Beard-tastrophe!

beardless
Missing beard

It shall be known as the great beard-tastrophe of 2017!

I had an accident while trimming the other day. I use my beard trimmers to trim my head about once every week or so. With so little hair, it doesn’t make sense to have two tools for one job. hehehe  Anyway, clumsy Cletus forgot to put the guard back on when moving on to the beard and sheered a good chunk of it off. It looked weird so I had to shave it all.

I actually don’t think my face has been this bare in about 5 or so years. It’s no secret I am not a fan of big beards.1  That said, I love scruff and fuzz. I had a goatee and scruffy beard back before it was trendy and all the ‘man-bear’ rage.2  I routinely keep it short. I had first opted to keep my sideburns but Shawn was insistent that they looked stupid. “You look stupid two little patches of hair on the sides of your face.”  I disagreed but when you have a hubby, you learn to pick your battles. heehee

I’ve had the goatee since I was about 25 or so. I think I’ve only shaved it once since then. I never liked my face w/o a goatee. As soon as I could grow one out full enough, I did. I’ve had it ever since. To me it just fills out my face better.

Anyhoo. Fear not fellow mortals. It will be back soon enough. It takes me about a week and half to grow a full one so I should be back to normal in about two weeks. I consider myself lucky that I survived the catastrophe!

🙂

 




  1. They creep me the f**k out actually []
  2. yawn []

Return Trip

Click on the image for the full album

I know, I’ve been horrible about keeping up lately. Forgive me. 🙂  First things first. The trip to Hawaii! OMG it was amazing. I totally didn’t know what to expect but it was nice and very relaxing. Our host, and my friend Rick, was so great and made the trip that much better by being such a great tour guide and a wealth of information. He really went all out helping us see and do anything we wanted. We stayed in his guest room but he also has a lovely AirBnB if anyone is going in the future. No seriously, it was gorgeous. And apparently, the biz is growing there so the rates were exceptional. I was shocked how cheap it was compared to the over-priced hotels. Anyway, I digress… We had a great view of the beach from our patio and it was so relaxing. The morning birds annoyed Shawn a little but I loved them.

I didn’t realize how big the main island was. It’s huge. Granted, I didn’t do much research but I always thought of Hawaii as being small and tiny. I remember Oahu being much smaller. I also didn’t know that it was mostly undeveloped. Oh there are a couple big cities with a few small towns scattered about but the big island as a whole really isn’t that developed. I couldn’t get over that part the whole time we were there. lolol  Rick made sure we got to see a lot of local culture and history and helped us find all the things we wanted to do.

As you can see from the album of pics, we got around!  We could have done and seen so much more but we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving in a car all day. We had to cut some of the site-seeing short so we could squeeze everything in. We decided before we left we wanted to do a luau, see the volcano (and lava), and go snorkeling. Obviously, we wanted to spend some time at the beach as well. It was Shawn’s first time meeting Rick in person and they got along great. I also got to meet the famous Bubbles (Rick’s bulldog) as well as Freddie and Elvis, their other 2 dogs.

We did the luau first and it was ok. We had fun but would probably skip it in the future. It was a good, ‘yeah we did it‘ event. The next day saw us driving to see the different sites, and waterfalls. Rick was our guide again and took us to several great spots. We stopped at a local gay owned cafe in Hilo for lunch. All the driving really drove it home how big the island was. Rick made sure we stopped for malasades, a local pastry. We got lucky the day we visited the volcano as you could just barely see active lava in the pit. The whole experience was awesome and a tiny bit unnerving. The steam vents were probably the part that creeped us out. The idea of walking around on top of a volcano active enough to continuously spit out steam from the ground gives you a moment of pause. hehehe  The plant life all around the crater felt almost primordial. It was a serene and surreal environment. I loved it!  The lava tube was also eerie. You could see the lines cut into the rock from the flow of lava as it churned thru the tube at lord knows how much speed. Just being in a massive tunnel created by flowing molten rock was awe-inspiring. I think having been to the volcano itself before visiting tube helped a bit. I think the impact of what we were seeing was made ‘real’ by having just seen the vents and actual lava.

We saved the best for last. The last day before we flew out we went snorkeling. OMG what a great experience! I’ve only ever been snorkeling off the beaches of Galveston when I was a kid. It was no where near the experience of being in a coral reef.We even saw a whale on our way to the cove. It was literally in front of the boat and they had to stop. hehehe

I was a bit out of sorts at the very beginning. We got in the water and for whatever reason I couldn’t get my breathing sorted properly. It only took a few minutes to adjust but I remember feeling weird and a little irritated it might ruin my experience. After a few minutes of practicing, I got the hang of it again and I think the old muscle memory kicked it. Shawn was originally a bit nervous as he’d never been at all. However, he seemed to grasp it right away. His only trouble was getting used to the fins. We both opted for little float belts as the water was pretty deep around the boat. I hadn’t been actively swimming in ages and I was a wee bit concerned I’d get tired too soon. As it turns out, we probably could have skipped the float belts. The fins were fine. Shawn got the hand of his as well.

Swimming around the coral and seeing all the amazing fish was amazing. It was like being in a tank at the Aquarium. So much diversity and most of the fish ignored us. The tour group offered lunch on the boat and I opted to hop back in the water after lunch. Far fewer snorkelers meant more fish! There were a ton more fish casually swimming in/out of the coral the second time. I cruised around the whole cove. It was by far the highlight of the trip for me. I’d be doing it here if the water wasn’t so damn cold.1

We lounged on a beach for awhile after the snorkeling trip. I didn’t spend much time in the water as my eyes seemed to have trouble adjusting. I think I might be developing low tears or something. I simply could not keep my eyes from burning every time I got a tiny bit of salt water in them. It was never a problem for me when I was younger. Having had 2 eye surgeries might have impacted me as well. Regardless, it made playing in the water a struggle. The beaches are much more rocky on the big island and finding smooth sand is a hot ticket for beach goers. We drove out to a couple of remote beaches and even those were very busy. I still had fun relaxing in the sand. The funny part is we barely got any sun. We were both afraid of getting burned so we stayed covered in SPF spray.

That’s it in a nutshell. It was great to see my friend Rick and his family. We socialized and caught on on things. The dogs were a treat as well. Seeing Bubbles madem

 




  1. Ocean water this far north stays cold year round. []

Pixel XL

My present to myself this year was a new Pixel 

Pixel Xl Really Blue
XL phone. As some of you might remember I rejoined the Sammy line with the S7 Edge a few months back with the promise of better battery and less bloat. And while the battery was better, after an OS update it went back to being marginal at best. After much back and forth in the forums and tweaking apps to pin down a bad player, I just gave up. And for most people, the battery is probably more than sufficient.

I’m a power user and I still lament having to give up my Experia Z3. The best smartphone battery ever! Hands down the winner in real world use. That thing would last all day with heavy use. Anyway, seeing more and more reviews for the Pixel battery and other features, I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t “jump” on the Tmo plan since it is currently “exclusive” to Verizon. However, tricky Tmo found a work around in that they’ll reimburse you monthly up to $325.00 if you register the Pixel on their network. Sold! The only hiccup was the lady tried to force me onto one of Tmo’s newer plans. I staunchly refused and threatened to back out completely. After some back and forth and her seeing how long I’ve been with Tmobile, she relented.1

I am absolutely in love with the Pixel XL. First, it is 100% Android. If you have never used a Nexus brand with pure Android, you have never experienced the OS the way it was meant to function. It is simple and elegant. Not a lot of fluff but gets the job done. Google+ leaves the fluff to app-developers. However, if a certain feature becomes super popular as to be almost ubiquitous, Google+ will incorporate it into newer versions of the OS, touch sense, smart lock, etc. The OS in it’s purest form is just lovely. I’m so glad to be back. The Moto X Pure I had was pretty close, it just turned out not to be a good performer in chip speed.

I left the Nexus brands in the past due to mediocre hardware. This time around the new Pixel brand from Google+ is no slouch in the hardware department. It is definitely a premium phone. Hopefully, they learned from the previous failures of the Nexus line. I opted for the larger XL as I am accustomed to the larger screens. Also, being on pure Android means I get security patches or upgrades to the OS as soon as they are released. No more waiting for the carrier or hoping they even get around to doing an update. Google+ is pretty strict about the patches but OS upgrades can be hit and miss. A huge annoyance but still a first world problem.

I opted to transfer everything directly this time using the cable from phone to phone. OMG! It was super fast. Way faster than waiting for everything to re-download from the app store. Some of the apps didn’t even seem to notice I had moved, I was still logged in and everything. I was up and running at record speed. Other phones offer this too, this was just the first time I opted to use it.

Shawn commented he thought it looks like an Iphone because of the white bevel; however, I disagree. No dimple and no silly lightning port. heehee The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the back and rather than your thumb ease of use requires your index finger. It also turns on and unlocks the phone at the same time if you place your finger on the sensor while the screen is off. Sammy you had to at least push once to wake up the phone, then the sensor woke up. Not a big annoyance at all but one less step is always nicer. Of course, I opted for the “really blue” colored one. I’m not a big fan of the large bevel on the bottom but I’m already used to it. At first, I kept looking for the old S7 button on the bevel.

The most important part so far is the battery. It is definitely better! I would say not quite at the Z3 level but pretty damn close! I can get thru a full 10 hour work day with moderate to heavy use and still have enough to hit the gym and make it home before needing a charge. If I use is super heavy, I still get thru work but need a quick charge before hitting the gym. It does not support wireless charging but it does have quick charge. The one annoyance is I have to upgrade some of my cables since the new phone is USB-C. The latter is the new version of USB with a uniform shape so no matter which way you plug it in, it fits.2 It comes with a USB to USB-C out of the box and a USB-C dual end cable. These are fine but I need longer cables so will have to invest in extras. It does suck a bit after having the same standard for years to have to switch to newer cables. Again, first world problems.

Getting the phone was a bit of a pisser. FedEx sucks monkey balls. The phone shipped overnight for a premium. I paid the premium. It’s supposed to ship with guaranteed next day delivery by 3pm. Or so FedEx loves to claim. The next day rolls around no phone by 3:00 pm. I wait till 4:30 to call. I knew being Xmas eve, expecting it to on time at 3:00 was a bit much. I wasn’t angry or upset. The tech looks it up and assure me it is on the truck and would arrive sometime before 8:00 pm. Ok, no worries. I had signed up for the email updates so around 6:30 pm I get an update that the package was rechecked at the SF facility! Needless to say I’m a bit confused. I call and spend roughly 20 minutes on hold. No exaggeration, I spent that amount of time on hold. It’s now after 7:00 pm. The first tech was completely indifferent and couldn’t be bothered to care. He gave me some excuse about the shipment being delayed. I’m like you realize that is a total lie, right? Your company said it was on the truck twice today, there is no delay in shipment. He hems and haws and finally admits the tech had too much delivery and didn’t finish. I’m like, “ok, but that still doesn’t explain why it is checked back in at 6:00 when you’re supposed to be delivering until 8:00 pm.” He seemed utterly flummoxed that his indifferent answer didn’t satisfy me. I finally end up with a supervisor. It is now 7:40. The supervisor is just as indifferent and was even less helpful. Since we were leaving for LA the next day and I really wanted to have the phone to take with me, I asked if they could hold it and I would pick it up. Nope! We totally dropped the ball and even know we’ve verified you are the recipient, we totally can’t hold it. I’m so livid at this point I had to say goodbye as I would have gone off and Shawn would have been mad at me for mistreating them. Granted they personally weren’t at fault but I’d expect a little more help when calling. So the moral of this paragraph children? Don’t ever use sh*tty FedEx. Use UPS. Hell, even the US Post Office doesn’t act that indifferent and they are civil service!

All the frustration aside, I finally got it after we got back. First world problems abated. The phone is awesome and I’m in love with it. If you can afford it out of pocket3 I highly recommend it. It is a great phone.




  1. That trick almost always works. With the exception of a brief 6 months on Cingular back in the day, I’ve been with Tmo since they were VoiceStream []
  2. You’d think the tech world would have had this ages ago. []
  3. if you’re not on Verizon and able to get it for free []

IG: Blocked

So in my continuing fascination with IG1, I got blocked yesterday by a guy I follow. Me and my southern sensibilities are to blame. *giggle*

This guy posts lots of scantily clad photos of himself (and his hubby) on a daily basis. And to be fair, he is rather handsome. I mean it is was pretty much the reason I followed him in the first place. hehehe IG is 70% motivation for the gym for me. I follow a lot of bodybuilders. This particular guy isn’t a BB but still very lean and muscled. We’ve chatted very briefly a maybe 2 or 3 times via the message function. We don’t know each other but seemed to have friendly banter in common. And to be fair to him, none of his photos are overly expressive. They are often very suggestive though.

Anyhoo, he’d taken to ranting about all the requests he gets for nudes and other graphic comments in the last couple weeks. *scratching my head* Don’t get me wrong, sending someone you starfish uninvited is pretty brazen, but asking for nudes is pretty harmless. I mean you don’t have to send them or even reply. I personally never asked but I sure as hell don’t act all butt-hurt2 when someone asks. And if you send me nudes or your starfish uninvited, you just get ignored.

I sent him what I thought was a humorous message about his rant and how it was a little unfair to complain. He didn’t reply, he just blocked me. heehee Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of it. I mean hello, it’s IG! You can’t acted shocked or surprised when folks ask for more of what you’re teasing with. Last time I checked, asking for something was considered good manners. Silly me and my crazy sense of logic, right?

*

I block folks all the time for being abusive, rude, posting ads or the guaranteed follower nonsense. Beyond that, I usually just ignore the rest. However, I did get accused of being an ‘impostor’ recently. The secret to IG is the hastags. Apparently, people often search out tags and if you tag enough, you get more traffic. I never search tags but I understand the appeal. Anyway, I use several fitness tags on many of my gym selfies and I guess said fellow felt because I wasn’t buff enough I was somehow an impostor. Uh, OK. I ignored his silly message until he started sending curse words over and over. He got reported and blocked at that point. So while I see the need for the feature at times, being a tease and then being angry people want and ask for more is childish.

I know, I know I shouldn’t complain about things I’m powerless to control. Shawn would probably scold me for messaging him in the first place, but I couldn’t help it.3 And I did try to be funny about it. I wasn’t trying to be rude or condescending. Oh well, N E X T…..!




  1. Instagram []
  2. see what I did there! []
  3. He is even more pragmatic than I am []

Hat

As the great Vita Bohem once said, "I think today is a say something hat day!" hehehe

It’s no secret I’m big on wearing baseball caps. If you see pictures of me, I’m often in a hat. I’ve always worn caps since childhood. I grew up in a rural image

environment and hats were often a necessity over style. When you work in the blazing heat for hours at a time, you quickly learn what a necessity it is. You protect your head and neck from sunburn or suffer miserably.

I never liked wearing cowboy hats as they were large, bulky, and often more hassle than they were worth. Being a very hyper and absent-minded child, large hats were also a recipe for annoyance. I owned a cowboy hat as a kid but rarely wore it. I’m sure some of you are trying to picture it right now. heehee Ironically, when I saw them worn to school they were mostly worn as a fashion statement. At the time that discovery was was kind of a shock to me, but that is a story for another day.

I still wear baseball hats, like a lot. But, there are times where I’ll randomly forget to wear one and it never fails someone comments on it. I had two different guys mention it to me at the gym this week. One guy is a friend of a friend and when I casually said hello to them both, he didn’t recognize me. As we were talking, it dawned on him, and that’s when he brought it up. We both laughed. The other guy was a gym buddy who just wandered over to tell me how different I look w/o a cap. Hats do slightly change one’s appearance but for me I guess it seems to change the whole frame of reference for my face. I’ve had similar episodes like this most of my adult life. I’m never bothered or upset. I actually find it quite funny.

On most days, you can find me wearing a hat. As one person once asked me, no I do not wear it to hide my baldness. I actually like that I am bald and would never wear a hat to hide it. It’s just a habit that never went away and I like wearing them. As a kid, I had a huge head of hair and often had to buy the adjustable baseball caps just so I could cram them over my hair. Now a days I tend to wear the stretch hats.1 They fit easier, don’t break as often, and tend to fit my head better. In colder weather, I tend to wear knit or ski-hats. I don’t like when my ears get cold so they are a go to choice.

Shawn teases me at times because I will sometimes wear baseball caps so they are snug on my head but just sitting slightly past the top of my head. He refers to it as my"old man look" and will routinely pull my hat all the way down. hehe Of course, having had his pretty ginger head burned a few times here in SF, I am slowly dragging him into the hat wearing habit.

So yeah, I wear a lot of hats. I usually have 5-10 different baseball hats and another 3-4 knit hats. So for me, every day is a say something hat day.




  1. The little plastic strips on the adjustable ones annoy me to no end and often break. []

Admire

I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve become addicted to Instagram, partly for the narcissism and party for inspiration. It can be very uplifting one minute and a total shit-show the next.

I opened a can of worms a few weeks ago. This body builder guy was posting pics on his public profile of his legs, torso, and buttocks. To clarify, he was clearly a legit bodybuilder and his pics focused on showing off his hard work. The pics were also often very revealing and left little to the imagination regarding his generous package. Said pics routinely got lots of hearts and comments. One day, I guess he’d had enough with what he felt were insulting comments on his sexiness (and his generous anatomy) and goes off on a rant. Basically, he didn’t like when people left comments about how nice his groin/butt is, how sexy he is, etc when he is just trying to track his progress.

I couldn’t help myself and left this comment:

While I can understand your frustration, it is unrealistic and somewhat hypocritical to post the types of pics you do in a public forum and then act upset when people see you in a sexual way. Yes, it may not be your purpose but your implying that every random person who finds your profile should just know that your pics are meant to be solely about your progress, not your manhood or overall good looks. Of course, this set off a firestorm of comments on both sides. The comments ranged from polite banter to the extreme of being compared to rape. I think he has since made his profile private. (smart man)

I have no idea if the guy was gay or straight, it wasn’t really relevant. I just found his faux outrage humorous. If you don’t want people gawking at your naughty bits, don’t put them out there.

Picture

Speaking of my blog, my photo blog has seen a huge uptick in visits. I’ve tried to set it up so anything I share on social media gets updated there as well. This benefits me for a variety of reasons. The biggest being if I ever leave or lose an account, I still have all my pretty photos. heehee I didn’t really think it would be that popular but it seems to have taken off.

I wonder though if it has more to do with the top level extension. When I moved from the old mobius.name1 domain to sfmoby, the .com version wasn’t available. There wasn’t anything there, it just showed as owned by someone. My inquires to the vaguely defined domain owner went unanswered so I gave up and settled on the .us version. Fast forward to present and it suddenly showed available last year so I gobbled it up.

So now I wonder how often people are hitting it first simply from habit. Most people always think of the .com version of pretty much every site first. Think about the last time you randomly typed in a domain name. I bet you used .com, even if was wrong.

I’m just thinking out loud here so there isn’t really a point to my ramble today. I just thought it was odd and now you know why.




  1. Sadly, these domains are pretty much assumed to be spam and are routinely blocked by filters []

Grace

Striking a pose
Striking a pose

And just when you thought you’d seen enough posts dedicated to the Cooper Pooper, here’s another one.

Ain’t he just adorbs in this pic? So regal, so graceful, so elegant…NOT! Don’t let that smile fool you. He is the farting-ist, smelly bulldog you could ever meet! Even with a very strict diet, he routinely stinks up the place. heehee

Otherwise, he doing quite well these days. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been 3 years since I rescued him (and he me). He is coming up on his 6th birthday in May.

I’ve mentioned several times my concerns about his future health. Bullies are prone to health problems, but being white makes Cooper even more so. So far he is still doing well.1 Other than his ever present sensitive skin, he has only shown small signs of developing arthritis. It seems minor and does not need medication as of yet.

Since he loves being under the covers anytime he is allowed in the bed, I’ve taken to throwing one of his blankets over him at night before he goes to bed. He looks so cute all tucked-in in. And make no mistake, he loves it.

I’m starting a new vitamin/supplement regimen for him soon. He already eats really healthy, but I am hoping to be as proactive as possible. I want my Pooper to have as much quality of life as quantity as he moves into his “golden years.”




  1. Bullies that are over-bred can die sometimes as early as 6 []

Cooper

Cooper is doing well. He is approaching

image
Nap Buddies

his 6th birthday. Can you believe it? My little pooper is all grown up now. I hope all the love has washed away those bad memories of when he was young and left alone. Bullies aren’t overly bright but they do have long memories. Anyway, I’ve been very pleased with his progress and continued health. He has yet to develop or even exhibit any major health problems that bullies are prone to. Thank the stars!

His hearing is still good and has shown no signs of declining. He has issues with certain tones but that hasn’t gotten any worse.

His skin, of course, is an every present concern. Being white makes it worse. We did discover that letting him go longer w/o baths makes combating his skin issues easier. His natural oils help ward off the never ending staff flare ups.

He did manage to hurt himself a little bit recently. We occasionally let him on the bed in the mornings. He likes to hop up and curl up with us. Some days though he’ll get overly excited and the moment he thinks we are getting up, he’ll run and jump and land on the floor. He managed to strain a muscle or ligament the last time he did it. He earned himself a few days of minor limping. He’s better but he just gets so excited at times he forgets he isn’t super dog. hehehe We’re actually thinking of lowering the bed to prevent it. Of course, this means making even easier for him to get IN the bed.

Beyond his misadventures, life is good for the Cooper. He still brings me love and makes me laugh every day. You can see from the pic, he still loves his naps. Shawn still finds it hard to believe he doesn’t suffer when we are gone. While the Coop certainly wishes we were home, he routinely sleeps pretty much the whole time. Hell, he pretty much sleeps the whole time even when we are home. If he isn’t begging for a treat or slobbering on our legs, he is usually asleep.

Recover

image

​I had the first of the two procedures to correct my vision/eye problems this week. The first one dealt with going into the sinus to clean out the fluid filled cyst like thingy. The procedure went off without any problems. I did have to be sedated but beyond that it went fine. As you can see from the pic, they had me in a lovely outfit prior to the procedure.

The doc wants the area to heal up completely before they do the second procedure to put in the little metal plate. I’m hoping to have it done before the new year but it could go into January. Basically, the doc will slide the plate into the bottom of the orbital sheath around my eye to lift it back into its proper spot. This should fix my diplopia completely.1

*

On a side tangent, I’ve been through several surgeries in my life with 2 in just the last 10 years. None of them really worried me in the sense that I wouldn’t wake up from it. Even though I’m pretty much healthy as an ox, I’ll admit to having been a bit worried something bad would happen this time around. I guess there is still a small part of me that is just having a hard time believing my life can be this happy and content. I’m beating my poor little id and telling it to stop worrying but I just don’t think it knows any other way. lol




  1. Fingers crossed []