Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No Heat, No Bed, No Sleep

Our furnace has been out since Saturday. We've been waiting for the part to come in (just came in today) and in the meantime, we have been reduced to using space heaters for warmth. We have two furnaces in our house mind you and the one upstairs is still working (for the time being). So, our bedrooms have been fine but my bedroom has not been upstairs this week. Chivalrous me decided to sleep on the couch downstairs to keep an ear out for any mischief that might be caused by several running space heaters.

I admit, I have trouble sleeping without my wife next to me. You get used to that sort of thing after a while. In order to get any sleep at all this week, I have been leaving the TV on as it gives just enough background noise to help me dose for a while. The problem with sleeping on the couch and sleeping with the TV on is that you really are never completely asleep. I wake up probably 5 times a night. And boy, is it interesting to see what's on. I fell asleep a couple of nights with ESPN on. You either wake up to Sportscenter (the same one you watched at 10:00 mind you) or to some obscure athletic event that you would never see during the day. I'm talking stuff like Extreme Outdoor sports - log rolling. chainsaw skills, and the like(which I do find mildly entertaining), or maybe the World's Strongest Man from 1976. World Karate Championships anyone? Badminton Invitational?

The other channel that I left on this week was VH1 Classic. It's a great channel and I hope they don't take it down the same road as VH1 or MTV. Anyway, after say 1:00 A.M., they play videos just like MTV used to. Problem is, a lot of times there is no rhyme or reason to what they play. You may see some obscure 80's band that you've never heard of, followed by Motorhead and then RUN DMC. It's hard to comprehend what you are watching when you just woke up and forgot why the hell you are sleeping on the couch. Why the hell is Lemmy screaming at me? Why is it so damn cold in here?

This morning I learned that there was actually a video made for Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs". I'm not Stewart fan but that was probably one of his better songs. Also, I had never seen a video for "You Really Got Me", the Van Halen version. Holy Christ, waking up to David Lee Roth in a zipped down jump suit is damn near terrifying. Then they played Dire Straits "Money For Nothing". I remember when that video was cutting edge, now it looks like something my three year old designed.

Anyway, it's been an interesting last few days. Luckily, the furnace is fixed and I can get back to a regular sleeping schedule.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Best Weezer Song (And Video) Ever

Too bad they don't make 'em like they used to.

Ex-Classmates And You

So, I ran into a classmate from high school at work today. I normally wouldn't go out of my way to engage in conversation but seeing as it is the season of giving and all I decided to initiate contact. One thing I've noticed over the years is that when you see an old friend or classmate, the questions for each other are pretty much always the same. They are:

1. "How's work"? Yeah, work pretty much sucks for everyone but the standard answer is "oh, pretty good" or "well, I'm still working and that's a good thing".
2. "How are the kids"? This shows general interest in your family though they could probably care less. I try not to go overboard talking about the kids for this reason.
3. "Seen anyone from school lately"? Yeah, I've seen so and so recently which is normally followed by a second of awkward silence.
4. "Who did you marry"? My first wife didn't go to school in the area so I could get away with saying her name and stating that she's not from around here. But now I am married to someone who went to the same school I did, so now I have to state her name and then endure more awkward silence as the person is trying to figure out who the hell I am talking about.
5. "Did you hear about so and so"? Usually this question is followed up by a fake look of compassion. Normally, the answer is something horrible - either that person died, is sick, or was arrested with kiddie porn.

Any other questions that you are used to hearing from old classmates?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ice Storms And Assholes

It's funny when it sleets or freezes rain. No really, it is. I mean, I hate driving in this crap and I worry about my family and friends if they are out driving in it, but some things about it are just funny. People freak the hell out like the end of the world is near. Facebook was on fire last night with tons of reports of how bad the roads were and the fact that school was called off.

These people aren't the assholes that I speak of though. The true characters of an ice and/or snow storm are the owners (not all but most) of 4WD trucks and large SUVs. They live for this shit. They drive like bats out of hell no matter the road conditions. They ride your ass, pass you, and throw slush all over everyone in their wake. But oh the sweet justice when an ice storm comes. On my way in today, every car in the ditch was a 4WD truck. More than likely, these guys thought that they were invincible last night because of what they drive. Ice however, takes no prisoners. It will take you down when you least expect it. I watched several trucks try to to roar past our house last night and take corners to quickly, only to end up sliding sideways down the street. Normally, I would be worried about the driver but if you are going to drive like that then all I'm going to do is point and laugh. Slow down assholes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nothing Better Than Watching a Dome Roof Collapse...Right?

My Newest Addition To The Collection

I love to collect vintage cards but some of the early tobacco cards are pretty pricey. I've decided to add at least one example from certain sets, the first one being T205. I have several T206s and a few other odds and ends from the tobacco era but I had never owned a T205 until now. The set has never really appealed to me for the most part but I wanted to own at least one, since it is an iconic set. This card was priced right and depicted a Cardinal so it was a win win, despite the probable trim job at the bottom.

John Lush compiled a 66-85 record over seven seasons (1904-1910) with Philadelphia and the Cardinals. He had a nice 2.68 ERA for his career.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Things I Like About Christmas...And Things I Don't

It's that time of the year again. Time for most people to go further into debt just to impress their friends and loved ones with the gifts they give. Time to eat until you look like Santa himself. Time for the hustling and bustling and decorations. Here is my list of favorite and least favorite things about the holidays.

My favorites...

1. Fire - nothing beats a crackling fire, whether inside or out.
2. Live Christmas trees - I love taking the family out to cut down our tree.
3. Gifts - C'mon, who doesn't like to get gifts?
4. Seasonal Beer - The season has it's own set of beers and they are damn good.
5. Food - Like beer, you only get certain foods at this time of year.
6. My kids - I love watching my kids tear into their gifts
7. Friends/Family - OK, sometimes I get annoyed, but I mostly like them around
8. Extra Days Off - For a whole month it seems like you are off every other day
9. Christmas Bonuses - Depending on where you work of course.
10. Generosity - People are generally more giving this time of year.

My not-so-favorites...

1. Yard Decor - People, your blow up penguins look stupid.
2. Lights - Lights are OK but your house should not look like the surface of the sun
3. Slow People - Jesus Christ get what you need and get the hell out of the way!
4. Traffic - I'm glad I don't carry a gun with me or I'd be in jail.
5. Bell Ringers - OK it's for charity, which is good, but those people annoy me.
6. Snow - God I hate snow.
7. Family - I know, they're on my favorite list too.
8. Client Gifts - You give gifts to people that make your life hell all year long?
9. War On Christmas - Celebrate your way, I'll celebrate mine.
10. Christmas music - There have been maybe five good Christmas songs ever.

There you have it. Anyone want to chime in?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

John Lennon - Nobody Told Me

A belated tribute to John Lennon, 1940-1980.

And The Rich Get Richer...

So, the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford to a seven year, uber-million dollar deal. That is after getting Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres in a trade. The Yankees are expected to counter with a seven year deal for Cliff Lee, which is ludicrous to me but whatever.

So there you have the current state of baseball. The teams with the most money reload year after year while the smaller market teams scrounge for the leftovers. Having the highest payroll doesn't always assure you a championship, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt.

I can't fault these guys for spending money if they have it. They could be a team like the Pirates, once with a proud and winning tradition, now reduced to rubble because ownership won't spend money on their product. It has been reported that ownership pockets most, if not all, of the profit sharing revenue that they receive from the big boys instead of reinvesting it. Yet, they sit and complain about being broke and how the fans aren't showing up. Why show up to watch a team that will be drastically different by the time they get to the end of the season? That's the pattern of a lot of small market teams - bring a good player up through the system and as soon as they show some ability, trade them off for scrap. God forbid that they ask for a raise for good performance.

I love baseball. I'm not sure that a salary cap is the answer but something needs to be done to insure the health of the league.