Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sad Kitty

She looks so bummed out. All the piles of stuff she usually hides in are gone. She looks like a kid who's been grounded.

There You Are Part Deux

Oh there you are, bedroom floor. I knew you were in there somewhere.

(Patches is quickly losing all of her favorite hiding places.)

There You Are

Check it out, we do have a living room floor! It's been there all along!

One More From Last Night

I tried to take this pick at the exact moment last night but it came out as a blurry mess. Therefore you get a pic from the next morning.

On the way home last night we officially said goodbye to our three year/36,000 mile warrantee.

After one year and slightly less than four months.

Pay Up

You had your fun yesterday, now you have to pay for it.

Clean the house, fat boy. MUSH!!!

...Sometimes I hate my conscience. Stupid do-the-right-thing jerk.

Leaf Peeping... Sort Of

We went leaf peeping today, sort of.  It was gloomy and cloudy and rainy but it was still a whole ton better than cleaning the house, and there was the added bonus of meeting up with our friends Kathy and Dave and their son afterwards.  It was a really fun day, even though the weather wasn't terribly conducive to foliage shooting.

These are from the parking lot of a hiking trail on route 302.  Note how the clouds are right there in the valley.  We actually drove through clouds on a few occasions today.



These are a few more from route 302, right near the two cascades.  The colors aren't all that noticeable, but they are still cool mountain views.



You could not pay me enough to take a train over that bridge.



Finally, here are a few from one stop on the Kancamagus highway.  Again, check out how low the clouds were.







Finally, I will close this post with my absolute favorite picture of the day.

White Mountain Waterfalls

My favorite thing to do in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is take pictures of waterfalls.

We saw two today.  The Flume Cascade and the Silver Cascade, both on route 302 on Mount Jackson.

These are of the Silver Cascade.



These are of the Flume Cascade.



Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Digs

We celebrated our 2nd homeownerversary today by visting what I expect will be our next home.


Mt Washington

We didn't go to Mt Washington today but we were close. We stopped at this place for a second. We stopped here a few years ago when we actually did go to Mt Washington.


Tilt'n Diner

I think our waitress is Greasy Reese Witherspoon.

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today we bought a house!

Hey Jenny, happy second homeownerversary!



My beautiful wife just said, "I don't want to work all weekend."

Translate to English... Lets go to the mountains!

In the rain.


Friday, September 28, 2012

No Hitter

I had a seriously shitty day at work today. My beautiful wife Jen also had a crappy day at work. We decided to go out to dinner, and when we were done we went out for a drink. She had a drink and I had a coke. Rest assured, my shitty day wasn't that shitty.

Anyway, while out for that drink we happened to catch the 9th inning of the Reds vs Pirates game and we got to see Homer Bailey finish off a no-hitter. Nice! It was a nice reminder that for much of the rest of the country, baseball didn't completely suck this year. Go Reds!

Get Away

Jen and I have a few days off from work together coming up soon.  We want to take the kids for a get away.  Where should we go?

Should we go to New York?

Should we go to Washington?

Should we go to the mountains in New Hampshire?
2009-10-11 - Leaf Peeping and Cathedral Ledge 093

What should we do?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Moon Over Karate

Sunset Pictures

Are these 4/27/12 Mission Beach in San Diego, CA sunset pictures the best pictures I've taken?  Could be.  I keep trying to get up early enough to sneak up to Salisbury or Hampton Beach to take some New England sunrise pictures but I keep over sleeping.  Someday.

2012-04-27 - Cove and Sunset 302

2012-04-27 - Cove and Sunset 344

2012-04-27 - Cove and Sunset 350

2012-04-27 - Cove and Sunset 371

Stargazing Homework

This morning at 5:40 my step daughter and I went outside to do her stargazing homework. We were one cloud away from total success!

We saw Orion. In fact we saw so much of Orion that I think we were looking at the wrong stars when we saw it Monday morning. We also found a clearing through the trees that should have given a perfect view of The Big Dipper, but there were clouds blocking it. Damn!

We also saw perfect views of Jupiter and Venus, which always make me happy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm exhausted.  I feel like I could sleep for a whole day.  Ever feel that way?  I'm generally fine, apart from a pair of very sore legs and what may be the start of a cold, but connecting the mental dots just seems like a struggle today.  Getting from point A to point B seems to require crossing mental mine field C.

So the word on twitter is that the lock out of the NFL officials may be ending.  I suppose the complete slap in the face to the integrity of the game and the shitting upon football fans everywhere finally wore the league out.  I don't write about football much.  Mostly because I generally don't pay any attention to it.  I'm not much of a fan, but I have watched a bit this year just to see what the horrible replacement officials would screw up next.  Now that this particular lock out is ending, I can go back to ignoring the NFL.

Oh that the same were true of the NHL.  Sure, the two sides are meeting on Friday to discuss non-core disagreement issues.  I suppose any progress is positive, but it is just so obvious that the NHL has no intention of resolving this dispute until after the players have started missing pay checks.  It is so clear that they have this target in sight, and that the league will stay dormant until that target approaches.  I am speaking, of course, of the winter classic.  If the league just happens to come back just in time to play that game, then it will be a complete slap in the face to everyone.  It will cheapen what previously had been a really great event and turn it into nothing more than a greed fest.  The hell with October, November, and December, they only care about the January pay day that is the winter classic.  It makes me sick.

The NFL and NBA had work stoppages last year.  The NFL and NHL have them this year.  Why do we put up with this garbage?  What is wrong with us that makes us let these actions continue?  What is wrong with them that makes them think they can treat us like this?

I think the reason why I am so completely exhausted might be because I am so thoroughly insulted.  I can't take much more of this crap.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I just heard that the NHL and the NHLPA are going to meet on Friday.  Yippee.  Hooray.  Zippidy do dah.

What a joke.  10 days into the league's precious lockout, with more and more players bailing to Europe every minute and the biggest breakthrough we have to talk about is the fact that they are going to blow off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before actually getting into the same room on Friday.  They have already cancelled everything through September 30th.  There is no way that the season could possibly start on time now without any training camps or preseason warm up games. 

Want to hear the funniest part of Friday's planned meeting?

They haven't decided where to hold it yet.  The league's main office is in New York.  The union's main office is in Toronto.  They are probably going to need months of negotiations in order to figure out who's office to meet in, and then who is going to bring the sodas and what brand of potato chips they want and so on and so forth.

The whole situation is so shitty that I can actually hear the flushing sound of the entire sport going down the toilet.  I am surprised that the players haven't begun forming their own league.  They could call it the Federal League (that is not a reference to the movie Slap Shot, it is a reference to baseball history).  It is time for the NHLPA to stop doing business with a league that is too stupid to police itself, so much so that days before instituting a lockout that expects to put a five year max on all player contracts, teams were giving players six year deals.  They are too stupid to survive.  The players should take matters into their own hands and form a new league.

To hell with the NHL.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rush Clockwork Angels Boots

Here are the dates Rush has played so far on the current tour (including tonight's show which is still in progress):
Manchester, NH
Washington, DC
Pittsburgh, PA
Indianapolis, IN
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Columbus, OH
St. Louis, MO
Minneapolis, MN
Verizon Wireless Arena
Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater
CONSOL Energy Center
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
United Center
Palace of Auburn Hills
Nationwide Arena
Scottrade Center
Target Center

How many of these shows have I managed to snag bootlegs so far?

9/7 in Manchester
9/9 in Washington
9/11 in Pittsburgh
9/13 in Indianapolis
9/15 in Chicago
9/20 in Columbus
and as of a few seconds ago, 9/22 in St Louis.

We're still missing 9/18 in Detroit.

Come on, Detroit Rush fans.  Let's get that show on line!

Stage Announcements

The kitty is acting awfully strange tonight.  I am starting to think she got into the brown acid.  That's a shame because they made that stage announcement and everyone knows that the brown acid is bad.  I think we might have to call Wavy Gravy over to help talk her down.

(Woodstock humor never gets old.  Okay, so it's been old for 40 years, but I'm still running with it.)


Remember the movie Ghostbusters?  There is a scene near the end when they are driving down the street with a police escort, heading to Sigourny(sp?) Weaver's apartment.  The music on the soundtrack is a song that goes something like Saving the day (doo doo doo) Saving the day (doo doo dooooo).  Remember that scene?

Yesterday I put a game onto my step son's computer.  He played for a while, then we went out for a few hours.  When he came home it wouldn't run.  I told him how to try fixing his problem.  It worked.  I think that song was playing somewhere.

This morning before sunrise my step daughter and I went outside looking for Orion.  The sun was about to come up so the sky was brightening.  I had an astronomy app that told us where in the sky to look, but the stars were very faint.  I saw two stars that looked promising, but as my eyes adjusted and I started to make out that third star in Orion's belt, I think that song started playing again.

Sadly it did not play this morning as I tried to divert us around a traffic jam on route 93.  I ended up getting them to their dad's about five minutes late.  My streak of step-dad heroism came to an end, but I can't wait to start a new one.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Twice today I have sat down to watch Star Wars and each time have been immediately called out of the house for bigger and better things.

I haven't even gotten to the first line yet!

My step son and I were just laughing our butts off about it.


For the first time in my life, I won a game of cribbage!!*

*when I say that I won, I really mean the team I was a part of won.**

**When I say that my team won I really mean that my step daughter won while I watched.

Constellations Suck and So Do Clouds

My step daughter has an extended homework assignment that leads me to believe that her science teacher has never had a teaching job before.

She has to make at least once a week observations of the moon, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and Orion.

Three problems: 1) weather. Have you ever tried observing constellations in the rain? How 'bout when the sky is cloudy. You know, like its been almost every night this week? 2) location. Our house is in the woods. Have you ever tried stargazing in the woods? Let me tell you what it's like... Pretty much impossible. 3) time. Orion does not rise until early morning this time of year. The Big Dipper is up in the evenings but its barely above the horizon. If we lived on top of a high hill we'd be all set there. But we don't.

Think about number three for a second. An 11 year old kid's science teach has given an assignment that requires said 11 year old to wake up and go outside before sunrise. What if this 11 year old cant see the stars in question? The assignment states that she move to a place where she can see the stars in question. So this teacher wants this 11 year old to go outside before sunrise and wander around the neighborhood. Yeah, that's what I thought. Like I said before, we live in the woods. Is she supposed to leave not only the house, but the yard, and the neighborhood too? Before sunrise? Are you effing kidding me? I guess she's supposed to do that in the evening too when the Big Dipper fails to rise above the houses and trees.

There she and I were this morning at 5:30am, standing in the middle of the street looking up at the total cloud cover with the 11year old freaking out because she thinks she's going to fail science and have to repeat sixth grade.

This science teacher is an asshole, and seems to be a completely ignorant idiot. If she wants, I'll get up at 4:00am and knock on her door to let her know.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oh Freakin' Yippee

Look what came in the mail on September 22nd.


It's almost Halloween.


This is what happens the minute you get outside of route 128.

Pay phone

They still exist?

The kids were fascinated.

Sector Two

Oh nothing, just listening to Xanadu in 5.1. Jen is questioning the rationality of the opium inspired lyrics. Damn if the drums aren't sounding great though.

Sector Three

Oh nothing, just listening to Signals in 5.1. Is that a different vocal take in the second verse of Subdivisions? And yes, the great injustice of the 1980's has been rectified. The guitar solo is way to the front. Amen!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Moon Over Supermarket

Irrational Panic is Irrational

I just heard that there is a major five car accident on route 495 in Methuen at the exit for route 213 and that there is one fatality so far and a medivac helicopter is flying to the scene.

Guess what exit I would take if I were heading home on route 495?

Further reading told me that the accident was on the South bound side of 495.  That is the opposite side that I, or my wife, would be traveling during our evening commutes.  However, it completely failed to dissuade my sudden irrational panic over the safety of my family.

A text message was immediately sent to Jen, informing her of the accident and asking her to let me know she was okay.  A google chat instant message was being written about 1.5 seconds after sending the text.  It would have had the same message, but my sweet Jenny answered the text before I could finish.

Irrational panic abating.

My heart is still pounding though.  I hate it/dispise it/loathe it whenever the thought of mortality peeks through the cracks of my loving family reality.  Damn that feels awful.

Everyone gets an extra hug tonight.

Rush - Grand Designs

The entire 9/7/12 Rush show from the Verizon in Manchester, NH is up on youtube.  This song dates back to '85 and it was the first time I'd ever heard them play it live.  It was a nice treat.


I swear I had something in mind to write about when I sat down five minutes ago... what the hell was it?  I got a work email stating that a bug fix I had been seriously waiting for had been upped to a status that was high enough that I can consider moving it to the customer... and then...

Empty brain.

We've got a ton going on this weekend.  Lots of kid stuff and maybe mattress shopping again, and maybe some cribbage. 

The new iPhone comes out today.  There are lines at Apple stores everywhere.  I had considered standing in line this time just to say that I had done it once.  I passed though.  I have too much going on at work to take time off for such foolishness.  Now I have to wait 2-3 weeks for my new phone to be shipped to me.

Want to know how much of a dork I am?  I was driving the kids to their dad's this morning and we passed Canobie Lake.  There was mist rising off the water and it looked cool.  After dropping them off I pulled over and took a quick picture (see my previous post).  As I was taking it I thought about maybe making note somewhere that it might be one of the last pictures I take on my iPhone 4.  Then I realized that, if I did that, it would be pretty much the most ridiculously awful nerd thing I would ever do.  So I put it here instead, to make fun of what a dork I am.

Enjoy your Friday, folks, and if you got a new iPhone 5 today then I am jealous and you suck because I am a jealous geek.  Blah!

Mist on the Lake

Mist rising off of Canobie Lake.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

iMac to Apple TV

I just routed my iMac through my Apple TV so that I could monitor the computer on our television.  It worked... sort of.

Audio wise it was nearly perfect.  The output was pretty low, but it was as real time as I could tell and it wasn't choppy at all.  It sounded pretty good.  The video though...  I have never in my life seen worse lag.  It took about three minutes for something I did on the computer to register on the television.

So I don't see us watching videos from the computer via the television any time soon.  Get cracking on that, Apple.  But fix the damn Maps app first, please.

NHL: Funny Ha Ha

It's funny that hockey season always seems to draw my internetiness to Twitter.  What's funnier is that even when there is no hockey I still seem to be drawn to Twitter.  I've been posting there a bit over the last week.  Generally bitching like a madman about the NHL lockout.

My current feelings are thus:

I hope the league dies.

A number of players have headed over to Europe already and I hope they stay.  I hope they are made welcome and to feel appreciated so that when the time comes to return to the NHL (if that time ever comes) they decide they prefer making big money in a good environment to making huge money in a league that is ridiculous enough to lock them out three times during a single commissioner's term in office.

I hope that when the league comes back (if the league ever comes back) they play to empty arenas all over the continent.  I hope we fans show our displeasure by not spending money on tickets, or merchandise, and by not watching games on television or listening to games on radio and thus drying up the broadcast revenue streams.

I sincerely want the National Hockey League to die for the way it has treated us.  Not just us, either.  Teams have begun cutting down staff work schedules to four days a week, effectively a 20% pay cut, and some teams have even started laying people off.

I do not want them to come back again ever.  I want that at some point in the near future, the owners of the 30 NHL franchises sit around an empty board room with no press following them, and no fans interested in them, and absolutely no money coming in.  I want them all to look at each other and think, what did we do?  We were making billions and we threw it away over (relative) chump change.

I want them to stand over the decayed ruins of a once proud and massively successful league and know that their greed and their lack of respect toward the fans ruined everything.

That's what I want.

Maps App

This morning I gave the new Apple Maps app a test.  I had to take the kids to their dad's house before school so I plugged in his address as we were leaving to test the turn by turn directions. 

It didn't work.

At all.

By the time I had pulled out of the driveway the app had gone to sleep.  Yes, I did have it plugged in.  The old Maps app would not go to sleep when the phone was plugged in.  Apparently, that is not the case with the new app.  A few miles, and a few turns, down the road I woke the phone up and it was still showing the first turn as if it were the next turn.  Pretty huge fail.  Now I have to say that I was running on an iPhone 4, so I do not have Siri.  Siri is the source of the turn by turn function's voice, so maybe that was related.  Who knows.

Based on my teeny tiny bit of testing though, I'd have to file the Apple Maps app as disappointing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

iOS 6

I have updated both of my iOS devices to iOS 6. My iPhone 4 took about two hours to complete the process while my iPad 2 needed closer to three hours.

I have done some initial testing and so far so good. The new non-Google maps app found my house. I posted a link to Facebook directly from Safari. The new App Store comes as advertised and I like the new update page, but it seems to run a bit on the clunky side. I'll try the turn by turn directions in the morning. The best of all though is that when I went to the Music app and scrolled through my very long list of iCloud playlists it did not lag a single time. FINALLY!

A Bad Start to the Day

Jen got up early for work this morning.  She left the house at a little after 6:00am (I think) and I got up to walk her out and give her a smooch at the door and say, "Have a good day, love!"

Then I went back to bed.  The plan was to get up by 6:40 at the latest.  I just wanted a quick nap before starting the day.  Of course that wasn't going to happen.  I sleep-snoozed until 7:10.  That pretty much guarantees that I will be late for work.  Damn my sleepy head!

Yes, I was late to work.  Five minutes late.  Here's the punchline.  I was 15 minutes earlier than yesterday, and yesterday I did not over sleep and I left on time.

Ahh, Boston traffic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kobyashi Maru

Patches is a killer, and we all know it. One of these days, BAM! Kobyashi Maru.