Friday, November 30, 2012

A New Type of Game? Interesting

Have you heard about Google's new mobile game, Ingress?

I'm intrigued, even though I don't have a  phone running Android.

Read this article and make sure you watch the video.

Does the NHL Exist?

If a professional hockey league schedules a full season, and then doesn't show up... does it actually exist?  The professional hockey league, I mean.  The season that doesn't get played definitely doesn't exist, but does the league exist?  I pretty much suck at asking philosophical questions.

The NHL and the NHLPA went to a Federal mediator this week.  They had sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.  Is anyone who lives in a climate that experiences ice during the winter surprised that there was no resolution?  I read that during the last lockout (the one that erased the 2004-05 season) the two sides went to a Federal mediator as well, and the next thing to happen after those sessions failed was the cancellation of the season.  If my memory serves however, that was in February.  I think.  I don't think the cancellation is imminent now, but I want it to be.  I want them to cancel the damn season and just get it over with.  People on both sides keep saying that a deal could be done soon.  If that were the case then the deal would actually be getting done.  There are also people warning that this whole thing is an ownership conspiracy to cancel the games that happen during football season, when most teams don't do as well in terms of attendance and ratings.  That to me sounds like the dumbest thing imaginable, but given how stupid this whole thing has been it wouldn't surprise me if all of the turmoil magically ended in time for training camps to open just prior to the Super Bowl.

I hate them all so much.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Official Telecommuting Recap

So my first official day as a telecommuter sucked.  One thing I learned is that when you are in the office, surrounded by other people, and acting like a professional, when the piling on gets out of control and you want to start screaming you can't.

But when you're home alone...

Scream all you want.

Windows on a Mac

There are a few things that I've come across today while running Windows on a Mac that will probably have me using my Windows laptop for future telecommuting days.

For some reason, while using a VPN connection, my Remote Desktop session keeps crapping out on me. Two, maybe three times an hour, for anywhere from a few seconds to about five minute, the Remote Desktop connection just goes away. It has always been able to re-establish itself, but it's annoying. My wife has experienced the same thing when connecting to her office via her Mac.

Another thing, my company's software uses the crap out of the function keys. These keys do not work on the Mac without hitting the fn key as well. That's a pain, but not fatal. Unfortunately the function key we use the most is F12. On the Mac, fn-F12 launches the dashboard. So every time I try to save something within my company's system, I also launch my dashboard.

One last thing... It is slow. The virtual machine running Windows locally isn't terribly fast to begin with, but when you add on all of the rest of the remoting it is doing... Well... It is slow. Not fatally so, but still slow.

So next time, the laptop.

Work Zaniness

Some craziness going on with work today. I have officially joined the ranks of the one-day-a-week telecommuters. I'm workin' from home today.

I'm on a Mac, running Windows 7 in a virtual machine. That virtual machine is connected to my work network via a VPN connection. Once the VPN connection was established I remote connected to the PC on my desk in Framingham.

Hi ho hi ho its off to 21st century work I go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Income Increase

I got a raise today.  I got a 10% raise today.

The downside of that is that my salary is so low that a 10% raise can be both possible and not all that much.

Still happy though, it was bigger than I expected.  It sort of makes up for that year that I didn't get a raise.

Not Tonight


Not today.


My wife and I started going to the gym again over the weekend.  Today is the first day we will miss.  My back hurts, and my legs hurt, and my foot hurts a lot.  We are both only able to walk on the treadmill for a few minutes each visit, but that's a whole ton better than the no exercising we were doing before.

I hope to get back tomorrow after work.  We'll see.  The weekend will definitely see me at the gym though.

Stupidity Tax

They say that the lottery is a tax on the stupid.

As of this morning I am stupid.  Twice.

The Powerball drawing for tonight has reached the half billion dollar mark.  If buying into that (twice) makes me stupid, then stupid I am.  I think the real stupidity is expecting to win.  The chances are something like 175 million to one.  That's probably not exact as I read it in a story yesterday and am too lazy to look up the number again.  It's in the ballpark though... I think.

I haven't started fantasizing about winning yet.  I'm not that stupid.  If you want to comment on that statement then I would ask you to wait until tomorrow, after I've set sail around the world on my gigantic new yacht.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It is Unavoidable

Christmas... it's now unavoidable.

Already we have started hounding the kids for Santa lists.
Already my wife has dropped big juicy hints.
Already the family secret Santas have been drawn.
Already the work yankee swap has been scheduled.
Worst of all, already I have started thinking of ideas for things I might put on my list.

It's not even December yet!

Monday, November 26, 2012

This Sucks!

Hello, and welcome to the annual post-Thanksgiving weekend post where I bitch and moan about how much going back to work sucks after a long, four day weekend.

We should get a month off for Thanksgiving, followed by a month off for Christmas.

This sucks.

Sunday, November 25, 2012



Bad Service, Good Fun

My father invited us for a random family dinner at Carabas in Tyngsboro.  That's a regular dinner destination for my side of the family.  We all like it.  Tonight it was my parents, my brother's family, and my wife and I.

The food was good, as always, but the service was just awful.  Out of the six adults, they managed to get four of the orders wrong.  I don't understand how that happens?

Anyway, my brother's four year old daughter and two year old son are freakin' adorable.  I just have to throw that out there.  The service sucked, but it was a good time anyway.  Thanks for inviting us, Dad.


Murray's Tavern (at the former site of Maggie Mays, where the wife and I went on a few date nights) is open at noon on a Sunday. Are they going for the sports bar thing?

Salem, NH Kinda Sucks

Everywhere we go in Salem, NH (one town to the North of home) the cell coverage just blows. We can't make calls, or send texts, or watch YouTube videos of adorable kittens.

Come on AT&T and Salem, NH. Lets get with the 21st century!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Interview

And then there was the Lamb.  Peter Garbriel's last.

Anyone else weirded out while watching Tony Banks?  Why is he looking at the floor all the time?

Selling England by the Pound Interview

After Foxtrot, you come to Selling England by the Pound.

I love rockumentaries.  

Foxtrot Interviews

Genesis followed Nursery Crime with Foxtrot, and now so do I.

Nursery Crime Interviews

Apparently, a reissue of all of the old Genesis records came with a set of behind the scenes interviews with the band members.  Expect me to post them all, because I want to and because I can.

Here are three segments on Nursery Crime:


Five minutes at the gym today might not seem worth it, but its infinitely better than the usual nothing.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Angry Birds, like everything in life,is both easier and more fun with a lightsaber.

The Patches Show

Just letting the interwebs know that Patches is still #1.

It's the Buddy Show

Today has turned into The Buddy Show.

Patches might be jealous.


Buddy has a soul patch. He looks like Bob Denver in Dobie Gillis.


Buddy is a laid back kitty... Not.

Turkey Part II

Following up on yesterday's Thanksgiving feast we are in Rochester for another Thanksgiving feast.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanks to the release of Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited II album, this is kind of where my head is right now, musically speaking.

No Peter Gabriel costumes in this set, but it's still the best video of Genesis from the Nursery Crime period.  Bigger and better things were to follow in the short term, but at this point they were already pretty fantastic.

That was fun

Here's hoping that everyone had as much fun on Thanksgiving as I had.

That was a lot of fun.

This Means Something

When the garage is used as a garage it usually means one of two things. Either we are going on vacation, or there are a ton of people coming over our house.

We are not going on vacation.

Dangerous Plague

We as a society need to have Jimmy Fallon neutered right now.  Right now.

The risk to the gene pool is just too great.

We can't have him going around making more of himself.

We need to put a stop to this plague before it starts.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my US friends. If you are not from the US then do us a favor and have an extra good day. Maybe an extra hug for each of your loved ones to let them know how thankful you are to have them around. Lets all get in the spirit of the holidays on this the last day before Christmas ruins everything.

Here's a goofy anecdote to start your day...

Last night at the dinner table I mentioned how tired I was. A few minutes later we were on a new topic and I tried to use the phrase, Freudian slip. Instead I said Freudian sleep.

I actually made a Freudian slip while saying the words Freudian slip.

Crazy, huh?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Out of the Blue

100B6910 by robj_1971
100B6910, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

Strange. This is one of the oldest pictures on my Flickr account and it got a ton of views yesterday without me cheating at all.

Weird, huh?


My drive to work is about to get a lot slower.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

At the 99

Bowl, formerly known as the popcorn bowl.

December 19, 2003

Do you remember what you were doing on the 19th of December in the year 2003?

I do.

I was playing at J. Rags in Tewksbury.


Ive been to Wisconsin three times, but I had never been inside a silo until today! My wife and I went to the local turkey farm to get Thanksgiving dinner so I got to share the experience with her.

Raymond's Turkey Farm

I want that one!

Monday, November 19, 2012

October 11, 2003

What were you doing on the night Pedro Martinez grabbed Don Zimmer by his bald head and threw him to the ground?

I was playing at Burgundy's Billiard Room in Derry New Hampshire.

Sick of This

I'm seriously sick of this garbage.


Dinner at the best Indian place around.

Plantar Fasciitis

I know I know... never look at webmd, you'll convince yourself that your hang nail is due to leprosy or something like that.

That's often true of course, but it seems like the article Larry just emailed me might be hitting my foot pain  right on the money.

Am I overweight?
Yup, grotesquely.

Do my shoes fit correctly?
Certainly not my work shoes.

Overheard at Wal-Mart

I went to Subway for lunch today.  The only branch I know of that is near my office is inside of Wal-Mart.  This is what was announced over the store's PA system just as I was leaving...

"Attention Wal-Mart shoppers.  On Friday November 23rd we will be open at one O'clock AM in the morning."

Ah, Wal-Mart.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blogger Anniversary

Happy 4th birthday to my blogger page. I still haven't missed a day, have I?

Yeah, I need a life, eh?

What Have We Learned Today

What have we learned today?

Today we have learned that laptops do not bounce.

Smash, crack.

It still works, but it's got a nasty looking crack in the body.

Ah Choo

I just let out the most powerful sneeze ever. It was like a Sith sneeze. It burst out of me and force choked an incompetent starship captain before I'd had time to open my eyes.

The goal for the day:

1. Clean the bathroom
2. Clean the kitchen
3. Get a new debit card

Goals are achievable even if I do suddenly feel like I have a wicked cold.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The Front Yard... Again

The front yard is once again leaf free.  The kids helped a ton.  I can only hope that we don't have to go through this crap again until next year.

Of course... there is the back yard too but...

The front yard is done.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shirley Temple Cam


No More Twinkies

This is awful! 

Worst news ever!*

The Hostess Company has gone out of business as of today.  The company that brought us Twinkies and Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread is no more.  They have been through bankruptcy court a couple of times recently and they were in a labor dispute (just like the idiot NHL) and just packed it in today.  You can read a short article about it here.

This is a disaster or epic proportions!*  What are the Griffins going to do after the end of civilization?  What is going to keep Woody Harelson (sorry if I spelled that wrong, Woody) from going off the deep end during the zombie apocalypse? 

Where am I going to get my Twinkies fix now?  There is probably a run on supermarkets and convenience stores as we speak!

Oh Twinkies snack cakes... we didn't appreciate you enough when we had you.  We took your for granted.  How will we go on?

*Yes, that is a gross exaggeration.  Don't give me any shit for trying to be funny, please.

Two Weeks?

I'm sorry, did I hear that right?  The NHL wants a two week break from negotiations?  Does that include this past week where the two sides barely acknowledged each others existence?

You want a two week break from the two month break you've forced onto all of the NHL players and coaches and trainers and office staff and arena staff and neighborhood businesses who are not getting the customers they depend on and all of the fans who don't have the game they give you their money to see?  Is that what you want a two week break from?

Friday Traffic

The scary thing is, this Friday traffic is the lightest of the week.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Albert Collins

I just found my copy of Cold Snap by Albert Collins on CD... one of those fancy gold CDs no less.

Prepare yourselves to listen to "I Ain't Drunk" around the clock!


I've said it before and I'll say it again...

The next time karate class lets out on time will be the first.

Random Thoughts

I'm forming this particular random thought based on something that happened to some one else...

If you consider some one a friend, don't pick a verbal fight with that person out of the blue after almost a decade without contact.  It's bad form.  It makes you look like a heavy drug user, or some one who is mentally ill.  Further, don't pick a verbal fight with that person out of the blue based on a character trait that has no basis in reality.  It's like picking a fight over the direction of gravity's pull when you tell your attackee that don't they feel stupid for thinking that gravity pulled up... when based on the fact that your would be victim's feet are firmly planted on the ground, it is clear that they do not believe that gravity pulls up.

It makes you look dumb.  It also shows your "friend" that you never gave a shit about them at all, at least not enough to get a core fact of their personality straight.  It also, as previously stated, calls your mental health into question.  Oh, and it makes you a friggin' asshole as well.

One final thought... the word "fuck" has four letters.  Get it?  It's a "four letter word" ha ha.  If you are attacking some one in an email and you mean to say "fuck you" but you actually type "fuk u" then it calls into question whether or not you have the mental capacity to have passed junior high school.

Okay, and now a final question before I change the subject to something unimportant... Is there some fundamental difference between a bitch from Massachusetts and a bitch from New Hampshire?  Apparently there is, but I cannot figure it out.  A bitch from Massachusetts pays state income and sales tax and has much better state services, while a bitch from New Hampshire pays no state income or sales tax and can't get the roads plowed and the public schools in towns with lower property values have a tougher time getting books and supplies... but does that really have anything to do with whether said person is a bitch or not?  I can't see how that particular word is any different between the states.  I must be missing something there.

In the immortal words of the singer from the Spin Doctors, " don't need to be a woman to be a bitch.  You just need to be a bitch."


And now a subject change...

Are you surprised by the Miami Marlins fire sale?  They have dumped almost every valuable player on their roster after last year going on a gigantic spending spree, opening a new stadium, and then coming in last place.

Are you surprised?  I'm not.  This is the Marlins.  They've done it before.  The difference is when they did it before it was after winning the World Series.  The ownership is different now, but the precedent has been set.  Spend lots of money for one year, then get rid of everyone.  Why is it a surprise now?  I knew this was coming even before last season started.  Duh, I say.  Duh.

Subject change...

Remember hockey?

No, neither do I.

Subject change...

The kids got their report cards.  Can I just say, WOW!  They are like superstudents.  They are like the Captain America serum version of public school students.  I mean... WOW are those report cards fantastic or what?

There were parent teacher conferences for both kids this week.  I couldn't go to my step son's because of work, but I got to go to my step daughter's last night.  Let's just say that that meetings were short.  Very short.  Here's a summation of what the teachers said:  She's smart, hard working, respectful, and awesome.

Yeah, I have the two greatest step kids on Earth. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dig it Again

Woah! What is this? Is it finally 2010? Google has finally given us a Blogger App for iPad!

I feel like quoting Joe Castiglione! "Can you believe it!"

Dig It

Hey, check it out! Google updated the Blogger app for iPhone. Just in time too, as I was using Chrome more often than not lately.

I hope it didn't screw up my preferences

Another Commuting Post

I left home a touch early today and cut through Tewksbury and Billerica to avoid the 495 South/3 South junction.

The result?

I was at work 45 minutes early.

Is consistency too much to ask?

Yes, yes it is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inside Joke

She wore a raspberry pickle. Raspberry pickles are nice.

(I can't believe we almost forgot that one)

Morning Commute

Last night's two hour evening commute was followed by this morning's one hour and thirty five minute commute.

What the hell?  It's infuriating.  This is the fourth week since July where I have had to drive to Westwood in the morning.  It's less than 40 miles.  I've done it in a little more than an hour at worst each of the previous three weeks.  Then today?  An hour and 35?  Are you friggin' kidding me?

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Guessed Wrong

I guessed that driving home from work on a National Holiday like Veterans Day (celebrated) would be easier than a normal day.  I didn't expect it to be traffic free, the way the morning commute was, but I expected it to be a little less painful.


Two hours.

Almost exactly two hours.

Screw you, highways.

I Could Really Use a Holiday

Wow.  I tells ya.  I could really use a holiday.  Just a random Monday off where I can stay at home an extra day and not worry about anything, or do anything, or anything.  Just a quiet day off.

Hey!  Today is Veteren's Day (celebrated)!  I have today off!

Oh wait.  I volunteered to cover the holiday at work.  I'm at work now.


Worst Part of Any Day

What's the worst part of any day?

That moment when my love leaves for work and we don't get to see each other for around 12 hours. That sucks.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gratuitous Patches

Star Wars Angry Birds


A Waltz on Crack

I didn't start out thinking that this would be a waltz on crack, but that's sort of where it's going now.

This is the HTML 4 version of the embed...
 November 2, 2012 by Robertjames1971

This is the HTML 5 version of the embed.  This one works on my iPad.


Coolest flash drive EVER!!!!!


Blasphemy? Perhaps.

For a Product Key?

What did you just say to me, Microsoft?

A product key for Windows 7 (not Windows 8) costs $109?

Just the product key, not the actual software... just the product key.



You assholes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Love My Wife

Reason #345531145 why I love my wife, Jen:

She is suffering from an unstoppable urge to get a new gadget. Tonight we went to the new Microsoft store to look at the new Surface. (It's cool, but I still think iPad is the better device, and Windows 8 is going to take some getting used to) We then went to the Apple store to view the new iPads. (The mini doesn't interest me at all, and is the new, new iPad just a new iPad with a lightning connector?) We finally went to Best Buy to check out various 7" Android tablets. (The new Samsung and Nexus are both pretty slick, and the new Kindle Fire HD has some promise too)

All the while Jen kept trying to talk me into getting a new iPad so that we could both have a new gadget. How could you not love someone like that. She is the best!

She said to me, "What's it going to take to get you a new iPad tonight?" I swooned right there and then.

Change of subject: Did you know that you can check yourself out at the Apple Store using the Apple Store app? It only handles one item per transaction, and items must be less that $300, but it sure was cool buying a back up lightning cable without having to talk to a clerk.

NaSoAlMo Song Idea #1

Check it out, you can upload directly from the iPad version of Garageband to Soundcloud.  And it actually works!

Too bad the song sounds like cow shit.

Bond Movies and GarageBand

I used the built in amplifier sims in GarageBand.  I added a couple of parts to the first of the November song ideas.  The riff I came up with was faster than I could really play.  I fudged through though.  While I was playing around I had Casino Royale playing in the background.  When it ended I put on Quantum of Solace.  I had to stop playing guitar because I got caught up in the flick.  Bond movies can do that to you.

Patches is Judging Me

On Call Blues

I am this morning starting my third day of a six day on call.  It was supposed to be one over night on call but it ballooned to cover the holiday weekend as well.  What holiday weekend?  I'm supposed to have Monday off for Veterens Day but I volunteered to be on the skeleton crew that covers the day.  Oh we'll.

My gorgeous wife is going to be working today and tomorrow for most of the time.  We can't go anywhere because we need to stay close to home for the on call. I think I might spend today flip flopping between terror over the phone ringing and messing with music for national solo album month.  Why not.

I have an idea for a lyrical concept that will more than cover an album worth of songs.

The new Bond movie comes out this weekend and we won't be seeing it.  That got me thinking... What if each new song was about a Bond villian?  I could make that happen.  I'm thinking that one song will be Dr No being pissed off over his hands.  Another could be a love song sung by Blofeld to his cat.  Goofy stuff like that.  We will see.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bad Advertisement

I heard a commercial on the radio.  It was selling blue cross health insurance.  The ad kicks off with a woman saying her family has been using blue cross for more generations than she can count.  She then says that her grandparents were among the original customers back in the 30s.

So the spokesperson for the company cannot count to three?  There have been more generations than she can count.  Well, there were her grandparents (that's one) and her parents (that's two) and her (that's three).  Yeah.  1... 2... 3...  Three.  There have been three generations, and she admits that she cannot count to three.

So the person blue cross has hired to convince us to buy their insurance is not smart enough to count to three, but apparently she is smart enough to buy health insurance.

You know... I was in kindergarten when the concept of Proof Reading was introduced to me.  Didn't anyone stop to proof read the script at any point?  Didn't the writer?  Didn't the representative of the ad agency who presented the script to the customer?  Didn't blue cross?  Didn't the engineer who recorded the voices?  Didn't the producer who supervised the session?  Didn't the radio salesperson who sold the time slot?

If you cannot count to three, then I don't want to hear your opinions on health insurance.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NHL CBA Speculation

As all hockey fans know, the NHL is still in their idiot lock out.  They are still trying to find a way to divide up their all but unbelievable record profits and the game has been shut down indefinitely while they bicker like little whiny bitches.

But there is new news over the last couple of days.  The league and the union have been meeting in an undisclosed New York location and the meetings have been going on for hours and hours.  While one would think that would be the expected behavior for two parties engaged in a labor dispute, they have shown us that the normal behavior is to not meet at all.  Still, this is not the new news I was talking about.

The big news about this round of negotiations is that no one knows what's going on.  Neither side has been talking to the press.  There has been none of the usual public bickering about who is not taking the (non) negotiations seriously and how we should love this side and hate that side and yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah.

Both sides have been mum on everything.  This is the best news imaginable.  That means the talks are actually being productive.  They might actually be getting stuff done!  There have been rumors that the commissioner has been spoken too by a group of owners who said enough is enough, get a damn deal done so we can make money.  There have also been rumors that a number of player have, through their agents, approached the head of the union and said enough is enough, get a damn deal done so we can start playing again.

I feel conflicted about this.  I want them to come back so that everyone on the periphery of the NHL, the building staff and the surrounding businesses, can get back to normal.  At the same time, I am bothered by the thought of the league coming back because it will eventually make a hypocrite out of me.  I very much want to not get sucked back into being an NHL fan... but I know without a doubt that at some point I will be sucked back into being an NHL fan.

Oh well.  I guess I should just support the greater good.


We got about an inch of heavy wet crap last night.

I hate snow. I especially hate Fall snow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Way Too Soon



I can't believe we're back to snow.

Was That Too Easy?

I am still really surprised at how easy the win for the President was.  I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a brutal campaign on both sides, but I am talking more about how clearly the President won.  He took all of the battleground states except Florida, which last I heard was still counting but with President Obama in the lead.

I expected it to be much closer.  I expected much more back and forth as all of the precincts started reporting.  I expected a long night.  I did not expect the President to tweet, "four more years" before midnight.  It was a very interesting night.

The best part about it is we don't have to think about a Presidential election for a long while.  Next up for us in Massachusetts is the Governor's office in 2014.  Let's enjoy the quiet while we can.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

President Obama is the Projected Winner

All of the news networks are calling the election for President Obama.  I'm still awake only because I hope to hear Romney's concession speech.

I expected this to be an all night affair tonight.  I did not expect anyone to be projected at least until tomorrow, if not even later.  The polls had been so close.  Just a few weeks ago the polls were pointing to Romney taking it tonight.

I am very happy.  I could not even begin to imagine the damage that a Romney administration could have done to the civil rights of Americans.  Not me, I'm a white male, but for women and minorities and homosexuals and non-christians.  I could not even begin to imagine an administration that would blatantly ignore science and reality.

I am very happy about the results of this Presidential election.  I have to say that I am more happy about the results of the Massachusetts Congressional and Senate races.  The Republican leadership in Congress openly stated that their goal was to get President Obama out of office.  That was all they wanted to do.  They did not work for their constituents.  They did not try to make things better for those they represented.  They simply wanted to unseat the sitting President.  Now they are stuck with him for another four years, and my representatives are all on my side of the aisle.

I am happy.

My name is Robbie and I approve this blog post... although I did not proof read it and I am very sleepy, so who knows what it actually says.

Four more years!

Election Coverage

There were three national elections that I voted in today.  We are watching ABC's national coverage and WCVB in Boston's local coverage.  So far it is looking like at least two of the three races were won by the candidate I voted for.

Niki Tsongas has been reelected in our US Congressional district in what looks like a 2-1 landslide.

A few of the networks are calling the US Senate race for Elizabeth Warren.  Her lead is still only four percentage points, but it is looking like we will have a new Senator from Massachusetts.

In the Presidential race, it is still too close to call, and there are still Western states with open polls.  Still, President Obama has won the Electoral Votes from Massachusetts.

I'm optimistic that my candidates will sweep tonight, but it's still way too early to know for sure.

Congratulations to Representative Tsongas, and Senator Elect Warren.

Cautious Optimism.


Driving home tonight, I was two or three houses away from ours when I saw a shadow move in the darkness of one of the yards. A shadow that flashed a white tail.

The deer are still out there! That was my first sighting in ages!

Political Ads

The onslaught of political ads is by far the worst part of any election year.  Obviously, the Presidential elections bring out the worst ad campaigns, and they start airing well over a year before the election.  I believe that the constant negative campaigning is a significant factor in voter apathy in this country.  I have no evidence to support that claim, but I would love to see a independent scientific study done.  The never ending stream of lying and hate just make me not care, and I have a feeling that many people feel the same, and that many more feel even stronger and end up staying home on election day.

Today, however, I learned about something even worse than the evils of political campaign advertising.

The only thing worse than the constant barrage of political advertisements is having to continue to endure said barrage after you have voted.  Having to suffer through the endless Scott Brown and anti-Obama commercials on WBZ FM in Boston was made infinitely worse when I had just left the polls where I voted against Scott Brown and for President Obama.

The good news, of course, is that it all ends when the polls close tonight.  For better or for worse, the insulting, insufferable advertising ends tonight.

Civic Duty Done

I just cast ballot number 65 in Methuen Massachusetts Precinct 5. Get out and vote.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Mouse Saga Continues

Prior to the disposal of the interloping rodent, I had done a cursory look around the bedrooms, half expecting to see a fuzzy corpse left for us as a present.  I didn't see anything.

Tonight, however, just prior to bed time, Jen my beloved wife noticed a small splash of red on the side of the tub.  I then noticed a small but much larger splash of red in the hallway between the bathroom and the bedroom.  Jen then noticed another splash in the bathroom.

So this begs two questions.

First: were the blood trails left by the same critter that went out with the garbage?
Two:  if the answer to question one is no, then where is the little bastard?  More precisely, where is what's left of the little bastard?

Mices to Pieces

In the end it was not Patches who removed the mouse, it was I.  It got itself stuck in a plastic bag and while Patches stood guard over it, I managed to dump the bag without the little fuzzy piece of crap escaping.

Still, Patches is a hero.

Of course, this begs the question... was there more than one?  Now that Patches and I have established the Fellowship of the Squeak, will there be a sequel?  The Two Rodents perhaps?

Tomorrow is Election Day

If you don't live in Massachusetts you can probably skip the next three paragraphs.

I just wanted to share a couple of links, partly so that I can find them easily if I need them between now and tomorrow when I get to the polls.

First, here is a link to a page that will let you look up the location of your polling site.  The city I live in just changed it's polling sites from public school buildings to other locations.  This one comes in handy for us.  You need to give it your address, including city and zip code, and it spits out your poll site.  Very handy.

This next link is probably something that most of us already know quite well, but just in case... here is a link to a copy of the ballot that Massachusetts voters will see tomorrow.  I find this interesting as it gives the complete wording on all of the ballot questions.

Now, I don't care who you vote for (well... I do actually, but not for the purposes of this little rant), I don't care if you think your individual vote is meaningless, I don't care if the weather is bad, I don't care if the weather is good, I don't care what time of day it is, I don't care how old you are, I don't care how young you are, I don't care how far away you live from your polling site, I don't care if the kids are home sick, I don't care if you are home sick, I don't care if you have to work late, I don't care if you have to work early, I don't care if you have to take a cab or a bus or a freakin' skateboard...

If you are registered to vote...


It is so simple.  Just vote.  There is no excuse for a registered voter not to vote.  None. 

When tomorrow gets here, go vote.

Patches the Protector

Prior to buying our house I tried to get across to my beautiful bride that the location on the edge of the woods would result in an increased number of creepy crawlies finding their way into the house.  The primary example of that has been spiders, but the biggest examples have been things that have stayed in the yard and not come in the house, deer, turkeys, skunks, and what not.  The only real surprise was once finding a very small, very dead, garter snake in the cellar.  I assumed that our cat, Patches was responsible for the slithery little bastard's demise, but I had no way to prove it.

There was one instance a few months ago where my beautiful, beloved bride told me that Patches seemed to be chasing something in the living room.  Whatever it was dashed under the couch and the cat followed it at first but then after a couple of minutes sort of stalked around the couch as if waiting for something to come out.  Over the last couple of days she had been acting in a similar manner around our kitchen stove.

Last night I was sitting up in bed reading (I started reading the Thrawn trilogy again so that I can better actively campaign against it being used as the next three Star Wars flicks.  No way, folks.  No way) and Patches went absolutely nuts.  She's a cat.  She does that from time to time.  This time, however it was more than usual.  She was running around like crazy, jumping up and down, pouncing and slamming her paws on the floor.  I looked up over the top of my iPad and saw why.

A mouse.

Patches was standing at the base of one of our floor lamps.  On the other side of the base of the floor lamp was a little fuzzy brown mouse (as cute as can be) staring back at her.  Patches swatted, the mouse ran, Patches followed, the mouse reached the opposite wall, Patches flung herself at it, the mouse ducked and ran under the bed, Patches bounced off the wall and spun around and followed, the mouse broke for the closet, Patches caught up and swatted again, the mouse took the blow and skidded off balance, Patches pounced again, the mouse deftly dodged her and made for the closet again, Patches dove in after her but the mouse escaped in the clutter.  Patches spent the rest of the night (at least the parts I was awake for) stalking the front of the closet waiting for the invader to come out again.  At about 6:00am it did.  It broke for the bedroom door and Patches attacked once more.  We pretty much repeated the whole scene, only this time the mouse escaped by hiding under the dresser, which Patches could not fit beneath.

When we left this morning, Patches was still nobly guarding the bedroom, waiting for the hated interloper to once again show itself.  Patches the Brave.  Patches the Bold.  Patches the Protector, defender of our domain.

I gave her extra treats on the way out this morning.  Our feline hero deserves them, and more.

Just please, when you catch the little fuzzy bastard, don't rip it apart and leave it on anyone's bed, m'kay?  Thanks, kitty!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Musing on Daylight Savings Time

So as we all (or most of us at least) know, daylight savings time came to an end last night.  We gained an extra hour of sleep overnight as the clocks shifted back to Eastern Standard Time.

As I look at it now, I don't understand.  For some one who got a whole extra hour of sleep last night, I sure am one tired fat guy.  Can I have an extra hour or two tonight as well?

The Avengers

I have finally seen The Avengers. It totally lived up to the hype!

Thanks to my family for humoring me and sitting through it.

I love you guys!

Bond Movies

We are having a discussion with the kids about the actors who played James Bond.  I am hammering it home that Sean Connery is the best.  The reason for that is because Sean Connery is the best James Bond actor.  I want them to be sure of that should the topic ever come up on the school yard.


That's my personal list from favorite to least favorite, but even my least favorite was friggin' awesome.  Come on, I mean... George Lazenby and Telly Sevalis beating the crap out of each other while hurtling down a bob sled track?  Friggin' Awesome!  Timothy Dalton breaking the defector out from behind the iron curtain using the oil pipeline?  Friggin' superspy!  Let's face it, they are all awesome.

I'm looking forward to Skyfall.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trick or Treat

We did our whole street, we did the street across the main street, we did the road down street to our left, we did the street to our right.

The candy haul was EPIC!

Trick or Treat Idea

This is just an idea we were kicking around.  Bare with me on this one...

Our city has moved trick or treat from Halloween to tonight, due to hurricane Sandy clean up.

My wife and the kids and I were just thinking... now that it's November and Halloween is past...

We should give Thanksgiving turkeys instead of Halloween candy!  Wouldn't that be awesome?  Think of all the happy parents!  Think of all the kids who wouldn't be able to lift their Halloween swag bags!

What a fantastic (bankruptcy inducing) idea!

We should totally do it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bat Fight

This absolutely needs to be reported.  It could be comedy's high water mark...

Bat Fight


Monty Python Holy Grail Ale?

This might be enough to make me start drinking!


"Wig" by Chelsea on Fire, 1997

Holy crap, this was a long time ago.

I think I was at this show... wasn't I?

Nix the Winter Classic

The word on twitter is that the NHL has cancelled this year's winter classic.  Fans and reporters alike are all in a tizzy over the axing of the league's signature regular season event.

My feelings?


Before the lock out  began there were many people in the press who believed that the league would shut down until the end of November, just in time for the HBO documentary on the winter classic to start filming.  To me, that would be the single most insulting thing imaginable.  That would make the situation infinitely worse.  The thought of the league shutting down normal operations only to magically come back just in time for it's main PR ball washing event and cash cow would be hard proof of how little the league cares about hockey.  The regular season can go to hell, just so long as we don't skip the event that rakes in the dough, while at the same time making us look really good.  That kind of screw you hockey attitude makes me want to throw up my lunch, and I am stunned that there are people who claim to care about professional hockey who think otherwise.  Do you really want hockey back, or do you want the glitz? 

Why not cancel the whole season, then play the winter classic, followed the next day by a coin toss between the Rangers and the Leafs (the two biggest markets) to decide who gets to hoist the Stanley Cup, and then immediately proceed to Las Vegas for the NHL awards ceremony?  And after that, wait a year and do the same thing all over again.  If the PR machine and the big money parties are all you really care about, then why even bother with the games at all?

Cancel the damn winter classic, and then cancel the regular season, and then cancel the playoffs and just get it over with and put us out of our misery.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Two Noteworthy Things

Two events took place tonight that are noteworthy.  One dumb and pointless, the other pretty awesome.

First, I stitched together a cheesy bass/drums thing as the start of my nasoalmo project.  We are underway again.

Second, there is a little boy in the house who just had a visit from a very fat tooth fairy who was terrified of making noise.

That second one is pretty awesome, still.

November Music

Another November has arrived.  Didn't the last one just end?

November is National Solo Album Month, as I say every year, and like every year I am thinking about taking a crack at it.  Also like every year I will probably half ass work on it for a day or two and then cave in and stop. 

As of right now, I want to do it.  I have not, however, actually signed up.  We'll see.  I felt really great when I finished last February's RPM and I would very much like to do that again (as always) and maybe the new challenge this year for RPM is to make it a follow up to a project from just a few months prior.  Can I empty the creative well in November and have it full again come February?

Maybe that will be the challenge.  Whatever happens, I will use my iPad again as that worked really well on the last RPM.  Maybe I'll do more editing and try to get songs into the 10 minute  range this time.  Prog it up, all the way!  Maybe one big 30 minute long suite.

Maybe nothing.  Who knows.  Who cares.

Give it a shot, you might surprise yourself.