In the category of Things That Should Never Happen:

This just in:

John Daly (the hefty pro golfer who cares more about beer and well, beer... than golf), comes this video of him playing golf without a shirt. If you're unfamiliar, Mr. Daly is hardly the model athlete, with hardly what you would call the premium athlete's body.

I'll apologize in advance right now - and will back to more salient posts in a day or two.


Oh, the things they can do with plastic...

(so that post back there? The one graced with the stinky photo of Allen Iverson? Yeah, that was post number 600. I now have 600 posts, in which I say virtually NOTHING. And in keeping with that theme, here's this:)

Plastic is fun:

That's just funny.


Two things:

One random thought before the meat of this post:

The Lakers/Nuggets series features players who carry more ink than a newspaper. Just sayin.

Now, onto the real thing:

For several months now we have been on a mini quest to find a new Living Room couch and chair set. We've looked at places like the usual catalog suspects - Pottery Barn, Hive, NY Loft, et al. We've also been to Ikea nd sat on everything they have there. A few weeks ago we went on a little getaway to southern Utah, northern Nevada, and while there we decided to make the extra hour trip to see the new EQ3 store recently opened there. And it is awesome, by the way. It's nestled in a shopping community full of other neat-o stores. Worth the time to check it out. And the airplanes coming in to land just a few feet overhead is pretty cool too.

Anyway, we staill search, but today in my news feed there was a post on a site I subscribe to that may have just answered the quest. I give you - the Coffin Couch:

And while we're on the subject, that site is showing a LOVELY TUB on the front page right now.

Along with the new couch/chair deal, we've been planning a deck addition to the backyard. And what good is a deck without the hot tub to go ON it, I ask? So, we've also been making those rounds. Buying a hot tub is the same thing as buying a used car. It sucks.

But we're slowly narrowing it down.


Some design related stuff for you; a 1956 Modern in Houston

Here are a few pictures of some inspired modern interior design for you to drool over as I have already:
I thoroughly dig the framed old brick wall. It's like a window to the history of the home.

Link is here.
There are some real nice photos of living room interiors there.

One other one:
This is a more truly contemporary living room. I really like the treatment of the fireplace wall area, as you knew I would. These specific walls in homes can become such horrible disasters, and this one has been well done.

Link is here.

Also on a separate but related note - I wish I lived in Houston, or could wiggle my nose and make this house appear in Salt Lake:

It's been listed a few times, and has also changed realtor hands once or twice. Asking price is in the low to mid $400K range. Here, that house would be almost twice that. More pictures here.

Interesting story about the architect there also. Worth a short read.


Obama and PA:

A Couple of Random Meanderings for your pleasure:

One of our favorite new shows is Reaper. Every episode is hilarious, with a cast FULL of great characters, along with a hottie or two for good measure. What else could one need? How about a Satan character that is PERFECTLY cast. Ray Wise, cast as Satan, was outstanding from the very first episode. I said so during that first episode too. The guy is uncanny good. You should watch it.

Anyway, remember a long time ago when I talked about Funerary Violinists ?? Of course you don't because it was a long time ago (10/06), and you don't pay attention, so I gave you a link to go back and read about it. VERY INTERESTING STUFF, I might add.

Anyway, a couple of things have made me think of that recently. Remember the movie Chocolat, with Johnny Depp as a gypsy? There is a sequel book out by that author. I think the subject is .... shoes.... then I was reading somewhere about a group of gypsy musicians named The Cook Trio. It's a very fun listen for those who love the sound of acoustic guitar, as you know I do. The flouncy melodies and hoppy rhythms are a real treat. These guys are masters of their instruments. Here's a bit about the genre:

It’s nearly impossible to tell the story of the Cook Trio without telling the story of Django Reinhardt, born in Belgium in 1910 and raised in a gypsy camp outside Paris. The first truly influential Jazz artist to originate from Europe, and arguably the first to successfully highlight the acoustic guitar in what had hitherto been a horn-driven, decidedly Black American genre, Reinhardt’s unique guitar work remains beyond reproach and nearly impossible to copy. A fire cost him the use of two of his fingers on his left hand, forcing him to adapt his style to accommodate his handicap through an intricate fingering system, turning a limitation into an inimitable asset. The percussive strumming style of the “Gypsy Jazz” he helped create with his popular Quintette du Hot Club De France during the ’30s and ’40s is the only form of Jazz whose origins are found outside America.

So that's a bit of an "On My Hard Drive" bonus for you today.

And now for something completely different: a quick thought on the happenings in eldo-RAY-do, Texas: They have the wrong people in custody. Early in the press coverage of this whole thing, I said to ThatOneWife that I hadn't seen one single man from the compound being interviewed, ushered out, or being in front of a judge about any of this. Then a day or two later, there were these three dudes, looking like a cross between the Three Stooges, the Keystone Cops, and Our Gang (you know, Spanky, Buckwheat, and whoever else...), they were talking to the press about the whole thing. The one guy opened his mouth and actually said - "umm... last I heard... up til just a very short time ago... it was legal to be married to a 14 year old in Texas."


What about being married to four or five of them at the same time?? What about keeping your children so completely in the dark that they can't identify their own biological parents, their birthday, or state how old they are? One of the press reports stated that an authority asked one of these young girls how old she was, and she looked at her "husband", and after a few seconds of thought, THE HUSBAND said, "you're 18." Again, WTF? A 14 year old should be worrying about who she is going to the junior prom with, not about whether her fourth child is going to be healthy. This makes me SICK.

When you are breaking federal law be being married to more than one person at the same time, you should be convicted of that, and put in prison.

One last item: CROCS are still as ugly as the underside of a manhole cover.

That is all.


Trying to tell me something, perhaps?

One of our bunch just got back from a band trip to Disneyland yesterday, thus perpetuating for one more generation, the legend that begins, "Well, there was this one time at band camp..."

Anyway. I didn't ask her anything about the bus ride to and from because, frankly, I don't want to know - I'd be scared, then mad, I'm sure.

Upon her return, in what was apparently one piece, she hurriedly gave out the little gifts she had gotten for everyone else.

Mine was this:

It would seem I need to work on my attitude. Which I know.

What you CAN'T see is the fact that this mug holds about a half gallon of your chosen liquid.


Some Lists:

Yesterday when I posted my crankery with regard to DirecTV, I was also going to post a random list of other things/people who bug the crap out of me. But the post was long, and the time short. Without further ado, then, here are some of those. See if you agree:

This bugs me to no end:

1. Girls (mostly) who drive and text message at the same time.
2. People who talk with their mouths full to overflowing. (This is the worst.)
3. People who slurp.
4. People who don't smell good, and yet have no idea.
5. People who tie up a golf course repeatedly thinking they can drive the green, or reach a five in two, when there is never any proof of such ability. Ever.
6. People who speed up in order to NOT let you in.
7. People who judge others too quickly, or do so using poorly chosen metrics.
8. 50 year olds who marry 14 year olds, and think that's okay.
9. People who are fine with offloading their jobs on other people.
10. People who ask you to do things, but don't give you enough information to do what has been asked of you.
11. People who write or speak poorly, even though it is part of their job to do so.
12. People who spend their entire lives living in negative mental space.

Flame if you will, that is your prerogative.

And speaking of lists, here are two more. I saw this a week or two ago, and thought it was such a great idea, that I would steal it for here. The premise is this: Name your dream golf foursome - with you as one of the players. However, I'm going to change it just a bit. Therefore, I present for your consideration, my two lists, naming those with whom I would most like to dine:

First list - people who are alive today:
1. Me
2. Jack Nicklaus - so I can ask him about his golf and business life.
3. Brad Pitt - so we can discuss architecture (I would set a place at the table-next to me-for his lovely wife. Pitt would be sitting ACROSS the table.... ) (bonus!)
4. Quincy Jones - so we can discuss music, but not Michael Jackson

Second list - people who are decidedly NOT alive:
1. Me - although I am not dead.
2. Luciano Pavarotti - I would love to learn everything about his life.
3. Leonardo Da Vinci - Artist, sculptor, inventor, architect - what more can one ask ?
4. Frank Lloyd Wright - I would ask him if he did indeed have an affair with Ayn Rand, which has been highly speculated upon. And many other things
5. Bonus Person: Miles Davis - I would like to get inside his head at about 1945.

So who's at YOUR dinner table??

And also, some of those ladies on Wayne and Garth's list up there are on my list too. Odd. And Kim Basinger, WHY WON'T YOU EVER RETURN MY PHONE CALLS??? You KNOW I'm calling you, it's hard to ignore 20 calls per day. Seriously. Just call me back.


I read signs too quickly sometimes

Every Monday evening I make a trek to The Great Utah County to get a young-un to a trumpet lesson. Each week as I make my way further into enemy territory, the highway bends to the left, where this is a fairly new retail development.

On the end, near the freeway, there is an italian restaurant named La Vigna. I'm sure it's a wonderful place - the D-News gave it a decent review, I saw that while I was looking for the image.


But maybe that's just me.

More complaining apparently in order:

DirecTV, I like you THIS MUCH:

Unfortunately, you have me by the shorties. Two times in the last week, I've set the Tivo to record stuff while I was out of the house doing other things. I like Tivo a lot, and up til now it has been rock solid. We like to watch a certain group of shows, and we almost NEVER watch them in real time, always recorded. We can watch an hour long show in 40 minutes that way. And when we want, too.

Anyway, I missed a major chunk of the Masters on Sunday, as well as the first half of one of the last Jazz games. This makes me cranky, to say the least. Part of the problem is setting the recorder to record HD signals that are put out from the local broadcasters here. All the networks have an HD signal that can be captured by an antenna. That's the THEORY anyway.

Some time ago, we upgraded the Tivo receiver and our DirecTV package to include the "HD Package" - but that didn't include the "local HD's". They didn't offer that at that time. Two years ago, we missed most of the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals, due to the fact that we set the recorder to record the NBC HD signal. NBC's HD signal here (over the air) absolutely sucks. You can never watch an NBC broadcast in HD here, because the signal is weak, and even a good antenna doesn't grab it all. ABC's HD signal is almost as bad. CBS's is about 90% dependable.

Now, in order to get the locals on HD through DirecTV instead of over the air through an antenna, one must upgrade receivers AGAIN. And incur a new charge for the Local HD package. DirecTV, I wish I could quit you.

Anyway, on to other things. There are all kinds of bloggers - those who blog about life in their evenings, those who stay at home during the day, and blog at that time, and those who run blogs as a business, and then there are the ones like me - I don't take this all too seriously, and I write when I have time during the day. Therefore, busy work time = not much time to write on the blog. And that's why posts have been thin here lately. When I get busy, my free time pursuits get dropped off the table for a while. My feed reader piles up with an almost insurmountable level of stuff too, so I end up being totally overwhelmed with stuff.

A lot of the stuff I get dropped onto my machine is design related, and some of it is stuff from blogs I like to keep tabs on, some is finance and business related, and still others are music related. Either way, it's a ton of stuff. Like fireplaces.

I don't know why I post pictures of fireplaces. It's just a thing. Some of the feeds I get are from design and photography related sites, and the fireplace photos are a part of that. One site in particular, Desire to Inspire, is great, because they post several photos at a time of the interior design work of one particular firm or individual. Some of it is totally not my style, while some most definitely IS my style, and I tend to collect photos of things I see that I find inspiring.

Here is something I found charming and half-funny when I saw it:

If you can name five or more of these, you might be a design geek. Just a little chair porn for you this afternoon.

And from there, we move to some more mundane randomness: Did you watch the Democratic "debate" last night on ABC? What a dismal performance. And I'm not talking about the candidates. It took a full 50 minutes before either candidate was asked a question about policy, position, or program. It was a pathetic showing for Charlie Gibson, whom I don't consider a real news-man anyway. I would have expected a LITTLE more from George Staphylococcus though. Not much, mind you, but a little.
And one last thing - you would think that if you consider yourself enough of a photoshop wizard to be able to land yourself a job at a national level agency, you would pay a little closer attention to detail.

I'll have a black and tan, please.

For now, that is all. But I shall return. Look forward to that.


A Bad Day For Chickens Everywhere:

Here's the thing, see. Three Fat Chickens on a grill have to be babysat. It was supposed to be a nice meal of beer-can chicken. The chickens were fresh and fat, seasoned to tasty perfection and ready to be "mounted" on the grill (ahem).

The grill was set at the right temperature, and a suitable vent for extra heat chosen and set - okay, that was a bent coke can, but whatever. It was go time.

And here, I'll just say, did you know that melted fat is FLAMMABLE? Yeah, me too. Usually, it's not a big deal, but when there are three chickens, and golf on TV, well, the combination doesn't really work out that well.

To wit: Before

And after:

Bummer, dude. really. Fire in Teh Hole, etc.

More shortly. But for now I'm "Busy" on my second monitor....:


Forgot one thing:

Okay, so there was one thing I was going to stick in the last post but forgot:

This morning I was stumbling from the bed to the bathroom to do my "thing"... and after doing so, stepped on the scale. It read 221.6. I was pretty excited. You'll remember that I have been STALLED at just above 222 for a long time. I was so excited I scrambled the jets to look for the camera, but it was nowhere to be found. I thought it was in the kitchen, but it wasn't. I thought for a bit and figured it might be in my computer bag, but that was unfortunately in the garage, in the back of my car. I wasn't about to run out there, nuck-baked, to get it.

So, picture of scale = FAIL.

Probably a good thing though, since I probably would have ended up taking a picture of something I shouldn't.

Next goal along the way: 215. On my way to 205. We'll see how I feel when I get there.

At this rate, I'll be back in that stars n stripes thong in no time.

umm... sorry. And I'll spare you the picture. You're welcome.

Phunky Phriggin' Phriday:

So, it's been a hellish (devilish??) day, not to mention a hellish week. But nevertheless, it's Friday, and I have a couple of thoughts:

As has been my little tradition, I turn to the Funky Friday playlist in my iTunes and give it a whirl in randomize mode. This brought up something interesting to me, given the day.

Because, in addition to being Friday, it's also the 40th (if I'm not mistaken??) anniversary of MLK Jr.'s shooting death.

A lot of the music we call "funky" comes from the late 60's and early-to-middle 70's. It's purveyors were mostly African-American. This music grew from the seeds of Jazz and blues - unique American art form, springing mostly from the South.

Obviously, there was a lot of racial unrest then, and the entertainment industry was not immune to this fact either. There was an entire genre of film called "blaxploitation" (of which SuperFly is perhaps the most synonymous). Think of images like the character Huggy Bear, from Starsky & Hutch Music was the same way, with groups like Sly and the Family Stone, Gap Band, and later groups like Earth, Wind and Fire. This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. That's a whole other BOOK.

Anyway, on my playlist, I saw this:

You might have to click it to big it, and see what I'm talking about.

Anyway, you can see by the title, that we have come a long way. And you will also note that THERE IS SO MUCH MORE WORK TO BE DONE.

There are some random items rolling around in my head, but if I don't just go ahead and post this, it just won't get done today, so there you go.

But here's one for the road: We were watching the new CSI episode last night, and they showed Grisom's house/apartment/whatever. I noticed he had an Eames Lounge Chair. Wouldn't have cast him as a design-conscious character, but whatever. Reminded me of something - and it's this: I like that chair as much as the next design geek, but I doubt I would have it tattooed onto my arm:

Just sayin'....


How to confuse my taste buds:


No! Boobies!

No! Bacon!

Hey - wait a minute - what's going on here?!?


On My Hard Drive: Holly Cole

And a couple of bonus items before we get down to business: late last year I found my self drawn to a set of three albums on my hard drive, called Verve Remixed, 1, 2, and 3. These are albums of clubby dancy music, remixed using the familiar riffs and snippets from the extensive Verve Music catalogs - Verve has a large Jazz set, and these albums are wonderful listening, if you can deal with BEAT. But I'm not talking about of the soft-headed, light-stick twirling, mind-numbing club music we all are familiar with (on a second-hand-smoke kind of basis) as we drive down the road. I'm talking about dance music intermingled with familiar phrases and trademark sounds from the jazz world. I decided to do a little searching, and ended up also buying albums by The Brazilian Girls, Eddy Meets Yannah, and one or two others... if you are interested in world-beat music with a twist, there is a starting point for you.

Now to the matter at hand: Holly Cole. I friend of mine gave me her CD called Don't Smoke in Bed several years ago. At the time I was a recording engineer, and theater sound designer, and I was blown away first by the production values on that CD - the sonic quality was stunningly good, and second, by the fact that this was simply a trio, Cole (voice), Aaron Davis (Piano), and David Piltch (bass).

This is a WONDERFUL CD filled with surprises. Her online biography notes that Cole has the ability to wend her way through a song in a very unique and meaningful way. And that is certainly the case here. One my all-time favorites from her is "I can see clearly now..." It's a familiar song to us all for sure, but the key change in the middle is OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD. The song NEVER fails to move me. Seriously.

There are similarities between this album and the album from fellow Canadian kd lang (Cole is from eastern Canada, and lang is from Alberta, in western Canada), called Drag. Both are albums about smoking songs, and torch songs. There is even some cross over between them, in that the song Don't Smoke In Bed is on both albums. (kd lang is another one of my favorites.)

Anyway, there are other gems on this album for sure. One of the other highlights is a song called The Tennessee Waltz. Again, a familiar and traditional song for sure. But her rendition is heartbreaking. The album came out in 1993, and as I was looking her up a month or two ago, I noticed that there was a new album out from her. So, of course I had to get it downloaded, pronto. As expected, I was not disappointed. not only are the songs great, but I am a SUCKER for a well played Baritone Saxophone (in addition to a long list of other instruments: Acoustic guitar, upright bass, bass trombone, etc.), and this album's first song features a wonderful bari solo. The new album is called simply, Holy Cole. And it's great. You should get it.

April Fools' Day Plus One:

Sorry to be so busy lately, and I apologize to BOTH of my readers.

It seems I've been busy trying to find time to go skiing a couple more times this year, and trying to figure out when to start booking tee times as well.

Oh, and the trivial stuff, like WORK, which is seriously impeding the practice of my lifestyle.

I'll be back this afternoon, with a new On My Hard Drive, along with a couple of bonus items to go along with that...

In the meantime, be sure to lock your doors.