Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

I know I said there was going to be an end of the year rant coming, I guess I just don't have a rant in me right now.  However, it has been some time since I've written much of anything so how about another 'This and Thats' post!
  • After a very cold November, December has thankfully been much more seasonable.  All the snow we had was melted by the middle of the month, so we did not have a white christmas - not that I mind at all.  We will be ringing in the new year much cooler starting, well, now.  It was -1º F when I left for work this morning.  Thats about -18º C for my friends outside America.  
  • This short "break" I have taken from blogging has been good for me.  In fact, I'm tempted to extend it but I need to write/rant/unload sometimes and, after all, I do enjoy it.  In this time away I have cut down on podcasts and websites that I had almost obsessively kept up on before, so I managed some more time in the living room in the evenings with my wife, and I'm working on reading my first book in several months (I'm The Man by Scott Ian from the band Anthrax). I'm sure I would have cut down my computer time even more but I have been reading a lot of sports sites.  The Packers are entering the playoffs, the Badgers football team plays in the Outback Bowl tomorrow and basketball season is under way with the Badgers a top 5 team in the country.  It's usually a good thing to be a fan of sports teams from Wisconsin.  We may not win championships every year, but we seem to have a realistic shot every year after year.
  • Let's see, weather - check, address the break - check, sports bragging - check, um.  See, I had a couple interruptions from typing so now I have to gather my thoughts again.  A sign of getting older?  Maybe, so is wanting to stay home on new year's eve, some say.  Okay, back on track now, let's talk about that!
  • Tonight.  New Year's Eve 2015.  My wife has allowed me to stay home tonight.  It was much less dramatic than the last few years.  Without looking back to what I've written, we seem to have had a pre-party here and then gone out to the same local tavern for the last several years.  While I have had a lot of fun doing that, despite sometimes being a 'whiny little bitch' about it - as my wife said I wrote last year - I am finally staying home this year.  I hope to ring in the new year in my sleep.  I think this is the 5th consecutive year that the Badgers have played in a new year's day game and I will finally be able to feel good, energetic, and be able to really enjoy a few drinks during the game instead of just having a couple 'hair of the dog' drinks to try and enjoy our college football's last hurrah for the season.  I have actual errands to get done before the game, too.  Back on topic, though, less friends will be out this year anyway, no one says we all have to do the same thing every year.  I do feel a bit bad because I will not get to kiss my wonderful wife at midnight, though...
  • The water heater has been leaking a bit.  It started several weeks ago, actually, and has gotten progressively a bit worse.  When we bought the house the inspection said that it was toward the end of its useful life.  That was over 5 years ago.  Plus, stupid me had no idea there was maintenance for me to drain it clear twice a year.  So anyway, the plumbers are showing up here in a few days to install a new water heater.  While they're here I have a couple other odd little jobs for them, too.   Hell, if you have a plumber at the house you better address all issues that day - to save money, of course.  We don't really have other issues other than I want to be able to remove the bathtub drain plug for snaking hair - I've tried but it is old and I can't remove it as it should be able to be removed so want a pro to make it so.  Also, we want to get a water filter for under our sink so we don't have to filter our cooking, ice and drinking water through a pitcher filter anymore.  Certainly not an absolute necessity in our city, just really our strong preference.  I will have to work that day but my lovely wife has off to host the plumbers and oversee their work.  I wish I could be here but I do trust this local company to get things done right, they have helped us out before.
  • I didn't post about Christmas, but we did have a very enjoyable early one with my Mom and Dan and my sister Kelly and her kids James and Lindsey.  My brother couldn't make it with his family unfortunately or it could have been probably the best holiday with my sibs and nieces and nephews in forever.  In otherwords, I was disappointed it didn't work out that we all were there at the same time, oh well, what works out best for us does not always work best for others.  On Christmas Eve we had a nice evening with the my wife's family at her sister's house, the one with our 3 nephews.  All seemed to have a good time and some good gifts were given.  It is all for the kids to us these days, and I do enjoy these kids, the youngest is a sport.  It is kind of fun trying to get them the perfect gift for $$ dollars, and only $$ and not $$$ dollars.  They're kids, after all.
  • I also found out that a good high school friend's wife passed from cancer very recently.  My contact info for him is out of date.  We kept in touch after high school, I was in his wedding, and we remain friends for many years but I have not talked to him in several.  I'm not sure what I would say right now, anyway, but I'd like to let him know that I'm thinking of him and his family.  RIP Becky.
I've been writing this post now over several hours now.  More typing than I thought I would do tonight and I have had other things going on.  My wife just left to go out with a couple friends for the next few hours and I expect to be in bed by 10, okay 10:30 at the latest.  Hmm, this posting should be delayed a bit maybe.  I do really, really, really want a good nights sleep tonight and I want to be up fairly early for errands and chores before the 11:00 am Badger game so I can have the rest of the holiday for relaxation - basically enjoy it while I can because mandatory overtime at work is almost inevitable after this week.

Happy New Year to you all.  The ones I read, the ones I love, all my friends and all of you who take the time to read me.  Whether you comment or not, I can see you're there.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Warning: Adult Content and Language.

Steel Panther played here at the Orpheum Theater here in Madison last Sunday night, the 21st.  I do like them, and a couple co-workers I know went to the show, but it was on a Sunday night and I just was not willing to get home at midnight or later, not drink at all, and have to get up at 4:30 for my job on a Monday morning.  They're pretty good but they're not 'Faster Pussycat' or 'WASP' good - in my book.

Still, they are a pretty good comedy hair metal show.  I've watched tons of their stuff on Youtube.  Just be obnoxious and have a totally confident, 80's hair metal attitude and dumb chicks jump on your stage, show you their tits and play along.  Amazing.  Sigh, I wish I had that chance to play 'rock star.'  But most guys wish that, so I guess these lucky guys are livin' the dream - at least for today.  Hell, Judas Priest almighty just had them opening out on tour!

Here's the best one of the four videos I found tonight from just downtown here this past Sunday.  One of our town's finest sluts jumping on stage, I'm sure.  I heard there were many more up there that night, but really, I went to every heavy metal concert around here that I could in the late 80's and 90's.  The more sluts shit changes the more it stays the same...

Merry Fucking Holidays, people.  Don't think too much about it, just Rock Out and Roll along with it.  What the hell else can we really do, anyway?

End of the year rant coming soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chri$tma$ $ea$on

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bizarro Immigration

While I was without my desktop I still came across a few things I would have liked to post or write about had I had my computer.  Mostly my usual odd reposts, but one thing still stands out to me that I wanted to repost, enough so that I even emailed the author to get permission.  That was about a month ago now.  See, we've had an election since I'd been away, too, so politics reared it's ugly head and took over all media for some time.  I'm not apolitical, but I do not consider it my strong suit.  When I hear or read something that I agree with I clearly know it and sometimes wonder how anyone else cannot understand it like me.  I'm sure most people get that feeling and most probably do not agree with my views, but I like knowing there are others out there who generally do think like me.

I've been a Dan Piraro (Bizarro) fan for a long time now and for the last several years I have been following his blog.  He does more than post his daily comics, he has a bit of fun and shares just enough that you know what kind of guy he is - and I really like the guy (or at least his sense of humor!).  Here is his post on immigration, with comic, from November 6 that struck a nerve with me:

"If you find yourself tempted to believe that any substantial amount of America’s problems are being caused by illegal aliens, remind yourself that historically this is an ancient technique by dishonest governments to shift blame. And it almost always works. In this case, the corporations who run our country and their puppet politicians say, “Yes, things are lousy, but it isn’t our fault. It’s their fault!” Then they point to illegals, gay marriage, abortion clinics, terrorists, climate change scientists, whatever “other” they can find to unite the rest of us against something other than those in charge. Don’t fall for it. You’re smarter than that."

Dan Piraro, Bizarro Comic Blog
November 6, 2014

I encourage you to give him a visit at the link above or in the right column!  His new website is a work in progress at the moment, it will be better soon, I'm sure.

While I'm on the subject of comics, one of my all-time favorites is after the break!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble Gobble

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Short Break

I've decided to take advantage of the time I have spent away from this site for a bit longer.  I am going to take a short break from blogging for the rest of the year.  I may still post something for the holidays or if something comes along that I feel the need to say or post then I will, but until 2015 there will be no regular updates.  I've been doing this very regularly for over 5 years now and I want to get away from that feeling that I have to post something - sometimes anything - unless the urge hits me.

I may not have actual OCD - most people who say they do really do not have the obsessiveness of the real disorder - but I definitely do have OCD tendencies and I always have.  In fact, I used to be much more obsessive-compulsive than I am now.  This break is to help me make some changes in my day to day life.  I want to stop needing to check a list of websites daily, needing to post at least 7 times a month (I always have), needing to keep current on all my (soon to be fewer) favorite podcasts, and spend more time with my wife, read more books that I'm interested in and even work on more household chores and projects (but don't tell my wife I said that!).  This is a lofty goal for myself, I know, but I should think about it kind of like a head start on a New Year's resolution.

So I may not be posting much in the near future, but I will be around the 'net and even stop back here occasionally.  When I return I hope to be less anxious about everything and a little bit more in control.

Try not to mess the place up too much while I'm out, huh?

Happy Holidays,


P.S.  I feel better already just making this decision!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm Back!

This must be the longest I've gone without posting anything since I started this site.  Shortly after my last post the old computer was just done.  I couldn't get it to do anything.  She was a workhorse, used practically every day for around 4 and a half years.  Thankfully, I keep everything backed up on external hard drives so we lost nothing.

Then I had no desk top computer but I did have my phone and sometimes my wife's little laptop.  Either one is way too uncomfortable typing to put together any actual post, so my only online presence this past two weeks has been comments here and there on other sites.  Otherwise, at least I was able to keep current on the sites I like to visit daily.

The new computer is essentially the same as the last one - just a little less memory, which is fine because I do not need a terabyte of memory on the computer when I have my external hard drives already.  It also has only one disc drive.  I can't even remember the last time I used a disc drive, it was probably to play a DVD.  I had two disc drives on the last computer thinking it would be easier to copy discs.  That turned out to be about the time I went almost completely digital and I don't think the second one was ever used.  I still buy the CDs and DVDs of bands I want to support, out of loyalty, but it is actually easier to find that stuff online these days.  I wonder how many discs I have that have never been played?

I still have some things to do to get everything in order with this machine but the bulk of it is done.  Eventually it should get back to business as usual around here.  Not better, not worse.  Just as it was before, I suspect.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hard Drive Failure Imminent

It's hit or miss trying to get this computer up and going these days.  More miss than hit, and even then it is really slow.  Two days ago I ordered a new computer, much the same as this one - and with Windows 7, not the troublesome 8!  That may take a while so I may be mostly away for another week and a half.  Last night I saw a message when trying to start it up:  Hard Drive Failure Imminent - Backup and Replace.  Yup, no going back now. 

Wish me luck, but this transition should be easier than the defective computer I bought (and returned) a couple months ago.

Oh, Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Suitsy

I found this hilarious!  Even more funny is that I can't think of one good reason why the hell not?!


Still muddling through with this old computer but ordered a new one this evening.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Elvira - Two Big Pumpkins

via SG

And if you like your cheesiness with a little odd and funny, see Elvira's Big Top 2014 Complete Show at Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt.  

Halloween Ghost?

This old computer is about to give up the ghost.  I have had all sorts of trouble today - besides a back ache and such.  Everything seemed normal, it started okay, but after a bit it got slower.  At this point I had the mind to back up what little has not been backed up yet.  I did a restart and it took a while, but still lagged.  Enough that I couldn't connect to the internet at one point.  Later I left it and went to the store and when I came back the screen saver was froze and nothing woke it up.  I had to do a hard shut down.  I tried restarting a couple times but it would freeze.  I finally was able to restore the system to a few days ago.  So, it works for the moment but it still lags.

I think the inevitable has arrived.  Unless I get pretty lucky I'll be checking in from my phone.

Then again, I hope it's not that &*#%!ing Microsoft office update that I have been declining for several days now...  It just popped up again while writing this after the computer lagged again, and - having already given up - I went ahead and let it update.  Seems better now.  WTF!?  Should I be happy or mad?!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yardwork Afternoon, Part II

Actually it was yardwork late morning into just after noon, but then the title would be too long.  Easier to go with the same title part two.

20141026 002
Yes, we took advantage of the nice weather this weekend to do some fall chores.  I was thinking that it may be a bit too early to start mulching, but this morning I thought differently.  There were a lot of leaves out front and Kate wanted mulch over the bulbs she planted, so we started out front raking the leaves into a couple big piles then I vacuumed them up with my handy dandy leaf vac/mulcher/blower.  I dumped several bags of mulched up leaves over the bulbs in front, on either side of the steps as seen in the pic on the right, and throughout the flower beds in the yard.

20141026 020In the back I mowed to mulch those leaves.  The black walnut trees next door have lost all their leaves already - I thought they started dropping strangely early, and the nuts did not seem as plentiful as years past - so the back yard leaves were fine for using, but we had enough leaf mulch already for the flowerbeds. 

Besides, as the picture below shows, there are plenty of leaves to fall yet, out front and in back.  Our silver maple is usually the last to drop all it's leaves.  Next year will be vastly different....

20141026 019

Kate also did a lot of work in the garden, I'll talk a little about it and dump more pictures from today over at the garden site.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yardwork Afternoon

After the big win by the Badgers this afternoon it was time for some work around the yard and garden.  The sun was shining and the temperature made it comfortable without a jacket.  We're supposed to get more of the same tomorrow and then we get cold again.  I had just received a very nice sweater jacket that I had ordered, too, but I have to return it.  It says it is XXL but wears like a L.  I was very disappointed.

20141025 013
But the point of this is to post pictures.  Starting with the burning bush, with it's leaves aflame in red this time of year.  It was very overgrown when we moved in, and I have trimmed it since to try to get some underneath growth.  It took a big hit during the drought of a few summers ago, we weren't sure it would survive.  What you see is what is left after I cut out the dead parts.  In fact, we burnt up the last of the dead trunks that I removed during the fire pit last weekend (see last post).  I don't know how it will look in a few years, but I'm hoping to encourage enough undergrowth that I can get it to be more bush than tree.

20141025 015The compost bin that I built a couple years ago has been working out wonderfully.  It is attractive in the yard and keeps critters from making a mess.  Alternating sides each year works out perfectly so we always have fresh soil to add to the garden in the fall.  Today I added most of the compost from last year, which was just nutrient rich soil now, into the garden where Kate raked it out evenly amongst the plants we're keeping.  There's even another bucket or two left for elsewhere in the yard.  It will surely get put somewhere eventually this fall yet so we can start depositing in that side and, once all the fall clean up is in, let the left side start breaking down to be next year's garden enrichment.  We added quite a bit today so I gave it a little turn with the pitchfork which is what you see above. 

I'll post more pictures over at the garden site later tonight.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Leaves And Leaving

20141019 022Fall is definitely here.  I can no longer ignore the drifts of leaves on the driveways and walks or the cold, cold mornings.  I did a little fall clean up this afternoon, after the Packer game.  I mulched a few plants and mowed down some others, added a little edging out front and gave the evergreen bushes a long drink of water. 

I still haven't even thought of raking leaves, yet.  I'm actually not a big proponent of raking.  In the back yard we get a lot of the black walnut leaves from next door so I have taken to mulching those with the mower until the last clean up when I do rake it all back along the fence over the hostas.  Out front I use a different strategy since there isn't black walnut leaves mixed in.  Oh, I will mulch them with the mower a time or two early, but eventually I do rake them up and mulch them for the flower beds around the whole yard.  I don't put any leaves out for pick up by the city, and I don't put any leaves in the compost bin.  They all get put to use back in the soil, as it should be.

20141019 JamesI took the top pic this morning and if you look you will notice the firepit is still out from last night.  Our friend James recently left our favorite restaurant, Brothers Three, where he had been the main cook for over 8 years.  Technically, he was fired and I kind of know why but really don't feel a need to pry further.  In the long run I'm sure it's best for all involved.  Since leaving there he has moved to Minnesota and already has a job there, so it was a nice surprise when he texted me that he was in town to tie up loose ends and move all his stuff up there.

I thought we should see him before he leaves and I had also been wanting to have a firepit at least once more this year, so I texted a bunch of people to come over Saturday night, in two days time.  Well, more notice would have been better for other people because it was only me and Kate and James sitting around the fire.  That was really okay with us because we got to visit just with James for what could be the last time. 

There is more that I wanted to say about James but I don't want this to start sounding like a eulogy.  From us to you, a heartfelt Goodbye and Good Luck, James!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Because I Got High - Remix

By Afroman.  Legalize it, already, Wisconsin.  Seen at Huff Post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Aaron Rodgers' Doppelganger

I had to post this for the Packer fans that visit. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers meets Tom Wrigglesworth, a comedian from Sheffield that has a bit of a resemblance...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I told myself I would post something tonight, well, there it is.

Okay, okay, I can't just do that.

Why have I not been posting much?  Well, I was sick for a week and it lingered for another week.  There's still mandatory overtime at work.  Next excuse on the list - wait, did I type that?  Stop!

Truth is, sometimes there's not a whole lot to say.  I could talk about the weather - we had our first frost about a week ago, not a real 'hard' frost yet.  I could talk about our social life - 'Happy hour' means drinks, people, not dinner.  I could talk about sports - Brewers caved and we're in the heart of football season.  Perhaps I've just been lazy.

Yeah, probably got something there...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shelter From The Storm*

Bill Murray version


*Update:  A teaser for a movie, I should have known.  I thought maybe it was just Bill Murray being Bill Murray and making a fun video, silly me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This and Thats

Please forgive my absence, I've been rather sick for the last week (which may have had something to do with my mood in the last post).  I've been hearing for a while now that a nasty upper respiratory bug has been in the region and I think that is what I had.  Today is the first day in a week that I'm feeling almost like my normal healthy self.

So, what to say...

Well, I did mention a couple posts ago that I had quit smoking again.  I got tired of all the phlegm, quite frankly.  I previously quit back in 2009, I believe.  I know I had been off the smokes for about two years when I started again in the first half of 2011.  And it wasn't that I missed smoking as much as just having two surgeries and looking ahead to another stressed me.  I didn't want to get addicted again, so I started smoking clove 'cigars.'  It was much later I found out that those can be up to two thirds tobacco, so even though I didn't smoke them as much or inhale nearly as deeply I found myself addicted again.  I had a doctor appointment last month so I had him give me Chantix again.  It's how I quit last time and is working well so far again.  I've been smoke-free for over a month now.

I also mentioned that I finally got my first cell phone, a smart phone.  I've been playing with it for over a month now.  No, it has not made me text crazy.  I have only shot one 'selfie' and that was for my first text to all I know so they would have my new number - still accounts for about half my texts total.  I bought a memory card and have been using my phone in lieu of my ipod recently, but I'm thinking of going back to my ipod for music and podcasts because the battery life on the new phone isn't the greatest, about 6 hours I'm told, and I've been doing more listening at work.  I've also downloaded and uninstalled about a dozen games so far.  Most games don't appeal to me, or they have too many ads, or they want money to continue, etc.  But I do get a new cool background from NASA every day!  Having a phone has not changed my habits, really, at all.  And that is nice.  I do not want to be one of the cell phone zombies that you see everywhere, and I don't think I ever will be.

Fall is here, on the calendar and outside.  It was nice this last weekend, but it was also most likely the last time we will see 80ºF until next year.  Leaves are falling and starting to clutter up the streets and walks.  Fall chores are coming up very soon and there is always much to do, but you can't rush things, either.  Still, I should make sure the snow thrower starts before it gets too late.

Okay, time to wrap up.  I guess this will be a 'This and Thats' post.  Goodbye September!
*     *     *


This was my first ever text, I sent it to all I know their number:

'Whose got a thumb and finally joined the 21st century?  This guy!  Save my number!"

...Goofy-lookin' fucker, ain't I?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Job Time Over My Time

I've worked 20 of the last 35 hours, not including travel time and lunch breaks.  I know some people do more, and I did, too, when I was younger.  Overtime sucks now.  I can't complain about the money, although we'd get by just fine, thank you.  There is a serious management problem when your department is on overtime as much as mine.  Overtime should be a stopgap solution, not a long term business plan.  And, yes, it has been happening for years - over a decade in this department.  There is more I'd like to say, but it would not be appropriate here.  I hope it doesn't come to this because I would hate to start over again, but it may be time to look for work elsewhere...

I am not a 'happy camper' with my bosses or my job right now, and I foresee no changes coming.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beeholed, The Opening.

20140919 006 This is where our bee swarm from a few weeks ago lived.  I killed some chemically and the rest, I believe, moved.  The dead grass is from the wood I placed there for about a week.

We may not have them living in our back yard anymore, but there are plenty about.  Their numbers seemed to increase but they also seem more sluggish.  Perhaps this is their last big party time before they die or hibernate?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staycation Jolly Good Fun Time

Once again I have taken some time off work around my birthday, last week.  I didn't say much about it here because I try not to advertise what I plan to do as much as like to write about what I've done.  Plans can change and it's no one's business when our home is unattended for a few days.  This isn't facebook but the thought of security is the same.

My time off started a week ago Friday as we left for this year's weekend at a rented cabin with my in-laws after I came home from work.  For the most part it was relaxing time for all - unless you wanted a full night's sleep.  I didn't write much about that weekend a few posts ago.  There is a reason, but I still better leave it alone.  In fact, bury it.  Remember it, but bury it deep.  The end.

Monday was to be a relaxing first day off at home.  The weather was nice, I got a few things done but mostly I rested, reading and watching the internet.  I did take myself out to lunch at Brothers Three.  Tuesday, of course, was my trip to see Grandma L.  It is nice to see her, I just wish it wasn't so far.   (Almost 2 hours each way.  That might not be a whole lot to some of you, but I am a homebody who really doesn't like to travel much.  For the most part, I don't mind driving as much as I just hate traffic.  Get everybody else off the road and I'll drive you wherever you'd like.  Maybe, if it's not too far.)  Still, I am glad I went and hopefully I can make the trip again next year.  I did get back to town in time to meet up with a buddy for a couple drinks up the road at the Malt House, but I was tired from traveling much of the day so that was just a nice, short meeting for a couple of drinks and some catching up.

Then the weather changed.

On Wednesday, if I remember right, it rained in the late morning and when it finished the already humid day got downright sticky and uncomfortable.  Never fear, however.  Soon the humidity fell to reasonable levels and by evening it was 'close the windows' cool.  Wednesday was wet, gray and cool and I did a whole lot of nothing but surfing the internet - in 3 layers of clothing.  Thursday, on the other hand, was not much different.  Not wet, but even cooler, still gray.  I managed to get dressed to go out to a steak dinner (again, Brothers Three), otherwise I had much the same as the day before.  Now, Friday was totally different.  Friday I said to hell with it and turned on the heat for a time.  In the middle of September.  I hoped the neighbors didn't notice, but I know some of them had theirs on, too.   There was more sun than the last couple days but highs in the mid 50's and lows in the upper 30's does not help a house keep its heat, especially on the gray days.   Contrary to my griping, these were not bad vacation days for me.  I did not have a big project lined up like I usually do, so the weather did not affect me much.  I just stayed inside and lounged, and was thankful for the opportunity to do so.

*I wrote the above two days ago, so I guess I'd just better finish this up and get it posted.

Saturday morning I spent working on the garden.  Kate wanted support posts for the raspberry plants.  I still haven't taken pictures to post on the garden blog, but there is more work to be done back there this weekend.  Then that afternoon we went out to Mazonet Marina for their customer appreciation day.  It was still cool, but the sun was out.  Next to the water with a band playing, grilled polish sausages and beer.  It would have been almost perfect but the bees were out in force, attracted by all the food and drink I'm sure.  I don't think anyone got stung but they were sure a nuisance - and cover your drink at all times so they don't get in!

Overall, I did not think about work more than a couple times last week.  Very good, I thought, surprising, but it was very nice.

As a reminder to myself, I have yet to write about getting my first ever cell phone.  I got it about 3 weeks ago.  Also, I quit smoking (again) a month ago.  These are topics for when I don't know what to write about later.  PTFO

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy 9/11 Day

via Bits & Pieces

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grandma Trip

GL 09092014
Yesterday I made a road trip to Grant county to see my 95-year-old paternal grandmother.  (My maternal grandmother passed last year at 88, I think.)  It was nice, I met my mom there and we visited and took her out to lunch.  I was glad to have my mom there, she's a talker and I'm not really so she kept the conversations going. 

Grandma seems well - old and frail, but well.  She doesn't hear very well and she is very slow moving about but she was interesting and would liven up when she would start telling us stories of the farm where she was raised.  I, rather unstealthily (isn't that a word?), made a couple videos of her talking, trying to catch one of those stories.  After all, each time I see her I fear it will be the last.

Cabin Weekend

We spent last weekend with my wife's family at a log cabin, above, as we did last year and the year before - different cabins each time.  Food, campfire, games, etc.  Well, that's that, then.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sting - Stang - Stung

Yesterday I was under the impression that August had only 30 days.  I had nothing to really write about, thus the quick post in the few minutes I had after my nap and before going to the neighbor's party.  Today, what was something little turned out to be a bigger deal.  Now I have something to write about.

I think it was August 14, about two and a half weeks ago, I got home from work and was mowing the lawn when it felt like I was getting poked with a needle on my foot.  I shook it and then looked down and saw a bee in between the leather on my (toe covered) sandals.  I let go of the mower and ripped my sandal off my foot.  I didn't see where the bee went, but the immediate threat was gone and I had a lawn to mow so I put the sandal back on and continued.

A few minutes later and on the other side of the yard I started to feel like I was getting poked again, same as before.  This time it was at the very top of my left ass cheek.  Again I let go of the mower, then I ran to the garage while grabbing at various parts of my shorts.  I got to the side door - locked.  I ran around the corner and in the open garage door but there was one problem - it was daytime and the open garage faces the street (and neighbors).  Quickly, I hit the button to shut the garage and turned on the light.  I continued dancing around until the door was mostly down then dropped everything right there in the middle of the garage.  By then the poking had stopped and no bee was found.  Back to mowing the lawn. 

At least two stings, minutes apart.  They itched like crazy - and continued to itch for about a week and a half - but no swelling whatsoever.  None.

I kept my eyes open as I finished mowing but saw no bees flying around at all.  It was a few days later we found their 'nest'.  They were coming in and out on the edge of the lawn under the wood that separates the tree area.  I sprayed their entrance several times and eventually saw no signs of bees and thought that was that.  I was wrong.

Yesterday morning I mowed the lawn before the rain came.  I wasn't even thinking of bees, but I should have been.  Not long after passing their area with the mower I felt that same sting, this time on the back of my right arm just above the elbow.  The perfect spot that I couldn't reach on the first try and he got me good.  I saw activity in that same area that I had sprayed before so I sprayed it again.  That quieted them down for the moment and allowed me to finish the lawn.  When I was done mowing I sprayed it again and put some spare wood over it.  I doubt it was a good enough fit to trap them inside, but maybe making them burrow through grass would make them leave.  I had one more shot at spraying left in the can, in fact I still need to get more to try to finish the job.

Not too long after I noticed that I was developing a welt, red and puffy and itchy.  I put some Afterbite on and tried to forget about it.  Just a couple hours later it was getting hard to ignore.  The swelling had spread, it was red and hot to the touch.  I put a compression sleeve on to hopefully keep the swelling down and carried on with my day.  By the evening my whole arm was swollen.  Not too grotesquely, mostly the back and inside of my arm from just below the elbow to below my armpit, but even my hand was a tiny bit puffier than the other.  It was uncomfortable because my skin was taut around my elbow and bicep and it itched - oh, the itching!

Today the redness has spread almost to my wrist but thankfully has not moved up to my shoulder.  The skin is still tight and the red areas are still itchy and hot to the touch.  I've tried ice packs yesterday and they really don't do anything.  It has not been painful, really, just very uncomfortable and has made me a bit grumpy.  I guess I am allergic to bee stings now.  I'm not sure how that works, but if it happens again anytime soon I may make a beeline for the urgent care, pun intended.

Some way to spend a holiday weekend, huh?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Weekend 2014

I noticed that I have never posted less than seven times a month, and that's not going to change now.

Happy holiday weekend to all!  I got my three day weekend started by mowing the lawn before the rain came today.  After putzing around for a while, we went out for lunch before I laid down for a nap.  See, tonight we have a party to go to over at the neighbor's and at 8:00 the Wisconsin Badgers open their college football season!  Finally.  The Packers start next weekend.  Tomorrow, weather permitting, we're supposed to go out on a friend's pontoon boat, and we'll probably do some chores so we can be restful (lazy) on Labor Day.

Goodbye August, I hardly got to know you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday's Feast

20140822 004
Hot Ham and Swiss sliders
We had some friends over Friday night to watch the Packers' preseason game against Oakland and have a fire in the back yard.  Well, many could not make it for one reason or another and it was really hot and humid, so the fire pit got nixed.  But Kate made a great spread of food again!

20140822 013
Pepperoni and String Cheese egg roll wraps
She also had potato skins ready to put together but wound up not making them because there was plenty of food already for the people who did come over.  They're in the freezer now for the next get-together for a football game.  Besides the pictured, she also put out 3 different kinds of popcorn, and there were tortilla chips and a cheese dip that she made in the fondu pot.  I got stuffed - and we had plenty of leftovers that we were eating yesterday.

Both  of the foods on the right were found at Do It And How, thanks Krisgo!

It's been business as usual, otherwise.  I have less overtime next week, so that's good.  Maybe more posting, maybe not.  It's hard to post when you have nothing new, funny or odd to share.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Drinking in Wisconsin

I've loved this bit for some time now, ever since I first heard it.  This is Lewis Black on drinking in Wisconsin.  Classic because it's very true.  Yes, I'm a bit intoxicated right now, late this Friday night, aren't you?  We were out with friends and had some fun.  I hope you had a happy Friday night, too!  After all, you've had a long week - you earned it!   NSFW!

*Hiccup* - maybe it's time for bed.  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwn

Monday, August 11, 2014


For Windows 7 or 8.  I saw this over at Bits & Pieces and watched the video.  It's really just as simple as that, copy the code and create a folder on your desktop, name it the code and... Ta-Da!  Tons of functions at your fingertips!  Thanks Jonco!

Copy this code: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Saturday, August 9, 2014

This And Thats

It has been a week since I posted anything but not a lot has been happening.  It must be time for a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

  • Work has been keeping me busier than I'd like.  I shouldn't complain, it is only 5 hours of mandatory overtime a week, but I still do.  Especially in the summertime it is nice to be off work at my regular time.  I do have a week off pretty soon, hopefully that will relax me, maybe change my attitude.
  • We have been pretty dry lately, but not dry enough to turn the whole lawn brown again.  We've also been warm this summer, but not warm enough to use the air conditioning too often.  Overall a very nice summer.  I'd like more rain but we seem to be getting by for the moment.
  • Ace Frehley's new album Space Invader comes out real soon.  I'll see how it sounds to me, but as long as it doesn't bomb it just may be my next LLP post.
  • Due to reasons nonforthcoming, money has been a little tight recently.  Not too bad, but there is a lot that we need and want by this fall.  Kate is going to take some online classes so we need to get a laptop for her, and I've been wanting a power washer for several outdoor tasks around here.  We know what's number one on the list, after that is the 'wish' list that greatly declines in urgency as it gets longer.  I think we've prioritized well and should be able to get everything necessary by the time it's needed.  See also the overtime above.
  • I missed my sister's kids birthday.  Sorry J&L, happy belated!  I'd like to think I'm getting better by creating a list with phone numbers, addresses and birthdays, but I still should get better with cards, especially with the kids.  I've never been a card person, but I really don't get to see the nieces and nephews much.
  • Nothing new on the computer front, the old one is still humming along nicely.  It's easy to get complacent but we have to have a back up plan.  There was no warning last time it crashed and I don't expect one next time.
  • The Packers play their first preseason game tonight!  Yeah, it's early and we won't see a lot of the starters, but some of the kids we do see may make the team.  I can feel the season coming!
That's what's going on in my world, what's going on in yours?  I hope it's more exciting.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Where Is Hyrax?

Not Hirax, a metal band out of L.A.  Hyrax, an obscure metal band from Germany, as far as I can tell.  I came across this band almost a year ago, (they're one of my LLPs,) though it seems longer, on one of my youtube searches for something fun and new and striking to me.  I found Hyrax by chance and have been loving their music ever since.  Their previous 'debut' album, Over The Edge, is the most available but for early EPs and random stuff.  It came out last year when I first wrote about the band. I'm surprised writing this now that I now it was less than a year ago, the fact that I really like their music and I'm looking for more proves they're doing something right.

Still, there's not a lot of live stuff on the ole internets.  Maybe they're in the studio, I don't know, I don't speak German.  Still, I like it and I'd like to hear more.  Here's a few good ones I found tonight.  Forgive my indulgence, I'm rockin' out!

Hyrax - Too Kind

Hyrax - Your Company

Hyrax - Tasting Pain

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garage Project Finished and Atwoodfest

I spent a couple hours finishing the garage yesterday midday.  It went pretty easy, even though it was a bit warm it was mostly overcast.  Now I have to spend some time organizing and utilizing the new space wisely.
20140727 008

Afterward, Kate and I walked over to Atwoodfest, one of the neighborhood festivals with food, vendors and bands.  A lot of each, it was a larger deal than I was expecting.  We met up with James, our favorite cook at our favorite bar and grill, and later his friend, also named Kate.  We had a really good time trying different foods, drinking, listening to music, people watching - you know, street festival stuff.

It was about a 15 minute walk from our house, mostly on the bike path, longer than I have walked in some time I'm sorry to admit.  After stepping up and down a ladder dozens of times, and then, of course, we were on our feet up and down the street all afternoon.  The walk home was quite uncomfortable (my dogs were barkin'!), but an ice cream cone on the way helped make it better.  The bike path was busy that day, and nicely lined with community gardens for much of the walk and flowers everywhere.

We live in a pretty neat part of - overall - a pretty neat city.  We need to get out and walk like that more, a fifteen minute walk to get lunch, shop or have a drink is really not that much.  Just not yet, my feet still hurt today.

I believe that bikes would be soo much better, and we could go a bit farther.  We have discussed it, but they are low priority for now, added to an already long list.

Thanks for getting us out, James!  It was a great day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garage Storage Project

There was a sale on lumber a couple weeks ago so got my friend Keelan - and her truck - to help me get some boards for a storage plan I've had in the garage.  Not cheap, just over 100 bucks with a box of screws, but it will be more functional and look a whole lot better. 
20140719 011
Above is how I had been storing things in the rafters, on every large, thick cardboard box I got - starting with the lawn mower box on the left shortly after we moved in.  I've since made most two boxes thick.  We don't store anything extraordinarily heavy up there, but boxes sag.  You can see a stick above the workbench helping support an area.

Last Saturday I got a start on this project while my wife was away and I was free to listen to music and play in the garage.  Not that I couldn't have done it with her here, it just happened that way.  I really enjoy projects like this.  I'm not working for 'the Man,' I'm working for myself and I can go at my own leisurely pace.  I've always got good music playing so I can rock out a bit when necessary.  I get real focused while I'm planning things on the fly.  And I love the feeling of having something to look at and say that I did that.
20140719 019

Well, only half of that, for now.  I plan on finishing the other half this Saturday.  Eventually I'll be more organized, I've also had thoughts of fixing up my work bench area and somehow creating a gardening station.  All in due time...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vertical Videos Are A Sin

I would agree.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Computer Issues

It was almost two weeks ago on a Monday night that we shut down the computer like usual, all was as it had been and should be.  Tuesday after work when we started it again all was definitely not well.  It took forever to start and then it moved slower than molasses, each keystroke would take minutes to register.  There was no getting online, no nothing you could do at that speed.  I spent that night and the next trying everything I could to fix it.  Nothing I tried worked, but I did manage to get the few recent files off that I didn't have backed up.  I even called StepDan for some advice, but even he couldn't think of anything I had not already tried.

So Thursday after work I went out and picked up a new one.  Wow.  First off, Windows 8.1 is waaaay different than 7.  And I noticed it seemed geared toward the all-in-ones with a touchscreen.  This would take some time to learn and get used to it. 

Setup went okay and I was learning to navigate somewhat, and I was able to connect to the internet, but then it would be gone, and then it would be back.  I was able to get a stable, yet slower, connection via wifi, but the Ethernet connection was on/off/on/off literally every few to 20 or so seconds.  It was maddening. We made do with the wifi connection for a while as I sought a solution.  I tried a different Ethernet cable, reset my router/modem and spent a good half hour on the phone with my ISP, but it was not their issue and they could not help.

There was no phone number in the materials that came with the computer but I found a number for the manufacturer easily online.  I called and a guy named Natesh walked me through a number of different things.  I remember him saying at one point that he thinks there may be a glitch - meaning a hardware problem.  Finally he had me do a factory restore.  On a brand new computer.  If I didn't know before, I surely knew then I was returning the computer.  This took quite some time so he scheduled a call back later that evening.  The callback was late and it was probably his supervisor, Natesh got stuck on another call, so by then I had the computer boxed up and ready to return.  When the factory restore failed there was a blue screen and a code and the message that the computer needed repair.  I had a lemon, all right.

But, I must say, they provided very good customer service.  They even called me back the next evening to make sure I was able to return it and get my money back before shutting the case.  That impressed me and I filled out their short email survey favorably a few days later.

So, I'm sitting with a busted computer again and I decided to drop the big one.  Restore to factory settings the computer we had.  Nothing else helped and I had most everything backed up, anyway.  And it worked!  It was acting normal after a successful restore.  The only thing is it was like a brand new computer that had sat around for about 5 years.  A lot has changed and updated in that time.

When this computer was brand new it looked totally different than the computer we were used to using.  Over the last several days it is slowly becoming the computer we had before the crash, but it has taken many hundreds of updates, downloads and service packs to get back up to speed.  I'm thankful because now I have what I had, what I like, and what I'm used to.  But even if we get it back to perfect for us, who's to say it won't crash again?

And that's where it stands.  I have no idea what the odds are or how likely another crash may be.  We may take a look at other computers as a backup plan, but for now I think we're just going to let it ride and see what happens - or hopefully what doesn't happen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pizza Delivery Driver Joke

I've seen this kind of thing posted online before, so I have tried it a few times.  I think the first two were when we ordered pizza online during last winter.  In the 'special instructions' area I wrote something asking them to draw a snowman on the box.  Come to think of it, they may have actually done it one of those times.  I have no idea which delivery place did, luckily we have several options for food delivery in our part of town.

Tonight we got Domino's because of their 50% off online pizza orders deal.  In the 'special instructions for the driver' area I typed; "Write your favorite joke on the box plz.  Thx:)," or very similar.  I know it took up every character allowed.  When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised!  Although I had totally forgotten my request when I answered the door, I gave him a pretty good tip (as we always do) and as soon as he left I noticed the writing and remembered.  Kudos Domino's delivery driver!  I'm happy for the little participation in a bit of fun by someone who doesn't need to, but I hope it made at least him and maybe his co-workers smile.  Makes me feel a little better about, well, people.

Still, you can't offend me, delivery guy,  next time I'd like to see your real favorite joke!
201407196 zadriverjoke

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm Back For Now

It's a story that I really don't want to take the time to get into right now, but I will surely tell the tale of my computer adventures in a post sometime soon. 

Meanwhile, we have been busy with real life and all it throws at you.  Weather-wise it has been mostly pleasant - we haven't had to use the central air conditioning in quite a while.  The news even spoke of a 'polar vortex' that brought us cooler weather.  Cooler, well, I wore a light jacket to work two days this week, optionally.  Still, it is different than those 90º humid days we usually see often this time of year.

I have to post about the garden soon.  Much has changed since the last post.  I took pictures last night and tomorrow morning I will take pictures again after my wife removes plants that are floundering, for reasons that my wife thinks and maybe I'll try to explain more when I post.  Basically, organic growing is very hard for some plants in our area, from what I understand.

Well, that's it for now.  I don't foresee another abrupt end to my access to the internet again, but I can't rule it out just yet.  More to come, I'd like to tell the whole story at once, and, hopefully, with a very happy ending.

Peace -The F**k- Out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spoke Too Soon

I'm having all sorts of trouble getting a stable connection.  Not fun.  Wish me luck, I think I need it.  And I think I will be returning the computer.  We'll see after this factory image restore and what HP's Natesh says when he calls back in an hour.
-Typed with one fat finger on my wife's iPhone.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back Online!

I'm back!

When we shut down the computer on Monday night all was well.  When we started it up again after work on Tuesday it was slower than molasses.  I tried everything - and I mean everything - that I could think of to try and fix the problem.  I worked on it Tuesday night and Wednesday night to no avail.  Absolutely nothing helped.  I even called computer-savvy StepDan and he couldn't think of anything that I hadn't tried yet.  So I went out after work yesterday and got a new one. 

Now the real work begins.  I have things set up and stable enough to use, but we will be fine tuning and learning how to use the new PC for weeks.  A major pain, but I'm sure we'll adapt.  I'm okay with the new mouse, but I think I'm going to go back to the old keyboard.  This one is too flat.

But for now, I got some catching up to do!  PTFO

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I'm roughing it with a broken Internet machine. Back ASAP. Typing this on my wife's phone is a pain in the rump!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Peeps, Part Two

Last night we had our friends over for a fire pit, drinks and snacks.  Always fun to do, and it is a holiday weekend, after all.  I also had a lot of little sticks and bark I wanted to get burned up. Turned out pretty well.  While mosquito season is peaking, there was a good breeze and smoke to keep them at bay.  Also it wasn't a real hot day so sitting by the fire was more comfortable than it could have been.

It's been over two years since the original Peep incident (see the original video here), and last night Terry was ready to try and make lightning strike twice.  Well, I don't know if it matches the spontaneity of the first video, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lazy Sunday Afternoon


Monday, June 23, 2014

This And Thats

It has come time again to drop all sorts of little nuggets about this or that going on in our life recently.
  • I've been overdue to update the garden site.  We've had a lot of rain recently and the plants have been growing well.  According to our rain gauge, we had about 8.5 inches in a 4 day stretch last week, and some pretty severe storms.  I got home one day and the street was blocked off just past our house due to downed branches and phone, cable and power lines.  There were similar or worse scenes all around the region.  I wanted to post about it but I don't want to show my neighbor's houses.  I can choose to post our own house, but even then I've blocked out the street numbers before.
  • Speaking of the garden - well, I started to - salad greens have been ready and we got some more from a friend so we have been eating a lot of salads lately.  Kate has been eating more than I since I tend to tire of them after a couple days.  Steaks on the grill tonight!
  • I'm taking a bit of time off this week and I really have nothing planned.  No projects, no nothing.  I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about being lazy, but I really need my batteries recharged.  I've been almost constantly training in one thing or another at work since last August and my brain is tired.  I have a U.D.O. concert dvd that I haven't watched yet - there, now I have plans tomorrow.
  • I got a laugh from this fact about Wisconsin, via a very interesting article at Huffington Post that my wife pointed out to me:  'With a population of 5,664,893, Wisconsin has only 57 fewer drinking places (3,043) than California (3,100), a state with a population of 39,969,200.'  And 'Wisconsin had nearly three times more bars than grocery stores.'  It is an interesting article that covers a lot of things we're known for here, and not just drinking.
  • We've had fun getting together with friends for fun and family for Father's Day recently.  We were going to have our spring party last weekend, but a few weeks ago, right before we started plans in earnest, we got a flier on our door for the 3rd annual street block party.  Just the same, the timing wasn't the best for us this year to throw a big shindig like we have almost every year since we moved here.  We have not gone up to the street's block party (held on the next block) yet, it seems like it is more of a families with kids thing.  Or maybe that's just an excuse.  I like to think we are friendly with most all our neighbors, but we are actually pretty private, too.
I've left this for a bit and come back after a wonderful grilled tenderloin steak dinner.  I really thought that I had more to say.  I'll probably think of a half dozen more things after I hit 'publish.'  Good thing I have a couple more days off...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Latest Listening Pleasure 16 - Sebastian Bach

I didn't really like Skid Row, but I admit to liking selected songs, mostly years later. When it comes down to it, I liked the singer, the band not so much. Sebastian Bach has had arguably the better career since the split, yet he seems to think a reunion would make them millionaires again or something. I just know what I like, I like Sebastian Bach more than the band he was in, or even much of his solo stuff... Well, there is some real good stuff on his solo albums and he is a great metal frontman and gives it his all. I do see what all the detractors see, but I have respect Sebastian Bach.  Enough that he is now one of my LLPs!  In fact, this is probably the best lyric video that I have seen to date, off his latest release 'Give 'Em Hell.'

This next video, 'Temptation,' is actually the first single of the new album. It features Duff McKagan who also played on some of the album.

*I found this in my drafts from a few weeks ago so I must have been drinking when I wrote it.  In fact, I did post the first video recently, but now it's official - Sebastian Bach is a latest listening pleasure!  Enjoy!

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 9 - U.D.O.
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FYI: Fun Youtube Info

You can download a youtube video by adding ss between www. and youtube.  Example:

just add 'ss'

Just click to go on to the website, wait for it to load, then click download.  There's even different formats to choose from.  It really works and it's pretty fast, so if you have a need for your own copy of a video then have fun with it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Power Naps

I saw this video recently and it made sense to me.  I've actually been doing this for a couple years now, I get a 35 minute lunch and I go straight to the car, set a timer for 30 minutes, turn the radio on really low and lay back with my hat over my eyes.  All year round, too, so there are some accommodations for weather.  It started when my back was aching as a chance to rest it during the day, now I needs me nap!

Not a whole lot going on right now.  There are some things I should take the time to write about so there may be a 'This and Thats' post soon.  The helicopters are done falling so I need to clean the gutters, and the squirrels have been leaving the new strawberry plants alone.  Oh, and after enjoying several weeks of temperatures moderate enough to leave the windows open we may have to start the air conditioner soon.  Maybe even tonight.  This week is to be warm and humid all week.  Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cat in a Basket

20140612 007
Hamish, left, looking at Kate while Basil wants in on whatever's happening.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Have Gnome Will Travel

20140608 022The gnome has a new home!  His old area by the base of the lilac got a bit overgrown so now he is back along the fence among the hostas!  At least for now.

Check out recent pictures of the garden and some plants around the yard over here!*

*I'm too tired to post anything witty, look at our plants!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Space Stream Follow-up

That last post is out of this world, isn't it?  Granted, the feed may be black when it is on the other side of the Earth than the sun, but wait just a little bit and it will be back to daylight - and some fascinating views!  This site, the ISS Tracker, can actually show you where the International Space Station is in real time, including it's path and the sun's horizons.  You can also sign up for email alerts for when you can actually view it where you live and with your naked eye over at NASA's Spot the Station website, which I also list in the right column.  I, myself, try to see it every reasonable hour it happens comes our way.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Space Stream

Live, from the ISS...

More info here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Squirrel Proof

Yesterday I mentioned how all squirrels are bastards.  Today there is more proof of that statement.  Absolute strawberry destruction.

Monday, May 26, 2014

'Helicopter' Season Began Today

You know, the winged seeds of maple trees.  Now they'll literally be all over the house and yard for a few weeks.  The squirrel bastards* will feast, and even plant or hide many in the lawn and garden.  I'll have to clean the gutters again when it is over.  I also saw the first signs of the cottonwood tree's spring presence today.  I have no idea where the cottonwood trees are around here, but we are aware of them every spring.  We got a little rain and wind this evening and, if you look closely at the picture, every dot in that sky is a 'helicopter.'
 Actually, this isn't so much of a complaint as it is an acknowledgement of our particular rites of spring, living where we do.  After all, so many events occur only briefly every season, especially in the springtime.  We really have to remind ourselves sometimes to try to appreciate these events for the wonder that they are.  And also sometimes be thankful they are only for a limited time...

20140526 B 021

*My latest conclusion is that all squirrels are bastards.  They seem to dig up or get into everything eventually. 

Memorial Day 2014

Happy Memorial Day!  Sounds odd, what's so happy about a memorial?  Most people are just happy to have a three day weekend.  Work on project list - check, grill out - check, gardening - check, see friends - check.

No matter how much fun you have or how lazy you feel, take a moment and remember why you have the extra day off.  There's my public service announcement.

Now, I was looking for something to post this morning but nothing stood out.  Oh, there's tons of flags and headstone pictures out there, with all types of reverent sayings on them, but I was looking for something more relevant to us.  I had to go out this morning, and I remember seeing them starting to set up the 'memorial mile' the other day, so I thought I would try to get a picture while driving down Atwood Avenue.  There are similar displays of death all across the country this weekend, this is Madison's, in Olbrich Park which is right on Lake Mendota.

I wound up taking a video of the entire mile.  It goes too fast to read, but the signs say things like '2009 Afghanistan,' followed by a headstone for each life lost.  Turn down your speakers!  The road noise is a bit much.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Recent Music Interests

I've seen a couple music videos over the last several months of bands that, well, I like them but I guess not really enough yet to give them a Latest Listening Pleasure post.  Or in this first case, Die Antwoord, they've already been featured in one of my LLP posts, plus several other posts since I first posted about them in early 2010, before I even had LLP posts as a thing.
Also the newest video posted here tonight, this is Die Antwoord - Pitbull Terrier.

Next is an old almost favorite kind of thing.  Let me say that I don't like Skid Row, but I do like Sebastian Bach.  I don't know why, but hey, I like Rick Springfield sometimes, too.  Here's my favorite of Bas' latest videos from his recent release:  Sebastian Bach - Taking Back Tomorrow.

Then there is the band Ektomorf, that I first learned of while on vacation on the Alabama coast earlier this year while perusing Blabbermouth on my Mom's ipad.  They've gotten my attention and kept it, so there is something I like.  Ektomorf - Numb and Sick.

Another recent liking is a band that had a few albums in the early-mid nineties and recently reformed for another album. I'd never heard of them before, and I'm not terribly crazy about the album as a whole, but I do like this song. Skintrade - Hardcore MF Heart Attack. 

I don't know music, I just know what I like.  PTFO

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catching Up Outside, Part II

In my haste to get the pictures uploaded, formatted and posted I forgot to mention a few details.  Not just for you, we look back here sometimes to find out when was the last time we did something, stuff like that.  So I want it on record that we got the house washed today, and the windows - inside and out.  It's still a bit cool to enjoy having the windows open comfortably.  But it is a nice feeling that we have them paid off even before we can fully enjoy them - we just had them installed last November.

The back steps are scrubbed and ready for another water sealing.  That should be pretty easy to do any evening this week, as long as the overnight temperatures are warm enough.  I also have a couple painting projects this year.  I bought black paint yesterday to do the garage trim, and eventually I need white paint to clean up and repaint the trim along the roofline at the front and back of the house.  Then there are the front railings that I should take a wire brush to and then spray paint.  And if that isn't enough, this fall I could get a start on some concrete patching and painting on the foundation.  Next spring we want to do the whole foundation but I can probably get the areas where there are no plants done yet this year.  We'll see.  I hate painting.  Wait.  No, that's right.  I hate painting.  And plumbing.

Catching Up Outside

Last weekend we had friends over for our first fire pit party of the season.  Nothing spectacular, but always a good time with good food and good friends.  (On a side note, I just bought a party game that I think will be a blast to play with this bunch!)  I think Bridget is raising her glass here, I don't believe she would be flipping off my camera.  At least I hope not!
20140518 002b

20140518 018I finally finished the drain project at the side of the house.  I put the new drain tube in a few weeks ago, before the hostas came up, but I wanted to get the tray at the end inset into the ground a little bit.  It will probably still hold some water in the tube after a rain, but surely not as much as the old one, which I had to replace due to it breaking at the elbow by the drain pipe.  It's still a bit of an awkward corner, but what else can I do?  It looks good enough to me, but I do still want to get a hose guide in that corner.
20140518 019
Spring is here!  The gnome has it's home for the season.
20140518 020

Kate has done even more planting, check out the garden here.
20140518 012

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014

Hi Mom, Happy Mother's Day!  This isn't really for you, just something different than is posted everywhere else today.  I looked around for something, but I sent you a card and like I said, that usual stuff can be found all over today.  By the way, Mom, I'm glad you liked the pictures and no, that was a cat toy they were batting around.
Here are members of Steel Panther having fun with the day, they are a (pretty good) 80's hair metal spoof band.  A bit NSFW.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This And Thats

It feels like it's been some time since I wrote about anything, but the last LLP post did take a couple days of writing here and there to finish.  It may be my longest (written) post yet.  I don't think I'll write that much tonight, but then again, I'm not sure what I'm going to write yet.  Well, time to tip my head and see what spills...
  • My wife was out of town on a business trip all of last week - to Las Vegas, no less!  Sure, it was for work, but she had wonderful weather while we had cool, cloudy and wet weather all week here.  The sun did not come out the whole time she was gone.  It also sounds like she got all the free food and booze she wanted.  Oh well, someone had to stay and feed the cats.  And we missed her, of course.
  • Speaking of work, I've been in training again.  All of last week and all of this week yet.  Just more of the same, onward and upward.  The problem is that the training is all day, 40 hours a week, and while I'm not being given more new work I still have many things in progress.  There is no mandatory overtime, just voluntary right now, but not really voluntary for me because I have to spend some time on the cases I have in progress.  Mostly I have kept up so far by working extra early before training and only staying later sometimes, but things are starting to pile up this week.
  • Kate has been doing a lot of planting recently, with more plants coming yet.  You can catch that stuff over here at the garden site.  I'm still hoping she'll take over that site but it may be a little while until that happens.  She wants to get a laptop for that blog and some classes she will be taking this fall.  I'm not a computer hog, I'm just on it all night every night!
  • We've upgraded to a modem/wireless router combo at the house, anticipating the laptop but she can use it now for her iphone.  It seems like a pretty nifty device but I haven't been able to get the printer to work wirelessly since I first hooked it up.  I'll have to take another crack at figuring it out but otherwise I may hit up StepDan if the folks come to town.  Thankfully, it is not a pressing matter, we can still use it wired.
  • We're going to have our first fire pit party of the year this weekend.  I have some leftover firewood from last year, plus the neighbor's branch that I helped him get down off the telephone wire last summer.  We also removed the larger pieces of bark and mulch from around the tree out back (see picture at the garden site link, above or on the right), so I have two five gallon buckets full of that stuff to toss on the fire over the course of the summer.  It has to go somewhere so I may as well use it as kindling.
  • The cats turned 2 years old on or about April 20.  I believe they are full grown, as long as we don't let them get fat.  They have been loving having the porch open for them again this spring.  Basil is getting particularly interested in the outside when we come and go through the doors, so we have been discussing the harnesses again.  They don't like them but we don't want to take them out without them on a leash.  They have not been, and we don't intend them to be, outside cats.  (There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, as well as questionable cats that wander about.)  But it would be nice to be able to walk them around the yard on nice days.
It has gotten to be almost bedtime and that seems to be all I can come up with.  Until next time, good night, everyone.  PTFO

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Youtube Phishing Attack Warning

via Minute Physics

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Latest Listening Pleasure 15 - Live! - Faster Pussycat

Last Saturday night my metal friend Mike and I took the short trek to Janesville to see Faster Pussycat live at The Back Bar

First, let me get this out of the way, there were two types of tickets, and I don't know if this is the first time they tried it or not, but it was not a very good system.  We paid almost 10 dollars more for 'preferred seating,' not that seating was necessary but the higher price ticket should have some clear-cut amenities and not vary depending on which staff member is manning that post, tending the bar, or taking tickets at the door.  Let's just say that the inconsistencies left it a bit awkward up front as most were seated  and there was about a four foot empty space between people and the stage.  Of course the cheaper ticket people wanted in, there was tons of room!  What got in later were drunkards and rock piggies.   I'll ask a few questions and want to see something in writing on the website maybe before I spend the extra again.  Now I've gotten my venting about the venue out of the way.  On to the show!  Do watch out - the strobe-y lights make the videos go funny once or twice.

First up, a repost of the first video just so I have them all in one post: Slip of the Tongue and Number One with a Bullet.

I know I said I wasn't going to take much video, but I did - a lot.  Five and a half songs worth.  Well, I couldn't be the one to walk up to center stage like I did at last year's U.D.O. show at the same place, it was not the same vibe.  Some that did got asked to move by the people seated behind them.  Yeah,  rock and roll, baby.  That is probably why I wound up recording more than planned.  Trying to stand back and to the side is boring, I like being in the mix up front.  That doesn't mean moshing or jostling for position, just getting as close as you can to the stage without touching your neighbor.  LOL, that's my speed these days and - quite frankly - what it is actually like when you get people more or less my age at a show!  It's the young whippersnappers that cause most of the trouble...  *shakes cane* Get off my lawn!

I've seen this band once before in the late eighties (or possibly the very early nineties) opening for Iron Maiden.  I remember because Frehley's Comet was first advertised as the opener but was replaced a few weeks before the show.  Too bad I don't remember much from the concert.  This night I had a few drinks early but then only water as it is a bit of a drive back home. 

Faster Pussycat has one original member though three of the four others have been with him since 2001, and even in the band The Newlydeads.  Including bassist Danny Nordahl, whom I posted about recently.  He was around in the bar (surprise!) before we got there so, yes, I was able to give him a hard time about the falling down video.  He laughed it off and got another beer -  professional drinker, methinks.  In fact, most of the bands were around all night before they were to go on the stage.  Most of us didn't care because they weren't Taime Downe, lead singer and original FP member.  I got my tee shirt before the show started.  I have to, bands don't bring enough 2X shirts so I usually have slim pickings and have to get it early and stash it in the car if I can.  Actually, the cute little girl that I bought the shirt from was Taime Downe's daughter, Katie, I think.  You can hear him say her name at the beginning of this second video when he calls an audible and they play Poison Ivy for her, which I guess they don't play live much anymore.

The band played well and I was familiar with everything they played.  Maybe 13 or 14 songs or so, but I enjoyed being there.  I've loved their music for a long, long time and hearing it and watching it from feet away was a thrill, though dampened by the venue's odd tickets and undefined rules.  I was there for one thing, to watch and listen to Taime Downe, and that is exactly what I got.  I've never stopped loving Taime Downe and Faster Pussycat since 1987 and I shall continue to enjoy them.  I did overhear Ace (Von Johnson, the newer guitarist) over at the bar say they were working on a new album.  I found that to be good news as albums come far and few between for this band, only 4 studio albums since 1987 - with a live one and a couple EP's and compilations mixed in.

Let's finish* with the last video I took, the last part of the show.  I started in the middle of a break in the song Bathroom Wall, and kept it recording through Shut Up & F**k and the finale, Babylon.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 9 - U.D.O.
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment

*I say 'finish' but I will post just one picture after the break, but it's an ugly one!