Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best Kitty Ever


It's Halloween.

I'm on call.

We aren't trick or treating.

That's okay.

The city has moved the Halloween festivities to Saturday.  I am not pleased that we got our asses kicked by a massive hurricane, but it's nice that one of the results was that trick or treating will take place at a time when I am not driving home, and I am not on call, and Nana and Papa can come and see the kids in their costumes, and maybe we might have a shot at carving up a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Still a Mess

This road was open yesterday. Today it's a mile long backup.

MLB Predictions Recap

So... ummm... The Giants won.  In four games.  Two of them were shutouts.  The Yankees couldn't score in the AL championship series and the Tiggers beat them soundly.  Then the Tiggers turned into the Yankees and couldn't score in the World Series and the Giants beat them soundly.

It was over so fast that I missed it.  I caught about three innings of game three on the radio.  That was it.  It was over before I knew it.

So the question then is, did I get the pick right or not?  I picked the Tiggers, but when I did I guaranteed a Giants victory.  Naw, I can't fudge the numbers that way.  I picked the Tiggers, the Tiggers lost.  I went four out of nine in my post season predictions.  That's probably the worst I've ever done in any sport.

Can we just put this pathetic baseball season behind us and get back to what's important... bashing the NHL for their unimaginable lock out stupidity?  Word on the street is that the Winter Classic will be cancelled tomorrow.  GOOD!  The NHL does not deserve a feel good (ie, money machine) event like the Winter Classic.  They only deserve one thing and that it to cease to exist so a real top level professional hockey league can be created to replace them.

(Oh, and I am aware that I misspelled the name of the American League Champions.  I did it on purpose.  Learn your Winnie the Pooh.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Work Continues

I saw quite a few of these on the drive home. Many a neighborhood I travelled through had no power.

The cleanup has just begun.

Back Roads

Taking a back roads route home. Look at all the downed trees.

One Obstruction

This is the only obstruction I encountered on my whole drive to work.

Casualty #2

This one is still hanging there, caught on another branch, right over the driveway.

Hurricane Sandy Recap

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone.  In our house it ended up being more stressful than painful.  Our power flashed out once yesterday afternoon, but only for a second or two.  Other than that we were fine.  I took a drive around the block this morning to make sure we could at least get to the highway.  The roads had a lot of debris, but were otherwise fine.  There was one spot where a large bush had uprooted and was blocking one lane, but there were no trees, branches, or power lines down.

We were lucky.  The Methuen Police Department used Facebook to keep us up to date yesterday.  All road closures, downed trees and lines, and flood spots were immediately reported.  It was far and away the best news source available yesterday and I thank them most sincerely.

I said we were lucky. Last night I spent a couple of hours on twitter and listening to police scanners to follow what was happening in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.  By the sound of it, things were unbelievably awful.  The subways and bridges and roads were all flooded out.  One description mentioned cars floating down the street.  My heart goes out to the people of New York.  Be safe, you Yankee loving pukes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Beach Ball

It seems our neighbors received a gift from Sandy. A very large, partially deflated beach ball.



The best way to combat a hurricane is to have bacon.

Sandy Looked Like This

This is a couple of hours old now. It's what Sandy looked like from our front door.

YouTube Video

Who Knew

We lost power for a few seconds. When it came back our home security system went nuts.

Nice to know that it works, eh?


I failed to consider the whole opening the window aspect of the drive through.

Casualty #1

So here is branch casualty #1. It hit the driveway and shattered. Some of it hit the car. The car is now in the garage. Not that it can't get smashed in there too.

Sandy is a Bitch

The Governor declared a statewide state of emergency.  The President declares a state of emergency for a region that includes all of my state.

My company posts to its internal website that they do not expect any disruptions, and things should run normally.  In other words, come in to the office.  

Urgh.  Now I'm going to feel like a tool for calling in.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Methuen Police - Sandy Update

The Methuen police department posted the following notice on Facebook.  I'm copying it here on the off chance that someone in the city does not use Facebook.  Like that would ever happen.

Methuen City officials convened tonight to review emergency preparedness plans. During the meeting they participated in a MEMA conference call where they received up to date storm information.
Based on this information the Mayor has closed
 City hall for Monday 10/29/12. 
The Superintendent had determined it warrant closing the Methuen public schools earlier in the day.

Police, Fire and DPW officials briefed the mayor on the state of preparedness.

Sandy update for our area:
The storm should arrive in Methuen in the morning around 9 AM and it should have a duration of approximately 12 - 18 hours. The storm impaction will consist of on and off rain and sustained winds in the area of 30 - 40 MPH with wind gusts in the area of 50 -60 MPH.The heavier winds should arrive around Noon. The models show increased wind gust speed around sunset.
The rain should continue on and off through Friday night. It is possible that Wednesday night #Halloween may be postponed based on wind damage and on going rain. This decision will be made on Tuesday when a better understanding of the storm effects are known.

1. If residents who lose power choose to utilize a generator please remember to place it outside of the house and/or closed in spaces. The generator should be placed a safe distance from the residence and should be in an area that is well ventilated.
2. Please remember to check on elderly family members and neighbors during and after the storm.
3. Residents who suffer power outage may contact National 

Grid at the following storm central hotline and social media sites:

National Grid Electric
National Grid electric customer to our 24-hour customer service center – power outage calls to 1-800-465-1212 and any other calls to 1-800-322-3223. For those who are able to access the internet during a storm/emergency, outages may be reported and additional information may be found on our website at the following link: 

National Grid Gas
National Grid natural gas customers should call 1-800-233-532

As always you can follow Methuen Emergency News at these sites:
• Social media sites:

My Problems are Important Too

I don't like to get personal when I bitch about things.  When something is bothering me, I don't like to air it out here.  Back in the ol' myspace blogging days I did that from time to time, but only when I reached a major boiling point and just had to yell and scream at some one but there was no one to yell and scream at.  Since moving to Blogger, I don't believe I've done that.  At least not about things going on in my life.  I keep that hidden from blogger, and facebook, and twitter, and google+, and flickr, and so on and so on.

But I have problems too.  I don't live in a friggin vacuum.  You can lay your problems at my feet all you want, but don't think that just because I don't share my problems here that I don't have problems of my own.  Someone who knows me really, really well might have stitched together that something was seriously wrong over the last seven days or so simply because I was gushing over my anticipation of an upcoming Rush concert, and then that concert came and went without me gushing over how great it was.  If you are observant enough to piece together that I, Robert, failed to attend a Rush concert that I already had tickets for, then you could probably figure out that something was seriously bothering me this week.  I was having problems.  Big problems.

Last week was a bad week.  Last week was the worst week I've had, maybe ever.  The ship has been righted and all is well now, but last week was bad.

Things can be bad with you and I will always be sympathetic.  I will always try to help.  I will always do whatever I can do.  I will always do my best.  But if you aren't even willing to consider the fact that I might be having problems too, and if you're going to throw the tiniest shit back at me when I come out of it then the hell with you.

It's a two way street.  If you want me to be sympathetic to your problems, then you have to be sympathetic toward mine.  I'm not going to ask for help, because I can fix these things myself, but if you won't even give me the benefit of a little decency, then to hell with you.

Birthday Party

We are at a birthday party for my four year old niece and two year old nephew. The noise is amazing.

It's seriously fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Small Successes

The minimum goal was to clear the leaves from the area to the left of the driveway. I also managed to get the area to the right of the driveway. The grass to the left of the center walkway will have to wait until tomorrow.

I took these pictures because when my step son comes back on Wednesday and the grass is buried under leaves again I will have proof that I could see the grass today.

Yard Work Injury

I've been raking the front yard. Somehow this blister managed to both form and pop before I even knew it was there.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I just had a quick talk about this with my beautiful, brilliant wife and thought it was worth typing out.

We live in New England.  It seems like every year when the weather starts turning cold the local news weather departments hype up the first potentially big storm to such a degree that everyone within viewing range panics.  Then that horrifying storm hits and its just an ordinary storm and it was nothing to get excited about.  This has happened at least once a year for the five years my lovely bride and I have been together.  Even Hurricane Irene was a bust for most of Massachusetts, although it caused quite a havoc to our North and West.

Now we are neck deep in another autum and the weather is about to start getting cold and nasty and sure enough, right on cue, we have a storm coming that the local meteorological folks are freaking out over and hyping up to the panic point.

So how should we respond?  A very large part of my brain is telling me that this is all crap and nothing to get worked up about.  Every year we go through this bullshit and every year we get ticked off when nothing happens. This is no different.  Don't worry about it.

But there is this other part of me that thinks of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  The law of averages predicts that eventually the weather clowns are going to get one right.  Maybe we should tape up the windows and batten the hatches and prepare for the worst.  Maybe this time there actually is a wolf out there.

How do we know?

The Goal for Today

The goal for today is to see the grass.

Friend at the Gas Pump

I had a buddy hanging out with me as I pumped gas yesterday. I'm pretty sure the iPhone 4 would not have gotten a pic this close up.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fun

I'm not even out of the friggin parking lot yet.

Saving this for Later

Quick Wall Street Journal Rush interview.  It's not playing at work so I am just saving it for later.

Here Comes Sandy

Am I going to have to make another one of these goofy things?

Hurricane Sandy is on the way.  I'm trying to make up some sort of goofy joke based on the name, but how many Sandy's can you think of?

Sandy from Greese.

Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention?  Is this storm my punishment for going all Brit Folkie over the last few months?

Sandy Duncan, maybe?

Do we know for sure that Sandy is meant to be a woman's name in this case?  Could it be Sandy Koufax?

Regardless of who the joke ends up referring too, I hope this one spares us the way the last one did.  Granted, it slammed the crap out of other parts of New England, but let's hope the whole region gets at most the same treatment Irene gave Massachusetts. 

Hurricanes blow.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Walking Dead

I just finished season 2 via Netflix. I watched season 1 on Netflix last year, just before season 2 started airing.

I set my DVR to record season 2, but I can't watch it when the kids are home as we have a nightmare prone little boy and I fear that watching it at night after his bed time with the volume so low I can barely hear it would not be enough. I don't want to watch it on the tele when the kids aren't at our house either because I know my darling wife doesn't want to hear it.

So I waited for Netflix. And waited. And waited.

I don't think I can wait this time. I've turned to iTunes. I downloaded the first two episodes today. I'll watch them on the iPad with headphones on after everyone else is asleep, even though the scary is much, much scarier that way.

Bring it on!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Halloween decorations at the 99. Can you see the missus? I do so love her. With all that I am, I love her.

World Series Prediction

Well, my playoff predictions have continued to suck.  So much so that I am kinda losing interest.  I mean, every time I decide to back a team they lose like douchey chumps.  The Red Sox, the A's, and now the Cardinals.  It's almost like any team I pick to win is guaranteed to lose.

So here's my World Series pick!

It's Detroit against San Francisco.  I think it's going to be Detroit.  Their pitching is freakin' out of this world.  Now, assuming they haven't all spent their huge amount of downtime drinking beer and eating chicken, they should be enough to put down the Giants.

So after going two for two in the play ins, one for four in the division series, and one for two in the league championship series, I am four out of eight.  If the Tigers win, I finish the playoffs above .500.  If the Giants win I end up under .500.  But given that I picked them, there is no way for them to win.

Is it April yet?

Sunrise Over the Mass Pike

Morning Commute Recap

The GPS said it would take a two and a half hours. I gave myself four hours to allow for traffic.

The only traffic I hit was the last two exits on the Mass Pike... In other words, if I took my regular route from home today I would have hit the same traffic. It took 25 minutes to cover the last few miles.

Even with that traffic, the picture shows the time and distance of today's drive.

Morning commute

The GPS says it will take 2 1/2 hours. I have given myself four hours. Will it be enough? For this and other news, tune in tonight at 11.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Screw You, Connecticut

Hey screw you Connecticut.

(The above line is a test of the iPhone 5's speech recognition function. It worked on the second try.)

How do you know that Rob is in Connecticut? Because it's pitch dark and raining.

(That too was a test. I needed to add the punctuation.)

Twice this month we have driven across Connecticut, from roughly the Northeastern corner all the way to the Southwestern corner. Each time, the minute we crossed over the MA/CT border it started to rain. It then continued to rain throughout the entire state.

Routes 91 and 8 absolutely suck when it's raining at night. All of the other roads we took were bad, but those two just blew.

I'm going to start taking this crappy treatment personally.

World Series Match Up

So the Cardinals are out of it. That officially makes me a Tigers fan and pretty much locks up the World Series for the Giants.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Day After Tomorrow

Rush at the TD Garden... getting very close now.

Fan Fiction

This being the internet, it is a given that there are millions of really sick people out there.  But how sick and twisted and disgusting do you have to be to write adult fan fiction based on a Disney show?

I mentioned the other day about a Disney show that the kids are all into right now, called Austin and Ally.  Yesterday we happened to stumble across some Austin and Ally fan fiction.  Let me just say, What the hell??  If you want to write R, or NC17, or XXX rated fan fiction based on a story that already focuses on adult themes (I'm looking at you, 50 Shades of Grey) then I guess you can go have at it.  If you want to write that stuff based on a show that does not focus on adult themes, but includes adult characters then you probably need a new hobby and at the very least you should maybe think about trying to be original and not steal some one else's characters, but go ahead and do your worst.

But if you want to write pervy fan fiction about kid characters on a kid show and post it somewhere a kid can find it then I hope the other prisoners do really awful things to you while you are serving your sentence.  I mean, the closest thing I've seen to an adult situation on this show was one character being afraid to ask some one to dance with them at another kid's birthday party.  You want to use those characters as your basis for a story about drunken debauchery, then I hope your prison sentence is Sandusky-esque.


Can you see it? Look close.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Double Exposure

Yeah, I've got the Hipstamatic multi exposure thing on my iPad too. I love goofy crap like this.

Austin and Ally

The latest Disney channel show to capture the obsessive attention of my step kids is a particularly awful piece of garbage called Austin and Ally. The premise: Austin is a teen aged wannabe pop star with no creative talent. Ally is a teen aged songwriter with crippling stage fright. Give Austin Ally's songs and BOOM he's an overnight Internet sensation.

Yeah right.

Anyway, my step daughter and I had a very excited discussion tonight about how Austin and Ally absolutely need to start dating each other. She listed off a bunch of scenes in various episodes that had some degree of romantic tension between the two characters. She even started referring to them as Auslly.

I told her about Mulder and Scully on the X-Files and how they dragged that particular tension out for seven years. She threw in the Riker/Troi characters from Star Trek the Next Generation and how they milked the will they/won't they for ever and ever.

It was so cool to see how animated she got. This was just before bed time and she kept asking if we could talk about it again tomorrow.

It's so much fun being a step father. I feel so lucky that I get to have goofy talks like this with a middle schooler.

Who woulda thunk it, right?

Uh Oh

I remembered how to restore purchases on hipstamatic, so I have all my stuff back.

And they have a multiple exposure function now. Watch out!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Only Five Days Until...

...Rush brings the Clockwork Angels Tour to the TD Garden in Boston.

Siri Kinda Rules

Siri is so much cooler now.

Good and Bad

There were good things that happened in pro sports yesterday, and there were bad things.

First, the bad things.  The NHL, of course.  As I expected, the players rejected the leagues new 50/50 offer.  As I hoped, the players made not one but three counter offers.  As I feared, they stupidly kept their steps down to 50/50, instead of compromising and going right there.  The league rejected all three offers after less than an hour of discussion and termed the day a step backward.

So my hope and my fear both happened, and now the players are the bad guys.  I'm not the least bit surprised.  It's a negotiation between Gary lock-em-out Bettman and Donald strike-forever Fehr.  We are never going to see hockey again.

Fortunately there was good news on the baseball front.  The Yankees Lose!  Theeeeeeee Yankees Lose!

They got swept by the Tigers and looked like they never even came close to having a prayer of even making things interesting.  It was wonderful.  Thank you to all of Detroit.  Boston owes you one.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

iPhone (5) Astrophotography

The first moon pic on the new phone.

NHL CBA News Coming Shortly

From what I hear we are about 15 minutes away from getting the NHL Players Union's response to the league's most recent (50/50 split) CBA proposal.

Here's what I expect will happen.


The players will reject the offer and we'll go back into a retarded stalemate and watch the potential season go down the shitter.

Here's what I hope will happen.

The players will reject the offer, but make a counter proposal that will end up being one step closer to the final deal that will be signed in a week or two.

Six Days

Six days until Rush at the TD Garden in Boston.  Getting excited, again.



Have you ever had one of those strong, yet completely irrational feelings that today is going to be long and painful and just plain strewn with potholes?

'Cause I'm having that feeling right now, and I just want to make sure I'm not the only one who gets like this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ear Pods

I probably should not have picked a bootleg as my first ear pod (Apple's new ear buds) test, but I did.

They sound excellent. Much warmer than the old ear pods. I'm very pleased.

Oh and the bootleg is Rush playing in Philly on 10/12/12 and it is pretty good too. (It's the second source to be circulated) its the best boot of the tour so far.

Beam Me Up, Scotty


I think there might have been a side effect to the New England earthquake yesterday after all.

This morning I was in the cellar picking up some work clothes for the day.  You see, I wash 'em, I dry 'em, I sort 'em, I fold 'em, but I usually fail to put 'em away.  So most of my clothes are sitting on a table in the cellar next to the washer/dryer.

As I am digging through the pile, trying to find a shirt, I hear a voice from the sky.  "Your signal is weak.  Try boosting your gain."  It was a voice I recognized immediately.

Mr Spock.  First officer/science officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, NCC 1701.

Yeah... that Mr Spock.

A few seconds went by and suddenly I heard Lieutenant Uhura.  I then heard Chief Engineer, Commander Scott.  A few more seconds went by and I heard Captain James T. Kirk himself!

A couple of years ago we bought a christmas ornament that was a Star Trek communicator.  When you open it up and push buttons you hear voice samples from the TV show.  That's what I was hearing.  I guess the mild shake we got last night must have jolted the communicator inside the box of ornaments inside the closet in the cellar, and either the battery is dying and it's firing off randomly, or something is leaning against a button.

For a second there I felt like the fanboy in the movie Galaxy Quest when Tim Allen tells him that it's all real.  Only for a second.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Moral Imperative

I will finish this book if its the last thing I do!

Rough Ride Home

I had a rough ride home tonight.

Shakin' All Over

Have you ever seen one of those windy nights where the wind gust so hard it shakes your house? I thought I felt that earlier tonight.

I didn't.

It was an earthquake.

I Hate the NHL Even More Now

Oh my god, I hate the NHL even more right now than I already did.

Twitter is abuzz right now.

The league and the players union met today.  For the first time in the month+ long lockout, they actually talked about the issue that caused the lockout, the split of hockey related revenue.

The league made a proposal.  The proposal included a 50/50 split.  They had originally wanted the players share to be in the low 40's.  The proposal also includes an 82 game schedule that starts in early November.


They would have avoided all of this horse shit if they had proposed this to start with.  No, instead they locked out the players and shut down the league.  Why?  There was no way the players would accept less than 50%, and everyone under the god damned sun knew they would accept 50%.  So why use a friggin' LOCKOUT as your bluff? 

I hate them so much right now.  I hate this god damned league so friggin' much!




Monday, October 15, 2012