Saturday, December 31, 2005

Short Vacation

Water Tower
Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
The weather was nice but a bit cool. I ended up cutting the trip short so I could get my dogs out of the kennel, which was going to be closed over the New Years weekend.

Beach Sign

Beach Sign
Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
The sign did not weather the hurricane well. It has been there for decades. I hope it is fixed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Wrong Holiday

It was Xmas morning and I was out walking my dogs before heading over to see my family. In the morning I tend to walk the dogs down a short road that has woods on both sides, and the branches just touch overhead. Except for traffic on the road it joins, it is a quite area. So when something popped and started to fall, I noticed.

I thought it was part of a dead pine tree branch that fell and hit the road with wet, smacking sound. Whatever it was did not bounce. As I looked at it, I saw the thing flop around a bit, and I realized it was a squirrel. It had fallen from 40 feet and landed on its side on asphalt. I usually hear the squirrels running through the trees, and the dogs are keenly aware of any squirrels in the area, but none of us had heard anything.

I walked a little bit closer and saw that the squirrel had righted itself onto its chest. I figured when it flopped over it was its “last throes.” I walked a little bit closer, saw that the gray fur was not moving, and walked away. I was sure it was dead, but if the thing was still alive and dying, I did not want the dogs to torture it. I dragged the dogs into the woods to do their business.

When I came out of the woods, I saw that the squirrel was gone. I didn’t think any scavenger could have got the squirrel that quickly, so I walked down to see if the little guy had crawled off the road. Sure enough, it had, and now that is saw me, it started up a damn tree.

The little fucker had fallen 40 feet, landed on it side, and now was about to climb back up to heights that would scare me. I sat there thinking whether this was sign on Xmas morning from God about the resurrection of his son, and about the holiness of his birthday. Then I realized that any sign that involbed rising from the dead would come on Easter. If a virgin squirrel had given birth on Xmas that would have been a proper Xmas sign. This was just a random event. There was nothing to it.

I hope the little guy keeps a better grip from now on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm In!

I will be competing in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon this June in San Francisco. It will be 1.5 mile swim in the icy bay, an 18 mile hilly bike ride and an 8 mile run over varied terrain including the 400 step "Sand Ladder." This is one of the most famous races in the sport, and one of the most challenging shorter races.

A training partner of mine and I were selected in the lottery used to give eveybody a chance to get in to the race. So it is not like we qualified to do it, but with over a thousand people going in via the lottery, I'll take it. San Francisco, the Escape From Alcatraz, a week away from work, and time to drive the coast after hanging in the city makes me believe this is going to be a nice vacation.


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
I spent a week in July up in Lake Placid. I miss the warm summer. In an attempt to warm up, I was looking at the pics. Funny I should think of the home of the Winter Olympics in the US when thinking about the warm summer.

Some of the sights I saw up there made me think of the photographer Robert Frank. This on especially.

Monday, December 19, 2005


I spent a part of the weekend watching the movie Jesus Christ Superstar, and then going back and re-watching various scenes. What an incredible movie, and a timeless piece of early 70’s culture.

First off the whole framing of the story, a group of hippies and performers rolling into the desert to put on this “production,” really gives the movie a unique feel. Mixing ruins, newer artillery, hippies, modern dance, minimalism and a biblical story was a novel idea that I don’t think had been done before. The freedom of the 60’s and 70’s certainly fostered the idea. It makes me long for those days, and the freedom of our society then.

I know many people prefer the original album or the Broadway show, but I really enjoy this version. The music has much more of an edge to it than the Broadway version. Some of the vocal performances are not as good as the original album, but these people are also actors. King Herod’s song performed by Joshua Mostel is much weaker as far as just the vocal is concerned than any of the other versions, but seeing it in the context of the movie it is a great performance overall. His acting and the choreography is off the wall. I can’t get the damn song out of my head.

This rock opera was written from Judas’ view, and as Judas Carl Anderson gives the performance of the movie. His character leaps from the screen from the start and never lets up. His expressions, his movements and his singing just catch your attention and never let’s go. Sadly he passed away in the early 2000’s. He did make a career out of this role, touring with Ted Neely for many years.

Ted Neely as Jesus was a let down for me. He just did not command the screen. His singing did not rise above the others; except for a few places he showed some power. I did not like the casting for this role at all. Funny, he actually auditioned for the role of Judas.

Yvonne Elliman was one of the highlights. She pretty much made a career out of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” She was on the original album, the Broadway production, and the movie. Her voice just soars. In the desert scenes her natural beauty comes out. I think she ruined me for blondes at an early age.

Interesting trivia: Which one of the 12 disciples cast in this movie ended up acting in and directing hundreds of porn movies? That would be Peter. Who else would you expect to see in Oral Majority?


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Pyro when the Thrashers score!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Game.

Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Well several funny things. First we were late getting there. Friend 1 and I were meeting Friend 2. We had three tickets to the game, and I had given three back to the ticket lady at work. Everybody was out of town, and three seemed like a nice number.

Well, Friend 3 showed up. Now we had 4 people and three tickets. No problem, buy a cheap ticket and shuttle him into our club seats by having somebody take one of tickets to him after we had already gone in. Great, except that I had two tickets and a parking pass. It seems like the parking guy had torn one of my tickets in half instead of the parking pass. Of course, I gave it to him to tear.

I ran back to the car, got the half of the ticket off the dash, but it did not have the bar code on it. I then tracked down the parking guy, and he, with another parking guy and a police officer involved, found the other half of my ticket. Then I ran back to the arena.

Needless to say, we all got in. The game was great. The people standing in the picture? They were standing for much of the 3rd period just like that. Thrashers win 7-6 over the Red Wings, but almost blew a 3 run lead that we got by scoring 3 goals in 4 1/2 minutes. The new hockey rules rock!

A great quote from Thrasher goalie Garnett on the game:

"After every goal, I kept thinking, 'Geez, we're up by three in the third period, this is pretty good. We're up by two, this is great. We're up by one, we're still up here.' And when they tied it up, I thought to myself, 'Wow, we really gotta pick it up now.' "

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Machine Head Deluxe

Although this was released in 1998, I just picked up the deluxe 2 cd version of Deep Purple's Machine Head. Wow! The original album is certainly on my list of top rock albums of all time. This deluxe edition has the Roger Glover Remixes of the original 7 songs, plus a b-side to the first single. The remixes are fantastic. Nothing new was added when these were done- everything is from the original 16 track master tapes. Glover upped the lower frequencies, as a bass player most likely would, and stripped off a bit of the polish. The songs have more punch to them on these versions. There are some "mixed out" alternate Blackmore guitar solos that did not make the final mix, as well as extended intros and outros, tossed in as a special treat. This second disc is certainly worth the extra bucks. A couple of quadraphonic mixes are tacked on to the first disc, but who has a quadraphonic system?

"Smoke on the Water" is one of the most recognized rock classics with its crunchy opening riff. "Highway Star" and "Space Trucking" are radio staples. However, I am finding myself really enjoying "Lazy" and "Never Before." I have not really heard these much before, but they are grabbing my attention as I drive down the road. What a shame egos tore this band apart.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Blueland is Blue

Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
The Thrashers are on a 5 game losing streak. Great expectations for the season are circling the frozen drain. I have tickets for the Red Wings next Tuesday, so they should lose that one as well.


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
The cold weather is reminding me of what I did this summer in Lake Placid. Of course it was much warmer and I was actually there for an Ironman, but I did not miss taking a ride on the old Lake Placid boblsed course.