Archive for the ‘Haz-Mat’ Category

At Least The Floor Is Clean.

December 23, 2008

But a bathroom flood is not my usual choice for cleaning method.

Fortunately, I was home. Fortunately (if one chooses to see it that way) I have spent much of my adult life living and working in elderly buildings with elderly plumbing, so I have a passing acquaintance with shut-off valves and their brethren.

But it is quite astonishing just how much water can come out of a busted pipe under the Kohler fixture.* It’s faster than a liberal politician diving into a pile of other people’s money. The entire bathroom was flooded and the water was halfway down the hall before I could get to the valve.

Also fortunately, the landlord’s son is home for the Christmas holidays, and he came rushing right over to fix the pipe.

Now just about every towel I own is soaked; but the floors are mostly dry. And quite clean.

* I lied. It’s an American Standard.


Top Ten Worst Songs Of The 1960s

May 19, 2006

Did you know you can listen to XM Satellite Radio online for free, on Winamp, courtesy of AOL? I listen at work to the 60’s channel, since local radio no longer has a decent oldies station.

Right now, they’re counting down the top 10 worst songs of the 60’s, the Leopold List, as voted by readers. And in the interests of public service, I will list them here for your perusal.

10. These boots are made for walking – Nancy Sinatra

9. Ballad of the green berets – Barry Sandler

8. Last kiss – Jay Frank Wilson

7. Teen angel – Mark Dinning

6. Tiptoe through the tulips – Tiny Tim

5. The lion sleeps tonight – The Tokens

4. Sugar sugar – The Archies

3. In the year 2525 – Zager and Evans

2. Yummy yummy yummy – Ohio Express

1. Macarthur Park – Richard Harris

Some of the notable “honorable mentions:”

Honey – Bobby Goldsboro

Ringo – Lorne Greene

Dominique – The Singing Nun

I never could stand Honey, or any of the dead teenager songs. But I actually like The lion sleeps tonight, silly me, and we loved playing “MacPark” as we called it in high school marching band. That’s a song that’s so bad it’s good. When Sugar sugar was unveiled as the number one song of 1969 I was appalled. But since then, the song has become far less obnoxious to me, and now I think it’s kind of cute.

But… I will take any of the above songs any day of the week over rap. Does that make me intolerant? Bloody straight it does!

What songs do YOU hate?

More Pitchforks

December 22, 2004

Away from the tenorly tenor and the Prozac bass… now it’s the lyric soprano. She’s not so bad… but if you ask me (and this is my blog so I will say so whether anybody asked or not, so there) a pipe organ was not meant to wheeze slow chords behind a lyric soprano. It was meant to play something loud and magnificent, like Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, or thunder along with the orchestra in Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Thus sprach CrankyBeach. Deal with it.

Pass The Pitchfork

December 22, 2004

I need to stick it in my brain.

Yep, you guessed it… more records to digitize. Today’s selection is a very tenorly tenor named Charles Turner. At least he’s better looking, in my opinion, than Tennessee Ernie Ford.

He has something else going for him. At least he belts out “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free” (from “His eye is on the sparrow”) like he means it. Poor old Tennessee Ernie sings the same tune in apparent desperate need of Prozac.

I will say one thing for these old hymn records. They are actually very easy to digitize, because they are all played at one dynamic level, the ubiquitous mezzo forte. The lack of variation in the volume, however, is part of what makes them so stultifyingly boring.

The last thing I tried to digitize before this project was a series of baroque trumpet recordings. Those go from very loud to very soft, and adjusting the recording volume is enough to make you pull your hair out. Just when you get it loud enough so you can hear the soft parts, that’s when the loud parts distort all out of recognition. Very tricky.

Blackboard Fingernails

December 21, 2004

This is true devotion.

Okay, I know Tennessee Ernie Ford was very popular, back in the day, and apparently still has quite a following. But I am not one of those followers.

My mother has some very old record albums of hymns, including two by Mr. Ford. I am digitizing the records for her, for Christmas. She owns a perfectly good turntable, but flipping records every 15 minutes or so is not fun. The albums are short enough that 2 entire albums should fit on each CD.

I have nothing against hymns, but this kind of delivery is just NOT my thing at all. (Can you say “lugubrious”?) They will put you to sleep, if you haven’t stuck a pitchfork in your brain first.

There are worse things out there, I keep telling myself. It could be rap.

I’m sure I grew up hearing these records, but any memory thereof has been mercifully lost to advancing age.

The things I do for my mother…… Sigh.


November 9, 2004

An inmate at the Santa Cruz County Jail was allowed a brief furlough to attend a family funeral. Deputies suspected hanky-panky, so they obtained a search warrant:

…and when Robertson returned Friday night, he was taken straight to Dominican Hospital for an X-ray.

Carney said deputies had a court order to remove the contraband a process that involves laxatives and enemas but Robertson “gave them up within five hours.” Robertson had stowed 17 grams of black tar heroin, 20 grams of marijuana and four hypodermic syringes.

How would you like to be the unlucky soul who had to log that evidence?

As Threatened…

November 1, 2004

… in my comments on one of Sarahk’s posts about ex-husbands, I said mine had threatened to disown me if I ever sang “Never Set The Cat On Fire” again in public. Somebody wanted to know where they could hear that song.

If you want to spend some money, you can hear its writer, Frank Hayes, sing it, along with several of his other hilarious songs.