Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two Hours Left

Just under two hours left until February 1st and the start of another RPM Challenge. I don't feel very optimistic. I need to take care of the riff writing in the morning before work, and I just don't feel like I have the energy to get up that early. Maybe after getting that first idea rolling I might feel better about things.

On an unrelated note, did you know that double tapping the shift button on an iPhone virtual keyboard activates a CAPS LOCK FUNCTION?

Neither did I!

Bonus Day

Oh happy day.  Today is the last business day of January and for everyone who works at the same company I do, that means it's bonus day.

Jen got to work before I did today and she checked our account and sure enough, there was a nice bonus there.  How nice?  Nice enough to go to California for a week, how's that?

Sounds nice to me!

Happy Bonus Day!

Monday, January 30, 2012



The Ferris Bueller teaser video is not for a movie, it's for a Honda commercial!


Urge to kill rising, Rising, RISING,



I don't remember how we got onto the subject yesterday, but we had a great conversation with the kids about physics... of all things.

Between the two of us Jen and I remember almost nothing, but we did manage to get the basics of free fall across to the kids.  My step son was fascinated by the thought that if you drop something there is a tiny amount of time when the item you drop is not moving.  He had to go over that a couple of times before really getting it (and he was really interested in how long that tiny amount of time is), but he totally got the idea that when you throw something the rules are different and there is not a moment when the object you throw is not moving.  We also talked about vectors and how when you throw a ball there is a force acting in the direction you aimed for, but there is also another force acting on the object that pulls it toward the ground.  That force is called gravity and its the reason why the ball doesn't travel at the same height you threw it at forever.

It was so much fun, and they both got so much of each idea.  We were in the car for most of this discussion and when we got home it sustained itself for a couple of minutes.  I was just about to show them how you can use d = rt to figure out about a million things when they decided they would rather play video games.  I would have gotten all algebraic up in their faces and blown their little minds, but I'm thrilled with what we did talk about.  Hell, we were talking high school stuff with kids who are 10.5 and 9 years old.  How awesome is that?

Smart kids RULE!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Luna and Venus

NHL 2012

Both kids have their first experience playing EA Sports NHL 2012 on the PS3 today. They both managed to score goals in their very first game. Is this yet another one of my annoying habits/obsessions that I have passed on to these poor unsuspecting children?

I just heard a yell from the other room, "Yeah! Robba, I scored!"

I think so.

Sad Day

We are a one pet family once again. The fish tank has been removed from the premises. The cat has the complete run of the place.

RIP fishies.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dead Duck Day

The kids got their report cards today. The first time in the new school.

Now their teachers know what we already knew:

The kids are Wicked Smaht!

Ferris Bueller Sequel?

If this turns out to be some bullshit advertising campaign centered around a bullshit super bowl commercial I am going to be so incredibly pissed off!


I mentioned last night that I didn't watch any of the NHL all-star fantasy draft ridiculousness.  After this morning's commute I am so glad that I skipped it.  On the radio this morning I heard some audio clips of the event and... well... oh my god was it awful.  Just... Awful.

Every time a player was selected they blared music as said player walked up to the stage, or whatever it was, to join the team he was selected for.  The music was straight out of a 1980's techno porn movie.  It was terrifying.  That was lame enough, but the audience (which in the clips I heard sounded like about 30 people) were mic'd in such a way that you could hear everything they said... and... well... imagine an audience full of Bob and Doug McKenzie's.  You get the idea.  Stereotype is the word that comes to mind.  I did clearly hear one person refer to a pick as "a beauty."  It was straight out of Strange Brew.  Imagine each pick being woohoo'd by 50% of the crowd, and vehemently heckled by the other 50% of the crowd.  Really... just... wow.

I'm so glad I had better things to do.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Love

My love is the hardest working human in the software business. You can't even believe how hard she works. I'm in awe.

All-Star Lame Crap

So the NHL all-star lame fantasy draft stupid thing happened tonight. I didn't watch. I chose to watch paint drying instead as it offers a higher entertainment value.

The upside of the results is Zdeno Chara picked both of the other Bruins. The downside (beyond the obvious insult of Patrice Bergeron not being on the all-star roster) is that he waited until the second to last round to take Tyler Seguin, 10 rounds after he took that snotty little brat Phil Kessel. He took Tim Thomas in the second round, but Thomas will probably boycott the event due to some tea party horse shit.

Why can't we just have a couple of normal Bruins games this weekend?

Mega Hi Def

This post is probably going to break all over the place, but I'll give it a shot.

NASA released a hi def image of the Earth taken by a satellite.  The resolution is 8000x8000.  It's humongous... and it's from space.  I'm going to link the full sized image here, which means I am going to have to shrink it to display it and it's probably going to load slooooooowly.  Once it's there you're going to have to click on it to see the full image.  If you use Firefox, the image displayed after you click is also going to be resized to fit the screen, so you will have to click it again.  I'll also add a link to the Flickr page I am taking the image from.


Here is the link to the image's Flickr page.


This is one of those terrible Thursday kinda days.  You know the ones I'm talking about... the Thursdays that feel like Fridays.

This week is NHL All-Star week.  The lamest week of the year.  The All-Star game is... how shall I describe it... stupid.  Yeah, that's what it is.  Stupid.  The fan balloting is a joke.  Four of the starters play for Ottawa.  Four of them.  Ottawa's decent this year, but to have four starters in the all-star game is insulting.  Obviously the only people who give a crap about the game are those in Ottawa who actually have a chance to go.

The fantasy draft?  Lame.  The skills competition?  That would be cool if they just did it without all of the constant bullshit surrounding it.  Of course, if they eliminated the commercials and the in "game" interviews the event would only last about 10 minutes.  The game itself?  It bears no resemblance to actual NHL hockey.  None.

The worst part?  No Bruins games for a whole week.  A Whole Week.  They played (poorly) against Washington this past Tuesday.  They don't play again until next Tuesday.  Awful.  Truly awful.

I'll say it again:  I hate the NHL All-Star game.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is Today the Day?

Is today the day?  He's been posting to this retarded little site at least once a day, every day since November 2008.  Sure, some of those early posts got moved to the private page, but at the time they were posted they were public, and there hasn't been a single day since the account was opened that the public page hasn't seen at least one post.

But nothing today.  Sure, it's only 4:00, but he usually posts at least one stupid thing by now.  Today?  Nothing.  Maybe today is the day he finally fails.  Maybe today is the day he finally gives it a miss.  Naw, maybe he's just busy.  Maybe he had a meeting in another building and had to truck back and forth.

Or maybe he's just not caring today.  Maybe today he just said, "Screw it.  I ain't sharing crap today."  Yeah, maybe today is the day.


Oh... wait...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sorry but I just can't get enough of laundry basket cat

Tim Thomas

Thanks Tim.

Earlier this year the Bruins organization took a big step toward spoiling the Stanley Cup Championship for me by signing convicted felon Joe Corvo.

Yesterday Tim Thomas finished the job.

He took the one final opportunity we had to bask in the glory of last year's Championship and turned it into a half baked political statement.  The Bruins went to the White House yesterday and had their balls washed (figuratively) by The President of the United States of America.  The most powerful man in the world gave a five minute speech where he told the universe that the Bruins kicked every flavor of ass.  He even pumped Timmy Thomas' tires for him by specifically mentioning how unbelievably awesome Thomas played.

And Timmy Thomas decided to turn it into a political statement by boycotting the event.  Thomas made a statement that said it had nothing to do with the political party, and that the government is out of control, and how the country is not what the founding fathers envisioned when they wrote the Constitution.  Well Timothy, the Constitution made slavery legal... should we bring back that institution?  It's what the founding fathers envisioned.  Women weren't allowed to vote.  It took a Constitutional amendment to give them that right.  Should we take that away now because it's not what the founding fathers envisioned?

Sports are escapism.  We watch sports because we want to stop worrying about the real world.  Thanks a pant load Tim for trying to turn yesterday into some sort of lame protest rather than what it really was:  A chance for the Bruins organization to shine one more time.  A photo op.  A (probably) once in a lifetime chance to visit the one time residence of both Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.  And Tim, if you really wanted to make a powerful statement you should have manned up and met President Obama, shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and told him to his face how you feel about the job he's doing.  Instead, you took your ball and went home like a friggin' cry baby.

And for the record, this rant has nothing to do with whether or not I support President Obama's policies.  I felt the same way when Theo Epstein blew off President Bush and words cannot describe how happy I was to see the end of that particular administration.  That's about the politest way I can sum up my feelings on that political subject.

I would have been more than pleased to never learn a single thing about your political beliefs.  As long as you play hockey professionally I just don't care.  That's the very thing that makes being a sports fan enjoyable.  People from all walks of life with all sorts of various beliefs and opinions can come together and support a team as one.  The use of the word "nation" is very fitting in that respect.  Bruins Nation is made up of countless different people with countless different ways of viewing the world and we all came together to back you and your team... and you pissed on that.  Thanks Tim.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back Again

The cat is back in the laundry basket. What is the appeal, Patches? I need to know!

Laundry Cat

Never Again?

February is Coming Soon

Eight days and a wake up until the start of the RPM Challenge.  I sort of want it to start now.  I have this urge to try to write bass lines on the keyboard and then come up with guitar parts that fit and then place both parts over some sort of percussion beat and then stress out majorly over lyrics and melodies and then pick a few spots within the song structure to play excessive guitar solos that don't really add anything to the overall experience other than being fun for me.

Yeah, I'm getting that feeling again.  That RPM Challenge feeling.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Super Bowl

I can't remember exactly when I stopped trying to give a shit about football. It was before the Patriots won their first super bowl. It might even have been before the Patriots lost to Green Bay in the super bowl, whatever year that was.

I know I watched each of their super bowl appearances, and I certainly took the requisite pride in a home town championship, but over all football just became boring to me at some point in the distant past.

Having said that, I must state that I would sure like another crack at those Giants pukes and that little bitch of a mini-Manning as payback for screwing up our perfect season four years ago.

Go Patriots!

Further, didn't the AFC Championship game tonight bear a striking resemblance to the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? Is the Baltimore kicker going to turn into Sean Young now?

In all honesty though, now the fans in Baltimore have a slight taste of what it was like to be a Pats fan pre-Bellichick/Brady, or a Red Sox fan between 1919 and 2003...

In other words, it sucks about as bad as being a sports fan can suck. I feel for you, friends in Maryland, even as I laughed my gigantic fat ass off as the NBC cameras panned across the stunned faces of the Ravens players.

Solidarity, but only so far... if you catch my drift.

Again, Go Patriots!


Addendum to last night's deer posts...

The sun is up and the deer are once again nowhere to be seen.

Stupid dumb jerk camera shy deer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

8 Seconds

Our fireplace taken with an 8 second exposure. Woah!


First Fire of 2012

Bambi Pays a Visit

DSC_0186-1 by robj_1971
DSC_0186-1, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

The damn deer are still out in the woods right now but it's too dark to do anything about them. To add insult to injury, they are steadily moving closer to our yard! They are just messing with me now,

First Deer of the Year

DSC_0192 by robj_1971
DSC_0192, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

I snapped a couple of pictures of the year's first deer. Are you guys sick of these yet?

Acquisitions Redux

This is the acquisition that lead to the free gift microphone that I'll never use but mentioned the other day.

It's so... Small.

Methuen, Massachusetts

2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen0eccd69a2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen
2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen
2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen
2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen2009-09-02 - Spicket River Walk - Downtown Methuen

Methuen, Massachusetts, a set on Flickr.

Who owns http://methuenma.net/? I found a bunch of my crappy pictures from Flickr posted there. The stuff from the public group has my user name attached. The slide show of all of my crappy Methuen pictures does not. It still links back to me, so it's okay. I'm just curious.

Oh, and here's the slide show I'm talking about... I don't waste too too much time on stuff like this, do I?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Windshield Washer is Important

Wanna know what is important?

Windshield washer.

No, really!

You wouldn't think so, but really it is.  I don't believe I ran out of it today, I just think the line was frozen.  We got about an inch of snow last night.  Nothing special, just kind of annoying.  I was on route 495 south today and the sand from the snow treatments started dirtying up my windshield.  I tried to clean it off but, as I said, the washer line was frozen.  No big deal.

Until I pulled onto route 2, that is.  Route 2... East.  The sun shining directly onto the windshield took all of that mud and dirt and made it glow a bright yellow/orange.  It was like taking the sunlight and directing all of the brightness directly into my retinas.  That was bad.  Really bad.  But wait, there's more!  The road was wet too, so the sun shining onto the wet road reflected onto my already glowing windshield like a second sun which also focused directly into my retinas.  So I was blind twice.  I could look up and see the sun and be blinded, or I could look down and see the reflection and be blinded.

If I had some windshield washer available all of these problems would have gone away.

Windshield washer is wicked important!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Apparently the Bruins coasted through tonight's game in New Jersey, patiently waiting for me to turn on the game and start listening.

It was 1-0 Devils when I first checked in. Here we are about five minutes later and it's 3-1 Bruins.

Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Go Bruins!


This is the start of what often happens when one joins a band.

We start acquiring gear. This is the first example. Kinda... This is actually the "free gift" portion of the start of the new band acquisition syndrome.

It has begun, but I am going to fight the syndrome this time. Nothing more after this (strings don't count).

Except maybe for that neat looking Boss Harmonizer stomp box... Or maybe something that simulates a rotating speaker... Or a 6 & 12 string double neck guitar like a Gibson ED1275... Or... Or...


I sometimes listen to Sports Radio on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston during my commutes.  After working in college radio for three years I have learned to really loath some aspects of commercial radio... namely the commercials.  Every 20 minutes you get slammed with up to 10 minutes of non-programming between commercials and news updates and station IDs and general crap.  It takes all the fun out of radio for me.

WUML... station ID at the top of the hour.  Two PSAs per hour, one recorded and one live.  Done and done, the rest of the time was programming.  Granted when my show was a talk show it was filled with mostly awful talk show programming, and when it was just music it was generally music that no one but me had any interest in listening too, but at least there were no friggin' commercials!

What was I going to talk about?

Oh yeah, the Slingbox.

98.5 blitzkriegs you with Slingbox commercials.  The idea of a Slingbox is nice and all but I don't know a single human being who actually owns one.  That leads me to my question... does anyone actually own a Slingbox?  At this point I don't even care if anyone actually uses one, does anyone actually own one.  I'm not exactly a social butterfly (I just said I spent three years on college radio... duh?) so I don't know that many people, but does anyone out there in internets land actually own a Slingbox?

I'm Tired

Yesterday was rough.  I didn't get to sleep until after 3:00am and then was up before 7:00am and at work by 9:00am.  I made it through the first half of the day in a fog and then took some vaca and went home at 1:00pm.  I sat on the couch with a bag of doritos watching How I Met Your Mother and basically floating in a fog of sleepiness, but I couldn't fall asleep.  I might have for a little while, but not for long.

At 6:00pm the kids came home and I bundled them up and took them out to do something I have never done before.
---Shoe Shopping---

Yes, you read that correctly.  Rob took the two kids out to buy new snow boots.  Rob who can barely shop for himself took two young people out to try and buy footwear.  Oh those poor, poor kids.

My step son nailed his first choice.  Size, style, everything.  Nice job!  My step daughter... well... I failed her.  She does not yet own a pair of snow boots for 2012.  The first store we went to had nothing that she deemed worthy of putting on her feet.  The second store had a style she liked, but once she had it on it felt weird.  We tried a few different sizes, but she just didn't like the way the boot felt on her foot.  If we'd have had more time we would have tried another store, but we couldn't stay out all night.

Jen, my beautiful bride, wanted to watch the season premier of American Idol last night.  I don't like the show.  I am not a fan of the music-as-game-show paradigm.  I also want to vomit any time I see or hear Stephen Tyler.  Last night he managed to sum himself up for the public perfectly when he told a contestant's father this his 15 year old daughter was hot.  No, really.  He did. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Strangest Thing

I just had the strangest thing ever happen to me.

I was sneezing, and in mid-sneeze I had to... Well... Sneeze. The two sneezes somehow canceled each other out and it left me feeling stuffy with a bit of a headache and a cough.

Isn't that the strangest thing ever?


I was on call Tuesday morning.  The on call period began at 3:00am Tuesday morning and lasted until I started work at 9:00am.  The event which required the on call support was supposed to take about four hours and then the situation would be monitored for a while and then that would be it.

That's not what happened though.  There were problems that cropped up during the process and things stretched from four hours to about 12 hours.  Our folks on site did a good job keeping things going in a tough situation, but by the time it was finished the day staff was getting ready to go home.  I was asked if I could extend my on call to a second night.  I said okay.


I should not have pushed my luck.  I got called at 9:00 last night and worked until 2:00 this morning.  Then I was all wound up and couldn't fall asleep until about 3:00am and then the alarm started going off at 6:30.  I shoulda bettah known bettah.

Wanna know what else is pathetic?

The Bruins just lost to Tampa Bay.  Tampa Bay had lost seven straight games and were dead last in the Eastern Conference.  A Bruins win would have put us in first in the East.  Their incredible run of dominance is officially over.  They haven't played very well for the last week or two.  They are looking more and more like the 3-7 October Bruins and less and less like the undefeated in November Bruins.  I'm getting nervous.  We play New Jersey tomorrow.  Let's hope for better things.

Wanna know what else is pathetic?

Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, who makes about 500 billion dollars a game (slight exaggeration) had surgery on his hand (wrist?) yesterday and will probably miss the start of the season.  After a dreadful first year in Boston last season I was optimistic that ol' Carl would straighten things out this year and be a positive factor for the Sox.  Now that looks unlikely, at least in the short term.

Pathetic, ya know?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm Old

I'm old.  In case you hadn't heard, I'm old.  Middle age has arrived like a car that hits the puddle on the side of the road while you're on the sidewalk and hoses the crap out of you and ruins your whole day.

I'm not that old, I don't mean to say that.  I'm 40, I'm not 140.  No one is chiseling my name into a headstone just yet.  I just mean to say that I'm not young anymore.  My days of being a kid in even the loosest sense of the word are over. 

When I was younger I would set a goal for myself and be willing to put up with large amounts of crap in order to reach that goal.  Now I am not willing to put up with nearly as much.  Things that, in the grand scheme of things, aren't important, like a hobby or something that is just done for fun, that start to annoy me can just go away, while in my younger days I would be willing to put up with some annoyances in order to get the end results of the hobby or fun thing.  Not anymore.  If it's supposed to be fun and it's causing stress it goes away.

I am perfectly willing to spend 24/7/365 (or 366 in this year's case) just being with my family.  That's where the fun and enjoyment come from now.  That's where the focus is.  Everything else is superfluous and can just go and get bent.  My wife and my step kids and my family are all I need. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Hurricane EP is Finished... I Guess

Here's the fourth and final Hurricane Irene song.  It's only been, what, four months?  Five months?  Yeah, that should give you a clue as to the quality of this particular song. 

Here's the song:

...and here is the complete four song EP thingie that only exists in my soft little brain:


Listening to Tanya Donelly and making some Ramen for the kids lunch.

Pretty much perfect for a freezing Monday of a holiday.

Holy Cold, Batman

Cat = Jerk

I was going to make a cute kitty joke like - is that new cat bed big enough for you, Patches? - but then I reached out to pet her and she ran away like I was Norman Bates with a wig on my head.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Robin

Apparently this goes really good on scrambled eggs.


Is today the day that we watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2?

My nightmare susceptible step son is nervous, but also dying to see how it ends and blasting us with a barrage of please-please-please?

It could very well be movie time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


The carousel at the Mall at Rockingham Park.


Today is going to be one of those crazy days where we all need to be in two places at once. I never quite appreciated how difficult it was for my parents to cart the three of us around to all of our various events.

I appreciate it now though!

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 RPM Challenge

I just signed up for the 2012 RPM Challenge.

Somehow doing so on Friday the 13th just seemed so right.


Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th.  It's drizzling out and there is a lot of thick fog.  My 60+ mile drive to work only took about 1:45 today, but on a normal Friday it would have been a little bit quicker.  I think people were driving extra cautiously, not on account of the weather, but due to the raised bad luck potential.

The Bruins beat the Canadiens last night by a 2-1 score.  One odd thing about the game, Canadien forward Mike Cammalleri was traded to Calgary during the game.  He was pulled out of the line up after the second period and shipped off to Alberta for Rene Bourque.

Bourque has recently made a name for himself for being suspended for hits to the head.  Cammalleri apparently endeared himself to the Canadiens brass by saying that the team played like losers.  I guess that's enough to get you shipped out of town mid-game.

I've heard of players being sat out of games because a trade was in the works, but I've never heard of a player being pulled during a game because of a trade.  Nice of the Canadiens GM to leave the team short handed against their biggest rival.  Not surprising though as this is the same guy who hired a non-French speaking coach and then showed faith in his new coach by telling the press it was a mistake.  Swell guy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Twitter Rules

Why is Twitter awesome? Why does it rule the way it does?

Because someone on television wore a Letters to Cleo t-shirt tonight and "Letters to Cleo" turned up in the trending topics.

Not only that, but I was able to retweet tweets by two band members expressing their amazement.

That's why Twitter rules.
2008-12-08 - Letters to Cleo @ the Paradise - Casio 083

Merrimack River

House and Around Town 095House and Around Town 0742010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 0532010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 0432010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 013DSC_0103
DSC_0064-1File Under: Random Canoe SightingsDSC_0048House and Around Town 081House and Around Town 079Reflections in the River

Merrimack River, a group on Flickr.

Nerd boy started a new Flickr group for pictures of the Merrimack River. Wheeeeee!