Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

A few moments from now - this is a scheduled post - I will probably be bugging people to get the hell out of that loud annoying bar.  I won't be drunk because I am driving and I want to be able to enjoy the day tomorrow and the Rose Bowl tomorrow afternoon.  I am tired and had a long day today but no one cares, everyone wants to go out so go out I must.  Have a safe one, everybody.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Xmas Rewind

Well, I should recall this past holiday on my little blog here as this is my diary of sorts and it has come in handy several times when we have tried to recall past events.  Obviously I'm not overly excited about doing that judging by the time that has elapsed since.  I've made no effort to hide my displeasure about this time of year for reasons that have already been stated several times in the archives, but the show must go on...

Last Sunday we trekked to Iowa to visit my Mom's new home.  It was nice to see them and my Sis and her kids but we missed seeing my brother's family, unfortunately we barely see them ever at all.  (It might be nice to change that, maybe this Summer I can invite them up for a day trip to the zoo or something.)

It was there that we received our only 'real' gift this year, a little GPS unit for the car.  We don't travel much, yet I thought it was a very thoughtful gift, and perhaps expensive.  In fact, we could have used it on our (mis)travels to their new house that morning.  I had it set up the next day and we used it on Christmas day to go see her family even though we didn't need to.  They seem to come up with good gifts and I credit my Mom's new husband, Dan.  Thank you, Dan (sorry Mom)!

I have learned that my wife's side of the family can sometimes be an adventure, so to speak, not that mine is storybook.  I've learned to take things in stride a little better over the years - and I'm certainly not perfect normally, let alone my holiday mood.  After some strife, we went to both of their gatherings and no harm was done.  Jolly good, then.

Now, for the upcoming New Year's Eve party.  Once again we will be having people over before going to a local establishment for the lead-up and ringing in the new year.  I feel I'm getting too old for this.  I am the old man of our group of friends and find myself having to keep up or get left behind sometimes, yet staying home and having a party makes a lot of sense to me.  At the bar you can't hear anyone more than 2 feet from your ear, wait for and pay more for drinks, and have to deal with the crowds of idiots that may feel the same way you do.  Well, maybe not the young ones.  Next year I will be pushing for just a house party with all our friends.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hypocritical Hollywood

I love this.  The first video, below, is a response to all the gun violence today.  The second video is a response to that video.  Now, I am no fan of guns - in fact I have been shot at - but these Hollywood 'stars' are hypocrites.  Their money is made by their gun-glorifying, violent movies.

The original:

*Edit 12/29:  The original video has been removed by the user.  Just watch the vid below, the original video is in it and the edits are the reason I posted in the first place.

The response:

I promise an 'Xmas Rewind' post soon, when I have more time and perspective.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I really can't find anything nice to say right now so I will say nothing at all.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blizzard Conditions Coming - Updated

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About 8:45 pm last night:  The snow starts.
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5:00 am this morning, after the first shovelling.
The dreaded snowstorm arrived last night and I was never able to get my snowblower started.  Still, I was determined to get to work so I got up about twenty after three this morning to do the first round of shovelling - or shoveling, I guess both are correct.  This pic shows the shallow layer of snow that we already had from Tuesday.

The snow was heavy and wet and while I tried to be very careful with my back, I ended up sore.  I didn't feel anything pop or get strained, but it started tightening up right after so I had to take a muscle relaxer right away.

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12:30 pm, after the second shovelling.
Eventually, after my back was neatly knotted up and watching the news and seeing everything closed down and the city begging people not to go out on the streets, we called in to work.  At about noon Kate and I went out to do it again.  this time was about half as much as the morning's work but still wet and heavy and I appreciated her helping me.  We are expected to get hit hard again this afternoon with the wind picking up and the temperature dropping before the snow finally ends this evening.

I shall update this later, probably after the third shovelling, and fourth if needed.

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Third shovelling, 6:00 Thursday evening.
Update 12/21, the next morning.

We went out again about 6:00 last night to do it again.  This time was a little more than last time and, since it was still snowing, I knew it wouldn't be the last.  As you can see, the driveway is white already here, shortly after we finished.

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Final shovelling after the big storm, about 4:30 am Friday morning.
This morning I was awoken by the annoying chirp of dying batteries in our carbon monoxide detector.  After replacing those batteries, I noticed that the snow had finished last night and a snow plow had finally come down our road, one pass only, leaving a mountain at the end of the driveway.  Sigh.  So, again at 3 something in the morning I got up (barely) and headed out to do it again.

Each time shovelling I got slower and slower and took more breaks, and when all was said and done I felt lucky that I wasn't more injured.  Still no pop or significant strains in my back, but it is tight and sore as hell and I seem to need my knees bent when I stand so shall be calling in to work again today, Friday.  I see a day of muscle relaxers, ice packs and naps headed my way.  I haven't seen any snow totals yet, but I would guess 5 inches the first time out, then 2+, 3, and 1 for a total of about a foot in just over 24 hours.  (Edit: It was 15.2 inches, so I underestimated a bit.)

I'm getting too old for this stuff.  I plan on calling a mechanic friend to see if he can help me get my snowblower running, and if he can't then I know a mobile service where the guy comes out to your house to work on it.  It's my own fault for waiting to try to get it started until the last minute and I hope I remember this so it doesn't happen again.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow Omen

Our first real Winter storm is approaching and I can't get my blasted snowblower to start.  The snow is due to arrive this evening and finally end sometime later tomorrow afternoon.  I had the snowblower serviced the Summer before last, and we only used it once or twice last year, so I don't know what is wrong with it except for maybe lack of use.  I tried all the usual fixes and troubleshooting to no avail.  Oh well, I have to keep trying or risk throwing out my back shovelling.  If it didn't have an electric starter then I may have thrown my back out by now.

Otherwise, I have been spending my half day off wrapping presents and backing up our computer onto a new hard drive.  We had to get a new one because the old one was full with the current backup and all my music and videos.  Now, I will use the new drive, 2TB, for the backup, because that seems to get bigger and bigger, and use the old one, 1TB, for my rather extensive audio and video library.  That should set us for a while.

As the holiday approaches stress becomes visible in many people I know.  I'm actually not that bad, yet.  When the day comes that we have to travel and see family I will be in my usual holiday way, though, and that is not good.  I hate to travel for holidays.  I hate the expectation that you should be somewhere, you should spend money, you should enjoy family, and you should shut up and like it. 

Goddammit.  I guess it has started already.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 12 12 12 12 12

I had meant to post at 12:12:12 here on 12/12/12 however I had forgotten and when I remembered I was at Brothers Three having a sloppy joe and fries for lunch.  Happy belated 12 12 12 12 12 12.

The End Is Near

Eff Christmas.  Why didn't anyone remind me that the world is going to end in 9 days?  Here I've been stressing about gifts and dreading the holiday travel, all for naught.  Instead I should be taking off work and doing anything and everything I want to do before judgment day, or the apocalypse, or whatever you want to call the end of the world...  But there are just a few things wrong with that thought.

Work is too busy to take off, I don't believe in a 'judgment day' and I don't think the Mayans ever meant to imply the end of the world.  They carved a calendar into a rock, probably the biggest they felt they needed to use.  They probably figured that by the time their calendar was up that someone else should have figured out how to do the same thing to continue tracking the years.  Do we really think that an old calendar coming to an end is the end of the world?  Pshaw.  These days you can just run to the shops and get a new one.  I would like to think that they would have figured we'd come up with something like that by now.  This is my impression.  If I got some 'facts' wrong it is only because it is not worth my time to research it further.

Some people are just idiots, some just people are idiots, some idiot people are just, and all idiots are just people.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Snow Of The Season, 2012

20121209 012I managed to sleep until 9:30 this morning, still less than 8 hours sleep, and I awoke to the inevitable slap in the face that is called snow.  An event that I seem to post every year, and always seems to be right about this date, plus or minus a week, the last four years.  At least it is pretty wet and just above freezing so hopefully the accumulation is minimal, though the roads may be a bit 'crunchy' on my way to work at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning.  I'll have to clean my car off before everything freezes up this evening.

Last night we had a wonderful time with a household full of friends that came over.  Again, my wife put out an amazing array of foods and snacks as always.  Her favorite hobby spoils me rotten.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and the cats received lots of attention even though they were kept in the basement most of the evening.  It was much fun but today is ours and tonight is the Packers!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reluctantly, I'll Go In Peace... And More

As much as I hate to travel for the holidays, instead preferring to use the time off work as down time at home, it looks as though we shall have to travel to Iowa this year.  The nieces and nephews are the reason, we just don't see them enough.  My wife's family is local while mine seems to be moving farther away all the time.  I hate this time of year.  Well, I haven't written much of anything in quite a while so it is time to start typing and see what happens:
  • We have had overtime at work recently, and more to come I'm sure, so finding time and energy to write and things to write about have been difficult for me yet I have never posted less than seven times a month and don't want that to become even less so post I must.
  • Still no snow on the ground.  Temperatures have ranged from average to above average so far this season.  If this keeps up I find myself wondering about our plants.  Next Spring's garlic has started growing already.  That reminds me, I guess I could do another post over at the old garden blog sometime soon.
  • The kitties are almost 8 months old and still growing.  They are a joy to have despite some of their evil shenanigans.
  • I have to start Christmas shopping very soon.  Mostly just for the kids, the adults can have my holiday cheer.  I would appreciate any ideas my family would like to send my way!
  • A recent post by Delcatto got me thinking of the various animals I have spotted in my yard since we've moved in to our house - in the middle of the city.  Not counting birds (even woodpeckers and hummingbirds), there are tons of squirrels of course, and several little chipmunks.  But there have also been opossum, raccoons, rabbits and even a skunk.  We saw the skunk a couple weeks ago passing around the back of our house then a day or two later you could smell it outside, so there may have been an unfortunate dog or cat outside that day.
  • I haven't had a 'Latest Listening Pleasure' post for a while now.  I am still listening mostly to the band PAIN, and have been since I found out about them more than a year ago.  They've just come out with a new live DVD/2CD set that has finally shipped...  weeks after the CDs have been on the internet and one of the shows has been posted on YouTube.  Doesn't matter, really, I like to support the bands I enjoy by purchasing their releases.
That sounds like a good note to go out on.  Here is Pain's official 'We Come In Peace' trailer.

Sorry there's not much substance in this post, there has been nothing extraordinary to write about.  Oh, I could pontificate on Bret Bielema leaving the Badgers or Packer injuries, even politics if I wanted, but that is not what I do here and I think I'll keep it that way.  If rants are what you're looking for, check out TJ (or TAA), who I stole my closing below from.