Urban Road Trip

Harry hasn’t done many fun things this summer. He’s been working his ass off at the restaurant and hasn’t had time for much else.

Today, in the interest of mental health, we are going into Boston to just hang out. We have to be back somewhat early so he can go to work and I can visit Mom and Jen and I can watch an episode of Stranger Things. We are going to go to the North End, hit Harry’s favorite donut shop, and then wander around.

Of course a side effect of this mental health break is I will be taking both film cameras. The Nikon only has 8-9 shots left on its roll, but the Pentax has a full 36. When the Nikon runs out I’ll swap cameras. I just hope I’m not so obnoxious that I annoy Harry and Jen. Fingers crossed.

I seriously love Boston. My city.


The weight loss clinic is 21 minutes from my house, according to Google Maps.

21 minutes there, a few minutes to drop off the paperwork I need them to fill out and fax to the insurance company, and 21 minutes back. I should be able to do that in less than an hour with ease, right?

I did it in 59 minutes. Not bad, but there was a hiccup I didn’t consider. I would have seen it coming light years away if we were still in the office every day.

It’s Friday… in June… Beach/NH lakes traffic. It was starting to build up on route 495 North at the big interchanges (routes 3 and 93) on my way there. We’re talking about 1:15pm and already there was traffic.

Yup. That’s normal on Fridays in the summer. The traffic heading North is brutal all day long. Fortunately it wasn’t too bad for me this time.

Oh the things you forget about when you’re working from home every day instead of commuting to the office.

Thursday Morning Musings

It’s September 30th. How the hell did we get here so fast? Yesterday and today the outside temperature when we woke up was cold enough for jackets. It just sucks. Covid ate two summers in a row, but they both flew by so fast anyway that I feel like we would have missed them even without Covid. Crud.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but yesterday was the 11th anniversary of our buying this house. Our 11th Homeownerversary, if you will. I didn’t do anything to celebrate then, but I did today. I went downstairs to do laundry. While downstairs I looked for leaks and water on the floor. I didn’t find any. Oh happy day. I think there is probably some water under the floor tiles in a few spots still, but nothing visible. I need to run the dehumidifier for a few days to clean up the hidden stuff (in theory at least. Will it work? Who knows).

We are going to see the kids this weekend. Bellana asked if we could bring up some Fall clothes for her. I offered to wash everything first. Big mistake, Robert. There is so much laundry to do. So much. Mountains and piles and piles and mountains (I am exaggerating, yes, but there is a lot of it. A lot). I hope to have it all done tonight.

We missed the new What If last night. Jen was tied up at work and by the time that was wrapped up and dinner was done Harry was busy with homework. We’ll try the watch party thing again tonight. Last night we were going to mess up the tradition by not having burgers, but we can fix it tonight. Jen suggested veggie burgers. Consider it done.

And now, on to work. Happy Thursday, folks.

Welcome to August

Happy August 1st, everyone! August doesn’t have a national holiday so this year I am going to try and make it feel better by acting like every day is an extra big deal. No I’m not. I’m just so happy that July and its constant rain is over. Granted, August might get constant rain too, likely will thanks to climate change, but for this one, sweet, shining morning, August is dry and I am happy about it.

I wore a mask at my mother’s house yesterday. Not all the time, just when I knew she was near me. We are both vaccinated, but she ain’t catching jack shit from me. The MA department of public health is recommending vaccinated people wear masks when they are indoors with other people around because we can’t tell who the morons who aren’t vaccinated are and if they aren’t going to do anything to protect their own health, then we the vaccinated have to do it for them. Because they are stupid. Because they are morons.

Thanks to the never ending pandemic of the unvaccinated we are still using instacart for groceries and they screwed up big time today. We had to go back for a second round. All in all I am happy for the service, they are right a crazy high percentage of the time, but every once in a while… We asked for hamburger patties and got pumpernickel bread. Riiiiight.

What else is going on on this fine Sunday morning in August that hasn’t seen any rain yet? I broke the music mold a smidgen today. We slept kinda late. Not super late, I was up at about 8:15, but for me that’s pretty late. I wanted to do some car music but the aforementioned instacart delivery was on its way, and I had some things I wanted to do before I left so I didn’t get into the car until almost 10:00. I do my car music in a movie theater parking lot, and due to the idiotic decision to re-open the state despite the never ending pandemic mentioned in the previous paragraph, the movie theater was going to be open at 10:00. I rolled the dice. I park in the back parking lot so hopefully anyone going in early to catch the delta variant and a movie would probably park in the front. My risk paid off.

August 1st

I did park in a different area of the lot though. I recorded four songs. There were two technical problems but neither stopped me. First, I use Trello to track my progress. The songs I needed to work on are on a list called Complete Lyrics/Melody on a board called 2021 50/90. My normal workflow is to bring up the Trello app on my iPhone and use that to let me know which songs to work on. The last couple of times I’ve done this though, the iOS app wouldn’t refresh. It’s showing me the board from about two weeks ago. Nothing is up to date. I had to turn my iPhone hot spot on and bring it up on the Mac. That is annoying as all hell.

The second technical problem wasn’t a problem but I would have had I kept going. The temperature outside was in the mid-70’s but the sun was out and shining bright and damn if it didn’t get roasting hot in that car. I’d open the windows but then people would be able to hear me “singing” and ain’t no way that’s happening. About halfway through my little “session” the Mac’s fan kicked on and it never shut off. I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to go before it started to overheat but “fortunately” my voice ran out of gas after about an hour and I had to stop.

I did manage to finish four songs. That’s one more than I had planned. I had three songs with the guitars finished and I wanted to pick those off. I also had six songs with lyrics and melodies already written that don’t have guitars yet. A couple of those have MIDI guitar tracks acting as place holders. I did one of those.

So the plans for the rest of today include, but are not limited to, cutting some grass, recording some guitar parts, having a cookout for dinner (weather permitting, of course, though July is over so the weather will be glorious), and hanging out with my step son who only has a few weeks left before he moves to college.

Of course, as I type out that to do list I am sitting at my computer reading twitter, making fun of creationists, and thinking that it would be really nice to just sit and watch movies with Harry and Jen all day. That might be the better to do list.

Welcome to August, may it stay sunny and dry. Good luck, folks!

What Should We Talk About?

My lunch break is ending and I haven’t thought of anything to talk about.

It’s hot. There’s that. It’s not as hot as it is out Oregon way and the Pacific Northwest, but it’s hot. It’s 94 degrees here in Tewksbury, MA right now. We might get another degree or so, but it’s about as hot as it’s going to get today. The heat index, whatever that is, says it could feel about 10 degrees hotter than it is. The forecast for Portland, OR calls for afternoon temps around 113. It’s still June. Summer isn’t even 10 days old and already Portland is looking at 113 degrees. Nothing to see here. Please disburse. Nothing to see here.

I just took out the trash and the recycling. We have security alarms on the doors because my mother went wandering at the crack of dawn recently and snuck out silently enough that she didn’t wake anyone. So now the doors make noise when we open them. At night they make tremendous noise a la a rock band in a stadium volume level noise. I took four trips to bring everything out and didn’t want to keep setting off the quieter, daytime noise so I just left the door open… and now there’s a fly in here with me. Sonofabitch.

Hold it a second, I have to give mother her 2:00 pills. Be right back………

Okay, I am back. It’s 2:00 so I have to get back to work. I was trying to think of what to write about and didn’t come up with much. Here were the rejected topics, all of which might come up again later. Should I call Mike the Bass Player and ask if he’s going to be around this weekend so that I can pick up my amp and my little pedal board, both of which have been in his cellar waiting for a band practice since the first day of February 2020? Should I finally shut up about it and bring that guitar and that amp over to Guitar Center in Nashua and trade them in? On Saturday, maybe? Should I try again to make an eye doctor’s appointment for this weekend? We tried last weekend and their online appointment scheduler was down. Ugh.

Okay. Back to work, you. You have code to patch!

Lunch Time Again

Coming to the end of another lunch break. It has only been half a work day since my last post, but it feels like it’s been a long day. You know how that is?

It’s 89 degrees outside here in the Tewksbury. The air conditioner is on in the next room, and my little USB fan is running on low about 12 inches away from me. That little fan has been a big hit. I’m loving the stupid thing, and last night when I talked to my brother he said he’s loving it too. It’s just a cheap plastic thing so it will likely burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp* any minute now. Until then…

At some point tonight the Bruins may know who their second round opponent will be. If the Islanders beat the Penguins they will advance to the second round where they will meet the Bruins. If the Penguins win, then they go to a game seven. I’m kind of rooting for that game seven.

It’s not quite time to start really getting excited for this**, but we are starting to get information on Harry’s High School Graduation. We have a date and time, we have parking passes (or we will once he brings them home from school today), and we know how many people can attend. It’s going to be weird in that we will likely follow all of the Covid rules, while the school likely won’t. I mean, come on Rob, haven’t you heard? The pandemic is over. Right. Sure.

Okay, this is just a quick post. Time to get back to work.

(*) You didn’t expect that Monty Python reference. (pause while we wait for the Spanish Inquisition punchline)

(**) It’s too early for me and Jen to get excited, but it’s not too early for Harry. Senioritis is in full effect.

Calendar Hate

The one single month that I hate the most out of all of the months on the calendar is DecemberJanuaryFebruaryMarch.

September is a close second. Why? Because summer ends in September. First the temperature drops, then the leaves start to fall, and then summer ends. Screw you, September. I hate you. Hockey training camps and pre-season games make the pain a little more bearable, but not much. Not enough.

Ugh… I hate you September. You suck.

Happy September 1, world.

Random Monday Thoughts

Here are a couple of random thoughts for a pre-work Monday morning.

The drive from Methuen to Canton today took less than an hour. We are firmly in the summer traffic lull. Two weeks from now cities and towns will be starting up their school years and the 55 minute drive I made today will take 90+ minutes. I know how bad it gets, but seeing how good it can be (not that 55 minutes is really that good) just makes September through June that much worse.

I indirectly gave my step kids the weirdest compliment they are ever likely to get. I was in my room getting dressed and that cat jumped onto the bed where I was sitting and got all affectionate. I tend to baby talk to the cat when I am petting her. I was saying goofy things about how the kitty loved her mummy and her big sister and her big brother. Then I said that kitty’s sister and brother love her too because they have good taste in kitties.

I told the cat that the kids have good taste in kitties. What the hell is wrong with my brain? How did that sentence even form in my head? Good taste in kitties? Please!

I played a lot of guitar this weekend. On Friday I finished (except for vocals) one song and started another. On Saturday I finished two songs (except for vocals) and started another. On Sunday I started four songs. That’s nine songs worth of guitars recorded. I was not physically prepared for so much playing and today my finger tips are literally on fire. Oh the pain!