Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Bad Trevor Noah Blues

The Bad Trevor Noah Blues

Court jesters should be funny
That’s how we want them to be
Now they should never tell a joke
that is offensive to me

I saw the man who got that job
said something bad about a Jew
Not a joke that’s never been said
but it was disappointing to me and you

I saw the man who got that job
said something bad about a girl
Not a joke that’s never been said
but it made people want to hurl

If we’re going to hold our comics
to be authentic and with pure soul
We’re going to look a long long time
for a funnyman to fill that hole

Saturday, March 28, 2015

This Day

I thought it started with the monkeys, but that turned out to not be true.

It started a bit earlier, the night before on a simple Facebook thread about cars. A friend had an accident and may be shopping for a car. I jokingly sent her a link to an old Citroen DS I’ve been lusting for, then to my utter surprise found a Craigslist link to a 1957 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that was driving on my own street two weeks ago.

That was one of the more surreal things I’d ever seen in this city. We were driving home and I pointed out to my wife what something very interesting was moving toward us. The car was gorgeous, still had a British license plate and right hand drive.

I sent the owner an email, that I did not have the $35,000 but seeing the car on my street was a day maker. He shortly after emailed me and said he lives on the West Side, close to my house and that he tries to take the car out once a week. In all the time I’ve lived here I’ve never seen it. If he emails back I’ll offer him some Jeni’s for a ride. I mean, if he takes it out once a week why not have a passenger or two?

In that Facebook thread to my friend I was talking about old Volvos and their problems. Had to mention that my Hyundai had never left me stranded.

Until today anyway.

After emailing the Rolls Royce guy I went to bed only to be woken a couple of hours later.

It was a dream I had, about the monkeys. It was 1:44AM and I had been woken up by a very disturbing dream about kicking monkeys onto plates. I’m not sure if I was very large or if the monkeys were very small. It was disturbing because I was one of the people kicking the monkeys and I have no idea why. All I remember was that these monkeys lives were not going to last much longer.

This morning I was planning to go see my son swim but the car would not start. I suspected the battery from the beginning, the lights were not working, there was no click from the ignition when I turned the key. There was a weird continuous ticking sound from behind the dash that was a relay switch struggling to do its job with no juice.

Called AAA and the guy was a bit dumfounded by the whole situation. The battery was dead but not dead. He suggested last night’s cold temperatures may have had an impact. The car did start when he charged the battery. The alternator is fine. I drove the car around to charge up the battery after he left.

The car seemed to be sluggish and that symptom really manifested itself at a higher speed. The revs were higher and it was much louder than normal. Took the car to a repair shop, but they were not able to fit me in today. Took it to a parts store to have the codes checked, but there were none to check. The clerk there did make a suggestion about an oxygen sensor failing. Made a mental note to call a repair shop on Monday for an appointment.

Later, my wife and I went out to lunch. While driving, the sluggishness had disappeared and the car was driving as always. Meaning normally. A friend suggested I have the transmission checked as he had the same situation with one of his cars. Well that’s just perfect, if that’s the case I may have to kick a monkey.

Only in my dreams though, and I do hope my friend finds a decent car.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Neil and John want to hear from me

Who should I contact first?

I Mr Neil Trotter has awarded you with a donation of £1.5 million Pounds from
part of my Jackpot Lottery of £108m Pounds in the Euromillions lottery, send your Full Name,
Complete Full Address, Valid Phone Number for claims

View http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-26627075

I await your earliest response and God Bless you.

Best of luck.

My name is Mr. John Wong, director of operations of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd.
I am seeking your assistance in a business proposal,get back to me if interested via my email:mrjohn.wong@yahoo.com

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A sound system journey

After many attempts and configurations the Back Room of the house is finally set up as my little Man Cave. At the very least the audio components are finally in place.

About a year ago I replaced an old pioneer belt drive turntable with an Audio Technica AT-LP60. There have been no problems with it at all. It delivers solid performance. For the price, it's probably the best turntable you can get.

My thirty year old Onkyo receiver was losing a channel frequently. I still have it and if anyone can fix it, come on over, I will pay you in beverages. I picked up a Lepei LP2020A amplifier. This amp about the size of my hand, has a jack to plug in my computer or iPad. I could not be happier with the sound. Obviously it's not a high quality amplifier, look at the price. But for my needs, in a mud room of the house that is only used 2-3 seasons of the year, it's perfect and fills the room with good noises.

This left the speakers. I have shelves up high in the room that are perfect for bookshelf speakers. It may not be the best placement for sound quality but it's a good use of the spacial limitations of the room. I jettisoned a pair of basement warped 30 year old speakers that were the kings of mid-range. Scoured thrift stores for decent speakers. Thought I found some nice old Radio Shack Omnibus speakers but it turned out they were old and messed up. Pro tip: check under the grill for torn and blown speakers before purchasing. Also, check the heights of the speakers. After paying about the same amount in thrift stores for speakers, I finally bit the bullet and bought new Dayton Audio B652s.

These are the speakers I should have had all along. They fit perfectly in the space, deliver very good sound. I tested them with Queen's A Night at the Opera and was very pleased with the separation and depth of sound. They pack a good punch and again, these are not three or four figure speakers. For my purposes though, I love them. Finally, after twelve years of fits and starts, I have built a sound system I'm happy with.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

An update of sorts

This morning's coffee is an odd blend of Peruvian (of which there was not enough to make a whole cup) and Costa Rican (which is a very underrated country for coffee). Paired with one of the many world class pastries from Pistachia Vera, I'm off to a good start on a late winter Sunday.

It's been a long wait for spring. There are going to be a few more days of fits and starts this week, but it looks like the sub zero temperatures that highlighted this miserable Central Ohio winter have gone away for another year. This is not a guarantee, if it's five below on April 2nd, do not come here and blame me. I've already been yelled at one time too many for missing things this week.

My son's caregiver of the last two summers has agreed to come back. This is very good news as they have a familiar rapport. She's really good with him and well worth her salary. The peace of mind this gives all of us is profound. This enables my wife and I to be able to take a vacation to Scotland in June. Not going to be able to catch any soccer matches as the season is over but I'm very interested in seeing how late the sun goes down since we are there on the solstice, and my birthday. I'm thinking these three months are going to go as quickly as the first three months have gone. It's the Ides of March already!

Thinking of playing around with form poetry for awhile. Maybe there's some writing discipline (which has been missing for a long time now) in crafting work that way. Maybe I'll get back to work with a template instead of a prompt. It really cannot get any worse that is has been. A couple of hot new pieces at my Dayton feature in May will go a long way to boost my ego a bit.

I might be hate watching The Fall. I like the acting, and it's great to see Gillian Anderson in a meaty role. It's a damn shame the scripts are so cliched and predictable. If I can call a plot twist, there's something wrong. I did not mind The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. There were too many uncomfortable racist jokes though. I did not like the main character, but the casting of the rest of the ensemble (Carol Kane is wonderful) and cameos were excellent. It's supposed to be renewed. I wish programmers could get into the mind set that too much of something is not necessarily the best idea and know when to end a series on a high note then stop. I'm mostly talking about Broadchurch here! It's all about the money though, I'm not that stupid. If there's a profit to be made there will be people riding that horse until it drops, then using every part for sustenance until it's completely vanished. Such is the world. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Life in Hyperlink Freewrite

I got a link.
You got links.
I got links.
Someone else has links.
You have links.
That doctor has links.
I got a link.
A link to a lawyer.
You got a link.
I got links.
You got links.
That link is funny.
My link is not credible.
Your link is out of date.
You see this link?
I have not seen that link.
Where did you get that link from?
You got a link.
I got a link.
And together,
between all our links.
We have a blank page.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Happenings ten years ago

This happened in my workplace.

"_______reported that a man walked past her in the adult fiction shelving and
she felt something on her coat. It was a white substance (most likely
semen). The woman could not identify the man. The back of the woman's
coat was covered with the substance as was the floor. I used the
bio-hazard kit to clean area and threw the coat away. I let _______
use the staff restroom to clean up. _______ wanted to know if she
would be reimbursed for her coat. The coat belonged to her husband who
is now deceased. ________ was visibly upset."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Night of an American Spirit

As I age, winter gets tougher to endure. It gets harder to want to leave the house to socialize. A warm house is here along with a broken couch, a comfortable spouse and the internets. Plus I'm old, cranky and do not like driving at night in the cold, inclement weather.

A few weeks ago an internet acquaintance invited us into a local bourbon group on Facebook which turned into a bourbon club night at someone's house. At first I was not going to go because I was supposed to be reading in Pittsburgh the night of the party. Then I messed up my car and could not justify the travel expense after paying for the repairs. So bourbon club it was. Now me and social phobia was entering the home of a stranger, surrounded by people I mostly do not know except for online with a lot of liquor, and my wife does not really drink bourbon - what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing did! We had a great time. Met some wonderful new people. Had some good snacks and drank some really fine bourbon.

Part of admission was bringing a bottle. My contribution was Even Williams' Single Barrel which was good, but not my favorite of the night. The two that were exciting were Four Roses' Small Batch and its pleasant vanilla finish and one from California I knew nothing about.
Breaking and Entering is not distilled in California but blended there, from a blend of many different sources in Kentucky. A very full, rich and flavorful blend.

Two different people brought a bottle of Michter's Small Batch. There was a bottle of High West, which is distilled in Utah. A disappointment was Basil Hayden's which was all heat and no flavor. The surprise was Wild Turkey 101, which gave me the opportunity to tell about Mennonites who bought it back in the day at East Main Liquors in Fredonia. It's a very flavorful and powerful drink, at a very reasonable price.

It was a fun night. Can't thank our hosts enough. They let a group of friends and strangers invade their home with liquor and nothing got broken! I gave myself very small pours over the course of a few hours, got to try everything and was able to drive home with no problem. Can't wait for the next one, and there may be a sidebar gin party!