Friday, May 30, 2008

Stoppage Time ...

Since I am stuck for something to blog about, here are some random thoughts:

• So, can it be truly called a bachelor party if there are no strippers involved? I think I’ve been to exactly two bachelor parties that didn’t involve naked or partially naked women … isn’t this really just another night out? What’s the ruling on this? I mean, if a bunch of guys go to Vegas to gamble for a bachelor party, but no strippers are involved in the plans, is this a bachelor party? Shouldn’t there be another name for this … like faux-bachelor party, or the lack-o-balls party? Isn’t this tradition? Your thoughts?
• A new group I’ve been listening to lately – Orson. You can find them on I-Tunes, but probably nowhere else. Really cool sound, nice beat, great Stones-like guitars, and good vocals. I suggest downloading “No Tomorrow,” and then deciding for yourself.
• If you like board games like Balderdash or Scene-It, you really need to try Quip It. Basically, it’s a DVD game in which you and a number of friends (preferably drunk) get together and make up quips and captions to weird photographs, drawings, cartoons, and movie and TV clips, then score points by guessing who wrote which quip. I think alcohol is key to this game – we’ve had hours of laughter … and times in which I thought I was going to hack out my lungs due to too much laughing.
• Had some Hoegarten beer on Saturday night at a local bar … since it’s European, it’s obviously good, but man, what a great summer beer … I’m telling you, this, along with Blue Moon, might take some of my attention away from Corona.
• Ugh, my 36th birthday is rapidly approaching … I’ve gotten to the point now where I have trouble figuring out what I want for my birthday. There was a time not too long ago where I would happily rattle off a number of video games, music, movies, or techie gadgets … now I’m more concerned about getting work clothes … and thus, the transformation into my father continues … HELP!
• Just found out that legendary comedian Harvey Korman passed away … I’ve always loved this guy, from his Carol Burnett days to his nearly flawless job in Blazing Saddles … Hey was the perfect straight-man, someone that people like Phil Hartman probably emulated … of course, the moments when he lost it on the Carol Burnett show just made things even funnier. Check out one of his funny bits:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weird Story

This probably would've lended itself to my old "That's F*cked Up" blog, but I found this quite interesting. had a story yesterday about how some hospital is using military technology and "fairy dust" to grow back someone's finger. My first thought was, "man, Luke Skywalker is probably pissed that he has a robotic hand and didn't wait for this surgery!."

Then, I got to thinking ... Fairy dust? Seriously? Is this what happens when someone sneezes at a gay bar? Just kidding ... but, fairy dust? I mean, c'mon!

On top of that, military intelligence is being used? Oh man, why do I get the feeling that something is definitely going to go wrong with this? This guy is going to grow a gun instead of a finger, isn't he ... and he'll probably drafted into the military and become some sort of robo-soldier, right?

Just so you didn't think I made this up, here's a link to the story:

Philly Phools - Episode 5

Monday, May 26, 2008

I had a four-day weekend this weekend (can’t believe it’s over already – it felt like only 2 … sigh), and I did plenty of things … some good, some bad … so, with all do respect to Roger Ebert, here is my “Thumbs Up- Thumbs Down” weekend in a nutshell.

Thumbs Up –
· Barbecue and Rich and Nete’s house – sure the place is in the “hinterlands” of Pennsylvania, complete with Amish horses-and-buggies, as well as corn fields as far as the eye can see … but these two know how to throw a barbecue – great ribs, burgers and hot dogs, cold beer, and a perfectly set-up horseshoe pit … what more could one ask for?

· Hangin’ out at local bars – My wife and I hung out at Durty Nelly’s on Friday night, and indulged in some music discussion with a couple of drunkards at the end of the bar … Oh, and Blue Moon was on tap … good stuff in the summer! On Saturday, Slant and I hung out at Barnaby’s (bar), they have a sort-of outside section, which, at the very least, stays kind of cooler and less smoky … plus, Hoegarten drafts for only $2.50.

· Watching Knocked Up … again – Great movie, lots of funny one-liners – one of Judd Appetow’s better flicks.

· The weather – Warm, slight breeze, and no humidity … this was the splendor of Philadelphia this Memorial Day weekend … it would be great to have a few more weeks of this!

· The Harrah’s Casino in Chester – We’re going there later today for dinner and for some light gambling … this is a surprisingly nice gambling parlor (can’t really call it a casino, because there are really only slots there), with a few decent restaurants, and a great view of the waterfront … with gas prices rising faster than Michael Jackson’s manhood at a playground, it’s a nice alternative for us if we get a little bit of the gambling bug.

Thumbs Down –
· Watched Evan Almighty – Even Steve Carell couldn’t save this stinker … what a shame, because the first one (Bruce Almighty) was a pretty entertaining and funny … this one was overproduced, and the humor was lacking worse than an Elaine Boosler stand-up act.

· I had to return my cable box to the RCN (competitor of Comcast) location on 69th Street in Upper Darby … if you’ve ever been there, you were probably either lost, or going to a show at the Tower. The area is super congested, and it’s one of those places where you’d feel better wearing a bullet-proof vest … I survived, thankfully.

· The Stanley Cup finals – I watched some of the first game at a bar on Saturday … I have no rooting interest in either team, and really, dislike both … kind of like this past year’s Super Bowl … I despise Pittsburgh for obvious reasons – mainly cross-state rivalry. I hate Detroit because of the arrogance of calling their city “Hockeytown.” Really? Hockeytown? I’m sure the good cities of Toronto and Montreal might have a problem with that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!!!!

Memorial Day is upon us – the unofficial start of summertime … one of my favorite four seasons, by the way! So in honor of this momentous occasion, here is a top 10 list of things I enjoy about summertime:

10. Barbecues … seriously, what tastes better than seared flesh on the grill? Dogs, burgers, chicken, steak, ribs … heck, even corn! I love to barbecue, and we try to do it at least once a week in the summertime (preferably, more!).

9. Corona with a lime in it – Sitting out on the deck, late evening, watching the sun make it’s curtain call as the unbearable humidity begins to subside … sometimes, life doesn’t get any better …

8. The beach – Yeah, the sand is hot, and can often irritate as it finds it’s way into the nooks and crannies of our bodies, but it wouldn’t be summer without it … oh yeah, and the little sunburn marks where you couldn’t reach whilst applying the sunblock.

7. Swimming pools and the smell of chlorine – Sure, your eyes get blood-shot, your hair feels like straw, and you smell like a bottle of Clorox, but it’s all worth it, isn’t it?

6. Baseball games – whether it’s on the tv in the mid-afternoon, while you’re reading the paper or napping, or if you’re at the game, enjoying one of those mystery frankfurters, America’s pastime really signifies summer.

5. The air-conditioner – Is there a better feeling than coming into a nicely air-conditioned house after spending hours (or minutes) in the stifling summer humidity? I submit that there is not!

4. Summer storms – They’re violent, soaking, and extremely fun to watch … and heck, the smell of wet asphalt has always been a favorite of mine for some reason.

3. Girls in bikinis – Hey, I’m only human!

2. Hangin’ out with friends at a get-together until late at night, outside! My neighbors probably hate me because of this, but it’s worth it.

1. Less traffic on the road during rush hour – Yeah, it’s boring, but I HATE traffic on my way to work in the morning, and on the way home in the afternoon. With school out, and with people vacationing, my ride to and from work becomes almost enjoyable … ALMOST!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yet Another Reason Why I'm NOT a Genius ...

After the cryptic post I did last, I figured I’d lighten things up a little … by giving you, the dedicated blog readers, yet another reason why you should never confuse me with a genius. This latest “installment” occurred towards the end of last week. On my ride home from work this past Thursday, I decided to open my moon-roof and take full advantage of the beautiful day that had befallen the Philadelphia area. So far, so good, right?

Well, the next morning, as my wife and I got into the car, I had a realization … I had left the moon-roof open, and as luck would have it, the heavens had opened up with torrential rain earlier in the morning … The inside of my car greeted me with dampness and puddles on the leather seats … as my wife, Schue, described on her blog, the cup-holders were filed with quite a bit of water. After retreating back into the house to snag some towels from the bathroom, I hastily dried the surfaces of everything that had unfortunately been soaked … of course, we had to sit on the towels as we drove into work … dampening our unfortunate tushes.

Sadly, the “luck” didn’t end there. On our way to the beef and beer, a driver pulled up next to us, and beckoned us to roll down the passenger window. The concerned driver informed us that my trunk was open … yes, I had opened the trunk in order to store an umbrella and my work briefcase, as we had guests accompanying us to the event. Of course, I boneheadedly forgot to close the trunk … and yes, it was still raining. Thankfully, it was only a 10-minute drive to the destination.

I guess things could’ve been worse, so I shouldn’t worry or complain about it. But, have any of you had extended periods of brainfarts like this? You know, I’ve done other things like get into the passenger seat, or even better, the back seat of my car when I was the driver … and yes, most of the time, this was when I was completely sober … maybe it’s old age setting in … sigh.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just something I need to get off my chest ...

So the beef-n-beer benefit was a great success this weekend – I’m guessing there were probably 250+ people there, and I knew quite a few of them … in fact, it was sort of like a high school reunion … It was great to reconnect with many of my high school classmates, and catch up on what’s been going on the last 15+ years … and the food was fantastic too … all for a great cause! There were great silent auction items, as well as raffle prizes … sadly, my luck continued that night, not even getting close to winning … again, all for a good cause, though.

I did, however, have a not-so-great experience with someone who used to be one of my best friends … I’m not going to mention names, because I’m guessing some of the readers know him. I’m still shaking my head knowing that in a span of 5 years, the guy went from being in my wedding to someone who really could care less that I exist … the guy seemed to be able to change friends quicker than a hermit crab changes shells (yeah, there’s probably a better comparison than that, but oh well). Sure, there was a rough patch, and it’s would take too long to explain … but the bottom line is that I really value my close friends, and will do anything for them … and I intend on being close friends with my “inner circle” for the duration. And, if you know my friends, I’ve been friends with them forever … it’s just the way things work with me.

However, with this particular guy, he ended up finding a new set of friends, and turned our friendship off like it was a light switch. Look, sometimes people grow apart … it just happens. But to totally treat me as if I was a stranger – that’s just something I never would’ve expected from him. I thought he was better than that – most of my friends have stronger moral character. And if the guy had a problem with me, I would’ve hoped he’d feel comfortable picking up the phone or stopping by and talking to me. For a while, I tried contacting him, but just felt the huge blow-off (and no, I’m not a scorned ex-girlfriend, so shut up!). I guess some situations you go through will reveal who your true friends really are.

Here’s the thing – in my mind, if you are a close friend, or you are connected with a close friend in some way (and this has unfortunately happened a couple to times to me or people I know recently), you sometimes need to swallow your pride, and do what’s best for everybody. You can’t let petty issues get in the way – if you have a problem, be the bigger person and talk it out. Don’t let things like politics, religion, or other stuff get in the way … sometimes you’re a bigger person if you address the situation and forgive (I know it’s vague – it’s meant to be).

Sorry for the cryptic-sounding blog ... I needed an outlet to release the frustration.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stoppage Time ...

1. As some of you know, Lost is one of my favorite shows on TV … the writing is nearly flawless, and for the most part, the acting is fantastic. It does a masterful job of blending humor, drama, suspense, and symbolism (in addition to struggles between science and religion). Probably the only real thing I hate about the show is that they take 8 months off between seasons … by the time the new season starts up, I’ve already forgotten about key storylines. This show is one of the few exceptions to the dumbing down of society by television (Heroes is similar, but the writing and acting isn’t nearly as good).

2. Oh well, so much for the Flyers … they dropped 3 in a row against a very good Penguins team … and I doubt a healthy Flyers team would’ve been able to beat Pittsburgh. The good news is that this team is really young, and they have gained some valuable experience … now it’s time for them to learn from it. Go Phils!

3. I think I’ve had my fill with Spygate … actually, I felt this way towards the end of last year. Not sure why Arlen Spector won’t let this die … but he better have a REALLY good reason … Barry Bonds thinks this circus is ridiculous.

4. A beef and beer is being held for a friend of mine – Arty Erle this Friday. He recently had an operation to remove his cancerous colon, and the medical bills are piling up. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him … as well as a bunch of other “friends” who will be attending. We all grew apart for one reason or another … sometimes that happens in life. It’s good to know that we can put our differences aside, even if it’s just for one night. Get well soon, Art!

5. The Obama vs. Hillary saga is really not benefitting anyone but John McCain at this point. I have a hard time seeing Hillary supporters voting for Obama and vice versa. These voters will most likely not bother showing up to vote on election day. The thing is, many Republicans aren’t too thrilled with McCain … I guess that means it will be an interesting run to the White House at this point. Perot probably would’ve had a good chance at this point … any independents worth voting for at this point?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My cell phone is starting to die, which means I have a tough time figuring out who is calling or texting me – my phone screen is starting to resemble a strobe light … which is good news if I’m out at a club … not so much, if I’m at work. Anyway, I believe my contract with my cell phone company, AT&T, is just about up, and I need your help.

First, let me say that I really haven’t had any problems with AT&T, at least not with the service. When my wife and I bought our cell phones about 2 years ago, they were really nice – the phone included a camera, some memory, and other options like audio recording and a calendar. I’m guessing just about every phone includes this now.

In those 2 years, I’ve become quite a texter (I used to have Nextel, and used the walkie talkie function quite a bit at one time). My Nokia, which apparently everyone has now, looks like this:

It is rather difficult to text with this phone, sadly … I have to hit the 5 button 3 times before I can get to the letter “L.” So, I’m guessing I want some sort of keypad. I also want a phone with a camera and more memory than the Nokia I currently have. It seems like I can take maybe 5 pictures before the “Memory Almost Full” text appears. And forget about amassing any amount of ring tones with it. Do any of you have any suggestions on a type of phone I should look into?

Now, just because I’m with AT&T currently, doesn’t mean I have to stay with them. I have a work discount with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and Alltell (I think). Anybody have any suggestions with any of these (or other) carriers? Remember, I want quality and value on this one.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


One of my new blogging buddies, Scargosun, tagged me to do a meme – this ones a little different – read the directions below (remember, I don’t tag people, but if you want to do this one, please, go right ahead):

What I would like you to do is post a comment on someone else's Blog today - anyone you like, anywhere on the planet. Make a note of the letters that make up the 'word verification' for your comment. Now write down a few words yourself on your Blog - the words starting with each verification letter you had to type in. So if you typed in 'kjdffs' to verify your comment, the first word of your little list would start K, the second J, the third D and so on. Each word has to reflect something cool or important to you and your take on life! No cheating! Also tell us where you commented to get your letters!

· N – Nintendo Wii, I’ve been playing this like crazy since Christmas … HELP!
· S – Schue, she’s my wife, and the love of my life (yeah, I know – reading this may make you diabetic).
· U – Urge Overkill – This was one of my favorite bands once, they let drugs get in the way, sadly, and are no longer making relevant music.
· G – Goulash – My mom used to make this, and it was my favorite dinner in the whole world … she still makes it, but for some reason, I don’t like it that much anymore.
· Z – Zoo – I loved going to the zoo as a kid – heck, I loved most animals … I often wondered if I should’ve become a veterinarian or something like that (although, I doubt I could handle dealing with sick or dying animals).
· J – Junk – I tend to get sucked into infomercials – thank goodness my wife is the voice of reason, or else, I’d probably have a lot more junk.
· F – Flyers – Right now, you have the collective hearts of the city of Philadelphia in your hands … just win, baby!

One more thing – I wanted to wish my mom a happy mother’s day – she is the greatest woman I know, and I hope I am doing her proud. Thanks for everything, mom!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Just a Few Signs That I'm Getting Old

1. Getting mad at kids wearing their pants below their ass cheeks. I’m not sure why this pisses me off, but I’m starting to hear myself say things like, “When I was their age, I would’ve never done that.” Of course, I have no proof that this is a true statement. After all, I did go through the fad of wearing acid-washed jeans, and I would’ve loved to have gotten an ear-ring, but decided to pass on it when my dad informed me that if I did so, he would rip the ear-ring off of my ear. Plus, I even had a pair of Z-Cavarici’s back in the day – much like Ric Flair, I was stylin’ and profilin.’

2. Grillz … need I say more? I’ve lost touch. I can’t understand this. How is this cool?

3. Video gaming systems that have controllers with a million buttons on them. I grew up in the Atari 2600/Commodore 64 generation … systems that used joysticks and only one button. When the Nintendo Entertainment System came out with two buttons, I remember saying to myself, “Two buttons??? How am I going to remember how to play games with TWO buttons?” It’s gotten progressively worse … although, the Nintendo Wii gives old gamers like me hope!

4. The new music the youngsters are listening to, from urban music to emo to country – I hate ‘em all. Now, granted, I was a classic rock guy far too early in life, and basically ignored the grunge revolution of the early ‘90’s (which I now enjoy … call me a late adopter). I like alternative music, but not emo – it all sounds the same to me … Christ, I’m sounding like my parents (of course, they listened to German polka, and said that my Stones music was trash).

5. Reality TV shows – I can’t stand most of them … but I know American Idol and Dancing with the Stars is all the rage with the youngsters. I’m finding less and less TV that I can enjoy, even though it seems like I’m getting more and more TV channels to choose from … sigh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Summertime Blues ...

Summertime approaches … and with it come a lot of plans ... vacations, fishing, swimming, golfing ... the thing is, outside of going on vacation, I don’t do much of the others anymore … oh, I plan on it, much like a New Years resolution that’s quickly forgotten, unfortunately.

Back in the day, I did all of these things with a lot of frequency. I used to fish just about every day … freshwater or saltwater. It didn’t matter if I was going after bluegill or bluefish … as long as I had a pole in my hand. Nowadays, with the exception of a family fishing trip out of Fortescue, my fishing poles sit in the shed, bored out of their skulls.

Same thing with golfing. No, I was never a good golfer, but I sure enjoyed spending a hot summer day on the course with the irons, or even going out to the local pitch-n-putt course in the evening.

Heck, I even used to swim just about every day in the summer – we used to belong to a public swimming pool – and I’d be there swimming, playing ball, or just trying (and failing) to impress the chicks.
That was back when I had what seemed to be all the time in the world. Sadly, life, and more importantly, work, can get in the way. I’ll make a concerted effort to once again fish, swim, and golf more, but I’m sure the summer will be over before I know it … sigh.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Out of my Element!

As some of you may already know, I’m by no means a wine connoisseur. In fact, you could probably piss in a glass, and tell me it’s good wine … actually, not entirely true, but you get the idea. And even though I love most music, when it comes to jazz, I’m more or less at a loss. Why am I telling you this? Because this past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to a wine and jazz festival at Longwood Gardens with a few friends. Sure, I’d probably feel more at home attending a beer and rock festival, but I digress …

We arrived at the venue around 12 noon … which is normally ok, except for the fact that we played cards the night before (and into the morning) … We come up to the festival area, passing through some really nice gardens (If you’ve never been to Longwood Gardens, and you live in the Philadelphia area, you really should take a trip), and are each given a glass, as well as one of those amusement park bracelets.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but give you some highlights. There were about 20 wineries, most of them very local, as well as some food areas (are you allowed to call them restaurants if they are serving food in a tent?). In the center, there was a stage which was occupied by local jazz bands throughout the day … they provided good background music (I’m not sure how good they were, as my jazz ‘pallet’ is on the immature side).

I sampled a lot of wine, and a good variety – merlot, pinot gris, pinot grigio, cabernet, Riesling, and even a chocolate wine (which was disgusting). My favorites were the cabernets and the Rieslings … these are pretty much on opposite sides of the wine spectrum, which I guess is ok, right? The wine, combined with a sunny, humid day, made for an interesting afternoon.

My friend’s aunt began talking about family when she blurted out this gem: “We’re all like family here … like the grass that surrounds your feet!” I paused for a second, trying to digest this literary train-wreck … finally, I couldn’t take it anymore – I finally asked her what the hell that means. She finally came clean and said she had no idea, and it must’ve been the wine talking. I referred to her as “Aunt Grass” the rest of the afternoon and evening.

One other note – most of the people at the wine festival were cool, but there were quite a few “snooty” people, who made fun of the “amateurs,” and turned their noses up at us. I try not to wish harm on anybody, but I really hope these snobs have a good fall off their high horses at some point … if you’re gonna be a jerk, why not stay home, locked in your wine cellars – even though the festival was outdoors, we really didn’t need the stuffy atmosphere you brought along.
After the wine tasting, we went home and watched the Flyers knock out the Canadians in hockey … quite a great way to end a surprisingly fun day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Tush Is Chafed!

Exxon Mobile made 10.6 billion in profits this past year … AND THEY WERE DISAPPOINTED! You know what, I’m a little more than disappointed that I have to pay more than $3.50 a gallon for gasoline. In fact, I reached a “dubious” milestone this past week – I paid more than $50 to fill up my car … please, please, hold your applause.

It has gotten to the point that food prices are rising, and many other “business” areas are suffering because we just can’t afford to buy anything else but gasoline. It’s high time we do something … it’s been high time for quite a while, but “environmental” reasons were not enough … but financial reasons will hopefully spur on a change.

What’s the answer? I wish I knew – I’d be a very wealthy person right now, probably, if I possessed that knowledge. Is hydrogen fuel cells the answer? What about solar power? How about nuclear? I’ve heard a lot of talk about synthetic fuel (oil/gasoline) being an option that has rapidly become cost effective, thanks to the ridiculous rise in natural oil prices. What about this algae as fuel I’ve been reading about? Hey, at this point, I’m willing to listen to any intelligent idea … either that or start looking for a job in which I can work at home …HELP!