Thursday, September 28, 2006

Damn I'm tired

I had a couple cool things I wanted to post and now I can't remember any of them. My brain is going to mush. We have a new product rolling out at work Monday and I'm getting crushed with meetings. The majority of my brain power is being utilized trying to get my hands around this thing so there's little room for anything else.

The Autism Walk is Saturday. I haven't updated updated the web site but we've crushed our goal. Thanks to everyone that donated. You've all been very generous. I'll try and get some pictures.

The band has a good gig Tuesday playing at a Hands of Christ ceremony at the cathedral with the bishop presiding. However, I'm having trouble getting motivated for it. It may be that everything is getting so busy lately that I just want to be left alone. Especially if it cuts into my weekend time. I'm starting to jealously guard it. We'll have to rehearse Sunday most likely and I thought I had the day free. (sigh) I guess that's the price of having a "mission from God".

Grasshopper earned his green belt Tuesday. He's quite pleased with himself (as he should be). can't believe it's been about a year since he started. However, this means he's in the advanced class, which meets at a different time than the beginner class, which Maverick is still in. So, of course, I'll be spending more time at the dojo now. (double sigh). The things we do to make our kids ninja warriors.

Finally, stay tuned for some changes around here. I'm working with Se7ven to give me a fresh, jiggy new look. Don't know what the result will be, but it will rock (of course).


Monday, September 25, 2006

A question and a rant

So, first the question. A while back on a lark, I submitted my blog to I Talk To Much, a blog that reviews other blogs and usually has little nice to say. Well, I was checking my stats today and noticed I had a bunch of links to my blog from there. So I checked out my review. Here's what it said:

"Your basic black blogger template with the 5 or 6 different font colours. This is my least favourite blogger template. Double sidebars with one of those map things and a moon phase. Long blogroll and long archives...both need to be rolled up NOW.

As to content, it’s kinda personal cum daddy blog with lots of musical referrences and guitar playing, not bad, not thrilling.

His first post about Phil Collen of Def Leppard reinforces his interest in guitars over music in general because he failed to mention that Joe Elliot completely fucked up the lead vocals and when I watched it, all I wanted him to do was shut up so I could hear the backup vocals and the awesome dueling guitar work of Collen and Campbell. So yeah, I related.

I don’t mind it. The template sucks and the writing is your basic personal blog stuff. I like the music related stuff but this is not a blog I’ll read again."

I got one hand. Now, this review isn't that bad, but at the same time, I didn't get flamed like a lot of people do. So I'm not sure if I should be insulted or not. Not cool enough to say really good things, not annoying enough to hate. Guess it could have been worse. It does appear my template might need an update. So if any of you enterprising bloggers out there want to help me give the place a face lift, let me know. I'm be happy for someone to do the work for me.

Now the rant. If you haven't heard by now, Bill Clinton got had a bit of a temper tantrum with one of the guys on Fox news. The interviewer asked something about his inability to get Osama bin Laden and Clinton went off on him. Clinton was sticking his finger in the guy's face, interrupting, being loud, and generally acting like a conservative pundit. Many critics are wondering today if his anger was an act to fire up Democrats.

Well, so what if it was. It's about time someone came out and started beatin up on Republicans. They blame Clinton for everything from 9/11 to the economy. Fact is, Clinton tried to make a big deal out of bin Laden and Republicans blew him off. Clinton left the economy with this huge surplus everyone wanted to spend and Bush blew the wad and then some within a year of taking office. Republicans have made mistake after mistake and are ruining this country, both domestically and internationally and not one person in the Administration or Washington will admit they fucked up.

NOW, the Pentagon is saying the Army needs another 60,000 troops to be able to guard against potential threats and fight the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's just the Army. How are they going to get those troops? They don't know. For now, the plan calls for calling up more National Guard troops! You know what? I got a good idea on how to get more troops availalbe to defend the US against it's threats. Get the fuck out of Iraq. We made a huge mess of it, and while I believe we should clean up our messes, there is no way this one is going to get cleaned up in a decade. There's no cooperation at all from the Iraqi's. So it's time to bail, contain, and let them figure it out on thier own.

Finally, I leave you with one of the funniest things I've read in a while. it was sent to my by a buddy from my Navy days. The subject of his email was "This is just how I remember it". I couldn't have said it better myself. Enjoy.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42609


Friday, September 22, 2006

Back in the day...

Something Julie posted the other day flashed me back to high school. I've got so many memories I thought it would be nice to take a stroll through some of them, good or bad. But where to start? I don't have one particular story that really jumps out, so I'll start by rambling a little (cause you I suck at that).

I remember making a concious decision in either 7th or 8th grade to be different. By that, I mean be my own person and perhaps just a little against the grain. I hung out with a group we called the "grubs". It was the jeans and t-shirts wearing, heavy metal listening crowd. This might be equated to the stoner crowd today in that it was a popular past-time for that crowd. While I did not partake, I liked hanging out with those guys.

After 2 years of public junior high, my parents felt that I could get the best possible education by going to Catholic high school. Mind you, we were not very religous and my spiritual development did not even come up when discussing which high school I should attend. So, considering most of the people I went to high school with had been in the Catholic school system their whole lives, I was very much the odd man out.

I kind of encouraged people to beleive me to be an iconoclast. I recall being intent on ruling the world. I very much believed in the concept of an enlightened dictator (ie, me) that could be fair with everyone and by this fairness rid the planet of racism, hate, and general badness. I was quite the idealist, was I not? I believed in legalizing prostitution and taxing the hell out of it. What need would there be of income tax then? Plus you could make sure the prostitutes were clean. Remember, this was before AIDS.

I think one of my most rebellious acts was posting of an inverted pentagram in my locker during my sophmore year. I was in a very anti-Christian phase. Unfortunately, not everyone got it. One of my classmates walked by while I had my locker open and said "Dude, Rush rules!" (sigh) Obviously he didn't look at his Rush album covers closely enough. I got over my obvious evil personna by junior year and later had a picture of Lita Ford playing a kick ass BC Ritch Mockingbird in my locker instead. This was before Lita Ford turned into a sellout slut and still wrote good music.

I think next post I'll relate some of my adventures with my buddy R. Our friendship began freshman year and continues to this day, though we only see each other a few times a year.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Before I begin, I would like to update everyone on the Wife. First of all, she's fine. The problem she was having was more of an annoyance than anything else. Again, I don't want to give too much detail as it might embarass the Wife and is probably TMI anyway. Her GYN has put her on a different prescription and hopefully that will do the trick. If she's still having a problem in 3 months, they'll discuss other options. So we're in wait and see mode.

On to the post. I've noticed lately that many of the blogs I normally read seem to be sparse lately. Posting isn't as frequent as it used to be. Some bloggers seem to be MIA. I know one blogger that moved on me and I didn't find out until just today where they went. People are moving to new locations, going on vacation (without me, no less), and all kinds of stuff. People don't comment as much as they used to or don't comment at all any more. So I've been wondering WTF's up in Blogland?

Now, I'm sure everyone's as busy as I am. I just finished chatting with Lois, and she's busier than shit. I felt a little bad giving her a hard time, cause she's been stopping by but hasn't had time to say hello. I, for my part, did not read her last post and feel terrible about that, so I plan on reading it carefully right when I'm done here. She asked for some prayers, which I'm more that happy to give for her, but I somehow missed that part and I should have caught it. But we had a very nice (and very long) conversation about nothing and everything all at once. She totally rules.

I must admit, that I too have probably not been as diligent as I used to in reading blogs and commenting. There are days I'll look at a blog and see a long post and think "Damn I don't feel like reading anything that big right now". Or I might be hurt that someone who's blog I read and comment on regularly doesn't at least say hi so I might skip by them.

So what's up with us lately? What I like about the blog community is that it's like a circle of friends. You strike up conversations, check up on how each other are doing, joke around and poke at each other. That was part of the appeal. I know that sometimes friends grow apart, or you get new friends and the old ones sort of drift off. But that's kind of sad. I think that's what it feels like right now with some of the blogs I read. Like old friends starting to drift apart. And I truthfully don't feel like going out to look for new friends. I like the friends I got.

So, I guess if you still are reading, say hello once in a while. Even if it's to say how much you hate my pink guitar, or tell me what an ass I'm being, that's cool. (Except for Lois. I know what's up with you girl. Call me from time to time. Chatting's a hoot.) A little drive by does a body good.

For those of you that comment regularly, thanks for hanging with me. I probably don't post as much as I used to cause I'm crazy busy (or tired) too, but the fact that you guys do stop by keeps me coming back.

On a final note, I think I'm going to start posting some stories from high school. A comment I left on another blog made me think of stories from those days that I thought would be fun to share. And maybe some sea stories too.


Monday, September 18, 2006

What a weekend

Sorry I haven't been around for a little while. Now that school's started, we're into our crazy schedule time. Monday's are scouts for Grasshopper. Tuesdays are scouts for Maverick and practice for the band. Thursday is karate. Saturday also karate and right now soccer. This month we have something booked for every Saturday. This past Saturday was soccer in the morning, followed by a Longaberger show for the Wife in the afternoon. Sunday I got up at 6:10 AM for a golf tournament which ended at 2:30. The Wife went to a family reunion at 1 (that I had to miss), I had Alive at 5 Mass to play at 3:30, AND the Wife was invited to a baby shower! Can you see the insanity that was my weekend? So bottom line is that the few opportunities I've had to blog over the last 7 days, I've been too damn tired to turn on the comuter.

But, now I'm back. Tonight was Grasshopper's first den meeting of the year. I've graciously offered my home as the meeting place for the den since the parent who's house we met in last year moved to Rhode Island to be closer to family. Before you think I'm all altruistic and stuff, I did it out of laziness. This way, I don't have to go anywhere for the meeting. Much more convenient for me.

We had eight 3rd grade boys here tonight. How do you spell insanity? That would be it. Tonight they got their whittling chits. Meaning we had eight 3rd graders all holding knives! No one was bloodied so the evening was successful. We do have plenty of soap shavings around, but no big deal cleaning those up. Plus Grasshopper's best friend joined Cub Scouts this year so he's very happy. Should be an interesting year.

As I mentioned above, I played in my first EVER golf tournament. Our company puts on an annual event. I got paired with the CIO (my boss's boss) so not only was it fun, I got some good face time outside of work. Turns out he's a big NY Giants fan like the Wife. Our team did pretty good, finishing the day even. I had some good drives, a good put, and a few good hits on the fairway. The last hole every shot I hit was good, so overall not a bad day for me. My partners were quite understanding of my obvious novice status and encouraged me at each hole. I got good pats on the back for my good shots. I'm actually looking forward to getting on the course with Maverick. I might just beat him. Maybe. The tournament ended with lunch and a raffle. Of course I didn't win anything. I think someone may have bribed a judge since one person won like 4 prizes and the 50/50 raffle. I'm pretty sure it was fixed.

Finally, the Wife is going to see her GYN tommorrow for a "female" issue she's having. Don't want to go into too much detail as it might embarass her. Think good thoughts and send good prayers that the doc figures out what the heck is going on and fixes her kitty so she can stop being so annoyed by it. She's been a very unhappy camper for the last 2 to 3 weeks.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Motivated

The last few nights I've been really motivated to play the guitar. Part of it was that Faith on Fire practiced last night. It was a good practice session, and I still had the itch to have a guitar in my hands. Part of it has been that I've needed to work on some of my chops. I get rusty after a while and need to get back up to speed.

And I really hate to say what another part has been. Cause I know how many of you will react. Another reason I've been motivated to play is.......




Phil Collen


I caught the Def Lep performance from the VH1 Honors again last night. The only reason I watched was to see Brian May during 20th Century Boy. But I caught them doing Rock It, which I hadn't seen before. Watching Phil Collen and Viv Campbell trade guitar solos made me want to pick up my guitar and just wail. Which I had to do before going to bed. At 11:15 pm. And wail I did. My chops are getting quite fast again and it's totally cool.

As a matter of fact, I've been practicing on my Yamaha (I've been using the pink Ibanez the last few days) and I can play better and faster on it. One of the zillion reasons I love playing that guitar. Which, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pick up again.

One parting thought for my rabid Def Lep fan readers. A direct quote from Viv Campbell himself: "Def Lep isn't a metal band. Metal fans would consider it poof rock." So there you go. Poof rock.

Now my baby is calling me.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Just babbling

Don't have anything specific to say but felt I should post something, so here goes.

We have a few more days of respite before the boy's school schedule really kicks in. They're full bore in all activities next week: scouts, band, music lessons, karate, and soccer. You would not believe our schedule next weekend. We're triple booked both days. Sunday I'm playing in my first golf tournament, the Wife has a family reunion, the Alive at 5 Mass kicks off so I'll be playing, oh, and the Wife was invited to her best friend's daughter's baby shower. It's a tad insane.

Tomorrow is the Wife's Longaberger party. She's nearly good to go as a consultant. The only thing she's missing is her kit with all the baskets to bring to parties. It's been ordered and maybe shipped, but we didn't get confirmation. If she's really, really lucky, it will arrive tomorrow.

Grasshopper is still being a major pain at church. He complains the whole time he's there and his list of "issues" grows every week. His stomach hurts, he's tired, he's bored, he needs water, he needs to use the bathroom, and this was just this week. However, it was amazing how when we got home he was perfectly OK to get a snack and go play outside. Imagine that.

We went to Targe today to find a card table to possibly use at the Longaberger party tomorrow. And we couldn't find one. Since when can't you get something simple like a folding card table at Target? Don't they have everything? We did find the DVD we were looking for, however. We got the kids Hoodwinked. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's hysterical. Glenn Close is awesome as Grandma and the Wolf has to be the best character in the movie. It even has some good jokes only the adults would get.

One of these days I should rant about church (my parish that is) but I just don't feel like it right now. The politics of the place are getting downright laughable. One of the members of Faith on Fire is on staff, and I always have to chuckle when she talks about what's going on there. Oh well. Good thing my faith has nothing to do with the people running the building.

I'm going to finish watching the Giants/Colts game. The Wife is a huge Giants fan, so hopefully one of our teams will win this weekend. My Dolphins blew it against the Steelers (stupid Steelers). So hope everyone has a good week!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It begins again...

The first day of school that is. The boys went back to school today. Can you hear the massive crowd cheering and the angels singing in the background? Yes, it is a joyous day. At least, it will be joyous until school activities begin again. But we have about a week's respite, so the Wife and I will enjoy it until then.

Maverick began 5th grade and Grasshopper 3rd grade. One more year of elementary school for Maverick then he begins Middle School. Yikes! Time flies fast. Both boys really like their teachers. Grasshopper has the same 3rd grade teacher Maverick had and she's a member of our church, so we like her a lot. Maverick's teacher is also wonderful. A little on the silly side, just like him. She just got married a few weeks ago and kept referring to herself by her maiden name. Maverick thought that was hysterical.

In other news, yesterday I had my first official, honest to goodness golf lesson. I figured it's time to learn the game mainly so Maverick can have a golf partner, but also for political reasons at work. Much as I hate to play political games, playing golf with the CIO and the CFO does have it's advantages. I'm playing in my first ever golf tournament in two weeks so we'll see how I do. The golf pro was impressed on how quickly I picked up the fundamentals of hitting the ball, so I think I'll do ok. And while I never saw the point of the game previously, I might be hooked now. Dammit but once you start hitting that stupid little ball it's hard to stop. Just one more good drive, then I'm done. Yeah, right. (sigh). That's all I need, another distraction.

The Wife is having her first Longaberger party next Monday to kick off her new side career. I've been shamelessly and mercilously plugging it to anyone that will listen to drum up business for her. She seems to really be into this, so I'm behind her 1000%. I have a few passions that drive me. She deserves her own. I've told her not to worry about me and the boys, we can work around her schedule if she needs to do parties. I've had many nights of leaving the kids with her while I go play music, so I owe her quite a few nights before we're even. Rock on Wife!

Finally, I'll leave you with my favorite picture from the first day of school this morning. It's already my wallpaper on my work laptop. SD cards are a wonderful thing. Get ready for the "Awwws" and the "how cutes!".
















And for good measure, from the company picnic at Seabreeze Amusement Park a few weeks ago:



Sunday, September 03, 2006

The annual party

Since we've moved to our new place, we've had an annual Labor Day get-together with our high school pals at our place. This year was no exception. Despite the dreary weather and some light rain in the morning, it was quite fun.

Only half the "gang" made it this year, but we still had a nice time. One of my oldest high school pals, R, has girls the same age as Maverick and Grasshopper. Her older girl was born 3 weeks before Maverick and her younger girl 10 days before Grasshopper. We told her we'd kill her if she got pregnant again, since so far it's always resulted in the Wife getting pregnant.

The boys and girls hit it off FAMOUSLY! I think both liked having someone their age to play with. The four of them spent the entire time running around and being busy doing something. And they all played together very well. One of the funniest moments was when Grasshopper was telling his counterpart, "I'm not artistic, I'm AUTISTIC. But I'm artistic, too." He was killing us.

R's husband is putting together family stories and brought along some pictures. One of them was one of the first time's in high school I spent with R, a group of us in the back of her dad's pickup as part of our school's annual paper drive. We'd collect newspaper to sell to the recycling companies to raise money. It was October of freshman year. One of the other pictures was the entire gang, including all those we've lost touch with over the years, at our pal P's parent's house the summer of 1987. It was right around the time everyone started getting married. We were all pretty young. As the gang I ran with in high school happened to be all girls, I was the only guy in the picture. Talk about being Da Man!

P and her husband were there with their 3 kids, two boys and a girl. The oldes wanted to see all parts of the house, including our laundry room. He was very interested in our washer and dryer and where all the doors led. He also wanted to see our furnace, which we didn't since the basement is too cluttered. He was a riot! Their littlest (a girl) is going to give them so much trouble! She had the most devilish little look when she was about to get into trouble.

The only disappointment was that R's girls wanted to play on the dirt pile next to our house. They were really looking forward to it. But with all the rain, it's a big mud pile, so we didn't let them go over there. We finished off the night by going to see fireworks by our old town hall. Every year we have a big Chil-E Fest (for our town of Chili {that's Cheye-leye}) in July and they have fireworks then, but this year it was rained out. The fireworks were rescheduled for today. The boys really had a blast.

Overall it was a very fine day, despite the weather. Good friends and good food make for a most excellent get-together. I think the boys especially enjoyed hanging out with R's daughters. They are so alike, it's scary. God forbid our boys marry their girls.