Sunday, April 27, 2008

VDO Potpourri

First, I scanned some pictures. Then I researched a program that would enable me to convert a PDF file to a JPG file, so I could share the photos with y'all. Then I downloaded and installed a demo copy of said software...tested it...discovered that it worked, but slapped a big ol' ugly watermark smack dab in the middle of Vincent's handsome face.

Next, I purchased the software, uninstalled the demo, rebooted the computer, downloaded and installed the newly paid for program and painstakingly converted each one to the appropriate viewable format. Then I got to upload them all to Photobucket and pick and create a slideshow format. A "mere" three-and-a-half-hours later, the results can be seen below.

I wanted to come up with some clever captions for all these lovely "snapshots," but quite frankly, I'm not feeling all that "witty" at the moment. If you think of anything, let me know.

Some photos were obtained through eBay, others "borrowed" from TheReel. To clarify, the photos I purchased through eBay were the ones I had to scan...the others were easy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dance Party Friday...On Monday...Irish Style

Evidently, the folks at Channel 12 had a special edition of "Dance Party Friday" on St. Patrick's Day this year. Since that's my birthday, had I known about it, I might have set the alarm to awaken early enough to see it. Nah, 5:45a.m. is wayyyyyyyyy too early.

After watching the video, I believe you will agree with me that Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance has absolutely nothing to worry about.

Another YouTube video from Local 12 News.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dancin' Bobby

I just love Google Alerts. As the "owner" of this little ditty said on the "These Are Their Stories" blog, news of LOCI is excruciatingly slow right now. Since new episodes don't start until June, one must find other ways to amuse one's self.

Me, I watch baseball, read blogs, scour the Internet for any news or new photos of Bobby/VDO, read, watch movies and TV, know...all the usual things one does to pass the time. If I may paraphrase: " me...who can', and those who can...well...they give us the following:

Bet that "split" hurt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vincent In Nashville

I realize most of you probably got this in your Google Alert for VDO this morning, but I couldn't resist posting it. I haven't had time to listen to it all...actually I was in the midst of getting ready for work, and couldn't take time to listen. I figured, hey, he looks fantastic, so we can all just look at him even if we can't understand every word he's saying.

He's so "expressive." No wonder he's such a great actor.

The Google Alert took me to a website called "" Turns out, that's the link one gets if one goes to the NaFF website, so thanks "y'all" for the great video.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gone With The Wind...Sort Of

Okay, so I'm in a comedic mood of late. Sorry, I guess I just need a good laugh these days, and now that I have figured out how to post YouTube videos on my blog...well...Katie, bar the door...I've created a monster. Actually, I have Tess to thank for this next bit; she mentioned Carol Burnett in a recent blog comment, and this skit automatically sprang to mind. In fact, my friend, Linda, and I were just chatting about this sketch a few days ago. We both just lapse into fits of laughter whenever we talk about it.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Carol Burnett, this is...for me...perhaps the funniest skit I've ever seen on television. What passes for comedy nowadays...more often than not...makes me want to hang my head in shame and lament as to what the world is coming to. (Oh, dear...did I just channel my daddy?)

Anyway, Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, and Tim Conway at their best in this "spoof" of Margaret Mitchell's epic novel. I'm quite sure this is not quite what she envisioned when she sat down to write about Rhett and Scarlett and the rest. Dinah Shore is wonderful as "Melanie," only they changed the names of the original characters. I think they're saying "Millie," but I can't be certain. Be sure to watch for her "signature" sign-off.

Again, like the Lucy skit, it's a tad long, so if you don't have time to watch the whole thing, try to hang around long enough to see Carol Burnett strut down the staircase in her "gown" that she fashioned out of the draperies. Then listen for her follow-up comment to Rhett's statement about what a lovely dress she's wearing. It's priceless... absolutely knee-slapping hilarious.

I should mention this is "Part 2." If you want to see the first part, check it out on YouTube.

Without further ado, I give you..."Went With The Wind."

This video was made by "Tabstarkin" and posted to YouTube a year ago. I can't believe I'm just now finding these gems.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Love Lucy

TVLand has been running mini-marathons of the old "I Love Lucy" show for a while now. I don't watch it much...just if I'm channel-surfing and happen to pause on the station long enough to see what shenanigans or mischief she and Ethel might be up to. Most people tend to navigate toward the candy conveyor-belt episode as their favorite, but for me it's the "Vitameatavegamin" commercial that leaps to mind whenever I think about this show.

I was thinking about it today and popped over to YouTube and...sure enough...there were two or three videos posted there, and I couldn't resist posting one of them here. It's a bit long, but whether you're watching it for the first time or the hundredth time, it's still hilariously funny. It's "classic" Lucille Ball.

With thanks to "Caylee313" for the video. And, Linda, this one's for you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Feel The Earth Move

Well, actually, I didn't. I awoke this morning to the news that many of my fellow Cincinnatians had been shaken...not stirred...from their slumber shortly after 5:30a.m. by an earthquake. The epicenter was "approximately" 200 miles west of Cincy in the small town of West Salem, Illinois. It measured anywhere from 5.2 to 5.4 (depending on which news channel one watches) on the Richter Scale, which is relatively "mild" by earthquake standards.

Earthquakes, though rare, do occasionally occur in this part of the U.S. given the fact that the second largest fault line...The New Madrid Fault...runs through parts of Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas. My apologies for the U.S. geography lesson. Anyway, according to the TV announcers this morning, this fault line is rivaled only by the grand daddy of them all...the San Andreas Fault in California, and we all know what that puppy is capable of.

Actually, this would have been my fourth earthquake, had I been awake to experience it. The way the local news covered the story, one would have thought the earth had opened up and swallowed a goodly portion of the tri-state area, but that was not the case. I new, of course, everyone at the office would be talking about it, so I was prepared.

When I walked in the door, Mike...he of the one black shoe, one brown shoe post a while back...was chatting with Martha about it. They had both felt it. Martha said it woke her up, and she lives only a mile or so from me, yet nary a jiggle did I feel.

So, when Mike asked me if I had felt the earthquake, I didn't miss a beat. I just sighed glumly and said, "The only opportunity I'll have to feel the "earth move," and I sleep through it. Just my luck." It's a rare occasion indeed when Mike is rendered speechless...I think he even blushed...and I'm usually the one who can do it. What can I say, it is good to begin the workday with a hearty laugh.

I found this clip on YouTube of a weatherman in Evanston, Illinois giving his report "during" the earthquake. (I'd be willing to wager that "earthquake" was not in the forecast.) He seems to me to be unusually calm throughout the whole thing, don't you think?

I found myself wondering a couple of times today if the folks at local Channel 12 had to postpone their "Dance Party Friday" in lieu of the quake. Bet they'll have a whole new dance routine next week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Because...

Found these while searching the Internet this evening. The top one is a wee bit different from the one posted on "The Reel" and other sites.

Is that a "smile" on the dear boy's face? Did I mention that he is looking "mighty fine" in those jeans...mighty fine indeed. Vixens: do you know what I mean? I think you do.
The man looks good coming or going.
And...just because...I NEVER get tired of looking at this one.
"Borrowed" from a Google site. (If you double-click on the first two, they get bigger.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not FDA Approved...Yet

Not much else to say...just reflects my mood. Wish I had a bottle.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dance Party Friday

I just found out about this. Since I don't watch Channel 12 News; especially at 5:45a.m. on Friday mornings, this was all "news" to me. Apparently, if there are no major traffic snafus or other news breaking events happening early Friday mornings here in Cincinnati, the traffic news team delivers their report while...dancing.

Sounds like a good idea to me...and is pretty funny and entertaining. There are several of them on YouTube. I'll try to not bore you with ALL of them...just the ones that tickle my fancy. Hope this brings a smile to your face or a giggle to your lips.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weekend Woes

Last Friday night, I made a huge mistake. I allowed myself to be lured to the “dark side” of the Internet. It all started with this “troll” (which I liken to a cockroach) that had infested Val’s “Life and Vincent” blog. This “person" (and I use the term loosely) had left a derisive comment about VDO and his devotees. Then another “anonymous” coward said that a bunch of VDO bloggers were the “talk” of a particular website.

So, stupid old me, being the “Curious George” that I am, trotted my big ol’ butt over to the aforementioned website, (I won’t be mentioning it by name here) did a little searching, and…wah lah…up popped a “thread” devoted solely to Vincent D'Onofrio. It was supposed to be about him and his wife and their new baby, but it rapidly deteriorated into this hideous, rancorous, completely pointless, vicious attack on Vincent and his family.

I should have exited the thread once I realized what I had unwisely stumbled upon, but I couldn’t stop myself from reading…all 497 comments. You know, they say that “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.” Take my word for it, there was absolutely nothing “satisfying” about this…drivel. I could not believe the despicable things that were being said about Vincent and his new baby boy.

And woe betide the individual who tried to post a favorable comment about Vincent; they were castigated in the most venomous, vulgar terms. Basically, anyone who liked VDO and tried to defend him was classified as being old, over the hill women (hausfraus) who were…mentally ill.

This site both angered and saddened me…then it depressed me. Granted, it doesn’t take much to stir that old demon depression these days, but this place really got me down. It angered me for the obvious reasons…trash talking Bobby/VDO and, more specifically, a completely innocent babe. And sad because…well…it distresses me to see so much blatant hostility, intolerance, ignorance, and unacceptance in this world. Posters on the thread sloughed off those who tried to take them to task for their offensive comments, stating that the website is known for its “gritty” style and that everything is said in good-natured humor. Trust me, folks, there was nothing remotely good-natured or amusing on that thread.

They trashed VDO for his weight…that was the main thing. They said he was a bad actor and was ugly. They had links to pictures of things like broken chairs and toilets and had tag lines that said something like, “This is what your house will look like following a visit from Vincent.” But the one that did me in…the link that made me want to pull my hair out by the roots and run screaming into the night…was the one to a blog devoted to “Why fat people smell.” By the time I finished reading this revolting diatribe, I was in tears.

I thought about posting a comment of my own…for about a nano-second. Then I realized Nietzsche was probably right, “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster.” Besides, I did not wish to leave any part of myself there…they had already sucked out a piece of my soul. Another quote comes to mind: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” Well, not only does the Shadow know, but I now know, having visited the fifth ring of hell and come back to tell you all about it.

So, in parting, I apologize for shattering your innocence if you were unaware of the existence of this awful place…I just needed to write about it…to get it out of my brain and onto “paper.” My advice to you, "do as I say, not as I did." Do not go in search of this hellish place. You just might find it and, I promise you, it is a trip you will neither enjoy nor easily forget.

Now, to prove there is still a safe haven for Bobby/VDO admirers (this is but one of many) I give you the following photos. I know you’ve all seen them before, but he’s so darn cute, I just had to do a slideshow of my own.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Shut Up & File

I apologize for the “rudeness” of the title; however, this was the actual subject line in an email that our Kelly received a few weeks back. In order for you to better understand, I need to “set-up” the scene for you.

I have mentioned Kelly in previous posts. Kelly works in my department, and she is responsible for servicing the loans the company has approved over the years. Our present portfolio, taking into consideration all three loan programs we administer, includes about 375 loans for around $90,000,000.

Since my agency is a little “slow” about coming into the electronic age…I’m working on it…we still maintain “paper” files on each and every loan. Some of the funding sources even require that we hold onto the borrower’s file long after the loan has been paid in full. I’m talking about forty 4-drawer file cabinets, bulging with expandable file folders, each containing a tree’s worth of paper. I cringe every time I have to send a loan to a funding source because we have to maintain a copy of everything we send them. You get the picture…we’ve got…literally…a ton of paper files.

Anyway, Kelly has one of the “busiest” jobs in this agency. She is constantly in demand and on the phone. You can imagine...375 active borrowers…any of whom may have a question about their loan at any given time. Her responsibilities are many and varied and can be as simple as providing a loan balance or the interest paid the previous year, or as complicated as preparing loan subordinations or liquidations. She also has to stay on top of loan delinquencies and collections, but that is a whole “other” post, so I’ll just stick to the files on this one.

Perhaps the most tedious part of Kelly’s job pertains…as you may have already guessed…to the files. Copies of letters sent to the borrowers have to be maintained in the file’s correspondence folder. All “servicing action” documentation has to be filed in the servicing folder. Updated financial and insurance information has to be… get the idea.

One of the things I explained to Kelly, when I interviewed her for this position, was the importance of the files and that it was absolutely essential that they be well-maintained and updated. She, of course, expressed her sincerest understanding of the responsibilities that came with the position and assured me she could handle the challenge. But Kelly was badly in need of employment and would have said or…as it turned out…omitted some pretty damning information…in order to get the job. Again, another story for another time. (Don't get me wrong, she does a good job.)

Oh, and to make matters worse, when they renovated our offices a few months back, the new configuration resulted in relocating all the file cabinets from their very own cozy room into our office space. They line the walls on either side of the cubicles where Kelly and Casey are stationed. So, horror of horrors…we now “ARE” the file room.

Now you have the set-up. Filing? A boring, tedious, mind numbingly monotonous…yet…vitally important component of Kelly’s job.

So, one Friday afternoon back in the winter, Kelly begrudgingly set about filing away the documents that had been accumulating on her desk for…well…quite some time. She was not happy about it and had assumed her typical "pouty" face and was whining and grumbling the whole time.

It was Josh, the assistant comptroller, whose office is just around the corner from one row of file cabinets, who happened to hear Kelly’s mournful diatribe that wintry Friday afternoon, thus resulting in the aforementioned email...complete with the first picture you see below. It was all done in good fun and we all had a hearty laugh…Kelly included. She is…bless her heart…a good-natured soul.

Thanks to Kelly, the work day has been divided into things like: "un"happy hour, whining hour, purgatory hour, and torture hour. Who knew work could be so much fun?

This is what Kelly looks like when she's up to her eyeballs in files.

There I Go "Assuming" Again

I was watching the Reds/D'Backs game last night until "Criminal Minds" came on at 9:00. I could have taped the show, but thought I would watch it and switch back and forth to keep up with the "game action." The Reds were behind, and they usually start the season off at a slow pace, so I figured I'd be safe. (There I go thinking again. One day I'll learn.)

Like I said, I checked the game "frequently" and saw that my guys were behind 5-3 in the ninth inning. So, I flipped back to my show and the next time I checked Fox Sports Ohio, the game was over...I could tell by the lead-in back from commercial. Didn't see the score, but I "assumed" the Reds had lost. (Even left a comment on one of my blog posts to that effect.)

You can, therefore, imagine my perplexed mien when I switched to the sports news around 11:20 to see some of the Reds' players being interviewed in the locker room after the game. They were smiling and laughing and having a grand old time, and I'm thinking, "Gee, they look pretty happy to have lost a game. Old Dusty Baker can't be too pleased with that attitude." Then they showed it.

Edwin Encarnacion, the Reds' third baseman, hit a "walk-off" home run in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on base to beat the D'Backs 6-5.


What makes this an especially good story is that Edwin had made an error earlier in the game that allowed the opposing team to score two runs, so he got to go from "goat" to "hero" with one mighty swing of the bat. But then, that's just one of the things that makes baseball such a great game. Go Reds!

Good-bye Mr. Baseball! It's outta here! (Nice follow-through with the bat.)
Mobbed at home plate by his team mates.
Even the "boss" appreciates a job well done!
Photos "borrowed" from the "Cincinnati Enquirer."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Opening Day

In Cincinnati, that means only one thing…Reds baseball is back in town. As the oldest professional baseball team, having organized in 1869 and – no, I was not in attendance at that very first Opening Day game – the Reds open the baseball season at home every year. And they do it in style.

From the parade that starts at Findlay Market and wends its way downtown around Fountain Square, to the “flyover” at the ballpark, to the festive opening ceremonies, to the “ceremonial first pitch…” Cincinnati does it up right. The game itself, almost…I repeat…ALMOST…becomes incidental in the midst of all the hoopla.

No, Opening Day in Cincinnati is not your “run of the mill” occurrence; it is a bona fide, rarified, event “extraordinaire!” Parents…and teachers…look the other way as kids skip school to attend the game. Employers know without a doubt that a goodly number of their employees will be taking vacation days or calling in with a severe case of “baseball-itis” for the day. People who don’t know a curve ball from a snow ball, a dinger from a donut, or a bullpen from a playpen become baseball aficionados…for the day.

The Reds opened their new ballpark in 2003, and I have been in attendance at every opening day game since then…until yesterday. I had a ticket…a most excellent seat…mind you, but since rain was in the forecast for much of the day, I opted to stay home and watch it on TV.

Now, I’m not usually such a fainthearted fan. In fact, I have been known to huddle under a blanket in freezing April weather, or sit out rain delays during the fiercest of tempests…but not this time. You see, I am still suffering from the remnants of the cold I got all the way back in December…just can’t shake the bloody thing…and sitting outside for several hours in the dampness would not have been the smartest thing I could have done. Plus the thoughts of standing for long periods of time with my cranky knees and grumpy lower back...well...I guess I'm just getting too old for this sort of thing. So, I stayed in and watched the game from the comfort of my living room couch.

As is so typical of my "boys of summer," they lost: 4-2. But as "they" are fond of saying in baseball land: "It's a marathon...not a sprint." One game down...161 to go.'s a very good thing.

Play Ball!

I would have posted this yesterday, but had to wait to find these photos, which are courtesy of the "Dayton Daily News."