Tuesday, August 31, 2010

80's Corner

The Monkees were a music-company created band of the 1960's ... they had a pretty decent revival in the 1980's, if you recall (MTV was even replaying their kitchy, but funny, shows for a while).

To try and piggy-back on this revival, some "genius" decided it was time to put together a new "Monkees" band, complete with their own TV show. As could be predicted, the show failed miserably, and most people probably have put the "new Monkees" out of the memory.

Here's a sample of one of their shows:

Here's their un-catchy theme song:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

That new KFC marketing campaign ... you know the one with the urban-hip-hopppy "So S-O ... G-double-O-G ... Good." I can't stand it ... I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. It makes me want to avoid KFC altogether ... and maybe I will. Maybe, I'll just go to Popeye's if I have a chicken fix.

Am I over-reacting? Is this commercial better than I think it is? What are your thoughts? Dope or nope?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Song of the Week...

The Talking Heads are known as an "art-rock" band. They tend to overproduce their songs, and experiment with sounds in their music. Not really a band I love for the most part, but there are some songs that I can deal with.

One in particular is their hit "Wild Wild Life." I probably like it, because it's more of a straight-ahead "poppy" rock song, with little experimentation. The lyrics are generally pretty simple to learn, and are at times goofy. The main chorus is catchy, and the drum beat and guitar licks are intriguingly simple (and catchy, also).

A couple of "interesting" things about the song. The video is quite funny, and features some interesting people, including John Goodman and Meatloaf. Secondly, this is one of my favorite songs to do at a Karaoke bar ... thought you should know.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Burger King has been promoting the hell out of the Steakhouse XT Burger - I believe a famous NASCAR driver is pimping it out big time (but, I don't follow NASCAR, so I wouldn't know ...). Anyway, I decided to give it a whirl, for research purposes, of course.

What a great sandwich! Of the big three (McDonalds, Wendy's and BK), this sandwich has the best bun, bar none ... and important first step. It's not a sesame seed bun, but some sort of sturdy bun, that won't break apart or get soggy - an important aspect of this sandwich.

The burger has some sort of "steak" seasoning, which works well with the sandwich. Plus, the toppings of onions, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and onions work very well with the burger and the optional bacon (bacon should always be included, shouldn't it?). If only the fries were good at BK ... sigh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Funny vid ...

A coworker sent this video to me .... because ... ummmm ... well, I'll be a dad in a few months. This video cracked me up!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt - 1.) Your childhood neighborhood.

Growing up, there were a number of kids in my neighborhood - "Davers" lived two houses down, the two Bills and Larry lived up the street, B.J. lived a little further down the way, and Ray-Ray across the street. There was always something happening - whether it was a game of Run the Bases, some street hockey, bounce ball or speed pitch, it didn't matter - we were all active and always hanging around together.

The ringleader of this "gang" was Paul. He was probably about 4 years older than us, but he was the coolest. He taught us everything about sports, and how to play fair. He was like an older brother to most of us. He would organize the games, get the fellas together, and best of all, the neighborhood parents all trusted him.

He was kind of like an idol to us all. He was the first "grown-up" kid to give a rats ass about us. He taught most of us how to play all of those games, and he protected us from the neighborhood bullies.

Of course, high school and then college took priority for Paul, and we saw less and less of him over the years. I probably haven't seen him in close to 20 years.

Looking back, I owe a lot to Paul.

Wacky News Stories

College football starts soon! I'll be rooting for Penn State, and every team playing against Notre Dame that particular week ...

1. On a middle school that publishes bus routes with student names, home addresses, and pickup/dropoff times:
"Thank goodness Michael Jackson is no longer alive ..."

2. On a mom being arrested after taking her five-year-old daughter on a bank robbery:
"It's never too soon to start thinking about a career ..."

3. On a Mississippi high school refusing to publish a teen's portrait picture in the yearbook because she wore a tuxedo in it:
"No word on whether the school allowed the picture of the guy with the mullet, Schlitz cap, and NASCAR jacket..."

4. On an addicted Gamer suing a game-maker, blaming the company for his inability function:
"The lady who sued McDonalds because the coffee was hot thinks this kid is an idiot."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

80's Corner

Value Menus ... You go into a fast-food restaurant, and you basically order from these. For example, if you're in a McDonald's, you may order the "Number 1," which most likely will consist of a Big Mac, fries, and a soda. It's a very simple way to order food, and we take it for granted.

But I remember a time ... in the early 80's, when you'd have to order each of these items individually. For instance, I remember going to the Burger King up the street, and always ordering a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. Oh, all of the words I wasted back then ... thankfully, the 80's brought about the easy-order value menus! You don't know how easy you have it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

I went into a Hallmark Card Shop looking for a post card the other day ... I figured, "heck, it's Hallmark, they sell all kinds of cards. Why wouldn't they sell postcards?" Well, guess what. This particular Hallmark did NOT sell them.

In fact, the lady looked at me kind of weird when I asked. She told me I should go to a hotel to find post cards. Really? A hotel? But, I'm not near any hotels. That's why I came to Hallmark.

Anyway, Dope or Nope - Hallmark not selling post cards?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Song of the Week ...

Billy Squier is a forgotten man in music. There was a time in the early 1980's when he was white hot. Songs like "The Stroke," "My Kind of Lover," and "Emotions in Motion" where radio staples once. Then, he sadly did the video for the song "Rock Me Tonight" which basically killed his career. Sure, he's put out some albums since then, and quite honestly, the music has been pretty good, but nobody noticed.

One such song that should've been more popular, was a song called "Love is the Hero." He collaborated with good friend Freddie Mercury (of Queen fame) on this, and, sure, there are probably some blatant "alternative" overtones in the song, but it's a good rockin' song.

Both artists are at their vocal best in this song, that features great guitar riffs, a fantastic chorus (Love is the hero...soldier forever ... Life below zero...never say never). And no, I'm not exactly sure what it means, but you do feel like belting them out when you hear them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fast Food Corner

I've talked about McDonalds Angus Burgers in the past ... I'm a big fan! I couldn't believe there'd be anything at McDonalds better than the Quarter Pounder with Cheese (I was wrong). Well, they have been promoting the McAngus Wraps lately, and for research purposes (of course), I decided to try the Bacon Angus Wrap.

Just to back-track, I liked the Mac Wraps (which are basically the big macs without the buns), so I figured I'd be OK with the Angus Wraps, but I might have a problem spending the extra 50 cents (over the Mac Wrap). Nope, I wasn't one bit upset spending the extra 50 cents. The Angus Wrap is absolutely delicious, and without a doubt, way better than the Mac Wraps. The "toppings" are fresh, the bacon is great, and the meat is better than the Mac Wrap.

Just an all around great sandwich, and a perfect "hand-food" item for when you are driving. Bravo, McDonalds!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: This one time I was sleeping and…

In my life, I've had many sleepwalking episodes, especially during childhood and teen-age years (not so much, anymore). Anyway, here's a list of just a few sleepwalking incidents I "remember:"

* One time, I asked my older brother to help me move my bed so that we could play baseball (he told me that I was a moron and should go back to sleep).

* Once, I walked right past my mom, down the steps, and out the front door, and shouted for my mom at the top of my lungs.

* Once, I tried to encourage a girlfriend of mine to get up and drive me to the hospital so that I could have my ACL repaired.

* I once sleepwalked from my bed into my living room closet. I closed the door behind me, and stood in the closet sleeping. My mom discovered me there about 20 minutes later.

There are others, but these are the more intriguing ones ...

Wacky News Stories

Time for one of the greatest times of the year ... fantasy football season!!!!

1. On a Seattle man facing assault charges on allegations that he exposed himself to a Radio Shack clerk, brandished a knife and threatened to expose the man to flesh-eating bacteria:
"This is not a penis, it's actually an alien."

2. On a man fending off a polar bear with a punch to the nose:
"Sounds like a new Chuck Norris movie to me."

3. On a man fatally shooting his girlfriend while discussing gun safety with her:
"Whatever you do, make sure you look into barrel of the gun first whilst pulling the trigger ... trust me, I'm a professional!"

4. On a man being arrested Thursday for allegedly using fireworks to set fire to his girlfriend's house:
"But you said you wanted more fireworks in our life!"

5. On San Francisco trying to ban the Happy Meal:
"Isn't that kind of like Germany banning the Bratwurst?"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

So, there was a big story this past week about a guy who went to a Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice wearing a Donovan McNabb jersey. No big deal, right? Well, this McNabb jersey was the new one - the Washington Redskins jersey. Stupid? Yes. But wrong? Well, probably not. However, this knucklehead wasn't even part of the "general fans" section, he was in more of a V.I.P. section.

The Eagles security guard basically told him he needed to take the jersey off. And, this immediately took on some sort of ridiculous news tornado of its own. So, is what this guy did Dope or Nope?

So, it sounds to me like this guy was just trying to get attention. He apparently didn't even have the shirt on until he got on the field, basically hiding it for everyone until he could make a scene (cowardly, in my opinion). I also think the friend who got the V.I.P. tickets deserves some blame. Seriously? This is the friend you are bringing? Seriously?

I think the Eagles may have gone a little overboard with their request, and took a justified P.R. hit because of it, but what kind of numb-skull, who claims he's an Eagles fan, would do this?

Monday, August 16, 2010

80's Corner

Mr. T. was a huge name in the 1980's. It all started for T. with the movie Rocky. T. Was the bad guy named Clubber Lang in this flick. T. parlayed this to a role in the famous 1980's TV show "The A-Team." It seemed like everyone wanted to be a bad-ass like T., from the mo-hawk, to the ridiculous jewelry. Mr. T. even made an appearance in the first Wrestlemania, teaming with Hulk Hogan to take on Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff.

But as all 1980's stuff, Mr. T.'s star died off as well. He has made somewhat of a comeback in recent years, even having some sort of character made for him in the wildly popular World of Warcraft game. That's when you know you've made it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Song of the Week ...

There have been many bands attempting to imitate the Beatles over the years. Most famously, a band called Oasis attempted to do so, even having the pomposity to say something along the lines of "When it's all said and done, we'll be far superior to the Beatles." Well, I guess there's something to be said about having high aspirations.

Anyway, I'm not going to write about Oasis (although, I do like some of their music). A few years ago, a band called The Vines came onto the seem, along with many other "The" bands (The Killes, The Kooks, The Bravery, etc.). They had one monster hit called "Ride," and coincidentally, it's the only song I really like from them.

This song rocks a little more than the rest of their music (the rest of their music sounding very early Beatles). They kept it simple starting off with a simple, yet catchy riff, followed by a build up to the actual song (the lead singer sounds a little like John Lennon). The song continually builds into the catchy "Ride With Me" chorus, which sounds like a mix between the Beatles and Smashing Pumpkins.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Earlier this week, a coworker and I took a drive to Exton to go to a Chinese Buffet. However, we spotted this new burger joint (well, new to us) called "Buddy's Burgers, Breasts, and Fries." Heck, any restaurant having "Breasts" in its title warrants at least a little attention, right?

We decided to stop there and check it out. Folks, it's really similar to Five Guys, in that they don't use frozen patties, and everything is made to order. The "Buddy" is a burger with two patties. They also offer the "Little Buddy," which, as you can guess, is only one patty. You can also order Buddys with bacon, and the toppings are very fresh. The fries seem almost exactly like the Five Guys fries, except they don't give you as much (which is fine, since Five Guys fry amounts are obscene).

So, what seems to be different than Five Guys is the bun - which is heavily sesame seeded (a good thing in my book). Plus, if you are eating in, they don't give you your meal in a bag, but actually give you a tray (a nice touch). The price is a little cheaper than Five Guys too.

All in all, a very good experience. I'll definitely be back!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'll Miss You Dearly, My Brotha

(Ray is the guy in the back right)

Last Saturday, a childhood/high-school/college friend of mine passed. I haven't been all that close to him in years ... mainly because he unfortunately ... let's just say, he took a different path. He also had moved to Ohio and lived there for over a decade. A few years ago, he came back to the area - I was excited to see him, hoping he'd changed. Unfortunately, his life had spiraled downward. I, along with other friends, tried to help him out, but he continually went back to the "bad things."

I had tried to distance myself from him when my wife got pregnant. Truthfully, I was a little scared of him at this point, but also, I think I may have been burned out from trying to help him. Some of my other friends backed off a bit too - we had begged him to get help. Unfortunately, he never really wanted to. My one friend, a devout religious person, worked very hard to bring him around, and I think things were starting to turn for the better.

Sadly, my friend never was fully able to make the turn. A bunch of us got together, and reminisced, even going through high school notebooks that his dad gave us (Our friend used to do top-10 lists every day, along with other funny writings). It was very therapeutic to laugh, cry, and remember just how good of a person he really was.

I'll miss ya, Ray. I hope you've finally found your peace.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.

When I was in fourth grade, my little brother was born. It always seemed that I got in trouble with him. He'd blame me for just about everything ... and sure, most of the time, it was my fault. However, not all the time. I remember this one time vividly.

My cousins Drew and Trish and I were outside in the backyard, along with my little brother. We all decided to go inside. Now, here's where you have to pay attention. I'm the first one in the line of kids going inside ... repeat, the FIRST ONE. I was followed by Drew, then Trish, and then Kurt.

My mom was in the kitchen along with my aunt (Drew and Trish's mom). Now again, I was FIRST in line! I walked right by my mom and aunt ... impossible to miss. Drew and Trish went in the house, and then my brother came up the rear. He apparently slipped on the step, fell down, and began to cry. My mom went to see what was wrong, and immediately, my brother blamed me for his fall.

Now, any sane person could've figured out that it was impossible for me to cause this fall. However, my mom, at the time suffering from apparently severe insanity, took my brother's side and began yelling at me. Thankfully, my aunt was there to provide reasoning to my bat-s*it crazy mother. So, luckily that time I avoided trouble.

Wacky News Stories

Thank ... God ... for ... air ... conditioners.

1. On a Swedish mountaineer and professional skier falling to his death while attempting to summit 28,253-foot K2, the world's second tallest peak:
"Eval Knieval thought that was a stupid stunt."

2. On Milwaukee teachers fighting for taxpayer-funded Viagra:
"Of course, they are battling some stiff opposition."

3. On a high school student testifying Thursday that he decided to “tell the truth” about teacher his teacher having sex with him after coming to believe she was having sex with “everyone else,” including the assistant principal:
"Now that's what I call extra credit!"

4. On Taco Bell launching a new product - Street Tacos:
"Real asphalt in every bite!"

5. On a semi trailer carrying more than 39,000 pounds of shredded cheese catching fire:
"As luck would have it, a ground beef truck ran into it seconds later ... followed by a bread truck."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

Have you had Mike's Hard Lemonade before? The company is trying to change its image, to be more attractive to men. It seems as if hard lemonade has been labeled a lady's drink. Mike's has been aggressively trying to change that and alter the label.

So, what do you think? Is it dope for a man to drink a Mike's hard lemonade (or even a Twisted Tea, I suppose)? Or, is this really only supposed to be a lady's drink?

Personally, I don't mind drinking a couple of Mike's hard lemonades in the summer.

Monday, August 09, 2010

80's Corner

Remember Micro Machines? Not sure if they're around anymore, but in the 1980's they made a huge splash. Ya see, back then, there were really only two companies that made those cool small cars kids would love - Hot Wheels and Matchbox.

Micro Machines jumped into the foray with even smaller cars. They looked cool, and the commercials were voiced by that fast-talking dude (I think he did some Fed Ex commercials in the 80's as well). I don't think I ever got any Micro Machines as a kid - I already had too many Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars ... plus, I probably would've lost them anyway.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Song of the Week ...

I know I've told you about this "product" before, but seriously guys, you have to get it. It's called the "Slacker." It's a music site, similar to Pandora, but much, much better. You basically can create your own radio stations, with the bands you want to hear. They have a free service, which may have some commercials in between songs, and you are only allowed to skip up to six songs an hour. Plus, you have limited ability to "fine-tune" your station.

The pay-service is extremely reasonable. I think it's something like $5 a month. Here, you can have unlimited skips, and can do all sorts of fine-tuning to your stations - like ramp up the artist discovery option, or increase-decrease the amount of times your "favorites" get played, and even playing more older or newer songs. I love it, I love it, I love it.

And, now, you can get Slacker on your smart phones. It's really cool - you can basically use this as an MP3 player, but the MP3s are not on your phone. And, unlike MP3 players, the songs never get old, because it keeps playing all kinds of different songs. Plus, if, for some reason, you are out of a service area, you can "cache" your favorite stations, and continue to listen to music.

Check out the site - www.slacker.com

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Have you ever been to Wegemans? Do you even know what Wegemans is? Well, it's a supermarket, but no ordinary supermarket. No, this supermarket is much, much more! It has a huge "cafe" of sorts, where you can buy anything from pizza to hoagies, to paninis, to burritos, to even Chinese food. And folks, the Chinese food is amazing.

Sure, it's a little on the pricey side, but so worth it. Every day, they change the options slightly in this buffet. All of your favorites are here - pork fried rice, general tso's chicken, shrimp egg roll ... it's absolutely amazing, and so well cooked! You go in, you fill your plate (or box), you pay, and you are out.

A Wegeman's just opened near my office, and I've been there probably 4 times in the past two weeks ... I can't get enough of the Chinese food - I'd love to sample the other stuff, but the Chinese buffet is right where you walk into the Cafe, and I can never get past it ... darn you, Wegemans!

Friday, August 06, 2010

ALS really sucks

According to Wikipedia, ALS is a form of motor neuron disease. ALS is a progressive,fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons, the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. Many of you may know it as Lou Gehrig's disease ... named after a famous New York Yankee who died from ALS.

ALS also drains family members and friends. It is so difficult to see such a rapid degeneration in a person who only a few years ago was so full of life. My uncle's wife has it, and she's practically given up on life. It's heart-breaking. This lady was the one who brought my uncle out of the shell he'd been in for years after his first wife passed.

I feel terrible for them. I wish I could do more. They are in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, with all of this work in genetics, we will find a cure for ALS soon.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt - If you could do it over again…

If I had it to do all over again, I would never have purchased that "6-Star Cutlery Set" that Ron Popeil was selling (a Ronco product). But man, did that infomercial suck me in - he just kept adding and adding and adding more knives to the set - steak knives, a chopper, a chef's knife, a game knife, a large filet knife ... I just couldn't handle it! I had to have it - especially considering I was spending something like $1 a knife ... and after all, Ron said that the knives will never go dull, and they are fully replaceable.

Well, the knives don't come with the wood block that you need to store them - that'll run you another $40 + shipping and handling. And truthfully, the knives look cheap - they seem to stay sharp, but they just don't look very ... ummm ... attractive.

Plus, this giant wood block with all of these Ronco knives takes up a considerable portion of the kitchen counter, and just seems to get in the way. Seriously, we really didn't need these knives ... I was just a sucker for a really good infomercial .... Darn you, Ronco!

Wacky News Stories

My goodness .... August already! Summer's almost over ... sigh.

1. On a woman dying after receiving injections of silicone to the buttocks:
"Sure she might be dead, but what a nice ass!"

2. On the Gamerator - a mix between and arcade machine and a kegerator:
"My God ... this may indeed be the greatest creation ever!"

3. On a wife who found out about her husband's second marriage in Disneyland on Facebook:
Oh, that's just plain 'Goofy!'"

4. On a city penalizing a handicapped man who wants to run a marijuana dispensary out of his storefront ... because they say it's not handicapped accessible:
"That handicapped guy better stop using what he sells."

5. On a man who was arrested for pushing a stroller whilst intoxicated:
"The baby was taken in as an accomplice ..."

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

Most people like dipping their fries in ketchup, right? There are a few "tortured" souls who enjoy dipping fries in mustard ... but what about those who like dipping their fries in mayonnaise? I've talked to two people in the last few weeks who swear by this.

I can't even fathom it - fries and ketchup go together like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Reilly and Ferrell. Adding mayo to fries is like putting Ellen on American Idol as a judge ... just a terrible idea entirely.

So, what are your thoughts? Dope or nope?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Song of the Week ...

Tegan and Sara did a song covered by the White Stripes called "Walking with a Ghost." Usually, remakes of originals never quite live up to or surpass the original (take, for example, Guns and Roses' remake of Live and Let Die). And, even though Jack White is immensely talented, his remake of this Tegan and Sara song is sub-par (probably because his ex-wife ... or girlfriend ... or whatever she is, has no talent).

From Wikipedia - Tegan and Sara is a Canadian indie pop/indie rock/New Wave band led by identical twins Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Kiersten Quin (born September 19, 1980). Both Tegan and Sara play guitar and keyboard and write songs, most often separately. Whoever writes each song typically sings the lead vocals for it.The band has released six studio albums since 1999, most recently Sainthood in 2009.

I'll be honest, I haven't really heard any of their other music, but this song stuck with me. Great chorus ... a little light on the drums, but good supporting instrumentals in the background. It's a song that sticks in your head.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

80's Corner

Back in the day, we didn't have cd writers for computers ... nope, we didn't even have 3 1/2 inch diskettes. Nope, we had these 5 1/4 inch floppy diskettes - lots and lots of them. I remember buying them all the time up at the local K-Mart. The single-sided, double density ones were the best, because you could get a hole-puncher, and punch a hole on the one side of the diskette and make it double-sided - we were genius!

We "burned" all kinds of Commodore 64 games onto these disks, with the help of "pirate disks," with names like "Mr. Hacker." My goodness, I probably accumulated hundreds of C-64 games like this!

These were indeed the good old days!