June 2006 Archives

Friday Mostly Random 10

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Once again, I've wandered downstairs to pull out a random (and hopefully new) collection of CDs to rip to my MP3 players. But I'm going to start it with a couple of choice cuts before I move on to the random ones.

ShesTheCarBanner.jpg
  • She's the Car - "Vibeke" : I've been listening to this song a lot since I downloaded it a few weeks ago, after a mention on the Boston Phoenix's On The Download. What a rockin' great song! And I am totally blown away by the fact this "girlgroup" is comprised of four kids who aren't even 20 from my old stomping grounds, Derry NH. I don't know about you, but my creative output at the tender age of 18 was getting my English essay in on time. And for extra credit, I sometimes did it for my classmates. And here they are, with a long, intricate rock song, with powerful voices and confident music. I wish I had been able to break away and see them play locally earlier in the month. Now, I'll have to hold out until August 11 in Allston. Check out the review of the show here, also from the Phoenix. I haven't heard any of their other songs, but I think we can forgive them for working their way "from precious indie-pop to noisy rock", don't you?
  • The Dresden Dolls - "Perfect Fit" (The Dresden Dolls [2003]) : After being completely wowed by their latest album, Yes, Virginia, their debut album shot to the top of my "To Buy" list. I finally picked it up a few weeks ago and I have to admit to being slightly disappointed in my first listen. It seemed to be a little more scattershot and unfocused, despite having the great Coin-Operated Boy on it (which my girls really enjoy too). So I had put it away a for a bit. Then the other day I was listening to my "New Stuff" radio station, with these groups on it:
    1. Beck
    2. Tiger Trap
    3. Tindersticks
    4. Mazzy Star
    5. Jeremy Enigk
    6. Air
    7. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    8. Tegan and Sara
    9. The Dresden Dolls
    10. The National
    A fairly eclectic group which is probably hard for the software to pigeonhole. Here's what Rhapsody lists as "Similar Artists": Blues Explosion, Pavement, Automator, Saint Etienne, Ween, Sublime, Beastie Boys, Hayden, Sonic Youth, Rasputina, Stereolab, The Smiths, Violent Femmes, Spiritualized, Slowdive - interesting group. But this song came on that really hit a chord, and I cranked it up. Then I realized it was The Dresden Dolls and it was probably from the debut album (because I've listened to Yes, Virginia so often, I know the songs by heart). Sure enough, it was this song and man, it's great! And the CD even has a video of Girl Anachronism (another great song), means I have to rethink this CD entirely! Maybe I wasn't giving it a fair shake, as most of my listening was coming while in the car, and perhaps this isn't a "riding in the car" kind of CD. And speaking of missing something, I'm really bummed I missed Amanda Palmer at the Brattle the other night in her "Fuck The Back Row - A Night of Celluloid Vaudeville". You can read a story about it here. Looks like they are playing at the Hampton Beach (NH) Casino Ballroom July 4th but it's both sold out and I'm booked. Oh well...

And now, back to our regularly scheduled CD cabinet diving:

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  • Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now" (Into The Gap [1984]) : Neither twins (or even a duo) nor Thompsons, this British trio was among my favorite synth-pop groups of the early 80s, with this song being perhaps the most perfect synth-pop song of the era, hitting number 3 on the US pop charts. And there are plenty more synth-pop classics on this CD, including "Doctor Doctor", "You Take Me Up" and "Day After Day". An important slice of 80s new wave music history, forever conflated in my mind with Tears For Fears, whose first two releases sandwiched this one.
  • Single Gun Theory - "Words Written Backwards" ( Millions Like Stars in My Hands, Daggers in My Heart, Wage War [1991]) : Sort of a more pop sounding Dead Can Dance, this Australian group puts out some fine sounds. Somewhat low key, but with some interesting beats and nice lead singer. Hard to pick out just one song from this CD, as many of them are real good, but none of them are over-the-top great.
  • Indio - "Hard Sun" (Big Harvest [1989]) : Talk about your one hit wonders! Indio, led by Canadian Gordon Peterson, hit it big on the indie airwaves with this smashing song, and he disappeared after this CD. You know, I 'm not sure I've ever listened to this CD all the way through. Heck, I may have never listened to any other song besides this one! But it's enough, as it is a great song. His voice is reminiscent of Bruce Cockburn's, and even the music has that same World-music feel to it. Maybe it is something in the Canadian water?
    when I walk beside her
    i am the better man
    when I look to leave her
    I always stagger back again
    once I built an ivory tower
    so I could worship from above
    and when I climbed down to be set free
    she took me in again

    there's a big
    a big hard sun
    beaten on the big people
    in the big hard world

    This album is mentioned in a cool article called 10 Great Albums That You've Never Heard. Oddly enough, I have another one (the Voice of the Beehive's Let It Bee - a great album), and we have a Texas album, although it may be a different one.

  • Love and Rockets - "So Alive" (Love and Rockets [1989]) : the song that, somewhat ironically, marked the height of their popularity (peaking at number 3 on the charts) and the end of their creative impact. Ah well, it's a good way to go out, with this very T-Rex sounding song.
  • Wang Chung - "City Of Angels" (To Live And Die In LA [1985]) : Great soundtrack to a frenetic, if often confusing and disjointed, William Friedkin film. Every time I hear this song, I clearly see the scene from the movie, with the counterfeit money getting set up and the presses running. Many good 80s synth-rock songs to be found on this soundtrack.
  • Bob Dylan - "I Want You" (Blonde on Blonde [1966]) : A double album back in the day, now on a single CD, Blonde on Blonde covers nearly all the 60s Dylan country. This is one of the most accessible songs, and there's lots of stuff going on even in here. Speaking of CDs where it is hard to pick just one! How do you choose between such classics like "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again", "Just Like A Woman", "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat", "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" and "Obviously 5 Believers"?
  • Treat Her Right - "I Got A Gun" (Treat Her Right [1986]) : A Boston sensation in their day, Treat Her Right plays a bluesy rock that rocks the house. Saw them play a couple times live and the shows just blew you away. One of the members, Mark Sandman, went on to form Morphine, which was also a big local cult group, although I'm not familiar with their stuff. Sandman was to die of a heart attack on stage in Europe in 1999.
  • Sleepy LaBeef - "Little Boy Sad" (I'll Never Lay My Guitar Down [1996]) : This CD I picked up at one his shows at the Seaside in Nantasket, and I've got his scrawl on it to prove it:-) I still like the Strange Things Happening CD best, but this one has got some good tracks too, including this one and the wondrously sly lyrics of "Sweet Thang", about a wandering man and his woman looking for him:
    I gave my baby all my money on payday
    'cept what little she don't know that I got.
    There's a cute little waitress at the corner cafe
    she seems to like me quite a lot.
    We were settin in the back booth havin a talk
    she was believing every word that I said.
    When the door flew open and Loretta walked in
    yellin loud enough to wake the dead.

    Well, has anybody here seen my sweet thang
    I had a notion he'd be headed this way.
    When my sweet thang's out tom catting around
    He finds a sandbox like this to play.
    I want to tell all you barroom roses (2nd verse: barroom fluzzies)
    if my sweet thang does happen by.
    You'd better take my advise and if you blink more than twice
    You'd better have something in your eye.

Old Jokes

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I just saw this joke on a mailing list:

This would be akin to the old story about a performer auditioning before a theater manager. The performer floats above the stage under his own power and then flies from one end of the theater to the other. The performer then lands back on the stage. The theater manage asks "do you do anything else other than bird imitations?"

And that reminded me of this one:

Dog Talents

A guy walks into a talent agency with a dog, and says "I've got a great act...my dog can actually talk."

"Surrrre he can," replies the talent agent, "prove it."

So the fellow asks the dog, "What is on top of a building?"

"Roof, roof!" the dog replies.

"What does sandpaper feel like?"

"Rough, rough!" the dog replies.

The talent agent starts to get impatient as the man asks his dog,

"Who was the greatest baseball player of all time?"

"Ruth, Ruth!" says the dog.

Instantly the talent agent throws open the door, and kicks the pair out of his office.

After a few seconds, the dog looks up at his master and says,

"Should I have said DiMaggio?"

Big Kid pool toys

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AquaBar.jpg

If only my pool were bigger (and set up...), I'd want one of these - a floating bar! You can also get a floating blackjack game! But I suppose, seeing as our pool is only 15 feet around and 40 inches deep, we might all look a little funny at the bar...

Tuesday Golf, chapter 1

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Unicorn Golf Course

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T
Par 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 35
Handicap 2 7 6 9 1 5 3 8 4
M 8 4 5 4 6 6 7 5 6 51
J 5 4 8 4 6 10 7 6 7 57

Our first weekly Tuesday morning golf round of 9 was pretty much a total disaster for me. It started off pretty well, with two very nice drives. But then the wheels started to fall off, and the final four holes were completely forgettable. Ah well, I suppose it was better than work.

It's Baaaacck

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Jeez. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the pool...

Morning exercise

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Unicorn Golf Course

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T
Par 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 35
Handicap 2 7 6 9 1 5 3 8 4
M 6 7 4 6 8 6 7 3 6 53
J 6 6 6 3 5 6 6 3 8 49

Now that summer vacation has started for the kids, I can start to play my morning golf. We usually play every Tuesday, because Gabrielle doesn't go to work Tuesday or Thursday, so there's no need for me to rush back and help pack everyone up. We meet by 6am and can usually get our nine holes in by 8:15. So I'm back home and ready to work before anyone even notices.

This morning was a perfect morning for golf. Cool, humid and virtually empty - no one in front of us slowing us down, and no one behind us, making us speed up. Just the two of us, playing at our own speed. It started off badly for me, as I topped my first drive. But after that, my drives were pretty solid, both in distance and accuracy. I was really striking the ball well. And we both had very makable birdie putts on the 8th hole, but we just missed. Still, two pars on the par 3s is pretty damned good for me.

Then came the final hole. If I had only shot my usual 6, I would have finished with a very respectable 47. Par there would have given me a remarkable 45. Instead, I solidly hooked my initial drive way left, completely whiffed my next two attempts at a tee shot, and then sliced the last one far off to the right. Yup, that's right, I whiffed on two swings at the end. Oh boy oh boy, when the wheels come off in golf, they can come off in a hurry... I ended up with my first "snowman" of the year, but even that was a struggle, having to make a tricky 5 foot putt to pull it out. Still, I'm pretty happy with the results and I'm looking forward to beginning the weekly Tuesday morning ritual next week.

I used my new golf shoes for the first time. Last fall, my U6 soccer team gave me a gift certificate to Modell's, a small sports store chain. That was very nice of them, and I finally remembered to use it when I decided it was time for new golf shoes. They worked out pretty nicely, although I need to spray some waterproofing on them, as the golf course is usually pretty wet in the morning, both from watering and the dew.

Speaking of soccer, my U6 coaching career came to an end last Wednesday. It was my fourth season doing it and I enjoyed every minute of it. I brought along my digital camera for that last game and I hope to have a nice slideshow ready soon. I had a good group of kids this year and, even more importantly, a good group of parents. All we try to do at this level of soccer is to maintain a positive atmosphere, and sometimes parents, even for U6 teams, can get a little too intense. But I've been lucky and have had some wonderful parents, both as spectators and helping out. I'm going to miss my time with the littlest soccer players, but I'm looking forward to coaching the U8 Galaxy in the fall. It should be much easier having both girls back on the same team. This past two seasons, we've had soccer four nights a week! Finally, back to "only" two.

Father's Day loot

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I've been in the middle of a summer lull, haven't I? We've had some pretty spectacular weather here, leading us into summer, so I just haven't had the time (in the morning) or the energy (in the evening) to post much. I do actually have a bunch of partial posts, but haven't found time to pull them all together.

I had a very nice Father's Day. I got my usual handicrafts from school. Rhiannon gave me a nice, hand framed digital (black and white though) picture, while Adrienne did the same thing her sister did last year and gave me a poster with some "fill in the blank" sentences about me. Let's see how they both did:

  • My Dad's name is :
    • Rhiannon: Jonathan
    • Adrienne: Jonathan
    Well, they started off with an easy one, and they both aced it!
  • His hair is :
    • Rhiannon: brown
    • Adrienne: black
    Rhiannon got it right, while Adrienne exaggerated the darkness of it. Gabrielle said that many of the kids said their Dad had black hair, irregardless of reality. Wonder why?
  • His eyes are :
    • Rhiannon: brown
    • Adrienne: some kind of green
    One again, Rhiannon aced this one, while Adrienne confused me with her mom, who does, in fact, have eyes that are "some kind of green".
  • His favorite food is:
    • Rhiannon: Chinese food
    • Adrienne: roasted chicken and potatoes
    I'd have to give the edge to Adrienne on this one, although I do in fact love Chinese food. I'm surprised neither of them said sushi, which is the family favorite food.
  • Dad's favorite restaurant is :
    • Rhiannon: The Rainforest Cafe
    • Adrienne: a Mexican restaurant
    Rhiannon's answer cracked me up. I had never visited the Rainforest Cafe up to that point, although it is a void in my life that has since been filled several times since. It's a great place to bring the kids, although I can't for the life of me imagine why we are always seeing couples in there. So once again, the nod goes to Adrienne, who knows just how much I love Mexican food. We had recently been to Mexico Lindo, a very reasonable Mexican restaurant in the neighboring town of Melrose, so maybe that helped. My very favorite one is El Sarape, down in Braintree,but I haven't been there in ages.
  • My Dad's favorite T.V. show is :
    • Rhiannon: the Patriots game
    • Adrienne: soccer games
    I'd have to say this one is a draw. We've all been watching a lot of the World Cup soccer games, so I'm sure this is very fresh in Adrienne's mind, while they both know just how much I love to watch the Pats play. I'd have to say if I had to pick a favorite TV show, it would, in fact, be a Patriots football game.
  • Dad is happy when :
    • Rhiannon: I do what he says
    • Adrienne: I watch soccer games with him
    Like I said, we've been watching a lot of soccer games lately, and it looks like it has made quite an impression on little Adrienne. And Rhiannon surely gets to the heart of the matter.
  • He is frustrated when :
    • Rhiannon: I don't do what he asks
    • Adrienne: I interrupt him
    As you can see, I wish I had more patience with my girls:-( They are good, smart, pretty little girls who deserve a mountain of patience, while I can often only generate a molehill. As John Scalzi says, it is a real bonus when you genuinely like your kids, and I do, and I'm looking forward to many exciting adventures as we go along.
  • When Dad is home he likes to :
    • Rhiannon: cuddle with me
    • Adrienne: play with my dog
    Both a very accurate sentiments that reflect their personalities. Rhiannon is a little more self-centered, with a long view of things, while Adrienne watches more what is going on and is more immediate. So the fact I enjoy cuddling with them both strikes a real chord with Rhiannon, while the fact we play with the dog every morning before school resonates a few hours later with Adrienne.
  • My Dad relaxes :
    • Rhiannon: on the couch
    • Adrienne: on his computer chair
    Maybe I'm working too much these days? Or maybe my blogging is taking up more time, as it didn't really take off until after Rhiannon's quiz.
  • He loves to go to :
    • Rhiannon: the Red Sox game
    • Adrienne: the park with me
    Once again, both are excellent, and accurate, sentiments. Do you think my girls know I'm a sports nut?-)
  • Dad cooks ___ best.
    • Rhiannon: bacon and eggs
    • Adrienne: hot dogs
    I'd like to think I'm a little more creative than these answers, but you can also tell which kinds of foods they like best.
  • If I were rich, I would buy my Dad :
    • Rhiannon: a waterslide
    • Adrienne: a soccer ball and a video camera to tape him
    Both answers are very cute, don't you think? I've been coaching both girls in soccer now for 4 seasons, and I often video tape and take pictures. I guess Adrienne would like to turn the tables on me.

And I also got a new grill, so I can show off my best cooking! We bought a new grill when we moved in, which was 6 years ago, and it was time for a new one. This one, by Vermont Castings (the wood stove people), was the Consumer Reports top-rated one, and a very nice one indeed. The girls all went out to Home Depot and bought it, bringing it back in a box. I was a little scared about putting the thing together, but it actually was a pretty easy effort, mostly involving putting the legs on.

And we've used it twice since then, with great success. Sunday, we had my mother-in-law and brother-in-law over and I cooked up a batch of salmon steaks and baked potatoes. The salmon were just rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. And yesterday I cooked up some sausages (both hot and mild), baked potatoes (they work very well if you pre-cook them in the microwave) and some cauliflower, all on the grill. Yummy!

My Dad

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My Dad is a good guy. We have always gotten along, except for the brief periods of my "wild" teenage years. I've always appreciated this quote, attributed to Mark Twain:

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Lucky for me, the period where I thought he was "ignorant" was much shorter than seven years:-) We had our quarrels, but he was always fair. He worked hard and helped to bring up four pretty responsible adults. If I can do as well with my two wild childs, I'll feel like I will have done a good job.

He was also a lover of the outdoors, which is amazing for one brought up in the urban wilderness of Hartford, Connecticut. He met my mom there, and lucky for him, she was a Maine backwoods girl, with plenty of connections with the deep dark wilderness up there. So he would often take off to go hunting with the in-laws. Some of my fondest memories of growing up are of going deer hunting with him, as I would take a few days off from school and spend it with my cousins, who I just adored. They had a huge family, and with three boys older than me, I found it exhilarating to have "brothers" to play with. Not that I minded my three younger sisters, but it was nice to have some fun with the boys. I'd get dressed warm and trundled along behind my dad, as we crept around the snowy woods. We've spent many a day since then, hunting together, although it has been a couple of years since the last time we did it. Time to do it again, I think.

I also spent many a day up in the "back 40", going trout fishing with him. We had a wonderful little trout stream up behind our NH farm and we would douse ourselves with bug spray and even spray Raid on our hats and cuffs to keep the clouds of black flies at bay. After catching a pail full of nightcrawlers the night before (just pluck them off the grass as they come up at night), we'd head back into the woods. It was great fun, and we'd almost invariably catch our limit of 10 - 12 inch "brookies". The limit was eight, if I remember correctly. And then we'd have ourselves a nice fish fry for dinner.

He also has an incredibly sharp mind. Very incisive, making for a tough opponent at board games. We grew up playing Jeopardy around the dinner table; me, Dad, Mom and my oldest sister, who is a little less than a year younger than me. The "click click" of the clickers to say you have the answer is an indelible childhood memory. As is remembering him squirm as he strained to remember a particular actor - "ooo, I can picture her, rolling in the sand with Burt Lancaster... Oh, what was her name????" (Deborah Kerr in From Here To Eternity). He is a great card player. I've always wanted to teach him how to play bridge, although I've never been confident enough of my own game to do that. I'm sure he would be a world class bridge player. Instead, he's practically unbeatable at Sixty Three, which is, strangely enough, a game I've never really played. We used to play Thirty-One all the time, though. Everyone would start with 3 quarters and the ante would be a quarter. Once you lost your three quarters, you'd get one play "on your honor" but if you lost that one, you were out; winner takes all! Great fun with 10 people or so playing.

We've also been on the same page politically too. He's always been a real "New Deal" Democrat, always voting against the Republicans. That political world view hasn't always been a good idea, as he lived in the South for a bit, but it is one we've always shared.

So, all in all, I've been pretty lucky. If I can grow up to be anything like my Dad, I'll be very pleased. Happy Father's Day, Pabs.

A Day of Golf

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Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T
Par 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 35
Handicap 2 7 6 9 1 5 3 8 4
M 5 6 7 5 6 7 6 5 7 54
J 7 6 6 6 5 6 6 3 7 52

Took the day off yesterday and got in my first round of golf for the season. Michael and I play at Unicorn Golf Course, a fairly easy 9 hole course just up the road in Stoneham. Nothing too challenging, but a nice course to play. We try to get out every Tuesday morning before work, so if we hit the links by 6am, we're done by 8:30 or so. It works out pretty nicely. But yesterday was forecast to be such a gorgeous day, I thought I would take the day off and play some golf. I tried to talk Michael into playing 18 somewhere, but he wisely counseled that we should just play 9, it being our first day out.

So the end result wasn't too bad. As you can see, we're both pretty much the very definition of "duffer". We'll do better as the season goes on, but even at our best a score in the low 40s for 9 holes would be a great score for either of us. I can get some good distance with my drives, but they are not always accurate. And my second shots are usually too erratic. I can wield a pretty mean sand wedge from within 80 yards or so of the green, and I can usually putt pretty well. But the fact that neither of us got a "snowman" (an 8) counts this as a good 9 holes of golf.

Then I went and got the girls from Grammie's and we splashed around in the pool for a bit. I lasted about an hour, but they only got out when pizza showed up 90 minutes later. I think they're enjoying it so far! And given predicted temperatures up near or past the 90 degree mark today and tomorrow, I'm sure we'll be spending lots more time in it. Then I'm going to tear it down and try to get it more level and smoother.

Word of the Day - suckspicion

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Tossed over the ol' email transom:

suckspicion: a guess that turns out to be wrong

Flag Day Random 10

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Still plugging away at the CD cabinet. I give up as far as making this a "Friday" random ten, though. I start on Friday with a stack of ten, but as I usually listen to the entire CD, it takes me several days to get through the stack. I wonder exactly how many CDs we have, really. Of course, I haven't been doing a good job of keeping track of which ones I've already ripped and which ones I haven't, which makes it all the more confusing. Maybe I should start putting stickers on the ones I've loaded.

I'm ripping these on a different computer, using Windows Media Player. I was using version 9, and having some problems with it. The most annoying problem was it wouldn't noticed when I inserted a new CD, even if I ejected the current CD from the player. So I "upgraded" to WMP 10. Still the same problem. Then I discovered the FAQ about it:

Q. Why does the CD audio playlist refresh only when I restart the Player, rather than when I insert a new CD?
A. Turning on the AutoPlay feature in Windows XP should resolve this issue. For information about AutoPlay, see Windows XP Help and Support.

Um, but I don't want to turn on Autoplay, for many and numerous reasons, plus I just don't like the computer doing something unless I tell it to do something. Every other music playing program I use doesn't seem to have a problem noticing a new CD. And just why the heck wouldn't they at least add a way to tell WMP to refresh its data? Would that be so darned difficult? Instead, I have to quit WMP and restart it. Argh! Anyway, on with the show...

SleeperCatcher.jpg
  • Little River Band - "Lady" (Sleeper Catcher [1978]) : We all have our guilty musical pleasures from times long ago and places far away, before we knew any better. I've talked about them before, and here's another one. I debated long and hard as to exactly which song to select from this CD. I could have gone with the opening number, "Shut Down Turn Off", which at least has some rockin' going on and wouldn't be such an easy target of derision. Or I could have gone with the No. 1 hit (first time for an Australian group), "Reminiscing". But no, I had to go with my first thought, the reason (I think - it's all dim in the mists of time now) I bought it to begin with, this romantic crooner of a song. Just keeping it honest between you and me! I played the album over and over when it first came out and this was probably one of the first transition CDs I bought. It was also the latent Australia-phile in me manifesting itself at a tender age, soon to be reinforced by films like Breaker Morant and Picnic at Hanging Rock. I loved reading the AllMusic Biography page of the band; as a high schooler living in the NH boondocks, I knew nothing about the group, but it turns out it was quite the "All Star" band in Australia, bringing together lots of popular names, including the wonderfully alliterative Beeb Birtle. By the way, a "Sleeper Catcher" is the guy who collects the bets left on the floor when playing "Two Up", the Australian national gambling game. Gabrielle and I actually got to play during our Australia trip, in the Adelaide casino. It is a participatory game, where one player is called into the ring and gets to flip the two coins and the rest of the bettors place bets on what's going to show up. You get a little paddle and need to flick it just so. Of course, Gabrielle was chosen to do it - pretty women always make for a better show! She did pretty well, after a few false starts. If you don't do it just so, they make you do it again.
  • Screaming Blue Messiahs - "I Wanna Be A Flintstone" (Bikini Red [1987]) : Great rockin' CD here, led by this wild 'n' crazy song. Some incredibly driving guitar work by an important member of the "Whatever Happened to..." club. Right down to the last song, the 3/4 time "Waltz", this CD is a great ridin' with the windows down song machine.
  • Juluka - "Spirit is the Journey" (Scatterlings [1982]) : An Afro-pop group from the early 80s. What a wonderful CD this one is - a forgotten classic from the back of the cabinet . They were more well known for the opening song of the CD, "Scatterlings of Africa", but this song is a wonderful paean to becoming a dad. This was the song I sang to myself after seeing the ultrasound of our oldest daughter for the first time, and it still brings a tear to me eye...
    I never knew I had one
    Till I saw yours shine
    Spilling from your laughter
    Sparkling in your eyes
    Sharing my confusion, sharing my surprise
    At finding part of me in you, alive
    ’cause nobody told me
    Spirit is the journey
    Body is the bus
    I am the driver
    From dust to dust
    Trying to be near you
    Searching for a way
    Listening to your life song
    Before it fades away
    We hold on, and when the story ends
    We hold on, we hold on.
    Spirit is the journey
    Body is the bus
    I am the driver from dust to dust
  • Queen - "The Loser In The End" (Queen II [1974]) : Talking about Queen last week got me a-hankering for this CD, so I picked it up last week. Still a pretty solid listen. I love all the Roger Taylor songs on the first four discs, and this one is no exception. There is no mention at all on the CD of "Side White" and "Side Black", although I don't think there is any real change in the songs from one side to the other; not sure I can track down my vinyl version of this to figure out exactly where the split was. It must have been either after this song or the next one, "Ogre Battle". I find it ironic somehow that the album (and CD) made big deal out of "... and nobody played synthesizer...again", while the two remakes at the tail end of this CD make heavy use of them, especially the abominable "Seven Seas of Rhye" disco remake - ugh, it's horrible.
  • Pink Floyd - "Welcome to the Machine" (Wish You Were Here [1975]) : The entire album was written as a tribute to founding member Syd Barret, and making it in the music business. There should be an SACD version of this one too, like the SACD I have of Dark Side of the Moon. This song especially would be way cool in surround sound. I love the lines from the next song, "Have A Cigar":
    Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar,you're gonna go far.
    You're gonna fly high, you're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try;they're gonna love you.
    Well I've always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
    The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.
    Oh by the way, which one's Pink?
  • Lui Collins - "Wildflower Song" (Baptism of Fire [1985]) : A signed copy of this CD from one of my favorite folk singers. Many wonderful songs here; she sings some songs from excellent songwriters, including herself. There's a nice song written by Stan Rogers about competing and not winning in the Olympics, as well as a very funny Greg Brown tune. She has such a great voice and gives a really enjoyable show. Obviously someone who likes her work!
  • Trial of the Bow - "Serpent" (Rite of Passage [1997]) : Sort of a Middle Eastern tinged Dead Can Dance, Trial of the Bow is an Australian (there's that country again!) group who make some great sounding instrumentals. This is a very lethargic, yet moody, piece. This whole CD is a good one to listen to while programming.
  • The American Analog Set - "on the run's where i'm from" (the fun of watching fireworks [1996]) : One of my all-time favorite 'ZBC college radio station discoveries. When this CD first came out, this was a favorite song of mine. It's great, laid back, sort-of electronica, with some quiet vocals and a soothing Farfisa playing in the background. Wonderful stuff from this Austin, TX based band. Reading the AllMusic.com AmAnSet entry makes me want to pick up their follow-up sophomore effort, From Our Living Room To Yours. It's also funny how tastes can be different. This song isn't even one of their favorites, but I've often put this CD on just to listen to this one song. Oh well, there's no accounting for taste. At almost 10 minutes, this is quite the epic; exactly the sort of song that would never get airplay on a regular radio station.
  • Sleepy LaBeef - "Stagger Lee" (Strange Things Happening [1994]) : They don't call Sleepy "The Human Jukebox" for nuthin'! He's been singing his style of wild 'n' woolly rockabilly for nearly 70 years and he's still going strong! What a live act he is, an imposing 6 feet seven inches tall, with an impossibly deep voice and just gives his all at every show. Springsteen himself could take lessons from this guy. He used to be based here in the Boston area, I think, but has since moved back South, although he still makes plenty of trips to the area. This song is a true standard, and he does it credit. I always ask for this at a show. I think in the interview I heard of his where I first heard of him, he said he know like 6,000 songs!
  • The The - "Uncertain Smile (12" Remix)" (45 RPM : The Singles of The The [2002]) : I thought I was in heaven when I discovered this two CD set. One of my all-time favorite songs, "Uncertain Smile", in not just one but two new mixes - yee haw! With one of them a nearly 10 minute remix! And yet ... I ended up terribly disappointed, not just in the two remixes of "Uncertain Smile", but in the whole 2 CD set in general. The remixes feel like striving for either a top 40 hit (the first one, from CD 1) or some kind of dance club trance-rock (the second one). My absolute favorite part of "Uncertain Smile" is the long piano bit at the end, and here, in both songs, the piano is either removed completely or pushed way in the background, all for some kind of flute or clarinet or something playing instead. Yech. I was crushed, as I was looking for 5 minutes of piano from it, and instead I got bupkis.

Moshi Moshi!

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Bush_listening.jpg

Pool time!

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So we finally installed a pool. I have been resisting the siren call of a pool from all three women, but it was a vain resistance. And when I saw someone offering up one of these "easy to set up" pools for US$100, I had to grab it. So then me and my brother-in-law spent all day Sunday digging out an area in the backyard to put it down, and trying to get it level. And before you say it, yes I already know it isn't level. We tried to eyeball it, and thought we got it "close enough", but not really, as it is probably 4"-6" out of level. And the women have been letting me know every time they look at the pool too. :-(

It is 15 feet by 42 inches deep, and the first pool I've ever had. I'm a New England pond swimmer myself. I hope it doesn't require too much maintenance. It should be okay. They will try it out today. It's a little scary, and we're going to have to keep a close watch on our little daredevils. They think just because they've been taking swimming lessons that they are Mark Spitz reincarnated or something. And, like most kids, they are fearless - too fearless, really. But I hope they get plenty of use out it.

I have such great friends. I've been wanting to try some of la Fée Verte (The Green Fairy) for quite some time, but never pulled the trigger on ordering a bottle. But my Wednesday night drinking buddy, Michael, recently came back from Paris, and brought us back a bottle of the jade-colored "deadly stimulant" and we transported ourselves back to Moulin Rouge and the heyday of a bohemian living. We raise a glass of absinthe - oooo. Check the Wikipedia entry on absinthe for a pretty good short history of absinthe, but suffice to say it is illegal in the US to make, buy or transport, but you can own it and drink it, so I wasn't expecting the doors to come crashing in, arresting us on sight!

And Michael didn't skimp either. He brought back a bottle of Absinthe Nouvelle-Orleans by TA Breaux, the New Orleans chemist who reverse-engineered the long-forgotten recipe for the Pernod Absinthe. He was featured in a Wired magazine article and a New Yorker profile. It comes in a gorgeous tall thin bottle, with a very pretty label, sealed with wax and a long cork. He also brought over the required absinthe slotted spoon and even a couple of French sugar cubes - we went authentic all the way!

The absinthe serving process is a little complicated, because you want to dilute the 68% (nearly 140 proof!) liquor down a little before drinking it. So you put the slotted spoon over a glass, set the sugar cube on the spoon and slowly run cold water across the cube and into the green liquid. The liquor slowly begins to "louche", which is when it turns a milky-green. About a 4-1 ratio of water to absinthe is about right, but I think maybe we were a little short of that. It will definitely require lots and lots of practice!-)

After we filled our glasses, we took a sip of the forbidden elixir. And it was surprisingly good, especially for something some have described as "an incredibly nasty drink". Mint, licorice, and other herbs could be tasted. And yes, after a few sips, something weird goes on in the mouth; something tingly, a little numbing, and very much hard to describe. But definitely good, yet something that will require some practice to get right. Colder water, perhaps, with a better ratio. He also brought back another, smaller, bottle, so we'll have to do some taste tests.

I thought that maybe just one drink of a 136 proof liquor would be enough, but we have a system, and we stuck with it. Due to having some mint left over from my concoctions made for Mixology Monday III, I decided to try one of the other mint drinks. So many of them sounded good, but I settled on the Cook Almost Anything entry, as it looked like it could stand up to the strength of the absinthe:

    Pineapple and Mint Margarita

  • 1 oz Tequila (we used Jose Cuervo - time for a new bottle)
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 5 fresh mint leaves

In a blender add all the ingredients and process until well combined. Pour into a martini glass and serve.

Yum, this was good! And yup, it did manage to take over the mouth after the absinthe assault, which was also good. I'd love to make up a big batch of this for a party this summer.

Then we played a few more hours of Serious Sam II. I think Michael said we only have 8 more levels to go. Phew! And we watched an episode of The Sopranos for the first time in quite a while. These last few from season three have really been solid.

Word of the day : magniloquent

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I'm doing some research for a series of posts I hope to start doing in the near future, and came across the word magniloquent used to describe over-the-top imagery found in 1800s French poetry.  A very cool word, don't you think?  It means exactly what it sounds like it should :

Lofty or grandiose in speech or expression; using a high-flown style of discourse; bombastic.

Dictionary.com/Word of the Day Archive/magniloquent


Expensive books

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Some cool lists about AbeBooks, the used book aggregator and seller.  The first one is the most expensive books ever sold on AbeBooks.com, with a US$65,000 top prize, for a first edition of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. Ten years of sellings gives them these lists:

Abebooks: Powers of 10

Yet Another TSA horror story

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Here is yet another TSA horror story. They are legion out there, all about this idiotic quasi-official agency with no oversight, no controls and no worries. They can do what they want, whenever they want, and there's simply no place to go for satisfaction if they should overstep their bounds, whatever those might be. Sounds a little bit like a police state, doesn't it? I'm warning you, don't read this if you don't want to get all worked up. It's a great story, slowly increasing your blood pressure until you just scream in anguish at what our country has turned into, all in the name of the War On Terror. It's can be too much.

Thanks to Bruce Schier for the heads up on this story. And I'm glad to add The Practical Nomad to my blogroll.

The Practical Nomad blog: Unanswered questions at Dulles Airport

More Radiohead

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Cool - here's some pictures, the complete set list and a complete recording of the Monday night Radiohead show I was at. And yes, it was definitely "There There" that was the multi-drum song.

bradley's almanac

Broken Umbrellas

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This is why you should remember to put down your newly purchased US$60 umbrella after you've finished dinner:

We go through umbrellas a lot around here. And do you know how hard it is to buy a stand-up umbrella after about June 15th? Virtually impossible, because all the big stores are already gearing up for the fall season. One year, we needed to get one the end of July and the only one we could find anywhere was a dusty one hidden away in storage at the local K-Mart. Big Box stores piss me off.

The Ideal Bartender

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Way cool! A classic mixology text, The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock, printed in 1917, was just added to Project Gutenberg. I'm looking forward to glancing through this text. Here's another way to look at it:

Slakethirst � The Ideal Bartender

Mixology Monday III : Mint

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Lots of great sounding mint drink recipes can be found at the Mx Mint Monday. Hope my mint leaves are still good!

Kaiser Penguin � Blog Archive � Mx Monday III Round-Up

Radiohead

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So I went to a Radiohead concert last night (the above picture is not from last night's concert, just a random Radiohead concert photo). Like the Coldplay concert I went to in April, this was driven by David K and, again much like Coldplay, I wasn't too familiar with their work. I listened to a few cuts and said yeah, why not?

The concert was at the Bank of America Pavilion (nee Harborlights) and is a great place to see a concert with a major caveat: the weather had better be nice. While it isn't an outdoor venue, it is, much like Great Woods (oops, The Tweeter Center), exposed on the sides to the elements. Gabrielle and I went to see the Finn Brothers there last summer and it was a beautiful night for a concert. DBK, on the other hand, went earlier in the spring, during our Noah's Ark Simulation Days, and froze his ass off and had to leave early.

I decided to take the T in, as Rhiannon's last U8 soccer practice for the season ended early enough. I drove down to the Wellington station, as the line from there to the closer Oak Grove stop is often down during the late night hours for construction, requiring a bus ride. Turns out it wasn't good enough but more on that later. The trip in was smooth. I almost forgot to change at Downtown Crossing for the Red Line over to South Station, where you pick up the new Silver Line buses. And I happened to meet DBK there as well. So we arrived right at 7:45, the scheduled meeting time, met the friend of his with the tickets and headed on in.

There were lots of signs and searches for digital cameras, but I don't think they were very effective, as there were plenty of them in evidence. But given the proliferation of camera phones (which were regularly popping up during the concert), I don't know why they care about digital images or what they think they can do about them.

A small group opened for them. Willy Mason played guitar, brought on someone to play violin and then a drummer. Interesting short show, as they finished up by about 8:30 or so. But not as good as the guy that opened for the Finn Brothers; Martin Sexton completely blew me away.

Radiohead came on at 9, played until about 10:20, came out for a 20 minute first encore and then a 10 minute second encore (still wondering about those encores...) We had simply amazing seats; quite possibly, the best seats I've ever had for a real concert. About 15 rows back, but smack dab in the middle. I swear I made eye contact with the lead singer a couple of times. And we were definitely in the audio sweet spot - the bass buzzed your sternum from start to finish. Amazing sound, but of course real loud. I should have been warned though, when the guy with the tickets (a real Radiohead head who had gone the night before) pulled out a case with ear plugs.

So it was a good show. A lot of it reminded me of Coldplay. The lead singer looked and even sounded much like the Coldplay lead singer. The music had more of an edge, certainly, than the more radio friendly Coldplay sound. Not sure there's anything I could sit down and listen to with the girls like I could with Clocks or Speed of Sound from Coldplay. Not that that is a bad thing, of course. I thought it a little strange that the crowd seemed to react the same no matter what song was started up. Usually, the first few chords of a couple choice songs will send the crowd into a special frenzy. But in Radiohead's case, pretty much every song generated an enthusiastic roar. Probably just means the crowd really knew its Radiohead songs, even the new ones.

I guess I'm not a huge devotee of "twisted, skittering melodies and complicated, chorus-free rock songs" and falsetto singing voices, so I didn't rush out to buy a Radiohead CD, but it was still a solidly entertaining couple of hours. The light show wasn't in Coldplay's league, but it was still really good. The highlight of the show to me was when they wheeled out a couple of extra drum sets for the rhythm guitarist and the other guitarist/keyboard/toy player, so there were 3 drummers playing. Listening to some cuts today, I think it was There There from the latest album, Hail to the Thief.

The ride back was a drag, even if it was free. First was the crush for the Silver Line buses. We had to wait until the third bus, which wasn't too long a wait, maybe 15 minutes. Certainly better than cramming on like packed sardines in an earlier bus. Changes went pretty smoothly after that until I got to Haymarket, when I could barely make out something about "blurgle blurgle ... last stop blurgle blurgle ... Oak Grove". I got out, thinking it wasn't going any further, but then saw others still on board, so I got back on. Turns out, the next stop, North Station, was the last stop, and I needed to go back to Haymarket and pick up a bus from there. So instead of busing from Wellington to Oak Grove, the Orange Line was shut down from North Station to Oak Grove, but you had to catch the bus from the previous stop, Haymarket. Jeez, how complicated can you get! So I rode in the bus to Wellington and finally got home about 12:15. Not sure it was worth saving the $15 or so in parking to take the T.

Update: On The Download, the Boston Phoenix MP3 blog, as a set list and a link to the Phoenix review of the June 4 show (the night before we went): OTD Set List. I'm still pretty sure the multi-drum song was There There, although the review said the other guys were playing "tom-toms" in the previous evening's show. Upon further review, the two little drums they were playing are "tom-toms" - learn something new every day!

Playing with the kids

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I had some pretty good times with the girls today. It was another rainy, drizzly Sunday (both soccer games were canceled this weekend), so we did some indoor things. Yesterday, I wrote. I worked pretty much the entire day on my Ken Brett short biography for the upcoming book by the Boston SABR chapter on the 1967 Red Sox. It always takes longer than I think it will, and it's lucky it was a rainy day yesterday, as I could stay focused on the effort.

Today, me and the girls played video games for several hours. Lego Star Wars for the XBOX is a brilliantly conceived cooperative game, whereby the Star Wars episodes I, II, and III (yeah, I know, the wicked lame ones) are sort of replayed by miniature Lego characters in a Lego Star Wars world. And it is a blast to play with my 5 & 6 (soon to be 6 & 7) year olds. You can only play two play (mores the pity), but Adrienne enjoyed watching and offering up ideas while Rhiannon and I played.

We even made it past a level that had been troubling us for a while. It was a flying level, where you had to fly XWing fighters through a battle. It proved to be too tough for Rhiannon last time we played it, but this time we pretty much made it right through. Which meant we finally got to add R2D2 to our character library.

Because the best part of the game is when you go back and replay levels using new characters you've added. This "Free Play" lets you do just that - free play and try anything. So the two of us tried to solve puzzles in order to find special pieces, and score more points the next time through the level. They both offered up excellent ideas for solving some of the puzzles and it was, in general, a wonderful way to wile away a few rainy hours. I think maybe we'll watch Star Wars, episode IV next time, to give them a feel for the milieu.

Then we were able to get outside and play a bit. It was still kinda drizzly, but we had fun anyway. The big news was taking the training wheels off of Rhiannon's bike! She did excellent, a real surprise to me, as we just don't bike ride that much. But she worked hard and was doing a pretty solid job of riding around the circle by the end of the afternoon. I was so proud of her!

I also took the training wheels off of Adrienne's bike, but that was a much more mixed success. I got to exhaust myself pushing her around the circle, as I don't think she's quite up to balancing a two wheeler just yet. But it was fun to see them work at the next step in bike riding. I wish my camcorder wasn't in the shop getting repaired, though.

June 2 Friday Random 10

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NightAtTheOpera.jpg

Back at the Friday Random Ten. Well, at least I'm starting this on Friday. Who knows when I'll finish it!

  • Queen - "You're My Best Friend (1991 Remix)" (Night At The Opera ) : What a crazy Queen fan I was, up to and including this album. Things got shaky after this, as they started producing their own stuff (the great Roy Thomas Baker, of The Cars fame produced this one). They started to become a hit machine and lost most of their creativity. The followup to this was Day at the Races (another Marx Brothers film), and it was moderately entertaining, but I never did like another CD by them. Queen I and Queen II (esp) were rock opera classics. I always thought it was cool that II had "Side White" and "Side Black". This is another CD I don't think I can pick just one song from, as each of them is great in its own way, including, of course, "Bohemian Rhapsody", which was #7 in the 'ZLX Top 500 (#1 being, of course, Stairway to Heaven):
    Rank
    Artist
    Song
    Date
    1
    Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven
    1971
    2
    Rolling Stones Satisfaction
    1965
    3
    Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird
    1974
    4
    Pink Floyd Time
    1973
    5
    Who Won't Get Fooled Again
    1971
    6
    Beatles Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)
    1967
    7
    Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
    1976
    8
    Aerosmith Dream On
    1973
    9
    Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love
    1970
    10
    Derek & The Dominos Layla
    1972
  • Toni Childs - "Don't Walk Away" (Union [1988]) : The CD was quite the critical darling when it came out, and is probably why I picked it up. Can't say as I've listened to it much over the years. This song was the one minor hit from it. Childs has an amazingly deep voice, and the CD shows remarkable musical range.
  • China Crisis - "Red Letter Day" (Diary of a Hollow Horse [1989]) : My least favorite China Crisis CD, one where they turned into Steely Dan, probably due to Walter Becker producing (or over producing) it. I don't think I bought any more after this one. This song is a nice, jaunty number though.
  • The Go-Betweens - "The Devil's Eye" (That Striped Sunlight Sound 2006) : I picked this up the other day, so I haven't watched the accompanying DVD yet, but I shall. This is a recording of a mostly acoustic show they did as the later reincarnation of The Go-Betweens. This is a great version of the final song on 16 Lovers Lane.
  • The Cocteau Twins & Harold Budd - "Sea, Swallow Me" (The Moon and The Melodies [1986] ) : Bought during the height of my 4AD fixation. Nice music to program by, with some interesting rhythms, but not too challenging. I like the Cocteau Twins in small amounts if I'm paying any attention, and thus when they show up on various 4AD compilations, they come out best to my ears.
  • Randy Newman = "Rider in the Rain" (Little Criminals [1977]) : What a brouhaha the signature song from this album (Short People) created among the humor-impaired out there. I remember WBZ even played a "censored" version of it. But this is a wonderfully wicked CD anyway, and on this song, he brings along his Eagles friends. "Take it, boys."
  • Dead Can Dance - "Severance" (The Serpent's Egg [1988]) : Maybe my favorite DCD album, The Serpent's Egg has lots of great, typically atmospheric DCD songs, including this dirge.
  • Huey Lewis and the News - "Tell Me A Little Lie" (Picture This [1982]) : Another great album from cut one to the last one. Straight forward, uncomplicated rock 'n' roll. They're called a great "bar band" and ain't that the truth. My girlfriend and I drove from NH to Providence RI to listen to them play, as they opened up for .38 Special. We left after they were done, as that's all we wanted to hear. This is a fun little ditty about not wanting to hear the truth.
  • Led Zeppelin - "Fool In The Rain" (In Through The Out Door [1979]) : I was never a huge Zeppelin fan. But this song is probably one of my top five songs of all time. I just love the beats, and the break in the middle is amazing. A great song to drive down the highway with, and me and the girls have the air drums and guitars down pat for this song.
  • Lush - "Nothing Natural" (Spooky [1992]) : I'm a huge fan of Lush's final CD, Lovelife, but it turns out it was a departure from their previous two CDs which featured a more dreamy sound. So this CD, their first full length one, doesn't really appeal to me the same as Lovelife. Still, some good stuff in here.

So I went over to the Captain Morgan web site to see what I could make with my freezer-cold bottle of Tattoo, besides the usual Rum & Coke. The only recipe found there with Tattoo is something called and "Ink Drop", which uses Tattoo and an energy drink. For some reason, I feel these energy drink "cocktails" to be, oh I don't know, sophomoric or something. Something done by a 20-something to cover up the taste of the alcohol. Maybe it is because I don't drink them anyway. Even the next Carnival of Drinking is looking for energy drink recipes, so I guess I won't be joining those festivities. It just doesn't appeal to me.

So I did some prowling around the site anyway. Of course, I'm attracted like a moth to a flame when I see a blue drink. I'm always looking for an excuse to use my blue Curaçao of Curaçao! And I was, once again, drinking alone again, as my globe-trotting friend wasn't back yet and my wife doesn't indulge me during the week. So something big, fresh and easy attracted me, and this was it.

    Blue Watch

  • 3/4 oz Capt. Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 oz blue Curaçao
  • 4 oz. ginger ale

Pour rum & Curaçao over rocks in an old-fashioned glass. Stir lightly. Add ginger ale.

This was a pretty good drink. Too weak on first try, and when I added more of everything, it got better. But next time I make it, I'll use real amounts of rum and Curaçao, so the ginger ale doesn't take over and make itself to home so much.

Then I played Day of Defeat for a couple of hours. Man, a pointless, multiplayer mayhem game like DoD is just so addictive. Before I knew it, it was after midnight - time for bed! But the Blue Watch went well with this sort of activity.

Word of the Day - feculent

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The word of the day is feculent:

feculent

Main Entry: fec·u·lent
Pronunciation: 'fe-ky&-l&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin faeculentus, from faec-, faex
: foul with impurities : FECAL
- fe·cu·lence /-l&n(t)s/ noun

Thanks to John Scalzi for using it in this Whatever post. Careful, other, stronger, words in the feculent line are used.

Morning Meme

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1. Do you use an alarm clock to wake up? Yes.
2. What time does your alarm go off? 5:03 hockey mornings, 5:47 otherwise. I figure if I have a digital clock, I might as well set the alarms at arbitrary times, right?
3. What sound does it make? I wake up to NPR.
4. Do you hit the snooze button? How many times? Usually once or twice. I wish I could adjust the snooze time to be much shorter than the 9(sic) minutes my clock uses.
5. If you have a partner, do they have a separate alarm? Nope. It's been my responsibility since I was in high school to get everyone else up. It's a cross I have to bear as a morning person.
6. Does your partner get up at the same time, earlier or later? After me, obviously:-) Often much later.
7. Is your clock set ahead? If so, by how much? That is such a bizarre thing. My brother-in-law has his clock set like 1 hour fast! Sorry, but I can't suspend disbelief enough to set my clocks fast - I'll just adjust the time in my head anyway. And my alarm clock is automatically set via some sort of magic airwaves to be the atomic time, so I couldn't set it fast even if I wanted to.
8. What's the first thing you do when you get up? Start the coffee machine, grab a cup of OJ and jump in the shower. I've taken to getting the coffee machine ready for brewing the night before, as it is sort of a catch-22 - you need coffee to be awake enough to make coffee. The coffee doesn't seem to suffer much being ground the night before, and I am capable of switching on the machine before my first cuppa.
9. Do you eat breakfast? If so, what? I try to. Usually the kids' leftovers, but sometimes a bagel, toast, crunchy granola bar or a bowl of cereal.
10. How long does it take you to get ready? Working from home, there isn't much "ready" needed. But I'm showered, dressed and ready for the day in about 20 minutes. Even though I work from home, I've taken to dressing up, just to feel ready for the day.
11. On the weekends, what time do you get up? I usually still get up pretty early, and actually leave the alarm on the non-hockey time. Of course, one or both of the girls are up by 6:30 anyway. But I like to get a head start on everyone, so I can get a little time for myself before the gong goes off and craziness hits. Maybe get a little writing in, some surfing, whatever.
12. Do you lounge or do you jump into action? No time to lounge around here, but if I can get up and started early enough, I like to lounge at the keyboard for a bit anyway. Or read the sports pages.
13. In an ideal world, what time would you get up? Even if I had no pressures, I'd probably still get up early. Again, the curse of a morning person. BK (Before Kids), we liked to sleep in sometimes, but now I probably couldn't.
14. How many hours of sleep do you typically get? 6
15. How many hours of sleep do you want to get? 8

(Thanks to Geeky Mom for the meme idea)

Worst Technologies

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Pretty cool article on the 25 worst tech products of all time. Number one on the list? AOL. Very appropriate, because I've been exchanging some email about AOL problems on one of our mailing lists. I love this quote from Bill:

“We designed AOL so any idiot could get online… and a lot of them did”
PCWorld.com - The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

Carnival of the NFL

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And speaking of Carnivals, my Doug Flutie post made it into the Carnival of the NFL, along with a nice complement about the blog. Some good NFL action in there! I can't wait until the Pats season starts up.

Multiple Mentality � Carnival of the NFL #7-a

Drinking Carnival

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Boston Cocktails is hosting the 3rd Carnival of Drinking, with a theme of Summertime Refreshments. Both he and I have a bit about the classic Pimm's Cup, but he's a Sprite man, while I'm a ginger ale man. But you can't go wrong either way! See the rest of the festivities here:

Boston Cocktails � Outdoor entertaining drinks (Carnival Roundup)

What Kind of English

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One of those silly web quizzes. I'm not sure which one of the questions that I answered had me speaking "Dixie". The rest makes sense, being pretty much a born and raised New Englander.

Your Linguistic Profile:
45% General American English
45% Yankee
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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