Sunday, December 25, 2016

"You're drunk, Santa. Go home".

Last post of the night. I don't think I've posted this much, in a very long time. If only I kept up those other entries...

Anyway, as promised from earlier, I got some more pictures, including the Santa inflatable one must walk through in order to enter the house. Some of the photos didn't come out as I anticipated, but it's the nature of figuring out my camera.

Coke bears?

I didn't know we were in Arizona...

Go home, Santa. You're drunk.

Fake lit palm tree next to a real lit palm tree. Weird!

Olaf, meet Santa. Santa, meet Rudolph

It's too warm here for that outfit!

Walk through his vagina legs?

"Omg... it's a penis!"

Follow the dimly lit road!

(be)Cause I've got to have faith....

... Baby!

RIP George Michael... 1963 - 2016


Yes, there are times I do what I'm told

And this is one of those times.

The people who came to my house today for Sunday brunch, all insisted I put the following video up on Youtube so "it can go viral" (the age of these people are 65+, to give you a range of how they use their terms).

I shot the still photos on my Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens and edited them in Photoshop. The first video of the latkes frying was shot on my iPhone 5s, while the second was done on my Canon. It was all edited together in Pinnacle Studio 18.

Credit for the background song: "Di Toyre" ("Tradition"), off the Israeli version of Fiddler On The Roof (Shmuel Rudenski + Yiddish Cast - A Fidler Oyfn Dakh). It's an album that's currently really hard to find, apparently, as Amazon has a "new / used" copy for over $350 right now. It must be made of gold? The vinyl is $22.98, "new/used". The copy I have, I had come across forever ago, it feels like. So who remembers the story behind it...


I've been down this road walkin' the line

Title from the song:
Vonda Shepard
off the Ally McBeal soundtrack (or off The Radical Light, whichever you prefer*).

Well, the decorations are still slightly sleeping, but the kids are wide awake and heartily opening their gifts. Me? I was outside taking pictures of the day.

It's a cool 70 degrees right now, but according to The Weather Channel, it's going to hit 87 at some point.

It did rain for all of a minute around 5 last night. A "welcome to Florida on Christmas", perhaps?

I didn't do any major editing, and both the video and photos were shot on my iPhone 5S. I edited the video with Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate (there's an old version listed, as there are upgrades Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate [Download] and Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate is being promoted). 

Last night I went to a friend's house for some supper and games. She must have had at least 24 people there and I was the youngest person (despite her saying there were two people who were within 5 years my senior). Still makes me the youngest! Otherwise, the ages started in the mid 60s. Fun times! 

Between the typical fare - ham and turkey, there was also lasagna and various forms of mashed potato (sweet and regular). Green bean casserole, baked beans, cranberry sauce, and so much more food, this woman is going to have food for days, There may have been two dozen people having wine, beer and other mixed drinks, but there was enough to feed everyone to be able to bring home plates for their family. It was still great and fun, as the games were played well in to the night (the group I went with didn't stay too long; we left shortly after Bingo and dessert). 

I got some pictures of the house decorations, but I'm waiting on my friend to give me the OK to post them. It's nothing fancy; an entire city in model form. Something like the Department 56 city, but not set in New York (the North Pole, according to some of the streetlight banners in the models). There were so many sections, I'm sure it takes a solid week to put it all together. I saw a car driving down an icy winding road, a couple of freight trains on tracks, Santa in a house, kids sledding, various snowmen, churches and street lights. It really was so cool. There's such an investment in it, to only have it up for Christmas. It's one of those things where I think it should have it's own room in the house and be seen all year round. 

The pictures I can post right now are just some of the houses from last night - decorations and such.

I didn't get a "great" picture of the Hula Santa in his flip flops, but he also moves. Maybe that's why it's not 100 per cent. Plus, I was across the street and a house down when I took it (I ended up cropping in, in Photoshop). The photos with the penguin and Saint Bernard, I was able to get "closer" to, to get the full spectacle. St Bernards are big fellas anyway, and this inflatable is no different. I was so shocked to see it the other day, in daytime, that I knew I had to take a picture at night.

It's amazing what people put in their yards during the holidays. Outside of the various hanging lights, people are definitely creative with their yard art. I am going to go out tonight again and see what else I can get, but there's another house that's next to the back gate of my community. As you sit at the gate, waiting for the arm to go up, you look to your left. The house immediately on that corner, has an inflatable Santa. From the side of the street, "it looks like a penis" I was told, and when you go to the front of the house to see the entire inflatable, "you have to walk through his vagina legs!". Both comments actually came from my mother. Thanks for that visual, Ma. There really isn't any great way I can describe it, but by making sure I go out tonight and take a picture.

Last but not least, I forgot to add some pictures yesterday. We pre-made latkes for Sunday Brunch (so all we would have to do is reheat and not smell up the house this morning). All we need is sour cream and apple sauce, and we've got a party.

Be good to yourselves and see you on the flipside


See Also:
* There's no "official" Ally McBeal soundtrack on Amazon... You'd probably have to search around to find some.

(Songs From Ally McBeal Featuring Vonda Shepard)

(Believe by Trans-Siberian Orchestra [sung by Tim Hockenberry])

(Christmas Eve / Sarajevo (Instrumental) [Remastered] Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra via Amazon

Tim Hockenberry via Amazon

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Today is Christmas Eve 2016, as well as Hanukkah Eve 2016. It marks yet another year of fast paces and broken promises. Last month, some of us started asking where the year went, as it doesn't feel like it should be almost over. I think it has to do with the fact Florida doesn't get a change in season; so having sun, heat and palm trees 365 days a year, hinders our ability to acknowledge the planet's seasonal shift.

Weather screen cap from The Weather Channel

I know for National Turkey Day, I posted pictures of it being nice and sunny and palm trees galore. Today will be no different; I'm looking out my window and a flock of birds flew past my house (in their typical V formation quack...quack... quack....not . Just remember to "Keep your stick on the ice").

I'll post some Christmas pictures tomorrow, if I can get some good photos of the houses tonight (going to a neighbor's for dinner). Yesterday, I went up to the community clubhouse and took some photos of the decorations, so those are ready to post.

All photos taken with Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens and edited in  Photoshop. Unfortunately, I don't have any type of Spyder or other monitor calibration machines for my 6 year old Dell laptop, so my photos might be a little "off", depending on viewing.

One of the last photos I took last night, was put in to a video I made for friends and family. I've got to upload the video and send it to them, before I post here, but since the photo is good (and very 1980s club movie effect) I will share it:

Until the next round of words....


See Also:

(Cash or a Gift Card by The Super Secret Project)

(The Mighty Ducks Three-Pack (The Mighty Ducks / D2: The Mighty Ducks / D3: The Mighty Ducks)

(It's A Wonderful Red Green Christmas)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Follow the day...

... and reach for the sun! ☀ 
© Polyphonic Spree

Every time I'm hearing The Polyphonic Spree lately, the more I'm starting to like them. I will still call them a hippy cult band, but their music is actually catchy.

I had seen them live in 2004, when David Bowie took them on as an opening act during the Reality tour. Their full act is not on the Reality Tour DVD, but Youtube has some clips of them performing with db. I remember when they first came on stage, the people who knew who they were, were totally enthused. The people who didn't (like me), were like "what the hell....?". There were two guys in their 20s that were a couple rows in front of me, who were there specifically for Polyphonic Spree. How do I know? Because I was watching them jump up and down, wave banners, yell and scream for the group, to the point Tim DeLaughter even acknowledged them. They were that loud and full of energy. I just couldn't get over the confusion of this "choral rock group" and who / what / why they 'were'. There must have been 20 people, if not more, all donned in various color robes, playing various instruments, and jumping around the stage. Their long curly haired leader was as exuberant, if not more ADD than the rest of the group. Leading them in various songs from their Beginnings and Together We're Heavy albums, DeLaughter kept the FleetCenter on point. The questioners started bopping along and finally when the group introduced Bowie, people were really enjoying themselves.

Since then, I've still questioned their music. It seems weird to me, that they consider themselves a sort of rock group, but because of their size, they're a choral rock group. Based out of Texas (Shout out to Brady & Darian... have you guys seen this group... primarily at SXSW?), they have surpassed group member numbers and various albums exponentially. What went from a dozen members to over 30, they've seen their fair share of people join and leave the group. It doesn't stop them from recording (or creating a Kick Starter campaign, as of recent), nor does it stop them from touring. Allegedly, one of the band members recently opened a restaurant in East Dallas, where the group is based.

A lot of people might recognize the songs from a 2004 Volkswagen commercial or doing clinical rounds on the TV show Scrubs. They've also added a few songs to various movie soundtracks and old members have branched out into new groups (DeLaughter was originally part of Tripping Daisy. I think I still have their 1995 album somewhere.  I never put two and two together because I wasn't a fan of Tripping Daisy and had never heard of the Spree until I saw them live).

What else can I say about this group? It's great to blast on the speaker system at work, to make sure everything is hooked up properly, as there are just so many voices, you want to make sure your audio system works. I did that the other day, actually. I had to set up a room with a projector, screen, stereo speakers, a couple microphones... so I plugged in a laptop, searched the video website, and turned the speakers up to a reasonable amount, and voila! A live video was coming out of the projector, the audio semi blaring out of the speakers... life was good at that moment. Especially since it was the aforementioned Light & Day and the sun was trying to come out at that point. Maybe it was all a sign??

Until next time...


See Also:
Polyphonic Spree via Amazon
Tripping Daisy via Amazon

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What are you willing to pay?

I know I must have mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again. I belong to a (job) social network called TeamWork Online. It's not a social network like Facebook or Twitter. It's a job board like Monster and CareerBuilder.

TeamWork is an interesting site if you want to get into sports, but you have to try your might to be able to get a job (what else is new??). I once knew a guy who said he got a job with a local (Minor League) ballpark through the TeamWork site. I have to admit, he was a lucky guy because everything he did within a couple years fell down to finding such "need" online. Whatever he was looking for (housing, job, etc) was all done via the Internet and even though it was all submitted by chance, his first run at applications ended with fulfilling the intent.

Why am I writing (#1)? I get emails about networking events every couple weeks from the site. It's a "pay for the job fair, stay for the game" deal, and the average attendance price is under $90. However, some of these career fairs aren't so hot, and you're left wondering why you came. Sure, the game is an added bonus, but if you're not interested in seeing X vs Y, but wanted to apply to the company, it's almost a wasted effort.You could have stayed home to apply. Like every career fair I've been to (as well as some my friends have gone to), the outcome is always the same: the businesses send a body to represent them, but the body always says "Sorry; not hiring. Please leave us your card, though!" or "Here's a paper application. We'll bring it back to the office and hand it to our HR Rep". Sometimes it's "apply online. We have no other information". That's when the question becomes "why are you here then? Just to get people's business information to get an email list going?".

I remember how people complained at the New England Revolution event. It was great to go and experience that, but a good 70% of the job seekers didn't attend the game immediately after the Q&A forum. There were some who stayed, and I actually caught up with five guys at the end of the game. They said they only stayed because they were already there and paid for the ticket. But had they not had to pay, they would have left long before the players took the pitch. They didn't see the point in the networking event since the businesses that were there, weren't hiring. These guys didn't like soccer, but wanted to apply to whomever was going to have a table. Truth be told on this: there were also limited businesses there. It wasn't marketed so great.

The same was for other sports events I went to. The only "good" one was at Fenway Park. I had met a few friends there and we walked the table lined concourse. It was free entry and no game that day, so you had to ability to have a relaxed conversation with someone from the team or business. Truth be told, they all said the same thing - not hiring; check website. Leave a card or resume. I felt like there was some positive conversations as well as potential networks, but where no one was really coming to set interviews or make time with people, it again, was a wasted effort. I could have taken cards and made a valiant effort to win people over via email (and I actually made the attempt at a few), but the reality is, HR people are looking for specific types of worker bees.

What's my point (#2)? Getting back to the price per event topic, I had gotten a Celtics email two weeks ago, and wanted to write about it. Too little too late now, as the event is over (it was last night), but I had emailed some friends regarding the price of entry. Tickets start at $110, and had a $12.95 processing fee. I did some research and it was balcony level seating, Celtics vs Raptors (Raptors won over Celtics, 101-94). The network event was for 75 attendees / first come first serve, and it was solely a Celtics forum - no other businesses would attend. At that point, you have to wonder where your money is going; balcony level seats don't cost that much and usually you can walk around the stadium and find better seating arrangements. Someone's pockets will be nicely lined by the end of the night, given the fact it's 75 times (essentially) $123.

To give some examples of other events, I know Daytona is up there in price (over $100), but outside of NASCAR, everything is a drop in the hat. Miami Heat is having a network event this week. I have to admit that I don't follow much sports, so I don't know the Heat's standings to be able to explain why they are "so cheap" in comparison to the Celtics' (The Heat will be playing the Washington Wizards). For "$40 - $50" (plus $8.89 processing fee), you get a ticket in the "400L" area of the arena. From an image search of the arena, it looks like it's a balcony type level. I'm not sure; I have never seen the Heat play, nor have I been to anything else there. So in this meeting, you're seeing executives from the Miami franchises (Heat, Dolphins, Marlins) plus other top tier people from other companies. The New Orleans Pelicans are having an event; game is against the Pacers. Tickets cost "$40 - $60" and are "in the Balcony and the Lower Level Sections". Same thing with New Orleans related executives. To round the year out (there are plenty more fairs not mentioned), and bring us into January, the "most expensive" event is for the New Jersey Devils (against the Florida Panthers). The price ranges from "$76.22 – $100.68" and the lower end has a $10.34 processing fee, while the higher end is $1.34 more. Researching the difference, the "seats are located in the upper and lower levels of the arena. The VIP ticket provides a $10 food voucher that can be used once the game begins". I don't know the area the Devils play in, so I'm thinking the level concourses are different in what concessions are available... and ten bucks is nothing for food. That could be a beer and a hot dog if you're lucky. Haha.

If anyone is interested in trying their luck, all events are here.

All in all, I do have to admit it's quite the experience to attend these things. Yes, it's a networking event; you get to meet people and sell yourself because you just never know who you will meet and if they will have a need for you to possibly freelance another skill you may have. Yes, the added bonus is the excitement of the game. But end the end, if you don't want to rely on a freelance gig, then these might not be for you. Or if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to walk out at the end of the night saying "I did well and I can't wait to check my email", then tell me what my friends and I are doing wrong; how do you get a full time gig in a major market, doing what you want to do, and not worry about selling some side skill that is potentially unrelated to the current job?

Until that happens, I'll continue doing what I'm doing and hope my occasional snail mail / email self marketing works, and I find a place I can love to be in.


See Also:

(aka music listening to under "price we pay" keywords):

(aka "other" keywords under "price we pay"):

NOTE: I did not get paid by TeamWork Online to write this blog entry. I am labeling it under my "Jobs and Employment" and "Networking" label, as part of what I'm finding for work in this world these days. No business / person has sponsored this entry. The Amazon links are part of me being an Amazon Affiliate.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"It's the music that we choose"

"Here you go
Get the cool
Get the cool shoeshine"
Gorillaz, Gorillaz
© 2001

As promised from earlier, I have some more pictures to post from this National Turkey Day. Hope you pardoned a piece of wing or something... save it for lunches for the weekend. Or.. if you're like a lot of people I know, re-use the carcass and make turkey soup for a warm pick me up. You're going to need it if you're out in the lines tonight and tomorrow, expecting great deals. If you're in your bedroom waiting for Monday, you'll probably want to throw out the meat by then if you haven't stored it properly...

To quote Garrison Keillor: “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”


See Also:

"Jump on board..."

"...Take a ride..."
Sing When You're Winning
 © Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue 

I have a sixteen year old song going on in my head, and it's by two very bubblegummy pop singers. Each have their own fame and they got together to make sure the world knows that the kids are alright. Some band once said it a few decades ago, but the times they are a changin' and the changing isn't free

However, one thing that has changed, is it's a little colder this week. It's been in the 50s to wake up to, and warms up to about 70-80 degrees during the day. No humidity, no worry; just some long pants and a t-shirt. Maybe a hoodie if you're out early enough. 

Today is no exception. It's the day of the Turkey, and I wanted to post some pictures before I went out and dined with friends and family (and maybe have no time to upload later. We'll see if I remember). It's not so big of a day; kind of quiet for 1pm.  But if you're going out tonight for the Black Friday store deals, bring a jacket and keep warm. If you're waiting for Cyber Monday deals, wear your underwear in your bedroom all day. I won't tell anyone. :-D

Outside of it being quiet and kind of warm, the clouds are looking a bit snowy, but I've yet to see snow down here in God's Waiting Room... it's too warm, regardless of it hitting 45 degrees one night! I will always say the same thing, each and every holiday I am in America's Wang: It is not the Christmas Season with a palm tree and no snow. There is nothing like the first snow of the year (of which my friends on the North Shore are telling me they had flurries this past week), and there's nothing like the smell of a pine tree next to a warm fire in the dead of winter. Am I a little nostalgic for past and not present? Maybe, but until Hell freezes over, I will always have my pictures...

Until next time...


See Also:
Evergreen candles to make up for a pine tree

(Beistle - Fireplace Insta-View to make up for a fireplace)