Monday, October 29

Oh Sandy

Just like the massive John Travolta hit, I sat and wondered why-y-y oh why.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided to close schools today, because it was raining.


Hurricane Sandy looked like a miserable windy-rainy day until about 3pm when Anne called to say most of our fence had blown down.


The wind has bent the rods that go into the concrete posts through 90°. This means the fence is still attached, but it is also laying on the ground. 


Our house is by a 25-storey building, so it's a natural wind-tunnel. Throw in the outer part of a hurricane and you get a night of peering out into the yard to see if the trees are still there.


Also.


I was reminded of an uncommon difference between the UK and the US today.


Let's say a passenger ferry goes down off the coast of Manila. The BBC won't show Titanic out of respect.


Let's say there's a house fire in Wales. After we've all inwardly laughed, the BBC will pull a showing of Towering Inferno.


When the first Gulf War kicked off, Massive Attack had to temporarily change their name to just 'Massive'.


The US don't go for this shit. 

They'll show Affleck in Pearl Harbor on Pearl Harbor Day, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on 9-11.


To prove my point, this week's, free song of the week on iTunes is a song called "Hurricane".


Next week be sure to grab the free download by Taylor Swift, feat. Usher, "Ya basement's flooded you sorry fuckers".

Sunday, October 28

46, 47

I flew to Salt Lake City yesterday. Everyone said it was beautiful and they had a point. Built by the mountains it's a picturesque town ... full of people with big hair-dos.


My flight was memorable because I sat next to a kitten. Me-ow.

Upon landing I ambled over to the car rental place where I got an Asian with attitude, blowing and popping her gum as she went through the list of things I should upgrade.

After a couple hours of work I jumped into my Utah plated car, and I headed for Wyoming.

In my quest to visit all 50 states, New Mexico is the only one of the 48 contiguous left.

The drive to Wyoming was perfect, through Park City (home of the Sundance Film Festival), past huge geologic wonders, running along side freight box cars, and tons of animals you don't see out East.

When I finally crossed the border I found myself in Evanston. There were no restaurants open, and it was dinner time. The only thing open was the Walmart, so I ran in for some bread and cheese. I should have worn an alien costume, I would have blended in better.

Who would have thought a pair of well-cut jeans, a dress shirt and a V-Neck sweater could be so obtrusive?

I headed back to SLC, and a hotel full of hollering wedding guests.

Sunday morning I was back in the airport stuck behind cowboys chewing tobacco glad to be flying home before the big storm (to be continued!)

Friday, October 26

Polygamy Town!

Watch out Utah, I'm spending 24 hours in your Salt Lake City of multiple partner love this weekend.

And I'm going to be judging you!

What do you think the under/over should be on Obama car stickers?

Thursday, October 25

12 Angry people of ethnic diversity

I had jury duty earlier this week.

The county we live in has two courthouses, one literally next door to me, and the other one 15 miles away. I was sent to the further of the two.

Checking in the guy said, "Oh, you live next door to the courthouse in Cambridge." In an attempt to look and sound like a wise old juror I nodded and smiled in a concurring fashion.

What follows is a few hours of sitting on uncomfortable chairs with strangers and a video that reminds everyone what a wonderful idea it was by the English in 1215 to decide that the accused should be judged by 12 'people of the community'.

Looking around the room I saw about 5 people out of 130 that I would want to consider. I should be a judge.

Finally 94 of us were called for jury selection, or voir dire as I learned from watching Legally Blonde.

I was in the twenties and by the time I was called to the sidebar they had only chosen three jurors. Two angry disheveled men in their late 50's, and a young Minnie Riperton look-a-like – the ONLY person of color in the room of 94 possible jurors.

The judge asked me a few easy questions while the Prosecuting DA and Defense Attorney stared at me.

After a 30 second discussion out of ear shot I was called back to be told that one of the legal team had voted to not accept me (each side has 6 nixes).

With that, you exit the court, and in my case you go grab a burrito.

And for the rest of the day week you wonder if you look too right/left-wing, angry/passive, rich/poor, smart/dumb.

Yes. I hated being judged without explanation. Thanks legal system.

Saturday, October 20

Anyone for Tennis?

The old-pro exhibition tour hit town last night. McEnroe v Lendl and Sampras v Courier (aka I've never heard of him - Anne Taylor)

Only as we walked to our courtside seats we realized there was no court. Apparently the truck driver had gone MIA and the court had just arrived.

Also at least one of our courtside seats did not exist. As there was no court our missing folding chair had a lower priority.

To pass time the guy from the Tennis Channel (me too, who knew?) did a Q&A with Courier which made Anne none the wiser. Her only addition was that Courier looked like first-class prick Phil Simms. I made a joke about the shitty font Courier but it fell on deaf ears. Boston's premier typographic comedian fails again.


Then Sampras and Johnny Mac were wheeled out. No Lendl. Commie bastard!


Some kids asked questions and were kind of dick-ish to Sampras asking him about his inability to win the French Open. 


Putting a court together takes about an hour, but because this was a union gig they took two hours. If I wanted to hang out with overweight people in dungarees I'd buy a Subaru.

When the tennis finally began a confused and muttering McEnroe beat a middle-aged bigger-bellied Lendl. Mac is great on TV but up close he resembles an old man in robe and slippers mumbling to the help about his liquid only diet.

Pistol Pete shot down the other guy with noticeably faster strokes and then finished off Mac in the final.

We walked home and were tucked up in bed just after midnight. Another Friday night of rock n roll.



Tuesday, October 16

Housequake!

We were hit by a laughably small earthquake tonight, but it still managed to rattle the house.

Weather Channel and local news treated it like Armageddon.

I guess when your usual script is, "Mattress in fast lane, watch out for brake-lights, then an East-Coast quake is about as exciting as it gets.

I'd have led with "The Biggest shake since Louise Woodward babysat your kids."

For the second year running Anne missed the quake. Last year she was swimming in the ocean, tonight she was driving in her sturdy German car.

As for me, I'm like Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch.

I feel the vibration.

....

I'm the one in the middle.

Monday, October 15

Work gift exchange idea #1

I was on Caf├ęPress tonight creating some merch for Anne's business.

It's been a few years since I browsed Caf├ęPress and as I randomly flicked through their selections I came across this one.

The blurb at the base of the photo says, "The women's dark t-shirt is comfortable, casual, but at the same time classy."

Quite.



Thursday, October 11

Supercomputer Challenge

Supercomputer stories started in the 50s when machines the size of a small county attempted to process the square root of 81.

In the 70 and 80s we built computers that could beat a Chess Grand Master, or pointlessly work out Pi to the millionth decimal.

About 5 years ago Sprint ran awful commercials featuring their CEO, who said, "These handheld devices .." and instantly sounded like a silly old man.

In our marvelous world today, your toaster has a bigger processor chip than the Apollo 13 mooncraft. Which explains why Hollywood has not yet green-lit a movie about fixing a toaster.

But yesterday, as I browsed the news (on my quad-processor ... zzzzzzzzz) I found the next big challenge for the computing world.

I challenge the white-coats of Silicon Valley to come up with a computer program that generates ANYTHING more random than this news story.







10 October 2012 Last updated at 14:19 ET 
British singer Sarah Brightman is to travel as a space tourist to the International Space Station.

The classical recording artist, once married to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, will be part of a three-person crew flying to the ISS.

Once there, she says she intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.

Wednesday, October 10

Disappointing

I'm planning a trip to my office in China, and was sent a link to a nearby hotel with a spa where you can get a massage.

I was hoping the Chinese woman in the photo would have a shitty, poorly spelled tattoo in English, thus providing balance to all of the people I see with implausible Chinese character tattoos over here.



Maybe her tattoo reads "Balance over-sized checkers here".

Monday, October 8

Columbus

At last count I've been to 7 different countries with a statue of this guy. The definitive free-lancer.

Today is his special day which means half my co-workers get the day off while the other half of us do twice the work.

Thanks Columbus.

He looks like a young Quaker Oats guy.

Monday, October 1

I fingered the nurse

This unintentional catchphrase was used at dinner, with a client tonight.

The story centered around a haunted house exhibit at Knott's Berry Farm.

When I went there in the 90s I don't remember a whole lot of finger-banging. Just a log-flume and over-priced jams.

What my learned colleague meant to say was, "I gave the nurse the finger".

English is his 2nd language. And it appears Love is his 3rd.