now officially maxed out. I like the look of soundcloud. It's neat to watch the waveforms as you're listening. I also very much like that there is an iPhone app, although it does not seem to recognize sets. Odd.
I still much, greatly, hugely prefer alonetone though. The community is perfect. It's made up of people who make music because they enjoy it. There is no desire for money or fame, at least not outwardly, just love of music. That's perfect. Sure, I'd like a snazzier looking playlist to embed here, and I sure would love an iPhone app, but I don't need them. Everything about alonetone is everything I could want in a music hosting website.
Got music of your own? Join alonetone.com.
Speaking of making music for the fun of it...
Jen may be going on an extended business trip in the near future. That SUCKS. Worse, she might be going on another not quite as extended trip too. That doubly SUCKS. I'm going to be missing my Lovey very much, and I won't have anything to do while she's away. I might try to fill up one of those days with an album-in-a-day project. I had never thought about such a thing prior to coming across this website. There are also occasional album-in-a-day pushes by groups of alonetone members. I have never tried to do that before. Maybe I will while I am missing my beautiful wife.
But do you want to know what the worst part is?
The next morning when you have to get up at the normal time after having gone to bed much later than usual.
Yeah, that's the pits.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
What my 2011 RPM Challenge turned into, along with one extra song from the 2007 challenge that I used as a guinea pig in GarageBand.
Note: One of the songs is called Suite. Just make believe you don't hear the HORRIBLE edits between the five different sections. I apologize whole heartedly.
Read this if you don't know what I'm talking about.
I was driving home from my lunch date with my beautiful wife when it happened. I think. I may have actually been driving her back to the office at the time. Who knows.
I didn't feel anything, but when I got to work (I'm second shift tonight... crud) a couple of people said they felt it. They said they could feel it in the floor and that the window blinds were rattling as they moved.
I'll post it all when it's all done. Until then, I'm going on a lunch date with the love of my life.
Talk to you later.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Share a single song? Let's try:
The First Day by Robertjames1971
How about sharing a playlist. Soundcloud calls them "sets." How very Flickr of them:
60 Cycle Hum by Robertjames1971
In fairness, let's share the other set too.
Better Late Than Never by Robertjames1971
When you are setting up detours please make sure that the roads you divert traffic onto are not closed due to the same construction work you are detouring the traffic around.
If you set up alternate routes correctly, people trying to get to work will be successful in their commuting quest. If you do not set up the alternate routes correctly you are a dumb ass.
Especially when you end up diverting traffic that is already late and trying to divert itself around the gridlocked route 93.
One commuter who thinks one specific crew is made up of a bunch of dumb asses.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Here is an audio tag:
Okay, what happens if you use more than one source tag? Will it create a playlist type of thingie?
Please pardon me for using terrible music from my alonetone account. I'm very sorry.
Firefox does not support the audio tag. There are two boxes rendered where the audio players should be, but they both contain a big ugly X.
Chrome does support the audio tag. Adding two source tags does not appear to create a playlist.
Safari loaded an audio player, but it does not appear to be able to play the file.
Internet Explorer doesn't do anything. At least Firefox let me know something was supposed to be there, even if it was just with an error. Not IE. IE is just blank.
Opera, like Safari, rendered the audio player, but did not load the audio file.
What does this mean? It means everything is the same as the last time I went through this exercise. It probably also means I don't have the latest versions of each browser on this machine. I'll take some updates and try again.
Now the bad news, that makes me feel terrible for even considering that the good news exists, and makes the good news so utterly inconsequential that I am embarrassed to have even considered it, my mother is in the emergency room.
She had some shortness of breath. Her GP is worried about chemo-induced blood clots so she's been sent to the ER to have her oxygen checked and to see if there has been any clotting. It doesn't sound like something that would be all that big a deal, but given the extended circumstances I think everything could be a big deal. I'm nervous.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
1: Tim Wakefield. Not so much Tim as a person, but as a concept. When last I checked the score, the Red Sox had a decent lead over the Royals in the sixth inning. That is good, because Tim needs to get that damned 200th win already. I mean, how many shots has he had at it so far? 92? Come on, Sox. Win a damn game for the guy.
2: Google Music. Specifically, the much rumored Google Music iPhone app. More specifically, where the hell is it? The web interface sucks out loud on iOS devices. Get on with it, Google. Do you want me to use the damn service or not?
3: The Brat Pack. Specifically, in Stephen King's TV mini series version of The Stand. When it originally aired people ripped Molly Ringwald (sp?) a new one while saying that Rob Lowe was okay. I disagreed. I thought Molly was totally wrong for her part but wasn't so bad in it. Rob, I thought, was all right, but far from a bright spot.
Last night, while unable to sleep, I brought it up on Netflix. When I got to Molly's first scene I almost vomited. She was AWFUL! What the hell was I watching the last time? Then Rob Lowe came on and I just shut it off. Really guys. How could that even happen?
While listening to an audiobook of Stephen King's The Stand (the original, abridged version), I have heard passing mention of a bunch of locations that I have been to. Portsmouth, NH. Portland, ME. Ect.
There have also been mentions of specific settings that I have actually visited. Two are places millions of people know: Times Square and Central Park in New York.
So far two others have grabbed my ears. Quechee, VT (did I spell that correctly?), and the public beach in Welles, ME.
I'm on the look out for others, although the story is moving Westward now so that will probably be it.
It's kinda fun having the most successful novelist in the known (and probably unknown, too) universe being a fellow New Englander.
Not that this has any meaning or importance to anyone in said universes, save for this retarded redhead.
Friday, August 19, 2011
I'll tell you what sucks.
Nothing's going on.
That's right, nothing's going on right now. I've grown so accustomed to having a big event on the horizon, that now that that particular horizon is behind us there is nothing in the near future to focus on in an, I-Can't-Wait-For-That-Thing-To-Happen kinda way.
The San Diego trip was such a huge deal but now that it's past? Eh... nuttin.
I mean we have Labor Day coming in a few weeks. That's a big deal. The kids are about to start school, grades five and three, and that's a huge deal. We still have a week and a half left of August, and we're going to a Lowell Spinners game on the next kid weekend. Those are positives.
But at the same time, there is no huge mega event in the near future. I guess the closest we have is the holidays. Jen is going on a business trip soon and that is going to suck. Unlike the last business trip she went on, I won't be able to hitchhike along. We are going to be apart, and that is the lowest form of low.
This coming weekend there is nothing happening at all. Nothing planned, nothing hinted at, just empty free time at home.
Wait a second... that's a good thing. We've been running around so crazy that a couple of slow days in the house really sound great!
WOOHOO!! Bring on 5:30, the weekend is almost here!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Well, I'm a little stuffy, and I coughed up some stuff this morning, but no sore throat and nothing else funny. Let's assume it's allergies and move on with our lives.
I started listening to an audiobook of Stephen King's The Stand. If you know the story, then you know why having cold/flu symptoms might be freaking me out. At least the dates in the story don't line up with the actual dates. My friend Mike had that happen to him the first time he read The Stand. The dates in the story and the actual dates he was reading were about the same, and he started catching a cold. Can you imagine how that would mess with someone's head?
So it seems I don't have the cold/flu bug (fingers crossed as always). I have a different kind of bug though. Jen has it too. We are suffering with the Travel Bug. Now that we're home from a week and a half vacation to the opposite side of the continent, what are we starting to look forward to? Why traveling, of course.
Nothing major, just bed and breakfast type places over three day weekends. That sort of thing. We started looking at places at the far end of a one day drive last night and decided we should probably save up a little and go some place super swanky late in the year, rather than someplace less opulent over Labor Day weekend.
Who knows, maybe we'll go back to San Diego (kidding!) over Labor Day weekend. Take a red-eye on Friday night after work, then stay for Saturday and Sunday and fly back on Monday. What do you think? I'm kidding, of course, but if this were serious I don't know if I'd be able to drag myself back at the end of the weekend (kidding?).
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Two weeks ago, when we returned to San Diego, it took about two days for the four of us to acclimate to Pacific time. We planned the trip with two days at home before going back to work specifically to help us re-acclimate to Eastern time. We needed two days out West so it makes sense that we'd need two days back home too, right?
Today is our fourth day back and I'm not adjusted yet. Last night Jen and I both complained about being completely exhausted when we got home from work, but we were both unable to fall asleep until after 11:00. I fell asleep at around 11:15 or so and then woke up again at midnight and couldn't fall back to sleep until about 1:00am.
This morning when I woke up at about 6:30 I felt more exhausted than I had before I went to sleep. I felt like I'd stayed up all night. I believe I am going to need to hit the caffeine pretty hard today.
How long does it usually take to adjust from Pacific time to Eastern time?
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Before I sign off I have to add this one shot of one of our most important landmarks. Our hotel was right down the street from the creepiest looking taco stand in the universe. It looks like some one crossed a failed McDonalds with a Swiss Cheese Shop and just left the decor as is in order to gross out all potential customers.
I'm sure this place makes great tacos, but it was way to creepy to consider eating there.
One thing it did do, however, was guide us home each night. For that I will be forever grateful.
I haven't posted any pictures from our last day in California, so here we go.
The day's events consisted of breakfast on the pier at Ocean Beach, sitting in traffic, and flying home.
Here we see a beach stereotype in plain view. The older gentleman wandering around the beach with a metal detector. It's not a perfect example as this gentleman is not wearing black shoes and socks.
Still though, not bad.
Today is the last day before I go back to work after my very wonderful, very long, vacation. I can't face it. I would rather stick a pitch fork through my eye than go back to work tomorrow. I would rather get a job as a parking lot attendant than go back to work tomorrow.
I exaggerate, of course, but you get the picture. I want to stay on vacation for the foreseeable future. Forever, in fact. I want to move to San Diego and open that damn ice cream shop. Failing that I'll settle for working at a t-shirt shop on the beach, the way those half-wits on Jersey Shore did. I'd take that, really.
I DON'T WANNA GO BACK TO WORK!!!!!!!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
On Thursday we swam in the Pacific Ocean.
On Friday we didn't swim in the Pacific, but we did have breakfast on a pier stretching over the shore of the Pacific.
Now that we are back home in New England, how were we to spend our afternoon?
We went for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
Now do you get it? Oceans, plural?
What the hell day is it?
Do I want the vacation to be over? No.
Do I want to go back to California right now? Yes.
Having said that...
Was it really nice to sleep in my own bed last night? Yes.
Was it really nice to plop down in my own living room this morning? Yes.
Did I automatically pull up the blinds this morning to see if there were any deer in the backyard? Yes.
Normally this would be the moment where I posted a few pictures, but screw that. I'm going to sleep!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Have you ever seen the green flash? I haven't. Only partly because the damn weather was so uncooperative this past week. We went to Mission Beach again this morning and froze. We bailed in favor of some downtown shopping but made it back to Mission Beach around 1:00pm and finally experienced the perfect southern California beach weather experience. It was beyond gorgeous.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Practicing, ya know, for when we become locals some day.
While the USS Midway is one huge mother of an aircraft carrier, it is dwarfed by the sucker anchored across the harbor. I believe this is the USS Ronald Regan. It's downright gigantic.
2011-08-10 - Silver Strings State Beach - Coronado 016, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.
We were driving through Coronado and happened to see this random Wednesday wedding going on in a public park.
Public wedding in a park on Coronado? Right down the street from the Coronado Hotel?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
What next? Sea World? The Midway? Back to the beach?
The hotel's lot is quite full. I imagine when the show lets out, maybe an hour or two from now, it's going to get loud and obnoxious around here.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I don't know which carrier it is, but it pulled into San Diego this morning under heavy fog coverage. We were at the Cabrillo monument looking down on the harbor and the base.