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mental floss

Sunday, June 02, 2013

uncramming the nooks and crannies of the 'ol brain matter

1) Went to a family friend's 65th birthday party. Found myself arguing Indian politics with the uncles (any parental type not your own is referred to as an uncle in these circles). I might be officially old. Or, at least permanently banned from the "kids" table. Had a couple of odd moments where people I've known since I was a kid weren't sure that I was me. Guess that's what comes of having been away for ten years, and not seeing some of these folks but once (as far as I can recall) in that time.

2) Three former colleagues contacted me within the space of two days for feedback about my current work. Not sure if I feel like a Pied Piper, or a fraud. Which, come to recall the story, is kind of the same thing. I owe one of them another e-mail, my eyes were glazing over when I tried to send her information last night.

3) Eyes should be glazing over, it's 2 AM eastern time here. But since Florida and Nebraska decided to play 15 innings of softball instead of the usual 7, Michigan's game got pushed back to a near 1 AM start. And since I was gonna watch the game, I'm watching the game. And I decided to do another load of laundry while I do. What do you want to bet I forget about the clothes in the dryer?

4) Might be a lonely week at work. A lot of the personnel at my office are being pulled into duty for a hospital that is beginning to use the software we work with. Not sure how I escaped being pulled in for that duty, but I get to go to the usual spot instead of having to head into the city. I'm ok with that.

5) Leprous - The Cloak (go listen, I'll wait)

6) Got chills today listening to the Tyler Read song, "Heaven." I'd post a link, but youtube only has a live version with crappy sound. Something about the lines, "This is a year worth saving/
This is a time to drown our fears" really struck a chord with me today. I think it's a song about a doomed relationship, one last chance before letting it go, trying to "find peace in the pieces". But I was hearing those previous lines in and of themselves, about it being a year worth saving (remembering), about drowning those fears. Might have to figure out how to create a video and how to upload it to youtube, just to be able to share this song with you guys.

7) Michigan is hanging on to a 2-0 lead in the 6th. 6 more outs! I mean 5 more outs, another Sun Devil goes down swinging. 4 more outs, fielder's choice!

8) I oughta go down and rescue the laundry from the basement, should I?

9) Sparkpoints earned in February: 1400+
March: 800-something
April: 343
May: 252
June: 87 whenever I get around to hitting post on this blog.
Helps to get a 25 on a wheel, huh?

10) Why isn't meteorology the study of flaming space rocks?

11) Kayleigh, by Marillion, since no one seemed to recall it when I mentioned it last week.

12) Another thing remarked upon, cryptically, last week, that no one saw through: I hit 38 years of age on the 21st of May. Hence the reference to the worm in a bottle chorus, with the line, "happy birthday to me", and the moment of depression at having to enter a 38 on the exercise bike.

13) I'm not superstitious, why do you ask? Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am. I'm just not triskadekaphobic.

14) 3 outs to go. C'mon Sara Driesenga! crap, base hit, tying run at the dish. DOUBLE PLAY! One out to go. Ignore the fact that the ASU runner might have been safe at first. BALLGAME! The sun sets forever on the Arizona State 2013 season, and Michigan moves on to face Washington...3:30 PM, eh? I think I can watch most of that before having to go to the airport tomorrow.

15) All right, all right, I'm getting the darn laundry.

16) GO BLUE!!

17) oh yeah, I did make it to the gym, first time in forever. Think I'll have to use the fitness room this week. I mean, heck, I got over a third of sparkpoints earned in may in just 27 hours of June, so, I might as well try to score a bunch of points, and exercise minutes are a good source of vitamin C i mean sparkpoints, so.

18) I'm rambling. Clearly, it's time to end this blog po

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 6/4/2013 3:46PM

    emoticon Love the blog!

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KMM1123 6/3/2013 9:31PM

    Awwwe... I've missed these classic Partha blogs... this was a good one to read... a little bit of rambling, a dash of 'unique' musical suggestions, a few play-by-plays of whatever Michigan based sports team you're watching and over all of it... a thin veil of insomnia.

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MEADSBAY 6/2/2013 5:40PM

    13 is my favorite number.

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ROSCOEKR 6/2/2013 11:45AM

    You are only as old as you feel.

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BEECHNUT13 6/2/2013 11:39AM

    Hahhaa - you're old!

You share the same birthday as my husband. He's just 5 years behind you. ;)

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1CRAZYDOG 6/2/2013 11:09AM

    Belated birthday wishes to you!! Nope, sorry, missed the reference in your blog. SORRY! But that's what you get when you're stuck with a 59 yr. old brain some days!


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SIRENSONGS 6/2/2013 10:17AM

    38?!?! No way! I'd have never guessed you were 38. Early 30s, tops. No wonder you don't get to sit at the kids' table anymore, lol! Happy belated birthday!

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GARDENCHRIS 6/2/2013 9:15AM

    Partha.....Focus.... you need more sleep... emoticon

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SPARKCHANTAL 6/2/2013 5:54AM

    all's well that ends well.
now go do the ironing!

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Dinner with friends, part I

Friday, May 24, 2013

had facebook open towards the end of the day, saw someone post about watching Chicago play hockey tonight. That was interesting in and of itself, since Chicago was playing against my favored team, the Detroit Red Wings, but of more interest was the little notice of where the poster was posting from, namely, "near Mt. Prospect".

That was of interest because, well, I happen to have been staying in Mt Prospect the past two months. And also because it was a friend, someone I'd kind of failed to get in touch with even though he lived in the Chicago area. So I called him on the phone. And learned that, contrary to my thought that he lived in a southern suburb, it turns out that he lived within 5 minutes of where I'm staying. And he and his wife happened at that moment to be at the Buffalo wild wings on the edge of the mall in which my hotel is.

So I joined them. It was probably wise that I left my Detroit Red Wings hat in the car, since, after all, wearing enemy colors in a Chicago suburb while Chicago did battle with said enemy on ice would just be asking for getting a beer spilled over me.

Anywho, it was a nice chat. I hadn't ever really got a chance to get to know my friend's wife, so it was cool to get to chat with her a bit. And as I'll be here for a few more months, I'm guessing that I'll get more chances to do so, now that we know we're in proximity.

The part I in the title is a reference to the weekend in madison upcoming. Looking forward to just chilling with friends, catching a little of the college ultimate frisbee championships, and more chilling.

I managed to sneak down to the fitness room for a little bit on Tuesday night, mindlessly pedalling away at an exercise bike while reading, and taking advantage of the lack of any one else being in the room to turn the music up, without the headphones I'd forgotten at the office. It was, I must admit, a tad annoying to have to get to the point where the machine asks your age, and have to throw a 38 in there.

A song that's been running through my head today, for no apparent reason, "Yesterday, Today", by the Fixx. One of those earworms you don't mind, because it's a great song.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 6/2/2013 5:35PM

    You're just a baby.

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CLPURNELL 5/28/2013 6:59PM

    Always awesome to reconnect with friends.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/24/2013 4:55PM

    Good song to have running thru your head! Have a good time in Madison. Travel safely.

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ROSCOEKR 5/24/2013 10:41AM

    It's always nice to catch up w/ old friends once in a while. Don't worry about the 38 try 61.

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GARDENCHRIS 5/24/2013 9:03AM

    glad you got to visit with friends.

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Worm in a bottle

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Title references a song by Fish. No, not the hippie jam band with Trey Anastasio leading the way, but rather the 6’6” stone bald Scotsman who once upon a generation ago sang for the band Marillion. You might recall their hit “Kayleigh”, if you’re of a certain age. Anyway, a dozen or so years after that, as a solo artist, he released the spectacular “Sunsets on Empire”, with the song “Worm in a bottle” on it. The song is pretty melancholy, really, the title character coming to that realization that things need to change, and vowing to himself to change. My interpretation, anyway.

A scintillating live version lies behind the first link, the lyrics behind the second.



The relevance? There are some. Even though the switch of the food/exercise thing was flipped in September 2011, lately there’s a bit of stickiness to it, where it’s somewhere in the middle, sometimes working, sometimes not. Most recently, there’s no there there, no spark worth mentioning. But maybe a glimmer, as per the last blog entry’s thought of a balancing point? Who knows?

Anyway, the song’s something that sticks with me every time I come to some moment of decision.

And besides, the chorus is applicable today, so there’s that…

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENE10 6/2/2013 9:39AM

    That song was interesting,thanks for sharing.

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ROSCOEKR 5/22/2013 10:54AM

    Don't know that I have heard the song, but he's doing what he like's, so at the time what else matters.

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ROSCOEKR 5/22/2013 10:54AM

    Don't know that I have heard the song, but he's doing what he like's, so at the time what else matters.

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GARDENCHRIS 5/22/2013 7:08AM


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1CRAZYDOG 5/21/2013 9:26PM

    I don't remember the song either. But then again I'm probably a little older.

Anyhow, takes work to get the mojo back for sure.

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MIMIDOT 5/21/2013 7:53PM

    Interesting! Don't remember the song.

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RHEYNKLAW 5/21/2013 7:19PM

    Jiggle the handle or blow in the slot. Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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Friday, May 17, 2013

I spent the last couple of weeks feeling blobby, never getting down to the fitness room in the hotel despite intentions. Got home, weighed myself for the first time in three weeks...and got the same number as I did then. So that's good, I guess. It's 10 pounds higher than the lowest I got to, 2.5 months ago. But at least the perception that I'd gained a bit more, threatening to break into BMI Obesity territory again, at least that isn't the reality yet.

Next couple of weekends won't help, what with my nephew's 2nd birthday party, and a trip to Madison to hang with friends over the Memorial day weekend on tap. Maybe it's a good thing I'll be alone-ish on my birthday, so as not overinlduge-ish?

Last weekend was great, except for the aforementioned never exercising. Before even getting to the concerts, I got to rescue a damsel in distress on Friday. I work with a guy named Tim. I knew him in Madison, we worked together then, and it's really through his recommendation that I got this job. He and his fiancee, Danielle, also a dear friend, had moved to Tennessee in 2011, but most of their family, including a cousin who was getting married last weekend, are still in the upper Midwest. Thursday, Tim drove from Chicago to Madison, en route to Duluth, Minnesota for the wedding. Danielle was to fly from Tennessee to Duluth on Friday. About 2:30, just as I started thinking about going downtown to try and beat the beastly Chicago rush hour traffic, I got a call from Danielle. Apparently, her flight had been cancelled, and after a bit of furious re-booking, she had hours to kill. Acting on Tim's tip that I was sticking around for the weekend, she gave me a ring, and I was all to glad to pick her up and spend a couple of hours chatting. I hadn't expected to get to see her until their wedding next month, so I was happy to get the chance.

Dropping her back off at the airport (we went two blocks away to a hotel that I'll be staying at starting in a couple of weeks - it has a bar/restaurant in the lobby), I headed downtown to catch my friends in Imminent Sonic Destruction, and waiting in line, I saw some other friends from Ann Arbor, who I didn't know were coming. So even before the music had started, my day, really, my weekend was made, getting to hang out with good friends from 700 and 400 miles away who I had no inkling I'd get to see.

The first band that evening was a local Chicago product called Mindwarp Chamber. Their music was ok, but the vocalist seemed like he was attending a different shows from the rest of us. He seemed like a smarmy radio DJ, or a game show host or something up there, repeatedly calling for a response (clapping or chanting of the chorus) from the crowd, and getting absolutely nothing. At the end of their set, they discovered they had a couple minutes more, and the guy made the mistake of forming the phrase "one more song" as a question, rather than an emphatic statement. I wasn't alone in thinking "NO!"

ISD kicked much butt, and after their set, I got to catch up with most of them, chat a bit. The next band up was the highly amusing Kingcrow, from Italy. Bought their new cd afterwards, it doesn't really live up to how fun their live show is. Pain of Salvation ended the night with a cool set. It's a band that has been pretty big stuff in the prog metal world since they began, but I'd never gotten into them in a big day. I enjoyed the show quite a bit, never really being able to tell how sick frontman Daniel Gildenlow was. Turns out he was fighting the onset of walking pneumonia, which would result in the cancellation of the next night's tour stop.

(to be continued...i started scribbling this a few hours ago, and forgot to finish the thoughts.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 5/20/2013 11:21PM

    Seems like you are doing ok food wise if you haven't gained more and you are enjoying your time. Add the exercise and you are running on all cylinders!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/18/2013 9:41PM

    Sounds like you had an eventful time! Take care of YOU. That's important oo.

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GARDENCHRIS 5/18/2013 8:43AM

    you are important enough to take care of... emoticon

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ROSCOEKR 5/17/2013 11:49PM

    You will find the time to get back into the swing of things

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Swedish metal weekend has commenced

Friday, May 10, 2013

And I'm seriously considering a stop into Ikea for some meatballs just to keep with the theme.

I'm sticking around the Chicago area this weekend, rather than heading back to Michigan, for the purpose of catching a couple of concerts. Tonight, I'm going to see a band called Pain of Salvation, who are touring in the US for the first time in 9 years. I'm a fan of the band, but not a huge fan. The real reason for sticking around to see this show is one of the opening acts, a band called Imminent Sonic Destruction, friends of mine from Detroit, who got picked up to open of Pain of Salvation for a two week stretch. They just got done destroying Canada, and I can't wait to catch them tonight.

Tomorrow night's entertainment is the mighty Opeth, with Katatonia (both Swedish), down in Joliet, IL. Opeth is one of my favorite bands, but I've only managed to see them once before, back in 2006. Katatonia, oddly, is a band I've seen a number of times, even though they've never been the band I've gone to see primarily. They always tour with great bands, like Orphaned Land. A couple of years ago, I went to see them back to back nights in Milwaukee and Chicago, mostly to see Orphaned Land, granted, but, hey, they were there.

Ear plugs at the ready, now I just need to move. I meant to sleep in, and then head to work for a couple of hours (even though I work 4 days a week), because I didn't feel like I had a very productive week of work, and had a couple of things I wanted to look into. It's 1 PM, an I haven't left the hotel room yet, even though I woke up at 8:30. It's a wonder that I'm not completely starving, since I haven't anything in here edible. It's not like I've been lounging in the bed the whole time. Listening to music from Pain of Salvation and another opener, Kingcrow, reading the book Moneyball. A decent day, really. Except now that I've typed the thought, I've suddenly become hungry.

I guess since I'm in the area, I can just run in to work (I don't have remote access) for a couple of hours at some point on the weekend, just to investigate a couple of issues, or set up work for execution on Monday.

The couple of bouts of exercise last week don't seem to have really kickstarted anything, as I haven't made it down to the fitness room at all his week. I guess that I could just go down right now...but I'm not feeling it. Plus, I suspect exercise now, when I last ate anything 15 or 16 hours ago might not be particularly vigorous.

Need to kick these excuses below the belt and just wander down there. I mean, heck, I've got a book that can be read while sitting at a recumbent bike just as well as in this chair in the room, right?

At least one trip down there on the weekend, this I command of myself. Now let's see if I'll require keelhauling for failure to obey. Having (just now) looked up what keelhauling really entails, I seriously hope not!

Imminent Sonic Destruction - Monster

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRENSONGS 5/12/2013 11:08AM

    Ooooh, I'm jealous! I want a concert weekend too! Why can't the bands I like ever come to Canada? :(

Hope you enjoy your awesome metal weekend! :)

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ROSCOEKR 5/11/2013 9:26AM

    Have a good weekend & enjoy your meatballs.

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BEECHNUT13 5/10/2013 9:10PM

    Oh boy, my husband loooooooves Swedish metal and the like.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/10/2013 6:29PM

    Enjoy your weekend.

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PRIZM96 5/10/2013 2:53PM

    Have a great weekend of concerts! :-)

NOW..... get your ass down to that fitness room! :-)

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