Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ridiculous Cold

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.  Screenshot taken not long ago, about 8:15 pm.  Look at this temperature swing within a few days, lows -30ºF to 37ºF, and highs -11ºF to 42ºF.  That's a difference of 67 and 53 degrees, respectively, within 4-5 days.

Copied here for the convenience of my Celsius/Centigrade friends.  I can't do math right now, my brain is cold and tired.

This is not normal for here, this is serious cold. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Brothers With Badgers

Recently my wife was given company tickets to a Wisconsin Men's Basketball game.  She's not a sports fan so asked me if I wanted to take a friend.  Given the proximity to my brother's birthday I invited him to go to the game on Saturday.  Now, I've been to the Kohl Center several times for hockey games and concerts, but not recently and I've never been for a basketball game.  My brother got to town and we decided to head there right away and I'm glad we did as I underestimated the traffic caused by the game.  We got there early, but not too early and got to walk around a bit before settling into our seats to watch the players warm up before the game.

It was a good game and the Badgers won their third game in a row.  The most notable part of the game was that Ethan Happ had his second triple-double of the season (13 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) and only the third triple-double in the long history of Wisconsin basketball.  Happ, a senior, is the star of the team and will be playing professionally next year.  He's a great college player but the only things that bother me about his game is his inefficiency at the free throw line - he was 1 of 5 this game - and I think he relies too much on the hook shot.  That shot has made his college career a great one but it will be interesting to see how that translates to the NBA game in the coming years.

 It was just above zero degrees that afternoon and when we left the game it was snowing quite a bit.  Also, unbeknownst to me until we were going to the game, we would be bringing back my nephew and his friend from the game.  Luckily we got there early and my brother called the other parents and they were able to park in the same ramp we were in, or finding the kids after the game may have been quite a bit more difficult.  But I did enjoy briefly seeing the nephew, growing so fast the next time he may be taller than me!  After the game I was already out of my comfort zone hanging out with 17,000 other people and then having to drive in slick conditions in heavy traffic while trying to make conversation on the way back was a bit stressful, but we made it okay.  And then they made it back home safely, thankfully.

I do care for my brother but we are definitely two different people on two very different paths.  Much of that is my wife and I chose to not have kids and they've gone the family path, and like most families these days, it sounds like they are always running from one kid's event to the other's, day after week after year.  There's nothing wrong with how either of us chooses to live, it's just very different.  Still, this was one of the few times ever I got to spend a little one on one time with my brother and I'm grateful he accepted my invitation.

Of course, now that I've been to a basketball game I don't feel the need to do it again anytime soon.  There's the people, the traffic, and the time it all takes.  A two hour game is like a six hour commitment,  much of it sitting in traffic.  I can watch the games on TV and see what's happening much easier and without all that added stress.  So, I can scratch this off my list for now and if I do get another opportunity I will know better what to expect and be able to plan accordingly.

Of course I took pictures - after the break!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Snow, Freeze, Repeat

I just woke up a bit ago and it looks like a nice, clear day outside but it is -17ºF/-27ºC.  We've had our milder weather, now we've been alternating between snow and deep freeze.  We got about another 7" of snow on Tuesday/Wednesday, followed by this, then it will warm up (15ºF/-9ºC) on Monday to dump some more snow and then it looks like the rest of the week we will not get north of 0ºF/-18ºC for several days.  Remember not too long ago when I said that it felt like winter had actually started?  Oh, and Lake Mendota has frozen over now for a record third time this season.

Yes, the numbers are impressive but it's happened before and it will happen again.  Life just goes on.  I took this picture this morning, you can barely see where the fire pit is.  Today should get a bit above zero eventually and I am expecting a rather good day out and about.  My brother is coming up to town and we're going to a Badger Men's Basketball game at the Kohl Center.  Should be a lot of fun - despite the weather!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sick This-And-Thats

There's not been a lot to write about so far this new year, but I've had some unexpected time off work again so why not start complaining typing and see what happens.

I've gone through hundreds of these.  Ick.
  • Last winter I didn't get sick at all.  In fact, I don't think I've been sick in two years - until this winter.  I was sick with a stomach virus (I since learned that stomach flu is not an influenza, but a different virus) a week or two before Christmas and now I have something upper respiratory.  I was miserable Friday, but had no idea I was getting sick.  Waking up Saturday there was no question and I have been absolutely miserable ever since.  It seems to be centered in my right sinus, though both are plugged often.  Breathing has been a struggle.
  • Cold medicine does not work.  I've tried many different kinds over the years to no avail.  Some may work a tiny bit, and I can remember at times thinking that I should remember this particular one - but I never do.  And there's only so many different kinds, anyway.  Still, I take them and hope for the best, but usually you just have to suck it up and let it run its course.  What do you use for a snotty cold?  Does it really work?  Really?
  • Of course, being sick means I have missed more work.  It's been busy so I would rather not miss time but I also wouldn't want to sit next to me, either.  Best to stay home until I can keep all my bodily fluids in check, though I don't want to lose ground at work, either.  There's been talk of me moving up already, not quite six months into my new position.  While I do want that, I wouldn't mind some more time at the level I'm at now.  We'll just have to see what happens in the coming weeks and months.
  • Wow!  I just started typing with my hands in the wrong place and discovered emojis.  Windows key + period = 😎🎶👌👣🦇🥓 and tons more.  Playing with it for a minute shows me that it's a windows thing, not just in blogger.  Not that I'm a big emoji guy, but how come I never knew about this before?  Did you?
  • Now I forgot what I was going to say, so let's go with weather.  We've been relatively warm for January here, with no snowfall.  A week or so ago it rained and melted most all we had, so it is very gray and brown outside these days, not pretty.  On the upside, no shoveling, snowblowing or salting has been needed.  In fact, if the weather stays similar, the ground stays firm and once I feel a bit better then it may be time for a winter fire pit!
Okay, that's enough typing.  Actually, I don't feel well and want to wrap this up.  If you were paying attention, I asked a couple questions above.  Leave me a comment below, I've got plenty of time to read them as I'm just sitting home sick - if you haven't heard.  😩🤧

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Latest Listening Pleasure 32 - Scum Of The Earth

Last year I heard Scum of the Earth's 2012 release, The Devil Made Me Do It.  I had no idea who they were, and though I liked it I was very much listening to other things at the time.  Late last fall I listened to it again and really liked what I heard so I dove in head first to learn more about them and would up getting everything else they've released as well.  Even now I am still very much listening and enjoying it all, thus they are my latest listening pleasure!

Scum of the Earth, or SotE, is essentially guitarist and reluctant singer Mike Riggs.  Riggs was the guitarist in Rob Zombie's first solo band after White Zombie and before Zombie took a break to make some movies.  The resemblance is certainly there, musically and visually.  SotE is kind of like a poor man's Rob Zombie.  SotE may be a little darker where Rob Zombie is a little more cartoonish.  That's the best, briefest description I can give.  It's just the heavy guitar riffs, dark lyrics and industrial, sometimes electronic sound that seems to appeal to me here.  Greatly.

Riggs and SotE have released 3 full length CDs, in 2004, 2007 and 2012, with just a single released in late 2017 (aside from the streaming-only Munsters theme song, also released late 2017).  Not as much as I want, but the heavy grooves and chug-chug-chug guitars make me want to Death Stomp, despite my age and the fact I would get killed in a mosh pit these days.

I don't know how active a band SotE ever was, and they don't seem very active now, touring or otherwise.  And I know I've delved into the past on this one, but there's not a ton of stuff about them on Youtube to find.  Well, I'm very aware of Riggs and SotE now, so if they come up with anything new I will find it.  Rock on, Riggs.

Scum of the Earth - Dance Motherfucker

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
LLP 27 - Rammstein
LLP 28 - Marilyn Manson LIVE
LLP 29 - The Harp Twins LIVE
LLP 30 - Diamante
LLP 31 - Steel Panther LIVE
LLP 32 - Scum Of The Earth