moving through some changes

If you’re one of my regular readers, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been slacking here lately. Well, this week I have a really good excuse. Tuesday night, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl. Her name is Gabriella. She weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces. Between getting the house ready for her arrival (I put together a stroller last night, which is something I haven’t done in a couple DECADES) and visiting the hospital (my daughter couldn’t pick one of the two hospitals that’s less than 15 minutes from home), I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

I usually don’t post pictures of family members on the blog, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.


Programming note: The Friday Movie Quote post will be up at ten o’clock.

we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming… sort of

Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY
Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY

I took a few days vacation last week and went north to visit family. I got back on Monday, but blogging has been put on the back burner. In addition to the vacation, I’ve also been involved in a major writing project that’s been eating up much of my spare time. I’m hoping to be back on schedule with my regular blog features tonight. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Boldt Castle I took on Sunday.

anything that can go wrong…

Flat Bastard!

So I was driving through the town of Cairo, NY, site of the annual Temperance and Tommy Guns Festival, when my right rear tire decided it would be a good time to go flat. Needless to say, I was not amused. I guess the crappy week I’m already having wasn’t crappy enough.

After I got the spare on, I looked over the flat to see what the problem was. There was a two inch vertical gash in the sidewall. I have no idea how that got there. I didn’t hit any potholes. Didn’t hit any curbs. But there it was. I have no idea what the hell happened. It’s as if the gods of automotive dysfunction just reached down and swatted me. Bastards!

The only good thing is that it was the company car, so I won’t have to spring for a new tire. I’ve already bought enough tires in my life.

a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there

It had been several years since the last time I went on an overnight trip for my job. Last week, I got to take one to western New York State. I figured that while I was in the area, I should get a few pictures of this place. I’m sure that after seeing this picture, you immediately figured out what it is. Judging by the architecture, it’s obviously… Disney’s Magic Kingdom!

Zippity Doo Dah, Zippity Ay! My oh my, what a wonderful day.

OK, it’s not the Magic Kingdom. It’s actually Attica Correctional Facility. While a place like this fascinates me, I have to admit, it’s no substitute for Disney.

Attica Correctional Facility, the unhappiest place on Earth?

The weather being what it was (warm and sunny), the guy who worked in this tower had the best job in the joint. He could step outside for fresh air and sunshine as often as he wanted. Nothing to do but wait for the unlikely event of an inmate trying to scale the outer perimeter wall. Which almost never happens. Especially in broad daylight.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let... loose with a couple of 5.56 mm rounds from your AR-15.

Maybe next time my work will take me to Disneyland. Or Sing Sing, I’ve always wanted to visit that place too.

what part of “no left turn” do you not understand?

I was sitting in my office on Friday. I wasn’t supposed to be sitting there, I was supposed to be up north, interviewing two witnesses for a trial on Monday. But the trial was canceled at the last minute, so there I was. At about 3:20, my phone rang. It was my daughter. Or rather, it was her phone. An unfamiliar voice greeted me.

“Is this John?”


“I’m calling for you daughter. She’s been involved in a little fender-bender.”

I asked her for the location of the accident. She told me, and I was out of the office like a shot. Fortunately, it was only a couple miles away.

She was okay, just a little shaken up. She complained of some head and neck pain, but thankfully nothing major (so far, anyway). The car had been knocked a lane and a half. According to a witness at the scene, the driver of the other vehicle attempted to make a left turn out of a drug store parking lot and hit my daughter, who was in the left westbound lane. Apparently the guy who was in the right westbound lane waved the other driver on, probably thinking the he was turning right, which is what you’re supposed to do from that exit, as it’s clearly marked “NO LEFT TURN.” If you want to go left out of the parking lot, you’re supposed to use another exit, on the other side of the lot. That one’s (not coincidentally) near a traffic light. I guess that jackwagon was in too much of a hurry to make the arduous 200 yard trek to the proper exit. Asshole.

So, needless to say, I’m not a happy camper. I’ll be meeting with an appraiser from the insurance company this week. I’m hoping they elect to pay for repairing the car. If they decide to total it, the check for the value of the car will pay off the loan, but then we’re out a car.  And I’m in no mood to go car shopping.

pure as the driven snow

Temps made it into the 60s today. It was a pleasant change from the windy and cold thing we had going on earlier in the week. Still, it’s not spring yet, as evidenced by the presence of snowbanks like the one in the picture below, taken at lunch today.

Yes, that's snow. With a little dirt, sand, and oil mixed in.

you have the con, captain dobie

I caught this scene in Saratoga Springs yesterday. The dog was a really large Doberman. He spent most of the time I was behind him with his head out the sunroof, looking around. There was another dog sitting in the passenger seat, but he’s not visible in the picture. It looked to be a Doberman puppy. There were bandages on his ears, so they must have been recently cropped.