Saturday, April 30, 2011

10 Random Songs on Friday

With some comments today.

The Beatles - Paperback Writer
Laura Branigan - Take Me
     I sometimes feel sad when I listen to Laura Branigan because she died so young (47) and had such great talent. Yesterday was one of those days.
The Runaways - Hollywood
Brewer and Shipley - One Toke Over the Line
New Radicals - Mother, We Can't Just Get Enough
Yes - Big Generator
Led Zeppelin - You Shook Me
Kathy Mattea - Taking the Giving Away
Rodney Crowell - Baby, Better Start Turning 'em Down
Quarterflash - Crazy Quilt
     You'll see Crazy Quilt in The Best Songs You've Never Heard, Volume 3, if I ever finish the text.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nuclear Incident

I heard on the news this morning - several times - that today is the 25th anniversary of the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. It was described as the worst nuclear incident in history.


First, the incident at the Fukushima power plant in Japan requires the modifier "yet" to be included when discussing the relative degrees of meltdowns. But aren't the newspeople forgetting something?

The intentional release of nuclear energy in the form of bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 still have to be considered the worst "nuclear incidents" in human history. No matter how bad it gets at Fukushima, and it could get very, very bad, it'll be tough to exceed the damage done at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No matter that Harry Truman ended World War II by nuking civilians, it was still a pretty rotten thing to do and no power plant meltdown could ever be a worse "incident."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

10 Random Songs on Friday

Debbie Gibson - In the Still of the Night
Billy Williams - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
Rodney Crowell - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll
Sonny Landreth - South of I-10
Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein
Blues Traveler - Hook
Bobby Hebb - Sunny
Four Non Blondes - What's Going On?
Shannon Curfman - What You're Getting Into
Quarterflash - One Less Lie

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wait, Wait, Don’t Bill Me

So, do you want a way to get your heart started in the morning?  Notice I didn’t say "good way."
I checked my e-mail this morning and found this (usually) routine e-mail.

Notice the dollar amount.  My bill is always around $40.
Many a calamitous possibility ran through my mind as I scrambled to log into the Verizon portal to look at the details on the bill.  What could they have done to make my bill be five times larger than normal and how long will it take me in Customer Service hell to get out of it?
Wait, I don’t see a new bill.  My previous bills were all dated the 20th, not the 18th.  Huh.
Oh, there it is.  My account number doesn’t end with 0675-00001.  I see what happened.  They sent me someone else’s notice.  Well, that’s not so bad – for me.  Isn’t it crazy, though, that they’d send the ready-notice for someone else to me?  That just doesn’t inspire confidence.

Monday, April 18, 2011

10 Random Songs on Friday

I stumbled across the blog of a woman who publishes a post every week with ten songs that played at random that day on her iPod. She calls it the Friday iPod Random Ten and has been doing it since at least January 2005. Knowing a good idea when I see one, I'm going to steal this idea from her. My sister-in-law CJ posts five things she's thankful for every Friday, so this can be similar to that and a lot less work.

Every week, when I remember, I will select ten songs that my iPod played that Friday (or iTunes, if I worked from home that day). The only rule will be that they played consecutively in the order listed. The list will be presented without comment except when I feel like commenting. I will title each post 10 Random Songs on Friday.  Let the new tradition begin.

Here are 10 random songs that I listened to on April 15.

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
Bruce Springsteen - My Lucky Day
The Cars - Victim of Love
Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady
Burton Cummings - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Toto - Home of the Brave
Traffic - (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired
Linda Ronstadt - Simple Man, Simple Dream
10,000 Maniacs - What's the Matter Here?
Kansas - Nobody's Home

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It may not surprise you that I am sartorially challenged. From my perspective, I am clothingly oblivious, but still. Clothing is strictly functional as far as I'm concerned. It provides insulation, pockets to hold stuff and keeps private parts private. Everything else is just waste.

I don't understand the reasoning when I hear people say, "Nice Blouse," or "Cute shoes." I rarely hear a complement about my clothing and I wouldn't know how to take it if I did as I put in almost no effort to dress myself. I'm immediately suspicious of people who think I look nice because on most days, I look nothing short of generic. And I don't get clashing. What's wrong with stripes and plaids? The guy has a shirt and pants on. Isn't that enough?

I work in an office with a moderately nice dress code. Jeans and decent shirts seem to rule. Jeans are easy; I have three types: dark blue, faded blue and black. Easy. Shirts are another story. There are two types, as best as I can figure, polo and button-down. We can draw another distinction. I only wear short-sleeve shirts. When I find myself possessing long-sleeve shirts, I take them to a tailor and have them converted to short-sleeve. Otherwise, I might as well throw them out.

Due to wear & tear and the advancement of my waistline, I occasionally find myself in the market for new shirts. I usually shop by cruising the discount racks of Target or Shopko. The last three or four shirts purchased that way, however, turned out to require ironing after every wash. It shouldn't surprise you that I don't like ironing, either. I put my not inconsiderable intellect into solving a problem I didn't quite understand. How to buy new shirts that truly do not require any maintenance?

I started by paying attention to my existing wardrobe. Some shirts could get hung up after the wash with no wrinkles and some always wrinkled. It seems the ones that were 100% cotton wrinkled. OK, no more buying 100% cotton. Next, I noticed that some shirts that didn't wrinkle also didn't get worn very often. A look at the label showed that those were 100% polyester. They're awfully lightweight and feel kind of clingy. No more 100% polyester.

The shirts that worked best were a blend, 60% cotton and 40% poly. I have two shirts of that ilk, purchased on the same day from Kohl's Department Store. It was my first and only trip to Kohl's, and it was about a decade ago. These shirts are sweet. The material is a little heavy, they never wrinkle and have a subtle stripe pattern that matches whichever type of jeans I happen to wear. They're the Kohl's store brand, so I decided to go back to Kohl's to see if lightning would strike twice.

It did. They have a great selection of short-sleeve shirts and they just happened to be having a sale. Yay! Sales! I grabbed eight shirts matching my criteria and marched out with a wallet $178 lighter. $22 per shirt and I don't have to go shirt shopping for another decade? I shoulda bought more.

When I got home, I entered my credit card receipt into Quicken and got curious about when exactly I bought those two wonderful shirts I mentioned before. Yesterday was April 8, 2011. Quicken's search function pulled up the previous transaction, which happened on...

Huh. That's odd.

April 9, 2000. 11 years ago today.

I am, apparently, a creature of habit.