Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Yesterday, I took photos of my goldfish.

The fish in my tank, (and stars of today's post,) include:

So named because he had a habit of floating upside down for hours on end, and we kept wondering, "Do we flush him? Do we keep him? Dewey?"

Sammy is the most recent addition to the tank. A redhead, Sammy was shy at first. Now, not so much.

And Winston.

My Winston.

So named due to his resemblance to Winston Churchill...

Winston would wait at the bottom of the tank, and come swimming to greet me when I came home.

No, wait! I am serious! The fishtank faces the front door, and before I would even be in the house, he would recognize me and swim up to greet me!

My wife said that she would come in and she was kinda annoyed that he would ignore her! And then when "Daddy" came in, Boom! Right there; blowing me kisses.

I was so impressed with Winston's ability to discern me from my wife, that this post WAS going to be entitled, "Some Fish," (paraphrasing the web-based message from Charlotte's web,) and brag all about my little Einstein of the piscine world.

I was going to wrap it up with my idea about teaching Winston tricks. I was going to try to teach him so fetch, to roll over et cetera. My final punchline in this posting was going to be how I was not going to try to teach him to play dead, as Dewey totally nailed that months ago.

I had plans to write this as I left work this afternoon.

Sadly, as I came home today, hoping to see if he would spring up to see me, like he always did, Winston was, in fact, passed on.

Today's posting is dedicated to his memory, easily the smartest fish I have ever known, and among my favorite pets ever.

R.I.P. Winston

Monday, February 22, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

Just imagine the paperwork on a rear-end collision between these two!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!

Okay, I need someone who reads Japanese!

I found these online while looking for a punch-line and "OMG!" (That's right. I "textspoke!" I can be hip and groovy like the kids these days!)


I didn't know such a thing existed. Needing!

I must have 2 pairs. Quickly before my A.D.D. kicks in and...

Ahh, screw it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Missed Photo Op

Where is my camera when I need it?

So, it was February 14th, (Valentine’s Day!) My wife, Cheryl, and I are dropping my sister, Kerry, off at the airport and then going out for dinner. We are in a massive traffic cluster on the way to Logan when sirens and blue light come up behind us at a street light!

The two cruisers stop right in front of us, one on either side of the street, (congesting the traffic even further, I should add!) and then one of the officer’s voices is heard over the loud speaker: “YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF REVERE CITY ORDINANCE NUMBER 412: SELLING FLOWERS WITHOUT A PERMIT! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!”

The wife, the sister and I exchanged glances and gave a collective, “Wha?” at the announcement.

Within moments the arresting officer was yelling into the face of the obviously befuddled offender, pointing his finger at him, inches away from him, with a voice that we heard several yards away, in traffic with the windows up, (it was February in Boston, after all!) The policeman was hollering something about that money going back to such and such a country, (perhaps because "the accused" was Latino in ethnicity?) or something. The officer was loudly berating this guy, in the middle of the street for illegally selling flowers...

On Valentine’s Day.

For $5.00 a bouquet.

The level of surreality of the scene was on par with high-ticket entertainment.

Cheryl and Kerry were laughing about the degree of intensity and commitment this officer held about this particular offense, (one can only imagine that he lost his parents to rogue florists on this very day ten years ago, or something equally tragic,) but me? I was sitting there angry. Quite angry. Actually, I was pissed. You see, from my seat in the car, I had a perfect vantage point of this policeman haranguing and intimidating this guy with the hatred and venom reserved for traitors and in-laws because he was selling flowers without a permit, and here I was without my camera.

Y'see, I had decided against bringing it at the last minute. I'm still angry at that.

And although a photograph would have made this posting SO much better, I use this photo-less anecdote as a lesson for all to not go out of the house without your camera. Something funny is BOUND to happen.

Trust me. It always does.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chris Toler: "Cover Boy"

Well, it has finally happened. I am a "Coverboy."

Oh, obviously my stunning, "bad-boy" looks, (maybe move the hyphen, for bad 'boyish-looks',)Link my chiseled, (out of BUTTER maybe!) countenance, and swaggering confidence have made this natural progression predetermined, but nevertheless, I am surprised.

Shocked, even.

Apparently, SHITE 'n' ONIONS, the leading online authority on all things in the Celtic Folk-Punk music genre, and one of the places where your humble author occasionally submits his opinion in written form, decided to use a photo of me, (albeit, a photo from years past!) to accompany the current Shite 'n' Onions podcast, appropriately titled, "The metal years!"

Why me? Who's knows.

I mean, Shite 'n' Onions is among the top sources for info on releases, tour dates, and news from bands like Dropkick Murphys, The Tossers, Neck, Flogging Molly, and The Pogues, and the site's podcasts cover many different styles within the genre. So perhaps, finding some crossover into the Heavy Metal scene, (the OTHER pie that I like to keep a finger in, metaphorically speaking,) found the selection limited.

In any case, I believe that this may elevate the class level of Celtic Folk-Punk from just another form of fine and sophisticated music into that of a classic art-form that transcends mediums.

My eZine Cover shot:

Eat your heart out, Elle Macpherson.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents' Day

To know what it is like to be a man, they say, is to walk a mile in their shoes.

I have decided, instead, to pay homage to U.S. Presidents past by trying out their hair. Being of "limited follicular density," I am able to assume these 'dos fairly easily, and here they are now for your perusal...

George Washington
Our first president, a brilliant strategist and an inspirational leader, true, but a tragic hairstyle by today's standards.
To think that he led the U.S. Army to independence, wooed and won Martha, and fathered our country with this coiffure as a hurdle to overcome, only underscores the greatness of the man.

Abraham Lincoln
Ol' Honest Abe went on to abolish slavery, popularize the stovepipe hat, and discover Nebraska, all while sporting those ears and without the benefit of a comb! Amazing.

Andrew Jackson
Now THIS is great hair! You can't tell me this this guy wasn't a heartthrob with this mane of chick-magnet locks. If I were to grow back my hair, this is what I would be aiming for. Oh, yeah!
"SIngle file, ladies!"

Now some of you might think that this posting is born simply of me missing my own golden curls, from days back when my dance card was full. And perhaps there is a kernel of truth here, but even still...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Real Life #11

Originally published in the Salem State Log, (by ME!) February 13, 1992!

Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I've Got a Golden Phallus!

I'm so proud. My second award... EVER!!!

This time for being a smart ass in the Screaming Me-Me "Caption This" contest.
Thanks again, Margo!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Award? For ME?!?! Aww, Shucks!


What has she done?

Apparently, Mad, Mad Margo, over at The Screaming Me-Me, has given me an award for following her, (I usually only get a court order!)

So, 'of courserous,' I must graciously accept, and in doing so accept the terms of the acceptance, by answering the following deeply probing questionnaire!

I don't usually get asked a whole lot of questions about myself, which is good. Y'see, knowing me as well as I do, I get bored hearing about me. Sadly, to keep myself interested, I tend to, well, "embellish" certain facts.

Okay, lie. But, in the honor it was awarded, I will honor this award with as much honesty as I can stand!

To begin:

1. What is your current obsession?
Ginger Grant, writing about cocktails, music, and Hawaii.

2. What are you wearing today?
Jeans, t-shirt and some kind of stain, I think it is mustard.

3. What's for dinner?
A "Dark And Stormy," (a ginger and rum-based cocktail to be featured this week on 'my other blog.')

4. What's the last thing you bought?
A Dark and Stormy, (see previous,). Before that, a song on iTunes, (Bootsy Collins; The Groovement Has Begun!).

5. What are you listening to right now?
Song of Yesterday by Free

6. What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Margo? Feckin' genius. I may have to stalk her for real!! And maybe mail her strange tokens of my esteem that need to be explained; and hopefully not in court!

And if in court, not in front of that same damned judge as last time!

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Ali'i Drive, Kailua, (Kona Coast,) The Big Island, Hawaii

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?

Volleyball, ukulele, beer, rum, and my iPod.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Pearl Beach Resort, Bora Bora.

10. Which language do you want to learn?


11. What's your favorite quote?

"Write a famous quote, and your name will live forever." - Anonymous

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
Ginger Grant.

13. What is your favourite color?
Grey. What? It is!

14. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
Styling tips that work for me? Okay! 1) Avoid mirrors, 2) Avoid people, 3) Avoid giving "styling tips!"

15. What is your dream job?

Musician, writer, electrician, or maybe International Playboy. Any one of those'll do.

16. What is your favorite magazine?

No question, "Classic rock Magazine!" \m/

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?


18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

Tight turtle necks, (except on women!), dreadlocks on white folk, black socks with sandals, and belly shirts with too much belly!

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?

I am not sure what a "style icon" is.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?

Is this a bald joke?

21. What are you going to do after this?

I dunno. Watch a movie on Hulu, maybe.

22. What are your favorite movies?
Jaws, The Three Amigos, Legend Of Boggy Creek, and Shawn of the Dead.

Congratulations, you're half-way through! Yay.

23. What inspires you?
Doing something different from anyone else.

24. What do your friends call you most commonly?
My friends don't commonly call me.

25. Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Coffee. And I like it the way I like my women; hot, pale, and bitter.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Usually play music.

27. What makes you go wild?
I never go too wild, (I'm a school teacher. We have control issues!)

28. Which other blogs do you love visiting?

Too many to list! Many humor blogs, a few music blogs, and an occasional drinks recipes blog, (research, you know!)

29. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?

Not big on sweets. Slim Jims and Almonds are more my speed.

30. How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?


31. Favorite Season?

Summer! (Vacation!)

32. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?

Order out Chinese. There's a good place around the corner...

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?

Make them want to avoid me!

34. What are you afraid of most?

Sharks!!! And ventriloquist dummies.

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

"Ah crap. Again?"

36. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
The "Musical Monkeys Machine " at Salem Willows!

37. A word that you say a lot?

38. What would you do if you were made President for one day?
Close the borders, deport Sarah Palin, and declare a national "Happy Hour" everyday at 4PM!

39. What is the one thing that keeps you going?
Knowing that I'm not gonna have to forever!

40. What word drives you crazy when you hear it?

41. What's your least favorite character trait?
Entitlement. Nobody "owes" you shit!

42. What do you get if you multiply six by nine?
My calculator.

43. What do you get when you fall in love?
Sticky, broke, and confused.

44. Who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong?

I admit it, it was me. And as long as I am confessing things, I also let the dogs out, shot the deputy, and am the one you call if there's something strange in your neighborhood!

45. Who is your favorite guitar player of all time?
Either Tony Iommi or Buddy Guy.

And now, apparently, I'm supposed to add a similar question, (as are all those who receive this!). So...
46. Favorite TV Show of all time?

Gilligan's Island, (followed closely by Arrested Development, and Red Dwarf.)


There it is. Enough minutia about your humble author to study up and steal my identity. (Like anyone'd want it!!!)

Thank you Margo, over at the brilliant "Screaming Me-Me" for acknowledging me and my stalking, sorry about that mess I left on your lawn!

Lastly, I need to pass this award on to those who have visited and contributed here at the Attic, whether of not they were able to dredge their way through this steaming pile of..., I mean, fascinating list of edge-of-your-seat facts!

So, Congrats:


"Writes Phillipia"

Cat Lady Larew

And thank you for all of your support and contributions!

The Dialectizer

So, today, fer some reasing, me inner dialox was soundings like Popeye’s! And, fer some addishkinal reasing, I descideds to writes me posking in this styles.

Forchkinately for youse, I hasn’t muchk to says. But this IS hows I introduoosks a neats prink converter calls “The Dialesktizers.”

All ya does, is selesks a certain website, (I suggesks The Greatest Drink In The World.. This Weeks, by yours truly!) and enters its URL into the box. The seleck the Dialesk youse wants it converted to: Redneck, Jives, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, and others. Not Popeyes!

And Thanks to for more great time-wasting fun!

Click here for “THE DIALECTIZER

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Even More Random Thoughts

➸ Had the Cowardly Lion seen the Wizard and gotten his courage one week prior to meeting Dorothy and her companions, he would have torn them up that day in the forest and the movie would have been over after the first 45 minutes!

➸ Products I’d like to see: Faux Fu: The tofu substitute for the soy sensitive.

Products I’d love to see: 100-Calorie Servings of Edible Undies: For the weight-conscious AND experimentally libidinous...

➸ I think the most discriminated group of people in this country is Bigots; Racists, ageists, anti-Semites, anyone can slander, bad mouth, refuse to serve “their kind,” or mistreat them with complete impunity.

Is being prejudice against bigots irony, or hypocrisy?

➸ A recent realization: I am not bald. I am an “Infra-redhead.” My hair can’t be seen by the human eye.

Monday, February 1, 2010

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