Oliver North's name was part of a big political scandal during the Reagan years of the 1980's. In a nutshell, this is an overview of the situation, according to Wikipedia:
"North was at the center of national attention during the Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council staff member involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran, which served to encourage the release of U.S. hostages from Lebanon. North formulated the second part of the plan: diverting proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua (funding to the Contras had been prohibited under the Boland Amendment amidst widespread public opposition in the U.S. and controversies surrounding human rights abuses by the Contras). North was charged with several felonies and convicted of three, but the convictions were later vacated, and the underlying charges dismissed due to the limited immunity agreement granted for his pre-trial public Congressional testimony about the affair."
But I'll always remember him with that goofy smile in the military outfit ... he seemed like he could've been friends with Gomer Pyle.
Pabst Brewing company is promoting a new "drink" called Colt 45's Blast. It's supposed to taste a little like soda, and it is marketed heavily that way. Plus, it is much stronger than regular Colt 45. So, is this a good idea - you know, for those people who don't really like the taste of alcohol but want to get drunk anyway? Or, is this something that is really being marketed to kids?
What are your thoughts? Colt 45 Blast - Dope or Nope?
You've undoubtedly heard this song in a popular beer commercial recently (hint - from Amsterdam). The song, by a band named Brazilian Girls, is called Good Time ... the chorus is like an anthem - "All the Time ... All the time." The song itself is quite simple, with a "4-on-the-floor" disco-style drum beat, a rumbling base line, and simple guitar backing, with some creative keyboards weaving in and out of the song.
But what makes the song work is the chorus - it's simplicity is what makes it work - the lyrics are also quite simple, which can be refreshing in a complex world. The band states that all they want to do is have a good time ... all the time. Sometimes, that's what I want too.
Chick Fil-A has some really good options for people watching their fast-food caloric intake. I haven't had a chance to sample their chicken wraps yet, but I did recently try their Chargrilled Chicken sandwich the other day ... and yes, I skipped the fries, opting instead for the fruit cup (which is very good, by the way). So, here's the description of the sandwich, according to Chick Fil-A: A boneless breast of chicken, marinated in special seasonings, grilled to perfection and served on a toasted Golden Wheat Bun with dill pickle chips, Green Leaf lettuce, and tomato. Served with 1 package of Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce.
And folks, let me tell ya - at this point, this is the best grilled chicken sandwich from a fast-food restaurant that I've had ... yep - it's that good. So, it runs about 290 calories - not awful. And it has 29 grams of protein - which is excellent for people looking to lose weight. The carbs are a bit high, but not bad for a fast-food restaurant. All in all - a good healthy choice.
Lydia is going to be introduced to some "real" food shortly ... she is now 4 months old, and at this point, it is ok to feed the baby some rice-cereal, and maybe even some other baby food like pureed carrots.
So, here's the thing - I hear the diaper poopie gets smellier at this point ... Liddy's poop is smelly enough for me as is ... Not sure if I'll be able to handle additional stench!
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is leaving The Office this season. The show became immensely popular over the years in the U.S. (after it was originally done in England), taking every office-setting stereotype imaginable and weaving them into the show's characters and storylines.
The show is apparently going to go on without Carell and nobody's really sure who, if anybody, will be replacing him. So, dope or nope - on the show going on without its main character?
GI Joe was originally created back in the 1960's (I believe) ... I remember my older brother owning one of those 12-inch GI Joe figures - he looked more like a true Army GI, and had removable Army fatigues and guns - he even came in his own Army box.
GI Joe was revived in the 1980's, but became more ... um ... sci-fi ... his main enemy was Cobra (and eventually Destro), and these characters were much more Super-Human than the original iteration. The action figures sold like wildfire, and they even had a cartoon that was wildly popular in the 1980's. Heck, at one point, even wrestling legend Sgt. Slaughter became part of the GI Joe machine.
I remember having a few figures back in the day, but for the most part, GI Joe had passed me by.
The Twighlight Singers are a band I follow less than I should. Gregg Dulli, from the Afghan Whigs leads the band (and I'm a huge fan of the Afghan Whigs). The band's new album, Dynamite Steps, is another strong effort, and features a song called "On the Corner."
This song sounds very much like some classic Afghan Whigs work - it is dark, starts quiet and gets loud, and features some strong violins in the background. And Dulli shrieks and yells like it was 1992 again - just awesome! Great guitar solo in the center of the song, along with some catchy semi-choruses.
It's what rock and alternative rock should've become (not the main-stream emo-crap that has hijacked the airwaves ... I'll get off my soap-box now!).
Last week, I tried the Grilled McWrap at McDonalds ... This week I tried the Grilled Chicken Wrap at Wendy's (as promised). So, here's the comparison:
Honestly, there isn't that much difference. I would say that the tortilla wraps themselves are almost identical, and the "toppings" are about the same. If I had a gun pointed at my head, I would say the grilled chicken tasted a little better at Wendy's than at McDonalds. However, Wendy's price is a little more expensive - the wrap sells for $1.99 at Wendy's and only $1.59 at McDonalds
Wendy's Chicken wrap has about 260 calories, while McDonalds McWrap also has 260 calories ... with a little less fat (at least the Honey Mustard one does). So, they are almost at a dead heat ... now I have to find another fast-food joint that serves wraps to see if I can break the tie! Any suggestions?
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: A time you covered your tracks and avoided punishment. My cousins and I were playing a game in my parents' basement when we were growing up ... the game involved jumping on furniture and avoiding touching the ground. My has some semi-expensive plates she hangs on the walls around the basement - most represent a town in Germany ... you probably are getting where this is going.
As I was jumping on a piece of furniture, the back of my head hit one of the plates, dislodged it, and if fell to the floor, and shattered into 3 big pieces. I held my ears, as I waited for my mom to inevitably scream and run down the stairs to punish me ... but mom never came. As it turned out, she was outside, unaware of the plate problem.
I quickly surveyed the damage and came up with a contingency plan ... I would use Elmer's glue to glue the 3 pieces back together ... the plan HAD TO WORK ... and you know what? It actually did - to this day, the Elmer's glue has held the plate together ... I still don't think my mom noticed the cracks in the plate
Baseball doubleheaders are apparently a thing of the past. Back in the day, double-headers were played almost every weekend! Now, they are only scheduled when there is a rain-out. This contributes to the season being ungodly long ... my guess is that we got to this place for two main reasons. First, the players union fought for this (no need to have overpaid players over-exert themselves). Second, owners, being as greedy as they are, don't want to give their fans any opportunities for a 2-for-1 deal ... pay for each game, darn-it!
I remember going to a Phillies double-header with my dad ... it was awesome! A full day of baseball, hot dogs, and soda ... what could be better? Well, I guess my daughter won't get to find out.
So, what are your thoughts on baseball double-headers? Dope or nope?
Bands in this era have crazy names .... maybe all the good ones have already been taking. This is definitely the case with "Two Door Cinema Club," an indie band from Northern Ireland. The band has been semi-popular in the indie community, having even toured with indie heroes Phoenix. The band is poised to gain more popularity as their songs have the right mix of "catchy," and "simplistic-yet-complex."
Their song "What You Know," has almost a tango-like undertone mixed with an alt-poppy sound. It almost sounds like Duran-Duran mixed with Phoenix ... I can hear Rio in this if I listen closely enough. A very cool sounding guitar laces the entire track, along with some synth-elements ... just a great mixture ... this is a song I could listen to over and over again.
Rob Lowe was at the top of his game in the 80's ... he starred in some great movies like Youngblood and St. Elmo's Fire ... he was the teen heart-throb of the time, and he seemed to have no ceiling ... until a sex scandal... I remember it vaguely, so I had to look it up on Wikipedia.org.
Here is what they had to say about it: "In 1988, Lowe was involved in a sex scandal over a videotape of him having sex with two women, one of whom was 16. She was filmed with Lowe during the night before the Democratic National Convention. Lowe has asserted that he did not know that the second girl was underage, and it was confirmed that the two had met at a bar. At the time, Lowe was campaigning for Michael Dukakis. Another part of the same tape was leaked at the time, showing Lowe and his friend Justin Moritt, later the line producer, both having sexual intercourse and oral sex with a young American model named Jennifer, in a hotel room in Paris. This part of the original tape was sold as one of the first commercially available celebrity sex tapes, damaging his public image. He later entered a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol and sex addiction."
The funny part is if this happened today, he would've probably become even more popular! At the time, he basically was black-balled and took him years to rehab his image ... I think his role in Waynesworld was probably the start of this.
So, I've been on a "healthier eating" kick ... definitely don't want to call it a diet, because diets often fail ... it's really just readjusting eating habits ... smaller portions, more protein and less fat, and staying away from cookies, fries, and chips (not an easy task for me).
I went to McDonalds on Thursday ... I haven't been to one of those in months! I got the Grilled Chicken wrap ... or McWrap ... or whatever they call it ... I got two of them ... and that's it ... no fries ... not drink ... and you know what? It tasted pretty good ... surprisingly, it tasted better than the fried chicken McWraps ... seriously, it did! Anyway, I think I'm going to try the grilled chicken wrap at Wendy's and make a comparison between the two ... So, without trying the Wendy's grilled chicken wrap, I have to say that the bar has been set pretty high!
I hate dressing Liddy in pants and a shirt ... she doesn't like it, and it's a pain in the butt. I'd rather put her in a sleeper all day ... she doesn't mind this so much (she prefers naked), and it's a lot easier to clean a dirty diaper ... am I being lazy?
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: If you really knew me, you would know that ... (top 10): 10. I don't like ham BECAUSE I got sick on it on a couple of occasions as a child. 9. I've been to the Ukraine before to visit my dad's birthplace ... it really put things into perspective for me. 8. I was engaged more than once. 7. I have a hatred of reality shows. 6. The only real dance I can do is the Mick Jagger "rooster" strut. 5. I value trust and a good sense of humor most in a friendship. 4. I am addicted to sports. 3. I have trouble listening to country music and hip-hop. 2. I find today's mainstream musical "artists" awful ... translation, the music scene has passed me by. 1. Barry Bonds is my least favorite athlete.
4. On the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging city leaders in San Francisco to change the name of its legendarily gritty Tenderloin to something with decidedly less gristle: "I hope they're only 'horsing-around,' because if this is the battle they decide to wage, I think they're 'barking' up the wrong tree ..." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/us/31tenderloin.html?_r=2&ref=sanfranciscobayarea
Chad Occocinco is not letting the NFL lock-out slow him down ... in fact, he's apparently taking up another sport ... soccer. He used to play it as a child, and he's very athletic, tall, and fast. He's also a big soccer fan, or so he says. So, an MLS team gave him a chance to make their team, and guess what ... he made one of the MLS feeder teams as a reserve ... it's good publicity for both the MLS and Chad, but what do you think?
Plan B is the "alter-ego" of Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, and according to Wikipedia, he is a British rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and film director from Forest Gate, London. Plan B first emerged as a hip hop artist releasing his critically acclaimed début album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words in 2006. His second studio album The Defamation of Strickland Banks (2010) was a soul record and went straight into the UK album chart at no. 1. He has also collaborated with other artists such as Chase & Status most notably on the top ten single "End Credits" (2009).
So, I'm not really into rap or hip hop, but for whatever reason, I like this song. This song seems be more alternative-rockish ... good guitar riffs, nice uppity beat, and even though he's singing falsetto, it works.
The chorus of "Always stay too long" by the background singers, and the driving piano is catchy ... sure, there's a rap in the middle, but it's not overly long and not annoying. The song works, and is a great toe-tapper.
Calgon became famous for a commercial they did in the 1980's ... The setting was a Chinese Dry-Cleaners or Laundromat (can't remember for sure). But one of the customers asked the owner, "How do you get your clothes so clean," to which the owner responds, "Ancient Chinese secret!"
The wife of the owner smirks, and says "Ancient Chinese secret, eh?" under her breath. She has a laundry basket filled with clothes and a box of Calgon.
Calgon had a second equally famous commercial in which a lady is stressed, and all she wants to do is take a bath. At the point of complete exhaustion, she screams, "Calgon, Calgon, take me away!" And the next thing you know, she is laying in a bubble bath, and a pure state of relaxation ... I believe the tub is even flying around space ...
Angus seems to be the big thing these days in fast food. Over the past few years, McDonalds and Burger King have both released and heavily promoted their angus burgers. Arby's is the latest fast food giant to enter the Angus market, with their "Angus Three Cheese and Bacon sandwich."
The Angus beef really looks like their regular roast beef, at least in the commercial,but the roll seems to be a hoagie roll (haven't had it yet). I'm intrigued by this sandwich, as both Burger King's and McDonald's sandwiches are very good. Let me know if you've tried this yet!
Nearly 10 years ago, I, along with my friend Jeff, went up to Penn State for an alumni dinner featuring Todd Blackledge, a legendary Penn State quarterback who helped the Nittany Lions win a national championship in the early 1980's. As Jeff and I finished getting our dinner (it was done buffet style), we looked for a place to sit - the place was packed, and the only real place left to sit was a table in the back of the room.
Jeff and I proceeded to sit at said table ... not expecting what happened next. None other than Todd Blackledge asked if he could sit with us ... apparently, he couldn't find a table either. Blackledge was a hero of mine growing up ... I even had a number 14 Penn State jersey! This was a dream come true for me.
It was a little awkward at first ... I mean, what do you say to a hero of yours? But, Jeff and I soon found out that Todd was just a normal, pleasant guy ... we talked about the year he won the national title ... he seemed to focus more on the one game they lost - a blowout to 'Bama (a team Paterno never seemed able to beat). He talked about not wanting to go to the sideline, because Joe-Pa was there ready to bark at him. Just a fascinating conversation.
It is said somewhere that it is usually better never to meet your hero, because you'll ultimately end up disappointed ... well that was certainly not the case with me!
Spaceballs was a spoof on Star Wars, and other space movies, but mainly Star Wars ... it was arguably Mel Brooks' last masterpiece (some people claim Robin Hood, Men in Tights was pretty good). It features Rick Moranis in the "Darth Vadar" role, and frankly, he knocks the character out of the park. John Candy plays "Barf," kind of like a friendly and funny Chewbacca.
Just a classic movie all around. They hinted to a sequel in the movie, but sadly, that never happened.
Will Frrell - some people love him, others hate him. There are people who claim that Old School and Anchorman are two of the funniest movies ever. Others say that Will is a one-trick pony, and that his "over-the-top" acting is getting old.
I personally love Will - anytime he's in a movie, I can't help but laugh at just about anything he does or says ... I think his delivery is fantastic.
So, what do you think? Will Ferrell ... dope or nope?
UB40 is a "reggae-ish" type of band, more on the poppy side. They've had some minor hits in the U.S. - including "Red-Red-Wine" (twice), and a remake of "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You." And sure, they don't really fit the reggae profile, and aren't really taken seriously in the reggae community, but truthfully, their music isn't that bad.
Their song "Cherry, Oh Baby," is a classic reggae cover (this song was even covered by the Stones), and has a really slow reggae groove to it. The song is about a man who lusts after a woman, who apparently hasn't shown much interest in him.
The chorus is addicting, and the bass-line overpowers the song. Not a bad effort by UB40.
Did we ever think we'd see the day when another fast food company would have more restaurants than McDonalds? I never thought this would happen, but surprise, surprise! Apparently, Subway is ahead of Micky D's ... and I'm kind of shocked.
I mean, Subway is good, but is it really THAT good? Maybe it's the "healthy" marketing that has moved Subway forward (Thanks, Jared) ... although, there are plenty of sandwiches that Subway sells which aren't really that healthy.
I live in the Philly area, and there are PLENTY of hoagie stores that do a much better job with hoagies than Subway ... however, most of these hoagies aren't all that healthy... but still .... Subway restaurants don't really do well in the Philly area (except when they are in a Walmart).
My daughter hated tubby time the first few weeks of her life ... she cried and screamed as if we were bathing her in acid. Now, she absolutely loves Tubby Time ... we make a spa event out of it, playing soothing music, and giving her a massage at the end of it ... maybe that's why she likes it ... I'd actually like to sign up for it!
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Share an old journal entry. I went all the way back to November 21, 2005 for this one ... MORE THAN 5 YEARS AGO! So, without further adieu ....
I discovered yet another one of those overlooked great feelings this weekend … I ran out of toilet paper when I was taking a growler, and to my surprise (and good fortune), I had remembered to bring a spare roll up previously. Isn’t that a great feeling when you realize that there is another roll? It’s almost like finding a $10 bill in your jacket or pants pocket … almost.
Of course, running out of toilet paper and not having any backup toilet paper is one of the worst feelings. Sometimes you could get by with tissues, but the paper is so thin, and sometimes your finger goes right through and you get that disgusting moist feeling on your fingertips, and you know that you are going to have to overload on soap and a scrubber.
But, if there is no more toilet paper AND no tissue paper, then what? You could pull up your pants and go to the closet to get another roll, having to do that Fred Sanford walk to make sure that your underwear does not get anywhere near the mud. Or, you could use a towel in the bathroom and immediately throw it in the hamper. Or, you can just use your underwear and throw that in the hamper (or in the trash, I guess). This could be one of those “NFL – You Make the Call” commercials.
2. On two people being charged after police said they assaulted one another with frying pans during a fight in Dunbar Township on Thursday: "The Swedish Chef was unavailable for comment ..." http://www.wpxi.com/news/27238694/detail.html
Remember when the Segue was invented? The hype was amazing - this "vehicle" didn't run on anything except gyroscope technology - you leaned forward, and the thing would move forward. You lean to the side, and it would turn ... at least I think that's what it does ... I've never driven one.
The thought was that this would take over the world as an efficient transportation "vehicle." I remember discussions taking place on news shows stating that cities like Atlanta were well equipped for the Segue, but cities like New York didn't have the proper infrastructure.
I haven't really heard or seen much of the segue in recent years ... with the exception of the movie "Paul Blart, the Mall Cop." Personally, I think they are kind of ok ... but they don't move very fast ... I could run faster than they move (I think) ... so, the point is, is this device even necessary?
What are your thoughts on the Segue? Dope or Nope?
EF Hutton had a bunch of similarly themed commercials in the 1980's ... usually, it was a conversation between two people in a busy place, like an airport, or some sort of business meeting. The conversation always centered around some sort of financial situation, and one person would ultimately say, "Well my financial advisor is EF Hutton, and EF Hutton says ..." and at that point, everyone would drop what they were doing and listen in. The slogan was "When EF Hutton talks, people listen."
My favorite commercial out of these was when a girl was reciting the alphabet, and when she go to the letter E, she would say, "E ... F ... E ... F ... EF Hutton!" The entire class leaned in to listen to her ... as if she actually WAS getting financial advice from the brainy Mr. Hutton.
Peter Bjorn and John have had a number of minor hits over the past 5-6 years, most notably "Young Folks," which they released in 2006. Their current album, Gimme Some, features a toe-tapping song, titled "Second Chance."
It's very 80's pop-rocky, if that makes any sense, with lots of backing "ooh's," some good guitar licks and riffs, and uppity drum beat, and vocals that sound a bit like the band Fountains of Wayne.
The video is quite goofy and funny, much like many of their other efforts:
I watched the Donald Trump Roast on Comedy Central a few days ago ... with the exception of "The Situation's" performance, the roast was quite funny. One funny item on the show was Whitney Cummings comparing Donald Trump's unwanted resurgence every two years to McDonalds rolling out the awful McRib every two years.
It's loosely fast food related, and since I'm still on the "healthy living" kick, it's the best I could do.
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week I choose the following prompt: 10 Things my mother taught me. In no particular order (and I'm not saying all the things she taught me was good, either) ...
10. Rollercoasters will make me sick ... now, they never really did, but to this day, I don't like rollercoasters ... sigh.
9. Liverwurst on toast with a pickle tastes good.
8. One can apparently purchase clothes in a supermarket.
7. Burgers should be cooked until they are devoid of any color (again, I'm not saying I agree with any of these).
6. Hot dogs on rye bread is a good alternative to hot dogs on a roll.
5. Curfew in high school should be 11:00 PM ... even if all of your friends laugh at you.
4. It's ok to give coffee to a kindergartner.
3. Bribing a young kid with a candybar is an acceptable way to get him to go to Sunday School every week.
2. The 444 Scoot is a good bike for someone in middle-school.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all ... even if it's a day early!
1. Police shocking a local man with a Taser gun on Friday in a convenience store after he failed to move away from a sword he had been carrying and submit to arrest: "This is not any way to treat King Arthur ... especially whilst purchasing some jelly krimpets for his wench!" http://www.sunjournal.com/franklin/story/998855
Cyndi Lauper became a huge star in the early-to-mid 1980's with her fantastic album - She's So Unusual. This album had multiple major hits. Here's what Wikipedia had to say - "On October 14, 1983, She's So Unusual was released and peaked at #4 in the US becoming a worldwide hit. With help from Rick Chertoff, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman (of The Hooters) as her primary studio musicians, She's So Unusual's popularity spread like wildfire. At the time, Lauper became popular with teenagers and critics, in part due to her hybrid punk image."
Cyndi Lauper basically looked like a cheap tramp with red hair ... but man, did that image sell! Her song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," is still an anthem to all women anywhere. There were tons of other songs on the album - "Time After Time," "She Bop," "Money Changes Everything," "When You Were Mine," "All Through the Night," That's a greatest hits album for most bands!
Lauper even parlayed her fame to help push the "Rock and Wrestling" theme of the WWF in the mid 1980's, along with Captain Lou Albano. And, she even played a big part in Live Aid.
She never again realized that kind of popularity, but still ...
I've been hearing more and more people using the phrase, "At the end of the day." This is especially true in sports talk radio - especially the Mike and Mike show. Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg LOVE, and I mean LLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEE to say this phrase. "At the end of the day, a deal has to get done!" "At the end of the day, the fans will come back."
I'm sick of this term, and I'm deleting the phrase from my vocabulary. At the end of the day, I'm never going to say "At the End of the Day."
What do you think? Are there other terms you are sick of?
Since this is really "Irish" week, thanks to St. Patrick's Day, I figured the song of the week should be Irish.
Blackthorn is an Irish band that is very popular in the Philadelphia and tri-state area. They've been around for quite a few years, now, and have a huge following - they are a sought after band for any big Irish event in the area, and routinely play at Phillies games.
Here's some info on them from their website: It's hard to believe but Blackthorn is celebrating more than 20 years at the forefront of the Philadelphia music scene this year. They continue to draw record crowds in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. "It's been an amazing journey, I had no idea when all this started that we would still be doing this today", says John McGroary, button accordion player and one of the founding members of Blackthorn. He adds, "I think we have a special connection with our audience. On any given night you can find several different generations at our gigs. They like the music but I think they also like being part of the Blackthorn family". Keyboardist Johnny Boyce agrees with McGroary saying, I always feel I'm part of something special when I get on stage. How many people get to do something they really love night after night for almost twenty years? The best part about it is the thousands of people we meet each year and the sense of community that has built up around Blackthorn."
Blackthorn has over five albums to their credit. The first album, "It's An Irish Thing" was an instant hit with their fans with songs like "Celtic Symphony" becoming and anthem of sorts in the Philadelphia Area. Within a few years, the band was back in the studio recording "Here We Go Again," the CD that cemented Blackthorn as the premiere Irish Band in PA. Drummer, Mike O Callaghan says, "Those first two albums were really important in establishing us as a different kind of Irish Band. We still paid homage to the influences of the past like the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners but we did our own version of the songs using a more contemporary approach."
They have a song called "Alice," and I'm guessing that this is a popular Irish diddy (meaning, they didn't write it). I couldn't find the lyrics, but it sounds as if the song is based around a person who is or was drunk, and can't seem to find Alice ... a fun song to dance to, and the main chorus is something everybody loves to yell ... "Alice? Alice? Who the f&%k is Alice?"
So, the wife and I have decided to watch our food intake (trying not to use the "D" word). Which also means, I'm cutting back on my fast food intake ... sigh. However, I did have something fast-foodish this week that I'd like to share.
The wife and I had a grilled chicken caesar salad from McDonalds ... and, well ... it was ok. The chicken was nicely seasoned, but the actual salad seemed a bit ... um ... old. It was dry, not crispy, and lacked "color."
I guess I'll try one of Wendy's salads next ... hopefully, they can do a better job. If only the salad we bought looked as good as the picture ... sigh.
Interesting timing ... because the one neighbor I truly liked in my current neighborhood, and coincidentally he was my next door neighbor, passed away recently. His name was Mike, and he was in his early 60's. He had retired from some sort of government work about 3 years ago, and was basically living his dream ... being an usher for the Phillies.
The man loved baseball, and more than that, he loved his Phillies. Being an usher afforded him the opportunity to watch all of the home Phillies games in person. Sure, there were some games where he had to deal with unruly fans (usually, when the Mets were in town). And yeah, those double headers and rain delay games were killers. But man, did he love his baseball.
We would talk almost daily during the season about the Phillies ... what they needed to do, the bone-headed calls by the manager, and why Jimmy seemed to swing at every pitch. I'll miss those talks this year.
I'll also miss having a good neighbor who was always willing to help me with projects I undertook with the house. The man probably could've been a very successful "handy-man," because he knew a little bit about everything. Obviously, I'll miss that about him.
Most of all, I'll miss seeing him. He was a great man.
Lou Gramm was best known as the lead singer of Foreigner. Mick Jones basically was jealous of Lou for getting all of the publicity, even though Jones wrote most of the songs for Foreigner. The band broke up, and both musicians released solo albums. Mick Jones' flopped. Lou Gramm had some minor success.
His most notable hit was a song called "Midnight Blue." It has an "interesting" intro - some sort of sound, that almost resembles bagpipes ... as it gets louder, a rhythmic sounds begins to accompany it, followed by a guitar lick, and then ultimately Gramm's familiar voice.
The song, for the most part, is really an sugary 80's pop song, certainly a departure from Foreigner's more rocking sound. But, it works, and Gramm's voice fits the song perfectly. The lyrics, to me, tell a story of a guy who's ready to go out on his own, and has the confidence to do so ... unfortunately, Gramm still sported the ungodly amount of curly hair that was common in the mid 1980's ...
So, Charlie Sheen has garnered a LOT of media attention the past few months ... most notably, for some really "interesting" interviews he's given, going into his lifestyle (Winning!). He's certainly become a very popular celebrity lately, and he'd probably cash in big time if he decided to do a reality show ... plus, his stock went up in many celebrity death pools.
My question is this (and it's very simple) ... Charlie Sheen - dope or nope?
In the very early 1980's, Dr. J. was featured in a commercial for Chapstick ... the gist of the commercial was that all of these kids were waiting around an airport to get Dr. J.'s autograph. They were confused when he signed his autograph "Dr. Chapstick." He explained that he loved Chapstick so much, that he was changing his name to "Dr. Chapstick."
I remember going to school confused at this, because I really did think he changed his name ... Thank goodness, he wasn't promoting 2000 Flushes!
I saw the commercial for Dunkin Donuts' new sandwich, the Big N' Toasty breakfast sandwich ... and of course, I had to go out and try it ... for research purposes, of course.
The sandwich consists of two sunny-side-up eggs, 3 strips of bacon, and a slice of American Cheese, blanketed by two slices of Texas Toast. Is it good for you? No, of course not. But does it taste good? You better believe it.
I'm a big fan ... and if I keep eating these, I'll eventually turn into a bigger fan ... if you get what I mean ...
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Write about an experience you had with a celebrity.
When I worked with the Philadelphia Eagles, I met a lot of celebrities ... I became numb to them ... but one particular Monday night, against the Dallas Cowboys, I met a whole boatload of them ... You see, this was one of the marquee matchups of the season, and everyone wanted to be there. The Vet was sold out, so, lots of these celebs that called in last second had to sit with the PR guys in the press boxes.
That night, I met Joel Otto, John LeClair, and Chris Therien from the Flyers ... pretty cool (since I'm a huge Flyers fan). I then met Michael and Mario Andretti - not big into auto racing, but these guys are legends. I met a few other semi-stars ... ones I can't remember now ... But ...
I sat next to Boyz to Men for the entire football game ... I'm not a huge fan of their music, but they were pretty cool, and chatted with me ... gave me more of a respect for them.
Just a cool night altogether ... even if the Eagles lost.
Broken Records are a six-piece indie folk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, which formed in December 2006. The funny part is that most kids listening to this band probably don't know what a record even is ... but, I digress.
Their song, A Darkness Rises Up has a good bass-line, and guitar riff, not unlike many of the other newer alternative/indie rock songs out there. Broken Records goes a bit further however, incorporating other instruments that many of the current rock/alt/indie acts seem to be forgetting about - a a powerful violin sound, mixed in with an actual piano.
The voice is folky sounding, but works well against the backdrop of the music. A powerful-sounding song with an apparent meaning behind it (especially, if you combine it with the video) - looking at days gone by, and concern for the future.
I remember going to carnivals and places like Chuckie Cheese (there were imitators around our place) growing up, and always wanting to go on the big trampolines they had ... always seemed like a lot of fun ... and, because these trampolines were at "reputable" places, I always felt safe.
It seems like every family now has a trampoline at home ... I've been watching a lot of America's Funniest Home Videos lately (for some reason), and it seems like they show a lot of trampoline clips. I seriously doubt I'll ever get a trampoline for my kids, because they just don't look safe.
So, what are your thoughts on "home trampolines." Dope or nope?
Back in the early 1980's, there were many, many 7-11's around my way. I used to frequent them, because (a) I loved slurpees and candy, and (b) the ones near us had a few arcade games in them. Wawa eventually scared 7-11 off ... sure there are still a few around, but not many.
Anyway, I remember 7-11 introducing the Big Gulp in the early 1980's (I can't seem to confirm when, though). Basically, 7-11 introduced these huge cups that would hold seemingly gallons of soda. And the cool thing was that you could fill up the soda yourself (at least it was marketed as being cool). And the price for these Big Gulps was very cheap.
My friends and I would go to 7-11 and basically mix-and-match all of the sodas in the Big Gulp Cup ... Usually, the taste was awful, but we swore to ourselves it tasted good (we thought we were inventing a new kind of soda). Anyway, I remember having to pee every 1/2 hour for the rest of the day after finishing one of these Big Gulps ... good time.
I like Taco Bell ... well, at least their simple food, anyway ... you know, the hard and soft tacos, mexi melts ... that sort of thing. I've never been a fan of their "specials." Maybe it's because most of these have beans and/or rice in them (again, I'm a simpleton). Or, more likely, it's their absolutely awful commercials ... I remembered being annoyed at the Taco Bell Chihuahua back in the 1990's ... at this point, I wish he'd come back.
Have you seen the latest commercial? The guy eating that weird Beefy Crunch Burrito is creepy. Plus, the sandwich sounds awful. I will probably not even try this - not even for research purposes ...
2. On a family in Allentown, PA being lucky to escape with their lives after a natural gas explosion destroyed their block and took five of their neighbor's souls - then their cable company RCN told them they would have to pay $170 a pop for the cable boxes that were destroyed in the fire: "Cable's slogan should be this - In addition to incredibly poor customer service, we have no morals either." http://consumerist.com/2011/02/cable-co-rcn-bills-fire-victims-for-cable-boxes.html
Warren Zevon was an amusing-type of musician ... a talented man who never ever sought out the mainstream, often choosing topics like ware wolves or psychotic kids (Excitable Boy) ... although he never really hit true mainstream status, most of his fans (the present company included) think he was better off that way.
His song, "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me," as a classic example. He talks about all the success he has had in almost a negative. For instance, the main chorus of his song (and the entire song, as a matter of fact) details how these beautiful women won't "let him be." Very tongue-in-cheeky, like many of his songs, which probably overshadows the actual music a bit.
Speaking of which - the song itself is quite wonderful - great lead and rhythm guitars, a catchy beat, and a chorus that is easy to remember, and hard to forget (if you get what I mean).
A show that has been taking the country by storm the last few seasons is Glee ... it's about (apparently) a glee club in a school ... and there's lots of singing and dancing. And apparently (there goes that word again), it's funny, witty, dramatic and at times, sad. It also makes being a nerd cool, apparently.
I've never watched the show, because dancing and singing (unless performed by a cool rock band, like the Stones) isn't my cup of tea ...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were introduced in the 1980's as a cartoon ... then as toys ... then as video games, and finally as movies. The show features four turtles that were involved in some sort of mutating nuclear incident (I think) ... and became seasoned karate fighters that save the world, thanks to the leadership of a rat named "Splinter."
The turtles all are named after famous artists, and all have unique ... ummm ... charisma? My little brother (well, at the time, he was my little brother ... he's taller than me now!) loved them, and I took him to a couple of movies in the theatres ... so, even though they were a tad goofy, they'll always hold a special place in my heart.
I may have blogged about this earlier, and if so, I apologize. I tried the Southern Style Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is an attempt to compete with Chick Fil-A's original chicken sandwich ... and no, it is not as good as Chick Fil-A's sandwich ... but, it's not bad.
First, it's a little crispier than Chick Fil-A (which should be obvious, as they use the same crispy chicken breasts for all their sandwiches). The bun is pretty much the same bun they use for their cheeseburgers (which means Chick Fil-A has them beat). But, the pickle and the buttery-steamed goodness are the same.
Not a bad sandwich ... I think the size of it (kind of small) makes this an overpriced meal (by McDonalds' standards).
It’s time once again for Mama Kat’s Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: A memorable date. I remember it like it was yesterday. I asked this girl to the freshman dance a few days before the actual dance … and we had a great time (no, seriously, we did!). It has become “tradition” that you go on a date the night after the dance (at least, this is what was tradition at my school).
My date and I had a truly romantic night planned – 2 or 3 games of bowling (man, do I know how to wow them!). We walked to the bowling alley, threw a few games, and then walked back to her place. We were hanging out, watching some TV … sitting in two chairs, separated by an end table. I noticed some sort of metal ruler on the floor, and I picked it up to play with it.
I decided at some point shortly after picking up said ruler that it would be wise to whack my date on the knees with the ruler … which sparked a wrestling match between me and my date (wow – the ruler trick actually worked!). So, we spent a couple of minutes doing our best Ken Patera impersonations, and before you know it, we were face-to-face … laughing …. But of course, the laughing stopped, and it became awful serious.
Let me step back a second here, and add that up until this point, I had never actually kissed a girl … sure, sure I practiced on my pillow a few times, but that’s about it … OK, back to the story.
As you might expect, I became very, very nervous … In fact, I kind of lost track of what I was actually doing … and the next thing I know is I’m hitting her in the face with a pillow … and no, this is not a good romantic move … in fact, it killed the moment.
Luckily, my mom showed up in the mini-van to pick up her romantically inept son not long after. I remember not being able to sleep for 2 days because I kept replaying the moronic moment in my head over and over again.
But, the story does have a happy ending (no, not that kind of happy ending, you dirty minds!). We ended up going out on another date, and this time, she pinned me to a wall and forced me to kiss her (which was probably a really good move on her part). We ended up dating for 7 months … She must’ve seen something cute/nutty in me …
Pitchers and Catchers .... PITCHERS AND CATCHERS!!!
1. On a live-in nanny having a disturbing fetish for soiled diapers being sentenced to 16 months in jail: "Speaking from recent diaper-changing experience, this is absolutely ridiculous ... there should be a law that anyone with a baby diaper fetish should either be sentenced to death, or sent to Dallas." http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2011/02/11/17244841.html
4. On police questioning a woman who allegedly injected another woman in the buttocks with silicon (the woman later died): "Umm ... if anything, they should be giving this woman a gold star for eliminating another knucklehead from this world .... really, silicon butt injections administered by someone with no medical background? Really?" http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=7946599
Justin Bieber ... Need I say more? Oh, I need? OK - I think I'm getting too old ... I can't stand the kid ... and it's not like he's really done anything wrong, with the exception of performing awful music that kids like ... he's parlayed that into a heckuva a career so far (now in a movie that looks equally as awful).
Every generation in the pop era has pretty much had a "Bieber," in the 1980's, it was New Kids on the Block for example ... the whole boy band thing exploded in the late 1990's ... heck, the 70's had Danny Partridge among others.
Fitz and Tantrums is a band that is self described as "soul-influenced indie pop," which is a perfect description of their song "Moneygrabber." At times, it sounds like it could've been performed in the Motown heyday ... with some classic-sounding hooks and choruses.
But, the song infuses some good Indie undertones, and is not only quite listenable, it has the potential to get stuck in your head. I highly recommend downloading this one.
The Nintendo Entertainment System took the world by storm in the mid-to-late 1980's, and rescued the sagging home video-gaming business. The original NES came with a gun, and a robot named R.O.B. The game that came along with R.O.B. was Gyromite - basically, you had to help a professor move items from one place to another by opening and closing different doors, with the help of R.O.B. - you would basically have R.O.B. lift spinning discs and place them on platforms. It was cool at first, but after a while, I got bored with it. Still, it was a neat idea for Nintendo at the time.
Wendy's has a Grilled Chicken Deluxe sandwich on their menu. With a name like "Deluxe," you'd probably expect all kinds of lavish toppings, like pickles, onions, jalepenos ... you know, the works. And maybe this grilled chicken was grilled in some fantastic way by some famous chef, right? I mean, it does say "Grilled Chicken Deluxe" on it, doesn't it?
I normally stay away from grilled fast food, what's the point? But, I figured I'd give this one a shot ... and boy was I disappointed. I probably wouldn't have been nearly as disappointed if the name didn't include the "Deluxe" in the title.
Seriously, this sandwich consisted of a roll, a grilled chicken (didn't even seem like it had any seasoning), mayo, a leaf of lettuce and a tomato. Now, folks, does this qualify for deluxe? And what would a non-deluxe chicken sandwich be at Wendy's?
But, at least they have better fries than Burger King ...
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: List 3 things people should know about you. If you follow my blog, none of these should come as a surprise ...
3. I love sports ... I mean, I LOVE sports. Sure, there are certain sports I can't watch, namely NASCAR or the Tour de France. But, for the most part, I can be coaxed into watching any sport ... including fishing.
2. I'm a HUGE Rolling Stones fan ... I think they are, without a doubt, the greatest rock and roll band of all time ... I have seen them in concert 8 times, and have all of their studio albums, and a bunch of bootlegs as well ... I'm very excited about the potential for a tour later this year (possibly their last ... although I've been saying that since 1989).
1. I love infomercials and 1-day sale sites like woot.com, and dailysteals.com ... I have enough self control (normally) to not buy anything, but man, do I enjoy the sales pitch!
5. On a western Pennsylvania man stealing a Jeep and robbing a bank a day after a judge let him out of jail where he had been awaiting trial on charges of assaulting his girlfriend: "This guy must not be a very good doctor, because he doesn't have a lot of 'Patience.'"
The "big game" in the NFL has become legendary for its many different proposition bets, and block pools. I remember when the Iggles were in the Super Bowl (2004 season), I played a block pool at a local bar - $25 a block. I picked one block, and even though the Birds lost the Super Bowl, I won $500 ... I guess that was a nice consolation in some ways.
Some of the proposition bets for the Super Bowl include - The first touchdown, first player to say "Hi Mom," and which team wins the coin toss, etc.
So, my question is, Super Bowl betting - is it dope or nope?
I remember watching a cartoon Saturday morning's called "Gilligan's Planet." It was a "spin-off" of Gilligan's Island ... only, the crew get stranded on a deserted planet, not Island. I remember vague things from the show, like the planet had 3 suns that all set at the same time.
Here's what Wikipedia says about the show: "Gilligan's Planet is based on the premise that the Professor had managed to build an operational interplanetary spaceship to get the castaways of the original series off the island. True to form of the castaways' perpetual bad luck, they rocketed off into space and crash-landed on an unknown planet that supported human life. In many ways the planet was like the island but with a strangely colored and cratered surface with more land to get around. The rocket was severely damaged in the crash, thus the castaways were still stranded, and the Professor resumed his attempts to repair their only way home. Overall, Gilligan's Planet re-presented the source material of the original live-action series with "space" and "alien" themes. Encounters with "headhunters" and other shipwrecked people became encounters with alien creatures. A new character named Bumper was added, who appeared as a cute, reptilian alien pet/sidekick for Gilligan and company."
Bruce Springsteen is hit or miss with me ... I love some of his music, can't stand some of it. Plus, there are times when I'm in a Springsteen mood and other times where I need to change the channel.
There is one hidden nugget on "The Wild, the Innocent, the East Street Shuffle" album that I will always love. It's a ballad-type of song (not something Bruce is really known for), and it's about a city that I don't particularly like (well, at least not th sports teams).
The song is called "New York City Serenade," and it's a long song, with lots of changes in tempo and intensity. But, man, can this song pull at your heart-strings. I'm not even entirely sure what the song is about - it's one of those diddys in which the melody, the musical instruments, and the backing vocals are overpowering.
The style of song and the length of it make it nearly impossible to play on the radio, but I suggest you give it a listen.
McDonalds is promoting a new Chipotle Barbecue Angus Burger ... so, as you know, I needed to check it out ... for research purposes, of course. The burger itself is pretty much the same as the Bacon Angus Burger, with the additions of Chipotles and barbecue sauce.
For the most part, the burger tasted allright - their Angus burgers are fantastic to begin with. The main problem was the barbecue sauce, which is the same exact sauce they use for the McRib (I guess they had some left over ...). It overwhelms the burger - you can't taste the Chipotles, and you unfortunately have Mc-Rib-flavored burps for the rest of the day.
Of course, the fries more than make up for it (are you listening, Burger King?). It's an ok burger, but not as good as the regular Angus offerings.
Opus is not only the name of a popular comic book character from the 1980's, but additionally the name of a one-hit wonder band. In fact, their song, "Live is Life" has become a forgotten song entirely. The song was a moderate hit in the late summer of 1985.
Here's what wikipedia had to say about the song: In 1985 Opus released "Live Is Life," which topped the charts in many countries; it was a number one hit in Canada for seven weeks in 1985 and 1986. A live recording of the song made the Top 40 in the USA in 1985. It reached Number 6 in the United Kingdom charts on August 3, 1985, and stayed in the charts for 15 weeks. The track is popular as a sing-along song for crowds at sports events in Europe.
I remember being in germany in the early summer and this song was being played on every radio station. In the later summer, i started hearing it back in the states. I remember really liking this song ... and then forgetting about it for years ... not sure what made me think about them again ....
It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly homework assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: Top 10 things I'm sick of ... and without further adieu ...
10. Reality shows ... my wife is obsessed with them ... they clog up the entire DVR. 9. Super Bowl week ... I remember back when it was only one week and not two ... there are only so many ways to ask the same questions. 8. Justin Bieber ... I don't know why ... but I dislike him. 7. Burger King french fries ... seriously, what's the deal? 6. NASCAR ... I just don't get it. 5. Country Music ... same as number 6. 4. Andy Reid ... hey coach, how 'bout mixing in some runs so teams actually get fooled when you do a play action. 3. Snow ... We've had it to the gills in Philly. Enough already! 2. Political extremists on both sides (Yeah, I'm talking to you, Republicans/tea partiers and Democrats) ... knock it off with the fear tactics, and propaganda ... just work together to make things better ... isn't that why we (most of us) voted for you in the first place? 1. Religious extremists ... we would all be better off if we accepted and respected each other ...
I've got two words for ya - Sar-casm. If you aren't hip with that, you probably should just click to the next blog. I blog about my daily life, current hot topics, stupid conversations, or just about anything that is on my mind.