March 2011


One of the things I have always wondered is if Captain Marvel and/or Isis ever rolled their eyes. I mean, here they have to withstanding changing their clothes courtesy of an explosion of some sort, only to rescue some teenager from falling down a well or driving over a cliff. There’s was even that dumb guy that tried to eat the honey off of a tree. I mean, did Isis secretly want to smack the idiot that purposely disconnected the brakes on the school bus as a practical joke? And why was Rick Mason driving the school bus from the passenger seat anyway?

But I digress.

The reason I wonder these things is because the news media is going into chicken little mode again with the Dreaded Snow Storm. The weather services, depending on which one you ask, are predicting that we will get either 16 inches or a tenth of an inch of snow sometime between yesterday and tomorrow. The high temperatures could be anywhere below or above freezing. Fembot #3 on the news (no relation to the fake Callahan) speculated that schools might be closed tomorrow due to the weather and that this posed a problem because there are no snow days left. Would anyone believe the announcements that schools are closed on April Fools’ Day? I know I wouldn’t. I fell for that “we’ve converted to metric time” on KG104 back in 1992 and I’m wiser nearly 20 years later. KG104 had commercials advertising VCR reprogramming and everything. Metric time. It was the future, yesterday.

Because of this false sense of hype on the news, the conversation about the office is that about the Dreaded Snow Storm with speculation as to how an ATV will fair on the roads when they’re dry on the way into work but impassable to other than ATVs for the evening commute, because after all, we are getting either a tenth of an inch or 16 inches of snow. After talking out loud yesterday and saying things that I should have said in my inner voice, I have wisely decided to just keep my mouth shut altogether and not even roll my eyes.

If Isis can keep her mouth shut when the kid wandered onto the munitions dump (or was it a dam that was being checked for water pressure?), I can certainly keep my mouth shut about a little bit of snow.

Bullet Points.

My head is a little scattered today so I am going to write a few bullet points of the bloggy things I have been thinking about and get them out of my head so that I can feel less cluttered.

1. I saw a video on Twitter from the set of the new Wonder Woman series pilot that David E. Kelley is producing. After a rather loud backlash on the internet after the new Wonder Woman’s costume was revealed, they have changed the new costume to have the traditional red boots (instead of the planned blue) and, from what I saw on the video, they replaced the latex material with something more like the original costume material worn by Lynda Carter. The fact that they made these changes has prompted me ti actually watch the show should it ever make it to television, because they listened to the fans. ‘Tis a pity the reboot of The Bionic Woman a few years ago didn’t listen to the fans as well, it might have developed into something.

2. I have been buying way too much gadgetry lately as I am overcome by tax return giddiness. I don’t know how Earl puts up with it. I do have a couple of things to sell, including an unopened Apple bluetooth keyboard (like the ones that come with the new iMacs). If you’re interested, let me know.

3. Speaking of Apple, I have tried to love MobileMe but I just can’t. It sucks. Synchronizing is wonky at best and mail support is bested by Google’s Gmail so I really doubt I’m going to renew it when it comes time. Thank goodness jp@jpnearl-dot-com will always work somewhere.

4. While The Weather Channel is predicting “6 to 14 inches of snow” by Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service is calling for “accumulations near a tenth of an inch”. I don’t know which to believe, though I’m inclined to not believe the one looking for ratings, but whichever the case I am ready to lose my shit completely at the thought of more snow. I’m praying for rain. I’ll squirt CFCs in the air if it’ll make it that much warmer. Calm down, I’m kidding, I’ll just have a cow fart or something.

5. I’m ready for someone to tell me that we won the lottery. We already have the charity picked out and Earl and I have pledged 10% of our winnings to it.

6. I am overdue for my annual physical and I’m starting to feel responsible to do something about it. My general practitioner moved from one hospital network to the competitor; it’s my responsibility to coordinate the transfer of my records since I guess they belong to the hospital, not the doctor and definitely, gasp, not me. How’s that easy health care plan working out?

7. I have made a marked attempt at keeping to the speed limit this week and I have an extra quarter tank of gas to prove for it. Keeping it near 65 is where the Jeep is most happy. I slow down for the villages, though.

8. And last, but not least, it’s been a while since I’ve worn just a mustache. I get nods from firemen and policemen in the area but it takes more time to get ready for work.


Okay, I have to admit that this is kind of bothering me. Last night (or afternoon, depending on where you were), President Obama made a speech to the American people regarding Libya. Now, I will admit right here that I chose to be a bad American because I didn’t watch the speech. Personally, I would prefer to read the transcript, which I will do after I finish this blog entry, because I get distracted by his glancing at the teleprompter and his habit of scanning back and forth kind of like a robot. Now, I don’t think that he’s a bad speaker nor do I think he shouldn’t use a teleprompter, I just find it distracting and that’s my thing.

Obviously, when the President deems something important enough to address the nation, we should pay attention and see what he has to say, no matter what we think of politics. That’s part of being a good American. What struck me very odd about this speech was that it was televised at 1930 (7:30 p.m.) EDT. That means it was at 4:30 p.m. on the west coast and even earlier in Alaska and Hawaii.

That’s weird to me. Speeches of this nature usually take place at 9:00 p.m. eastern. So I decided to take a look around to see why the odd time slot and lo and behold, ABC was going to pass on the speech if it was broadcast at the usual later time. This was because it would have pre-emptied “Dancing With The Stars”.

Oh. My. (insert favorite deity here).

Has the American people really become so ridiculous in their mindset that it is more important to see Charo do the cha-cha for a score of 19 or so instead of hearing about the game plan of we are doing to address a very volatile situation in the Middle East? My god, I am ashamed of my fellow citizens if the ad revenue and ratings of “Dancing With The Stars” trumps the importance of sending our troops to this dangerous situation.

Yes, I made the choice to read the speech instead of watching it, but I can tell you that if it had been broadcast at 4:30 p.m. Eastern I wouldn’t have been to watch it even if I wanted to because I would have still been at work.

The FCC requires that those who hold a broadcast license must do so in the best interest of the public. That’s why you hear a smattering of public service announcements at 3:00 a.m. when you’re trying to build a hangover, no one wants to hear about starving people during their lunch hour. This is how broadcasters skirt around the public service requirement. We used to call it “lunar rotation”.

Shame on ABC for their lack of priorities, corporate greed and general asshattery. Shame on the White House for bowing to that sort of thing and playing ‘second fiddle’. And shame on the American people for their superficiality by even allowing ABC to make this a priority.

Here is the transcript of last night’s speech. If you missed the televised version last night, this is your chance to read it.

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Renovations are in progress at The Manor. Just typing this sentence strikes a little bit of fear into my heart, because I don’t like feeling that the house is in a topsy-turvy state. I can easily handle chaos, but disruption makes me crazy, if that makes any sort of sense at all.

The kitchen floor is officially missing. A couple of years ago the ceramic tiles started buckling and cracking. We’ve officially decided to do something about this and the new floor has been decided upon and will be finalized tonight. In the meantime, we had a crew come in and remove all the tiles. Walking through the kitchen is now a little like an episode of “Bonanza”. The people look familiar but there’s a little bit of dust being kicked about. We clear the kitchen table with a leaf blower now.

To install the floor properly will involve the removal of all appliances. The cabinets can stay in place, we are just going to leave the tiles under them. Out of site, out of mind. It’s a shame that the original tiles weren’t put down properly because the original floor was quite nice.

Other sprucing up of the kitchen includes new countertops and a new refrigerator. Both will be much appreciated.

I think I might have Earl talked into a new washer and dryer, since the stack unit now rumbles so loudly that is sounds like a Harrier is hovering over the house when everything is spinning. Tom still braves the sound to use his adjacent litter box, but his ears are folded back and he had a look of displeasure on his face when he’s doing his business.

I think we have picked out a gazebo type thing for the back patio so we can enjoy the outdoors in shaded comfort this summer. Plans currently include more time at home and less time on the road this summer, so we should be comfortable whilst doing so. I think we might spruce up the flower beds and landscaping too. It’ll be fun to have something to do for relaxation that doesn’t involve a tweet or a beep. I think I might give out canned fruits and vegetables for the holidays at the end of the year. Act giddy when we give you something practical.

Saturday Dance Party.

I never knew there was a video for this track. It’s a very simple video, but nonetheless I still am happy to see that they went to the effort to make one. This is one of my very favorite tracks from the 90s. It was an import for the UK and was only heard on Abercrombie & Fitch in store radio here in the states, but nonetheless I LOVE IT.

Syncopated piano for the win. Those with a really good ear for this sort of thing will notice that the background singers are Miriam Stockley and Mae McKenna, who sang backups on many tracks by Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Sonia and even Donna Summer on her “Another Place and Time” album.

Here’s “Don’t Make Me Wait” by Loveland featuring Rachel McFarlane.


Well here it is Friday and I am feeling particularly creative today. I don’t know if it’s because I have “lost myself” in my work for mist of the morning, if it’s because there sunshine filling the Jeep as I type or if I’m just looking at things in a better light, but lately I have been feeling particularly expressive and confident about it.

I am embracing my iPhone and working on a couple of informal photo projects. One of them involves the aforementioned iPhone and snapping a photo at the exact same spot in my morning commute everyday. I know, I’m driving and snapping photos at the same time, but I have a little ritual that involves a timer shot and placing the camera in a way so that it doesn’t impede the safety of my driving. I have dreams of showing the changes in the seasons when all is said and done and I think the resulting collage will be mildly interesting, even if it’s just interesting to me.

I also have another little project I would like to embark on and this one involves a little more input and time. I have always been fascinated with the way any given man shaves. Some might think it odd that such a mundane task could hold any interest to me but it does. I don’t know if it’s a hold over from when I was a kid and I used to watch my dad shave, but I find it interesting in the way some men spend great time and effort in achieving perfection through the task while others fly through it in an attempt to get it done as quickly as possible. Granted, I am most attracted to men with mustaches and beards, but capturing a man shaving in a photo is like taking a snapshot of them at their most basic level. It isn’t particularly sexual; I’m not looking to shoot shave porn or anything, but it can be rather sexy. I’m seeing the photos as having to be black and white and without a flash, since the mirror would go wild with that (I need to learn the best way to photograph in black and white). Each guy has their own way of shaving and to me that’s rather fascinating since we all use basically the same tools. Nevertheless, it’s something I would like to capture in photographs. I’ve seen some amazing “slice of life” photos over the past couple of years and I’d like to capture that “slice of life”. (Ha ha, a pun! Shave. Slice. Get it?)

There has also been talk about a small garden this year. Someday the snow will stop and there will be grass and decent weather and I would like to try growing a few vegetables. Earl is on board with something small and our friend Scott has shown an interest as well so I think we might try a few tomato plants, a stalk of corn, a pepper or two and maybe a sunflower. I didn’t spend nearly enough time outdoors last year and this year I refuse to fall victim to the same pattern. Besides, the best way to get to fried green tomatoes is to grow your own, so we might just have to do that. I hear gardening is good for the blood pressure too.

Red Sky.


I should snap photos whilst driving.

The sunrise was absolutely beautiful this morning. The sky was filled with a wide variety of red hues. But as they say, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.”

The sun gave way to clouds and by the time I got home tonight we had a couple of inches of snow on the ground.


Someone please tell Mother Nature that it has been declared spring and she should start behaving accordingly. Just don’t give her Chiffon.



Look at Kmart doing the Apple thing and e-mailing me my receipt. This is because I used my “Shop Your Way” rewards card and apparently an e-mailed receipt comes along with the other benefits.

I’m holding out hope for Kmart and Sears, we need more choices outside of just Wal*mart and Target.

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For the ultra geekish, though Sears and Kmart (both owned by Sears Holding Company, which was formed when Kmart bought Sears) both have the same registers at their checkouts, they are not running the same software. Sears is running custom software that was written back in the late 1980s when a company called Compu-Add got their big break by providing all the computer equipment for the chain. Kmart is running the generic IBM retail application (I think it’s still called Retail Application). I know, I’m a dork.


The weather folks predicted rain today. There would be lots of rain with highs in the upper 30s/low 40s. Murky but manageable for a Monday.

It is 11:30 and 2 1/2 inches of snow has fallen since I arrived at work at 07:45. Yay for meteorological accuracy.

I have decided that I must be stupid. Living in this part of the world gives us snow when many Americans are talking about the wonders of spring, gives us the opportunity to pay some of the highest taxes in the country, let’s us listen to politicians croak on and on about how great they are in an accent that doesn’t apply to anyone north of Westchester and gives us the dignity of living in an area known as the Rust Belt.


I dream of desert sand, warm winds and dry air. I’d be downright giddy over a mobile home that has an adjacent storm cellar. I don’t care if I live in a shack the size of an outhouse. If I’m warm, have some sort of job (even though I have to ask “if I want fries with that”) and have my loved ones still loving me, I’m good.

I don’t need Park Avenue. I’ll settle for the Haney place.

Happy first full day of spring!

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St. Patrick’s Day.

I am wearing the obligatory green today. The green clothing with the red beard is making me look like a leprechaun. I guess that’s what I should be striving for today.

Folks ask if I will be drinking green beer tonight. I don’t know why we think green beer is a good thing. For starters, there’s no way you’re going to be able to make any sort of proper Irish beer green. (I think it would only make a good bottle of Guinness more ‘murky’ looking, like algae in an old fish tank or something). Secondly, any beer that is so lite that it can be dyed green isn’t worth my time and lastly, I don’t drink.

I know, that betrays the Irish in my heritage.

I hear there was corned beef and cabbage in the office yesterday, but since that was my day off I didn’t get a chance to try it. Someone else brought some pulled pork BBQ which isn’t very Irish but was quite tasty. I like it when my co-workers show off their cooking skills. Everyone benefits.

In this neck of the woods, the day is evenly divided: sunrise was at 0710 and sunset is at 1910 EDT. This means that spring is close by. It’s currently 56 degrees fahrenheit as I write this. To celebrate, I won’t be drinking green beer but I will be walking the parking lot at work during my afternoon break. It’ll be an encore to the same walk I took during my morning break.