Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bishop

Not the chess piece, the actual Bishop. That is, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Bishop Tom Shaw, who is retiring in September, made a visit to my church today.

I don't talk to much religion here and I am no bible thumper, but this man, Tom Shaw, is a pretty great dude. Last year, Bishop Shaw was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and had went through a round of treatment and recent tests reported that the results were not quite what they had hoped. As a result, he will be undergoing additional testing and treatment.

What I think has been amazing is how he has so gracefully handled his diagnosis and treatment and the amazing courage and inspiration he is showing. I had the opportunity to thank him for that inspiration and offered some advice to someone who has made a life out of being there to answer others as they asked for advice. I kept it simple and told him that it was okay to be human.

Hard not to think how a man who has so devoutly dedicated his life to this God we pray to. Tom is not only an Episcopal priest (who could marry), but he is also a monk. I can't even begin to understand that piece of it, especially as a choice, but beyond the religious aspects - which I recognize all have different ideas, opinions, and beliefs about, Tom Shaw, the man, is compassionate and really had given his life to help human kind.

May Tom battle the cancer to it's demise and be able to live out his days as he chooses to. May he find peace and happiness, thanks Tom for being an inspiration.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vet 2014

Today was the day for my Oliver, now 8 years old, to go for his annual vet visit. Here are some pics:

These two are right after we arrived at the vet office. Oliver does not like being in the carrier,e ven one time per year.

 

Here's Oliver about to get a shot. The vet looks a bit happy about it; Oliver, not so much :)


This is a dog, a Newfoundland, just out from his visit. He weighs 164 pounds at just about 6 years of age. A monster in size, but a really sweet disposition.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Conference Confluence, or at least Influence

Today's plan was not my normal six and a half mile commute to work that takes twelve minutes or so. Today, I was to drive about 58 miles from home to the town of Haverhill, MA to attend the "2014 Massachusetts Community College Conference on Teaching, Learning & Student Development".

I wasn't sure what to expect but I gotta tell you, it was great! Good breakfast, good keynote, the first session I went to was titled, "Accessible Media: Moving towards Compliance" - the subject is one I've worked with over the years and will continue to work with. It was great to see other like minded colleagues and also to know that the road blocks to progress aren't so unique. My second session was bizarre, but really cool; the title, "The Intellectual and Emotional Dimensions of Critical Consciousness". I know, super granola sounding, right? I was a bit granola, but only in the best way. The oddest thing is I ended up partnered with a dude that has worked on and of for 13 years as an adjunct at the same place I've worked full-time for the last 16+ years but this was the first we've ever met! before leaving, we actually did a yoga thing! So crazy but really cool.

Lunch was delicious but after, I walked into my third session and saw the presenters. The two women who were presenting I was familiar with from a conference last year and at that conference, they were really terrible - so I decided to bail. I ended up making the long drive home and avoided rush hour and getting to take a two hour nap when I got home!

Also in news I know you are waiting to hear, I took advantage of Dunkin Donuts sale (actually desperate attempt to get rid of seasonal inventory) on Pumpkin and Peppermint Mocha K-Cups.

Off to see the Road Dawgs and have a late supper at the British Beer Company in Franklin a little later - hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Miss E Lane E us Doo Dads

Just learned about this event called the 5K Foam Fest and am strongly considering giving it a whirl!

Since it looks like I may not get funded for my conference for work this year, I may consider trying to crowd fund it.

Happy that Vince Wilfork will be back on the Pats!

Microsoft Office now available for iPad.

Chris Christie still disgusts me - I believe he is guilty of Bridge Gate.

This headline is interesting to me, "L'Wren Scott has reportedly left her entire estate, worth $9 million, to boyfriend Mick Jagger ".

I learned how to embed a YouTube video into an Excel worksheet today #geekmoment.

Toward the end of 2013, I helped plan a major event locally, that was a lot of work. I am currently working on a similar event only it's taking place 80 miles or so away, that's a bit more challenging for sure!

Just started reading Peter Criss' autobiography today.

I wish I was in Illinois, visiting my favorite peeps in all the Midwest and beyond.

I gotta hit the hay...'night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

Considered by some to be the great American novel. "A classic", at least in terms of age, and while most people pushing 50 have read this book, usually in school, I somehow managed to never read it - until now.

Sadly, I regret taking the time to read it because quite frankly, it's not a very good book! I love the period in time in which it was written and in which the story takes place. However, those moments of imagery don't stand up to the bore fest of this poorly written and poorly conceived of story.

I'm not going to spend much more time talking about this because it just isn't worth the time. I will say, the single most notable take away is how obvious it is to me after reading this just how much the English language has changed in the last century; and for the worse in my opinion.

Charity Pet Peeve

Before I get into this, I need to clarify that I do love animals, if what I write that follows makes you think that isn't the case, you are wrong.

I was watching a celebrity competition on TV where they play to raise awareness and money for some charity. One was playing for an organization that provides meals to school kids, one was playing for the American Cancer Society and the other was playing for some organization that deals with animals, whether it be strays or whatever. The particular celebrity or competition isn't important and this is only one of several similar examples where I've seen this.

Turns out, it really bugged me that someone was so gung ho to give their winning to an animal charity when MS, Cancer and ALS (among others) continue to exist. Have you ever known someone whose had ALS? Or MS where it has completely destroyed their entire life?

I had a colleague who was diagnosed with MS at around 40. By 50, he was in a wheelchair and by 60, he had to go into assisted living, but in order to do so and not wipe out every penny from his wife and kids, he had to divorce.

I can't find my way to donate a single penny to a charity that wants to help animals with anything as long as there is a chance that a human I love can be stricken with any of these horrible diseases. Maybe it's a shallow and narrow way to see things, but it's the truth - for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bullet Bits and Tuesday Haiku


  • Apple and Moses's parents are separating after 10 years of marriage.
  • New HTC One released today, looks even more intriguing that the Samsung Galaxy S5
  • I've had my fill of hearing about the Jets signing Michael Vick, time to let it go now.
  • Enough with the Staten Island clown, have you ever been there? There are lots of clowns in that dump.
  • Watching Dancing with the Stars this season only for Amy Purdy,  such an amazing woman; I am so blown away. If you have no idea why, the girl has no legs and is still an amazing dancer, just an awesome human being!
My friend Erin posted to Fb, "It's only Tuesday", to which I haiku'd back:
It's only Tuesday
The weekend's so far away
Hump day tomorrow

Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Don't Tell Anyone

Reading this book happened by accident, or perhaps fate. Regardless, sometimes something falls into your lap for a reason and having read it, I am quite glad that I did.

I read the first few pages out of curiosity, and quite frankly, I wasn't quite sure this was going to be something for me. Then I read the synopsis on Amazon, again, I was still unsure, though a bit less.

I had just finished a book and didn't have my next one waiting, and the library was closed; so I thought, my sister-in-law likes this author, can't hurt to give it a shot.

So I read, and I read until my eyes fell out of my face, that got me about 75% of the way through, that was yesterday. I finished the rest of the book today and I have to say out loud how much I enjoyed it.

So what's it all about you ask? I can't imagine there are any of you reading this that have never had to deal with cancer. Cancer affects the people afflicted and their families and friends in so many ways. In "Don't Tell Anyone", Laurie Boris introduces us to Estelle Trager, a strong-willed, old-school, Yiddish slinging (and most of all stubborn) mama who was able to hide (of all things) ever enlarging tumors until a bout with pneumonia lands her in the hospital and her family gets involved. We meet her son Adan, his wife Liza and her favorite son Charlie and the unusual dynamic of these three main characters, along with years old secrets interwoven in their attempt to care for Estelle. There are a number of complexities to the story line that offer surprise, suspense, a few other characters to spice things up a bit more and when it was all over I couldn't help but wonder how many readers might find some significant similarities to real world situations they've lived through.

I must applaud the character development as well as the story arc. This ended up being a page turner, a true gem for the adult reader and a book I can easily recommend.'

If you click on the book cover graphic, it will transport you to Amazon where you can read the synopsis yourself and the many terrific reviews but don't waste your time with that, click on the buy now option and support this indie author and get yourself a great read. Oh, and please, tell everyone about it!

Redemption: A Nickel at a Time

I tend to collect my deposit redeemable cans and bottles for a long time but this was about twice as long, at least in terms of quantity, as any other time I can recall. I brought 240 pieces to the state redemption center today and collected $12.00 in return.

The state redemption centers tend to be in the questionable parts of town and are frequented by homeless and undesirables looking for a fix, a nip, or a smoke (or any combination of the three). I admit that I feel uncomfortable going in there during the workday when I am wearing a dress shirt and tie.

One of my biggest gripes with the way these recycling programs work is that most stores, such as grocery stores, will only redeem cans/bottles that they sell. In this case, there are times I would have to carry the empties around and even remember where I got them, this is a stupid way to do things, especially if the goal is to encourage recycling.

Why not make it so that everyone who sells products in redeemable containers must also accept ALL redeemable containers. Make the process easy on the consumer to return them and the merchants to process them.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Review: Maximum Ride - The Final Warning

This fourth installment of the young adult oriented Maximum Ride series does not disappoint fans of Max, Fang, Gasman, Iggy, Total or any of the characters we've grown to love in this series.

Patterson uses the story line of this novel to raise awareness of global warming as the gang finds themselves on a government mission in Antarctica to assist in research. Of course, they find themselves being hunted by an devious group of mechanical mercenaries. Patterson also digs deeper into the idea of a romantic bond between Max and Fang.

I really love this series so far, mostly because I really care about these characters and I have to say, this is arguably the best written of the books in this series up to this point.

Another very quick read that I believe you will enjoy if you've ventured into this series.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pulled Over

After battling this damn cough thing for so long, though not 100%, I diced to go support The Road Dawgs as they debuted a new lead vocalist. Because I had been medicating, I opten not to have any alcohol at all, though when I do, it's one or two beers at most of the course of the night.

Driving home, just two or three minutes into my journey, I see e flashing lights indicating me to pull over. "WTF!" I yelped. But of course, I pulled over and began to get my license and registration ready before the officer came a knocking.

As he approached, I opened the windows and handed him my papers before he had to ask and completely confused, I asked, " may I inquire why you pulled me over?" He asked "Where are you coming from tonight?" Oddly, for some crazy reason, I completely forgot the name of the stupid place. I hate this place so much that I've said more than once I would never go back, but I did.

I told the officer, "I just came out to see my friend's band." "What's the name of the band?", He asked. "The Road Dawgs" thankfully, I recalled :) "How much did you have to drink tonight sir?" He questioned, I replied truthfully, "I did not drink any alcohol at all tonight officer."

He handed me back my paperwork and said "have a safe ride back home and a good night." I replied, "you as well." And that was it. I just think that stupid shit hole KasBar is filled with bad karma. I would guess many of the assholes that frequent that place probably leave their piss drunk so cops just routinely pill over people that drive out of there.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In My Ears

Here's a list of the music I've listened to this far in 2014:

Billy Joel - Entire Catalog
I've given a lot of crap to BJ and wanted to go back and listen to all the music I love and forget the things I don't like about how he's chose to handle his career.

Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost
Serious stuff, but great.

Avril Lavigne - Avril Lavigne
Not brilliant, but poppy and ok in it's place.

Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
Amazing.

Kellie Pickler - the Woman I Am
Country pop - if you like the genre, it's work listening to.

Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes
Love this guy. A nice take on some stuff from his archives.

Vertical Horizon - Echoes from the Underground
Solid record from a class act.

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Love it.

A Great Big World - Is There Anybody Out There?
Ian Axel & chad Vaccarino - saw them open for Five for Fighting. Pop music - good listen and good guys.

The Head and The Heart - The Head and The Heart
Staying in my playlist...another NPR find.

Lady Gaga - Artpop
She still does it for me.

Five For Fighting - Bookmarks
Solid, throwback to how these type of songs should be written and performed. Like it more with each listen.

James Blunt - Moon Landing
A pleasant surprise.

The Great Gatsby - The Jazz Recordings
Call it Bryan Ferry Orchestra part 2 - lots of fun.

Sammy Hagar - Sammy Hagar & Friends
I'm a fan. Interesting cover of Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus too!

Panic at the Disco - Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
Had no expectations, like it a lot.

Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
Love it, maybe my new favorite Pearl Jam album.

The Blind Boys of Alabama - I'll Find a Way
Didn't hold up for me.

Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
I like the title track, the rest of the CD, not so much.

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience - Part 2
These should have remained unreleased. I think he's so talented but he doesn't need the obligatory hip hop, it's doesn't work.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Resting

I had to get up early to get my daughter off to school but, all of my required obligations for the day ended by 7:15am. Yes, there are things that need to be done, but I took the day off to rest and heal thyself and rest I did. I spent at least five additional hours in bed throughout the day.

Is it possible that a cough could get worse later in the day than earlier? How does that happen. It seems my cough is worse at night than during the day.

During my awake time, I managed to grade some student work, listen to some podcasts and music and make a little dent in my DVR,

I did make the mistake of reading my work email, never a good idea, especially when sick. Note from boss indicating the unlikelihood of getting funded for the big conference this summer. Pisses me off and makes no sense, others go on conferences and seem to ever have an issue. I.T. is such a crucial area and the conference is hosted by a company that we spend nearly a quarter of a million bucks a year with and we are getting nickel and dimed by the administration over a few thousand bucks to attend their conference and ensure we are getting all we can out of that quarter mil - ridiculous!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Doctor Says

NOTE: I wrote this Tuesday night, scheduled it to post Tuesday night, but it didn't...hmmm.

I finally went to the doctor today to figure out the deal with this horrific cough I've had for the last 10 days or so. last night was the kicker, I came real close to going to the E.R., it was that bad.

Thankfully, whatever it is isn't all that serious as much as it is just a real pain in the ass and uncomfortable. I did get a few prescriptions that will (hopefully) help me sleep through the night but in the end, this thing just needs to run its course; mother nature wins again.

I'm taking a few days off from work to get as much rest as possible. I think that's it for now!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review: David and Goliath (Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)

I first learned of Malcolm Gladwell when he was the keynote speaker at a conference I attended in San Diego, I believe in 2006, around the time his second book, "Blink" came out.

I recall being captivated listening to him as he challenged my thoughts and offered such provocative ideas. I picked up both "The Tipping Point" (his first book) and "Blink" shortly after seeing him and loving both of them.

To date, I've read all of his books and every time a new copy of The New Yorker shows u at the library, I look at the table of contents to see if there is anything there by him (or David Sedaris).

In this book, Gladwell challenges our ideals and perceptions of advantages and disadvantages, starting with one of the most famous "underdog" stories of all, David and Goliath.

In addition to getting me to think and re-think, Gladwell always manages to teach me something or steer me in the direction of wanting to learn more about something and this is something I almost crave when reading non-fiction that isn't biography or autobiography.

You may not always agree with Gladwell's train of thought or ideas, Gladwell provides a platform where your thought and ideas can be challenged and revisited and that for me, is what keeps the mind vital.

The Ride

What a wonderful little documentary film this turned out to be. Phil Keoghan had this notion to take a bike ride. No, not just a little bike ride - and by bike, I mean bicycle. This particular bike ride would take in on a 3,500 mile journey across the country from Southern California into New York City.

Part of the quest revolved around turning 40, part of it was to make a statement to his dad, who flew in from New Zealand and was part of the team, driving a truck and hauling an Airstream, and partly to raise awareness and donations for MS - Keoghan takes us on a journey that I found to be riveting, heartwarming, and just plain wonderful.

Knowing Keoghan pretty much only from The Amazing Race, seeing him in this context was interesting and it was funny how his native accent became so much a part of this.

There were a lot of really great lessons in determination. Time was a major factor and as such, Keoghan had to maintain a pace of about 100 miles per day and throughout, he had lots of scheduled appearances and meet ups - despite some setbacks related to weather, a pretty nasty spill, and some illness, Keoghan battled on and kept the pace.

I have to give this one a major recommendation, I really loved this film.

Rested but Not Over It

I spent a lot of time getting rest over this past weekend but I am still fighting this nasty cough. Boo!

Spring is supposed to start this coming Thursday but if today is any indication of what Mother Nature has is store, with what could be record lows and snow in some areas, I'd say Mom Nature is pretty much reminding us who is in charge.

This (to the right) is a selfie I took while messing around with one of the filters on my cell phone. The filter is called "Noir", do I look all Noir or what?

As I type this, it is very early in the morning, yet I already have this desire to think about lunch. For some reason, I have this hunger for pizza - nothing so hard to accomplish but there would be some level of guilt involved since I actually took the time to pack a lunch today. I guess I have plenty of time to let that one ride out - I'll keep you posted (if I remember).

I'm supposed to participate in this crappy session today but I want to blow it off because of this darn cough (and because it is going to be crappy). We shall see!

I have been able to stay on top of grading student work pretty well so far, I hope that keeps up.

Lots of scattered thoughts here...cheers for now.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It Only Hurts When I'm Coughing

after hitting the sack relatively early last night, I woke up around 7:30 with the plan of getting a lot of rest today so that I can kick this cough in the butt. While it only hurts when I am coughing, it seems I am coughing a lot, and I don't like it one bit.

I had a cop of coffee and a couple of slices of toast with butter and watched a bit of TV before taking my first forced nap of the day. I feel like the body at rest is where optimum healing takes place and after a week of coughing painfully, I felt that is what I needed.

I woke up sometime before 10 and decided to do my taxes. I would have done them earlier but one of the 1099's I needed was delayed. It didn't take all that long, maybe an hour to take care of that and when done, I thought I might remain a bit productive and grade a few assignments.

just before noon I decided to read. I had a light lunch and read some more before deciding that another nap was required. I remained in bed until around 3 before a bot more TV and reading with a light sprinkling of FB thrown in before another nap, this time not in my bed but right there in my reclined state on my couch.

I rose back to life some time after, and have been awake since trying my best to relax. I've knocked off about a third of my book, enjoyed a plethora of remedies that seem to barely work, until I cough and then they seem to not have worked at all. I called my daughter and told her to sleep in if she wants as I was planning to do the same in hopes of helping the recovery. I do look forward to picking up my kid in time for a little sushi lunch.

I hope you all had a nice Saturday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"You Don't Look Good!"

That's what a friend said to me today, "You don't look good!" Always nice to hear :), but considering how I've been feeling this week, and especially today, I suspect I looked how I felt (apology to all around me).

If I get sick, it's usually no more than once per year and I filled my quota if we are talking the last 12 months, but maybe my body is switching to the calendar year and wants to get 2014 out of the way. I've had this hacking, painful cough, not unlike one I've had before, all week and I can't find relief. I've not had any fever and since I can't find Buckley's Cough Medicine anywhere anymore, I am resorting the tussin-y type and it's not really helping all that much.

Despite all this feeling bleh, I still went to work every day; this isn't a brag, just a statement and perhaps a testament to my stubbornness - I probably should have stayed home for some of the time and gotten rest. My plan for this weekend is to do just that, get some rest, but I also have other things that must get done, such as taxes and grading, but I will pace myself - need to get better.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

1250: "Cal Ripken of Working Out"

Over the last 3+ years, I've talked about my consecutive streak of days I've worked out. This past Tuesday was the 1,250th consecutive day of working out - and the last day of the streak.

In recent times, I've been batting some injuries - ankle, shins, knee, wrists. I've always tried to balance out the workouts properly but I've been feeling of late that somewhere in my brain, it became more about the streak than the health & wellness I want to achieve.

When it all started, it was great because in addition to the workouts, I had been doing these smoothies and I lost a lot of weight, over 40 pounds, and had some great results at the doctor's office too - blood work had really changed for the better.

As I begin to think about my physical in May, and what the last six months or so have been like, for many reasons, everything is just off. I've gained some weight and am just not feeling well, especially physically. I feel that by breaking the streak I can reset my focus and my mind set back to health and wellness and exercise being a part of an overall plan. My early fears, based on knowing myself to some degree, is that if I didn't work out every day, I would just fall so far off the wagon it would be as if I did nothing at all. I hope that isn't true anymore and that I can make this work.

I know the value of exercise. Right now, with the kitchen mangled for another month and a half, nutrition is tougher than ever, even in balance - but I will forge ahead and just take it all one day at a time.

I was watching the ABC national news the other night and there was a segment with Dan Harris, who was promoting and talking about his book, 10% Happier, and he talked about his misconceptions about meditation had kept him from trying it but once he did, it was such a key to so many things for him. He talked about a simple 5 minute meditation, which Dr. Oz came on and talked about as well. It all seemed simple enough and I actually have some experience with meditation in dealing with anxiety, so for the last two days, I have been doing the 5 minutes in the morning - again, one day at a time.

Life is a work in progress.

OH - the title of the workout is courtesy of my friend Egan.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: Blood Memory

If you love to read and are looking for a great book, forget the rest of this review and just go get this book and have at it! WOW! What a fabulous piece of writing. I have not read a book so well written in quite some time. A colleague mentioned this author stating that "his work is hard to stop reading" and having claimed to call in sick one day just so she can finish one of his books. I thought that was insane when I heard it but at several points I had to think twice about going to work in favor of just staying at home and reading; it's just that good.

This book revolves around the life of one Catherine "Cat" Ferry who works as a "forensic odontologist" (she knows a lot about teeth and bite marks) and has about as much drama in her life as one can as her work takes her "into the minds of rapists and murderers", reminders of her past haunt her and along with her love of Vodka and her controversial personal life, push her to the brink when she suffers a dramatic panic attack at a crime scene. This turn of events leads to a trip to her childhood home where she stumbles upon a decades old clue into her father's death when she was just a young girl. From there, wow...how one can come up with such a story and tell it with such amazing clarity - this book is truly a work of art.

I will say that it is not for the faint of heart, there are some serious issues dealt with in this book, especially those related to child abuse. However, Isles approaches the subject matter in a careful, sensitive, and extremely well researched manner. So looking forward to the next time I read one of his books. WOW!

Monday, March 10, 2014

(Another) Limerick Off

The challenge is to write a limerick from the provided first line. I received 3 first lines this time and wrote 3 limericks - here they are:

A fellow who frequently paced
Stared in wonder at the patch of carpet he'd erased
What once was a shag
Now barely a dish rag
Guess it's time that his carpet be replaced

A man was asleep at the wheel
Riding shotgun was a seal
In the back seat
Was a rhino in heat
Thank god this isn't for real!

A woman worked hard to design
While working, she drank her red wine
She'd never have thunk
She'd get so darn drunk
Despite failure, she's still feelin' fine

Forced State of Lethargy

You know that feeling when you take cold medicine where you try to function at some level but there is this state of lethargy that your body is forced into as a result of the medicine? It's always a bit funky because at times, it seems to yourself that you are moving in slow motion but it's really the only way to be somewhat productive and keep the cold symptoms at bay.

I hope whatever it is specifically that is making me feel the way I do goes away fast, I have a reunion dinner Wednesday evening with a bunch of people I miss!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Nine Thousand Cents

I'm sitting at a bar stool sipping on a beer and watching my friend perform and happen to look down and see on the floor, between my stool and the one next to me, a cloth napkin and a small wad of cash. I looked around immediately too see if the guy that was sitting there was in view, though he got up about five minutes before.

Without any sight of him, I reached down a grabbed both the napkin and the cash. I placed the napkin on the bar and the cash in my breast pocket and then walked around the bar and to the men's room to see if the dude that was sitting next to me was around; not to be found anywhere (and I have no idea if the cash was even his or someone before him).

This was around 9 pm and I knew I was going to be around until they closed, and that if whomever lost it was coming back for it, they would start in that location and ask the bartender - that never happened.

I left a phone number for the bartender and told him that if someone came in saying they lost something to give them my number. If someone claims it within 24 hours, I will see to it they get it back. If not, I am nine thousand cents richer.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Mad Men Season 7 On the Way

I've been a Mad Men fan for a long time. I jumped in somewhere in season 2 by binge watching to catch up then faithfully waiting for each Sunday and then each season the following year.

The first 3 seasons were amazing. Season 4 was very, very good but season 5 showed some signs of weakness and season 6 was almost bad. Thankfully, the producers see that the end must come and announced season 7 would be the last. I think this is good because I feel there would be focus to tie things up and put some focus back into the writing that sort of went off course. Everyone wants to go out on a high note, so I have been hopeful.

Then, at some point, they made he decision to split the last season up showing half the episodes this year over a 7 week period and then, we would have to wait an entire year before the final 7 episodes are released.

I  H A T E  T H I S !

Unless the work is spectacular, any momentum they might be able to build in the short 7 weeks will be completely lost over the year we must wait for the last 7 episodes. Just let us have them this year, go out on a high note, then move on.

Yes, I know that Breaking Bad was successful with this strategy but it's a different show all together; plus, they never faltered, every minute of every episode was amazing.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Frigid Week Comes to an End

The good thing about this past week is that it went pretty quickly for me. That statement goes against the grain of my way of thinking for the past couple of years but for at least this one day, I'm just this once looking at the small picture.

This week was cold and I felt it. My hands are all chapped and dry to the point where they look and feel bad. I know I could have avoided most of the ailing by moisturizing regularly. It's not like I don't have an assortment of hand cream tubes strategically located about my life but I just lazied out (an am now paying the price for that laziness).

I came home from work today with one major goal, to get a nap in. I succeeded in dozing off for a bit, on my bed and under the covers and it was wonderful and necessary.

I hope you all had a great week!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Book Review: The Good Guy

It's been a few years since I read a Koontz book. While at the library on Sunday, I came across the Koontz selections and decided it was time, I looked for one that was not part of any "series" and something struck me about this cover - so I grabbed it.

For those of you who may hold Koontz in a "horror/fiction" box, this book (many others as well) does not fit in that category or box. This is a thriller and thrill it did.

Tim Carrier, a seemingly simple mason stops by his favorite watering hole for a beer after a long day's work and in no time, his life become a circumstance of being in that place he was so many times before but at that particular moment in time.

What happens next takes you through 95% of the story and it's a wild combination of running for your life as Carrier attempts to preserve the life of a stranger and when the story ends, we learn more about Tim and the unusual circumstances that triggered the whole thing.

Earlier this morning, I was at the point where I had 30 pages left and was literally on the edge of my seat. I had to pause because I wanted to preserve the feeling I had. You know, the feeling when you are reading a great book that you just want to last. But of course, I also wanted to finish it, to see how it all comes to an end and feel what I am left with. I decided to pack it up, head off to work early and finish it at the office, This way, I was able to savor the anticipation. In the end, it did not disappoint!

I really loved this book, there was something about the characters that I was able to relate it was just written so well. I highly recommend this.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Quote

"Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door. Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name."

When I read that, I stopped reading and re-read the quote a few times and just let it sit there and marinade my brain cells. After that, I had the chance to be kind of blown away thinking about where it came from. Then, I Googled the quote and learned, to no surprise, I am not alone.

Pretty cool!
**********************************************
For Ash Wednesday, a few local priests (including the one from the church where I go), decided to offer "Ashes on the Go". Instead of having an very early morning service in church at 6:30 am, they set up shop at the commuter rail station and gave ashes right there; what a great idea!
**********************************************
Verizon are a bunch of assholes!!! I hate them more than ever thought possible to hate them. Worst customer service of any company ever.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Happy Birthday Bro

Funny thing is, my brother may never see this, he's not much of a blog lurker. I guess it's possible that Shannon Ford, his wife, may see it and show it to him. Regardless, I'll speak to him later about it...

My brother John turns the double-nickel today, 55 years old. When we were kids, we shared a bedroom (I think I may have told some of these stories on this blog before but heck, you don't remember them :) and for most of the time, he set out to torture me. Not in a malicious evil way, but in a brotherly, rite of passage older brother way.

He would come home at ridiculous hours of the night, long after I was asleep, and play very loud music. He would have to get up for work in the morning, so my poor mom had the daunting task of waking him up. Not sure how he is now but in those days, I am certain it would have been far easier to wake the dead. However, mom was persistent, and loud, despite my brothers incoherent ramblings from sleep about how he was busy underneath some truck or some car. The nut even dreamed about working on cars and things!

It was exhausting to have been a part of some of those times but it was all I knew and despite some of the real nasty brother fights we had, we also had some fun times when we were in sync. He was older by five and a half years, he was into his own group of friends and while we crossed paths on occasion, by the time he was 16-17 or so, we didn't hang out a whole lot.

we did start spending more time hanging out a little ways down the road when Johnny moved out, eventually, I too moved out of my parent's house and we sort of grew up. It's funny thinking back though to some of the old times back at home, the way we would all fight over the TV, be ridiculous at the dinner table, fear my dad getting home from work if we did something bad.

It's crazy sometimes to think of how long ago that all was.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Kindness of...

As you regular readers know, I am currently on a makeshift kitchen while waiting for the correct cabinets to arrive so the remodel can proceed. As such, my daughter and I are eating prepared foods or take out. A friend invited us over for dinner Sunday night, so it was nice to get a home cooked meal into our bellies.

Linda's family feels like family to me too. Her kids are grown and I've been friends with all of them and I was the officiant for her and her husband when they married. Linda is working through a kitchen remodel as well, earlier stages, so she still has a functioning kitchen. If the time comes where I am up and running and she is down, I'll have her and Bill over for dinner as well.

In addition to me being there, her son Joe (along with his wife and dog) were over. Joe is heading to Dubai on Friday to take a class for his Master's program.

It was an interesting and fun night with friends, food and a bit of vino.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Book Review: Double Cross

As I read my way through this year and play catch up, I am also working my way through the James Patterson books, a difficult thing to keep up with considering how many he releases each year.

Double Cross is part of the "Alex Cross" series, Cross is a detective who has been in and out of the game on local and federal levels. Previously retired and in a private practice as a psychologist. Of course, Cross can't leave well enough alone and seems to have no regard for the impact his career has had on his family. Sucked back in, Cross encounters a familiar killer and another nut (actually band of nuts).

The book got off to a slow start but did begin to pick up around half way through but aside from not ending so great (in my opinion), I felt there were so many loose ends here that I can only attribute to what seems to be lazy writing and lack of attention to basic detail.

I've read a few of the books that came after this, and there are many - around 60 or so, which keeps me hopeful that Patterson has not run out of steam. However, this was the 10th and final release from 2007 and I question if perhaps he was less focused on quality control then quantity of output during this period.

I think there are too many other good books out there, including many by Patterson himself, for me to tell you this is worth the short investment in time it takes to read but whatever time it takes is time that could be spent in something really worth reading.