TV, Part 1.

Earl and I spent the evening catching up on the new television season courtesy of our DVR last night. We watched five shows and enjoyed four of them, so we are off to a decent start.

I’m purposely leaving out spoilers because I’m nice.

“How To Get Away With Murder” kicked off season two right where season one left off. Shonda Rhimes packed in a whole boatload of twists and turns in the season premiere and it was in the final moments of the episode that the season storyline arc was firmly established. We are eagerly looking forward to the next episode; what they built the series on in season one solidly continues in season two because it works.

“The Mysteries of Laura” basically became a different television program with a slightly more serious tone. I was on the fence about this one last season because it didn’t really grab me; it took us several weeks to finally catch up on episodes. The introduction of a new character, the new captain of the precinct, killed the vibe of the light vibe that permeated the show last season. They also wrote off the quirky detective with barely an explanation, which I found surprising because she was a fan favorite and contributed heavily to the lightheartedness of the show. It was the light vibe that made this show stand out to begin with. I barely made it through the episode hoping that the captain was a guest appearance but it looks like she’s staying around. We scratched it off the DVR To Do list. If I read somewhere that she’s gone, we’ll reconsider it.

“Life In Pieces” is a new CBS comedy set up as four short stories about a family. The show is very odd. It’s kind of like “Love, American Style” with the little vignettes, but they’re all interconnected and related to each other. OK, maybe more like “Love, American Style” meets “Modern Family”. I found it difficult to digest but it piqued my interest.

“Limitless” is a new CBS action show based on the movie of the same name. Bradley Cooper even makes an appearance in the pilot to connect the two. The special effects are cool, the way they portray thought processes, etc. is interesting and it’s a decent continuation of the “Limitless” universe established in the movie. There are some hefty “leaps of faith” in the storyline but I can deal. I liked the movie, I liked the pilot and I’m looking forward to the next episode.

“Shark Tank” is more of the same deal in previous seasons with folks pitching their ideas to millionaires to get funding for their entrepreneurial endeavor. It’s a little jump the sharky with the addition of guest millionaires, the season premiere featured Ashton Kutcher, but there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I don’t particularly enjoy the shows that are missing Barbara Corcoran, because I really like her spirit and approach to the whole thing, so I wasn’t super invested in this season premiere but I’m looking forward to the next episode.

4 1/2 hours of television was all I could digest in one day. I don’t know if I’m going to keep score or blog about this again this year, but here’s what we got so far:

* “How To Get Away With Murder”: A-
* “The Mysteries of Laura”: D — first casualty of the season
* “Life in Pieces”: B
* “Limitless”: B+
* “Shark Tank”: B+


When I first took the job in my latest step in my career, I never expected to enjoy Greenville, S.C.  Now that I’m in the middle of my third trip down here in four months, I can safely say that this is a pretty nifty city, especially the downtown area.  Earl and I will be coming down here together in October.  I’m very much looking forward to showing him what I have discovered and discovering many more things together.

If you’re every driving Interstate 85, Greenville, S.C. is definitely a worthwhile stop. The downtown area has a lot of culture, scenery and fantastic places to eat. A foodies’ dream!

A quick snap from my hotel room …



I’ve been deleting many blogs from my blog roll over the past week. It is becoming very common for “bloggers” to simply link to another person’s blog entry or to simply cut and paste the article with maybe some effort to identify the originating source. The copied blog entry is then framed in ads, click through requirements and other money grabbing experiences, all so that the “blogger” can make ad revenue with little effort.  

This irks me.

What happened to the time not so long ago when people generated original content and shared it through a blog or other sort of medium? Do people no longer have the will to think? Do they rather to be fed the same drivel repeatedly until it becomes the truth?

I’ve mentioned many times before that I am not a fan of advertisements. I don’t mind a static ad in a magazine or a newspaper. I’ll even tolerate ads in the margin of a web page, but when the entire page is blocked by an ad or I’m forced to answer a survey or I have to search for a “close” button to get an auto playing video to stop blaring at me, I lose* all interest in consuming whatever I was intending to consume by falling for the click bait.

I think one of the reasons that we have such stupidity front and center in media these days is because people keep regurgitating the stupidity in an effort to grab more ad dollars. Every time I read a headline that says, “you won’t believe it when…” or “your jaw will hit the floor when you see this…” or “what happens next will astound you…” I want to slap the three closest people to me across the face and/or throw a lamp across the room and scream “please stop the insanity!”

The fact that my Facebook stream has become a constant source of this idiocy, despite my best efforts to hide, delete, muffle, silence or stomp out this sort of thing adds fuel to the fire that makes me want to throw a lamp. One of my recent revelations about my childhood is that there were a fair number of idiots that were part of my past. The regurgitation of the idiotic has amplified this. I miss my ignorance.

There is no solution to all of this because it’s just going to continue and no one has the gumption to stand up to this sort of content presentation on the Internet. 

Get rich quick by doing nothing. Welcome to the 21st Century. 

*please note the way I spelled that word. 



The leaves are just starting to show their colors in the woods along our back lawn. In about three weeks it’ll be peak leaf peeping season. There will be many oohs and aahs, I’m sure.

The air is very still and quiet here today, even though it’s midday and usually there’s a wind blowing during my lunch hour. The leaves are barely moving. The wind chimes ding only once in a very great while. I like the stillness; I’m hoping that Mother Nature maintains this attitude so that I can enjoy a flight after work tonight.

I ran into a friend last night who asked if I was going to become a flight instructor, as I’m am embarking on the next step of my pilot training at the end of the week. Becoming a flight instructor is my retirement plan. I don’t see me ever fully retiring (and basically doing nothing) as I’m not sure my brain could handle that sort of stillness. I might feel differently in 20 years but right now I like to keep busy doing things that I enjoy doing. I find rest and relaxation in keeping my mind occupied.

Oh how I enjoy the sound of a calm late-summer afternoon. I think I’m going to work outside for the rest of the day. It’s too nice to sit in the basement when I don’t have to.

Go Away.

There was an event at the Apple Store in SoHo yesterday, a “meet the developers” event that apparently featured the Kardashians. Admittedly, this made me vomit a little in my mouth. Naturally, my take on this is that it’s the perpetuation of everything that is wrong with our society, what with having a game where you can be a Kardashian or something. I think the latest version of AbFab said it best when they likened the Kardashians to spreading the herpes and multiplying like head lice. I don’t know why I care to be angry about the existence of the Kardashians, except that their existence is constantly in my face. It’s bad enough that they infest my Twitter feed, are all over the television, are constantly referred to in casual conversation by people with little to talk about and are thrusting Caitlyn Jenner at us constantly, but now Apple events as well?

Another reason to seriously consider moving to Linux (again).

Digital Manners.

There is a woman with a busted up Android phone sampling all the music on her non iDevice. Without headphones. At full volume. In the Barnes and Noble cafe.  The staff has spoken to her several times about this but she doesn’t care.

Because she’s entitled. And she has no manners.

All smartphones and the like should default to vibrate mode. I don’t want to hear your ringtone, I don’t want to know what you’re watching on Facebook (because it’s never as hilarious as the headline claims it will be) and I certainly don’t want to hear your phone call with your divorce lawyer over your speakerphone.

What the heck happened to respecting those around you? Have people completely forgotten about common courtesy?

The answer seems to be “it would appear so.”

It’s like these folks that can’t be bothered to park between the lines in a parking lot. They just don’t give a damn anymore. They don’t care about the people around them and they don’t care about anaything outside of their little world.

Though I’m one for a smaller government, I believe that people should be licensed to use anything with more tech horsepower than a Speak ‘n Play. If you don’t have a license, you can’t get on the Internet..

Ignorance. It’s what’s happening in 2015.


I sometimes wonder if we live in the only population center greater than 50,000 people that doesn’t have a Starbucks. ‘Tis true, the closest Starbucks to our home is nearly 50 miles away, even though we live halfway between the two largest cities in our Metropolitan Statistical Area, which, as of 2010, had a population of over 250,000 people.

That’s a lot people runnin’ on Dunkin’.

There are Dunkin’ Donuts on nearly every corner in this area but honestly, I’m not really a fan of the place. Another option is our Panera, which is old and dingy and disorganized. The closest thing we have to Starbucks is the cafe at Barnes and Noble, and so that’s where I’m located this evening.

I’ve been watching clips of “The West Wing” on YouTube lately. This has served as a distraction from the politics of 2015, where it seems like everyone has lost their mind and you can only get to a prominent position in government if you’re on the verge of starring in your own reality show. Publicists, 24 hour news broadcasts and the media in general has helped fuel this whole circus atmosphere of the 2016 Presidential Race. In many ways, I can’t believe that we already have one debate under our belt and many to look forward to it, what with it being September 2015 and all. Now I know that we’ve known that Hillary was going to run, that’s been her plan all along, but I am always surprised to find out who is trying to become the Republican candidate. George Pataki? Where’s he been? Rick Santorum? Give it up already.

And then of course, there’s Donald Trump, who just blows his way through interviews, appearances and general commentary friendly event with a bombastic attitude, unneccessarily loud voice, low substance content and that god awful accent. There’s a part of me that still believes that in a couple of months we are going to come to the realization that the populace has been “punk’d” by Trump and that he just did all this grandstanding to throw a monkey wrench into the political process with no real intent on ever becoming President. I’m probably old school, but I believe that the President of the United States should act Presidential. Suit and tie (or a smart pant suit), well mannered, groomed hair, speech mannerisms of a three-digit IQ within a reasonable range.

The truth of the matter is, there really isn’t a candidate vying for the party nomination that really grabs me. Hillary grabs me more than others, but there’s a feeling of “same old, same old” going on there. Many of the Republican candidates can’t seem to grab the concept of “separation of church and state”, so most of them are off the list right from the get go.

I don’t think that there’s a candidate that really fits what I’m looking for in a President. I’m solidly down the middle. I lean to left socially but I definitely lean to the right fiscally. I’m looking for the financially responsible candidate that will rail in this crazy Government spending and free handouts to people that really don’t want to work but won’t beat me over the head with a Bible and doesn’t really care about what I do in my bedroom. There’s no candidate that walks in that area, they all lean too far to the left or the right.

Sometimes I wonder if I missed my calling and if I should have gotten involved in the political arena in some way.

I still feel like I need to change the world.


There’s too much bad news on the Internet today. I wish I had the time to go for a flight during my lunch hour but that would irresponsible. Instead, I’m watching a boat go through Lock 20 on the Erie Canal. 

I enjoy our local park. 



Earl and I went for a ride in the Jeep after supper tonight. Since I work from home, it’s good for me to get out of the house once in a while. We stopped at a bakery for a little dessert but even though the door was unlocked, the bakery was closed. No one was tending to the counter or cash register.

We went elsewhere.

It’s a very common theme in this area, to close up shop early in the evening. Local restaurant owners complain about the chains taking over the area, but they don’t like to stay open as late as customers want them to be. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Or something like that.

When we got home, there was a small bunny rabbit in the yard munching on grass. He or she (I couldn’t tell) was sniffing around for just the right bit of fauna from our lawn. When we got out of the Jeep, he or she jumped just a little bit out of our way. The nose was wriggling, the eyes intent, but food was to be enjoyed under the evergreen tree.



Now before I start this rant, I will say that I realize that today’s American society is driven by fear and chaos. People get some sort of thrill by disorganization and living on the edge of some sort of Armageddon. Citizens are ready for that moment when zombies jump up out of a manhole. That would lead to chaos and chaos gives one an adrenaline jump, or something like that.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, is it now no longer socially acceptable to park between two lines in a parking lot? (If you’re following along from the EU, I’m talking about a Car Park, which sounds better than Parking Lot, especially when you say Parking Lot in the very flat, nasally midwestern accent prevalent in this area).

Back in my day (because I’m old), you might find some bonehead defying the directional arrows painted on the pavement in a parking lot once in a while but rarely did you find a car parked outside of the lines. Reagrdless of how they got there, cars would be lined up relatively neatly. It was orderly. It allowed the parking lot to be used to its fullest potential, as one car per space equaled the ability to park to maximum capacity.

Today, it’s become too common to see a vehicle haphazardly thrown into a space in parking lot. Forget following the painted directional arrows on the pavement, they’re completely ignored. But my god, in any given parking lot in this neck of the woods you’ll probably see 20 to 30 percent of the vehicles just left anywhere. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one is completely damned.

I just parked next to a vehicle that was not between the lines painted on the pavement. I chose to keep the Jeep in between the lines that delineated a space, this resulted in my Jeep being so close to the vehicle next to the passenger side that there was absolutely no possible way for the driver to get into her BMW. If she wanted to enter her car before I left, she’d have to crawl in through the passenger’s side and thread herself over the Corinthian Leather.

Am I dick? I don’t think I am. Well, I am, but it made my point because when I came out of Dunkin’ Donuts, she was assessing the situation.  She glared at me but didn’t say a word when I walked up to the Jeep.  

“I parked between the lines”, I said.

She started to say something but I just got into the Jeep, having the ability to easily swing my door open even though there was a car next to me, I started up and backed out.  I waved in her direction as a left.

She flipped me off.

She’s a dick too.

Here’s the thing. If you can’t park between the lines marking out a space in a parking lot, you’re a self entitled ass that probably has very little in the way of a positive contribution to give to the world. You’re most likely married to a jerk that is cheating on you and it’d be a safe wager that your kids are probably hellions that are going to grow up to be self-entitled, whiny babies that will do drugs at age 10 and join a terrorist organization because they have no coping kills nor any amount of common sense.

Don’t mess with me. I will share license plate numbers from now on.