Tag Archives: musings

Another Sunday


Today’s Music: Shelby Lynne – Gotta Get Back

The sky was pretty clear this morning. I got up around eight. No idea why so early. As I’m writing this, TMWGITU is still asleep. I’ve been doing stuff all morning.
I spent some time reading on my Kindle. I’m on an email list that sends me a few free links from Amazon every day (Pixel Of Ink), so I usually have something for my commute. Finished a good story about bad military helicopters. I’ll be checking if the author has anything else, since it was a surprisingly well built tale.

After I finished, I spent a bit of time on my laptop.

The blog emails pile up fast.

The blog emails pile up fast.


See what some of those I follow have to say today.

Then I was hungry. No, I still haven’t had breakfast. Waiting for my girl for that! But I did want a snack. And then I thought, “What kind of snack?” “Why, sesame sticks of course!” “But you don’t have sesame sticks, Guap.” “No, but I have something better – ingredients and an internet connection!”
Sesame Sticks
So the house smells of cumin and sesame oil. Good thing I like both those smells.

At some point during the day, I’ll pick up a guitar.

Best when used daily

Best when used daily


I don’t know that I’ll play anything worth hearing. But I enjoy it, and it generally keeps me out of trouble.

One thing I haven’t worked on in a while is the model railroad
Model Railroad
As you can see, it needs lots of attention. That means there will probably be soldering. So if you hear cursing, that’s me.

And then there are the usual chores – ironing, cooking, paying bills. Maybe some research on available adventures. It’s getting warm enough for a weekend road trip in the near future, so we should see what general direction we want to go in…

And then we’ll clean up, get our work stuff together and go to bed to get ready for another day of work.
Not a “scaling cliffs” kind of day, but still fun.

And you?

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Reflections on Another Trip Around The Sun


Today’s Music: The Beatles – They Say It’s Your Birthday (will open in new window)

As the anniversary of my birth rolls around today, let’s see what we’ve learned in over 160 seasons on the planet, shall we?

– It’s not the years. It’s the mileage. (50 points to whoever places this quote first, 40 points for everyone after)

My Superhero-Surfer gear

– If I knew then what I know now, I would still have been an idiot, just one who knew more. (But I would definitely have bought Amazon stock. And sold at $395.)
– No matter what your age, naps are good.
– Naps with the woman you love are even better
– “Don’t play with your food” is always an invitation to play with your food.
– It’s good to be old enough to buy your own toys without needing permission.
– Even when it sucks, it’s good to be alive.
– Food made by your own hand is good. Food caught by your own hand is great.

from visualphotos.com

– I’ll drive, but you’d better navigate.
– Drinking at school is good. Paying attention would have been better.
– I don’t mind doing the damage, since I’m old enough to understand the consequences
– Eggs do not belong in one’s nose. But mashed potatoes in your glasses are magic
– If you’re going to do a naked bar dance, remember the story, because one day it may get you a wife. Who will be The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe.
– Tell TMWGITU that you love her. Several times a day. Using silly adjectives to describe the size of your love.
– Washing the dishes isn’t so bad when they’re your dishes.

Porfidio Cactus tequila

– Laying down at bedtime with the woman you love is the Best. Gift. Ever.
– Socks are the Worst. Gift. Ever. Unless they’re novelty socks. Or ski socks.
– It is possible to drink your own body weight. Or so I’ve been told. I can’t remember – I was pretty damn stewed at the time.
– Don’t eat lentils after drinking that much. Trust me on this.
– Read books.
– Be thankful for friends who won’t let strangers pour water on your head and take pictures while you’re drunk
– Make friends with bartenders
– Watch good movies. And bad ones too. I LOVE Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
– Go on Road Trips. I like themes – Boston for clam chowder, Florida for U2 (k,
not a theme, but it was a great trip, and a great show.

Fender American Standard Strat


– It’s not all about the music, but it could be
– Ride a jet ski.
– Ride snow skis.
– Ride a surfboard.
– Find a way to have fun, everyday. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.

– Blog. You’ll meet some very funny, insightful and smart people.

-Have a great birthday. And if today ain’t your birthday too, just have a great day.
from cakes-you-can-bake.com

Now where am I going – Metaphysical Edition


Today’s Music: Johnny Clegg & Savuka

So last time, I used this title to show off a bunch of compasses I own.
Because I’m the kind of guy who thinks compasses are cool. (much like bow ties.)

Bow ties are cool.

At the bottom of that post, I promised I’d give you the Metaphysical Edition. Because I’m an idiot.

So come now, as we delve into the sludge and confusion that slosh and ooze inside my head. (No, not the eggs I put in my nose when I was 6. I’m talking about my brain. Sheesh, this is gonna be a long post…)

Any good psychiatrist will tell you that in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.
I’ve worked in kitchens. I’ve worked in offices. I even once assembled newspapers (that lasted one day).

Sunday NY Times. Lots and lots of pages.

I’ve traveled (not extensively, but a bit), gone to 5 or 6 countries, many states and countless bars and restaurants. Not that the number is so high they can’t be counted, it’s just hard to use numbers when you’re that drunk.

I’ve been ridiculously happy. Extremely sad. Criminally mischievous. Incredibly well dressed. I’ve worn Hawaiian shirts to work, and tuxedos to bars. I have a wicked sense of humor and enjoy being the perpetrator of a well played joke, as well as the victim of one.

Way back when I used to sweat for a living, it was my job to keep a semi-homicidal group of immigrants/junkies/alcoholics functioning well enough to serve 800 dinners a night out of a hellishly hot kitchen. I yelled, threatened, cursed, and when necessary, I showed my guys that the way I said to do it was right by doing it in front of them.

Those were their choices.


This led to a long and destructive period of aggressively enjoying the hell out of myself, and drinking way too much. It was also during this time that I met IrishPaul.

At the point where my knees decided they didn’t want weren’t going to work in restaurants anymore (and after I almost cut someone’s finger off for eating a french fry), I went back to school for a computer certification.

For that stretch, I worked as little as possible, relied on friends (bartenders) for food and drink, and generally recovered my head.
When I was about 28, I started a job as a pc tech. I had just moved in with a friend (bartender), went in for a drink that night on his shift and saw a girl (the most wonderful girl in the universe). And eventually married her.
(all that will eventually be another post.)

Everything up to this point had been a whirl of drink, food, road trips, good friends in bars, too little sleep and a ton of late nights.

3 months after I got my pc tech job, the dot com I was working at closed and I started a new job in a Network Operations Center (sounds cooler than it is – no windows, canned air and the constant whirring of server fans), working 2nd shift (noon to 10 pm).
Then they moved me to mornings.

I had a great boss (despite him thinking music began and ended with The Beatles), who didn’t fire me when it took two weeks for me to actually show up on time for the day shift.
but I couldn’t stay out all night if I had to be in at 7am. So I stopped staying out all night.
I grew mellower. I was sweating less. I was holding intelligent conversations that didn’t loudly speculate about an individual’s questionable intelligence or favorite farm animal.

Things were going well with the girl. She came skiing with me and learned to love it. She introduced me to new music, some of which is great. She got me to start cooking again (really, when I left restaurants, if I couldn’t nuke it, boil it, or eat it out of the bag, I wasn’t eating it). She suggested day trips, vacations, kayaking.
It was a perfect life.

I slowly started waking up in the morning. Looking forward to the weekend.
Speaking in a socially acceptable manner (i.e.every third word wasn’t a curse). I relaxed a bit more.
I became accustomed to the joys of the daily rush hour commute. To drink and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. To sweat less and smile more.

That’s continued for about the last 10 years. My girl and I have a simple life. I do most of the cooking and ironing, she makes sure the bills go out on time and (occasionally) laughs at my jokes. We have things that only move one of us, things that move both of us, nad each supports the other pretty much no matter what.
She knows (probably better than I do) what’ll piss me off or set me on edge (she doesn’t linger at/near/in smelling distance of the perfume counters at malls or department stores!), and always manages to keep me calm.
I tell her I love her several times a day, which she does too – not for reassurance, but because it’s nice to hear when it’s sincere.

So, I get up, I go to work. I come home, make dinner, lie on the couch with my girl as we read our books or she surfs the web and I watch tv.
I have time to play my guitars, or video games, or to work on my model railroad.
On weekends, we do our grocery shopping and other chores, visit friends, go to museums/restaurants/stuff we want to see, and live what I guess are normal ordinary lives.
I go to as many concerts as I can (sometimes with, sometimes without her), she also has stuff she does on her own.

It’s a stable, good life.

At this point, I probably won’t throw my gear and compii into the car and just go for long ride.
I’m never going to be a Marine Biologist. Or cure cancer. Or headline at Madison Square Garden.

I will work every day to justify my wife’s faith and love in me. I will still say as many inappropriate things as I think I can get away with. I will keep playing with my food.

One day, if I’m lucky, I’ll go see a man about a horse (in this case, a horse is a kayak/motorcycle/sailboat/small island…). I’ll keep having mini adventures (skiing, surfing, paragliding, driving in midtown) as I can fit them in.

I will probably work, retire when I can, worry about health, money, the Mets…
I’d like to do that someplace tropical. I’d like to understand more of quantum physics (thogh I do finally understand Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle).
I don’t know if any of that will happen. And, despite the beginning of this post, I don’t really know where I’m going.

But, for the moment, I’m content.
Because I got the girl.

Everything else is noise.

Clutter is Bad for the Head


Today’s Music: Howard Jones (Acoustic)

The inside of my head looks like the top of my desk.

Organization? Who needs organization?

And it would be very simple to fix my desk: look at everything that’s there and sort it into piles. Move my trash into the bin. Pull out the stuff that needs attention and put it in the space on the left, file all the rest in its appropriate cabinet.

Clearing my head would be more or less the same process. Stuff the noise and clutter into a back bin to be dealt with (or ignored) later*. Keep the important stuff on top, and deal with all the routine stuff as…well…routine.

But for some reason, I can’t seem to do it. I don’t think there’s more on my mind than usual. I’m just having a harder time controlling it than usual. Might be that I’m fighting a slow battle with a cold that is threatening to sack me. Might be that I have a family obligation coming up next month and no time off to tend to it, so what do I do about that? (Seriously, if anyone has ideas, I’m open to them.)

I’m just feeling run down lately. I’ve been forcing myself to make dinner when my wife (the most wonderful girl in the universe) and I finally get home, and sometimes that means pulling out the appropriate takeaway menu. My wife has even had to do some of the ironing (which I usually do) because I’m just too damned wiped out to pull my butt off the couch.

So the days come and go. And this is my little sad rant about it. But now its off my chest. And is just annoying me.
I’m gonna get a shovel, bellow my rallying cry** and dig my way out of this pile. Can’t let it all drag me down.

If I did, how would I make it surfing Sunday?

Yep, that's a wave at my beach!

*I find it’s very nice to leave things on my schedule that I can just ignore. Frees up time when I’ve blocked out space for something I know I’m not going to do.

**SPOON!!!!

An Adventure – Learning to Sail


Today’s Music: Jimmy Buffett

WHEEEEE!!!!!!

In a June, quite some time ago, Ms. Diamond needed to get certified as a Life Guard.
So, one day in the cafeteria, she dropped the brochure for the place she was going for the lifeguard course on the table.
Being a nosy S.O.B. (though it’s possible sh offered it to me – not sure – been a lot of drinking between then an now), I looked through it.
Sailing! Learn to sail on a lake in Pennsylvania! One person Sunfish! Oh.My. God.

At the time, I was listening to way too much Jimmy Buffett. Parrothead, (mostly) recovered, that’s me.
One of the things Jimmy sings an awful lot about (besides drinking, and women, and food and islands and…) is sailing.
And here was an opportunity to learn it on the cheap!

So I went. My sisters came along to learn to Scuba Dive (in the same lake), but I was there for the sailing.

The first day, it poured. So they brought the sailing group (there was sailing, lifeguarding, scuba, and a bunch of other classes being taught that week) into a cabin. The instructors told us about themselves, told us about the boats we’d be using, and asked us what we wanted to get out of the class, and to draw a picture of it.
I wrote Sail like Magellan. The picture I drew wasn’t quite as bad as this, but lord, it wasn’t good:

Not even Magellan could keep this afloat.

Fortunately, making us artists wasn’t the point of the course. Making us sailors was.
They taught us how to put together a sunfish and take it apart. How to step the mast (insert it in it’s slot so it wouldn’t leave the boat when the sail was filled with wind), how to run the lines (ropes on a boat are called lines), how to tell where the wind was coming from and how to trim the boat (adjust sails and heading (direction) for the wind).
They taught us about the hardware on the boat – the stays and guys, tiller and running rigging, and how all of them held the boat together and made it go.
They taught us witty sailor sayings – “red sky at night, sailors delight, red sky at dawn, storm coming on”, “tiller to boom to avoid doom”, “rain before wind, better stay in. Wind before rain, soon set sail again”.
All phrases that I’ve found useful even in my daily landlubber-ous existence.

And they taught us how to sail.
Picture 5 newbies, each in our own boat, trying to sail in formation. Okay, we managed to get more or less to the same part of the lake, more or less at the same time. But when they told us to sail in close formation, we all managed to get in exactly the same part of the lake at exactly the same time. And had a massive pile up.
I think that was the first time I fell out of my boat, avoiding the nose of another that parked itself on top of me.

But slowly we learned. We understood the points of sail, learned how to trim a sail to take the most advantage of the wind. How to get out of irons, or steer for a buoy.
And we learned to not crash into each other. Unless we really wanted to.

On the last day, we were allowed to sail around on our own. When time was up, I steered in, coming up to the dock neatly against the wind. I put my hands on the dock – to hoist myself out of the boat – my feet still in it.
And the boat, which wasn’t tied down, started to drift…away…from the dock…

Which was the last time I fell in.

I’m sorry I couldn’t find it, because i really wanted to scan and post my Upside Down Award, for falling creatively out of boats. I earned it, dangnabbit.

And before you leave the post chuckling at how i wasted a week, several years later I was invited to crew on the Around Long Island Regatta on a boat something like this:

Image from Charterworld.com

I got here from a Sunfish.

Adminisilliness (a Bread Crumbs post)


(*This page is a permanent page above the title bar.
It was suggested that I post it as a regular page, because who ever really reads the fine print anyway…
As such, there is no Today’s Music here. On the other hand, I haven’t finished my ideas for the next post, so think of this as a Bread Crumbs (filler) post.)

I hate paperwork.
Even virtual paperwork.
But every so often, it has to be done.
So here it is:

1 Nov 2011
This blog is maintained/arranged/updated by El Guapo (the handsome one).
(As I keep telling myself).
He can be contacted at Guaposaur@gmail.com

Posts are made irregularly. Mostly because I want to say something worth saying (at least to me), as opposed to just adding to the general cacophony. My Reader(s?) deserve better.

Pictures are added as needed to express a point, clarify a point, or to amuse the author (again, me).

Today’s Music may be what I’m listening to at that moment, or something I feel is appropriate to the post, or an act I want to highlight. Check them out, you might like them. And any musical suggestions are always welcome.

Occasionally there will be a Today’s Adventure. That is a quick note on something I’ve done recently that I really enjoyed.
I hope there will be lots of them.

Comments are allowed instantly, but are checked regularly, since I find myself not wanting to do my job when I am there, so I poke around online instead.
With that in mind, please be respectful. You can be as passionate as you like in expressing your point of view, but please don’t descend to immature name calling.
Or I will summon the Flaming Balls of Zoltan upon thine comments. Sadly for the justice system, I am the court of last resort around here.

I do read all comments, and do my best to respond to/answer questions raised in them. If you’re shy and want to ask me something, feel free to email.

My philosophy is that we should all enjoy the bejeezus out of ourselves up to the point where we infringe upon the ability of others to enjoy themselves.

I enjoy sour and half-sour dill pickles, but not the “bread and butter” ones.

I think that covers it.

Let me know if I left something out.

*This will probably be updated as soon as I remember what I forgot.

A Friday Poll for Y’Oll


Today’s Music: Echo and the Bunnymen

I know the title is a typo, but it was the only way I could make it rhyme…

So I’m trying to find out if I want a theme day on Fridays.
The first thing I thought I’d go with is polls. You know, something probably inane for a momentary Friday distraction. I mean, it’s hard enough being at my desk Monday to Thursday, so you can imagine how hard I look for something other than work to do on a Friday…

Also, since I’m a new blogger (2 months), I’m still trying to figure out the online etiquette and how to do this kind of thing. Sure, once I get that figured, I’ll probably ignore it and do what I want anyway, but at least I’m pretending to care.
It sounds sincere doesn’t it?

So for the initial Friday Foolishness, let’s go with a poll on how obsessive you are about your hit count.
Be honest. Even if we aren’t near as anonymous online as we hope.

Voting is open until next Friday, when the results will be posted. You can add your own answer, choose one of the…choices, and leave comments on the level of silliness.
Vote now, vote often.

Update: If you use Other, feel free to add your name/website url/ email so I know who you are.
All “Other” answers will be posted as well.