Archive for November, 2007

Top 25 on my iTunes

November 9, 2007

I have a lot of playlists on my iTunes at work. Occasionally, I’ll take a look at the Top 25 from across all the different lists. This is a pretty good representation; unfortunately, we had to migrate my data from one hard drive to another eight months ago, so I know this list would be different with that data. I mean, there isn’t a single U2 song on here. What happened to Story for Boys? Beautiful Day? Mysterious Ways? Acrobat? I mean, c’mon, the list is making me look un-Bono-worshipish. Sheesh.

1
Mary Won’t You Call My Name?
Morphine
Cure for Pain

2
Hotel Yorba
The White Stripes
White Blood Cells

3
Graveyard Shift
Uncle Tupelo
No Depression

4
Try Not to Breathe
R.E.M.
Automatic for the People

5
moral kiosk
r.e.m.
murmur

6
Save Me
Dave Matthews
Some Devil

7
Crazy (The Late Show with David Letterman 08-14-06)
Gnarls Barkley

8
Absolutely Cuckoo
The Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs Vol. 1

9
So Damn Lucky
Dave Matthews
Some Devil

10
Eh Hee
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
Radio City Music Hall DVD

11
Grey Street
Dave Matthews
Some Devil [Bonus Disc]

12
Iris
Live
Throwing Copper

13
Here It Goes Again
OK Go
Oh No

14
Dust Radio
Chris Whitley
Living With The Law

15
Grey Street
Dave Matthews Band
Busted Stuff

16
City of Angels
10,000 Maniacs
In My Tribe [Reissue]

17
Phone Call From Leavenworth
Chris Whitley
Living With The Law

18
Made From Dirt
Chris Whitley
War Crime Blues

19
San Francisco
Hello Saferide
Introducing: Hello Saferide

20
Life And How To Live It
R.E.M.
Fables Of The Reconstruction

21
Turn You Inside-Out
R.E.M.
Green

22
Up The Beach
Jane’s Addiction
Nothing’s Shocking

23
Pretty Persuasion
R.E.M.
Reckoning

24
Boll Weevil
Presidents of the United States of America

25
Sample in a Jar
Phish
Hoist

Hello, hot water heater nightmare; how may I direct your call?

November 7, 2007

Another note just in from the ‘Are You Serious?’ Department: the electric is bad, too. Hold on, let me make a call.

[18 minutes later]

I called my father-in-law. He lives in the same time zone and is a retired Boeing electrical engineer (retired and Boeing – trust me I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but not in his case). He’s always good for a chat about how things work, or why they don’t. He’s much more methodical in his approach to reaching solutions. Me? I’m more ‘Damn, where’s the wine bottle.’ He asked if there were any other 20v double pull breakers thrown. There was. The circuit board is mislabeled. Still, FIL wonders what caused the circuit to brea…

Why did the breaker just blow?

[12 minutes later]

Well, something is funky with our electrical. I had my FIL on the phone again while we ran down the possibilities. Looks like a call to the electrician tomorrow. Do you know anyone in the Bellingham area? FIL is inclined to believe the breaker is going bad. Me? I’m on a second glass of wine and wondering if I’ll drag my rear end down to Lowes tomorrow morning – they open at 6:00 am, dontcha know – to grab a Challenger 20v double pull circuit breaker. Or something like that.

Man, what a ragin’ crazy couple of days.

37 days overdue (+911:06:32)

From the ‘Are You Serious?’ Department

November 6, 2007

After the gingivostomatitis, the wacko parenting class (three weeks to go!), Halloween, and the past week of fevers, I was hoping to start digging back into the story during NaNoWriMo. Not to be. Yet.

Last evening, our water heater died. Just in time for the holidays. So I’ve spent the last couple of hours researching water heaters, electric, gas, tankless. Add water heaters to the list of things in which I do not have a deep interest. Rank it right after auto repair and plumbing, which, in a sense, is related to water heaters.

Tomorrow night I get the pleasure of purchasing a new electric water heater (no time for gas hook up), renting the Lowes truck for $20, delivering the new water heater to our house, returning the Lowes truck, and installing the water heater.

As the sage-like Bono once sang, “Some days are better than others.”

Cheers to two years

November 5, 2007

Aw, shucks. Has it been two years already? It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at my workstation at the office shaking my head while reading the NaNoWriMo website, thinking: ‘50,000 words in [consulted calendar] 25 days? Heck, I’ll give it a shot. The baby’s up most nights anyway.’

Our son was six weeks old when I started writing the story. Now he’s a two-year-old ball of unbridled action.

Two years. One of these day’s I’m going to start writing down what I’ve been doing to keep track of time. Nothing serious, just a little journal of some type of chronicle of events that are really only relevant to me. I’ll let you know if I ever get around to it.

In the meantime, our daughter introduced me to her interpretation of “Knick-Knack Paddy-Whack” over the weekend:

This old man, he plays one/He plays knick-knack on my shoe/With a knick-knack, paddy-whack make a chocolate bar/It’s O.K. and lolly-parts.

She makes everyday an adventure.

35 days overdue (+862:46:10)

So I’m not much of a math wiz

November 2, 2007

OK,  I posted late last night, so it didn’t occur to me until this morning that there are only 12 months in a year. So the preceding post would be more appropriately titled, Happy NaNoWriMo (+24 months).

Yup. Like a steel trap.

Happy NaNoWriMo (+48 Months)

November 1, 2007

Happy NaNoWriMo! I started this little book of mine for NaNoWriMo two years ago. I’m hoping to finish this first draft before the end of the month. Then I would consider myself a NaNoWriMo winner.

Heroes is going to air a set of episodes that feature an outbreak of a serious contagion. I know it’s very different than my story, still, I would rather my idea not appear a copycat.

Wanted to try something new: here’s a snippet from the book I rediscovered this evening while working on my story (I’m already behind my NaNoWriMo+48 months on the first night). This bit features Tim Tooley, Calvin’s younger and much thirstier brother. Remember this is from a first draft. I will want to edit it immediately after posting. Comment gently. (OK, chop it up if you want.)

Tim Tooley woke in a fog. His eyes fluttered open, and he squinted against the morning glare. He snuffed and cleared his throat, running his tongue over his teeth, feeling coarse wool on the yellowed enamel. He was lying on his back, he recognized the rafters overhead, whitewashed and cobwebbed. Not once in his career as a drinker did Tim Tooley wake up with a hangover. He joked with his buddies the freedom from hangovers was God’s way of telling him to drink.

In the faint, early morning light, Tim lay on the mound of straw, closed his eyes, and slowly drifted off to sleep. It would be another couple of hours before Calvin was up and nagging him about the booze, or the feed, or his drinking friends sleeping it off around the yard. He wanted to enjoy the quiet before Calvin’s fire started burning. It was really peaceful in the barn this morning. Quiet. Motionless.

Tim’s eyes popped open. He listened for the familiar shuffling of the cows in the stalls, the impatient chuffs and snorts of the livestock waiting to be fed. He was met with silence.

More curious than alarmed, Tim rolled to his side and pushed up on his elbow. He was in the corral, the cow corral. He shook his head, annoyed. He hated passing out in the corral. Aside from the danger of a hoof to the head as he slept; it meant his coat and coveralls would be caked with manure and the other hands would snicker and ask how his big date went.

The gate was closed. Tim sighed in relief; at least he hadn’t let the cow out to wander around the yard. Pushing off his elbow, Tim sat with his knees bent, shifted his weight onto his extended right arm and looked over his shoulder. Then he pissed himself as he scrambled away from the sight.

The cow was facing him; eye’s bulging from their sockets, grey and lifeless. Pink foam in his nostrils and on his muzzle had pooled in the straw. The cow’s tongue was black and so swollen it forced the animal’s mouth open. The turgid tip of the tongue sat in a wash of vomit.

Tim pushed his back against the barn wall and stood up. His gaze was locked on the animal’s grotesque death mask. The silence of the barn descended around him. He strained to hear the slightest sound. The quiet turned Tim’s stomach, anxiety pushing bile up the back of his throat. Lifting the stall gate latch, he scurried through to the barn’s center isle. Stalls ran down both sides of the isle. They were all dead, every cow, sheep, goat.

Tim strained to hear noise from the neighboring chicken coop. The silence was maddening. Tim sprinted to the house, screaming like a madman. Calvin was going to have to tell him what to do.