Friday, February 3, 2012


One of the joys of getting older is that, in addition to the hair thinning in the places that it's normal to be full, thick and luxurious, hair starts growing from places that it has no business to exist. While I'm hardly Mr. Fastidious or the kind of guy who's gonna go and get his back waxed, I also don't like for the hairs in my nose to make me look like some kind of freakish New Years party favor. So, when I notice that such hairs are becoming visible, I endeavor to remove them. Yet, in doing so, I always find it to be an exercise that ends in unbidden tears. Why does it seem like nose hairs have a direct connection to the tear-ducts? What evolutionary advantage did it server for those hairs to be there in the first place and why make their removal so painful.


Too Many Hotels

I was killing time, using StumbleUpon (if you want to make massive chunks of your life disappear, install the StumbleUpon plugin for your browser). A photo of a nude woman came up (NSFW, so I'll only post a link to it rather then embed it in my post). As I looked at the surroundings of the photo, I realized that it looked very familiar.

Now, because I've held several travel jobs, during my adult life, and have spent a crap-ton of times in a lot of different hotels in the US, Canada and Europe - mostly Marriott properties. So, either I've been to the hotel where this picture was shot, or it was shot in one of the chains I've stayed in. I think it's more likely the latter. The interesting thing with the photo is that it appears to have been taken in one of the lobbies of whatever hotel it was taken in. The photo has no EXIF data with it, so, can't verify that it was taken "after hours". Would have been funny had it been an after hours shoot and a guest happened to stumble down through the area on the way to trying to buy something at the front desk's shop ("sorry: was just looking for a new toothbrush").

Riding the Uni Horse

I like to say that I'm the kind of person who's willing to try anything one - twice, just in case the first experience was an anomaly - before saying "I don't like it".

For me, the one sushi, uni, fell into this camp. Uni had always been one of those things that was usefully primarily as a dare or as an initiation rite. In the DC area, the uni that is served is generally disgusting. Eating it is an experience akin to trying to eat an old, dirty and moldy kitchen sponge. I'd long ago given up on it as being fit for human consumption.

A few years ago, while on a business trip to Chicago, I discovered this wasn't exactly the case. I'd been invited to dinner by friends of my wife, Donna (who I'd brought along on this business trip). They took us to this great sushi place in Shaumburg, IL (happened to be about a 2mi. drive from our hotel - how fortuitous!). I'd ordered the omakase sushi menu. I'd asked that they not include uni in my order, given my prior experiences of it it. However, when my plate came out, there sat a sample of it on my plate. Crap. Well, it was paid for and I'm too cheap a bastard to just waste things, generally. Besides: everything I'd sampled, thus far, had been exceedingly good, so, I gave it a shot. Instead of being nasty and unpleasant, it was an interestingly complex experience. It was kind of like eating slightly-squishy sweetened sea-water (and, yes, I know that doesn't sound good, in the traditional sense, but it was rather an *interesting* experience - and, for me, "interesting" often trumps the whole good/bad thing).

With this experience in mind, I modified my stance on uni. I was back to being willing to try it, but only from places whose sushi I *really* trusted and only when it was explicitly recommended by a sushi chef I trusted.

Today, the uni was recommended by the guy at our regular sushi place. So, I figured, "why the hell not." Now, it wasn't as good as what I'd gotten at the place in Shaumburg, but it also wasn't bad. I dunno that I'd order it again, but, if it was put in front of me, I wouldn't automatically pass, either.

There's a Fine Line Between Cute and Creepy...

...And this girl frequently crosses it:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How a Musician Knows They're Past Their Prime...

...They're asked to do the Super Bowl halftime show.

I mean, since the whole "wardrobe malfunction" episode, it seems like the Super Bowl halftime committee set some kind of age-floor (50?) on who could perform. I can only assume that no one over that age is gonna try to flash the crowd/camera because most people over 50 - particularly ones who've spent their entire lives partying a little too hardy - know that no one wants to see that wrinkly, floppy shit.

Whatevs: all praise the safety of mediocrity.

Cats Are Great

...If you like to receive daily doses of neglect and disapproval.

Over my 42 years, I've had several sets of cats. Currently, I've a brother/sister pair of bengals. For cats, they're pretty damned social. They love people. The love to just hang out. If they were politically motivated, they'd be part of the "Occupuy Your Lap" movement.

Even so, they're still cats. If they do something ungraceful - such as falling out of their cat-tree - they give you that "you didn't see nothing" look. If you've left them home alone to long, they'll sit in the center of the room ...with their backs to you, very pointedly ignoring you.

Still, this pair is a lot better than most of the cats I've encountered over the years. I've never understood friends who've had cats that only ever seem to come around when they're hungry - otherwise hiding under a couch or some other dark, quiet nook in their owner's house or apartment.

Waiting for Technology

One of the realities of life with technology, particularly when you work in IT, is waiting for data to transfer. Today, I needed to download a new application to test and ready for implementation. While I'm old enough to remember 1200bps modems and old enough to remember how "fast" the old NSFNet seemed, all of that is forgotten when you're trying to download a multi-gigabyte file over your office's overloaded "high speed" internet link.

So, "how to kill time while 25GB of files FTP down?" FaceBook, Plus and Twitter - maybe a bit of StumbleUpon, too. I can only thank the powers that be that, at my particular office, they haven't yet seen fit to block those sanity-savers. I'd have to killabitch if I had to sit and watch the creeper-bar while I waited for files to download.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Channeling Brezhnev

Why does it seem like, the older I get, the more my eyebrows try to channel Brezhnev?

That's the question I posed to my friends on FaceBook. One astute commenter pointed out that most people - at least the ones on social media sites - probably aren't old enough to remember Brezhnev:
This guy, right here: look at them eyebrows (that's your future, son!)
I replied that, if they ain't old enough to know who Brezhnev is, they're likely not suffering the eyebrows problem, either.

Sadly, not long into my twenties. I lost my hair (if you Google around - perhaps even looking at my Google+ profile - pictures of me are easily found). So, while my eyebrows are growing progressively bushier (I tweezed a brow-hair that was like half an inch long today!) - and my ears, etc - the rest of the hair on my head has been going the way of the dodo. Hell, even my goatee is now mostly white (though that started in my mid-20s, too).

And, while the overall greying of my goatee combined with my baldness and build make me look like someone created some kind of Brundle-Fly by tossing Colonel Sanders and a meth-dealing Hells Angel in a teleporter-pod, I can mostly take these signs of aging in stride. What I have problem with is why the fuck are my eyebrows mutating into something that the Farmer's Almanac can predict winters by? And, the white in my beard was ok, but the stray white ones in my eyebrows are really quite a bit too much.

/me sighs