Catching Up

May 28, 2012

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted something new on this site. Almost a year, in fact. That’s because I’ve been working like a dog. I have so many projects going at the moment that I don’t have time or just plain forget to post here, but I’m happy and that’s the most important thing. I’ve been slowly whittling down my list of projects to something manageable. Doing some spring cleaning, so to speak, even though it’s almost summer. Still working on de-cluttering the house and hoping to sell a lot of stuff I no longer want on eBay. Two boxes down, only 40+ to go! :) (Yeah, I have way too much stuff.)

I’ve still made a little time here and there for birdwatching. There’s a Swainson’s Thrush in the woods behind our home. I’ve heard him, but haven’t seen him yet. Hopefully, I’ll catch a glimpse of him soon. The neighborhood birds certainly still appreciate our feeders. We’ve seen a few new faces this year, some grosbeaks, a sapsucker, and a warbler. Unfortunately, our own flock has diminished. Two of our budgies died last year, one from kidney cancer (he was 8 years old) and one from egg peritonitis (she was 3, that was a tough one). We still have two left, two males aged 8 and 3. They will be our last budgies for a while. When they’re gone, we’re taking a break from having birds and just focusing on dogs, especially since our dog became blind last year from SARDS.

Despite my busy-ness, I’ve also had time to go to my nephew’s little league games, which has been a treat. Haven’t made it to my niece’s soccer games, but they’re so darn early, it’s hard to get there. I did catch her basketball games (and my nephew’s too).

This past year has been a year of transition, some of it good, some of it bad. The good part about it is that I have much more time for family and for the time being can focus on what’s important to me. I won’t even mention the bad part of it because I want to focus on the positive. I have the chance to work towards some life goals and I’m getting the support I need from family to do just that. I never thought I’d be where I am right now, I was scared to be thrust here when I thought I wasn’t ready, but now that I’m here, it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. Time to conquer!

 

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Some of My Old Friends

June 15, 2011

This popped up on my iPod yesterday while I was listening at work. I’d bought it a while ago. It was featured in an episode of The Greatest American Hero, one of my favorite shows, and it puts me in a very sentimental, if somewhat melancholy, mood.

It also sort of inspires me, too. I don’t want my dreams to exceed my grasp and I don’t want to chase a  piece of the corporate pie. I have many goals and dreams I want to reach my own way. I have many like-minded friends, my closest friends. However, I have known people that have pretty much stayed right where they’re at or have fallen behind. And I’m not sure where they are today. I think all of us do.

You just have to keep motivated and working towards those dreams. No one will give them to you.

Some of My Old Friends (sung by Joey Scarbury)

Some of my old friends
Have fallen behind
Seems like their dreams
Just exceeded their grasp
With too much to do
And too little time
How quickly the years go past

Some move up, some move out
And some stay right where they are
Some give in, some give out
And some never even get that far

Climbing the ladder of social acceptance
Chasing a piece of the corporate pie
Keeping an eye on the minutes and seconds
How quickly the time goes by

Some move up, some move out
And some stay right where they are
Some give in, some give out
And some never even get that far

We were gonna make our mark
We were only shooting in the dark
Some of us were on our way
Where are they today?

Some move up, some move out
And some stay right where they are
Some give in, some give out
And some never even get that far

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Treasures In My Garage

June 10, 2011

So, a friend of mine was telling me about going through some of her old collectibles to sell. I decided to go look through the garage for my old baseball card collection. Well, after about 5 minutes of staring at a virtual mountain of crap behind a barrier of flotsam beyond a wall of garbage and recycling containers, I decided the baseball cards would probably remain hidden until I completely clean out the garage.

I couldn’t leave empty handed, so I rummaged through the closest accessible box. I found two unopened VHS tapes, A Bug’s Life and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original, not the lesser Depp one I refuse to acknowledge exists in my happy Wonka World). Those are either goin’ up on eBay or getting donated to some charitable children’s organization that is somehow still stuck in the 80′s and never heard of dvds.

But the REAL treasures I found were a Dave Brubeck cd, a Blues Traveler cd, and… wait for it… a Three Dog Night cd. SCORE!!!!

I can’t get enough of it!
I can’t get enough of it!
I can’t ever let you go
I feel like I need you so

It was the Naturally cd that I think I posted about a while back. Yes, the one with Fire Eater. Time to get my jam on!

These tunes are headed for my Web Workin’ Playlist, which, if you’re nice to me, I might share here someday.

Back to my tunes…

Joy to the World!
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

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June 6, 1944. D-Day

June 6, 2011

Exactly 67 years ago today, my maternal grandfather took part in one of the biggest and most important military operations of all time, D-Day… World War II.

My grandfather was a Navy Frogman, the precursor to the Navy Seals of today. Specifically, he was in the Navy Combat Demolition Unit Force “O” that landed in the first wave on Omaha Beach. His unit was to remove the obstacles on the beach, but nearly all their explosives went overboard during the assault. Under heavy machine gun and sniper fire, he and the men of his unit did what they could to punch through the German lines. Eventually they did, but his unit took heavy casualties. He was one of the few survivors.

The heroic actions of his unit earned them a Presidential Unit Citation, which is included below. Though Memorial Day is behind us, take some time today to remember those that sacrificed some 67 years ago for the cause of good and freedom. This page on the Navy website gives information on the actions of the various Navy Combat Demolition Units on D-Day.

Thank you, grandpa.

(Click to Enlarge)

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Got this stuck in my head today… and I haven’t even been watching [Adult Swim].

If you’re curious, the song is Kansas Intermede by Jean Soullier & Fabrice Ploquin.

I loves me some banjo, bass, ‘n drums. The graphic totally reminds me of those old Peechee folders I used to have in school. I have no idea why, because I don’t think Peechees ever had unicorns on them. Or atom bombs, for that matter. LOL.

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The Future Has Arrived

June 1, 2011

When I was little, I watched a lot of tv. I mean, a LOT. This was mainly before VCRs became popular. Once we had VCRs, I taped ALL my favorite shows. I loved to replay my favorite episodes over and over… nearly wore out some tapes. And then DVDs came along. Woo hoo! Even better. But still, for years and years I had in the back of my mind that someday in the future we’d be able to just select our favorite shows (no matter how old or obscure they were) from our tv set and watch them whenever we wanted, unencumbered by network scheduling.

Well, that future has pretty much arrived. We have a Netflix subscription and we stream video through our Nintendo Wii. Not only can we watch the newest movies, but they’re also constantly adding old tv shows to their offerings. My husband has been on a b-movie kick lately, including episodes of MST3K. We’ve also been investigating old shows we’ve never seen before (Rat Patrol to name one) and re-acquainting ourselves with old favorites like Gunsmoke.

While Netflix is still a ways from what my “vision” of the future would be, it’s well on its way. It’s well worth the $8 a month we’re paying. That’s pretty much unlimited movies at home for about the cost of one movie ticket to a theater. And with the 30-day free trial, we got a whole month to decide if it was worth keeping. It was. If they add just a few more offerings, we might just cancel the cable.

P.S. If you click through my links and try out Netflix, I might make some pizza money.

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When I was younger, I would often go to the library and check out records, cassette tapes, and when cds came along, I checked those out too. I would listen to any music that looked and sounded remotely interesting. My musical tastes were widely varied and somewhat eclectic. It was during that time that I developed a love for Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66.

Here’s one of my favorites. It’s One Note Samba from the album “Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66″. My dad had a plethora of Herb Alpert records that I often borrowed, so s’natural I’d gravitate to Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66.

Ella Fitzgerald did a great scat version of this, but this is the version I love most. It throws a little of Herb Alpert’s Spanish Flea in during an instrumental/scat in the middle of the song.

If you pay attention to the lyrics, you can see this is more than just about a song. It’s a story. What I take from it is the profound last line… better play the note you know. In other words, be yourself, stick to what you know. Don’t waste time and words trying to be someone other than yourself because in the end, it comes to nothing. There is much more that can be taken from the meaning of this song, but I’ll leave that to you, the reader.

This is just a little samba,
Built upon a single note
Other notes are bound to follow,
But the root is still that note
Now this new one is the consequence,
Of the one we’ve just been through
As I’m bound to be the unavoidable consequence of you

There’s so many people who can talk
And talk and talk and just say nothing,
Or nearly nothing
I have used up all the scale I know, and at the end I’ve come to nothing,
Or nearly nothing

So I come back to my first note,
As I must come back to you
I will pour into that one note,
All the love I feel for you
Anyone who wants the whole show,
Re mi fa so la ti do
He will find himself with no show,
Better play the note you know

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Vitamin Fatigue

May 19, 2011

I have an autoimmune disease which often causes fatigue. I’m used to fatigue on a daily basis. Recently, I started taking some sub-lingual vitamin B-12 tablets because my latest blood work showed I was deficient. Shortage of vitamin B-12 and other vitamins in your body can cause fatigue, so I was eager to boost my levels and help relieve some of that fatigue.

Well, little did I know that after taking a full tablet of sub-lingual vitamin B-12, I would be struggling to stay awake. The connection between this drowsiness and the vitamin B-12 didn’t occur to me until the weekend. I will occasionally have coffee during the week at work to combat fatigue, but on the weekends I generally avoid caffeine and, thus, the drowsiness effects of the vitamin B-12 tablets did not go unnoticed.

I searched online for information about this interesting side effect. I didn’t find this particular side effect at WebMD or the usual health related websites. I found this information on forum discussions from other people who’d experienced this peculiar phenomenon. They called it “vitamin fatigue” and for them, it happened shortly after they took the vitamin, within 15 minutes to an hour.

Well, after finding that information, I decided to cut my dosage in half and only take it at night. So far so good. I hope this information helps someone else out and relieves day-time drowsiness you might not realize is related to your vitamin intake.

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Gimme Dat Ding!

April 27, 2011

That’s right, that’s right
I’m sad and blue
Cuz I can’t do the boogaloo
I’m lost, I’m lost
Can’t do my thing
That’s why I sing, gimme gimme dat ding!

Any of you Benny Hill fans might recognize this catchy little tune by the Pipkins as one of several in a medley used during his chase scenes. The following video starts out with the tune the Muppets made famous… Mahna, Mahna, followed immediately by Gimme Dat Ding!

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Push the button, Max!

April 19, 2011

It’s no secret I love the movie The Great Race. With star studded cast, director Blake Edwards, and music by Henry Mancini, how could you lose?

My favorite character was Professor Fate, played expertly by Jack Lemmon. He raced in his Hannibal Twin 8s, an unusual car of his own invention, packed with all sorts of dirty tricks and secrets. And to deploy those tricks, Professor Fate would exhort his sidekick Max, played by (another one of my favorites) Peter Falk, to “Push the button, Max!”

And, I’m not Professor Fate’s only fan. His antics inspired a song (below) and the catchphrase from MST3K “Push the button, Frank!”

And, of course, Professor Fate has his own theme song

They just don’t make villains, or movies, like this anymore.

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