Saturday, March 31, 2012

Your life or your lupins, m'lord

More bluebonnets that aren't bluebonnets today.  I had a mandatory OT day today, and found these up in the Great Northwest.  First picture:  purple.  They didn't come out all that well because I was just using my phone camera, but they are light purple.


This next picture are some regular bluebonnets, from the same yard, for comparison.


And then another shot of the purple ones.


There were also some red ones mixed in.


And these were directly across the street from all the previous.  This didn't come out well, either, but I would describe this color as "dry corncob."


So anyway, my wife got called in to work early today and I had to pick the kids up from her workplace.  On the way home we attempted to find four different geocaches, and failed at all four.  However, upon getting home and checking the logs at geocaching.com, two of them have been stolen/tampered with for sure and I have suspicions about the other one.  The last one I think I can find if I have another go.  I had misunderstood the hint about it and now I think I know exactly where it is (more or less).  By the way, geocachers have a lot of special slang terms, and they have a verb for when a cache has been stolen by a non-geocacher (which is the noun form of the same word).  You can look it up if you want, but I'm never going to use it because it sounds so stupid.  I think for our next foray I'll hit a nearby park so we can take our time and snoop around without a bunch of (term that I'm never going to use because it sounds so stupid) watching us.

At the least I did get in some good practice on using my new GPS receiver.  If you want to see what kind of I got, click here.  It's not the fanciest model, but it's fun playing with.  I ordered it from geocaching.com, so it came pre-loaded with 100 caches nearest to my shipping location (my home address).  It has enough memory to hold a lot more than that--I think according to the manual it can hold 400 caches if you don't have anything else taking up memory (like waypoints, tracks, routes, etc.).  I also got a set of travel bugs, which is something geocachers use.  Whenever I get around to hiding my first cache, I'll use them.

This unit also has a trip odometer, which is something I was particularly interested in using.  I tried it out this morning on my meter routes.  By playing around with it for the last couple days, I figured out that I can suspend the trip odometer by simply turning the unit off.  I needed to be able to do this because I often have a full route in one place and then a partial route in another place.  I have also been really curious about how fast I walk.  By watching it as I was actually walking, I found that my standard pace is 3.5 mph.  A "brisk" walk for me reaches close to 4.5 mph.  I also did some sample jogging between meters a couple of times and found that my short-distance jogging speed is 7.5 mph.  So on today's routes I found that I walked a total of 6.76 miles.  I spent 2 hrs, 40 min moving and 44 min stopped (standing still).  It would have been quite a bit lower than that on the stopped time but my partial today was pretty dirty and I had to spend a lot of time cleaning off meters--my stopped time on the full route was only 22 min and I had to spend the same amount of time stopped on less than half as many meters on the partial.  The thing I was most curious about was my overall speed, which holds into account all the stopped time as well, and my overall speed was a mere 2.0 mph, even though I was moving at a pretty steady 3.5 mph between meters.

I'm going to keep doing this on all my routes so I can see how they measure up.  You see, I consider what I did today to be pretty much my easiest foot route.  I won't be surprised if some of the harder ones are close to 10 miles total distance.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Covers: Seven Bridges Road



So there you have the earliest version of "Seven Bridges Road." It was written by Steve Young, and recorded by him for the first time for his 1969 album Rock Salt and Nails. As far as I know, Steve Young hasn't had any major hits of his own performance, but he has written some famous songs--other than this one. For example, "Montgomery in the Rain," which was recorded by Hank Williams Jr., and "Lonesome Orn'ry and Mean," recorded by Waylon Jennings.

Some technical stuff about Seven Bridges Road. This original version is in the key of B major. It's in 3/4, or at least some kind of triple time. The tempo is about 87 bpm, and it runs about 3 minutes and 40 seconds. The key the song is pitched in isn't really that important, though, because the artist usually pitches a song to his or her vocal range. So what I mean is, the key isn't usually a part of that artist's interpretation, it's more a matter of practicality. But as we get on down the road we'll find one artist who made a major change to this song and turned it into what we usually hear today if we're listening to classic rock radio. But we'll get to that later.

"Seven Bridges Road" was released three more times during the following four years. In 1970 it was released by the Manfred Mann of folk music, the woman who can't stand to let a good song go unruined, that's right, ladies and gentlemen: Joan Baez. From her 1970 album One Day at a Time.



For the most part, the lyrics of these various versions weren't changed in any significant way, except for this one. So, whereas Steve Young says, "There are stars in the southern sky, southward as you go. There is moonlight and moss in the trees down the seven bridges road," Baez says, "There are stars in the southern sky, if southward as you go. There is moonlight and moss in the trees. On the seven bridges road I go."

This is nit-picking, I guess, but since it's my blog I get to nit-pick. Baez' version loses some strength and coherence. Her first statement makes sense, but then she says, "There is moonlight and moss in the trees. Period. On the seven bridges road I go." Okay, Joan? Where are we now? Is the moonlight and moss here? Or is it on the seven bridges road? Do we follow you on the seven bridges road to get away from the moonlight and moss? What's going on here? Anyway, she ends every one of these stanzas with "On the seven bridges road I GO" which just annoys me. Another small change she made was to the verse, "like some lonesome child." Ms. Baez sings it, "like a motherless child," which I suppose resonated more with her folk audience who were already familiar with the song "Motherless Child," famously performed by Richie Havens at Woodstock.

The male accompaniment vocals are by Jeffrey Shurtleff, who performed with her often back then (also taking the stage with her at Woodstock). He recorded a few albums of his own but never got really famous, and at present doesn't even merit a page at Wikipedia.

Technical stuff: key of A, 3/4 time, temp about 99 bpm, a little faster than Steve Young's original. "Countrified" by adding a steel guitar, most prominent there at the beginning and again at the end, which I must admit I kind of like.

So for a little more technical stuff before we go on to the next recording. You may have heard the old saying "three chords and an old guitar." Well, this song is written in only three chords, although they aren't the same three the old saying refers to. The basic chord progression is from a I chord to a flat major VII chord, to a IV chord, and back to I (which gives the whole song a kind of "falling" or at least "going down the stairs" feeling--a mood of sweet resignation). Unlike many old country and folk songs, there is no V chord anywhere to be found in this song. The middle bridge ("Sometimes there's a part of me") part simply goes back and forth between I and IV, if my ears don't fail me. But, the different artists didn't always do it exactly the same. It got a little more interesting in 1971.



That's Rita Coolidge from her 1971 debut album Rita Coolidge. She slows it down even slower than the original at about 77 bpm, but still keeps it in 3/4 time. Her version is the longest I know of: a combination of the slower tempo, the orchestral instrumental breaks, and a long fade out during which she repeats the title line several times, finally finishing up with a tenor sax solo on the fade-out, which I also like. I think this version moved the song more out of the country/folk category and toward more of a pop sound.



Steve Young re-released the song in an almost identical version to the original in 1972 on his album Seven Bridges Road. Same key, same tempo, same time. The biggest difference I can hear is that the string accompaniment was lowered an octave and is a little more prominent throughout the song than on the original.



This one probably sounds more familiar to most folks. It's from the 1973 album Valley Hi by Ian Matthews. Here we have the pattern that most of us are familiar with: an a capella beginning and, perhaps more significantly, the time has been changed to 4/4. Matthews sings it in the key of D with a zippier tempo of about 97 bpm. This is my own personal favorite version. I like the atmospheric spaciness of the guitar (played by Michael Nesmith, by the way) and the way Matthews' voice often "falls off" at the end of a phrase.

And then no one recorded this song for a while...



Until the Eagles performed it live and recorded the performance for their 1980 album, Eagles Live. Although in their introduction to the song they claimed to have learned it from Steve Young, their rendition is a near carbon-copy of Ian Matthews' version. Same key of D, same time of 4/4 (like Matthews and unlike Young). The a capella parts at the beginning an end are close to Matthews' tempo of 97 bpm (Eagles tempos of about 94 and 96 respectively), but with a slightly faster internal section of around 115 bpm, perhaps more fitting for their rock-oriented audience.

Several others have performed it since then. I don't know if any of them have actually committed their performance to a recorded album and I mostly don't care to find out. You can look them up on YouTube. Alan Jackson, Keith Urban with Sugarland, Keith Urban with Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban with Julio Iglesias,* G-d knows who else. All of them who I've heard are essentially just copies of the Eagles version, which itself is a copy of the Matthews version.

There's only one more version that I know was recorded and released as part of an album, and here it is.



From Dolly Parton's 2001 bluegrass album Little Sparrow. Pitched in A♭ for Dolly's vocal range, once again in 4/4 time. A quite slow tempo of 87 or so bpm for the beginning--reflecting Steve Young's original--which rockets up to a flying 150 bpm for the rest of the song. Anyone who reads this blog for very long will soon know of my penchant for bluegrass and I have nothing to complain about regarding this version of the song.

So...that's what I've learned about this song because a long time ago I heard Ian Matthews' version on the radio and liked it more than the Eagles version, and went hunting for information about who sang it and what they did.



*For the humor-impaired (and I know you're out there): that was a joke.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A good day and the flashlight I smashed

My son got his Arrow of Light and crossed over tonight, making him officially a Boy Scout.  One bonus is that now our meetings will be on Tuesday night, to coincide with Girl Scouts, which means I don't have to go back into town at night twice during the week anymore.  Woo hoo!

Also my GPS receiver came today.  I was hoping to fire it up and play with it a little, but I don't have any spare batteries for it.  I have a couple of batteries in my work truck from when I smashed my flashlight the other day, so I can mess around with it tomorrow.

Now, about that flashlight.  It was one of these.  I saw it at Wal-Mart and thought I'd give it a try because it has a pocket clip.  As you may understand, I often need a flashlight in my job.  I already have one small light (a Coleman) but it doesn't have a clip and I have to stick it in my pants pocket.  P.S. Those flimsy canvas belt sheathes they make for these lights do not hold up to extended usage--the light itself will by far outlast its sheath--with the exception of this Black & Decker, because I smashed it.

I've posted a review of it at Amazon and you can read it once they approve it.  The problem was, the light wouldn't stay on when held in anything approaching a vertical position--which is exactly how I have to hold it to read meters.  I tried stretching the contact spring on the inside to improve the electrical connection but it would help for only a few minutes.  I finally got so p*ss*d at it that I destroyed it by hurling it violently at the street several times.  Then I noticed the batteries rolling away so I stopped long enough to pick them up and pocket them, then continued smashing the flashlight until I got bored with it.

So if you run across one of these somewhere, don't buy it, unless you plan on aiming it only at things that are on the same level as yourself all the time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You are a Pirate

It was 1987, and I pretty much listened only to music that came out of the 70s.  After all, the 80s was the decade when all the music sucked*, and we were being subjected to Bangles, Starship, and frikkin' Bon Jovi.**  But something happened in 1987 that completely slipped under my musical radar, and which I discovered only a few days ago.

There was a German group called Running Wild, a black metal group who used (cough) "satanic" related lyrics and the usual black vocal style.  I guess things weren't going so well for them, or maybe they just had a sudden, brilliant inspiration.  They had already released two albums of black metal, when in 1987 they released an album called Under Jolly Roger, which was basically heavy/speed metal with lyrical themes about...pirates.




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dr. Oh's Octopodiform Deterrent


Found at My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning.

Sleep paralysis

This post at Oddee about sleep disorders brought back some unpleasant memories.  I used to suffer from sleep paralysis.  It would happen several times a year up until I was in my mid-30s, and then it kind of tapered off.  It's been a long time since it happened.  It was just like they say in this article:  terrifying hallucinations and all.  If you've never suffered from this, count yourself lucky, and I hope you never do.  It's no fun at all.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"My Girlfriend is a Gumiho"

Today I watched the first episode of a series that Netflix calls "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho," but which is also known (in English) as "My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox."

I would normally steer clear of so-called "romantic comedies."  However, it wasn't exactly clear to me what kind of show this was, and as soon as I saw that it was not an American TV show--and furthermore, that it was subtitled--I was quite intrigued and watched it with interest.

It's actually a South Korean show.  Netflix has 16 episodes and they are all more than an hour long.  Every now and then, the subtitles annoyed me because they would stick in a parenthesized part to try and explain what the character meant; apparently we English speakers are too stupid to understand by context.  That's only a small quibble, however, and it didn't happen often.

It was funny.  It also had brief instances of terror and looming dread.  It's about a guy named Cha Dae-Woong who is tricked by a supernatural being called a gumiho into helping her escape a centuries-long entrapment.  He subsequently experiences a bad fall which should have killed him, but the gumiho (who uses the name Mi Ho), and who now appears as a beautiful young girl, implants a "fox bead" (or marble) into him using what I can only refer to as a "kiss-like contact" which keeps him alive but doesn't really heal him.

So he's stuck with her.  He wants to get rid of her, but the only way he can stay alive is by having the fox bead within him, and to do that he must keep Mi Ho happy.  Being a fox, she is quite fond of eating meat, especially beef, and at the very beginning of this episode when he tells her he doesn't have any money left to buy her some beef, she suddenly turns from playful to deadly serious and tells him if he doesn't, she will eat him instead.  So you see what I mean by "terror and looming dread."

The episode ends with him basically telling her to get lost and leave him alone, but before he gets on a bus to take him to college, she tells him she will follow him, find him, show him what she really is, take the fox bead from him, "and then you will die."  She does exactly that, and the final scene is of her performing her special kiss to remove the fox bead.

Of course we know that she must give it back, because the series would have ended right there if one of the main characters had died.  I liked it.  I'm looking forward to watching it all the way through.  If you have Netflix streaming, check it out.

Those captchas

Is anyone still getting those impossible captchas when you leave a comment here?  I want to make sure they're turned off.

I just tried using the "audio" version instead.  It's even worse.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My first review at Amazon

I posted it last night.  You can read it here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More smirking


In a follow-up to this, another update on what I have come to call "the Fiasco Texas incident."

This kind of lack of foresight isn't even unusual.  For example, a while back it was determined that we needed different shirts because our blue t-shirts aren't "safe" enough, so we were going to switch to neon green (or yellow--I never can tell) t-shirts.

However, if you wanted to wear your regular blue button shirts (which is what I always wear because I don't like to work in those t-shirts), that would still be okay.  For some reason, vividly dark blue t-shirts that you can see someone wearing from 200 yards away aren't "safe" enough, but dull blue button shirts that blend in with everthing are?  It makes no sense, but that's what we have been calling "management theater" because it makes it looks like management is doing something when they really aren't.

Anyway, the representatives from the clothing company came over and fitted everyone for their new t-shirts, and I thought I would soon be selling vintage never-to-be-produced-again, limited-supply and hardly-worn t-shirts on eBay because I have about 20 of them when suddenly the news came down:  the contract calls for blue shirts--we can't get any other shirts until the contract expires.  You'd think that someone would have noticed that before the orders were placed for 150 new shirts, but...nope!




So the order was cancelled.  I'm sure that by the time the contract expires, they will have moved on to some other bit of management theater and the shirt thing will have been forgotten.

Today's work picture


The Alamodome and the Tower against a louring sky.  Taken about 7:45 this morning.  Nice day today, with the cooler temperatures brought on by the cold front, but this route was badly flooded because of last night's rain.

Yet another train

video

Today I noticed I still had this one on my phone.  It's from March 7.  I also noticed that I never said where I had "filmed" the other two trains.  The first one was on E. Commerce at Sunset Station, the second was on the northern part of S. Presa, and this one was on Dreamland.  You'll have to turn your volume way up to hear the real-life soundtrack.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Great old advertisement

My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning (best blog name ever) has posted an old ad from 1895 for a furniture merchant?  I think?  Fantastic.  And funny.  I especially like the part about making someone feel like they "had been NOMINATED BY ACCLAMATION and DEFEATED UNANIMOUSLY."  I gotta use that sometime.

Covers: "Hurricane" by The Band of Heathens

I posted the original version of this song not long ago, here.

I recently downloaded a Noisetrade sampler for The Band of Heathens, a group I've heard a lot about but never heard. I'm pretty sure there are no radio stations in S.A. that would touch this music with a 10-foot pole.  Anyway, this song was on the sampler and I like it even better than the original, with its slower, heavier, almost ominous beat.  Here's a video of them performing it live.





You can download it free at the link below. You have to give them a good email address, which they will use to alert you to new samplers you might like based on your past downloads, once you get a history.  So if that bothers you too much, you lose out.  So far it hasn't bothered me.


Hypothetical post

Let us say, for the sake of conjecture, that I wanted to make my own collection that we will call "The Best of Bruce Springsteen" by downloading individual tracks that I am more likely to enjoy and avoiding some of his later work that I don't much care for.  Using his two "Greatest Hits" albums as a starting point, and (in the beginning at least), using only songs from before 1984, here's a list that might work.

Blinded By the Light
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)*
Born to Run
Thunder Road
Badlands*
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Hungry Heart
The River*
Atlantic City*
Dancing in the Dark**
Downbound Train**

*Songs I've never heard (that I know of) but fit the time frame.
**Songs from 1984 (Born in the U.S.A.) that I can still tolerate.  Actually I quite like "Downbound Train," which according to Wikipedia, really came out of the Nebraska sessions.

I used to know someone who was a fan of Springsteen's older stuff but hated Born in the U.S.A., which he regarded as a "sell-out."  Brer and Babel will know who I'm talking about.  (We spoke at length about this one night when no one else was around--at the old place on Nance Street.)  Lamentably, he is no longer with us, but I would like to put this together as my own small memorial to him.

Any recommendations for other songs that should go on this list?  I'm thinking "Dancing in the Dark" is too upbeat and optimistic for the list.  Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekend update

Yesterday I took a day off work so I could go with my son's Cub Scout group for a day hike.  We went to a nature park near Schertz on the Cibolo Creek.  I can't remember the name of the park, but here's a link to the location.  Just zoom out a few times to get a better view.  Now, if you have at least a 2010 map book (and possibly even older than that), it will show you the park as it is now.  However, since Google Maps is an electronic medium and therefore capable of being updated continuously, it is of course 14 years out of date--this place was a mobile home park that was destroyed in the flood of '98 and condemned against any future residential use.  In some places there are still address numbers nailed to trees where there must have once been a home--now apparently smack out in the middle of nothing.

Some of Omar still exists, as well as all of Lyndon and pretty much all of Lake View (the old street signs are still there).  However, the inner streets are all ripped up or in the process of being ripped up and replaced by natural wilds and hiking trails.  There are several places with easy access to the creek off Lake View, and you can go fishing there, too.

So we did our little hike, and an entire circuit of the park took us only 1 1/4 hours, but that was "other people" normal walking speed which felt somewhat restrictive to me.  On my own, I'm sure I'd have finished it in less than an hour, but what the hey.  So we took a break and were about to do it again when the Den Mother of the Boy Scout group my son will be joining mused, "I wonder if there's any geocaches in this place?"  She pulled out her smart phone, another guy there who was the father of one of the Scouts pulled out his smart phone, and it turned out they were both getting into geocaching and had GPS capability with the appropriate apps on their phones.  I had heard about this hobby several years ago and always thought it sounded interesting, so I was all for it.  We spent the next few hours finding caches.

Well, I think I have just discovered a new hobby.  I spent a while last night poring over geocaching.com and reading up on GPS receivers, and I think I will be using a small portion of our tax return to buy one that's suitable for the hobby.  I also read about many caches near my own home, and there are at least two that I'm pretty sure I can find without having to resort to GPS.

As for yesterday, we found 5 out of the 6 caches we searched for.  I think the one we didn't find was either washed away or buried by rain, because of the place it was supposed to be in.  The kids especially were extremely enthusiastic about the activity, and my son did find one of the caches on his own, which was nice.  I was thinking about going out today to see if I could find a couple, but he went to play at a friend's house and I know he'd be miffed if I went out without him, so I'll just wait.

I also checked some of the areas where I have regular routes, and it looks like I might have to spend a few minutes looking around when I'm working in certain places.  I have already thought of a good place near here where I can stash one of my own because it doesn't have one yet.

I'm looking forward to doing some of this because it will mean a hobby that doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer or radio and I'll actually be getting some exercise--or maybe I should say:  even more exercise..  I've been wanting to get a GPS unit for a long time, anyway, and now I have a halfway decent reason.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The anomalous blue...er...pinkbonnet

Here's something I've never seen before.



As you can see from the bottom photo, the other flowers produced by this plant were regular blue bluebonnets, as were all the other bluebonnets in the area.

The cell camera didn't really capture the subtle nuance of this color.  It wasn't really pink, nor pale purple, but somewhere in between.  Curious, strange and amazing.  This was in the area of Nacogdoches and El Sendero.

H.P. Lovecraft obituary

Lovecraft died March 15, 1937.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sing to spare your life!





I have to give credit to Amazon for coming out with some metal samplers that introduced me to bands and new genres of music that I probably would have never heard of otherwise.  I want to take this time to recommend one of their new metal samplers:  Napalm Records All Stars.  Sixteen tracks, 71 minutes.

It has a few bands on it that I'm already familiar with from previous samplers and my own investigating, like Arkona and Nemesea.  I also learned of two subgenres from this sampler that I previously hadn't heard of:  pirate metal and a capella metal.

That's right:  a capella.  The group is Van Canto, they're from Germany, and here's the video to the song that's included on this sampler.  This is so awesome, it makes chills run up my spine.  The only non-vocal instrument they use is the drum set.  Everything else is vocal.



The dreaded 4165


4165 being the route number for my regular cycle 11.  In the area of the northeast corner of the intersection of Rittiman & Harry Wurzbach.  Because we are having a wet spring, the overgrowth has already assumed jungle-like proportions.  It was murderously difficult today, and I expect today to be the last time I'm able to actually finish the whole thing until next October or November--unless it stops raining.  One halfway decent rain per month is all it needs to remain a nearly impassable mess.

Anyway, this sign has been there for two months now.  There's another one a few feet away from it in Spanish, and yellow "caution" tape which I climbed through because there's just no other way.

I think the "cleanup" is actually finished and these are simply forgotten signs.  I occasionally find such things in alleys.  I've picked up 2 spare traffic cones (which were later stolen from the street where I had them around my truck), and several of the small sidewalk-sized barricades.  You see, there is actually a specific barricade sub-department within some other department.  They go around putting out the barricades whenever needed, but they apparently never come back for them even after the work is finished.  So whenever I find abandoned barricades I just take them and use them to block #2 boxes in high traffic areas where the lids have been stolen.  Of course I have an ulterior motive for this.  When I do it I get to fill out a safety card and turn it in, which improves my "safety awareness" rating or whatever, which improves my overall performance for the year.

So, in case this wasn't obvious, they know I'm grabbing abandoned barricades because I report it every time I use one.  No one has ever told me not to, and I get safety credit for doing this, but I can't officially go somewhere within the company and have barricades issued to me for this use.  S.O.P., folks.

Another funny thing about this route today was a new(-ish) meter.  There's a place where they recently built a new mini-storage place.  Okay, so before it was there, the space it occupies was mostly empty with a few vacant shops or stores or something.  There was an old vacant meter there in a #1 box (rectangular like a #2 box but smaller).  That is, the meter no longer was being used and was officially shut off, therefore we call it "vacant."  Some time ago, the old meter was removed--and also removed from my Roadrunner (handheld computer)--and the box was empty for a while.  Last December a new meter was put in it, but the new meter never turned up on my Roadrunner.  Also, it was leaking and the box was always so full of water that I couldn't get a meter number off of it.  Last month I filled out a leak report and turned it in, simply giving detailed directions to the location because I didn't have any information and wasn't sure of the address.  So they fixed the leak.  This month, the water was low enough that I was finally able to get a number off of it.  So I called it in just to ask about it see what was up.  I was told that that meter was on a cycle 13 route.  "That's ridiculous," I replied, "when the old meter was here it was on a cycle 11!"  When I got back to the office I took all the information I had collected and told my supervisor about it.  The last time I saw him, he was sitting at the computer poring over the database, shaking his head and muttering to himself, "That's not right.  This makes no sense.  Something fishy here," and that kind of stuff.  Pretty funny.  Yet again:  S.O.P., folks!  Changing it back to my route where it belongs will be tricky.  A meter put on the wrong route but the right cycle is easy, and they fix those all the time.  But if it was put on the wrong cycle, that means changing it back to the right cycle also means changing the billing date.  The billing department hates that because customers hate it.  It means there's going to a short or long billing cycle for that meter and everybody has to change their schedules.  On the other hand, the storage facility has two more meters that are both for irrigation, and they are on my cycle 11, which means they're getting two different bills on two different dates (one for cycle 11 and one for cycle 13).  I feel like I actually accomplished something today by creating all this chaos and consternation.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Minor update

I am not abandoning this blog, first of all.  However, I am going to focus more on my musical fandom and am starting a separate blog for it over at Tumblr.  If anyone wants to follow it, there's a feed in the sidebar (which at this moment hasn't quite sorted itself out yet) or go to Eat the Music.  I'll be posting some of my music-related posts over there to get things started along with posting new stuff.

Tumblr is a different world from Blogger, but I've been playing around with it unofficially for a while now and I like it.  Biggest drawback so far is that establishing a blogroll for non-Tumblr blogs is a little tricky and thus far I haven't dug into the code enough to put them on the main page.  Anyway, the blogroll over there will be only for blogs I read that focus on music, or at least have occasional features about music.  If any of you who I regularly read make any music-related posts, I will most likely link to them from over there (Albatross' series on Iron Maiden is a good example--I haven't yet, but intend to).

I recently finally got caught up with creating my big playlist for loading on my phone, and now I'm going to try and make regular updates on free legal downloads that I find around the web, which I'll now have time to listen to soon after I get them instead of weeks or months afterward.

I will say that today I splurged and spent $5.99 on the mp3 download from Amazon for the 2011 remaster of The Wall.  I'm listening to it right now (so far so good), and will post about it soon over at Tumblr.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Eyewitness to strangeness

Albatross is probably going to so envy me for this.  This morning right about 8:00, as I was working, I actually witnessed a car crash into a house.  Of course I couldn't take any photos of it, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  If it turns up in a news report, it was the one at the corner of Cliffwood and Buckeye.

And it did seem kind of strange and inexplicable.  The home owner happened to be outside and also saw the whole thing, and she seemed strangely unperturbed by it all.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012

(Smirk)


Click to enlarge so you can read this.  I made a screen cap instead of copying and pasting because I don't want it to be spider-able.

Your H2O company throws this big employee picnic every year, which I have never attended because I am an anti-social b*st*rd and I don't care to spend my day off with a bunch of people I'm stuck working with all week.  Also, last year we had mandatory overtime on the day of the picnic, so everyone in our department had to work first and then go.  Screw that.

Anyway, usually they rent one of the big parks in the city and arrange for all kinds of recreational activities for both kids and adults.  This year they decided to heck with that and just got super-discounted ticket prices to F**st* T*x*s.

As you can see, we have at least two certified scalpers among our ranks.  This has amused me greatly today.

Which one of these doesn't belong?


Click to enlarge.  I have my own answer as to which one of these doesn't belong, and why, but all answers are welcome.  Maybe there are multiple answers.

I think I somehow missed one thumbnail, but it won't change the answer anyway.