Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: 10 reasons why you’re glad it’s Fall.

In no particular order ....

10. Football season! I love football ... college and pro. I can't get enough of it, probably partially due to fantasy football.

9. Halloween - I've always loved Halloween ... ever since I was a child. I can't wait to share Halloween with my daughter!

8. Leaves - I used to LOVE leaves ... especially jumping in them. Now, I have to rake them, and don't love leaves nearly as much ... but still love the colors.

7. Cooler weather - I can only take summer for so long ... it's nice to get a break from the heat.

6. Fishing - A few months of trout fishing in October and November ... I dig it!

5. The new fall TV season - I love The Office, Community, and a few other shows ... no more reruns!

4. Thanksgiving - I get to see my family, and I loves me some turkey!

3. Setting the clocks back - gives me an extra hour to sleep in!

2. Oktoberfest - Great celebration!

1. Baseball playoffs - go Phils!!!!

Wacky News Stories

My fantasy football team stinks.

1. On the Harrisburg Zombie Walk, faced with paying fees to the city, moving from downtown to Harrisburg Mall:
"I'm not sure which I'm more confused about - the actual zombie walk, or the taxes forced on it."

2. On a postman who used social networking sites to groom up to 1,000 children – some of whom he sexually abused – being jailed for eight-and-a-half years:
"It would probably be tasteless making a crack about how the postman always delivers, wouldn't it?"

3. On a British man being arrested in a dawn raid on his house after he bought a goldfish in a pet shop then gulped it down in front of horrified staff:
"Good thing he didn't buy a cocker spaniel."

4. On a sports fan tattooing his penis as tribute to his team:
"He must be a Kansas City Royals fan ..."

5. on a small fire at the Cedar Point wooden roller coaster Tuesday night damaging a 5-foot section of the track:
"Another reason why I hate roller coasters..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

Boise State has a blue football turf. There is another team (I think Eastern Washington) that just put in red turf for football. First of all, let me make it clear that astro-turf and football just doesn't mix. But, what about this colored turf craze? Obviously, Boise State has certainly garnered a lot of popularity because of the turf, and I'm sure it's helped their recruiting efforts.

But, I hate watching Boise State home games on TV. It just doesn't look right to me ... kind of like a female announcer during a football game (different dope or nope question).

So, what are your thoughts .... colored turf ... dope or nope?

Monday, September 27, 2010

80's Corner

Don't Tip the Waiter is a forgotten-about board game ... not sure if it came out in the 1980's, but I do remember the commercial well. I never had the board game, but from what I remember, there was a waiter that stood on the board. You had to put chips of some sort on the tray the waiter was holding. But at some point, the tray would fall, and whomever added the chip that tipped the waiter lost.

Again, I'm not sure how cool the game was - I just remember the annoying commercial (which is now in my head).

Here's a video, but the sound is hard to hear:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Song of the Week ...

I remember a time when the Black Crowes were "da bomb." They had released Shake Your Money Maker and the album was a hit. They were touted as the saviors of rock and roll, as they boasted a blues-based rock sound that hadn't really been felt in main stream rock since the Stones and Zeppelin were in their hey-days.

Their second album. Southern Harmony & Musical Companion, was pretty good, but nowhere near as good as their first (I don't think anybody expected them to have a follow-up bigger than their first). Still, the album was respectable - featuring a song called "Remedy." A rockin' song, featuring strong guitar riffs, blues-backing piano, and a strong-drum sound.

Not sure what is exactly being depicted in the song, but it sounds like it's about a guy who is love-crazed and needs a "love-remedy." of sorts. The chorus also features a gospelly-bluesy female backing that takes the song over the top.

Just a great rockin' song (sadly, the band lost focus and their remaining albums never hit the mark).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fast Food Corner

There was a time when McDonalds had a two cheeseburger value meal - it consisted of two cheeseburgers, fries and soda for I think around $3.99 initially. Now, that value meal can no longer be found at McDonalds ... at least not around the Philly area (there is an exception - a McDonalds in the WalMart in Exton still has it - I think it's like $4.99).

I liked this meal mainly because it was great "hand-food" whilst driving. The burgers easily fit into one hand and were not messy ... as most of you know, this is a major ingredient in hand-food (ease of handling whilst driving). And it was always a treat to reach into the bag for the fries.

So, why did McDonalds get rid of these? I'm sure they were a great seller. Did McDonalds not make enough cash on them? Was there no room on the menu (which is now up to 13 items, by the way)? What gives? Is there some sort of campaign in place to get this value menu item on the menu again?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: In the book I’m reading,Girls of Tender Age,the main character is deeply affected by the murder of a childhood friend. Describe a tragedy you didn’t expect to be as deeply affect by as you are.

I may have mentioned this on my blog before ... This next year, it'll be 25 years ... 25 years since Brian died of liver cancer. It was our 8th grade graduation ... we were celebrating our assent to "adult-hood." Next year, we'd be high school freshman! Nothing could stop us. After the graduation ceremony, a bunch of us and our parents went to the Erin Pub. It was fitting - we were all good friends who played soccer, baseball, and basketball together.

Brian wasn't feeling good that day. I later found out that he hadn't felt good for months. My cousin Drew even said that he felt Brian's stomach the one day, and it felt hard. Brian only ate half of his sandwich. I didn't think much of it. I had to get ready for our 8th grade graduation dance later that night.

Brian would never make it there. His mom took him to the hospital later that day. We didn't know the story at the time, so we joked that he must've gotten mono from kissing a girl. Boy, do I wish it was only that. By the end of the weekend, we all knew - Brian had liver cancer. How could this be? He was one of the most athletically gifted kids in our school. His infectious laugh made everybody smile. I don't think the kid ever had an enemy.

Brian was a fighter, and he didn't go without an epic battle. It took three liver transplants in a 3-month span to finally silence his laugh. I'll never forget seeing him in the coffin, with his gray suit. I silently urged him to get up and out of the coffin so we could play baseball together one more time ... But that never happened. I remember hearing Billy Joel's "Piano Man" that day, and everytime I hear it now, it reminds me of him and that excruciatingly somber day.

I can't believe it's going to be 25 years ....

Wacky News Stories

Yup ... finally recovered from Oktoberfest...

1. On The International House of Pancakes filing a lawsuit against a Kansas City, Mo.-based religious group that calls itself the International House of Prayer over the acronym "IHOP:"
"IHOP better hope that God likes pancakes!"

2. On police arresting a man who tried to rob a bank but instead thanked the teller and left when she claimed not to have any money:
"This guy's still probably waiting for the stork to bring him a baby."

3. On students at Robert E. Lee High School saying the mascot they want to have help lead cheers would not display any Confederate symbols:
"That's like saying the Adolf Hitler High School is eliminating swastikas ..."

4. On the founder of a program to keep people safe on Minnesota roads being killed in a head-on crash Wednesday afternoon in Wyoming, Minn ... the man wasn't wearing a seatbelt:
"From the 'do as I say, not as I do' department."

5. On Mini-moo - the 33-inch English cow, which is apparently the world's smallest cow:
"I found this story and picture to be "udderly a-moosing."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

80's Corner

Parachute pants. Remember these? MC Hammer made them very popular (and probably ended up killing them) in his "Can't Touch This" video. Basically, it was as if a clothing designer had a lot of extra fabric left, and decided that pants needed to have enough room for a Basset hound in them. And yes, of course I wanted a pair when I was growing up (that's besides the point ... thanks mom for not giving in!).

These pants were best used for "crab dances" like the one Hammer used in said video. I guess it's not any sillier than wearing pants below the hips (or is it?).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

The Boot ... if you've watched the movie Beerfest, you know what I'm talking about. You fill a 2-liter glass boot with beer, and drink. In the movie, it's a race - each person drinks this. What has become a "new fad" is having teams drink the boot.

Our family has been doing it for at least 5 years now, and outside of the fact that it isn't the most sanitary of things, it is fun ... and heck, it's tradition!

So, what are your thoughts on "Das Boot?"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Song of the Week ...

Keith Richards is considered the "bad-ass" of the Rolling Stones. He's been around far longer than he probably should have, has experimented with every drug known to man (heck, he apparently even smoked his dad's ashes), and he's also created some absolutely awesome music over the years.

Only the true Stones fans know that Keith Richards has done some solo work over the years, and that's a shame, because his solo music is really, really good. One particular song I've been listening a lot to recently is "Wicked as it Seems." Filled with evil-sounding guitar rifts, accompanied by what sounds like rattlesnakes, and at times feels like it could've been played by Alice in Chains (although there is a strong reggae influence in the chorus).

The lyrics themselves are a tad confusing, as is normal with a Richards song, but it seems to be about a relationship gone sour. The lyrics towards the end seem to be a little haunting:

So I soften the blow, so the bruises don`t show
I`ve got the expertise
No broken necks
No broken hearts
Well, we used your deck
All I did was play the cards - now the check.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Burger King is apparently "beefing up" their breakfast offerings, as advertised by the commercial below. One breakfast item piqued my curiousity - the BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter - so I did some research. Here's what the platter includes - scrambled eggs, hasbrowns, sausage, biscuit, and three pancakes with syrup. It's a pretty big breakfast for a fast-food chain, but something you'd probably expect on a Denny's menu.

Here's the thing ... the caloric intake for this breakfast platter is a whopping 1310 calories ... holy mackerel! I mean, that's pretty much all you should be taking in the entire day, isn't it? It gets better - it has 26 grams of saturated fat, 455 mgs of cholesterol and 134 grams of carbs ... enough to paralyze Mr. Atkins.

I like to try fast food, for research purposes of course. But folks, I can't bring myself to try this. I'm afraid that I'd either die or be constipated for a week. There are limits for me ... and today, I think I found one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oktoberfest, Baby!!!

It's Oktoberfest time again! The Delaware Saengerbund (in Newark, DE) is having another 3-day bash, complete with food, lots and lots of bier, carnival rides, and German music (probably the reason why they need a lot of beer). Folks, it is an absolute blast! If you live nearby, I highly recommend you attend. I'm including some pics and a link that should give you all the info you need.

First, here's the link that'll provide you all the info you need:

Here are some great pics:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Describe a time when you saved BIG.

Since I am fanatical about sales and coupons, I can't pick just one time. What I can do is tell you about a website I'm addicted to. It's called and it tracks all the main "Deal-of-the-day" sites, like Woot and and Steal of the day. My god, if you hit this site right, you can get some really killer deals.

I'm surprised that I haven't bought too many things off of this site, but I have bought some things - like dryer balls, electric ice scrapers, and little keyboard vacs (all were free with minimal shipping). But, I haven't taken the leap and purchased anything big - like TVs or computers (which they advertise). Maybe someday, I guess.

I stop by dodtracker daily just to see what's out there - it's the first thing I do when I get into work in the morning. Like I said, I hardly buy anything, but, I'm always attracted to a sale ...

Wacky News Stories

This past week was the 9th "anniversary" of 9-11 ... I can't believe how quickly time has gone by ... let's make a stronger effort never to forget.

1. On Administrators at Byron Nelson High School in Texas suspending a 16-year-old boy on Tuesday because his eyes were bloodshot and they thought he might have been smoking marijuana - The teen said he was not high. Instead his eyes were red because he had been grieving the loss of his murdered father:
"Really? Jumping to conclusions? In Texas?!?!"

2. On Lilly Eddy, leading expert in lip print interpretation, and founder of, discussing what our pouts might reveal about our personalities:
"I can't wait for the interview with the founder of">1=49015

3. On Fidel Castro saying Friday his comments about the Cuban economic model no longer working were misinterpreted by a visiting American journalist - taking back an admission that caused a stir around the globe:
"What he meant to say was that he really, really, really misses Kruschev and Breschnev, and that he'll hopefully see them really, really soon."

4. On the creation of the deep-fried Margarita:
"What do you wash it down with, french fry juice?"

5. On controversial pastor Terry Jones and controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh being high school classmates:
"I'm hoping this shool no longer exists ..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

How about bumper stickers? Some cars adorn them as if they were ornaments on a Christmas tree. Most of these bumper stickers seem to be political or religious in nature, while some or comedic or musical.

My question is, why would anyone paste these all of their cars (especially new cars)? Seriously? It's more annoying than anything to see these stickers. It immediately bestows on me the feeling that these people (a) don't give a damn about their cars, and (b) are extremists (especially the ones who drape political and religious fodder all over their cars). I hate to prejudge, by the way.

So, what are your thoughts? Bumper stickers? Dope or nope?

Monday, September 13, 2010

80's Corner

In the early 1980's, Saturday Night Live was in a slump - they had lost their "Not Ready For Prime Time" originals, like Aykroyd, Murray, Belushi, etc., and were struggling to find the "next generation." Enter Eddie Murphy. The man almost single-handedly saved the show with great characters like "Mr. Robinson," "Stevie Wonder," "James Brown," "Buckwheat," and of course "Gumbie."

He wasn't on SNL nearly long enough, as his star rose rapidly to uncharted territory (and, of course, it came back to Earth just as quickly). Below are a few of my favorite Eddie Murphy SNL skits:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Song of the Week ...

When I mention the band "Chairmen of the Board," you may think that this is probably Sinatra's back-up band ... and you'd be wrong. This is a soul band that experienced some popularity in the 1970's, and is still touring today. Funny thing - before I actually knew who they were, I actually saw them perform in Myrtle Beach in 1994. I don't remember much from the performance, other than they seemed to be having fun and the crowd was really into them.

Their song "Give Me Just a Little More Time" is a classic soul number that seems to be overlooked by most. The song was released in 1970, and reached number 3 on the Billboard charts. According to Wikipedia, "'Give Me Just a Little More Time' features Chairmen of the Board lead singer General Johnson as the narrator, begging a lover who rejected him to reconsider and give him 'just a little more time'."

The instrumentals in the song are very "Motown Traditional," and if you like Motown, you'll LOVE this song (even if you don't like Motown, you should at the very least like this song).

Kylie Minogue did a remake of this song in the early 1990's, and of course, stripped all of the soul out of it (sadly):

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Has anybody heard of the new Denny's sandwich - the Fried Cheese Melt Sandwich? Basically, it's a grilled cheese, but with mozzarella sticks added. Pizza Hut's "cheesey crust pizza" thinks that's a lot of cheese. People's hearts probably stop beating the second this thing is ordered.

I mean, seriously, could they have figured away to make the bread out of cheese at this point? Holy smokes - I can't imagine how long that sandwich would take to pass through my intestines. My guess is that I'd probably go a good week without being able to do a BM.

My wife, who would probably enjoy sleeping in a bed made out of cheese, would probably love this sandwich. However, it would probably be a good idea for her to stay away from this, at least for the baby-to-be's sake!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: What was it about that movie? Describe A movie you once had memorized.

There was a time in the summer of my sophomore year in high school. My good friend Ray-Ray and I would watch Weird Science almost every night. Why? I have no idea, really ... other than it being a really, really funny movie. At one time, I considered this movie my favorite.

Maybe it's because at times, we all probably wanted to create a girl that would be ours ... and at the time, Kelly LeBrock was absolutely amazingly hot! Let's face it, we all wanted to shower with her.

Maybe it's because at times, we felt like Gary and Wyatt. No girlfriends ... nothing to do ... another night of drinking soda and playing video games (truth be told, we weren't this bad, and we did have girlfriends from time-to-time, but there were summer nights when we had NOTHING to do).

For whatever reason, we were fixated by this movie, and could rattle off the entire movie lines verbatim ... a talent that most women failed to appreciate, unfortunately.

Wacky News Stories

Road House is just an awesome movie. Where else can the following quote - "You're too stupid to have a good time" - work so well?

1. On Washington DC having the most accident-prone drivers of any U.S. city for the third straight year, according to Allstate Corp:
"I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the high concentration of politicians living in and around said area ..."

2. On a French teacher being suspended for spending too much time teaching about the Holocaust:
"He should've known better after accepting the teaching position at the Josef Goebels School."

3. On a beer truck crashing in California:

4. On a couple getting married inside Walmart:
"I'm going to take a wild guess on where they had their wedding registry ...."

5. On new research from the University of New Hampshire showing that the "gateway effect" of marijuana - that teenagers who use marijuana are more likely to move on to harder illicit drugs as young adults - is overblown:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dope or Nope ...

The NFL is looking to expand their season to 18 games. The justification is that 4 preseason games is a waste for everybody. Why not eliminate 2 of them, and make them regular season games.

Fans probably love this - more football (we'll see how that works with fantasy football!). Gamblers are in heaven - heck, another two weeks of losing money! But, the players don't seem to happy with this, as they get pretty dinged up with just 16 games.

So, what do you think? Is it dope to add two more games to the NFL season?

Monday, September 06, 2010

80's Corner

Growing up in the lat 70's and early 80's, I was lucky enough to have the Atari 2600 (or the Atari VCS to those who had the original). I remember it like it was yesterday, opening that box on Christmas Eve night, after getting home from church. I practically jumped out of my skin when I saw the Atari logo on the box. I couldn't open the box quickly enough.

I remember my cousin and I playing Combat and Football for hours that first night. We vowed we'd never have to go to the arcade again, because now we had our own arcade. Of course, we ended up still going to the arcade because, well, the games were far cooler in the arcade. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Atari. And at times, I thought things couldn't get any better - like when Real Sports Football came out for the Atari - the players actually had helmets, and they looked like they were really running. We thought this would be as life-like as video games get.

Fast forward 30+ years, and we were proven wrong. But, still, the Atari will always have a place in my heart.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Song of the Week ...

According to Wikipedia, the Paddingtons are an English indie rock band from Hull, known for their energetic concerts and loyal fanbase. From what I gather, they've been around since 2005, but unfortunately (for me), I just recently discovered them. Their song, Panic Attack, which comes from their first studio album - First Comes First, and it's a great rocker with a dose of punk.

Their Clash influence comes through in this song (as well as during their live show - as they tend to play a few Clash songs during their shows). The song itself is fast, simple, and fun. The lyrics are a bit hard to understand, but that's ok, because you'll be bopping your head too much to need to sing the lyrics.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fast Food Corner

Taco Bell is advertising a new Cantina taco ... actually, there are a couple of choices - chicken, steak, and pork. To perhaps job your memory, the commercial talks about "the lime." So, for research purposes of course, I had to try the taco.

I was hoping to be wowed ... or at least "whoa-ed." I got neither. This taco is awful. Don't bother spending your money. The "soft-taco" falls apart way too easily (which is probably why they use two), and is very dry. Plus, they put the bare minimum of meat and onions in it ... the flimsy tacos are probably the reason for this (if they put any more in, the shells would fall apart more). So, really, all you taste is the dry taco shell.

And, you can't wrap it up tightly, because again, it falls apart too easily. So, what little meat there is, falls out from the taco as you are eating it. A very frustrating "sandwich," and definitely not one that qualifies for "hand food."

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: An open letter to a celebrity.

Dear Nickleback,

Seriously. Stop writing and releasing music. It's not that your sound is awful (although, I think it is), it's that all of your songs sound exactly the same. You know, the same whiny, raspy voice, the same guitar and drum sounds ... heck, you even have the same beat to most of your songs. Seriously, just stop, OK?

I know it's not all your fault - I mean, the radio stations have been convinced to continue playing your songs repeatedly for some reason ... wait, maybe you bribed them - maybe "pay-ola" isn't dead. I can't explain any other reason why the radio stations play you. Maybe you include some sort of irresistible hypnotic suggestion in your songs that make people want to continue listening (and apparently, I have the antidote).

So, please. Stop. Seriously. Just stop. And while you are at it, could you ask Creed to retire again? Thank you!

PS - don't believe me about the songs sounding the same? Check this Youtube clip out:

Wacky News Stories

Fantasy football draft complete ... as always, I currently like my team.

1. On a story that canned beer is the future of good beer:
"The fine people at Meister Brau and Piels are finally happy in their pants!"

2. On Fidel Castro saying that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is a bought-and-paid-for CIA agent who always popped up when former President George W. Bush needed to scare the world, arguing that documents recently posted on the Internet prove it:
"Emo Phillips thinks this guy is nuts."

3. On Paris Hilton being arrested on the Las Vegas Strip late Friday after police saw a cloud of what they suspected was marijuana smoke wafting from the windows of a black Cadillac Escalade driven by her boyfriend, then found a small amount of cocaine in her possession:
"Maybe she can turn this into a positive like Richard Pryor - 'Paris Hilton - Up in Smoke!'"

4. On a Catholic school apologizing to parents offended by a boy pretending to be Adolf Hitler won first place in his class at a school costume contest:
"They decided to re-award the prize to the second place winner - the kid in the Osama Bin Laden costume."

5. On two soccer moms brawling at an awards ceremony:
"They agreed to settle it in a min-van race-off..."