Category Archives: Brain Dripping

A day in the life… BabyBrain DrippingGeocachingHealth/FitnessNews

I don’t update this blog much anymore just because I rarely have the time/energy to really sit down and type something out. Like most of us workaday schlubs I succumbed to the quick fix that is Facebook. However I recently stopped updating my status there as I was drowning in shared images and game notifications. That seems to be 90% of what FB has become. To buck this trend I thought that I might, just for a day, pretend it was still 2009 when people were very excited by this new medium. I’ll would update my status at least once an hour with whatever was going on in my day regardless of the banality. Facebook.com is blocked at the office however so instead of dozens of updates slowly through the day, here’s what I would have typed if I really felt like wasting my company’s time. As the day progressed I jotted my updates down in a notepad right up until I went to sleep. It turned out to be a busy Monday. Enjoy my banality!

06:10   Good morning starshine. The world says hello!
06:30   Systems check. I’m not really sore from my kayaking yesterday. Except where I walked into the screen door handle with my right bicep. That’s sore as hell.
07:30   Running late for work, as usual. Snacking on some toasted sourdough bread with Country Crock ©. The breakfast of champions (or at least tardy champions).
08:00   Got to the office just on time. Now enjoying my weekly Snapple. Diet Raspberry. Made from the best stuff on earth. I have one every Monday then re-use the bottle all week refilling it from the water-cooler.
09:20   Just received a call from my wife. The damage to the car comes out to be the same as the deductable anyway so it’s a wash. Could have been much worse though and I’m just glad everyone is OK.
10:00   Cluster headache threatening. Maybe if I take a walk and stretch it will pass me by this morning?
10:10   Wow, the urinal cakes are blue instead of pink now. Changes are scary! The cakes are a lie!
10:45   The payroll system is goofy here. To compensate for employees working over night shifts the PR clerks enter the start time as 23:00 (11 PM) and the end time as 32:00 (WTH AM?) for a nine hour shift. My task is to help fix that. Giant Moth
11:45
   There’s a giant moth on the window at the office. As the bug man, I’m tasked with IDing it. It’s as big as a bat!
12:15   I went around to the outside to get a good picture. Google images comparison confirms we’re looking at an Antheraea Polyphemus or common Silk Moth. It’s named for the Greek Cyclops legend because of the eyespots. Of course, the moth has 4 “eyes” instead of 1 but who’s counting?
12:50   Caught a Squidcake Fish for the 4th Anniversary of Fish-Wrangler. Yeah, I still play this game. 🙂
14:30   Finally figured out a good way to fix the payroll programs I’ve been toying with today. Yay me.
15:20   New task: Purge some of the older employee timesheet files. We were talking about writing new programs and adding processing options but I think I’d rather type in a one-line SQL script.
16:45   Just lost the power in the office. Guess I won’t be able to work late after all! 🙂
17:45   Home! I worked my gas mileage on the current tank up to 32.5 MPG.
17:50   I thought Heather was out and about when I pulled in but I forgot her car was in the shop. I found her just finishing up a bath time for Allison. Wet baby hug!
18:10   Allison brought me her flip flops and sat down on my lap so I could put them on her. She is now running around wearing nothing but the flops and a diaper. I’m not trying to raise a Jersey Girl but I guess it’s baked in automatically.
18:30   Having “Mexican” for dinner – leftover Riceritos. Yum! I’m a simple man of simple tastes. 🙂
19:00   Another cluster headache triggered by flashing lights during a furious game of Peek-a-boo. I sequestered myself in a dark room to wait it out. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a minute… zzzzzzzzzz…
19:45   It occurs to me that “dollars to doughnuts” is actually in favor of the doughnuts now. Inflation FTW!
20:20   The Nugget is finally down for her “Night Sleep”. Tonight’s lap time reading list was “Hop On Pop” and the Cookie Monster “Hug Book” (Twice). The second time through Cookie Monster was a little brusque. 😉 AVGraphics wacky adventures part 5
20:45  
Heather is wearing an old concert tour shirt tonight. Elton John’s “One Night Only” Tour – October 20th and 21st 2000. Hit “LIKE” if you can spot what’s wrong with that shirt.
21:50   Solved a Geopuzzle! This one took me longer than the others in the series and I never did find the magic nose goblin in the upper right.
22:30   Time to turn in to snuggle with Smech and a copy of Pratchett’s latest. G’night moon!

So, there’s my day. This will get thousands less looks than if I had actually posted two dozen updates through the day but I submit it here it anyway. Feel free to enjoy/deride it as you see fit – just as you would have if you had seen all this spam on ol’ Facebook.  =]

Could I still play in the NFL? Brain DrippingHealth/Fitness

As I rapidly approach the statistical midpoint of my life expectancy I was curious if I could still go through a mid-life-crisis and try out for an NFL team. Realistic? Of course! Why, a player a week older than myself led the league in tackles this year!

For posterity, here’s the list of all NFL players older than me as of the end of the 2011 season:
Ray Lewis (LB, Baltimore) – by 9 days!
Phil Dawson (Kicker, Browns)
Brad Maynard (Punter, Browns)
Charlie Batch (QB, Pitt)
James Farrior (LB, Pitt)
Patrick Mannelly (Safety, Bears)
Ben Graham (Punter, Lions)
Jason Hanson (Kicker, Lions)
Donald Driver (WR, GB)
Ryan Longwell (Kicker, Minn)
Jake Delhomme (QB, Texans)
Jeff Garcia (QB, Texans)
Kerry Collins (QB, Colts)
Adam Vinatieri (Kicker, Colts)
Orlindo Mare (Kicker, Carolina)
Ronde Barber (CB, TB)
Jason Taylor (LB, Miami)
Mark Brunell (QB, Jets)
Jon Kitna (QB, Dallas)
London Fletcher (LB, Washington) – One week older!
Sav Rocca (Punter, Washington)
David Binn (Safety, Denver)
Brian Dawkins (Safety, Denver)
Casy Weigmann (Center, KC)
David Akers (Kicker, SF)
Al Harris (CB, Seattle)

The majority are kickers, punters and backup “mentor” quarterbacks. I’m sure a handful will retire each year. When the last one does I’ll probably have to admit that I’m probably going to have to give up on that dream of scoring the winning touchdown in the superbowl. But not yet!

Brain Pain 2011 Brain DrippingHealth/Fitness

Just to fully document the phenomena, I went through a cluster cycle in January into February. To those who somehow missed my previous update on these almost exactly two years ago, I suffer from Cluster Headaches. These suckers suck but only for a few months out of the year then they go away for several months. The current cycle came on slowly. I had a few minor headaches and a few ocular migraines in November and December. It went full blown the second week of January and peeked the last week of that month. I then entered one of the more stressful weeks of my professional career and – survival instincts ruling out stupid head pain – the cluster took a two week break. By the first week of March the headaches had ceased.  By documenting these cycles as they happen here I’m definitely seeing a pattern.

1) They’re brought on by Christmas Stress – or at least the disruption in sleep patterns that seem to happen here.

2) Nitrates! I’m watching my intake of the pernicious ‘trates. Alas, they’re in Hot-dogs and Bacon so I can’t help myself sometimes.

3) They tend to peter out with the worst of winter. Humidity? Low pressure? Less sun? I spent a lot of time outdoors this year despite the cold and snow.

Combining 1 & 2 and thinking back… in the beginning of November I had a business trip to Ireland and the UK. Fairly stressful is travel and the time change wompted my sleep patterns. Then there was the bacon and sausage every morning. Yum! Ouch! If sleep patterns and nitrates have anything to do with cluster headaches one might think I was trying to bring on a headache cycle! Anyway, I haven’t had one in weeks now so I figured it was time to document the cycle. See ya’ll back here in 2012!

Corporate Charities – Give with your head Brain Dripping

First off, Breast Cancer is bad, mmmmkay? Something like 12% women will get it and 25% of those will be killed by it. Us men aren’t free and clear either as hundreds of men die from man-boob cancer. Seriously.

That said, consider the source and follow the money before you blindly give over your money to a “charity” that supports “awareness”. They’re largely wasting your money. Consider: There is nary a woman of breast sporting age who isn’t “aware” that she should be giving herself a periodic check. Money spent on “awareness” may very likely be used to make you more aware of the charitable organization rather than it’s goals. A good example here is the corporate entities that align with a charity to hopefully do some good… and to make you more aware of the corporation. Pink websites? Hard on the eyes. Pink splotches on NFL merchandise? Silly. Printing newspapers with pink paper? Wasteful.

3 Years of RibbonsThe timely example is Lee National Denim Day. For a paltry $5 you get to wear jeans on the first Friday of October (as long as the first Friday isn’t the first of the month apparently). That $5 (Minus Lee’s expenses?) is then sent to the Entertainment Industry Foundation which in turn supports various charities. You also get a pink ribbon emblazoned in gold lettering with the Lee logo. The past few years the logo has been getting bigger and flashier at the expense of the ribbon  (See picture at left) and that got me to thinking… what percent of my Lincoln is actually going to charity and why in the hell would anyone want to wear an ad for a brand of jeans? The answer is pretty obvious – we’re all riddled with guilt for NOT having cancer… and not doing anything to prevent it from forming in others. The more health and/or wealth you have the more guilt you likely suffer at the hands of the various charities or causes. This is why you can’t see a damned Broadway play without having a “message” shoved down your throat. Paying for your ticket and nodding don’t make you an activist but for some reason it dulls the guilt the tiniest bit. So does wearing a ribbon I guess.

But it doesn’t do anything to prevent breast cancer.

In this case we really don’t need money – we need education. There is no common cancer death more preventable. Except maybe lung cancer. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer spent the majority of their life and thousands upon thousands of dollars just to get to that point but I digress. Death by breast cancer is very preventable. Just phluff your girls frequently then tell the charities to save the “awareness” and use the money to help those who can’t afford a mammogram. Better yet, volunteer $5 of your time to print out and distribute some education keeping the money out of the hands of big industries all together. The health-care industry LOVES taking money from charities because it’s guaranteed while individuals may go bankrupt or worse – die before running out of money. And if an institution is getting free funds why not raise the rates to maximize income? Horrible but human nature. So where does the money go? Most family bankruptcies are due to illness. Hospitals are going out of business. But somehow insurance companies are thriving.  If you really need something to feel guilty about… buoying the medical insurance industry is a good place to start. Ah, but once again I digress.

Back to that magic five dollars. The EIF is only about 75% efficient in returning your money to the cause. They do a lot of fine work but I like a higher return on my investment. The Susan G. Komen group is one of the largest and is better at 83% efficient but it always bothers me a little when the president or CEO makes more than a half million dollars a year. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is better still at 91% but suffers the same problem. Regardless, I gave them my $5 and the anti-breast cancer charities netted an extra 80 cents. I also gave $2 to the website that compiles the data to which I’ve linked above. Paltry sums to be sure and I have plenty of health, if not wealth to feel guilty about but I do what I can. Like writing this rambling diatribe to clarify my thoughts. Not for you, who for some unknown reason is still reading it, but for me and hopefully for the greater good.

I’m wearing Jeans today but I’m not wearing the ribbon on my shirt.  Instead, I’ll be distributing education throughout the month. I think that will be worth a good deal more than the $3.75 I would have donated if I a spent with my heart rather than my head. For women it’s even easier – donate some time with your hands… and be well.

Breast Cancer Research FoundationBreast

I’ll never grow up until The Simpsons dies… Brain DrippingHealth/Fitness

The past two months have been tough for my “never grow up” edict. First I went and turned 35. It’s not just another year… it’s the first one that rounds up to 40! Next I had to admit my limitations on my quest to run a half marathon sometime this year. Every time I start training I injure myself. Just minor complaints mostly but enough to slow me down or force me to take rest time.

Now the biggest blow – possibly ever – has knocked my perpetual puerility for a loop. The Simpsons is no longer on in syndication. I’ve been enjoying my daily D’oh for as long as I’ve been shaving. Since before I could vote. Almost as long as I’ve been driving. How could this be? The Simpsons still was the highest rated show in its time slot this past Sunday, even in reruns, and Homer was just declared TV’s greatest character so again I ask; How could this be?! The worst part? They replaced it with life-long Jon Stewart wannabee Craig Kilborn’s new show. This is the guy who thinks he owns idea of asking his guest 5 questions and is so painfully uncharismatic that he originally needed writers to create a persona for him. I’ll say this for the guy: He’s apparently in good with the roaches… he just refuses to die.

Of course, my venom is mostly just in reaction to what he has replaced. I wouldn’t have had a cow, man if Fox overlayed TMZ. This almost felt personal and I had to find answers so I hit Fox.com. No mention of the Kilborn show. Interesting. Google was a bit more enlightening – it turns out the show is being tested in only a few markets! That means somewhere children of all ages are still enjoying 10-15 year old 21-23 minute comedic masterworks from the glory days of the show. There is hope! The test-run is only for 6 weeks – ending August 6th.

There are those who say the show is no longer relevant. Those naysayers have apparently allowed themselves to get old. For shame! Truth be told, I don’t watch the re-runs every day or even every week but it’s a comfort thing to know they’re there. I will also admit that the show isn’t what it used to be. It couldn’t be because I’m getting older and no longer fall into their target demographic. Impossible! No, the blame lies squarely on The Simpsons itself – in setting the bar too high. In a few years the Powers That Be will decide that the show has run long enough and I will… probably cry like a baby. Until then all I can do is wait and enjoy it while it lasts. Six weeks from now I may return to the glorious TV of my youth. Until then, Craig Kilborn can eat my shorts.

The 12 Days of Christmas Brain Dripping

One of the reasons I haven’t been adding many new posts here in 2009 was that I’ve been doing more on Facebook. Yeah, I know, as stated on the homepage: I suck. I wont proclaim that I’ll post more updates here in 2010 but I will aggregate some of my FB stuff. To that end, let me begin with my 12 favorite Christmas songs as posted on Facebook but with more information (and not necessarily in order). I know that the true 12 days of Christmas are from December 25th through January 6th (The Epiphany) but I wanted to count down to the big day as we currently celebrate it. Music is my favorite part of the Christmas Season. This list is long overdue (and far too short).

Day 12: A non-traditional and a great start to any holiday season! I heard it first on 33rpm long-play record – John Denver & The Muppets – A Christmas Together – When the River Meets the Sea. The song was written by Paul Williams for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas which is another one of my Christmas favorites.


Day 11: A non-secular classic today. When making my Christmas “mix tapes” back in the day, I excluded Jingle Bells because most recorded versions were too childish. Then I heard this version on an oldies station by accident and it became a favorite. Sing, clap or stomp, just make a joyous noise for Fats Domino’s version of Jingle Bells!


Day 10: Carol of the Drum, better known as The Little Drummer Boy with words and music by Katherine K. Davis. Check out the interesting side bar on the link – the song dates back to 1941. This is the “original” recorded version arranged and sung by the Harry Simeone Chorale.


Day 9: Oh Holy Night – my favorite traditional and the first song ever broadcast via radio. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Ignore the video. Just listen. The true beauty of this song is its legendary history. My favorite line is usually not sung: “Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace.


Day 8: With snow on all of our minds, I have to go with White Christmas. Written in 1940 and introduced two years later in the musical Holiday Inn, not the 1954 movie of the same name. I love Bing’s version, but The Drifters have way more fun with it. Their video can’t be embedded so I present the always fun animated version.


Day 7: Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song – Although its been sung many times, many ways, it was written by Mel Torme in 1947 who was just trying to keep cool one hot summer. Nat changed it slightly by adding the strings section and the song became one of the biggest hits ever. I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it!


Day 6: Another old stand-by – Burl Ives singing Holly Jolly Christmas. I still love the 1964 “claymation” movie where most of us heard this song for the first time. This one was written in by Johnny Marks who, though Jewish, wrote many other Christmas classics including Rudolph, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Run Rudolph Run.


Day 5: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas as sung by Bing Crosby. “But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door.” Every year I make a pilgrimage to some remote forest in NJ and harvest the annual sprig of Holly. This year I visited the maritime forest on Sandy Hook with my wife and a good friend of ours. Good times & happy memories!


Day 4: Happy XMas – John Lennon with the Harlem Community Choir. Yes, the song is titled “XMas” not “Chirstmas”. “So this is Christmas and what have we done? Another year over, a new one just begun.” Actually a protest song but the message is simple – Peace. On Christmas day remember the man but honor his message.


Day 3: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas works beautifully in duets. One of my favorite versions features Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra but that isn’t one of YouTube’s favorites. This version features two performers which I dearly miss. …”Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow.” I tried to not go back to the well with my most favorite Christmas Album of all time… although the lyrics have changed a lot over the years, I could only find recordings where Bing misses a lyric (He says Self instead of Heart) so I go with what works.


Day 2: From the Emmy Award winning Charlie Brown Christmas Special – Christmas Time Is Here by Vince Guaraldi. “Christmas time is here. We’ll be drawing near. Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year!” This video features an excellent edit of the special and includes Linus’ monologue (Luke 2:8-14). The inclusion of this word-for-word reading originally horrified CBS executives but Charles Shultz insisted saying “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”. Read more of the interesting history here.


Christmas Day: John Denver & the Muppets – Alfie the Christmas Tree. Anyone that knows me probably had a good inkling that this would be my final song. It’s one of John Denver’s favorites and it was inspired by the Muppets that helped him perform it. Merry Christmas! The video features the entire segment of the special including a duet with Kermit. Great stuff.