Archive for November, 2012

Things Come To Those Who Wait

November 30, 2012

…and wait, and wait. But first…

Appointment with nutritionist  …touched! Now I have until January 8 to try to loose some weight before I get put on a doctor regimented diet plan, the step prior to being on some other pill for it. Fun times! And that’s one thing I don’t want to be is a walking medicine cabinet if I can help it. I did it before, lost 35 pounds and I’ll do it again. So, now you’re updated on that. God, I’m so hungry!!!!!!

Okay, so back to the blog. Things also come in the most unexpected random ways.

Years ago, I’m going to say in the neighborhood of 38, give or take, I heard this piece of “music” on the radio that was so intoxicating and entrancing that in all these years, I’ve never gotten over it. I say “music” because it takes the confusion of what it might actually have been. It kind of sounded like one might imagine a void in space to sound like, with maybe a clink and clunk of the outer shell of a space craft breaking the drear silence every now and then combined with a slight whisper of a whoosh sound peppered throughout. At some point, as I let my imagination carry me to a place I’d never been before, a bellowing voice announced the artist of the piece, Karl Shultz, and I immediately tore off to the Record Hut. In this case, immediately means the next day by bus to Menlo Park Mall when Menlo Park Mall was on one level and unpretentious and still had a Rickles and a Woolworth’s. And Arcadian Gardens was there, too, in the back of Bamberger’s. Yeah, I’m THAT old! My search went unfulfilled.

A few years ago, around the time I got my first Droid phone, I was on the Verizon website and it had a background music track that was somewhat similar and it took me back to that night in my old living room in front of the Longines turntable that came as a bonus when my parents joined the record club. I had to find a way to capture that sound, to elongate it, to play when I needed some white noise to block out the day to day. It wasn’t as “spacey”, but rather more mechanical and I was willing to acquiesce. It would suffice. But I never took care of that project and the next time I went to do it, that soundtrack no longer existed.

Now, to fill my days while I work, when there’s nothing interesting on TV, and I’m preemptively tired of the same 4 songs they’re probably playing on the radio, I listen to talk radio or podcasts. And of the dozen or so “favorites” I have preset on Stitcher, I religiously listen to 2.

Just the other day, like each day when I open Stitcher, a random podcast will start playing. The Truth, a sort of short radio play podcast opened and it was about a couple venturing into an abandoned subway. The background music had a familiarity about it, so much so, as the show played, I found the contact us link on their website and was about to send an email asking what the music was. The show ended and the announcer read off the credits, including the music by Kluas Schulze. That was it!! Not Karl, after all. At last I had found that “music” and so onto Amazon I went and now comes the task of finding that particular one. I sampled some of it and for a few moments, I was back in a time, when I had all the time in the world to be transported.

I can still hear that announcer’s bellow stirring me from the ether that night back around 1974, give or take, KLAUS SHULZE. Now if only I could hear him say the title of the piece again. I’ll have to listen very carefully.

Have a great weekend!

Don’t Show Me. Tell Me.

November 19, 2012

So, how did you make out in the storm?

I’m gonna just touch on one more storm related thing that made me cock my head with consternation, moreso than it usually does.

I’m fairly technologically advanced, I’d say somewhere in the middle between those who could probably run the world with one click and those who don’t even know what a computer is, or at least aren’t cyberly connected. There are are some things I like to remain old-fashioned about like book reading (yeah, like I read…right!) I like the feel of a book or magazine in my hand. I like to sit in front of a TV set as opposed to a computer screen (like I was ‘forced’ to do while my cable was out). I even rent DVD’s from Netflix as opposed to downloading movies. I will say, though, that I do have my iPod for my music and set to shuffle it is much easier on the nerves, and because my 8 track playe CLICK track player is in the shop. While I’m whooshing about dusting my bric-a-brac or cooking up a storm (there’s that word again!) it’s easier to set the iPod on shuffle and hear a variety of things, and question my reasoning for some of its content, than wasting time trying to figure which discs to put in the machine.

But like the song once said, one thing that made me go hmm, was when our local radio station, which we listened to on a battery powered radio as our only connection to the outside world for the first few days would start talking about recovery centers, which areas had gas stations open and how long the lines were or which areas had been restored with electricity and follow it up with, for a complete list, visit our website. Wasn’t most of the area cut off from any communication? For Heaven’s sake, we were charging our phones in our cars and cooking on our camp stove in the kitchen. One of the on-air personalities took issue with one caller’s complaint about that very thing and asked emphatically, “don’t you have a friend you could go to?” Well, yeah, but the entire neighborhood is dark and roads are closed to safer zones so I’m not sure that was a valid remark. Okay, there IS the smartphone aspect, but, still..

Okay, one more thing that is an extension of something else from many years ago that gets my goat is this: Radio news announcer: “We’ll tell you Governor Christie’s plan for bringing New Jersey back…coming up, next”. Then a commercial or two. More news then the announcement: “Coming up after the break, Governor Christie’s plan to restore New Jersey”. Rinse, repeat. Now it’s approaching the top of the hour and the final announcement: Governor Christie vows he will bring New Jersey back to her former glory, find out how on our website.” ??????

Years ago, I wrote a letter to CBS TV and the FCC for a practice I found offensive. I used to watch Guiding Light, which, in this area was airing at 10 in the morning. At 10:30, or thereabouts, when the Channel 2 CBS newsbreak would run and they’d synopsize what would be coming up at noon. THE TOY YOU BOUGHT YOUR CHILD COULD CATCH FIRE or THE LUNCH YOU SENT YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL WITH COULD MAKE HIM SICK. So, now, you had to wait 90 minutes for the news to start and of course that catch story wouldn’t air until near the end of the half hour. What the hell did I give my kid for lunch? Throw out that WheelO!

CBS’s response was that they’d look into it. I never heard back from the FCC.

Women Are Not Disasters

November 16, 2012

I had another, comical thought about the storm the other day, stemming from the series of mishaps and whatnots since that day. The day Sandy was chugging up the eastern seaboard, destined to hit New Jersey right square between the eyes, all TV channels were “there first” to bring us the story. The wind began to howl outside like a freight train and at times, during that pounding sound the trees didn’t even seem to be moving.

Okay, so the storm passed. I’m leaving out the obvious because what we went through pales in comparison to what others have and are still going through, even though, let’s face it, no matter how small, you always feel your own hardships. So be it.

So, my comical thought was, I should write to Ellen DeGeneres, magnanimous as she is, and maybe if I tell her we haven’t seen her show in  3 weeks, she might fly us out to be in her audience. Or better yet, for a taping of one of her 12 days of Giveaways for Christmas. The day of the storm, like I said, all channels were focused on Sandy. Then we had no power until Saturday, but the cable didn’t come back until the middle of the next week, but all that was happening during the Ellen time slot were special reports of storm follow up and then of course news of the Nor’easter. Then, mysteriously, this past Monday morning, my cable went out again and as of Tuesday, 50% of the area had been restored. Still, as of today, 20 homes inexplicably still have no service.

So, really, why do hurricanes have such cute harmless sounding names? I looked it up and I will tell you in a nutshell. Apparently it was a hassle trying to figure out how to identify them so all sorts of methods were used; the great storm of such and such a year or naming them after Catholic saints days on which they made landfall; using Greek and Roman mythological characters, Australian politicians (devised by a late 19th century weatherman). In early 20th century, US Air Force and Navy weathermen paid tribute to their wives and sweethearts by naming the storms after them. The military phonetic alphabet was even used for a time but options soon were exhausted. Finally, in 1954, the National Weather Bureau started assigning feminine names to them.

That didn’t sit to well with the feminists of the ‘60’s and by the 70’s, a leader among the National Organization for Women, Roxcy Bolton suggested using Senator’s names, taking her cue from that Australian guy but that idea was poo-pooed. She argued that hurricane was too close to “her”-icane and to replace it with “him”-icane, and stated that “women are not disasters, destroying life and communities and leaving a lasting and devastating effect”. Oh no, Katrina, Irene, Sandy?!

So, in 1979, The NWS and the World Meteorological Association made the switch to alternating female and male names. When a storm is particularly devastating, such as Katrina, and now I suppose Sandy, the names are permanently retired.

I propose a numbering system, by year and event. Since it’s 2012 and Sandy apparently was the 19th named storm, we could called it Hurricane 12-19 or H12-19, if you want to stay kinda cutesy with an abbreviated name.

But then, if we didn’t have names we wouldn’t have graphics like this one that was quite popular on Facebook:

Er…Happy New Year?

November 15, 2012

A thought occurred to me yesterday when I was at the doctor–don’t ask!–it turned into “male stuff” so, use your imagination.

You know how when it’s New Years and you run into people after the fact and you keep saying “Happy New Year” to those you meet. How long does that last? A week? Two? Well, here I am, or rather there I was, practically stripped naked (a deplorable image to be sure) having my vitals taken and discussing Sandy and her wake with a virtual stranger, as though someone seeing you nearly in the altogether can be considered a stranger. The Sandy conversation was at a minimum with my doctor when he finally entered the room. Our conversation centered around the vapid topic of my health.

I wondered what the appropriate amount of time is to keep asking, “How’d you make out in the storm?” I’m sure it will be discussed well beyond Memorial Day, though only as a passing mention. “Yeah, that was like during Sandy, I suffered this or someone I know suffered that”. But right now while things are still topsy turvy for so many victims who have lost their possessions and their homes, it’s quite a relevant question.

I hate to make my first blog in however long a medical report, but there you are. You just never know what might spark a thought. I’m still bordering on obese with a BMI of 33, which should be between 20 and 25. Now I have an appointment with a nutritionist. The last ditch approach (all keeping family history in mind) is to be put on some [more] medications to help me lose weight; a mixture of something and something that migraine sufferers take. Apparently it’s been concluded that with that one medication those patients tended to lose weight and keep it off. And, reviewing my last blood test I’m verging on being a diabetic, according to the “new normal”, though, according to the results of the test I had done in August, it was right where it should be. And that was the number he referred to yesterday. Go figure!

So, that’s it. I’ll be back. I just had that thought I wanted to share.