Friday, May 30, 2014

No really, do not do this

Made an appointment on Tuesday to have my car repaired today. Took the car in at 8AM, gave them an idea of what the problem was. At 11AM I got a phone call with the diagnosis and quote, and was told the repair would be done today.

At 2PM I got a phone call saying the car could not be fixed today. The part came late, the guy who called me was mistaken blah blah blah.

Picked up the car and got an apology, which is not going to fix my car. I'm pressed for time over the next few weeks, they knew this, so I made an appointment with another shop. Told them I had no choice but to take my business elsewhere.

Ran some errands before going home and had a message from the owner on the answering machine (yes, I still have one of those), who wants to talk to me about my dissatisfaction and he ended the call with, "Hope you're having a nice day."

Uh, no way. Not even close.

Not going to call back today. Maybe Monday morning. Maybe.

Fives here and there

Yesterday was my son's last day of fifth grade. Onto middle school and the further great unknown.

There was a ceremony on Wednesday and my son, along with every other kid in the school, got awards.

Next up is sixth grade, we're waiting for the lottery results. Should know where he's going sometime next month.

Today is also our fifth wedding anniversary.

We celebrated by going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and had great food and wine while dodging nature's detritus on the patio. She's a good one. 

More fives are on the way, but we can bring that up in a couple of weeks. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Male America loves guns more than people

The hits just keep coming don’t they? A few days ago an irresponsible journalist named Terrence McCoy published this sensationalist click bait disguised as a news story.  The following poem, that I wrote over two years ago is a bit foreshadowing.

Also that idiot stabbed three people in his apartment then drove around as he shot three more. The family lawyer brings up Aspbergers and too many people say “see?” Guy was nuts, hated women and had an extremely false sense of entitlement. Few are saying another man with a gun is a mass murderer. My condolences to all the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

Children in Cells

Mr. President, Chairman, Dignitaries.

Your children are one cell division away from being biologically imprisoned for life
They look like you, us,  but cannot speak for themselves;
So we as their parents, advocates and caregivers have to speak for them
While their country is abandoning them, and so many others, behind a layered war jester mask of compassion,
You ladies and gentlemen, claim the country is going bankrupt and we can no longer afford entitlements
Yet, so are these parents whose insurance is not good enough to care for their children
When a bean counter says a five year old child with an eating disorder will not be covered because food is not medically necessary but rubber stamps lap band surgery on a teenager, can’t you see there’s a problem?
Or are you all too occupied with taking profits in weapons and misery to see families fall apart?

This condition is said to effect one in one hundred
One in one hundred and fifty
Proportion does not matter when they will add up to millions.
These children will not be locked up in attics any longer
You will see them at tables in restaurants you frequent
You will sit next to them in coffee shops and artisan ice cream parlors
You will not be able to placate them with incompetent ventriloquist promises as empty as your soul
You have closed the institutions you once locked them in
You have eliminated funding for safe group homes for them to live
You will not be able to put them in jail unless you manufacture crimes of the innocent, and I am not putting it past you that you will try

It hurts to love, when what is damaged, is yours.
What you helped create, what you will not see to completion before you die - when the land he belongs to will not assist as his hand is stretched, hoping for some help
Receiving nothing but a platitude and talking point by another deceiver

At night before you sleep, you will hear all their babbling whispers
They will be telling you they’re growing up
Autistic toddlers turn into autistic teenagers turn into autistic adults
There will be multitudes of them waking you
At dawn, you will hear their cries for understanding and acceptance
Before you dream you will get on your eggshell knees, grateful you are not their parent
When you are awake, you will ignore them all
When you leave your tinted window enclave, you will be run over by a steamroller of the silent, 
Just because your victims cannot pick you out of a lineup, does not make you any less a criminal
Even then you will remain ignorant of all the mistakes you continue to make

Thursday, May 22, 2014

He is faster than anyone

Been in the back room for a bit tonight working on Arts Fest stuff, and dug out the George Harrison release from 1979. Had no idea there was a video for this song. Fascinating. I also have a picture disc single of the tune in the basement.

The sound from one of the speakers was messed up. Took off the grill and found a large hole in the woofer. The foam was dried up and it was all brittle. Went to a thrift store today and found a bookshelf speaker for six bucks that works. Yes I know, mismatched speakers. A temporary solution that works back here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Now if he'd get some sleep

My son has been sick with a cold all weekend and did not go to school today. When I picked him up from his mother's he looked tired, and was all red under his nose from where he has been rubbing it. He was not happy when I pulled into my driveway, would not go in the house. Eventually, since there was no reasoning with him, he was carried in. His schedule is out of whack, and I'm the uncool parent. He threw a decent tantrum.

His mother told me he was not eating but he did eat dinner but would not drink any milk. We did not force it. A couple of hours later he had some yogurt and he was in the kitchen when I heard him banging around. Then he came into the living room and looked at me as if he had something to say. Nothing new, this happens a lot. But I asked him what he wanted and he said, "Milk." Went into the kitchen and he already pulled out his cup from the drainer next to the sink. And he chugged it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

More seventies memories

This is from a live journal entry from ten years ago after a trip we made to Long Island. 

When we went to Long Island we stopped in Valley Stream for a couple of minutes to see the old apartment we lived in before moving to Islip in 1972. The building hadn't changed much. What can you do to brick? Air conditioning had been added, the awning changed, little else. 

We drove past the first school I attended, Alden Terrace Elementary. Perceptions and distance changes over time. I hadn't been there in years and it seemed so much smaller. The baseball fields I played little league on were tinier than I remembered. the walking distance from one side of the field to the school was so much shorter.

Missing were the garages. They had ben torn down. We used to sit on the roof and watch the games, or traffic. We weren't allowed up there. I saw my parents drive by, looking for us. I jumped off, slipped and landed head first on the ground. A few more stitches for me.

In the alley leading to the school was where the ice cream trucks would wage war. There was lovable old Gus, who used to let us ring the bells on the truck, against any young newcomer driving a Good Humor truck. The poor newbie didn't know what hit him when he stole Gus' spot on little league night. Gus blocked him in the alley so he couldn't get out to continue his route.

We lived in the landing pattern of Kennedy Airport then. They came in so low, you could read the writing on the sides of the planes clearly. Later, in high school, a couple of us were planespotters. Then though, the new thing was the 747. No plane had sounded like than when flying by. A few years later though, when the Concorde was controversial - to me, it had nothing on the noise the 747 produced. The Concorde did have a higher pitch, but the bass notes belonged to Boeing.

When we went to Coney Island, I thought of the power of radio and the hundreds of thousands sunning themselves, with their transistor radios tuned to WABC. Morrow, or Lundy, or Harrison would tell them to flip over to even their tans,and lines of people on the sad would do so. that was influence people.

In the apartment, listening to the radio was where the musical education started. The hits of the time of the early 70's. then the consultants came in and ruined it all. It must have been in '74 or '75 when it all seemed to change for me, in many other ways than musically. For three years I didn't listen to much of anything, other than Bob Murphy and losing Mets games. It was all disco out there, and Donald Grant tearing apart the Mets, for these ears until birthday number thirteen. 

I had birthday money and was going to buy either a bowling ball or a record album.

The Beatles '67-'70 won.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A monster's work is never done

After a hiccup in the filling of my prescription, a return and remaking I finally got my sunglasses from Lookmatic today.

Two weeks ago I got the glasses but knew something was screwed up immediately as I could not see a thing out of them. I immediately shipped them back and asked if I could send them a picture of my prescription so they could work off that. After some polite communication from their customer service department I was informed that my glasses were shipped out on Tuesday.

Today I received them and was a bit nervous because I did not want this to be screwed up again. I wanted these sunglasses!

And I could see! Could read the Lookmatic on the case, took out the trash and recycling without tripping on the steps. Drove to Dirty Franks West for dinner while wearing them, they work.

What I do not like is the case, it's too rectangular and does not slip into an inside jacket pocket easily. I have other cases to use though. So with a bit of hassle that was easily resolved it's an $85 purchase that was well worth it.

I did not wear them to the movies tonight though. We saw Godzilla, which is a fun summer blockbuster and not much more. The action and fight sequences were quite entertaining and well done. The director saved a mutant lizard trick for a very fine moment. The actors, for the most part, stood around and looked very worried about the destruction that was happening all around them. There's a lot of Jaws in this film, I mean, the lead character's last name is Brody. There are scores of other film references that are actually a nice surprise to see when they happen, it's not over the top but a slow reveal. It's a popcorn film with a heart that does not cheat or insult the audience. There should have been more monsters fighting and ripping ass though.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Look, and pay attention

The school nurse left a note in my son's backpack that she was worried about his BMI and suggested he see a doctor immediately. I do not understand how she did not know he has been under the care of a doctor, psychologist and nutritionist for well over a year. Where was she last year when his BMI was off the bottom of the charts instead of in the bottom percentiles?

I wish a prominent person at the Arts Festival had actually talked to me about having more storytellers at the festival instead of blurting out that he heard of a storytelling group in Columbus that was really good. Was it the one that has been performing at the festival for at least the past three years already? Or another prominent local group that had performed the last two years but respectfully declined this year?

Very cranky right now as I updated the software on my work PC this morning, which resulted in the death of my PC. I've taken the rest of the day off, was unable to move up an appointment to get my hair cut today so I have to go all the way back up to Clintonville later this afternoon. Thanks Obama.

I think a one martini lunch is in my future.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The missing phone call I cannot make

First Mother's Day without Mom around this year and it's solemn. You scroll through all the pictures on the social media of friends with their Mothers who are still thriving and you can't be mad. Life is for the living. And some friends recognize that the people in their circles have Mothers who are no longer around, and that's alright too I guess.

I want to call her and say that her Grandson is going to have the same caretaker this summer as last, and they're going to have fun because they will not be going to the hospital every day like last summer.

I want to call her and say I had a great time at Kafe Kerouac's 10th anniversary bash and that Scott Woods hosted an excellent and compact 45 minutes of poetry and assembled some great poets.

I want to tell her that being involved in an increasingly bureaucratic organization is taking the fun out of it for me and I'm not doing the thing about the thing that I should be doing.

I want to tell her how wonderful my wife is at putting up with my nonsense but that we did not get into an argument at IKEA yesterday despite her not liking the coffee mug I wanted. Oh, we could afford to buy stuff at IKEA yesterday, thanks Mom.

I want to tell her we're going to have a heat pump installed later this month so we'll have central air in the house for the first time in 11 years. Thanks Mom.

I want to tell her that a lot of people miss her because she's not around. And that people will always love her.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The joy of gadgetry

A delicious, freshly cut mango is one of life's great pleasures. But, if you're like me and have the knife skills of an idiot, cutting a mango and getting enough fruit to justify the work is a very frustrating experience.

Worry no more. Just purchased a nifty mango slicer that works rather well.

There is your mango. There is your slicer.

Stand up mango stem side up.

Place slicer over mango.

Push down.

It's all separated. Do the tic tac toe slices on the fruit until just before the skin and slice off the bits. It greatly helps to have a fully ripe mango so the skin is much softer.

And there you have it. Not sure how long it will take for the blades to dull, but mangoes!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

With the 16th pick...

Sitting here watching the Canadiens/Bruins series and seeing some things going on in front of the crease of the Montreal net are downright felonious. Of course I'd want to see the Blue Jackets playing this weekend, but it was not meant to be as they lost their series, valiantly, to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a six game series that saw The Blue Jackets win their first playoff game, ever, then their second. But the seventh game of the first round did not happen as they spotted the Penguins four goals before starting a furious rally that left them one goal short, and out of the playoffs with a four games to two defeat.

Of course they spotted the Penguins three goals in one of their wins, an overtime victory that may have been the greatest game in franchise history.

But you can't let a team get ahead of you by three/four goals and expect to win.

Still, this team did their best and left the ice with their pride intact and the franchise in the best place for the future it has ever been. A fan base is growing as they claim The Fifth Line as their motto.

There is finally more than hope, but genuine talent on this team. There is also depth in most positions and potential youth developing to replace players. Management has a plan. A plan that is working.

There is going to be some change in the off season. There are a few players who leave that will surprise. Players may be traded. Free agents will be brought in. Talent from the farm system will challenge to make the team. The defense needs tweaking. A player or two who has offensive skill that can penetrate and make plays against a stifling defense will be called in to help. These will not be major changes, but improvements to a team on the rise.

Finally, the Columbus Blue Jackets compete every night against any team and win more than they lose.