Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Sunsets, My OC Back Yard

It is so nice to be able to sit in my back yard, drink a glass of wine, photograph hummingbirds and sunset clouds, at the perfect temperature of 75F with a very light breeze...

Location is everything.  I am glad DDF brought us here.
Me thinks they are nest mates...

Martin Fry Loves Quarter Note Triplets

After reflecting about the ABC concert that DDF and I went to last weekend, I am convinced that Martin Fry is In Love with quarter note triplets.  Drummers (and other musicians) who know what quarter note triplets are, and who have studied and practiced rudiments when they were kids will "get it".  I am surprised that I had not noticed it previously:  

How to be a Mill-i-on-air-air-air-air-air-air-aire!  (with three quarter note triplets, followed by a down beat, on each syllable)

Be-Near-Me, Be Nea-Ear (two quarter note triplets)

Shoot that Poison Arrow into my haaaaarrrrr--art, shoot that poison arrow, [quarter-note-triplet]!!!

The Look for you In-For-Ma-tion (tri-po-let, Down beat), is The One Thing, the One Thing, that Still Holds True...  (consider each Capital letter as the quarter note triplet down beat).

My friend Tim Beitz once told me, 20 some years ago in Cincinnati  "it is impossible to listen to good reggae music without bobbing your head, mon"  ... and I found myself bobbing my head to quarter-note-triplets each time that Martin belted out a ly-ri-ic that focused strongly upon the quarter note triplet in nearly every ABC song.   After the concert, I realized it is ABC's signature sound.  The quarter note triplet.  Enjoy.

The Actual Playlist

Sure, if you go to a live concert, you can find the song play list online.  I used to try and TEXT myself the playlist (as I did at the Puscifer concert with my buddy Ryan [link here] from the Greek Theater)... until Dr Desert Flower showed me how you just google it and BAM, it shows up... like Soundgarden (link here) and NIN (link here).. making me feel somewhat foolish that I wasted my time during the concert to actually text myself.

But last weekend, I wanted to surprise my bride of 27 years, Dr Desert Flower, with a trip to somewhere we'd never been.  After asking her if her feet and knees were feeling like dancing (and she confirmed they were) I told her to get dressed in a retro outfit...   and I would surprise her.   My best buddy Ryan had told me about a "Totally 80s Bar and Grill" in Northern Orange County, that he'd heard about via The Facebook from a former co-worker (or neighbor? ... unclear) ... and even though it was a good 30 minutes away, they had a pretty appetizing menu and opened at 5pm (closing at 2am) so I surprised DDF.  She dressed in a hot outfit, and I dressed like an 80's Don Johnson in a white cotton sport coat and teal t-shirt.  We drove to Fullerton. (had it not been for Ryan, and The Facebook, we never would have known about the place)

Upon arriving, the door men were checking everyone's online printed tickets.  We had no tickets.  We had no clue who was playing.  I told the bouncer that their website had no "events" listed for Saturday night.  The head door man said "that's because we sold out on Friday, so we took it off the website".  Oh....   OK.   "We'll go someplace else for dinner" I told DDF.  But my brilliant wife had the foresight to ask "who is playing?"

"Um... they're called...  ABC?"  the younger bouncer said.
DDF and I LOOKED at each other.
The older bouncer said "Is it just the two of you?   We could squeeze you in... you just have to pay the $30 entry fee"
"Honey, get your money out and pay the nice man" DDF said.

So we ate, we drank, we listened to 80s music for 3 hours, and we saw an ABC concert.  It was fun.  Then we danced until midnight, when DDF's feet started to hurt her, so we droe down the I-5 thirty minutes back home to the cocoon of South Orange County.   We found that we were two of the Most attractive, youngest, least morbidly obese, least ancient looking, straightest couples there.  It was a good concert, and Martin Fry is a great entertainer, and he looks alot better today than he did on "Bands Reunited" on VH1 10 years ago.  After the band left (to "go back to London Town tomorrow!" as Martin said), I asked one of the security guards next to the stage if it was ok to pick up the discarded drum sticks and play list...  and he handed them to me. (Promark 730s, wooden tips...  nice) Way better than an online link.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Seven More Years of This?

Seven more years of inconsistent, inaccurate, unreliable Jay Cutler, is enough to make me want to be a San Diego Chargers fan.   Sucks that LA cannot sustain a NFL franchise (2 Baseball, 2 NHL, 2 NBA teams...   but zero NFL?!?!?) ... they drove out the Raiders and the Rams over the last 3 decades....  so very sad.

Granted, today's Bears vs Packer's game Started beautifully, but after 1/2 time it degenerated rapidly into an embarrassing turn-over fest, run-up-the-middle with no time-outs fest, tremendously poor officiating phantom calling fest (on both sides).  The only bright spot is that I didn't waste $330 on NFL Sunday ticket this year and instead watched da Bears lose on network TV.

Packets got Favre and then Aaron Rodgers.  Bears have gone through a string of more than a dozen lack luster, intermittent, hit-and-miss QBs who demonstrated they cannot deliver over the last 30 years.  Going into today's game Aaron Rodgers was 9 and 1 against the Bears.  10 and 1 today, without breaking a sweat in the 2nd 1/2.  Ugh.

Rivers from the Chargers is apparently not that much better... good thing that the weather is so pleasant in Southern California that I can always go out and do something else in the Fall and Winter than having to stay home and be miserable watching "my team" lose at football.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tonight's Inspiration brought to you by....

This (along with the Irish Whiskey) was tonight's inspiration:

well, the lovely sunset, AND the fact that my annoying neighbor's home is "In Escrow" which just delights Dr Desert Flower and I endlessly.  By "annoying" I mean:
- leers at DDF at the neighborhood Christmas party, at length, enough to make the seasoned and thick skinned DDF uncomfortable enough to say "let's go, now, please"
- looks through the holes in the fence into our back yard
- complains when I cut his trees that are over-hanging my pool and dropping leaves into my pool, stating (falsely and stupidly) "oh, I didn't know they were going in your pool" [BS, for 10 years the previous owners argued with you about it]
- has two incessantly annoying barking chihuahuas that really should be food for hawks
- comes over to complain after 4th of July when we had friends visiting who brought kids and who we ALL swam in the pool and had fun "it was really loud yesterday" to which the dad of the kids and I replied to chihuahua walking retired New Yorker "yes, kids are loud, deal with it"

So the fact that annoying jerk's home is in Escrow, gives us hope that someone nicer will move in soon.  Il faut voir.  Maybe they will have pit bulls that poop everywhere and after which they don't clean up... =\

Il faut voir.

My friends Joe M, Anne M, Ryan and Garvey will appreciate the gravitas of this seismic shift in the universe's alignment.

Admiral Ackbar: It's a Trap!

Never owned a bicycle
I was on Amazon last week, freshly equipped with gift certificates I got form work for having "patent of the month" (ohh weeee!) and I saw this "lighted humming bird feeder" for $20 ...  and I thought...  "that's kind of cool".  But I should have listened to Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars:  "It's a trap!"

The feeder DOES light up, yes indeedydo.  And it IS solar powered, conveniently.  But the photo cell
is So Sensitive, that it will NOT turn on until it is pitch dark, and all the hummingbirds have gone to sleep.  I've tried "accelerating" the light activation by placing over the sensor an opaque paper with a rock on top to hold it down in a light breeze, but that only works "sometimes" (I need darker paper, or more sheets of paper...   which...  as a printer's son, I should have an ample supply).

So it lights up...  cost much more than a normal feeder...   looks kinda cool..   but No Hummingbirds drink form it at night.   They are all resting, roosting, storing up energy after their keg parties and wine drinking bashes, kids-to-bed, snoozing once it is dark.   So the lights are for humans, not for humming birds, sadly.
it Does change colors, every few seconds...

Three Amigos Drinking Party

Had I not seen it with my own two eyes, and ZOOMED in at 75X to capture this image, I would NOT have believed it was true:

What appear to be 3 adolescent Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna), likely all young males, Most Likely all nest-mates (brothers), drinking together, from the exact same nectar feeder at sunset in my back yard.  Fueled by Tullamore Dew and a beautiful sunset, I took out my screen in the Master bed room, enabling a panoramic view of the back yard, and low & behold...   3 males...  none with even a goatee of chin color yet.  I saw two..   then three..  and could not believe my eyes.

Hummingbird males, who instinctively try and drive off - even kill - competitor males from feeders had reached a silent detente, drinking at sunset, quaffing down the last carbs of the night to fuel their 200 bpm heart rhythms while they waited for the giant orbiting sphere to appear in the East tomorrow morning.

It's either three adolescent males sharing a keg, or three sisters sharing a double magnum bottle of sweet sweet nectar before putting the kids to bed.  Either way, I am delighted to see that one of the 7 feeders in my yard have attracted communal, cooperative hummingbirds.

[not to be sexist, but they have the "starting indications of goatees", with little speckles.  Female Anna's have nearly white / gray throats with no color...  so I think this is a keg party.]

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Kerri Cannon

Three kids, three gold medals (world championships), three names.  Kerri Walsh Jennings.
The Kerri Cannon.  Awesome.

"And learn a little humility" ...  um, yeah.  More than a little.  I just enjoyed watching Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross win the Asics Beach Volley Ball championship in Long Beach California.  Thanks NBC.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unpleasant enough without having to....

Using a port-a-potty is unpleasant enough without having to also "Watch For Rattlesnakes".

I assume that sign is there because someone was scared by, or bitten by a rattlesnake somewhere in California and we are such a litigious state that "if you didn't put a warning sign...." you'd get sued.

This port-a-potty was at Whiting Ranch, next to the parking lot, which was right across the street from a sprawling commercial mall.   Strange...   but I did not see a similar sign when I used the rest room across the street at the Red Robin....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Is Arjen Robben, Pete Postlethwaite's Son?

Watching the 3rd place FIFA soccer match this afternoon, the question in my mind is this:  Is Arjen Robben secretly Pete Postlethwaite's son?  Nephew maybe?

The resemblance is very strong (in my Euro-centric mind, anyways).

I know they are from different countries...  but they are "about" the right age to be father and son.

I welcome all of my visitor's comments.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

German Efficiency, Accuracy & Precision

Several examples of German efficiency, Accuracy & Precision:


Surgical Instruments:


Sporting Events: (not to be confused with Blitzkrieg, but devastating to Brazil, nontheless)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Honey Badger Genius

This amused me tremendously.

Exit Stage Left Even, Eric

When I was in grade school and high school, I was a cantor and reader at Catholic Mass.  I lead songs, I read scripture, I did the whole church thing at my parochial school.

I also liked to watch cartoons when I was very little, and Snagglepus was one of my hilarious favorites. "Exit, Stage Left" (though he'd frequently exited "stage right").  

So the first time I heard the voice of the very parochial, very entrenched establishment "Majority Leader" of the Republican party, Eric Cantor of Virginia, I did not think of a Catholic mass cantor, nor a Jewish temple Cantor.  And now, tonight, that Eric Cantor has LOST his primary against a "Dave Brat" (professor of economics at American University, I read), I immediately thought of Snagglepus exiting, to the LEFT of his right wing nationalist xenophobic opponent.  Wow.

Exit, stage left even, Eric.

Anti-immigration double down.  Pay off the national debt (even though it's been dramatically paid down in the last 2 years) double down.  Rage against Obama double down.  Koch brother's out-of-state millions influx double down.  Supply side anti-Keynesian economics double down.

Good luck Mike Dickinson.  Hopefully Brat's nationalist, xenophobic perspective will help to galvanize reasonable Virginia 7th district voters.