I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

People you should read

Monday, August 30, 2004

I so had to have this one too.

You're Fiji!

As calm, relaxed, and removed from life as they come, you're just so
chilled out, it hurts people to see you.  Everyone aspires to be where you are, but
most of them just can't put their stress away.  Little do they know that even you
sometimes have inner turmoil and struggles!  For the most part, though, it's sun and
fun for you, and that's the way you like it.  It's just sort of hard to get things
done with all that partying.

the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid

I'm so embarassed. I feel so transparent. This is so me.

Over the past weekend

Saw The Missing, and saw Office Space again. Road House.
Tommy Lee Jones. You can't go wrong. I had never seen Cate Blanchett in anything before and I thought she did a great job. The kids were very good too. One thing I liked about it was how it didn't dwell on anything. Characters died without ceremony and without a great deal of explanation. Just like in real life. They just died. Great script. I confess though, what turned out to be almost more entertaining for me was the extras with Ron Howard. To me, he's very entertaining to watch and listen to when he's explaining how/why he did things the way he ded. Casting, story, script, etc. And also talking about John Wayne.
Office Space is hysterical but it's like the movie no one talks about. Whenever it is mentioned, big smiles appear and they'll talk about how much they love it, but it's strangely almost in a hush hush office way. Anyway I really enjoyed it. But don't tell anyone.
Road House. Have avoided seeing since it's release in 1989. Was on TBS on Sunday. Watched it. Stars Patrick Swayze and other good people. Typical Good Guy vs. Bad Gang of Redneck Toughs (which is why I had successfully passed on it so far)in '80's clothes. Sam Elliot was in it. By default any movie with Sam Elliot in it is a good one. And honestly if you look past the hokey implausible shit that makes up those kinda pictures, then you'll find it was entertaining, which is what I always want.

An amusing quiz

In my nightly surfing of blogs I came across this at Deadstar

You're Massachusetts!

You like tea parties, Thanksgiving, and pretty much any other excuse to
come together and eat. Just because the land you own is stolen, you've never seen a
problem with believing entitled to it and so much more. Your heritage is predominantly
Irish, English, or perhaps Italian, but you personally have never moved in your life.
You only ride horses late at night. All your favorite poems begin with the line
"There once was a man from Nantucket".

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I found most right on the money is that I'm half Irish, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I guess the rest of the descriptive stuff is pretty accurate, too.

my head hurts...

I have a sinus headache. I’m not really prone to illness, and even when it does strike, I pretty much just chug along anyway. Stoic is, as stoic does.
Except of course when it’s a headache. I used to get migraines a long time ago (and whatever changed to cease that hellish nightmare I don’t know, but thank you whatever it was) and as I like to say it was a kind of pain that would kill a small animal. Headaches for me are still a crippling thing because I rely heavily on being able to think (such as it is) and although I no longer wish for a swift and noble death during the event, headaches still suck.
Unimportant piece of trivia about moi. I’ve only had one (1) hangover in my life. It was a whopper too. My hair hurt that time. Yes, on other occasions the room has even spun at high velocity, yet I would awake fresh as a daisy. More importantly, ready for the next round!
But I digress. This animal is a sinus headache. Particularly rude in that there should be some effective remedy, but for me there isn't. There are so many over the counter concoctions that something should work. But no. I guess it’s just my physiology.
This is infinitely better than a migraine, but still I wish I could drill a hole and put a damn faucet to drain my head. Whoa, there’s unsettling imagery, and yet it would feel so great.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

a small diversion while cogitating on a name change

Shamelessly stolen from Yteews (who likewise stole it from a bunch of other ne'er do wells)

Your name spelled backwards.
Eeknay, Tucitcennoc A. (my friends call me Tuck)

Where were your parents born?
East of the Mississippi

What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?

What’s your favorite restaurant?
Tough one. For consistency everywhere I go, I’d have to say Wendy’s. For the overall dining experience it would be the aloof ambience and bold homefries of the Elm Diner, next door to the now defunct Armstrong Rubber Tire Co. factory, hands down. If we were talking just coffee (which is the only beverage considered a meal), well then, Dunkin’ D. without question.

Last time you swam in a pool?
Not a big pool kinda guy. Not yet in this century. Definitely though tail end of the last century sometime.

Have you ever been in a school play?

How many kids do you want?
I never knew this was optional. Man, things you learn too late.

Type of music you dislike most?
I hate country music. Yes, all the words in the last sentence were carefully chosen to provide the correct emphasis.

Are you registered to vote?
Yes, however ineffective that turned out to be in the last election when that cheating chuckleheaded mouthbreathing knuckleheaded moron got into office.
Do you have cable?
Yes. Why? Do you need some?

Have you ever ridden on a moped?
I would have. Really. I would have. If it wasn’t for the fact I’m a guy.

Ever prank call anybody?

Ever get a parking ticket?
Oh yeah

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
I have always wanted to go sky diving. I have always wanted to see how that scenario would work out with my fear of heights.

Farthest place you ever traveled.
I have been as far away as possible without leaving the globe.

Do you have a garden?
Two. One is known as my kids, and the other one, A Connecticut Yankee.

What’s your favorite comic strip?
In order: The Far Side consistently brings me to tears (I understand why you stopped Gary Larson but damn I miss you) Peanuts, BC, Garfield, and one that is no longer around that was called Animal Crackers.

Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?
yes, and the Star Spangled Banner is no picnic to sing either.
Bath or Shower, morning or night?
I can go either way, it really depends on the mood I’m in by the time Saturday rolls around

Best movie you’ve seen in the past month?
Spiderman 2

Favorite pizza topping?
I hate playing favorites on such an important question with so many possibilities, but, uh, um, oooh so many. Being as vague as possible, I would have to go with any combination of meats with lots of vegetables, oh and pineapple, I love pineapple.

Chips or popcorn?
Chips, no prep time involved (yes, I’m really that lazy)

What color lipstick do you usually wear?
Every man has secrets

Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
See here

Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?
No, but I won a Fredrick’s of Hollywood contest at a party once. Don’t bother to ask.

Orange Juice or apple?
Used to love OJ until about seven years ago when I had a breakfast bar and a glass of OJ that I later determined was bad because within 15 minutes of consumption I ralphed everything I had previously consumed since age 5 (or it felt like it). So since then I don’t eat breakfast bars (the unfortunate innocent, yet marked for life) or drink OJ. I really like apple juice.

Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine?
Wife and some friends at a place I had never been before called Café Reutier. I had the trout (it was a first for me I found it quite tasty)and a pleasant wheat ale.

Favorite type chocolate bar?
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in any form. I have be known to consume until the onset of illness

When was the last time you voted at the polls?
When I tried desperately to prevent the Bush hiring
Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
Last couple of weeks

Have you ever won a trophy?

Are you a good cook?
Yes, but I’m a great baker. Kind of a baking-savant

Do you know how to pump your own gas?

Ever order an article from an infomercial?

Sprite or 7-up?
Yeah, I bet ‘Sprite’ makes a bitchin’ Seven and Seven…Not!

Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work?
8 years, 5 months, and 23 days in the good ole U.S. of Air Force

Last thing you bought at a pharmacy?

Ever throw up in public?
A big NO on that one.

Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love?
I don’t believe true love can be found where the net worth is less than a million.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Ever call a 1-900 number?

Can ex’s be friends?
I don’t know

Who was the last person you visited in a hospital?

Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby?
I don’t remember. I do now, does that help?

What’s your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character?
Toonces, the cat who could drive a car

What was the name of your first pet?
Tippy, the cat who could not drive a car but could cop an atitude

Favorite thing to do before bedtime?
Like I’m gonna tell you…

What is one thing you are grateful for today?
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

But Mom, all the other kids have really cool websites

As I see the sites that began around the same time that I did evolving into these really cool websites, I think, "Hey I want a really cool site too!"
Don't get me wrong, I love A Connecticut Yankee, but let me tell ya it seems like a bitch to come up with a template idea for it. So I may soon be embarking on a quest for a new identity.
And this would be the part where you, the viewer could join in! (and I know this will open up a can of digital worms but...)
Any Suggestions? And please, I wish to avoid an 'R' rating, so suggestions like,'The Fuckin'Amazing Blog!"or, "Now I'm Gonna Fuckin' Tell You What I Think!" are not gonna fly (but thanks for trying, and it proves you're reading me!)
Anyway, you get the idea.
I hope.

Monday, August 23, 2004

I had to laugh...

I've done a bunch of these type tests and they always turn out the same. (editor's note: I'm not really an architect...but I could be. Many thanks to Nicole for this 'test'.

Introverted (I) 84.38% Extroverted (E) 15.63%
Imaginative (N) 57.5% Realistic (S) 42.5%
Intellectual (T) 79.41% Emotional (F) 20.59%
Easygoing (P) 69.44% Organized (J) 30.56%
Your type is: INTP
You are an Architect, possible professions include - strategic planning, writer, staff development, lawyer, architect, software designer, financial analyst, college professor, photographer, logician, artist, systems analyst, neurologist, physicist, psychologist, research/development specialist, computer programmer, data base manager, chemist, biologist, investigator.
Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

The laugh part was of course when I read possible professions - neurologist. I'm thinking back a few days to when I was major stressing in head to head combat with a home appliance that has it's own personal Y-type power plug and circuit breaker. So yeah, there's probably only a step or two up to neurosurgery. Oh yeah, I'd be a most excellent neurologist. Possible nicknames: Capn Neuro, Dr. NOS (Nerves of Steel), or Swifty.
The last one doesn't really fit, I just like it and have always harbored a desire to be known by it even though it isn't really cool.
OK, not really true, but it is infinitely better than Scooter. I did know someone with that nickname. whoa.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A Man Vs. A Machine

About two weeks ago we discovered that the Mean Time Between Failures (or MTBF in statistical terms) for our 15 year old Kenmore electric clothes dryer appears to be at this point in time - 15 years. This fact came to light when my distraught teenage daughter came to me and said, "I’ve been running the dryer forever (later discovered the items involved pants, a shirt, and delicates) and it [the dryer] won’t dry” . Not alarmed as yet, I inquired, “What time did you put them in?” “One o’clock” was the reply. As it was now a good hour and a half later I thought it was okay to be alarmed and/or start the internals gears turning to signal that it is time to probably get pissed. We proceed together to the cellar door and sure enough, there were no rhythmic drum noises emanating, but there was a curious small motor noise for which I immediately determined that no matter what, this was really, really gonna suck. So we tromp on downstairs and the dryer was not making it’s muffled hot air noises, but again it was making a curious small motor noise.
Oh, I neglected to mention that at the time this happened we had houseguests that had been with us for a few days already and the six of us were all leaving the next morning on a joint vacation kinda thing. So it was definitely laundry time including the dryer, of course. Which is why you can now understand my outburst directed toward the dryer, “Oh No! No, Not Today! Today is NOT a good day to die! The dryer did not respond. With several bad words exclaimed occasionally under breath and occasionally not, a trip to the Laundromat was made after laundering the necessaries. We went on our trip had fun and didn’t think about the dryer.
Then we came home. There it was. Waiting. Silent. Broken. I procrastinated, as I like to do whenever I get around to it, and a couple of weeks went by. I said to myself, this is not going to beat me, we’re not getting a new dryer. Armed with the internet I started looking for answers and troubleshooting tips for the symptoms (heats up, drum doesn’t bother to fucking turn) and what came back were multiple possible scenarios, the very most likely one being ‘the belt was broken’. Yep, made sense given the noises it generated and the ones it didn’t.
Time for exploratory surgery. I wasn’t too worried. I did at one time work on incredibly sophisticated electronic equipment in the military, so I’m thinkin’ this will be a walk in the park. I carefully move the demon dryer out. Remove all screws from all available panels, laying them out carefully on top of the flat surface of the washer (which, as opposed to the dryer, works) so that they will go back to their intended holes. Then removed panels and found that…YES! The belt was in fact broken!. Walk in the park, my friend, a walk in the park. Out to the dryer drum belt store for a new belt. Return home. Arrrgrgrh. Time to go to work, cannot address situation with dryer today. Must be tomorrow. Tomorrow arrives. I head to the basement to do battle with the wee beastie and as I get down the stairs I see the screws have been moved and placed into a nice, though not arranged in any way, pile that is also not located on the washer. Ignoring this future problem I press on. I slipped the new belt on and discovered it to be way to big. Oh except that isn’t true. Funny, but apparently the belt also has to weave through a mechanism that is held in place by of all things, the tension of the belt. Momentary panic. And ever so briefly, it was known as the fuckin’ dryer. I pretty quickly figured out the path the belt needed to travel so that turned out to be no real big deal and everything went back together relatively quickly. And it worked! I was mighty proud of myself. Worthy of a few Tim Allen gorilla grunts. Most manly It is a good thing when you can declare victory over major electrical appliances.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

While pondering the universe...

I got the urge, the feeling that all would be ok if I could just get hold of a pizza.

Really that was the whole of it. Just a pizza.

I've added links finally for some well deserving individuals and one couple. Please take a moment to cruise their sites while I go get my pizza.

It's the little things, y'know.

If you're not here when I get back, Hey, as always, Thanks for stopping by. mmmmm pizza.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Tivo, anyone?

I'm debating getting Tivo and DirectTV. Anybody have any experience with these. I can look up the technical spec's, blah, blah, blah, but I'm looking for info on what they think about it. ie. it changed my life, or it sucks.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Legally Stupid Drivers and the famous Funkel Brothers, Simon and Gar

I had to drive my son to upstate Massachusetts today. A round trip that should have taken between, and that’s including potty breaks, 3 to 4 hours, tops. Timing it so that I even left a little early (which in my book is usually considered a heinous act) I mounted my highway offensive and quickly engaged the cruise control at a brisk 73/74 mph (the thinking here is that both the State of Connecticut’s and Massachusetts’ finest won’t bother with the ugliness of a ticket if you’re violating the speed laws by 9mph or less).
Alas, a smooth uneventful trip was not meant to be. They came out early. Who are they you ask? You know who they are. Those numbskulls who by some freak of nature get to drive a motor vehicle. If you checked their licenses, you would see a placeholder restriction no. 5 – legally stupid. You try to cruise along making good time when they come up behind you, pretend they’re going to pass, but actually manipulate your driving by causing you to slow down or speed up because there’s just not enough room to make the moves cleanly because traffic is to heavy. We then get almost to the first major city (Hartford, CT) and some undetermined event turns the four lane highway into a pack of cars moving at showroom speed for like an hour! It also happened again in Worcester, MA (a city I have never really felt one way or the other about, but this was not helping its’ public relations).
Let me put that part of the entry on hold for a second while I talk about some else related to the trip. Recently picked up a bunch of DVD’s at Walmart for $10 each (I so love that) and in a moment of nostalgia, picked up a Best of CD of Simon and Garfunkel. I believe Paul Simon is among the elite in terms of songwriting, with Sting, Jim Morrison, Prince. That being said, the only thing of Simon’s work that I’ve purchased since 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover is Graceland. I had Simon and Garfunkel albums when I was a kid and I loved there music and would play the albums for hours on end. They broke up and I stopped listening, moving onto other music. Again, I loved their music as a kid (I was about 9 or 10 when I was under their influence) and when I saw the (reasonably priced two disc set) I felt a must have feeling and made the purchase. I played them in the car as I was coming back on the second leg of today’s Mass. Adventure, and I am thoroughly enjoying them, rediscovering how brilliant a writer Paul Simon is. Then it occurs to me as I’m stumbling down memory lane is that except for A Bridge Over Troubled Water, most of the songs are really depressing, bleak, and pretty negative. Suicide was a recurring theme, Geez. Which was one way to look at the sixties, but man, I had no idea Simon was so dark all the time he was influencing my musical childhood. Still, they are great tunes though.
Oh, and the trip, including the 7 minutes it took to drop him off, was 6 ½ hours.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

installment #59

A friend from Cleveland, OH came by last week, staying with us for a few days. We had a good visit, then Thursday we all headed north to the Boston area for further vacation activities. Friday we all headed from our lovely accommodations in Waltham, MA to Freeport, ME, in search of LL Bean (no relation), the most awesome store on the face of the Earth. Open 24/7 and all their stuff is 100% guaranteed (and they do back up that claim). Amongst other goodies we purchased 4 very cool sleeping bags (maybe we’ll go camping someday!). I personally did the very manly thing and scoped out all the hunting and fishing equipment imparting all the appropriate ooh’s, aah’s, and grunting noises of satisfaction that one should make in the presence of most excellent wilderness gear. Very tired, we left the most awesome store on the face of the Earth at about 11pm (I really wanted to crash in the van for awhile to get a second wind and go back in because it is, the most awesome store on the face of the Earth, but it was apparently not meant to be). We were hungry as well, and I don’t know about the rest of the country but Maine would appear to close down at dusk, roll up the sidewalks as it were. We figured Friday night, hey, something’s gotta be open. Well, it turned out to be Wendy’s (yeah!), but only the drive-up window, the restaurant part closes at 10pm. Can Maine(ian’s)(?) party or what! So we strapped on the old feed bags and downed as much Wendy’s as we could and headed back to Massachusetts. Saturday took us to Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market, and the ever amazing Museum of Science. The Spin Doctor’s were doing a free concert in the City Hall Plaza, which was very cool.
Sunday was time for a visit to the cool Boston relatives, and then on to home in the Nutmeg State. It is so embarrassing being the Nutmeg State. It’s like when all the cool football team names are taken and you wind up with The Beavers!, or The Chipmunks! Dumb Nutmeg.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I don’t really give a shit about Viet Nam

I was reading another blog in which the author with reference to John Kerry was saying that he (the author) doesn’t give a shit about Viet Nam and is tired of hearing about Kerry’s war record and how it really doesn’t make any difference to him (the author) that he (Kerry) has a war record and that Bush does not, because there are other factors involved. The author is widely read so there were many respondents (seemingly all in favor of the author’s viewpoint, in fact he appears to be beloved).
For my own part, I don’t have trouble with the any viewpoint because, hey, it’s a free country, but I gotta tell ya, I’m deeply saddened by the implications of these simple statements.
I am a babyboomer, which makes me between 40 and 58. I’m happy to report the figure is much closer to 40 than it is to 58. That also means I fall into the minority part of the population. Those known as Gen-Xr’s make up the greater part of the populace. It makes sense that for Gen-X Viet Nam is such a distant and abstract concept that who would care? There isn’t any direct impact from the Nam experience. They know fewer and fewer people who were actually connected with the event (a relative or friend who went that either died there or came back so fucked up that the war still continues for them, even as we speak).
I think back to when I was a kid growing up in the Sixties and Seventies and the Gen-X equivalent of Nam is WWII (World War II). I was no part of it, have no experiences from it, and yet I don’t have that, “Well ain’t that just too fuckin’ bad since I wasn’t there” attitude about it. I know my parents went through WWII and when I was in grade school a rhyme that went around (and it was only because the word weenie was used in a penile context for comedy and rhyming purposes) was;

Adolph Hitler was a jerk
Mussolini bit his weenie
Now it doesn’t work

Oh yeah, had the fifth graders roarin’ with that one. Here we were in the Sixties so Hitler and Mussolini for me, totally foreign concepts! No Holocaust implied or otherwise at that point in my life.

One of my first jobs was as a security guard and I worked with a guy named Dean who was in his early twenties and had served in Nam and was now home. He was quiet and kept to himself mostly. One night he and I were standing and talking outside on the sidewalk in front of the tire factory that we were ‘guarding’, when a car that was driving by backfired. In a split second, and I mean that in all sincerity, it was a split second, Dean was spread eagle and flatter than roadkill on the sidewalk. The moment apparently brought to mind a mental souvenir of his trip to Nam.
One could easily say, “so?” I can even say that myself. I can also say that it didn’t change my life or dissuade me from joining the Air Force six years later but I do remember it crystal clear…even after thirty years, and I care about it because it affected someone else. That’s why you don’t have to pay homage, or get down on your knees and pray about all the wonderful (or non-wonderful) things in your life. Just remember that there was a time when it was a real BFD, and that doing so is not a pain in the ass (like Bush).
I wonder how long it’s going to be before there are blogs stating, “I don’t give a shit about 9/11.
When I hear someone say, “If Bush wins”. Please someone explain to me how it is not that obvious that he is a moron. I was in Boston over the weekend and a T-Shirt that I saw said, ‘I’m for the Red Sox, and anybody who beats the Yankees!’. Let me extend that to say, “I’m for Kerry, and anybody who beats Bush!”

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I know something you don't know (and it hurts to tell you what it is)

Just saw The Village. Another job by a master storyteller. It was not nearly as scary as I was led to believe. It was TV-movie scary, which of course, can be really scary (Most Stephen King made for TV-movies). Or just kinda scary (anything where Tori Spelling speaks). But this never really got past regular TV-Movie scary.
And now comes the problem. Can't recommend it. I do become an idiot whenever I see one of his movies because despite hundreds (nay thousands) of blatant clues, I absolutely never (ever) figure it out before the surprise comes. Which is where I feel the, 'I was disappointed with the surprise' comes in. I was still surprised, but not happy surprised. The movie is well written in terms of a story well crafted and entertaining but a bogus premise underlies. I really did like the dialogue, and superior acting. Joaquin Phoenix was standout.
Can't recommend throwin' down good hard cash to see it at the movies though. More than a few would be mad at me if I did. Possibly seek me out for revenge. Go to the movies if you're an incredibly big fan of M. Night Shyalaman, and feel that there is nothing he can do wrong. Otherwise, it should be out on DVD in about three months.
Man, it really hurt to write this one, but it had to be done.
As a postscript, I did see a preview for one with Kim Bassinger and that guy from The Transporter,Jason Statham, that looked really good but may very well teeter-totter on the edge of possibly to hokey to buy into. On the other hand William H Macy's in it, 'nuf said. It was called Cellular.