Saturday Morning

Just sitting at home having a quiet Saturday morning. Watching The X-Files (the space shuttle episode from season one is pretty terrible, isn’t it?) and trying to get the cats to come hang out with me.


We won’t be going to the Hockey East Finals game tonight. UMass Lowell lost in overtime. Double overtime, I think. My brother’s old school, Merrimack College beat us. I think I’ll be rooting for Merrimack tonight. If my team can’t win it, his team should. The word on the street is that Hockey East is probably only going to get one team into the national tournament this year. I don’t remember what the reasoning behind that was, but I think I read an article on USCHO that mentioned it.

Mulder was just taking photos of an army secret thingie and he got jumped by a soldier. The camera markings were blacked out so I can’t tell what model it was. The lens looked a little similar to my father’s cheap zoom lens. It was different, but similar. Not quite as ground breaking as seeing Dad’s camera on an episode of Stranger Things, but fun nonetheless.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Happy everyone in and around Boston, Massachusetts pretends they are Irish day! Even those of us who actually are of Irish descent. It dawned on me yesterday that with all the weight loss over the last year, and all of the needing to buy new clothes, I don’t actually own any green clothing. After I had that realization it also occurred to me that I didn’t own any green clothing last year either.

We are not doing anything special to celebrate my national heritage this year. I floated the idea last week, but after having Harry home for spring break it seemed underwhelming and I didn’t pursue it. I’d like to drive to New York instead, but I haven’t floated that idea at all so it ain’t happening. Unless Jen reads this and jumps at the idea. Heh heh heh.

No stomach issues today. Yesterday I was dealing with stomach aches off and on all day. The day before I had a minor stomach issue at lunch and then a huge issue at dinner. Today, nothing yet. I had a protein bar and a little bit of chicken for breakfast. No problems. I am hopeful that I can keep this trend running for the day.

I’ve been trying to get into Mastodon (@RobJ_1971). I wrote there this morning that if I had my way my agenda for today would include playing guitar and watching The X-Files and nothing else. Obviously that ain’t happening either (thanks, adulthood). Tomorrow though… Sunday though… who knows. I might finally stop thinking about it and start trying to sell my Stratocaster and using the proceeds to make repairs on my ES-335 (frets and wiring harness) and Les Paul Custom (frets, wiring harness, and pickups). Maybe. Frankly, the idea terrifies me. Mostly because I don’t know what a 2000 American Series Stratocaster’s fair price should be. The used guitar market is constantly in flux and I don’t want to let it go too cheap. I also don’t want to try to gouge people either. I’m thinking $1,200, but is that fair? I don’t really know.

Okay. Get to work, Robert. Happy St Patrick’s Day, everyone. Happy Friday. Don’t drink and drive tonight. Be careful out there. Wash your hands and be safe.

Standard Definition

I said in the last post that I was watching an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately it was season one episode nine (which is actually the eighth episode, but the pilot counts as two episodes so… yeah) which is also probably the worst episode of the series. One of them at least. It’s the one where the bad guy possesses the doctor and you can tell when he’s the bad guy because he… talks… slow. Ugh.

Alexander Siddig having a bad day at the office* is not what I am here to talk about though. I am actually here to talk about screen resolution.

Deep Space Nine premiered in the 90’s. In those days there was no such thing as high definition television, never mind 4k or 8k or (n+1)k or whatever. I taped all of the episodes of the show onto VHS off of our cable feed (except for one season when I taped it off of the air, which was really funny) and seeing them on DVD at a later point was like the god of television rubbing my tummy. It looked so good.

Now, in the 2023 world, streaming the show on Paramount+ in standard definition is actually hard to watch. It all looks blurry. Maybe blurry is the wrong word. How about soft. The focus looks really soft. It’s not quite, but almost hard to watch. I am so spoiled by high definition and higher resolutions that standard definition can be hard to deal with. I switched over to season one episode two of The X-Files, which is also in standard def, and it looks a ton better than DS9. X-Files had Fox money behind it where Star Trek shows were syndicated. Is that the difference now? All I know for sure is that Deep Throat just showed up in this episode for the first time. Smoking Man is in episode one, Deep Throat is in episode two. Bring it on, kids.

*I’m sure Alexander Siddig is a decent guy, but I have never really been able to get along with his acting skills in Deep Space Nine. I was really pleased when he showed up in Game of Thrones and he wasn’t bad. He was the only thing in the entire Dorne story line (apart from Pedro Pascal, of course) that wasn’t terrible. His performance as the leader of Dorne was pretty good, while literally everything else in that entire story line was unwatchably terrible. Good on you, sir!

Vocals are Done

Last night before bed I added quick and dirty lyrics to two of the four outstanding songs. This morning, after exercising, I went out for some car music. I recorded the vocals for those two songs and then improvised a vocal part for a third song.

That’s it. I’m done with the vocals. I mentioned a few days ago that I was thinking of dropping songs before they are finished. That’s what I am doing with that last song. Song #3, if you must know. It’s just too crappy to continue. That’s going to leave me with 14 songs which, years ago, would have given me a complete FAWM. I don’t do FAWM anymore, but it’s still as good a goal as any, right?

The exercise this morning has a funny story to go along with it. Last month, thanks to walking for hours around Disney World, I doubled my 30 minute exercise goal nine times. This month, my Apple Watch activity app challenged me to do the same in February. On Friday I doubled it for the seventh time. That gave me four days to do it two more times. I had every intention of making yesterday the eighth but I failed miserably. This morning I decided to get it done right away and not leave anything up to chance. I ran for a full 60 minutes. I set a bunch of personal work out records on the various Watch apps. I need to do it one more time over the next two days. I mean… I feel pretty lame getting worked up about stuff this stupid but… there you have it.

Episode seven of The Last of Us airs tonight. Three more to go. The serious is stellar. Absolutely fantastic. The Mandalorian season three kicks off on Wednesday. I started watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 from the beginning the other day. As I am typing this I am eating breakfast and watching the first episode of The X-Files. I guess you could call it binge watching season now.

Back to music, but this time guitar gear, I have spent the last couple of years trying to find a suitable replacement for an overdrive pedal that I removed from my board because the designer/owner of the company that makes it is a racist piece of trash and I can’t in good conscience use his products anymore. I have two pedals that are damn close and I think I found another one that I want to try out. It’s a very small pedal builder somewhere in Canada called KO Amps. How much is 140 Canadian dollars in US dollars?

Okay. Let’s finish breakfast, let’s finish this episode of The X-Files, and then get some serious work down on the ol’ RPM Challenge. Three songs complete, between seven and 11 left to go.


Random Thoughts

How do you tell if your two cats are playing with each other, or actively tying to kill each other? One second they appear to be trying their hardest to tear each other’s throats out with their teeth, and the next second they are curled up together, grooming each other. I don’t get it. All I know for sure is that the kitten likes to stir up shit any chance she gets, and every now and then the bigger cat will turn the tables and ambush the kitten in ways that nearly make her shit herself. It’s scary and entertaining at the same time.

Harry’s coming home tonight. Just for one night. He’s having computer troubles and Jen is going to troubleshoot with him. That’s all. It’s going to be great to have him here though, even if it is a super short visit.

The weather sucks. It’s going to be super cold tomorrow, and we have another snow storm on the horizon. Hopefully I’ll be through with the car music by then. Hopefully the weather will start to improve once February ends, but we all know that Spring doesn’t come to New England anymore until mid-May at best. I want Summer. I want to move to San Diego where it’s summer all the time.

The Red Sox are playing their first Spring Training game right now. The annual beat-the-hell-out-of-a-college-team kick off to the grapefruit league season. They have a 5-3 lead over Northeastern University in the middle of the sixth inning. I am looking forward to the Red Sox season, even though it is clear we have another last place finish in our future. The fun part about Spring Training is the clean slate. Sure, our roster is a nightmare, but until you start losing games that matter, the possibilities are still very much endless. Speaking of San Diego, now that Xander Bogarts is a Padre, maybe it’s time to become a fan for real. I mean it is one of only three non-Boston stadiums I’ve ever been to. There’s personal history there. Maybe.

So television. I am currently trying to keep up with the following shows: The Last of Us, Star Wars The Bad Batch, Star Trek Picard, Poker Face, The Flash, Extraordinary, and You (season three, I am a full season behind). I may also get back into Star Trek Discovery but I’m a full season behind there too. The Mandalorian is coming back next week so we’ll add that to the mix as well. Yellowjackets season two is on the horizon too. On top of those shows, I have a weird compulsion to start binge re-watching The X-Files and Star Trek Deep Space Nine as well. Why am I torturing myself like this?

I haven’t shot any film since Disney World. I blame the weather. I still have a bunch of rolls saved up. I had way more than I needed for Disney so there’s still a nice supply available. I want to get some more black and white film to play with too, and once the weather starts clearing I am going to go WAY off the deep end, with both film and digital. I just need to find a way to convince people to go with me. Like a photography club or something, but just with people I actually know rather than random folks in some online club.

I want to go wander around Boston. I want to go wander around New York. I want to go wander around the mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont. I want to go wandering around the coast of Maine. I want to go wander around the coast of Massachusetts. I want to go back to Washington. I want to go back to San Diego and Los Angeles. I want to go to San Francisco for the first time. I want to go to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for the first time too. I just want to go places. Covid screwed us out of three years of exploring. I want to make up for lost time.

Okay. Back to work, Robert. Only 2.5 hours to go until the weekend when you’ll see Harry and do a mountain of work on music and spend quality time with the love of your life. Get on with it!

Good Morning

Good morning everyone. How was your weekend. Did you do anything fun?

I didn’t do any of my exercising yesterday until after 10:00pm. I then did this morning’s exercising at a little after 8:00am. I suspect that is going to result in some issues throughout the day today. I also failed to do any weight training over the weekend. Let’s say that today is the day it starts for real.

Jen and I finished Stranger Things last night. The last episode is about 2.5 hours long. For a TV show, that is looooong. We’re up to date now though. Harry still has to run that particular episode marathon, but once that’s done we’ll all be up to date. The show is now clear to start working on season five (I think they’ve already started without my approval).

I have decided that, after season five is over, I want to see a spin off series that is just Nancy and Robin in the X-Files. I think I smell a hit. Steve can show up and be their muscle from time to time, and the rest of the cast can make cameos (except Mike, he’s kind of a douche). Oh! Now that I think of it, Will and Dustin and Lucas can be the guys from The Lone Gunmen! This show is going to rule!

I tried out the new toaster oven/air fryer last night by trying to air fry some potatoes. The results were less than stellar, but I don’t know if it was my fault or the oven’s fault. I think it was a combination of the two. The potatoes were one part bland (my fault) and one part… squishy? I guess? That’s probably the oven’s fault. I want another crack at it tonight (with maybe some broccoli too?) but we ran out of olive oil so we need to hit the store for a resupply. Challenge accepted.

I brought up the idea of maybe Jen and me taking a day off on a day when Harry doesn’t have to work so that we can all have an extra shot at doing something fun together before he goes back to school. There isn’t a whole lot of time left with him this summer and I feel like we need to do something to take advantage of what time we have. We also need to get up to Vermont to visit Bellana and steal some additional time with her as well.

Okay, Robert. Back to work with you.