Monday, August 31, 2015

I Am...

Spending some great quality time with some old friends, no time to stop to post - see you on Wednesday.

Thanks for coming by, you are the best!

Friday, August 28, 2015


This is an actual thread that took place on the bulletin board for the town where I live:

DW August 27 at 8:53pm: We have loose sheep in the area of Shaw's. I have no permit's in this area so if someone knows where they belong send the owner up there.

ME: How many people's immediate reaction was to think of a good sheep joke? August 27 at 8:58pm · Like · 8

ME: :) August 27 at 8:58pm

RRL: I just kept sayin "bbbaaaaaaaahh" August 27 at 8:59pm · Like · 1

ME: Somebody please reply, "just ewe" (then I'll delete this so it will look like your idea) LOL! August 27 at 9:00pm · Like · 8

LS: I live in that area. Given the stink outside my house I hope Mr. Skunk is not looking for the lost lambs. August 27 at 9:06pm

JM: Haha the police are laughing over the radio about the sheep August 27 at 9:07pm · Like · 4

JK: Did anyone contact Little Bo Peep? August 27 at 9:16pm · Like · 6

CH: Could they be from Sherborn? August 27 at 9:16pm · Like · 2

JM: Jennifer I tried him he told me to call Mary but she didn't answer August 27 at 9:17pm · Like · 3

CH: Come on guys give her a break August 27 at 9:17pm · Like · 1

NL: Did you try counting them? August 27 at 9:17pm · Like · 8

JM: Haha August 27 at 9:17pm

JM: Ba ba black sheep August 27 at 9:18pm

MC: This has to be the funniest thread I've ever read! August 27 at 9:18pm · Like · 5

RL: I live very close...wonder if that is what my dogs were going crazy about when I just had them out for their final biz! Hope they get captured so the coyotes don't get them August 27 at 9:19pm · Like · 1

LS: Mary is too contrary to go find her dumb sheep August 27 at 9:19pm · Like · 4

SC: Yeah, these puns are getting pretty Baaaaaaaaa'd. August 27 at 9:19pm · Like · 5

CH: Donna do u need any help trying to get them? August 27 at 9:20pm · Like · 1

SC: Okay, I feel pretty sheepish about that last post. August 27 at 9:22pm · Like · 1

LS: Don't pull the wool over our eyes, now August 27 at 9:23pm · Like · 2

NL: I really hope they stay off the road and don't make any illegal ewe turns. August 27 at 9:23pm · Like · 11

ME: Winter is just around the corner, anyone know the shortest route from sheep to sweater? August 27 at 9:26pm · Like · 4

JM: Christopher sheep are back at the farm now August 27 at 9:28pm · Like · 3

ME: Where there's wool, there's a way. August 27 at 9:28pm · Like · 8

LS: I herd they were lost, are ewe sure they were returned? August 27 at 9:29pm · Like· 9

JM: Yeah they wool returned to safety August 27 at 9:31pm · Like· 7

BD: Shaw's just announced a sale on fresh lamb chops. Supplies are limited. August 27 at 9:34pm · Like · 13

MC: That gets an "ewww!" August 27 at 9:35pm · Like · 4

FTM: Hope they are safe. August 27 at 9:35pm · Like · 2

ME: This is my favorite thread ever on this board. August 27 at 9:36pm · Like · 13

JDS: Can't we shear them for a little longer? August 27 at 9:38pm · Like · 6

JK: I got it!!!! They were taking one of the bags to the dame then one to the little boy who lived down the lane.... August 27 at 9:42pm · Like · 6

DW: They're all home safe after stopping traffic on 126. They had quite an adventure. August 27 at 9:42pm · Like · 16

JM: Well they were going to the dame but they got busted #leavethesheepalone August 27 at 9:43pm · Like · 1

JDS: Glad they are all sheep shape and sound smile emoticon August 27 at 9:45pm · Like · 2

Natasha Lloyd:

 August 27 at 9:45pm · Like · 7

NL: ^^ a photo taken earlier on 126 August 27 at 9:45pm · Like · 4

JDS: I wonder how many of these sheeps were in fact escaped convicts on the lamb? August 27 at 9:45pm · Like · 9

JE: Sorry Chris [ME], I think this post is baahhd. August 27 at 9:46pm · Like · 6

JM: After that adventure they will sheep like a baby tonight August 27 at 9:46pm · Like · 2

JDS: Because we all find this so entertaining are we in fact 'sheeple' ? August 27 at 9:47pm · Like · 3 

ME: When I can't get to sleep tonight, I am just going to count all the sheep posts here...seriously, glad they are safe and that we were all able to share a laugh as a community! August 27 at 9:47pm · Like · 10

John Esposito my name is was me!!

August 27 at 9:52pm · Like · 2

CRW: Omg this is hysterical!!!! August 27 at 9:53pm · Like· 1

DTN: Good n"ewes" they're home! 🐏🐏🐏 August 27 at 9:55pm · Like· 5

JDS: Nobody started a 'sheepstakes' pool? August 27 at 9:58pm · Like· 2

LS: I thought of a Silence of the Lambs reference John but I thought there would be a shear outrage August 27 at 10:01pm · Like · 5

JE: Does Shaws sell Fava Beans.? August 27 at 10:01pm · Like · 2

[There was another video from Silence of the Lambs posted but withdrawn later]

JE: oh man did you really post that??lol August 27 at 10:12pm

TP: Enjoyed this banter immensely! August 27 at 10:32pm · Like · 2

TH: Little Bo Peep where are you. August 27 at 10:33pm · Like · 1

LJL: If there were ever awards on this page for favorite threads, this would get my vote, LOL. Much appreciated humor. On a serious note, after someone nearly Tboning me at Eliot/126/earlier (due to cell phone stuck in her ear and seeming unawareness she was in an intersection) I am really happy none of the sheep got hit. Tough strip of road. 18 hrs · Like · 5

JW: Who knew Ashlanders were so clever? Well done all of you! 18 hrs · Like · 2

JK: the kudos goes to Dona who spent her night saving sheep! :) 17 hrs · Like · 4

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Time I Cut My Own Hair

A few years back, during a period where I was so not into thinking about it, my haircuts were just me going in and asking for a #3 buzz all around. There's nothing at all wrong with a buzz cut by the way!

One day I am at BJ's and see this item, curved clippers - I thought, yeah, I could save the $12 and just buzz myself (yeah, sometimes I am just too ridiculous for my own good).

I plug it it, adjust the blade and go to town, occasionally looking in the mirror; time would prove the mirror would be completely irrelevant.

I go back and forth between adjusting the blades, looking in the mirror and clipping away and at some point I said something like, "done, not bad at all." Of course, I never thought to look at the back of my head.

The next day at work, nobody really said anything except for my friend Linda, who really didn't say all that much - not enough to indicate how insane I looked. In fact, I may never have known until I decided to look at the back of my head (using a far more complex system of mirrors than should be necessary).

I laughed at myself, then realized I only had two options - shave it all or deal with it and let it grow out. I chose to let it grow out so that at least for a week or so, I would have a constant reminder to pick and choose my DIY project with more caution.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thanking the Military

For a while I have wanted to buy lunch for one of the many members of the armed forces I see, most often at Whole Foods, at lunch time. The timing has just never worked out - but today, I seized a cool opportunity.

I had lunch with my daughter at Dairy Queen, there was a guy there in an Army uniform having lunch and I came up with a good idea that would let me achieve my goal and also set a good example for my kid and a few other kids that were sitting in the booth right next to the soldier.

I went to the register and bought a gift card and then presented it to the guy and said “the next lunch here is on me, thank you for your service”.His reaction made it all worthwhile, he had no idea how to react, was clearly surprised – he shook my hand and said thanks and I went back to my seat so he wouldn’t be uncomfortable. He then came over after he was finished with his ice cream and said thanks again and that I took him by surprise but that it was his honor to serve our country. I saw that the mom of the two young kids seemed to be explaining what happened as well – it felt super good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Irrational Shareholders

Look, I've been around the stock market to know it tanks sometimes and how it ebbs and flows...but ever since the early Internet boom of the 90's and it's eventual bust, there are so many more uneducated, irrational, and plain stupid people with money in the markets that act so unbelievably irrational during a downturn, making it a much bigger downturn.

Can we please require people to have both intelligence and common sense when investing?

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Craigslist Story

Recently set up the "guest bedroom' as an actual guest bedroom. More accurately, setting it up - I bought an actual bed - well, mattress set. I've had a nice air mattress for a long time but it died. To replace it with something as nice is actually as expensive as an inexpensive mattress set - so I went with the mattress set,

I had a bed frame in my basement, so I was able to use that. I spent some time trolling Craigslist to see if I could find a no or low cost headboard - I don't think it's necessary but it's nice. I found someone giving one away, a nice one.

I was able to get an assist this afternoon from my friend Andy to pick it up and get it to my house, when I got home later, I went to set it up - only to discover it was not a conventional sized queen headboard but rather a piece of a bed frame that was not a universal fit. I am glad I didn't pay money to rent a truck to pick this thing up! I did by lunch for Andy but I'd have done that for nothing, I never feel bad about treating someone I know to an Italian sub from Waverly Market.

So I decide, screw it, I have had great success just trashing household items and people just taking them from the trash. I was depending on someone taking it or I'd have had to call in for a "large item" pickup - so at around 6pm, I placed the headboard out front...

later that eveing, around 8pm, I notice a pick up truck pull up and take the it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pawnee - The Sitcom Done Right

I watch more TV than I probably should but for the most part, it entertains me and I can't really find fault in that, The problem, sometimes there are more shows than there is time to watch - I guess that's a good problem to have in the ever changing landscape of TV where there are sometimes periods with not all that much to watch.

During it's run on network television, I never saw an episode of Parks & Recreation and after it was through, I never really thought about it...until, my daughter said to me, "dad, you should watch Parks & Rec., I know you and you would like it."

On March 7th of this year I watched season 1, episode 1. Today, I watched the very last episode, 7 seasons, 122 episodes and have to say, I am so glad that I listened to my kid, it was too good to have missed.

Aside from being a very funny series, I have to say, might very well be the best sitcom series finale ever. I recommend this series very highly.

Small Bladders and Bad Concert Etiquette

At one point in the concert last night, some dude comes barreling through the aisle, I was on the end seat, my daughter next to me...when he gets to the point in between my daughter and I he places his hand on my right shoulder and makes a point of saying to me, "Sorry, small bladder" as he passed through.

My daughter and I began to crack up and the humor of it but also recognized the creepiness of it. Of course, it had legs, we started to look up the phrase "small bladder" in other languages and talked about filming a reenactment in as many languages as we can.

It became a running gag as he did passed through several times during the show as did the guy to my daughter's right. It became often enough that I even posted to FB that I somehow ended up in a row filled with men with small bladders.

Let's talk for a minute about the inevitable idiots that go to the shows, sadly, it's a large number. First, the rude and obnoxious who think it's okay to smoke. How fucking disgusting a human can one be that they would have the balls to light up a cigarette (or anything) right among the crowd? Honestly, these are the times I wish there were hyper-extreme laws...if it were up to me, you get caught lighting anything during the show, immediate ejection and a night in jail along with an arrest on your record. A second offense lands you for a week in prison and a $10,000 fine. A third time, how about a year in jail and a $25,000 fine - in my opinion, not extreme enough, but these assholes are just that and should be punished harshly.

Now let me talk about the people that feel the need to get up a dozen or more times during the two hour show to get beer, food, water, or anything? Are you kidding me? You can't plan your time so that you don't need to get up for two hours to see the show that you spent hundreds of dollars to see? Why bother? Christ, if you need a beer so desperately, I can think of other places you should be instead of at the concert annoying me - quite frankly, anywhere else would be fine, just not near me would be just fine. Get your fill and your shit before the show then sit the fuck down and enjoy the show - if you can't do that, you don't deserve to be there. There are a few, and it's a very few, excusable reasons for someone to get up during a show - not going to list them because reasonable humans could figure them out...rant over.

For Those About to Rock...

In the words of my 17 year old daughter as the show came to an end, "that is the definition of rock and roll!"

I am not sure I can find any better or more eloquent words to describe the show. It blows my mind how Brian Johnson doesn't bust a blood vessel or have an aneurysm singing the way he does for two hours a night but he was in fine form. A man of very few words, you could probably count his words of banter on your digits it was so sparse but the music certainly did the talking as they ripped through a setlist that covers a pretty good range of their work from classic to new.

Angus, in his trademark school boy outfit, at 60, still moves about the stage non-stop with his Gibson SG and plays it like nobody's business. At one point he even pulled off his neck tie and used it as a bow - if I did that it would sound like music was dying, he made it sound like rock and roll.

Chris Slade was on drums for this tour, I saw him play live when he was part of a band called "The Firm", which featured Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers. The rhythm guitar spot vacated by Malcolm Young, was filled by his nephew, and filled in just fine - but it did take a little while to get used to someone different there,

The stage is clean, the words were few, but the music was in full force. There were some large scale props, like the giant bell that came out swinging for Hells Bells, the canons that went off during For Those About to Rock and according to the radio earlier that day, there was supposed to be a giant inflatable "Rosie" during  Whole Lotta Rosie - one review mentioned it but I didn't see it.

It was a great show and I am super glad that I got to experience it with my daughter,. Here is the set list - it's the same one they played on the European leg...hey, if it ain't broke...
  1. Intro
  2. Rock or Bust 
  3. Shoot to Thrill 
  4. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be 
  5. Back in Black 
  6. Play Ball 
  7. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 
  8. Thunderstruck 
  9. High Voltage 
  10. Rock 'n' Roll Train 
  11. Hells Bells 
  12. Baptism by Fire 
  13. You Shook Me All Night Long 
  14. Sin City 
  15. Shot Down in Flames 
  16. Have a Drink on Me 
  17. T.N.T. 
  18. Whole Lotta Rosie 
  19. Let There Be Rock 
    (With Angus Young guitar solo)
  20. Encore:
  21. Highway to Hell 
  22. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) 
One thing that I ended up making a joke about was the slightly longer than usual pause in between songs. It wasn't really long, just longer and by enough that if you go to concerts, it's very noticeable. A few songs in I joked that Brian Johnson needed to down a gallon of honey for his throat, Soon after I said, "maybe he needs a moment to swallow another steel wool pad." later, I said, I was uncertain if he was doing the honey thing or the steel wool thing, both have merit. My genius daughter replies, "maybe it's both". Of course, He uses the steel wool pad as a sponge to sop up the honey then downs!

Great show to mark the official end of the #summerofconcerts tour.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


On this date in 2004, our friends reunion took place in Brooklyn at the home of the Careaga's. It's creeping up on a year since the last time this group got together, last year was at the home of the DeCoursey's (I was in the midst of a very unfortunate lapse in judgement at the time) which despite my ridiculous place in time/life, was super great to see everyone.

There were two gangs of people that I consider to be formative in my life, the "Alley Gang", which are the group of people I literally grew up with and this gang, which I have often referred to as "the reunion gang".

For a good stretch, the reunion gang got together every year, then even twice per year, without fail - the past few years have been different though; life getting in the way and whatever - I miss the regularity, I hope we can all get together soon.

The good news, the Buonanno's, who have been seen way less than most of the others in the reunion gang are coming to MA to spend a few days here at my place. Along with their daughter, who is going to be living in Boston as she attends graduate school, I am luck to be able to host the three of them for a few days and help them with her move into Beantown.

I am looking forward to spending some focused time with my friends, but I know when I have to say goodbye, we will all be longing for a full scale reunion.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Email Persistence

This scenario here is the workplace:

For quite some time, months at least, I've been getting email from some guy named Hunter at this company who wants to discuss a particular software solution. I have almost no interest at all in the product or his pitch and even if I did, our budgets couldn't support such a venture - so I simply ignored his emails - partly because of my lack of interest and partly because I couldn't be sure it wasn't a bot sending them and I have not time to waste communicating with bots.

Hunter got my attention with another email that came today (btw, he's not being truthful about the voicemail, he's never left even one, not on my number)::

Hello Christopher,
I have left you a few voicemails and emails regarding OneLogin’s solution for single sign-on and identity management.
Since I have yet to hear from you, I can only assume that one of the following is true:

1. You are flat out not interested and wish that I would just leave you alone
2. You are interested but just not right now
3. You are trapped under a heavy object and are unable to reach the phone

As the subject of my email indicates, I do not want to be a pest, any guidance on my inquiries would be very much appreciated.
Hunter Sapp

 I felt compelled to reply to this one, nothing snarky or sarcasting, just a "Thanks for the laugh...not interested" His email was funny!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Contractor One

Today I had the first contractor come by the house to look at the bathroom remodel job and come up with an estimate - this makes it real-er.

I've already eliminated a contractor because of how they handled my request for proposal.

Going to try to get two more.

Funny how the wounds of a difficult time with the kitchen remodel just open up and sting, in the end, despite it being a very difficult time, I am happy with the end product, I just want this project to go smooth.

I'm going to distract myself with work right now :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RIP Yvonne Craig

Yvonne Craig, best known for playing Batgirl on the TV series Batman has passed away. I regret to say that I couldn't name any other role but boy oh boy, do I remember the famous one.

I was born during the first run of Batman, but just a baby - I caught them in reruns in the early to mid-1970's and while she didn't appear all that often, every time Batgirl did make an appearance - yowza!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This Drive's Me Bonkers

This picture is so you can get a feel for what I am speaking of, plus, it's kind of meta that on the screen is the in the picture is this exact screen that I am typing this post into (screw proper English, this is all about the meta).

I am almost always in long before we open the computer lab, so imagine this scene above with the door in the background closed and locked and the lights off, and me, sometimes working at this computer. Inevitably, students will show up before we open (which is at 7:45 am) and then just lurk, staring in the window, and occasionally start knocking. What the heck is their problem? This makes me mental. Then when I do open the doors at 7:45, sometimes they complain and wonder why I wouldn't let them in since I was there anyway.

Oh my God this makes me so angry!!! The freaking lab hours are posted - and I don't mix any words with them, I tell them up front, I don't get paid until 7:45 and there's no way I will open a second before then.

The hours are clearly posted on the door, they are told the hours at their orientation, but they still do the same thing over and over and it's just, well, kind of dumb if you ask me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Not Just Grapes, Cotton candy Grapes

What the hell did you say?

If you click the picture you can go to the website. About a year or so ago, my friend Melissa posted that she got these "Cotton candy Grapes" at Whole Foods - grapes that taste like cotton candy...I know, right?

I had to get some, I ran to Whole Foods the next day...they were nowhere to be found. I asked over and over, day after day until I gave up, then forgot, until today, when there they were, a year later.

I grabbed a bag, then posted them on FB to let Melissa know they were back.

I just rinsed a bunch and ate them, I didn't get any cotton candy notes in the flaor profile at all (I said that all douchy on purpose).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hufflepuff is Where I am At

This happened:

I've joked about Harry Potter, and ribbed some adult friends about it, but not for any reason other than really loving to rib my friends. I think J.K. Rowling is quite the genius and while I have not read a word of one of the books nor seen a minute of one of the movies, I've heard enough to know that at least in the books, her domain fully, she did a great job.

My daughter is a Potter buff. The other day, the incredibly amazing T posted a picture of her daughter wearing a Happy Potter themed T-shirt - later that day, I picked up my daughter, and she's got a Potter themed pair of sweats going, one that read "Hufflepuff". I sent a pic of my kid to T and then my daughter and T were trying to decide which Hogwarts House I would, I don't know "be a part of"? I don't know the correct terminology.

Today, T sends a link to a quiz I can take to see how they did and that is where the thing at the top of this post comes from. Turns out that both my kid and T know me pretty well - warms my heart oh so much!

Meme: I’ll Spread my Wings and I’ll Learn How to Fly

1. Have you ever had a pen pal?

2. What’s your favorite breed of dog? 
Standard Poodles are cool but I think a Bull Mastiff (less the drool)

3. Can money buy happiness? 
No, but can buy the illusion of happiness, which is sometimes adequate

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down?
Yes, I listen to music all the time

5.What is one thing you spend way too much money on?

6.Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?
Up until I read this question, which raises doubt (whomever wrote this question is an evil bastard)

7.What was the last thing you spent money on?
If you want to be literal, iced coffee
Gearing up a bathroom remodel, buying stuff for that is pricey

8.Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color?
Save for the gray that's mixed in

9.Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?
My buddy Ameesh

10.Were you in a good mood last night?

11.Do you have a reason to smile right now?
I am breathing, so yes
12. How often do you hold back what you want to say?
Depends on the situation

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place?
I guess it really doesn't matter since I have no control over it

14.Are you currently looking forward to anything?
Yes, seeing AC/DC with my daughter and going to Cabbage Island for a clambake

15.Do you have any TV shows on DVD?
I don't own any, have seen many

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Who Cares?

In tribute to a long defunct blog that used to post completely meaningless things that absolutely nobody could ever care about, yet, was one of the most entertaining blogs I have ever read, here's a post about things I did today:

  • Woke up
  • At a microwaved breakfast
  • Drank coffee
  • Showered
  • Fb'ed
  • Went to farmer's market
  • Ate ribs (yummy ribs, from The Carve)
  • Purchased toilet bowl
  • Purchased medicine cabinet
  • Got some Froyo
  • Fb'ed about my exploits
  • Came home
  • Purchased mew mattress for guest room
  • Fb'ed about my exploits
  • Wrote this post

Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into

Each of the past few years, after returning from the Blackboard World conference, I decided to put together a report to both help me gather, absorb and retain all the information I learned and to share it with my colleagues (also to have something tangible to illustrate a ROI for the college).

This year, among the recipients of my report, the Interim President of the College, she actually took the time to read all 46 pages and after, asked if I would do a presentation at the next professional day.

I immediately thought to recruit one of my colleagues as a co-presenter as she had just recently completed graduate level research on many of the topics I bring up in my report.

Of course now the daunting task of coming up with a presentation...I had a mini brainstorm on the title and came up with the following 4:

Disruptive Innovation, Learner Engagement, and other Tales from the World of Educating Learner’s in the Modern Education Marketplace
Disruptive Innovation, Learner Engagement, and other Tales from the Modern Education Landscape
The Learner Says What? A Look at Today’s Learner and How We Need to Change to Become Today’s Educator’s
The Learner Says What? A Look at Today’s Learner and How We Must Change to Meet their Needs

Immediately seeing the need for editing, I also immediately saw the advantage of a colleague to work together with...after running them by her and reviewing the content, we are going with:

The Learner Says What? A Look at Today’s Learner and How We Must Change to Meet their Needs

Now to put together an abstract in the short term and the full presentation, about an hour's worth, for 9/25.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

22 Plus D.C.

Here's an update - I last did this in January...since then, one more state plus the District of Columbia.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I see this guy almost every morning as I get to work, he is taking his daily walk using our campus as a safe road. I truly admire his gumption, but I really wish he'd put a shirt on.

His consistency does make me feel bad about myself though, I was on such a roll with exercise not too long ago, but I let it get out of hand and lost sight of what I was doing, ended up with some injuries and had to slow down.

Sadly, my internal fitness drive seems to only have off and on as options - I really need to find the right balance. I have tried to get back into the game a few times and can't make it stick.

What is really the worst part of it all is that I know the benefits of exercise, internally and externally, and I am not really in a position where I can avoid it for too long without it having a negative effect on my health.

So, despite the fact that this old man grosses me out with his torso every morning, he is doing what I should be doing. I need to go kick myself.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In My Ears 2015 Vol. 12

I haven't listened to Echo & The Bunnymen in a long time, I saw this CD in the library bins, so I had to give it a listen. I listened twice, not so sure how much I feel about it yet.

It's not awful by any means, can't say much more.
After seeing Def Leppard live a few weeks ago, I wanted to go back and listen to some of the old stuff, can't get much older than this one.

Songs hold up, definitely needs to be remastered.
Again, strong songs that hold up, a remastering would be welcome.
Because of the specific time and place that this record brings me back to, it's just a little more special than the first 2 - again, a remastering would be great...really fantastic songs that all hold up.
My first Rush concert a few weeks back got me thinking how long I've kind of left them behind. As I mentioned when I wrote about the concert, I hadn't listened to a Rush record in about 5 years - but I haven't listened to anything they had put out in probably longer.

This record and Clockwork Angels below were among some of the Rush records I had never heard until I listened to them in these past few weeks.
Musically, I enjoy listening to Rush play, even on record, there is a certain synergy in the way they do things.

I am not going to say that I love either of these records, neither has the same effect as some of their earlier stuff does for me but I can't say it's their fault as much as it is mine.

These are solid records, nothing even close to "commercial".
I recently told you all about how glad I am to have finally learned of this band and how much I dig them.

This is a great record!
Saw Styx for the first time recently (one of the openers for Def Leppard). Wanted to see how this record, one of my faves back in the day, held up.

Again, in need of a remastering....the record still holds weight for me.

Sixth Week

This is the last week of the 6 week class I have been teaching that has been taking most of my time of late. It is only partly responsible for my difficulty keeping up with this blog in the past few weeks and for at least of the few hours of sleep that I have missed (and still do).

There will be another "In My Ears" post any day now, I've listened to a little more music this time around because I can do that while grading student work.

I don't think I mentioned this on the blog, a few days ago, I saw a dumbass riding a motorcycle wearing flip-flops, gotta take a special kind of douchebag idiot to do that!

Did one of those "anonymous" surveys this past weekend that does not really mention who it involves but is painfully obvious anyway - the shit stains over at Verizon are very clearly testing and researching the idea of capping home internet data the same way they do with wireless data...this is so unjust.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

In My Ears 2015 Vol. 11

Here's what I've been pumping through my skull since last time:

I wrote about this either earlier this year or late last year. Visqueen, fronted by Rachel Flotard, is a really fantastic band.

They aren't currently recording, or together (I think). this album is amazing, especially "Beautiful Amnesia"

Returning to recording together as a band, this first project together since 2007 touches on their core but also is what you might expect to hear from them at this place in time.

This is a really good "listening" record.

Despite a bit of internal band personnel trouble, this record shines as a result of solid writing and solid production.

Tommy Lee guests on drums.

I really love the sound of Colin Meloy's voice.

This band was an NPR All Songs Considered find for me and ever since I found them, I've tried to follow them.

I've never seen them live but I really love to listen to them.

In the last installment, I wrote about the most recentWhitesnake record where Coverdale revisits the songs he recorded with Purple. I made a statement that rather than record that project they should have just remastered the original stuff.

There are some remasters out there!

I was right, this record is great!

I don't want this to sound like a negative review, because I enjoyed listening to these songs and hearing Stevie Nicks voice.

That said, I don't know that these songs really needed to be released from the vault, they aren't anything extraordinary, just standard Stevie music.

You'll find some influence form many, if not all, of the genres that draw from "roots" music without sounded dated.

The Lone Bellow has a sound all their own and strong writing, the kind of music that makes you hungry for more.

Love Queen, Love their music, but this compilation seems to be a complete waste of time.

I can't seem to put any rhyme or reason why these songs are assembled, it almost seemed as if a record company exec. said, "let's put a Queen compilation out so we can cash out on their name"...then instead of hiring a thoughtful producer, they basically hit shuffle on the catalog of the bizarre and went with that.

Again, great songs, great band, this record though, deleted from my iPod.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hot Rod R.I.P.

"I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum."

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper was a legend in professional wrestling, in listening to interviews after his death, many wrestlers from many generations recognize him as the greatest heel in the history of the business.

I watched wrestling form the time I was 8 or 9 years old, since the early-1970's. By the late 70's and early 80's, I was going to see the live wrestling program's at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

There were a lot of unique characters and gimmicks, but Roddy Piper was from a different cloth, literally, the dude came out in a kilt, played bag pipes and was often smaller than his opponent but talk about tough and unpredictable, talk about a loose cannon with a microphone, talk about someone who ensured every fan (and their parent) got every penny's worth they spent to see the show.

Rest in peace Roddy!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Lungs are Clear

Went for my follow up visit after having been diagnosed with pneumonia a month or so ago. I feel way, way better than I did in the thick of it, the medicine did it's job for sure. I was uncertain where the x-ray would be because I do still have a slight residual cough, nothing crazy, but something rather than nothing at all.

The x-ray showed the lungs to be clear. I did receive a pneumonia vaccines, which of course has my left arm a bit sore - if I remember correctly, that's the result of an intramuscular injection (any nurses or doctors reading this?).

Work has been very busy, I am still working on completing my report from the conference I attended the week before last. I should be able to complete it tomorrow - it's over 40 pages.

I now have two computers in the house running Windows 10!

That's all for now.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Penultimate (Scheduled) Stop on the #summerofconcerts Tour

Last night my daughter and I ventured to the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA for another stop on our #summerofconcerts tour. The show eas headlined by Rascal Flatts with opener, Scotty McCreery and a guest opener spot by RaeLynn.

RaeLyyn, a semi-finalist on The Voice has garnered so attention with country radio and performed a short 20 minute set that primed the crowd.

McCreey, an American Idol winner from a few years ago. I have to say, I rmember seeing him on Idol and it's impressive how he has matured since them. Scotty did a great job of keeping the crown happy and included some country classics in his 40-45 minute set along with most his hits and his new single.

Rascal Flatts was terrific, Gary Levox has extraordinary vocal skills and it's kind of cool how most of the band gets their chance to shine in the spotlight.

One odd thing, and this is now the second artist I've seen this year to do this, there was no encore. Granted, they did a nice set, packed with hits, and it was fine from a time perspective - I just think the ritual of the encore is something we all expect and for me, I really miss it.

Here is Rascal Flatts setlistL

  1. Stand 
  2. Me and My Gang 
  3. To Love Somebody/Take Me To Church 
  4. What Hurts the Most 
  5. Love You Out Loud 
  6. Why Wait 
  7. Riot 
  8. Fast Cars and Freedom 
  9. Here Comes Goodbye / Easy 
  10. These Days 
  11. Mayberry 
  12. I'm Movin' On 
  13. Prayin' for Daylight 
  14. Summer Nights 
  15. I Like the Sound of That 
  16. Rewind 
  17. Take Me There 
  18. Bless the Broken Road 
  19. Banjo 
  20. Here's to You 
  21. Life Is a Highway 
    (Tom Cochrane cover)

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Seven Down and Five to Go

August 1st, 2015, here we are, the beginning of the end of summer. There are still 2 scheduled stops on the #summerofconcerts tour; my daughter and I are seeing Rascal Flatts tomorrow evening and then on 8/22, AC/DC.

I just picked up tickets today to see comedian Gilbert Gottfried in November with a friend and former colleague and a few days ago I got tickets to see comedians Nick DiPaolo and Greg Fitzimmons different weekends in September.

I have been on the fence, but I think I am going to see The Road Dawgs tonight, I want to go, but I am still recovering from a very busy week at work on top of two concerts mid week and I also have the show tomorrow night and then have work Monday morning.

It's been a great summer though, I have loved every minute of seeing these shows with my daughter. Oh yeah, we do have another day (or overnight trip) to put in the books - a revisit to the Cabbage Island Clambake...that was killer last year and my daughter and I both want to do it again.

Haircut today at a new place...loved it, I will go back. the place is called "Sport Clips".

My buddies The Road Dawgs had a dream gig playing on Yawkey Way in front of fenway Park for pre-game activities. Here is some footage catpured from NESN, the local cable network that broadcasts Red Sox games: