Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sometimes there's not much to say

Still alive and kicking... Thanksgiving was excellent. The food was good and the time seemed to slide by pretty darn quick. That's a new twist for our family get togethers. I left wanting to eat some more and wanting to hang out a bit longer. New twist - and certainly a nice twist.

We had our first real snow a few days ago. It wasn't too terribly aggravating. I don't have to really shovel at my place, and that makes a world of difference. With any luck, it will be a mild winter. Now that I said that we'll probably get two feet tonight.

Read a few good books lately, but I don't have the energy and time to blog about them today. Maybe that will be my next post...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hmmm...what to be?

Two thoughts for Halloween costumes this year:

1) A mime with a cast, crutches, bandaged head, etc. and a sign that says, "People really DO hate mimes".

2) A cardboard television set to wear so that I can be a sitcom.

Oh, the fun and hi jinx that could ensue! Or, I may just stay home and read a book. I'm well into a Murakami book called "Norwegian Wood" and it's not a bad little read. I can see why he's a popular writer, he taps the little daily things that mean a lot to us even though we don't realize it at the time.

Work has been slow. The economy and time of year aren't helping us out much at all. It has given us some time to do some little projects. Merchandise shelves rearranged, some little packages assembled from some annoying tea cup overstock and a couple ounces of tea, and moving Gregg's shrine upstairs. Now we need a new shrine though. Gladly, I haven't had to fire anyone or run any ads on Craigslist for servers. So, all in all, not a terrible couple of weeks with the bosses gone.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Re-start your engines...

I realized that I needed some change in my I changed my blog template. Crazy, I know. That's just how incredibly exciting life is right now. One cool thing about changing the template is that I looked back at some old posts and old comments. I had forgotten how much fun I used to have sitting up late and blogging.

This was from 10/06/2005:

"In the last couple of days, I have discovered one pretend thing I would be excellent at and one pretend thing for which I have no aptitude. And no, I wasn't smoking dope...

I would be an excellent announcer of pretend Formula One, or Indy Car, races. I tried it and I rocked. That doesn't even capture how great at it I was - I was truly awesome. Mostly, I believe my forte in the field of pretend car race announcing would be calling classic pretend races, especially those in which Emerson Fitapaldi plays a prominent role. What can I say? We all have our gifts.

That said, I would suck at narrating pretend science fiction movies. I have no talent for it. Zero. Maybe even less than zero. This unfortunately also applies to the fantasy genre. If I didn't have my pretend race announcing skills to fall back on, I would probably cry.

These are the things you can learn about yourself in the middle of the night."

Anyway, it reminded me that I used to have more humour in my life and that drew more people to me. It's probably not the world that has changed, but rather it's me that's changed and I just never really noticed it happening.

Found an excellent little story by Alan Coren where Pooh Bear gets a Hemingway makeover. It's a quick and fun little read indeed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Wow...the stuff you miss when you don't frequent the internets! The drama and excitement that is this year's presidential campaign just doesn't seem to want to end.

The new buzz in the blogworld is a story by Ben Smith about the growing rift between Palin and her McCain handlers. It seems Caribou Barbie is looking past 2008 and aiming for the reins to possibly guide the heart and soul of the Republican party after the election. The guestion that appears to be arising is just who is going to be thrown under the bus as the McCain campaign seemingly unravels.

And, if you're looking for some good clean campaign fun, I would suggest a feature story for GQ by Michael Hastings. It's a revealing glimpse at life on the campaign trail told from the viewpoint of a journalist.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Choo choo...or is that Les Choo Choo?

Feeling sort of French today. Or, rather, I'm in the mood for some French pop. So, here I am watching some Francoise Hardy sipping on some oolong - Wuyi Oolong to be exact. Oolong and Francoise Hardy...that spells pensive. Or, as some of my friends would put it, a trip on the nostalgia train. Choo choo...

One of my absolute favorites...

Here it is in English...

I like it much better in French. It's just more heartstring tugging that way. And the odd thing is that you don't need to know much French to know exactly what she's singing about.

"Pense moi..." Who hasn't felt that at some time in their life?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Golden Tee is crack

Glitches are handled...I love to hear that kind of thing. My buddy Gregg is now in China and started getting some of it down in blog form. He's a blog virgin no more.

And, while he's over there enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of China, I'm here plugging away at the tea room. We've been pretty slow of late, so it's becoming a matter of deciding when to send people home and how much dusting to make the others do. Along those lines, my top secret message to Gregg is that yesterday was a bit over a 1 kind of day. Pitiful indeed, but today is looking better.

On a different note, I got a text message from the owner of my local pub yesterday saying that the new Golden Tee machines were in. Since I wasn't actually scheduled and it was super slow at work, I left a bit early and put in a couple of rounds.

It was glorious. I know, it's not often that a video game in a bar is declared glorious, but this one is.

Golden Tee is a golf game and it shares a lot of characteristics with...well, crack. Yeah, it's that addicting. Just when I thought I had my habit under control...the new version comes out. It appears to be even more addicting. This could be trouble. And, to make it worse, I'm in a league this winter. I could become a lost cause. Wish me luck on my battle.

Anyway, on my first round I bagged a lovely hole in one. And, to make it even better...the new machines let you send your great shots to YouTube. Mine is here

Hopefully, I can do that sort of thing in league.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Put the brakes on

The drama of my day was dropping $500 on new brakes, rotors and such. That's what happens when you get new tires...they notice stuff like that and then you have to fix it. So, obviously, the key to happiness is to never get new tires.

On the work front, the bosses are away for two weeks. They're off to globetrot in China. Not a bad gig if you can get it. My buddy Gregg is going to blog about it at ChefGregg. I expect to see a lot of photos and a bit of writing. He's more of a doer than the writing will probably be pretty brief, but interesting. I expect to learn how to order all sorts of alcohol in Chinese.

And, since Gregg will be checking top secret message to him is that Sunday went fine, but it was pretty slow. If Saturday was a bit more than an 8 day, then Sunday was about a 5 day.

It's a bit cold and dreary today. I don't much like the dreary part and really don't like the kind of cold part. Well, at least it's not snowing...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

100 songs from high school...

I'm stealing this from TSHSMOM...

The rules:

A) Go to
Music Outfitters.

B) In the search function, enter the year you graduated from high school. Get the list of the 100 most popular songs of that year.

C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate, and underline or italicize your favorite. Do nothing to those you don’t remember or don’t care about. (I'm not too bright, so I made the ones I hated red. I also italicized more than one. That's not really because I loved them all so much, but I just sort of decided to choose ones that I remember liking more back then.)

1. Every Breath You Take, Police (This one could be like
or hate a lot...depends on the day.)
2. Billie Jean, Michael Jackson (Billie Jean is definitely not my

3. Flashdance... What A Feelin, Irene Cara (Liked the movie though...what boy didn't love the ripped shirt look
after this movie?)
4. Down Under, Men At Work (I
still like the Men from down under.)
5. Beat It, Michael
(I really don't dig Michael...but this was a good song and a
good video. And it was all about the video in 1983. That and the hot V-jays like
Martha Quinn...okay, really only Martha Quinn.)
6. Total Eclipse Of
The Heart, Bonnie Tyler
(I've been known to sing along...)
7. Maneater, Daryl Hall and John Oates (Ummm...yeah)
8.Baby Come To Me, Patti Austin and James Ingram
9. Maniac, Michael Sembello (Jennifer Beales...what else is there to say?)
10. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics (The Eurythmics were good
11. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, Culture Club (Another love hate songs...some days I really did want to hurt him.)
12. You And I, Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
13. Come On Eileen, Dexy's Midnight Runners
14. Shame On The Moon, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band (Really Bob...really?)
15. She Works Hard For The Money, Donna Summer (Anthem...blah...blah...tough chick song...blah...blah...)
16. Never Gonna Let You Go, Sergio Mendes
17. Hungry Like The Wolf, Duran Duran
18. Let's Dance, David Bowie
19. Twilight Zone,
Golden Earring
(C'mon...this was one cool video.)

20. I Know There's Something Going On, Frida
21. Jeopardy, Greg Kihn Band
22. Electric Avenue, Eddy Grant
23. She Blinded Me With Science, Thomas Dolby

24. Africa, Toto
25. Little Red Corvette, Prince (Shut up...this is a great song.'ve got to slow down...)
26. Back On The Chain Gang, Pretenders
27. Up Where We Belong, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (I likes me some sap...and Joe Cocker is the most messed up
singer ever...which sort of makes him cool.)
28. Mr. Roboto, Styx (Kill me now...really...just shoot me.)
29. You Are, Lionel Richie
30. Der Kommissar, After The Fire
31. Puttin' On The Ritz, Taco
32. Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye (Smooth...Marvin Gaye is smooth...)
33. (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Human League

34. Time (Clock Of The Heart), Culture Club
35. The Safety Dance, Men Without Hats (Loved these guys.)
36. Mickey, Toni Basil
37. You Can't Hurry Love, Phil Collins
38. Separate Ways, Journey
39. One On One, Daryl Hall and John Oates

40. We've Got Tonight, Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton
41. 1999, Prince (Shut up again...really...Prince may be a freak...but he's got him some talent.)
42. Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats
43. Allentown, Billy Joel
44. Stand Back, Stevie Nicks
45. Tell Her About It, Billy Joel

46. Always Somethmg There To Remind Me, Naked Eyes
47. Truly, Lionel Richie
48. Dirty Laundry, Don Henley
49. The Girl Is Mine, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney (Maybe one of the gayest songs ever...besides YMCA or any Queen song...and, at least, Queen songs rock the snot out of you...)
50. Too Shy, Kajagoogoo (My girlfriend, Becky Barzler, had a poster of them
up on her wall...maybe that's why I'm single. Okay it probably doesn't have
anything to do with it at all, but I still don't like

51. Goody Two Shoes, Adam Ant
52. Rock The Casbah, Clash (The Clash flat out
rocked...not my favorite song of their's, but I'm not going to diss them on
53. Our House, Madness
54. Overkill, Men At Work
55. Is There Something I Should Know, Duran Duran
56. Gloria, Laura Branigan
57. Affair Of The Heart, Rick Springfield
58. She's A Beauty, Tubes (Great concert)
59. Solitaire, Laura Branigan
60. Don't Let It End, Styx
61. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, Laura Branigan
62. China Girl, David Bowie (Shut your mouse.)
63. Come Dancing, Kinks (A great little sappy bit.)
64. Promises, Promises, Naked Eyes
65. The Other Guy, Little River Band
66. Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Air Supply (Pure sap...power sap...high test,
super sappiness...I still sing along though.)
67. Family Man, Daryl Hall and John Oates
68. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Michael Jackson
69. I Won't Hold You Back, Toto
70. All Right, Christopher Cross
71. Straight From The Heart, Bryan Adams
72. Heart To Heart, Kenny Loggins
73. My Love, Lionel Richie (Lionel Ritchie gets nods because he hooked me up with Erica Lindquist... Believe me, he could be singing Mr. Frickin' Roboto and I would say I loved him if it hooked me up with Erica Lindquist. Thanks Lionel...)
74. I'm Still Standing, Elton John
75. Hot Girls In Love, Loverboy (Does this dude remind anyone else of John MacEnroe?)
76. It's A Mistake, Men At Work
77. I'll Tumble 4 Ya, Culture Club
78. All This Love, Debarge
79. Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy, Sammy Hagar
80. Heartbreaker, Dionne Warwick
81. Faithfully, Journey
82. Steppin' Out, Joe Jackson (I always liked Joe Jackson...I always thought he was
83. Take Me To Heart, Quarterflash (They were a local Portland band...and I went to High School with lead singer
Valerie Day's younger sister.)
84. (She's) Sexy + 17, Stray Cats (Stray Cats and INXS were my first real there's some
nostalgia working.)
85. Try Again, Champaign
86. Dead Giveaway, Shalamar
87. Lawyers In Love, Jackson Browne (If Mr. Roboto makes me beg you to shoot me, then Lawyers in Love makes me want to pry the gun from your hand to shoot Jackson Browne. I curse him for polluting the airwaves with this song.)
88. What About Me, Moving Pictures
89. Human Nature, Michael Jackson
90. Photograph, Def Leppard (This was rocking for the 80's. I still sort of like Def
Leppard a bit.)
91. Pass The Dutchie, Musical Youth (What the fuck is a Dutchie and why am I passing it on the left hand side?)
92. True, Spandau Ballet
93. Far From Over, Frank Stallone
94. I've Got A Rock 'N' Roll Heart, Eric Clapton
95. It Might Be You, Stephen Bishop
96. Tonight I Celebrate My Love, Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
97. You Got Lucky, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (Tom Petty is one of those artists that I never realized I liked so much until he came out with a greatest hits album and I liked everything on it.)
98. Don't Cry, Asia
99. Breaking Us In Two, Joe Jackson
100. Fall In Love With Me, Earth, Wind and Fire (My
friend Eric Ellis and I rode in a limo with some of the Earth, Wind and Fire
guys...they played us a tape of a new song they had coming out...I wonder if
this was it...weird.)

All this did for me was make me realize once and for all that I didn't really like very much of the pop of the '80s at all. There's really only a couple of songs that have held up and most of what I was listening to isn't in the Top 100. Now...if it was a list of punk like Black Flag, Fear, Gang of Four, Husker Du, or stuff like that...

Pinocchio Politics

It sure would be something if there was a political campaign that didn't fall back on scare tactics, obfuscation, and flat out lying to try and succeed. Well, I suppose we get what we deserve when most of us don't bother to look any deeper than the 30-second ads we see on television.

The good news - for liberals anyway - is that McCain went to negative campaigning and it has backfired badly. Maybe people are really looking for a change from business as usual politics. Well, we'll see soon enough - less than three weeks until the election.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just don't talk about moving

Been moving...just across town, but moving nontheless. I can't imagine a larger hassle than this has been. Or, rather, still is. Grrrrrr...

But before I get too worked up about the new place not being ready, having to get a storage unit to shove everything into, maybe becoming a couch surfer, and having to work all through the ordeal, let me say it wasn't too bad of a summer out here in the heartland.

I grew a good garden this year. Did it all organic and it turned out just fine and dandy.

The tomato plants were my favorite things that worked out. I did five different heirlooms. Some were better than others, but I can tell you that the Better Boys and the Mr. Stripeys were the best of the lot.

Didn't get any beans though. The little bunnies at them..plants and all. We came to a truce after that. They just hung out in the garden and I didn't chase them around with a shovel. It seemed to work out fine for all concerned.

The jalapenos went crazy. I had a bountiful crop of them. One plant in particular was quite the pepper-growing machine. It was still looking to pop a few more out when I picked a bunch yesterday.

I also had a ton of sage and chives. I picked a bunch of each and brought it into work. Since work is a restaurant, it worked out well.

There were a lot of other goodies that I grew, but they all start running together.

Anyway, the garden was nice. It was great to grow something, pick it and then eat it. It was completely satisfying and relaxing. I may never make fun of gardeners again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hi... Still alive and stuff

What to say? Well, it's been a while that's for sure. There have been many changes -some big, some small. Here's the Reader's Digest version:

New job. Started working at my friend Gregg's restaurant - Anaba Tea Room - in the fall. Came on as waitstaff and am currently running the front of the house. It's a tea room near Milwaukee with excellent food and tons o' teas. And, when I say, "tons o' teas", I really do mean that. We have about 80 teas on our menu - all loose leaf, all very good and some extremely good.

Getting in shape. I blame it on the tea. Now that I'm drinking a bunch of it, I'm not drinking much soda and have been eating a lot less. So, over the winter I lost almost four inches off the chubby ol' waist. And that's with no excercise or anything. I know...hard to believe, but true! Now, I just need to start getting the excercise thing going on again.

Weather. Our winter here blew. It sucked mightily. It was not fun. Tons o' snow and it stayed crappy for a long time. Then came spring and a bunch of rain and crappy weather. Then summer and it's still been pretty much crap. But it's coming around a bit and hasn't been too terrible of's just that it's come late.

We didn't get swept away in the floods, but the restaurant did get flooded one weekend. Not so much fun that.

Garden. I'm all about my garden this year. I haven't had one in a long time and this year I got one in and growing. It's veggies, veggies and more veggies. I've got my fingers crossed that it will make it and bear goodies for me. I'm going all organic with it, so it might be a challenge. Bugs and rabbits are my new enemies.

Vacation. It really doesn't count as a vacation, but it came pretty close. Last weekend my friend Josh got all wedded and stuff. It was up north in Hayward, WI. Some of y'all remember Josh piping into blog talk here. Anyway, it was a great time. It was a lot of fun to head up north and hang out for a few days with a bunch of great people, some beautiful lakes and such, and far too much alcohol.

Living in the dark ages. I haven't been around because I don't have internet hooked up at my house. I had a crappy service, then I had to adjust to a new job, then I realized I still had no money and now it's just a habit...not having the internet that is. I'm not sure when I'll get around to hooking back up again. But I'm going to be doing a tea blog for work and will sort of slack a bit and check up with y'all while I'm doing that.

So, there you have it - my life in a nutshell.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone. Hope it's a good one for everybody. See y'all soon!