Saturday, May 13, 2017

Plant Day!

DSCF5548Today was the spring day I went plant shopping.  We had a lot of pots to fill and I think I filled them well.  It was overcast with sprinkles this morning, perfect weather to beat the crowds so I got going early.  By midday it was sunny and beautiful outside so I'm sure the amateur gardeners were out in droves, crowding the plant stores and making it hard to move about and causing long lines at the cash registers.

I didn't really have a plan when I set out, just an idea of how many pots I had.  I tried to get plants that tolerate full sun and that looked nice to me.  I did get one for part shade by accident, I put it on the front step behind the front flower pot.  The front is the north side of the house so it should do well there.  This afternoon Kate and I went and got a couple hanging baskets, too, one for front and one for back.  We may still get more plants, there is still some space in the flowerbeds in back, we want to look at perennials to replace tulips on one or both sides of the front stoop and we still have planting to do in the garden.

This was really the first spring day that we could have all the windows open all day and enjoy the beautiful weather.  But that also means summer is right around the corner, and Tuesday is supposed to be the first day in the 80's F.  I always hope to keep the windows open but before you know it it's just too hot.  Oh well, we'll all - cats included - enjoy open windows while we can.

I'll take more pictures and post another yard and garden photo tour soon, possibly tomorrow, over at the garden blog.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Latest Listening Pleasure 26 - Dementia

In high school I had friends (yes, not many but some!) who either played instruments, had longer hair, enjoyed the same kind of music that I did or any combination of the above.  I'm still friends with some, and I've written about them here, while others have faded or pushed away.  One of my good friends from then, Mike, even lived with me for a while after high school.  Otherwise we still seemed to get together somewhat regularly, driving to and fro.  He continued to school an hour or two away but got hooked up with a band, Syrys, if I remember correctly.  School fell by the wayside for him as it did for me, but he was doing what he loved.  Eventually the band left small town Wisconsin and moved to a house in Chicago to seriously pursue music.  It was after that move the band, now named Dementia, put out an album called Recuperate From Reality.  Getting that album out was a great accomplishment.  That the album was recently re-released by an independent label is a wonderful recognition and validation of their efforts.  Too bad some of those involved sought more so it is just the one cd instead of a box set.  The 3-cd box set that it should have been would have been a better tribute - if they all could have agreed on things.  It's all in the past, this should be nothing more than a celebration of that past.  One would hope that would be the only motivation, but it seems not because only the one cd got re-released.

Mike, Skylar and Brian
Mike contacted me recently to let me know about the re-release and I ordered it immediately.  The album, Recuperate From Reality, was released in 1991 on Tombstone records, the re-release is available under these blue words.  A few days later he sent me a link to a YouTube video of Dementia playing at the Avalon in Chicago.  (He also emailed me a picture of me and him at least 25 years ago.  I was shirtless, tanned and skinny.  No, I will not post it.)  Unfortunately, I don't think the band lasted much longer after this show.  I believe both Skylar and Brian went to the west coast, I think separately.  Mike followed his own career path, too, and wound up in Michigan.  They had several bass players over the years, and one interesting fact is they once had a bass player named Matt Snell who more recently played with Five Finger Death Punch.  He appears on the last two tracks of the re-release, songs that weren't on the original CD.

I've heard this so much and knew all the guys (well, not all the bass players) so it's hard for me to be objective.  These were the times in the early nineties.  We were young and having loads of fun, probably lucky to have survived it at times.  But being close to it and having it and hearing it for so long, I can't tell, is it dated?  I don't think so, or maybe it's the production.  No matter, it will always remain a favorite in my collection.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley
LLP 25 - Darkc3ll
LLP 26 - Dementia

A YouTube video of the whole 1991 album audio is after the break.

Friday, May 5, 2017

May The Fifth Be With You

Happy Friday!

Thanks Jonco!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May The Fourth Be With You

For all you Star Wars geeks, here's the Star Wars Holiday Special that you all want to forget.

I do remember watching this on television in 1978 - and it was never to be re-aired.   (Of course I also remember seeing the original movie in the theater with my friends back in 1977.  I remember playing with imaginary light sabers, acting out the scenes with my friends behind the Dixon theater waiting for one or our parents to come pick us up, several times we went.)  I liked the original trilogy as a youngster, but the newer ones I've not really seen much of, except for the one with the original characters back.  And then I only got it for us to watch as a nostalgic novelty.  I'm just not into this kind of thing anymore but I thought posting this today might be somewhat original and funny.  Well, we all like what we like so whatever it is you may as well let your geek flag fly high!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Petcube Video

I just took this video through the Petcube app, the first time I tried the video part.  I think the video taken was just over a minute but the file is 45 seconds.  It seems to be sped up a bit, and there is an episode of pixels.  The laser isn't the easiest to maneuver with your finger and over wifi, but overall not a bad first try, I think, and Hamish would probably agree.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Gadgets, Petcube!

Recently I wrote how we received the Amazon Echo Dot for christmas.  It was a fun gadget, but it was just a novelty and not really utilized for anything.  That changed when I bought two outlets that connect to wifi to control power to whatever you plug into them.  So now, both lamps in the living room are controlled by voice with Alexa or by using the app from wherever you are.  Not a necessary thing, but I think it's pretty neat.

Since then, I was looking for a bluetooth speaker to use exclusively for Alexa.  I would up getting a bigger version of the Amazon Basics bluetooth speaker that I already have and like.  Now it is much easier to listen to music - anything we really want through Alexa and Amazon Prime.  Another use for the Dot, and a good one for us.

While I was getting that speaker I came across another gadget that caught my fancy, and I ordered it pretty quickly - the Petcube.  The Petcube is a 4 inch cube with a camera that connects to wifi that you can use to see your pets from wherever you are on your phone via the app.   When you log into the camera the cube itself makes a noise and a light on it turns blue letting you know the camera is live.  Through the app you can play with the cats with a laser or turn on the sound to talk to them.  You can also take a picture or video if they happen to be super cute.  If it's dark, they have a more expensive version with night vision, but again, I can turn on the lamps from anywhere with my phone.  There is also a feature you can pay for that will use it like security, recording when it detects loud sounds or movement.

The cats have become familiar with the noise it makes when it comes on, so when they hear it they will come out to the living room and start looking for the laser!  It's not the easiest to control, with your finger on your phone screen, but they do have fun with it.  And almost everyone I know has absolutely loved it when I showed it to them, other than one relative who acted rather dismissive but I think he likes to think he's on top of all the tech things so it's old news to him.  I think it's quite a lot of fun and still not something everyone has heard of, but I know several people that I showed it to who may have one of their own soon!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Late Easter Bunnies?

DSCF5496aWe lost the tree 2 years ago now, April 25 actually, and then we had much fewer squirrels in the yard last year. This year, a brood of what seem to be yearling - or maybe 2 year old - rabbits have moved into our yard.  Well, maybe not 'moved in,' as I think I would find out where they lived, but our yard has certainly been their playground lately.  I keep telling my wife I need a pellet gun - half-heartedly, of course - and she always exclaims her disagreement.  As long as they don't eat all the flowers that I'll buy this spring then I guess at least they give the cats something to watch.
My wife says there are four, but I have only ever seen three at a time.  I'm pretty sure this will continue until proof is presented...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Happy Blogday To Me!

I almost forgot, this is my Blogday!  I've been doing this for eight f**king years!   Wow.
Edit 4/11, added new 8 pic.

That's a long time to keep something up that is as personal as it is public.  I've had friends and family that care, friends and family that don't, friends and family that sign up to get emails when I post but then I rarely or never hear anything back from them.  I know blogger ain't farcebook, tweeter, linkden or Instagrat.  I don't care.  I don't want more accounts or social media so I know I don't make it easy to be my friend that way.  I just like having my own little corner of the internet here that I can say and post (almost) whatever I wish.  Just - and sometimes mostly - for me.  An online journal, or a diary, of sorts.  I appreciate those that come along for the ride and I also appreciate the new friends I've made along the way.

Blogging is always a bit of work in progress.  The other day I tweaked my template and lost my lists in the right column.  This is the second time I lost my lists, I can't remember if I was messing with my template last time.  I will build them again, but it may be later tonight, tomorrow or even next week.  Whenever I feel I have the time and gumption to get it done.

I don't want this to take away from my post earlier this evening - we got bikes!  Scroll down or click here to read all about that!  And Happy Blogday to me!