Saturday, December 26, 2009

So this is what a white Christmas is like.

I've been living in the Midwest for three winters now and this is easily the most obnoxious. My first winter here was ridiculously cold. Last year was pretty mild except for one big storm that we missed while we were in California and some freezing rain that caught me by surprise. This year is another year of firsts for me.

We got a pretty good helping of snow in October while I was in California but I figured there would be more when I got home. Nope. No sign of any until December. November was pretty easy. There were some pretty warm days and getting around for Thanksgiving was a breeze. Then December rolled in and all bets were off.

Out here it's a well known fact that it's very hard to predict the weather because we sit right where everything seems to meet up meaning it could be any number of things depending on which way the wind is blowing or which storm system is stronger. Last year they sat on their hands and waited for things to happen before reporting for fear of being wrong. The result was a lot of people getting caught with their pants down while nature kicked their asses. Admittedly most people out here get their weather forecast by looking out the window and head out on even the worst of days. I think they really enjoy seeing their car in a tree or ditch on the news later in the evening.

A lot of people probably think Jill and I are a bit too obsessive about the weather. We're over-planners to begin with so it's only natural that we watch the radar prior to making any weekend plans. If it's going to be bad we stay in, canceling plans if needs be. It's just not worth the risk. Tangent over.

I've been through my first few blizzards and I think we're very fortunate that the snow accumulated the way it did. There's something magical about taking 30 minutes to quickly blow the little bit of snow from the driveway and sidewalk while the people across the street spend hours clearing their snow. Some do it in shifts. Others half-ass it and then drive through it for fear of breaking a sweat. Only one of them does his like clockwork. Here comes another tangent.

We have a neighbor we refer to as Gary Gone Wild since he spend his first summer here topless. He works out of his garage doing odd jobs fabricating things for people. He does okay with it. We have to listen to him grinding metal all day long but he does close shop in the evenings. Aside from the pile of junk he stores in his driveway he's one of my favorite neighbors. He's usually the first one out clearing snow. Like me, he does his entire driveway and sidewalk while everybody else just does their driveway since nobody gets ticketed for neglecting to do their sidewalks. I wish the rest of our neighbors had the same work ethic as Gary. Tangent number two complete.

Even though I've spent a great deal of my vacation trapped at home it's been really nice. The snow gives me a reason to go outside and stay busy rather than napping the day away. I say, bring on more snow as long as it continues to fall everywhere but my driveway.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it snow... for hours on end... and have it make the news.

My adorable wife took pity on me and suggested a snow blower this year. We shopped around and looked at a few. We were hesitant to take the plunge since they're expensive and we figured we'd have time to make an educated decision since there were plenty to choose from. The next day we heard on the news that we had 8 inches to look forward to on Tuesday. Snow on Sunday kept people out of the stores so we headed out Monday during my lunch break to buy one. There were just a few left so we lucked out. I'm sure there were a lot of disappointed people at Lowes that afternoon.

I figured out the trick to it pretty quick. I'm still adjusting to not having a completely clear driveway and sidewalk but I'll live. It's really nice to be able to effortlessly clear snow while my neighbors take a few hours to do theirs or half of theirs.

After a quick clearing the snow started to really fall and blizzard rumors were confirmed. Rather than worry about how much I was going to have to do the next day I chose to watch my neighbor instead...

Around midnight we saw lights and a Hyundai warming up in the driveway, surrounded by heavy snow. At the end of the driveway was a pickup sliding back and fourth. It was parked behind the Hyundai earlier. Their mother was visiting for the day and decided it would be a good idea to drive home that night. The real story however was the douche in his pickup. Rear wheel drive and deep snow don't compliment each other. Come to think of it neither does front wheel drive. A moderately intelligent person would have grabbed a shovel and cleared the driveway but this guy decided to just spin his wheels. His wife even came out with a shovel and instructions. Rather than listening he started pointing to where he wanted her to dig. She then threw the shovel into the yard and went back inside.

He was slightly peeved by this because from what I gather it's her job to do the shoveling. He dug a little bit hoping that if he could just get some momentum he would make it all the way up. Nope. He continued to spin his wheels for another half hour or so and even tried to find alternatives to shoveling. None of them worked of course. The mother and wife came out later and there was a brief argument. The wife then got behind the wheel and the mother and douche pushed the truck. She went up the street and was gone. We'd find out later on the next day that the truck was abandoned around the corner. The mother picked up the wife and they hopefully made it to wherever they were headed.

There is nothing better than watching my neighbors be dumb and they never disappoint.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have a short list of movies that I will not watch ever again. It's not because I don't love these movies. I just don't like blubbering like a girl while watching a movie. My wife can cry during any movie but I'm more selective.

Most people think my list is too short. They immediately start naming movies I should be including but honestly as sad and tragic as those movies are I spend more time appreciating the story than I spend actually absorbing the moment enough to muster up some tears. For me it has to be a little more than just a depressing moment. That's why I don't cry watching most Robin Williams dramas, Dancer in the Dark or Shindler's List. I'd be lying if I didn't say that there is a dominant theme in the movies that affect me. I don't own these movies because I'd never watch them and I certainly don't leave them on TV when I come across them. I simply look for an educational program or sports to keep my mind occupied.

I'll feel sad in any movie where an animal dies. It's a funny thing about that. I can watch just about anybody get gunned down but as soon as something bad happens to a dog I feel bad even if the dog belongs to the villain.

Let's take a look at what does it for me. A few of these are guaranteed sobbers for most people that have seen them. If you haven't seen the movies don't spoil it by watching these clips.

Field of Dreams
Youtube doesn't have a the touching, yet manly conclusion. In summary, Costner plays catch with is dad and and then I get something in my eye. This one is pretty much man specific. I can't think of a lot of women who reach the end of this movie and break down.

Life is Beautiful
Most people regard holocaust films as a cop-out when compiling sad movie lists. This one is special because the point of view of the characters and a stellar performance by an obnoxious Italian. I saw this movie once and it was enough.

Sling Blade
I can watch BBT do Karl Childers over and over because it's damn funny and at the same time the sincerity of the character is profound.

The Iron Giant
Anybody who hasn't seen this cartoon probably thinks I'm dumb for turning on the waterworks at the end of a family movie. Give it a watch then call me. Superman bitches.

Feel free to share any movies you think I might have missed. I think it's a solid list. Remember I'm not talking about mopey movies. These are films that get me all choked up and require a certain amount of swallowing and blinking. I could do a million blogs about depressing movies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Dog

What's the deal with dogs? She has to take a crap and whines at me to take her outside. Once outside she wanders the yard for 10 minutes until she ultimately decides to go in the spot where she always goes.

When I need to do my business I don't wander from bathroom to bathroom in my house sniffing around to help me decide which of my three toilets is the best one to use.

Why are dogs so stupid?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You take the bad...

Let's talk about the Facts of Life. Not in general, mind you, the TV sitcom.

I never actually watched the show but I was recently made aware that one of the characters lost their virginity and it was a big deal. Looking at the picture above you probably thought what I though but no, it wasn't the hot chick. The actor who played Blair was overtly religious and refused so they went with the next logical choice. Yup, big ol' Natalie gave it up first.


You heard me correctly. Natalie was apparently the best choice. Like me you're probably asking why? This has been lingering in my skull recently so I decided to plot it out. Most will quickly dismiss this by stating that the fat chick is almost always the first to reach home plate unless there is a slut in the group. There really isn't a slut in the group unless you count Cloris Leachman but I don't because she was a casting change later on in the series and doesn't really count. I think it goes much deeper than that. The way I see it many a long night was spent trying to figure out how to do this one. Here is how I think it went down.

I picture a room of very tired writers with white boards figuring it out. Let's start with Tootie.

Tootie - She was off the table faster than you can say "race card." They weren't about to have the black girl be a harlot. It was hard enough countering the other white broads. Plus she was too darned cute. America wouldn't believe it and it would send the wrong message.

Jo - She's pretty much saving herself for Blair and since we know half of that equation cherishes her virginity this one will occur only in our dreams. Mine consists of a greasy Jo riding up on her motorcycle then being washed by Blair. I doubt she'd climb Mount Natalie but who knows. If Jo was to have any form of intercourse with a man I'd assume it would involve her raping the guy.

Blair - Even if she was willing it would be too cliche. Plus she was so stuck up the only person she could make love to would be herself. What a bitch.

That pretty much leaves us with Natalie. I know that there wasn't a lot of love for the manatee of the group but when you think about it she really is the logical choice. When you have a group of ladies such as this the heifer needs to keep up and the best way to do that is by being easy and she most certainly was. Add to that the undeniable truth that nobody looked up to her as a role model and you've got a slam dunk for the coming of age storyline.

Why do such a storyline? They were still teaching abstinence back then so wouldn't it be more logical to have a story featuring her getting to second or third base? Admittedly you can't do a drunken blow job story on a program such as this and it would be too awkward having her say no while some dude feels her up even though that worked on other programs where they can have the attractive girl on the show take a stand for her rights as a lady. Remember Natalie was a role model to nobody so they couldn't use this angle.

This is just one of the many things I think about when I'm up late at night with nothing to watch or read.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!

Nobody reads my blog so I've decided to use it to blow off some steam by talking about something that really burns my ass. Today we're going to talk about cheap beer and the losers that love it.

I'm not a beer snob in the least bit. Hell, I always have a couple of Miller Lights in the fridge just in case the mood hits me. It's pretty inexpensive considering what I typically drink. I like a good brown ale with just the right amount of everything that makes ale so damned good. I have a hard time justifying paying the extra cash for something I don't consume that often. Some would argue that's even more of a reason to buy the good stuff. I would tend to agree but I also like Miller Light. It keeps me out of the realm of beer snobbery but away from the riffraff I'm about to unload on.

I've heard my share of debate about how to best get drunk in the various drinking establishments I've patronized over the years. The most common one among marathon drunks is how best to get drunk. It's globally accepted that the best way to do so is by spending the least amount of money on something they don't really want to taste prior to turning it into piss.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (or PBR as they like to call it) is essentially a cooking beer that has become the mainstay of hipsters and Starbucks managers who like to socialize with a can of suds but refuse to pay more than a buck fifty for the stuff and even THAT is too much in some circles. When asked why they specifically order the stuff the usual reply is that it's better than Keystone, Busch Light, or Natural Ice. Three of the cheapest, blandest beers you can get without having to step into a 99 cent store. You're in a whole other class when you begin to look elsewhere for your hooch. It all pretty much tastes like piss and comes out exactly the same way it went in. In essence, PBR drinkers are piss connoisseurs. They've elevated this particular brand partially because of it's fifty cent premium over the lesser beers and because of a clever word of mouth campaign by Pabst (no really, look it up) to get the anti-cool kids to drink it thus making it the trucker cap of beers. Ironic. Don't you think? They sure do.

And what is a hipster. They're contradictions unto themselves. They're so against the grain that they drive it with their desire to isolate themselves from the brands they so loathe so they can afford the brands they so adore. I'm sure you've seen them flocking towards partially eaten fruit. They're second hand all the way until you take a look in their messenger bags and see their iPhone and Macbook. No wonder they're trying to save money. They're saving up for a new computer in a year. I'm more or less a hipster myself but self-applying such a name immediately removes me from the group. That sure was easy.

It's not just about hipsters though. Yeah, they're swine but society will deal with them in due time. Let's look at the other side of the coin. The other PBR drinkers. You know who they are. When the work day is done they're ready to get drunk. The problem they're faced with is prolonging the buzz without achieving what Jack Daniels fans do after about 45 minutes with a bottle of what they love. They reach for the watered down goodness of PBR since they're out and about. If they were home they'd just empty the 36 pack of Busch Light they got on the way home from work. They've worked hard and they're worth the extra fifty cents.

"You know PBR is pretty good. You should really try it."

You only think PBR is "pretty good" because it's all you and your broke-ass friends can afford. You want the cheapest possible beer so you can drink a lot of it since you're only drinking to get a drunk. If you want the same feeling I'd be more than happy to punch you in the head. You'll wake up with a sore noggin and no memory of the night before. On the upside your wallet will still have that $5 you've been saving to buy something really nice for your girlfriend when you celebrate that abortion she just got.

PBR sucks just as much as the three brews it strives to be cooler than. When you boil it all down you're feeding on the dregs and that's no place to be when beer is involved. I like beer. I prefer to enjoy it while drinking it and I can't enjoy it when I'm staggering about screaming like the village idiot. That's better left to people like my neighbors who, might I add, consider PBR to be too rich for their blood. I'll unplug a lamp before I make a compromise like that and honestly, if you're that hard up for cash your drinking habit might be part of that problem.

PBR, Keystone, Busch, Natural and the like are the beverages of losers.

I'll assume by the lack of head on that very full glass that Obama drinks PBR. From what I've heard he's also a Mac user so I'm pretty sure I'm right. What an asshole.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A gust of wind... A dog barks...

Summer is finally over and I can breathe a sigh of relief since I can now enjoy comfortable weather until March. It's bitter sweet though since my lawn will be dead soon.

With cooler temps comes travel. I've sworn off visiting the homeland during the Summer months because it's so darned hot. I think last time I was there during the summer they were experiencing record highs. Not gonna happen again.

I'll be landing in Orange County next Wednesday to visit everybody. The wife will be holding down the fort so I'll be staying with my mom in Mission Viejo since I'm not allergic to cats. I'm going to try to see as many of my friends as possible which is never easy since everybody keeps a full dance card. It's going to be exhausting but I'm confident I can bother everybody before I leave on Sunday.

I just got back from a business trip to Georgia a couple of weeks ago and I'll be headed East again with Jill in January for another Disney World trip. I'm very excited needless to say. It's been a bit of an adjustment for both of us just making one trip every other year to each park. I don't know how long we'll be able to keep doing it since it is very costly to go though I think our WDW trip is going to be less expensive than our Disneyland trip last January. We certainly get more out of our WDW trip but we still love the Anaheim experience as well and I get to see my family while I'm there.

I'm excited to be headed home for a little bit of relaxation Graham style which involves a lot of running around.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

With you always

I will admit that I make light of Jesus every now and then but I still believe in the guy. It's hard not to laugh when somebody does something like this.

This guy has an uncanny knack for using Jesus to make even the most normal and mundane moments awkward and strange.
I like to give them my own captions and tie them together.

Here's Jesus orchestrating the beating of that clown.

Here are a few more.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Doctor

So I've rediscovered Doctor Who again. For those of you that don't know Doctor Who is a very long running (the longest actually) science fiction program that has been a staples of BBC programming for since the 60's. They rebooted it recently but managed to keep the same format. I could give you the run down of everything but there's way too much. Let's just say it's about an alien who has a time machine. The older series was very campy with terrible effects akin to Star Trek but with a lot less Shatner.

I've started watching the entire series since Christopher Eccleston regenerated as The Doctor and it's every bit as good as it was. I was never able to make time to watch the rebroadcast on SciFi or is it SyFy now so it's nice to be able to finally fill in the episodes that I missed thanks to Netflix. I've been watching every episode that I can online but they always leave out the last DVD for some reason. I have two or three more episodes to catch before my DVD arrives Monday.

After I finish with series one I get to catch up with the 10th Doctor David Tennant who is equally good if not better than Eccleston's Doctor. It's tough to make the transition to another actor even though they're playing the same guy. It's like a new album by your favorite band. You want to enjoy it right away but you have to get used to it. Tennant was great out of the gates and I've seen about half of his episodes. I have until the Christmas Episode airs in December to catch up with everything. After that the next season will start and there will be a new Doctor to get used to. I'm not familiar with the actor and it will be odd to have a guy younger than me playing him. The same could be said of Tennant but he was such a good fit that I never noticed.

If you're not familiar with the series you should give it a go.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No riding mower?

This is a first for Ask Graham. I've been called out by Sharon who thinks pushing a mower is unmanly. Since when is manual labor unmanly???

It's a well known fact that I identify with my lawn like many guys identify with their cars or their beer consumption the latter of which is very sad. I take great pride in my lawn and go to great lengths to make it look as good as possible.

The biggest part of being manly, which I don't expect a woman to understand, is knowing how to use the right tool for the job. I live on less than a quarter of an acre which doesn't leave a lot of room for a riding mower. There is no room to turn around and get the very specific trim lines I love looking at. The best way to achieve this is with a self propelled mower. It's not the size of a tool that makes it manly. It's all about using your tools correctly. If you don't have the correct tool you go out and get it.

When I build things with wood I don't use a gigantic chainsaw. If I'm cutting 2x4 for framing I use a compound miter saw. I have a hand-held circular saw which gets use for plywood and small cuts. I will even use a hand saw from time to time if that's what is required.

I understand that being a woman makes it difficult for Sharon to understand concepts like these so I'll simplify it a little more. Do you grab the biggest screwdriver in the toolbox or put the biggest bit on a power drill to tighten a loose screw on your hairdryer? No! You get the screwdriver that fits. Who am I kidding. You probably throw it out and buy a new one.

Sharon will understand the day she grows a penis and learns to mow a lawn with the correct type of mower.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Story time with Carl

I'm a little too lazy to come up with something to write about so I'll just share this bit of hilarity. If you are my wife I would refrain from listening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trail blazin'

It's Tuesday and I'd like to say I'm at a crossroads but I'd have to be on a path to reach that point. Those of us that blaze a trail of our own don't encounter off ramps or any kind of delineation with the exception of whatever may impede our progress through the fields of uncertainty. We stomp hard so those who follow us know where we've been.

As was noted in an earlier post I turned 31 last week. I typically see another year as one step closer to the grave and I am working my way towards that demise. It's a screwed up way to look at it but only if you don't enjoy the means at which you make it happen. I don't enjoy the means in which I'm making it happen but I'm trying to.

At work I find trenches where I can hunker down and fight my battles and trust that the lack of skill among those that surround me will ensure my progress. True, they can take you down with them and in many cases they do. The trick is to avoid obstacles. I used to do quite a bit of research and development but most of that work involved me identifying obstacles which I was and still am very good at. Today it's mostly reports and very little problem solving. I lack the tools to motivate my guys into doing their jobs but I've found a solution as of late.

It's incredible how much people do to keep from getting hassled. That's the crux of it really. They don't want to be told over and over to do their jobs so they do their jobs. It's micro-management on my part which sucks but in the long run it builds habits for both of us.

Let's talk about habits since I don't want to talk about work. I have habits like any human being though they're more like routines. I mow the lawn once a week. I've been trying to do the front and back on different days so I get additional time to enjoy it. My only other habit is keeping my car clean. Aside from those inane activities I don't have anything that I feel the need to do besides, eat, poop, and go to work.

I want to write music but it's hard to sit down and reflect on your life when there isn't much going on. I just don't see myself writing songs about visiting my in laws or mowing the lawn though I'm sure I could write plenty about the latter. I think I just need to find a way out of this funk I'm in and find a way to do with my life as I've done with work. I need to put on my big shoes and start wearing a path through somebody's yard.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I turned 31 yesterday and I feel like I turned 31. I can take it either way. Hooray for being old enough to be married and a homeowner. Hooray for being old enough to be taken seriously in most settings. There's a caveat to that. Save for some crazy ear hair and an assortment of grays and whites that do battle with my receding hairline for attention I still look pretty young. I occasionally get the "Wow. You don't look that old." from various young people who think they're older than me because they don't notice things like a wedding ring and the details noted above. I can add a few years by letting my beard grow in but I've grown tired of having one and have been going without.

Within the last year that's lessened since pretty much nobody asks for my credentials anymore. The only thing that makes an attempt to say, "Hey buddy, you're still young." is the self checkout at Wal*Mart when I try to buy an R Rated movie. I should do that more often.

I'm happy in general but I think I'd be happier if I was in my mid 20's. I think I'd do it better a second time around. I'd avoid younger people since they just thought I was dumb.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No "Ask Graham" this week. The only manly things I did were mow the lawn and grab my wife's ass. I mow the lawn every Wednesday so there's not really anything exciting about it except for the fact that I love it more than anything except maybe my wife.

It's a bit of an illness. I typically look out the upstairs window at my front and back lawn before going downstairs each morning. I usually do the same thing before going to bed at night. I don't come out and say "Good night lawn." but I think it. My favorite part about walking the dog is coming back and admiring it from up the street. I scoff at the crappy lawns my neighbors have. The jack hole next door mows about once a month. He usually waits for it to look like shit for two weeks before he considers doing anything. It gets so damned long that he has to bag it. He has to stop every 5 minutes, kill the engine, loosen up the clippings in the bag, fire it back up and do another 5 minutes. It's annoying.

That's not to say people look at me when I do my lawn. I do two sweeps at opposite angles to make it look awesome from any angle. I switch my pattern every other month so each pattern is done four times. After that I go at a different angle so as to not impact the soil. If it's raining I can take it easy on the watering. This year it's been flipping dry so I have to give the front and back 30 minutes of water every morning if temps hit the 90's otherwise I go every other day.

I also build bird feeders and bird houses.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Motivated but not inspired

I work in the basement (I call it my office) Monday through Friday. I keep my guitars nearby in case I want to grab one after quitting time and write some songs. I don't really have any inexpensive projects to do around the house that don't involve being outside during my least favorite season. I can't for the life of me figure out why people enjoy sweating their asses off. I don't have a body to show off. In fact I really only get wardrobe compliments when I'm almost completely covered up. Thanks everybody.

At the end of the day I really want to write some music. I'm very motivated to to an LP since I have yet to do one even though I've written enough songs for several. I lack the inspiration to put together something. The most obnoxious part is that I can build crap out of wood like I'm putting together something out of Legos. I just start cutting and eventually I have a bird feeder or a work bench yet I can't write a damn song. I can do everything but the hook.

For those of you that don't know (the four people that read this do) the hook the part of the song that makes you want to listen to it. The singer in my last band could come up with a hook like my dog farts. I'm like a typical bachelor's refrigerator. All condiments. I can finish your song if you don't know what to do with it using my side dishes.

I swear I'm just going to start working on it. I know how to do it so I just need to do it. I've decided to start with an album cover.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Friday men and aspiring men! I wasn't able to post a letter last week because I was at a manly conference. It was a good time. I learned how to not cry and belch my favorite drinking songs all while mowing the lawn and winning a bar fight. I am now even better equipped to help you.

Anonymous wrote:

Dear Graham,
I was looking for an outfit for
my dog the other day. My wife insisted on a little dog that yaps like you wouldn't believe. I'd like to get it some outfit or accessory to make it appear more manly so I don't feel so self conscious while walking it. I was thinking a studded collar or a vest with a skull on it. Something like that.

Respectfully yours,

Woodrow Teagan
Tampa, FL

Thanks for writing Woo... I'm going to call you Steve because there is no way Woodrow is your real name. If it is I suggest changing it to something less strange. Also, don't you or anybody ever start a letter with "Dear Graham" again. Let's talk about that dog.

There is nothing less manly than a yappy dog. I feel your pain. I don't quite understand why you would think that dressing it up like a teenage girl that reads those Twilight books while drooling over guys wearing lipstick would be a good idea. Honestly people. At what point did the quintessential accessory for a gay man at an S&M club become considered a way to "butch" up an otherwise effeminate dog? Don't put that on your dog unless you plan on taking him to the Blue Oyster Bar for dancing.

What about the vest you say? Apparently you didn't see the picture above. Take another look at Woodrow doing the tango with that large man. Now look to the left. See that cue ball watching them? What's he wearing?

Get your dog a normal collar or harness. The less conspicuous the better. Forget the leash. All you need is a good length of rope to hook to the collar or harness. There is nothing manlier than a length of rope. Say it with me. "Length of rope." Feels good doesn't it?

Now go fourth and walk your damn dog.

Applesauce bitch.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I have to return some video tapes.

I haven't been writing much. I blame my incredibly exciting life. It's hard enough to do my wildly popular "Ask Graham" posts let alone think of something to ramble on about. When I ponder the facets of my life I'm left with brief statements regarding each.

I love my wife.
I love my dog.
Work sucks.
I have a nice yard.
I need drums.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday is here so I'll treat you to some...

It's Friday which means it's time to ask Graham. Graham will do his best to answer your questions about all things men should know but some just don't. He knows more than you do.

Anonymous writes:
And a good day to you sir! I'm a a big aviation buff and Top Gun is one of my favorite movies. I believe it's gotten a bad rap for a perceived undertone of homosexuality. I don't agree with this as Maverick clearly goes after a chick. What do you think?

Flying by,
Robert "Ace" McCormick
Dallas, TX

You can post my real name but I'd prefer it if you wouldn't.

Graham responds:
Nice to meet another movie lover though I do question the movies Anonymous loves. To answer your question the bad rap is fully justified as this movie makes "Velvet Goldmine" look like "Full Metal Jacket." I'm sorry that I can't agree with you but this movie is just a little too light in the loafers. So much so that I can't see anything but what the movie is about. A few dudes that like to fly planes and hang out in the locker room together after a good shower. Have you seen Kelly McGillis lately. This is what a love scene with Tom Cruise does to you.

I'd love to say that this is a great movie about jets flying around and blowing up whoever our enemy was at the time but it's not. Maverick comes to grips with his sexuality and in the end chooses his lover in the form of Ice Man (Val Kilmer) by pointing at him nonetheless!
"I choose YOU to hang out with me and make a shit load of pop corn.

There are just too many obvious moments to ignore. Perhaps you forgot this scene.

You don't even have to watch it. You can just listen to the Kenny Loggins song and feel the sweaty embrace of a man. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In summary it's a pretty soft movie but I guess you could do worse. You can defend it all you want but the signs are all there. In my opinion it would have made a better musical.

Go rent a real movie.

If you or anybody you know has questions about how to be manly and/or do manly things. Let me know. I'd be more than happy to set them straight.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I used some tools

I had a manly weekend. I got my butt up at the crack of 10am on Saturday and enjoyed a very cool morning digging a trench in the backyard and laying mulch. I like using shovels and my wheel barrow. Later on in the day I hung up some mounting hardware so I can hang my wheelbarrow up out of the way. I've been on an organizing kick in the garage.

The in-laws came over later on in the day and I cooked meat using fire. It was awesome. We went on a walk and made fun of the neighbor's crappy yards.

Today was equally awesome. I drove all over the place trying to find cheapo cabinets to mount over my work bench. I should have just gone to Home Depot first and saved myself the trouble since nobody else had anything. They went together pretty quick and didn't give me any trouble going up which I surprised the crap out of me. I picked up some additional hardware for some extra shelves. Everything is up but they were out of peg board so I may try something different to mount my tools. They're pretty ugly right now but at least everything is put away. I'm also modifying my saw horses so I can store them easily. I cheaped out on those instead of getting the fancy plastic ones that fold flat. We're going to spring for a snowblower later this year so I'll need a place to store it. I'm pretty jazzed about my garage.

I'll tinker with it a little more this week. Having a garage rules.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Friday. That means it's time to...

It's Friday which means it's time to ask Graham. Graham will do his best to answer your questions about all things men should know but some just don't. He knows more than you do.

Anonymous writes:
My question is about preparing and cooking meat. I am a big fan of meat and would like to know the manly secrets of grilling. I'd like to start small then work my way to other meats and then maybe try some vegetarian treats. Thanks for the hand.

Your buddy,
Adam Pierce
Rochester, NY

I'd like to do this anonymously so I can impress my girlfriend.

Graham responds:
Thanks for putting your trust in me Anonymous. I pity any foo that doesn't know how to prepare and cook meat. I'm pretty sure that all men are born with the ability to select, season, then cook all forms of meat available today and by meat I mean beef, pork, poultry, fish, etc.

Since you were born without this important manly feature I'll help you out in case there are any post op transsexuals out there that may also want to know.

First and foremost you need to select your meat. There are two different ways to get your meat. You can get it from a butcher's shop or from the butcher at your local grocery store. I know they sell pre-packaged stuff but that's what chicks buy.

You want the biggest cut you can buy so people will gawk at the size of your meat. Take it home and unwrap it. Grunt at it then grab your girlfriend's/wife's ass.

Fire up your grill. This is the only way to cook meat. Mr. Foreman's novelty grill doesn't count. Put your meat on a plate and take it to the grill. You'll want to put your plate about six inches from the grill. Take your tongs and place the meat on the grill. After it stops sizzling that means the meat is done. Take your meat inside and show it to your girlfriend/wife. When they look away, grab their ass.

That's about it. You really don't need to do anything else. If you need seasoning or steak sauce, it's overcooked.

There aren't any vegetarian things you can cook on a grill because grills are made for cooking meat.

Get our there, find some meat, cook it, then eat it. Invite people over to eat it with you.

Enjoy your weekend.

If you or anybody you know has questions about how to be manly and/or do manly things. Let me know. I'd be more than happy to set them straight.

Friday, July 10, 2009

If you don't know the answer...

It's Friday which means it's time to ask Graham. Graham will do his best to answer your questions about all things men should know but some just don't. This is serious business.

Anonymous writes:
My question is about "Manscaping." What is it and how often should I do it? I would also like to know if there are specific areas to groom or do they all need equal attention? My roommate shaves him arms and chest so I'll assume that he takes care of other places as well. Help.

John Carlson
Phoenix, AZ

PS: Please do not use my real name.

Graham responds:
Thanks for writing Anonymous. Forgive me for answering your question with a question but what are you doing watching your roommate shave his chest? In all seriousness there is no reason to do any "Manscaping" whatsoever. If you must trim something, mow the lawn or find a less manly man that would let you mow his lawn. My neighbor would most likely let you take care of his.

If your female is demanding that you shave something you should be asking her why rather than asking me what you should shave. If she wants you to look a like a young boy while naked then I think it's time to find a new female.

Most men do it because of the old adage, "Trim the bushes to make the tree look taller." which is true in some cases but the way I see it, why cut back an attractive set of bushes if they're capable of hiding your "tree." I'd think you'd want to hide the thing at all costs.

Personally, I don't do it. I find that my female doesn't care and in fact likes my nethers to be adorned with foliage. In fact I grew a beard just so she'd have additional man hair to gawk at.

If you still feel the need to "Manscape" I'd suggest asking your female since grooming your body hair is something chicks do.

Good day.

If you or anybody you know has questions about how to be manly and/or do manly things. Let me know. I'd be more than happy to set them straight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I have nothing for you

It's difficult to blog when you don't do anything. I could talk about current events but let's be honest, everybody knows what is happening with the economy and Michael Jackson was not really an integral part of my adolescence. Because of that I've decided to share some Bollywood goodness. Here is how they do He Man.

It's God awful but at the same time it's brilliant. My wife hit the nail on the head when she stated that every musical number sounds the same. Since I don't speak Injun I'll simply assume every song is written by the same person. The John Williams of India if you will. I've actually seen quite a bit of what Bollywood has to offer the world. Most of it was by accident. I used to service a few Indian restaurants when I worked as a field tech at my job. I must say the films are much more enjoyable when they're not competing with the smell of Indian food. I'm sure they're even better when you know what's happening. I'd sometimes create my own story and do the subtitles in my head. I tried to stay as close to the subject matter that I thought was being presented.

On one occasion there was a film where the actors spoke English here and there. What a mind fuck that was. Here I was with a charming romantic comedy about a guy who likes to visit the park and feed the ducks every day on account of his obsessive compulsive tendencies. He catches the eye of a very attractive lady that couldn't possibly be interested in him even if he didn't wear tight pants and have a moustache. Little did I know that she was learning English from the guy and that the park was a nice setting for a musical number. Fuck.

I like "Call Me Al" by Paul Simon. That song fucking rocks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Doing what I want instead of what I should

I've been a bit selfish lately. I've been neglecting a song that I was well on the way of having finished on time before I got bored with the mess I was making of it. I've also given my wife maybe one half assed back rub. I'm not really obligated to do the former and I'd prefer not to do the latter even though it makes my wife happy.

It's not that I haven't felt satisfied because I have. I got a new car that utterly rules and I've been enjoying my favorite sandwich from Ralph's Subs in Orange now that I've acquired the ingredients to make an almost exact replica of it. It's not just about sandwiches either. I've been tending to my lawn which is quite beautiful and anybody who has taken the "About Me" quiz via Facebook knows that mowing the lawn is my favorite thing to do even though it should be playing guitar in the basement.

I was much more committed (and arguably better) at the guitar when I had a regular musical outlet in the form of a pretty good band and another delusional band that was equally awesome in our heads at least. I don't have any regrets about giving that up in favor of a house and a lawn far from it. I would jump at the chance to play some shows and at least play a little rock every now and then but honestly I just don't want to put in the level of commitment it requires. My last band consisted of two guys with a moderately heavy background in the local music scene. Both had been regularly paying their dues and enjoyed frequent rehearsals. Our drummer was the most tenacious out of all of us and was a polar opposite to my level of commitment which was usually to throw in one good rehearsal before a show the next night. It's not that I thought I was that good because I wasn't. I just never liked practicing or working at things. I like to just jump in and do it.

I take the same approach with recording myself. I have nothing that could resemble a studio. It's pretty much two guitars and some pirated software on an underpowered computer. With that I try my darnedest to make what I have sound like a normal song rather than something a recording novice like myself did in his basement. The unfortunate thing is that there are needs associated with that. I need a bass guitar, bass amp, drums, mics, and a decent means of mixing all of that. Instead I have to mic my guitar amp, fake a bass guitar with it and program all of my drums. Don't even get me started on what my voice sounds like when I record. I've played my prior attempt for several people and the typical response was, "You're better than this." Am I really or am I just used to the benefit of having talent around me?

I know if I just sit down and hit record and turn off the personal critic I could finish my music quickly and decently but I don't because that nagging idea that I'm potentially better than what I'm doing makes me want to continually tweak the last 10 seconds of sound that I just recorded to make it sound the way I think it should sound. I'm not even going to blame the things that I've been doing instead since I have had ample opportunities to work on my song. Honestly, after a long day at work I just want to sit with my wife and dog and not work at a computer.

On the subject of being adequate I've learned that the Pixies are doing a new album. I was initially excited but then I took to pondering what that would mean. It could be good and probably will be but therein lies the problem. I'm prepared to hear a good album but I know it's not going to be a great album. It's not going to be what I knew them to be back when they were using the fledgling group to develop what would eventually move on to other projects for them. This leaves the debate. Why be good when you've already been great? Sloan is great. I think every album, including the bad ones, are great. They keep it going so there is no lapse to get used to a particular album. I don't sit with Navy Blues or Between the Bridges hoping that the next album will have similar songs on it. They've become so good at stealing from themselves one only needs to listen to an album a few times to realize that it's something special and doesn't need to be held up to their previous efforts since they've been part of an evolutionary process. The Pixies left well enough alone and that's been enough all these years. Sometimes it's just better to stick with what you know rather than trying to re-ignite that old spark especially when you know damn well that some other kids found your matchbook and already burned through whatever you left in there.

Bringing it back to me I find myself in a strange place because I never really found that groove which leads me to believe that I could still pull off something great if I just knew where to start. Instead I'm trying to modify what is already perfect so it sounds like something I did which to me it most definitely does currently because it's unfinished and sounds like crap. It's like widdling away at a piece of wood. A good widdler knows that less is more and knows when to stop. He doesn't expect any more than he gets out of a piece of wood. What I do is cut away at the wood until all that is left is a much smaller piece of wood that I can't do anything with.

I'm going to take that piece of wood and see if there is anything I can work out. There is still a lot of options left but I think I went in the wrong direction when I started. I started widdling a monkey when I knew I should have just made a duck.

Let's make a list. My wife makes lists and usually gets through most of her list
Finish song
Minor landscaping
Finish work bench in garage
Shelving for basement storage
Re-arrange office
Write some damn songs

That's a realistic list for me. I won't likely finish it all before my 31st birthday but I would like to finish at least one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paper cups needed

Jill and I were finally able to replace our espresso machine that bit the dust last Winter. Thanks to some lavish purchases we had sufficient credit card points to buy ourselves a much nicer espresso machine. It's not a fantastic machine but unlike our old one this one is fully cleanable and has sufficient instructions on how to do so. I'm fortunate enough to know how to make these delicious coffee drinks thanks to the years (decade?) that I spent at the Coffee Grove in Villa Park. I think I actually learned how to make drinks while on a short staffed day an employee had to use the bathroom. I offered to watch the door. Two hours after said person returned from the bathroom I removed my apron and enjoyed a free beverage.

This isn't the first time I worked someplace without actually working there. Besides the time I covered my brother in the Burger King drive through a year and a half after I quit working there I also did a stint at First Class Pizza. I went in to order a free pizza and my friend who owned the place plopped a ball of dough on the counter and said, "You know where the cheese is at." I made about 15 pizzas that night because I had nothing better to do.

Anyhoo, I've got a new espresso machine and I'm enjoying a drink of the Mocha persuasion. I'll likely have an espresso or cappuccino after dinner tonight because I'm cool like that. $10 worth of beans will likely pay for itself by later this evening. It will be nice to go back to only paying for an expensive coffee drink while traveling.

For those of you keeping track, my front lawn is looking awesome. The back lawn is getting there. I began raking the entire lawn this weekend to remove the dead grass from last year that is choking out the live grass trying to grow from underneath it. We had a nice all day rain on Tuesday which helped quite a bit. The Sun is back though so I'll have to go back to watering the lawn. I have timers on my hoses but they don't quite get every spot like a real sprinkler system does. Still it's a pretty honest job for $130 worth of hoses, timers, and sprinkers compared to a $3500 built in sprinkler system. It would probably work a little better if I hadn't gone el cheapo on the sprinklers.

Rewind to June 2008. We had just moved in and were pretty sure a sprinkler system was the way to go for us. I ran to Home Depot and picked up the cheapest sprinkler heads and hose I could find thinking they were only temporary. The sprinkler guy came and went with an astronomical estimate. I never went back and bought sufficient hoses and sprinklers. I've made due with them and will likely continue to do so until next Spring when I go scientific on our yard's ass. I'll be pulling out the measuring tape and the graph paper to plot out where the sprinklers will go. It will be some time before we install a permanent system because we still haven't done a lot of landscaping. I want most of our big things to be done so I know where things will need to go. We're going to start a planter next Spring when money will hopefully be less of an issue.

I'll snap some pictures today of what we have going on yard wise (after I mow the backyard of course) so all three of my readers won't have to imagine what I'm talking about. I'm certain they're all pretty excited.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I don't use my free time finding strange and amusing stuff on the internet. I just stumble upon it by accident.

I'm a Jesus fan I won't lie. I also appreciate the lengths in which people will go to make him contemporary.

Along with Buddy Christ this is an awesome example but sometimes the execution is a little too funny or downright strange. One such example is "With You Always." This guy is quite the sketch artist but his drawings range from surreal to downright strange. Here are some re-occurring characters both having their way with each other under the watchful eye of King of Kings.

I'm also very fond of "This is Photobomb." This is why.

I'd link them but I don't want the web site owners to be mad at me for sharing their pictures with you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Winding down

My vacation is coming to an end not unlike a dark ride at Disneyland. I'm just about to the court room on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride about to meet my doom in the form of a flashlight flying over my head. I don't think my vacation will end in Hell amidst laughing devils but you never know these days.

I haven't been able to finish my tune because our postal service feels the need to put my strings on a shelf to wait until the appropriate amount of days have passed to ensure I'm reminded of why FedEx and UPS are superior. It's not that Omaha doesn't have places to buy strings. It probably has a crap load. I don't know where they are and I'm not inclined to go looking. Amazon sells what I want and need. My fingers are crossed for a delivery in the next day or so. I'm equally excited about the aeration sandals that are coming as well. They'll probably suck which means I'll spend the next month re-engineering them to work while I should be doing things like finishing my damn song.

They say a writer writes and a musician plays. I work so that would definitely make me a loser. I used to write songs back in the day. I never had the inclination (the means were always there) to record any of it. Once I started the process of finishing things I tend to get a little melancholy about it. I'm thinking it's because I hate the prospect of finishing something and not having anything to do afterward. Maybe that's why I tend to leave the last bite of food when I eat. It's not that I don't want it and it's not that I'm full. I just have this mental block that says, "Don't let this be over." The funny thing is that I know damn well that the last bite I take is my last bite. I'm irrational.

I need a beard but growing one is such an exhausting undertaking. A week of firm hairs stabbing my neck where my second chin rests on my Adam's apple. Add to that the fact that I look like Jimmy the Cab Driver while working my way towards that indie rocker look I don't even remotely fit.

Enough about my problems. Here is a picture of a stupid car I parked next to today. I think these cars should change their name from Smart to Dumb because that's what they are.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I might as well just throw my guitar in the trash.

Sorry for the long title.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here there be dragons.

This is my fourth consecutive day off from work and still I find myself uneasy about not working. I know that it's imperative to take time off to keep from burning out but I'm used to working all year and taking time off at either the beginning or end of the year. It helps me stay focused on work and projects. I have projects on the burner currently but they're on hold pending several other people finishing what needs to be finished.

What does a person who works from home do on his vacation? I sleep in, eat meals, and watch TV. I spend a little time online doing the things I typically do after work. That creates a problem though. What do I do in the afternoon? I've already looked at everything hat needs to be looked at. I feel like I should be updating spreadsheets and following up with field technicians. I need to relax.

I have a few things to occupy my time. I'm still learning how to use my car. This morning I learned how to run a diagnostics report using Sync. I need to drive it around for a little bit to actually pull information. I also need to call the finance company and have them update our information. My wife's name is not Jull.

I have a yard that needs TLC. If the weather wasn't crappy today I'd be out back pulling weeds. It's a little depressing working on the back lawn because it's in really bad shape. Our front lawn is doing fairly well but that could be because of the lawn treatments that are done to it. This year I wanted to see if I could do it better but it's becoming apparent that I am not doing a good job. I could also blame the crappy sod that was laid last year which sounds good to me.

We're going to hit up the zoo on Thursday for the heck of it then maybe do some light traveling this weekend around Iowa. Maybe I'll put up some pictures.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I am not a marathon runner. I'm a sprinter. If I don't get it done out of the gates I'm not getting it done. It's not that I procrastinate it's just that I lose interest if slow down on something.

I'm gonna finish the song.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And then there were two

The Pathfinder went back to Nissan today. I'm completely satisfied with my new car and then some. Still I felt a little sad leaving it there. It's the trusty steed that carried Jill and I out of California. I'm sure for that reason alone many people back in the golden state probably don't like it.

I'll try my damnedest to make this the last car post for awhile. I have an unholy obsession with the automobile that stems back to my earliest years.

Jill's car has a new mate in the garage. They're pretty happy together. The sharp edge of the Pathfinder's rear door will never threaten the Sentra ever again.

The only issue we currently have besides Jill's insistence that she will not be able to drive the Flex (she will) is the backup warning system built into the rear bumper. Anything within 6' of the rear end sets it off so I get to hear an annoying beep as I back out of the driveway. They say if you have to nitpick there's nothing wrong so I consider myself lucky.

We have a potential short road trip coming up so I'd like to get the mileage up to at least 500 before some heavy highway miles.

I'd find creative ways to celebrate my new car but I've promised to keep the car blogs to a minimum so this is pretty much it. Yup. That's it. I love my new car.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My new ride

I know I got it on Friday but I've been so busy loving my new car that I haven't had a chance to share with my two followers.

The Flex caught my eye about a year or so ago when I first saw it reviewed in most of the car magazines I read religiously. I've always been a fan of cool family haulers and there hasn't been a decent wagon on the market (including the Magnum which I almost considered) since the Vista Cruiser. I always figured I'd have to concede in one way or another with what would ultimately be our permanent family car though it's still just the two of us. You can imagine my disappointment when the MSRP was revealed. So much for me even getting a stripper (no options) which I've pretty much always bought.

Fast forward to one year later. The Big Three are in dire straights along with every other automaker. Ford has been fortunate enough to restructure back in 2006 so they're actually able to develop new products rather than stretch their existing model lines. Am I boring you yet? I thought so. Let's explore my fascination with ridiculous cars.

When I was very young I loved exotics like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc. but as I grew older I developed a fondness for muscle cars. You can imagine when I finally got the keys to one when I was 20. I specifically liked sleepers which are cars you would never guess were hot cars. It wasn't uncommon for a builder to put one of their performance engines in a large sedan just for the heck of it. Somewhere along the way I discovered the beauty of these monstrosities without the extra muscle. I still liked coupes and the like but I still found myself taking long looks at family cars. I even started eyeballing minivans. Lots of seats, cup holders, and storage bins. Drool. I occasionally glanced at SUV's and eventually bought one. More on that later.

To stir your interest I'll go over everything car that has belonged to me.

1. 1969 Ford Mustang Coupe - 351 Windsor, Edelbrock Performer manifold, Holley 750 4bbl carb, Erson cam... Needless to say it was a fire breather though I regret to say that with the advancements in engine performance in recent years there are quite a few cars that would give it a run for it's money. I could get to 60 in under 5 seconds which was pretty sweet. It was a charitable gift that I appreciated greatly. Due to poor mileage to the tune of 8mpg and a damaged transmission I tearfully had to give it up to a loser in Torrance who wanted to put a $100 paint job over a $3000 one. That's not an extra zero. That pain job was awesome. Sigh.

2. 1998 Ford Ranger - 2.5 liter I4 with a 5 speed stick. Air conditioning and CD player. My first new car I got a decent deal on it. It served me very well though going from a car with 375hp to a pickup with about 120hp made hill climbing and lane changing into a cruel joke. It was a great pickup and the mileage wasn't too shabby but the wretched performance was depressing. After three years it was paid off and I was done with it.

3. 1999 Ford Mustang - 3.8 liter V6 manual transmission again. This one actually had some features. Power everything which was very nice and it performed rather well. It was used but the price was right so I bought it. I actually just wanted the V6 Ranger and considered the Mustang to be a little ugly. It grew on me pretty quick. I was devestated when a semi made a right hand turn right in front of me and destroyed my car. Insurance fixed it back up but as with all accidents it wasn't the same. A creak in the drivetrain and a bad pressure plate in the transmission encouraged me to take a look at a new car.

4. 2003 Nissan Frontier 4x4 - I bought it in the Spring of 2002. This was strictly a vanity purchase and I kicked myself for it. I saw it and immediately thought Marty McFly's 4x4 from the end of the first Back to the Future film. I took it offroad a few times and scampered up a snowy mountain a few times so I did actually use the four wheel drive enough to say it wasn't a total waste. I fell ill in mid 2003 resulting in two months out of work. I ran out of money and this truck was bleeding me dry. I made a career change that required most of my day being spent behind the wheel. I needed something economical with a manual transmission again.

5. 2004 Nissan Altima - It was one of the last 2004's so I was able to get a pretty good but not great deal on a lease. It was a pretty good car but took some getting used to since it was my first front wheel drive car. The manual transmission was a pain in traffic but the mileage tradeoff made it worth it. It took a beating to the tune of at least 1200 miles per week which ate into my 12,000 miles per year limit. Personell changes and a high demand for my ability to recover fileservers saw me taking long trips out of my coverage area. The result was 74,000 miles in two years which was about twice what I could have. I also got married to Jill while owning this tumor of a vehicle. She couldn't drive stick and didn't like being a passenger. We would be moving to Iowa soon and we needed something better to fill with stuff to make a long road trip.

6. 2006 Nissan Pathfinder - I manged to get out of my Altima lease and into a less expensive Pathfinder lease. It was very handy for everything we needed it to do. Gas prices would soon skyrocket and 20mpg running on premium fuel made this an expensive truck to drive around. Then comes Winter. RWD is not the greatest on ice and snow even with traction control working overtime. A punchy throttle made it difficult to get moving on snow so we pretty much drove Jill's trusty Sentra everywhere. It's an awesome car. I wish I could say the same for our Pathfinder. It was fast and relatively safe for an SUV but that wasn't enough to make it a viable second vehicle. It would sit in the garage only to be used to move large objects and provide a safe vehicle on a snowy drive to South Dakota. The fact that Jill couldn't drive it was pretty much the last straw. We needed something to fill all of our needs that we could keep for a long time.

7. 2009 Ford Flex - I've wanted one since I first saw one. I even had one all picked out. Too bad the things were so damned expensive. I was ready to give it up and go for something riddled with compromises when on a whim I decided to see if I could get one for what a lesser equipped car would cost. I was quite surprised when I found not only a dealership willing to meet my price but they also had the exact model, with options, that I had built online a year prior. The next step was taking a test drive to make sure it was all it was cracked up to be. I was quite worried that it would drive like a behemoth. I was pleasantly surprised and told Jill I had to have it. She gave in because she's cool like that and helped further work an extended warranty and 3 years of maintenance into the deal with the financing guy. We made a pretty good team. People should hire us to buy their cars for them. It's an awesome ride. I can't wait to take it on a road trip.

Jill isn't 100% sold on it because she's gotten so used to her Sentra. I don't think we could have found a better car than the one we got. Its options, safety, and performance blows away just about anything else we could have gotten for the money. We finally have a second vehicle we can use so Jill's poor Sentra doesn't have to be our beast of burden. I'm hoping we can get at least another decade out of it. I only hope we can find something as good when the time comes to give it up.

Thanks for hanging out this long. My next post will be entertaining.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter, Phil's Dad, and my lawn...

Spring has sprung though I launched like somebody tipped over the bucket I've been hiding in all Winter. I was a little more excited about maintaining my yard last year though it really only consisted of a lawn which I would later modify by removing a portion of it and replacing it with large pebbles. It was exciting for me I assure you. I blame my lack of enthusiasm on the death of said lawn during this last Winter.

It was hastily cast over our yard last Summer upon completion of the home my wife and I bought. Gaps were left though little did I know that the consistency of our new lawn was compromised. What was supposedly a mix of fescue and bluegrass was more fescue with chunks of bluegrass. Imagine, if you will, fresh baked cookies that your friend made for the very first time. Bite number one greets you with a blast of chocolate and the right amount of cookie. You greedily take the next bite which consists of a much higher concentration of baking powder that didn't quite get mixed in. It's kind of like that. We've got a patchwork quilt of fescue and bluegrass. Here's the kicker. The fescue doesn't start growing when the bluegrass does so we have these pristine patches of bluegrass surrounded by dead fescue.

If I still have your attention at this point, I'm pleased to say I met Phil Keoghan's dad from last season's The Amazing Race. I met Phil too but his dad was awesome. I'm joking of course. It was nice to see Phil taking time with everybody and cracking wise. He signed a copy of his book which I am about to start reading. I'm certain upon finishing I'll feel lousy about not doing more with my life. Maybe I'll bike across the US or something. And maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm gonna hurl...

Who is the rocket scientist that thought it would be a good idea to put a fried egg on a gigantic burger? He probably is a rocket scientist because I saw it on the menu and thought, "That sounds good. I'll have that." I did just that and proceeded to wash it all down with a Dr. Pepper.

It's been a couple of hours and I think I'm going to throw up. I'm pretty much at capacity and any sudden movement will cause some form of spillage.

The real stinker is that I'll eat one again. I pondered the peppercorn burger because spicy always means good but I figured it would better to eat the egg'd monstrosity instead.

Randy went to see The Boss and I hate him for it but I'm glad he got to go and see what all the hoopla is about.

It's lawn care time and I'm preparing myself to obsess over my lawn until next Winter. The sprinklers go out next week and I my weekend mowing and edging will also make for a splendid time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

I've had plenty of time to sit on my backing tracks so I went down to the dungeon to tinker with some vocals and lead guitar neither of which I do well. I got a nice lead part and even put some stank on it. I've just got to get the timing down. I'm not used to playing to a click which is odd because I don't have a problem keeping time. I'm almost always on time which is why I'm such a natural percussionist. It's important to be punctual.

I think I'm being a little too self conscious since my wife is usually sitting in our family room which is right above my office in the basement. I don't want to disturb her so I hold back. She's going to run some errands tomorrow so I'm probably going to use my lunch break to belt out some vocals. She'll just have to deal with it while I do more guitar stuff.

I'm still not sold on a solution to my bass problem. I don't have one which is my primary problem and I can't find a middle of the road solution to either programming or using my guitar. I tried to replace it with a ridiculous organ part on my Jesusland attempt.

I need to stop doing this to myself and record.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finished my damned song

I finished my song but I'm not happy about it. Perhaps it's good that I don't attempt to make a living off music. It's hard to be a perfectionist when you're not good enough to be a perfectionist.

On Randy's recommendation I quickly mixed what I had which was a complete song crappy as it was. I haven't decided if I'm going to post it or not. I probably will because it's not like I haven't posted shitty Graham songs before. I'll make sure it goes up with Randy's well recorded song.

We've started a new tune and I will get this one done within the time allotted. One month is all I've got to get over myself. It's good practice though so I can start working on my own songs. Yes, I have some. Those that know me know I have a hard time listening to myself which makes it tough to record myself. As soon as I hear my voice I want to hurl. Thankfully I have a loving wife that is too wonderful to tell me how much I suck.

30 days from now I'll have another failed cover to put up against my brother's well done cover. He's got the gift. I'm still saving up to buy some talent.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My dog rules

Our dog is pretty cool. She can be a real pain in the ass but who isn't. Here she is enjoying her comfy bed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Case of the Mondays

Even though it's not really Monday yet I still feel the pressure of the pending work week.

It's getting so every weekend results in countless disasters that I get to spend the next week resolving. New procedures have also forced me to start doing my month end stuff a week earlier than I normally would.

In unrelated news. I need to exercise, eat better and regularly, and probably get a better night's sleep. I should also get some music in there too. I'll probably finish getting the final tweaks done to my laptop so I can do my recording on it. That way I can go to a quiet part of the house and not disturb the wife while I try to sing. And yes Randy, I will finish the song.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Madness. Feel it!

Another year where my bracket goes to shit. I have terrible luck. That's all i want to say about that.

The wife went to a wedding shower today though those involved in the upcoming wedding are probably still convinced that they're eloping even though everybody knows and their families will most likely be there for their destination wedding. Where was I? Oh yes. Wife gone.

I got my buns up this morning at the crack of 10:30am which was nice. I did my morning routine then took the wife's car to get the oil changed then I got a haircut because I looked lame. I sprayed bug poison around the house to keep the inevitable influx of bugs that are sure to come from making their way inside the house. It's one of the fun things I get to do as a homeowner. There I go rambling again.

I took Jill to the shower and headed home to be enjoy having the house all to myself. Upon arrival I popped myself a beer and began enjoying my day. I played guitar really loudly, watched college basketball and finished my beer. Jill came home a few hours later and having the house all to myself was over. It was a pretty good day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back in business

The Craptop died for the last time this week and the wife allowed me to cash in my big purchase this year and I bought a cheap laptop. It's actually better than I thought it would be. I hope I get 8 years out of this one.

I've been slacking on finishing my song of course because I have to over think everything. I'll probably play with a few more guitar tracks before I settle on one. The more I work on something the more I hate it so it's probably better I just get this done and not think about it. The organ track isn't filling in for bass as well as I thought it would so I'm just going to adjust my guitar so it sounds like one and play those parts as well. I hate programming. Randy got his done a month or so ago. His is and most likely will be better than mine no matter what I do and I'm sure he's picking a song that is completely unplayable for me.

I'm going to try to get off my duff tomorrow after work and clean house in case family comes to visit on Saturday. I don't have a whole lot to do but I'd rather not do it on Saturday since I want to get a haircut and finish my song.