Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

I wanted to wish all my blogger friends a happy and safe New Years! This will be a bit of a different New Years eve for me (and my wife). In past years, we've gone over my brother's house to celebrate the dawn of the new year ... and we've had an absolute blast every time (The boot, frozen margaritas, beer pong, Bohemian Rhapsody), and my hope is that we'll be able to do it again next year.

This year, we'll be celebrating the new year with our daughter Lydia ... she will have no idea why mommy and daddy are cheering at midnight ... other than maybe it's time for another feeding) ... and she's still far too young for champagne and beer ... but, it'll be awesome nevertheless (not to mention the tax implications!!!).

Again, happy new year all! See you next year (sorry El Padrino!).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wacky News Stories

Here's to hoping 2011 is a safe and happy one to all.

1. On Mississippi's governor agreeing to free two sisters who served 16 years of a double life sentence for an armed robbery in which nobody was hurt and $11 was stolen:
"They must've been democrats ..."

2. On a Swedish man's penis being amputated after a misdiagnosis:
"He later called the doctor a dick."

3. On the leader of the South African Communist Party accusing poultry manufacturers of racism:
"But he claims they are too 'chicken' to step forward and admit it ..."

4. On Milwaukee, Wisconsin being voted America's drunkest city:
"Well, their baseball team is called 'the Brewers.'"

5. On a report by AAA that 1 in 10 people have driven drunk:
"Wine coolers don't count, do they?"

Song of the Week

Scissors for Lefty are an indie rock band, based in San Francisco. They've released two albums, receiving moderate success with Underhanded Romance in 2007. One of the hits off the album is called "Ghetto Ways," and has an electronic dancy feel to it with distorted vocals.

The song itself is "fun," in that it seems to be describing a party that is being busted by the cops, yet the party continues, thanks to romance and a good DJ.

The band is overdue for another release, and here's to hoping it's as good as Underhanded Romance.

The video is goofy and cool too:

Dope or Nope

The Mummers .... a Philadelphia tradition ... most outside of Philly have never heard of the Mummers. Here's a brief description of the New Years day parade from Wikipedia: The Mummers Parade is held each New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Local clubs (usually called "New Years Associations") compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery, which take months to complete. This is done in clubhouses, many of which are located on or near 2nd Street (called "Two Street" by some local residents)in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia, which also serve as social gathering places for members.

The parade itself traces itself back to the 1800's ... you can find out more about the parade here:

Parts of the parade are quite beautiful, but much of it is a drunken mess ... and lasts from early morning through the night. My wife loves it ... Me - not so much.

What are your thoughts? Dope or Nope?

80's Corner

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a forgotten-about movie from the late 1980's ... it was cartoon-based, and the main actors in the movie are unknowns (at least in the U.S.) with the exception of Christopher Lloyd. However, this movie is memorable in that it featured both Warner Brothers and Disney cartoon characters (and others, like Woody Woodpecker, and Betty Boop). There were scenes with Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny interacting, as well as a funny piano scene with Daffy and Donald Duck ... it was cool to see these two cartoon company legends working together.

By todays CGI standards, the movie probably doesn't hold up so good ... but the special effects for the time were incredible ... and the storyline is still pretty solid. I recommend people watch it if they get the chance.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wacky News Stories

Can't believe Christmas is over and we're about ready to start a new year ... time flies ... sigh.

1. On the wife of a chief minister filling in an application for a loan to buy onions:
"These onions must really make one cry ..."

2. On someone sculpting a "disgusting" snow penis in Indiana:
"Man, what a dick!"

3. A drunk motorist over 32 times the legal alcohol limit was arrested, and was found to have 15 sheep in his car:
"I'm betting the charges will be really 'baaaaad.'"

4. On a study that reports that two thirds of colleges maintain speech codes that violate students' First Amendment rights:
"This research must have been done in one of the remaining 1/3's of the colleges ..."

5. A man wearing a Bob Dylan backstage pass who ordered 178 pizzas from a Massachusetts pizza parlor but never picked them up has agreed to hand over the dough:
"I'm wondering what other 'pranks' this mental midget had in his deplorably tiny cranium."

Dope or Nope

Around this time of year, you'll talk to people, and when you finish the conversation, there is a good chance the person might say "See you next year!" I know I've been guilty of doing this from time-to-time ... not sure why I say it, but I don't like it when people say it to me.

What are your thoughts on this phrase? Dope or nope? Any other phrases you hate?

Monday, December 27, 2010

80's Corner

Remember the Hard Rock T-shirts and sweatshirts? It was all the rave of the late 1980's. If you happened to be in a town, like for instance, Chicago, you would go to the Hard Rock Cafe and purchase a shirt from there that said "Hard Rock Chicago." It was the "cool" thing to do.

I went to Cancun for senior week in 1990, and purchased what I thought was a knock-off Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt that said Cancun on it ... it indeed said Cancun, but it also said "Heard Rock." No wonder it was so cheap ... sigh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Song of the Week

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones may be best known for the song "The Impression That I Get," which was a big hit in the 1990's ... sadly this band never experienced a hit like that again ... but they've been around forever, and have produced some good music. In fact, the very same album that "Impression" came off of has a few other great songs.

For instance, Royal Oil is a very good reggae-sounding song ... certainly not as fast as "Impression," but has a nice groove. The lyrics are a bit confusing ... not sure if they are talking about cooking something in frying oil, or suntan lotion or what have you ... but that's ok. The song is very easy on the ears.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

This Christmas will certainly be different for us ... and I'm excited about it. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a happy and safe new years to everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Well, after a brief hiatus, I'm back ... A coworker of mine tipped me off about a fast-food restaurant in the King of Prussia area that is making a comeback. Gino's is a burger and chicken place that was very popular in the 1970's and early 80's but for one reason or other faded away ... at least in the northeast. Here is what Wikipedia had to say:

"Gino's Hamburgers was a fast-food restaurant chain founded in Baltimore, Maryland, by Baltimore Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti and running back Alan Ameche, along with their close friend Louis Fischer, in 1957. In Dundalk, Maryland, just outside Baltimore, it got its official name in 1959 when the owners brought on Colts' captain Gino Marchetti. It was an East Coast regional fast food restaurant and had 359 company-owned locations when they were acquired by Marriott Corporation in 1982. Marriott discontinued the brand and converted locations to their Roy Rogers Restaurants chain.The last Gino's, located in Pasadena, Maryland and owned independently from Marriott, closed in 1991."

Well ... Gino's is back ... and I can't wait to try it. I remember we had a Gino's up the street from us as a kid, but I can't remember my parents taking me there. I'll be trying Gino's shortly and reporting back!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby Lydia Arrives!

Good morning everyone - sorry I haven't visited in the last few days - my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world on Tuesday - Lydia. The birth was a c-section, so the wife and I have been at the hospital - we are hoping to be home sometime today. Lydia is doing very well, and we are both very, very happy.

At this point, not sure how this will affect my blogging - I'll do my best to continue blogging at the pace I have in the past ... but that may not start up for at least another week.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the new addition!

Liddy, Schue and I just after the birth.

Liddy coming to terms with the fact that I'm her father.

Liddy sharing a moment with her mommy.

Liddy already feeling comfortable in her Christmas best.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wacky News Stories

Oh my god ... I'm a dad!!!!

1. On a Queens woman planning to file suit after she says cops beat her because she didn't pick up her dog's poo:
"Sounds to me like the cops treated her a little 'ruff.'"

2. On a 'Naughty' joke getting Santa Claus fired from Macy's:
"How many elves does it take to make Mrs. Claus happy ..."

3. On a Missouri home being damaged by a lawnmower fire in the bedroom:
"Good thing the bathroom tractor didn't catch on fire!"

4. On a blind man being arrested for DUI:
"This guy has a good shot at being a New York cabbie!"

5. On police responding to a call of disturbance involving a male running around naked with a crack pipe in his hand in the afternoon:
"Must be Christmas vacation ..."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Song of the Week ...

The Kinks are a legendary British rock band ... not quite as legendary as the Stones, Beatles and Who, but certainly up there. The one thing they have on the previous three bands mentioned is a fantastic rock Christmas song - Father Christmas. In my eyes, it is in the top 5 rock Christmas songs of all-time.

Unlike other Christmas songs, this one is fast, rocking, and fun ... with a punk edge to it. Even though the song really shines the spotlight on overindulgence during Christmas, the song points out to "Remember the kids who got nothing, while you're drinking down your wine." An odd way to deliver an important message.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

Weird Al Yankovic has done a lot of interesting musical parodies over the years - he is like the musical "Zucker Brothers" of rock/pop. Over the years, he has lampooned such pop stars as Michael Jackson, Maddona, Coolio, and the Kinks. He has made quite a living doing this - I just saw a Weird Al greatest hits album at my local BestBuy the other day. He does world tours for crying out loud, and I hear they are a lot like the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

His heyday was probably in the mid 1980's to the early 1990's. My question to you is this .... Weird Al ... is he dope or nope?

Personally, I kind of like the parodies he did of Michael Jackson ...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

80's Corner

Tron has experienced a rebirth of sorts - a potential blockbuster movie is about to hit theatres. It boasts some really cool technological stuff in the movie, like somehow cgi'ing a younger Jeff Bridges' face in certain scenes of the movie. Many young people may not know this, but there was a Tron "sensation" in the 1980's - a movie that boasted some really cool technological stuff (for it's era), and a release of a really cool arcade game. The movie itself wasn't very good, and does not hold up well if being viewed today. Not sure how this latest TRON effort will do.

I remember very well the arcade game at my local mall - right out in front of the K-Mart. I remember being awful at the game, but also being mesmerized at "professionals" playing the game. I confess I never saw the original movie, and I probably won't see the new one either ... but I do remember the hooplah surrounding it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Carl's Junior, which I think is somehow tied in with Hardees, has just introduced a new sandwich - the Philly Cheesesteak Burger. As you might be able to guess, this is basically a regular hamburger with cheesesteak in between a sesame seed bun. The actual description is as follows: This ultimate meat-on-meat offering consists of thinly sliced steak on top of a charbroiled burger patty, finished off with peppers, onions, Swiss and American cheeses, and mayonnaise, all on a seeded bun.

Sadly, there really aren't any Carl's Juniors in the Philadelphia area, so we "experts" won't be able to sample it and determine how "authentic" it is. Maybe that's a good thing, because other fast-food cheese-steak offerings in the past have been sub-par (see McDonalds).

Anyway - if you have a Carl's Junior near you and you get a chance to try it, let me know what you think ...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: Share a photo that represents how you see yourself.

This is a great representation of how I see myself. Keep in mind, this picture was taken quite a few years ago, and I'm the kid in the center of the picture. Based on this picture, here is how I see myself:

* A poor dresser ... I've never been good at this. My mom had a lot to do with this. When the kids on the recess yard said, "Your mom dresses me funny," I replied with "I know!" As an aside, man do I miss striped socks!

* A clown ... I love to make people laugh. It's what I've always strived to do. Even in family pictures, it is hard for me to give a normal pose. As an aside, I'm not even sure what I'm doing in this picture.

* A family person - I love my family, and I'll do anything for them ... except maybe pose normally in a picture.

* German - My mom is wearing an authentic "Dirndel" in this picture, signifying that we are going to a German club. As a child, I really didn't like going to the German club, because none of my friends were there, and I didn't really like the music. As an adult, I can appreciate the music (still not my favorite), and drinking beer makes it all the more fun.

* An Athlete - I love sports. I love watching sports, playing sports, talking about sports, and even dreaming about sports. I am wearing some sort of "athletic" clothing in this picture ... and for some reason, my mom made me tuck my shirt in, and pull my pants up to my nipples.

Wacky News Stories

The countdown is on ... Is your Christmas ... er, holiday shopping finished?

1. On a woman kneeing her pregnant sister in the stomach during a fight over a shirt:
"I hope, at the very least, the shirt in question was a 'Who Farted?' shirt ...",0,7716071.story

2. On Polish taxpayers' money being spent on invisible art (a blank canvas):
"This is probably the opening of many polish jokes ..."

3. On a televangelist who admitted to cheating on his wife:
"Really? A televangelist doing seedy things? Really?

4. On live mice being found in the noodles of a Chinese restaurant:
"Good thing they didn't check the 'General Tso's Kitten.'"

5. On the rise in popularity of Amish Romance Novels:
"What's the next fad, vampire love story novels ... what? That already happened?"

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

This past week in Philadelphia, a big "ruckus" occurred regarding the use of Christmas in one of the Philadelphia Christmas Villages. Apparently a Jewish family had an issue with this, because they considered it "exclusionary" to their holiday beliefs, and complained to the city. The city asked the market to take down the word "Christmas." The market reluctantly did, but the news caught wind of this, made a big issue about it, and the Archdiocese of the city wrote a strong letter criticizing the move, and now the market once again has "Christmas" on the sign.

So, my question is this - Is it dope to replace the word "Christmas" with "Holiday" during this time of year in stores and markets? Personally, I think Christmas is part of our national identity ... and at the same time, it is not meant to obscure other holiday celebrations from other religions.

Monday, December 06, 2010

80's Corner

Even though this commercial first ran in the 1970's, the Life Cereal commercial with Mikey was well known in the 1980's. The premise of the commercial is two kids who do NOT want to eat this healthy cereal that their mother bought. They decide to push if off to Mikey even though "he won't eat, he hates everything!" Well, Mikey eats the cereal, and the kids respond, "He likes it! Hey Mikey!"

I remember this commercial all too well ... although, I never really had the urge to ask my parents to buy this cereal ... maybe it was the title, since it only had "Life" in it, and no words like "Frosted," "Chocolate," or "Sugar."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Song of the Week ...

According to Wikipedia, Ghostland Observatory is an American music duo based in Austin, Texas. Their music has been described as a combination of electro, rock and funk by Allmusic, and "electro-dance soul rock." Their song, "Miracles," encompasses all these genres - in fact, it sounds like something that Jack White may have influenced.

A synthetic baseline is the main backing "instrument," along with a drum/double clap sound. This song is a master of simplicity, which is a good thing. The chorus is catchy, and the mid-part of the song has a surprising injection of strings.

As you can see below, the live show is probably an "interesting" experience...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Well, I tried the new Wendy's fries ... and ... well ... at first, I didn't notice a difference. They pretty much looked the same as the previous version at first glance. However, after a few bites, I noticed they were indeed "thinner" than version 1 ... usually a good thing, as you get more of a "fried" taste, and less of a potato taste.

Second, the sea-salt definitely adds more of a salty flavor to the fries ... not overwhelmingly salty, but more salty than before (also a good thing). Third, I noticed that none of the fries were soggy - all were adequately crispy (usually, if you ordered Wendy's fries, at least some felt soggy and/or undercooked).

So ... my overall grade is ... really, really good ... a definite improvement. Certainly much better than Burger King's "fry improvement" a while back (Burger King's fries are horrid ... worse than before). No, they aren't better than McDonald's fries (no fry has ever been created that is better than McDonald's), but they closed the gap, without a doubt.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wacky News Stories

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving ... now, onto Christmas!

1. On a Japanese Company that plays Mozart to the fruit it grows:
"In an unrelated note, rumor has it that Tommy Chong plays Tupac to his Marijuana plants ..."

2. On a research study from the University of Toronto which concluded that you're more likely to lie, cheat and behave badly if it is doesn't involve a lot of work:
"Well, I'm glad these ridiculous research studies are not exclusive to the United States!"

3. On a local man who is facing charges of violating a restraining order after flipping the bird to his wife:
"I'm guessing the bird he flipped wasn't Tweety ..."

4. On the new fashion craze - Lego hats:
"No word on the popularity of Lego undies ..."

5. On the U.S. Government looking to outlaw fake pot:
"Next up - taxing virtual worlds ..."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Have you ever had a fight with a long time best friend and never made up? Do you think about him from time to time and think about contacting him? What would you say? What if it didn’t work out? What if it did?

Funny thing - I had a falling out with two of my best friends over the years, and decided to contact both of them (this happened a while ago), and now I'm very close to both of them again.

I've also had falling outs with two other good friends, and have not gotten back in touch with them. Not sure why, really, but I didn't have the same "motivation" as with the other two friends, because they weren't my "best" friends, I guess. Or maybe it was the situation that got us off track.

For instance, my wife and I helped my one "good friend" get a job a little over a year ago at a company my wife works for. He had been pretty much out of work for the better part of the past decade for numerous reasons (lazy being probably the biggest). We thought he had turned the corner with this job - holding it for nearly a year, and were hoping for bigger and better things from him. Then, for whatever reason, he stopped calling me (after I helped him move into his new apartment, no less!).

Then, he stopped showing up to work ... he once again regressed into the same old lazy jerk ... well, I'm not sure if he's lazy, or if it's something psychological, as he's decided to not return any of my calls, e-mails, or text messages. I wish I could help him, but he's got to want to be helped ... or else, he'll continue to hurt his friends and loved ones.

I think I strayed from the prompt ... sorry bout that!