Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sometimes it is for real and sometimes it for pretend

I'm an asshole sometimes.

Sometimes I think it's funny; like "Oh, my gosh. I can't believe you just said that."

Sometimes I think I'm sending a message; like fuck with me and I'll fuck with you.

Other times I'm just an asshole; sometimes to just prove that I can be one.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One of my problems is...

I try to lead by example. I try to do good things. I try to step-up when everyone else seems too scared or uncaring to do so. I try to get the message across that someone has got to do something because things don't just happen all by themselves.

At the last local labor union meeting we had our annual elections and for much as our local elections go we were doing pretty good; we had at least one name for each office that needed to be filled; all but vice president.

I liked the current president. I think he tries to do what he thinks is best and nowadays, local labor union really don't have much clout so there is only so much he can do. It's a thankless job but he does it. So, when the discussion was on its second trip around the sparsely filled room as to who might want to be on the ballot for vice president, I said that they could put my name on it, even though I was only really there because I was giving a couple guys a ride and our local union was having the annual turkey raffle. I think in the olden days people would actually be handed a turkey but in the more modern era, or ever since I've been a member, what you get is a fifty dollar check.

And it so happened that I won one of the "turkeys." And because my name was the only one of the ballot for vice president I won that too.

About three weeks later a fellow union member visited me in my cube. He often visits. He's a friend and as all good friends do, he likes giving me "good news."

He started the conversation with a question.

"Did you hear about Glenn?" (Glenn's the union president)

"No."

"Well, the good news is that Glenn most likely will be getting a promotion."

"That's great. He's a good guy."

"And that promotion will take him out our local union," he continued and then paused

I was going to say "Fuck" but instead I sat quiet.

"And that means that whoever was just recently elected vice president will become president." He ended his statement with a big grin.

He then added "Mr. President."

Monday, December 21, 2009

If you have a television set then...

If you have a television set then you probably already know that it has snowed in the East.

Or if you have a TV and don't watch it here's a photo.

It's not a good photograph but I know a lot of my fans like to see snow and you at least can see snow in the picture. (a lot percentage-wise)

Anyway, as the snow storm was winding down a female cardinal perched herself onto the bracket of a bird feeder that I haven't filled for over a year and a half as she looked at the empty bird feeder by my window that I haven't filled since Spring.

I sort of stopped filling the bird feeder because the bird seed that I get always seems to come with weevils or some other sort of bug in it and these bugs like to get into my dry pasta and flour if left unchecked so I stopped buying bird seed.

She flew away and a male cardinal perched on the feeder by the window as a sparrow was waiting on some tall weeds poking through the deep snow. I felt guilty. I felt I was letting these little fellows down, they knew that sometimes there is food in these feeders and now, in a time of need, there was none. But the snow was deep and the roadways were treacherous what was I expected to do?

So, I flipped the little birds off and told them to go screw themselves.

That's not actually true. The snow was deep and the roadways were a little bit troublesome but I was able to get around just fine and I did have to pick up some paperwork so on the way back I picked up some bird seed and I filled the feeder by the window before the sun came up the next day and as I was typing this post, the cardinals flew by but they didn't stop at the feeder so I flipped them off and told them to go screw themselves.

Friday, December 18, 2009

She was rather unconvinced

I'm sitting at my kitchen table waiting for some updates to download so that I can do a year's worth of updates to the 'books.' I've been putting off the updates because someone had started doing things that make my job of keeping the books in order that much harder. And there was a very good chance that I wasn't going to make it to the year's end.

I'm sitting at my kitchen table, listening to my old video iPod shuffling all my songs, while I'm drinking a cappuccino.

My six year old niece likes pepperoni so I was slicing her off some pieces; cutting on the diagonal because I've heard that you get a better flavor.

My six year old niece is a rather particular eater.

My six year old niece upon eating her second piece, asked if it was the same type as we usually get. I told her that it was different. She said, "I like the spiciness but I don't think it tastes as good as the other stuff."

I told her that it was different because the supermarket didn't have the kind I wanted. She said that when her mother can't get the regular stuff that she won't get anything.

I said, "But what if this stuff was better? Wouldn't it be good to try new things? How do you know unless you try?" She replied with a non-verbal dismissive reply.

(the download is at 81% and John Haitt is singing Perfectly Good Guitar)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tomorrow I work

Not that I haven't been working. It's just that I haven't been getting paid for the work I've been doing and as a matter of fact: it's been costing me to do it.


truck02
truck02


I tend to look out the kitchen window while I'm making coffee.

truck01
truck01


I'm always bothered a little when people park in front of my house. I shouldn't be because it is a city street and it is across from a park and the park side of the street has a no parking regulation but still I don't like folks parking there.

There are a lot of things in the basement that don't need to be there anymore, like 60 feet of steel pipe that used to be used for heat and probably 75 feet of old electric cable and a lot of copper pipe that was run from the front of the house and then to the back then to the front.

I would rather unscrew the old heating pipes then to cut them down but rusty heat pipes don't like to budge much. I've crushed a few pipes that would not turn.

There is noticeably more head room in parts of the basement now. I was happy for about half a day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm branching out in bake sales

but this story has nothing to do with bake sales.

I pushed on the wall by the crack and the top part moved. It moved a lot. A lot for a crack. So, I tried all my tricks but even the trickiest trick didn't work so I cut a hole 18 inches wide and 24 inches long.

I was working in the living room and ever since I had bought the house there has been no light switch by the door; you would have to take about four steps to find the switch, which is about three steps away from being approved by the building code. The newly made hole was where the switch should be.

I guess you could call it a blessing in disguise if blessings were needy sons of bitches.

Anyway, I put a switch in but switches are pretty much good for nothing unless they turn something on and off; so I installed another outlet and hooked the bottom half to to the switch.

It needed to be done but I just wish that more things could be done without having to do numerous other things.

And I'm getting tired of having to shove my meaty hands through rectangular holes two inched wide by three and a half inches tall.

It is on the list

She asked me if getting a haircut was on my to-do list. I replied that some women like my hair longer. She said, "Not the classy ones."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I thought I big run on sentence would be humorous

I was in the basement for most of the day because I want to get things organized in the rest of the house and some of the things in the rest of the house need to be put in the basement and to put things in the basement, I need to organize it, and to organize it, I needed to put up some more shelves and the shelves can really only go in one spot and there was no light in that spot so I had to run some wires to install an outlet and I figured if I'm putting lights in that spot then I might as well put some lights in the other dark places of the basement and while I was figuring out how to run the electric to three spots in the basement I saw this one piece of cable that I never liked.

I never liked that cable because it was old and brittle which made it sort of dangerous so I figured that I would just replace the whole cable from where it connected near the circuit breaker box to where it branched off in the round electrical box, located near the back of the house. It wasn't part of my plan but I feel better for doing it and there is probably less of a chance that the house will burn to the ground now.

One thing always leads to yet another thing and usually you end up going in the opposite direction you want and you only reach your originally desired destination once you've circumnavigated the globe.

I seemed to keep on getting metal splinters even though I can recall only actually pulling out three of them.

I used my special cobweb broom a lot. It's not really special special, it's just that I use it especially for removing cobwebs. I think it came with the house and it sucked as a broom broom so I use it as a cobweb broom.

The lights went up fine except for the last one, which was also the only one that I actually wanted up at that time. The fixture didn't work, so I swapped it out with one of the previously installed lights and I'll have to return the non-working one to Home Depot.

So, screw you Home Depot. You have let me down again. I should just constantly go to Lowes even though they are miles and miles away.

Anyway, the lights are up were I need them for the shelves and most of the shelves are up. And when all the lights are on down there, it is almost a bright as day. I actually lost tract of time because the darkness from the windows couldn't creep in.

Anyway, when running electric lines in new construction it's best to run it out and away from the breaker box but in old construction it's best to run it back and towards the breaker box, that way you only have to cut off the electricity at the very last moment when you're going to hook it up to the circuit breaker box.

Tomorrow, I should finish with the shelves and with a little luck I'll be able to get all my tools and supplies from various parts of all three floors down into the basement.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Would you like a cupcake, Cupcake?

At 9:15AM, my phone rang.

"Are you buying bitches cupcakes?"

"Umm, no."

"Yeah, you're busted and having trouble speaking."

"It's just that I didn't buy them. I made them. From scratch."

...

The first cupcake recipient had thanked me via Facebook. I explained that the reason she hadn't been given any cupcakes was because I was perfecting the recipe and frankly she has never asked me for cupcakes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Round Two (But Still No Beet Juice) or Yeah, Baking is Easy But Where the Hell Are Your Cupcakes

"Hahaha timmy!!! You are the best! I'm sure you can find someone to eat your 15 undelicious cupcakes..."

Via facebook I told her what had happened and that is how she replied. I'm sure she was laughing with me.

I loved the way she used the word undelicious.

...

I was eating lunch when I got the call that most employees were being let go two hours early. I looked at my phone for the time and it was 2:05PM. My work day ends at 4:00PM.

I said "Sweet."

I was with friends at the bar I frequent. The location was someone else's suggestion and I certainly wasn't going to argue the point.

I moved to the bar, after my friends had left.

At 4:45PM she walked in and asked where her cupcakes were, I told her that I was working on them and after about an hour I wished them all a Happy Thanksgiving and left.

Five hours later I was shaking hands with the staff at the front door and I put my money away when I was told not to pay the cover. I'll be surprised the day they do charge me the cover but I always let them know that I don't take my rockstar status for granted.

The upstairs dance floor was about half full and there was just one guy at the bar. When she saw me, she smiled.

I said, "These ones are delicious," as I slid eight red velvet cupcakes across the bar and for the next couple moments the guy at the bar disappeared even though he was still talking. She came out from behind the bar, gave me a hug and then told me that I was her favorite person in the world.

When she got back behind the bar, the guy said, "Yeah, I make those all the time. It's pretty easy once you've done it once."

I smiled at his effort to dismiss my gesture before I agreed with him that most baking is easy. I smiled again when she asked me what makes them red while she still ignored the guy next to me.

redvelvet01
redvelvet01


After I left, I wondered what that dude was going to do to try to make her forget that she had just labeled me "Favorite Person in the World."

redvelvet02
redvelvet02


These cupcakes are the non-perfect but still delicious ones that stayed at home. The other eight were left at a different friend's house.

But that's a different story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Conversation She Told Me What See Wanted

And what she wanted was Red Velvet Cupcakes. I settled my tab. I knew there was a cookbook at home that had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake and as you may know: cupcakes are actually just little cakes.

But as it turns out, after some research after the fact, that the recipe I was using isn't very good. So, now I have fifteen velvety cupcakes that look pretty good but have a not-so-good taste. I wouldn't say that they taste bad but they definitely do not taste good.

The other recipes I have found have more sugar and a lot less unsweetened cocoa powder.

In round two I might actually even use beet juice after I draw an X through page 94 of "The Big Book of Baking."

Monday, November 23, 2009

I would rather work with untrained monkeys

She speaks of being a Catholic christian and then speaks about slapping people and how Obama might be the anti-Christ

Friday, November 20, 2009

Complaining about a normal size drink seems silly to me

She was more upset that she couldn't serve me a cocktail in a pint glass than I was. She had told me the week prior that the owner of the place had just forbid serving anyone a drink in a pint glass. I thought, "Oh well, I'll just have to remember the good times." The good times included the seven or so years prior when all of my drinks were served to me in a pint glass.

She told me that she even asked, "What about regulars that have been coming here for twenty years?" She said that the owner said, "Even them."

Lately, I haven't felt like drinking anyway.

...

She leaned over to me and said, "See you later, weirdo," as she watched him head out the door. I said, "Yeah, Dick was just asking about him. I said that he was harmless but that he always asks these inappropriate questions," and then the other 'normal' regular added their opinions.

She then said that he asked her to come to his house to cut his hair. She is trained to cut hair and she will cut hair for friends but I don't think she taken up cutting hair for any of the barroom patrons. I chose to believe that the guy is extremely socially awkward because the only other choice is that he is a plotting murdering rapist.

He was just probably thinking that she cuts hair and that sometimes he needs a hair cut and that everyone can use a little extra money sometimes and what would be better than her sitting on his lap in the middle of his kitchen while she cuts his hair while she is topless - if it's a hot day.

On a side note, I think anyone that either cuts hair or has their hair cut in any other room than the kitchen is a freak. The only other acceptable location is the bathtub.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

beep - - - - beep - - - - beep...

I knew it had been awhile since the last post; there were some attempts to get something posted but they always got deleted; I figured that I was do.

(really? two semi-colons?)

That last post was the day before my birthday. I don't know if that is significant or not.

Who knows what I've done since then?

I don't think any of it is story worthy.

I had to rearrange the living room because the big projection TV broke. There is a smaller flat screen there now that can't carry the room like the other TV did so some furniture had to be moved.

I got to reevaluate the importance of TV in my life.

I knocked it down a peg.

My uncle's live-in girlfriend died at the age of sixty this past Monday. Her obituary states that instead of flowers that you can send money to a charity of your own choosing.

I told my sister that when I go, instead of flowers that folks can take themselves out to dinner.

...He loved flowers and felt that florists were a bunch of serial murders...

She told me to tell it to my other sister because she wasn't going to be bother with arrangements caused by my death.

I was going to wait until I had something to say but I got slightly concerned that folks might have thought that I died of a heart attack or something in the mean time.

There's still a beat.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

There was too much to do



She asked what was new, so I went over the list in my head.

Birthday on Sunday
Shit hitting that fan on Sunday and Monday (not birthday related)
Card game on Saturday
Food shopping for card game
Food cooking for card game
Need to get tire fixed
Need to get a hair cut

I said it was the same old same old but then mentioned the card game and that I hadn't decided on what to bring yet. She mentioned some baked nachos thing but with cream cheese instead of sour cream. I said that the guys would expect more of me than nachos. She said, "What are you a freaking chef?!"

Later that day the card game got canceled.

My weekend freed up.

But I never picture myself scratching my balls

I remember I was scratching my head wondering about something. I remember I told myself to “Remember to check that out.”

Only I wasn’t really scratching my head, it just seemed that way while it replayed in my mind. Sometimes, I remember myself smoking only I don’t smoke. I guess it’s the influence that movies and television has had on me; when people think on TV, they scratch their head; when people are contemplating things in the movies, they smoke.

Anyway, the thing I wanted to check out was: when I’m due a raise. I know I took over my new responsibilities on April Fool’s Day 2008 but I didn’t get the title or the pay until some time later. I had to check to see what that later day was, I remember that it was late enough to get me a little angry about it, but I was able to keep my patience.

That later day was the end of October, and I’m told that the way the pay system works, my raise should take place on the first Saturday of the anniversary month; which will be in this Friday’s paycheck.

It’s three percent.



I was thinking that neither I, the world, nor anybody could inflict enough pain onto those teenagers to make them rightfully pay for the crime of murder that they had randomly committed.

I asked myself if I would be as angry if the victim was a crack whore as opposed to a 42 year old mother minding her own business, merely sleeping in her own bed.

I didn’t answer the question because all lives are supposed to be equal.

I then asked myself if the lives of the perpetrators where as valuable as the life of the victim.

I didn’t answer that question either but I did conclude that not all lives are equal.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

If you don't think I care, then please stop bothering me

Folks come by my cube to tell me their stories...

...

I was typing some memo while half listening to him complain about doing someone else's job. I stood up to tell him from over the cube to stop complaining and send the assignment to the appropriate person but before I opened my mouth I just sat back down.

I was tired of the constant.

He knows the answers but he likes to complain. Fix one problem and he'll create another.

I'm done playing that game.

He came over today and started his conversation with: "I know you don't care but," and then he told me the status of his grievance against the company and how two different people that are supposed to be looking out for him said that he had no case after he had waited four months for it to come up.

I wanted to say, "Yeah, you're right. I don't care. Go fuck yourself."

I had told him that I didn't think he had a case from the get go.

I want his evil selfish head to stop telling him lies. I want him well. I do care.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The muffins were merely just good

I don’t like not be able to just walk out the door and buy whatever I want, not that I have extravagant desires, but they are frequent and numerous.

I’m busy and poor now and I can’t just leave and buy stuff and I find that annoying.

I’m slightly amazed at how undisciplined I am.

I think I need a woman in thigh high boots to discipline me.

See. I was being serious there for a moment and I was uncomfortable with it so I got ridiculous.

Not that I’m opposed to women in thigh high boots.


Part of me believes that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should, and another part of me thinks that if you can do something then why not. It could be the same part that is doing all that thinking for all that I know.

Maybe, I’m confused.

...

I was having second thoughts about it after it was taking me longer than I had wished to finely dice the apples. I had diced two and had two to go. If I had wanted to waste a lot of perfectly good apple, it would have been easier but I guess I like to have something to complain about.

The apples ended up in muffins which I ended up baking at 10:00pm or there about.

Mini muffins and muffin size muffins were baked and the unused batter went into the refrigerator.

I have a surplus of muffins.

What I need is a woman in thigh high books to force me to bake for her.

And maybe force me to read more books.

...

I wasn't satisfied with good muffins. I wanted at least very good muffins; I thought my effort deserved it.

They were better at room temperature.

I sometimes wonder if published recipes are sometimes sabotaged or are just carelessly written or just plain bad.

I think I know how to improve the muffins for next time, for this time, the left over batter is going to get at least more cinnamon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So, I took a few days off.

Tomorrow King Arthur all purpose flour is on sale 2 five pound bags for $6.00. That's a big deal here in Boston. Normally, it's $4.75 for one five pound bag.

I ache because I was installing cans.

Cans are what people in the trade call recessed lighting.

I usually call them recessed lighting.

I'm out of practice in installing recessed lighting.

I'm out of practice in taking a few days off.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I ended up buying two books.

The challenge is no longer a challenge.

That's one of the reasons I'm not a thrill seeker; I get jaded to the "thrills."

I think more often than not that I reach a point at which I'll just let a thing go as opposed to actually being satisfied with it.

...

I had a 30% off coupon for any book I wished at Borders and I had some overtime money and I had some time on my hands.

I looked at books on graphic design and I looked at books that were Adobe related and then I looked a cookbooks.

I always try to buy the most expensive book I can find that I actually might use when I have a coupon 25% and above, I like to think that I'm sticking it to the man by doing such a thing.

There was this one book on cooking that is used in culinary schools that had a price of $104.00. I did the math in my head and thought that 10.40 times three ($31.20) subtracted from the price equaled $72.80. (And I still think that.)

Over seventy bucks for a book I won't properly use was more than I wanted to spend but I was determined to get a cookbook so I was milling about in that section when I notice some dude with his girlfriend taking photos of some books, the fronts and the backs.

I thought it was a little odd and most likely it was an action that was frowned upon by the establishment but I had my own worries, so I waited until he left that section before I went over to browse it.

I was in the cooking section for a good amount of time. I probably saw every book at least twice or so I would have thought until I noticed a set of car keys on the shelf. It was the shelf near where I saw the guy taking photos.

I looked up and around, not thinking that I would see the guy because nobody hangs out in the cooking section too long. I thought about just minding my own business and walking away from the keys, after all I was only guessing that they belonged to the guy with the camera.

I spotted his girlfriend first and then I thought, "What if they are her keys?" They weren't standing together, so I had to chose one of them to ask the question. I chose the dude.

I walked over, holding the keys as little as possible. He was occupied with fiddling with his camera. He had to have seen me approaching but he didn't look my way. I wasn't happy that I would have to get his attention and then ask the question.

"Sir," I said and received no reaction so I said it again and moved the keys into his field of vision, "Are these yours?"

He girlfriend had joined us by this time. He acknowledged that the keys were his and then sort of ignored me as he started speaking to his girlfriend, wondering how he could have dropped his keys. I thought he had might want to say "Thank you" or "Shit, yeah they're mine. Where'd you find them?" But no questions were directed at me, so I just walked away. I still hadn't found a book to buy.

I though he was self absorbed and socially inept. I pitied him a little because even though I often like to avoid people that I don't know, I do know how to interact with them when it's needed.

I ended up buying two cookbooks both under $26.00 which pretty much means that the man had stuck it to me. And I had to pay two bucks for parking.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

If you're going to ask questions like that, please don't be my 'friend'

"How was your long weekend?"

I think: I was here on Sunday doing banner ads for the window.

...

I did have an opportunity to be productive but I chose to do something else.

I bought bread and was disappointed.

Two bags of flour got tossed, the third was okay.

I baked the usual and then the unusual.

Unusual for me.

I opened the wheat flour that is kept in the refrigerator.

Cloverleaf Rolls and a loaf.

I should switch to a baker's day.

The phone rings and rings.

I'm on the phone.

I worry the point of it all might put out an eye.

I give up on writing.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

For the unofficial end of Summer I had a Margarita

So, I finished the banner ads; all the ads I could anyway because it turns out that there is no ad copy for the rest of them.

I then went downtown, caught up with the weekend regulars and watched the local ball team win.

Somewhere in the mix we watched this mousey looking man lean across the bar and ask a question of the bartender.

"Pardon me. Do you nightclub here?"

"What?"

"Do you nightclub here? Do you allow nightclubing?"

"Well, yeah. At night."

The guy then left. He never ordered a drink.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Buck Stops Here

“What I thought was good was when you stopped that guy from taking that buck.”

That was what Bob said in the middle of a conversation to me. The incident wasn’t fresh in my mind because it happened two weeks ago and I really thought nothing of it.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in my usual place and Bob was sitting to my left, the seat next to him was mostly vacant which caused a bunch of people to order from the bar in the void. People would order place down a tip and leave.

When I’m at the bar and not engaged in conversation, I look around and when I look around I notice things, like the dollar tip that was still on the bar when someone walked up to order.

I continued to keep an eye on the dollar, not staring at it but just checking on it with a glance here and there until the bartender came back with the guy’s change, which she placed towards the middle of the bar into one neat pile.

I watched the guy pick up his change in one movement as he was shooting the shit with his friends; he then reached further across the bar and picked up the lone single.

I said “Dude, one of dollars wasn’t yours.”

He half turned to look at me and said “What?”

“One of those dollars that you picked up wasn’t yours; it was a tip someone left.”

He shot a look back at he friends before he asked, “Oh, really? Which one was it?” as he held up his hands which both had bills in them because I made my statement while he was half way through counting the money. I felt as if he thought that I wouldn’t know the answer and that he was partly showing off to his friends.

I could feel Bob’s eyes on me, waiting for what was to come next. I could also feel the eyes of the bartender whose shift had just stated, along with the guy’s two friends. The guy was probably late twenties casually dressed and most likely a candidate for male pattern baldness. He ordered three beers at a dollar fifty apiece for a total of $4.50 and paid with a sawbuck. He was acting like he was doing his buddies some grand favor by buying them beers. I pegged him as an asshole and a pompous one at that.

I slid forward on my barstool to place my feet on the brass foot rail so that I could reach over Bob and unmistakenly point at the actual dollar bill the guy was holding in his left hand. I said, “That one, right there,” and sat back down.

The guy looked at the bill and seemed to hesitate before he placed the buck back on the bar, which the bartender slowly collected. I then watched for him to leave a tip which he did before he and his friends disappeared into the crowd of the main floor.

Bob said, “Wow.”

I said, “What? What kind of asshole steals tips from the bar?” as I turned to Bob. Bob didn’t look at me and he offered no answer to my rhetorical question. “I mean granted, possibly it could have been an honest mistake because he wasn’t paying attention when he was picking up his money, but still.”

“I just can’t believe that you actually said something to the guy.”

“Yeah, I know it’s only a buck and the bartenders probably would never miss it but stealing tips?”

I let it go after that.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I'm rather unimpressed with myself

I'm rather unimpressed with myself...

I typed that title and then had the urge to change my blog template because my titles don't stand out too much but I would want to save my current template which is only just a little bit more work than a cut and a paste but then I would have to come back and retype the title or save this post as a draft.

So, I saved the post as a draft and here we are: new template.

I'm still rather unimpressed with myself but the thing of it is: my past self sometimes impresses my present self.

I'm not the best at anything I do and I don't strive to be even though occasionally I do give it my all.

I'm not the best story teller
I'm not the best code writer
I'm not the best paper pusher
I'm not the best graphic designer
I'm not the best bookkeeper
I'm not the best house painter
I'm not the best carpenter
I'm not the best electrician
I'm not the best note taker
I'm not the best at paying attention
I'm not the best at typing

I'm not the best at a lot of things.

But probably what I'm best at is: jumping in when someone's Plan B has failed.

That's where I was, or probably more precisely, where I am; because I don't think things are going to change tomorrow.

I've been plugging holes. I've been doing other people's job while my own job goes undone and I know when crunch time comes, there will be no reciprocation.

But such is life.

Such is my life.

A fantasy of mine is that there will come a day when all my co-workers will reach a point when they will all just do what they have been hired to do.

I just want them to do their jobs.

I just want to do my job.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mother Ef'ers

So, the night before, while I was at the bar, after work; I got three work phone calls, each time I ran out the door, so that the sound system in the bar couldn't be heard.

So, the next day, I went to work a little bit early to take care of some stuff before my important weekly meeting. In work, I got three more phone calls all about different things, all things I usually help out with but are not actually my job; with a slight sigh, I do all three things, which makes me leave for the meeting later than usual.

So, I get to the meeting on time and then proceed to get eight phone calls, all from important bosses. I was hardly in the meeting at all. Next time I'm just going to shut the phone off completely, instead of flipping it to vibrate.

I'm in a G D meeting, leave me alone.

I thought it was a reasonable theory

The nipple lady was in my office today. She was talking to someone else and that someone else called me over due to the nature of her request.

I asked what she was doing and if she had already had a meeting on it and she said that she had but I didn't recall it.

Later, I wanted to say "Yeah, now I remember. You're the one that I couldn't look at because you were a little nipple-ly that day."

And then, "How come only one of them popped?"

I told a co-worker the story on why I didn't recognize her and he said that the one that popped was the one that always gets teased.

His name isn't really, Frank.

In between when things were a little bit cuckoo, a got a chance to talk to my friends at the bar. These friends are mutual friends to one of my co-workers. My co-worker had came and went by the time I got there but he took it upon himself to fill the folks in as to what I was going.

“Yeah, Frank was by and he was saying that everybody is asking you to do a bunch of stuff and he said that you should say to everyone “Go fuck yourself,” and I’m thinking: you’re still pretty young and you’re pretty level headed so I thought that you are probably not going to say that.”

“Yeah, I managed to get through the day without saying that. And the thing of it is, nobody is asking for crazy things and they are things that need to get done and it’s not like it’s anybody’s fault that all these things need to be done right now. Believe me, if I were being asked for all these things because some chucklehead didn’t plan properly, I might be telling them to “Fuck off,” but that’s not the case. So, you do what you have to do.”

As, I was leaving, I stopped by the regular at the end to shake his hand and he said, “You know, Tim, I like watching people that are the best at what they do and I like watching you. You’re the best at what you do.”

I think he was a little bit drunk and I wasn’t certain he knew actually what I was doing that day because he was getting the information second hand so I replied, “Yeah, whatever that may be.”

“No. I’m serious. You’re the best at what you do,” he assured me. I wasn’t going to argue with him so I just thanked him for his words, shook his hand and left.

I’m not the best, I’m just the best-they-got; but at times, I am pretty damn good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm an only son but I have a big brother.

Sometimes, I know the cool stuff before it happens but I can't tell you about it even after it has made the papers.

Sometimes, there are code names.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Googlely Eyes Come Self-Adhesive

She was explaining her problem with a hint of panic in her voice but then she always explains her problems with a bit of panic; it's rather unbecoming.

She really doesn't have even the slightest clue as to what's going on, sometimes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

She came in the back door and started to settle in as she said hello to the regulars.

When she was almost finished she came around and draped her left arm over my shoulders as she said "I think I'll just hang out here with Timmy."

She had a bit of a floral aroma.

I tried to think of something appropreate to say.

I ending up saying nothing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

English Cocks and Oral History

“Fair thee warned, ye be, says I,” is what she said. I didn’t know there was so much pirate in her.

I’m not certain of the proper pirate punctuation.

She definitely did not include an “Aye, matey,” because pirates only say that when they are making fun of some other lameass pirates.

Or at least that is what I’m told.



I rolled out of bed at 2:00am to finish that e-card.

I sent the HTML out at 3:00am.

At 8:33am I checked it once more but this time at my day job, on yet a different browser on yet a different machine, and noticed that I hadn’t included the sales price.

I may have said “Fuck.”

But there are ways around my neglect. The price will be included somewhere, just not in the body of the ad/e-card. And there are hyperlinks that show the price, so it’s not all bad.

Sometimes, you don’t want to say everything at once. Sometimes, you want to generate interest by including mystery.

Or maybe that’s just bullshit.



He’ll come over and explain stuff to me as if he needs to justify all the recently made decisions with me. I’m a few rungs down on the ladder but I listen and I say what I know and sometimes what I just think. He’s not asking for my approval or even my opinion, he’s just explaining.

I’ve been around more than most but not as much as others. I’m one of the younger old-timers. When I tell folks how long I’ve actually been around, it usually surprises them because they usually think I’ve been around longer.

I think it’s because I’ve paid attention during the time that I’ve been here.

I sometimes get frustrated when I’m telling the oral history of things which I’ve only heard about to the people who have actually lived it.

Damn, dude. You were there. Why am I telling the story?

Monday, August 17, 2009


December 20, 2005



August 15, 2009 I was too close with the telephoto lens

Saturday, August 15, 2009

it was a walk in the park (with injuries)

shyc
shyc

Across the street from my house is a park. The park contains a hill that is higher than my house.

gastank
gastank

The hill contains a view. The view contains a rather large natural gas tank.

two 2
two 2

The oldest niece asked if I would take them across the street to the park. I grabbed my camera and said, "Let's go."

three 3
three 3

They relatively stayed together.

two
two

There was some worry when the youngest niece got tangled up in the branch of a thorn bush. I carried her for a bit and until she forgot that she got hurt.

em01
em01

I forget what her problem was but whenever we would get to a place, she would say, "There's nothing here, let's go." I asked why we couldn't just hang out.

three 2
three 2

Hanging out.

sam11
sam11

This photo is pretty much a lie. She was violently attacking a weed to get its fluffy seeds airborne.

three
three

Verses vs Verses, can't we just all get along?

I was thinking of poetry and I was thinking that some poetry is like a palm reading or a horoscope.

Are the power and might in the offered words?

Or is the power in the mind of the one digesting the words?

After all you can grow a garden in a large enough pile of bullshit.


some words here and there
given form by counting sounds
otherwise mismatched

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I worry about not finding that perfect summer scarf until summer is over

I sit at my desk, done for the day but the clock indicates that I have twenty-two more minutes to go.

With a small bit of effort I can piss away fifteen minutes but not fifteen minutes plus seven.

Too early to leave, too late to start something new.

I wonder about writing.

I wonder about life.

I wonder about how many of those irretrievable minutes of living I have squandered.

There will be more minutes tomorrow, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

scared gritless

Sometimes, I get dumbfounded when I get to choose what I want to do next. I’m not often afforded that luxury as that I’m always doing that thing that needs to be done immediately.

I have a hard time saying “legs splayed” out loud.

Those postcards should arrive today and I regret that I didn’t do a better design on the front. I had settled on what I was asked for; I didn’t strive for the best that I could do.

I don’t strive enough.

I recently read this article about grit (firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck) and the article mentioned that those people who have changed history, invented shit or discovered stuff most always had grit. I actually didn’t read the whole article: one because I felt it was somewhat damning me and two because it was a rather long article.

Some work friends where hanging out by my cube and I said something which contradicted something that one of them had just said and what I said was totally ridiculous but I said it with a totally straight face but the thing about me is that unless I mentally prepare myself for it, I’ll bust out laughing when I’m trying to play it straight but for that brief moment before I laugh, I’m totally convincing.

She bent forward and whispered with a little bit of relief in her voice, “I thought you were serious there for a moment.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

The truth about grit - and why I didn't read it all

The truth about grit
Modern science builds the case for an old-fashioned virtue - and uncovers new secrets to success
By Jonah Lehrer | August 2, 2009

It’s the single most famous story of scientific discovery: in 1666, Isaac Newton was walking in his garden outside Cambridge, England - he was avoiding the city because of the plague - when he saw an apple fall from a tree. The fruit fell straight to the earth, as if tugged by an invisible force. (Subsequent versions of the story had the apple hitting Newton on the head.) This mundane observation led Newton to devise the concept of universal gravitation, which explained everything from the falling apple to the orbit of the moon.

There is something appealing about such narratives. They reduce the scientific process to a sudden epiphany: There is no sweat or toil, just a new idea, produced by a genius. Everybody knows that things fall - it took Newton to explain why.

Unfortunately, the story of the apple is almost certainly false; Voltaire probably made it up. Even if Newton started thinking about gravity in 1666, it took him years of painstaking work before he understood it. He filled entire vellum notebooks with his scribbles and spent weeks recording the exact movements of a pendulum. (It made, on average, 1,512 ticks per hour.) The discovery of gravity, in other words, wasn’t a flash of insight - it required decades of effort, which is one of the reasons Newton didn’t publish his theory until 1687, in the “Principia.”

Although biographers have long celebrated Newton’s intellect - he also pioneered calculus - it’s clear that his achievements aren’t solely a byproduct of his piercing intelligence. Newton also had an astonishing ability to persist in the face of obstacles, to stick with the same stubborn mystery - why did the apple fall, but the moon remain in the sky? - until he found the answer.

In recent years, psychologists have come up with a term to describe this mental trait: grit. Although the idea itself isn’t new - “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” Thomas Edison famously remarked - the researchers are quick to point out that grit isn’t simply about the willingness to work hard.

Instead, it’s about setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been reached. It’s always much easier to give up, but people with grit can keep going.

While stories of grit have long been associated with self-help manuals and life coaches - Samuel Smiles, the author of the influential Victorian text “Self-Help” preached the virtue of perseverance - these new scientific studies rely on new techniques for reliably measuring grit in individuals. As a result, they’re able to compare the relative importance of grit, intelligence, and innate talent when it comes to determining lifetime achievement. Although this field of study is only a few years old, it’s already made important progress toward identifying the mental traits that allow some people to accomplish their goals, while others struggle and quit. Grit, it turns out, is an essential (and often overlooked) component of success.

“I’d bet that there isn’t a single highly successful person who hasn’t depended on grit,” says Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped pioneer the study of grit. “Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that’s what grit allows you to do.”

The hope among scientists is that a better understanding of grit will allow educators to teach the skill in schools and lead to a generation of grittier children.

Parents, of course, have a big role to play as well, since there’s evidence that even offhand comments - such as how a child is praised - can significantly influence the manner in which kids respond to challenges. And it’s not just educators and parents who are interested in grit: the United States Army has supported much of the research, as it searches for new methods of identifying who is best suited for the stress of the battlefield.

The new focus on grit is part of a larger scientific attempt to study the personality traits that best predict achievement in the real world. While researchers have long focused on measurements of intelligence, such as the IQ test, as the crucial marker of future success, these scientists point out that most of the variation in individual achievement - what makes one person successful, while another might struggle - has nothing to do with being smart. Instead, it largely depends on personality traits such as grit and conscientiousness. It’s not that intelligence isn’t really important - Newton was clearly a genius - but that having a high IQ is not nearly enough.

Consider, for instance, a recent study led by Duckworth that measured the grittiness of cadets at West Point, the elite military academy. Although West Point is highly selective, approximately 5 percent of cadets drop out after the first summer of training, which is known as “Beast Barracks.” The Army has long searched for the variables that best predict whether or not cadets will graduate, using everything from SAT scores to physical fitness. But none of those variables were particularly useful. In fact, it wasn’t until Duckworth tested the cadets of the 2008 West Point class using a questionnaire - the test consists of statements such as “Setbacks don’t discourage me” - that the Army found a measurement that actually worked. Duckworth has since repeated the survey with subsequent West Point classes, and the result is always the same : the cadets that remain are those with grit.

In 1869, Francis Galton published “Hereditary Genius,” his landmark investigation into the factors underlying achievement. Galton’s method was straightforward: he gathered as much information as possible on dozens of men with “very high reputations,” including poets, politicians, and scientists. That’s when Galton noticed something rather surprising: success wasn’t simply a matter of intelligence or talent. Instead, Galton concluded that eminent achievement was only possible when “ability combined with zeal and the capacity for hard labour.”

Lewis Terman, the inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test, came to a similar conclusion. He spent decades following a large sample of “gifted” students, searching for evidence that his measurement of intelligence was linked to real world success. While the most accomplished men did have slightly higher scores, Terman also found that other traits, such as “perseverance,” were much more pertinent. Terman concluded that one of the most fundamental tasks of modern psychology was to figure out why intelligence is not a more important part of achievement: “Why this is so, and what circumstances affect the fruition of human talent, are questions of such transcendent importance that they should be investigated by every method that promises the slightest reduction of our present ignorance.”

Unfortunately, in the decades following Terman’s declaration, little progress was made on the subject. Because intelligence was so easy to measure - the IQ test could be given to schoolchildren, and often took less than an hour - it continued to dominate research on individual achievement.

The end result, says James J. Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, is that “there was a generation of social scientists who focused almost exclusively on trying to raise IQ and academic test scores. The assumption was that intelligence is what mattered and what could be measured, and so everything else, all these non-cognitive traits like grit and self-control, shouldn’t be bothered with.”

One of the main obstacles for scientists trying to document the influence of personality traits on achievement was that the standard definition of traits - attributes such as conscientiousness and extroversion - was rather vague. Duckworth began wondering if more narrowly defined traits might prove to be more predictive.

She began by focusing on aspects of conscientiousness that have to do with “long-term stamina,” such as maintaining a consistent set of interests, and downplayed aspects of the trait related to short-term self-control, such as staying on a diet. In other words, a gritty person might occasionally eat too much chocolate cake, but they won’t change careers every year. “Grit is very much about the big picture,” Duckworth says. “It’s about picking a specific goal off in the distant future and not swerving from it.”

After developing a survey to measure this narrowly defined trait - you can take the survey at www.gritstudy.com - Duckworth set out to test the relevance of grit. The initial evidence suggests that measurements of grit can often be just as predictive of success, if not more, than measurements of intelligence. For instance, in a 2007 study of 175 finalists in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Duckworth found that her simple grit survey was better at predicting whether or not a child would make the final round than an IQ score.

But grit isn’t just about stubborn perseverance - it’s also about finding a goal that can sustain our interest for years at a time. Consider two children learning to play the piano, each with the same level of raw talent and each expending the same effort toward musical training. However, while one child focuses on the piano, the other child experiments with the saxophone and cello. “The kid who sticks with one instrument is demonstrating grit,” Duckworth says. “Maybe it’s more fun to try something new, but high levels of achievement require a certain single-mindedness.”

Duckworth has recently begun analyzing student resumes submitted during the college application process, as she attempts to measure grit based on the diversity of listed interests. While parents and teachers have long emphasized the importance of being well-rounded - this is why most colleges require students to take courses in all the major disciplines, from history to math - success in the real world may depend more on the development of narrow passions.

“I first got interested in grit after watching how my friends fared after college,” Duckworth says. She noticed that the most successful people in her Harvard class chose a goal and stuck with it, while others just flitted from pursuit to pursuit. “Those who were less successful were often just as smart and talented," Duckworth notes, “but they were constantly changing plans and trying something new. They never stuck with anything long enough to get really good at it.” In recent decades, the American educational system has had a single-minded focus on raising student test scores on everything from the IQ to the MCAS. The problem with this approach, researchers say, is that these academic scores are often of limited real world relevance.

However, the newfound importance of personality traits such as grit raises an obvious question: Can grit be learned? While Duckworth and others are quick to point out that there is no secret recipe for increasing grit - “We’ve only started to study this, so it’s too soon to begin planning interventions,” she cautions - there’s a growing consensus on what successful interventions might look like.

One of the most important elements is teaching kids that talent takes time to develop, and requires continuous effort. Carol S. Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, refers to this as a “growth mindset.” She compares this view with the “fixed mindset,” the belief that achievement results from abilities we are born with. “A child with the fixed mindset is much more likely to give up when they encounter a challenging obstacle, like algebra, since they assume that they’re just not up to the task,” says Dweck.

In a recent paper, Dweck and colleagues demonstrated that teaching at-risk seventh-graders about the growth mindset - this included lessons about the importance of effort - led to significantly improved grades for the rest of middle school.

Interestingly, it also appears that praising children for their intelligence can make them less likely to persist in the face of challenges, a crucial element of grit. For much of the last decade, Dweck and her colleagues have tracked hundreds of fifth-graders in 12 different New York City schools. The children were randomly assigned to two groups, both of which took an age-appropriate version of the IQ test. After taking the test, one group was praised for their intelligence - “You must be smart at this,” the researcher said - while the other group was praised for their effort and told they “must have worked really hard.”

Dweck then gave the same fifth-graders another test. This test was designed to be extremely difficult - it was an intelligence test for eighth-graders - but Dweck wanted to see how they would respond to the challenge. The students who were initially praised for their effort worked hard at figuring out the puzzles. Kids praised for their smarts, on the other hand, quickly became discouraged.

The final round of intelligence tests was the same difficulty level as the initial test. The students who had been praised for their effort raised their score, on average, by 30 percent. This result was even more impressive when compared to the students who had been praised for their intelligence: their scores on the final test dropped by nearly 20 percent. A big part of success, Dweck says, stems from our beliefs about what leads to success.

Woody Allen once remarked that “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Duckworth points out that it’s not enough to just show up; one must show up again and again and again. Sometimes it isn’t easy or fun to keep showing up. Success, however, requires nothing less. That’s why it takes grit.

Jonah Lehrer is the author of “How We Decide” and “Proust Was a Neuroscientist.” He is a regular contributor to Ideas.

after all it was just a friendly game of cards

So, I brought homemade calzones and two loaves of ciabatta bread to the poker game. I brought the bread because usually someone brings something that you can make a sandwich with and if you can make a sandwich with homemade bread then it's that much all the better.

So, the host ends up grilling some sausages and he sticks them all in rolls. I thought it was stupid but I really didn't care because I would eat the bread all by its lonesome if it came to that, but the dude takes a bite and then complains about the roll. I said, "Too bad there aren't two loaves of homemade bread around."

So, all the rolls end up in the trash and everyone one of us was eating sausage sandwiches and one guy said, "Timmy, this bread is great!" And I said, "Yeah. Thanks." And he said, "No. I mean it's good. I could eat this bread with just some red sauce." And I said, "Yeah, I know." And he said, "No. I could take some of this bread home by itself and just eat it with dipping it in some nice red sauce."

I was silent after that.

There is not much that I do that is out of the ordinary, save baking an awesome loaf of ciabatta bread. I know it's good because I can and have eaten a whole loaf of it within hours after baking it.

And I don't bake bread to hear people congratulate me on it. I bake bread because I love good bread and most people I know love good bread so I enjoy sharing good bread with others. If I could buy bread as good I would buy it and bring that but for now I'm stuck with baking it.

I lost forty bucks and over the course of nine and a half hours, had five Coronas and two of those were in the first twenty minutes of getting there.

And the bread dude kept on leaving his cards just sitting in front of him, instead of moving them towards the next dealer. And this one time when he was getting ready to deal, and some cards were left in the middle of the table, he said, "A little help here, guys."

I said, "Get off your fucking ass and reach them yourself. You've been leaving the cards in front of you all fucking night, making everyone else reach for them. You fucking worthless piece of navel lint. And now you want some help? Fuck you."

I didn't say it out loud, I said it to myself, because after all: it was just a friendly game of cards. If I had known the guy better though...

My friends get the worst of me.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I just scrolled down...

and thought, "Fuck, that's a lot of cleavage."

I hope nobody reads this site in work.

I mean, that's out of the normal for me, to have my site blaring all that boobage.

All that mighty fine boobage.

So, I'm in this meeting at Police Headquarters and in walks this young woman and she tells us her proposal and she's wearing this tight little tank top type number and she's showing what she's got and she had a lot to show and I catch a glimpse that her nipple is making itself known to the whole room. I don't want to look like a pervert so I avert my gaze but I realize that I should have been able to see both nipples and I had distinctly only remember seeing the one. And I thought, "How can this be? Why would only one be showing?" So, I casually looked and sure enough there was that one still proud as punch and no hint of the other one.

I still didn't understand it. So, I checked my own nipples. I couldn't see any hint of them so I gave them both a tweaking and that's when the lady sitting next to me leaned over and asked if everything was alright.

I said, "Yeah, things are great with me but I think there might be a problem with her right tit."

(some of this is made up)

I'm my own trophy wife

The latest is that I'm cooking on cast iron every chance I get.

Actually, that's not entirely true; I'm grilling every chance I get because I don't want run the oven because I don't want to heat up the house. But when I need to fry something (or grill something indoors), I'll use something made of cast iron.

Aren't I great?

Mayonnaise.

I was sort of talking to Melissa about mayonnaise. I read that she wanted to make her own and so before I made my way to the bar to buy a beer for someone whose 98 year old mother had just died. I sent her an email.

I made mayonnaise once. It was New Year Day and I had made plans for making breakfast but I did drag my ass out of bed early enough to cook breakfast so I decided to make BLT's but it turned out that I was out of mayonnaise.

I drove around town trying to find a store that was open but I found none but I remembered that in one of my cookbooks there was a recipe for making mayonnaise. I found it in "The Complete Book of Poultry" or some similar titled book and got to crack-a-lacking on making my own version of the condiment.

I got bored with writing this so I used the word/phrase crack-a-lacking.

Anyway, I set out all the ingredients and reached down the food processor and started following the instructions and things went splendidly until right before I was about to drizzle in that last bit of oil. I thought, "Man, that's a whole lot of oil," and it was revealed to me that mayonnaise is mostly some type of oil.

I used the mayo, on my sandwich and I was pleased with my results. It was mighty fine mayonnaise but I was still bothered by the fact that mayonnaise has a very high percentage of oil in it. I no longer wondered why folks try to get other folks to cut down on their use of mayonnaise.

I couldn't eat mayonnaise for two months afterward. Maybe, even three.

Presently, I use straight mayonnaise as a dip for when I'm snacking on sticks of butter.

I guess that last line was uncalled for and a little bit mean for me to write for you to read. I apologize.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She was visiting from Vegas

The plan was to meet for lunch at the usual place but the usual place was closed so we walked across the street where we were served bad food with bad beer and bad company.

And when the usual place opened at five thirty, and our bad company sat in my usual spot, I had no trouble sitting in my least favorite seat.

badseat
badseat


When my friend handed my camera to the bartender and said, "Take a picture," this was what happened.gift03
gift03


But she wasn't happy with her first take so she tried to improve the composition.gift02
gift02


So when a different bartender started her shift, I ended up with this shot.gift04
gift04


This is in the coat roomCandK2
CandK2


I think this photo is funny but the one on the right does notCandK
CandK

Sunday, July 26, 2009

There was a knock on the door

Or at least I assume it was a knock; I wasn't there to hear it and also I don't have a doorbell.

Well, I actually have two doorbells but they are both sitting with a spool of telephone wire in my rather large pantry. I don't remember how they came to be in the pantry but they seem to get along with the dry goods just fine so I don't see the point in moving them but my story today isn't about doorbells.

It's about the guy that knocked when I wasn't there to hear it.

branch03
branch03


I looked out my kitchen window and noticed a big branch on the lawn instead of on the tree so I said, "Hey, we just lost a branch off the tree in front." The reply I received was, "Yeah, some people came to the front door to let us know."

I wondered why I wasn't notified as I made my way to the shed.

branch02
branch02


In the shed was my newest gas powered chainsaw which the last time I wanted to use it, it wouldn't start which meant it went unused for probably nine years. I pulled a few times on the start rope and got the same results as the last time I tried to start it; so I went to get my other gas powered chainsaw, mostly because I hadn't a clue as to where the electric chainsaw was.

It's an older, cheaper machine. I had little hope that it would start but I went through the motions: flipped closed the choke, primed the carburetor with that little bulb thing, locked the throttle opened and pulled. Then I pulled again and again and again, which might seem like a lot of pulling but not really for an old rarely ever used inexpensive chainsaw. The engine turned over after a couple more pulls so I opened the choke and pulled again, which made the engine almost kick in. I closed the choke just a hair and when I pulled the rope yet again, I got that familiar chainsaw noise.

branch01
branch01


I cut the branch up and then threw it all into that pile of other branches that I run through the chipper every once in awhile.

When I went back in, I asked about the people that came to the door. I was told it was an older Caucasian guy with a young dark skinned boy. I said that I knew the two of them and said that the guy doesn't really look friendly as a confirmation. I was told that he looked like he had the potential to be a mean drunk.

I don't actually, know the guy. I just see him walking every once in awhile with this young boy, who I think is five or six years old. At first glance, they look like an odd couple; but they seem to get along just fine. I think he's the boy's grandfather. I think I've seen the boy with his mother. I've never seen what could be his father.

I was asked why I thought that they made an odd couple seeing how I'm often seen with dark skinned children. I said that I didn't find it odd that a white guy would have a dark skinned grandchild; it's just that I thought it odd that this particular white guy would be walking around the neighborhood just hanging out with his grandson because he looked like a guy that would be pissed off about that type of thing.

After the guy informed my sister of the branch that fell was actually blocking the sidewalk, he went and moved it so it wasn't blocking the sidewalk anymore which is a very neighborly thing to do and I thought that it was even cooler that he had his grandson with him.

And, I'm a bit of an a-hole for judging him like I did.

I'm surprised I got the cheap thing started

I found out that my 16" chainsaw needs to be sharpened

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oh. Is this thing still one?

I haven't been around like I used to have been but I still show up. You know, to put my time in; I have a lot of time invested.

The bar is the lynch pin to some of my friendships.

I could give up alcohol.

I was in my usual place for a change, by the taps, and the other regulars were in their places, not by the taps and friends from work showed up. It was similar to times gone by.

My friend ordered a beer and one of the bartenders asked if he had a tab opened and he just pointed at me and when she looked at me, I rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah, he's with me."

When we settled up downstairs, the bill I was handed was for $28.00. We left $60 which was closer to what we drank.

When we got upstairs, I was greeted with cheers from the two bartenders. I don't go upstairs too often; because it's more of a club scene.



The one on the left is a friend who is in Boston visiting for a few days and that's her friend on the right. The one on the right is a new mom. I remember seeing her when she was the huge with child and early in the night she proved the rumors true of her six pack abs. She had some funky dance moves.

I wanted to touch her abs.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Would Rather Be a Sucker Than a Person That Never Trusts.

All I wanted was a Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissan'wich Value Meal but I was going to settle for something else. I chose a McDonalds at the bus station because the parking was the easiest.

I noticed she was walking a path that would intercept me. She was young and distressed and it looked like a crash victim after whatever high she had been on the night before; she started her plea with, "Please, I'm not a bum."

She said that she was twelve dollars short of a bus ticket home and that if I would give her the twelve that she would mail me a twenty. She looked genuinely dispirit. As she was telling her story, she was holding a sizable amount of bills, neatly folded in half in her right hand.

I pulled what I had from my pocket; it was three singles and a twenty which was what was left from $110 from the night before at the bar. I actually thought about giving her the twenty and asking for change and then laughed to myself that I would even think of such a thing.

I handed over my chance at an Egg McMuffin Value Meal and consoled myself that three bucks would at least get me a coffee. She asked if I had a business card, I did but it was in the car, across the street and a quarter way down the block.

I told her not to worry about it; she thanked me at least three times as she walked away.

As I thought about where the closest ATM was that wouldn't charge me a fee, I thought that I should have had her walk with me to the car so that I could get a business card. It would have been interesting to see if she followed through or not. I wouldn't have had her mail money but maybe a thank you note, or maybe an email, if she really wanted to do something.

I also thought that I should have walked her to the ticket window and paid the difference for the bus ticket; but then I thought that I would rather be a sucker than a person that never trusts.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I said; He's neither fat enough nor old enough to be called Big Daddy

I'll google names once in a while; mostly my own; mostly to see if I have 'made the papers'.

But I'll google the owner's name too. I was informed that I could tract her bankruptcy proceeding for $57, this past Sunday.

I declined.

I was walking down Newbury Street trying to figure out why two trolleys needed three hundred feet of parking space when someone turned around and called my name. She lied and said that I had looked the same as when she had last seen me and she calculated that she had last seen me over thirteen years ago because that's how old her son was.

There is a joke there somewhere.

I take a little bit of solace that the screw-ups are totally of my own doing. I haven't been getting the information that I need and when I ask, I'm told that it's on it's way.

It must be a long way.

He dropped off the paperwork the Friday before the week of July 4th. I started the process of faxing it somewhere and waited. He started dropping by the office, looking for his permit and leaving me notes when he hasn't found it.

When he got me on the phone today, I assured him that it was on my list of things to do and that I was aware that it is an urgent issue for him but currently there were other issues that were more urgent to me or more accurately, my boss.

"I'll get to it."

"Okay, my friend. The sooner the better because they need it to help get their visas."

He wears Panama hats and his shirts button at his navel and his name is Armando.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't read it.

I started making plans the night before and pushed everything into the next morning and when the next morning came, I basically changed all my plans into making a pot of coffee.

You may think that making a pot of coffee is no big deal but I grind my own beans and use a coffee press so it's a bigger effort then an automatic drip.

The coffee from a coffee press is a different breed of coffee; at first I really didn't like it much, but since, I have acquired a taste for it. I think I mostly stayed with it because I paid over fifty bucks for the press and I would feel like a moron every time I saw the press, if I wasn't using it.

I've still been writing a little but I usually cannot muster enough care to post.

What follows is the stuff that didn't make it to this blog previously. I usually will briefly read over a thing to make certain that it makes some sort of sense but I haven't done that with the words below so if you read it, it is at your own risk.

I would recommend that you stop wasting your life and not read what's below but you should know better than me on how to live your own life.

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June 29, 2009

I’ve never known what I wanted to do in life. I’ve never really had any long term goals.

I’ve had lots of hobbies, all of which I’ve gotten bored with.

My Dakota truck failed the state emissions test this past Saturday. I guess the check engine light came on and in Massachusetts, you will not pass the state’s emissions test if the check engine light is on. And I knew this before I drove it to the inspection station, the damn little light chose to shine when the inspector turned the ignition.

I’m pretty sure that I just need a tune-up.

I had just fixed the driver’s side window that had been broken since the last time I had it state inspected. I had tired to sneak the fact that the window didn’t roll down or up properly from the inspector but he found out. When he handed me the keys, he said, “You should really get that window fixed.”

I didn’t want to press my luck so I made certain that I fixed the window before I brought it in this year. The trickiest part is usually getting the interior door panel off without busting up any of those clips and finding a way to pop off that retaining ring on the window crank, if you have a window crank. I’m not a fan of power windows, unless I’m trying to roll down the passenger side window from the driver’s side seat, then I think power windows are great.

I’ve got two months to solve the ‘check engine’ light problem before enforcement personnel can ticket me.



I believe it has rained in Boston at some time of every day for the past three weeks and we have another week of rain ahead.

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June 26, 2009

I’m not getting important things done.

I’m missing deadlines.

Most of my problems stem from the fact that I don’t know what time of the month it is. I can tell you what day of the week it is most of the time and I can probably even tell you the date if you ask but for some reason my brain isn’t registering when it’s the beginning, middle or end of the month, which are mostly the time frames I have to hit.

There will be times at the beginning of the month when I’ll have to get something done before the end of the month and I’ll tell myself that I’ll get it done next week and then the next thing I realize is that it’s the 29th or later.

I can’t remember when I did things and I’m confusing jobs when I start to talk about them.

My super brain is letting me down. It’s like my brain has gotten tired of being superior to other brains located in other cubes and has reverted to being average and the average brain can’t effectively handle my everyday work load.

Is workload one word or two words when used like it’s used above?

Come on brain, stop just phoning it in. Pay attention. Get your act together. This stuff shouldn’t be hard. You shouldn’t be making these errors.

I try to be part of the team. I try to not to stand out too much. I try to be like one of the guys. But I don’t try too hard. I like to be on the fringe; one foot in, one foot out; known to everyone but not what you would call popular. But I prefer not to be set too far apart, mostly because some freedom is lost when there are a lot of eyes on you not to mention privacy.

It’s a delicate balance.

Lately, I feel like I’ve been incorporated into the crowd.

I don’t like being in the middle of the crowd but I also don’t make an effort to change my location.

I feel like my soul has given up which would be fine if my spirit was onboard with it but my spirit is wondering why my soul isn’t fighting harder, why it isn’t fighting at all.

I think part of the problem is that I think I will survive, somehow. And survive by just taking it day to day, making no big effort. I may come out permanently damaged or changed but I’ll still be around; I’ll still exist tomorrow to exist for a tomorrow after that.

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June 25, 2009

So, I’m trying.

But I’m still not doing my best. I’m still not making any great effort.

One thing, that may seem unrelated is that, I’m eating something in the morning and making that first cup of coffee at home. I was hoping for a little bit of an energy boast to get me through the day but I don’t feel more energetic. But I have found that I feel hotter while I’m on the subway; I’m hoping it’s because of a increase in my metabolism.

I’ve lost a pound or two.

It’s a struggle to get out of bed; I have these long debates on when and whether I’m going to toss my feet over the side of the bed.

Isn’t this exciting.

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June 24, 2009

He’s been complaining about one of our co-workers for years. I sure that he thinks that he has voiced his opinion to the folks in charge and I’m equally sure that the folks in charge don’t know what he’s talking about because when he’s bringing it up: he never mentions any names or jobs or specific issues. He comes off like a scattered-brained bitter crazy man.

Even if he did articulate his complaints properly, the bosses wouldn’t do anything about it. His main complaint is that he works harder than the other guy and he wants the other guy to work as hard as him. The trouble is: that he doesn’t work as hard ad he thinks he does, he refuses to see the benefits he is allowed that others are not, and that he stressed himself out by doing other people’s job and things he just isn’t supposed to do.

We’ve told him for years that making an extra effort goes unrewarded and making no effort at all goes unpunished, so if his work load is bothering him then he should just do those things that he is responsible for and just work his eight hours a day.

For years he has ignored this advice and his stress levels have increased and I no longer make time to casually talk to him because he has been so negative.

Well lately, he has changed his work habits, he comes in late, he disappears for hours and he leaves early.

I want to call him a hypocrite.

Or kick him in his nut sack.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

There is Mexico and then there is Mexico

“That’ll cause a commotion,” is what she said when we were walking away.

I didn’t know what she was talking about. We had just got off the shuttle bus at the airport and she talked to some of her co-workers, that she has only ever talk to over the phone. It seemed like normal network building chatter. Prior to that, the reason we were at the airport was because we were seeing her daughter off to Mexico. We were part of a group of parents and family members also seeing off about six loved ones, south to Oaxaca.

I just remained quite as I was trying to figure out what the heck was going to cause a commotion then she added. “They’ll be asking: Is she married to a white dude?”

...

One of the teacher going on the trip asked if I had ever been to Mexico. I said, "Well, Cancun," and finished with a shrug. "Yes, I guess that really isn't Mexico," responded.

Monday, June 22, 2009

For colon lover's eyes only.

I'm probably clinically depressed but I mostly feel just unmotivated. I think I need: a kick in the ass.

My plan was to: stuff the chicken breasts, and then set a toilet. But after cutting the rib cages out of ten chicken breasts and stuffing them which included tying them; I felt like doing nothing.

I somehow ended up blowing bubbles in the front yard with my nieces and then I grabbed my camera.

A picture's worth a thousand words or so they say; but as the internet has proven: you can have a thousand words and not have a story. You can have ten hundred words and still not tell a tale.

I was sitting here, avoiding work around the house and remembered that I had taken some photos; even with an LCD screen, you still don't know what you've got until you download them. Looking at what I had I thought: "I can post some of these," but then I thought: "Who cares about my nieces?" I asked myself: "Would I look at these if they weren't blood?"

Yeah, I would. Especially the last one.

neices01
neices01

In the front lawn I have a Japanese Maple tree. They tend to grow into a bush-like shape and I like to prune it into a tree-like shape. It's about four and a half feet tall at its highest. It is kind of cool being under it.

neices02
neices02

For years, I've used the mulching feature on my mowers when cutting the lawn, mostly so I wouldn't have to rake or deal with the trimmings but lately, since I have a compost bin, I've been using the bagging feature and keeping the grass taller. Tall grass is better for playing in.

neices03
neices03

For the city; it's a large front lawn

neices04
neices04

I think, posing often looks unnatural and that's why I don't ask people to pose but sometimes they just pose all on their own and I feel obligated to snap a shot.

neices05
neices05

Not posed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'll start to think about posting and then I'll think about all the other things that I should be doing besides posting

I think a lot of things in life can be overcome simply by hanging on and outlasting whatever it is. I do believe that more often or not that this too shall pass. But there are those things which you have to more than just wait it out; there are those things I which you have to fight against, there are those things that you must conquer.

That’s where I am.

I can no longer just breeze by waiting until my dilemma is something that can be seen in the rearview mirror.

So, that’s where some of my energy and effort has been. It’s been there and not here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's quiet

My TV has no picture anymore. It sort of flickered then sputtered and then died. There was a flash of green at the end.

It was about eleven years old is my guess.

...

The article suggested that the villagers stock up on tiger urine to keep the elephants away.

I would rather take my chances with a killer elephant than trying to obtain tiger urine.

...

I'm brining a chicken.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

x-ray eyes

I had been stopped for maybe a minute and a half; I had pulled over to write some notes, when someone knocked on my passenger side window. My government car is marked so I get a lot of questions and a lot of complaints. The lady told me two statements and at first I didn’t reply because I had nothing to add but the silence got awkward so I said, as friendly as I could, “And?” to which she told me her concern; and then interrupting herself she said, “You have wonderful eyes. They look like you can see right through me. Can you see right through me?”

I looked her in the eyes trying to at least see her to her soul but my sight seemed to stop right at the surface of her dark brown eyes. I replied that I couldn’t see through her and I added that I wasn’t in her neighborhood for the reason that caused her concern.

I found her statement surprising because I frequently feel that my eyes have worked just opposite of her impression.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I was mostly just wasting time. I wasn't really being a creep.

From my kitchen window to the tennis courts across the street is a distance of about 200 feet. I couldn’t see the young brunette as well as I liked, so I grabbed my camera aimed it across the street as I lightly pressed the shutter button which caused the 75-300mm auto focus lens to turn into focus onto the chain-link fence.

I thought, “Hmmm” because I hadn’t turned the camera on which I thought was an odd revelation because why would I try to get the camera to auto focus when at some level I knew that I hadn’t turned the camera on? It seemed that I was expecting the camera to do nothing and I was surprised when it actually did something. I then tried to remember when it was that I last used the digital SLR and had obviously left the thing on.

It was a least two months prior.

I don’t think the tennis player was the regular that I had thought she might have been.

Foreign Films

I wonder where the cultural divides are that cause someone to say: Oye, Oh or Aye, when they are being drilled up the ass.

Strangely, to me anyway, is that I kind of miss the writing

Strangely, to me anyway.



Things haven’t been just falling into place. I’ve actually have had to nudge things into place and sometimes I have had to actually make an effort to be successful.

It has been sometimes not dissimilar to work.

Everything seems to be an effort lately.



They were walking side by side down the stairway not leaving any room for someone to walk up the stairs. He was a well dressed white guy in his late twenties. She was an attractive Asian woman of the same age. They were kind of close to the last step so I stood flat footed on the right side at the bottom. I felt that they guy heading towards me should realize that this particular staircase, in this particular subway station wasn’t for his sole use. But to his arrogant, poppas credit, he didn’t give me space. And to my self-righteous, city-punk credit, I shoulder checked him a bit which cause him to change direction.

I thought of all the snide things that I could have said but nothing productive would have come from a verbal exchange, so I just ascended the stairs.



I still don’t feel the need to post but then I’m not certain that I ever did. I wonder why I have posted so many times for so many years. I think I might find a partial answer in my archives but I have no desire to read them.

Lately, I have so little desire.

There is still a good bit of lust though.

Actually, that’s not true; the lust is waning as well.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I still feel as I have nothing to say

I still feel as I have nothing to say but if I go too long without saying something: I think that's rude.

Friday was the same old same old but different. I was still at the bar but I didn't start with Bud Light and I didn't finish with vodka. Things seemed slightly off for most of the day, so I just went with it after work and ordered a Bass Ale followed by Margaritas followed by a few glasses of Scotch.

The guy that was sitting next to me, move so that I could continued my conversation with an off-duty bartender. We were sitting at the short end of the "L" shaped bar. From this short end, one can get a full length backside view of whoever is pouring a draft beer. One can also sometimes get a peek down a blouse from time to time when the button on the dishwasher is being pressed.

I usually sit at the opposite end of the bar, but for my last few visits, I've been stuck at the short end. The off-duty bartender turned to me and said, "You can really check out the bartenders from here." I said, "Yeah, but it's like checking out my cousin or something." We talked for awhile longer and then she left with the bartenders that had just gotten off duty.

I left and bought a box of Godiva Chocolates and then walked backed. I handed the golden bag across the bar to Kim.

Two week prior I ended up sitting at a table with some distant co-workers and one of those distant co-workers knows that I get tired of beer and asked when "The Timmy Specials" would start flowing. It had to be explained to some that a "Timmy Special" is a vodka based drink that is usually served in a pint glass. I only order them from the bar because they are especial to me and not every bartender knows the secret formula, but we ordered them through our waitress and after some discussion at the bar, Kim sent the drinks over in pint glasses.

The folks at the table liked them, so they ordered a second round but only one of them came in a pint glass and it was explained that only Timmy get Timmy Specials in pint glasses.

I felt that Kim did me and my friends a favor and that she might have been spoken to by one of the managers so she got a box of premium chocolates as a thank you.

I had left and was walking to the subway station when I heard someone call my name. It was the bartender that was sitting next to me earlier, she was calling me in to a different bar for a drink. I sat at at her table which included the two other bartenders she had left with and a guy I know from the bar, named Nick, and one of his female friends.

Nick was asking for someone to do a shot with him, everyone refused and then one of the bartenders volunteered me. I wouldn't say that we're friends but I've done shots with Nick before, we both like Patron, so I joined him in a shot. Nick left soon after that and we watched him stumble a bit as he made his way across the street. Someone at the table mentioned that he had just lost his job that day. It was also mentioned that he is sometimes a jerk, particularly when he's drunk.

I then felt a little bit guilty that I let him buy me a shot. I also felt that the recession was getting that much closer to me.

And I reassured myself that I was pretty sure that the bartenders don't call me a jerk behind my back.