Friday, March 30, 2012

Live Webcasts!

Coming in 2012
In less than an hour, Kiss will be shown live from their free concert tonight in New Orleans on AT&T's Uverseonline.   And tomorrow night TMOS is hosting a first-for-them live show in front of a packed theater, you can get your online ticket here.  Is there any question why the computer has taken over my television time?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Changes, Inside And Out

Before I forget again, now is a good time to post the growth of the plants at the back of the house and compare to the photo I posted just 11 days ago.  Go here or scroll down a bit, and keep in mind we're still in March!  Peas are starting to sprout - the ones the squirrels missed, anyway - but more may be planted soon.  I'll wait a bit for an update there, but we do have more going on around here...

After almost two weeks, our dishwasher was installed this morning, yet it is still not completely finished.  It seems that plumbers aren't allowed anymore to hard wire a dishwasher or do any electrical work so we have to have an electrician in to put plugs in the electrical box under the sink.  Well, it works with an extension cord now, at least.

TV stand:  Unpacked pieces in front, packed version in background
And then there was the saga of the television stand.  It arrived originally in a pretty beat up box, but after unpacking the only problems were a chipped board and missing unique screw bolts.  The chipped board I was happy to overlook since I recovered 2 big pieces and it was in a hidden area anyway.  However, I could not completely build it without the special screw bolts.  Their packaging came open during shipment so I found several throughout the box as I was unpacking, obviously some were lost through the ends and/or the several gouges in the outer box.

After googling a phone number for, I called a very helpful agent, Angelo, I believe.  After exploring all avenues to get me the missing half dozen screw bolts, they had no option but to send me a whole other 114 lb. package.  I am to open it, take out what I need, tape it back up and ship it back before late April, all on their dime - about 70 bucks shipping one way.  In this pic you see the first one, unpacked, and leaning against some of the sliding glass door and the new one still in the box.  Getting that box back together again will be fun.  Remember, I all ready unpacked this once, I know the piece I need is toward one side and the hardware I need is in the exact middle of the box.  Anyway, it may not have been my ideal solution but Angelo worked hard to do anything else before resorting to this.  Great customer service, thank you Angelo at

So the plan is to get into and out of that box tomorrow or Friday night, then Jerome and Lisa are coming over on Saturday afternoon for assembly and grilled dinner.  I picture Jerome being 'Al' to my 'Tim - the Tool Man - Taylor.'  It should be fun!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pic Dump 39

It's that time again, time to dump all those pics I came across during my surfing that I saved just for this very occasion! Same rules as always: Some may be NSFW, click pic for original size if different and much, much more after the break. Now, sit back and... Enjoy!

Again, many thanks to 'My Favorite Sites' listed in the right column always, and here now:
Bits & Pieces, Crazy, Lazy, Silly and Strange, I Have Seen The Whole Of The InternetNaughty Bits, and the Watcher's Web Funny Farm

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We live just a ways south of the airport, so we don't even really hear the planes anymore.  It's briefly loud enough to pause a conversation for a few seconds when outdoors, but it certainly doesn't rattle the windows at all.  That being said, it seems the somewhat louder Wisconsin Air National Guard has been training again.  We heard some when we were outside just after dusk last night, and now this afternoon several have been taking off, always in pairs.  I wonder if there's a deployment coming up or something.
This is not a complaint, just an observation.  More power to 'em!

*I just looked it up - we're about 3 miles south, for perspective.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Pat's Day and Spring Plants

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today I chose a cartoon selection from my favorite cartoonist, Dan Piraro over at Bizarro Blog to celebrate the day.

Spring is here!  Very early for us this year, but I'm lovin' it!  The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately, about 30 degrees above average and we have been setting record high temps every day.  With the change to Spring, I change jobs starting Monday.  Yesterday my coworkers picked on me all day, messing up my desk every time I left it to wander or go to break.  It actually made me feel really good that they cared enough to pay that much attention to me on my last day in the department.  A few of them even met me out after work to enjoy a few drinks (okay, a lot).  I will miss them, but I will still be in the same building so I'll still see them around now and again.

With the yard clean up done, we can just enjoy watching all the plants and flowers come to life.  Below is the back of the house.  You can see one lone yellow daffodil blooming among many other plants and bulbs bursting up.  To the left of the daffodil are irises and to the right are many random bulbs that were around the yard replanted here and those purple puffball plants that I don't know the name of.  Lost in the shadows on the left there are day lilies coming up.  As you can tell, last year I used the leaf mulch in the flowerbeds.  Hopefully that works out well so I can do that every year, I recycled almost all of the leaf litter from last year right here in our yard.

Also, every Spring we have these little purple flowers pop up in the back part of the yard. They're pretty and don't seem to hurt anything. In fact they pretty much disappear by the time I have to mow for the first time and then we won't notice anything again until next Spring.

Well, after my past couple of days, today is mostly a day of rest and relaxation.  Tomorrow may be the 'errand' day, and I still have the TV stand stuff to do.  My friend Jerome offered to help so I may take him up on that tomorrow, we'll see.  I hope wherever you are you are enjoying a nice Spring and not drinking cheap, green beer - blecchhh!

P.S.  Hopefully in a bit I will have the first garden blog post of the year, though there is not much to see yet.  Link is in the right column.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My 'Off' Day

I took today off from work.  Well, work that I get paid for anyway.  My day started about the same time it always does on a weekday, but instead of getting ready for work I read the paper and walked quietly until my wife got up for work.  After she was up and gone I finally showered, ready for what was supposed to be a very nice day.

I started by cleaning up and going to the hardware and grocery stores early, before they got busy.  By the time I got home and was putting away groceries it was already sweltering.  Well, as sweltering as 70 degrees and slightly foggy can be.  I removed some of the plastic we had covering some windows and opened up the house for what would be a very nice Spring day.  I went non-stop after that with yardwork and much more.  By the time I had knocked out much of my to-do list it was almost game time, at 1:10 the Badgers played.  This was after I had taken 2 showers and was on my fourth set of clothes.  On this 'day off' I worked my butt off in humidity that is unseen in March usually.  The high today was only 73 degrees but the humidity was nuts.  Pavement was actually wet, and in the shade it stayed like that until almost 4 o'clock this afternoon!  I managed to accomplish many odd jobs around here, but not anything to do with the TV stand.  That was just too much to fit in.

Still, none of it seemed to matter.  Sore as hell, I made a strong drink at the start of the Badger game and enjoyed it (the game and the drinks) immensely.  After all, I had been working non-stop, physically, all damn day.  In the mail, which arrived towards the end of the game, I got the PAIN DVD that I had been expecting, so when the game was done -and since it was supposed to be my off day- I enjoyed the hell out of that DVD, until my wife got home.

End of story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hand In Hand

Well, I feel like I should apologize for the sporadic blogging lately but when I look it has been just once or twice a week for a while now.  Oh well, let's catch up. 

On one hand, our new TV stand/entertainment center was delivered today.  Just a box full of lots of pieces that need to be put together.
On the other hand, we have no new TV to put on it yet.  We do know what we want, though, so it is just a matter of ordering it, but there is also the little detail of moving, disassembling, and discarding the old, huge, entertainment center.

On one hand, my wife took a half day off today to be here for the delivery of our dishwasher.  Yes, we finally are getting a dishwasher.  When we first got the house we wanted to get one, then other things came up and we found that doing the dishes by hand wasn't so bad.  Since then I have had my share of surgeries and no longer stoop over the sink so Kate has been doing them all herself now for quite some time.
On the other hand, the plumber called this morning and said the carpenter can't make it here in the morning to remove the cabinet due to a health problem with his wife.  I had taken tomorrow off to be here for them and now have to decide if I will still take it off or if I will go in to work in the morning.   But there's a lot more to that...

On one hand, the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team opens March Madness as a number 4 seed against Montana early tomorrow afternoon, yard work could be done, and some of the aforementioned TV stand stuff could be done.  Also, a TV could get ordered, and I could take my first voluntary day off in a longer time than I can remember.
On the other hand, I have only one day I can use until I get my time back at the end of the month so I could go in and cancel my day off in the morning. Otherwise Kate would have to take another day off (presumably) next week when they can install the dishwasher.  I'll be in training at a new job for the next 2 months starting Monday,  so I would rather not miss a day when I've just joined the department.

Decisions, decisions.  I'm leaning toward taking the day off anyway tomorrow to get some of those things done around here.  Kate is okay with taking another day off for the workmen and, well, I deserve a day off.  So there!  The weather has been gorgeously sunny and warm lately so maybe I will post pics of the plants that are popping up... maybe we'll even have the first garden post of the year!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Latest Listening Pleasure... Nightwish

Nightwish is a band from Finland that I found out about through their singer Annette Olzon's singing with Pain on the single/video 'Follow Me.'  At first I was a bit skeptical, I have never really listened to this symphonic metal genre of music before.  In fact, at first listen I preferred the instrumental version.  But it grew on me and continues to be played frequently on my ipod.  I've since listened to some similar bands, like Epica and Xandria, and have come to the conclusion that I do not prefer this type of music - except for Nightwish, who do what they do very very well.  I do only prefer the current Nightwish lineup and maybe their last with the previous singer on the cd, Once.  I have not felt the need to explore earlier releases, though I'm sure it would be interesting if I ever get bored.

This new project, Imaginaerum, is turning out to be quite a big project.  CD's, DVD's, a movie coming soon.  I look forward to seeing the movie when finished, I may buy the box set that I'm sure will come out.  Here is the first single off Imaginaerum, 'Storytime,' followed by a brand new (hours old when I posted this) Imaginaerum documentary trailer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Moving On Up

I'm happy to say that I have accepted a position in another department at my work, a step up, a promotion.  Many people tell me that the grass is the same green, and that may be, but at least it's a different lawn.  I start a fortnight from now, I am eager and nervous at the same time.  It will be a major change for my days, most likely for the better, and a minor raise in pay.  I take some pride in my work and I hope I'm joining people that mostly feel the same.   Yep, well, at the very least I'll have windows!

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Like A Lion...

Yes, March is here and with it comes one of the bigger snowfalls so far this season.  I just took this picture a few minutes ago. The snowfall is expected to more or less continue through Sunday, yet Tuesday and Wednesday they expect very mild temps in the 50's.  I'd like to see the 'out like a lamb' part sooner than later.

My wife told me that if I decide to shovel it better be a hole to fall in so when I hurt my back again she can just cover me up.  Hmm, I think I'll wait until she gets home.