Tuesday, March 03, 2015

You Ever Make One of Those Really Bad Calls?

You know how you make a few simple rules for yourself, based on past experiences? Then for some ridiculously stupid reason you completely forget about them?

I guess only completely wasting three months is considered not so bad, some waste far more time than that!
Some lady posted advice today on a town bulletin board about shoveling out your gas meter if it is under snow because some of the snow that got to it (falling snow and ice) could potentially have caused a gas leak. I replied to this that her post was a bit irresponsible as it did not address the possibility of causing that type of damage or worse by attempting to shovel it out and/or crack ice around it. In fact, she actually removed my reply...what a dumbass!
Been doing crock pot meals on Sundays the past few weeks. Today when I picked up my kid, she said she was a little disappointed to no find leftovers in her lunchbox Monday...I raised her right :)
Oh, talking loudly and with a tone of authority does not mean you know what the fuck you are talking about. Spread the word!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Osmond for a Day

This is what I brought up to the counter at CVS and uttered the following comment to the gentleman behind the counter, "this must be what it feels like to be an Osmond". Unfortunately, the gentleman in his thick Russian accent said, "I am sorry, who is this Osmond?"

I thought it was too good not to share. Now, since some of you will rib me as to why I would consider buying that much toothpaste at one time, the answer is simple, the combination of sale pricing and extrabucks made it such that it makes perfect sense. 

Go ahead, rib away, I know you are going to. 

BTW, I can still do a pretty decent Russian accent from all those years working on Kings Highway!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Wack-a-Doodle Server and Phoebe Cates

I may as well begin this post with a photo of Phoebe Cates from the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". My buddy John and I were sitting in a lounge watching a local musician play. At some point in the evening, a young lady who looked just like this young Phoebe Cates walked in and sat at the bar in front of us with her boyfriend. Talk about a distraction! John and I had several FTRH references ready to go, and of course, we made a number of jokes and had several FB posts as a result of this visit from "Phoebe".

The server was a real trip, a nice enough person but she was one of the least competent servers I've ever encountered. Not only was she slow, she screwed up literally every single order she took - I became obsessed with watching her work. It was mesmerizing is a way to see someone just mangle every single order and the interactions with those whose orders she mangled....some really amazing facial expressions on customers faces.

Friday, February 27, 2015

12 Flawless Albums that only have Great Songs: The Commentary - Part 2

Picking up where I left off:

Jar of Flies - Alice in Chains
There is a lot of good about this record, technically an EP, but I would not place it on a list where the claim is that all is great within.

Lateralus - Tool
I can't say this doesn't belong here, just that it doesn't belong here if I were creating this list. I've never been a big Tool fan and in attempting to listen back to this record, nothing about it really moved me at all, I couldn't make it through an entire song.

Siamese Dream - The Smashing Pumpkins
When The Smashing Pumpkins first hit the scene, I wasn't right on board, it took a few years for me to warm up to them. While for me, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is my fave, this is a great record and has aged so very well.

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
If anyone reading this has any question as to whether or not this record belongs on such a list, please, listen to it; a timeless classic.

Boston - Boston
One of three vinyl records released in the 1970's that I've played enough times to actually wear out the vinyl and need to replace; I'm guessing you can figure out what that means in terms of this list.

OK Computer - Radiohead
I like Radiohead, but I am not one of their die hards - and while it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that I could take or leave them, most people would perceive that as a mostly negative statement, and I don't mean it to be.

Graceland - Paul Simon
I think Graceland is one of the most important records ever made, it stretches the boundaries of music through cultural discovery and has a social context. I have always loved this record and while I haven't listened to it in its entirety in a couple of years, I plan to do so soon.

Okay then, that covers this list from wherever I got it. I hope that seeing it at least stimulating some thinking, as it did with me. Of course, feel free to comment or drop me a line and offer some of your own commentary,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12 Flawless Albums that only have Great Songs: The Commentary - Part 1

Time for some commentary on "12 Flawless Albums that only have Great Songs":

Kind of Blue - Mile Davis
This record has been around a few years longer than me, and somehow, it has eluded me until I saw it on this list and had to give it a listen. I was able to get a copy from the library and almost immediately was mesmerized at its brilliance. For certain, there is not a bad moment on this record.

Sufjan Stevens Invites You to Come on Feel the Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens
While familiar with Sufjan Steven, I wasn not familiar with this record but have listened to it several times since learning of it from this list and i agree again, this is a beautiful record and every track is wonderful.

Deloused in the Comatorium - The Mars Volta
Yet another record I was not familiar with and decided to listen to yesterday. After getting through about half of the album, I had to stop it, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Revolver - The Beatles
Hard to find fault here, Revolver is spectacular. I must say that for me though, if I personally am only putting one Beatles record on this list, it's gotta be Rubber Soul.

2001 - Dr. Dre
Despite the incessant foul language and excessive misogyny, there is some credence to this record in the landscape of hip-hop music, it is hard to listen to though because it is just too sexist. That said, I'm torn as to whether or not it deserves to be on this list - I might replace it with Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys or Walking with A Panther by LL Cool J, perhaps Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood by DMX.

Will get to the rest of the list in another post.

35 Years Ago Today...

I was a sophomore at Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn. I had a crush on a classmate, and gave her a birthday card that had the following inside:

You may not be an angel
I know you're not a saint
But I like you for what you are
Not for what you ain't

I guess there is something to be said about a greeting card that can embed itself in your memory for 35 years.

Happy Birthday Annmarie, wherever you are!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

12 Flawless Albums that only have Great Songs

I can't for the life of me recall where I saw this list, I do recall it was a few months ago and I wrote it on a piece of scrap paper. I'll offer the list first:

  1. Kind of Blue - Mile Davis
  2. Sufjan Stevens Invites You to Come on Feel the Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens
  3. Deloused in the Comatorium - The Mars Volta
  4. Revolver - The Beatles
  5. 2001 - Dr. Dre
  6. Jar of Flies - Alice in Chains
  7. Lateralus - Tool
  8. Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins
  9. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
  10. Boston - Boston
  11. OK Computer - Radiohead
  12. Graceland - Paul Simon
Over the next few days (or some as yet undetermined period of time, I will offer some commentary on each entry. Tell me what your first reaction is?

My initial reaction to the list was, "I don't know some of this stuff", then, "Boy has it been a while".

Monday, February 23, 2015

Support the Boob-tacular!

My friend Erin is taking on the 39 mile challenge to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Please, click the logo above to go to her fundraising page and contribute to help her reach her goal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


If you were hosting a 4th of July BBQ in your back yard and had people coming over and a whole set up planned for the out of doors...then you woke up and it was 39 degrees (Fahrenheit), you'd be mortified, upset, freaking out and complaining about how it could possibly be so cold outside.

Today, it hit 39 degrees outside and you would have thought it was 3 degrees cooler than Hades. People had their coats unzipped, there were no hats or gloves to be found anywhere and I even saw one putz wearing a pair of shorts.

Global warming one day will kill every living inhabitant of our planet, but for now, it's kind of a pisser.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Grown up Boots

I first claimed to need warmer boots on this blog back in 2008, several times since, in more recent years, I talked of how it was time to buy a pair of "grown up boots".

Finally, after talking about it for years, then missing the damn inventory at L.L. Bean, I have placed my order!

These boots pictured here are hand made in Maine, and sell out every year. Of course, the past few years, I missed out and talk about how I am going to get in on the next batch and have missed out several times.

A few weeks ago, I got a 25% off coupon in email and thought this was the time, the 25% off was a nice incentive since these boots are a steep $199. I placed my order!!!

This morning, I get an email with a 30% off coupon. So, I placed another order, then when confirmed, I cancelled the order I placed at 25% off. Hey, another $10 is another $10.

Looking forward to a quality book that will keep my feet warm and dry and even have a lifetime guarantee; I feel so grown up.

An Update on The Wiper Fluid Situation

It wasn't until around noon, or somewhere around there, that I ventured out into the garage to see what the deal was. I noticed that some residual oil had floated to the top of the reservoir, so I siphoned out everything. I then filled the reservoir with warm water. I had to run out for groceries, so i did than and on my way back figured I'd give it a whirl...lo and behold, the liquid began shooting out as if all was fine.

On the ride home, I kept spraying with the intent of getting close to the bottom of the reservoir. When I got home, I couldn't see any residual oil, certainly not in any large enough quantity. I siphoned out the small amount of remaining water and refilled with the blue stuff.

Hopefully, all is going to be fine from here on out.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Please, Learn from My Mistake

Like most people dealing with the weather we've been having here, I've been blowing through windshield washer fluid quite rapidly. With the extreme cold though, of late, I can't get it to dispense all the time - I am assuming that there is a freezing situation as it does sometimes work fine.

I thought that instead of using the more common blue stuff, that I would fill up with the yellow - which I recall (not sure if I recall correctly, but that is neither here nor there at this point) can withstand colder temperatures. I knew that I had about half a gallon or so of the yellow stuff in the garage and my plan was to fill up the reservoir before leaving the house this morning.

My daughter was getting ready, we've been doing college tours this week and were soon to be leaving for our last one. I yelled up to her that I was heading into the garage for a few and off I went. I popped the hood, grabbed the jug with the yellow stuff and began to pour. As it was nearing the top off point and I adjusted the jug to prevent overflow, it seemed to me that the viscosity of the liquid was a bit thick. For some reason, I thought, let me take a little whiff, even though I couldn't imagine what a whiff would prove, turns out, taking a whiff was a good idea.

If you are not sitting down, this is a good time to do so, You are soon about to laugh at me so hard that you might fall down and injure yourself.

Once I took that whiff, all I could think is, "OH FUCK! What the hell have I done!" You see, the whiff made me realize that I just filled the windshield washer reservoir of my car with used vegetable oil. At some point, I must have used the jug to empty my deep fryer. What I failed to do is take a sharpie to the jug and/or remove the original label not thinking that a year later, I wouldn't recognize the difference between yellow windshield washer fluid and similarly yellow (not so sure how similar it would be side by side) used vegetable oil.

Just checking in, I hope you did not injure yourself while laughing at me. BTW, no need to feel any guilt for laughing at me, I deserve it.

Initially, I was in shock at myself and flustered, I only new that I had to drive to Boston for an appointment with my kid to tour a college and there was not much time to really do anything about it. I knew that I had to avoid triggering the sprayer or I'd end up with oily windows that would probably be way harder to see through than the already difficult to see through salt-laden windows,

As I pulled out of the driveway poking fun at myself, it occurred to me that I might be able to siphon out the vegetable oil. I didn't have a lot of time to spare but on the route to my destination is a Harbor Freight tools store and I knew they sell an inexpensive ($6.99) siphon pump, so I made my way with the intent to stop there to pick up one before heading off into Boston. I also kept repeating to myself that no matter how filthy the windshield got with road salt and residue, not to trigger the shpritzer!

As I write this, I have siphoned out as much of the vegetable oil as I could. I refilled with the blue stuff with the plan to flush out all of it then refill to get more oil residue out and have time to lean the windows. The plan was to use only the back window, which has a much smaller surface area and would be easier to clean. Unfortunately, the gizmo must have frozen from being out in the ultimate cold all day - maybe after a night in the less freezing garage, I can continue in the morning.

A Kitchen Nightmare Anniversary

One year ago today, I began the day filled with excitement about finally getting my kitchen remodeled. The deal was done and the contractors were on their way,

The demolition began really early and was rather swift, In fact, so swift, they began to install some of the new base cabinets, When I arrived home from work to see where they were with the job, the nightmare began,,,I noticed the species of wood on the new cabinets was not what I had ordered.

What was supposed to be a 3-5 week job ended up being a 4 month test of my patience. In the end, the job got done but it was not without constant complaining and arguing to get what I paid for.

So glad that it in the past!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

College Tours - Just the Beginning

Been spending time this week visiting colleges with my daughter. We are being proactive, as she is a junior in high school but really, it's not that far away. It's all a bit surreal, when I began this blog, my daughter was a few months from her 6th birthday; this summer, she will be 17!

The whole thing is a bit nerve wracking, and it's mind boggling to even begin to think about the costs, but I am also a professional educator and academic adviser and I am sitting back and doing my part to be supportive and sensitive to her aspirations.

It's a scary ride, but also a rewarding one.

Mom at 90

My mom would have been 90 years old today and all I could do other than miss her is wonder just what she would be like at 90 years of age. Putting aside her ailments, just mom being mom, add to that those extra years of life with her children and grandchildren mixed in with her own personality.

It's reasonably true in my experience that time heals so many things but what it hasn't been able to do is make me miss my mom any less. Mom passed away in September of 1996, dad a few years before that, and still, I miss them both as much today as I ever did.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I (Co) Write the Songs...More of Them

Over the past number of weeks, my friend Barry Mangione has restarted his Barry on the Spot show where a bunch of us get together and collaborate on songs. Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, sometimes just silly...but always a good time.

Here are some of the recent songs I had in writing; you can listen to them on the links provided (click on the images to go to the song) and heck, if you decide to pay for any or all of them, all of the proceeds are being donated to charity!

I've added links to some of the older stuff down below, there's at least one "serious" song in there!


If you wanna check out some of the stuff I had a hand in back in 2012 and 2013, here are some links:

Monday, February 16, 2015

In My Ears 2015 Vol. 4 "A Journey through ELO"

This was about revisiting the studio recordings of the Electric Light Orchestra. Not too long ago, my buddy Dan alerted me to this net box set being sold by Amazon U.K. which was a collection of 11 ELO studio albums.

Over the last couple of weeks, I listened to all 11; it was good to revisit the stuff I was very familiar with but even better to discover stuff I really didn't know at all.

SNL40: Kind of a Bust

Last night, there was a massive three and a half hour 40th anniversary SNL show on in prime time, preceded by a one hour "red carpet" show. I have to say, I was disappointed with the overall package!

There were some good moments for sure, standouts for me were "celebrity jeopardy" and the music tribute that Martin Short with Maya Rudolph as Beyonce fronted. Of particular comedy gold in that segment was how Short made it appear that the fans that blew "Beyonce's" hair were so pwerful that he himself could not withstand their force (while Beyonce was just standing there being fabulously Beyonce). I also really liked the digital short piece that Andy Samberg did  with Adam Sandler.

There were some other moments that were good: Dan Akroyd's Bass-o-Matic was fun. Weekend update with Tina fey, Amy Poehler and Jane Curtain was okay (should have been way better)...

The Californians was decent, the Betty White portion saved if as overall, it ran too long. As one long sketch, it does not work as well as something that recurs throughout the show in smaller chunks., I know logistically for this show, that may not have been possible but in that case, edit effectively or drop it.

Chris Rock kissing Eddie Murphy's ass (as if he was eulogizing him) then Murphy coming out and doing absolutely nothing was a big disappointment. Chevy's appearance was a waste of time, he did nothing.

While I thought Miley Cyrus singing 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover would suck way more than it did, there was no point in it being there, it just did not fit in the context of the show - nor did Kanye performing, or evein being there. While I hate Kanye immeasurably, beyond that bias, he served no purpose on that show.

There was just so much mediocrity and filler...I suspect I could edit the three and a half hours into maybe ninety minutes worth watching; maybe ninety minutes,

All in all, for me, a disappointment. How about you?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Have You Heard About the Snow?

For those of you outside of a major snow zone, the idea of more than 7 FEET of snow in a three week period seems only mythical. last night into this morning left us another foot plus - I thought I would offer some photos of what things look like at this point: 

At this point, I had cleared about 2/3 of the garage door area. You can see he accumulation to that point, a bit more than a foot. The snowfall was probably closer to 15 inches but there was a bit of moisture that packed down the fluffier stuff.

This is looking down the driveway toward the street; I had not yet finished carving my way all the way through.

This is a small glimpse into the back yard. For some perspective as to the quantity of snow hanging around back there, there is a fenced in area of approximately 40' x 30' and the fence is around 4' tall; the entire fenced in area has snow to the height of the fence at a minimun, some areas have much taller drifts.

You'll notice there is a shed back there,.when it will be accessible again, only mother nature knows for sure.

I was able to carve out enough of the mailbox to allow the USPS to continue delivery.

This is a combination drift, plow, blower pile that reaches a height somewhere between 7' and 9'. The location of this pile, at the end of the driveway makes getting out of my driveway way more challenging.

Taken from the road looking at the house.

Earlier in the snow season I had actually carved a path to the front door - that won't be happening again for some time. Some of the drifts here are more than 8' tall.

Wider shot of house from side; you can see accumulation on roof and drifts up to front door.

There is a lot of snow out there peeps! In fact, even along the sides of the driveway, something I couldn't capture effectively in pictures, the walls of snow are now so high, the snow blower is almost incapable of throwing snow over them; I experience a number of avalanches while cleaning today.

I believe the words of Alice Cooper are most appropriate here, "Welcome to My Nightmare!"