Friday, February 05, 2016

Every dog his poo

Quite some time ago I Tweeted about watching a person out my train window on the way work waiting patiently while their dog pooped and then diligently picking it up with a poop bag. My Tweet was something to the effect of, "So which one is the dumb animal."

This was of course before we got a dog. And I was blocking out the fact that we had cats and everyday I was scooping cat poop out of a cat box and regularly cleaning up cat puke. But at least I wasn't having to pick up warm poop with my hand encased in a plastic bag.

That has all changed. Just over a year ago we decided to get a dog. We'd had to put down two of our three geriatric cats due to kidney failure and cancer. This opened the option of another pet that my children had been lobbying for for some time.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Afraid of shadows

"Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to" 
 --Songwriters: Dave Dreyer, Al Jolson and Billy Rose
The sun is out here so I suppose if the groundhog (aka wood chuck) lived in Seattle he would scurry back to his den and sleep another six weeks. I wonder, though, if the groundhog is really afraid of his shadow, or just afraid of the light. He is a creature that lives in the dark.

I've never been afraid of my shadow. I've been afraid of other people's or other things shadows. But maybe that is more being afraid of the unknown than anything else.

I used to be afraid of the dark. More accurately I was afraid of what I couldn't see in the dark. I imagine that is a primal memory in the animal part of my brain remembering when predators hunted in the dark.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Groundhog's Day Eve

I can hardly wait until Groundhog's Day! I almost forgot it since the stores went right from Christmas merchandise into Valentine's Day crap and skipped Groundhog's Day altogether. Doesn't seem quite fair.

In honor of it being Groundhog's Day Eve, I've taken the liberty of reusing the photo above that I've now used four times in posts also in honor of Groundhog's Day. Most of them are just rehashing the history of the holiday and gibberish about the movie Groundhog's Day starring Bill Murray. The movie is about a man who ends up repeating the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

This is basically what I do in my blog, only I simply repeat the same stories over and over and repost the same photos of things I've Photoshopped my face on.  I do the former because my memory sucks and I do the latter because I'm getting too lazy to Photoshop my face on new stuff.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Senior Varsity Quiz

I have always been good with trivia. I know a lot about a little and a little about a lot.

In Junior High (we didn't have middle schools in Idaho), I was a member of the Junior Varsity Quiz Team. We competed against other Junior High Schools on a local television station program appropriately called Junior Varsity Quiz. We lasted two rounds before being defeated by North Junior High School. I'm pleased to say I answered the most correct questions in the program (a minor accomplishment considering we still lost).

Being able to answer questions quickly about a broad range of topics hasn't really been of much use to me later in life. Oh, it comes in handy if you are playing Trivial Pursuits or find yourself in a bar where a trivia contest is going on. But on a practical level, being able to rattle off random trivia just makes you sound like Cliff from the old Cheers program.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The blogger rarely posts twice

As a rule, I rarely post twice in a day, but for some reason I feel compelled to write something else other than praises for my new iPhone (which is really awesome). I'll note that didn't promote my last post on social media and it has only been viewed four times. If I tweet or post on Facebook about a new post, I generally get about 25 or so hits. So as pitiful as my readership is, social media does boost it a bit.

I've actually been a bit more prolific this January than I have been for awhile. This is my seventh post. Though back in 2006 I post 31 times. Of course that was back in my blogging prime. It was all still relatively new to me and held promise. Now I write about getting a new iPhone.

The i's have it

Years ago, I had a Mac at work in addition to a PC. All of the designers I have ever known swear by Macs. I liked it, but practicality and price eventually drove me to PCs.

When I first ventured into the world of cell phones I had a standard flip phone for home and a Blackberry for work. Eventually my work and home phone merged into an Android Smartphone. I was ok with the Android, but frustrated at times by how slow it seemed and sporadically random glitches in the software and apps.

So I broke down and ordered an iPhone. Now granted it is an iPhone 5s, not the latest iPhone 6S or whatever the newest models are. But I have to admit I feel as though I have entered a whole new world of smartphonedom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Back in 2013, I posted a photo from Googlemaps taken of my boyhood home that had captured an image of my late mother working in the yard. It was taken a few months before her death.

We sold the house to a developer, understanding that it would eventually be torn down and new homes built on the property. I returned to Boise a few times since and drove by but the house still remained. My brother in Boise informed me a few months ago that the house had been torn down. I put it out of my mind. But today I looked it up on Google Earth and found they'd done a new street level photo of how the property looks now.

Now Google also allows you to look at a timeline for the property since they started taking the photos so there was also a photo of the house from 2008.

The one constant thing from all three photos is the maple tree in the foreground. My brothers and I rescued a sapling from a drainage ditch probably 50 years ago, brought it home and planted it there in our front yard. And it is the only thing that remains of my childhood home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stephan Hawkins predicts the end of the world

Actually, the MSN article headline read "Most threats to humans come from science and technology, warns Hawking," but I thought my headline was a bit more attention grabbing. In actuality, the article said Hawkins just pointed out in a speech about black holes, that "The chances of disaster on planet Earth will rise to a near certainty in the next one to ten thousand years, the eminent cosmologist said, but it will take more than a century to set up colonies in space where human beings could live on among the stars."

Then he goes on to theorize about black holes and lost everyone.

Sure Hawking is a genius, but isn't saying the world will shoot it's eye out with a technology charged BB gun in the next 10,000 years just stating the obvious? Big whoop. If the world ends in the next one to ten thousand years, I'll be long gone. And even my kids won't be around in the next 100 years or so to worry about living in a space colony. So I for one don't take this revelation from Hawking anymore seriously than Harold Campings ravings about the rapture.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Around the block

I started writing this post several days ago. It started out as "The blog post always rings twice." But that germ of an idea wasn't contagious. So I switched to one titled, "Lights out" which was kind of a rant about people who still have their holiday lights up. That flickered.

So I admit I have a bit of writer's block which is unusual for me. I normally can ramble on for paragraphs at a time unconcerned by lack of inspiration or something interesting to say. Man, but my two aborted attempts at writing something were about as boring a PBS documentary on weaving. And now I've stooped to writing about not being able to write. Not a first, but still pretty lame.

 Part of the problem is that for the most part my day job requires me to be "creative" on demand. I don't mind being considered creative, but there is a certain, "Dance monkey, dance" quality to it that gets to me sometimes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Self-conscious blogging

I don't know about other bloggers, but I don't spend a great deal of time crafting my posts. Although I don't usually sit down and hammer one out in five minutes, I rarely spend more than a few minutes here and there during a day to write one. And I more rarely ever do a lot of rewriting or deleting. So, although my posts may not all be great art, they are for the most part genuine.

But sometimes, like in yesterday's post for instance, I catch myself being extremely self-conscious. And I'm pretty sure it shows in my writing. I start worrying about being too negative or repetitive. I try to soften stuff or interject a self-depreciating jab. And all of this happens when I start to think I'm writing for an audience instead of for myself.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

One more ride on the carousel

A calendar year is a bit like a carousel.  You go around and around and end up back where you started. Then you go around and around again. A pessimist might say it is a vicious circle.  An optimist might say it is just a well-rounded life.

I'm more of a pessoptimist. I say it just is what it is.

Regardless, this is my first post of 2016. And while I pondered what I should write, I rejected the standard year in review, listing my resolutions or looking ahead articles you find in magazines and more successful blogs. Been there, done that. No one really cares about my year in review, my resolutions (or lack thereof) or my opinion about what 2016 will be like.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Another old dang eyes

Once again I marvel at how quick a year has past and I wonder what I have to show for it.  I did take my family to LegoLand and Disneyland (I have the bills to prove it). But 2015 won't be one of those years that stand out in my memory.

Not that my memory is that great anymore. Which is sad. Because memory is one of those few things you can hold onto that doesn't require filling up your garage with plastic bins. It's just that the older you get, memories seem to overflow and run together. But it is only logical that that would happen when you layer yet another year of memories on top of the old ones.

So sifting through memories becomes more and more like an archeological dig as you drill down through the many layers to find that one memory you are looking for. Though there are some things I'd just as soon leave buried.

But I digress.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tis the seasoning...

Even though I was a bit taken aback that Christmas stuff hit the shelf at the stores before Halloween I must admit I have been looking forward toward all of the Christmas traditions we've established. We put up the Elvis tree on Thanksgiving and I had most of the holiday lights up on the house the following weekend.

I even ordered the photo holiday card from Costco early. But I tell you, I'm getting a bit pissy about us sending out about a hundred cards and only getting a handful in return. The unwritten rule is that when you send someone a card they have to send you one in return.

So send us a holiday card or you are off our holiday/Christmas card list. You can kiss your personalized photo of my family either on vacation or with a fake Santa goodbye.