Category Archives: Castle Willett

That Feeling When – February 10th

That feeling when you’re indulging in a little bit of “musical therapy” to unwind on a Saturday night and it’s a good night on the Sirius Channel 33 “1st Wave” Saturday Night Safety Dance show and they keep playing favorites and when they do of course you turn it up REALLY LOUD and your phone keeps pinging alerts and you finally give in and look at it and find out that the music is loud enough to be triggering the security camera on the front door three rooms away and you’re disgustingly pleased by that fact.

I’m easily amused.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Music

First Light

Among this week’s crises (some of which approached almost comic proportions, like where you want to raise your weary eyes to the heavens and plead, “Really? REALLY? That’s just lazy writing!” – line blatantly stolen from the new “Deadpool 2” trailer because it’s freakin’ hilarious) were a terminally ill phone, which lead to the move up to the iPhone 8 Plus.

Of course, with a new, much better & faster smart phone comes a new, much better & faster camera. Let’s be real – they’re actually pocket-sized high definition video cameras that can take really good still photos with a supercomputer attached for kicks and a phone tacked on as an afterthought today. Oh, and they play music.

Alas, my train of thought has derailed once again.

Given the new phone and a foggy, dreary grey morning on Tuesday morning, the first pictures to come out of the new device were of the flag hanging in our front yard.

It is not lost on me that our house’s flag might well be an accurate symbol for the current state of our country – faded, a bit tattered, beaten up, feeling a bit worse for wear, adrift in a fog with no clear direction in sight.

As with the phone, perhaps it’s time for a replacement and upgraded flag. While we’re at it, let’s keep working on that upgraded and refreshed country as well.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Politics

That Feeling When – February 01st

That feeling when you’ve had yet another long, long day at work toward the end of yet another long, long week at work and you don’t even get to go home yet because you have to go swing by Fry’s (aka “The Seventh Level of Hell“) to get stuff that you need for one of the office systems so you’re just going through the motions until you slowly become a tad more aware only to find yourself confused because the elevator is acting odd by not doing what you’re expecting so you hit the “6” button and again it just sits there with the doors open and not moving and AGAIN you hit the “6” button with a bit more awareness (but obviously not nearly enough) and this time you notice that the illumination on the light when you hit it just blinks off and you hit the “6” button AGAIN and AGAIN it lights for about a millisecond and then goes off and you’re not sure what’s going on only to finally be rescued when someone from the next office come out and get on the elevator while looking at you curiously and you AGAIN hit the “6” button because it will work now that you have a witness but it doesn’t and the guy from next door edges away from you to hit the “G” button so you can leave the sixth floor where your offices are and go down to the “LAAAABY” so you can all go home and all you can mutter in your dawning horror is, “Thanks, man, I don’t know how long I would have been stuck there if you hadn’t come along.”

Then you go get into your half ton of small & zippy automobile and drive out with the rest of the zombies trying to get home.

It’s a wonder any of us make it through the day alive.

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That Feeling When – January 25th

That feeling when if it weren’t for exhaustion and the headache you wouldn’t feel anything at all and what you really want is some loud music so you’re stepping through your favorite YouTube set list and after a while you realize that the favorite favorite in their hasn’t come up so you go looking for it only to find out that it’s been pulled for copyright violation after all of these years and you’re angry and sad and ready to ugly cry and you let You Tube go ahead on its own and inexplicably, after three hours of listening to Bronski Beat and Pet Shop Boys and New Order and Morrisey and Eurythmics and Depeche Mode, inexplicably You Tube decides what you need is the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive.”

So is YouTube’s algorithm really, really freakin’ insightful and wise and godlike, or just a really, really annoying pain in the ass?

Or is there no difference between those two?

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That Feeling When – January 16th

That feeling when you suddenly remember lunch two days ago when you really wanted cheese but it had that moldy spot on one corner and you were kinda sure you could just cut that bit off and eat the rest without getting food poisoning so you did but it was really good cheese so you just cut off a teeny tiny bit extra around the mold because you didn’t want to waste any but then later you decided to google it to see if that was a good idea and they said you should have cut off a much bigger margin just to be safe and then you worried for a couple of hours before forgetting about it until just now when you realized that you CHEATED DEATH ONCE MORE!

But now you’re hungry for cheese again.

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Group Mind Question – January 14th

Two things happened this weekend that got me wondering how much life in Los Angeles might be different from life elsewhere. The two incidents involve using phone apps and the Internet to do routine things and I don’t know if that’s a “La La” thing (or at least a big city thing) or something that’s happening everywhere – so I’ll ask.

First incident – I needed a haircut. Desperately. I don’t get my hair styled, I get it cut. Helen Keller could cut my hair, so I don’t go anyplace expensive. I believe I’ve ranted about this before. Bottom line, Fantastic Sam’s and SuperCuts are high end for me. The new Great Cuts chain is $3 cheaper and gets me the same results.

Saturday is a busy time at these places, but now they have this app where you can “check in” well in advance and then just walk in and be next, or close to it. I found out about this one time sitting there for about a half hour and watching three or four guys come in and get started within a minute or two while I waited. And waited. And waited. It was really annoying. But now I use the app! So when I was leaving the hangar, thirty-five miles and forty minutes away, I started the app, checked in, and when I got there I was in the chair in about a minute, bypassing the two or three guys who were there waiting.

It was great! Of course, whether or not using the app is “fair” all depends on whose ox is being gored, obviously!

Second incident – we wanted to see a movie, but our schedule was sort of up in the air. Almost every theater around here now has the advance ticket sale option where you not only buy your ticket but also reserve your seat. Even if you just walk up to the window, you still pick an assigned seat. Since you’re stuck with the system one way or the other, we usually log in and buy tickets and pick seats in advance. But today it was more of a spur of the moment thing, so we didn’t.

Walking up to the window at 11:28 for a 11:30 movie we found there were only four single seats available for the movie we really wanted to see. We ended up seeing another film (“Molly’s Game,” which we really liked, BTW) at noon instead.

Question – if you’re living in a smaller town in the US (Vermont, Maryland, Texas, Arizona… I know you’re out there) or outside of the US, is this level of online or electronic scheduling and ticket purchasing as routine or even required these days? It happened here quickly, within a year or two at most, but I was wondering if I would be looked at like I had two heads if I wanted to buy movie tickets on my phone in West Smalltown, Ohio?

Just curious.


Filed under Castle Willett, Los Angeles

The Fungus Among Us

In the cool, damp morning light, the humongous organism living under our yard poked up a few scouts to see if it had really, really rained the other day.

When I first saw the yard covered with mushrooms decades ago after we had first moved in, I did the usual all-American thing and tried to figure out how to kill them. After all, they destroyed that putting green look that I wanted for my yard!

I found out that all of the various fungi and similar fauna and flora are interconnected underground and it’s almost like one huge organism that’s far larger than any elephant or whale. I also found out that my yard looks just fine when it more closely resembles a salad than a carpet.

And, yes… That makes it the humongous fungus among us!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Critters, Photography