Showing posts from October, 2011

Power Outage Randomness

Heavy wet snow from a rare October storm accumulated on tree limbs and power lines Saturday, leading to a power outage in parts of the mid-Atlantic and northeast, including my part of Maryland. I began writing this post three hours into the outage and here are my random thoughts, roughly in a timeline starting late Saturday afternoon.

- Every time I walk into another room this evening, I automatically flip a light switch, even though no lights are on.

- Cable and internet were out earlier in the day. Thirty minutes after they came back on the power went out. But my iPhone still connects to the internet.

- I am writing a draft of this with pen and paper. How odd.

- The outside temperature is in the 30s. It was 72 inside before the power went out and not it’s in the low 60s. I’m lucky to have a fireplace. I might be sleeping on my sofa tonight.

- Dinner tonight: cold jambalaya.

- Hmmm, I think I now know why farmers in the pre-electricity days went to bed so early. And why they had so m…

Totally Random 7.1

Usually the vacation effect takes weeks to wear off but this week it only took a day. I’m ready for my next vacay already.

Aging isn’t for the young. I don’t think they could handle it well. They’re just not strong enough.

I like the new Coldplay CD. The new Toby Keith CD is sitting on my desk waiting for my ears. Bet I like that one too.

Snow is predicted this weekend in my part of Maryland. It’s still October!! Mother Nature, what’s the hurry?

I’m never sick, but this summer I had two colds and skin cancer surgery. Today I tripped in a parking lot and bruised my knee. And I need eye surgery. None of this is unusual but it is way off the chart for me.

Favorite line in a current country music hit by Alan Jackson: “I’ve got a bug in my margarita; seems bad luck won’t leave me alone.”


Don't read anything into this one way or the other, just laugh if you think it's funny.  I don't have anything else tonight anyway.  More L.A. stuff coming soon.

Travel Randomness

I'm sitting in an airport, bored and inspired to write. Here are a few random thoughts:

My vision is a bit challenged at the moment but I'm happy to report that I can see the Starbucks logo from six gates away.

Dulles Airport is surprisingly empty.

This airport is also bigger than I remember it from the last time I flew from here. They've done plenty of remodeling since 1996.

Welcome to my first post written on my iPhone.

To my friend 'Eliz': I found the bar but decided 10 am was a little too early to utilize their facility. I'll be sampling plenty of adult beverages this weekend.

Hard to believe I'm going all the way from the east coast to the west coast just for the weekend. I should have added some days.

Traffic I'd so unpredictable in DC that I allow hours for problems. There were none ... no traffic jams, no wrong turns, no long lines at security. I still prefer being ridiculously early than missing a flight like I did a few years ago becaus…

Duran x 2

I like 1980s rock but I don’t really know why. Favorite music is often associated with a person’s developmental years or through some other emotional connection. My emotional development decade was the 70s and most of the 80s music I like I first discovered in the 90s or early 2000s. Maybe there was an emotional connection because of the awesome DJ job I had in the early 90s in which I played some of that 80s music too or maybe it’s just great music that I finally found.

Duran Duran is one of those bands I ‘discovered’ in the 1990s. I especially like their 80s music, which I don’t really remember from the 80s. They are touring this year in support of their new music and I saw them a few nights ago at Constitution Hall in Washington DC.

I took 25 pictures and a few short videos with my new phone but all were deleted with a software upgrade the next day. Wow, remember when phones were for making phone calls? Anyway I retrieved one 50-second video (further below) and this one picture of …

Phone Randomness

I work around technology all day, mostly audio editing software and digital cameras. I am comfortable with tech stuff but I am not an early adopter. I prefer to let other people work out the bugs. I also want to see if the devices or formats will still be around in a few years … remember beta video recorders? 8 track tapes? One day we’ll add Blackberry to that list. But over the weekend I upgraded my cell phone from this 3-year-old flip phone ….

… to this iPhone 4:

Random thoughts:

- It’s not the brand new iPhone 4s, it’s “merely” the iPhone 4 that’s been on the market since February.

- When I first decided to get a smart phone, which was almost a year ago, I thought I’d get a Blackberry because they were dirt cheap with a 2-year renewal. My procrastination led to choosing a Droid (four months ago). After spending a week with a fancy new iPod, a gift from my employer, I decided to get the iPhone.

- The iPhone is basically an iPod that makes calls too.

- I can put the 1300 songs that …

So True

Saw this on a friend's Facebook page.  Thought I'd share.

A General Observation

Just a general observation to my friends:

Email and Facebook are great if that's the only way to keep in touch, and sometimes it is.  I have been able to keep many friendships alive over time and distance using these digital tools.

But I'd prefer to be sitting next to you sharing a glass of wine.

Two Doctors and the Blues

High Laurie, who plays Dr. House on the TV show House, is a musician. Who knew? And his new album includes this song with legendary New Orleans performer Dr. John singing. Two ‘doctors’ singing the blues!! Enjoy.

A Quote

This made me think about an old friend who is going through a rough patch right now.  I love the sentiment, although it won't help me any more.

A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time.

~ Anne Taylor Fleming

A High Price

Most Americans believe we are the greatest country in the world. Even citizens of many other countries feel that way about us. But there is one undeniable sad bit of irony behind how we got our start, stated succinctly in this image:

There are times when certain actions or series of actions that seem, when isolated and taken out of a broader context, unfair or even barbaric, result in something good, in this case the United States of America.

I celebrate the great freedoms of our country in my own way every day, but I am uncomfortable celebrating Columbus and his “discovery” of a land that already had a population in excess of a million people. His actions began a series of actions that led to the annihilation of an entire native population and the elimination of numerous long-standing cultures. A new culture grew from that and we in that culture have plenty to be proud of.

Most of what I celebrate each year on this federal holiday is the reduced traffic in the Washington DC area bec…

Pink Month

I am not a fan of the color pink and I don’t go out of my way to wear it during October, breast cancer awareness month. Honestly, I don’t need a pink ribbon to make me aware of breast cancer. The reminders are all around me all year.

A small fitness room at my office is named for a co-worker who is a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Every summer I get a text from a high school friend who is also a breast cancer survivor telling me the results of her annual tests. I get texts from her every week, but the summer one stands out. It usually reads “I get to live another year.”

Nearly every room in my house has furniture or housewares that belonged to a family friend who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.

I remember in my own way. I am aware in my own way. I spread awareness to you and others through this blog, personal conversations and one of my radio interview shows. Be aware, talk about it, get tested. Wear the pink ribbons if that works for you. Don’t feel bad if yo…

Not Ready Yet

By October 9th fall is usually well underway here in Maryland. There is a chill in the air, furnaces are on some nights, leaves are starting to turn and we’re packing our shorts and flip flops till spring or till a winter vacation to warmer climates. However, the predicted high here today is 84 and I took these shorts and flip flops out of my “to be packed away” stack and put them on me, maybe for the last time this season.

I love fall but I am still not ready to give up the end of summer. There were many active, fun times during my summer, which helped offset greater-than-usual stress levels. Some highlights: Toby Keith concert, Tim McGraw concert, U2 concert, hiking in North Carolina. I wrote more posts than normal on this blog. Read a couple of books. Spent some nice one-on-one time with a few friends at the concerts, on the hike and during a few dinners. Made some progress on a lingering personal matter. Took a lot of pictures. Got some high-level praise for a company project.


Boomer Randomness

This blog and this post are both called Boomer Randomness. My point is to share random thoughts from the perspective of someone in the baby boom age range. Some of the thoughts are about being this age, some are merely observations. All of it is pretty random, which may be the least random aspect of this blog.

- Demographers usually define boomers as those born post World War II, in the years between 1946 and 1964. That means we are currently in the 47 to 65 year-old range.

- You know you’re probably a boomer if you’re the only person in line at the pharmacy who pays in cash. In our youth we never thought a small plastic card would serve the same role as coins and bills.

- Some older boomers, especially men, dreamed of having a juke box in their den one day. They’d be able to play dozens of songs in a row from a selection of 100 (50 “records” with a song on each side). Now we have a juke box in our pocket, often in our pocket-sized phone, with playlists generated from a selection of m…

Rockin Blues

I like all genres of music but I claim blues as my favorite. And country. And rock. And, well you get the idea: all of it. Check out this video of Joe Walsh performing at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, Cotton Bowl Stadium in 2004, an every-now-and-then fundraiser organized by Eric Clapton. The song starts as an awesome blues song and morphs into a kickass version of one of his well-known rock songs.

A Visionary Is Gone

Steve Jobs died today at age 56.  Whether you know who he is or not, he was part of your life.  He co-founded Apple, is largely responsible for personal computers, the mouse, iPods, iPads and iPhones.

What impressed me most about him is that he was a visionary.  This is my favorite of his quotes:

‎"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs

Fears and Doubts

Even the most confident among us have fears and doubts at times and how they handle those situations serve as behaviors to model. I study this as a hobby. I am especially interested in how confident managers handle occasional insecurity and self-doubt.

I often wonder but rarely ask where they go to find strength before, during or more importantly after making an unpopular decision. What things deep inside enable them to do that, and then effortlessly justify their actions in the face of criticism?

Today I am a confident man in most aspects of my life but as a percentage of my whole life that confidence is relatively small. I have fears and doubts but I accept that as natural. A helpful statement I repeat in my head whenever I have doubts is a line from one of the Dirty Harry movies: “A man has got to know his limitations.” Silly in some ways, profound in others. Basically it means accept that you’re not perfect.

When I see a manager make decisions with great confidence over and over a…

Totally Random 7.0

One of my dogs farts … big, silent, stinky ones. Then he looks around the room with the “it’s not me” look in his eyes.

I never get sick, but I’m in the middle of my second cold in three months. Should have bought stock in Nyquil.

The Dick Van Dyke show is 50 years old. Some boomers might cringe at that thought.

I have a week-long vacation coming soon. Should be a relaxing time, although it’ll be busy at both ends. Two concerts the weekend it starts, dentist appointment and some other errands in the middle, a long catch-up dinner with a friend near the end and a semi-business weekend trip to Los Angeles at the end with a return flight at midnight on the last day. I used to be so good at planning. What happened?

I want a new ride but I haven’t finished paying for my current one. In my twenties I changed cars every 18 to 24 months. In my forties the pattern changed to every five or six years. I’m just over three years into this one and I’m getting restless. No chance for another one any…

Drunk Dialing an Old Flame

Did you ever pick up your phone at 1 in the morning, drunk, and call a former lover? You were alone, thinking about her or him and alcohol loosened inhibitions. That old flame might be asleep; or maybe awake but with somebody else. For that one moment, you didn’t care. You dialed the number and said something like, “I need you. Now.”

I don’t think I’ve ever done that but when I first heard Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” the thought instantly resonated with me. I must have considered it at some point in my life. I know that sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about somebody from my past. It’s not always the same somebody (my apologies to any old flame who might read this). Often I awake in the middle of a dream about a past girlfriend, but usually the characters in my dreams are a hybrid of more than one person.

The brain is such an odd computing device, isn’t it? Especially while asleep. Random thoughts from your lifetime pop up when you least expect them. You mi…

Vehicular Therapy

I grew up at the end of the era of the “Sunday drive.” Nearly every Sunday, my Dad would take Mom, my sister and me on a ride somewhere after lunch. Some of these drives would be to check out a structure his company was working on, some would be out in the country to a nearby town or historic site. One educational Sunday drive I remember took us all the way to Baton Rouge, 90 miles from our home in New Orleans, to visit the State Capitol building.

I’m not sure my Dad thought of these excursions as therapeutic but I do know they were a break from his same-ole-same-old routine. That era (the 1960s and 70s) was the beginning of a transition from simpler times to the hectic, stressful, over-scheduled lives we lead now. Funny how what passed for stress then might be called a vacation now. But there were times when his work was stressful and these drives would calm him down.

Nearly every American kid who grew up in that era is attached to cars. Another transition of the time was from mass t…