Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last Day of the Year

The last day of 2008... and we get another snow storm. Yippee.

The evening commute is supposed to be awful tonight so I'm hoping they'll let us out early. In reality it probably won't help me get home sooner, but there is a certain peace of mind factor. Somehow getting out early and having a four hour commute that gets you home at the normal time is, while extremely stressful, preferable to staying at work and stressing over the coming travel.

To me at least. Maybe I'm just weird. Yeah, I'm weird.

Last night I watched some of the Bruins 5-2 win over the Penguins in HD. It was brilliant. It was stunning. It was perfect. One thing I recommend against though is watching the intermission segments on the nationally televised games on Verses... I never even imagined those guys had to wear that much make up. It's creepy.

Bruins... 9 straight wins. This is so much fun.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and I hope everyone has a blast and stays safe in their New Year's Eve celebrations. Jen and I are going to stay home and play Rock Band 2 all night and try to watch Dick Clark in HD. That should be scary. Poor Dick Clark.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just to warn you. I'm going to bitch about traffic again. Leave now if you don't want to hear it.

Okay? Still with me?

Yesterday morning the traffic on 93 was so light that I figured I'd take a chance on driving all the way to work on the highway. It paid off huge. It took less than an hour. Beautiful! Thank heavens for Christmas vacation!

Last night I figured I'd try it again.

Mistake.

I flew all the way to the route 38 exit on 128. About 3 miles away from route 93. When the traffic stopped I checked the clock. It said 6:03.

When I merged onto 93, finally clear of the gridlock, I checked the clock again. 7:14. It took me one hour and 11 minutes to go 3-4 miles. The entire drive took me two hours.

This morning I again noticed how light the traffic on 93 was. I took the highway again. 43 minutes total. About the same amount of time that the last mile on 128 took last night.

I will now cheer myself up.

Ready?

Here it comes..........

Our wedding is exactly five months from today.

I feel better now.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Out of Control Shoppers or Conspicuous Consumers

We all know that in February standard definition television is going away and will be replaced by high definition television.

We didn't have a high def television, we had an old standard television.

We had planned on buying a high def tv as a wedding present to each other.

Circuit City had some killer deals yesterday only.

We bought our wedding present to each other. A 40" Sony HDTV.

Freakin' Sweet!

So the PS3 (which isn't online yet) is running through a high def tv... we also bought a bunch of blu-ray discs and a few more games. NHL '09 and Rockband 2.

Freakin' Sweet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas explosion continues!

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus came! We really were good this year! Merry Chrirtmas everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus and the reindeer ate the snacks we left out for them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Miracle!

Sears' delivery guy called and the stove should be coming today between 1:00pm and 1:30pm! WOOHOO

Of course it is now 1:19pm and we have to leave for Rochester by 3:00pm... so maybe the Christmas miracle will turn into a Christmas Eve clusterfuck?

Maybe.

Update: The Norad Santa Tracker says the big guy and the reindeer are somewhere over the Indian Ocean right now. Getting closer to my house! WOOHOO I want presents!

Dilbert













Brilliant. Freakin' Brilliant.

Christmas Eve! Santa's Coming!

According to the Norad Santa Tracker, Santa is currently bombarding Australia with Christmas cheer and goodies. Go Santa Go!

I have a work Christmas party this morning followed by a Christmas party in Rochester, NH at Jen's mom's.

It's a rainy -blah- looking day today, but it's Christmas Eve so it's all good for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting Ready for Tomorrow

The site to visit on Christmas Eve is, as always, Norad Tracks Santa.

Here is last year's video, which is up on the site right now.



They have a countdown to take off running, and they also have a Google Earth tracker. I hope to have a chance to check this site with the kids tomorrow. I think they saw it last year but when Jen asked them about it at dinner last night they couldn't remember it.

Ho-Ho-Ho

Monday, December 22, 2008

Muppets

Forgive me. The kids and I watched The Muppet's Christmas Carol yesterday. I can't help myself.









Network Gross Out

This is the single most disgusting thing ever shown on network television, cartoon or otherwise.

Enjoy!

Storm Wrap Up

Yesterday afternoon when I took the pictures I used in the last post it looked like there was a lot of snow.

Then around 7:00pm I actually went outside.

There was nuttin' at 2:30pm. Nuttin'.

In preparation of the arrival of the snow blower, I went out to clean off the cars and shovel off the steps. The snow piled up in front of both cars was higher than the hoods. I had a strange moment while digging around the front of my car. I had shoveled a path to each driver's side door so that I could start the cars, then I cleaned them off, and finally dug a path around the front in case we needed to push them when the snow blower came. While digging in front of my car there was suddenly this bright light illuminating the snow around me. What the hell? Oh yeah... I had dug out a headlight. They were on, but buried under the drifts. That was odd.

At least I managed to get the back stairs shoveled out. I had neglected that after the first storm, but now it's passable again. I also managed to get to the trash barrel, which means we will be a part of the weekly Ashland Ave trash pick up. >whew<

At about 8:00pm Norman knocked on the door and asked if I wanted to give it a shot. I was game. Jen's car got stuck twice getting out of the driveway, but I was able to rock it loose both times. My car just blew right over the snow. Norman cleaned off the whole driveway, including the snowbanks along the sides. Thanks Norman.

Today, however, we discovered the real victims of the storm (at least from our driveway's perspective): Windshield Wipers. Both of mine have been destroyed. Chunks of plastic have been cracked off, and the rubber is all but gone. Jen's wipers are still in good shape, but her washer vent is frozen shut. She drove to Salem and back this morning and it never opened up. I'm not sure how to fix that problem. Hopefully it's just frozen and not broken.

Also, hopefully, this is the last time I am going to have to talk about this damn one-two punch of a snowstorm. Screw Winter, I'm ready for Spring.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This should cheer us all up on this snowy crap-o-la kinda day with a dead stove and no tacos for dinner.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gas

The gas company is coming tonight. We turned on the stove to make dinner and we all smelled gas again. We turned off the stove and the smell went away so we're not really worried about it, we just want the valve fixed.

Not that worried I mean.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Does this work?

Testing... I don't know if this is going to work or not.

Letters to Cleo - 12/9/08 - Here and Now

Morning Routine - Shot to Hell

So the forecast is getting more ominous. Jen just read me the storm warning message from weather.com and they have upped the expected accumulation to 3-5 inches tonight after 2-4 this afternoon. They have also lengthened the warning from having it end at midnight to having it end at 3:00am.

Jen and I are both working from home today. Normally I would have left for work 15 minutes ago, but instead I'm sitting here typing this to the two of you. I don't have the kind of job where I can show up whenever, work my 8.5 hours and then leave. I have to be on from 9:00am to 5:30pm. So I sit here. I will log in early and get a jump on things, but this just suddenly seems too early. And this is after we both slept late. Weird.

This storm is making me wonder... I have lived in New England my whole life. Last year we got pummeled with large storms on at least a weekly basis. Today they are forecasting about a foot of snow. My question... my pondering... my curiosity is... why is this a big deal? It's a foot of snow. It's not a dusting, it's a real accumulation... but it's only a foot of snow. The entire Merrimack Valley was in a panic last night over this. I realize there is often overreaction over the first storm of the season, but get a friggin' grip people. There was no need for a 6 mile gridlock on route 114 in North Andover and Lawrence last night. It's snow: act like New Englanders and freakin' deal with it.

Rant over.

Have a Good Day

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow... continued... again

After yesterday's slightly-more-than-a-dusting it looks like we're going to get some real snow tomorrow. Here's what weather.com has for Methuen, MA:



They also have a local weather alert that has some fun info:

SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR ARE LIKELY FROM MID FRIDAY AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING. ROADS DURING THE FRIDAY LATE DAY/EVENING COMMUTE WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND TREACHEROUS.


and

IT LOOKS AS THOUGH MOST OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND WILL RECEIVE 6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOWFALL BY MIDNIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT.


In the past my company has been pretty good about kicking everyone out of the office early when the weather is going to be bad. Last year that backfired in a huge way during one early season storm. My one hour drive between Framingham and Tewksbury took... took... was it four hours or six hours... I can't remember. Every business in the state let their people out early and they all hit the terrible roads at the same time. I was okay until the battery on my iPod died. I switched to Christmas music on the radio in an attempt to keep my spirits up, but almost as soon as I did that my windshield wipers started to freeze. I'm sure the drained battery on the iPod had nothing to do with the wipers, but you never know.

People around here are already asking their supervisors if they can leave early tomorrow or if they can cancel meetings just in case they have to leave early. We've been told not to ask to work from home because if one group lets their people do it everyone in every other groups is going to want to do it and our system can't handle 2,000+ remote connections. It'd be nice, but it isn't going to happen.

So we'll all go to work in the morning. Maybe the bright side will be that so many morning commuters will be scared off by the afternoon forecast that there won't be any traffic. That'd be nice. Hopefully everyone will just remember that they are New Englanders and New Englanders should know how to handle a little snow.

Still... I hope Jen's boss lets her telecommute tomorrow. I don't mind being stuck in the snow traffic, but I'd hate for it to happen to her.

.........

Update - 5:02pm
Five minutes after posting this one of the other supervisors in my group asked me if I could telecommute tomorrow. Snow/traffic problem solved!

One Month

This is my 77th post to this site.

It's only existed for one month.

77 posts between November 18 and December 18. 30 days. 2.567 posts per day.

Does that make me the lamest no life geek in the universe?

Yeah, it does. Go on and crown me king geek.

Traffic Blues Again

You know it's going to be a bad commute when you see this before you even get onto the highway.



To make it even worse, that is a picture of the third fire engine to pass me on the on ramp. Urgh.

There was an accident at the 110/113 rotary. I take that exit going home, but it's tied up so bad in the morning I actually get on one exit to the north and drive past it. Seems like a bad move today.

I tried to get a picture of the accident, it was a car badly smashed up in the left lane, but there were these two firemen standing next to the wreck and I felt like a schmuck lining up the camera... so I tried a quickie out the side window as I passed. You'd think by now I'd know better than to do that.



Kinda looks like modern art, doesn't it?

More snow tomorrow. Yippee.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow... continued

I am looking out the window here seeing a frozen snow/slush/ugly as sin looking waste of a winter wonderland. Here are a couple of snow themed non-holiday songs to celebrate the crappy weather.




Here's to summer.



(ps: here's to my love of the site myflashfetish.com and their goofy flash mp3 players. I am partial to the iPod themes.)

Snow

This morning, a few minutes after 7:00am, I told my fiancé that I actually love it when it snows. I just happen to love it when it doesn't snow 1000000000 times more.

There wasn't a lot of snow. Maybe an inch. Maybe a little more than that. It was coming down hard enough as we were leaving for work that we had to re-brush off the car windows after we finished brushing off the car.

We got a little good news while we were in the driveway. Our next door neighbor reiterated something he said to me back in April when we moved in. He told me that our landlord hired him to shovel out our driveway. This morning he asked if both of our cars were going to be out so that he could shovel everything. I didn't doubt that he'd said it to me, but eight months is a long time and I was a little nervous that maybe the arrangement might have changed. It hasn't. That's good.

I had taken our one shovel out of the house just in case we needed it this morning though... and proceeded to leave it leaning against the front of the house. Whoops.

The commute started out slow. Methuen hadn't gotten around to plowing yet so the roads were a little slippery getting to route 93. Unfortunately, Massachusetts hadn't gotten around to plowing route 93 either so that was pretty slow. I would guess it averaged about 30-35 miles per hour at first.

Once I reached the 495 in one mile sign though the right lane stopped. The merge onto route 495 took me 25 minutes. The cause was an accident on 495. A car went off the road to the left about half a mile South of the 93 junction. There were a couple of cops, and that plus the snow makes a huge curiosity delay.



The situation on my exit ramp was made much worse by the stream of douchebags who decided to avoid the right lane back up by taking the exit from the second lane. If all those pricks had just done things correctly it probably would have been over and done with in 10 minutes instead of 25. I hate stupid people.

At least I wasn't alone in the traffic jam. There was a kindred soul in front of me. See if you can make out the license plate on this car (click to enlarge). I wonder if I know him/her?



Once I was past the accident on 495 South the going was okay again. Back in the 30-35 mph range. I got off at exit 37 in Tewksbury and the going was a little slippery. Like Methuen and both interstates, there was no evidence of any plows having plowed anywhere. I crossed into Billerica and nothing changed. I saw a Lowell Transit bus spin out pretty bad while taking a left turn out of the North Billerica MBTA station.

I also saw an schmuck driving the wrong way on a one way street near the Billerica House of Correction. What is it about a dusting of snow that makes people act as if all the rules of the road are off? I hate stupid people.

Everything was okay from there with the exception of a backed up stop light in Concord that took nine minutes or so to get through. Bedford and Concord had plowed already, but Lincoln, and Wayland hadn't. It was raining by the time I reached Framingham so it's hard to tell if they plowed or not. It was just slushy and wet everywhere.

There was one other interesting moment. I was tooling along in Wayland on a little short-cut-side-street and I saw a deer. A Buck with antlers and everything. Pretty cool. I didn't notice a red nose, so I am assuming it wasn't Rudolph, but was just a run of the mill wild deer. I came close to getting a picture, but he ran off just before I could snap it.

Friday the forecast is for six inches of snow. Like I said before, I love it when it snows... I just love it when it doesn't snow a whole ton more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who Said Politics Can't Be Funny?

Some one just sent me this. I'm surprised it took so long.

Gasoline Smells Bad

On Friday I had to drive to a gas station and fill up a 5 gallon tank to put into Mike's generator. My car's trunk is full of stuff so there was no room to keep the tank there. I had to put it in the front with me.

The fumes started getting to me before I even found a station that was open so I opened all my windows. That helped quite a bit.

Early on Saturday I had to go out again and refill the container. Unfortunately my windows were all frozen shut. My car began to smell of gasoline fumes as I drove down route 28 looking for an open station. It wasn't until after I was on my way back to Mike's that I was able to get a window open. I was afraid my car was going to reek like that forever so I left the window open all morning. When we left the house about three hours later the gasoline smell was gone. Bullet Dodged.

While Christmas shopping on Saturday afternoon I did something I have never done before. I went into a Yankee Candle store, braved the ridiculously long lines, and bought one of those silly little car air freshener smelly things. Christmas Cookie scented. I was paranoid about the smell of gas. Now the interior of my car smells of Christmas Cookies. Every time I reach my destination I am STARVING.

This morning it came in handy. I was driving on route 126 in Wayland and some one was leaking gas. Lots of it. There was a streak of spilled gas on the Westbound lane that ran for at least half a mile. The smell was overpowering. When it ended I was very thankful for my stupid little Christmas Cookie thingie. It helped a lot. Until, that is, after about a mile of clean road there was another gasoline spill in the lane that lasted for another half mile or so.

So some one spilled a ton of gas onto the road, it stopped on it's own, and then after a while started again. Huh? Did the driver of the spilling tank car notice it, turn off his/her engine, coast as long as he/she could, and then start up the motor again?

Regardless of the circumstances, the gas reeked to high heaven. Glad I had that cookie thing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

February 17, 2009

I found another source (from December 10th) that says the Dead Like Me straight to DVD movie, "Life After Death" will be released on Tuesday February 17, 2009.

There is also a website right here.

And last but not least... there is a trailer.

Enjoy.

Monday

I wanted to express myself via a clip from the movie Office Space. I wanted to display something about having a bad case of the Mondays. Youtube failed me so I'll post this video instead.



Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Decorations

The house is officially decorated for Christmas.

We didn't have enough room for the tree in the living room so we had to put it up in the dining room. Jen and I felt that the living room looked a little sad without a tree so we bought a super cheesy fiber-optic fake tree-like decoration thing and put it on a table next to the couch.

I love all of our decorations, even the cheesy one.







and finally, the goofy fiber optic things, shot without a flash so all you see is light. Sometimes I need to make things artsy even when they are as far removed from artsyness as humanly possible

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a day

After a full and unusual day that included an ice storm a power outage that is in its 21st hour with no end in sight a trip to the hospital a fiance in an air cast and other bizzah events we close things out by sending christmas cards. some thing else I have never done. at least I have mobile blogger to help us keep our heads. whew!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cleo Slideshow Part 2

What we learned from taking hundreds of awful pictures of the second show...

1: The person running the lights was probably not the same person who ran the lights the night before. It doesn't matter where I was standing, if the light guy only turns on a couple of red lights for the duration of the show, my pictures are going to look like dung. There was more light coming from camera flashes than from the actual stage lighting.

2: Using the repeat function on the Casio camera is a great way to end up with 10 times more pictures than you remember taking. The burst function on the Kodak takes up to 5 shots at a time. The same function on the Casio will take as many as you want. I took 340+ shots with the Casio while only using it on 4-5 songs. I kinda lost track.

3: Despite getting good shots from the front of the balcony at other shows, I got next to nuthin' at this one. I lowered my definition of "marginal keeper" quite a bit while saving files from the second night.

Here's a slideshow of the keepers, marginal keepers, and somewhat less than marginal keepers from the Tuesday 12/9 show.

Cleo Slideshow Part 1

What we learned from taking hundreds of awful pictures of the first show...

1: The Kodak camera can go phluey. The rechargeable Duracell batteries did awesome, but after a certain amount of time the camera just stopped focusing. I think it might have over heated due to the huge, vast, number of pictures I took.

2: The Casio camera is capable of taking some AWESOME shots when you're really close to the stage. Granted, it was still one out of 20-30 that looked good, but when they looked good I actually liked them.

Here's a slideshow of the keepers and marginal keepers from the Monday 12/8 show.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is my namesake approving our wedding plans?

Letters to Cleo Day Two

Day two was better than day one. Just leave it at that for now.

Thanks to the members of Letters to Cleo for giving us two unreal shows. Thank you thank you thank you





Now that the Cleo is through I am sad that I will probably never get to see them live again. Maybe this mini-tour will be enough fun for the band that they will make the occasional show a regular thing. Once a year? At Christmas time? Maybe?

But now I have to focus on other things... like putting up a Christmas tree... which we just did. The kids will decorate it with us tonight. Now we're going Christmas shopping. Ho-Ho-Ho babie

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Paradise

With my baby at the letters to cleo show at the paradise

Letters to Cleo Goodness and Happiness

Monday's show was fan-freakin'-tastic.

Tuesday's show is a little more than four hours away.

I can't really write an objective review, as I was too busy wallowing in the nostalgia. I guess the questions one might ask are, Are they better or worse than they were the last time I saw them nine years ago.

Were they better? Probably not. They used to put on a whale of a show, and last night was no different. Are they worse? Definitely not. It lived up to all of the expectations. It was one mother of a great show.

I've seen Kay's solo band (which includes USA Mike and Joe Klompus) more times than I can remember, but it never had the charge that Cleo had. It was never bad, just never quite the same. Last night that charge, that spark, that whatever cliche you want to call it, was back. I had forgotten how much I missed it.

Tonight... show number two. I can't wait.

And in closing, two of the billion and a half pictures I took that I have yet to have to time to sort through.



Monday, December 8, 2008

Waiting for Jen and Larry

Waiting for Jen and Larry to get here before heading in to the Letters to Cleo show.

Letters to Cleo... Doors open in less than 5 hours


Less than 5 hours until the Paradise's doors open for tonight's Letters to Cleo show. I want to be there now. Now I say!

I did a little digging for dirt on the Los Angeles show. Here is a review. That page links to a bulletin board post on Kay Hanley's website that has a bunch of pictures. I will of course steal a few right now. (insert maniacal laughter here)

Kay Hanley


Greg McKenna


USA Mike


Stacy Jones


And in case you didn't know where the band hailed from...


Now just to be fair an honest and such, credit should be given. The person who posted these on the Kay Hanley site linked them from here.

My digging also uncovered four videos on youtube that were shot at the Los Angeles show. I haven't watched them, and will not watch them until after tonight's show at least. I want to see things for myself first, ya know?

"Find You Dead"


"Little Rosa"


"I Want You to Want Me"


"Here and Now"


I should have my camera with me tonight so tomorrow's fan-boy postings will probably of a more home made variety.

Finally, one more geek out net nerd moment. The other day I posted two new promo shots of the band that came from their myspace page. They were black and white. Today I saw the same shots in color on their website. I prefer color. Hey Ted Turner, take this!





See you at the show.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

videoI love hockey

Winter

For the first time in our new home we looked out the window and saw light snow. A dusting on the ground as it lightly falls from the sky.

We've had a Spring here, a Summer, a Fall, and now we're starting to get a Winter too.

(pictures to follow)

Friday, December 5, 2008


Yup, we're going to that show...



Yup. We're going to that one too.

About 100 years ago... 1993... maybe a tad earlier. I started hearing Letters to Cleo on local music shows on various radio stations in Boston. Eventually I got my hands on a compilation CD that had a Cleo song called "Green Eggs" on it. I think the CD was called Crush, and I think it was on Cherrydisc, but I'm not sure. Around the same time there was also a single out that was "Here and Now" b/w "Rimshak". I didn't have a copy of that.

Then they released their first album, Aurora Gory Alice, on Cherrydisc records and I snagged a copy. Mike and Larry and I were all working at a gas station in Tewksbury together and I managed to have the radio on one station's local show on a Sunday night when Cleo was the guest. They liked what they heard too.

A few years later I went to see them at Hempfest on Boston Common. They headlined a massive show. It was approximately 9,999 stoners and me. It was my first Cleo show. The slew of pictures I am about to post come from a guy named Steve Latham. I do not know him, but his site is fan-freakin-tastic if you are a fan of Boston music. There are about 10 billion pictures of every band under the sun. Check it out.

Hempfest 1995... I was on the other side of the stage, a little further back.






After that it wasn't long before I managed to drag Mike and Larry to shows too. Eventually Letters to Cleo couldn't play in Boston without all of us being there. Then, sadly, after three records they split up. To the rest of the world they were probably a one hit wonder who were-in-that-movie-with-the-guy-who-played-Joker-in-The-Black-Knight.

But to us they were a major attraction. A big event. A must-not-miss show. Now, after a long time being gone they are getting back together for four shows. The first one was last month in L.A.. The next two are next week at The Paradise in Boston. The place where we saw them a hundred times. (okay, it was probably more like 3 or 4, but allow me to romanticize my fanboy behavior just a little.) Then they end it with one in New York. No accounting for taste I guess.


Jen, Larry, Mike, and I are going to both shows. Nawal is going to one. We're still trying to get rid of a few more tickets. I think we have 2 for the first night and 1 for the second but I might have that backwards.

The show posters and the next two pictures come from the band's myspace page. I don't know if that's an "official" page or not, but it gets the job done. They posted some promo shots for the reunion tour, complete with new bassist Joe Klompus... I hope I spelled that right. He plays in Kay's solo band when they play in Boston. I don't know if he's in it in Los Angeles too. He used to play for Jack Drag as well.





and I'll leave you with a few songs including their Christmas song which you can get from their myspace page. Enjoy

... and we'll see you at the Paradise on Monday and Tuesday.



I've Got Nothing To Say But It's Okay... again

It happens now and then. I just can't think of what to say in what has become a new retarded morning thing for me.

My left arm is wicked sore. I haven't a clue why. I think I either slept on it wrong two nights in a row, or maybe pulled something whilst trying to reach to my left and over my head and around backwards to try and hit the snooze bar without actually adjusting my body, when my body was in no position to hit the snooze bar. I hate alarm clocks. Fuck 'em.

The Bruins won again. Watch game highlights here. They are back into a tie for first in the Eastern conference with those god damned New York Rangers. I hate the Rangers. The Rangers have played four more games though. It was a little disconcerting to see them only score two goals again the bottom dwelling Tampa Bay Lightening last night. (well... three... the third was an empty net goal.) I was hoping for a little more offense against such a bad team. Only letting up one goal to Tampa is still a big deal. As bad as the team is, they still have some great forwards to deal with.

Kessel's first goal was awesome. Krejci's shorthanded goal in the third was a thing of beauty. Are they the real deal? I see the way Krejci and Wheeler and Hunwick are playing... Hunwick is Plus 12! Who would have thought we'd get production like this out of those guys? And Kessel! Julien should have benched his ass at the start of last season rather than wait for the playoffs. He's a force. 15 goals. 22 points in 25 games. Plus 10. PLUS 10! He has to have a trip to the all star game waiting for him, along with Thomas, Savard, and probably Chara. His numbers don't really justify it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bergeron get the nod too. He's only the feel good story of the year.

What else can I blather on about?

We have snow in the forecast for Sunday. Hopefully it won't be enough to screw up our plans. My fingers are crossed that Mother Nature treats us nice.

My fiancé Jennifer, whom I love more than anything, just wished me a happy 20th monthiversary. 20 months ago today we went on our first date. Going out with her that night is turning out to be the single smartest thing I've ever done.

Let's see if I can come up with any more to drone on and on about as the day goes on.

Until then....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prop 8 The Musical

From funnyordie.com

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


Harold and Kumar had it right. Neil Patrick Harris is the Man.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Lists

I am curious if anyone else around does what I do. Or I should say, does a similar goofiness that I subject my family too.

Christmas is traditionally a huge deal for my family. We tend to go waaaay overboard on the gift giving. A normal Christmas morning includes a living room so full of wrapped gifts that the people who are giving and receiving said gifts can't fit into the room.

This sort of gross consumerism requires lots of coordination and planning. To help in that end I, for the last few years, have collected everyone's Christmas lists and consolidated them onto one web page. This page is meant to be bookmarked and visited regularly to see any additions that the potential gift receivers may have asked me to make.

The last few years I have gotten into the spirit by making the page as festive... and as hard to read... as I can with my meager skills. I'll admit it... I took the goofiest stuff I could find on the average javascript code sites and threw them in. Here is last year's page.

I started posting this year's Christmas wish lists today but I seriously toned down the goofiness. We are promising each other that we will not go overboard this year. We're all buying one item for one person (we picked names out of a hat over the weekend) instead of multiple gifts for everyone. I figured a more stately, dare I say classy, page is more fitting for our current, more sophisticated, Christmas gift giving agenda.

It brings to mind two questions though. Questions I will pose to you the reader... all three of you.

1. Are we the only dorks who set up a Christmas wish list web page?
2. Should I bring back that moving snowflake background gif I used last year?

Please phrase your answers in the form of a comment to this post.

Thank you

21 shopping days left.

Sean Avery

Sean Avery is a douche bag on the ice...


Sean Avery is a douche bag off the ice...


The back story there is that Avery used to date actress Elisha Cuthbert. She is currently dating Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Avery made his comments in the locker room prior to last night's game between his Dallas Stars and Phaneuf's Calgary Flames.

The league suspended Avery indefinitely. The Dallas Stars said if the league hadn't suspended him they would have. You can get all the details in this Scott Burnside story from espn.com

Dallas is in last place in the Western Conference. After signing this putz over the summer I say they deserve it.

Hopefully this nitwit is going to be out of the public eye for a while. Hopefully.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Relativity

Sometimes relativity can be a flat out bitch.

You'll see posts like this from time to time. I could title them "My Commute Pissed Me Off Today" but I am too lazy to group things together that way.

My commute is about 37-38 miles. When I first started working in Framingham I took route 38 to 495 to 3 to 128 to 90 to 30. On a good day I could get there in a little under 40 minutes. On an average day I could get there in about 70. On a bad day... on a really bad day... 2 hours plus. The traffic was horrible and generally unpredictable. I say generally because the 495/3 interchange was always awful, and 128 between 3 and Winter Street was always awful. The rest of the trip is what varied.

After about a year of this I started looking for alternate routes. My group moved from Canton, MA to Framingham, MA and that allowed a lot of back road options. I mapped out one route to take home and over time tweaked it to avoid bad spots. I still kept to the highway in the morning for a while, but eventually I was taking back roads both ways.

The trip time using just back roads stayed at about 65-70 minutes. Slower than the best days on the highway, but about the same as the average day. If it keeps me out of 40 minute long traffic jams I consider it a fair trade.

When we moved to Methuen I kept the route more or less in tact. I take 93 to 495 to the Tewksbury/Lowell line and pick up my old route from near there.

This is definitely turning into one seriously boring post. Where the hell was I going with this? Oh yeah, relativity.

Last week most of the morning drives took about 75 minutes. Yesterday it took a little less than 80. Today it took 81. A difference of less than 10 minutes... but it seemed... like... forever.

Maybe it was the brand spanking new detour on Treble Cover Road in Billerica. I already take a huge detour around a closed bridge on Monument Road in Concord, but today we had that added little insult.

Maybe it was the on-again-off-again construction site on route 62 in Bedford. (Bedford or Concord... I think it's Bedford). That one was made worse by me being the lucky guy the traffic cop stopped after letting about 30 cars going my way through.

Maybe it was the guy on Moore Road in Wayland who almost drove off the road twice in a space of about 20 seconds. He kept swerving into the opposite lane. If we weren't the only two cars on a tiny little side street he would definitely have killed some one. I don't know if he was texting, eating breakfast, jerking off to porn, or what... but he's lucky to be alive.

Whatever it was, something today made the drive seem infinitely longer than the drive yesterday, when in fact the time was almost exactly the same. Yesterday the slower than average time was written off to the rain. Today... I don't know, but the perception was definitely written off to Einstein. Damn you Theory of Relativity. Damn you!

I'm having another OCD-iPod-Commute thing going on again too. This time it's Rush bootlegs. I have a million of 'em. More than I will ever listen too. Every now and then I'll make up a playlist on my iPod with one show from every tour. (including the short pre-recording session warm-up tours... yeah... I'm not too obsessed.) I set up one of these playlists over the weekend and started listening yesterday on the drive to work. I will not be able to stop this until I get through the entire thing. 28 shows, 570 songs, a running time of 2 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes, and 16 seconds. So far I've made it through the first five tours.
Rush
Fly By Night
Down the Tubes
2112
All the World's a Stage

Yeah... it's a compulsion. It's OCD time. Just hope for your sake that if you are near me while I have my iPod on me it's a good recording and not a cassette tape recording made from the back of the hall.

Don't let Einstein kick your ass today.

Good luck.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Black Friday

Happy Black Friday everyone...

The Christmas shopping is in full swing.

Somebody stop me!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just taking a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving (where applicable)

Enjoy the day folks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

People Who Hate the Montreal Canadiens Will Love This

Ryan O'Byrne is now officially my all time favorite Montreal Canadian.

Thanks man, Boston fans will love you for this.



I LOVE the way he covers his head as the puck goes into the net. You are the MAN!!

So close you can taste it!

The four day weekend is less than an hour away. Soooooooo close.

Tonight Larry and I are going to visit Mike. Mike's wife is visiting family in Wisconsin so Larry thought it would be a good idea to keep him company for a while on this the night before Thanksgiving.

My fiancé and Larry's wife are going to dinner and a movie. This is the first time Jen and I have both gone out separately in... in... ever? I can't remember the last time I went out somewhere without her. She thinks I'm going to have a ton of fun and forget all about her. I know better. ;)

Hi sweetie!

The Longest Day of the Year

Today is the longest day of the year, hands down. Nothing comes close. (at least for me.)

The day before Thanksgiving. Thursday is a holiday, Friday is a day off work, and then the weekend. This week the week is shorter than the weekend. I mentioned before that I love this holiday, but the down side of it is Wednesday.

The last day before the four day weekend.

The single longest, least productive, unmotivated day of the year.

The result is... lots of clock watching for Robbie. Here, let me help you join me:



and how about this... a countdown to Rob's quittin' time...











Yeah, that should help me get through the day.

Hope you find a way to enjoy your longest day of the year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Rush DVD Release Day!


Actually... in most stores the DVD came out yesterday to make up for the holiday... but today is the officially announced release date so we're celebrating today.

Snakes and Arrows Live is now in stores. I defy you to find a more obsessed Rush fan than I, but honestly... I'm holding off on this one and putting it on my Christmas list. Rush has toured three times in the 21st century, and now all three of those tours were followed by a concert DVD. If you start with the Different Stages album released in '98, every other Rush release has been a live record. Enough is enough I think. To make it worse, the audio portion of the new DVD was released as a live album months ago. The previous live releases all stepped on each other. This one does too but to a lesser extent. There are nine songs from the last Rush studio release on this record. That means we get live performances of new songs. That's nice. There are also a few songs on the DVD that either had never been played live, or hadn't been played live during the lifespan of many of the people in the audience. Again, that's nice. At the same time though, we have still more versions of the concert staples. It just feels repetative after a while.

Having said that, I can't wait to see this. I saw 4 shows on the 2007 leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour, the leg this video comes from, and 4 more on the 2008 leg. I loved every second of all of those shows. I traveled all over the place to see them. Two shows in Massachusetts, two in Connecticut, one in New Hampshire, one in Wisconsin, and two in New York including my first visit to Madison Square Garden. There were a few differences between the '07 setlist and the '08 setlist, but the DVD has the '08 songs included in the bonus material. That's a nice touch.

Being an embarassingly obsessed Rush fan means I do a lot of digging on the internet for Rush related news, info, rumors, and wild speculation. I generally hit two sites in this pursuit, The Rush Forum, and Rush is a Band. The Forum is a message board site that anyone can post to. Rush is a Band is a blog. Through Rush is a band I have gotten some nice tid bits of info lately, including a link to a Best Buy page where you can download the new DVD version of 2112 that comes from one of the 2008 shows which was not included on the Snakes and Arrows Live album.

Rush is a Band caused some Rush fan pain the other day with this post. It seems as though the band may be planning to use the "F" word in the near future. In this case the "F" word is "Farewell." Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson did a television interview in October where Geddy mentions they might try to do one more tour. At the time the circumstantial evidence lead us to believe that he was talking about doing one more tour before taking an extended break. In other words, a 2009 tour. However, since then Geddy did an interview with Billboard magazine pushing the new DVD where he says the band is planning on taking an extended break now and looking at releasing another album maybe in 2010 and touring again in 2011. The additional rumor is that Neil Peart is saying that he does not want to be touring into his 60's, and he turns 60 in 2012. Sooo... that means if they follow their rough outline the farewell tour will probably happen in 2011.

That's the bad news. The good news is that they are all rumored to be saying that they have no interest in ending the band. The touring may stop, and frankly that sucks, but the band will continue. That means more new music. There was also an interview with Alex Lifeson not long ago where he talks about having a lot of interest in releasing music via the internet. Couple that with the fact that their deal with Atlantic records will be finished with the soon to be released Retrospective 3. Think of the possibilites... instead of waiting 2-3 years in between Rush studio projects the band could get together a few times a year, write and record a couple of songs each time, and release them straight into the waiting arms of the desperatly obsessed fans. Or, they just continue to write and record as they do now and release the records themselves. They were an independent band once before, there is no reason why they can't do it again.

A lot of the people who read the same rumors I did were really upset about the end of Rush as a touring band. They were acting as if it were the end of the band. That is clearly not the case. As much as I would miss seeing them live, I remain very optimistic for the future of my favorite band. They seem to still be dedicated to making new music together, and as a die hard fan that is all I could ever wish of them.

Now, in honor of the new Snakes and Arrows Live DVD release here are a few pictures I took on the 2008 tour. Most of these are garbage, but being the crazed maniacle fan I am I think they are awesome.

First, a few from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. We were sitting in the last row of the balcony.












Now a few from the Verizon Arena in Manchester, NH. This is probably the closest I've ever been at a Rush show, and the band was incredible that night. Unfortunately my camera battery died so there aren't quite as many pictures as I would have liked.













If you are a firefox user you can right click on the pictures and chose "view image" to see a much larger image. If you are using internet explorer, download firefox and use that from now on.

So, go out there and get your copy of the Snakes and Arrows Live DVD and bask in the glow of Canada's finest musical achievement. You won't be sorry.

And I have a post-script for this too that I almost forgot about. There was some question as to whether the DVD had any hidden content. Through Rush is a Band I got this link. It is a movieweb.com review with a reader comment that tells how to open up an easter egg. I don't know if it's accurate or not, but if you have the DVD you can give it a try. Allow me to quote it here...

Select 5.1, wait like 7 cycles, Jerry comes on and tells you to push play already, then when suitcase (Envy) Al tells you to listen to the man and go for it, go for it! You'll see no menu options, just Al crossing his eyes at you. Hit enter or play You get a bonus extra What's That Smell behind the scenes with interviews of Ged and Al in character being interviewed.

This is on the Blu-ray as well - go to Bonus Features, go down to Oh, Atlanta! then press 'down' again and then enter/select

And speaking of comments... LEAVE ONE!

Thanks!