Fun with Time Zones

Here in Massachusetts in the good old (sliding uncontrollably toward becoming a fascist nuclear nightmare) USA, it is not Bellana’s birthday.

However, in Dublin, Ireland, where she is at this very moment, it is her birthday.

Happy birthday/day before your birthday, Bellana!!!

Birthday in Galway

My step daughter, Bellana, is in Ireland and I am super jealous. Jelly AF. Not really, but yeah, really.

Tomorrow is her 21st birthday and she has chosen to spend the day in the land of my forefathers. We had a FaceTime (actually, I think it was snapchat) call with her this morning while she was on a bus leaving the airport. We had to pause our conversation briefly while the bus’ safety announcement was read in a marvelous Irish accent. As soon as it completed I yelled out, “now in Gaelic!” They didn’t read it in Gaelic though. Oh well.

I am so excited for her birthday. I have been excited for all of her European excursions over the last few months, but Ireland… that’s just the best. I told her if she ends up in Cork she should look up my relatives. That’s where my father’s mother’s family comes from. My mother’s parents’ families are in Newfoundland, but before that they were in Mayo, so if she ends up there she can look for them as well.

She’s going to Galway today. She’s also an Elvis fan. Those are the only two things she has in common with the protagonist in this particular song, but it’s completely stuck in my head right now.


I stayed up really late last night. I didn’t want to, but I was so busy all day that I never had a chance to do some of the things I wanted to do (laundry) and I ended up doing it all after Jen fell asleep. I finally fell asleep around 1:00am and given that I can say without any hesitation that I am ridiculously tired right now.

While I was up last night Harry sent me a text saying that he listened to a Rush album and really liked it. It was Moving Pictures, of course. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Harry could be a Rush fan, oh glorious day!

He sent me a text a few minutes ago asking me which Rush records to listen to next.

My response was a 100,000,000 word essay.

As I said earlier, oh glorious day!

Here’s a summary of what I told him:

  • You’ve listened to Moving Pictures, now go to Permanent Waves. They both had a similar focus on trying to shorten their songs without sacrificing any musical craziness.
  • Most people who don’t think Moving Pictures is the best album think that 2112 is. It’s heavy and Geddy screams a lot, but it’s pretty much perfect.
  • For 80’s synth Rush go with Power Windows. I wish I could say Hold Your Fire, but the last two songs don’t really cut it.
  • For the 90’s they got heavy again. Go with Counterparts.
  • Clockwork Angels might be my favorite of all Rush albums.
  • Fly By Night is mostly a straight ahead rock record.
  • Hemispheres is amazing end to end, but it’s worth it just for La Villa Strangiato.

Trip to France

We got a FaceTime call from Bellana today. She and her roommate went to Paris over the weekend. It sounds like it was one of those out of this world experiences that you can only have when you’re 20 years old and taking a semester abroad. You know what I’m talking about. She said there will be a vlog post at some point. I can’t wait to see it.

This morning I was talking about how bringing the barrels out to the street marks the high point of my social calendar. Oh to be 20 and crazy again. Again? I was 20 once, but I don’t think I was crazy. I’m proof that youth is wasted on the young as well as at least 50 other old people cliches.


Today is Harry’s birthday. He’s 19. Happy birthday, Harry! We’re not going to see him until March. He’ll be coming home for spring break. Jen and I both took that whole week off. We won’t do anything amazing or anything, we’ll just be able to hang out with Harry. It’s going to be cool. I am really looking forward to it.

Happy birthday, Harry!

Today is also my nephew Brian’s birthday. I don’t know when we’re going to get to see him again. Covid, right? I am so sick of it, but at least I got to text with him a little today. He has a flip phone. I assume he’s home from school because of the weather but it was nice to hear from him.

Happy birthday, Brian!

We did a little pre-birthday birthday dinner for Harry before he left. Maybe we’ll do another one after he gets back because why not? It’s a birthday, right? Celebrate all you want!

Hook Amps

The YouTubes and I have been goofing around looking at reviews of grotesquely expensive boutique guitar amplifiers. There is a lot of dazzling stuff out there. One sticks out to me for purely family reasons.

I had never heard of Hook amplifiers before this evening. Now that I have, I want one. Drool and all that. The R20, on the demoes I’ve heard tonight, sounds ridiculous. Just plain sick.

Oh yeah, the family reason for wanting one? The company is Dutch! I can ask Bellana to bring one home for me. The combo is only about 2,300 Euros. Consider it done, yeah?

Sunday Morning Stuff

The plow guy did a great job. He only did our driveway, not the section of the yard that doubles as the kids driveway, but that’s okay. Those cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. He did a path from the driveway to the stairs on the side of the house which gains him the title of Hero++. That’s one rank higher than hero. He didn’t do the fire hydrant, but we didn’t ask him to. I went out and did it about an hour ago. Done and done.

I have some laundry to do today. I checked the dryer vent on the back of the house. It’s clear. We are all set to wash the sheets and stuff. Aren’t you happy to hear that little snippet of good news? I’m just a fountain of knowledge today.

The episode of The Mandalorian that introduces Ashoka Tano is so freakin’ good. The episode that reintroduces Boba Fett is almost as good. When he smashes the stormtrooper’s helmet with the gaffey stick? It’s like poetry, man.

Did I mention that the RPM Challenge starts the day after tomorrow? As if I haven’t been boring the crap out of everyone with music posts. Get ready for more, kids!

And that’s where we are at 12:09pm on a random Sunday.

But wait, there’s more! Just before I hit publish Bellana called. We had a FaceTime and it was lovely. Apparently our Dutch friends like to put mayonnaise on French Fries. I don’t know… I don’t know if I can get behind that trend. We’ll see.

Is the Plant Growing?

I think this might be a sign of old age, but I am completely fucking fascinated with the little plant clipping. It sat in a glass of water for a couple of weeks without growing at all, then in two days it sprouted killer roots. We potted it and put it in the window. I open the blinds every day (it only gets indirect sunlight) and I watered it a couple of times (not too much) and it’s definitely not dead yet.

But has it grown at all? I think so, but it might be wishful thinking. I’m going to start documenting it. Get ready for shit loads of pictures of Bellana’s little clipping.

I’m hoping it will be 10 feet tall by the time she gets home.