Tuesday, July 31, 2012


So yesterday word got out that the Red Sox were talking to other teams about possibly trading for Josh Beckett.

Today, Mr. Beckett faces Cy Young aka Justin Verlander and leaves the game in the third inning with an injury.

If Beckett didn't come off as an arrogant douchebag all the time I would feel bad. As it is I have a pretty strong feeling that he is pulling a stunt.

I wish they could have dumped his ass somewhere.


I need to put air in one of the van's tires. There is a car in front of me. After seeing him top off all four of his tires I am now sitting here watching him disassemble his mini van so that he can top off his spare.

There are only so many hours in the day.


There were no calls from crying kids last night.  Possibly because it wasn't Tuesday yet.  We told my nervous step son that he should try and stick it out until Tuesday afternoon.  If he couldn't handle it after that point he could call us.  I assumed that if he couldn't handle it he would call us no matter what day of the week it was, but tonight we will see if he took us literally or not.

We bought into a program that lets us send emails to the kids.  The camp prints them and hands them out at dinner.  I sent one to each kid today.  Best case scenario is that it gets a smile.  Worst case scenario is that they think I'm a doofus.  We shall see.

Fingers still crossed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kashmir in Salem, NH

No Calls Yet

The kids have been at their summer camp for over 24 hours now.  At this point, as far as I know, there have been no desperate calls to come and rescue them.  I mean, it's possible that Mom or Dad could have been in contact and the news just hasn't reached me yet, but as far as I know... all is well.

Dropping them off was hard.  Damn, it was hard.  Jen and I were both a little watery eyed as my step son walked up the hill to his tent and my step daughter climbed onto her bunk and out of sight.  I have been set up with an account that lets me send email to them.  I haven't gotten a chance to log in yet, but I definitely will tonight. 

I hope they are having the time of their lives, and I hope their parents and step parents can avoid going crazy worrying about whether or not they are having a the time of their lives.  My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


After dropping the kids off at camp today we found ourselves a few feet away from Vermont so we drove to Barrington and basked in the glow of hippiedom for a few minutes before heading back to Keene to stop for dinner.

There was a nice little square that we strolled through. It had a civil war monument, a fountain, and a gazebo. Look at the close up of the fountain. See anything odd?

Why yes, it is full of soap bubbles. The question is, is it supposed to be like that?

Missing Them

The kids are at camp. Lights out was 39 minutes ago. I really miss them. I hope they are all right. My step daughter was acting pretty shy. I'm sure she has lightened up by now, but I'm still worried about her. My step son was having trouble with the whole being away from home aspect. I know without question that he will have the time of his life, but I'm still nervous that he's going to have a tough time with the down time when he starts thinking about missing his parents.

We are up to 51 minutes after lights out and we still haven't gotten any phone calls. I'm so proud of both of them. They are going to have a certifiable blast this week.

Keene, NH.

The Kids are Packed

Camp Insanity

I packed up all of the things the kids were going to bring to camp, yesterday.

Yeah... Shoulda probably consulted the campground's recommended packing list before actually packing, right?  Right.  That would have avoided the pre-7:00am trip to Wal-Mart.

All better now.

I think.

Now if we could just find a way to keep a certain nine year old from being terrified over the whole week at camp concept.  That's starting to feel like a losing battle, but we'll see how today progresses.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Two Generations

Saturday, Busy

Today is going to be crazy busy.  My step daughter is at a sleep over.  I have to go and get her in a few minutes, then I have to take the kids to piano lessons.  Next it's my nephew's fourth birthday party, which is impossible because he was just a tiny little new born yesterday, wasn't he?  After that it's clothes shopping with my step son because he somehow doesn't have enough shirts to pack for a week at camp.  Then it's packing for the kids' week at camp.  They leave tomorrow.  I am going to miss them fiercely.  After all of that we'll probably be at dinner time, at least.  I think we're going to need something cool after all of that.  In the back of my mind I have this vision of the four of us eating ice cream.  We shall see.

Wish us luck getting through everything!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Today marks the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.  I found myself thinking about the games as I was listening to a news report on the radio this morning.  I asked myself, what is there to look forward to in the Summer Olympics?  What sport makes me want to turn on the tube and watch?

The short answer to that question is... well... nothing.  Really.  I have no interest in any of the Summer Olympic events.  The Winter Olympics include the best international ice hockey tournament in the known universe, so that brings me into the games.  The Summer games though... nothing.

The following is a list of events in this year's games that comes from wikipedia's 2012 Summer Olympics page:

        Diving (8)
        Swimming (34)
        Synchronized swimming (2)
        Water polo (2)
    Archery (4)
    Athletics (47)
    Badminton (5)
    Basketball (2)
    Boxing (13)
        Sprint (12)
        Slalom (4)
        BMX (2)
        Mountain biking (2)
        Road (4)
        Track (10)
        Dressage (2)
        Eventing (2)
        Jumping (2)
    Fencing (10)
    Field hockey (2)
    Football (2)
        Artistic (14)
        Rhythmic (2)
        Trampoline (2)
    Handball (2)
    Judo (14)
    Modern pentathlon (2)
    Rowing (14)
    Sailing (10)
    Shooting (15)
    Table tennis (4)
    Taekwondo (8)
    Tennis (5)
    Triathlon (2)
        Volleyball (2)
        Beach volleyball (2)
    Weightlifting (15)
        Freestyle (11)
        Greco-Roman (7)

Some of the events are mildly interesting, but not enough to make me get up and turn on the television.  Swimming and boating races are kinda cool.  All of the track and field events, including the decathlon, are included in the list under Athletics.  The decathlon can be interesting to watch, but really only if there is an American contending (I am a total homer when it come to the Olympics), and the events are spread out so much that I lose what little interest I have.

There are a few events that I might have some interest in, but they will never get the television coverage needed for me to be able to just pop on the tube and see it.  Archery.  I happen to really like archery, but it's probably not going to get any air time.  If I want to follow it I'll probably have to go to youtube or something.  Fencing is another one, although I haven't a clue as to how the rules work.  Fencing may in fact be the summer version of curling.

I am ambivalent about most of the events, but some I just have absolute zero interest in.  Shooting.  Wow.  Guns are an Olympic sport.  Yippee.  Basketball.  I used to be a casual basketball fan.  I remember the first dream team well.  That was 1000 years ago though.  After all this time the idea of professionals on the Olympic team is just boring.  How many games has team USA lost in international competition since Larry Bird wore the red, white, and blue?  One?  I know there was at least one loss because it was a national embarrassment.  Have their been others?  I don't know.  I don't care.

The Olympics are a great, historic event.  Well worth the efforts that each host city expends in order to make the games happen.  Any time the world can come together peacefully and make something hugely impressive happen, it makes me proud to be human.  From a personal, sports fan point of view though... if I want to watch an athletic contest over the next two weeks, it's more likely than not going to be a Red Sox game.  Even though the Red Sox royally suck this year.  Team USA is my team in a broad sense.  The Boston Red Sox are my team in a very real, very personal sense.

Go Red Sox.


James Bond Day

Google+ has a trending topic right now, #007riday.  I guess today is James Bond Day, the 50th anniversary of something... probably the release of the film version of Dr. No?  I guess.  Who cares.

I am going to throw out a question to the internets today.  How old should a kid be before exposing him/her to the James Bond movie series?  I am about 55% sure that my step son, who is nine, will flip with glee over Bond movies.  I think my step daughter, who is 11, will like them too although I am unsure if I want to expose her to a movie hero who is such a blatant sexist.  Let's just say that attitudes toward male/female relationships were very different in 1962, you know?

I often go to commonsensemedia.org with questions like these.  Commonsense says 12-13 years old for the Sean Connery Bond films.  I think that site might sometimes be a tad over-conservative.  I know my step kids have seen much, much more violent movies, and while sex is an undercurrent of all Bond movies, it is not blatantly depicted, even in the more recent films.  Sean Connery kisses and flirts with every woman he sees, but you never actually see Bond getting down to business, as it were.  I think the most overtly sexual aspect of any of the films is just the name Pussy Galore from Goldfinger.  

I freakin' love Bond movies.  I love them all, even the crappy ones are fun for me.  I want to share them with the kids, especially the Connery films... I don't want their first exposure to be Roger Moore like mine was.  It's amazing that I became a big fan when the first one I saw was Octopussy.  

So what do you think, internets?  Are the kids too young for Bond?  Remember, I'm just talking about Connery Bond here.  The Moore movies are, for the most part, too silly.  Dalton and Brosnan are both okay, but Craig is just too violent.  Lazenby... if Connery had played Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" it would have been the best movie ever.  As it is... it's not bad.  Tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alex’s Lemonade Stand this Weekend

One more time...

If you're in Litchfield, NH, or anywhere within the general vicinity, this weekend you should buy yourself some lemonade.  Just do it, you'll be a hero.  I promise.

From the Nashua Telegraph, written by Cameron Kittel and published today, Thursday July 26, 2012.

Litchfield family to host Alex’s Lemonade Stand this weekend to raise money for cancer research

LITCHFIELD – After a successful fundraiser last year, 16-year-old Casey Bissett will host another Alex’s Lemonade Stand on Saturday and Sunday in Litchfield to raise money for cancer research.

The Bissett family will host the lemonade stand on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 6 Carlisle Drive. It will be held in honor of Casey’s younger brother, Justin, who died from brain cancer in 2007. He was 7 years old.

Last year, Casey held a similar event and raised $1,200. Her goal is $1,500 this time around.

“The more money we can raise, the better,” said Darlene Bissett, Casey’s mother.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a registered charity and has raised more than $55 million toward finding a cure for cancer. It has funded over 250 research projects nationwide. The organization started in 2000 by 4-year-old Alexandra Scott, who held a lemonade stand in her yard to raise money to find a cure for children with cancer. She died in 2004 but the foundation has evolved into a national fundraising movement with thousands of supporters across the country.

This is being put on by a great kid in memory of another great kid. You should really go and help out. Really. You should really go. You should.

Alex's Lemonade Stand

If you are near Litchfield, NH this weekend you should go to this fundraiser. It's a great cause, it's run by a great kid, and it's in memory of another great kid. Please go and help out.



I've been forcing myself to use Google+.  The way I see it is simple:  If I don't use it, who will?  There are a lot of photographers posting pretty regularly.  There are a few celebrities posting pretty regularly.  There are no people that I actually know posting regularly, or semi regularly, or ever.

I've been cross posting from here to Google+ and I have seen a small increase in traffic to the posts I send there.  Granted an increase of one or two hits per posts is enough to really stand out.  I sent a post to the private page yesterday and was happy to see that the interface between the two applications respected my privacy settings. 

On the Explore page they have a top 10 trending topics list, just like Twitter.  Many of the topics are photography related and I occasionally throw a post or two to contribute.  Strange though that I never, ever see my posts in the search feed.  Ever.  Even when I set it to show the most recent posts and then dig backward, I don't see anything I've posted.  That pisses me off.

Continuing on the topic of the trending topics, many of the regular people who show up in the feeds have a high-and-mighty, Google-is-better-than-everyone-else attitude.  It shows when Apple, or Facebook show up in the trending topics.  Many people post about how crappy things at Facebook and Twitter are, and how Google is so much more tech savvy and worldly and refined than the other networks.  I wonder then how those people can explain the almost constant inclusion of Justin Beiber, or Selena Gomez, or Kim Kardashian, or Kristin Stewart, or Lady Gaga in the trending topics list.  I guess the upper crust just pretend those don't show up constantly.  More likely there is a shit load of hypocrisy. 

I want Google+ to succeed.  I want Google+ and Facebook to compete with each other as equals so that each company pushes the other to bigger and better things.  That's not going to happen until people start using Google+.  So go use Google+.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I haven't watched this in 20 years.

This video was the first I had ever heard of Smashing Pumpkins.  I thought they were unbelievable.  Most of my friends thought I was weird.  Two years later they were one of the biggest bands on Earth and most of my friends still thought I was weird.

Most of them still do.


Plans vs Resources

Last night I took a couple of pictures of a rainbow over our house.  I had been hoping to go outside and try and get some pics/video of the swarm of fireflies, which hopefully would be back again.  I also have this itch to take the 12-string, a mic, and the iPad outside into the yard and write/record a song or two.

Chances are neither of those things will ever happen.  Why?  Because while the plans are valid, the resources involved are not.  Time and energy.  Those are the resources required.  I ain't got either of 'em.  When I get home I just want to hang around with my beautiful wife or, if it's a kid night, my beautiful wife and my wonderful step kids.  I just don't want to use what little time I have, or what little energy I have left, on... anything.  Anything other than lazy family time.

I could probably accomplish so much more in the evenings on weekdays, but I just enjoy sitting down to a nice dinner with my family, and then spending some time together in the living room, and then turning in and maybe reading a little with my wife.  It sounds so simplistic and lazy and quiet... but I really love it.  I really love them.  I've been bitching a lot lately and I may not be giving the impression that I am the happiest man alive... but I am the happiest man alive.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I caught the last fading moments of a rainbow behind our house tonight.  I got one crappy picture, and one really crappy picture.



What Do You Mean Today is Only Tuesday

For the whole morning I've been convinced that today was Wednesday.  How the hell did that happen?

This training at work (and getting here an hour early) seems to have messed with my whole perception of the universe.  Suddenly Tuesday is Wednesday, Rick Nash plays for the New York Rangers and Ichiro Suzuki plays for the New York Yankees.  Suddenly I am completely a highway commuter who listens to traffic reports on the radio even though he knows they are all wrong.  Suddenly I have a car in the shop today and the other car goes in the shop a week from today.

Four days left until I am back on my normal schedule.  Four.  Days.

I can hack it.


I know I've been bitching about this a lot lately, and all one of you who reads this are probably sick of it, but 5:00am can bite my shiny metal ass.

Monday, July 23, 2012

PC Blues

My training room PC has mysteriously rebooted itself twice so far today.  I've been here for two hours.  This does not bode well.

I couldn't remote connect to my desk until after the last spontaneous reboot.  Try using any Google web application without having the ability to run JavaScript.  Such had been my morning.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Picture of Cardinals

I mentioned this before, but I finally snagged a picture of a cardinal in the yard.  Technically it was in the neighbor's yard, but let's not split hairs, okay?  I've been trying to get this little bastard for almost the entire time we've been living in this house.

Too bad the pictures royally suck.




Back Pain

My darling wife is having a bad back day.  She is seeing her chiropractor first thing tomorrow.  Anyone have any tips on what to do to alleviate the pain in the mean time?

Chances are it will be tough to do anything recommended as she is working right now (working from home with her laptop on the dining room table, sitting in the one chair in the house that doesn't make her back feel worse) but maybe after she's done being the greatest developer in the universe for the day we'll be able to try some ideas.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cars Suck

Our min-van went into the shop a few weeks ago for a whole slew of problems.  One was this sick, weird, scary grinding sound coming from one of the wheels.  They fixed it fine, but shortly after picking it up we heard a different, sicker, weirder, scarier grinding sound.  So the van has an appointment this week to get whatever that is taken care of.

Today I took our other car, which we bought new in June of 2011, for an inspection.  It failed.  Insert dumfounded look of dumfoundedness onto my face.  The guy who did the inspection said he has seen the same thing on other cars of the same year, make, and model.  I guess it's just a problem with the connection to the car's computer.  It actually passed all of the tests, but when it tallied the final results it gave a rejection.  So now the new car has an appointment with the dealer to get whatever that is fixed.

Damn, sometimes cars just suck.

On the irrelevant upside, I finally got a picture or two of the little cardinal that lives in our neighborhood (although I haven't looked at them yet.  Expect a picture post later).  That was one of my wild kingdom goals for this summer.  Now if I could just get a picture of the hawk that comes around occasionally.  Possibly a picture of it eating the little red cardinal.  That would kick many flavors of ass.

On another irrelevant upside, the bathroom is clean.  I think the kitchen is next on the agenda.

I Feel So Helpless When Our Baby Goes to the Doctor

Car Inspection Day - Only Three Weeks Late

Tonight Only

(Jen came up with this. I'm just forwarding it along)

Tonight only:
John Cougar Mellon Cat performs, "It's a lazy ol' Cat."

Get your tickets now!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bunny next door


Laundry kills me.  Our dryer doesn't work terribly well.  It gets the job done, but it needs to run for two cycles.  Last night I had two loads of laundry to do that had to get done before I could go to sleep.  I didn't get home until well after 8:00, and the laundry didn't start until well after 9:00.  The dryer cycle runs for about an hour.  The result of all of this is that I didn't go to sleep until after 1:00, closer to 1:30.  The alarm clock went off at 5:00 but I didn't hear it.  Jen snoozed it and it woke me up when it went off the second time at 5:10.  That means that I got less than four hours of sleep.  As a younger man I could easily make it through a work day on four hours of sleep.  Now, it's a struggle.  Less than four hours of sleep and I am a total mess.  Today I was perfectly fine from 5:40 or so, when I fell out of bed, until about 9:30.  That's when the exhaustion hit me. 

I am one sleepy red head.

I heard about the movie theater shooting in Colorado.  My thoughts go out to all of those affected by what some disturbed schmuck decided to do last night.  Here's hoping the wounded recover.  I don't want to see the already enormous death toll rise.  The whole thing is just unimaginably awful.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wild Kingdom Good and Bad

I picked up the kids at karate tonight.  We got home about 8:30.  I hadn't had dinner yet and everyone else had.  I got a couple of burger patties out of the freezer and headed to the grill.  The sun had already gone down and it was just starting to get dark.

I looked over toward the big tree in the back yard and saw the coolest thing ever.  Fireflys.  A gagillion of them.  It was like fireworks.  It was like freakin' lazer Floyd in the back yard grass.  I called everyone out to see.  The kids came out to the grill with me.  Jen watched through the garage door.  They all agreed it was awesome, and then they went in.

Just after they went in I started hearing rustling noises in the trees to my left.  It was a lot more than the squirrels usually make.  Could it have been a deer?  A bear?  A coyote?  A fox?


It was a skunk.

Not a big one.  I've seen skunks that were easily twice this guy's size.  He nosed around in the grass on the edge of the woods for a few and then he did something that disturbed me greatly.

At this point I was thinking... do I go inside and forget the burgers on the grill?  Do I stand my ground? Do I shut down the grill and walk away, so as not to burn anything and risk a back yard conflagration?

That's when the little bugger started walking toward me.  I stopped thinking about what to do about the grill and started thinking about ways to remove skunk smell.  Does tomato juice really work?

The skunk actually hopped up onto the patio.  I was on the patio too, but as far from the house as it gets.  The skunk stayed along the edge of the house.  The back door to the garage was open and the light inside was on.  Could the skunk be planning to go inside?  Damn, I hope not.

Nope, he kept his nose to the ground and waddled off the other side of the concrete.  He actually climbed up onto the cellar window for a second and then headed off, sticking close to the house.  He ended up crossing into the neighbor's yard.

So I guess the moral of the story is that living in a house that has wild kingdom in the back yard can have super wonderful moments, and some potentially smelly moments too.

It's So Early

This week and next week I have to be at work at 8:00am instead of 9:00am.  It's only one hour, that's not so bad, right?


Oh my goodness it's soul crushingly awful.  To look at the clock and see 5:40 and have to get out of bed or risk being late to work.  It's killing me!  My stunning wife gets up that early most days.  I should give her a medal.  I do not know how she does it.  Just knowing that I have to do it six more times is destroying me.

My kingdom for a 9:00am start time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Highlander is the greatest movie in the history of the cinema.

Wait... let me rephrase that...

Highlander is bloody awful.  The writing, the acting, the everything.  It's horrible.  It's just mind blowingly bad.

But it's still the greatest movie in the history of the cinema.

Larry, Mike, and I could watch it every night.  We'd tear it to shreds, laugh at all the worst moments, and still want to get up and cheer like fanboys when Connor gives that last, "There can be only one."

Then they made Highlander II, and that really is the worst movie ever.  It took all the bad parts of the first movie and made them worse, and then left out all of the good stuff, and added in the single dumbest plot device in the universe... they are aliens?  What the hell?  Did that just happen?

Then they made Highlander III and that should have been better because they just sort of pretended that the second movie hadn't been made.  It was better, but still pretty awful.

Then there came the television series.  What ever happened to the whole there can be only one thing?  I don't know.  I didn't watch it.  A couple of my fellow fanboy friends did.  They said it was good, but I never even gave it a shot.

Then came Netflix.  The series is available for streaming.  I thought about watching it, but never really wanted to start.  A couple of weeks ago I put on the pilot and stopped before the opening credits ended.  As soon as I heard Queen I shut it off.  I didn't want to get pissed off at a 20 year old television show.

Tonight... I watched the pilot.

Oh for heaven's sake... Bull from Nightcourt was the bad guy?  What the hell were they thinking?

Urgh, indeed.

I made it all the way through though... maybe I'll watch another one.  Maybe not.

There can be only one, after all.

(I heard a rumor they were remaking the original.  Go ahead and add insult to injury, you hollywood douche bags.  The key word here is, "one."  Assholes)

Traffic as Theme

Another drive that seemed real crummy until I realized I was in the parking lot at a shade under one hour. Still...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Traffic Part 2

After lucking out like crazy in the morning, I got traffic screwed in the evening. The traffic reports did not mention the jams I was stuck in, and the jam they did mention (and I went way out of my way to avoid) didn't exist.


Baby Turkeys in the Yard

On Sunday I looked out the window and saw a mama turkey and a bunch of little turkeys.  I snuck a few pics.








Well, I listened to the traffic reports and got burned again, but in a good way.

I'm taking a two week training at work and each class starts at 8:00. One hour earlier than my actual shift. Urgh is right.

Anyway, I was up very early and hoping to hit the road by 6:30. Then my wife heard the 5:53 traffic report on the radio. 128 South is closed in Woburn! Guess where I have to go. So I take the fastest shower ever and hit the road at exactly 6:16. The plan is to take route 3 South as a detour and brave the normal gridlock combined with what was sure to be a massive detour traffic...

I got to work at 7:10. 20 minutes before they unlock the doors.

I'm not complaining... This time.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Brand new and going flat already? Stupid jerk tire.

RIP Jon Lord

This is really sad news for me.  Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord has passed away.

I can't overstate how big a deal his music has been to me.  The first working band I ever played in did a slew of Deep Purple songs.  We tried to emulate their knack for mixing complex structures with sick improvs.  They were awesome, and Jon Lord was most of the reason why.  His organ playing just did it for all of us.  We used to try and copy the way he bashed away on Hush, but also danced across the keys on things like Burn.  Damn, he was awesome. 

He retired for live performance about 10 or so years ago.  Larry and I went to see Purple once with Don Airey in his place.  Airey is pretty freakin' awesome himself, but without Jon Lord it was just wrong.  I used to think that without Ritchie Blackmore the band couldn't exist, but both Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse proved me wrong.  (more so Tommy Bolin, for me at least.  I consider him a guitar god).

Without Jon Lord though... it was just sad.

Rest in Peace, Jon Lord.

Weekend Recap

There was only one thing that sucked this weekend, and that is the weekend ended.  Mostly it was just quiet kinda stuff.  No big trips or huge events or anything.  We finally visited Forrest Lake, although we just looked around.  The kids and I played some cribbage at my parent's house.  We finally got the chance to replace my step son's defective Skylanders game, although we went with PS3 this time instead of Wii.  In general, there were a lot of console games played, which is fine by me.  Not great, but better than TV.  My step son played catch... with a football.  He's teaching me to throw a spiral.  I need all the help I can get!  We went up North to a mini-golf/arcade/go-cart place that Jen knew about and shared the trip with her parents.  Then it was home for a little ice cream and AC repair (which was not a good thing about the weekend other than the fact that the fix was simple and it didn't cost a fortune).  A good weekend.  A simple one, yes, but a good weekend all the same.  I just wish we had 50-100 more days.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fly Jefferson Airplane

I've never watched this.  I'm just saving it for later.


Mini-Golf was a success.  We went up to a place near Dover, NH and met with Nana and Papa to play 18 holes.

18 holes of mini-golf in the 95+ degree heat with the sun cranking down on us.  Yeah.  We were hot and dehydrated and exhausted... and it was just mini-golf!  Each kid took a ride on a go-cart while we were there.  My step son was too short to ride the biggest cart by himself, so papa went with him.  A good time was had by all.

After we were done we came back home and found the inside of the house was awfully warm.  Our AC is not blowing.  Central air conditioning is the greatest thing in the universe, but when it goes down... Panic!

Jen has a release this week, and I have a class at work for the next two weeks.  Neither of us can take time out of work any time soon, so we get someone here tonight, or we just deal with it for a week or two.

Someone is coming tonight.


Mini-golf Waterfall


There has been a request for mini-golf today.  I think we can make that request a reality.

Now to just decide which mini-golf establishment to visit.

Decisions, decisions...

Napping Kitty

Musically Blindfolded

What the hell?  Mission of Burma released an album on Tuesday and no one told me.  How is that possible?  In this age of complete connectedness, how did that slip past me?  How is it that I was not following them on Facebook?  I feel like such a bad fan.  Granted, I'm still a little obsessed with the new Rush, so that's a big distraction... but still.

So the question becomes, what other events do I have to keep my eye out for?  Smashing Pumpkins has a new record out.  I think it would be cool to see Billy Corgan live again.  There is still the pathetic fact that I have not seen Pearl Jam live yet.  That's sort of embarrassing.  Jeff Beck and Steve Hackett are still on the see-them-before-I/they-die list.  I'd like to see Hot Tuna someday, if I can.  Jack and Jorma are awesome.  I'd prefer to see another Jefferson Airplane reunion, but I am not holding my breath.  There was another old band I was thinking about too, but I can't remember.  I should take notes.  No, I should not take notes... if I do that then this stupid page becomes something I actually think about before doing it.  That would be even lamer than it already is.

So, should you hear about Smashing Pumpkins or Pearl Jam or Jeff Beck or Steve Hackett touring... let me know, okay?

Damn! The Baby Turkeys Just Got Away

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Old Room

My step son has recently developed an interest in baseball cards.  Talk about my childhood coming back, huh?

In my childhood closet there lives a box full of cards.  Hundreds of them.  Possibly thousands of them.  There is also a three ring binder full of my favorites.  They have all come home with me.  So many cards.  So many players I can't remember and my step son will never ever know.  My book full of favorites includes a few names that I can't believe I ever thought were worth saving.  Bob Walk?

Oh, and thanks to steroids, my Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens rookie cards are nice and worthless. Assholes.

The Yaz, and George Brett cards still rule though.

Oh, and I found three photographs taken in a parking lot in Lowell in June of 1986 at my first band's second gig.  I also found a bunch of flyers and set lists from the shows we put on back in the 80's.  Now if I could just find a recording of us on a cassette tape that still plays.

Getting Our Asses Kicked

Forest Lake

Oh there will be fishing.

Disney Sure Makes Some Awful Television

The kids are in the living room watching the tube.  Jen is in the dining room working.  I am getting everything ready for a busy couple of hours of kid stuff.

My step son just finished a Disney Channel show.  I know it's geared toward kids and all... but does it have to be so freakin' bad?  I mean... this crap is just off the charts lame.

Oh, change of subject.  Today is Bastille Day.  You know what Bastille Day is, right?  It's a Rush song that totally rocks your face clean off.  I mean, it will rock you so hard that your skin will literally liquify.

Oh yeah, and there's something about the French Revolution too, but it's really important because it's a killer Rush song.


We had to make a quick stop at my darling wife's office today. Her company has cubicles. Actual walls and everything. My company does not. We are an open concept kinda shop.

I'm so jealous of her cubicle walls.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oh Great... It's Friday the 13th

Oh good.  Today is Friday the 13th.  Way to ruin the best day of the week, you stupid piece of crap superstition.

I'm not superstitious at all.  Not at all.  Hell, I shave during the NHL playoffs.  I walk under ladders.  I spill salt like it's the in thing to do.  But today... I have had a bad week, and I was fearing that the level of suckitude would not decrease even though the weekend is one work shift away, and now the calendar tells me that it's Friday the 13th and I just know that sucking shall continue at least until tomorrow.

Being the nerd I am, I checked the wikipedia article on Friday the 13th to try and find the origin of the superstition.  Apparently, no one knows:

Several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.
One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
  • In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
  • Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century's The Canterbury Tales,[5] and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s.[3][6]
  • One author, noting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907 but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lawson's popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth,[7] in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.[1]
  • Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common. The connection between the Friday the 13th superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in Dan Brown's 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and in John J. Robinson's 1989 work Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry. On Friday, 13 October 1307, hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested in France, an action apparently motivated financially and undertaken by the efficient royal bureaucracy to increase the prestige of the crown. Philip IV was the force behind this ruthless move, but it has also tarnished the historical reputation of Clement V. From the very day of Clement V's coronation, the king falsely charged the Templars with heresy, immorality and abuses, and the scruples of the Pope were compromised by a growing sense that the burgeoning French State might not wait for the Church, but would proceed independently.[8] However, experts agree that this is a relatively recent correlation, and most likely a modern-day invention.[5][6][9]
 Fascinating, eh?

Anyway... duck and cover.  Don't do anything crazy like trip and fall while Jason is chasing you with a machete and then just sit there and wait for him to start hacking you up.  Also, whatever you do do not lose your virginity today. That's just like begging to be the psycho killer's next victim.

Happy Friday the 13th.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Maine Pictures

I photo bombed your faces off yesterday with pics from our trip up to Maine.  Now I will do it all again with pics that were actually taken within the state of Maine.

You have been warned.


Like I said yesterday I tended to take pictures of stuff instead of people.  These are more pictures of stuff.  Mostly.  There will be a private post soon that has people in it.

That is our living room, taken from the side yard at night.  Impressed?  I was.

This is the best picture I took over the whole week.

I tried starting a camp fire one night and failed.  Uncle Ken was successful.

This is the back of our house.  Yeah.

There were perfect spider webs all over the place.  Not crappy ones like the jerks in our yard at home make.

At the edge of the lake.  It looks like there was a boat launch here in the past.

The ducks were regular visitors.  The kids loved them.

More great big, slippery rocks on the shore.

Something about this boat.  I liked it.  I kept going back to it.

Was this the beach they told us about on the house's website?  Probably not, it didn't seem to be public, based on the fore sale sign.

One of our two docks had a jet ski launch and park benches built in.

The next few are from a brief, failed excursion to Old Orchard Beach.  All the fun kid stuff was closed.

Obligatory pier picture.

The beach to the left of the pier.

The beach to the right of the pier.

The fire pit, as seen from the hot tub.

We were near the very northern tip of Long Lake and there was a little marina across the water from us.

Looking at the dock on the right, from the back yard.

Bridgton Fireworks!  Happy 4th!



Our living room came equipped with a sail boat.

I think this one is my second favorite.  I like the colors on the water.

There's that little blue sailboat again.

The little (probably private) beach around the corner from us had a dock for diving.  There were usually kids on it.  Even after midnight.

That bobber was put there by my step son, who is now a fishing fanatic.

I tried taking some long exposures of the stars.  They were all a little blurry.  Probably not due to the rotation of the Earth.

And finally, a birthday wish for myself.  I want the house we stayed in (it's for sale, for 1.2 million dollars) and this boat.  Can we make that happen?  No?