July 31, 2009

iTunes stuff

Have you ever really looked at what is in your iTunes?

Here are 10 things about mine:

1. If you played your iTunes library from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for? How many items? 10 Days, 19 Hours, 18 Minutes and 17 Seconds. 3165 items.

2. If you played your iTunes videos/movies from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for? How many items? 3 Hours, 26 Minutes and 02 Seconds. 60 items.

3. If you played your TV Shows from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for? How many episodes? 2 Days, 10 Hours, 30 Minutes and 11 Seconds. 87 episodes.

4. What artist appears the most in your iTunes library? How many files? ATB, 70 files

5. Which word appears the most and how many times, when typed into your iTunes search: Love, Sex, Fuck, Death? Love: 366, Sex: 33, fuck: 5 and Death: 2.

6. Right now, which track has the highest Play Count? Good Bye To Love by American Music Club, from the "If I Were A Carpenter" album, 26 times.

7. If you were to open your iTunesDJ (party shuffle), what is the first track that plays? Cum by DJ Bill Bennett

8. What was the last item you purchased on iTunes? "It's Not Me, It's You" album by Lily Allen

9. How many Playlists? 201

10. How many Podcasts do you subscribes to? 20 and 199 individual downloads.

What's on your iPod?

July 30, 2009

Is your "Gayborhood" losing it's uniqueness?

Dallas has a "Gayborhood". On Cedar Springs Rd there are about 7 gay bars within 3 blocks. The greater area known as Oak Lawn is the gayborhood with lots of restaurants and shops and of course more gay bars.

I went out with some friends last night for dinner at Gloria's. Behind was a full table, someones birthday. After their meal a drunk woman stopped at our table to ask what we were celebrating. We said; "Wednesday..?" and she said; "Oh, a boys night out huh?" Someone in the group said; "No, we usually go out like this with friends."

We have spotted more and more straights in our establishments. In another restaurant I overheard a woman tell her very cute husband "Is this place always so gay?"(he was getting way more attention than she was!)

I blame this on the gays that bring their fag-hags out on a Saturday night! Then said hags go back to their offices on Monday morning telling everyone how much fun they had in the gayborhood. Then the next thing you know the hag is bringing her friends there for their bachelorette party and it grows and grows! Pretty soon the gayborhood is not so unique anymore. It'll soon be like any suburb in the city and restaurant like any chain you would go into in the 'burbs.

What do y'all think? I know you want to take the hag out, dust off the cobwebs and give the poor things a thrill once in a while, but think about where this will lead!

July 29, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

How do you behave when you feel depressed? What do you need most of at that time?

When I feel depressed I want to be left alone.
I don't eat and just want to stay in and do nothing, or watch some mind-numbing TV. I don't want to take calls or even associate with people. I don't get depressed very much any more, there was a time when I was depressed a lot. There is history of depression in my family so I have become aware of this and watch for signs of when a low is coming on.

What I need most is friends around, in spite of my insistence to be left alone. But I don't want friends to commiserate with me, I need to be distracted. This means being taken out in public! Yes, the shock and horror of the hunchback that must go out in public! This forces me to act like a normal human being and not some depressed blob.

Like I said, I've learned to recognize when a low attitude is coming on and I make myself call some friends and suggest we get out and do something. I've learned the hard way; to get out of a depression is to act like everything is OK... and eventually I start living and breathing normally again.

July 28, 2009

Fun Stuff and a craving

Dallas has a great Mexican food place, Monica's Aca Y Alla. The food is great, the Mexican Lasagna is my favorite. And Wednesday night the margaritas are $0.75 with an entree! Woohoo! I'm going to start planning a Wednesday-night gay-night with some friends!
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

By the way, Monica was born male, had the "operation" and is now living with a woman. Monica ran for a Dallas City Council position a few years ago.

July 27, 2009

This "damn" blog!

Variety is the spice of life. Right?

Even though I shouldn't be, I am surprised and dismayed at people who can't accept that everyone is different.

I've always enjoyed the diversity of people. We are all so different, and I find it interesting to hear about someone elses upbringing and life, and to hear their stories and sometimes to share in the things they like to do that I would've never thought to do.

There are things that I love and feel very passionate about that someone else will say "Meh!" There are some things that I would never do that others love to do. It's what makes life interesting.

Maybe it was where I was raised. Most people, when they hear that I'm from Utah always, without fail, ask if I'm Mormon. But the area I grew up in was different that the Salt Lake or Provo valley. I grew up in central Utah in the coal mining area. A lot of different people went there to work in the mines. There were as many Catholics in my town as Mormons. There were also a few Greek Orthodox families that gave our town some nice variety. We also had one African American family and they were the most popular kids in each class.

One would think that our gay community would be the leaders in this, right? We want to be accepted by others, so we are more accepting of different people. Well.... most of us.

This weekend I was caught off guard by someone who belittled me for not liking the same things he did. He asked how long I spent on "that damn blog" and belittled me about some other things that I enjoy doing.

I just don't get his comments. What prompted it was I apologized for not being able to go hang out with him at the pool because the plumbing project took longer than expected (I did get the toilet fixed, all my myself... and it works!!) Then I had all my other chores I had to get to.

This is someone who I called a friend but has made me reconsider who I categorize as such. I think "acquaintance" would be more appropriate for him. Or am I just being too sensitive about it?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

July 26, 2009

Love is in the air...

I love the end of this ad.

July 25, 2009

Fountain of the Fool

I get these bright ideas every once in a while that aren't so bright.

I have a minor plumbing issue that I need to deal with in my guest bathroom. I figure that I'm pretty handy and can fix it myself, no problem. So one evening last week I decided to fix it.

The toilet is making a noise. I buy the stuff to change out the 'innerds'. "Easy", I say, "I've done this before". But as I go to turn off the water source to the toilet the handle breaks off and the water is not shut off completely! And the noise is still there. Ugh! So, back to Home Depot I go to buy a new shut off valve.

And here is where the common sense part of my brain must have shut down. I think to myself; "I don't need to contact all the neighbors to tell them I'm turning off the water to the building, I can quickly do this and I'll have just a little water on the floor to clean up after I quickly replace the valve." WTF was I thinking?

As I kneel on the floor, hugging the bowl, water is spraying everywhere! I mean EVERYWHERE! The walls, my face, the shower curtain and the floor. And the force was so great that I couldn't get the threads to connect back up, to screw the piece back on that I loosened. The floor is quickly filling up with water. I jump up and grab as many towels as I could find and continue trying to get the thing screwed back on. It wasn't working!

My mind starts racing... what am I going to do? It was after 9:30pm and if I called a plumber it would be a while before they would get there and then I'd have to pay an arm and a leg for the after-hours service. But before that... I would need to find a plumber to call! Should I just let the water gush forth while I'm on the internet trying to find someone to come out? NO!

Hhmmm... do I have duct tape? After frantically searching I realize I don't. Damn! There is more water on the floor and it's quickly rising, mind you it's still spraying around the room too. Finally the first spark of common sense returns (besides the fact that I never should have started this little project in the first place) and I realize that I need to turn the water off for the whole building! Now... where would that turn off valve be?

I run outside, soaking wet and looking wild and frantic! I see my neighbor... (yeah) and he tells me that it's on the side of the building. By this time it's dark outside and I grab a flashlight and start looking around. "Where is that damn thing?" I mutter to myself. I run back, knock on the neighbor's door and he comes out to show me where it is. I turn it off and run back home to survey the flood level.

I get the broken valve off, but the new one is the wrong type! WTF! So I reassemble the old one, get it back on and make sure it's tight enough. I run back outside to turn the water back on to the building. Another neighbor is outside asking neighbor #1 why we have no water! I turn it back on, apologize to neighbors 1 and 2 and return home to see if I was successful in turning off the fountain. I did! Woohoo!

I find a box out in my storage closet with more old towels and start mopping up the mess. The tub was soon filled with soaking wet towels but finally the floor was dry. I put my nice towels on the wet carpet to try to soak the water out of it. I did manage to keep one towel dry for me to use in the morning.

I crawled into bed finally... tired and very cranky. I resolve to never start a project late in the evening ever again.

Oh good lord, these bright ideas I get! LOL

July 24, 2009

Happy Pioneer Day

July 24th is celebrated in Utah as "Pioneer Day", the day that Brigham Young brought the 'Saints' into the Salt Lake Valley. There is a big parade in downtown Salt Lake City.

When I was a child our town, population of less than 2000 people, had a little parade.

The different groups in the ward (local Mormon congregation) would decorated floats.

The women would wear the long dresses and we would dress up like cowboys and indians, decorate a wagon to look like a covered wagon and walk down the middle of the street to the city park for a picnic and games.

As a highschool student I marched in several parades in Salt Lake, once as the drum major for our marching band (our band had about 40 people in it). It was usually very hot in Salt Lake City and we would sweat a lot, not fun! I'd get back home later in the day and mom and dad would tell me that they saw us on TV.

The day doesn't mean a thing to me now, except it was fun to remember the past.

And now thanks to my heathen pirate friends that still live in Utah, they've renamed it: "Pie 'n beer day"!!

If you get a chance; lift a brew, have some pie and toast the pioneers today! What a nice way to bring in the weekend.

Happy Friday!

July 23, 2009

Lily Allen's new song

I saw the original video and it's awesome! Lots of cool special effects and the song is great too. Now I can't find it... So this version will have to do:

July 22, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

What is something you have never done that you would like to try? Why?

This is an easy one. I want to skydive!

This is something that I will do. I hear it's an incredible adrenaline rush! I'm not into extreme sports or anything and I believe this is a pretty safe sport now with the number of people doing it. I really think I'd love it.

I've been parasailing and I love the feel of flying, soaring above the land.

Has anyone done this? Anyone want to do it with me?

As always, I'd love to hear how other's would answer this questions.

July 21, 2009

Moon walk and talk

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon. I feel old because I remember it.

I was just 7 years old, ready to turn 8 in about a month. I remember playing outside, as my siblings and I did all day long during the summer, when mom calls us to come in to watch TV. I remember crowding around the TV and watching. I knew it was something significant, but I also wanted to get back outside to whatever it is I was doing.

The moon walk was all you heard on TV in the evening for several weeks. We would walk outside at night with dad and look up at the moon, realizing that someone was up there right now. We got the telescope out one night and I remember my eyes got tired from looking and looking for the astronauts.

July 20, 2009

Crimes and friends

My niece sent me the following text the other night;

"Play Along; So you see me in the back seat of a police car, what would you think I got arrested for? Answer me, then forward and see how many crimes you get accused of."

I answered her; I thought it would be murder since her older siblings were always teasing her when she was younger.

I thought this would be fun so I forwarded the message on to my friends and posted it on Facebook. Here are the responses i got:
  • being too cute
  • protecting your man from some unruly thug
  • doing lewd things in public
  • public lewdness
  • immorality
  • public drunkenness
  • peeing in public
  • bringing a gun to work
  • public nudity
  • public nudity (again)
  • drunk in public
  • indecent exposure
  • shoplifting
  • sexual harassment
  • peeping tom
  • prostitution
  • public drunkenness
  • child pornography (um, NO!)
  • indecent exposure
  • drunk and naked in public
  • Robbing a rennie clothing store
I see a theme here.... Do my friends think that I'm always drunk, nekkid or both? Do I need an intervention or new friends? LOL

I was going to chose a winner for best or most original answer it would have to be the last one. Thanks Ryan!!

July 19, 2009

It's been a year!

I missed the anniversary of the closing on my condo. On July 17, 2008 I became a home owner again after a long stint (nearly 15 years) of being a renter.

I remember getting the keys after closing and coming "home" to finally be able to get a good look at "my place" (well, the bank's place too, but that's a fact of life). There was a lot of work to do before I could move in. Every wall needed a new coat of paint. The carpet that appeared to be in good shape was not. And the carpet in the bathrooms and the bay windows would have to go. I decided that since I wanted tile in the kitchen and bathrooms I would also put tile in the bay windows, making it a perfect place for plants!

Here are some before pictures:

Even though there was a lot of work to be done I love the place; great layout, solid foundation and good location were all enough to make all the hard work to come worth it.

July 18, 2009

Jim's Stuff

Stolen from Inspired by Dr. Urspo I thought I'd do my own version of Jim's Stuff around the house:

This is an "Ebelskiver" pan. What is an Ebelskiver you ask? It's a Danish pastry, filled pancakie type desserty food. Mom made sure each of us kids had one.

This is an antique Pitcher and Basin. "Ironstone England 1890" is marked on the bottom of both. A visitor once commented that it made my bedroom look like his grandmothers home! LOL

My gargoyles. I've always loved them ever since my trip to Notre Dame in Paris. They are said to be guardians of the building on which they reside.

An antique camera I found in my grandmother's home. I found this inscription: "Browning 1916" on it.

Old telephone given to me by my grandfather.

And finally;

A large quartz. I believe crystals are supposed to have some absorbing or cleansing property. I don't remember where I got this... probably while with my first partner, he was a 'rock hound'.

July 17, 2009

News tidbits from Dallas

Just a quick post today on some news updates from Dallas.

The Ft Worth mayor apologizes? Read the full story here.
That does not sound like an apology to me. I know the gay city councilman for Ft Worth and I'm sure he's not going to let it end at that.

A few months ago I mentioned the high rise apartment building behind my home. Read about my flock of geese here.

This week the A/C unit on top of the building caught fire. Read the article here. The building was part retirement home and part apartments. As I tried to walk up there the other night I was stopped by big bubba security guard who told me that the building was condemned by the fire marshall.

In my HOA board meeting last night we talked about it, we think that they'll have all the retirees move out, spend a couple years remodeling and updating the building (like adding fire sprinklers - not required when the building was built in the 1960's). And then the owners will reopen the building as a luxury high-rise apartments. Nice for our resale values on our properties.

The next thing that's happened in Dallas is the break in the heat wave.

We've had 8 or 9 days in a row of temps over 100 so this is really nice! Woohoo! Looking forward to the weekend now.

Happy Friday everyone!

July 16, 2009

Song meme

I saw this at Bob's blog; I Should Be Laughing, and I figured, "what the hell".

It's harder than it seems. What you do is answer each question using only song titles from one artist.

My selection is: Elton John. I have loved Elton's music for a long time; many, many years.

Are you male or female? Rocket Man

Describe yourself: Tiny Dancer

How do you feel about yourself: Candle In The Wind

Describe where you currently live: Holiday Inn

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Philadelphia Freedom

Favorite form of transportation: Bennie and the Jets

Your best friend is: Dirty Little Girl

Your favorite color is: Blue Eyes

What's the weather like: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Don't Go Breaking My Heart

What is life to you: Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

What is the best advice you have to give: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

If you could change your name, what would it be: Daniel

Your favorite food: Crocodile Rock

July 15, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

What do you want your last words to be?

"Good night"

I would hope that I would pass peacefully in my sleep, not tragically with a lot of pain.

I don't think I ever say anything profound... so just saying good night to someone will probably be my last words.

I'd even been happy saying it to this guy!

July 14, 2009

Summer vacations

This time of year is kind of slow at work. A lot of employees and clients are gone on vacations. This made me think of my childhood family vacations. I know families hardly ever pile the kids in the car and drive for days to go somewhere, well, not without a DVD player and plenty of movies for the kids. No one does it like they used to...

Our family seemed to be on a 3 year cycle. One year we would visit mom's family in Minnesota. The next year would be to see cousins and Disneyland in California. Then we would take a year off and do something local, no big car trips.

Of course I found some old pictures of some vacations. I thought I would share some memories of our trips to Minnesota.
We started planning these trips well in advance. We would get to shop for some special toy or thing to do in the car for the 3 or 4 day drive. We would chose a route to take and we often went to Mt Rushmore on the way there. As soon as we got in Minnesota dad wanted us to see if there were more red or white barns, so this kept us occupied for several hours. To this day I believe there are more white barns than red barns.

Grandma and grandpa lived in very small town in central Minnesota called Lowry, population 42. Next closest town was Starbuck and Glenwood. Their house was really old and really small. The indoor plumbing was added to a closet and you had to open a trap door in the floor to go shower in the basement. The bedrooms where we slept we up a steep narrow stairway off the dining room. I remember sitting on the stairs listening to the adults talk for hours and hours.

We also got to go see mom's old aunties that lived near Duluth in another tiny town called Askov. These Aunties always talked about their memories of "Bestamar" & "Bestafar" which is what they called their grandparents from Denmark. I learned to love my Scandinavian heritage from them. We heard many tales about the "old country" and ate weird and exotic foods. And then Aunt Marie would play her organ and they would all sing these fun songs.

We would also go see Uncle Dean and Aunt Myrna who lived near St Paul. Uncle Dean was a huge man and always fun. He always wanted us to go fishing with him but I was always eaten alive by mosquitoes. We often would get out to a lake to go swimming only to find that the lake had some "itch" in it. I like my cousins Craig, Suzie and Michael, they had weird (but fun) accents.

Mom and grandma would cry and cry when it was time to drive back to Utah. It was hard on mom being so far away from all her family and to live in the Utah desert when Minnesota was so green.

Someone always got sick in the car. We would spend lonely hours driving through South Dakota and Wyoming. It was a relief to finally get back home to our own beds!

July 13, 2009

Random Fun Stuff #2

This is a repeat from my March 3, 2009 post.

(embiggen the picture, it's pretty cool a bit bigger)

I just created my newest CD album!

This was interesting and kinda fun. Here are the instructions on how to do it:

1. Go to wikipedia's "random" page:
The first random article is the name of your band.

2. Go to Quotations Page's "random quotations"
The last few words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your album.

3. Go to this Flickr site that pulls "random images"
The third picture no matter what, will be your album cover.

4. Use photoshop or Picnik, to be creative and put it all together.

5. I went to iTunes and selected "iTunes DJ" to get the genre of the first song. Which makes this a "Dance" album.

Let me know if anyone else does this too.

July 12, 2009

A Day in the life of Jim - Weekend Edition

I posted the 1st edition of this back in February. Now I thought I'd do the weekend edition.

A day in Jim's life in pictures:

Its too bright this morning, got the sleep mask so I could sleep in

Checking email, blogs and facebook

Going back to sleep for a while

Alright! I'll get out of bed now...

Coffee on the patio

Chores around the house

Time to hit the shower

Packing the gym bag (even though I never made it to the gym)

Finally leaving home

Driving in Dallas (I work in the building on the right with the keyhole in it)

At the car wash

Bruno (didn't like it)

A Quick trip to Whole Foods

Dinner and drinks with friends

Getting home... alone :-(

Being a good boy, dental hygiene is good!

Time to crawl into bed.