Monday, July 8, 2013

An Instrumental playlist

For your musical pleasure...

Here is the musical playlist I've got running at work today.  134 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:08 Playlist length: 9 hours 15 minutes 37 seconds.  This should be able to hold me for a little while.

Playlist files:

1. Earl Klugh - Goodtime Charlie's Got The Blues (4:33)
2. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Hindustan (5:48)
3. Bob James - Take Me to the Mardi Gras (5:51)
4. Ramsey Lewis - The "In" Crowd (5:53)
5. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man (6:29)
6. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - Marching Thru Madrid (2:32)
7. Mason Williams - Classical Gas (3:04)
8. Rick Braun - Kisses In The Rain (4:33)
9. Rock-A-Teens - Woo-Hoo (2:07)
10. Hugh Masekela - Grazing In The Grass (2:38)
11. Cannonball Adderly - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (5:12)
12. Earl Klugh - Christina (4:12)
13. Miles Davis - Straight, No Chaser (8:58)
14. The Rippingtons - Angela (4:50)
15. Swingin' Shepherd Blues - Swingin' Shepherd Blues (2:14)
16. The Poor People of Paris - The Poor People of Paris (2:26)
17. Stanley Clarke - Silly Putty (4:40)
18. Ramsey Lewis - Sun Goddess (3:09)
19. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Cast Your Fate to the Wind (3:06)
20. Don Shirley Trio - Water Boy (2:35)
21. Doc Powell - Sunday Mornin' (4:20)
22. The Rippingtons - Moonlighting (6:41)
23. Herb Alpert - Garden Party (3:52)
24. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Wood Indigo (5:02)
25. Allen Toussaint - Java (1:55)
26. Grover Washington Jr - Blues for DP (8:29)
27. Earl Klugh - Open Road (4:27)
28. Boots Randolph - Yakety Sax (2:04)
29. Acoustic Alchemy - Clear Air For Miles (6:36)
30. George Benson & Earl Klugh - Dreamin' (5:49)
31. David Rose - The Stripper (1:55)
32. Arturo Sandoval - La Virgen De La Macarena (3:06)
33. Pete Fountain - Basin Street Blues (3:04)
34. Jimmy Smith - Walk On The Wild Side (Parts 1 & 2) (5:55)
35. Third Man Theme - Third Man Theme (2:13)
36. Urban Knights - Senegal (6:50)
37. Grover Washington Jr - Strawberry Moon (4:25)
38. Harry Connick, Jr. - Chanson Du Vieux Carre (2:19)
39. The Rippingtons - Topaz: Gem Of The Setting Sun (4:57)
40. Tea for Two Cha Cha - Tea for Two Cha Cha (2:57)
41. Spyro Gyro - Shaker Song (4:51)
42. Spyro Gyra - The Unknown Soldier (5:22)
43. Ferratnt & Teicher - Theme From "The Apartment" (3:00)
44. Nat King Cole Trio - This Way Out (3:03)
45. Paul Taylor - Pleasure Seeker (3:51)
46. Urban Knights - On the Radio (4:42)
47. Chris Spheeris - Quiver (5:12)
48. Herb Alpert - It's All For You (4:37)
49. Boney James & Rick Braun - Shake It Up (4:03)
50. Ace Cannon - Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (3:01)
51. Keiko Matsui - The Wind and the Wolf (5:22)
52. Kenny Burrell & Grover Washingtion, Jr. - Asphalt Canyon Blues (6:18)
53. Moonglow - Theme from Picnic (2:51)
54. Mr. Acker Bilk - Stranger On The Shore (2:57)
55. David Sanborn - Bang Bang (4:35)
56. Horst Jankowski - A Walk in the Black Forest (2:50)
57. Joe Fuentes - A Good Cup of Joe (4:38)
58. Count Basie - Makin' Whoopee (4:10)
59. Urban Knights - The Rose (4:36)
60. Link Wray &ampThe Wraymen - Raw-Hide (2:09)
61. Chris Botti - Streets Ahead (3:45)
62. Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby - Hikky-Burr (Featuring Bill Cosby) (3:47)
63. Miles Davis - So What (9:25)
64. Urban Knights - Thinking About Your Love (Instrumental) (4:26)
65. Keiko Matsui - Bridge Over The Stars (4:22)
66. Dave Koz - Cuban Hideaway (2:14)
67. Wynton Marsalis - I Got Lost in Her Arms (5:04)
68. Chuck Mangione - Eyes Of The Veiled Temptress (8:44)
69. The Rippingtons - Northern Lights (4:40)
70. Dave Brubeck - La Paloma Azul (6:22)
71. Mongo Santamaria - Watermelon Man (2:29)
72. Danny Davis and The Nashville Brass - Tennessee Waltz (2:15)
73. Wynton Marsalis - Soon All Will Know (3:36)
74. Johnny & The Hurricanes - Red River Rock (2:14)
75. Bert Kaempfert - Wonderland by Night (3:15)
76. Kenny Blake - The Constantinople Strut (4:10)
77. Oscar Peterson - Night Train (4:51)
78. Paul Taylor - Exotica (4:52)
79. Pete Fountain - South Rampart Street Parade (2:07)
80. Stanley Clarke - School Days (7:49)
81. Hiroshima - Go (4:18)
82. Hiroshima - Thousand Cranes (6:06)
83. The Village Stompers - Washington Square (2:39)
84. Duke Ellington - Mood Indigo (2:58)
85. Duane Eddy & His Twangy Guitar - Rebel-'Rouser (2:24)
86. Earl Klugh - Kissin' On The Beach (6:08)
87. Artie Shaw and His Orchestra - Begin The Beguine (3:16)
88. Jimmy Smith - Stay Loose (3:54)
89. Pete Fountain - Walking Through New Orleans (2:49)
90. Herb Alpert - Route 101 (3:21)
91. Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (2:34)
92. The Rippingtons - Weekend In Monaco (5:22)
93. John Coltrane - Central Park West (4:16)
94. Stanley Turrentine - Walk On By (5:57)
95. Lalo Schifrin - Mission Impossible Theme (2:31)
96. Urban Knights - Sweet Home Chicago (3:52)
97. Pete Fountain - Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (3:02)
98. Mindi Abair - It Just Happens That Way (3:39)
99. The Rippingtons - Vienna (4:50)
100. George Benson - Affirmation (6:53)
101. Baja Marimba Band - Maria's First Rose (2:49)
102. The Rippingtons - Where The Road Will Lead Us (4:15)
103. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Linus and Lucy (3:06)
104. Ramsey Lewis - Hang On Sloopy (3:03)
105. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - Casino Royale (2:36)
106. The Portugese Washerwoman - The Portugese Washerwoman (2:11)
107. Canadian Sunset - Canadian Sunset (2:54)
108. The Rippingtons - I Watched Her Walk Away (5:28)
109. Santo and Johnny - Sleepwalk (2:22)
110. Fourplay - Amoroso (5:49)
111. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - Memories of Madrid (2:40)
112. Fourplay - 101 Eastbound (5:56)
113. Urban Knights - South African Jam (4:51)
114. Bill Justis - Raunchy (2:23)
115. Ramsey Lewis - Wade In The Water (3:55)
116. Spyro Gyra - Morning Dance (4:02)
117. Dave Grusin - An Actor's Life (5:06)
118. San Antonio Rose - Floyd Cramer (2:21)
119. Dave Grusin & Lee Ritenour - Cats of Rio (5:18)
120. Chet Baker - Summertime (4:15)
121. The Rippingtons - Calypso Cafe (4:46)
122. Ferrante & Teicher - Midnight Cowboy (3:16)
123. Perez Prado - Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (3:02)
124. Martin Denny - Quiet Village (3:19)
125. Floyd Cramer - Last Date (2:26)
126. Spyro Gyra - Catching The Sun (4:44)
127. Pete Fountain - A Closer Walk (2:11)
128. Urban Knights - The Promise (4:10)
129. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Shake It And Brake It (4:49)
130. Nelson Riddle - Route 66 Theme (2:08)
131. Thelonious Monk - Monk's Mood (7:52)
132. Lee Ritenour & Larry Carlton - Remembering J.P. (4:48)
133. The Jazz Crusaders - Promises, Promises (5:16)
134. Whistling Jack Smith - I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman (2:20)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I wore a cat like a coat last night

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words.  I doubt this will generate that many, but there's a few that accompany this photo:

If you didn't know, we have two cats.  Bob, the gray cat who's on his eighth and half life but still thinks he's a kitten (and who longs to be with us in the bathroom...that's a whole 'nother story), and Jack, the white and gray close to three-something year old with the mass of a small moon.

(The link above takes you to my Flickr page, where said cats are looking adorable snuggling.)

Both are indoor cats, but Bob likes to think he's an outdoor cat, to the point that if you leave the door open for longer than 2.2 seconds, he will make a break for it faster than Usain Bolt.   Most of the time, I'm good at stopping him from getting outside, but yesterday, he beat me like Dave Bolland beat Tuukka Rask for the Blackhawks cup-winning goal. 

I hadda get Travis to help me round him up and bring him in.  Trav got him, while I went out to get pizza for dinner.

When I got back, I found out Travis put Bob out back on a leash.  Not the first thing that's happened: Bob is frequently let out in such a way in the warmer months.  He'll flop around on the concrete and lay there watching the world go by.  It was cute watching him try and "stalk" a bird, when in all honesty:
  1. He never stood a chance of catching said bird.
  2. He has no front claws.
  3. He's on a leash, and all the bird had to do is fly away.
After that fiasco, Jack was put outside.  Now, Jack hasn't spent too much time outside, since he was found by Julie's boss as a kitten.  He's definitely an indoor cat, and gets a little spooked when he's out.  Oh, and Jack does has his front claws.  This is relevant as the story progresses.

Shortly after being put out, he started crying.  I said we should bring him in, but when he came inside, he started to bolt...with the leash still around his neck. 

Jack started to freak out, and I was afraid he was going to hurt himself. 

Now, it's at this point in the story, I have to add the following paragraph:

Julie told me not go get near the cat.  She specifically told me to move away, knowing full well I was about to get hurt.  I did not listen to my wife, my love, who knows all and is smarter in such things than I am.  I am just a man, who, like so many husbands around the world, does not listen to what his wife tells him to do and pays the price.

Jack had ran under the kitchen table, under two chairs, and was trapped.  As I said, I was worried he'd hurt himself, maybe choke or worse, with the collar and rope still around his neck.  So I reached for him...

...and he proceeded to wrap around my arm and back, and dig his claws in.

He was holding on for dear life, but at least I could get him out to a point where Julie and Travis could get the collar off of him, and then get him off of me.  All I remember hearing Julie say was "claw, claw".

It didn't hurt, despite the picture above.  Julie said it was the adrenaline, but I really didn't feel a thing. 

I'm just sorry there's no photos of Jack wrapped around me, holding on for dear life.  That'd be cool.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

And now for my second post...

Sebaceous Cysts.

Yeah, this one might gross a couple people out, but I swear, no YouTube links. 

Basically, a sebaceous cysts "are small lumps or bumps just under the skin. To be more specific, they are closed sacs that contain keratin -- a "pasty" or "cheesy" looking protein that often has a foul odor."  We can thank for that bit of information.

Think of it as an really badly infected zit.  For most people, the body treats it like an infection and purges it by itself.  I, in case you couldn't tell, are not most people.

I've had two cysts removed in my lifetime, both from my back, both in roughly the same location.  First time I had it done, circa 1997, they told me there was a good chance it'd grow back, and sure enough, it did.  Had it removed again in 2006. 

Mind you, my cyst are not small.  Both have been roughly the size of a turkey egg (Google it yourself if you're curious), so big that there's a "dip" around my left wing.  No, I'm not showing you.  There's a reason I rarely go outside without a shirt on, and it's not just 'cause I've got a few extra pounds on me.

About a year ago, a new cyst formed on my chest, slightly to the left center, right between the manboobs.  It was there, it didn't hurt, so I left it alone.  Under the copious amount of chest hair I have, you couldn't see it unless I pointed it out to you.  Julie called it "my button".

About two, three weeks ago, while in the bathroom getting ready for work, I noticed my button had a bit of yellowish gunk on it.  I figured it was ready to go, so I squeezed it.  Well, after cleaning all the crap off the mirror (that stuff really shoots out), I couldn't get any more out, so I figured it was done venting for the day.  Shaved, showered, got dressed and went off to work.

Repeat this procedure, mostly, for the next few days.

My button was roughly the size of a thumbnail initially.  After it started to leak and got squeezed, it grew.  Okay, so it more than quadrupled in size.  Julie said I no longer had a button, I had a third boob.  And I couldn't get any more out of it.  The pinhole closed up.

I decided to call the doctor the same time my wife said to do so.  Never argue with a wife who's always right, let me tell you.

Saw my doctor, he checked it and referred me to a surgeon.  By this time, my third boob was getting uncomfortable.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd only put the pain at a 1 or 2, but it was awkward when I slept.  On my side, arms flopped in front of get a rough idea.

Called the surgeon Friday morning, and thankfully, the nurse was able to get my in for that afternoon.  She said it was a 50/50 chance he'd remove it, but when he saw it, he called for just removing some of the pressure and fluids that built up.  He told me it'd need time before he could remove the core, but he could make it better in the short term.

He gave me a local, waited for me to flinch (I didn't), and proceeded to cut into me.  He removed some of the pus (thankfully, I was upwind and didn't smell's a smell you'll never forget, trust me), took off some of the pressure, packed the opening, put a bandaid with super adhesive tape over my chest hair and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic.

Got home, waited a bit and got in the shower to remove said packing and tape.  I am surprised I still have any hair left on my chest.  Even under the water, it was worse than superglue on my hair.  Swear, when I have the core removed, I'm gonna Nair my chest.

Yes, there was blood, but blood never bothered me.  Covered it was gauze, some not-as-sticky tape, and got dressed.  Took the antibiotic he gave me and went over to have dinner with my love.

Julie worked 'til Midnight, so we didn't get to bed until 2 Saturday morning.  We were exhausted, so we didn't get up until close to 10:30.  I hadn't eaten anything, but knew I needed to take the medicine. 

Now, the directions say "take with plenty of water".  I took a big glass, figuring that was plenty.  Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.

Not a hour later, I'm puking up water, salt and whatever was in my stomach (which wasn't much, trust me).  I feel like shit.  My head is pounding and compressing at the same time.  I have a bowl of cereal, close the laptop and go lay on the couch.

You know I'm sick if I go completely offline of my own accord.

By this point, I've been laying there feeling like shit for another hour.  Julie was getting ready to go out, over to the pharmacy to ask what might be wrong.  In a rather surreal moment, I'm laying on the couch and this exact thought process went through my brain:

"I'm okay."
"I'm not going to throw up."
"Am I going to throw up?"
"Yes.  I am going to throw up."

I stand up and walk to the bathroom where Julie's doing her hair.  I motion to her and say "unless you wanna be in there when I puke, you'll move".

Out comes water, cereal and who knows what else.

I suppose I should take this time to mention...I'm rarely sick.  It takes a lot for me to get good and truly ill.  I think in the five years she's known me, she's seen me really sick only once.  Now it's up to two times.

She's getting ready to leave and I'm calling the surgeon to see what he says.  He told me it's unusual for someone to have that side effect, and to stop taking the antibiotic.  Switch back to something not as strong, he says.  It should be okay, since he removed a good bit of infection already.  He also told me that due to the inflammation, he likely won't remove the core for another month or two, so I don't have to go by Nair right away.

After sleeping on the couch until about 5 in the afternoon, I felt better.  Think I worried and scared my wife a little, but I'm back to about 90% now.  Just taking it easy and enjoying the weekend.

I am very thankful for Julie.  I'm not used to being taken care of.  Before her, it'd been a long time since I'd had someone take care of me that well.  I appreciate it more than I think she realizes.

That's my story and my second post. We'll see what I can do for an encore and number three...whenever.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Depending on whom you ask, I have either a gift or a curse.  Most of the time, I can fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

I suppose you could look at that as both blessing and curse.  Blessing for me, but curse for my wife who has to listen to me snore.

Since I don't want her to stay awake all night, I try and stay awake long enough to hear her fall asleep first, and then I'm out like a light.

The other night, right before I fell asleep, the song "Hello It's Me" by Todd Rundgren (obligatory YouTube link provided here) popped into my brain.  As I start to sleep, I see a blog, it's title being "Hello, It's me".

Generally, when one sees such things prior to accepting Morpheus' embrace, one tends to forget them.  Not me, and not this time.  It stuck, and it's been gnawing at me in the back of my mind for the past few days.  I took it as a sign that maybe, just maybe, I was ready to start putting fingers to keyboard and write again.

In the nearly two years since my last blog entry under the "Journal of Onestar" banner, I haven't written much, if anything.  I do have a Twitter account, so I can post witty, 140 character comments, but it doesn't leave much for extended ramblings.  Yes, like so many others, I have a Facebook page, but I've grown less and less fond of it, using it mostly to keep tabs on a few select friends, and play the occasional game of Scrabble.  Instead, I've tried to get back into photography a bit more, with decent results.

Oh, and I've been doing the "husband, stepdad and step-grandfather" thing, too.

I'd love to say I'm well on my path to fame and fortune, but fame doesn't interest me in the least, and I'll never have a fortune.  Instead, I've learned to appreciate the simpler things in life.  We're surviving...sometimes, just barely, living paycheck to almost-the-next-paycheck, but we love each other more than anything, and really, that's what I consider most important.

But somewhere, deep down inside me, words have been forming that have wanted to get out.  I'm not the best writer out there.  Yes, I can form a complete sentence, but I rely on referring to myself too much, overuse the "I", and believe ellipses are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I also make references in threes, it seems.

But I digress.

I can't guarantee I'll post frequently.  Hell, I may just end up tossing this out there, sit back and never post again.  I could end up "blogging" on a regular basis.  Or I could be distracted like I just was by my cat who came over and wanted some TLC and forget all about writing. 

See the whole three thing?  It happens frequently, just watch.

But this is here in case I need that outlet to vent.  I won't go back to the whole "Onestar" thing.  That ran its course.  I spent 20 years in that mindset.  At 45, I'm an old married man who's got no interest in revisiting that particular character.

Watch this space.  Not even I have any idea what's gonna appear here next.  Let's be surprised together, shall we?