Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Birthday Wish and Some Gibberish

Must offer super Happy Birthday wishes to the awesomest of Tori's. I know, it's after 11pm, but I've made those wishes much earlier, this is just when I am posting to the blog.

There was snow on the ground this morning, but there were less individual snowflakes than the number of people on Facebook talking about how there was snow on the ground.

Some Gibberish

The workplace had been really great for most of the last couple of years under the new president. However, recent financial troubles, which are not a result of anything he has done wrong (I think) have made things a bit more tense. I hope it doesn't last long, there's lots to be done.

I thought I'd care way more about baseball this season that it turns out I do...not all that much.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Goodbye to You My Trusted Friend

In September of 1978 I walked through those doors to begin my freshman year of high school. When I left in June of 1982, I was forever changed. Those four years at Bishop Ford were transforming and special in ways I'll always hold close to my heart.

All these years later, I am still in touch with many of the people I spent time there with. Yesterday, it was announce that this June, Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School will close their doors forever.

Hard to believe that kind of thing can even happen.

This R.E.M. video was actually shot at Bishop Ford, some time after I left but watching it today and seeing the hallways, the class rooms, it all came right back to me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saturday Night's Alright for...Uh, Oh..Make Way...

There is a local band called "The Peacheaters" that play southern rock, heavy on Allman Brothers music. I've known of this band for some time and have met a couple of guys that play with them but never saw them live. I got word they were playing on Saturday, so I decided that it was time.

I got to the venue just a little early with the intent to have dinner there, I ordered one of the specials, "Steak Bomb Pizza" along with a pint of Shock Top. It was around 9 pm when my food and beer arrived, a glass of water had been delivered just before.

By the time 11-11:30 rolled around, I had eaten a good amount of the pizza (it was a 10" personal size), polished off the pint and the water and hadn't been re-visited by the server in the nearly two and a half hours since she delivered my order.

There was also a "ladies night out" party that decided to congregate at my table since it was the only place there was space - they were an interesting bunch....two of them kept going out to smoke and the other two were obsessed with their colorful beverages and the free popcorn. My friends who were supposed to show never did, mattered not to me, I got to see the band.

Anyway, over the course of the set, my stomach had begun doing gymnastics and by the break, I began to feel not well. I went to the rest room and I won't get into detail, I'll just say that returning to the main room for the second set was not an option. I left, went to my car, and got home as fast as I could.

It wasn't a pleasant night but when morning came, I was alright for the most part. As I was getting ready to pick up my daughter to go to church, it occurred to me that I never paid my check! I was mortified, that was not my intent and not something I would ever do - but since more than two hours had passed since I saw my server and I got sick, I just never thought of it.

I'll be calling them this afternoon to tell that I was the dude they were probably cursing out when they were reconciling things after they closed and explain what happened and then offer to make it right. Shit happens!

Update: Called the place, no management was available. I told the employee my story and she said usually if there an open check, they make note of it so everyone is aware and there were no notes left; so they had no idea that I never paid the check. Which means, either they messed up or, now that I think of it, maybe those four women that were sitting with me paid it (oh God)...LOL!!! I'll have call back on Wednesday when the owner and the server are there.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

In My Ears 2

Here's what I've been listening to since the last "In My Ears" post:

Daughtry - Baptized
Solid record.

Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest
Something about her makes me happy, there are so many good qualities about her songs, her voice and her presence.

Bruce Hornsby & Ricky Skaggs - Cluck Ol' Hen (Live)
Bruce Horsby is popular for some pop music records he made starting in the mid 1980's. Ricky Skaggs had a budding country music career in the early 80's and surrendered his chart topping fame for his love of blugrass and his mission to keep it alive. This isa live concert bluegrass collaboration reimagining some songs, reinventing others but mostly, celebrating seriously the joy and intensity of this important and often misunderstood genre .

Toby Keith - Drinks After Work
Less chart oriented feel but still, a Toby Keith record - hard to find much fault with that.

Boston - Life, Love & Hope
Technically, it is that Boston but really a Tom Scholz record with Boston alumni and other guests. I expected this record to suck but it doesn't. However, just don't expect it to be anything even close the the first Boston record, they never have nor never will achieve that again. Take this record for what it is, simply at face value, and you will find something worth listening to.

Paramore - Paramore
Sublime (the adjective, not the band)

Jeff Perry - Quartet
Jeff is a friend. I've had this record since release and listen to it regularly. Great Jazz record for the masses.

LeAnn Rimes - Spitfire
You need to be a pop-country music fan to like this. Leave her personal life, chronicled in the rags constantly, and listen as a fan of her and this genre and you will love this record.

Jimmy Webb - Still Within the Sound of My Voice
Webb has penned songs that you know for decades. Here, he performs some of them, along with some special guests. There are some really great cuts here, most notably for me, the title cut.

Nick Lowe - Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family
Nick Lowe has long been one of my favorite songwriters, producers and performers. The last few years he has sort of stylized his music to match his age but in a classy and wonderful way. This is his take on a holiday record and while I often talk about how much I hate Christmas music, this record is so fun.

Hearts of Palm Sunday

I've talked about hearts of palm sandwiches here on this blog. In fact, in this post, I provide details about a sandwich I invented, "The Ace of Hearts", based on the original hearts of palm sandwich that has become an annual palm Sunday tradition at church.

My daughter has such admiration and love for the hearts of palm sandwich that she was willing to miss a few hours of a gaming convention this morning so she can first go to church, so she can have some of these yummies after.

I drove her into Boston for her convention, then went pack later to pick her up and drive back her and a couple of her friends.

Remind me later to tell you about Saturday night, went to go see a band but something very odd happened. Right now, I gotta go...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Walden Pond - First Visit of 2014

Here are some photos:

And a short video:


Friday, April 11, 2014

Kitchen Remodel: What a Difference a Day (plus two months) Make

They made quite a bit of progress today. The installers arrived while the cabinet delivery was in progress so things got started right away and kept moving all day. Here are some photos of where they left off; the third one has the best lighting and best illustrates the maple wood species.

Looking forward to Monday. Need to arrange for the appliances to get delivered. Oh, because the appliance guy has been so super cool and not charging me to store the appliances I bought (and paid for) back in December, I bought him a bottle of Jameson's (I have it on reliable authority it's his favorite).

Part of what I need to factor in on how the cabinet dilemma screwed me is that the appliances have never gotten to my house and a third of the warranty is up! Life is hard. First world problems, but still annoying.

I've taken the steam mop to those nasty stains that were under the stove, feel much better.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kitchen Remodel: Update

It seems like a million moments have come and gone since I spoke of my kitchen remodel. As a reminder, when last we spoke of the remodel, the cabinets that they began to install were of the wrong wood species and since they are semi-custom cabinets, getting new ones with the correct wood was going to take at least six weeks.

It was February 20 or 21 when they were here last, tomorrow is April 11 - I've since had to suffer the misery (I know, first world problems, poor me) of basically not having a kitchen since - I am very hopeful this all works out fine.

More as it happens.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Book Review: Joyland

A one time voracious reader of Stephen King, the last thing he wrote that I held to read was "Lisey's Story" and I never really got into it. I've left King behind for the last, I don't know, I guess close to a decade. For how much I loved so much of what he wrote, I found myself hating some choices he made, I didn't like the direction the fabled "Dark tower" series took, and had grown weary of his excessive verbosity; so I took a much needed break.

I had been recently thinking about maybe picking something up by him again and the other day, I was at the Wellesley town library and saw "Joyland" sitting there. The cover was all I really needed, plus the fact that it wasn't 800 pages. The whole look of the paperback had a very old timey, dime store novel feel, turns out, that was the intent.

I finished the book this afternoon, and I am not certain if I can recommend it or not. I can say that what I liked about it, I loved, really loved. But, there were things I didn't love, in fact, things I really hated. Right off the bat, it took almost a third of the book before the story even began. Almost one hundred pages in building characters that were irrelevant or developing main characters that could have been done in a third the space. For me, this is a chronic King condition - and it really makes me mental.

In the end, I loved the actual story, but it seemed disjointed at times trying to find itself within the intended genre while blurring the lines from what the name Stephen King invokes just upon hearing it. I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this, I really like a few of the main characters and their interactions but I am not sold on how the story was told.

Your choice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Wait, Weight?

More often than not when someone goes out of their way to talk about their weight, it's to brag about a weight loss. Of course, that's a wonderful thing and I encourage such; I've done it myself.

I'm writing to discuss a weight gain, mine. Not an enormous amount but enough to make the clothes start fitting less comfortable and get me thinking, "hey, wtf!"

Yes, I have been under a bit more duress of late than usual, I haven't had a kitchen for about 6 weeks or so, but in the end, I made a choice to eat irrationally and that's the bottom line.

I feel like putting it out there in the universe is the next step from self-realization and hopefully will spring board into getting back to fighting weight.

I am hoping that Friday or Monday will see the kitchen work finally resume.

Hee Dee Dee!

Monday, April 07, 2014


What the heck is happening in this world? David Letterman is retiring, The Undertaker loses at Wrestlemania, Richard Marx and Cynthia Rhodes are divorcing, and an airplane the size of a third world nation seems to have disappeared.

Yeah, it's not so clear cut what really matters and why, life changes in an instant. The heart is another funny thing isn't it? Why is it that the heart seems to have a mind of it's own sometimes?

Have you ever in one moment thought about the relationship between human time and dogs then in the next instant, craved popcorn so bad it almost hurt?

I saw a sign at the Sherborn Inn about an Easter Buffet. I checked their web site because I thought it might be a nice thing to go to with my kid. The breakfast buffet is $45! WTF is wrong with them? They should burn down for charging that much.

In related food news, my favorite food-related typo was "Craving Station" instead of "Carving Station". I thought is was a clever intentional thing and even acknowledged it to an employee who quickly apologized for the error and took the sign down.

I feel like the selfie needs to be put out to pasture. I confess to doing it on occasion, but that doesn't make it right. Sleep well!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Mailbox


I can actually go to the post office Monday, collect my mail and tell them to remove the hold and resume delivery!!! I am so psyched about this little victory.

Things I learned (or already knew but thought it would be fun to include in this list):
It's better to have two people to install a mailbox post. Not only is the job easier that way but you then have someone to hang out with. However, it's also possible to accomplish solo.

100 pounds of cement weighs in right near 100 pounds.

My rechargeable screwdriver is either too old or not powerful enough for this application, but it was useful getting those 1.5" screws started.

Going to the post office as regularly as I have these past few months really sucks.

Postal workers have the easiest, cushiest job on the fucking planet yet they complain and are bad at it anyway. It really does not surprise me that the post office is in trouble, they are overpaid and under-worked. And yes, this is a generalization, there are some who actually do the job with pride and are pleasant people.

That's it.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Night and All of the Day

  • Post title is a tribute to The Kinks
  • Slept in today! Though some might laugh that 9:00 am is sleeping in, but it is, very much so.
  • Good amount of grading completed, a few projects to go - grading projects is the worst!
The story of my mailbox/post dates back to more than a year ago, when age and weathering had finally tore the post from the ground. By that time, the top portion, the arm that held the mailbox to the post had already come off several times and despite me nailing it back on, the post was so old that the nails only weakened the wood and never offered a firm hold.

Because it was winter, instead of replacing, I make-shifted by placing the old post into a five gallon bucket with some dirt, sand, rocks, and whatever would hold it in place. It looked pretty ghetto but it did the job until the nicer weather would allow me to replace them.

I bought a new post and was prepared to take care of it but one thing lead to another and days became weeks became months and all of a sudden, the summer and fall had lead to another winter. This past winter was brutal and the plows just demolished what was left of the old post and mailbox.

Today, I finally mounted the new post. tomorrow, I will attach the new mailbox and resume mail delivery after the past month or so of having to fetch the mail every few days directly from the post office. Pics of the completed job tomorrow.

That's it. Goodnight! Tori, if you read this, just want you to know that I miss you!

Spontaneous Friday

I had not planned to leave my house once I got home from work yesterday. I was a bit tired from the usual grind and hoped to chill for a bit, do a little (or a lot of) grading, and just lounge around. When I get home from work, if I have no plans to leave the house, the "monkey suit" comes off immediately and into sweats and a t-shirt I go.

I had been back and forth between the couch/TV and the computer, grading student work (with some social networking interspersed) for a while and somewhere just before 10 pm, my friend messages me that a couple of other friends are at a nearly watering hole/dive and that we should go hang for a bit, check out some local music, and have a beer.

It had been a very long time since I spontaneously changed gears and did that but I was bleary eyed from assignments and thought it might be fun so I "freshened up", put on some street clothes, and arrived at "The Tavern" just a few minutes after 10 pm. The band that was headlining, "Wash Brain Immediately" did a Kurt Cobain/Nirvana tribute set. The drummer works with one of my friends that was there...all in all, they were very good. They had an opener, a band called "Big Bad Wolf", who had a very unique sound and featured an electric cello player, that is either going to work or not and let me tell you, it worked!

Fun night!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cheater and Stuff

Discovered two students cheating as I was grading an assignment and both had the exact same mistakes, dumb asses! I hate that more than anything.

Been giving a whirl to the idea that shampooing every day is not that great. I don't know, I had been shampooing every day for decades. When I was recently sick, I actually went a couple of days without shampooing and it didn't suck, my hair looked fine and in fact, seemed thicker and fuller.I have no idea, I just thought maybe doing the shampoo every other day and just water in between might be fine, so far so good, I'll keep at it a bit longer.

Kind of got back into tweeting over the last couple of weeks...having fun but sometimes feel a bit of pressure to be witty. However, it's a good muscle to be exercising.

Mad Men begins in 10 days. I must say, I find I am less psyched about it finally starting up again than I am about it finally coming to an end, I think they've gone a bit down hill and am really upset about the idea to split the last season over two years and each being only 7 episodes.

Crazy to think Wrestlemania 30 is coming up, I recall the first one as if it were yesterday. Haven't watched much wrestling over the last few years though.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Book Review: Peter Criss-Makeup to Breakup (My Life In and Out of Kiss)

Having read Ace Frehley's book a few weeks ago, I was eagerly anticipating this one and actually decided to read it sooner than I had planned after seeing Peter Criss interviewed on "That Metal Show".

Where I found myself constantly questioning how much of what Ace wrote was revisionist, I found Peter to be quite believable and in some regards, this book not only gave me Peter's story, but helped me to better frame what I read in Ace's book.

Peter didn't pull any punches here, he told the stories, even when it was him fucking up and that's not an easy thing to do. There are things that he wrote about that made me not like him very much, this guy was one of my idols growing up and I've always been such a fan but aside from his "Rock and Roll lifestyle", which I do not judge or begrudge, some of his attitude as a musician kind of bothered me. For example, he often talked about when his drum parts were recorded for an album, he would just no longer show up for the rest of the sessions. I have a hard time standing behind that especially since one of his biggest struggles was to be respected as a band member. It's hard for me to justify that kind of attitude, in my opinion, a band should be united and there for each other through the entire recording. That said, who knows how it would have played out considering how awful he was treated. It's easy for me to offer opinions and thoughts but those moments in those moments may have been a very different thing, so I do thing he deserves the benefit of the doubt as well.

When I saw Peter talk on his recent "That Metal Show" appearance, I was pretty moved about his thoughts on the whole debacle with Kiss' (long overdue) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. having had that fresh in my memory while reading this book, along with the very end of the book, I do believe Peter Criss is a different man today than through those very tumultuous years in Kiss, the years when Gene (and Paul) shifted the idea of Kiss being a "brand, over a band."

As a lifelong Kiss fan, it's hard to read about the bad times and the egos and bullshit. The whole idea of that band was to create a mystique, a fantasy that took you out of the ordinary everyday life and just take you into that moment, that fantasy - there was music and theater. I'd rather not have know about the smoke screens but as I am no longer that little kid whose mind is blown by the fire breathing and the theatrics, I realize that behind it all were real people.

As difficult as reading this book was, it was a well written book and as a fan of the band, and of the "Cat Man", I am glad to have read it.
One of the most moving pieces of this story is the revelation that Peter Criss is a breast cancer survivor. That's right! I am sadly in the minority of men that understand that men can get breast cancer! I think it's important to be sure that awareness is increased and that we all do our part to raise awareness. Rock on Cat Man!