Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ummm .... huh?

***ALERT - This is a sports-related blog posting ... read at your own risk! ***

The Philadelphia Flyers have been acting awfully awkward in the last few weeks. The team that took the Stanley Cup champions to 6 games in a very physical and competitive series decided they needed to change things up more than a little bit ...

First, the Flyers decided to clean house between the pipes, getting rid of nice guy (but woefully inconsistent) goalie Martin Biron, and chronic underachiever Antero Nittymaki, not to mention long-time goaltending coach Reggie Lemelin. When the dust cleared, the Flyers had replaced them with Ray Emery ... yes, the Ray Emery who has done the following:

* Routinely missed practice in Ottawa because he overslept ... because he was partying too hard the night before.
* Called out his entire Ottawa team, thus alienating himself, assisting in a rather large collapse of a promising playoff team.
* After getting cut by Ottawa, he went to Russia (his only real job offer), and ended up strangling his trainer.

So, why did the Flyers take a chance on Emery? He is a VERY good goaltender, and probably has the ability to be a top-tier goalie ... he also came on the cheap - the salary-cap troubled Flyers only had to pay up 1.5 million for him for 2009. I guess, in a sense, it's a small risk, based on the small salary. However, he's already ruined one team ... the leadership in Philly is still very young - I'd hate to see him contaminate this organization.

The Flyers also made waves in the draft, trading for veteran (applying for senior citizen status) defenseman Chris Pronger. Pronger, dangerously close to age 35, is practically guaranteed to make it to the hall of fame when he retires, and he certainly still has enough left in the tank to help the Flyers on the blue line. But, did the Flyers really have to give up so much for a 35-year-old defenseman with one-year left on his contract?

Joffrey Lupol (scored 26 goals last year), Lucas Sbisa (will be a top-tier defenseman in the near future), two first-round draft picks, and a third round draft pick ... folks, that's the mark of a desperate team ... it's risky, and the downside is huge. There's a lot of ifs on this Flyers teams ... and usually that many ifs is not a good thing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Song of the Week

In "honor" of the passing of the king of pop, I figured the least I could do was to focus this week's song of the week to Michael Jackson. Now, I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but I don't mind his music, either ... well, at least not his early music (I'd say until about 1991). None of his albums are on my top 10, 20, or 50 lists, but I would say that in the pantheon of rock/pop music, Jackson's Thriller ablum would have to fall into one of the greatest albums ever made.

His Thriller album produced what seemed to be endless hits - Billy Jean, P.Y.T., Thriller, Wanna Be Startin' Something, Human Nature ... I mean, my god! That's a career for most pop artists, isn't it?

I left one song out ... probably the best song on the album ... maybe the best song he's ever done. Think about it ... the song is absolutely catchy, employs many of Michael's memorable grunts, employs an underrated baseline, and was spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic (probably the greatest of the accolades).

Not only that, but Eddie Van Halen provides an uncredited guitar solo ... which probably helped the song achieve cross-over status from purely pop stations to rock stations.

Plus, Michael looked like a badass in this video, involved in a gang fight ... that sadly transformed into some ridiculous dance-off. Still, a great song, and a good video. Michael was at the top of his game.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fast Food Corner

Sometimes you have to think outside of the box. It has become obvious (at least to me) that nobody will ever improve on the french fry that McDonalds created. Burger King tried to revamp their fries 10 years ago, and failed miserably. Wendy's has ok fries, but most of the time, they get too soggy.

Arby's decided to scrap their regular fries quite a few years ago, and focus on a different kind of fry - the curly fry. The fries resemble shoe-string fries very little, but that's ok.

These curly fries are like heaven in a grease-encrusted bag. Crispy, nicely seasoned ... and curly. It's amazing what curls will do for a french fry. I guess the only complaint I have is that the curly fries are so long, you really only get a handful of curly fries in the box. I need more, dammit!

By the way, I'm not sure how curly fries would go with regular burgers ... but they go oh so well with roast beef sandwiches!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Wanna Rot With You ....

We've certainly taken a hit this week with the celebrity deaths. Philly's own Ed McMahon passed away (funny story - someone at work said she couldn't believe he died .... THE MAN WAS 87 ... REALLY? YOU COULDN'T BELIEVE IT?) Of course, poster-diva Farrah Fawcett passed away too after a lengthy battle with cancer (we'll keep it at that and try not to mention where the cancer was). And, of course, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson finally "Beat it." Thank you, thank you - I'll be here all week ... remember to tip your waitresses and bartenders!

I guess I'm not sure how I feel about his passing. I was a "recreational" Michael Jackson fan ... which means I liked some of his music, but really only shelled out money on his greatest hits cd when it was in a discount bin at a local record store. Certainly, he was a main influence to many of today's pop-stars through his amazing work in the 1980's, and he was able to accrue a large fan-base, both from his time in the Jackson 5 as well as through his solo work.

However, the past 18 years or so have been, how can we put this, absolutely tragic for Michael. I mean first of all, his transformation to a good looking (I'm straight, by the way) young man, to something that could easily pass for an alien in a Star Trek movie has been truly surreal. First, his nose started shrinking. Then his skin went from brown to translucent. Then, he became extremely frail and thin. His voice became lighter and lighter, as if he had turned into a grandmother.

That wouldn't be so bad, if that was all that happened. No, sadly, Michael started doing some crazy stuff ... like buying the bones of the elephant man, hanging out with a monkey, building an amusement park he lived in, and apparently using that park to attract young children to do stuff with (I won't go into that too much either, as we all already know what that "stuff" was). His reputation and image pretty much became irreparable ... at least while he was living. He was a walking punchline ... in fact, I think this was a prerequisite for all comedians - to have a Michael Jackson joke in his or her arsenal.

So now that he is dead, how will he be remembered? Will we remember him as the pop-legend from the 1980's - the guy who made multi-zippered red jackets, parachute pants, and the moon-walk cool? Or will we remember him as that nut-case who looked like he could turn to dust in the midst of a stiff breeze? So far, it seems like his image has benefitted from his death (as weird as THAT may seem). But, I'm not sure I can ever forget the past 18 years when it comes to Michael.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things I learned in the Catskills

Just a few random things I learned in the Catskill Mountains ...

* German polka is really only good in small doses ... and when you're drunk.
* Make sure to wear bug spray whilst hiking ... ALWAYS!
* Tennis really tires you out.
* German beer is really good.
* I look drunk when I try to waltz even when I'm sober.
* Being without tv and computers for 3 days isn't all that bad.
* Germans love shuffleboard.
* Weird Al Yankovic is not related to Frank Yankovic, the king of polka.
* Noodles taste better than potatoes ... even in the Catskill Mountains.
* New Yorkers are annoying drivers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment! This week, I chose to talk about a memorable job interview ... actually, this one is one I'd rather like to forget, but I did learn an important lesson (let's see if you can guess what the lesson was).

I was fresh out of college, and had sent out tons of resumes, and quite predictably received about just as many rejection letters. One day, I received a phone call from a copy-machine company in Marlton, New Jersey ... I was excited ... and no, I never remember actually sending them a resume (although I confess that at the time I really never even looked at the companies, just the job openings at the time). The representative invited me in for an interview, and I happily accepted.

I was brimming with confidence, and really figured they'd be so impressed that they'd hand me the job ... probably even beg me to take it. I traveled the 30 minutes or so to the company, found the place rather easily (a good sign, right?), and strolled into the building, carrying my briefcase (which was really filled with nothing but a second resume ... looks are everything, right?).

I felt I aced the interview immediately after I completed it. I got home, and my mom informed me that I had already gotten a call from the company. Bingo! They loved me ... I mean they had to love me, right? I called back eagerly, and the representative informed me that I HAD LEFT MY BRIEFCASE AT THE INTERVIEW! Yep, I'm an idiot. I knew right then and there that there was no way I was getting the job.

Plus, I remember one of the standard questions asked, and sadly, I remember the ridiculous response I gave. The question - "Where do you want to be in 5 years?" I answered honestly, "I'm not really sure." Obviously, this is not the response the guy was looking for - I probably should've said something along the line of "I'm looking to be an impact player in this company ... a go-to guy." Oh well, the briefcase sealed the deal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Surprisingly fun!

Our trip to the Catskills was actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be ... in reading the website, I wasn't that hopeful - seemed like we'd be bored pretty quickly, but surprisingly, that wasn't the case.

We arrived shortly after noon on Friday in Riedlbauers, and even though the skies were overcast, the rain for the most part stayed away. After unpacking the van, we took a short walk around the compound ... er, I mean resort, and walked up to the Summer fest location. Then, we hopped in the van and went downtown to lunch at a German coffee shop/diner. Folks, the Germans love their cake, and I suggest you always save room for dessert whilst dining in a German restaurant.

We spent some time swimming in the indoor pool ... heck, I even swam a little in the outdoor pool ... well, until the frostbite set in. I even played some tennis, and shuffleboard ... neither very well, though. I actually did quite a bit of hiking in the woods ... and I actually liked it, surprisingly.

The food at the resort was shockingly good - one night we had goulash, for lunch we had really good hot roast beef, and the breakfast was more than adequate.

Probably the only negative on the entire trip was the redundant German polka/volksmusik that was played the entire weekend at the resort ... it was kind of enjoyable on Friday, started getting on my nerves on Saturday, and almost prompted me to hurl myself off of the porch on Sunday.

But, the most important thing was that my parents enjoyed it ... after all, we booked and took the trip for them ... it brought back memories of my childhood - going on vacation with the parents every summer ... hopefully, it did the same for them!

Monday, June 22, 2009

In a word ... hysterical!

You've probably seen the previews for the movie, "The Hangover." And, if you're like me (and hopefully, you're not), the flick probably piqued your interest. I've been looking forward to this movie for a couple of months, and on Sunday, I finally found time to watch it. Folks, the movie is hysterical.

Just a little background - 4 friends go to Vegas for a bachelor party, and pure hyjinks ensues ... sure, there have been quite a few movies that have used this as a premise over the years. The Hangover adds just enough mystery to a screwball comedy, as well as great acting (and even Heather Graham's boob) to make it really an over-the-top hysterical comedy. The one-liners flow like a fine beer, and I predict it will be the quotable movie of the summer.

This was also my introduction to the brilliance of Zach Galifianakis. The man stole the movie ... most of the one-liners are attributed to him (not to mention some really disgusting butt shots). Rarely do movies live up to the potential of their trailers ... folks, this is one of them. Go out and watch it, darn it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We're Going Where?!?!?!?

As some of you may remember, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past fall. As a present, my wife, brother, and his wife offered to go on a family trip with my parents ... and what better place to go than Riedlbauer's. For those of who unfamiliar with this "heavenly" place, here's the description on the opening page of their website: The minute you drive up the road, you will notice the gorgeous grounds with luscious flower beds wherever you look. After a day enjoying our beautiful grounds and many recreational activities, enjoy a delicious family style dinner in our 2 story air conditioned dining room, with adjoining bar where we have entertainment 7 nights a week.

Basically, Riedlbauer's is a German resort in the heart of the Catskill Mountains ... about 4 hours outside of Philly. Really, there's not much to do there except swim, play horse-shoes, and drink beer (actually, that doesn't sound too bad, does it?). Well, this is coming weekend is the weekend we picked to go. And, as luck (or planning) would have it, there is a German festival taking place, complete with oompah bands, as well as beer.

I promise to post pics and a review as soon as I get back (or as soon as I recover).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things I've "predicted" whilst intoxicated ...

I tend to make bold, often ridiculous, predictions whilst being "medicated." I'll also start tearing up at sappy rock ballads, as my wife will attest to ... but that's a story for another day.

Here are just a few things I've "predicted" whilst drunk in recent months.

The NHL will have teams in Europe within 5 years.
There will be one world-wide currency.
The Rolling Stones have a box set of unreleased music they're planning on releasing.
Perot would've been a good president.
The greatest Philadelphia Phillie of all time is Chase Utley.
Our universe is really just a big soap bubble.
We should have more than just a 2-party political system.
George Thorogood would've made a pretty good Rolling Stones band member.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Song of the Week

What better song to bring in the summer than ... Will Smith's Summertime? It's an anthem to summer, specifically in Philly (what better place?). Sort of ironically, it samples Kool and the Gang's "Summer Madness." It has a really cool rhythmic beat to it, and just makes you feel like opening up one of those fire hydrants, and having an informal splash party.

It's hard to believe this song is already 18 years old ... back at this time, Smith was a rapper who was just cutting his teeth with television (Fresh Prince of Bel Air).

It's a song you want to hear when you are at an outdoor bar sipping on a beverage of your choice. It makes you groove, and if you know the song, but only some of the lyrics, you are free to belt out the lyrics you know in between long sips.

You can find out more about this song here:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment. The prompt I chose this week is as follows: Tell us about your blogline...how long have you been blogging, when did you start, what were/are your goals for your blog, etc.

I have an old website that I used to update on a semi-regular basis - on this website, I have funny stories, observations, funny comments, and a bunch of other stuff. I enjoyed this site, but I really liked writing observations. When I heard about this blogging phenomenon in early 2005, I thought to myself, "Hey, this is exactly what I want to do."

Ya see, I never really liked writing when I was growing up. I wish I would've been more motivated to do so in grade school, high school, right through college. At some point, I got the itch ... and no, it wasn't a rash or anything like that. I got an itch to write. Maybe it was college, or grad school, where I was forced to write a ton. Or maybe it was all these stories I had in my head that I wanted to share - I'm not really sure to tell you the truth.

So, I started a blog ... and then another ... and then another. It got to be too much for me, so I focused just on one blog - one in which I could write about anything, and everything. Sometimes I'd write about funny stories I remember happening to me. Sometimes, I'd write about my opinions on news stories or hot topics.

As you can see, I really don't have a focus when it comes to my blog. And really, for my purposes, that's fine. I know with this lack of focus, and with the lack of enough time to spend managing my blog, I'm never going to have a huge following. Again, I'm fine with that. Really, blogging is just an opportunity for me to put my thoughts to paper (or screen), and to escape and read what others are thinking. That's all I really want to do. As long as I'm remotely entertaining ... or not.

Fast Food Corner

I figured I'd focus a little on pizza this week - specifically, I'll look at Pizza Hut's famed personal pan pizza. I hated pizza as a little kid ... I have no idea why - I'm kind of weird that way. I know that I had gotten sick once after eating pizza, and I usually blame the food when I get sick (truthfully, there was a flu virus going through my class, and that was most likely the culprit, but still).

Anyway, the first pizza I was able to eat again was Pizza Hut's personal pan pizza. The crust is flaky, butter, and yes, even a little greasy. And the crust is sufficiently thick. I know some people love thin crust pizza... I'm not one of those. I need a thick crust - I like to hear a crispy sound when I bite into a pizza. Pizza Hut does this, and does this well with their personal pans.

The sauce itself has a certain sweet overtone to it, and the cheese is abundant. To top it off (at least for me), I like adding the pepperoni topping ... the kind that is crispy, almost burnt ... again, Pizza Hut comes up huge with this. A nice side for this is Pizza Hut's unbelievably tasty bread sticks ... yep, my mouth is watering now!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Election Scandal ??? Really?

So, Iran is awash with protests after incumbent Knucklehead Mahmoud Ahmadinejadxqzwt was surprisingly re-elected president of Iran ... first of all, I'm shocked that Iran even have elections ... isn't Iran run in a dictatorship or totalitarian nature?

Second, it's Iran, folks ... nobody plays fair in Iran ... heck, Saddam Hussein thinks Iran cheats. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that Mahmoud (it's easier to spell his first name) fiddled with the ballot boxes ... in fact I'd be surprised if he didn't. Those ballot boxes probably had shredders in them anyway, don't you think.

But, at the very least, there is a protest, which means there are a number of Iranians who are tiring of Mahmoud's antics and lunacy. It's a start, and the momentum created by Mahmoud during this election could actually spell his demise in the long-term.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beer of the Week

I'm really enjoying Hoegaarden right now - great summertime wheat beer ... one which you can (should) top off with an orange wedge ... helps to bring out a little more of the sweetness in the beer - a great, great beer to enjoy whilst sitting on the deck on a nice, warm summer evening. Don't let the "wheat" scare you - the beer is very, very refreshing. Sure, it's a bit on the expensive side, but it's well worth it.

However, if the price is still a little too ... well ... pricey for you, a nice substitute is Blue Moon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stoppage Time ...

Just a few random thoughts from a random mind ...

* I can't watch college baseball because of the sound of those annoying aluminum bats. That's not the sound of baseball.

* I'm really looking forward to seeing The Hangover later today ... I'm craving a funny movie.

* GM and Chrysler are in trouble ... big trouble. Way to go, unions!

* Why do Dominicans falsify their ages when it comes to baseball ... and why can't we figure this out easier?

* Summertime barbecues ... ribs, chicken, steak, shrimp, crabs, burgers, dogs ... does it get much better?

* I couldn't stand either of the NHL teams in the Stanley Cup finals ... however, I was sort of happy to see the Pens win, mainly because the Red Wings have become the Yankees of hockey. Also, I think the NHL needed the cup to be won by a superstar.

Friday, June 12, 2009

This and That ...

I've got a whole bunch of mini-thoughts creeping and crawling in my mind ... figured I'd share them with you:

* I accidentally put the top part of two buns on a hamburger on Saturday ... it actually tasted really good ... which got me to thinking ... why hasn't any company tried to market this yet?

* Can we please stop using the term "Tiger is lurking" when talking about Tiger Woods?

* I saw Star Trek the movie the other week ... it was pretty good, but I didn't really come out of the theater thinking I just saw an awesome movie ... maybe it's because I'm not a Trekkie, or maybe it was the high expectations I went in with.

* Have you guys tried sweet tea vodka? That stuff is so good, it's dangerous.

* Kate Hudson's going out with A-Rod ... I always thought she was kind of smart ... so much for that mystique ... or mistake.

There, I feel better....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've Found Another One ...

As many of you know, I hate reality shows, as if they were all a big old hunk of ham (as many of you know, I hate ham as if ham was a conglomeration of reality tv shows) ... I do watch Top Chef, and actually enjoy it ... even if I'd never eat any of the food they cook ... but I digress.

I found another reality show that I can actually stomach ... it's a show about some athletes who, for one reason or other, didn't make it to the NFL - they have the opportunity to compete against each other for a roster spot on the Dallas Cowboys ... plus, Michael Irvin is the main host of the show ... I know, I know ... it sounds awful ... and it probably is .... but it is so awful, it's good ... if that makes any sense whatsoever.

The first episode introduced all of the contenders - basically cornerbacks and wide receivers. After gaining insight on each of their backgrounds, they jumped right into drills. Irving and his coaches ran these guys into the ground ... so much so that each of these wannabes decided to deposit their gatorade all over the field ... one funny moment was one of the players puking while Irvin yelled at him to get up and keep running (by the way, Irvin was dressed all in black with a leather jacket ... kind of looked like a cross between Johnny Cash and Wesley Snipes).

Then, during another episode, Irving called out one of the players, and asked him if he was smoking marijuana ... my initial guess was that Irvin was trying to find another "hook-up," but Irivn basically asked him this, because the athlete, in his mind, was acting lazy. This, coming from a guy who has been involved with cocaine about as much as Doc Gooden and Keith Richards.

Another fantastic part of this show is the special Dallas Cowboys alumni who show up - most of the time, they are legitimate stars, like when Jay Novacek and Drew Pearson showed up to encourage (beat down) the players. There is one guest who shows up on a continual basis ... and it kind of ties into the whole "marijuana" reference ... that's right ladies and gentlemen, Nate Newton plays the "security guard" of the show ... the same Nate Newton who was pulled over with an entire trunk full of wacky tabacky.

If only Dexter Manley played for the Cowboys ... sigh.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: Name your current addiction...we can get through this together. On a side note - make sure Mama Kat's family is in your prayers, her little daughter isn't feeling well, and Mama Kat is concerned.

This current addiction has actually been an addiction for ... well ... forever. I'm a potato chip guy, and I can't get enough of them. When I eat a sandwich for lunch (or dinner), I need potato chips ... sandwiches just don't seem to taste right without potato chips, and I don't know why. It's kind of like if the sandwich didn't have bread ... that's what I equate potato chips to.

And believe me, I like most kinds and flavors of potato chips - whether plain, barbecue, sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, ketchup flavored. However, I really can't get into the baked potato chips, though. I wish I could - they are much healthier than the greasy fried goodness that I like. They just don't seem like real potato chips to me ... more like crackers.

I've tried to substitute other stuff for potato chips - like pretzels, which are really good, but just don't go with sandwiches. I've tried pop corn, which isn't bad, but still not the same. I even tried celery and carrots - I like both of these, believe it or not, but still not like potato chips.

Hopefully, they'll figure something out, kind of like what they tried to do with the Olestra chips, but hopefully this time, they'll find a solution that won't make you crap yourself.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'll Just Never Understand ....

Anyone else more than a little confused about the whole David Carradine "situation?" In case you don't know, Carradine was an actor probably most remembered for his "Kung Fu" television series of the 1970's ... over the past few years, he's experienced some sort of revival with his notable Yellowbook commercials, as well as his performance in the Kill Bill movies.

However, he's semi-fame will probably now only be a large punchline to many a tasteless late-night joke (not that there's anything wrong with that ...). As you've probably heard, he died of autoerotic asphyxiation ... translation - he died whilst hanging himself and ... ummmmm ... masturbating. If this sounds familiar - you're right - another relatively famous person died doing the same thing quite a few years ago - Michael Hudgins, the lead singer of INXS.

Now, I have done some crazy things in my life, and will probably continue to do more ... however, I've never, ever, ever, ever had the urge to hang myself whilst I played with myself ... I mean, I'd probably rather whack myself on the big toe repeatedly with a mallet.

I mean, is this something like the South Beach diet - are all of these Hollywood celebrities doing this, and if so, why? Will I ever be able to watch a movie with David Carradine and look at him the same way again? I didn't really have much of a problem with INXS - after all, rock stars are just plain nuts to begin with (although, if you were a rock star, you'd probably rather choke to death on your own vomit, than having somebody find you dead with a rope around your neck and your junk ... I'm just saying).

Maybe it was the characters he portrayed in Kung Fu, Kill Bill, and even the Yellowbook commercials ... he just seemed a lot smarter than that, didn't he? Plus, wasn't he like 75 years old? I'm surprised his equipment still worked ... maybe we'll find out sometime down the road that Carradine's family may sue Viagra for causing this.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Fast Food Corner

I've been noticing a new marketing strategy by Popeye's Chicken over the past few months ... more of a Louisiana-style approach ... I hadn't been to a Popeye's since they actually used Popeye's face as a logo (translation - it's been a while). A couple of days ago, my wife and I decided to give Popeye's a whirl - heck, anything for a blog post, right?

The verdict is in - we were VERY impressed with Popeye's! The ambiance was actually pretty upscale ... at least for a fast-food restaurant ... unlike KFC, which sadly looks like a grade-school cafeteria.

But more importantly, the chicken itself is very good - I chose the spicy chicken nuggets with some sort of zesty sauce (can't remember the name for some reason). I also ordered a side of Cajun fries. Although the "spicy" chicken wasn't really that spicy (probably less spicy than the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich), it had a good taste. The nuggets were a little smallish (translation - should've gone with the chicken fingers), but again, had a good taste.

The sides that we tried were excellent - the Cajun fries might have me rethinking my top 5 french fries. Schue's mashed potatoes were very comparable to KFC's. I'll have to go back and actually buy a bucket of chicken sometime soon - maybe I'll buy a bucket from KFC and Popeyes and have a true comparison. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

DBT 2K9 ... Freakin' Awesome!

The Delco Bar Tour, better known as the Dive Bar Tour, celebrated it's 5th anniversary last weekend. The tour, conjured up by my brother and his brother-in-law, started modestly in 2005, and completely relied on public transportation - i.e. Septa buses going up and down Mac Dade Blvd. (so, in a sense, we have been practicing not only safe drinking, but also environmentally friendly activities). We originally had about 8 or so people who went to the first crawl. Honestly, at the time, we didn't think it would last.

Fast forward 5 years - we're up to about 15, and I think we're capping it there. I think if we had gone any higher, we would've lost some of the "intamacy" of the event. We started the day off at 11:30 AM at Pogue Mahones - some ordered food to "layer" their stomachs (I was one of those "smart" ones). This bar is actually the original "Maximilians," the bar where Vince Papale (from Invincible fame) bartended ... and no, it's not located in South Philly, but in Prospect Park.

From there, we took the bus to Bud's, which provided pool tables, dart boards, and local "patrons" who were curious about seemingly educated people entering their domain. They ended up liking us (I think). Other stops included the Toll House (a local favorite), Terry's Two (new to the tour), the Red Lantern (Great barbecue food), Uncle Snazzi's (probably the truest of dive bars - but a place we usually love), Marty McGee's (non-descript), Dino's (not actually on the shirt, but we decided to go there anyway), and finally, Della Pollas (conveniently located within stumbling distance to my house).

Too many great highlights to mention - hopefully my videos will post here. Can't wait for 2010!

Friday, June 05, 2009

I Felt Lost ...

On Sunday morning, my dad picked me up 15 minutes early to take me to the train station. I was on my way to a conference in DC for the ASTD (look it up), and I was of course rushed, thanks to pops. In hindsight, I should've known that he'd be showing up early - that's what he does - I should've told him to pick me up at 7:30 instead of 7:15 (which means, he got to my house at 7).

Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal - I'm usually ready (for whatever) 15 minutes early ... I wonder where I get that trait? However, the day/night before, I partook in an annual bar crawl (I'll be posting about this shortly), and I was pretty hungover ... translation, I was still a little drunk. I had most of my stuff packed, so, I hurridly grabbed my stuff, and ran out the door.

About 15 minutes into the drive to the train station, I realized I had forgotten something ... my cell phone! At first, I didn't think it was a big deal - after all, I spent most of my life without ever needing one, right? I soon realized how much I relied on my LG.

First, when I got to the station, I met up with a couple of co-workers who were going to the conference. They immediately asked for my cell number - you know, just in case we got lost, or so that we could figure out where to meet up after the different sessions, etc. Yep - that is when I first realized this could be a problem.

For most of the conference, I had to wait in "strategic" areas so that I could meet up with said coworkers. I also had to rely on the hotel phone to get updates on where everyone was going.

On another note, I couldn't text funny anecdotes to my friends, and my wife ... that was truly a withdrawal for me. I began feeling my thumbs getting restless, not to mention a sense of feeling naked without the cell phone. This feeling only increased as the week went on.

But, a bigger issue was trying to communicate with my wife about when my train would be arriving, so that she could pick me up at the station. I ended up taking the Septa to a local train station, and decided to walk home. I figured it would take no longer than 20 minutes. Boy, was I mistaken! It took more like 45 minutes ... and to top it off, it was not only humid, but the heavens were threatening to dump an ass-load of water on top of me. Luckily, all it did was drizzle.

I learned my lesson - I'll probably end up sleeping and showering with my cell phone, just to make sure I never forget it again.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fast Food Corner

This past weekend, I was driving down Mac Dade Blvd, on my way to drop off my "dry-cleaning" at my parents' house when I noticed the local Arby's restaurant had closed. No, this wasn't the best Arby's - service was extremely slow, which brought about many questions regarding the use of the term "fast food" in relation to this restaurant.

Part of the reason was that this was one of the "original" Arby's restaurants in the entire Philadelphia area, and one of the first fast food locations in Delaware County. Arby's did little to upgrade the restaurant over the years, but in a way, this gave it character. It had that original Arby's sign ... you know, the big one that was in the shape of a ten-gallon hat, and said, "Arby's Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches Are Delicious." Plus, the restaurant itself was small and shaped liked a half circle - like all Arby's used to look like.

The food itself was pretty good, but really, no better than any other Arby's in the area. This was mainly due to the old equipment that they continued to use (they really didn't have the real-estate to add the newer, bigger stoves and ovens). You actually saw the "chef" cutting the roast beef after you ordered it. In a way, I guess that was reassuring.

I went there despite the longer-than-usual time to get the "fast-food." This was, in my opinion, a landmark in Delco, and I was truly upset by the demise of this location. The sign was taken down, and the store was stripped of any symbol of Arby's. It was always there when I was growing up, and now that memory is gone. Screw progress!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This week, she gave a dark but interesting prompt - mainly to write your own obituary. I've never really thought about this before, but what the heck. So, here goes nothing:

Losrulz died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 106 (why not). He was known for his wit, humor, but most of all, his huge heart. In his time on Earth, he raised money for the Leukemia Society, was a PR intern for the Philadelphia Eagles, designed innovative and cutting edge training programs for a military defense company as well as a leading financial company.

He finally went on to start a successful comedic writing career, a world-renowned brewery and restaurant, and numerous inventions that benefited mankind as well as his own bank account.

He is survived by his beautiful wife and two brilliant children, and numerous grand-children, who continue his legacy with the brewery, restaurant, and the many, many entrepreneurial initiatives that he successfully started.

Funeral services will be held at Lincoln Financial Field - the only place that could hold all of the mourners that are expected.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Hey guys and gals - I forgo to mention that I will not be blogging most of this week - I'm at an ASTD conference in DC! I've got some great stories to blog about - just to give you a little "taste" of what's coming up:

* Fast Food Corner - the demise of a local landmark!
* DBT 2009 - Oh ... my ... god!
* Forgetting to bring your cell phone to DC ... and going through withdrawal!

Stay tuned!